NewsFlash Sept. 5, 2013

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Did you miss an issue of NewsFlash? View our archives here.

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Connect to Online Education with LearnLinx CPE
Right Time. Right Place. Right Price.

Your busy schedule can make earning 80 credits difficult. That’s why we’ve launched LearnLinx CPE, the FICPA’s library of online continuing education. Choose when and where to take your online courses, including OnDemand, webinars and webcasts – all at a discounted, members-only price.

Link to the online CPE sessions you need at the intersection of convenience and affordability!

We’ve made it easier for you to find courses with our website. Click the link below and visit our redesigned CPE webpages.

See Your LearnLinx CPE | Visit Our New CPE Webpages
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 (in Florida) | (850) 224-2727 |

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FCT is on its Way to Members

The September/October 2013 issue of Florida CPA Today (FCT), the FICPA’s award-winning magazine, is in the mail to members.

This issue highlights issues affecting CPAs’ elderly clients.  It includes a cover story about the signs of elder financial abuse, as well as articles on under-used veterans’ benefits; marketing to seniors and referral sources; and when elderly clients should begin collecting social security.

Also in this issue is an article from CNA, provider of the FICPA’s professional-liability insurance, about the risks of providing professional referrals.

Happy reading!

“Thumb” through the online version.

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Consider Serving on the Florida Board of Accountancy

The nine-member Florida Board of Accountancy will fill vacancies this year as three members’ terms end Oct. 31, 2013. Two positions are for Florida CPAs and one is for a layperson that has never been a CPA or a closely-related profession or occupation. If you’re interested in learning more about the Board and its responsibilities, contact your FICPA Governmental Affairs department.

More information about legislative issues: Rivers Buford, FICPA Director of Governmental Affairs | (800) 342-3197, Ext. 203 | (850) 224-2727, Ext. 203 |

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AICPA News Roundup

A collection of recent updates from the AICPA, including: That “Comfort Letter” Request May Really Be a Third-party Verification; AICPA Speaks Up to IRS, Treasury on 3.8 Percent Tax Applications; FinCEN Makes FBAR Changes, Provides New E-filing Form and Info; and Treasury and IRS Clarify Gift Card Guidance in Response to AICPA Suggestion.

That “Comfort Letter” Request May Really Be a Third-party Verification
Posted by Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA on Aug. 26, 2013 in Susan S. Coffey, CPA, CGMA, Tax, Trends & Hot Topics
I continue to get requests from members on how to handle the "comfort letter" issue, as well as feedback on guidance the AICPA has developed and suggestions for how we can better advocate for our members and their clients. For those of you who may have missed my previous blog post, CPAs often are asked to verify a variety of client information for regulators, banks, insurance providers, state taxing authorities and others.
Click here to read the entire article.

AICPA Speaks Up on 3.8 Percent Tax Applications
The 3.8 percent tax on investment income that will affect higher-income individuals and some estates has wrinkles the AICPA seeks to iron out, particularly as it applies to certain partnership payments and international tax entities. “The proposed regulations as currently drafted create a significant administrative burden for taxpayers and the IRS,” the AICPA stated in a letter about the impact on international tax entities. In separate comments to the IRS and Treasury, the AICPA recommended that payments to partners should be exempt under certain circumstances.

FinCEN Makes FBAR Changes, Provides New E-filing Form and Info
To facilitate e-filing FBARs, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released a new FBAR e-filing authorization form. Filers who submit FBARs jointly with their spouses or through third-party preparers are to use the new form, FinCEN Form 114a, Record of Authorization to Electronically File FBARs. The form should not be filed with the FBAR, but the filer and the account holder must maintain copies. FinCEN also announced changes to their originally issued BSA Electronic Filing Requirements for Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FinCEN Report 114), which details the requirements for e-filing FBARs. 

Treasury and IRS Clarify Gift Card Guidance
The AICPA’s comments to the IRS led to Rev. Proc. 2013-29, providing clarification to taxpayers who sell gift cards. Retailers and others who sell these cards can defer recognizing income from the sale of gift cards redeemable by an unrelated third party until the year after the payment is received. “Because the rule as it was originally drafted in Rev. Proc. 2011-18 appeared to apply only to gift cards that were redeemable by related parties,” the Journal of Accountancy reported, “this clarification was necessary to permit deferral in cases where the cards were redeemable by an unrelated entity.”  

