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. 189, No. 4, April

Advocate Reports Taxpayer Concerns to Congress
W. Val Oveson, CPA, has been very busy ferreting out tax policy and administrative problems that make compliance burdensome for taxpayers. In his annual report to Congress, Oveson, who has been National Taxpayer Advocate since 1998, identified the...
A New Approach to Compilations
Proposed revisions to SSARS no. 1 make some bold changes. After years of attempts to alter the requirements or exempt certain services, the AICPA accounting and review services committee (ARSC) has issued an exposure draft that seeks to make fundamental...
Audit Committee Rules to Improve Disclosure
To address earnings management concerns raised by SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, Jr., the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (Amex), the auditing standards board (ASB) and...
"Begging" Doesn't Equal Earned Income
Last fall, the Tax Court issued several unusual related memorandum decisions on the earned income tax credit (EITC)--a refundable credit available to taxpayers with income below a specific threshold. The cases involved five prisoners who attempted...
Best Practices for E-Commerce Self-Defense
Attacks on e-commerce Web sites have online merchants in a cold sweat over downtime-induced revenue losses. But Web-savvy CPAs can help clients by offering these e-sabotage prevention tips. [] Conduct a risk assessment of the enterprise. If possible,...
Calculating Insolvency
Taxpayers are required to include COD amounts in income. A taxpayer that is insolvent at the time a debt is cancelled can exclude COD income from gross income. The Internal Revenue Code defines insolvency as the excess of liabilities over the fair...
Cancellation of Nonrecourse Debt
It's not uncommon for a taxpayer that has defaulted on a debt to find the property securing the debt is worth less than the amount of the liability. In the event of a sale, the tax treatment will differ depending on how the debt is structured. If the...
Exposure Drafts Outstanding
(This list was compiled as of March 1, 2000. For exposure drafts issued after that date, consult The CPA Letter. Note: The policy for updating the list of exposure drafts is that a document should remain on the list until a final document has been...
Financial Reports in a Snap
A simple, do-it-yourself electronic tool. Would you like to distribute financial reports throughout your organization electronically rather than on paper? Even better, would you like to give your reports drill-down capability that permits a user...
IFAC, Firms to Apply International Standards Consistently
The International Federation of Accountants and seven major transnational accounting firms together are planning a global initiative to strengthen international accounting and auditing practices. IFAC hopes firms in the alliance, by uniformly applying...
Inside AICPA
www.aicpa.org Long-time POB chairman calls it a day ... Institute seeks graders for CPA exam ... AICPA board member recognized for service to personal financial planning profession ... Directory of member services An Era Ends at the POB as A.A....
Letters
Index Funds: Criticisms and Comments The JofA received a number of letters regarding the two index find articles that ran in the January 2000 issue. These included letters from readers who pointed out errors in one of the articles as well as readers...
Liability for Unpaid Taxes When Wrong Advice Is Given
Taxpayers must often rely on professionals to advise them on tax matters. Estate taxation can be particularly complicated for a layman. The personal representative of an estate, responsible for administering a decedent's financial affairs, often has...
Mutual Fund Redemptions
Managing gains and losses. Mutual funds are extremely popular investment vehicles. They enable taxpayers to purchase shares in a variety of funds rather than invest in individual stocks, thereby providing risk diversification, professional investment...
Official Releases
Council Resolution ... Ethics Interpretations and Ruling Council Resolution Amending Interpretation 203-2 At its fall 1999 meeting, the Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants adopted a resolution amending Interpretation...
Smart Stops on the Web
COMPUTER-RELATED SITES An Online Encyclopedia freesoft.org This site is devoted to an electronic encyclopedia that details the history of the Internet from its origin as a Defense Department project in 1969 and discusses the mechanics behind...
Sophisticated Web Design
A database can supercharge your Web site. As recently as rive years ago, most CPA firms were scrambling to create an online presence before they missed the "virtual" curve. Partners across the country were congratulating each other for their firms'...
Taxpayers Win Round in Cash Method Battle
In the past, the IRS prevented taxpayers who maintained inventories from using the cash method of accounting for federal income tax purposes. Instead, Treasury regulations section 1.446-1 (c)(2)(i) forced taxpayers to use the accrual method to account...
Technology for the New Millennium
How to prepare for e-business. Like it or not, technology now defines our world: Workplace technology that started as handy (but still optional) business tools in the 1980s evolved into a high-priority requirement in the 1990s. As we enter the new...
Technology Q & A
Q. Some years ago, when I used WordPerfect (my favorite word-processing software), I could print watermarks (light print-overs) with words like DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL that did not cover up the text beneath. I would like to do the same with the spreadsheets....
The Dos and Don'ts of IRA Investing
Some investments work better than others. IRA investors today have literally hundreds of investment options available to them ranging from the stock, bond and mutual fund offerings of Wall Street to gold coins, real estate and derivatives. The decision...
The Planning Peril
Redesigning the budgeting function? Avoid built-in risks. Congratulations! You've just been picked to be part of a team to redesign your organization's planning and budgeting process. This is your chance to be a star and make a significant upward...
Thinking in the New Millennium
Have you adjusted your thinking for the new millennium? Have you taken time to assess how the vast technological, economic and social changes the new century is ushering in will affect you and your business? It's not just that the Internet has changed...
XFRML Model Available for Comment
The first version of XFRML (extensible financial reporting markup language), developed by the AICPA in conjunction with participants from business and technology, is available for comment. Designed for commercial and industrial enterprises whose reporting...
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