Clifton Gunderson Appoints Female CEO

Accounting firm Clifton Gunderson has named Krista McMasters (pictured) as its first female CEO. The firm claims that she is the first and only female to serve as a CEO among the top 25 CPA firms in the history of the profession. She is succeeding Carl George, who is retiring after 16 years as CEO of Clifton Gunderson. McMasters will begin transitioning into the role now and take office on June 1, 2009. On the same date, the firm will move its headquarters from Peoria, Ill., to Milwaukee, Wis.

PCAOB Holds Forums on Small Business Audits

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has announced a series of 2008 forums on auditing in the small business environment. The 2008 agenda includes a discussion of practical quality control policies and procedures, and evolving accounting and auditing issues, such as Auditing Standard 5. The 2008 schedule is as follows:

Santa Monica – April 28
San Francisco – June 3
Dallas – June 24
Chicago - September 30 and October 1
Philadelphia - October 29 and 30
Fort Lauderdale - November 17
New York – January 13, 2009

For more information, visit www.pcaobus.org. NYSSCPA to Present Three Awards

The New York State Society of CPAs said it would posthumously honor Samuel B. Traum of Great Neck with induction into its Hall of Fame and present two other awards at its 111th annual election meeting and dinner at the New York Hilton Hotel. Traum, who passed away in 2004, was president of the NYSSCPA’s Nassau chapter. At the same event, the NYSSCPA will present its Distinguished Service Award to Howard D. Weiner of Old Bethpage. Weiner has been a member of the NYSSCPA board of directors and a trustee of the Foundation of Accounting Education. In addition, the NYSSCPA will present Mark G. Leeds of Eastchester with its Outstanding CPA in Industry Award at the event. Leeds is CFO of Win Properties, a national real estate company based in Rye Brook. He began his accounting career at a public firm and worked at several others, including Marks Schron.

FASB Codifies Selected SEC Content

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released selected portions of Securities and Exchange Commission and SEC staff content onto the FASB Accounting Standards Codification for reference by public companies. The codification reorganizes the content into roughly 90 accounting topics to more closely align them with non-SEC content. FASB launched the codification on January 1 for a one-year verification phase.

IRS Expects 300,000 More Extension Requests

The Internal Revenue Service said it expects to receive 10.3 million extension requests this year, compared to 10 million last year. It is urging taxpayers to electronically file their extension requests by April 15.

AICPA Testifies Before Senate on Estate Tax Reform

The AICPA has released testimony from Roby Sawyers, a professor in the College of Management at North Carolina State University and a member of the AICPA's Tax Executive Committee, which he is giving before the Senate Finance Committee today in a hearing on estate tax reform. "In summary, the AICPA suggests that the estate, [generation-skipping transfer], and gift tax exemptions be re-unified," he said. "Reunification will simplify planning for taxpayers and avoid all the cumbersome number juggling now required, provide an incentive for small business owners to make business succession plans, and provide an incentive for taxpayers to make intrafamily transfers of wealth during life."

VeriFone CFO Steps Down after Major Accounting Goof

VeriFone CFO Barry Zwarenstein is resigning after the maker of credit card checkout counter devices admitted that its previously reported operating profit, operating income and inventory were much lower than previously thought. Back in December, the company reported that it had found accounting errors that would reduce its operating profit for the nine months ended July 31, 2007 by $29.7 million. Yesterday, after an investigation by its audit committee, the company said operating profit was actually $36.9 million less.

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