• Notice of the Ethics Committee

    By:
    Steven J. Leifer, CPA
    |
    Apr 30, 2015

    The AICPA has adopted “Breach of an Independence Interpretation” (1.298.010), which assists members and members’ firms in addressing a breach of the independence rules. This new interpretation of the Code of Professional Conduct sets forth how an identified breach should be communicated within the firm and how the responsible individual in the firm should evaluate whether the breach can be satisfactorily addressed, or whether an attest engagement should be terminated. 

  • Should You Be Auditing Employee Benefit Plans?

    By:
    Adam S. Lilling, CPA, CFA
    |
    Apr 28, 2015

    Accountants who specialize in tax and general accounting services are often asked by their clients to perform audits of employee benefit plans (EBP), such as 401(k) and health and welfare plans. But if you don’t routinely conduct EBP audits, you may not be aware of their unique characteristics, such as testing demographic data, hardship withdrawals and remitting employee contributions on a timely basis.

  • We Only Have 2 Days Left to Meet This Challenge!

    By:
    Staff Report
    |
    Apr 28, 2015

    An anonymous NYSSCPA member has offered to personally donate $10,000 to the Foundation for Accounting Education’s #CarryItForward campaign, but there’s a catch—he is challenging his fellow NYSSCPA members to live up to Dave’s example and raise a total of $10,000 by 6 p.m., May 14, in order to meet his matching gift. Our generous donor will be recognized that evening, at the NYSSCPA’s Annual Election Meeting and Dinner, at the Eventi Hotel in New York City. 

  • CPA Roundtable

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Apr 21, 2015

    In our latest roundtable, CPAs speak candidly about the alarm bells that signal something is awry in an audit.

  • NYSSCPA Announces the Winners of its 32nd Annual Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards

    By:
    Alonza Robertson
    |
    Apr 19, 2015

    The winners of the 32nd annual Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards were announced today by the New York State Society of CPAs. The Awards recognize outstanding national and local media whose work, published or broadcast in 2014, contributed to a better understanding of business and financial topics.

  • NYSSCPA Agrees With FASB on Investment Company Proposal

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Apr 9, 2015
    The NYSSCPA has given its support to a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal that would require master-feeder funds to provide financial statements, saying the move would codify what had long been standard industry practice and would boost transparency. The Society expressed its views in a comment letter written by members of its Financial Accounting Standards Committee and published on Feb. 15.
  • Society to Hold Annual Election Meeting on May 14

    By:
    F. Michael Zovistoski, CPA, NYSSCPA Secretary/Treasurer
    |
    Apr 8, 2015

    Please note that the annual membership meeting of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. (opening reception: 5 p.m.) at the Eventi Hotel, 851 Avenue of the Americas, New York City.

  • Understanding New York City’s Property Tax Assessment Process

    By:
    Michael A. Benison, CPA, MST
    |
    Apr 7, 2015

    The Big Apple’s real estate market is booming—as evidenced by the pace at the New York City Tax Commission, which reviews property tax assessments set by the city’s Department of Finance. Last year, the commission received 52,221 claims in connection with some 193,305 tax lots citywide, and it’s poised to receive between 50,000 and 53,000 applications for property tax assessments this year. In fact, according to Tax Commission President Glenn Newman, most of the city’s major players are filing applications through the commission’s office these days. I recently sat down with Newman to discuss how CPAs and their clients could ensure a smoother tax assessment process. Here are the key takeaways from the conversation. 

  • NYSSCPA Board Approves Proposed Amendments

    By:
    Robert Busweiler
    |
    Apr 7, 2015

    The NYSSCPA’s Board of Directors has approved a series of proposed changes to the organization’s bylaws that, among other things, clarify the Society’s role in ethics investigations and expand its communication channels with members. The vote, taken during the board’s quarterly meeting on March 19, paved the way for the proposed amendments to be included in the proxy ballot mailed to all CPA members of the Society.  

