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Special feature: making your AICPA membership work for you.

Maximize the value of your AICPA membership. Whether gaining knowledge, improving skills, streamlining staff activities or saving money through discounts, it's important to know all the ways your membership can work for you. The AICPA provides a host of resources, information and tools to help CPAs succeed and expand their professional horizons. Taken together, these benefits make it possible for your AICPA membership to truly pay for itself. Refer to this useful summarized directory throughout the year.

Professional Information For Improved Performance

* AICPA Online ( offers immediate access to news and special features about the latest developments affecting the accounting profession. Obtain valuable information on standards and other professional and technical matters and news releases, as well as access online newsletters and magazines. Learn about important new AICPA initiatives and the latest hot issues for the CPA profession from the site to stay informed and competitive.

* To conduct high-quality effective audits, get timely, comprehensive technical and educational information from our three audit quality centers: the Center for Public Company Audit Firms (, the Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center ( and the Governmental Audit Quality Center (www.aicpa.gaqc). Each one accomplishes its objectives through representation and by providing member firms with resources and guidance.

* Members practicing in specific niche areas can get important news updates and valuable resources from several online community Web sites designed to help CPAs remain knowledgeable and improve performance. They are the Accounting Education Center (; the Business Valuation and Forensic & Litigation Services Center (; the Financial Management Center (; the Information Technology Center (; the PCPS Firm Practice Center (; the Personal Financial Planning Center (; and the Tax Center (

* The Journal of Accountancy, the leading professional publication read by CPAs, business executives, government officials and educators, provides news, explanatory articles and official releases. Members can gain important professional and technical information from the recently redesigned JofA, which now includes interviews with high-level Washington leaders and columns from well-known business writers. It is sent free to members and can also be found online at

* The Small Firm Corner, a regular column written by AICPA Vice President--Small Firm Interests, Jim Metzler, provides you with insights into emerging issues affecting practitioners and practical advice on tackling tough practice problems. Each column highlights free AICPA resources specially designed for small practitioners to improve their skills and services, and increase staff productivity. It can be found in the "Spotlight Area" of AICPA Online ( or at the PCPS Firm Practice Center (

* Members can efficiently get answers to tough technical questions from the Technical Information Hotline. Save time on research and money on outside services when you need non-authoritative responses to queries about accounting, financial reporting, auditing, attestation and accounting and review services. The hotline encourages members to submit questions in writing electronically ( as an alternative to calling the toll-free number. Access this free service by calling 888/777-7077 or faxing 212/596-6233. To accommodate members' schedules, the toll-free number is staffed till 6:00 p.m., ET, throughout the year. During busy season (Jan. 15 through Apr. 15), hotline staff answers e-mail until 7:00 p.m., ET.

* Members who face ethics issues in their practices and members who are not in public practice should turn to the Professional Ethics Division's Ethics Hotline, which offers valuable information and can act as an ethics sounding board. In addition, members who notice, suspect or are aware of significant deficiencies in the work of another member should contact the hotline for guidance. The hotline's e-mail address is and its toll-free number is 888/777-7077, prompt 5, followed by prompt 2.

* Hone your abilities to identify, deter and combat fraud through the AICPA Antifraud & Corporate Responsibility Resource Center. Its tools, technical information and guidance can assist you, whether your role is as an auditor or in business or the academic community. This center offers resources that can help educate the profession, investors and others about fraud, promote ethics and integrity in the workplace and establish clarity in reporting procedures. It is available at

* Manage your own professional advancement with the AICPA Competency Serf-Assessment Tool. Use it to recognize what new skills you need and to ensure your core competencies remain relevant in the current marketplace. CAT's personalized gap analysis--which is free to members--enables CPAs to confirm their strengths to determine their current value; identify learning opportunities; determine where growth is needed; and gain insights and strategies to plan a new career or make a career move. Once members assess their proficiencies, they can compare them against the highest and most valued in a specific area. The competency models available are business valuation, forensics and litigation services; taxation; fraud prevention, detection and investigation; audit; business and industry/new finance; government; employee benefit plan audit; personal financial planning; and ElderCare/PrimePlus. To learn more, go to

* The 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy CPA Resource Center enables CPAs to promote their expertise while providing an important public service. It provides CPAs access to information and tools for educating consumers on key financial issues. Award-winning resources include: a free online two-hour CPE course on financial literacy issues to ensure CPAs are prepared to be successful volunteers; a user guide that features sample invitations, flyers and timeline for planning a financial literacy event; 11 mobilization kits that focus on a particular life event and include a PowerPoint presentation with speaker's notes and handouts; and a link to the volunteer data base where CPAs can register to volunteer at the state or national level. The site can be found at

