March Features

Balanced Scorecard: Two Perspectives
By Shih-Jen Kathy Ho and Ruth B. McKay
Balanced scorecard is a strategic management system that translates an organization’s mission into a set of integrated performance measures that provide a concise picture of an organization’s progress towards a goal. The authors examine two case studies—one where balanced scorecard was successful, one where it was not—to better understand how companies can implement the balanced scorecard system to their advantage. (Article)

Traditional and Emerging Methods of Electronic Assurance
By Glenn L. Helms
The demand for real-time financial information and the implementation of electronic information systems has increased the pressure on assurance providers to keep pace. Traditional assurance procedures must be adapted to an increasingly paperless environment. A truly continuous auditing environment will require a combination of techniques to ensure that sufficient evidence exists to maintain the integrity of the system. (Article)

The Big Splash: Goodbye Pooling, Hello Goodwill Impairment Testing
By Rose Marie L. Bukics and Ben Chapman
The authors provide a concise overview of the most talked-about accounting standards in recent memory: SFASs 141, Business Combinations, and 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets, which limit accounting for business combinations solely to the purchase method and require goodwill (and all intangibles) to be tested for impairment rather than amortized. The effects of these statements are far-reaching and substantial; any company with recorded goodwill must take note of their provisions and economic effect. (Article)

Liberalized Rules for Tax-Free Spin-offs
By Randy A. Schwartzman
The IRS recently liberalized the long-unpopular rules and provisions governing tax-free spin-offs, which were considered to have adversely affected transactions with legitimate business purposes. While the requirements for tax-free status remain stringent and some issues remain unresolved, the Treasury Department has provided some welcome guidance and made some rules more manageable. (Article)


  March Departments

Goodwill and intangible assets: A ten-step program for public and nonpublic entities (Article)

Auditing nonstandard and recurring entries (Article)

International Accounting
A conversation with James J. Leisenring, IASB member (Article)

Federal Taxation
Consolidated return loss disallowance rules saga (Article)
Alimony recapture provision (Article)
Evaluating series EE savings bonds (Article)

The CPA in Industry
Selling activity-based costing (Article)

Personal Financial Planning
Choosing the right beginning age for Social Security benefits (Article)
New York State section 529 plans (Article)
Section 529 plans tax-free as of 2002 (Article)

Employee Benefit Plans
The self-employed 401(k) plan (Article)

Corporate Governance
From 'tone at the top' to 'checks and balances' (Article)

The CPA and the Computer
Using online analytical processing tools (Article)

The CPA in Mediation and Arbitration
Mediating personality differences behind internal business disputes (Article)

Practice 21
CPA websites: A maturing marketing tool (Article)
The value proposition in the ASP business model (Article)

Guest Editorial
I would do it over, but choose a different launch point (Article)
By Eugene Flegm

News & Views

 · Concerned students hear experts predict a revitalized profession
 · Enron hits close to home       
 · A novel approach to accounting education 
 · Book Review: The Rose Engagement
 · Tax return checkoff to help find cure for breast cancer 
 · Website of the month: Digital Daily
 · Book Review: XBRL Essentials 
 · Hedge funds: The most misunderstood asset class

Letters to the Editor
 · Accounting has finally 'made it'
 · Opting out of the Enron feeding frenzy
 · Zeroing in on Empire Zones
 · Curriculum for the well-rounded CPA

Coming Soon

 · Bankruptcy protection
 · Planning for educational expenses
 · Outsourced internal audit

 · Business combinations and intangible assets
Government Accounting 
 · Note disclosures


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The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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