Editorial Guidelines

CalCPA’s mission is to increase the value and promote the integrity of the CPA profession; contribute to the success of our members; and strengthen client, employer, public and government trust in CalCPA member advice, work products and opinions. 

One of the tangible ways CalCPA achieves this mission is by providing resources and information to its members. To ensure the integrity of the CalCPA “brand” and the editorial consistency of all information from CalCPA to its members, the following editorial guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the CalCPA Communications Advisory Committee.

CalCPA Editorial Policies and Guidelines

CalCPA is solely responsible for all editorial decisions relating to resources and information content disseminated to our members and the public, whether in print or any digital format.

  • The CalCPA chain of editorial responsibility is as follows:
  • The publisher is responsible for all final editorial decisions for CalCPA.
  • Individual editors are responsible for the editorial decisions of each individual CalCPA communications vehicle.
  • While certain content may be moderated, assembled or otherwise compiled or composed by members (e.g. chapter bulletins, technical committee websites, etc), CalCPA retains full editorial control over all such content.

The guiding editorial philosophy under which editorial content is selected, developed and disseminated is as follows:

  • News and other information must be of highest quality and also must be timely, relevant and not easily available through other sources.
  • Based on the relevance of the information to various member segments, CalCPA editorial staff, typically under the advisement of members, uses its professional judgment to select the most appropriate vehicle to distribute information.
Editorial Submission and Review Process
  • Before submitting a manuscript for review, it is recommended that you contact CalCPA editorial staff with your proposal. An editor will discuss your proposal and help to refine your idea. Not all manuscripts or proposals will be accepted.
  • CalCPA assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork, although they may be accepted for review. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless requested and accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
  • All article topics must be presented in a balanced, objective way. While CalCPA does not discourage vendors or others engaged in the sale of products or services to our readers from submitting articles for publication, we require authors to disclose with their submission any financial interest they may have in the article topic.
  • All manuscripts and proposals are subject to a blind peer review to ensure the quality and relevance of the materials. Manuscripts are subject to copyediting. Editors follow CalCPA style guidelines, as well as Associated Press style guidelines. Authors are given the opportunity to review an edited draft before publication. Submissions typically require four to six weeks for review and one to three months for publication following review.
  • Manuscripts and proposals should be submitted to CalCPA in one of the following ways:

                   • E-mail: Managing editor Damien English 
                   • Fax: Attn: Editor at (650) 522-3212
                   • Mail: Editor; CalCPA; 1800 Gateway Drive, Suite 200; San Mateo, CA 94404-4072

Conditions Under Which Submissions Are Accepted

  • Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they are unpublished and not under review elsewhere.
  • No promotion of a specific brand or source of products or services is acceptable. Efforts to steer readers toward products or services offered by authors will not be published.
  • CalCPA assumes the copyright to published manuscripts.
General Writing Guidelines

Keep your writing informal and concise and consider each of the following guidelines:

  • Write down the purpose of your article and what you hope the reader will gain from it.
  • Use active voice whenever possible (e.g. "The CBA issued regulations." and NOT "The guidelines were issued by the CBA.")
  • Avoid excessive use of forms of "to be."
  • Use "I" unless there are multiple authors; refer to the reader as "you." (e.g. "I use regression analysis to project stock market trends; you may find it useful for … ")
  • Avoid needless duplication. Ask yourself whether each sentence and paragraph adds to the article or simply duplicates a point already made.
  • Use specific examples to illustrate your point. In longer feature articles, consider interviewing other sources and using pointed quotes.
  • Get a second opinion. Have a friend or business associate read and comment on your article before you submit it.
  • Reference visual aids. Make sure you refer to all included graphics somewhere in the text of the article and be sure to obtain permission (if necessary) to use included graphics.
  • If applicable, provide a bibliography at the end of the article that includes the following for each referenced source:  title, publisher, publication date, author, issue (if periodical), and place of publication.
  • Provide appropriate web addresses or ideas for further editorial coverage.
  • Avoid footnotes in your manuscripts.
  • Include a short, professional biography at the end of your article.
  • Member authors should include their business name and location, and any CalCPA groups of which they are members.
  • Nonmember authors should include a brief description of their business, their relevant achievements (e.g. if you’ve published a book on the subject of the article), and a contact number or e-mail address.
Distribution Outlets for Submitted Editorial

