A&A news August 2008

A&A

Staying top of mind (without being a pain in the neck)

By John Doerr"And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with,love the one you're with, love the one you're with, love the one you're with...."- Stephen StillsWhy does it seem that our clients (and prospects) too often take the advice of seventies rock stars when selecting their professional services providers? Perhaps the following story will shed some light.I Just Awarded that Assignment…
Technology

ERP software webinar announced

Technology Group International (TGI) and Panorama Consulting Group have announced a joint educational Webinar offering tips and techniques for successfully organizing and managing ERP software selection projects in the small to medium business (SMB) market. This free Webinar titled, "ERP Software: Failing to Plan Means Planning to Fail," will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. You can register in advance for the free online Webinar.
A&A

IRS publishes fact sheet on for-profit hobby deduction rules

The Internal Revenue Service would like to remind taxpayers to follow appropriate guidelines when determining whether an activity is engaged in for profit, such as a business or investment activity, or is engaged in as a hobby.Internal Revenue Code Section 183 (Activities Not Engaged in for Profit) limits deductions that can be claimed when an activity is not engaged in for profit. IRC 183 is sometimes referred to as the hobby loss rule.
A&A

Staying safe for Labor Day

On the eve of a long weekend, it is tempting to overlook the role safety should play in everyone’s holiday plans. Whether a person is working, going on vacation or just hosting a barbeque at home, staying safe is key to having an enjoyable holiday.The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recommends employers commemorate Labor Day by conducting a companywide safety audit. Safety audits are important because they help businesses be proactive about safety and address problems before they result in an injury or illness.
A&A

PCAOB announces forum for small public company execs

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has announced the agenda for its upcoming forums for directors and financial executives of small and mid-sized public companies – part of the Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment series.The first forum, hosted by Board Member Dan Goelzer, is Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago, IL. The second, hosted by Board Member Bill Gradison, is Thursday, Oct. 30, at The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.
A&A

New IRS analysis shows only half of Schedule C income is reported

New data based on analysis of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) National Research Program Individual Reporting Compliance Study of 2001, on which the agency's estimate of the "Tax Gap" is based, show that only one-half of Schedule C income and only 88 percent of capital gains are reported, David Cay Johnston, writing for Tax Notes says. Johnston obtained the data ahead of IRS publication.
A&A

Energy costs hitting middle market on the bottom line

RSM McGladrey has released data gathered in the last ten days that shows global competition for raw materials and rising energy costs are driving up costs and substantially reducing the bottom line of middle market manufacturers and distributors more than they were just three months ago.
Technology

Intuit teams with Tommy Silk to create Jingle Generator for small businesses

Need a jingle for your business? Intuit, makers of QuickBooks software, has created a new Web site called the Intuit QuickBooks Jingle Generator. This automated process enables you to work with rock producer Tommy Silk to create your own personalized jingle.The first step entails choosing a business type. There are 20 categories to choose from, including Accounting Services, Real Estate, Consulting Services, Small Business (Other), Nonprofit/Causes, Restaurant/Catering, Retail/Shopping, and more.
A&A

SEC charges microcap companies with harming investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged six microcap companies, four company officers, and several market professionals for their roles in a scheme to raise millions of dollars in capital through improperly registered stocks to fund the companies' struggling businesses.
A&A

FASB looking for feedback on proposed earnings per share revision

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued a revised Exposure Draft (ED) of a proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, Earnings per Share — an amendment of FASB Statement No. 128. The proposed Statement seeks to improve financial reporting by clarifying and simplifying the method of calculating earnings per share (EPS), while promoting the international convergence of accounting standards by eliminating major differences that currently exist between FASB Statement No. 128, Earnings per Share, and International Accounting Standard (IAS) 33, Earnings per Share.
Tax

Has the IRS overreached in audits of small businesses?

The National Small Business Association (NSBA), a small business advocacy group, has launched a new Web site, PreventIRSAbuse.org, designed to uncover potentially abusive Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit tactics and inform its members about efforts by the IRS and Congress to use small business audits to enhance revenue. The NSBA site asks members to contribute their own experience with audits and challenges the fairness of the IRS characterization of the "Tax Gap."
A&A

Buy before you buy: Getting paid for lead generation

By Mike Schultz and John DoerrFree is fine, but can I pay instead?Marketing is expensive. Especially when you sell complex products and services, your investments in brochures, Web sites, ads, direct mail, and PR can be steep. After all, you need to educate your prospects and seduce them with your solution and its benefits. This is a bit more involved than grabbing people's attention with a free sample for an impulse product like a cube of bubble gum with a gooey surprise in the middle.
A&A

Government reports faulty oversight at SBA

Troubles are mounting at the Small Business Administration (SBA). In the latest of a series of reports of poor oversight at the SBA, federal investigators published an internal memo last week that asks how the agency concluded that an affiliate of the security firm Blackwater fell within size limits for small business. The Blackwater affiliate has received more than $100 million in contracts reserved for small business.
A&A

Effective rules for successful mentoring

Mentoring in general isn't a new concept, but for many firms, setting up a mentoring program is far down on the list of to-do's. Studies have shown that mentoring can be an effective workplace tool. Here are some tips for making the mentoring process a success.
A&A

Marketing core services and niche practices after Sarbanes-Oxley

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 turned six years old on July 30. One result of the many far-reaching effects of the legislation has been the growth of specialized practices in small and mid-sized accounting firms that auditors are prohibited from providing by the Securities and Exchange Commission's post-Sarbanes rules. The specialized services, called the niche practices, are designed to meet the needs of clients audited by larger firms, and have become an important focus for marketing in the smaller firms, in addition to their ongoing marketing of core audit and tax services.

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