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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
Shirley Marshall was a talented, hard-working senior staff member of the CPA firm Chauvin, Buis & Gengo (CBG), which employed about ...
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
For 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Fraud and defalcation—or embezzlement—have long been two of the most frequent and egregious types of professional liability claims, and the trend does not appear to be changing anytime soon. A prime example is an embezzlement discovered in 2012 involving the city of Dixon, Ill., in which the municipal comptroller pleaded guilty to siphoning public money into a secret bank account.
Read more | July 17, 2013 11:53 AM
Where can I get additional guidance on FBARs? Who do I talk to for more information about casualty losses from Superstorm Sandy? For broker/dealers not yet under PCAOB auditing standards, what is the lockdown period for the files?
On May 16, 2013, the NYSSCPA approved adopting the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (“the Code”). The following are revisions to the Code subsequent to May 16, 2013:
Read more | July 17, 2013 11:32 AM
Accounting professionals from across the state headed to Utica on June 10 for the NYSSCPA’s third annual Young CPAs Conference, a two-day affair that featured panels and presentations geared toward those at the start of their careers.
J. Michael Kirkland was inducted as the NYSSCPA’s 2013–2014 president during the 116th Annual Election Meeting and Dinner on May 16, where Society members also approved a new code of conduct, NYSSCPA bylaws changes, and elected a new slate of board officers and members.
Read more | July 9, 2013 3:35 PM
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has drafted what is essentially a formal codification of the interim auditing standards it currently uses, and though the NYSSCPA agrees with the proposal in principle, it is suggesting several tweaks in order to make the reorganized standards easier to use.
Billions of fraudulent emails are sent every day, and experts say that all it takes is a small fraction of them to succeed in defrauding people in order to feed what has become an underworld industry estimated to be worth several hundred million dollars a year.
Read more | June 19, 2013 2:00 PM
The NYSSCPA largely agreed with a proposal from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that, if implemented, would allow entities to consider the Overnight Index Swap Rate (OIS), as a benchmark interest rate for hedge accounting.
As part of a long-standing tradition of recognizing those who bring clarity to the developments of the financial world, the NYSSCPA held its 30th annual Excellence in Financial Journalism (EFJ) Awards on April 30 at Manhattan’s Yale Club. It honored outstanding reporters from both national and local media outlets in 10 different categories.
Read more | June 12, 2013 1:42 PM
It might carry the title CFO in its name, but the NYSSCPA’s Chief Financial Officers Committee isn’t exclusive to senior-level executives. According to committee chair Jack Vivinetto, it’s open to anyone at the Society who’s interested in networking with financial professionals in private industry and in developing skills that would be relevant to CPAs who don’t work for public firms.
It’s been a busy legislative session for the NYSSCPA. Now that the state budget has passed, lawmakers in Albany are beginning to make progress on several bills that could potentially impact the CPA profession in New York state.
Read more | May 8, 2013 3:07 PM
Freezing temperatures, icy roads and blustery snow usually correspond to the late-winter months of February and March. But at the NYSSCPA, that time of year also signals the beginning of the Society’s annual public tax panels, which are cosponsored by local newspapers and held across the state.
The awards, which were presented April 30 in New York City, recognize reporters from the national and local press whose work contributed to a better and more balanced understanding of business or financial topics. Winners were selected by a panel of judges from the NYSSCPA and the New York Financial Writers Association, who ranked submissions on accuracy, quality and thoroughness of research.
Read more | May 7, 2013 11:01 AM
NYSSCPA President Gail Kinsella extends her appreciation to Society volunteers who have so freely given their time to serve their fellow members during this busy year.
The NYSSCPA has voiced its disagreement with key partnership provisions included in a spate of rules the IRS is proposing for the new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on net investment income. In a comment letter published on Feb. 27, the Society stated that parts of the proposal were too complex, unfair to the taxpayer or beyond what the original statute demands. ...
Read more | May 6, 2013 3:10 PM
The NYSSCPA’s Technology Assurance Committee has chosen four young scholars from Canisius College and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as the winners of its annual student research paper contest.
Though the NYSSCPA agrees in principle with an International Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) proposal that aims to make auditor reporting more transparent and improve users’ understanding of audited financial statements, it expressed concern that the plan goes too far in expanding the scope of auditor responsibilities. ...
Read more | May 6, 2013 11:40 AM
Next Gen is the NYSSCPA’s professional development guide for future and young CPAs.
In 1969, the Journal of Accountancy published a study by our own Bert N. Mitchell, the NYSSCPA’s 68th president and founder of Mitchell & Titus LLP.
These knowledge-boosting IT books make great presents for colleagues
Talking politics with co-workers; how to determine if you’re really ready to move on to your next job
In October, William E. Balhoff was elected chair of the AICPA for the 2013–2014 year.
The CPA Roundtable is a monthly Chapter Newsletters feature where we ask CPAs from around the state to weigh in with their thoughts on an issue.
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.