NewsFlash May 29, 2014

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CPA Insurance Marketplace
Special Enrollment
Period Now Required

Now that the 2014 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) has ended, members must experience a qualifying life event to enroll in a qualified health insurance plan through the exchange. Here are some guidelines for how the Special Enrollment Period works.

Members must experience a qualifying life event in order to open a Special Enrollment Period. What is a qualifying life event?

  • Birth or Adoption*
  • Marriage or divorce*
  • Move to a new coverage area
  • Involuntary loss of coverage*
  • Loss of Subsidy eligibility
  • Loss of Medicaid/CHIP eligibility
  • Current plan closes*
  • Gaining citizenship
  • Leaving incarceration

Effective Date Rules

  • Enroll between the 1st and 15th of the month: Effective 1st day of following month
  • Enroll between the 16th and 31st of the month: Effective 1st day of the second following month

If none of these qualifying life events have occurred, there are still are options members may want to consider, such as a Short Term Health Plan. The next open enrollment is scheduled to start Nov. 15, 2014 and stays open until Feb. 15, 2015. Visit or call Member Benefits at (800) 282-8626 for more information about qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period or Short Term Health plans.

*Effective date is based on the date of event

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Consider Serving on a State Board

Have you ever thought about serving on a state board?

The Florida Board of Accountancy is made up of nine members whom the governor appoints, and seven of them are Florida CPAs. The FICPA always is interested in providing the governor’s office with input about candidates, including CPAs and public members, for appointment to the Board. We also like to have a few candidates available in case of unforeseen opportunities.

The governor, the House speaker and the Senate president all make appointments to various state boards that relate to areas of critical importance. Who better to serve on a state board than a CPA?

Some boards also have specific guidance that board members not work in the profession they will be overseeing. This ensures the public’s perspective on governance is provided.

You may have a family member, business associate or friend who would be a great resource to Florida. Suggest they volunteer also.

To learn more about these opportunities, contact your Governmental Affairs Department.

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

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Don’t Miss Your Last Chance!
Join Young CPAs at Accel

Don't miss your chance to join your colleagues for lessons on leadership – register for Accel 2014, our specialized CPE event for Young CPAs!

Interactive dialogue with Accel's Leadership Forum Coach, Dan Griffiths, CPA, CGMA and other participants will address thought bridging; strengths in teams; strategic thinking; giving and receiving feedback; and development planning. Accel will empower the next generation of CPAs to become leaders in their organizations, communities and the CPA profession.

Accel is one of the four Pro-X events taking place during the Mega CPE Conference and is open to CPAs who are 35 and younger. Click the links below to learn more and register.

Register for Accel through Mega CPE Conference | View Agenda and Learn More | Explore Everything at Mega CPE Conference

Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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The Women’s Leadership Summit
Back in Black at the Mega CPE Conference

This year's Women's Leadership Summit will be held at Mega CPE Conference on June 13 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando. The summit will provide Florida business women in all industries with opportunities to network and advance their leadership skills.

Women to Watch Awards
The Women to Watch Awards honor women who exemplify accounting leadership excellence. The FICPA 2013-2014 Chair of the Board, Kenneth Strauss, will present them during the Women's Leadership Summit.

Dress for Success Apparel Drive
Bring professional apparel to donate to Dress for Success Greater Orlando. Just drop off your items at check-in for the Women's Leadership Summit. Not sure what to bring? Click here for donation tips.

Don't miss the great topics and speakers on our agenda. Register today!

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DOR Posts TIP on Hurricane Preparedness Sales-tax Holiday

DOR has created a Tax Information Publication (TIP) and compiled a List of Qualifying Items for the hurricane preparedness sales-tax holiday May 31-June 8. The information is available in the Current Topics box on DOR’s website.

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AICPA Voices Concern About IRS Program

In a recent letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the AICPA expressed its opposition to a voluntary tax return preparer regulation program that the IRS is planning. The IRS was blocked from implementing a mandatory regulation program by court decisions in Loving v. IRS.

The AICPA has “deep concerns with regard to a voluntary system, and the speed with which the IRS is moving to implement such a system,” AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA and Jeffrey A. Porter, CPA, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, wrote. “We believe a voluntary program would create confusion regarding the relative proficiencies of the various types of preparers. In addition, the proposed voluntary system would undoubtedly leave the impression among most taxpayers that certain tax return preparers are endorsed by the IRS.”

Read the full article here.

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New CPE Subscription Options

The FICPA has partnered with SmartPros to provide online, annual self-study subscriptions with unlimited access to streaming-based video CPE at unbeatable prices. FICPA members can save money and time by choosing from three customized CPE subscription packages. The courses are self-paced, and credit will be earned upon passing.

Take advantage of subscription packages that will keep you up-to-date on ever-evolving rules, regulations and trends affecting CPAs in business and industry, public accounting, government and not-for-profit accounting.

Members can choose from three custom packages:

  • FICPA/SmartPros Industry Package - For Business and Industry Financial Professionals
  • FICPA/SmartPros Public Practice Package - For CPAs in Public Practice
  • FICPA/SmartPros Government/Not-For-Profit Package - For CPAs Working in Governmental and Not-For-Profit Accounting

To subscribe, include your package choice and payment on your membership renewal or visit

Register Today | More Information
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Of Course!
Your CPE Source

To help you quickly and easily find courses that best fit your needs, the FICPA has introduced the Of Course! CPE Catalog, including the “Radius CPE” and “LearnLinx CPE” features.

