Preview: December 2002 Issue

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December 2002 Features

Accounting Issues at Enron

The failure of Enron sent shock waves through the economy, resulting in a series of reforms that will change accounting standards setting, auditing practice, and the financial reporting environment. The authors integrate a short history of the rise and fall of Enron with a discussion of the analytical procedures that would have revealed the sham operations accounted for there. (Article)

Due Professional Care In Cases Of High Engagement Risk

Auditing concerns that are particularly relevant on high-risk engagements such as Enron include going-concern assessments; related-party disclosures; subsequent discovery of facts; auditor independence; audit documentation; and loss contingency disclosures. This article examines each, and the authors discuss the relationship between due professional care and an auditor's legal liability. (Article)

Why Management Fraud Is Unstoppable

Management fraud is unstoppable because no controls, past or present, exist to completely control management's actions. Because of the way internal controls have been constructed, they can generally be overridden by management whenever they prevent it from attaining its objectives. This hampers corporate governance in its present form, and the author believes improvements are sorely needed. (Article)

When Good Assets Go Bad

When economic conditions get tough, managers size up their operations and look for ways to cut costs, including costs related to asset carrying values. Many corporations, auditors, and analysts expect to see a lot of restructuring and writedowns in the near future in accordance with the provisions of SFAS 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets. (Article)

The IRS' Right to Setoff Under the Bankruptcy Code

To collect unpaid federal income taxes from bankrupt debtors, the IRS must pursue its claim as a creditor of the bankruptcy estate. A recent court decision should expand the IRS' right to setoff under the Bankruptcy Code in cases where the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and the Bankruptcy Code conflict. (Article)


December Departments

CPA Manager

Benchmarking your firm performance (Article)


Student recruitment strategies (Article)

Federal Taxation

Revised innocent spouse rules offer greater tax relief (Article)

State and Local Taxation

N.J. Business Tax Reform Act (Article)

Estates and Trusts

IRS invalidates disclaimer of a remainder interest while retaining a life interest (Article)

Annual Index

A list of the articles that appeared in the 2002 CPA Journal, click here (PDF; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Guest Editorial

Inside the Journal
By Robert H. Colson (Article)


News & Views

The Enron affair from a lender's view

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Accountancy and society: A covenant desecrated

Deductible business travel expenses


Will Enron deter students from majoring in accounting?

Website of the Month: Tax and Accounting Sites Directory

Book Review: Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know

Letters to the Editor: IRA distribution rules ... ... Reviving the profession ... Seeing the big picture

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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.

2002 The CPA Journal. Legal Notices

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