June Features

Current SEC Developments

The priorities of the SEC staff, as discussed at the December 2001 AICPA Conference on Current SEC Developments, include working with registrants to get accounting issues right the first time, improving the effectiveness of standards setting, and modernizing financial reporting and disclosure. The staff emphasized clear and transparent disclosures in the financial statements and management's discussion and analysis as way to increase public confidence in the financial reporting system. (Article)

Independence and the Users of Closely Held Companies' Financial Statements

The debate over auditor independence usually focuses on large public companies. Given the possibility that the new SEC independence rules may trickle down to smaller companies, one must ask whether the users of closely held companies' financial statements find these rules relevant. A survey of small lending institutions indicates that independence standards for small companies need to be distinct from those for larger companies. (Article)

Will the Fair Credit Reporting Act Handcuff Employee Misconduct Investigations and Certain Routine Audit Activities?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as interpreted by the FTC, imposes certain requirements on outside investigators that may hamper their ability to detect criminal conduct by employees. It is unclear when particular audit procedures become subject to the FCRA, leaving auditors and investigators to face unreasonable restrictions on certain activities and increased liability exposure. (Article)

State Tax Credits for Research and Experimentation

Business can frequently benefit from state research and experimentation tax credits; however, the differences in statutory rate, creditable research, and other credit limitations makes a comparison between states complicated. For a given set of financial statements, the authors calculate the effective R&E credit for all states which offer one. (Article)

Financial Statement Disclosure of Corporate Tax Shelters

Regulatory efforts to curb abusive tax shelters have tended to focus on disclosure through tax filings and offering materials. The disclosure of corporate tax shelters in a company's financial statements is often overlooked. There is, however, current guidance regarding materiality and contingent liabilities that may require accounting disclosure. (Article)

  June Departments

Accounting

Accounting for Internet-based barter transactions (Article)

Federal Taxation

IRS limits agents' use of constructive receipt with collateralized letters of credit (Article)

The CPA in Mediation and Arbitration

Expanded use of court-ordered mediation in New Jersey (Article)
One CPA's experience as a member of the N.J. roster of mediators (Article)

Estates and Trusts

New requirement to file gift tax returns (Article)
Living trusts: The pros and cons (Article)

Not-for-Profit Organizations

Predicting financial problems in charitable organizations (Article)

Personal Financial Planning

Legal and accounting considerations of antenuptial agreements (Article)

Guest Editorial

Would you still choose a career in accounting? What more could I want?

By Susan Hass (Article)

 

News & Views

   Considering FASB's critics
   When inefficiency becomes the status quo
   Albrecht and Sack win 2001 Max Block Award
   Robert H. Herz named FASB chair
   World Trade Center grant program
   Protecting proprietary information
   Website of the Month: Grant Thornton.com
   Website redesign: When it's time for a change
   Rook Review: Valuation for Impairment Testing: The Finance and Accounting Professional's Guide to Valuing Reporting Units with SFAS 142
   Improving the profession's grade means returning to basics
   Using outsourcing to stay on top
   How to evaluate an outsourcing provider and watch the bottom line
   Trendsetters recognize the value of competitor information

Letters to the Editor

   Global demand for the CPA exam: A view from the other side
   The value of a master's degree
   Calling for a return to historical roots

  

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