News

Internet Keeps Growing

The number of people signing onto the Internet increased to 66 million in August – a 6.5 percent increase over July’s count. The total number of users with Net access now exceeds 108 million, according to a report by Internet Research Group, NetRatings.As users increase, so must web traffic. MediaMatrix conducts monthly surveys of web traffic. According to their latest survey the five most visited sites are America Online, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Lycos and Go Network.

Unscheduled Absences Still A Problem

Employee absenteeism is still a problem for employers. The new 1999 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey reports that after increasing by a whopping 26 percent in 1998; 1999’s numbers show a 7 percent decline in unscheduled absences.Employees have many reasons for missing work. Stress continues to be a significant factor for employees not showing up to work. Since 1995, stress-related absences have increased by 316 percent. Personal illness dropped to a record low 21 percent in 1999, down from 45 percent in 1995.
Practice

Firm Newsletters Make Strong Statement but may Require More Than Meets the Eye

For years, CPAs in public accounting have relied on third-party organizations for their newsletters, and in many cases, this arrangement works quite well. The result is a combination of stock stories mixed with some personalization, sent to a firm's clients as part of the overall marketing plan.Those who prefer to do things on their own may find that creating their own newsletter requires a bit more than spit and polish.
Practice Management

Creativity in Client Holiday Gifts Creates Lasting Image

It's never too early to plan ahead for the holidays. This year, to create a long-lasting impression and stand head and shoulders above the crowd (or other client contacts), employ a bit of creative spirit in gift giving.There are probably as many examples of what professionals can do as uneaten fruitcakes. Still, how about forgetting the typical "Seasons Greeting" card and focusing on a Thanksgiving or New Years wish?Piles of popcorn and skids of other eatables that contribute to the battle of the bulge pile up, so how about a donation to a client's favorite charity instead?
Tax

California IRS Offices Redirect Examiners to Customer Service

Some people have all the luck! The odds that a taxpayer in California will not be audited by the IRS just got greater.A sign of the times or a fad? No one knows for certain.
A&A

Worth Magazine Profiles Wizards of Wall Street

Over the past few years, many of us throughout the accounting profession have begun delivering services very similar to those who work in the financial planning arena on a full-time basis. Learning from the experts helps the CPA and accounting professional develop best practices to demonstrate value and competency to this growing client base.Worth magazine has taken the cream of the crop and profiled them in a new article featuring the 25 most knowledgeable people on Wall Street.

Typical Day in the Life of a Hard Rock CFO - Hardly!

Inside, the music blares the oldie but goodie rock hits, and tourists queue up to wait for a table at the perennially popular Hard Rock Café.
Community News

E&Y Named to Prestigious List for Internet Efforts

Industry Standard magazine has named Ernst & Young to its list of the top 100 Internet-savvy companies based on the Big 5 firm's technical and consulting efforts.The Standard considers E&Y and its $650 million in revenues (up $250 million from last year) to be an "I-Builder," or a champion in providing Web design and consulting services for a company's Internet clients. Named as one of the innovations is "Ernie," a mechanism by the company to provide service to clients who want to find help on their own.This is the first year for the publication's list.

Greenspan Comments on Y2K Bug's Effect on Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan downplayed the effects of Y2K on world technologies and called the panic about the bug "negligible" at this point in time.Instead, he cautioned that the bug could have a wider effect on the economy in terms of matters like bank withdrawals and offshoots of how technology affects other businesses, such as delays in good and services.This and other observations were offered In a speech before the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, where Greenspan linked the fears about Y2K to how the economy may fair in the coming months.

Worker Absenteeism is a Costly Struggle for Companies

1999 CCH Unscheduled Absence SurveyIT’S STILL A COSTLY STRUGGLE, BUT AFTER ALL-TIME HIGH IN 1998, EMPLOYERS SEE SMALL DECLINE IN UNSCHEDULED EMPLOYEE ABSENTEEISM? Workplace Stress Kept Employees Home More? Organizations Lose Millions of Dollars Annually ? Absenteeism by Health Care Workers, Those in Mid-Size Companies Soared(RIVERWOODS, ILL., September 21, 1999) – Unscheduled worker absenteeism remains a dilemma for U.S.

