Seminar Series
Financial Services &


Customer Service
& Marketing
Women In Business
Human Resources

26th Annual Accounting Seminar

November 14, 2002

Speakers / Co-sponsors

Partners in Business Hosted the 26th Annual Intermountain Accounting Seminar

The Intermountain Accounting Seminar is a highly esteemed tradition during fall semester on the Utah State Campus. This year several hundred accountants from throughout the state as well as professors and USU students attended the workshop. As usual, the speakers were very informative. One attendee stated that he has been coming for years because the seminars help him keep in touch with what’s happening with the bigger accounting issues. Another shared that she was very pleased with the experience as she had gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in a very short period of time. This year’s seminar included a very timely discussion on ethics.

Susan Jones, a Senior Technical Manager with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), kicked off the day with a timely discussion about regulation of the profession and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. She talked about how a few auditors failed to uphold their responsibilities during what she described as, “the perfect storm,” a time when pressure on short term earnings saw shareholders investing on rumors and some professionals assuming too much good faith on management’s part. Susan told the audience that the AICPA has zero tolerance for members who don’t do the right thing because such failures lead to the erosion of public trust.

During the concurrent sessions, Matthew McCleary, a Senior Manager with KPMG’s Salt Lake City tax practice discussed tax code changes, and significant court rulings that have occurred during the past year and Scott Nixon, a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, discussed recent standard changes and how they will directly affect companies. Also, Thomas Langdon, a professor at The American College, Scott Jackson, a Principal at Peterson Allred Jackson, Vance Grange a professor from Utah State University, and Scott Gordon, a Regional Vice President from Lincoln Financial Advisors engaged in a panel discussion about financial planning. They concluded that everyone could benefit from the help of a financial planner, and that it is a very rewarding profession.

Dr. Russell Gough from Pepperdine University stimulated the audience with a discussion about the current state of ethics in the United States. He estimated that in the post-Enron era approximately 90 percent of Americans feel we are experiencing moral decline stemming from poor leadership and inadequate parental role modeling. On the job, he feels this situation translates into cynicism, despondency and lack of purpose. He questioned whether our society has the will and integrity to do the right thing, and reminded us that such dilemmas have plagued societies for eons. He concluded with a reminder of Aristotle’s hypothesis that the pursuit of excellence begins with ethics.

During the afternoon, Langdon discussed the financial industry’s training and certification requirements and Gordon talked about helping clients develop estate plans and stay invested during rocky markets. Gough facilitated a group discussion of ethics issues, and McCleary and Nixon replicated their earlier discussion for those who had attended other speakers during the morning session. The day ended with a discussion of the problems currently facing the accounting profession. Dr. Richard Ratliff from Utah State discussed the gap between generally accepted accounting practices and truth. He concluded that today’s more discerning audience is demanding more of the latter, and focused on how the accounting profession should respond.

The consensus was that it was a very thought provoking day. Combining the academic and business communities creates a synergy that it is difficult to replicate in any other environment. Please plan to join us for the International Business Seminar which occurs on the 5th of December. It will feature Curtis Roberts, the Vice President of Global Strategic Planning for Nike, Inc. and Ormonde Cragun, the Human Resources Manager for Textron Global Services. The Partner’s staff looks forward to providing you with an informative and entertaining day.

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Keynote Speakers
Susan Jones

Susan S. Jones, CPA
Senior Technical Manager, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Regulation of the Profession: Issues, Impact, and the Future

Ms. Jones works on AICPA's Audit and Attest Standards Team. She has also served as a technical manager for the International Auditing Practices Committee. Her presentation will focus on accounting regulation issues and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. You will learn how this new law will affect auditors, managers, and audit committees as well as gain an understanding of the impact it will have on financial reporting and the U.S. capital markets.

Scott B. Gordon, J.D., CFP®

Scott B. Gordon, J.D., CFP®
Regional Vice President, Lincoln Financial Advisors

Comprehensive Financial Planning: How the CPA Generates the Best Plan for the Client-A Coordinated Approach

Mr. Gordon serves and supports a firm of over 120 financial planners who provide sophisticated estate, business, tax, and investment strategies to individuals and business owners. He also serves as Utah's Chapter President of the Financial Planning Association. His presentation will focus on financial planning. You will learn about the Financial Planning Association and current developments in the field

Russel Gough

Russell Gough, Ph.D.
Professor, Author, Pepperdine University

Character is Destiny: Why Good Ethics is Not Only Good Business But the Bedrock of Our Way of Life

Dr. Gough is highly committed to integrity and moral development. He currently serves as a Task Force Chair for the White House/Congressional Conference on Character Building. He writes a nationally syndicated column, and has authored two books on ethics and character education. Dr. Gough will discuss why the founding fathers' plea for our citizens to exercise personal virtue is just as timely and critical today. He will reinforce why ethical character is vital to the survival of our nation.

Dr. Richard L. Ratliff, Ph.D., CIA

Richard L. Ratliff, Ph.D., CIA
Professor of Accounting, Utah State University

The New Accounting Paradigm: Truth or Consequences

Recognized as an international authority in the field of internal auditing, Dr. Ratliff has published and lectured extensively on auditing and management topics all over the world. His most recent book, the result of more than 10 years of research, examines the issue of truth in auditing. During his presentation, Dr. Ratliff will explain how problems currently facing the accounting profession relate to the issue of truth. He will clarify the relationship between the truth and GAAP, and will discuss how the profession could deal with this potential disparity.



Thomas P. Langdon, J.D., CFA, CFP®
Professor of Taxation, The American College

The Training and Certification Requirements for Financial Planners

Mr. Langdon has addressed many professional organizations, including the International Association for Financial Planning and numerous CPA societies. He has written or co-authored four books and has three more awaiting publication. Mr. Langdon currently serves as Chair of the Board of Examiners of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. He will help you understand the financial planning industry's training and certification requirements.

Concurrent Speakers
Vance Grange

E. Vance Grange, Ph.D., CPA, CFP®
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Utah State University

Dr. Grange is the director of both the tax and the personal financial planning programs at Utah State University. He is also a financial planning practitioner. He has served as a member and the Chair of the Board of Examiners of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and as a member of that organization's Board of Governors.


D. Scott Jackson, CPA, CFP®
Principal, Peterson Allred Jackson, P.C.

Mr. Jackson's practice includes personal financial planning, entity formation planning, and business succession planning as well as business management consulting. His includes both individuals and businesses. He is a Certified Financial Planner" licensee.

Matthew McCleary, CPA

Matthew McCleary, CPA
Senior Manager, KPMG

Tax Update-2002

Mr. McCleary is a tax specialist with expertise in the taxation of corporations and S-corporations as well as mergers and acquisitions. He serves a wide variety of clients ranging from large, multinational corporations to small, closely-held businesses. His presentation will provide you with an explanation of recent changes to the tax code and an update on the past year's significant court rulings. Mr. McCleary will highlight how these changes could potentially impact you and your company.

J. Scott Nixon, CPA

J. Scott Nixon, CPA
Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Current Topics from the FASB, EITF, and AcSEC: What to Know and What to Avoid

Mr. Nixon's career in public accounting focuses on technology, manufacturing, real estate, and service related entities. He has helped engineer several complex SEC registrations, and has resolved a variety of unique accounting issues for clients. His presentation will provide an update on recent changes mandated by the FASB, EITF, and AcSEC. You will learn about "hot" topics such as purchase accounting, impairment analysis, restructuring costs, and complex debt or equity instruments.

School of Accountancy, Utah State University
Utah Association of CPAs
Idaho Society of CPAs
Beta Alpha Psi


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