FASB Charts a New Course
An Interview with Robert H. Herz
New FASB Chair Robert H. Herz explains his views on principle-based accounting, the changing role of accounting standards setters, the quest for more substantial input from users and small preparers and their auditors, and the role of professional societies and accounting trade associations. He also speculates about the future relationship between FASB and the SEC, the AICPA, and the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
Transforming Government, by Example
An Interview with David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States
The seventh Comptroller General of the United States, David M. Walker, describes his mission to mission to make the GAO a model federal agency and change the way that the government does business. He talks about some of the GAO's recent investigations and the political complications of its work. Under Walker's leadership, the GAO has been strengthened and repositioned to fulfill its mission of enhancing government accountability.
When Are Prepaid Expenses Deductible?
A recent Seventh Circuit Court decision allows taxpayers to deduct fixed, one-year recurring items whose benefit extends into the next taxable year. The IRS has announced that they expect to issue proposed regulations allowing for the immediate deduction of prepaid expenses that satisfy a one-year rule, which would eliminate much of the uncertainty surrounding this issue.
Using and Protecting Trademarks
Buyers depend upon brand names to differentiate products and services in the marketplace; sellers depend upon brand names to serve as a repository for customer goodwill. Trademarks link products with their source and thereby protect the public. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is responsible for clearing and registering marks, as well as preventing infringement.
Death, Divorce, and Taxes
A separation or divorce can have a large impact on an individual's estate or inheritance rights. Unanticipated consequences will almost certainly result if one of the spouses dies unexpectedly during this transition period. Without precautionary planning, the wishes of the deceased might not be followed.