NewsFlash March 6, 2014

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Image: Photo by Mike Stone
Photo by Mike Stone

2014 Florida Legislative
Session Has Begun

On March 4, the regular session of the 2014 Florida Legislature began. During the Session – which runs for 60 calendar days – almost 2,000 bills will be filed for consideration. For many of the bills, about the same number of amendments will be filed. Your Governmental Affairs team is actively monitoring and engaged in issues of importance to the profession.

If you’re interested in updates specific to political activity and the Session, register to receive our IMPACT newsletter by emailing govaffairs@ficpa.org. Please include IMPACT in the subject line.

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


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Bring Out the Leader in You
Sign Up for an FICPA Committee
Apply by Friday, April 25, 2014

FICPA committees provide an excellent opportunity to network with your peers and play an influential role in shaping the future of your profession.

Committee membership is open to regular members; non-resident members; accounting-educator members; associate members; retired members; and lifetime members of the FICPA. Most committees plan and implement at least one project or program annually, and many offer the opportunity to participate in specific-interest subcommittees.

It’s now easier for committees to communicate and collaborate through FICPA Connect. Log in to the FICPA’s newest online community to participate in committee groups, chapter groups, forums and much more with the link below.

On July 1, 2014, responsibilities of the section steering committees and resource councils will transfer to committees. Click the link below to learn how you can apply.

Apply for a Committee | View the Committee Volunteer Guide | Visit FICPA Connect | Section Members: Find Your New Committee
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


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Your Copy of FCT is on the Way!

The March/April 2014 issue of Florida CPA Today (FCT), the FICPA’s award-winning magazine, is in the mail to members. This issue has information to help members prepare their firms for the future. Included is an article about office-workspace design and a cover story about generational management and “next practices.”

The issue also highlights the FICPA’s Young CPAs (YCPAs). Read about their February meetings with legislators at the Florida Capitol, and about Dena Harrison’s recent experience at the AICPA Leadership Academy. And don’t miss the information about this year’s Mega CPE Conference at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista/Orlando!

Thank you for your FICPA membership, and happy reading!

“Thumb” through the online version.


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What’s Hot on FICPA Connect

To provide members with a place to communicate and collaborate with fellow CPAs from throughout the state, the Institute has launched FICPA Connect. Your member login now grants you access to hot-topic discussion forums, group resources, personal blogs and more that help you get the answers you need.

Here are some of the most popular current threads on FICPA Connect. Join these and other discussions by logging in to connect.ficpa.org with your website member credentials*.

FinCEN Form 114, Report...(FBAR)
on 2/28/2014 at 4:20 p.m.

Client’s only foreign investment is a State of Israel Bond held through Computershare…[Read More]

Pension Plan Contribution Payment v. Filing an Extended Return
on 2/25/2014 at 6:31 p.m.

Does anyone have a definitive answer as to whether it is acceptable to prepare and file…[Read More]

IRS Trolling
on 2/20/2014 at 7:08 p.m.

Just food for thought. The IRS has numerous revenue agents “Auditors” that are CPAs…[Read More]

Visit FICPA Connect | Learn More
*Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


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FASB Endorses GAAP Alternative for Lease Arrangements
Journal of Accountancy

FASB has voted to endorse a GAAP alternative initiated by the Private Company Council (PCC). The alternative will exempt private-company lessees from a requirement to consolidate variable-interest entities (VIEs) in common-control leasing arrangements.

The exemption will be allowed only if:

  • The private company lessee and the lessor entity are under common control.
  • The private company has a leasing arrangement with the lessor entity.
  • Substantially all activity between the entities is related to the leasing activity between the lessor and the private company.
  • Any obligation of the lessor that is being guaranteed or collateralized by the private company could, at inception of the obligation, be sufficiently collateralized by the asset or assets leased to the private company.

FASB’s endorsement means the exemption will be written into GAAP. It is scheduled to be issued in late March. Private companies that elect the alternative will be required to apply it to all current and future lessor entities under common control that meet the criteria for applying the approach.

Click here to read full article.


