Institute Receives ISO Registration
"You say what you do and do what you say." That, in a nutshell, is what ISO 9000 is all about. The AICPA claimed that it met this standard. Its ISO registrar, Kemper Registration Services (KRS), agreed and awarded the Institute ISO 9001 registration, the most comprehensive of the three ISO 9000 standards.
ISO 9000 is a series of international standards for establishing quality requirements. An entity must show a registrar—roughly equivalent to an outside auditor—it has adopted and documents a quality assurance system. ISO 9001 registration is granted to organizations that design and service their own products; the AICPA is the first professional membership organization in the United States to achieve it.
A better AICPA for members
The Journal spoke with AICPA President Barry Melancon about the advantages of having ISO 9001 registration and the benefits to members. "It clearly shows the progress we have already made and the commitment to quality and to improving our operations. The registration announces that the AICPA is a leader among organizations, serving as a pioneer in ISO registration." Melancon also pointed out a symbolic benefit to CPAs in both public practice and business and industry: "The AICPAs registration demonstrates the opportunities in ISO consulting as firms expand their service areas. For our members in industry, it emphasizes the potential for all entities to make a commitment to quality."
For more details on what ISO 9000 involves, see "Institute Seeks ISO 9000 Registration," JofA, Mar.97, page 86, and "Institute Chooses ISO 9000 Registrar," JofA, Oct.97, page 93.
E-Mail the Editors |
The Journal s general e-mail address has changed. The new number allows the editors to retrieve and respond to queries and comments more efficiently. Starting immediately, members and other readers should stop using firstname.lastname@example.org and start using email@example.com . Readers can send letters to the editor via this address; however, they should indicate whether their e-mail is meant for publication or is just a private comment or query. Letters intended for publication must include the writers full postal address and daytime phone number.
In response to the many members who have e-mailed and called asking when the Journal of Accountancy would be online, the magazine is pleased to announce that all 1997 issues are now available on the AICPAs Web site. Visitors can read all the feature articles—from discussions of new FASB pronouncements to the software reviews with their detailed tables. All Journal columns—financial Manager, Small Practitioner, Online Accountant and Marketing Clinic, for example—and all past news and tax matters items are available. Also posted are author guidelines and a Journal frequently asked question (FAQ) list. No sign-up code is required—the Journal Online is free to the entire Internet community. The online magazine even offers a benefit the print version does not: All URLs—including every Smart Stop on the Web—and e-mail addresses are live so readers can quickly jump to any Web site referenced in an article.
Each issue of the Journal will appear three months after its print publication; the April issue will go online July 1, for example. To make sure the online version has timely material and does not violate any copyright regulations, online issues will not include the following columns and departments: Directory of Member Services, Coming Events, Exposure Drafts Outstanding and Official Releases. However, the site will include the annual and semiannual indexes.
Journal Online is a bonus for readers—not a replacement. The Institute has no plans to cut or discontinue the current print version.
To access the Journal Online, visitors should go to www.aicpa.org/ pubs/jofa/index.htm.
PFSs Move to the Web
Competent financial planners are now easier to find, thanks to the new AICPA Web site for CPA/personal financial specialists: www.cpapfs.org . Aimed at a consumer market and designed to garner referrals for practitioners, the site offers visitors
- An article titled "Do I Need Personal Financial
- A checklist of financial planning concerns.
- Discussions of key PFP issues, such as retirement planning, saving
for college and managing credit.
- A description of the PFS designation and why it signifies trusted advice.
- A list, organized geographically, of personal financial specialists, searchable by zip or area code.
As of September 1997, approximately 2,500 CPAs had been awarded the PFS accreditation. The site emphasizes that "all financial planners are not created equal" and that the PFS designation is exclusive to CPAs. Phyllis Bernstein, CPA, AICPA director of personal financial planning, says the new site can be helpful: "If a CPA is looking for a financial planner for a relocating client, for example, the Web site can help. We update the site monthly so members and the general public always have a current list of CPA/PFSs, with names and addresses." She said the list will help members stay in touch with each other on key financial planning issues.
Quick Guide to MEMSAT Numbers
Voice mail: 888-999-9252
Change your Rolodexes and update your speed-dialers. The AICPA has a new toll-free telephone number: 888-777-7077. This replaces 800-862-4272. Although both numbers are currently active, the Institute is phasing out the old one; members should start using the new easy-to-remember 888 number immediately. All services formerly reached by the old number can be reached with the new one.
This is more than just a technical change; it is part of the Institutes effort to create "one-stop shopping" for the membership. The new number will allow members to reach the Institutes technical hotline and library, for example, and new Member Satisfaction Center (MEMSAT), which comprises the former AICPA order, subscription, membership administration and customer service departments. The MEMSAT staff can handle all the queries, requests and problems formerly addressed by the separate teams.
MEMSATs toll-free fax number is 800-362-5066 and its e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org . If you want to comment on AICPA programs, products or services, you can leave a message in a special MEMSAT toll-free voice mail box: 888-999-9252. You can request a follow-up phone call—MEMSAT staff check the voice mail box daily.
The directory of member services (page 91), which appears every month
in the Journal , lists these new numbers as well as virtually
every AICPA number a member may need.