California CPA magazine
Managing Editor: Damien English is responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information.
Purpose: To provide CalCPA members with must-have information that is relevant to their success or unique to CPAs in California, as well as to foster a sense of community among California CPAs and to serve as a voice of the profession throughout the state.
Editorial Focus: All articles are written for the California CPA reader, whether in public practice or business and industry. The intention is to tap top experts from the membership, business community, government, academia and other organizations for their knowledge. California CPA seeks to provide readers with a balance of technical information, solutions to real-world problems, and industry trends. Articles typically include technical and compliance reports, information about professional services, local and national industry trends and statistics, professional issues, practice management, management accounting, career management, California business information, government regulations and legislation, and legal issues.
Editorial Format: California CPA includes feature-length articles, one- to two-page articles and news and trends briefs. Articles vary in length between 800-2,000 words.
Primary Sources of Content: Contributed material from non-staff authors, both solicited and unsolicited, including CalCPA members.
Audience: The magazine circulation is approximately 35,000 CalCPA members and other subscribers (mostly university libraries). The readership of California CPA is almost exclusively CPAs and professionals working with CPAs.
Frequency: 10 times per year (monthly with combined January/February and March/April issues).
Format: Full-color, glossy magazine, typically with 36–44 total folio pages.

Technology and Business Resource Guide (TBRG) magazine
Managing Editor: Damien English is responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information.
Purpose: This annual publication provides the critical information CPAs need to navigate the digital age.
Editorial Focus: Full of the hottest news in tech, all articles are written for the California CPA reader, whether in public practice or business and industry.
Editorial Format: TBRG includes feature-length articles, one- to two-page articles and news and trends briefs. Articles vary in length between 800-2,000 words.
Primary Sources of Content: CalCPA Technology Committee, other CalCPA members and CalCPA staff.
Audience: The magazine circulation is approximately 35,000 CalCPA members and other subscribers (mostly university libraries). The readership ofCalifornia CPA is almost exclusively CPAs and professionals working with CPAs.
Frequency: Annual (May)
Format: Full-color, glossy magazine, typically with 36–44 total folio pages.

CalCPA.org (CalCPA website)
Editor: Barbara Maciel, web manager, is responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information on the CalCPA website.
Purpose: To provide CalCPA members with urgent information as well as providing 24/7 access to archived information, practice tools and other resources. CalCPA.org resources include classified ads, member directory, Find a CPA, Ask a CPA, event registration and information, technical information from CalCPA technical committees, member account access, news and other information.
Editorial Focus: Most website content is provided directly from existing CalCPA databases and archived materials from other CalCPA communication vehicles. All original material is subject to the same editorial guidelines as California CPA magazine, as stated above.
Primary Sources of Content: Contributed material from staff and non-staff authors, both solicited and unsolicited as well as other content developed by members (committee leaders, chapter leaders, members at large). All editorial content will be directly hosted on CalCPA.org with appropriate citations to the original sources of the information. Members contributing content will be permitted to link their byline to their CalCPA “Find a CPA” listing, but direct links to member websites are not permitted.
Audience: CalCPA members, employers of CPAs and the public seeking reliable information and access to member listings.

Ask a CPA (CalCPA website feature)
Editor: Bill Spaniel, public relations manager, is responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information.
Purpose: Ask a CPA is designed to distinguish CPAs in the marketplace as the most trusted financial advisers.
Primary Sources of Content: Contributed material from CPA experts in the technical area in question, all experts must be CalCPA members.
Audience: Predominantly individual taxpayers and small-business owners.
Frequency: Ask a CPA is updated regularly.
Format: Ask a CPA articles are published in a question and answer format. Since Ask a CPA articles are found online and directed toward the general public, articles are relatively short (400-600 words) and must explain technical topics in layperson’s terms. Ask a CPA writers should submit a short bio and photo.  Members contributing content may link their author byline to their CalCPA “Find a CPA” listing, but direct links to member websites are not permitted.