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NASBA Calls for Proposals for Accounting Education Research Grants Program

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announces the 2014 Call for Proposals for its Accounting Education Research Grants Program.

Established in 2011, the goal of the program is to advance research on educational issues impacting CPAs, the public accounting profession and Boards of Accountancy’s charge to protect the public.
 
NASBA will fund and award a maximum of three grants totaling up to $25,000 for one-year research projects. Faculty and postdoctoral researchers at U.S. academic institutions are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration. 

Proposals must be submitted electronically. The submission deadline is April 7, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals in advance of the deadline. Grant recipients will be announced May 16, 2014.

For more information about the NASBA Accounting Education Research Grants Program (including a full program description, eligibility requirements, application deadlines and details on proposal submission), visit the Research Grants section of www.nasba.org, or click here to view a two-page informational slick.

Email questions about the submission process to grantproposal@nasba.org.


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CPAs in Industry Conference
March 20-21, 2014
Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale

Don’t miss your chance to get the CPE you need at the CPAs in Industry Conference. Join us in Tampa or Ft. Lauderdale March 20-21, 2014 and take your career to new heights with 17 hours of high-quality CPE. As a CPA, you know how important it is to stay on top of late-breaking developments. Learn top tips from some of the most influential people in accountancy.

This conference is the perfect mix of CPE and networking to support your varied needs. No matter what your specialty is, we have the sessions you need to meet your requirements.

Take a look at these great sessions:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions – Don’t Lose Sight of Why You Bought Them (1 TB)
  • Revenue Recognition (1 AA)
  • Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (1 AA)
  • Hot Topics in Sales and Use Tax (1 TB)

Register before March 10 and save even more with our Early Bird Pricing. Don’t miss your chance. Seats are going fast!

Register Now Tampa | Register Now Ft. Lauderdale | View Brochure | More Information
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


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Health Care Industry Conference
April 24-25, 2014
Orlando

Federal agencies release new guidance for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) practically every week.

The 2014 FICPA Health Care Industry Conference prepares you for the changing market with sessions covering the employer perspective on health care reform, the changing role of the CFO and more. The chance to earn up to 18 hours of CPE makes it one of our biggest specialized conferences.

Add to your benefit by attending our four-hour ethics course and the two-hour, pre-conference workshop, “Medicare Cost Reporting Reimbursement Strategy,” on Wednesday, April 23.

Attendees Save on Walt Disney World® Resort Tickets

As an attendee for this conference, you have the special opportunity to purchase tickets to Magic Kingdom® Theme Park, Epcot® Theme Park, Disney's Hollywood Studios® Theme Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park at last year's lower prices!

Hurry – these special prices will expire March 21, 2014. To purchase your tickets, register for the Health Care Industry Conference and then call (407) 566-5600.

Register for Conference with Optional Workshop | Register for Ethics Course | View Agenda | Learn More
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


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Tech Tip
How well do you know Microsoft Windows?

Take this test and find out now.

  1. Which versions of Windows include a tool for encrypting your files, folders or hard drive?
  2. To make your screen more readable, should you select a high or low display resolution?
  3. True or false? To network two Windows computers, simply connect them and they’ll automatically see one another.
  4. Does Windows (versions 8, 7 and Vista) automatically index all your data files?
  5. What’s the keyboard shortcut for viewing and navigating to all open windows?

Answers

  1. The professional versions of Windows (versions 8, 7, Vista and XP) include the Encrypting File System (EFS).
  2. The high resolution sounds right, but it actually makes your fonts and screen images smaller. Unless you’re a photographer or graphics designer, try the lowest resolution.
  3. For security reasons, Windows computers no longer automatically connect. You must select Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, and set up the network from there.
  4. No, they only index the files in your My Documents folder by default. You must select Control Panel, Indexing Options, Modify to index data files in other locations.
  5. Press the ALT + Tab key combination.

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 FICPA Connect. Why not sign up today?


Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash March 20, 2014.

Comments or Suggestions?

We are interested in your comments or suggestions. Please email communications@ficpa.org.

LAST UPDATED 3/6/2014