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Private Company GAAP gathers steam at AICPA Fall Council Meeting.

The 2005 AICPA Fall Council Meeting was abuzz with the news of the planned move of select AICPA operations from Jersey City and New York City to Durham, North Carolina. The move, which impacts approximately 400 job functions, will provide the AICPA with an annuity savings of $10-11 million per year over a 15 year period. The move was approved by the association's Governing Council.

News of the move overshadowed the new GAAP for private companies. At the meeting, held in Rancho Mirage, California, outgoing elected member Chairman Robert Bunting noted the support of the AICPA for Private Company Financial Reporting (PCFR) GAAP and recognized James G. Castellano, chairman of the PCFR task force with the 2005 AICPA Gold Medal for Distinguished Service. The award is considered the organization's highest honor. Award presenter Doyle Williams said Castellano's leadership of the AICPA during his chairmanship steered the organization through its most difficult time.

"In times of crisis, it's not always good to be seen crying in public," Castellano said in his acceptance remarks. "I love the profession, I am honored to be a CPA," he said. Castellano is chairman of RubinBrown LLP in St. Louis.

Immediate past chairman Scott Voynich reported on the work of the Center for Public Company Audit Firm Restructuring. The AICPA approved a framework authorizing the Board to work with the public accounting profession and others to implement a new approach to better address public policy interest for U.S. audit firms registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The new framework is not expected to be fully implemented and completed until spring 2006.

The new incoming chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors, Leslie Murphy said at a luncheon, "We share in a great profession, one that is trusted at the highest levels by business decision-makers, executives and investors. And it's a profession that must also recognize the needs of the people who participate in it, at all stages of their lives and professional and personal development."

Murphy referred to future shortages of CPAs as a central challenge facing the profession. "We need to stop the revolving door," she said. "Turnover is high. Across all our firms, one out of six CPA's left during 2004." Murphy also championed work/life balance, which an AICPA survey revealed was as important to CPAs as upward mobility. "We must appeal directly to the motivations that probably attracted them to accounting in the first place--the opportunity to make a difference."

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CPA2BIZ CEO Erik Asgeirsson commented on the five year-old technology provider's first time profitability, posting a net income of $150,000 on $14 million in sales for the year ending July 31, 2005. CPA2Biz also reported that it ended the year cash flow positive with a cash balance of $3.5 million.

"The big story is a clean balance sheet," he said. Asgeirsson also confirmed that CPA2Biz now has one third of CPA firms enrolled in the business solutions program, in which CPA2Biz ensures they are not disintermediating the CPA from their client. CPA2Biz is the exclusive marketing provider of the AICPA and provides marketing and technology services to the AICPA for its array of products and services, such as continuing education, conferences and literature.

AICPA CEO Barry Melancon commended a white paper by the Business and Industry Executive Committee outlining reasons that CFOs of companies should be CPAs, a recommendation made by this magazine in 2002.

Among the other issues brought by members at the two 20-minute Open Forum sections of the Council meeting was a concern regarding the cost of the CPA exam and substantial equivalency for CPAs operating across state lines. One member from North Carolina challenged anyone to pass the North Carolina ethics exams and voiced concern about different ethics exams in different states.

T. Allen Rose is editor/publisher of this publication. Contact him at cpa@cpamagazine.com.
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Author:Rose, T. Allen
Publication:The National Public Accountant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2006
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