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1. Second act: Consulting   CPEDirect

BY Ken Tysiac
After temporarily leaving the workforce to care for his terminally ill wife, Thomas Rhine, CPA, CGMA, went back to work—for himself.Rhine was in his mid-50s in 2005 when his wife, Barbara, became ill. He quit his job as CFO at Wilmington College (now Wilmington University) in Delaware to be her full-time caregiver.

2. Write it down: The importance of documenting oral advice  

BY Joseph Wolfe and Sarah Beckett Ference, CPA
CPAs routinely provide oral advice to clients. While professional standards generally do not require such advice to be documented, the experience of the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program demonstrates that undocumented advice weakens the defense to a professional liability claim. This real-life scenario provides an example: A CPA providing bank account reconciliation services for a law firm learned of the client’s weak controls over accounts payable—a situation that could result in vendor fraud or payments to fictitious vendors.

3. Tools for Financial Analysis  

BY James Estes, Richard S. Savich, Maya Ivanova
What do you do when a client asks you to look beyond the standard financial statements and help develop financial goals, forecasts and what-if scenarios? If you’re like many accountants, you’d hunker down with a spreadsheet and begin cobbling together an array of custom worksheets. Then you’d probably spend several more hours explaining to the company’s managers, most of whom have little or no financial background, what all those numbers mean.

4. Highlights  

The Consulting Services Executive Committee of the AICPA issued in June a new professional standard on valuation services, Statement on Standards for Valuation Services no. 1, Valuation of a Business, Business Ownership Interest, Security, or Intangible Asset. The standard provides guidelines to CPAs for developing estimates of value and reporting on the results.

5. Wading Into Litigation Support  

BY Edmund Fenton Jr.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY CPAs can provide valuable services as litigation support consultants in lawsuits involving business damages. This analytical role allows CPAs to enter the litigation support business before taking on the greater challenge of being an expert witness. Before accepting an engagement, the CPA should ask the attorney for all existing documentation to determine if that type of work is within the CPA’s professional capabilities and make sure the engagement is crafted to protect the attorney work product privilege.

6. Making It—As a Consultant.  

BY Sam M. Allred
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY NOT EVERY CPA FIRM that tries its hand at consulting can report financial success, and although there’s no such thing as a single universal cure for an unhealthy consulting business, the one that comes closest is strategic planning. IF CONSULTING FIRMS WITH LOW PROFITS have one thing in common, it’s that they function without written strategic plans.

7. ABVs Hit the Streets  

From Atlanta to Seattle, some 700 CPAs took the first accredited-in-business-valuation examination on November 15, 1997. With the test results now in, CPAs from firms of all sizes are proudly putting "ABV" after their names. "It was a difficult exam. In fact, it reminded me of the Uniform CPA Examination," said Richard A.

8. Bill Gates' Win-Win Scenario for CPAs  

BY Richard J. Koreto
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY WITH GROWTH IN CORE accounting services flat, small CPA firms should turn to consulting to grow their practices. BIG 6 FIRMS ARE GETTING nearly half their revenues from consulting, and the same opportunities are there for small firms and their small business clients.

9. Litigation Services: Standards and Ethics  

BY Gerald W. Hepp
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY LITIGATION SERVICES continue to grow in popularity, and practitioners must understand the standards and ethics that govern them. MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES standards govern litigation services. These include serving the client interest, understanding with client and communication with client. AUDITING STANDARDS, ATTESTATION standards and accounting and review services standards also may apply.
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