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December 21, 2011
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American Institute of CPAsCPA Letter Daily / The News Source CPAs Count On
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  Top Story 
  • Editorial: GOP missteps on payroll tax give Obama an advantage: Republicans have mishandled the payroll-tax debate, and as a result they are likely to be blamed for blocking an extension that ultimately they might pass, this Wall Street Journal editorial says. Although Republican leaders have said defeating President Barack Obama is a top goal for this Congress, their actions allow him to position himself as a tax-cutter despite having promoted tax increases. The Wall Street Journal (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Focus 
  • Expect more corporate spinoffs in 2012, experts say
    Some experts expect more corporate spinoffs in 2012. One motivating factor will be many companies' belief that their individual parts are more valuable than the companies as a whole, says Robert Profusek, head of the mergers-and-acquisitions practice at law firm Jones Day. Industries most likely to have significant spinoffs include industrial, consumer-products and health-care companies, said Paul Parker, global head of Barclays Capital's M&A group. The Wall Street Journal/CFO Journal (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fed seeks to prevent another crisis with proposed rules for banks
    The Federal Reserve issued proposals intended to prevent the collapse of major financial firms, including limits on banks' credit exposure to one another, and new risk-management responsibilities for boards of directors. The rules would apply to banks with $50 billion or more in assets, and other systemically important firms. "The proposal would create an integrated set of requirements that seeks to meaningfully reduce the probability of failure of systemically important companies and minimize damage to the financial system and the broader economy in the event such a company fails," a Fed statement said. Bloomberg (12/20), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/20), The Washington Post (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Implementing PFP Services: Step-by-Step Plans for Success
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  A&A Report 
  • Integrated reporting offers a holistic view of businesses
    An international integrated business reporting framework would offer financial and other key data in a holistic format that would help highlight the full value that companies create, writes Ami Beers, CPA, AICPA manager for business reporting, assurance and advisory services. The AICPA submitted a comment letter for the International Integrated Reporting Committee's discussion paper, encouraging it to leverage the high-level Enhanced Business Reporting Framework and to ease access and transparency through data tools like eXtensible Business Reporting Language. AICPA Insights (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PCAOB to resubmit audit communication standards for comment
    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will re-propose for public comment communication standards for auditors and audit committees. These standards have been under development for nearly two years, and much in the new proposal reflects the original version. The new proposal, however, accounts for the PCAOB's authority over auditors of broker-dealers, provided in the Dodd-Frank Act. The re-proposed standard also better aligns the communication requirements with performance requirements in other PCAOB standards. Accounting Today (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PCAOB revives going-concern requirement in audit proposal: The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board proposed that auditors discuss with the audit committee any doubts about a company's survival, as well as any significant unusual transactions. Currently, auditors' doubts about a company's ability to remain a going concern do not have to be publicly reported if the company takes steps to mitigate them. Thomson Reuters (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Tell FAF You Want an Independent Private Company Board
Help bring much-needed and long-overdue change to private company financial reporting. Send a comment letter to the Financial Accounting Foundation using the AICPA’s online resource. Simply provide your name and click “Send Letter.” Respond to FAF’s proposal today.
  Tax Spotlight 
  • IRS releases foreign financial asset reporting form
    Following up on final regulations issued last week, the Internal Revenue Service posted to its website a final version of Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, and the related instructions. Taxpayers with a reporting obligation under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act must use Form 8983 to report specified foreign financial assets to the IRS. (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  International View 
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  Leadership & Trends 
  AICPA News 
  • New Interactive Tax Checklists available from the AICPA
    Based on the gold standard AICPA Tax Practice Guides and Checklists, the new Interactive Tax Checklists enable practitioners to share engagements and increase quality with review tools. The new, cloud-based Interactive Tax Checklists feature questionnaire logic, making them easy to navigate. The Interactive Tax Checklists are available for AICPA Tax Section members free. They are also available for purchase for non-Tax Section members. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Be a part of book on raising financially fit families
    The AICPA’s 125th anniversary is coming up in 2012. To celebrate, the AICPA will highlight CPAs’ expertise in financial literacy by publishing its first book for a consumer audience. The book, tentatively titled Raising Financially Fit Families, will be filled with lessons provided by CPAs like you from all over the country and edited by best-selling author and CPA Sharon Lechter. The AICPA is looking for real-world saving and spending stories to help consumers understand more about their finances, learn saving and budgeting strategies and -- most importantly -- instill good saving and spending habits in children. The book will be published in the fall of 2012, in time for events commemorating the AICPA's anniversary. Please submit your stories no later than Jan. 31. You and your practice or firm will receive credit for your story and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the AICPA Foundation to support our continued efforts in financial literacy. Get more information and access the submission form on LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Has fortune dealt you some bad cards. Then let wisdom make you a good gamester."
--Francis Quarles,
British poet

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, founded in 1887, is the world's largest organization representing the accounting profession, with nearly 370,000 members in 128 countries. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education, and consulting; membership is also available to accounting students and CPA candidates. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, non-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination.

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