A&A news January 2006

Practice Management

Auto Industry Gets New Tool for Managing Assets Wirelessly

Last week, hidden among the bad news emanating from the American auto industry, a ray of hope emerged. WhereNet Corporation announced a first-of-its-kind program offering suppliers a low-risk method for evaluating the company’s active RFID-based Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) technology applications specifically tailored for the automotive industry. Leading industry analysts agree that automotive manufacturers need to fundamentally change their business processes by embracing RFID and improving asset management.
A&A

Accountants & the World Economic Forum

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) was held last week in Davos, Switzerland. Over 2,300 people attended from 89 countries, representing 1,000 businesses, to help the interaction between different stakeholders and identify opportunities for addressing global challenges such as the creation of jobs, according to the Daily Times.
Practice Management

Creating work-life balance within the firm

In your firm today, an increasing number of staff members – from the partner level to the administrative staff - are experiencing burnout, low productivity, dissatisfaction and stress related illnesses…due in large part to a lack of balance between their work and personal lives. It is time for your firm to look at how it can create greater balance between work and personal lives of the number one asset in your firm – its people.
A&A

Greenspan and Bernanke: Day of Transition

After Alan Greenspan retires on January 31, Ben Bernanke is the new Fed Chairman. It’s an election year and “We’re going to see a show like we’ve never seen for two decades,” predicted Kevin Hassett, chief economist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank. Rising interest rates will be a clear topic of focus for lawmakers. Forbes describes the Fed’s raising of the Fed funds rate as heartless.
A&A

IPTV Service Providers Seek Accounting and Settlement Practice Standards

As regional bell companies like Verizon and AT&T begin commercial rollouts of Internet Provided TV (IPTV) services that bundle telephony, video and internet, the Internet Protocol Detail Record Organization (IPDR.org) an industry consortium, has announced a new initiative to standardize accounting and settlement practices. IPDR.org says on its Web site that the telecommunications industry cannot use the accounting and billing information standards (e.g. CDR) that were “designed for yesterday’s services” for this next generation of services.
A&A

Workplace snacks to get you through the busy season

When you’re too busy to leave your desk for meals, your health can suffer. It’s not just the stress of working long hours, either. The food you are eating may actually be contributing to the problem.
Practice Management

FASB Clarifies When Leases Should be Reclassified

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has answered questions relating to lease accounting.The way it stands now, FAS 13 requires that a lease should be recalculated when a change in a key assumption affects the net income.
Practice

The Best Time of Year to Do Marketing: Marketing into a Vacuum – Part Two <b>by Allan Borress, CPA, CFE</b>

"Busy season" is the best time of year to take advantage of marketing opportunities you won't find at other times.
A&A

Proposed Pension Rules May Threaten Defined Benefit Plans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced late last year that it planned to make significant changes in the way companies report pension liabilities, the Associated Press reports. The first step will be to require companies to show on their balance sheets the total assets of their plans in comparison to what is owed to workers.
A&A

Simply Accounting For Office Arrives

Sage Software announced, on Monday, that Simply Accounting by Sage Basic – for Microsoft Officer Users is now available in the U.S.. Simply Accounting, annually the number one selling accounting package for small businesses in Canada, has been available in the U.S. and Canada for 20 years.
A&A

Archiving and Backup

A new study shows, that with all the current regulation and resulting compliance, archiving is not widespread. The study found that only a small number of respondents were required to archive required data because of regulatory legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). The study was commissioned by Bridgehead Software, a developer and vendor of storage management software.
Practice Management

IT Managers Slow to Adopt Archiving Solutions

According to a new study a “solid percentage of IT managers don’t understand archiving, so many are failing to do it properly,” enterpriseitplanet.com reports.
A&A

Mark Your Calendar: Electronic Document Management Webinar

Want to see how leading CPA firms are reaping the rewards of electronic document management? GoFilERoom, the leading provider of document management solutions for CPA firms, is offering a free, 45-minute webinar, complete with case studies, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, on Tuesday, January 31.“Going paperless is huge cultural change for an accounting firm,” Gary Adamson, Managing Partner at Brady Ware explained in announcing his firm’s selection of GoFileRoom for organizing firm documents and tracking client projects.
A&A

EEOC’s 2005 Performance Report Highlights Small Business Outreach

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal year 2005 last month, citing achievements of the past year and identifying its strategic objectives for the years 2006 – 2009. The National Contact Center began accepting calls in April, providing easy access to the public. It receives 24,000 calls a month. With a goal of prevention, as well as enforcement, the Commission conducted 479 no-cost outreach events directed toward small businesses in 2005.
Community News

Novogradac Uses Tech to Beef Up Affordable Housing Consulting Niche

National CPA firm Novogradac & Co. has beefed up its affordable housing and community development services niche fields as well as its general real estate services by developing an online system that provides detailed housing data, on urban and non-urban markets nationwide.The Compsmart too, which culls rental and occupancy rates.
A&A

Bracing for SOX 404 Small Business Exemption

Exempting smaller publicly-traded companies from the onerous 404 section of the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) accounting reform law, -- a prospect being pondered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) –may cause some CPA firms to reposition resources.Charles Jones, a partner with the Marshall Jones & Co. CPA firm in Atlanta and operator of a 404 boutique practice, said that group is already planning to shift its focus from 404 compliance to helping smaller companies with their internal audits.
A&A

SOX and Environmental Reporting

The EPA reports that companies, governments and other entities, are required to spend a record $10 billion to come into compliance with environmental laws as a result of enforcement actions in 2005. A record 627 entities voluntarily disclosed violations and more than 600,000 businesses and individuals received EPA assistance in understanding and complying with environmental laws.
A&A

Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations and FIN 47

In the past, companies were not required to report environmental liabilities, such as contaminated property, except in cases where a pending or threatening legal action involved the environmental liability, according to Mondaq.com.
A&A

Postage Increase: Don’t Forget Your 2-Cents Worth!

The price of a stamp went up 2 cents over the weekend, in the first increase since 2002. Postage on the first ounce of first class mail is now 39 cents and 24 cents for each additional ounce. The increase follows legislation requiring the United States Postal Service (USPS) to put more than $3 billion in an escrow account this year.“We’re trying to transform the way we do business with the public, as far as getting better automation, providing better service because right now, we’re a little behind, but we’re catching up,” Leroy Williams, a USPS supervisor told CBS.
A&A

IRS Eases Tax Filing Rules for Small Employers

The Internal Revenue Service has announced temporary new rules that will reduce the burden of tax filing on small business owners who usually owe little or no taxes on their quarterly returns.The IRS announced that starting Jan. 1, 2006, certain employers will be able to file a new Form 944 once a year, replacing Form 941, which was filed every quarter.

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