A Department of Labor publication, Selecting an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan ( ), identifies the AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center ( ) as a resource for companies whose plans have 100 or more participants. Under the Employee Retirement Security Income Act (ERISA), such plans must be audited annually by an independent qualified public accountant. The center lists CPA firms that have joined to demonstrate their commitment to performing high-quality pension plan audits.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its 2004–2009 strategic plan ( ). It identifies the values and goals on which the commission will base its activities during the next five years, describes related SEC initiatives and discusses how the commission might monitor progress.

David M. Walker, U.S. comptroller general, appointed Robert F. Dacey, CPA, the Government Accountability Office’s chief accountant. In his new position, Dacey also serves as a member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) appointed Donald M. Young, managing director of Young & Company, to membership on the Financial Accounting Standards Board, effective January 1, 2005 ( ). Young will complete the term of Gary S. Schieneman, who has resigned and whose term would have ended June 30, 2008. Robert E. Denham, FAF chairman, said Young’s combination of skills and experience offers “a valuable user perspective.”

The SEC selected H. David Sherman, CPA, as an academic accounting fellow in the Division of Corporation Finance for a one-year term. Among other duties he will address issues involving difficult and unusual accounting, auditing and financial reporting questions, as well as review filings by public companies to identify significant accounting and disclosure problems.

In “Section 404 Compliance in the Annual Report” in the October issue, the Sample Management Report on page 45 should begin, “An internal control material weakness is a significant deficiency, or combination of them, that results in more than a remote likelihood that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected.”

The November News Digest (Accounting, page 15) contained an incorrect Internet address for questions and answers on implementing Statement of Position (SOP) 03-1, Accounting and Reporting by Insurance Enterprises for Certain Nontraditional Long-Duration Contracts and for Separate Accounts. The correct address is .

Also in November, an incorrect Internet address for the AICPA Business Valuation and Forensic and Litigation Services Community appeared in both “Damages Aren’t Always Patently Obvious” (Resources, page 41) and Smart Stops on the Web (“Add a New Credential”). The correct address is .

Our apologies for these errors.


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.