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Press Release

The CPA Journal Announces Max Block Award Winners

Michael Moi
Published Date:
Jun 15, 2017

NEW YORK (June 15, 2017) – The CPA Journal, “The Voice of the Profession,” published monthly by the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA), has announced the winners of its Max Block Distinguished Article Awards. Chosen by the magazine’s editorial and editorial review board members, the winning authors were recognized in three categories for the most outstanding and thought-provoking articles published in 2016.

The winners are:

  • Howard B. Levy, CPA, a principal and director of technical services at Piercy Bowler Taylor & Kern, Las Vegas, Nev., received the award for Outstanding Article in the Area of In Focus/Feature for his article, Unsolved Problems in Auditing: A Half-Century Retrospective and Update, published in the February 2016 issue.Levy reviews some of the problems in auditing that have stubbornly resisted solution since they were identified decades ago. Despite the attempts of regulators and other efforts to address these issues over the years, they remain familiar to auditors today.
  • Sridhar Ramamoorti, PhD, CPA, CFE, CFF, MAFF, an associate professor in the department of accounting at the School of Business Administration at the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, and Barry J. Epstein, PhD, CPA, CFF, a principal with Epstein + Nach LLC based in Chicago,  received the award for Outstanding Article in the Area of News & Views/Opinion for, When Reckless Executives Become Dangerous Fraudsters: Reward Structures and Auditing Procedures Need to Be Reformed to Deter ‘Dark Triad’ Personalities, published in the November 2016 issue. At its foundations, auditing is about verifying the assertions that find expression through the numbers presented in the financial statements, performed by well-qualified, competent, and independent auditors. Authors Ramamoorti and Epstein emphasize that those charged with responsibility for corporate governance need to understand people in order to understand what they produce. At the end of the day, fraud is a human act.
  • Allan B. Afterman, PhD, CPA,  the author of numerous treatises on financial reporting and SEC practice and a former adjunct professor in the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, received the award for the Outstanding Article in the Area of Departments/Columns for, FASB's Proposal to Change the Definition of Materiality: The Unexpected Uproar, published in the March 2016 issue. Afterman elucidates how two proposed documents by FASB, if adopted, could change the way the concept of materiality is assessed and applied regarding information to be disclosed in the financial statements.

Runners-up for the three categories are:

  • Sidney Kess, JD, LLM, CPA, counsel to Kostelanetz & Fink LLP and a senior consultant to Citrin Cooperman & Co., LLP, both based in New York; James R. Grimaldi, CPA, a partner at Citrin Cooperman; and James A.J. Revels, CPA, a partner at Citrin Cooperman, are recognized with Honorable Mention in the Area of In Focus/Feature for Tax and Financial Retirement Strategies, published in the September 2016 issue. With the Baby Boom generation facing retirement, America may soon witness the largest wealth transfer from one generation to another in its history. The authors examine several important tax and financial considerations affecting those nearing (or already enjoying) retirement.
  • Jason L. Ackerman, CPA, CFP, CGMA, an accountant with Bernard N. Ackerman (BNA) CPAs, PA, in Rock Hill, S.C., receivesHonorable Mention in the Area of News & Views/Opinion for Recruiting and Retaining Talent: One Firm's Story, published in the August 2016 issue. Ackerman addresses the biggest challenges facing all accounting firms— recruitment and retaining talent, and how his firm has thrived despite changing times.
  • Megan L. Brackney, JD, LLM (Tax), a partner at Kostelanetz & Fink LLP in New York, receives Honorable Mention in the Area of Departments/Columns for Filing Amended and Current Returns in Cases of Past Noncompliance: How Not to Make Matters Worse, published in the May 2016 issue. When a CPA discovers a taxpayer’s past noncompliance, there are both ethical and practical questions to answer. Brackney explains the basic principles to follow in deciding how to address past noncompliance by clients and how to handle the filing of tax returns that are currently due.

The Max Block Distinguished Article Award is named to honor former CPA Journal managing editor Max Block and was established to recognize and award outstanding work that had been published in the Journal the previous year. The CPA Journal is available for free online at the newly relaunched website,

About the NYSSCPA
Founded in 1897, the New York State Society of CPAs is the premier professional membership association representing the interests of a membership of more than 26,000 licensed CPAs and other financial professionals practicing in New York State, encompassing all areas of practice, including government, education, technology, nonprofit, real estate, healthcare and industry.

About The CPA Journal
The CPA Journal is a publication of the New York State Society of CPAs, and is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication for accounting practitioners, educators, and other financial professionals. Edited by CPAs for CPAs, it aims to provide accounting and other financial professionals with the information and analysis they need to succeed in today’s business environment.