Short Takes, Notes and Items of Interest


Short takes, notes and items of interest

Opportunities in D.C.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporation Finance in Washington, D.C., is seeking CPAs to examine financial statements in public filings and to help find solutions to SEC-related accounting issues. Candidates must have at least three years experience in SEC reporting for publicly registered corporations or accounting firms. For more information, contact the divisions Office of the Chief Accountant at 202-942-2960.

Giving Back
Corporate contributions to worthy causes rose 13% to $2.3 billion in 1996 from $2 billion in 1995. According to a survey of 289 large and midsize companies, contributions are keeping pace with corporate profits. Most companies gave cash gifts, but noncash contributions, such as company products, property and equipment, also were up in 1996.

Safe Trading
The New York Stock Exchange board of directors voted to continue using the current circuit-breaker rules with some modifications. The current rules call for a 30-minute halt in trading when the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 350 points and a 60-minute halt in trading when the average drops 550 points. In addition, the board proposed that the Securities and Exchange Commission allow companies to buy back their shares under safe-harbor provisions during the last 30 minutes of trading.

Put It Away for Later
President Clinton signed into law the Savings Are Vital to Everyones Retirement (SAVER) Act (PL 105-92), which directs the Department of Labor to provide public education on saving for retirement, such as running service announcements, holding public meetings and distributing literature. The SAVER act also calls for national summits on retirement savings at the White House beginning in July.

NPOs, HUD and OMB A-133
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published in the November 18, 1997, Federal Register implementing regulations for the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. The new regulations add a provision to clarify the audit requirements for not-for-profit organizations participating in HUD programs. For more information, contact HUDs Mark Rosenfeld at 202-708-3444, ext. 103.


Forces for Good
Accountants for the Public Interest presented its 1997 Volunteer Achievement Awards to Susan S. Lamar, New Haven, Connecticut; G. Jerry Chiocca, Miami, Florida; Pat McGowan, St. Paul, Minnesota; William C. Harris, East Brunswick, New Jersey; James K. Scalier, New York City; Bernard Werner, New York City; Winfield Ernst Akeley, Philadelphia; Deborah Kramer, Pittsburgh; and David R. Legge, Burke, Virginia.

Gun-Shy on Derivatives
Despite all the fuss about accounting for derivatives, many companies arent even using them, according to an Institute of Management Accountants survey of companies ranging from or under $1 million to $100 million in annual sales. The nonusers (88%) said they were not using them mostly because derivatives were inconsistent with company objectives. Over a quarter of businesses that do not use derivatives said their employees simply did not have the technical expertise to manage them.

And Theyre All Potential Clients
As of January 1, the estimated U.S. population was 268,921,733, a 0.9% increase over the past year, according to the Census Bureau. Approximately 3.9 million people were born in the United States in 1997, a steady decline from 1990, when 4.2 million births occurred.

Whats Your System?
The American Institute of CPAs conducted a poll at its TECH 97 conference. Of the 446 respondents, more than 350 used Windows 95 as their desktop operating system. Distant second was Windows 3.X, with about 175 users. For network operating systems, Novell NetWare was the clear leader, with 312 users; Windows NT Server trailed with 134 users.

No, the Other Regulatory Body
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy maintains a three-person office in New York City in the same building as the considerably larger National Basketball Association. Mail missing NASBAs suite number often gets misdirected because of the similarity between NASBA and NBA. When writing to the boards New York office, note the full address: NASBA, 645 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101, New York, New York 10022; phone: 212-644-6469; fax: 212-644-5961.


©1998 AICPA


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