  • NYSSCPA Board Votes for No Increase to Member Dues

    By:
    Ellen Clark
    |
    Apr 7, 2015

    NYSSCPA membership renewal season has started, and with good news: The NYSSCPA Board of Directors voted at its March meeting for member dues rates to remain flat, with no increase this year. Moreover, under the NYSSCPA’s Green Campaign, members who renew online by April 19 will not receive a paper invoice or email reminders, resulting in savings of paper, time, and money. To pay dues online, members simply log in at the Society’s website, nysscpa.org.

    “For every member who renews online, we can save an extra $10 that we can invest in services for our members,” said Lisa Axisa, the Society’s director of Member Relations. With 28,000 members the savings add up quickly and put us on even stronger footing for the new fiscal year.”  

  • Society Board Approves Proposed Amendments

    By:
    Robert Busweiler
    |
    Mar 31, 2015

    The NYSSCPA’s Board of Directors has approved a series of proposed changes to the organization's bylaws that, among other things, clarify the Society’s role in ethics investigations and expand its communication channels with members.

  • The Right Plan at the Right Time

    By:
    Scott M. Adair, CPA, NYSSCPA President
    |
    Mar 31, 2015
    When I started my term as NYSSCPA president last June, one of my main goals was to update the Society's strategic plan. We think of the strategic plan as a living, breathing document, one that must be as nimble as it is comprehensive. As the blueprint that drives our decision making, it takes a number of factors into account, not only within the profession, but at the state and national level and in a broader global context. 
  • As PCC Hits its Three-Year Mark, FAF Asks for Feedback on Performance

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Mar 31, 2015
    As part of a mandated three-year review period, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) is asking stakeholders to weigh in on how well the Private Company Council (PCC) has fared in addressing financial reporting issues relevant to private business entities. The FAF’s board of trustees recently released a request for comment asking interested parties to share their input by May 11. 
  • IRS guidance offers relief for small businesses on HRAs, Form 3115

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Mar 23, 2015
    Amid warnings of severe processing delays at the IRS this tax season, the preparer community got a pleasant surprise in February, when the service released new guidance offering relief from two tax provisions that CPAs considered particularly onerous.
  • How to test an organization’s cybersecurity risk management program

    By:
    Joel Lanz, CPA/CITP, CFF, CISA, CISM, CISSP, CFE
    |
    Mar 23, 2015
    The audit committee season is now under way, and though first-quarter meetings usually focus on financial statement matters, there’s a good chance that the client’s ability to effectively mitigate cybersecurity risk will come up for discussion. 
  • Working on an estate tax return?

    By:
    Anthony J. Cooper, J.D.
    |
    Mar 19, 2015
    Late-filing penalties for estate tax returns are frequently used as grounds for professional liability claims against CPAs, in large part because of their cost: Given the steeply progressive tax rates for estate tax and rapidly accruing penalties, these can exceed $300,000.
  • For NYSSCPA members, tax season help is just a click or call away

    By:
    Staff Report
    |
    Mar 17, 2015
    Having trouble getting answers this tax season? Two highly interactive—and free—member benefits may lead you to the clarification or guidance you need: the technical hot­line, run by volunteers from more than 41 NYSSCPA technical committees, and Exchange, the Society’s social networking platform, which members often use to crowdsource their tax season challenges.
  • Society supports FASB proposal on practical expedient-valued investments

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Mar 16, 2015
    The NYSSCPA expressed support for a proposal by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that, if approved, would make it easier to consistently categorize investments in the fair value hierarchy. 
  • NYSSCPA agrees with limited partnership plan, but not retrospective application

    By:
    Chris Gaetano
    |
    Mar 11, 2015
    Though the NYSSCPA largely agreed with a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal meant to resolve certain inconsistencies in how earnings within master limited partnerships (MLP) are handled, it did raise concerns about the board’s plan to implement these changes retrospectively. 
  • Carry It Forward

    By:
    Scott M. Adair, CPA, NYSSCPA President
    |
    Mar 9, 2015
    Last month, I told you that the Society was hard at work thinking of a fitting way to honor David J. Moynihan, the NYSSCPA’s 2009–2010 president. Since Dave passed away in January, so many of us had the same question: How do we continue his legacy? Dave was a man of action as well as ideas, a big-picture thinker who never shied away from rolling up his sleeves. As an organization, we knew that whatever we did to pay homage to him would have to embody those same characteristics.

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