Preview: March 2003 Issue

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March 2003 Features

Audit Committees Responsibilities and Liability

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act subjects audit committee members to increased responsibilities and liabilities. The actions of directors and officers will be more closely scrutinized by the SEC and other regulators, making service on an audit committee riskier. For those interested in making a difference for a public company, its shareholders, and the investing public, the authors provide suggestions on fulfilling the enhanced audit committee responsibilities and minimizing the increased exposure to liability. (Article)

Data Confidentiality in an Electronic Environment

A sinister threat has grown alongside the increasing use of laptops: computer theft. The true cost of computer theft of a laptop includes not only the lost hardware, but also the loss of proprietary information. The authors discuss security measures that can mitigate the possibility of theft and subsequent liability exposure. (Article)

Organizational Culture and Fraudulent Financial Reporting

Recent high-profile fraud cases increase the importance of identifying companies that have the potential for fraud behavior. Certain characteristics of a company's organizational culture can signal the potential for fraud. The four most predictive factors were found to be the number of related party transactions, the influence company founders exert over the board, the number of CPAs on the board and senior management, and past history of illegal violations. (Article)

Implementing and Exiting Rabbi Trusts

In a typical rabbi trust, a type of nonqualified unfunded deferred compensation plan, an employer implements a trust to pay future compensation to employees or independent contractors. The employer owns the trust pursuant to the grantor trust rules, enabling any trust income to be taxed to the employer. Irrevocable grantor trusts and split-dollar life insurance arrangements can allow rabbi trust beneficiaries to convert all or some of their deferred compensation into an estate tax-free death benefit with little or no income or gift tax. (Article)

Demystifying The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program

The facade conservation easements available under the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program are an underutilized tax deduction. Many owners are uncertain if their property qualifies and worried about refinancing and marketability. Historic trusts can make the process easier and allow owners to serve the public interest by preserving historic properties for future generations. (Article)


March 2003 Departments


Pro forma earnings: Adding value or distorting perception? (Article)

Practice 21

Professional certification opportunities for accountants (Article)

The CPA Manager

Examining salary differences between accountants (Article)

Personal Financial Planning

Self-financing alternative: borrowing against a 401(k) (Article)

The CPA in Mediation and Arbitration

The gentle art of agreement making (Article)

State and Local Taxation

Highlights of New Jersey business tax chnages (Article)

Federal Taxation

Worker classification and S corporations (Article)

Estates and Trusts

Post-mortem income planning (Article)

The CPA in Industry

Financial officers' code of ethics: Help or hindrance? (Article)

International Accounting

Convergence of IFRS and GAAP (Article)

September Index

Supplement to the CPA Journal Index to Volume 72 (September 2002)

Guest Editorial

Reviving the profession: the glass is half-full
By Philip Wolitzer (Article)


News & Views

Dr. Smith goes to Washington

Time for a reality check

Attorneys talk about representing accountants in the era of Enron and other corporate scandals

Tax changes to executive like insurance benefits

Ethical accounting practices and the pressures on CPAs

Retirement hints for partners in CPA firms

Website of the Month: federation of tax administrators

Book Review: A White-Collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants since 1921

Letters to the Editor: Is federal regulations to remedy? ... Naming contingent beneficiaries ... Clarification rules for consolidation

Corrections and clarifications

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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.

2003 The CPA Journal. Legal Notices