The winners of the 2015 Max Block Distinguished Article Awards were honored during The CPA Journal Editorial Board meeting on August 9, 2016. This award recognizes excellence in three areas: In Focus/Features, Departments/Columns, and News & Views/Opinion.

In Focus/Features. “Auditors Still Challenged by Professional Skepticism: Recommendations for Firms, Standards Setters, and Regulators,” by Thomas Ray, January 2015, won in the In Focus/Features category. This article provided a history and analysis of skepticism in the profession and recommended how to improve audit results in the future.

Thomas Ray, CPA, is a distinguished lecturer in the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy at Baruch College, City University of New York, New York, N.Y. He is a former PCAOB chief auditor and director of professional standards. He is also a former audit partner of KPMG LLP.

Departments/Columns.  “The AICPA’s New Ethics Code: A New Approach to Conflicts of Interest,” by James J. Rigos, February 2015, won in the Departments/Columns category. The article provided an overview of the revamped code, featuring practical examples and court decisions that illustrate the new provisions.

James J. Rigos, JD, LLM, CPA, is the national chair of the ethics and dual practice committee of the American Association of Attorney-CPAs. He is also an instructor for the Washington Society of CPAs and Oregon Society of CPAs.

News & Views/Opinion.  “Can Professionalism and Commercialism Coexist in CPA Firms?: Putting the Public Interest before Increased Profits,” by Vincent J. Love, won in the News & Views/Opinion category. The piece discussed the ethical pitfalls of CPAs and CPA firms expanding to advisory and assurance services and led to a spirited discussion in the magazine’s letters section.

Vincent J. Love, CPA/CFF, CFE, is the principal of VJL Consulting LLC, New York, N.Y. He is a member of The CPA Journal Editorial Board.


Determining the Winners

The Max Block Distinguished Article Award winners are selected by the members of The CPA Journal Editorial Board and Editorial Review Board, who rank a selection of articles from a list of nominees determined by the editorial staff. The editors thank all of the board members who judged this year’s nominated articles.

About Max Block

Max Block (1902–1988) was a founding partner of Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and served as managing editor of the NYSSCPA’s Journal (now The CPA Journal) from 1958 to 1972. Many individuals who knew him have described him as a visionary whose ideas helped form the basis for many reporting and practice-management concepts used today.

Since 1975, The CPA Journal has recognized his contributions and achievements by bestowing the Max Block Distinguished Article Award on the most outstanding articles published in the past year. Although the judging and selection procedures have changed, the criteria remain the same: “An innovative and stimulating article which is of current significance and which is likely to be of lasting value.”

Overview of the Board Meeting

During the annual CPA Journal Editorial Board Meeting, held on August 9, the Journal editorial staff met with the board members at the NYSSCPA offices in 14 Wall Street, New York City. The editors described the review and publication process and engaged board members in a spirited discussion about the issues facing the profession, such as the dilution of the franchise, the ever-changing nuances of the tax code, and the challenges created by the looming retirement of the Baby Boom generation.

Editor-in-Chief Richard Kravitz also spoke about The CPA Journal’s changing editorial vision. The Journal underwent significant changes in 2015 and 2016, expanding the number of columns while consolidating features into “In Focus” and “Departments” sections, and also undergoing a significant redesign. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with the Journal ranked in a recent member survey as the most widely used benefit of NYSSCPA membership and the benefit with the highest amount of user satisfaction. Going forward, the Journal plans to continue addressing the most critical issues affecting CPAs throughout the country while continuing to serve as the voice of the profession.