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. 3, September

Add Muscle to "What-If" Analysis: Make Scenario Manager Even More Productive
When you prepare budgets or other financial analyses built on future assumptions, you usually have to try out various estimates before you can come up with the scenario that meets your needs. In a typical situation, you even may need to print the numerous...
Court Upholds IRS Lien against Corporate "Alter Ego"
Title 26, section 6321, of the U.S. code provides: If any person liable to pay any tax neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand, the amount ... shall be a lien in favor of the United States upon all property and rights to property, whether...
CPA2Biz Delivers Update to AICPA Council: CPA2Biz, the AICPA's Marketing and Technology Provider, Experiences Steady Online Growth, Releases New Site Features and Develops a Set of Core Business Solutions Programs to Meet the Needs of Small and Midsize Public Practitioners and CPAs Working in Business and Industry
Over the past year CPA2Biz, the exclusive marketing provider of the AICPA, has launched a pair of new initiatives enabling CPAs to build stronger relationships with their clients or employers. Now it's looking ahead to several new Web site enhancements...
Debt Allocation and LLCs
The number of limited liability companies (LLCs) in the United States is increasing dramatically. Most choose to be taxed as partnerships and follow the normal partnership rules. However, some of those regulations must be adjusted as a result of the...
Divorce Agreement Language: Proper Wording in Divorce Documents Is Crucial
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * FOR ALIMONY TO BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE, payments must be made in cash under a divorce or written separation instrument, the spouses must reside in separate households, the payor's liability must end with the payee's death, the payor...
EE vs. I Bonds: Which Are Better? U.S. Savings Bonds Can Be an Integral Part of an Investment Strategy
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * CPAs WHO PROVIDE FINANCIAL PLANNING SERVICES need to weigh the similarities and differences between U.S. Treasury series EE bonds and I bonds to help clients make savings bonds a part of their investment strategy. * SERIES...
Employer-Provided Education Benefits: Section 132(d) Is Worth a Second Look
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * MANY EMPLOYERS PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH TAX-FREE education benefits. The two most common are scholarships and grants under IRC section 117 and education-assistance programs under section 127. There is, however, a third alternative:...
Encourage General Ledger Efficiency
A company's general ledger function requires regular upkeep to streamline the number of accounts, store the most current information in readily accessible locations and contribute to a quick, efficient closing process. Frequent maintenance lets CPAs...
Erase Old Files Safely and Completely
Q. I plan to donate my old computer to a volunteer organization, but before I give it up, I want to be sure all its data are safely removed. I've heard that just deleting files is not enough to assure privacy. Is that correct? If so, what should I...
Exposure Drafts Outstanding
(This list was compiled as of August 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...
Financial Reporting Goes Global; International Standards Affect U.S. Companies and GAAP
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * THERE IS A CLEAR TREND TOWARD ADOPTING IFRS as the single body of internationally accepted financial reporting standards. In the next few years, thousands of companies will move to IFRS as a primary basis of financial reporting....
Fraud Risk: Are You Prepared? the Mission: To Create Stronger Support for an Ethically Sound Business Environment
Incentives that reward individuals for short-term results, a culture that has been insufficiently vigilant, advances in technology and more sophisticated business transactions have increased opportunities for fraud and abuse and enabled fraudsters...
Golden Business Ideas
The Smart Way to Train New Hires It goes by various names: coaching and mentoring, buddy systems and peer programs. But no matter what it's called, it's generally ignored by managers--which means that, for the most part, recent hires frequently...
Impact of Self-Employment Loss on Earned Income
Inconsistencies in the law often prove troublesome for taxpayers and the IRS. Various tax code sections define "earned income" differently, some reference it differently and still others refer to it but don't define it. IRC section 63 is a case...
Internal Audit's New Role: Put Together a Top-Notch Department
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY * NYSE-LISTED COMPANIES MUST HAVE INTERNAL audit departments in place in advance of an October 31 deadline. Internal auditors also are evaluating the scope of work their departments should take on to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley...
IRS Allows Statistical Sampling for M&E Costs: New Procedure May Increase Taxpayer Deductions
There is very good news for CPAs whose clients face the often burdensome administrative costs of claiming allowable expense deductions for meals and entertainment (M&E)--the IRS now will permit the use of statistical sampling to account for such...
Make Google Searches Faster and Smarter
Q. I use Google frequently, and while I like it, I get the feeling I could be using it more efficiently. Any ideas? A. Here are some suggestions from Google for making Internet searches faster and more effective: * Install the Google toolbar,...
Non-Profits Face Funding Pressures
Fund-raising shortfalls can cause problems for some NFPs that auditors need to know about. Adapted from the new Audit Risk Alert. by Lori A. West, CPA, Technical Manager, AICPA Accounting and Auditing Publications As the world changes, not-for-profits...
Smart Stops on the Web
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY SITES Plan for Change www.boozallen.com CPAs, CEOs and CFOs can visit this business strategy consulting company's Web site and download the "Ten Guiding Principles of Change Management" for strategies and tips on managing...
What's Ahead in Enforcement? by Looking at NASD and Stock Exchange Regulation, Firms Can See What Might Unfold regarding Their Own
One of the main features of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The PCAOB, a Congressionally created private-sector, nonprofit corporation, was granted sweeping powers over the nation's...
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