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AICPA, profession offer strong response to Hurricane Katrina.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the AICPA led the protbssion in a sweeping initiative to help those affected by the storm, including CPAs themselves.

The foundation of the effort was the central, online Disaster Recovery Resources Center (www.aicpa.org/news/2005/disaster_recovery_resources.htm), which provides regularly updated information, useful links to other Web sites and a wide range of practical tools. It includes resources for members to use to assist their employers and clients, as well as practice management guidance for firms directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Firm resources. In addition, through the Private Companies Practice Section, the Institute mobilized CPA firms to identify and implement ways to assist individual CPAs and firms in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. PCPS, with the assistance of the AICPA audit quality centers and other membership sections, established a "firm volunteer center" to locate firms willing to volunteer resources for affected CPA finns, including office space and technology, or even hire, on a temporary basis, staff from affected firms. Ongoing updates on this initiative can be found at the PCPS Firm Practice Center at pcps.aicpa.org/Community/Hurricane+Katrina.htm.

Tax concerns. The AICPA partnered with the Internal Revenue Service to provide assistance to taxpayers at local disaster recovery centers established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The CPA volunteers joined IRS employees to staff disaster recovery centers servicing some of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, the Institute Tax Section released an updated version of its Disaster Area Practice Guide (tax.aicpa.org/Resources/Disaster+Area+Tax+Guide.htm) that contains guidance for victims of Hurricane Katrina and links to important Internal Revenue Service and other tax-related disaster recovery resources. More information on ongoing tax-related actions can be found at www.aicpa.org and wwcw.irs.gov.

Technical guidance. The AICPA issued a new Technical Practice Aid outlining auditors' responsibilities when a natural disaster affects an audit client's operations after the end of audit field work but before issuance of the financial statements and auditor's report (www.aicpa.org/download/members/div/auditstd/ TPA-SubsequentEvents.pdf).

Also released was a new Technical Practice Aid on accounting and disclosures for losses from natural disasters, TPA 5400.05--Accounting and Disclosures Guidance for Losses from Natural Disasters--Nongovernmental Entities, covering certain accounting issues and providing a road-map reference to relevant accounting literature that will assist preparers and practitioners (www.aicpa.org/members/div/acctstd/general/recenttpas.asp). Other TPAs may be released in response to issues identified by members via the Technical Hotline and staff research.

Money Doctor Program. The "Ask the Money Doctor" program (part of the AICPA's 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort) has been modified so CPAs, including those who hold the Personal Financial Specialist credential, can focus on answering questions asked by people affected by the hurricane. Visit www.360financialliteracy.org.

Other resources. CPAs and their clients and companies can make use of Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues, which was developed by the AICPA Personal Financial Planning Team to help individuals and families in the days, weeks and months following a disaster when they are most in need and often vulnerable to financial challenges. Go to www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/Fin Recovery/. The guide, produced by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the AICPA and the AICPA Foundation, is distributed by participating local chapters of the American Red Cross. A complementary guide, Disasters and Financial Planning: A Guide for Preparedness. is also available on the Red Cross site. As part of this effort, the AICPA developed the Disaster Recovery CPA Mobilization Kit (www.aicpa.org/financialliteracy/ Financial_Toolkits/Guide_to_Financial_Issues_Toolkit.asp) supto port state societies and CPAs in their volunteer outreach to those affected by disaster. The kit focuses on the pro-bono services CPAs can offer in moments of crisis and includes a press release template, byline article and PowerPoint presentation.

In addition, the Institute posted information online on reputable charitable organizations where members can send donations to help victims of the storm (www.aicpa.org/news/2005/katrina_relief.htm).
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Title Annotation:just in ...
Publication:CPA Letter
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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