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CPA News November/December 2010

In this Issue: 

·                     Chapter News

·                   CPE

·                     Job Openings

·                     Fred’s Funnies

·                     TSCPA News

 

 

CHAPTER NEWS

 

Save the Date!! December 1 – Holiday Luncheon

Brazos Valley Chapter Holiday Luncheon will be held on December 1, 11:45 to 1:30, at The Kyle House in Bryan. Cost is $25 for chapter members, $30 for non-member guests. Now under new ownership, the house has been refurbished and gone through a bit of a "facelift." Come see the changes and join the Chapter as we celebrate the holidays. Don’t forget to bring a food item for the ―Food for Families‖ food drive. Make your reservation by Thursday December 18; contact Linda Johnson at Linda@bvcpa.org or phone 936-435-9989.

 

Texas A&M Campus Rep Details College Life in Webcast
TSCPA student member and campus representative from Texas A&M University, Grace Harms hosted a one-hour webcast on Nov. 4 from 3 - 4 p.m. (CST) for College Week Live, a virtual college and career fair. Grace's webcast is part of AICPA's participation in College Week Live. Grace spoke to high school students on a variety of topics including how she chose Texas A&M, how she decided to pursue accounting, classes she takes, getting involved on the college campus, and future aspirations. She also fielded questions via instant messaging during the webcast. Please help TSCPA congratulate her on this endeavor.  Great job, Grace!

 

Career Fairs are Big Success

Thank you to the three chapter members who volunteered for the High School College/Career Night on October 4.  This was a new event for us and very productive.  Photos!

Thank you to the eleven chapter members and students who volunteered their time at the Youth to Career Fair on November 3.  We got information about the accounting profession and CPA's into the hands of many kids.  I'm not sure how many visited our booth but it was a lot!  The anticipated attendance was 2,848 eighth graders!  Thank you as well to the members who donated I Tunes cards for the give-aways. More Photos!

 

Meet a Member

 

In our series of member profiles, read about one of our board members…. Rodney Horrell, BVCPA Vice President/President-Elect

At work:  I am a first-generation college graduate, having graduated in 1998 with a BBA in accounting from Southeast Missouri State University.  Since then, I have worked for Deloitte and Touche, AT&T, the Texas A&M University System Offices, and now Texas A&M University.  Professionally, my time has been spent in business process consulting, internal auditing, and now financial statement preparation and external reporting.  While I had the pleasure of working (and living) in both St. Louis and Dallas prior to coming home to Bryan-College Station, I can say in no uncertain terms that of those three locales, the first two have nothing on BCS.  I am glad to call the Brazos Valley my home.  I’ve found the neighborly feel of our community more alluring than the benefits of the big city.  I’m probably also slightly biased due to my upbringing on a Missouri farm.  I passed the CPA exam in 1999 in Missouri, and received reciprocity in Texas in 2003.  After several years of AICPA membership, I switched to TSCPA membership and became a member of our local chapter in 2007.  I became an active member, serving on the board of the Brazos Valley Chapter shortly thereafter when Joe Dunn and Sandy Brown talked me into becoming public relations chair. 

It was only after having attended the TSCPA’s Mid-Year Board meeting in The Woodlands this past January that my eyes were significantly opened to the importance of the work done not only at the local chapter level, but the state level as well.  The local chapter and state society safeguard the CPA license which serves as one of the foundations of our career and we all too often take for granted.  Our chapter and society provide a great service to CPA’s, both those who realize it and those who do not.  And for that, I am most grateful.  I would strongly recommend all CPA’s consider attending a TSCPA Mid-Year Board meeting or Annual meeting to get a better insight into what the TSCPA does for its members.  That will be much less difficult to do January 2011, when the state’s Mid-Year Board meeting will be held here in College Station! 

