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NYSSCPA member John Lieberman recently appeared on New York City’s NBC 4 News to offer tax filing tips. The more than five million households that tuned in learned how to work with a CPA and about red flags that often trigger an IRS audit, among other things. Watch video 


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FAE Speaker: A Nonprofit’s Future Could Hinge on Its Ability to Allocate Properly

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 38 (EO38) has made proper cost reporting to government agencies more important than ever—and the cost of mistakes even more drastic, according to Allan M. Blum, a speaker at the FAE’s Nonprofit Conference.

Remembering Marcum Co-founder Edwin Kliegman

Edwin J. Kliegman, a longtime advocate of small and medium-sized firms who cofounded the national firm Marcum LLP, died on Jan. 21. Marcum’s Managing Partner Jeffrey M. Weiner called him a “visionary who was widely respected.”

Read more   |  February 17, 2015 3:15 PM

NYSSCPA Mourns Loss of State’s First Black Woman CPA

Services for Bernadine Gines, the first black woman to earn the title of Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York, will be held at 3 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 15, at Manhattan’s Marble Collegiate Church.

Quiz: Can You Detect the Unethical Behavior?

Which of these allegations against a consultant firm have merit?

Read more   |  February 3, 2015 12:15 PM

IRS Associate Chief Counsel: Partnerships Tough to Audit 

With the number of businesses that are classified as partnerships on the rise, the IRS has had to confront new challenges to its policies for these entities—all amid an environment of dwindling budgetary resources, Curtis G. Wilson, the service’s associate chief counsel, said.

NYSSCPA Survey: CPAs Optimistic About Economy, But Not Tax Reform

New York CPAs see bright spots in the state’s economy, but are skeptical about tax reform and frustrated by the impact that taxes are currently having on their clients, according to the results of an annual economic outlook survey commissioned by the NYSSCPA.

Read more   |  January 13, 2014 1:30 PM

Scoring a Victory for CPAs in New York City 

After two years of discussion and negotiation with the New York City Tax Commission, the NYSSCPA’s Real Estate Committee has succeeded in getting the city to modify a key real estate form—TC309, Accountant’s Certification—and make it compliant with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).

Warning Clients About Embezzlement Risks

What to consider when advising clients about their exposures to defalcation.

Read more   |  December 30, 2014 3:25 PM

NYSSCPA Weighs in on NYSDFS ‘BitLicense’ Proposal

Though the NYSSCPA supports a proposal from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) that would govern the transfer and use of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, among financial intermediaries, it called on the agency to address ambiguities in the language that the Society said would cause confusion, and work to better align the plan with existing processes. The Society weighed in on the matter in October with a comment letter written by members of its Virtual Currency Task Force.

It’s Dec. 9. Have You Met This Year's CPE Requirements?

The clock is ticking, the stage is set: Dec. 31 marks the end of the continuing professional education (CPE) year for New York CPAs, which leaves just a few weeks to tie up any lingering requirements. Otherwise, according to the New York State Board for Public Accountancy, you could be in for a bumpy 2015.

Read more   |  December 9, 2014 3:00 PM

Society Calls for More Realistic Disclosure Standards From IAASB

A draft of proposed new guidance from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) meant to fine-tune how financial statement disclosures are audited, is good in principle, but ignores the everyday reality of how auditors do their jobs, according to the NYSSCPA. In a comment letter written by members of its Auditing Standards Committee and International Accounting and Auditing Committee, the Society cautioned that the proposal could implement new requirements that not every firm is equipped to meet.

New Committee Sheds Light on Start-Up, Emerging Tech Issues

NYSSCPA members have formed a new statewide committee aimed at examining issues pertaining to small technology start-ups and other early-stage venture-backed industries.

Read more   |  November 4, 2014 11:00 AM

An Opportunity to Serve on the NYSSCPA Board

Are you interestedin serving on the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Board of Directors? Do you know of another member who would be a good leader for our organization? The Society’s Nominating Committee is accepting submissions of interest and direct nominations until Jan. 1, 2015.

How Can We Shake up the CPA exam?

The AICPA is seeking input on the CPA exam, as it looks to revise the test. We asked CPAs what they would change.

Read more   |   October 7, 2014 11:00 AM

Buffalo Past President to Receive 2014 Urbach Community Builders Award

Jerry Mazurkiewicz, a past president of the NYSSCPA's Buffalo chapter, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award for his volunteer work with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

You’ve Got Their Business Cards, Now What?

Five CPAs on how they put their networking contacts to good use.

