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Some 250 high school juniors participated in the NYSSCPA’s Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) initiative this year, including these students from the COAP Long Island University program.


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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...

2013: The year in accounting

Though New York state did not have to contend with a catastrophic storm like Sandy this year, there were dramatic changes in the political weather that held tax and regulatory implications or otherwise affected the day-to-day work of CPAs. Here’s a look back at some of the biggest game-changing events of the year, on both the local and national level.

Read more   |   December 3, 2013 12:08 PM

War Story: a firm faces complaints about its employment practices

Shirley Marshall was a talented, hard-working senior staff member of the CPA firm Chauvin, Buis & Gengo (CBG), which employed about ...

FAE speaker: sequestration addresses short-term problems, long-term issues remain

While the bitter medicine of sequestration has addressed the country’s short-term deficit issues, there are more problems on the horizon that, in the long run, could seriously impact the ...

Read more   |   December 2, 2013 12:26 PM

Society responds to NYSDTF tax preparer regulations proposal

The NYSSCPA responded to proposed regulations for tax return preparers released by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYSDTF) with a Nov. 1 letter that expressed support for the exemption of CPAs from most of the provisions, in keeping with ...

State tax commission recommends overhaul, draws on NYSSCPA input

A special commission assembled by the governor has concluded that New York state’s tax system is in dire need of a major overhaul, as it is overly complex, inequitable in its treatment of taxpayers ...

Read more   |   December 2, 2013 9:23 AM

Decanting and revoking or terminating trusts under the Estates Powers and Trusts Law: what CPAs should know

It’s been two years since New York state amended Section 10-6.6 of its Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) to allow for expanded decanting from irrevocable trusts. Early on, some considered the revised statute a cure-all for defective trusts—or trusts with unacceptable terms—since it eases restrictions on a trustee’s ...

Notice of the Ethics Committee

The AICPA Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) has revised Interpretation No. 101-3, “Nonattest Services,” under Rule 101 (AICPA, Professional Standards, ET sec. 101 paragraph .05) in the Code of Professional Conduct...

Read more   |   November 18, 2013 4:22 PM

The future’s bright: Chapters extend hand to next generation of CPAs

Throughout the fall, NYSSCPA chapters have been holding student centered events that connect the next generation of CPAs with seasoned professionals willing to show them the ropes. Here’s a look at some of the creative ways in which chapters across the state have been promoting accounting to young people.

Doing the Right Thing: Meeting your ethics CPE requirements

As the end of the year approaches and your attention turns to completing the state’s annual CPE requirements, don’t forget to make sure you’ve included an ethics course in the mix.

Read more   |   November 7, 2013 1:52 PM

Put it in writing: how effective documentation can save a practice

A significant number of professional liability claims over the years have resulted from CPAs providing oral advice to clients without documenting it. When advice is provided to help clients make informed decisions, it should always be captured in writing. This will help CPAs avoid disputes later on as memories begin to fade or clients become unhappy with the results of their decisions.

NYSSCPA to FASB: proposed real estate guidance too limited

The NYSSCPA is urging the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to expand the scope of a proposed update regarding troubled debt restructurings and abandoned properties that the Society has said is too narrow in its application.

Read more   |  November 7, 2013 10:36 AM

Society recognizes outstanding young leaders with new program

The NYSSCPA has inducted the first members of its newly formed Young Leadership Circle, a program that aims to identify and develop the organization’s next generation of leaders. This year’s class consisted of five members, chosen for their active participation at the chapter level: Emily Gardner, of the Southern Tier Chapter, Darwin Jones of the Manhattan/Bronx Chapter, Jaime Scott of the Nassau Chapter, Amanda Sexton of the Suffolk Chapter and Matthew Taylor of the Rochester Chapter.

Northeast past president honored for nonprofit work

Jeremy NobleFor nearly a decade, Jeremy Noble, a past president of the NYSSCPA’s Northeast Chapter, has lent his financial acumen to nonprofits whose missions may be diverse—the list includes youth organizations and community theater, groups that care for animals and those that service the physically, mentally and socially disadvantaged—but whose needs are often the same.

Read more   |  November 7, 2013 9:20 AM

Final IRS regs offer abundant safe harbor opportunities, complexities

After two years of providing only temporary guidance about tangible property, the IRS has released its final regulations on the matter, putting to rest open questions such as what counts as a unit of property and what needs to be capitalized vs. expensed.

NYSSCPA committee member testifies before state Senate committee

For the second time this year, the NYSSCPA was asked to testify in front of a state Senate committee, the topic, this time, focusing on tax reform.

Read more   |  November 6, 2013 2:05 PM

Facebook exec visits NYSSCPA committee, offers advice for navigating social media

If the Internet of the ’90s is remembered for its “browser wars,” and the Internet of the ’00s for the rise of search engines, then the Internet of today has found its defining moment in social media. And that development, according to Kay Madati, the head of entertainment and media for Facebook, not only carries implications for professionals who work in entertainment and media, but the small CPA firm far outside of Hollywood.

Post-DOMA, IRS Makes Changes While SSA Lags

It took only a few minutes for the U.S. Supreme Court to announce that is was overturning key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this summer. But it seems that the legal wrangling and long-term overhaul of reams of federal rules may take months. The Defense Department got onboard early, saying that same-sex military couples would received married benefits, and now the IRS has clarified that it will recognize all same-sex marriages. But the Social Security Administration is following different guidelines, at least for now.

