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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.

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.

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

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.

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 Trips on Barter Accounting; Who's Next?

U.S. retail and property service 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.

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.

AccountingWEB Weekly Resource Guide - Issue 31

AccountingWEB Weekly Resource Guide - Issue 31 January 7 - January 11, 2002 RESOURCES FOR ACCOUNTINGWEB MEMBERS This Resource Guide Brought to You By: Oracle E-business and 1099 Pro Software1. 2001: The Year in Review2. 'You've Got A Problem': AOL Security Hole Discovered3.

Survey - Seven Major Complaints From Employees

These seven major employee complaints can be successfully addressed. To do so, however, requires a proactive approach and senior management involvement. The Employee FOURF-earful - about losing their jobs; O-verworked - due to the large number of cutbacks that have taken place; U-nappreciated - for the hard work and stress that they are enduring; and R-esentful - about the lack of respect they are receiving. Seven Major Complaints  

Should I Itemize?

Whether to itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on certain expenses last year. According to the IRS, money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes, contributions, casualty losses, and miscellaneous deductions can reduce your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.The standard deduction amounts are based on your filing status and are subject to inflation adjustments each year.
Practice Management

Improve Profitability Through Efficient Scheduling

This article written by Steven T. Erickson CPA, CVA Consultant-Advisor to Professional Service Firms.In these days of personnel shortages, high labor costs and the resulting price-cost squeeze, you might want to take some of your own good advice to maximize the profitability of your firm.Gross revenue measures (realization percentage, billed rate per hour, etc.) are not the most useful tools to manage your practice when rapidly escalating personnel costs can’t be passed on to the client.

Software Piracy Cops Offer Amnesty, Target 7 US Cities

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has announced its Software Grace Period for seven major US cities during the month of January. During the Grace Period, BSA is giving area businesses a one-month opportunity to review their software programs and acquire the licenses they need to get legal without facing penalties for past infringement imposed by BSA.

MS Word Tip: Utilize Those Function Keys!

Like millions of other computer users, I look at my keyboard each and every day and don't really know what to do with all those function keys across the top. I've got my way of navigating - one that I am comfortable with.But the folks at Microsoft have created dozens of shortcuts for computer use and imbedded these shortcuts in the function keys in the keyboard.You may not ever learn them all, but there might be a few of these handy shortcuts that you'll pick up on and save yourself some time during the day.

Which Form - 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ?

If you are filing a federal income tax return on paper, use the simplest form you can, the IRS advises. The simpler the form, the less chance of an error that may cost you money or delay the processing of your return. The simplest is Form 1040EZ. Form 1040A covers several additional items not addressed by the EZ. Form 1040 should be used when itemizing deductions and reporting more complex investments and other income.

Job Sharing - The Latest Benefit In the Workplace?

By Sarah Werley, Over the last few years, the workplace landscape has changed. New philosophies and new benefits make employment a whole new ballgame for professionals such as you. Flextime, telecommuting, on-site childcare…the list goes on of evolving on-the-job programs. The latest trend? Job Sharing. It's a relatively new idea that seems to be catching on quickly, especially among working parents and students.

Nader to Microsoft: 'Dividends Are Due'

In a letter to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Friday, long time consumer advocate Ralph Nader has requested that Microsoft change its policies and start paying dividends to its shareholders.Nader called called Microsoft's "failure to pay dividends year after year" an "inappropriate and we believe unlawful device" to shield Microsoft's profits from taxes."It's a tax-avoidance scheme for the big shareholders," Mr. Nader said in an interview. "This thing is out of control.

Guidance Issued to Assist Drafters of IRAs, SEPs

The IRS has provided (1) guidance to drafters of individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), simplified employee pensions (SEPs) and SIMPLE IRA plans; (2) guidance to users of IRS model IRAs and plans; and (3) transitional relief for users of IRAs and plans that have not received IRS approval. The guidelines, which take effect on January 28, 2002, modify section 4.01 of Rev. Proc. 87-50, 1987-2 CB 647.Opinion LettersThe Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) (P.L.


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