Read more   |   September 8, 2014 10:01 AM

Society Pans 990 Extension Process 

In a comment letter released on Aug. 14, the NYSSCPA urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to streamline the way it handles extensions for exempt organization filings, arguing that the current setup is inefficient and puts an unnecessary burden on entities.

At 27, COAP Continues to Win Over the Next Generation

They came from every corner of New York state—the 250 high school juniors who participated in this year’s Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program—and they came with a shared goal: to get a firsthand glimpse of life in the profession. But, like scores of students before them, they left with more than they could have imagined.

Read more   |  September 2, 2014 2:03 PM

FAE Speaker: Crash Could Have Been Worse

Despite the financial sturm und drang of the last few years, James Glassman, Managing Director and Head Economist at JP Morgan, said that if he were to grade the U.S. on its economic recovery, he would give it an “A.” Surprised? Glassman, who made his remarks during the Foundation for Accounting Education’s CFOs, Controllers, Treasurers and Financial Professionals Conference, said the U.S. deserves some credit—things could have been much worse.

Society Inducts New Members into Young Leaders Program

The NYSSCPA has inducted five new members into its Young Leadership Circle, a program it launched last year to help identify and cultivate the organization’s next generation of leaders.

Read more  |   August 18, 2014 2:06 PM

NYSSCPA Meets With Newly Appointed Finance Commissioner

In a meeting with members of the NYSSCPA’s New York, Multistate and Local Taxation Committee, Jaques Jiha, New York City’s recently appointed Department of Finance commissioner, said he would improve transparency, equity and efficiency in the department and work to make it more customer oriented.

FAE Speakers: Fed Plan Sparks Concerns About Fixed Income

That’s what BlackRock’s managing director and chief investment strategist for fixed income, Jeffrey Rosenberg, told a group of CFOs and other financial professionals looking to navigate the fixed- income environment at the recent Foundation for Accounting Education’s CFO’s, Controllers, Treasurers, and Financial Professionals Conference in New York City.

Read more| August 5, 2014 10:58 AM

Doing the Right Thing

We CPAs can do it all. We meet rigorous academic standards, taking courses (now at least 150 credit hours worth) in accounting, auditing, business law, finance and economics. We pass a strenuous exam—considered by some to be among the toughest in the world—and gain meaningful work experience under the guidance of veteran accountants. With all that training, there’s nothing we can’t tackle. Right?

Society’s Ethics Committee Gives High Praise to Restructured Conduct Code

The AICPA launched its revised Code of Professional Conduct on June 2, via a new online platform designed to improve its ease-of-use. The code, which the NYSSCPA voted to adopt in May 2013, governs the conduct of every State Society member.

Read more  |  July 8, 2014 1:43 PM

Former KPMG Partner Scott London Talks Insider Trading Conviction

Last year, Scott London, a former KPMG audit partner, pled guilty to sharing confidential data about firm clients with Bryan Shaw, a golfing buddy who used the information to buy and sell stocks. The Trusted Professional caught up with London to discuss his very public fall. What follows is an edited and condensed version of the interview.

FASB, IASB Release Final Form of Revenue Recognition Standard

After six years of discussion, outreach, exposure and re-exposure, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have issued the final version of their revenue recognition standard, which introduces fundamental changes to how revenue is recorded in financial statements.

Read more   |  July 1, 2014 12:59 PM

Senate Passes CPA Firm Ownership Bill

The New York State Senate today passed a bill, S4596B, that would allow New York-based CPA firms to offer minority ownership stakes to a wider range of top-level professionals, not just CPAs. 

War Story: Responding to a Third-Party’s Request for Client Information Can be Trickier Than it Sounds

Teddy Easley, a CPA, was contacted by one of his larger tax clients, Bill Hugo, who said that in order to qualify for a mortgage refinance, he would need Easley to write a letter verifying that Hugo was self-employed, his business was financially sound and he was creditworthy.

Read more   |  June 10, 2014 1:32 PM

Adair Takes Office as the NYSSCPA’s 95th President

Scott M. Adair was elected as the NYSSCPA’s 2014–2015 president on May 15 during the Society’s Annual Election Meeting & Dinner, where he vowed to revise the organization’s strategic plan, help steer the conversation on non-CPA firm ownership and prioritize efforts to develop young CPAs.

Society to Help Young CPAs Strike Career and Industry Gold With NextGen Conference

Navigating the road map to career success is the theme of Next Gen 2014, a conference and networking event for a young professionals hosted by the NYSSCPA’s Foundation for Accounting Education and scheduled to take place June 8-10 in Long Island and June 15-17 in Rochester.

