AICPA Agenda: Helping in Time of Need


“All of us at the AICPA share the deep sadness and concern the entire nation feels over the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose lives have been forever changed, including the thousands of AICPA members and their families living in areas affected by these disasters.

“The CPA profession has responded to these crises in a very decisive way to bring to bear its expertise regarding financial matters to help the victims. The AICPA has launched a number of efforts to support our members in this extraordinary time. The items below detail some of the initiatives already under way.”

—Barry C. Melancon, President and CEO

Online Disaster Recovery Resource Center
The AICPA has established an online Disaster Recovery Resource Center ( www.aicpa.org/news/2005/ ). Visit it for up-to-date information, useful links to other Web sites and a wide range of practical tools. The center includes resources for members to use to assist their employers and clients, as well as practice management guidance for firms directly affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

CPA Firms Assisting Affected Members With Office Space and More
The AICPA and PCPS have launched a Firm Volunteer Center to allow CPA firms to provide office space and other resources to CPAs displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Displaced CPAs can find contact information at the center for firms wishing to volunteer resources or assist those in need. If you are a CPA in need of assistance or a CPA firm that wants to help, go to http://pcps.aicpa.org/Community/Firm+Volunteer+Center.htm . Volunteers are offering office space, housing, office supplies, technology support, hosting and/or software, temporary hiring of staff, disaster recovery assistance, help in reaching clients of affected firms and help with filings.

Disaster Recovery Guides, Mobilization Kit and Other Resources
Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues was developed by the AICPA Personal Financial Planning (PFP) team to help individuals and families in the days, weeks and months following a disaster when they are most in need and often vulnerable to financial challenges. The guide, produced by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the AICPA and the AICPA Foundation, is distributed by participating local chapters of the American Red Cross.

As part of this effort, the AICPA developed the Disaster Recovery CPA Mobilization Kit ( www.aicpa.org/financialliteracy/Financial_Toolkits/Guide_to_financial_Issues_Toolkit.asp ) to support state societies and CPAs in their volunteer outreach to those affected by disaster. The kit focuses on the pro bono services CPAs can offer in moments of crisis and includes a press release template, bylined article and PowerPoint presentation. The AICPA Tax Section’s Disaster Area Practice Guide ( http://tax.aicpa.org/Resources/ ), also available, has been updated to include guidance for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and has links to IRS and other tax-related disaster recovery resources.

“Ask the Money Doctor” to Address Hurricane-Related Financial Questions
The AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy Program has modified its Web-based discussion forum, “Ask the Money Doctor,” to allow CPA financial planners from other parts of the country to answer inquiries from people who were affected by the hurricanes. For access to this resource and to view a list of frequently asked questions, visit www.360financialliteracy.org/Ask+The+Money+Dr.htm (or www.askthemoneydoctor.com ).

AICPA and NASBA Ask State Boards to Expedite Reciprocity Requests
The AICPA and NASBA sent a joint letter to each state board of accountancy requesting they expedite practice privilege requests from CPAs and firms that have been affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and are seeking to practice in their state. Numerous boards of accountancy have already contacted NASBA to report they have plans in place to facilitate requests and/or are planning to meet to discuss this initiative.

The AICPA also has compiled state licensing information, including state board of accountancy and state CPA society contact information, to be used for those licensees who are seeking practice privileges in other states. For more information, and to read the full text of the joint letter, visit www.aicpa.org/news/2005/AICPA .

SPONSORED REPORT

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.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

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.