In November of 2007, the California Board of Accountancy began discussing allowing out-of-state accountants to practice in the state without making their qualifications available to the state. The rule has been that if you are a licensed CPA and want to practice here, you've got certain hoops to jump through; this protects California consumers from shady business practices and interstate scams perpetuated by unqualified and unethical individuals.

Though the CPA exam is uniform (meaning exam candidates receive questions from the same bank and are tested on the same subjects regardless of in which state they are applying for licensure), state requirements are not. Some states, like New York, are notorious for being difficult to get licensed in while others, like Colorado, are preferred for foreign candidates for their more relaxed requirements.

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On November 14th, 2008, the SEC finally released its much-awaited proposed IFRS roadmap, a document that was meant to serve as the holy grail of international accounting standards adoption. Now that nearly a week has passed and we've all had a moment to collect ourselves, much of the industry is left wondering "What now?"

Key milestones of the document, as summarized by the Journal of Accountancy, are as follows:

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They call it TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and its original goal was to pump much-needed funds into the constricted loan market, freeing up capital and breaking through the financial clogs that seem to have our economy by the throat.

Public Law 110-343 was signed into law by President Bush on October 3rd, 2008. The official White House press release reads something like this:
"H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, and Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008, which authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a Troubled Assets Relief Program to purchase troubled assets from financial institutions; provides Alternative Minimum Tax relief; extends expiring tax provisions and establishes energy tax incentives; and temporarily increases Federal Deposit Insurance limits."

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From retirees to new college students, a frightening truth is becoming painfully evident in America, one that dominates the country regardless of race, gender, age, or economic status: the blatant deficiency of substantial or even elementary financial literacy.

What IS financial literacy, exactly?

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Recruiting butterflies have settled in your stomach just in time for MORE networking opportunities, but this time its over chicken and cheesecake! Yes, fellow recruiters and future CPAs, BANQUET season is upon us and what better way to prepare than to blog about it!

Making the most at a banquet is as simple as being assigned Cash on an Audit! All you have to do is show up and do your best to swallow what is placed in front of you!*

Banquets exude a much more relaxed atmosphere than Meet the Firms, however, it is important to balance your professionalism with your lighter side.

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Proper Table Etiquette Bread plate on the left, don't start until everyone has their food
Networking Before and after festivities don't be first to leave. Utilize the time you get with the professionals
Professional attire Business Professional

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Surely everyone has seen an episode of a crime drama where the smarmy detective leans over a dead body, squinting and rubbing his fingers together, dashing towards an hour-long adventure whereupon he uses tiny clues left haphazardly around the crime scene to convict the real killer. Of course real life does not always work like this, but it's fun to get absorbed in the exploits without having to worry about the dangers. These shows have experienced tremendous popularity in the last few years as common Joes like you and I excitedly get to ride shotgun in a speeding cop car in pursuit of the bad guys.

In the big wide world of accounting, there are many facets to the industry that reach far beyond the stereotypical perception of the bean-counting, green-visor-wearing, calculator-punching tax processor, of course. As we move deeper into the 21st century, we are in the midst of an exciting shift - today's CPA works in a dynamic, ever-changing field full of opportunity, change, and endless possibility.

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Did you ever really thank any of your accounting instructors who watched you evolve from unpolished freshman to fully real world ready graduate, fat new hire offer in your hand and all? Did you thank them for giving you the foundation you needed to thrive in your chosen field? After all, YOU are the one who made the choice to endure countless hours of Statistics and Econ and Financial Reporting. THEY are the ones who filled you with most of what you needed to accomplish that goal.

Accounting professors are, by large, an under-appreciated bunch.

Sadly, as Baby Boomers reach retirement age and leave gaping holes in the educational system, an already historically understaffed profession is starting to see a need that has not been this pressing since the early 1990s. Projections point towards a very critical demand emerging in the next decade while the consensus among professors we spoke to was that the deficiency of qualified PhD accounting faculty is nothing new.

What difficulties stand in the way of filling this blatant vacancy?

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Four years ago, the CPA exam underwent a face-lift of massive proportions. Where previously hundreds or even thousands of prospective CPAs would cram into packed auditoriums for a forty-eight hour session that covered all exam parts and left candidates exhausted and mentally bankrupt, today's CPA exam candidate has flexibility in both scheduling and actual exam-taking.

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As the President signed the $700 billion Bailout package last week, the Big 4 were voicing their opposition to the proposed suspension of fair value or "mark to market" accounting. Meanwhile, many others in the financial industry are calling for just that. In fact, it's been suggested that the first draft of the Bailout package was defeated in the House primarily because of it lacked any mention of a fair value suspension.

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Come out from under that rock!
If you're a CPA and you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard about IFRS. But, if you're a student considering a career in accounting, you may not have heard about it. What in the world is it?

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