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. 184, No. 3, September

AICPA Council Authorizes Bylaw, Code Changes and Member Vote on Key Issues
The AICPA council approved a change to the council resolution under Rule 505 -- Form of Organization and Name of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct to bring it in line with approved changes in the Uniform Accountancy Act by providing that only...
AICPA Welcomes Entire Online Community
The American Institute of CPAs launched a Web-based forum as part of its Web site, AICPA Online, providing an online conference center to anyone in the world who can access the Internet. For no fee beyond normal access time charges, members and nonmembers...
An Old-Fashioned Web Site
It's Just a small firm in a small town by a bayou in Louisiana's cotton country. In its 25 years the firm had not offered high-tech services; it was mostly tax with some small business consulting. Founder James W. Crawford had a business model that...
A Preventive Approach to Using Independent Contractors
As independent contractor use by companies grows, it is increasingly important for CPAs to know how to manage independent contractor relationships in a way that will prevent unwanted problems. CPAs often are looked to by their employers -- or by their...
Best Practices for CPA Firms
Auditor independence has long been a hallmark of the CPA profession. The American Institute of CPAs report, Best Practices -- Accounting Consultations, Communications with Boards of Directors/Audit Committees, and Communications with the SEC Staff...
FASB, Canadians and IASC Address Segment Reporting
The Financial Accounting Standards Board published Statement no. 131, Disclosures about Segments of an Enterprise and Related Information, which supersedes Statement no. 14, Financial Reporting for Segments of a Business Enterprise. It is part of...
Financial Reporting Reformer to Head FASB
The Financial Accounting Foundation chose Edmund L. Jenkins as the fourth chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. His five-year term began July 1. Jenkins is well known to the financial accounting community as chairman of the American...
Getting the Best from Staff
Success in any undertaking requires more than ability and resources; it also depends on motivation. Without it, the resources and service capacity of your firm cannot be fully realized. What then can a firm or company do to ensure that employee drive...
Global Auditing and Accounting Confusion
The standard audit report, which was expanded a scant decade ago (see Statement on Auditing Standards no. 58, Reports on Audited Financial Statements), should be amended again, to say -- an international investing community -- that it specifically...
Home-Based Office Equipment Allowed as Business Expense
The taxpayer, a sales manager for a phone company, often worked out of two offices, one provided by the company at her place of work and one she set up at home. On her tax return, the taxpayer claimed a home office deduction for the room in her home...
IRS Wants Company's Tax Return Software
The Eighth Circuit Court has ordered enforcement of the first Internal Revenue Service summons seeking the software a taxpayer used to prepare its consolidated federal income tax return (United States v. Norwest Corporation [no. 96-2792, CA8-June...
Malpractice Allegation
A Massachusetts superior court ruled that a complaint for accounting malpractice must allege "with clarity and certainty specific facts" for the court to allow the matter to go forward. Plaintiffs basically have to meet certain standards before proceeding...
Mapping out a Tax Plan
Will it pass the tax test? That's the question for international companies, which must determine how operating and financing decisions will be affected by the complex and perhaps conflicting rules in numerous jurisdictions. Wesley Riemer, the director...
OMB Issues Final Audit Requirement for Federal Awards
The Office of Management and Budget released final audit requirements for not-for-profits and state and local governments that administer federal financial assistance. The revisions to Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit...
Partnership Withdrawal
A California appellate court upheld a verdict in favor of the former accounting firm of Weber, Lipshie & Co., which had sought to enforce a partnership restrictive covenant against a departing partner, Paul Christian. When Christian became a partner,...
SEC, States Divide Advisor Registration
On July 8, the Investment Advisers Supervision Coordination Act took effect, clarifying who has to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and who has to be registered with one or more states. Previously, many advisers had to register...
Senate Will Examine Stock Option Bill
The Senate Committee on Finance will hold hearings on a bill that would limit the deduction for compensation in the form of stock options. The bill (S 576), introduced by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), would require a company...
Squeezing More from Your Social Security Dollar
For many years, the methods for minimizing the tax effects of Social Security benefits were limited; given the income thresholds and the available deferral mechanisms there were little flexibility and few opportunities for significant savings. ...
Tax-Deferred 401(k) Distributions
In private letter ruling 9721036, a taxpayer over age 591/2 qualified for an in-service distribution of cash and employer stock from a qualified 401(k) plan. The taxpayer sought to roll over the cash into an individual retirement account and keep...
To Market, to Market We Go
The success of CPAs in offering the new assurance services will depend not only on their own efforts but also on the backing and assistance they receive from the American Institute of CPAs. This article focuses on how the AICPA helps members expand...
White House Calls for Internet Tax Harmony
The White House released on July 1 a final report on the Clinton administration's electronic commerce initiatives. A Framework or Global Electronic Commerce urges consistent international treatment of taxes and duties on Internet commerce, including...
Wife Granted Innocent Spouse Relief from Husband's Disallowed Deductions
Rebecca Reser was married to Don Reser from 1974 until their divorce in 1991. Both were personal injury defense lawyers. In 1984, Don created a professional corporation, Donald Reser, P.C. (DRPC), which was involved in the sale o a large shopping...
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