Focus on AICPA, profession's disaster relief efforts. (Special Feature).Sept. 11 will always be remembered for the terrorist attacks that shook all America. First and foremost there was horrendous hor·ren·dous
Hideous; dreadful: "Horrendous explosions shook the whole city" Howard Kaplan. loss of life. The devastation at the World Trade Center is unfathomable; photographs of the destruction at the Pentagon are shocking.
Having touched nearly everyone in some way, the assaults on our soil deeply affected the AICPA AICPA
See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). as well. Nearly 200 members worked in the World Trade Center, and 1,500 members work in lower Manhattan Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York. Lower Manhattan is generally defined as the area delineated on the north by Chambers Street, on the west by the Hudson River (North . In addition, several AICPA employees lost relatives and close friends; a member of the CPA (Computer Press Association, Landing, NJ) An earlier membership organization founded in 1983 that promoted excellence in computer journalism. Its annual awards honored outstanding examples in print, broadcast and electronic media. The CPA disbanded in 2000. 2Biz Board of Directors lost his life. Aon Corporation, the Plan Agent for many of our insurance programs, lost more than 200 employees in its WTC WTC World Trade Center, see there office.
This horrific tragedy provides a call to action to all who can offer support, guidance, information and services. As the home for CPAs, the AICPA is in the position to bring together those who can help one another and the affected public.
We have produced this CPA Letter special report to provide members with information critical to their attempts to return to a normal routine, both professionally and personally, and to alert them to opportunities to help others. A team of staff members from the AICPA and CPA2Biz has been devoted specifically to this cause and, on behalf of the profession, hopes its initiatives will enable CPAs to help heal the citizens of this great nation.
Two tax-exempt funds are eagerly accepting contributions that will be used to help members, their families or anyone else directly affected by this horrific tragedy. The AICPA contributed a total of $75,000 to both funds and is matching employee contributions up to an aggregate total of $25,000.
The AICPA Benevolent be·nev·o·lent
1. Characterized by or suggestive of doing good.
2. Of, concerned with, or organized for the benefit of charity. Fund can help individual CPAs and their families facing financial difficulty caused by serious illness, accident, death or other major misfortunes, such as the recent terrorist attacks. Contact the AICPA at 877/CPA-4ALL (877/272-4255) between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., ET. You may also e-mail a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include contact information in your e-mail.
If you would like to make a contribution, send a check payable to AICPA Benevolent Fund to: AICPA Benevolent Fund, AICPA, Harborside har·bor·side
The area adjacent to a harbor. Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.
In addition, the AICPA has established the CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc. This fund will help CPA firms and employees of firms, and people directly affected by the events of Sept. 11. To make a donation to this new fund, send a check made payable to CPAs in Support of America, Inc., to: CPAs in Support of America, AICPA, Harborside Financial Center, 201 Plaza Three, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.
AICPA, CPA2Biz Team Up to Help CPAs Affected by Terrorist Attacks
To help CPAs help themselves, clients and businesses recover from and develop contingency plans A plan involving suitable backups, immediate actions and longer term measures for responding to computer emergencies such as attacks or accidental disasters. Contingency plans are part of business resumption planning. for disaster situations, a Disaster Recovery Resource Center has been created. The resource center, which can be accessed free of charge, houses important tools, information and resources specifically related to dealing with disasters.
For example, you can tap into a host of articles covering the full gamut See color gamut.
gamut - The gamut of a monitor is the set of colours it can display. There are some colours which can't be made up of a mixture of red, green and blue phosphor emissions and so can't be displayed by any monitor. of issues that may arise. Among the items featured are:
* A disaster response for business, a checklist for CFOs and controllers.
* IRS An abbreviation for the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency charged with the responsibility of administering and enforcing internal revenue laws. notices about disaster relief for payments and filing, as well as state-by-state information on filing and payments.
* FASB's adding accounting after disasters to EITF's agenda, and its issuance of a statement on accounting after terrorist attacks.
* Determining whether your technology systems are a target for cyber-terrorism.
* Recovery of accounting records, consideration of fraud, obtaining audit evidence and going-concern issues in the aftermath.
* Excerpts from the AICPA's Accountant's Business Manual that cover survivor's benefits, disability benefits, Supplemental Social Security Income, federal regulations, Medicare and Medicaid Medicare and Medicaid
U.S. government programs in effect since 1966. Medicare covers most people 65 or older and those with long-term disabilities. Part A, a hospital insurance plan, also pays for home health visits and hospice care. .
The articles, other information and tools continually are being added to the Web site. Visit frequently for the latest developments.
