Journal of Accountancy

A monthly publication of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants focusing on the latest news and developments related to the field of accounting, and written for CPAs and other accounting professionals.

Articles from Vol. 187, No. 4, April

150 Hours: A Look Back
What the fifth year of education did to Florida--and what it will do to you. The ship has sailed on the question of whether the 150-hour requirement is a good or a bad idea. Like it or not, the stipulation is the law of the land in 45 states, and...
Buy or Lease: The Eternal Question
An auto leasing toolbox. It's easy to understand the allure of auto leasing: Consumers make lower monthly payments; dealers gain volume, move expensive inventory--and keep customers. So it's not surprising to find that one of every three new cars...
Deducting Entertainment Expenses
Special rules for certain costs. Costs incurred in entertaining clients, customers, prospective customers, suppliers, employees and other business associates are valid business deductions. However, due to the significant personal nature involved...
Filling the Knowledge Gap
Using the Competency Assessment Tool to map out a career path. You may be very competent at your current job, but what new skills will you need if, as expected in this fast-paced business environment, the demands of your job change? Or what if you're...
Helping Clients Grow Old Gracefully
A primer on ElderCare. Does the increasingly common situation at left describe an area of need that CPAs can fill? The AICPA special committee on assurance services believes it does. In its report on the future of assurance services, the committee...
IRS Takes Aim at Family Partnerships
The IRS has declared war on family limited partnerships (FLPs). It is in the middle of an aggressive audit program testing the validity of such partnerships for estate and gift tax (transfer tax) purposes. In revenue ruling 93-12, the IRS agreed...
ISB Lays Down the Law on Discussions with Audit Committees
Nearly two years ago, amidst frustration over the state of auditor independence regulations, the Independence Standards Board (ISB) came into being as part of an agreement between the AICPA and the SEC. Its mission is to improve the standards relating...
New Rule on Stock Transactions
A proposed regulation, designed to increase compliance by corporate taxpayers, could create both tax planning opportunities and pitfalls for companies. The existing regulation under IRC section 1032 allows a corporation to issue its own stock, or...
Organizing a Business Retreat
Whether you're a CPA with an accounting firm or working in industry, it makes sense to gather the key people in your organization for a two- or three-day retreat--far from the hustle and bustle of daily business. Retreats are an excellent tool for...
Recognizing Income on Foreclosures
How much income does a taxpayer realize if he or she is insolvent and a creditor forecloses on property secured by recourse debt? Can the taxpayer exclude any of the income as forgiveness-of-indebtedness income? Taxpayers are required to recognize...
Solo, but Not Alone
Why you just might find yourself in business with your competitors. Today's sole proprietors are being forced to look in the mirror and answer tough questions about their futures. They're asking them selves: Can I maintain my one-person practice,...
Taxpayer Penalties
Tax return preparers are often asked by their clients to view a controversial treatment in a favorable light. Under the law, both taxpayers and their preparers may face penalties if they cannot support a tax treatment used in a return. Under IRC...
The CPA as Sleuth: Working the Fraud Beat
When dealing with swindled clients and their lawyers, it pays to know the rules. CPAs can trade in their spreadsheets for trenchcoats and fedoras. They'll need to if a client ever requests help with a business fraud investigation. In fact, often...
What You Really Need
What's new, what's hot, what's necessary. While technical innovation continues at breakneck speed, wise computer users would do well to pause before hurrying to buy the latest computer, software or gadget that hits the market. Some of the new gear...
When Your Customer Goes Belly-Up
How to protect an unsecured creditor's interests when its customer is in financial straits. In fat times it's easy to miss the signs that a valued customer may have financially overextended itself. Alas, inevitably someone's customer does declare...