* If you work with audit committees or serve on them, you can benefit from several AICPA resources. The Audit Committee Matching System provides members with opportunities to serve on boards of directors and, as a public service, matches qualified, credentialed candidates with boards and their audit committees. Three Audit Committee Toolkits--corporate, not-for-profit and government--contain a broad sampling of checklists, questions, reports and guidelines developed to help audit committees achieve best practices in managing their role. These and other resources can be found at

* To access a comprehensive collection of literature related to all aspects of the CPA profession, contact the AICPA library service, located at the University of Mississippi. The University of Mississippi Library staff provides valuable reference and research assistance to AICPA members. Call 866/806-2133 or e-mail You can also search the library catalog on the Web at

Marketing Tools To Help Grow Your Practice

For members who want to keep clients up-to-date on important business news and expand their firms' marketing opportunities, the AICPA offers two client service newsletters: the monthly CPA Client Bulletin contains articles on tax and financial planning ideas for individuals and businesses, as well as stories on general business matters; the quarterly CPA Client Tax Letter focuses solely on tax issues for individuals and businesses, including articles on general tax planning, legislation and cases and rulings. The monthly and quarterly issues of each publication are accompanied by a Resource and Citation Guide for you, the CPA, to facilitate further research into the topics in the newsletter and provide guidance on how you can follow-up with clients and engagement applications. Your name/firm's logo can be imprinted on all copies. For more information, call 888/777-7077.

The CPA Marketing Toolkit is available free to all members at With the toolkit, small firms and sole practitioners have a comprehensive marketing resource that includes tools to help promote a firm's practice and services and increase its visibility. The toolkit also features the CPA logo and tagline in various formats, as well as usage guidelines. Recent additions include a brochure and speech that can be used to highlight members' tax expertise.

To promote the visibility of their credential, members can employ "CPA" logo merchandise in a variety of uses. Members can display the "CPA" logo on their business cards, letterhead, promotional literature, signage and even on lapel pins. Items in the CPA Accessories Collection include shirts, golf balls, caps, travel bags and watches. CPAs can use this merchandise themselves or as business gifts and give-away merchandise. Visit

Special Assistance For Members In Need

The AICPA Benevolent Fund helps members and their families when they face financial difficulty caused by serious illness, accident, death or other major misfortunes. If you have fallen through your personal safety net or government assistance is either very limited or unavailable, the Fund is here for you. Call 201/938-3490 for assistance or to make a contribution.

Save Hundreds Of Dollars Through Group Buying Power

Through the Elite Values Program, AICPA members receive exclusive offers and substantial discounts from leading manufacturers and service providers--all made possible by the AICPA's considerable group buying power. For updates on the latest offerings and discounts, visit

AICPA Checks and Forms

Members can save up to 35% on their business checks and forms. The AICPA has partnered with Harland, one of the industry's largest and well-respected check printers, to bring members a full array of computer and manual checks and forms, including a selection of personal checks and tax forms. Call 800/873-9313 or visit and click on AICPA Checks and Forms for more details.

AICPA Visa Card (consumer and business credit cards)

Chase is the exclusive authorized issuer of the AICPA Platinum Visa credit card, which offers excellent savings opportunities with a low introductory rate for purchases and balance transfers. Call 866/CPA-VISA (866/272-8472) or go to and click on AICPA Visa Card to learn more or to apply for the card. Chase's AICPA business credit card features a Free Flexible Rewards Program, low introductory rate and online tracking of card activity, among other benefits. Call 888/729-1406.

BizFilings (incorporations)

AICPA members receive 10% off BizFilings' incorporation services for themselves or their clients. Items that may be involved include registered agent service; corporate or LLC kit and seal; tax ID number obtainment; S corporation election filing with the IRS; important post-formation forms on CD; instructional compliance DVD; and certified copy of formation document. Visit BizFilings at or call 800/981-7183.

Chase Paymentech Solutions (credit/debit card processing)

Save money on every credit card transaction and receive fast, efficient and cost-effective processing of both credit and debit cards. AICPA members enjoy MasterCard/Visa discount rates as low as 1.8%, no application, enrollment or conversion fees, free supplies and 24-hour, seven-day-a-week technical support. With the introduction of Orbital Virtual Terminal, members can now process card payments with just a PC, an Internet connection and a Web browser. For more information or a no-obligation, free competitive analysis, call 800/824-4313.

