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April 23, 2012
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American Institute of CPAsCPA Letter Daily / The News Source CPAs Count On
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  Top Story 
  • Businesses gain optimism about U.S. economy, survey finds
    Businesses are becoming more optimistic about the economy and are getting ready to add workers, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics. About 40% of companies, the biggest number since July, said they anticipate that employment will pick up during the next six months. Bloomberg (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Focus 
  • Financial advisers face hurdles in recruiting young candidates
    Financial advisers have positions to fill this year but are having a hard time attracting promising young candidates who expect employers to show them a defined path for advancement and a job description. Two-thirds of financial advisers have no clear career path for new employees and more than half haven't written job descriptions, according to the TD Ameritrade Advisor Index of 502 registered investment advisers. InvestmentNews (free registration) (4/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • JOBS Act will help revitalize small banks
    The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, signed into law this month, will make it easier for small banks to raise capital by increasing to 2,000 the number of shareholders that triggers registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Experts say this change is a needed shot in the arm to attract investors and allow banks to pursue more mergers and acquisitions or build branches. The Wall Street Journal (4/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysts highlight risk in multiemployer pension plans
    A recent accounting change has brought attention to multiemployer pension plans, or those run by trade unions for employees at various companies. Credit Suisse analysts, for example, reported that these funds are only 46% funded. In addition, small- and medium-sized companies face long-term risks from these plans -- including the responsibility for accrued retiree benefits if unrelated companies in the same plan fail -- and the high cost of leaving such plans. The Wall Street Journal (4/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  A&A Report 
  • Top five skills for new internal audit staff identified in study
    The most sought-after skills for new internal audit staff are changing to reflect more strategic priorities, a new study shows. Skills such as analytical and critical thinking and communication have emerged as most important as chief audit executives explore ways to increase their value to organizations. CGMA Magazine (4/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Tax Spotlight 
  • Draft bill gives IRS greater fire power against fraudulent tax preparers
    A draft bill giving the Internal Revenue Service expanded collections authority and the ability to levy a new preparer fraud penalty would help rein in unscrupulous tax preparers who falsely increase a client's expected return and pocket the difference. The bill would allow the IRS to bypass the Department of Justice in getting authorization to file a suit against the preparer for smaller amounts. If the amount the preparer has stolen is egregious, the IRS would still use the DOJ to pursue criminal charges. AICPA Insights (4/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Couple whose returns listed all zeros can't get refunds, federal court holds
    Tax forms that listed all items of income and tax as "zero" are not valid returns, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held, and therefore the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the taxpayers' refund suit. The court said that to count as valid returns, the forms must contain enough data to allow the tax to be calculated and show a genuine effort to comply with the law. (4/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Regulatory 
  • Medicare test project wastes $8.3 billion, GAO says
    The U.S. should shut down a wasteful and ineffective Medicare test project that is set to cost taxpayers $8.3 billion over 10 years, the Government Accountability Office said in a report. The Medicare Advantage program was intended to pay bonuses for high-quality care, but GAO investigators said most of the money is going into "average-performing plans" that fall short of quality standards established by Congress. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  AICPA News 
  • International Business Conference coming to Washington this June
    The AICPA International Business Conference, to be held June 11 to 12 in Washington, D.C., brings together leading experts to deliver strategic and practical insights on today's complex global economy and delivers practical solutions to current and future challenges. Keynote speakers include: Daryl E. Buck, member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, who will give an update on FASB; author Terri C. Morrison, who will present "Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands: A Comparison of Cultures;" and Wayne S. Upton, director of international activities for the International Accounting Standards Board, who will give an update on the IASB. Register by April 27 and save with the early-bird discount. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Learn about the concept of shared value
    The concept of shared value, introduced by Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, has been described as the next paradigm in capitalism -- a business environment in which an organization's corporate social responsibility initiatives intersect with and support its business objectives. A new CGMA report, Sustainable business: Shared value in practice, explores how companies can create economic value using sustainable business practices. The report's practical illustrations from organizations such as GE, IBM and Nestle illustrate the long-term profitability of creating successful sustainability operations. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals."
--Michael Korda,
British-American writer

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the world’s largest association representing the accounting profession, with nearly 377,000 members in 128 countries and a 125 year heritage of serving the public interest. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. 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 and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; fraud and forensics; business valuation; and information technology. Through a joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, it has established the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation to elevate management accounting globally.

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