Chapter Bulletins
EditorAldo Maragoni, communications manager, is responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information.
Purpose: To keep members informed of local news and events.
Editorial Format: Content includes President’s Message, event notices and other chapter-related news. 
Primary Sources of Content: Contributed material from staff and non-staff authors, both solicited and non-solicited as well as content developed by members (committee leaders, chapter leaders, members).
Audience: Chapter members (bulletins are localized by chapter and members may belong to more than one chapter.)
Format: HTML or text e-mail.

Frequency: Monthly.

E-newsletters
Editor: Responsible for reviewing, editing and determining relevance of all information.
Purpose: To provide relevant news, information and resources to members in a timely way.
Audiences: CalCPA members, specific audience varies based on e-newsletter.
Titles:

  • CalCPA Daily Clips—A daily roundup of news, trends and analysis relevant to CPAs, culled from state and national news sources.
    ContactBill Spaniel, public relations manager

  • CalCPA BUZZ—A twice-monthly e-newsletter that offers short, to-the-point professional news items with links to expanded information.
    ContactDamien English, managing editor
    Frequency: First and third Tuesday

  • CalCPA Financial Leadership Forum Advantage—Specifically for business and industry members, this twice-monthly e-newsletter allows you to skim the surface or drill down to in-depth information you need.
    ContactAldo Maragoni, communications manager
    Frequency: Second and fourth Tuesday

  • Accounting Educator BUZZ—An e-newsletter just for accounting educators, with news and information on issues facing California’s colleges, universities and accounting students. 
    ContactAldo Maragoni, communications manager
    Frequency: Varies

  • YEP Connection—This e-newsletter delivers to candidate and student members the information you need to launch a CPA career. More tools and resources on CPA careers can be found online.
    ContactDamien English, managing editor 
    Frequency: Quarterly


Social Media

CalCPA uses various social media outlets to publish news and information that help it meet its mission. CalCPA has established a presence on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn, as well as other networking sites that are specific to different CalCPA member groups. The guiding editorial philosophy for these sites is the same as described above for CalCPA’s other publications.

CalCPA also encourages and, when needed, helps members establish their personal social media presence. Members are then personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, wikis or any other form of user-generated media. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of CalCPA and members should not hold themselves out as CalCPA spokespeople. Further, CalCPA is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of links to other websites members may post on their individual sites.

As stated in CalCPA’s policy previously recommended by the Communication Advisory Council and adopted by the CalCPA Board: “To provide uniform quality of information and to protect its proprietary marks and copyrights, all internet web pages and content belonging to the California Society of Certified Public Accountants must be hosted by the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.  Anyone found to be hosting web content that holds itself out to represent the California Society of Certified Public Accountants will be notified in writing of this policy and be provided 30 days to transition all such material to CalCPA and cease such activity.”

This protection extends to CalCPA’s logo, which is the property of CalCPA and cannot be used for commercial gain or in situations in which the logo implies endorsement by CalCPA without the expressed permission of CalCPA. Failure to obtain the required permissions of usage is a violation of international law and a punishable offense. 

CalCPA discourages use of the logo in social networking websites not endorsed by CalCPA and for noncommercial use (e.g., the logo is used as an identifier for people who share an interest in CalCPA). Such use may come under the “fair use doctrine” of copyright and trademark law. 

Should the logo be used in a derogatory manner (e.g., incorporated in a blog or web-based conversation group that disparages CalCPA or its members), CalCPA may pursue legal action to have its logo removed or engage the user(s) in a dialogue with the objective of correcting false impressions and misinformation. 

CalCPA does encourage the use of its member logo. The CalCPA member logo provides a recognizable symbol of membership in the California Society of CPAs. This logo is designed to fit our members' website, business card, stationery and collateral material needs. Only CPA members may use the member logos. If the CPA member is in a public accounting firm, all CPAs in the firm must be CalCPA members before the member logo may be used. Proper use of the member logo and downloadable versions are available online.


(rev. 11/29/11)