Preview: December 2003 Issue




Elder Care and Estate Planning: Reconciling Strategies

Achieving elder care and estate planning goals often require strategies that conflict with each other. Plans designed to minimize one set of financial obstacles can create problems in another area. By carefully considering all the consequences, intended or not, of a strategy, planners can ensure that a maximum of assets are retained within the family unit, a minimum of estate taxes are uncured, and elder care costs are minimized. (Article)

Costs Associated With Exit or Disposal Activities

Accounting guidance for costs associated with exit and disposal activities that were not covered by SFAS 144 have now been covered in SFAS 146. The standard generally requires the recognition of an expense and related liability for one-time employee termination benefits at the communication date and contract termination costs at the cease-use date. As a result, SFAS 146 eliminates the EITF 94-3 requirement to recognize a liability when management approves an exit or disposal plan, and it notes that an entity's commitment at the initiation date does not, by itself, require the recognition of a liability. The expense and liability are measured at fair value, which is generally determined by estimating the future cash flows to be used in settling the liability, discounted at a credit-adjusted risk-free rate of interest. (Article)

Per Diem Arrangements and Accountable Plans

Employees and employers can both benefit when a reimbursement for expenses is made pursuant to an accountable plan or per diem arrangement. The IRS has been vigilant in challenging arrangements which merely camouflage actual compensation in an attempt to avoid taxation. Arrangements that inconsistently or arbitrarily allocate reimbursements have come under examination. Recent case law and IRS pronouncements provide some guidance that will help companies appropriately structure their accountable plans. (Article)



Accountant's Liability

Accountants serving as corporate directors (Article)

The CPA in Mediation and Arbitration

Healthcare alternative dispute resolution (Article)

The CPA in Industry

Accountants' anti-money-laundering responsibilities (Article)

Federal Taxation

Highlights of recent tax legislation (Article)
Variable prepaid forward transactions not considered sales (Article)
The streamlined sales tax project (Article)

State and Local Taxation

New treatment for IRC section 457 plan distributions (Article)

The CPA and the Computer

XBRL, financial reporting, and auditing (Article)

Economic & Market Data


Inside the Journal
By Robert H. Colson (Article)


News & Views

Audit committees: The solution to quality financial reporting

Publisher's Column: Sunlight is the best disinfectant

SEC Regulations G, S-B, and S-K: Reporting non-GAAP financial measures

It's time for triple bottom line reporting

Accounting for stock options

Book Review: Ethics for CPAs

Website of the Month: SisterStates tax directory

Letters to the Editor: On valuing intangibles ... Introducing the basics ... The need for old-fashioned ethics ... Correction


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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