James M. Williams, a senior partner at Ernst & Young LLP, will begin a five-year term as a member of GASB, effective July 1. He succeeds Edward M. Klasny, who departs the board after 10 years of service. Williams was a member of the AICPA government accounting and auditing committee and government technical standards subcommittee. ( )

Ian Ball becomes CEO of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), reflecting the group’s increased focus on international accounting standards for governments. Previously, he had served as controller of New Zealand’s treasury and had chaired IFAC’s public-sector committee, launching a project to develop a set of authoritative financial reporting standards for governments worldwide. ( )

The 16th World Congress of Accountants will take place in Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre November 18–21, 2002 ( ). The Hong Kong Society of Accountants and the International Federation of Accountants are organizing the gathering, which they expect will attract accounting and business leaders from around the world.

The AICPA issues a resource guide, Regaining Financial Balance ( ), with practical financial advice for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Among the topics it addresses are restoring household financial stability; obtaining death, disability and other benefits; dealing with tax and estate settlement issues; and selecting qualified financial advisers.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) raises to $11,280 from $10,680 the amount employed beneficiaries under 65 years of age can make without a $1 reduction in retirement benefits for every $2 they earn ( ). For beneficiaries turning 65 in 2002, the SSA will withhold $1 of benefits for every $3 they earn above $30,000 until the month of their birthday. Those 65 and older can earn an unlimited amount without a reduction in benefits.

The Clearinghouse for Volunteer Accounting Services, a California nonprofit agency, helps small, low-budget nonprofit organizations locate accountants willing to provide pro bono services and is expanding its operations to serve other parts of the country. Interested CPAs can register at the agency’s Web site ( ).


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.