AICPA

New WebTrust-ISP Certification Available

The AICPA has announced another phase for its WebTrust program with a new verification service designed soley for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Also released was WebTrust 2.0, the follow-up program to the original WebTrust package.The new program for ISPs is similar in format to the original WebTrust, but intended specifically for online hosts.

New IT Accredtiation Announced by AICPA

CPAs involved in technology will want to take notice to the recent announcement made by AICPA on a new accreditation just for professionals involved in technology, strategic planning, implementation, management and business strategies.A point system for the accreditation is structured to allow veteran IT professionals, as well as novices, into the realm of reaching the mark.The accreditation also speaks to the services and competencies outlined with the new CPA Vision.

New Independence Requirements For Auditors Approved

In response to recent attacks by the SEC on perceived independence problems across the auditing profession, the AICPA today approved new objectivity requirements for auditors who audit public companies.Some of the new requirements include:Auditing firms must set up an internal computer database of restricted investments in public clients;Independence policies must be established regarding financial relationships between the company and the firm, to include the firm's benefit plans, its staff and

New Chair of AICPA Focuses on Technology and Vision

As reported last week, Robert K. Elliott has assumed the chairmanship of AICPA, effectively becoming the first chair for the 21st Century. He succeeds former chair Olivia Kirtley. The appointment was made official during AICPA's Fall Council meeting in Seattle, WA.On the top of Elliott's agenda is placing technology in the hands of the Institute's 330,000 members by demonstrating the profession's ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape and delivery value-added services to clients and employers.

AICPA Plans Shift To Web Based CPE

Online Continuing Professional Education for CPAs will likely become mainstream when the American Institute of CPAs begins offering over 150 one- and two-hour self study courses over the Web by the middle of next year.Speaking at its annual meeting this week, AICPA President Barry Melancon announced several bold Internet initiatives for the Institute, including the fulfillment of a vision of a completely web-based profession in several years time.

New Mexico CPA Society Awards Scholarships

Accounting students attending New Mexico colleges and universities have been awarded a collective total of $42,000 in scholarships by the New Mexico Society of CPAs.The gifts also mark the largest amount ever given in student scholarships by the state CPA society.Colleges attended by students include the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico Highlands University and Western New Mexico University.Named scholarhips from the CPA society include the J.

SEC's Levitt "Gravely Concerned" Over Auditor Roles

For the first time in recent history, the Chairman of the SEC blasted the way that auditors do their jobs, and suggested the need for a full time self-regulatory body to ensure the credibility of audits.Addressing a blue ribbon panel investigating the effectiveness of audits, Levitt sharply criticized auditors as playing a major role in the disturbing trend of company's "managing" their earnings.Mr.

AICPA Proposes New Audit Standard

An exposure draft for a proposed standard just issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Auditing Standards Board focuses on improving communication between independent auditors and corporate audit committees. The draft is called Amendments to Statement on Auditing Standards No. 61, “Communication With Audit Committees, “ and Statement on Auditing Standards No.
Community News

Accounting Firms Consult to Verify Security of Web Sites

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche are two of several consultants who have lent their expertise in the Web site security arena and to the content of a report published by Plano, TX-based Entrust Technologies Inc. This is an issue CPAs should be knowledgeable about based on the CPA Vision vision statement and AICPA's WebTrust program.The
Technology

Mirroring WebTrust, Seal for Online Shopping Sites are More Popular

Just as the AICPA has enacted the WebTrust seal to demonstrate to the public that financial transactions over the Internet are secure, online shopping sites also are adopting various "seals of approval" for the sake of the public.A Harris poll found that less than 20 percent of online shoppers purchased goods or services over the Internet because they didn't want their credit cards exposed to unknown parties.

Public Companies Affected By New GAAP Rule

The AICPA is out to eliminate "diversity in practice" for insurance-related assessments for publicly-held companies. A new rule will force companies to immediately accrue estimates of financial liabilities for insurance-related assessments that are based on paid losses. The idea behind the practice is that it will make financial statements more uniform across companies.AICPA's Statement of Position 97-3 applies to financial statements for company fiscal years beginning after December 15, 1998.

Independent Audits' Effectiveness Surveyed by Public Oversight Board

More than 500 persons and organizations familiar with auditing or affected by an audit will be sent confidential questionnaires regarding the effectiveness of independent audits in protecting investors' interests.
Community News

AICPA Develops XML-Based Language With Big 5 Accounting Firms

The American Institute of CPAs today announced a collaboration with all five of the Big 5 accounting firms to develop a new computer language intended specifically for the preparation and exchange of financial reports and data.Much has been written over the past year about the advantages of Extensible Markup Language, known as XML—a code similar in format to HTML, or the language of the Internet.

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