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February 15, 2012
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Brought to you by the American Institute of CPAs

  Letter from Carol 
  • A message from Carol Scott, vice president of Business, Industry & Government
    Source: AICPA
    It's an exciting time for the accounting profession. On Jan. 31, the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants launched the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation to elevate management accounting and showcase the critical work that CPAs working in business, industry and government do.

    The AICPA and CIMA marked the designation's launch by releasing the report "Rebooting Business: Valuing the Human Dimension," which provides insight and opinion from nearly 300 global CEOs from more than 21 countries. I was surprised by the simplicity of one of the report's findings. The most important need these CEOs see in the future of business is not faster technology or better access to resources. It's people -- highly intelligent, multidisciplined, talented staff that can collaborate, communicate well and, most importantly, connect the dots between financial and nonfinancial information to provide a broad view of how the business is performing.

    Who are the people with these skills? They are CGMAs -- CPAs working in business, industry and government worldwide, performing a management-accounting role to help make critical decisions and drive business success.

    I encourage you to learn more about the CGMA designation. See whether it's a designation that emphasizes your work to help your organization make the right strategic moves. Access the thought-leadership reports. Use the CGMA tools to help you and your organization evaluate capital expenditures and assess risk-management maturity. Participate in discussions in the CGMA community. Take a look at CGMA Magazine, and subscribe to the free CGMA Magazine Update. I think you'll see that the robust resources that the AICPA and CIMA have put together for CGMAs are going to make your job easier and help you grow professionally.

    The AICPA's first-quarter Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey, a bellwether for CPA financial executives' outlook on general economic trends, is in the field. We will release the results March 8. You are invited to join our first-quarter webcast, "2012 Economy: Real Recovery or Roller Coaster Ride?" scheduled 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET on March 22. It's free to the first 2,000 AICPA members who register.

    Finally, be sure to read this month's advice, which can benefit you no matter your job position, provided by Tina Kim, CPA. Continue to share your advice with colleagues, or send questions or comments to BusIndNews editor Carshia Craven. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Accounting and Reporting Update 
  • Top sustainability-shaping trends of 2012
    Research from Ernst & Young shows that sustainability reporting is increasing, but many companies are not using the best tools to do so. Other trends to watch include employees' increasing role in driving sustainability initiatives and executives' emphasis on ratings on sustainability indexes. (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FASB wants to ease impairment rule for intangible assets
    The Financial Accounting Standards Board proposed a rule that would make it easier for companies to determine whether to test indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. The rule would let companies forgo testing when it is "more likely than not" that an asset's value has increased. Currently, many companies must turn to costly third-party valuation for assets such as trademarks and licenses. (2/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Emerging Trends 
  • 5 ways Balance Scorecard improves your group's strategy
    Robert Kaplan and David Norton explain how their Balanced Scorecard continues to help organizations strategize for the future more than two decades after its introduction. The product helps decision-makers combine financial measurements with nonfinancial ones to understand organizational performance. Leaders should look to it for a road map for promoting greater collaboration, risk management and strategic development, Kaplan and Norton write. CGMA Magazine (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 9 moneymaking ideas for nonprofit boards
    Board members of a nonprofit who aren't comfortable asking for cash can find other ways to sustain their organization, Nell Edgington writes. They include working to secure government funds, developing a business plan or thanking donors for their past support. "You just have to get strategic about how each individual board member can best contribute to the organization’s bottom-line," Edgington writes. Social Velocity Blog (1/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What companies can learn from PE firms about value creation
    Private-equity firms can teach public companies how to create and sustain value, write Vinay Couto, Ashok Divakaran and Deniz Caglar. Hiring the right team, tightly managing receivables and payables, focusing on the long term and linking pay to performance are some practices public companies can emulate. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 10 things to know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    How well do you know the ins and outs of U.S. law that prohibits citizens and organizations from paying, or offering to pay, foreign government officials to land or retain business? Take this Foreign Corrupt Practices Act quiz to find out. Recent, more rigorous enforcement of the act, combined with growth of U.S. businesses in emerging markets, is expanding the role CPAs play in fighting corruption and assisting companies with compliance. Journal of Accountancy (2/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tax Corner 
  Leadership Lessons and Tips 
  • Play harder to produce better innovation
    Sometimes taking a playful, convoluted or even downright messy approach to problem solving can yield the best result, writes Dorie Clark. Fortunately, the globalized economy and technology such as Facebook provide efficiency that allows innovators to follow flights of fancy without worrying as much about staying on budget. "[T]he path to creative insight isn't a direct line," Clark writes. Forbes (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Are you being a good manager or a pain?
    Dan McCarthy offers a quick guide and further reading for managers who want to measure and improve their performance. Managers can't avoid confronting problems, but they should realize the importance of taking action only when warranted, McCarthy says. Great Leadership (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Tech Topics 
  • More companies find value in social media
    Social media have multiplied the way companies interact with customers, but measuring the return on investment can be tricky, executives said. The first steps involve listening and engaging with the audience to connect them to the business. Some organizations even use social media to network employees internally. "It's about efficiency. We spend less time on transactions and more time on strategic analysis," said Scott Travasos, chief financial officer at Blue Shield of California Foundation. CFO Magazine (2/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  BIG News and Events 
  • AICPA government brief discusses proactive detection of improper payments
    The AICPA government-accountability brief "Proactive Detection of Improper Payments" summarizes how government auditors are incorporating computer-based deductive detection into their work to identify improper payments. Deductive detection involves determining which types of payments can occur in a particular situation, then using technology to determine whether the payments do exist. With increased emphasis on early detection of fraud, waste and abuse, governmental auditors should consider adding this approach to their tool kit. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Risk-Based Strategy: Integrating Strategy Maps, Management Controls and Risk, Part 3
    This three-part article series integrates strategy mapping, risk management and management control into a risk-based approach to strategy execution. Part 1 uses strategy mapping as a tool to visually depict a company's strategy. Part 2, discusses how to assess a company's risks. In Part 3, we explore designing a company's management-control system to manage risks that have the greatest probability to negatively affect profitability. For more information on enterprise risk management, visit AICPA's ERM Web page and CGMA resources. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AICPA News 
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American broadcast journalist

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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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