The American Institute of CPAs voted to allow non-public members on its Peer Review Board as part of the ongoing restructuring of that senior committee.

The vote, held during the opening session at the institute's 2006 Spring meeting of Governing Council in Salt Lake City, means that the Peer Review Board joins such AICPA committees as the Auditing Standards Board, the Board of Examiners and the Professional Ethics Executive Committee to include non-institute members. However, under the guidelines non-institute members may not exceed more than 25 percent of a board's members.

In February, the AICPA board approved a motion to restructure the Peer Review committee.

AICPA chair Leslie Murphy opened the spring session with a blanket apology from the institute regarding the recent news of a lost hard drive which contained names, addresses and Social Security numbers of institute members. The hard drive had been sent out for repair in violation of the AICPA's internal controls policy.

"We regret any inconvenience this may have caused, but it appears to be simply a case of a missing package," she said.

Attendees also received a legislative update as the 109th session of Congress is slowly drawing to a close with just 51 working days left until end of the year recess.

Mark Peterson, AICPA vice president-congressional and political affairs, briefed the crowd on the pending House and Senate initiatives in which the institute has been actively involved including supporting H.R. 4006, the Small Business Tax Flexibility Act, which allows small businesses and S corporations to elect taxable years other than a calendar year, opposing mandatory auditor rotation within the Federal Head Start Program and increased education the Pension Reform Bill.

Tom Ochsenschlager, the AICPA vice president of taxation, highlighted the institute's participation in several high-profile tax initiatives including Schedule D, Circular 230, Taxpayer Privacy and the recently signed Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

In other news, Karen Pincus, chair of the accounting department at the University of Arkansas was feted with the 2006 Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award. Pincus, currently a member of the institute's Nominations Committee also served as a past chair of the Pre-certification Education Executive Committee and was a member of the Virtual Grassroots Panel and the Accounting Careers Subcommittee. As an example of the progress of women in accounting and the evolution of work/life balance, Pincus told attendees that while an undergraduate in the mid-1960s she was often the only female in her accounting classes.

Previously on WebCPA:

Drive Containing AICPA Member Info Goes Missing ( May 15, 2006)

Task Force Recommends AICPA Peer Review Changes ( Feb. 16, 2006)

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