Outside of work:  In addition to working at a great university and having a good job surrounded by wonderful individuals in the workplace, I am active in several ministries at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church here in College Station.  I also greatly enjoy my family, which helps me stay grounded in what is truly important in life.  I have a wonderful wife, Signe, and three wonderful sons Ethan (5), Owen (3), and Asher (not quite 6 months old).  My boys and I enjoy gardening, reading, and fishing.  Except for the youngest….he enjoys making dirty diapers and sleeping.  Recently he’s also been perfecting the art of smiling, squealing, and talking as only a baby can.  Perhaps the most enjoyable thing my three boys and I do together is simply spending time with one another.  My wife and I also enjoy time spent together, dinner dates, and bed and breakfasts.  There are a few things we enjoy which we haven’t done as much of in the last 5 years, such as reading and traveling together.  We know what we’re currently doing is much more special, and a day will come when we will read, travel, and miss our boys.

Life philosophy:  I think my life philosophy is one of trying to never forget that what we’ve been given is a gift.  Admittedly, I often lapse and lose sight of this reality as I’m sure we all do.  When you think of it, it really is quite phenomenal.  Through no doing of our own, we’ve been given the gift of life.  Also through no doing of our own, we’ve been given a gift of living in the most wonderful country in the world, where we can do anything we want.  In my case, I’ve somehow “married up,” which is another wonderful gift as many of you guys out there know.  I’ve also been entrusted for a time with the most special gift of three absolutely precious children and the honor and responsibility of nurturing and strengthening them.  I think when we focus on the many blessings we’ve received as gifts, rather than viewing them as things we’ve somehow earned solely through our own merit, it changes our entire outlook and our life.  Walking out of a crowded room, in front of the entire world…laughing at you, with a baby who has just soiled your white shirt, becomes one of those moments you’ll laugh about for years and never forget.  A hard day at work becomes a night laying bed just being grateful to have a good job as so many others struggle to find a trade.  An early alarm clock becomes the signal that you’ve been given one more day.

 

 

Chapter CPE

January 11, 2011 -- Individual Income Tax Update, speaker Steve Tillinger

College Station Conference Center 

8:30 – 4:00      Cost:  $235 member and member-staff; $300 non-member

To register, contact Linda Johnson Linda@bvcpa.org or phone 936-435-9989

 

Whether you are a generalist or a tax specialist, you will take away valuable information and insights from this eight-hour program. The course will bring you up-to-date on current issues in federal income taxation affecting individuals and small business owners with emphasis on comprehensive coverage and analysis of 2010 tax law; analysis, updates and new developments of 2009 and earlier tax law; important court cases; Treasury income tax regulations; and IRS revenue rulings and procedures.

 

FLASH ALERT – Your instructor says this will be his longest outline ever!  Says Congress made him do it!  Vows to tell you what you need to know!

 

Your Instructor Will Address the Hot Topics of 2010

*MAJOR DEVELOPMENT – Tax Return Preparer Penalty regulations; Codification of Economic Substance Doctrine; Regulation of Tax Return Preparers, with OPR in charge!  What does it all mean?  Get the details here.

*2010 TAX LAW – THE SMALL BUSINESS JOBS ACT – expanded Roth accounts for individuals and major tax relief for all businesses

*2010 TAX LAW – THE HEALTH CARE & EDUCATION RECONCILIATION ACT, in combination with THE PATIENT PROTECTION & AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – important changes affecting individuals and businesses

*2010 TAX LAW – THE HIRING INCENTIVES TO RESTORE EMPLOYMENT ACT – significant changes regarding how individuals report foreign financial assets and important changes affecting businesses – and it starts in 2010!

*2009 TAX LAW – important updates that affect individuals and businesses

*PLANNING — How Statutory PayGo and the Tax Gap affect temporary provisions, the so-called tax extenders.  Are higher taxes ahead?  Is there a VAT in our future?  Tax planning is more important than ever!  Are you ready?

*IMPORTANT UPDATES AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS —  covering 2009 and earlier tax law

*IMPORTANT — court cases; Treasury income tax regulations; and IRS revenue rulings and procedures

*NEW DEVELOPMENTS — affecting partnerships and LLCs, C and S corporations

*OF CONTINUING INTEREST — AMT, Estate Tax issues and more. . .

