The CPA Journal, “The Voice of the Profession,” is the NYSSCPA’s flagship publication and top member resource. For many years, it has been a valuable resource and contains nationally focused content written by thought leaders in the accounting profession.

To commemorate its 90th anniversary of publication, the authors conducted a research study to assess the value of content in The CPA Journal. The authors performed a text mining research on over 5,179 articles in The CPA Journal published from January 1993 to March 2020 to better understand what content was most relevant. The authors used recently developed technological tools like text mining and natural language processing (NLP). Text-mining and NLP utilize the semantic properties of languages and the frequency of use of important terms to reveal patterns within the text.

The research analyses revealed the top thirty word cloud terms in nine major topical areas which articles in The CPA Journal have covered over the nearly 30 year period. The top five articles with the highest scores for the optimum nine-topical model are listed in the Exhibit. The text mining algorithm ranked these five articles at the top due to their high frequency use of topic-specific terminology, which can be also observed from the titles of the articles.


Top Five Articles in Nine Major Topical Areas

Topical Publication Areas; Article Titles; Contributing Authors Accounting & Auditing; Improving Internal Control Over Financial Reporting; Michelman and Waldrup (2008) Limitations of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Lin and Wu (2006) What Auditors Need to Know about SOX Section 404(a) Reports; Levy (2016) Reforming the Auditing Profession; Turner (2020) Adding Significant Value with Internal Controls; Campbell, Campbell, and Adams (2006) Estates & Taxation; Property Rights of a Disinherited Spouse; Kasomenakis and Brody (2008) Executor and Beneficiary Liability for Unpaid Income, Gift, and Estate Taxes of a Decedent; August (2017) Planning for the New Jersey Inheritance Tax; Lynch (2014) Death and the Home Sale Gain Exclusion; Moore (2006) What Planners Need to Know About Portability; Katz and Katz (2011) Responsibilities & Leadership CPA Exam Performance; Rau, Nagle, and Menk (2019) MAcc Versus MBA: Can CPAs Deduct the Costs?; Mounce and Spikes (2006) Growing Tax Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students; Prather-Kinsey, Byrd, and Allen (2019) The Role of NASBA and State Boards in Accounting Education; Mastracchio Jr (2008) Accounting Ethics Courses: A Professional Necessity; Bean and Bernardi (2005) Income Taxation Tax Incentives of Going Green; Bourgeois et al. (2010) Tax Treatment of Home-Sharing Activities; Hofmann (2019) Evaluating Energy Credits; Brown and Cosenza (2015) The Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's Repatriation Tax on Financial Statements; Ren, Sankara, and Trimble (2020) Reducing Federal Income Tax with Qualified Charitable Distributions; Horan and Ferro (2019) The CPA Profession Internal Audit Function Preserved–For Now; Barry (2013) A Government Affairs Program That Works for You; Barry (2012a) New York CPAs: Your Neighbors Need You; Barry (2012b) CPAPAC: How Does It Work for You?; Barry (2011) Bringing Accountancy into the 21st Century; Grumet (2008) Pensions PBGC Proposes Changes to Participant Notice Penalties; Alwardt and Jacobs (2005) PBGC Extends Deadlines and Relaxes Certain Penalties; Geller, Schulman, and Wattenberg (1999) New Disclosures for Underfunded Defined Benefit Plans; S.H. Ellner and Geller (1996b) New Disclosure Requirement for Underfunded Defined Benefit Plans; S.H. Ellner and Geller (1996a) PBGC Final Plan Termination Regulations; S. Ellner and Pennacchio (1993) Financial Planning ERISA Fiduciary Responsibilities and Registered Investment Advisors; Geller (2007) Participant-Level Money Management Account Option; Geller (2006) Retaining a Fiduciary Investment Advisor: Employers Need Up-front Information, Not Belated Explanation; Geller (2017) Department of Labor Finalizes Retirement Advice Regulation; Geller (2016b) 401(k) Plan Investment Selection; Geller (2016a) Technology A Clear Look at Tax Software. (cover story); Anders and Fischer (2007) A Clear Look at Tax Software; Anders and Fischer (2008) A Clear Look at Tax Software. (cover story); Anders and Fischer (2010) 2011 Annual Survey of New York State Tax Professionals. (cover story); Anders and Fischer (2011) Top Choices in Tax Software; Anders and Fischer (2016) Financial Accounting Using Online Calculators to Choose between Traditional and Roth IRAs; Manuel and Herbold (2019) What If Congress Reneges on Roths?; Hulse (2009) The Roth Conversion Question; Boyle and Litman (2010) Premium Financing; Tuttle (2007) The Benefits of Roth Accounts; VanZante and Fritzsch (2013)

A fuller discussion of this research will be available at

Ferhat Zengul, PhD, MAcc, is an assistant professor in the school of health professions;
Frank Messina, PhD, CPA, is the endowed Alumni & Friends Professor of Accounting in the Collat School of Business; and
Marena Molay Messina, CPA, MAcc, is a visiting instructor of accounting in the Collat School of Business (and PhD student at Kennesaw State University), all at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).