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News

Andersen Admits Destroying Enron Documents

In a startling announcement to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice late Thursday afternoon, Big Five firm Andersen admitted that members of the firm destroyed perhaps thousands of documents relating to the firm's audit of failed energy giant Enron.The firm indicated the documents were destroyed according to firm policy requiring "destruction of certain types of documents in certain circumstances." Andersen has suspended it

Free Toolkit For Related Party Transactions

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has issued guidance on the timely subject of related parties and related-party transactions. The guidance was written with the counsel of the eight largest U.S. accounting firms: Andersen, BDO Seidman, Deloitte and Touche, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG, McGladrey & Pullen, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Tax

Free Tax Publications Available

From aardvark to zyzzyva, the IRS has a publication that covers it - free for the asking. The IRS has numerous publications on a variety of tax-related topics available by phone, fax, or the Internet at www.irs.gov .Are you a student seeking knowledge on the lifetime learning credit? Check out Publication 970. Are you a first-time home buyer?
Community News

Looking Back at 2001 - More Questions Than Answers

The following editorial is from Marty Rosenberg, President of the Illinois CPA Society. Mr. Rosenberg will be stepping down from his position this year after twenty five years of distinguished service to the Society and to the profession.For the CPA profession, 2001 was a veritable merry-go-round of change, controversy and criticism from regulators.
Community News

Alternatives to Layoffs in Hard Economic Times

By Bruce Katcher - You can't pick up the newspaper today without reading about yet another organization that has decided to improve their bottom line by conducting a major layoff. Layoffs, however, have many negative consequences. There are huge financial costs associated with layoffs including legal fees, severance packages, outplacement expenses, increased unemployment insurance, damaged customer relationships, and negative public relations.  

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 128

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 128January 11, 2002This News Wrap-Up Sponsored By:Bentley CollegeNEWS FOR ACCOUNTINGWEB MEMBERS1. Andersen Admits Destroying Enron Documents2. FASB Forges Ahead on Three New Frontiers3. Software Amnesty Program Offered in Seven Cities This Month4. New Considerations for Financial Statement Prep This Year5.
Tax

Point and Click for a Trouble-Free Tax Season

Need a tax form? Have a question about changes to tax law? Want to find the nearest IRS taxpayer assistance center? Now anyone with a personal computer and Internet access can point and click their way to trouble-free tax filing at www.irs.gov.The IRS Web site offers a wealth of resources for making tax time, well, a little less taxing. A user-friendly format allows even novice Web surfers to quickly find the information they need.
Community News

Andersen May Find Itself Without a Consulting Practice - Again

In light of the recent Enron failure and Big Five firm Andersen's association with Enron's audit, Andersen may have to make some tough decisions in the year ahead.Speculation and rumors have persisted in the past year that Andersen has had discussions with other Big Five firms regarding a possible merger. If anything does ever happen between Andersen and another firm, it is not likely that negotiations for any merger will occur until the dust, and the litigation, settles regarding the Enron affair.

Contribute Your Expertise to The New CPA Exam

In conjunction with the conversion to a computerized Uniform CPA Examination, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is looking for volunteers who can help with writing and/or reviewing portions of the exam.The computerized exam will include simulations of case-based situations that will aid in assessing a CPA candidate's knowledge, skills, and readiness to practice accounting.Volunteers are needed both as writers of these simulations and as reviewers of the written

Survey Says Executives Want Mixed Training Methods

A large majority of corporate executives prefer what is now called "blended learning," training delivered by a combination of methods, according to a survey by Provant Vertical Market Solutions. Given a choice, 59% percent of executives would rather have training provided both by people as well as via the Internet. Only 36% want their training to be done solely by instructors, and 5% want it only on-line.
A&A

FASB Forges Ahead on Three New Frontiers

At its January 9, 2002 meeting, following a rash of well-publicized complaints about the slowness of the accounting standard-setting process, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) decided to forge ahead on three new frontiers. It tentatively agreed to: 1. Issue for public comment a prospectus for a major project to update the concepts and principles of revenue recognition. 2.
A&A

New Considerations For Financial Statement Prep This Year

The recessionary economy. Recent business failures. The events of September 11. All of these economic influences converged in 2001 to create one of the most turbulent financial reporting environments in recent memory, requiring the extra care and attention of financial statement preparers to ensure that the public has a clear picture on the health and welfare of American businesses.The Big Five accounting firms, in cooperation with the American Institute of CPAs, has issued a detailed list of risk factors to consider when preparing and communicating financial results for 2001.

US Supreme Court Narrows Definition of 'Disability'

Employers scored a major victory yesterday as the United States Supreme Court limited the definition of "disability" for employees under the American with Disabilities Act.Under the ruling, a person qualifying as "disabled" must be found to have an impairment that affects his or her daily life, not simply the tasks required in a specific job.
Tax

IRS 'Misplaces' Over 2300 Computers

It's tough when the organization that holds taxpayers strictly accountable for their businesses "can't find" over 2,300 computers in its inventory of over 163,000.The Associated Press has reported that a Treasury Department audit late last year has uncovered the fact that the computers were either lost, stolen or lost "due to bookkeeping errors" over the past three years.In response to the audit, the IRS indicated that they are locating the computers, and are "reasonably sure" that there is no sensitive or private information stored on those machines."An agency that requires taxpayers
Tax

Record Keeping

You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year, the IRS advises. Good record keeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which may help you out on your taxes.Records help you document the deductions you've claimed on your return. You'll need this documentation should the IRS select your return for examination.
A&A

Description of FASB Projects Discussed January 9, 2002

The following project descriptions were excerpted from materials made public at the FASB meeting on January 9, 2002. 1. Revenue recognition. The proposed project would have two principal goals: (1) enhancing the authoritative and conceptual guidance for recognizing revenues, and (2) refining the conceptual guidance for defining and recognizing liabilities. The FASB project would lead to the issuance of a new accounting standard on revenue recognition that would apply to business entities generally.

Xerox Takes on the SEC

Xerox Corporation served notice on Monday that it plans to dispute the Securities and Exchange Commission's ruling of improper treatment of accounting for leases.The SEC has been investigating Xerox for the past 18 months and has concluded that the method Xerox uses for accounting for sales leases has resulted in financial reporting that is not in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.Much of Xerox's income is derived from leasing equipment. Reporting such leases as sales leases, Xerox records a lease contract as a sale, offset by the liability of the lease.
Practice Management

Homestore.com Trips on Barter Accounting; Who's Next?

U.S. retail and property service Homestore.com joins the list of companies investigating possible accounting irregularities. In a recently-filed Form 8-K, the company said that it expects to restate its nine-month financial results and reduce the revenue figure by as much as $95 million to better reflect the nature of on-line advertising transactions that should have been accounted for as barter transactions.
Tax

IRS Issues Final Regulations for Income Averaging

The IRS has issued final regulations relating to the income averaging method of computing income tax that is available for farmers.The final regulations address the issue of equitable treatment for shareholders of S corporations who receive farm income. In addition, the regulations also address the issue of rental income from a farming business.Specifically, the new regulations, set out in T.D.

Watch for SEC Guidance Affecting 2001 Reports

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is mulling over a draft of new guidance that could affect preparation of annual reports for the year just ended. The draft was submitted by the Big 5 firms and the AICPA, all of whom are petitioning SEC to issue speedy guidance in the form of an “interpretive release” applicable to the MD&A (Management Discussion and Analysis) portions of 2001 annual reports on Form 10-K.

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