Saturday, April 30, 2011

Impending "War" [?] Between AICPA and IMA: This Way Lies Madness

When I attended last year's IMA conference in Baltimore, I was puzzled by the non-recognition of CPAs in attendance and further confused by reference to opening of CMA firms in some larger cities. Yesterday, I read in the Tennessee CPA Journal that the AICPA was partnering with an international management accounting body (CIMA) to develop a designation within the CPA for management accountants and my reaction was--What are you DOING? It seems (and I would love to be told that I am wrong) that the AICPA and IMA are playing the part of a once-married couple which has split and have no problem with trying to one-up each other. As an accounting educator, I see no benefits in this for accounting students nor the overall accounting profession. It seems clear to me that the profession is not strong enough for what I consider to be unnecessary feuding and that even a subtle rivalry between the two organizations will not sit well, particularly with younger accountants.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bring Out the Billy Club: IRS Threatens 19 with Loss of TPIN

The IRS announced today that it was sending letters to 19 preparers with Taxpayer Identification Numbers to revoke their licenses. According to the IRS, each of the accused either of hiding a criminal conviction or of being previous barred from tax preparation. While those accused have 20 days to respond, this cannot be good news. IRS personnel indicated that this would be the first of several enforcement actions; that they next would look at tax returns without a signature for paid preparer or those where an identification number was either neglected or misused.

For the TPIN to have credibility, especially now that the TPIN test is pushed back to 2014, the IRS had to (and now has started to) take aggressive action toward those who misacted in a tax professional capacity. Whether this justifies the TPIN or not is ultimately a personal call; this was a necessarily though not automatically sufficient action.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"And Now It All Begins"

Back in the 1970s, Alex Haley and Roots made mini-serieses a big deal, so I perked up my ears when NBC ran Franco Zefferelli's (probably misspelled) "Jesus of Nazareth." Many dramatic presentations of Jesus's life in that era stopped at the cruxifiction; thus I was presently surprised when the mini-series kept going to the resurrection and subsequent weeks after. Near the end of the final episode, a sentry told a member of the Jewish Sandhedron (spelling again?) that Jesus's body was not in the grave and the leaders sighed and said, " and now it all begins." He was right--but with cause for hope and not despair--in an extremely cynical world, one easily could lose all hope and all hope for justice, but belief in that tomb being empty CAN provide hope that evil and cruelty will not always carry the day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Welcome Back, Tax Practioner Bloggers

The tax season offically ended today and many fine bloggers, such as Russ Fox of Taxable Talk and Robert Flach of the Wandering Tax Pro, should soon be back and blogging at full speed ahead. On the other hand, projects, finals, etc. are about to make a major dent on my blogging between now and May 6.

Before I go, I wanted to commend the North Alabama faculty on putting on a fine SOBIE conference at Destin, FL this past week. I co-presented three papers and listened in on a number of other well-done papers. I enjoyed having no less than half a dozen other APSU faculty with me.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Boehner and the Art of Caucus Maintenance

My military friends are celebrating the budget deal last night for good reason; there was real concern last night as to whether they would get a full week's pay next week. The deal cuts about $38 million from the FY 2011 budget but leaves out most of the "riders" that upset Democrats, including defunding of Planned Parenthood and restrictions on the EPA. While President Obama was upbeat Saturday morning (and had probably cut his losses significantly by being able to show active involvement in the finished product), the almost certain winner was John Boehner, who got the first actual cuts in a Federal budget in my lifetime. Boehner's key successes--keeping most of the "Tea Party" right on board by keeping them apprised of negotiations and letting go riders which could wait for another day.

While Operation Rescue and Michelle Bachmann may not be on board with the final compromise and the Media Matters/"professional left" are almost certainly less than thrilled, the compromise is indeed a reasonable first step. Even the happiest parties; however, have no illusions about the difficult negotiations associated with the increase in the debt ceiling and the FY 2012 budget.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Plucking the Low-Hanging Fruit: Congress Backs Away from Health Care 1099s

By a 87-12 (wonder who the twelve were?) vote, the Senate passed House-based legislation to repeal the "Obamacare" requirement that required businesses, charities and state and local governments to provide Form 1099s to many vendors if annual purchases reached $600 or more. Praise came from executives of the AICPA and the National Association of Accountants.

This is the easy part of dealing with last year's health care legislation. For here out, things grow much more contentious, perhaps starting with this week's attempt to avoid a government shutdown. While Republicans believe that independents as well as their base want either elimination or at least massive rework of the legislation, Democrats are equally convinced that this law will work to their benefit in time.

My blog is worth $7,903.56.
How much is your blog worth?