 

Other CPE

Texas Forest Service will offer a tax workshop on timber income tax and property tax in Diboll on February 17, 2011.  The workshop is qualified for 7.0 hours CPE and registration fee is only $70/person. Landowners may attend to the events too. Please visit http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/taxworkshop for details.

 

Job Openings

 

 

Fred’s Funnies

 

No One Believes Senior Citizens

An elderly couple celebrated their 60th anniversary. The couple married as childhood sweethearts and moved back to their old neighborhood after they retired.

Holding hands, they walked back to their old school.  It was not locked, so they entered and found the old desk they'd shared, where Andy had carved "I love you, Sally."

On their way back home, a bag of money fell out of an armored car. Sally quickly picked it up and, not sure what to do with it, took it home. There, she counted the money - $50,000! 

Andy said, "We've got to give it back." 

Sally said, "Finders keepers." She put the money back in the bag and hid it in their attic.

The next day, two policemen canvassing the neighborhood knocked on their door. 

"Pardon me, did either of you find a bag that fell out of an armored car yesterday?"

Sally said, "No."

Andy said, "She's lying.  She hid it up in the attic."

Sally said, "Don't believe him, he's getting senile."

The agents turned to Andy and began to question him. 

One said: "Tell us the story from the beginning."

Andy said, "Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday..."

The first officer turned to his partner and said, "We're outta here!"

 

FROM TSCPA

 

IRS Revises PTIN Application Form

The Internal Revenue Service has released a revised Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application (Rev. October 2010). An earlier version was on the IRS website in September, but the revised form requires additional information. You can use this form if you do not wish to apply for your PTIN online. Download the Revised Form W-12 at http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/article/0,,id=210909,00.html.

New Guide Reflects Changes in CPA Exam
The AICPA Examinations Team has released a guide to the major developments that will be new or different on the Uniform CPA Examination, effective January 1. Major developments include content updates, structure, time allocations, scoring weights and functionality.

Business & Industry Research Resources on TSCPA’s Website

Log in as a member and visit TSCPA’s Business & Industry Center http://tscpa.org/Content/resource/businessindustry.aspx to see the newest offerings.

The Center is your one-stop shop with valuable research resources to meet your research needs and keep you current on the latest professional updates. TSCPA asked its members in industry, government and education where they turn to look for answers to the toughest accounting questions, and compiled their go-to sites all in one spot. Don’t spend your valuable time sifting through tons of information, when you have access to this time-saving member benefit! 

Additionally, B&I CPE is available through the Industry Institute, a catalog of high-quality CPE webcasts. These courses are designed to meet the specific needs of CPAs who work in business and corporate environments.

You can also take advantage of the Ask a Member program to connect with others for informal consultation and peer-to-peer guidance.

 

Succession Planning Institute

Have you thought about what you’re going to do when you’re ready to retire? Have you identified your replacement within your firm? TSCPA can help meet your succession planning needs with the Texas Society Practice Management Institute, developed in partnership with the Succession Institute, LLC. You have multiple, competing demands for your time and TSCPA offers you a place to go that is focused on firm and practice management issues.

As a TSCPA member, you have free access to five chapters of Succession and Practice Management content. The same content as that in the free material and much more are listed as CPE self-study course offerings on this website available to TSCPA members at a discounted rate, if you would like to receive CPE credit. Log in as a member to visit this TSCPA resource http://www.tscpa.org/Content/cpe/successioninst.aspx and take full advantage of the special arrangement made for you.

 

Raising the Profession’s Profile in Your Community

Autumn is a great time for individual CPAs and their employers and firms to promote the profession in their communities. Here are five ways that you can boost the profession’s profile in your community and make a difference where you live:

1.     Donate goods or services as a silent auction item for a local school’s annual fundraising effort.

2.     Speak to a group of students about the opportunities available to them when they choose a career in accounting.

3.     Participate in the “Adopt-a-Highway” program, and do your part to keep Texas beautiful.

4.     Sponsor a youth football team.

5.     Purchase children’s books or school supplies for a school serving an economically disadvantaged neighborhood or community.

