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. 179, No. 6, June

401(k) Hardship Distributions
Distributions from 401(k) plans generally are not available until an employee reaches the age of 59 1/2, retires, dies, becomes disabled or separates from an employer's service. However, distributions can be made if the employee proves it is "necessary"...
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A CPA's Guide to Money Manager Evaluation
At one time, only the very wealthy could hire their own money managers. Today, many money managers have lowered their minimum account sizes so more individuals than ever qualify for this service. As a result, CPAs are increasingly being asked to make...
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AICPA and NASBA Presidents Set the Record Straight on 150-Hour Education Requirement
Philip B. Chenok, president of the American Institute of CPAs and David A. Costello, president of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, sharply criticized a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (a bipartisan,...
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AICPA's Walker Urges Stronger Taxpayer Rights
At a hearing before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee to explore the development of Taxpayer-Bill-of-Rights legislation, Deborah Walker, chair of the American Institute of CPAs tax executive committee, urged Congress to strengthen taxpayers'...
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A Link to the IRS
Taxlink, the Internal Revenue Service program for collecting federal depository taxes electronically, is replacing the coupon (paper) system employers now use to make such deposits. In operation since December 1993, Taxlink allows employment, excise...
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Derivatives: What's an Auditor to Do?
Hardly a day goes by without a derivatives disaster being reported in the business press-the spectacular loss by Barings PLC is just one of several recent examples (exhibit 1, page 77, lists others). It is, however, not news that derivatives markets...
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Disclaimers Were Invalid When Legatees Were Paid Later
At Louise Monroe's death in 1989, the value of her one-half interest in the Monroes' community-property estate was $9.7 million. Louise was survived by her husband, Edgar. Louise's will made specific bequests to 31 individuals. The estate's accounting...
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Doing the Right Thing: Case Studies Give Tips on How CPAs Can Remain within Ethical Boundaries
Case studies give tips on how CPAs can remain within ethical boundaries. Can practitioners be sure the business decisions they make are consistent with the profession's ethical standards? When they have questions, one place to turn is the American Institute...
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Employee Business Expenses Revisited
Among the more ballyhooed changes made by the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1993 (RRA) were the limits placed on deductions for travel expenses of spouses and dependents, the denial of deductions for most club dues and the further limits on deductions...
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FASB Issues Statement on Asset Impairment
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued Statement no. 121, Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of, which provides guidance for determining whether there is an impairment loss. The statement...
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Fifteen Years of Meeting the Challenges
Shortly after I was elected president of the Institute, it became apparent that to move forward we needed a new mindset and a fresh perspective on how to accomplish our goals. We needed to understand not only what was currently being demanded of us,...
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How Firms Contain Costs
Rising health care insurance costs are a problem for all businesses, CPA firms included. According to a survey of current and former members of the American Institute of CPAs management of an accounting practice committee, nearly half have raised deductibles...
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Investment Adviser Checklist
CPAs registered as investment advisers (see "To Register or Not, That's the Question," page 47) must adhere to a regulatory structure beyond that imposed on practicing CPAs, and they can expect a Securities and Exchange Commission or state agency audit...
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Modernizing Banking: The Repeal of Glass-Steagall
The Glass-Steagall Act was enacted during the Great Depression to protect banks and safeguard the financial system. However, as Robert E. Rubin, secretary of the Treasury, told the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services, "The banking industry...
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SEC Seeks Comments on Proposals for Risk Disclosure
The Securities and Exchange Commission invites comments and suggestions on a range of proposals on mutual-fund risk measurements. The SEC said its focus on risk disclosure was prompted by the unprecedented losses among certain short-term government bond...
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Small Business Tax Solutions
This is part of a regular series covering tax issues of special interest to small business based on questions from the American Institute of CPAs tax certificate of educational achievement (CEA) courses on tax planning and advising for closely held businesses....
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The Medical Benefits Audit
Health costs are a major problem for most businesses. In a Fortune magazine survey, nearly two out of three chief executive officers called skyrocketing medical costs one of the most difficult problems facing U.S. corporations. One-third said health...
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To Register or Not, That's the Question
"Are you registered?" When CPAs attending this month's American Institute of CPAs investment planning conference in Chicago ask each other this question, they won't be asking if they are staying at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. They really...
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Walter Schuetze Retires from SEC Top Accountant Post
Walter P. Schuetze, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has retired from the agency after more than three years of service. John M. Riley, who served as deputy chief accountant under Schuetze, has been appointed the SEC's acting...
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What to Do about Low-Basis Stock
As the Dow Jones industrial average hovers near record highs, some investors may find themselves "stuck" in a portfolio concentrated in a single low-cost-basis stock. The investor might be a retired executive of a public company who received the stock...
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When Is a Database Not a Database?
When it's better to use a database program. It's no secret that accountants love their electronic spreadsheets. After all, the computer not only eliminates the onerous chore of manual number-crunching, it produces spreadsheets faster and better. But...
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