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. 227, No. 1, January

12 Common Technology Mistakes You Should Avoid: How Many of These 'Dirty Dozen' Do You See in Your Organization?
Over my 30-plus year career consulting on technology, I've encountered many mistakes my clients have made regarding hardware, software, and technology in general. As technology has become more integral and complicated, I've seen an increasing number...
Break Your Digital Addiction
Recent studies challenge the idea that being constantly in touch makes us better workers. The temptation to constantly check our smartphones can stunt productivity. Here are a few ways to help break the habit: Turn off push notifications. Disable...
Challenges Continue for African-American Accountants: Survey Shows Mixed Results despite a Big Effort to Increase Opportunities
During the past decade, the accounting profession has made a significant effort to increase opportunities for minority employees, but more progress needs to be made. To explore how African-American accountants view their treatment in the work environment,...
Church Members' Donations to Minister Are Denied Gift Treatment: Objective Evidence Indicates Donors' Intent Was to Provide Compensation, the Tax Court Holds
A minister received taxable compensation from members of his congregation rather than personal gifts, despite the contributions' designation as gifts, the Tax Court held. Facts: The Rev. Wayne R. Felton founded Holy Christian Church in St. Paul,...
Considering Consulting? Ask These Questions First: Don't Leap into Consulting without Doing Your Homework
If you've been considering consulting as the next stage in your career, you're not alone. Many CPAs become part-time or full-time consultants prior to retirement. Others choose consulting because they want greater flexibility and control over their...
Cyber Liability: Managing Evolving Exposures
Cyber liability exposures and regulations impacting CPA firms have evolved significantly in recent years. While CPA firms have always had the challenge of protecting the confidentiality of client information in accordance with the AICPA Code of Professional...
I Ask Students What They Are Passionate About
Developments in sustainability: Sustainability currently impacts all types of organizations and individuals. From the federal government perspective, the fiscal condition of the federal government is not sustainable. If you doubt this statement, I...
Improving Voice-Recognition Accuracy
Q. Is there any way to improve the voice-recognition capability of my Windows 10 computer? A. I'm not sure this is actually true, but a friend told me his neighbor sent him a text saying, "You need to upgrade your wife," followed immediately by...
Meals Continue to Be Deductible under IRS Guidance: Advance Guidance Clarifies That the TCJA's Disallowance of Deductions for Entertainment, Amusement, or Recreation Does Not Address Business Meals
The IRS issued guidance clarifying that taxpayers may generally continue to deduct 50% of the food and beverage expenses associated with operating their trade or business, despite changes to the meal and entertainment expense deduction under Sec. 274...
Relief for Small Business Tax Accounting Methods: An Increase in the Gross Receipts Ceiling Is a Welcome Development for Many Enterprises
The cash method can yield tax savings by deferring the recognition of income until cash is received. The law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA),P.L. 115-97, which generally took effect in 2018, provides welcome simplifications for small business...
Smashing the Barriers to Employee Engagement: Firms May Boost Productivity and Satisfaction by Taking Actions on 3 Fronts
There's a disconnect when it comes to what business leaders say about employee engagement and what the employees themselves say they are experiencing. Consider the following: On one hand, according to the Society for Human Resource Management,...
Statutory Employees and the QBI Deduction
A little-noticed consequence of the proposed regulations on the 20% qualified business income (QBI) deduction introduced by the legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, is that so-called statutory employees may be able to...
Tackling TCJA Changes This Tax Season: Return Preparers Must Be Ready for How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Has Modified Many Common Features of Individual and Business Returns
Tax practitioners have known and discussed the tax law changes for 2018 returns for more than a year since the Dec. 22, 2017, passage of the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97. But even forearmed with that knowledge, CPAs now...
Taxpayer's Change to Foreign Tax Deduction Is Ruled Untimely: Extended Limitation Period of 10 Years for Refund Claims Applies Only to Foreign Tax Credit, Second Circuit Affirms
The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court's ruling that a taxpayer's refund claim due to a change from the foreign tax credit to the foreign tax deduction was not timely. According to the court, the taxpayer could not use the...
The IRS' Private Debt Collection Program
Sec. 6306 requires the Treasury secretary to enter into qualified tax collection contracts with private collection agencies (PCAs) to collect "outstanding inactive tax receivables," and during 2017 the IRS selected four PCAs to participate in the program....
Trading Many Passwords for One
Q. We are developing new security policies for our offices, and we'd like your recommendation as to how often we should require employees to change their passwords? A. There are approximately 330 million people in the United States and, according...
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