Read more   |  October 8, 2013 12:14 PM

State Board eyes misconduct rules

The New York State Board for Public Accountancy is in the early stages of a plan to update the state’s rules that define unprofessional conduct by a CPA.

“Trusted professionals” needed for volunteer opportunities

The NYSSCPA is proud of the community service our members provide to New York citizens, small businesses and nonprofit groups, and we are now soliciting your help and assistance with two new volunteer opportunities for fall 2013.

Read more   |  October 3, 2013 3:48 PM

2014 XBRL taxonomy more stable than previous versions, but new accounting standards may complicate things

Though the proposed 2014 XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) taxonomy has fewer changes than previous versions, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) warned preparers that the calm may not last as new standards and updates become effective. The FASB made its remarks during a webcast about the 2014 XBRL taxonomy on Sept. 10.

NYSSCPA unveils new look, new locale and new logos

The NYSSCPA has unveiled a series of changes, as part of an ongoing effort to embrace innovation and prioritize the organization’s future, Society officials said.

Read more   |  October 3, 2013 2:15 PM

A modified GAAP for private companies could affect contractors

The first proposed modifications and exceptions to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to be released on the recommendation of the new Private Company Council (PCC) could make life easier for construction contractors and their CPAs, by reworking how private entities calculate goodwill and account for intangible assets, according to a speaker at the FAE’s Construction Contractors Conference on Aug. 8.

PCAOB proposal would mean new judgment calls for auditors

A new proposal by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) would expand the auditor’s reporting model to include more information and disclosures meant to aid investors, but some auditors are skeptical as to whether the costs of the change would outweigh the potential benefits.

Read more   |   August 30, 2013 12:48 PM

 NYSSCPA Committee Builds Roads to State Government

In the past year, the New York state tax commissioner, business ombudswoman, taxpayer rights advocate; the New York City assistant finance commissioner; the New Jersey tax director; and the Pennsylvania Revenue Department deputy chief counsel have all been guests at the NYSSCPA New York, Multistate & Local Taxation Committee.

War Story: Concierge services gone wrong

Bucky Taylor and his partners chose to distinguish their long-established firm from its competitors by providing what they called “concierge” services, an initiative that Bucky was convinced would appeal to the high-net-worth clientele he sought.

Read more   |   August 30, 2013 12:06 PM

Queens/Brooklyn takes closer look at CPA’s role in divorce proceedings

Divorce not only brings heartache, but also certain practical considerations that a CPA is uniquely suited to handle, Queens/Brooklyn Chapter President Edward F. Esposito said at a continuing professional education event that the chapter hosted at St. John’s University on Aug. 7.

Society to students: take charge of your future

Former New York Gov. David A. Paterson applauded a group of 85 high school juniors on July 11 for taking the first step toward seizing control of their futures by participating in the Foundation for Accounting Education’s Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program. His speech, delivered at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Manhattan, was part of a special NYSSCPA presentation for COAP participants titled “The Power of Decision Making in Your Professional Future,” and marked the second time that he has addressed students. Paterson currently serves as honorary COAP advisory board chair.

Read more   |  August 12, 2013 2:54 PM

House passes bill prohibiting mandatory audit rotation

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in July to bar the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) from requiring public companies to rotate audit firms. 

Society to FASB: All users are important users

Though the NYSSCPA supports the overall efforts of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to revise the proposed decision-making framework for the new Private Company Council (PCC), it disagreed with the board’s plan to focus on a certain segment of users, urging it, instead, to broaden its view of relevant stakeholders.

Read more   |  August 12, 2013 12:20 PM

FASB proposes disclosure relief for benefit plans; Society agrees

The NYSSCPA is lending support to a proposal by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that, if implemented, would indefinitely defer required disclosures from nonpublic entities about the nature of their employee benefit plans. The Society stated its opinions in a May 29 comment letter that was written in response to the FASB exposure draft, “Deferral of the Effective Date of Certain Disclosures for Nonpublic Employee Benefit Plans in Update No. 2011-04,” released April 30.

Society supports related parties plan, but seeks clarification

The NYSSCPA generally approves of a reproposed standard from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) that requires auditors to give greater scrutiny to related parties and significant and unusual transactions, but has asked the board to enhance and clarify certain provisions to assist practitioners in the application of the standard.

Read more   |  August 12, 2013 12:02 PM

Risk Management: Factors driving employment-related disputes

Factors driving employment-related disputes are expected to multiply, as litigation, legislation and technology create new areas of protected and prohibited activities. However, some areas of liability have actually been around for a long time but persist as problems when employers become too relaxed in monitoring employee behavior.

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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

Speaking truth to power

Scott AdairAs the unified voice for more than 28,000 CPAs throughout New York state, the NYSSCPA has always recognized its obligation to meet issues affecting our profession head on. This is true whether it means taking our concerns to a regulator or standards setter; to the Capitol Building in Albany; or to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 
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Tech Q&A

Target's Data Breach: 5 Lessons for CPAs

Joel LanzTarget and other examples in the news are useful opportunities to examine and change behavior that may be putting you at risk.

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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

Luigi ZingalesMeet the New Taxpayer Rights Advocate Margaret Neri

In July, Margaret “Peg” Neri was appointed the state’s new Taxpayer Rights Advocate, after her
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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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