Our efforts to provide information would certainly benefit if you could provide relevant articles or information that we can disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. to other practitioners as they help their clients through this tragedy. This information should be sent to the Financial Planning Financial planning
Evaluating the investing and financing options available to a firm. Planning includes attempting to make optimal decisions, projecting the consequences of these decisions for the firm in the form of a financial plan, and then comparing future performance against Team at:
Webcast Covers Financial Planning, Insurance, Psychology and Technology
The AICPA/CPA2Biz joint response task force on Sept. 25 produced a Webcast to help CPAs cope and deal with the various issues stemming from disasters. Expert speakers cover information technology, financial planning, insurance services, and the psychological aspects of disasters, among other topics. The free Webcast lasts approximately 90 minutes; it also is available by individual subject matter. To view the Webcast, which has been archived on the site, visit:
v 1. freeing or making loose and able to move.
2. observing any ongoing movements in a client's body, whether small or large, assisted or not, that identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as the client's physical and a Team of Personal Financial Planners Financial Planner
A qualified investment professional who assists individuals and corporations meet their long-term financial objectives by analyzing the client's status and setting a program to achieve these goals.
Since CPAs' skills are much in demand for victims and their survivors and families, the joint task force wants to assemble a pool of personal financial planners willing to provide free advice to those directly affected by the tragic events of Sept. 11. Volunteers with demonstrated knowledge of financial planning matters will provide survivors and families of victims with free consultation services to start them on their road to recovery.
Volunteers are needed to help people with a number of issues, including:
* Whether they have enough money to make it through the next few weeks and months.
* How to apply for life insurance policies and benefits.
* Dealing with continuation of benefits.
* How to apply for federal and state benefits, including Social Security.
* Settling estates.
* Transferring retirement plans to beneficiaries.
* Investing lump sum Lump sum
A large one-time payment of money. payments.
* Planning for college.
* Investment issues.
To volunteer, visit www.cpa2biz.com/ recovery or call the AICPA at 877/CPA-4ALL (877/272-4255) between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. You may also send an e-mail message to email@example.com. If contacting us via email, be sure to include the following contact information: name, company name, complete address, phone, fax, e-mail, areas of expertise, and the region of the country that you are able to assist in. Your name will be added to the list of practitioners donating their expertise (so far, nearly 600 volunteers have signed on). As people or families in need call for assistance, they will be matched with a volunteering financial planning professional.
In addition to forming this network of volunteers, the Institute developed a financial planning information kit that was distributed through the various relief agencies. Several Personal Financial Specialist credential holders and Personal Financial Planning section members took time away from their own practices to help the AICPA plan and implement this initiative.
Ad in BusinessWeek on Financial Planning Network
To help spread the word about the profession's financial planning professionals who stand ready to assist victims and their families, BusinessWeek is providing the Institute with an opportunity for placement of a full-page ad about the network. The ad, shown on the next page, is expected to be featured in the magazine this month.
Special Assistance for Members in Lower Manhattan
Shortly after the Sept. 11 collapse of the twin towers (and other WTC buildings), the AICPA sent a letter to member firms located below Canal Street Canal Street may refer to:
tr.v. re·con·struct·ed, re·con·struct·ing, re·con·structs
1. To construct again; rebuild.
2. the professional libraries of affected firms.
For firms whose collection of professional literature was damaged or destroyed because of the attacks, the AICPA will replace one copy each of technical publications for one year. These include FASB FASB
See: Financial Accounting Standards Board
See Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Original Pronouncements, FASB Current Texts, AICPA Technical Practice Aids, Audit and Accounting Guides, and Professional Standards. Those in need of this assistance should call 888/777-7077 or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News on AICPA Conferences
In an effort to continue to move forward after the national tragedy, the AICPA and CPA2Biz plan to hold conferences as scheduled. Should a conference need to be rescheduled or cancelled, registrants will be notified as soon as possible. Visit www.cpa2biz.com/conferences for the latest conference information.
Also, CPA2Biz will donate a percentage of registration fees to the CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc. for all participants attending its conferences scheduled until Dec. 2001.
FASB Decides Against Extraordinary Treatment for Terrorist Attack Costs
The Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
Board composed of independent members who create and interpret Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). decided against use of an extraordinary item treatment for losses incurred in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This approach, agreed to on Sept. 28, differed from the tentative conclusions reached the week before.
In commenting on the consensus reached, EITF EITF Emerging Issues Task Force
EITF Edinburgh International Television Festival
EITF Europe International Taekwon-Do Federation Chairman Tim Lucas said, "Because of the far-reaching effects of the Sept. 11 events, coupled with a weakening economy that predated those events, it would be difficult to capture the resulting economic effects in companies' financial statements." He cited the airline industry as an example where the events impacted companies in multiple ways.
The EITF observed that the economic effects of Sept. 11 were so extensive and pervasive that it would be impossible to capture them in any one financial statement line item. It concluded that showing part of the effect as an "extraordinary item" would hinder hin·der 1
v. hin·dered, hin·der·ing, hin·ders
1. To be or get in the way of.
2. To obstruct or delay the progress of.
v.intr. , rather than help, effective communication.
