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. 176, No. 5, November

Accelerated Death Benefits
Life insurance companies have developed new types of contracts that dispense all or part of a policy's face value before the insured's death. In addition to traditional death benefits, such policies provide "living benefits" that help policyholders...
Accounting for Multiyear RRCs and Sales and Lease-Backs of Assets Leased to Other Parties
Statement on Auditing Standards no. 69, The Meaning of "Present Fairly in Conformity Wiht Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" in the Independent Auditor's Report, identifies Financial Accounting Standards Board emerging issues task force (EITF)...
Economic and Tax Implications of Thoroughbred Racing
There's more to horse racing than a fast horse. Sunday Silence: Many will recognize the name of the 1989 Kentucky Derby winner even though they have never set foot on a racetrack. This horse failed to bring $17,000 as a yarling but then went on...
GASB Issues Three New Statements and Sea Proposal
The Government Accounting Standards Board, in a surge of activity, issued final statements on three disparate issues--accounting for closed municipal landfills, university Pell grants and proprietary funds. It also exposed for comment a proposal for...
Health Care Reform Will Hurt, Say Major Corporations
A survey of 57 large corporations conducted by Buck Consultants, Inc. found most were deeply dissatisfied with national health care reform initiatives. A majority of those polled (54%) said mandating health care benefits would hurt their organizations....
How Much Money Are You Really Making? CPAs May Be Surprised at the Answer
CPAs may be surprised by the answer: One of the principal reasons for low profitability in CPA firms is that owners pay too much attention to profit margin and not enough to profitability. They are not the same thing. True profitability is the...
Illegally Waived or Rebated Commissions Not Taxable to Agent
In 1982, insurance agent Mickey Worden sold six life insurance policies through the Federal Home Life Insurance Co. Worden's contracts with the cleints who brought Federal Home Life insurance provided that he would act as their "insurance consultant."...
Is Unix in Accountants' Future?
Its natural network connectivity and crash resistance make it an operating system to consider. Most personal computers (PCs) run on the traditional disk operating system (MS-DOS), a decades-old program designed to handle only one computer and one...
Polishing Your Firm's Professional Image
How long has it been since your CPA firm took steps to improve its professional image? If you cannot say with certainty that in the eyes of your clients and the business community your firm represents technical competence, professional commitment,...
"Reinventing Government" Report Mandates Credible Accounting Standards for Federal Agencies, Better Tax Administration
The report issued by Vice-President Al Gore's National Performance Review panel offers a series of initiatives for "reinventing government" at the federal level, including proposals to implement fully the 1990 Chief Financial Officers Act and to establish...
Small Business Confidence Sags as Economic Growth Slows
The mood of small business owners continued to sour in the second quarter according to a quarterly poll taken by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The NFIB small business optimism index dropped four points to 94 (1978=100), its...
State Consumer Taxes Keep Moving Higher
An annual Commerce Clearing House survey of state sales, cigarette and gasoline taxes found that only 28 states had held the line on all three levies in the year ending July 1, 1993 Gasoline taxes. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia raised...
Taming the Wild Client
A down-to-earth approach to family businesses has been successful for one practitioner. Stanley Person has always counseled his many family-business clients to avoid long-term financing and to shun leverage if they could build from within instead....
Tax Act Repeals Stock-for-Debt Exception
Buried in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA) are revenue-raising provisions that repeal the "stock-for-debt exception," which will complicate life for businesses in financial straits. The result could be an acceleration of bankruptcy...
The Age of Electronic Filing
Electronic filing is on the rise. Over 13 million individual returns were filed electronically in 1993--an increase of 30% over 1992 (see "Why Electronic Tax Filing Is Hot," by James F. Petersen and Keith A. Washington, JofA, Oct.93, page 68). ...
Transfer of Home Ineffective for Estate Tax
Lydia Maxwell sold her home to her son in 1984 for $270,000. The son and his wife gave back a $250,000 mortgage note, on which the son paid yearly interest of 9%, but no principal. Maxwell forgave the remaining $20,000 of the purchase price in 1984,...
Watch Your Attitude
Robert Half, CPA, founder of Robert Half International, Inc., and author of six books, discusses the benefits of thinking positively. The Journal welcomes readers' questions on employment concerns, which should be sent to Career Clinic, Journal...
What CPAs Can Learn from Wal-Mart
Why should practitioners study a company that went from being a small backwater retailer to the United States' largest retailer in a little more than a decade? According to Mike Ballard, principal, Ballard Marketing Group, North Las Vegas, Nevada,...
What Juries Look for in CPAs
CPAs must understand juries' needs and expectations if they are to be effective expert witnesses. Michael J. Wagner, managing director, Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett, Portland, Oregon, offers some tips for practitioners. Juries usually are made of...
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