Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Investment Adviser Oversight: What's Your Preference?

A recent InvestmentNews survey found that a majority of investment advisers would prefer to pay a user fee to help fund adviser examinations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over other options.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents to the survey support the user fees, while the other options — a self-regulatory organization (SRO) or a more expansive Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) — failed to reach the 50 percent mark. The SRO and the FINRA expansion both drew more than 50 percent favorable responses in a 201 poll, while the user fees were favored by just 27.8 percent of respondents that year.

The SEC has said that it has the resources to examine about 8 percent of registered advisers each year.
What do you think, investment advisers? Which option would you prefer? Why is the user-fee option gaining steam? Sound off in the comments.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Op-Ed: 'Listen to the Accountants'

VSCPA President & CEO Stephanie Peters, CAE, co-wrote an op-ed in this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch discussing government finances. Stephanie and Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business, talked about the special expertise that CPAs offer in matters of fiscal responsibility.
CPAs are uniquely qualified to analyze financial statements, whether it's for a small business or a huge government entity. VSCPA members and other CPAs are the experts when it comes to reading a balance sheet, and they should use their expertise to help the country solve its financial problems. Peters and Bagranoff wrote:
The profession's message is meant to be nonpartisan and does not suggest a particular policy solution. Taxing at 15 percent and spending at 25 percent is not sustainable. How we solve that disconnect should be an ongoing topic of discussion among us all.
Click here to read the rest of the editorial. What can CPAs do to help U.S. citizens understand the government's financial situation? Sound off in the comments.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Guest Blogger: How Many Chapters Does the VSCPA Need in Northern Virginia?

By Sean O'Connell, CPA

Do you think that there should be one chapter, or should there be more than one?
I am a member of the "Northern VA Chapter", which holds most of its monthly meetings at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church. It is a great chapter, with over 400 members, and well planned CPE and meetings. The location and time slot are great for me and a lot of other members. Geographically, when VA is on the map with its 11 chapters outlined geographically, it would appear that "Northern VA" is taken care of.
However, because of the sheer number of CPAs in the northern part of VA, I somtimes wonder if there are other CPAs, who may be interested in holding chapter meetings in Tysons Corner, Old Town Alexandria, the Pentagon, Arlington, Leesburg, or other places.
Note: This post taken from Connect, the VSCPA's new exclusive social network. Visit to create your profile and start connecting!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The $400,000 Tax Refund

From the “News of the Weird” department comes the story of Cleveland waitress Ginny Hopkins and her massive tax refund. Hopkins was expecting to receive a refund of $754, but when she got her refund from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), she saw a check for $434,712.

Hopkins isn’t keeping the refund, of course. She’s made arrangements to return the check and is awaiting her correct refund despite a boost in popularity.

“I have many best friends now, let me tell you,” she said.

Click here for a video interview with Hopkins courtesy of Cleveland TV station WKYC 3.