Monday, August 31, 2009

Sneak Peek: September/October Disclosures

The September/October issue of Disclosures is on its way to VSCPA members' mailboxes. We've got a great lineup in this special themed issue focusing on accounting education!
  • VSCPA member Phil Umansky, CPA, a professor at Virginia Union University, takes a close look at the trends in educating students about International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), including examples of how a few Virginia colleges and universities are tackling the issue.
  • Brian Kush, CPA, a VSCPA member and speaker, provides his perspective on the CPA Exam. He says it's more than just a test; it's a life learning experience. His article provides food-for-thought for associate and student members sitting for the Exam, but also offers an opportunity for seasoned CPAs to look back on their own Exam experiences.
  • Student members will get great resources just for them in their own special section detailing VSCPA student member benefits, scholarship info and more. The Student Section runs in the September/October issue every other year.

There's even more for readers, including a look at the issues that separate generations in the workplace and a special good-bye to VSCPA member Howard Anderson, CPA.

So take a look at this packed fall issue, and send me a note or give me a call with your feedback!

Red Flags Raised on Red Flag Rules

In the ongoing debate regarding "Red Flag Rules," which are designed to prevent identity theft, several industries seem to be concerned about the undue burden these rules might inflict — including CPAs.

By the nature of their profession, CPAs adhere to strict privacy requirements regarding client confidentiality. That's just one of the many reasons the VSCPA, AICPA and several state CPA societies around the country have requested that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) exempt CPAs and CPA firms from its Final Rule Relating to Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

On August 5, 2009, the VSCPA sent a letter to Sen. Jonathan D. Leibowitz detailing several reasons CPAs should be exempt from the red flags rules.

CPAs are not the only ones who are concerned.

This past Thursday, the American Bar Association announced it has filed suit against the FTC. In its complaint, the ABA says the Rule "imposes significant burdens upon lawyers, particularly sole practitioners and those practicing in small firms, who comprise the majority of the lawyers in the United States."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soup Kitchens, Shelters and Schools...Oh My!

What do Antioch Academy Preschool, Fairfax County Library and the Warrenton Food Coalition have in common? They are all getting some CPA love on Friday, September 18, 2009 — CPA Day of Service.

Momentum is growing for this inaugural event, which unites CPAs across the Commonwealth in volunteering for organizations of their choice. As of this afternoon, more than 200 CPAs had signed up to give back, and we know there are several others out there who are participating and haven't told us yet.

Not only are CPAs signing up to give back (both individually and in groups), but they are also sharing some great stories about their connections to these organizations. Whether their children are involved in a nonprofit extracurricular program or they got their favorite four-legged friend from a particular shelter, it seems Day of Service volunteers are giving back to organizations that mean something to them — to specific missions.

Check out the
volunteer page to see who's volunteering in your area and for what organizations, and don't forget to let us know if you're participating so we can accurately measure the collective impact the profession will make on CPA Day of Service!

Friday, August 14, 2009

IFRS for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs)

On July 9, 2009, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued an International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) designed for use by small and medium-sized entities (SMEs), which are estimated to represent more than 95 percent of all companies. Read more about the release of IFRS for SMEs.

John L. Daly, CPA, summarizes the key provisions in a recent article:

"The good news is that IFRS for SMEs is relatively short. Presented on an odd-sized 6”x 9¾” paper with a tiny 8.5-point font, the full text runs only 231 pages. This compares to some 2,500 pages for full IFRS and 25,000 pages for U.S. GAAP. IFRS for SMEs is not some severely scaled-down standard designed for third world countries, but a comprehensive principles-based standard. Other good news is that most of the standards discussed in IFRS for SMEs will seem familiar and common sense to U.S. accountants. There will be few unfamiliar terms."

Read Daly's full article

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

David Walker Addresses State CPA Society Staff

Last week at the 2009 American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and CPA/SEA Interchange Conference, I had the pleasure of hearing the Honorable David M. Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, speak about the desperate need for increased fiscal responsibility in the United States. Currently, Mr. Walker serves as president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the mission of which is “bringing Americans together to find sensible, sustainable solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results.” During his address, he spoke about five key challenges that must be addressed sooner, not later: national economic responsibility, entitlement reform, health care reform, tax reform and personal financial responsibility. I can see CPAs playing a significant role in finding solutions to these challenges.