AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 176


** HAPPY NEW YEAR **

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

  1. Time Magazine Names Whistle-Blowers as Persons of The Year
  2. E&Y Slapped With $1 Billion Lawsuit
  3. Some CPA Firms May be Prevented From Auditing Banks
  4. GAO Says SEC Could Take a Lesson From FASB
  5. AICPA Readies New Business Reporting Model
  6. IRS Issues Home Sale Exclusion Rules
  7. KPMG Ordered to Turn Over Client Documents
  8. IRS Issues Regulations Regarding Education Credits
  9. IRS Won't Let Taxpayers Hide Behind Preparers' Coattails
  10. FASB Releases FAS 148 on Stock Options

Special Feature: The 2002 Year In Review

OUR MISSION

"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

EDITORIAL

Like you, just about every publication and news retrospective I have seen over the last few weeks has expressed a consistent theme - "2002, good riddance!" In AccountingWEB's 2002 Year in Review issue we explored the events of the past twelve months that have changed the landscape for the accounting profession, and essentially came to the same conclusion.

But today is a new day. One of the wonderful things that make humans unique is that we can compartmentalize time and use the occasion of a new year as a new beginning, a new chapter to explore. Carl Bard once wrote, "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

AccountingWEB is committed to helping the profession right the wrongs of 2002, and share with our readers all that is right, in order to build a brighter future for 2003. We will bring to you the success stories, the new initiatives and the "home runs" that individuals and firms across the profession are experiencing. So as we enter a new year, we encourage you to share your stories with us and stay with AccountingWEB throughout 2003 - it's going to be an exciting year.

Michael Platt, CEO
AccountingWEB, Inc.
editor@accountingweb.com

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Time Magazine Names Whistle-Blowers as Persons of The Year

Time Magazine named three women whistle-blowers as its "Persons of the Year." Among the winners are Enron's Sherron Watkins and WorldCom's Cynthia Cooper, both of whom uncovered massive accounting fraud at their companies.

2. E&Y Slapped With $1 Billion Lawsuit

While the rest of the world hurried to prepare for the Christmas holidays, lawyers and public relations specialists at Big Four firm Ernst & Young kicked into overdrive to respond to the filing of a $1 billion lawsuit filed against the firm.

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3. Some CPA Firms May be Prevented From Auditing Banks

Federal regulatory agencies including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, are asking for public comment on proposed rules that would enable the regulators to remove, suspend, or bar an accountant or an accounting firm from performing audit and attestation services for certain financial institutions.

4. GAO Says SEC Could Take a Lesson From FASB

The GAO released a report on "Actions Needed to Improve Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Selection Process." At the top of list are improved communications and other lessons that can be learned from the FASB.

5. AICPA Readies New Business Reporting Model

The American Institute of CPAs is gearing up to establish a new business reporting model. AICPA's Alan Anderson explains the new model will open up opportunities for CPAs in firms of all sizes.

6. IRS Issues Home Sale Exclusion Rules

The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance in the form of both final and temporary regulations related to excluding gain on the sale of a principal residence. See this article to understand what the final regulations cover.

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7. KPMG Ordered to Turn Over Client Documents

The ongoing effort by the IRS to reveal illegal tax shelter
activity got a big boost this week. A federal judge in
Washington has ordered KPMG to turn over additional client
files relating to certain tax shelters - files that KPMG had vigorously argued were confidential.

8. IRS Issues Regulations Regarding Education Credits

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations
regarding the use of the Hope Scholarship Credit and the
Lifetime Learning Credit. The regulations clarify some areas of discrepancy surrounding the two credits.

9. IRS Won't Let Taxpayers Hide Behind Preparers' Coattails

The U.S. Treasury Department has released proposed rules that limit the likelihood of a "My Accountant Told Me I Could Do This" defense for tax return deductions. In the past taxpayers have been successful at blaming their tax indiscretions on their tax preparers and avoiding penalties resulting from non-allowable deductions.

10. FASB Releases FAS 148 on Stock Options

FASB has released Statement No. 148. This new standard improves disclosures for stock-based compensation and provides alternative transition methods for companies that switch to the fair value method of accounting for stock options.

Special Feature: 2002 Year In Review

Read about the top issues that had the biggest impact on the accounting profession in 2002 in AccountingWEB's annual year-end wrap-up.

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