Read more  |  June 3, 2014 12:04 PM

Biz Val Conference Speaker: Domain Names Are Big Business

What’s in a name? Millions of dollars, when it comes to the web. Domain names, the unique identifiers that Internet users type into a browser to visit a site, can be serious business—take, for example, Sex.com, which sold for $13 million in 2011, or Whiskey.com, which sold for $3.5 million this year. Still, determining the actual worth of a domain name is less straightforward than it may seem, and CPAs performing valuations will need to know which factors to weigh, according to Jaime d’Almeida, a valuation specialist who spoke at the Foundation for Accounting Education’s Business Valuation Conference on May 19.

FAE Speaker Offers Up-Close Look at PCAOB Process for Investigating Firms

What happens when the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) decides to look a bit closer at an audit firm’s activities? According to C. Ian Anderson, the PCAOB’s Regional Associate Director of Enforcement and Investigations, firms can expect a multilayered process, with a focus squarely on “whether the auditor acted diligently and with a reasonable degree of competence.”

Read more   |   May 27, 2014 2:27 PM

To Live and Die in New York: Recent Tax Changes Affecting Estates and Trusts

On Apr. 1, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law, as part of the New York State Executive Budget, what might appear to be sweeping changes affecting estate planning and trusts. But the new law falls short of achieving the laudable objective that Governor Cuomo had specified in his State of the State address: keeping wealthy New Yorkers in the Empire State during their golden years.

Read more   |   May 8, 2014 3:02 PM

Society Recognizes Winners of its Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards at May 1 Luncheon

For the 31st consecutive year, the NYSSCPA honored reporters from the national and local press whose work contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics through its Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards program.

Read more   |   May 8, 2014 3:00 PM

With HIPAA Changes, Entities Must Rethink Business Associate Agreements

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released omnibus regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), that included guidance for implementing changes made by the final rule of...

PCAOB Chair Says Board Won’t Push on Audit Rotation

During a Feb. 5 budget meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) said that it was abandoning its efforts to mandate that public companies rotate audit firms every few years.

Read more   |   March 3, 2014 11:22 AM

NYSSCPA Reaffirms Stance on Revived PCAOB Naming Measure

In a comment letter published on Feb. 4, the NYSSCPA roundly criticized a revived effort by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to require auditors to disclose the names of their engagement partners, as well as the names, locations and participation of any other experts who assisted the audit, in the audit report.

Society Raises Red Flags on SEC’s Crowdfunding Regs

The NYSSCPA expressed some concern that a proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding crowdfunding—a fundraising tactic in which small amounts of capital are solicited from a large number of sources—could reduce transparency and security and may ultimately open up numerous avenues for fraud by unscrupulous entrepreneurs.

Read more   |   March 3, 2014 10:55 AM

 

End of the Road for Windows XP Poses Challenges for Businesses

Microsoft plans to end support for its 12-year-old Windows XP operating system (OS) on April 8, which means that the company will no longer provide security patches, technical assistance and other forms of service for those still using the software—a development that could leave businesses at increased risk of cyberthreats and other glitches if they don’t upgrade.

Read more   |   March 3, 2014 10:37 AM

FAE Speaker: Cloud Computing Tax Laws Out of Step With Technology

In the old days—when tweeting was something birds did and a “face book” was merely a student directory distributed at colleges—software transactions were relatively simple: You walked to the store, picked out the program you wanted—perhaps on a 3.5-inch floppy disk—went to the checkout counter and brought it home.

Back to Basics in IT Risk Assessment

Information technology has taken a starring role in the risk assessment process that accompanies the planning, execution and conclusion of the audit, now that the capturing, processing, storing and reporting of information have become almost exclusively computerized. Given how central its use is, it’s always a good idea to review the basics and understand just what the audit standards say with respect to IT.

Read more   |   February 18, 2014 2:46 PM

Pending FASB Guidance Raises Questions About Operations

As part of a wide-ranging effort to improve how nonprofits present their financial statements, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has put forth a tentative definition of what counts as nonprofit operations—and, in the process, has raised new questions about how organizations should talk about their assets, speaker Hilda H. Polanco said at the Foundation for Accounting Education’s 36th Annual Nonprofit Organizations Conference on Jan. 16.

PCAOB Chief Auditor Calls for Greater Skepticism, Better Controls

During a presentation at the Foundation for Accounting Education’s SEC Conference on Jan. 23, Martin Bauman, chief auditor and director of professional standards for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), expressed concern about what he described as a lack of professional skepticism and poor internal control audits.