SEC Provides Relief to Market Participants The term market participant is used in United States constitutional law to describe a U.S. State which is acting as a producer or supplier of a marketable good or service. When a state is acting in such a role, it may permissibly discriminate against non-residents.
In the Oct. issue of The CPA Letter, we told you about disaster relief provided by the Internal Revenue Service (tax filings and payments) and the Department of Labor (ERISA See Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
See Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). filings). The Securities and Exchange Commission has provided relief as well.
It issued three exemption letters. The first, to the Nasdaq Stock Market Nasdaq stock market
The first electronic stock market listing over 5000 companies. The Nasdaq stock market comprises two separate markets, namely the Nasdaq National Market, which trades large, active securities and the Nasdaq Smallcap Market that trades emerging growth companies. , changed a deadline under Exchange Act Rule 11Ac1-5, adopted last year. That rule requires market centers that trade national market system securities to report monthly on the quality of trade executions. The first reports for Nasdaq securities, originally due in Sept., now are due by Nov. 30, and will cover Oct. trades.
In addition, the SEC extended a deadline for reports from broker-dealers on order routing practices, through a letter to the Securities Industry Association. Under Exchange Act Rule 11Ac1-6, adopted last year, brokers who route orders on behalf of customers must make quarterly disclosures concerning the identity of the market centers to which they route a significant percentage of their orders. They also must provide information concerning the nature of their relationships with such market centers. The first reports, for the quarter July through Sept., will now be due in Nov.
Lastly, in a letter to the NASD NASD
See: National Association of Securities Dealers
See National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). Small Firm Advisory Board, the commission granted an exemption from the disclosure requirements of Rule 11Ac1-6 to small broker-dealers. Firms that have routed on average 500 or fewer customer orders per month during the preceding calendar year are exempt from quarterly reporting requirements.
State Societies, CPAs Nationwide Respond to Crisis
In addition to the efforts of the AICPA and CPA2Biz following the Sept. 11 attacks, many state CPA societies were taking steps to respond to the crisis. Some of the states, in fact, are not located near the disaster sites--demonstrating the unity of America's citizens.
Among the examples of state society activities:
* The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of State Society of CPAs set up an information table at a downtown Manhattan disaster relief center to answer questions about insurance, tax returns, pensions, and small business start-up and to help victims complete federal forms. The society also offered the same services through its toll-free hotline (800/NYSSCPA). "CPAs are anxious to share their expertise in these financial areas with those businesses and individuals in need now," said Franklin H. Federmann, head of the NYSSCPA NYSSCPA New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Special Disaster Task Force. "We could not sit by the sidelines Sidelines
Hypothetical position referring to noninvolvement in a stock; merely watching. ; the society decided to become actively involved in the disaster recovery effort." The NYSSCPA Cooperation with Community Business Committee also held a seminar for small business in Oct. featuring information on insurance and taxes for small businesses involved in the World Trade Center disaster.
For more information:
* The New Jersey Society of CPAs made resources available on its Web site and published a Disaster Recovery Guide that can help with basics, such as where to find various kinds of assistance and how to locate CPAs to turn to for help. Members and firms also volunteered pro bono Short for pro bono publico [Latin, For the public good]. The designation given to the free legal work done by an attorney for indigent clients and religious, charitable, and other nonprofit entities. services to those affected by the disaster. The society is launching a financial help center made up of volunteers with personal financial planning experience who will offer one-on-one assistance, including creating a financial plan for the next six months.
For more information:
* The Connecticut Society of CPAs published the resource information provided by the AICPA in its newsletter to members, and the Greater Washington Society of CPAs disseminated disseminated /dis·sem·i·nat·ed/ (-sem´i-nat?ed) scattered; distributed over a considerable area.
Spread over a large area of a body, a tissue, or an organ. the information on disaster relief efforts as well.
* In less than one month, members of the Michigan Association of CPAs collected donations totaling $10,175 for the CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc., which will help people (including CPAs and CPA firms) directly affected by the events of Sept. 11. "Our members are a caring and concerned group with a strong desire to help make a difference," MACPA MACPA Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants
MACPA Mid-America Crop Protection Association
MACPA Mid-Atlantic Community Papers Association President and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. Peggy Dzierzawski wrote in forwarding the sum to the Fund.
Profession Unites and Stands Proud
As the cleanup progresses and rebuilding begins, the needs of businesses and individuals may intensify in·ten·si·fy
v. in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing, in·ten·si·fies
1. To make intense or more intense: . Watch future issues of The CPA Letter for any additional developments and information on the profession's continued support.
CPAs should be proud of their colleagues' response to this crisis. Whether through donations to the Benevolent Fund or the CPAs in Support of America Fund, Inc., offers of pro bono financial planning services, or informational contributions to CPA2Biz's Disaster Recovery Center, the profession answered the call for help.
Where to Turn for Member Service
Address changes/membership information (Member Satisfaction Center)
Voice Mail Box comments, 888/999-9252