Professional Issues

The International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB), an independent standard-setting board within IFAC, released two new International Education Practice Statements (IEPS). The statements are designed to assist IFAC member bodies such as the AICPA in developing ethics education programs and in implementing the information technology (IT) knowledge component of a professional accounting education program. The first practice statement, IEPS 1, Approaches to Developing and Maintaining Professional Values, Ethics, and Attitudes , provides guidance on how to achieve good practice in developing and maintaining professional values, ethics and attitudes in accordance with the requirements in International Education Standard no. 4, Professional Values, Ethics and Attitudes .

IEPS 2, Information Technology for Professional Accountants , outlines the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare professional accountants to perform competently in the IT environment. All professional accounting candidates are expected to have knowledge and understanding of at least one of three roles—manager, evaluator or designer of information systems—or a combination of these roles. The practice statement identifies the competency elements that IFAC member bodies can include in the IT knowledge component of prequalification professional accounting education programs. It also provides guidance on teaching and assessing IT at the prequalification stage, as well as implementing post-qualification development of IT knowledge and competencies.

The statements can be downloaded for free at . For more information on the IAESB, visit .

The Center for Audit Quality conducted a seven-week pilot program in Seattle and Dallas to test advertising designed to raise visibility among the investing public of the roles of public company auditors.

The pilot’s run—Sept. 19 to Nov. 2—included television and print advertising designed to reach a target audience of politically engaged people who invest in the public markets, says Cindy Fornelli, the center’s executive director. The campaign included ads in regional editions of The Wall Street Journal , Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Dallas Morning News . The CAQ will evaluate responses to the pilot before deciding on the next step for the ads, Fornelli said.

The ads feature Beth Ann Reese, a public company auditor and partner with Deloitte & Touche whose clients include General Motors, Coty and Nortel Networks.

The ads directed visitors to , which includes background on the center and its mission as well as links for job seekers interested in public company auditing work or other careers in the accounting profession.

Online advertising is a widely misunderstood tool, especially in the areas of accounting and finance, according to a study conducted by the electronic media group of the AICPA and Bay Street Group LLC, “ Beyond the Click, Maximizing Advertising ROI in B2B E-Newsletters. ” The report states that marketers need to get their messages to (and through) CPAs more effectively and must do a better job of understanding the unique characteristics of sponsored electronic newsletters, particularly those reaching influential, time-pressed professionals. The executive summary, which includes additional notes on the research and a list of “Top 10 Recommendations to Marketers,” is available at

The AICPA launched Small Firm Solutions , a quarterly e-newsletter designed to help members in the smallest firms make the most of their practice opportunities and keep track of important developments in the profession. This resource will fill a need by offering news updates as well as articles with practical solutions to common challenges facing sole practitioners and practitioners in the smallest firms. The e-newsletter “is just one example of the AICPA’s commitment to providing resources for small practitioners,” said James C. Metzler, AICPA vice president–Small Firm Interests. “They are a dynamic group facing challenges that set them apart from other CPAs. At the AICPA, we understand their specialized needs and we are dedicated to creating tools to help them enhance their profitability and professionalism.”

The newsletter is available at .


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.