AICPA Glossary

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AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS GLOSSARY OF TERMS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS A Accountants' Database Accountants' Index Former AICPA Library database covering 1974-1991 literature which as was merged into the Accounting and Tax Database in 1992. Index to the accounting literature, including books and journal articles, published by the AICPA Library Services Team from 1920-1991. Reprints are available from UMI (University Microfilms Inc.). An online database covering the acc
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  AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTSGLOSSARY OF TERMS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS   A Accountants' Database Former AICPA Library database covering 1974-1991 literature whichas was merged into the Accounting and Tax Database in 1992. Accountants' Index Index to the accounting literature, including books and journal articles,published by the AICPA Library Services Team from 1920-1991.Reprints are available from UMI (University Microfilms Inc.). Accounting & TaxDatabase  An online database covering the accounting literature produced byUMI and available since 1992 on the Knight-Ridder Dialog service, File485. It includes the AICPA Library's Accountants Database and AICPALibrary catalog records from 1992-1999 for books and pamphlets addedto the AICPA Library. Accounting and ReviewServices Committee(ARSC)  AICPA committee whose objective is to develop, on a continuing basis,procedures and standards of reporting by CPAs on the types of accounting and review services a CPA may render in connection withunaudited financial statements, as well as unaudited financialinformation of an entity that is not required to file financial statementswith a regulatory agency in connection with the sale or trading of itssecurities in a public market. Accounting PrinciplesBoard (APB) Standards-setting body for accounting principles that issued itsopinions from November 1962 to June 1973. Succeeded by Financial Accounting Standards Board. Accounting StandardsExecutive Committee(AcSEC)  AICPA committee whose objective is to determine Institute technicalpolicies regarding financial accounting and reporting standards. As asenior technical committee, it is authorized to make public statements,without clearance from Council or the Board of Directors, on mattersrelated to its area of practice. Accredited in BusinessValuation (ABV) Credential in business valuation awarded by the AICPA to those whohave met prescribed requirements and passed an examination. Adverse Opinion  Auditor’s opinion which states that financial statements do not fairlypresent the financial position, results of operations, or cash flows inconformity with generally accepted accounting principles. Agreed UponProcedures Specific procedures agreed to by a CPA, a client and (usually) aspecified third party. The report states what was done and what wasfound. Additionally, the use of the report is restricted to only thoseparties who agreed to the procedures. AICPA Board ofDirectors Executive Committee of Council which directs Institute activitiesbetween Council meetings. It is comprises of 23 members. AICPA Council  AICPA governing body which determines Institute procedures andpolicies. It comprises of approximately 260 members representingevery state and four U.S. territories.1  AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTSGLOSSARY OF TERMS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS   AICPA InfoBytes Online library of CPE materials developed by the AICPA as asubscription service. Provides members with more than 1200 hours of continuing profession courses for an annual fee. AICPA On Line The AICPA’s Website on the Internet. The Web address is AICPA PersonalLiability UmbrellaSecurity Plan(AICPA PLUS)  AICPA insurance plan which provides members and their families withup to $5 million personal liability coverage. American AccountingAssociation (AAA) National professional association for those involved in accountingeducation in higher education. Association to AdvanceCollegiate BusinessSchools (AACBS) Recognizedagency that accredits academic programs. The Websiteaddress is:  American Society ofAssociation Executives(ASAE) National organization of managers of all types of trade andprofessional associations. American TaxationAssociation (ATA) This is the national professional association for tax professors in highereducation. American Tort ReformAssociation (ATRA) Coalition of associations, nonprofit organization, consumer advocates,businesses, and professionals whose purpose is to restore fairness,balance, and predictability to the nation’s civil justice system. Analytical ReviewProcedures Substantive tests of financial information made by a study andcomparison of relationships among data. Application ServiceProvider(ASP)  An entity that provides software functionality across the Internet orprivate networks on a rental, leased or pay-as-you-go basis. Association forAccountingAdministration Founded on January 1, 1984, to enable accounting firm administratorsto communicate with one another and provide each other with thebenefits to everyone’s experiences in what was a new and emergingprofession. Association ofGovernmentAccountants (AGA) National organization of CPAs and others involved in governmentalaccounting and auditing at all levels. Assurance Services Services which improve the quality of information, or its