Dell (computer systems and services)

AICPA members receive discounts on all Dell product lines. Save 3% on Dell[TM] Dimension[TM] desktops and Dell[TM] Inspiron[TM] notebooks. Save 6% on Dell OptiPlex[TM] desktops, Dell Latitude[TM] notebooks, Dell PowerEdge[TM] servers, Dell Precision[TM] workstations and DellWare[TM] software, accessories and peripherals. To shop technology solutions for your firm, visit the and click on Dell. To purchase, call 877/945-8364.

DHL (express shipping)

AICPA members receive up to 25% off the competition's published rates and receive at least 10% off DHL Standard Rates. Call 800/MEMBERS (800/636-2377) for more information and for your free DHL Starter Kit. Or enroll online at and click on DHL.

Fidelity (custody and clearing services)

CPAs launching an investment advisory practice can access a broad range of brokerage and investment products and services, leading-edge technology and comprehensive practice management support. Fidelity's open-architecture philosophy allows AICPA members to select only those resources that meet their firms' distinct needs. Benefits include low minimum asset requirements and discounts on marketing materials through PracticeMark, Fidelity's online marketing program. Visit and click on Fidelity.

Genesys Conferencing (audio and Web conferencing)

Genesys Conferencing's reservationless meeting centers provide on-demand 24/7 conferencing opportunities with toll-free and international access numbers. It can be used for presentations, marketing seminars, training programs, departmental meetings, document collaboration and more. For more information, contact Paula Wharton at or 800/399-3942.

Hertz (car rentals)

Hertz #1 Club Gold Membership (a $50 value) is free for AICPA members. Special service is available at over 600 locations worldwide. To join or for more details, visit and click on Hertz. To receive a discount of up to 20%, always mention the discount program number CDP #12353 when calling your travel agent or Hertz at 800/654-2200 to make a reservation.


AICPA members receive 5% to 20% on a wide range of select Lenovo PCs and related PC products, including ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops. There is a 20% discount on select X and T series ThinkPad notebooks and M and S series ThinkCentre desktops (excluding ThinkExpress notebook and desktop models) and a 5% discount on select specially priced ThinkExpress desktop and notebook models. Additional promotional specials are available each month. To order, go to, or call 888/426-7235, option 1, ext. 3373.

RIA (tax accounting/research)

RIA, the leading authority on tax and accounting research, offers 10% discounts on new purchases and 5% on renewal purchases of its renowned RIA and WG&L tax and accounting information products. RIA can provide information to suit your particular needs, delivered in print, CD-ROM or on the only integrated online tax and accounting information system, CHECKPOINT. Call 800/950-1216.

Robert Half (financial staffing/placement)

Receive exclusive savings on specialized staffing services, including $25 savings on each 40 hours reached on a new Accountemps assignment (up to a maximum of $100 for 160 hours or more), 10% savings on each new Robert Half full-time placement fee, and $50 savings on each 40 hours reached on a new RH Management Resources engagement (up to a maximum of $200 for 160 hours or more). Discounts cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts. Call 888/744-4089 and have your AICPA membership number ready.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (lodging)

AICPA members are eligible to enroll in the Corporate Preferred Level of Starwood Preferred Guest Program (SPG) and can enjoy room upgrades, late checkout, bonus Starpoints and can accrue points for free hotel stays. To enroll, call 888/625-5144 and identify yourself as an AICPA member. When making reservations, always provide your SPG account number to ensure that you receive your points to take advantage of these benefits. In addition, the AICPA Corporate Account number (69569) offers best rates on the day you book your hotel stay, automatically booking your reservation at the lowest cost. Visit and click on Starwood Hotels for more details.

Wells Fargo (mortgages, home equity loans)

Members can take advantage of the many convenient features and benefits of the AICPA-sponsored Home Mortgage Program provided by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. Receive a complimentary "Getaway" vacation package after closing on a new home purchase or refinance loan through this program. To learn more, go to and click on Wells Fargo or call 800/272-1210.

Xerox (copiers, faxes, printers)

AICPA members save up to 20% on most Xerox products (excluding service contracts, supplies and personal line copiers). For more information on Xerox products and services or the AICPA/Xerox Partnership, visit and click on Xerox or call 800/ASK-XEROX (800/275-9376), extension "CPA," or contact your local Xerox sales representative or authorized sales agent. Be sure to reference contact #0706109 to receive special AICPA pricing.

