News, notes and items of interest.


Short takes, notes and items of interest

FASB 125 and Governments
¤ The Government Finance Officers Association said in its April 24 newsletter that although FASB Statement no. 125, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities, may not apply to governments, it may affect them anyway: Statement 125 affects counterparties to repurchase transactions with governments and may change the nature of the underlying repurchase agreement from a buy-sell transaction to a collateralized loan. Treating repurchase transactions as collateralized loans would make them illegal for local governments in many states.

Promotion in Norwalk
¤ Robert J. Freeman, CPA, PhD, is now vice-chairman of GASB. He has been a member of GASB since 1990 and is distinguished professor of accounting at Texas Tech University. Previously, Freeman was national director of state and local government activities at Arthur Young & Co. He was a charter member of the National Council on Governmental Accounting, the GASBs predecessor, and sat on the AICPAs government accounting and auditing committee.

Plain Speaking on Online Taxes
¤ The National Governors Association passed a resolution urging Congress to regulate Internet sales but not to tax Internet access or monthly fees. The resolution asks individual states to establish single tax rates for all e-commerce or to impose no taxes at all.

Get Along to Get Ahead
¤ Alan R. Schonberg, chairman of Management Recruiters International, a large executive placement company, has written a book, 169 Ways to Score Points with Your Boss . Some of Schonbergs favorites: Avoid saying, Thats not my job; get to the pointbrevity is a virtue; have a passion for your job; and eagerly accept any offer to be compensated on a performance basis.

Asian Businesses
¤ The number of Asian-owned businesses increased 56% from 1987 to 1992, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. During the same period, receipts generated by these businesses increased 163%, to $96 billion. Owners of Chinese origin have 153,096 businesses, those of Korean origin have 104,918, and those of Asian Indian origin have 93,340.


But They Werent Audited
¤ Dutch researchers apparently have found some of the oldest accounting examples known. In an appendix to a 15th century Italian manuscript are 266 journal entries, some of which refer to well-known companies of the time. The entries include taxes and brokerage costs as well as references to major commodities of the day, such as silk and grain. An English translation is being prepared.

Online Scholarship Awarded
¤ Judy Short, a senior at Arizona State University, won the $3,000 Account for Your Future scholarship. The award is sponsored by AccountingNet, Great Plains Software and IBM. Short, a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the Asian Business Leaders Association, will join Andersen Consultings technology group after graduation. This is the first scholarship offered entirely online, through AccountingNets Web site, and it drew over 300 applicants worldwide.

CPA Goes to Washington
¤ President Clinton appointed 100 business leaders to attend the first national summit on retirement income savings. Joining the group will be at least one CPA, Diahann W. Lassus, of New Providence, New Jersey. She is co-owner of Lassus Wherley & Associates, a financial planning firm. Lassus will represent the National Association of Women Business Owners, of which she is president-elect.

New Fraternity Chief
¤ Bernard J. Milano is the new president of Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting fraternity. Milano is the executive director of the KPMG Peat Marwick Foundation, the firms philanthropic arm, and partner-in-charge of university relations, diversity and alumni programs.

SEC Fellows
¤ The SEC Office of the Chief Accountant has named Eric W. Casey, Pascal Desroches and Paul R. Kepple professional accounting fellows for two-year terms, which began in June. Casey and Desroches are senior managers in KPMG Peat Marwicks department of professional practice in New York, and Kepple is a senior manager in the national office of Price Waterhouse in Stamford, Connecticut. They will be involved in the study and development of rule proposals and will work with professional accounting and auditing standard-setting bodies. The SEC started the fellows program in 1972.


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.