A&A news March 2009

A&A

IASB and FASB announce further steps in response to global financial crisis

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have announced further steps in response to the global financial crisis following their joint board meeting held in London on March 23 and 24, 2009.Building on work underway, the two boards have agreed to work jointly and expeditiously towards common standards that deal with off balance sheet activity and the accounting for financial instruments. They will also work towards analyzing loan loss accounting within the financial instruments project.
A&A

Small businesses are using technology to cut costs and grow business

Microsoft Corporation has released a study of the business challenges and technology priorities that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are facing in the year ahead. The first "Microsoft SMB Insight Report," which will be published annually, identified virtualization, IT consolidation, business intelligence, software as a service and support of remote workers as the top technology investment priorities for SMBs in 2009.
A&A

DOL clarifies stimulus bill’s COBRA rules and issues model notices

The Department of Labor (DOL) has published model notices of temporary premium reductions in COBRA payments mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (the stimulus bill), that employers are required to send to employees whose loss of coverage occurred between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Eligible individuals should receive a notice by April 18 informing them of this opportunity. The stimulus package reduces the premium for COBRA coverage for eligible individuals to 35 percent of the full COBRA premiums for up to nine months.
A&A

Expedited fair value guidance may ease pressure on banks

Following a hearing at a House Financial Services subcommittee last week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed to expedite release of their proposed guidance for the application of FAS 157 "Fair Value Measurement." The proposed guidance was published for public comment on March 17th and will be voted on by the Board on April 2. If approved, the FASB recommends that the guidance be effective for interim and annual periods ending after March 15, 2009. According to CFO.com, FASB chairman, Robert H.
A&A

Telecommuting calculator adds up savings for employees and employers

The folks at Undress4success.com, the Web site jam-packed with everything you need to know about working from home, have introduced the Telework Savings Calculator. Based on U.S. Census data and other information, the calculator can help determine if working from home is beneficial to you as an employer and as an employee. It also reflects the environmental impact of not getting in a car each day and commuting to work.
A&A

New tax law extends NOL carryback period

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that small businesses with deductions exceeding their income in 2008 can use a new net operating loss tax provision to get a refund of taxes paid in prior years.
A&A

Provisioning Your Home Accounting Office

As the economy continues to contract, more and more accountants are considering striking out on their own. A benefit to providing accounting services is that you can often ease your way into your own business, as long as you don't run afoul of any non-compete agreements with your primary employer. I'm sure you've read a million articles about how to establish a separate workspace that's all your own and how to organize your files, so instead I'm going to focus on elements of my own home office that I've found particularly effective.
A&A

FASB Chairman Robert H. Herz testifies on mark-to-market accounting

Robert H. Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), testified about mark-to-market accounting today before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Herz appeared at a hearing convened by Congressman and Committee Chairman Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) on "Mark-to-Market Accounting: Practices and Implications."
A&A

Special accounting needs of not-for-profits and moving business forward

by Ken Garen, CPANot-for-profit organizations find themselves in a very challenging position. Government and funding sources thrust extremely sophisticated reporting requirements upon them, yet budget and personnel constraints often hamper their ability to fulfill the requirements. The organization's very existence and their ability to move forward may depend upon being able to closely track expenditures and create unique reports required by government and funding sources in an accurate and timely manner.
A&A

Small businesses found to be especially vulnerable to fraud

According to a report released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), U.S. organizations lose an estimated seven percent of their annual revenues to fraud – but the damage is the worst among small businesses. Among the fraud cases detailed for the survey, the median loss suffered by organizations with fewer than 100 employees was $200,000, higher than the median loss for larger organizations.
A&A

How will the Economic Stimulus Act affect payroll for me and my clients?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), aka the Economic Stimulus Act, includes new tax credits and other assistance that, while beneficial, will require changes to how payroll is calculated. Intuit, producer of QuickBooks, Intuit Payroll, is providing its clients with several methods for keeping up to date on the latest changes. Here are the suggestions Intuit is making to its clients for how to ensure payroll is current and correct:
A&A

Scrub data before getting rid of old computers

Company officials know that they must properly dispose of computers to protect personal information as well as the environment.Here are some tips for companies and for individuals who are looking to upgrade old computers without unwittingly making the hard drives available to identity thieves. Think of all the passwords, account numbers, addresses, phone numbers, tax returns, medical information, registration numbers for software programs and other information that's available.

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