News, notes and items of interest

The Silicon Index

n Dow Jones has launched an index to monitor Internet stocks. Among the 40 companies being tracked are, E*Trade, Excite, GeoCities, Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo. The Chicago Board Options Exchange has created an index option based on this new index (ticker symbol ECM).

Ode to an Incredibly Complicated FASB Statement

n Having trouble with Statement no. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities? Accounting professor Charles J. F. Leflar, of the University of Arkansas, wrote a poem to help his students understand it, with apologies to William Shakespeare:

To bifurcate or Not to bifurcate, That is the Question. Tis it nobler in the mind Of moral FASB To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune: Stating contracts at their face tho Some might argue distortion. Let legalities prevail. Or to suffer tortures, earthly or Divine, To effect the bifurcation, to deny the contract, To tear asunder into the components. The Nature of the matter, laid bare for all to see. They speak! Give birth, the FASB state—Let what is hidden be known! Ring the bells, Trump the horn and let all know The essence of the transaction. Bifurcate the embedded derivative.

Local Boy Makes Good

n James V. Long, a Journal editorial adviser and a CPA involved in several accounting committees in Texas, was honored by the Financial Executives Institute. Long has served on the FEI's national executive committee and the national board of directors. The FEI cited his work on a statewide reception that brought together state legislative and business leaders and his strong people-management skills.

The Board's Professor

n Ray Whittington, Ledger & Quill director of the school of accountancy at DePaul University has been appointed to the AICPA auditing standards board. An alumnus of the Institute's accounting and review services committee, Whittington is the only academic member of the ASB.


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.