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FICPA Sponsors Meet the Firms Week
Sept. 9-13, 2013

The FICPA is proud to sponsor National Meet the Firms Week – a free, virtual career fair that's designed to introduce accounting students and recent grads to Florida’s top accounting firms.

It’s a great way for firms to find talent, and for students to gain experience. Student-uploaded resumes automatically will be sent to the profile of every participating Florida firm, and also can be sent to firms throughout the nation!

Firms – register to build a profile, post a job and gain access to more than 6,000 talented students and recent graduates representing 850 schools nationwide. Students – click the link below to upload your resume and participate in our daily webinars, hosted by top leaders in the accounting industry.

Register for Meet the Firms Week | Learn More
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Image: 28th Annual Accounting Show

Don’t Miss the 28th Annual Accounting Show®
Sept. 25-27, 2013
Ft. Lauderdale

We’ve put together the top five reasons why you should attend the 28th Annual Accounting Show®.

  1. Earn up to 25 credit hours of cost-effective CPE in just three days, including ethics and two bonus, on-demand hours.
  2. Diversify and grow your expertise with a wide variety of tracks, including A&A; Tax; Industry; Technology; Fraud; Business Tax; Practice Management; Financial Planning; Not for Profit; Elder Planning; Yellow Book; and more.
  3. Gain valuable insight from national experts in accounting and business, including keynote speakers Karl Ahlrichs, SPHR and Rick Telberg.
  4. Address specific challenges and streamline office workflow with innovative solutions from more than 100 exhibitors in the Vendor Showcase.
  5. Invest in your staff members and give them the opportunity to return with the knowledge to take your business and clients to the next level.

Register, view the brochure and tell friends you’re rocking the show with the links below.

Register Now | View Brochure | Tweet about the Show | Share it on Facebook
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Class Act CPE!
University Conferences Feature High-quality Courses
Tampa, Ft. Myers, Tallahassee, and Gainesville

Join the FICPA for another year of high-quality CPE conferences at four of Florida’s premier universities. Enjoy charming campuses and maybe even a walk down memory lane as you meet your CPE requirements with top-notch instructors at these great locations. It’s a perfect time to network with other Florida CPAs, too!

University of South Florida Accounting Conference | Earn up to 16 hours of CPE!
Oct. 24-25, 2013 | Tampa Airport Marriott, Tampa | View Brochure

Florida Gulf Coast University Accounting and Tax Conference | Earn up to 16 hours of CPE!
Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2013 | Embassy Suites Hotel, Ft. Myers – Estero | View Brochure

Florida State University Fall Accounting Conference | Earn up to 8 hours of CPE!
Nov. 7, 2013 | FSU Center for Professional Development, Tallahassee | View Brochure

University of Florida Accounting Conference | Earn up to 16 hours of CPE!
Nov. 7-8, 2013 | Hilton University of Florida, Gainesville | View Brochure

Register today to take advantage of early-bird pricing!
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Tech Tip
How Well Do You Know Microsoft PowerPoint?

Take this test and find out now!


  1. How do you edit every slide in just one step?
  2. Can slides be adjusted to fit widescreen projectors and projection screens? If so, how?
  3. How do you set slides to advance automatically?
  4. How do you animate bars in an Excel chart to drop in one at a time?
  5. How do you add Presenter Notes to a slide?


  1. From the View tab, select Slide Master; then edit the master slide as desired. Your changes will be reflected on all subsequent slides, including new slides you add.
  2. Yes, From the View tab, select Slide Size, and select the Widescreen option.
  3. From the Transitions tab, uncheck the box labeled On Mouse Click, check the box labeled After, enter the amount of time between slides in the time spinner, and click the Apply To All option.
  4. Copy an Excel chart and paste it into PowerPoint. Apply an Animation to the chart, then select Effect Options, By Data Series (or By Series in 2013).
  5. From the View tab, select Notes Page to display the notes page below the slide.

How did you do? To learn more about technology, the FICPA invites you to attend a technology course, conference or webinar; or get involved in the Business Technology Section and Listserv. Why not sign up today?

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In Memoriam:
Jerry Richard Lohmann - 8/23/2013
C. Jack Sndyer - 8/14/2013
Donald J. Benson - 12/08/2012

Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash Sept. 19, 2013.

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