Internet Access Sparse In Some States

My mom doesn’t have access to the Net. She lives in a rural town only 45 minutes from a major metropolitan area but the long distance costs associated with Internet access cause the cost to far exceed the benefits – for her. But what about the millions of other Americans with limited Internet access? Is relief on its way?A new lobbying group called the iAdvance Coalition is fighting for open competition in the broadband Internet service.

Employers Offer More Tuition Reimbursement To Attract Talent

Enhanced educational reimbursement programs are the latest lure for employers to dangle in front of talented professionals.According to a recent study conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global management consulting firm, more than one-third of employers are beefing up education assistance programs to help attract and retain talent.Compared to other tactics used, educational reimbursement benefits both the employee and the employer.

KPMG Unveils Compensation Survey For Canada

KPMG LLP Canada will disclose the results of its annual nation-wide Salary Survey and TSE 300 Compensation Survey tomorrow at a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning in Toronto. The survey looks at trends across many industries in Canada and breaks compensation information down by job, geographic region, and company revenue.According to the survey, salaries are higher than predicted a year ago, in most areas, with the highest salary increases occurring in the professional and business services.
Technology

Happy Birthday Internet!

Wow! The Internet turns 30 years old this week. But even as the Internet gains in popularity, the numbers don’t lie. Almost 75 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t have access to the Internet.So, even at a hearty 30 years old, the Internet has a long way to go to adulthood.
Technology

Mirroring WebTrust, Seal for Online Shopping Sites are More Popular

Just as the AICPA has enacted the WebTrust seal to demonstrate to the public that financial transactions over the Internet are secure, online shopping sites also are adopting various "seals of approval" for the sake of the public.A Harris poll found that less than 20 percent of online shoppers purchased goods or services over the Internet because they didn't want their credit cards exposed to unknown parties.

Republican Governors Push for Tax Cuts

In what is considered par for the course at this point in the great tax debate, the Republican party once again has voiced its concerns over President Clinton's expected veto of the Republican-recommended tax cut.On Saturday, the nation's 31 Republican governors jointly spoke in favor of the tax cut, and were in full agreement that the president must take a second look at the tax cut of $792 million before the issue is dead in the water.Spearheading the latest effort is Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, who, in the Republicans' weekly
Technology

Security is Hot Issue in Online Banking

Ensuring transactions are secure over the Internet is a chief concern for those who want to bank online. This and other observations were gained from a recent CNNfn poll on virtual banking.Just over 27 percent of respondents hailed security as their chief concern over other issues, such as a bank's financial stability and even ATM banking fees.
Practice

Albert Einstein's Theory of Selling

Did you know that Albert Einstein had a theory on selling? He said, “Doing things the same way you always have and expecting the results to be different is insanity.” He may not have realized it at the time, but what better theory to apply to selling? Selling is complex and we face many challenges. We think that doing what we’ve always done is a strategy for success. Yet the choices we make are critical to our success. As your upcoming new year unfolds, what are you planning to do? Is it more insanity or getting different results?Doing it. What do you want to do different?

Thailand Banking System Could Take Two More Years to Stabilize

It could take at least two more years for Thailand to stabilize its unsteady banking system according to a senior U.S. bank official. Thai banks have reported one of the highest, non-performing loan rates at 47 percent in the region. However, this rate is expected to decrease below 30 percent during the next year as a result of write-offs and restructuring. The devaluation of the baht currency in July 1997 and the economic crisis in Asia that followed were the contributing factors that led Thailand's banking system into its current state of weakness.
Practice

Plan to Take it all With you in Times of Disaster

We know that natural disasters can strike at any time, evidenced by the recent collection of devastating hurricanes. Regardless of where you live, threats of fire, earthquakes, hurricanes and mudslides could force you to evacuate your office or home in a matter of minutes.So, what do you take with you if you have only five minutes to collect important items and leave? Planning ahead is the key to success in this situation.

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