Professional Issues

A new AICPA specialty credential in forensic accounting will be launched in early fall. The credential, Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), combines specialized forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most trusted business advisers, according to Robert Harris, chair of the National Accreditation Commission. “We anticipate the Certified in Financial Forensics credential will further strengthen the CPA’s role in a rapidly growing service area,” he said.

The CFF will encompass fundamental and specialized forensic accounting skills that CPA practitioners apply in a variety of service areas, including:

Bankruptcy and insolvency

Computer forensics

Economic damages

Family law

Fraud investigations

Litigation support

Stakeholder disputes


To qualify, a CPA must be an AICPA member in good standing, have at least five years experience in practicing accounting, and meet minimum requirements in relevant business experience and continuing professional education. For information, visit .

The Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) of the AICPA adopted a new ethics requirement regarding indemnification and limitation of liability provisions.

Regulators, including the SEC, state insurance commissions and federal banking agencies, prohibit organizations under their jurisdiction from entering into certain types of indemnification and limitation of liability provisions in agreements for the performance of audit or other attest services. The new interpretation by the PEEC prohibits AICPA members from using their provisions when contracting for audit and other attest services if their employer or client is subject to the requirements of one of these regulators.

“The purpose of this standard is to remind practitioners of their responsibility to comply with regulators,” said Susan Coffey, AICPA vice president–member quality and state regulation. “Current AICPA standards allow certain indemnification and limitation of liability provisions to be included in agreements for audit and attest services. However, in cases where a regulator’s requirements are more restrictive than AICPA standards, our members must comply with the more restrictive standard.”

Failure to comply with a regulator’s requirements on the use of indemnification and limitation of liability provisions will be considered an act discreditable to the profession. The standard is effective July 31 and may be downloaded at .

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) Board of Trustees named Teresa S. Polley president and COO. Polley joined FASB in 1987 as a technical associate and, among other positions, served as executive director of advisory groups for the organization. She had been interim COO for several months.

“We are delighted to recognize Terri’s impressive leadership in naming her as president and COO of the FAF,” Robert E. Denham, FAF chairman, said in a news release. “For 20 years Terri has served the organization in a variety of roles, adding value to everything she has touched. Terri’s vision and passion for excellence is the right prescription for the challenges we face.”

Michigan and South Carolina have passed full Uniform Accountancy Act (UAA) mobility provisions, bringing the number of states with such provisions to 25. Mobility legislation that would make New Jersey UAA-compliant awaits the governor’s signature.

The following are UAA-compliant states: Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

For up-to-date information on mobility and downloadable resource materials, go to Licensing+Issues .



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.