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March 21, 2012
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Letter from Arleen 
  • A message from Arleen R. Thomas, senior vice president of management accounting
    Source: AICPA
    Like many CPAs, among my top-five professional moments is the day I learned I passed the Uniform CPA Examination. Also in my top five? The day I hung my CPA certificate on my office wall. At the time, as a firm auditor at Peat Marwick Mitchell (KPMG), the CPA signified my arrival into a profession in which strict ethical standards; fast, intelligent thinking; and accounting and auditing mastery were revered and rewarded.

    My CPA is at the core of my career. It has allowed me to migrate from public accounting to not-for-profit management and given me the skills and acumen on which I rely to help the AICPA set corporate strategy, communicate its value across all business units and ensure we best meet the needs of our members.

    Now, with the creation of the Chartered Global Management Accountant, a designation released by the AICPA and the U.K.'s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, I can shine a spotlight on my management-accounting expertise. The skills that I honed at KPMG were my ticket to moving into management accounting. That transition was a time of gradually relying less on my accounting and auditing skills, enthusiastically taking on responsibilities and ultimately rising to business-unit vice president. Getting out of my comfort zone and learning skills outside of Financial Accounting Standards Board standards was that first step. The CPA, CGMA recognizes my original technical skills and my current accountability using information to solve big-picture challenges.

    I'm proud to be a CGMA, and if you're a CPA working in business, industry and government, the CGMA is your opportunity to show the world how much you do in the broader dimension of strategy, organizational development and success, risk management, and human capital. I hope you'll try on your CGMA letters, wear them with pride and show the world what you're made of. You'll also get access to valuable articles and spotlights on how management accounting is influencing business, through CGMA Magazine. Take advantage of the free trial offer and confirm your CGMA designation. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Accounting and Reporting Update 
  Emerging Trends 
  • 7 factors that put your company at risk of disaster
    London's Cass Business School studied nearly 20 examples of business disaster to identify common causes of corporate breakdown. The school found seven risk factors among companies including BP, Arthur Andersen and American International Group. The No. 1 factor is a weak board of directors that doesn't police senior executives effectively. CGMA Magazine (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 4 ways Coke is shrinking its water footprint
    Coca-Cola is using a four-pronged strategy to reduce water consumption, according to a company-produced report from 2011. The soda giant pledges to reduce its water-use ratio by 20%, recycle all water used at manufacturing facilities and replenish water to an extent equivalent to its global output volume. "Because responsible water management is at the heart of a sustainable future, overcoming today's water challenges calls for extraordinary action," Chief Sustainability Officer Bea Perez wrote. (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Smart philanthropy multiplies
    Many donors have become more active in seeking effective charities and driving those charities' agendas, but "they're squandering the real and massive potential of their capital," writes nonprofit innovation expert Dan Pallotta. Philanthropists who invest in fundraising multiply their donations many times over, but many prohibit their donations from being used to raise more funds, he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Labor costs cause foreign firms to rethink Chinese supply chain
    Rising labor costs in China are making it harder for foreign companies to do business cheaply there. The trend has forced some companies to rethink the location of their manufacturing operations. Many are looking for less-expensive alternatives in other countries or in China's less-developed inland. The Economist (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to prepare your company to weather a disaster
    Finance chiefs are spearheading the development of continuity plans to ensure their companies can continue to operate during an emergency. Some common strategies include bolstering supply chains, migrating to virtualized computer systems and tapping into social media to coordinate disaster-response efforts. More companies also report developing organizationwide "business resilience" plans in case of major disasters. Learn more about business-continuity management and enterprise risk management in the Business, Industry & Government interest area. CFO Magazine (3/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Corner 
  • KPMG: Cloud computing raises novel tax issues for businesses
    Moving to the cloud can have important and unexpected tax consequences for companies, according to a paper from KPMG. "With cloud transactions, determining what is actually being traded, between whom and where is becoming a real challenge," partner Mike Camburn said. The issue can have special considerations for global companies that need to decide where value is being created and which jurisdiction controls it for tax purposes. AccountingWEB (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IRS issues guidance on repair regulations
    The Internal Revenue Service issued two revenue procedures detailing steps taxpayers must take to change their method of accounting to conform to December's temporary regulations on repair and maintenance costs and other expenses related to tangible property. The guidance provides procedures for obtaining the IRS' automatic consent to various accounting-method changes to conform to the regulations. An AICPA tax task force is evaluating these rules to determine their impact and what further guidance or changes might be needed. See the AICPA's Tax interest area for more information. (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Leadership Lessons and Tips 
  • COSO explores 6 judgment traps and how to avoid them
    Failing to consider opposing points of view and improperly defining problems are two key traps that lead to poor business judgment, according to a white paper by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. The paper defines six traps and offers advice on how to avoid them. It also outlines a five-step process for decision making. CGMA Magazine (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What does strategy mean to you?
    Executives often have a hard time defining "strategy." Strategy is distinct from other business concepts such as mission, values or goals, according to this article. "It is the result of choices executives make, on where to play and how to win, to maximize long-term value." Truly strategic executives never stop looking for ways to create long-term value for their companies. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (3/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tech Topics 
  BIG News and Events 
  • Apply to be AICPA volunteer: Applications are accepted until May 15
    If you are interested in contributing to the profession and networking with your peers, consider applying for the Business and Industry Executive Committee or the Government Performance and Accountability Committee. The application is brief and involves a simple point-and-click process. Applications are being accepted for the next volunteer year, which runs from October 2012 to October 2013. If you have questions regarding the application process, or volunteerism in general at the AICPA, e-mail LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
  • Applications for 2012 AICPA Leadership Academy are due May 15
    The 2012 AICPA Leadership Academy will let a select group participate in a program that exposes them to a strong ethic of leadership and service, while providing them with a foundational set of tools and relationships that will help them expand their leadership competency and empower them to become leaders within their organizations, their communities and the CPA profession. Apply online or nominate a promising colleague before May 15, and help shape the future of the CPA profession. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved."
--D.H. Lawrence,
British writer

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About the AICPA and Business, Industry & Government
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. Members in business, industry and government make up a significant portion of the AICPA's membership. The AICPA provides financial professionals practicing in business, industry and government with the tools and resources needed to move their organizations forward. 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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