Author Guidelines

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Florida CPA Today Article Submission Guidelines for FICPA Committee/Section-Generated Articles

Florida CPA Today is the official publication of the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) and is distributed bi-monthly to more than 18,000 members. It contains the latest technical and newsworthy articles relevant to Florida CPAs and addresses important issues that impact the profession. The FICPA also publishes technical articles on its website, http://www.ficpa.org.

Editorial Review Process

The FICPA Editorial Committee, along with input from other committees and sections, determines potential topics. Each committee has an opportunity during Committee Days to sign up to write articles for publication in the magazine and/or on the FICPA website. During this time, technical reviewers also will be assigned for each article.

Article Approval Process

About two months before your deadline, you will receive a reminder email from the magazine editor that contains contact information for your editorial and technical reviewers. Before writing your article, you should contact your editorial reviewer, who is a member of the Editorial Committee, to discuss and/or clarify your article's direction.

After completing the article, submit it by email to Florida CPA Today Editor Suellen Wilkins at wilkinss@ficpa.org. Please refer to your reminder email for the deadline for your article. Your article then will be sent to your committee’s technical reviewer to ensure its technical accuracy. It will also be sent to your editorial reviewer to ensure its readability and compliance to FICPA Author Guidelines.

Minor edits/changes suggested by the technical or editorial reviewer will be made by magazine staff. Changes made to an article may include editorial/grammar corrections or technical clarifications. If significant technical and/or editorial changes are required, the article will be returned to the author(s) for final revision. You may consult with your assigned technical reviewer at any time during the editorial process. If you make changes to an article directly, please resubmit it by email. After the article is published, it is the author’s responsibility to answer any questions that may arise thereafter.

The Editorial Committee reserves the right to return an article to the author for revision or reject any article that does not comply with the aforementioned criteria.

Guidelines

NOTE: Authors are encouraged to talk with their Editorial Committee contact prior to writing to discuss their topic and development of the article and to address any questions and/or concerns. An editorial reviewer is assigned for each article following Committee Days. You may obtain the contact information for your Editorial Reviewer from the staff editor.

Length and format of articles

Magazine articles should be a minimum of 600 words and a maximum of 1,200 words including endnotes. (While endnotes help shorten text material and enable credit to be given to other sources, they can consume too much valuable magazine space and become excessive. Therefore, you may use no more than 10 endnotes in an article, not to exceed 20 words per reference. (Please, try to make as many in-text references as possible.)

There is no length-limit for Web Digest articles.

Style Considerations

All articles must be objective and written in third person. We favor short, concise sentences and paragraphs. When a sentence exceeds 20 words, it should be re-examined. Short paragraphs and subheadings help to break up material and enhance readability. Also, common or general headings followed by specific “bullets” make for brevity. Please, strive for succinct, straightforward communications.

Do not endorse or recommend any products or services in your article. Endorsements could raise tax problems and subject the FICPA to liability claims if the products or services are not effective or result in injury.

Headlines and Charts

Headlines — If you believe a certain headline will draw attention to your article, type it at the beginning of your manuscript. We favor two to three “kickers” followed by main headlines. For example: “Source Taxation: The New Nemesis of Retirement.” Avoid question headlines. Remember, keep it short and creative.

Charts — Because of space availability, you may submit no more than two charts not to exceed one-third of a page each. Charts that are two columns wide work best and appear the cleanest in layout.

(NOTE: There is no guarantee that a chart or charts will be used with your story. Charts should be submitted as an enhancement to an article, and not as a vital part of it.)

Biographical Sketch of Author

To receive individual recognition in conjunction with the publication of your article, please submit your biographical information. In your bio, state your name, professional designation [such as CPA or doctoral degree(s)], position, employer, city and any professional affiliations. Your experience that relates to the topic is important; it establishes your credibility as an author. You also may want to list committee or chapter service that relates to your article.

Writing Tips
  • Use active rather than passive voice. Example: “The Board concluded…," not "The conclusion of the Board was…"

  • Pay attention to the “Five Ws”: who, what, when, where, why. In accounting, “how much” is sometimes equally important.

  • To help an article flow, use transitional words. Examples include: still; on the other hand; finally; unfortunately; first; next; remember; however; in summary. Use these or others you can think of to keep your article moving.

  • Edit and revise your copy, then edit and revise it again. Is any information duplicated? Can anything be said in fewer words or in a direct way? Is everything consistent?

  • Acronyms help shorten material. For example, after an initial reference to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, follow with FASB in parentheses and refer to the acronym thereafter.

  • Have a friend or someone else in your firm read your article. You know a lot about your topic or you wouldn’t have been asked to write about it for the FICPA. However, things that are obvious to you, or even some background fact that you take for granted, might not be clear to our general readership. If the person you asked to read your article has questions, chances are so will the editorial reviewer and the general readers of the magazine.

If you have questions, contact Suellen Wilkins, Florida CPA Today editor, at (800) 342-3197 (in Florida); or (850) 224-2727, Ext. 383; or wilkinss@ficpa.org.