Radius CPE
Go Forth and Learn.

All the FICPA’s in-person CPE events, including full-length conferences and seminars, are featured in one convenient place. “Radius” CPE is based on your location – find in-person CPE that’s closest to you or search the entire state for specialized events.

LearnLinx CPE
Right Time. Right Place. Right Price.

“LearnLinx” CPE delivers a list of our online webinars, webcasts, OnDemand courses and self-study training based on the profession’s hot topics and education requests from our members. It’s as simple as clicking to your course!

Look for these features coming soon in the Of Course! CPE Catalog, published in every issue of Florida CPA Today magazine and as a standalone catalog mailed semiannually.

You’ll also receive Radius CPE and LearnLinx CPE as comprehensive emails twice monthly, and you can search the complete catalog anytime on the FICPA website.

Of Course! CPE Catalog | Radius CPE | LearnLinx CPE
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Introducing Summer SAVEinars
Now until June 30, 2014

To help you rack up required CPE before the end of June, we’re introducing our “Summer SAVEinars” sale!

Here’s how it works: buy June in-person seminars between now and June 30 and you’ll save 20 percent off the normal price.

It’s that easy! Click the link below to shop the FICPA seminars you can take under the Summer SAVEinars program.

Shop Our June In-Person Seminars
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Registration is Open!
29th Annual Accounting Show (23 CPE)

Sept. 17-19, 2014
Ft. Lauderdale

We’re engineering the 29th Annual Accounting Show to meet your requirements and topic needs. Our CPE scientists are fusing today’s sought-after sessions with the practical topics that drive your business and career – all from nationally-recognized instructors, the Show’s signature element. Registration is now open!

You can earn up to 23 hours of CPE, including the “15 Essential Areas to Address in Your Succession Plan” keynote address from Bill Reeb, the “On Being a Consultant” keynote address from Ed Kless and the “Profession Update” keynote address from Tommye Barie. Fill in your schedule with session tracks covering A&A, Tax, Business Tax, Industry Tax, International Tax, Fraud, Practice Management, Elder Planning Issues, Financial Planning, Not for Profit, Technology and Yellow Book.

Make the business bonds that help you advance with a tradeshow featuring top vendors and networking opportunities aplenty. Are you ready to Fuse CPE and Solutions?

Register Now | View Agenda | Learn More | View the Exhibitor Prospectus
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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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 Florida, 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 recently popular threads on FICPA Connect. Join these discussions and others by logging in to with your website member credentials*.

Issue with NY Sales Tax
on 5/16/2014 at 2:49 p.m.

I met with someone this week, and they posed an interesting but probably not unusual issue…[Read More]

Sales Tax on Taxes and Insurance Under an Agreement for Deed
on 5/13/2014 at 9:07 p.m.

Client received a letter from Tallahassee asking for sales tax on payments received…[Read More]

Is This Legit or a Scam?
on 5/10/2014 at 1:04 p.m.

I received an email – to an old email address – copied below. Seems very suspicious…[Read More]

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

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Emerald Coast CPE Retreat (8 CPE)
June 27, 2014
Panama City

Florida Panhandle CPAs: You asked! We delivered! Where can you find top-notch CPE, right around the corner? Look no further than the Emerald Coast CPE Retreat in Panama City on Friday, June 27. We’re bringing the best of the best in CPE right to your back yard. Join us for a full-day jam-packed with eight hours of high-quality CPE presented by nationally-recognized instructors. You’ll have the opportunity to rub elbows with CPAs from Florida and Alabama at this collaborative event.

What could be better? Earn your CPE hours, network and enjoy a laid back atmosphere – all close to home.

The Emerald Coast CPE Retreat is quickly becoming the most talked about CPE conference in the Florida Panhandle. Reserve your seat for this one-day retreat today!

Register Today | More Information
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 |

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Tech Tip
eBay Asking Users to Change Password

eBay is the latest online giant to fall prey to a security breach and is asking its users to change their passwords on the site as a security measure. If you're new to eBay or have never changed your password before, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it.

eBay Servers Breached
According to a press release from the company, a cyber attack has compromised a database that contained encrypted password and non-financial data. It's important to know that there is no evidence of the breach affecting PayPal users, as PayPal data is stored somewhere else that's more secure.

The attackers have gained access to the database using a few employee log-in credentials, which permitted the unauthorized access. The company also says it would notify users to change their password and, if the passwords have been used on other sites, to change those passwords, too.

How to Change Your eBay Password
Changing your eBay password is simple. Start by logging in to your eBay account with your current username and password. Next, on the top left side of the screen, click the arrow next to your name and from the dropdown menu click Account settings.

On the next screen go to Personal Information. Now click Edit on the Password line. Then you’ll be required to sign in again before you can make changes.

Type in your current password again and then a new one twice to confirm it. Click Submit and you're done! Your password now is changed and you're much safer as a result.

Read the full article with diagrams here.

For more information and to view an archive of previous Tech Tips, please visit us here.

Do you have specific topics you’d like us to cover in Tech Tips? Email any suggestions to

Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash June 12, 2014.

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LAST UPDATED 5/29/2014