News

A&A

More Than 50 Percent of 401(k) Plan Participants Cash In

A new study by Hewitt Associates, a global management consulting firm, reveals an alarming trend among 401(k) plan participants changing jobs. Could the results be an avenue for you to add value for your existing client base or offer more services in your compensation and benefits consulting practice?The study shows that 57 percent of 401(k) plan participants cash out at the door when they leave an employer instead of rolling over the balance to their new employers' plans or IRAs.
Technology

Powerful Tool Now Available For Finance Professionals

For accounting professionals working as a company's Chief Financial Officer, the offering of services provided in the new and improved Thomson Corporate Finance's WG&L Corporate Finance Network may prove to be a powerful resource tool. But could this new resource be another "Turbo Tax" for accounting services offered by accounting firms?The new web network offers interactive checklists that guide professionals through key activities such as SEC filings, merger and acquisition investigations, forecasting cash flow, and maximizing collections.

Female Execs Call for Increased Amenities in Hotels and Airlines

Female executives make up 40 percent of business travelers, and in an effort to find ways to cater to this expanded audience, hotels, airlines and other service businesses are instituting many changes to traditional services that have, for years, been geared to men.According to a survey released in September by New York University and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, female executives want and desire more services amenities.
Practice

Advisory Boards Increase Ideas and Cost Next to Nothing

CPAs working in small- to medium-size practices and other endeavors essentially are working in the small business arena. Money and time can often be tight, especially when the company or firm isn't billing time or selling a product.One way to increase ideas, brainstorm solutions and throw ideas back and forth is to form an advisory board.Advisory boards cost nothing, and unlike boards of directors, are not held legally or financially accountable for the company's outcome.
Community News

Revenge for Stockholders: Lawsuits for the Big 5?

Deep pockets sometimes spell deep payback … and there may be no end in sight. Litigation was filed last week on behalf of Source Media shareholders against the Dallas office of Ernst & Young in what shareholders claim is negligence on E&Y's part in failing to find fault with Source's books.The suit is based on a negative turn in earnings that brought stock prices down. Stockholders found fault with E&Y because they say the Big 5 firm should have warned Source and its owners.

Charitable Remainder Trusts are a Solid Alternative in Estate Planning

CPAs and other accounting professionals who are familiar with estate planning can speak to the virtues of the CRT, or charitable remainder trust. In addition to the kindness shown by donating to worthy causes, the CRT is a nifty vehicle that combines large tax incentives with charitable donations upon a person’s death.The CRT allows the charitable beneficiaries to avoid capital gains taxes because of the trusts’ exempt tax structure, and is a good arrangement for investors whose assets have high appreciated value on a low cost basis.

Financial Preparation Could Enable Second Career

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Hardly, but in reality, many of us who want to start a second career can do so with careful financial planning and of course, the motivation to do so.According to a Wall Street Journal/ABC News poll, half of all working Americans would choose a different career if they had the opportunity.
Practice

The Rent vs. Buy Scenario for Office Furniture

Cars are leased, and in many cases, makes more sense than purchasing, so why not lease other items too—like furniture? There are inherent advantages in renting furniture versus buying it, and in the world of accounting, it very much may make sense to consider the rental alternative.Many practices are seasonal in nature—and the arrival of tax season often brings temporary staff. As a result, renting office furniture enables a practice to preserve capital by minimizing upfront expenses.
Practice Management

Develop A Marketing Plan That Works - Part 2

You now know what a marketing plan is and isn’t. Let’s get started!A marketing plan is your map to results. To use any map, you first must figure out where you are now and where you want to go.Where are you now?? Define who you are as a firm. How have you positioned your firm in the marketplace? Are you the “nice” accountants? Are you the “different” accountants?? What is your firm’s business philosophy or approach to business?? What are your firm’s competitive strengths and weaknesses??
Community News

E&Y Wins First "ProductivityPlus" Award

Can you learn from the past employee retention mistakes ofErnst & Young?The Big 5 firm recently was recognized by Business & Health magazine for ongoing programs that "help employees balance personal and professional responsibilities." The ProductivityPlus Award focuses on how an employer contributes to the health of the workplace they create.E&Y established an Office for Rentention in 1996.

