News, notes and items of interest. Letters Client-friendly ...

Thrifty Oversight
The House Banking Committee approved a bill to abolish the Thrift Depositor Oversight Board. Originally created under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the board was responsible for the overall strategies, policies and goals of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), which closed failed thrifts and sold off their assets. According to John D. Hawke Jr., treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, the oversight board no longer is needed because the RTC ceased operations in 1995.

Let Them Know Youre There
The Census Bureau is mailing economic census forms to 5 million businesses this December for its 1997 economic census. The census will introduce the North American Industry Classification (NAICS) to industries. The bureau is expected to mail copies of the Accountants Guide to the Economic Census to assist CPAs who are called on to prepare census forms for their clients. For more on the subject, visit the Census Bureau at .

Recognizing Cross-Border Efforts
Gordon Cowperthwaite received the International Federation of Accountants Sempier Award for lifelong contribution to the international accounting profession. Cowperthwaite served as senior partner of Peat Marwick Canada and participated actively in the formation of Peat Marwick International. He received the award, named in honor of IFACs first executive director, Robert Sempier, at the 1997 World Congress of Accountants in Paris.

Tar Heel State Makes Education Decision
North Carolina became the 39th state to pass the 150-semester hour requirement for future CPAs.

Picturing Pensions
The Department of Labors Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) issued Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs): What Small Businesses Need to Know . The booklet explains how SEPs allow an employer to establish and make contributions to an individual retirement account. Included is a discussion on which employees must be included in a SEP, salary reduction SEPs and SEP investments. The booklet is on the PWBA World Wide Web site at . It also can be ordered by calling the PWBA publication hotline, toll-free, at 800-998-7542.


Se Habla Espaol?
Spanish-language skills may be the key to growing a business consulting practice: Hispanic-owned U.S. companies increased 76% between 1987 and 1992; U.S. companies overall grew only 26% during this period. Receipts for Hispanic businesses increased 134% during these five years; the rate for businesses in the United States overall was only 67%.

Did Chile Get It Right?
Much has been written about the controversial Chilean privatized social security system. The Employee Benefit Research Institute published an article, "Chilean Social Security Reform as a Prototype for Other Nations," discussing the systems advantages and disadvantages and possible application to other countries. To purchase a copy, call EBRI at 410-516-6946.

CPA, Lawyer, Joins FAF
Nicholas G. Moore, chairman and chief executive officer of Coopers & Lybrand (which may soon merge with Price Waterhouse), was elected a member of the board of trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation, which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and Governmental Accounting Standards Board. He replaces Lawrence Weinbach, who until recently was head of Arthur Andersen. Moore, a CPA with a law degree, is also chairman of Coopers & Lybrand International.

Good Government Facts
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board released its semiannual update to the Governmental Accounting Research System (GARS) in midyear. The boards new pension implementation guide, however, will be included in the January 1998 update. GARS is now available in a Windows version on CD-ROM or 3.5" diskettes. For more information and to order GARS, call the GASB at 203-847-0700, ext. 575.

PBGC Drops Top Problem List
Because it has newly strengthened enforcement tools, the Pension benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) said it no longer needs to compile an annual list of the 50 companies with the most underfunded pension plans.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.