Client debt-reduction feature wins JofA article award

Mollie T. Adams, Gail Petravick, and Coleen S. Troutman received the JofA’s Lawler Award for the best article of 2011. Their article, “Advising Financially Stressed Clients,” (Sept. 2011, page 50) highlighted a client’s nonbankruptcy options for debt reduction and the related tax consequences, and identified actions to avoid that could cause legal difficulties if the client ultimately files bankruptcy.

Petravick is an attorney with bankruptcy specialist law firm Ostling & Associates Ltd. of Bloomington, Ill., and an adjunct instructor at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Troutman is an associate professor and Adams is an assistant professor at Bradley University.

The award is named for John L. Lawler, a former JofA editor and AICPA senior vice president. Winners are chosen annually by the JofA’s board of editorial advisers.

Submit your own article to the JofA. To learn more about opportunities to be published by the JofA, read the submission guidelines or contact Amelia Rasmus at or 919-402-4449.

Past Lawler Award winners:

1976—Kenneth S. Axelson, “A Businessman’s Views on Disclosure,” July 1975, page 42.

1977—Brandt Allen, “The Biggest Computer Frauds: Lessons for CPAs,” May 1977, page 52.

1978—William H. Beaver, “Current Trends in Corporate Disclosure,” Jan. 1978, page 44.

1979—David Solomons, “The Politicization of Accounting,” Nov. 1978, page 65.

1980—John C. Burton, “A Critical Look at Professionalism and Scope of Services,” April 1980, page 48.

1981—A.A. Sommer Jr., “Corporate Governance: Its Impact on the Profession,” July 1980, page 52.

1982—Gerald W. Hepp and Thomas W. McRae, “Accounting Standards Overload: Relief Is Needed,” May 1982, page 52.

1983—Paul Rosenfield and William C. Dent, “No More Deferred Taxes,” Feb. 1983, page 44.

1984—Dennis R. Beresford, Lawrence C. Best, and Joseph V. Weber, “Accounting for Income Taxes: Change Is Coming,” Jan. 1984, page 72.

1985—Newton N. Minow, “Accountants’ Liability and the Litigation Explosion,” Sept. 1984, page 70.

1986—Robert Mednick, “The Auditor’s Role in Society: A New Approach to Solving the Perception Gap,” Feb. 1986, page 70.

1987—Robert J. Sack and Robert Tangreti, “ESM: Implications for the Profession,” April 1987, page 94.

1988—Robert Mednick, “Accountants’ Liability: Coping With the Stampede to the Courtroom,” Sept. 1987, page 118.

1989—William D. Hall and Arthur J. Renner, “Lessons That Auditors Ignore at Their Own Risk,” July 1988, page 50.

1990—Robert L. Israeloff and Gerald W. Hepp, “Should CPAs Issue Plain Paper Financial Statements?” April 1990, page 59.

1991—William D. Hall and Arthur J. Renner, “Lessons Auditors Ignore at Their Own Risk: Part 2,” June 1991, page 63.

1991–1992—August J. Aquila and Allan D. Koltin, “How to Lose Clients Without Really Trying,” May 1992, page 67.

1992–1993—James E. Hunton and M.K. Raja, “How to Pick the Right Computer Network,” June 1993, page 41.

1993–1994—Gilbert Simonetti Jr. and Andrea R. Andrews, “A Profession at Risk/A System in Jeopardy,” April 1994, page 45.

1994–1995—Robert K. Elliott, “The Future of Audits,” Sept. 1994, page 74.

1995–1996—William L. Reeb and Michaelle Cameron, “Getting Beyond Counting,” Dec. 1996, page 69.

1997—Chris Malburg, “Surviving Explosive Growth,” Dec. 1997, page 67.

1998—Nita J. Clyde, “CPE Is Broke; Let’s Fix It,” Dec. 1998, page 77.

1999—Douglas R. Carmichael, “Hocus-Pocus Accounting,” Oct. 1999, page 59.

2000—Joseph T. Wells, “So That’s Why It’s Called a Pyramid Scheme,” Oct. 2000, page 91.

2001—Edward Mendlowitz, “Nine Ways to Make Your Firm More Exciting,” March 2001, page 63.

2002—Joseph T. Wells, “Occupational Fraud: The Audit as Deterrent,” April 2002, page 24.

2003—Stephen A. Scarpati, “CPAs as Audit Committee Members,” Sept. 2003, page 32.

2004—Jennifer M. Mueller, “Amortization of Certain Intangible Assets,” Dec. 2004, page 74.

2005—Thomas G. Evans, Stan Atkinson and Charles H. Cho, “Hedge Fund Investing,” Feb. 2005, page 52.

2006—Kathryn L. Garnett, “Social Security: What’s the Magic Age?” July 2006, page 28.

2007—Edward J. Dupke, Robert F. Reilly, John R. Gilbert, Randie Dial and Michael A. Crain,  Business Valuation Section to introduce the AICPA’s Statement on Standards for Valuation Services, Sept. 2007, page 32.

2008—Paul B.W. Miller, Paul R. Bahnson and Brian P. McAllister, “A New Day for Business Combinations,” June 2008, page 34.

2009—Martin A. Leibowitz and Alan Reinstein, “Help for Solving CPAs’ Ethical Dilemmas,” April 2009, page 30.

2010—Rich Arzaga, “2010: The Year of the Roth Conversion?” Jan. 2010, page 28.


News quiz: College debt, stolen identities, and retirement planning

See how much you know about these developments and others in the Journal of Accountancy news quiz.


Preventing and detecting fraud at not-for-profits

Organizations in all industries must deal with the potential for fraud to occur, and design controls to prevent and detect it. Environment, policies, and controls can help organizations steer clear of problems.


The dangers of dabbling

To meet evolving marketplace needs, CPAs often look to diversify their service offerings. Firms can mitigate the risk of experiencing competency-related professional liability claims by implementing these basic steps.