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. 4, April

Accountants and the Attorney-Client Privilege
Accounting concepts are a foreign language to some lawyers in almost all cases and to almost all lawyers in some cases." As financial litigation becomes more complex, this often-quoted statement helps explain why attorneys sometimes need to use the...
Accounting Links Can Be Pretty
Many CPAs have created link-laden sites that are useful for their clients and fellow accountants, but few have done it with as much style, using as few resources, as Brenda J. Mizgorski, a sole practitioner near Monterey, California. In less than a...
A Software Success
Can too much prosperity be a bad thing? When a product takes off, many young companies collapse because demand outstrips their capabilities. CPA Janis Monroe, the founder of software developer and publisher MicroMash, was able to weather this challenge...
Budget Proposals Focus on Middle-Class Tax Cuts
President Clinton and Republicans in Congress introduced budget packages that center around tax cuts for middle-class families. Clinton's budget, unveiled in February, would provide taxpayers with about $100 billion in tax cuts through fiscal year...
Check-the-Box: Choosing an Entity's Tax Classification
The Internal Revenue Service has finalized rules that allow most businesses to choose whether they will be treated as a corporation or as a passthrough entity such as a partnership. Check-the-box rules also allow businesses to disregard their entity...
Examining the 1997 Examination Program
The Internal Revenue Service, like most other government agencies, has to tighten its budget while trying to achieve more goals and objectives. CPAs and their taxpayer clients can get an idea of the areas on which the IRS will concentrate its assets...
Finance's Future: Challenge or Threat?
As the Bob Dylan song of the 1960s warned, "The times they are achangin'." Management accountants certainly can attest to the sagacity of those lyrics. But how exactly will the changing times affect CPAs in the years ahead? Change is not new to...
GASB Issues Reporting Model Proposal
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued its long-awaited exposure draft on the financial reporting model for government agencies. The model, which the GASB has been working on since its inception in 1984, calls for both fund- and entitywide...
High-Tech Tools That Do the Job
New computer and communications hardware continues to inundate the market, numbing even the most technology-savvy user. But most of those new products tend to be blips on the horizon here today and gone tomorrow. Often they don't do what they claim,...
IRS Offers Some QDRO Help
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation already has issued sample language to help make sure qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) are in full compliance with pension plans under its authority (see "QDROs Made Simple," JofA, Jan.97, page 11)....
Litigation Services: Standards and Ethics
Litigation services are gaining popularity with CPAs. However, many practitioners may not be aware of which professional standards and ethics rules apply to such engagements. This article reviews the major rules and discusses their relative importance...
Partnership Investment Taxed to IRA
According to Internal Revenue Code section 408(e)(1), amounts an IRA earns are generally tax deferred until distributions are made. However, in certain instances, IRAs are not tax deferred. In private letter ruling 9703026, an individual's IRA purchased...
Peer Review Revision Finalized
The American Institute of CPAs peer review board will implement several key changes in its revised Standards for Performing and Reporting on Peer Reviews (AICPA Professional Standards, vol. 2, PR section 100). The most significant changes in the exposure...
Proposed Attestation Standard on MD&A
Out for exposure is a proposed Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE), Management's Discussion and Analysis, that would provide guidance for practitioners examining or reviewing management's discussion and analysis prepared according...
Recognizing and Measuring Financial Instruments
The International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) issued a discussion paper on the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. Accounting for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities provides a comprehensive analysis of the major...
SEC Adopts New Disclosure Rules for Derivatives
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules requiring companies to reveal more about their accounting policies for derivatives in the footnotes of financial statements. The rules also require new disclosure of information about the risk of...
Starting a Small Business
Are you a CPA starting a business? Do you have clients who are starting a business? The Small Business Administration has a list of issues potential business owners should consider, some of which are listed below. For more help, including additional...
The Auditor and Fraud
The most highly publicized statement on auditing standards in years rolled off the presses in early February. SAS no. 82, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit, provides expanded operational guidance on the auditor's consideration of...
The Business of Governments
The firm of Allen, Green & Robinette has used know-how and good timing to achieve success in a highly focused niche. The 12-person, Monroe, Louisiana, firm specializes in government auditing and accounting services, mainly for school districts...
The Importance of Customer Focus
By the early nineties, our three-partner firm in Ontario, Canada, had realized that we had to change the way we did business to remain competitive into the next millennium. There were more public accounting firms fighting for clients and more consulting...
The Internet Attacks Tax Borders
Last month, the Journal reported on the difficulties states are facing in taxing transactions over the Internet. (See "Business Group Addresses On-line Nexus," JofA, Mar. 97, page 21, for details.) Of course, the Internet gives no more respect to international...
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