Short takes



F Y I

Short takes, notes and items of interest

Arabs Want Harmony
   The Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA), which represents the professional accounting bodies in 22 Arab nations, announced its support for adopting international accounting standards for all its member countries. The ASCA declaration said the move would greatly help the economic development and capital flow into the region of Arab countries.

CPA Recognized for
Helping the Little Guyblackmed

   Fern H. Shubert, CPA, was named the Accountant Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Shubert, a member of the North Carolina General Assembly, helped pass the biggest tax cut in North Carolina history. She received her award in June during Small Business Week.

Back at the Helm
   Andrew C. Hove, Jr., succeeded Ricki Helfer as the acting chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Hove, who is serving his third term in the position, is the former chairman and chief executive officer of the Minden Exchange Bank & Trust Co., Minden, Nebraska. Hove will serve at the helm until the FDIC finds a full-time replacement for Helfer. Helfer announced her resignation in March after serving as chairwoman for two and a half years.

Securing Technology
   The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) issued an exposure draft on the growing importance of managing the risks associated with information technology (IT). The draft, Managing Security in Information and Communications , is the first in a series of guidelines being developed by the IFACs IT committee. For a copy of the ED, whose comment deadline is September 30, call the IFAC at 212-302-5952.

Small Business Gets New Champion
   The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Aida Alvarez as administrator of the Small Business Administration. President Bill Clinton designated this position as a member of the Cabinet and the White House economic policymaking team; Alvarez is thus the first Hispanic woman and the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to hold a Cabinet spot. Previously she was director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, where she had

 

supervisory authority for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

Stop, Thief!
   The National Association of Corporate Directors has organized a panel, the NACD/Grant Thornton Best Practices Council, to address how corporate boards are responding to laws designed to protect investors against fraud. Joseph R. Hardiman, immediate past president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Securities Dealers, is the panels chairman; vice-chairman is Robert E. Nason, executive partner and CEO of Grant Thornton, which is sponsoring the panel. Other members include Donald J. Kirk, former chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board; A. A. Sommer, Jr., chairman of the Public Oversight Board; and David L. Landsittel, who was chairman of the task force that drafted Statement on Auditing Standards no. 82, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit . The panel plans to issue a white paper by yearend.

Making a Federal Case Out of It
   President Bill Clinton has directed all federal departments and agencies to provide 24 hours of unpaid leave each year for family obligations such as school meetings, child care and doctor visits. This is an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Foiling Pirates
   CPAs in the recording and motion picture industries may be worried that pirated copies of songs and movies are being distributed over the Internet, robbing artists and publishers of royalties. Recently, Intersect Inc., a search and reporting company, announced MusicReport, a service designed to locate unauthorized publishing of audio and video on the Internet. More information is available from Intersect at 213-614-7931.

Addressing the Crisis
   The Employee Benefit Research Institute published Assessing Social Security Reform Alternatives . This book is based on the results of a policy forum of leading Social Security experts and discusses the role of social insurance in a market economy as well as defining the appropriate balance between individual and collective responsibility, among other issues. To order a copy of the book, call EBRI at 410-516-6946.



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