Insurance Programs That Protect You And Your Family

AICPA members receive attractive rates on a wide variety of programs, enjoying discounts on coverage and special arrangements that would not be available elsewhere for CPAs, their firms and their family members. More information is also available on the AICPA Insurance Program Web site at

Term-Life Insurance

Up to $2 million in group term life coverage with an equal amount of accidental death and dismemberment benefits for individual members. Call 800/223-7473.

Spouse Life Insurance

Up to $2 million in term life coverage combined with an equal amount of accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Ca, 800/223-7473.

Group Variable Universal Life

Up to $2 million of coverage with fixed and equity investments of which earnings are tax deferred. Call 800/223-7473.

Long-Term Disability Income Plan

Provides monthly benefits from $1,000 to $10,000, including a "your occupation" definition of disability with up to a lifetime benefit period. Call 800/223-7473.

Group Life for Firms

Offers members and their firm personnel the opportunity to secure up to $500,000 of life insurance with an equal amount of accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Call 800/223-7473.

Long-Term Care Insurance Program

Up to $300 per day is available to eligible members, spouses, parents and parents-in-law and other family members. Call 800/223-7473.

Personal Liability Umbrella Security

Provides up to $5 million in coverage for injury and property damage claims that exceed primary automobile, homeowners or renters coverage. Call 800/223-7473.

Medicare Supplement

Provides coverage to members, spouses and eligible parents 65 years and older without regard to past or present health conditions at rates that are not available to the general public. Call 800/957-3195.

Catastrophe Major Medical

Provides coverage for medical costs that exceed the limits of Basic Health Insurance Plans, with a lifetime maximum of up to $2 million. Call 888/294-0028.

Auto Insurance

Competitive auto insurance rates available for AICPA members from GMAC Insurance. Call 877/999-3626.

Homeowners Insurance

Comprehensive homeowners coverage for AICPA members through Homesite Insurance. Call 866/366-4607.

Commercial Property and Liability

Offers firms and sole practitioners a choice of carriers and coverage including business owner's insurance, workers compensation, commercial auto coverage, commercial liability umbrella, international coverages for international businesses, plus kidnap, ransom and extortion coverage. Call 866/283-7127.

Professional Liability Insurance

Protection of $100,000 to $20 million for members in public practice against liability claims related to professional services. Call 800/221-3023.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

CPA EmployerGard provides comprehensive protection against employment-related claims, such as wrongful termination, age, race, or gender discrimination and other workplace-related lawsuits. Call 800/221-3023.

Retirement Plans For Building Your Nest Egg

Nationwide Financial provides a variety of fund choices and special low administrative and recordkeeping rates for AICPA member firm plans that qualify under IRC Section 401. Call 888/401-5272. IRA-based plans available from T. Rowe Price at 800/382-4272.

AICPA Member Service Center 888/77-7077(9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., ET) 800/362-5066

As a result of an investigation of alleged violations of the Codes of Professional Conduct of the AICPA and/or state CPA societies, the following ethics case has been resolved by settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program:

* David A. DeZutter of Denver, admonished by the AICPA and the Colorado Society of CPAs, effective Apr. 5, 2006.

In lieu of investigations of alleged violations of the Codes of Professional Conduct of the AICPA and/or state CPA societies, the following ethics cases have been resolved by settlement agreement under the Joint Ethics Enforcement Program:

* Blair L. Dance of Irving, Texas, suspended from membership in the AICPA and the Texas Society of CPAs for two years, effective Apr. 6, 2006.

* Kris D. Hinckley of Arlington, Texas, suspended from membership in the AICPA and the Texas Society of CPAs for two years, effective Apr. 6, 2006.

Under the automatic disciplinary provisions of the Institute's bylaws, the following members have had their AICPA memberships:

--Terminated because of final judgments of conviction for crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than one year:

* Michael D. Axtell of Jonesboro, Ark., effective Mar. 22, 2006.

* Davin W. Brown of Raleigh, N.C., effective Mar. 22, 2006.

* Irving P. David of Staten Island, N.Y., effective Mar. 31, 2006.

* Gerard A. Lisa of Hoboken, N.J., effective Mar. 31, 2006.

--Terminated following revocation of his license by the California Board of Accountancy:

* Glen Morinaka of Monterey Park, Calif., effective Mar. 31, 2006.

Details on these disciplinary actions can be accessed through:
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Title Annotation:disciplinary actions
Publication:CPA Letter
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Previous Article:CITP credential blends accounting, technology to help grow your practice.
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