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. 188, No. 6, December

A House Is Not Necessarily a (Tax) Home
To deduct temporary lodging and travel expenses, a taxpayer must show that they relate to travel away from his or her "tax home" (the geographical area of the taxpayer's principal place of business) and that the employment was completed within one...
Avoid Web Site Legal Risks
The Internet thrusts many organizations into the unfamiliar business of cyberpublishing--an area fraught with substantial legal risk. In addition, there is a lack of legal precedent for many cyberspace issues. This checklist addresses steps companies...
Calculating Gain on Corporate Distributions
In 1986, Congress repealed the last element of the General Utilities doctrine. As a result, corporations must recognize gain when they distribute appreciated assets to stockholders, regardless of whether they structure the transaction as a property...
Concerns over Auditing Quality Complicate the Future of Accounting
The accounting profession has come to a strategic fork the road. One path leads to a future in which the profession accelerates its diversification into new services that complement and build on essential, traditional ones; the other path, an unchanging...
Culture Wars
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * CORPORATE CULTURE has gained in importance because employers need to attract talented people and employees want to find increased meaning in their work. * FAILURE TO CONSIDER how your CPA firm or business is perceived can...
Data Conferencing: Meet Face-to-Face - Remotely
When it comes to complex business talks or training sessions, nothing beats face-to-face meetings. Right? Well technology may be changing that--which is not to suggest you immediately should get rid of your conference room. But, in order to appreciate...
Deductibility of Expenditures
The IRS permits taxpayers to use the cash method of accounting even though that method does not perfectly match revenues with expenses. When they are too far out of line, however, the IRS can require a taxpayer to switch to the accrual method of accounting....
Exposure Drafts Outstanding
(This list was compiled as of November 1, 1999. 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...
FYI
Management Accountants Relish Their Expanded Role * New opportunities for management accountants that not long ago would have seemed unlikely are increasing in number thanks to new technology and business strategies. These developments, highlighted...
G4+1 Report on Joint Ventures Issued
In late September, FASB issued a special report developed by the G4+ 1 on how best to consolidate the varied international accounting practices and standards relating to interests in joint ventures. The G4+ 1 is a group of accounting standard setters...
GAO Reports on Raising Social Security Retirement Age
If the numbers turn out as expected, the retirement en masse of the baby boom generation and the longer life expectancy of retirees (73 for men and 79 for women born in 1997) will force Social Security into insolvency by 2032. On the face of it, raising...
Golden Business Ideas
Ensure Teamwork It happens all the time: A management guru comes up with a catch phrase and applies it to an old and obvious management productivity-improvement process. In short order, the phrase becomes fashionable, and career-minded managers...
Internal-Use Software and the Research Credit
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * FOR YEARS THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE TAX GUIDANCE for corporations to follow in determining whether internal-use software is eligible for the IRC section 41 research tax credit. In 1997 the Treasury Department released proposed regulations....
IRS Reinvents National Advocate Organization
No doubt W. Val Oveson is sighing with relief as 1999 comes to a close. As National Taxpayer Advocate-the voice for taxpayers within the IRS--he is putting some finishing touches on a reorganization that has already brought sweeping changes to his...
Letters
And the Correct Homonym Is ... Oh, no! Not the JofA, too! Please see "Shifting the Burden of Proof" (JofA, Sept.99, page 89) and tell me how a CPA can "pour" over records for hours. I always thought I "poured" my martini after I got through "poring"...
Line Items
No Pension for Wife No. 1 * A couple was married for 26 years, during which time the husband was covered by his employer's qualified pension plan. The couple divorced, and the subsequent property settlement did not cover his pension benefits. The...
Looking at Mergers the Way Federal Regulators Do
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * WHEN A COMPANY CONSIDERS A MERGER, it's important to understand what may trigger a regulatory challenge. CPAs are most likely to focus on financial data, but they must look at postmerger market implications, too. * FEDERAL...
Official Releases
Auditing Interpretation Interpretations are issued by the Audit Issues Task Force of the Auditing Standards Board to provide timely guidance on the applications of pronouncements of that Board. Interpretations are reviewed by the Auditing Standards...
Opportunity Knocks: CPA ElderCare Services
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * AS CPAs SEEK NEW WAYS TO USE THEIR SKILLS, they can offer CPA ElderCare Services to assure clients that the financial, medical and residential needs of their parents and other elderly relatives are met. The demand for such services...
SEC Issues SAB 99 on Materiality
In August, the SEC issued Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) 99 to clarify principles of materiality for those who prepare or audit financial statements filed with the SEC. SAB 99 does not present new materiality standards but, instead, reaffirms long-accepted...
Smart Stops on the Web
ACCOUNTING SITES A Site for CPAs www.computercpa.com The Accountant's Home Page offers an extensive list of links to accounting organizations (including all state society home pages), publications, resources and software. It also includes a section...
Spreadsheet, Meet Database - Database, Meet Spreadsheet
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: * LINKING A DATABASE and a spreadsheet allows you to perform complex data analyses far more easily than if you used only one application. In this case, we link Microsoft's Access and Excel's PivotTable. * ALTHOUGH IT'S POSSIBLE...
Tax Planning for Clients in the Military
Savings opportunities for armed forces personnel. Special tax provisions apply to people serving in the U.S. armed forces. Given the U.S. military presence worldwide, CPAs For military personnel should be aware of these rules and know whether (and...
Technology Q&A
Q. In presentations to small groups, I often use my laptop and a projector to display a spreadsheet on a wall screen. But the numbers in a cell are sometimes too small for viewers to read. If I enlarge the entire screen image by changing the display...
The Perfect Office
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * THE ADVENT OF THE PC changed the basic rules governing office design. Suddenly there was a need to install a PC on a desk so that it was both convenient and comfortable to use. * EVEN MUNDANE THINGS, such as lighting that...
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