Read more   |   February 18, 2014 2:42 PM

Risk Management: Practice Continuation for Small Firms: An Action Plan

Though no one likes to think about it, there may be times in a CPA’s professional life when he or she is called away from business for long stretches. As baby boomers, Generation Xers and other demographics continue to age, some of us will become critically ill or experience a long-term disability that may take several months—or years—to recover from. Even if poor health isn’t a factor, other concerns, such as family emergencies or unexpected personal obligations, can keep a CPA on the sidelines.

NYSSCPA 2014–2015 Board Nominations Announced

The 2013–2014 NYSSCPA Nominating Committee met on Jan. 9 to decide its nominations for Society officers for the 2014–2015 fiscal year and for NYSSCPA Board of Directors members, with terms beginning June 1, 2014. (The formal report is reprinted in this issue of The Trusted Professional on page 3, and the service record of all nominees is reprinted on pages 4 and 5.)

Read more   |   February 11, 2014 3:45 PM

Cuomo Budget: Changes Could Affect CPAs and Their Clients

In his budget speech on Feb. 21, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pointed out that under his administration, the state has passed three budgets in a row on-time—something that hadn’t happened in more than 30 years. Now, he said, he’s going for four in a row, which New York hasn’t achieved since Nelson Rockefeller was governor and many current legislators were still learning how to walk.

The NYSSCPA Technical Hotline: The Expertise You Deserve

Have you been trying to get some clarification or guidance on a certain topic? How many times have you called a what you hoped would be a good source and been put on hold—only to discover you cannot be helped? In cases like these, it’s helpful to turn to another source, especially as we get into tax season: the NYSSCPA technical hotline. Whether your question is related to tax, accounting, auditing or consulting services, the technical hotline offers a member benefit that provides free guidance and assistance exclusively to Society members.

Read more   |   February 6, 2014 8:59 AM

NYSSCPA Launches Exchange—A Social Media Site

NYSSCPA members are used to participating in discussions on the Society’s Facebook page and LinkedIn group, as well as in other social media ventures. Now, the NYSSCPA is taking it to the next level with a new online community exclusively for members and organized specifically by committee and chapter. The Society’s new site “Exchange—the NYSSCPA’s Social Network,” gives members the ability to extend their networking activities at society events by continuing to engage with colleagues after attending a committee meeting or FAE course.

FAE Nonprofit Speakers: Learn How to Work with New Compensation Rules

It’s been more than six months since Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order 38 (EO38), which changed how the state’s nonprofits can allocate certain resources, took effect, and for some organizations, grappling with the regulation has been a challenge.

Read more   |   February 6, 2014 8:55 AM

From Tax Hotline to Journalism Judges, the NYSSCPA Seeks Volunteers

Two venerable NYSSCPA traditions are back again for another year, and the Society is looking for volunteers to help keep them going. These ventures not only burnish the NYSSCPA's image, but help others outside the accounting community as well.

Comptroller Affirms NFP Rights, Responsibilities at FAE Event

During a talk at the Foundation for Accounting Education’s Exempt Organizations Conference on Dec. 4, New York’s acting assistant comptroller Brian Mason emphasized the right of not-for-profit organizations to receive prompt payment and contracts from the state and to be treated as a valuable part of the public service delivery system. However, he said, exempt...

Read more   |   February 6, 2014 8:49 AM

NYSSCPA Board Seeks FAE Trustee Candidates

As chair of the NYSSCPA Selection Subcommittee, the Board of Directors has tasked me with seeking the names of NYSSCPA members interested in serving on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Accounting Education, Inc. (FAE). The FAE is very important to the members of the Society because it administers the lifelong learning program for New York CPAs. The central importance of the FAE’s efforts to New York CPAs makes service as an FAE trustee a highly fulfilling activity for members interested in giving back...

It all starts here.

NextGen

NextGen is the NYSSCPA’s professional development guide for future and young CPAs.

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President's Commentary

A leader who led by example

Scott AdairAs many of you know, our profession lost one of the greats last month: Our 2009-2010 Society President David J. Moynihan, or “Dave from Syracuse,” passed away on Jan. 9 after battling cancer, a disease that impacts far too many lives.
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Tech Q&A

Resources to help you better manage IT risks in the new year

Joel LanzThe year 2014 was quite a challenge for those managing technology risks, with back-to-back disclosures of ...

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Career

Is There a Right Way to Leave a Job?

Pei-CenNine tips for transitioning from one employer to the next—without burning your bridges.

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Newsmaker

James V. SchnurrSEC Chief Accountant James V. Schnurr

In October, James V. Schnurr, a retired Deloitte LLP vice chair and senior partner, assumed his new role as chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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CPA's Guide to Business in NY

New York CPAs already know that staying up-to-date on the state laws and regulations that govern certified public accounting is not only crucial, it’s time-consuming and often challenging.
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