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. 183, No. 2, February

AcSEC Software Proposal to Have Major Effect
The American Institute of CPAs accounting standards executive committee issued an exposure draft of a Statement of Position, Accounting for the Costs of Computer Software Developed or Obtained for Internal Use. The ED proposes that certain costs be...
A Refresher Course in Peer Review
A firm is responsible for its quality control system and the peer review that monitors compliance with that system. In order for each activity to work effectively, practitioners must understand the quality control and peer review standards that are...
Attesting to History
Three of the largest accounting firms in the world have just taken on an international auditing engagement that is as old as it is unusual. In January 1996, a survey conducted by the Swiss Bankers Association turned up at least 775 dormant accounts,...
Business Reporting: What Comes Next?
Where is financial reporting heading? The 21st century holds many surprises, but the model for business reporting in the future may already have been created. A little more than two years have passed since the American Institute of CPAs special committee...
Choosing the Next FASB Chairman
Everyone in the accounting world knows of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. But very few people know how the board members are selected or what qualifies a person to be a board member. Dennis Beresford's term as the FASB"s chairman will end...
Commissioner Calls on More CPAs to File Electronically
Margaret Milner Richardson, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, said she was discouraged that so few CPAs filed their clients, returns electronically. Richardson told members attending the American Institute of CPAs fall tax division conference...
Do the Right Thing
Business ethics is not only a matter of what's right or what's legal but also a matter of the bottom line. So argues Larry Ponemon, CPA, CMA, CIA, CFE, holder of a doctorate in accounting and ethics. He's the national director of KPMG Peat Marwick's...
FASB Makes Small Businesses Larger
It ain't over till it`s over. In the November issue, the Journal reported that a Financial Accounting Standards Board exposure draft would exempt business with less than $10 million in assets from Statement no. 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of...
Heralded Fraud SAS Released
After deliberating under the watchful eyes of both the accounting community and the popular press, the American Institute of CPAs auditing standards board has issued a ground-breaking statement on auditing standards. "SAS no. 82, Consideration of...
New Guidance on Auditing Investments
When auditing an entity's investments, auditors should be aware of applicable accounting guidance. They must be familiar with the rules that apply both to the particular type of entity and to the investments it holds. To provide auditors with guidance...
New Rules for Tax-Exempt and Government Benefit Plans
The Internal Revenue Service issued new nondiscrimination rules to qualified employee benefit plans maintained by governments and tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code section 501 (a). Notice 96-64 is a result of modifications made...
New Strategies for New Laws
Tax law changes in the 1990s have forced CPAs to make significant changes to the strategies they use in planning their clients retirement. The two most important tax acts-the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 1993) and the Small Business...
Property Settlements
In private letter ruling (PLR) 9644053, the Internal Revenue Service said a divorcing couple could use an annuity to equalize the division of their property without selling their principal asset. A husband and wife, residents of a community property...
Raising Capital Overseas
More and more companies are trying to raise capital by listing their securities for sale on foreign exchanges. However, the way financial statements are prepared varies from one country to the next. U.S. companies looking to raise capital abroad must...
SEC Leaders Discuss the Value of Independence
Senior officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission told members attending the American Institute of CPAs annual Conference on current SEC Developments in Washington, D.C., that audit firms must strive to ensure that audit quality will not...
Selecting the Right Computer Network
Selecting the right software to run a local area network (LAN) has never been an easy task - and it hasn't gotten any easier as computer technology has advanced. This article provides the basic information to help CPAs in business and industry and...
Single Audit Guidance Due This Spring
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is expected to issue a final revision to Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations, by April or May, according to Sheila O. Conley, OMB policy analyst. Under the Single...
Spending Time Wisely
Time. There's always so little of it and so much to do. Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "Ask...me for whatever you please, except time; that is the only thing which is beyond my power." But is time really beyond our control or can we manage how we use...
Statute of Limitations Triggered by Deficiency Notice
The California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, ruled that for purposes of maintaining an accountant's malpractice action, die applicable statute of limitations begins when the Internal Revenue Service issues a tax deficiency notice. Richard...
The All-Purpose Web Site
Raffa & Associates, in Washington, D. C., only started its Web page in August 1996. However, the site, a brainchild of founding partner Tom Raffa, is already serving a multitude of purposes -- as a marketing tool, a library of links for its many...
The Implications of Electronic Evidence
Virtually every business uses computers to track and store information. This means auditors are increasingly required to deal with evidence in electronic form. Recognizing the need to incorporate the concept of electronic evidence into the professional...
The IT Committees' Top 10 List
It's hard to find traditions in the American Institute of CPAs Information technology committees, issues change too quickly. However, one institution is the annual vote among members of these IT committees, and other invitees, for the top technologies...
The Sale of a Principal Residence
The largest asset owned by the average American taxpayer (single or married) is his or her personal residence. The tax laws governing the purchase and sale of personal residences have taken on new significance -- and their application has become more...
Third Parties Can Rely on Auditor's Work
Florida appellate court ruled that a client's notice to an accounting firm that said the client needed audited financial statements for multiple parties entitled those parties to rely on the accountant's work and later to bring suit against the accounting...
Volunteer to Enhance Your Career and the Profession
Why would any accountant -- with barely enough hours in the day to plow through the regular work tasks on a to-do list, let alone have a personal life -- volunteer to participate on an American Institute of CPAs committee? Many are finding that volunteering...
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