A&A news October 2006

A&A

Microsoft Sees Big Numbers in Small Business Bookkeeping

Microsoft, the giant among titans, is going after the pencil-and-paper bookkeeping market with the latest accounting program for small business.Microsoft cites market research that estimates there are 20 million small or home-based businesses where the accounting is tapped out on a calculator and kept on paper, or at best maintained in spreadsheets."They have various obstacles to using accounting software, such as the cost or fear of technology,” the company quoted Rajat Taneja, general manager of Microsoft Small Business Applications and Services.
A&A

Halloween Treats for Accountants

Editor's Note: This article was first published in 2005. All the links included have been verified and are still operational.The kids will soon be out begging for candy. You can let them, or your clients, put the “bite” on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with a chocolate candy bar wrapped in a 1040 tax return with the message “Here’s your chance to bite back at the IRS”. They also have a candy bar with a wrapping informing everyone that “Accountants make life less taxing”.
A&A

Changes to a Derivatives Accounting Rule Sought

A new derivatives accounting rule may be changed to reflect investor concerns. Reuters reports that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has voted 6-1 to release a draft of Financial Accounting Standard 155 (FAS 155) with changes that exclude some mortgage-backed securities from compliance. If approved, the changes would allow the banks, insurance companies and other market players investing in about $3.5 trillion of these mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from being required to note interest-rate-driven gains and losses on their income statements, according to Reuters.
Tax

International Economic Center, the OECD, Takes Aim at U.S. Tax Policy

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), signalled a growing interest in international tax with the publication of a draft of guidelines on tests that investment managers in the UK need to meet before profits from offshore hedge funds can remain outside of the UK’s taxing authority, hedgeweek.com reports.
Tax

Social Security: A Perennial Election Issue

With just two weeks until the Nov. 7 congressional elections, President Bush called Social Security reform one of the “big items” he wants to tackle next year, sparking debate among politicians on both sides.Bush said that he believes “that a worker, at his or her option, ought to be allowed to put some of their own money . . . in a private savings account, an account that they call their own,” according to the Washington Post.Democrats jumped on the comment as a chance to remind voters that his reform ideas never made it to the legislative stage because they were so unpopular.
A&A

More Restatements in 2006 for Smaller Accounting Firms - Update 1

Of the 928 companies that announced in the first half of 2006 that they would file restatements of their results for prior periods, 504 were clients of firms other than the eight largest accounting firms, according to data compiled by AuditAnalytics, a company that analyzes audit problems, the New York Times reports.
A&A

Landmark Study Reveals SOX Compliance Issues

COSO 1992 Control Framework and Management Reporting on Internal Control: Survey and Analysis of Implementation Practices, a landmark research study by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), reveals two key cost drivers for public companies complying with Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Section 404. “IMA’s study is the first comprehensive study of its kind that goes beyond estimating the cost of compliance.
A&A

New FASB Exposure Drafts Address Not-for-Profit Accounting, Usability Issues

On Monday, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued two Exposure Drafts intended to improve the accounting and disclosures for mergers and acquisition (M&A) activities among not-for-profit organizations. The deadline for submitting comments on the new Exposure Drafts is January 29, 2007.“The not-for-profit sector makes up a sizable portion of reporting entities and GDP in the U.S.
Practice Management

PCAOB Drafts Rewrites to AS2; Senior Administrators Moving On

Signs that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is entering a new phase of its development came recently when the Board submitted a draft of changes to the Auditing Standard 2 (AS2) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that are said to modify confusing definitions and eliminate the need for separate internal control and financial statements audits.
A&A

SBA-Backed Loans Set Records for 6th Consecutive Year

Small businesses turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for commercial financing in record numbers during fiscal year 2006, setting new single-year records for both the number of loans and the dollars loaned, according to SBA Administrator Steven C.
A&A

A Columbus Day Celebration of Accounting and Exploration

Once upon a time, an entrepreneur approached the most important and influential venture capitalists in the country in hopes of securing financing for his latest attempt to enter a new market. Having already successfully completed several trade missions and penetrated a variety of markets, he expected his proposal to be well-received. It was not.
A&A

Mobile Security Market: Preparing for Dynamic Growth

A new study found that an increasing market for mobile security products, including anti-virus, virtual private networks (VPN), data and file encryption and mobile identity management applications, is expected to reach almost $5 billion, installed in 247 million phones by 2011. Juniper Research, specialists in providing quality analytical research reports and consultancy services to the telecom industry, gathered information from some of the fastest growing mobile security providers to gain insight into the current and future market.
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Tax

Goldman Sachs Added as Defendant in Fannie Mae Suits

In a time of increased scrutiny on brokerages, Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been added as a defendant in lawsuits related to questionable accounting practices by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.Complaints allege that Goldman, Sachs & Co. violated U.S. securities laws while allegedly arranging Fannie Mae-sponsored bond deals, the brokerage said in its quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
A&A

Examining the Financial Health of America's Pastime

Despite the cloud of suspected steroid use that continues to hover over baseball, the sport seems to be financially healthy — at all levels.Representatives of Little League Baseball and Softball in Williamsport, Penn., the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Indianapolis and Major League Baseball in New York City, all report recent growth in revenue or profit.Advertisement
A&A

Islamic Accounting: Challenges, Opportunities and Terror

Recent events, from the start of Ramadan, to the Pope’s controversial remarks about Islam, to the discovery of a new tape by two of the September 11 attackers, to the release of Bob Woodward’s latest book, have once more made Islam a topic of conversation. Beyond the headlines, however, exists a complex religious and social system that affects far more people than just Muslims.
Practice

Technology Speeds Financial Close Process without Sacrificing Accuracy

Firms are still spending significant time and resources completing their reconciliation process despite technological advances that make it unnecessary. Increasingly tight regulatory guidelines, more stringent reporting requirements and complex operations over wide geographic regions, are only a few of the hurdles companies must overcome to achieve a faster, more efficient financial close process.
A&A

Avoiding Spreadsheet Slip-Ups

Spreadsheets help individuals and business organizations record financial data efficiently. Excel is probably the most common spreadsheet application used by businesses today. Users program formulas and macros to automate calculation of financial data as well. The seemingly simple financial logic inside spreadsheets can also cause embarrassing errors.
A&A

FASB Improves Employer Pension & Postretirement Plan Accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 158, Employers Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans last week, making it easier for users of financial information to understand and assess an employer’s financial position and its ability to fulfill benefit plan obligations.
Technology

First Document Management Company Earning Gold Status from Intuit

CNG-Books, Cabinet NG’s document management software for QuickBooks®, has earned Gold member status in the new Intuit Developer Network program. “We are proud that Cabinet NG is the first document management software company to achieve Gold status in Intuit’s program,” Andrew Bailey, President of Cabinet NG, said in a statement announcing the achievement. “The seamless integration of CNG-Books with QuickBooks creates an easy-to-use document management solution that provides high levels of efficiencies in the accounting process.

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