ExSTRM* Vision Alert: September 10, 1999

ExSTRM* Vision Alert: September 10, 1999...YOUR connection to information technology in the CPA/Accounting Firm marketplace.We found an easy (and FREE) way to boost visibility of your web site and get a decent technical evaluation that we wanted to share with you. Submit-it is a service that will place your web site on the most popular search engines to help you get noticed.
Technology

Test The Way Your Email Looks

Do you ever wonder what your email looks like to a recipient? Is the format right? Does it contain all those #@%*! email tags at the bottom? To test your email, compose a short message and mail it to test-format@allrealgood.com. Once sent, go to http://www.allrealgood.com/format.txt to see your message on display (If you don't see it, hit reload or refresh on your browser).
Practice Management

Develop A Marketing Plan That Works

Does your firm have a marketing plan? Do you know where it is? If your firm's marketing plan is sitting on a shelf, if you aren't getting the new business results you want, if you have a plan and don't know what to do with it - read on. A well-developed marketing plan can put you on the road to results.Like any other good instruction manual, we must start at the beginning. Let's get rid of any misconceptions you may have. What A Marketing Plan IsA well-defined marketing plan is your firm's road map to results.
Community News

PAR Top 100 List Shows Effects of Consolidators

It's no surprise that the Big 5 are on top of Public Accounting Report's Top 100 for 1999. What may surprise you is who's not on the Atlanta-based newsletter's exclusive survey.At least 12 firms that ranked in the Top 100 in 1998 dropped off the list this year due to consolidation activity. McGladrey & Pullen, ranked as the nation's seventh-largest accounting firm last year, is one of the largest affected. McGladrey & Pullen and others didn't make the list because audit services must be offered by a firm to be included in PAR's Top 100.
Technology

Study Reveals Web Sites are Only 19 Mouse Clicks Apart

The medium is the message, and interconnectivity is key to the technology. A study released Thursday in Nature says any two randomly selected pages on the Internet are only 19 mouse clicks apart from one another.The study was led by physics professor Albert-Laszlo Barbasi at the University of Notre Dame, who, along with his team, had a robot collect and follow all links found on one Web page.

Consumer Confidence Rated High in Annual ABC News/Money Magazine Poll

The annual ABC News/Money magazine poll reported this week that almost three-fourths of Americans said the U.S. economy is strong, a mark just shy of a previously reported all-time high in confidence.

Whew! No System Glitches on 9/9/99

CPAs and others working in Y2K consulting for clients and employers can rest assured that all is well in byte land. In what was considered the first true test in preparation for the Y2K bug, computer systems around the world made it over the hurdle on Thursday via the critical 9/9/99 date function.The series of four numbers was considered important because the code could have kicked in a "stop gap" ability, or could have prevented data on computers from being processed.

Cutting Debt is Key Component to Tax Cuts

The debate on tax cuts continued to rage when Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said this week that reducing the Federal debt was the only way to continue maintaining a strong economy.Although it is widely expected that President Clinton will veto the recommended $697 billion tax cut passed by Congress last month, Summers believes that reducing debt is important to a tax cut for families because a reduction lowers interest rates while increasing investments.

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 8

The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 8September 9, 1999http://www.accountingweb.com============================================================== In the headlines this week:1. Public Oversight Board To Determine Effectiveness of Audits2. H&R Block Buys Olde Securities3. IRS Changes Website Address4. PWC Talks With Grant Thornton About Merger5. New York Offers Personalized CPA License plates6. Pentium Speed Reaches 700MHz7.
Community News

PWC and Grant Thornton Confirm Merger Talks

The Wall Street Journal confirmed that PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton held merger talks earlier this summer, but jointly decided not to pursue anything at this time.

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