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. 198, No. 1, July

Choose a Date Format for Word
Q. How do I get AutoComplete to automatically type out the "long" date (July 4, 2004) instead of the "short" date (7/4/2004)? A. Before getting into how to set the default for the date format, let's take a moment to describe AutoComplete. It's a...
Create an Effective Direct-Mail Campaign
CPA financial advisers who market their services have had to find new ways to target clients ever since the national telemarketer "do not call" list took effect in 2003. Direct mail offers them one such option. Here are some tips on how to overcome...
Exposure Drafts Outstanding
(This list was compiled as of June 1, 2004. 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 issued...
Give Your Skills a CAT Scan: Compare Where You Are with Where You Want to Be by Using the AICPA Competency Self-Assessment Tool
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * PRACTITIONERS CAN USE the AICPA Competency Self-Assessment Tool (CAT) to evaluate which professional performance areas they need to strengthen to refine skills for their present jobs or train for positions they aspire to. Firms...
Institute Launches Financial Literacy Campaign
The AICPA, with the support of state societies, initiated a multifaceted effort to encourage CPAs to volunteer to educate Americans on financial topics relevant to various stages of life--from teaching 4-year-olds to put pennies in piggy banks to helping...
Keep Clients Happy
Arvid Mostad, a senior partner at Mostad and Christensen Inc., a CPA firm in Oak Harbor, Washington, says he learned a business lesson the hard way--by losing clients. Many clients, he explains, initially engaged his firm for the personal service...
Keep Your Word Documents Private
Q. I've heard that the two latest versions of Word (XP) store the editorial changes and comments of Track Changes (the Word tool that allows various people to pose questions and make suggested changes to a document) and that, if you send the document...
Make Your Own Push-Button Database: Your Information Is Just a Click Away
Access, the Microsoft database, although very powerful and flexible, is hardly the friendliest tool in the Office suite. Even experienced users have been known to fume over its complexity. So what do you do if your organization's customer lists and...
Offers in Compromise
Taxpayers unable to pay their income tax liability may make an offer in compromise under IRC section 7122 to settle the tax bill. Such an offer can, however, have a negative impact on other rights available to taxpayers, as the Tax Court recently demonstrated....
Official Releases: GASB No. 43
Space considerations prevent publishing here the appendices to GASB Statement no. 43. Since the appendices often are important to understanding GASB statements, readers are advised to obtain complete copies. For additional copies of GASB statements...
Off the Beaten Path: CPAs' Skills and Contacts Are a Flexible Foundation for Many Enterprises
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * CPAs CAN USE THEIR UNDERSTANDING of business structures, familiarity with financial reports and disciplined, analytic thinking to succeed at other endeavors. Those who have launched alternative or auxiliary careers emphasize...
Private Annuities Can Aid Medicaid Eligibility: Planning Today for Later Years
Clients sometimes ask CPAs how they can qualify for Medicaid. With monthly nursing home costs between $5,000 and $7,500, for many older adults Medicaid is the only way to pay for long-term care. Each state sets income and asset limits to qualify...
Road to the Future: Use Internships to Contribute to the Younger Generation and Get a Good Look at Potential Hires
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * INTERNSHIPS FOSTER SUCCESSFUL PROFESSIONAL development for students and firms. To get started, a firm's project manager should check the local university or college's Web site for its requirements and the name of the faculty...
Smart Stops on the Web
COMPETENCY ASSESSMENT SITES How Do You Measure Up? www.aicpa.org/info/021108cat.asp Current and future CPAs can evaluate their proficiency levels with the AICPA'S competency self-assessment tool (CAT) at this section of the Institute's Web site....
Speed Up Word's Find Tool
Q. I'm a major user of the Find tool in Word: It's very handy when I'm working in a very large document and searching for a word, a phrase or even particular numbers. However, once I locate the first instance of my target and then make the necessary...
Split an Excel Cell and Enter Two Pieces of Information
Q. I've seen spreadsheets that contained a cell with a slash mark (/) dividing it so it could contain two different pieces of information--for example, a number on one side of the slash and another number or a word on the other side. How can I do that?...
The Lowdown on Lean Accounting: A New Way of Looking at the Numbers
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * LEAN MANUFACTURING PRINCIPLES FOCUS on eliminating waste and producing only to meet customer demand. They also typically require a company to move from a functional division of work to work cells where all of the processes needed...
Two Firms Launch New Ethics Programs: BKD, Moss Adams Aim to Ensure High Ethical Tone throughout Firms
Moss Adams LLP in Seattle and BKD LLP in Springfield, Missouri, are striking out for a new frontier in CPA firm management--formal ethics oversight. Their approaches differ--Moss Adams hired a single individual to act as an independent ethics officer,...
View from the Top: Interview with John J. Castellani: Business Roundtable President Highlights Challenges Facing Nation's CEOs
Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executives of leading corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million U.S. employees and $3.7 trillion in annual revenues. Its CEO members are committed to supporting...
What's Next in Corporate Pay Practices? an Enhanced Role for Compensation Committees and a Hard Look at Stock Options Are in the Offing
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * RECENT SCANDALS HAVE CREATED A PUBLIC perception that corporate executives are putting their own interests ahead of shareholders' concerns. While the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 does not directly mandate changes in compensation...
When to Implement GASB No. 34?
When a government is to implement GASB No. 34 would seem to be a straightforward issue; but, believe it or not, a few government officials and their auditors are still confused about it. Making this determination is a two-step process. First, the...
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