context, fordecision-makers. Assurance ServicesExecutive Committee This committee is responsible for identifying, developing, andcommunicating new assurance opportunities for the membership.2  AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTSGLOSSARY OF TERMS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS   (ASEC) Moreover, if measurement criteria or more detailed performanceguidance is required to deliver a particular service, the Committee, orone of its task forces, will develop such criteria or guidance, workingcooperatively with other senior technical committees or bodies withspecialized expertise in the subject area as necessary and appropriate. Attestation Standards(AT) The attestation standards enable practitioners to examine or reviewnon-financial statement information and to perform and report on theresults of those engagements in accordance with professionalstandards. Audit and AccountingGuides Materials which provide CPAs with authoritative guidance regardingaccounting and auditing of entities in specialized industries or otherspecialized areas. Audit Risk The risk that an auditor will unknowingly fail to appropriately modifyhis/her opinion on financial statements that are materially misstated. Audit Risk Alerts  Annual updates alerting auditors to current economic, regulatory, andprofessional developments in various industries. These include Compilation and Review Alerts  , and approximately 18 industry-specificalerts. Audit Sampling The application of an audit procedure to less than 100 percent of theitems within an account balance or class of transactions for the purposeof evaluating some characteristic of the balance or class. Auditing CommitteeEffectiveness Center(AudCommCtr)  A key element in the corporate governance process of any organizationis its audit committee. As its role expands, making the audit committeeas effective and efficient as possible becomes critical. The battle forfinancial statement integrity and reliability depends on balancing thepressures of multiple stakeholders, including management, regulators,investors and the public interest. Guidance and tools are presented tomake audit committee best practices actionable. Audit CommitteeMatching System(ACMS) This system was built for two reasons— for our members to providethem with opportunities to serve on boards of directors, and as a publicservice to provide a list of qualified, credentialed candidates to serve onboards of directors and presumably the audit committees of thoseboards Auditing ProcedureStudies (APS) Studies which inform practitioners of developments and advances inauditing procedures to provide practical assistance regarding auditingprocedures. Auditing StandardsBoard (ASB) Board authorized by the AICPA to promulgate auditing and atteststandards, quality control standards procedures, and implementationguidance for AICPA members performing such services. It comprises of 19 members. As a senior technical committee, it is authorized to makepublic statements, without clearance from Council or the Board of Directors, on matters related to its area of practice.3  AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTSGLOSSARY OF TERMS, ACRONYMS, AND ABBREVIATIONS   B Beta Alpha Psi(BAP) The premier professional accounting and business informationfraternity which recognizes academic excellence and complementsmembers' formal education by providing for interaction amongstudents, faculty and professionals. Big Four Traditionally, the fourlargest CPA firms in the world. They are:PricewaterhouseCoopers; Deloitte & Touche LLP; Ernst & Young LLP;and KPMG. Board of Examiners(BOE)  An executive committee of the AICPA with overall responsibility forpreparing and grading the Uniform CPA examination. Business and IndustryExecutive Committee(BIEC) The AICPA committee charged with representing and advocating theneeds of members in business and industry. Business Valuation(BV) Refers to the discipline involving a process by which a supportableopinion is derived about the worth of a business or individual assets orliabilities. C Canadian Institute ofChartered Accountants(CICA) The national membership organization of Chartered Accountants of Canada, which works closely with the AICPA on several initiatives of common interest, including, but not limited to WebTrust, SysTrust,Eldercare, Performance Views and Continuous Assurance. Cascade The cascade of Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is the extension of provisionscontained in SOX that apply only to SEC registrants and their auditorsto private companies and not for profit organizations and their CPAfirms. Center for InvestmentAdvisory Services(CIAS)  A center developed by the AICPA to provide tools and helps to train ourmembers and enable them to provide investment advisory services totheir clients. Center for PublicCompany Audit Firms(CPCAF)  A center developed by the AICPA to provide support to member firmsthat audit or are interested in auditing public companies witheducation, communication, representation and other means. Succeededby Public Company Auditors Forum effective January 1, 2006. Center for PublicCompany Audit FirmsPeer Review Committee(PRC)  AICPA committee whose objective is to enhance the quality of accounting and auditing engagements by enrolled AICPA firms byconducting and administering a peer review program for firms’ non-SEC issuer practices to co-exist with the Public Company AccountingOversight Board’s inspection of firms’ SEC issuer practices.4
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