For National Licensing of CPAs


I don’t want to be critical of my profession, but we really do need to get our act in order.

“Global credential?” We don’t even have a national credential. There is one national exam—there should be one national license with national standards. Apparently, our different state boards can’t even agree on the computerization of the CPA exam. The state boards should be administrative and not set policy. Policy should be established nationally.

Then there’s the set of professional standards we are supposed to follow—one standard superseded by another standard superseded by another standard—and all from various sources and boards. We should have a set of standards with section numbers that stay the same and are amended, much like the Internal Revenue Code.

And finally, compliance with the standards makes it increasingly impractical to give a small business client a GAAP statement. Therefore, it limits my ability to give a client a quality product that provides the maximum amount of information. It’s enough to make a CPA throw up his hands and just give the client a piece of paper with numbers on it. Is this how we get public confidence back—by discouraging the flow of information?

Bruce H. Walter, CPA
Jed Cohen & Company, PC
New Bedford, Massachusetts


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.