Accounting at a Crossroad

By Eugene H. Flegm

DECEMBER 2005 - The accounting profession, broadly defined to include both private and public CPAs, has been going through a terrible time. At the start of this century, top-management frauds at major corporations, including Enron, WorldCom, Parmalat, Tyco, HealthSouth, Qwest, and Global Crossing, resulted in the loss of pensions and jobs for thousands of employees; the dissolution of a major public accounting firm; the discovery of widespread manipulation of mutual fund accounts for personal gain or privileged customers; and the fining (by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer) of 10 major investment banks $1.4 billion for their part in hyping high-tech stocks during the infamous stock market bubble of the late 1990s, the collapse of which resulted in the loss of billions.

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Publisher's Column

Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations

In February 1994, Edison Electric Institute asked FASB to add a project to its agenda to address accounting for nuclear decommissioning and other similar costs. The result was SFAS 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations, issued in June 2001. Full Story

Committees Play a Role in Shaping Policy

When President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Tax Reform issued its report last month, I was struck by the similarities to the NYSSCPA’s Simple Exact Transparent (SET) proposal, created by our Committee on Practical Tax Reform. I wasn’t entirely surprised. Full Story

On Corruption and Accounting: No Panacea for a Modern Disease

If technological advancement is the hallmark of progress in modern society, then corruption is its bane. Along with prosperity and progress, globalization acts as an agent of change in international trade.
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