Election-Year Political Activity and the Separation of Church and State

By Phil Harper and Larry Farmer

Political campaigns tend to catalyze controversial legislation during an election year. In 1954, at the height of the McCarthy era, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson sought a legislative route to silence some of his anticommunist critics. Encouraged by Johnson, the U.S. Senate passed a major tax code revision by a voice vote. Although Johnson’s revision was targeted specifically at nonprofit groups that were contesting his seat, churches—which also are nonprofit organizations—fell under the new tax code provisions. Full Story

Publisher's Column

Implementing Section 404

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that all public companies do something that they probably should have been doing anyway: assign the CEO and the CFO authority over the company’s internal controls and the opportunity to demonstrate competent and transparent governance, not just to the SEC but to shareholders and the financial community in general. While some public companies may previously have managed with less-than-stellar internal controls, those days are over. Full Story

Choosing to Participate in the Political Process

It is rare for people to be able to see that regulation of the accounting profession is a highly political issue, both inside and outside of the professional community. Regulation and legislation involve political choices. Choosing not to participate in the political process relieves one of responsibility for making tough decisions, but, on the other hand, not participating is akin to giving up. Full Story

Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation: A Simple Proposal

The proposed statement requires the recognition of the cost of employee services received in exchange for equity instruments in the financial statements. For public companies and those nonpublic companies that so elect, that cost is based on the fair value of the employees’ right to purchase stock at a set price, which is evidenced by the issuance of a financial instrument, the stock option. Full Story

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