A&A news April 2008

A&A

New small business video contest offers large cash awards

Aspiring filmmakers can win $5,000 in cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in a new "Small Business Works for America" video contest sponsored by America's leading small business association, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).Video artists simply need to create a 30-second clip that answers the question, "Why does small business work for America?" and submit the video to NFIB. After an initial review, entries will be posted on the NFIB YouTube channel where viewers can rate them.
A&A

IRS launches campaign to help new small businesses

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a year-long campaign to help educate new self-employed small business owners about federal tax responsibilities and about filing Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business.One of the biggest challenges faced by people starting out in business is understanding and meeting their tax filing requirements," said Kathy Petronchak, commissioner of the IRS's Small Business/Self-Employed operating division. "It's a new, different and potentially overwhelming experience for them.
A&A

FASB forum to consider use of global accounting standards by U.S. companies

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) announced Friday that they will host a forum entitled High-Quality Global Accounting Standards: Issues and Implications for U.S. Financial Reporting. The purpose of the forum is for the FAF and the FASB to open a dialogue with constituents about whether and how to continue to move the U.S. toward high-quality global accounting standards, the FAF and FASB's press release says. The forum will take place Monday, June 16, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Baruch College, in New York, NY.
A&A

Top 10 ways to motivate your employees this summer

Just in time for summer, Gevity, which serves as a full-service human resources department for small and mid-sized businesses, has provided its "Ten Ways to Motivate Your Employees This Summer" list. Compiled from Gevity research as well as existing research on this topic, the list provides a fun and helpful way for small business owners to motivate their employees as the warm - and often slower - summer months approach.
A&A

Choosing a business structure

Many small businesses start to rethink their business structure at this time of year, right after filing a tax return and learning how much tax they owe for the preceeding year.
A&A

It’s easy being green: Five ways to go green In 2008

By Raissa EvansCompanies around the world are now on the “going green” bandwagon for a number of reasons. Some do it for the sole purpose of marketing “green,” others do it for tax incentives. However, very few do it because it is the right thing to do for their clients, employees, and the environment.While not all green initiatives will save your business money, cost you nothing or get you more customers, having a green business can align good business sense with community objectives, branding, and reputation.
A&A

Etiquette 101: Tips from 'The Collection Coach'

By Richard B. LedererAs business owners, we sometimes find it hard to collect money that’s owed to us. We may find asking uncomfortable and so we postpone. As with most disliked tasks, the more we delay, the more reluctant we become to tackle the chore. Stress builds; cash flow slows.
Tax

Business Tax Index 2008 ranks state tax systems

With April 15, "Tax Day," just behind us, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has published the "Business Tax Index 2008: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business," ranking the states according to the costs of their tax systems for small business start up and growth.SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said, "Entrepreneurs and small businesses have to struggle every day with the costs of taxation, which affect a wide array of decisions, including hiring, investment, expansion, and location.
A&A

Music-loving accountants sing a different tune in April

You have to wonder what the late, great Nat King Cole would think about Steven Zelin changing the lyrics on his hit "Unforgettable" so the ballad conjures up images of tax deductions instead of true love."Tax deductible," sings Zelin, who recently quit his job as a corporate accountant to pursue music, "That's what you are: Tax deductible. Just like my car, like a gift to local charity, you give my 1040 clarity . . ."Anyone who turned out to file their taxes Tuesday evening at New York's James A.
A&A

Merchant cash advances are increasingly popular among business owners

As small business owners scramble to secure the working capital they need to maintain smooth business operations and banks continue to reject more lending applications than ever, business owners are choosing new alternative financing options. Among the most popular of these options are merchant cash advances, also known as MCAs. A simple concept, merchant cash advances are cash advances based on a percentage of future credit card receivables which provide immediate working cash for businesses. Upon approval, the merchant cash advance is electronically wired to the recipient's bank account.
A&A

IRS shifting audit focus to small corporations from largest corporations

The number of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) field audits of the nation's largest corporations, companies with more than $250 million in assets, declined from 4,693 in 2005 to 3,308 in 2007, while the IRS has told Congress that the number of audits of all corporations has increased, according to the latest report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
A&A

Filing taxes last minute? 3 tips to win over your CPA

By Yvonne OlsonI find it difficult to have pity on people who procrastinate about filing taxes on time.I do admit, however, that I myself am a procrastinator. But when it comes to filing taxes, I don't leave them until the last minute.
A&A

Tips on how to conduct an effective meeting

When members of a company gather at a meeting, their purpose is to conduct business - to collect information and discuss issues and to make decisions on how these issues will be resolved or addressed.The methods businesses choose to carry out these functions will frequently depend on the type and size of the meeting. Careful planning and preparation are essential to conducting effective meetings, regardless of type or size.Below are a few ideas and tips to help you prepare for a successful meeting.First, determine if the meeting is truly necessary.
A&A

Surviving the final push to April 15

Attention CPAs in Chicago, New York and Houston: Your cities rank No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the list of Top 10 Tax Procrastinating Cities in America.And if last year is any indication, next week should be brutal. Intuit, which makes TurboTax products, based its list on the number of federal tax returns electronically filed last year between April 14 and April 17. First, there are the clients. You know the type.
A&A

PCAOB announces small business audit forums

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has announced the 2008 series of its Forums on Auditing in the Small Business Environment. These forums are designed to help share important information with registered public accounting firms and public companies operating in the small business community. The 2008 agenda will include a discussion of practical quality control policies and procedures and evolving accounting and auditing issues. The discussions also will address the application of certain auditing standards and observations from the Board's disciplinary orders.
A&A

Is your language blocking your success?

By Dr. Pam Brill - "I'm burned out," "I've lost my drive," "I'm not interested," - these are words and images that sales pros have used to describe their falling motivation that accompanied their failing numbers. A sales pro in financial services, Chris had lost the passion and the spark that fueled him for making chilly cold calls and energy for the heated sprint to close the deal. With numbers down and still falling, Chris blamed the competition, the internal competitors, including the other sales pros in his division and the new kids on the block.
A&A

Software tool helps companies meet requirements of new identity theft rule

Under a new Federal regulation, by November 1, 2008, banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, auto dealers, credit card lenders, payday lenders, landlords, utility companies, phone companies, and any business that extends credit, must perform a risk assessment to identify "red flag" weaknesses in their systems and procedures that could lead to identity theft. The companies should then take steps to develop a written Identity Theft Prevention Program.
A&A

Laughing at taxes: Lawyer wins TurboTax laugh contest

A good laugh never hurt anyone, especially at tax time. And Austin attorney John Ramsey came up with enough good laughs about taxes to win the Intuit TurboTax TaxLaugh contest and its $10,000 grand prize.

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