 

TSCPA: Your Renewable Resource

2010 Autumn Recruitment Campaign

Do you know a CPA who would benefit from the resources available from TSCPA? Help them join the Texas Society of CPAs – Your Renewable Resource!

Our fall membership recruitment campaign is underway, and non-member Texas CPAs are being targeted. Whether they’re in Public Practice, Business and Industry, Education, Government, or just starting out on their own, TSCPA offers the resources and support that Texas CPAs need to succeed.

 

Recruiting new members could equal a free renewed membership for YOU.

When your name is listed as the sponsor or referring member on an application, you get an entry in a drawing for a free year of Society and chapter membership. You’ll get one entry for each CPA or every three affiliate members you recruit. The more you recruit, the better your chances are to win a FREE year of membership for yourself.

Want to invite a CPA, non-CPA employee, candidate, student, or other affiliate to join us? Start recruiting today! Send this link to a prospective member: http://www.tscpa.org/content/general/Join_TSCPA.aspx.

For more information about the campaign, e-mail Catherine Raffetto craffetto@tscpa.net; phone 800-428-0272 ext. 216 or 972-687-8516.

Questions about membership categories, dues, or benefits can be directed to Member Services (e-mail membership@tscpa.net; phone 800-428-0272 ext. 260 or 972-687-8560).

Help Promote TSCPA’s Children’s Book Club

Take time this school year to teach your little ones about spending smart, saving and sharing. TSCPA’s Children’s Book Club is available on its financial literacy website, ValueYourMoney.org. There, you will find a downloadable reading list for children ages 4-12, printable bookmarks and posters (the poster file is large), fun low-cost and no-cost family activities, and a budgeting worksheet that teaches children about the true costs of owning a pet. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Book Club at your child’s elementary school, please email Kelly Hardwick, khardwick@tscpa.net, for more information.

Children’s Book Club: http://valueyourmoney.org/childhood/bookclub91808.asp

Downloadable Materials: http://valueyourmoney.org/media/index.asp

 

Making the Move from Public Practice to Business & Industry

Many CPAs decide to make the switch from public accounting to business and industry. If you’re considering this change in your career, TSCPA has resources available to assist you in the B&I Center on the website. Members who made the switch in the last five years were surveyed to gauge their experience, and we’re bringing that information to you. TSCPA offers tools, advice from members and other resources to help you determine if it’s the right move. You can also read about the experiences of other CPAs who made the transition.  Log in as a member to view the guide now: http://www.tscpa.org/Content/51065.aspx

 

Financial Literacy

Do you enjoy speaking about personal finance and small business topics? If so, sign up for TSCPA’s speakers bureau. TSCPA is looking for CPAs to speak at community and civic programs and to the media. There are talking points, speeches and PowerPoint presentations to make each speaking opportunity as easy as possible. The speakers bureau is one way for CPAs to become involved in TSCPA’s ongoing 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort. To volunteer, e-mail Avery Roth aroth@tscpa.net; phone 800-428-0272 ext. 688 or 972-687-8688.) 

 

Build Your Network

You can build a network of other CPAs from around the state by serving on a TSCPA committee. Dec. 10 is the deadline to volunteer for the 2011-2012 service year. Study the list of available committees in the members-only Volunteer community http://www.tscpa.org/resource/membercommunities/volunteer/index.asp

http://www.tscpa.org/Content/resource/membercommunities/volunteer.aspx, accessible through the Resources section of the TSCPA website (tscpa.org). Then click the Volunteer Today link to sign up.

 

 

Depression Knows No Season

“This is supposed to be a joyous time of year, yet I feel angry one minute and plunged into despair the next. What’s wrong with me?”

You might be suffering from depression. ACAN, the TSCPA Accountants Confidential Assistance Network, offers confidential assistance. Call us at 866-766-ACAN. All we want to do is help. All you need to do is call!