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AICPA Receives IRS Citation of Excellence

Kevin Brown, Commissioner of the Small Business/Self Employed Operating Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) presented a citation for excellence to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) at the annual National CPA/IRS Tax Issues Meeting in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The citation was presented for “outstanding team effort in delivering products, services and education to the Small Business/Self Employed Operating customer,” for the AICPA’s work assisting small business taxpayers in conjunction with the IRS.

Celebrating 75 Years of VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) celebrates 75 years of serving American service men and women and their families this Veterans’ Day. The Washington Post reports that the VA is among the largest federal agencies having more than 235,000 employees and operating the largest hospital system in the country.“During times of challenge throughout our history, men and women have stepped forward to defend our freedom. They’re doing that today,” the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs said in a prepared statement.

The Benefits of a Professional Association Membership

A career in public accounting can be enhanced by joining a professional accounting organization. The benefits increase as accounting organizations such as the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the National Society of Accountants (NSA), and individual state CPA societies continue to develop programs and partnerships for their members. Your professional growth and accreditation depend on CPE classes being available. CPE classes are sponsored and provided by professional accounting organizations to make the process of completing the necessary credit hours easier.
Community News

New President Takes Reins of Small-Business Lobby

Longtime technology executive Todd A. Stottlemyer has been chosen to lead the country's biggest advocacy group for small business.The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has selected Stottlemyer, the CEO of Apogen Technologies, as its new president and CEO.

Postal Rates to Go Up; Holiday Mailing Deadlines Announced

The cost of a First Class postage stamp will go from 37 cents to 39 cents in January if, as expected, the Postal Service’s Board of Governors approves the rate hikes recommended by the independent Postal Rate Commission last week, the Associated Press reports. The Postal Service had requested an across-the-board increase of 5.4 percent, which was accepted by the Commission with a few revisions. Media and Book rates were increased to 12.7 percent and increases for nonprofits and local newspapers were reduced to 2.3 percent.

Drug Program Choices: Employer Paid Benefits or Pharmaceuticals’ Charity Programs

Retirees currently covered by employer-sponsored health plans will receive letters by November 15 that tell how their coverage compares with the new Medicare Part D, and how their current health benefits may change, a requirement of the federal government, says the New York Times.

Katrina Survivors and Cleanup Workers Wait for Money

Gulf Coast residents who weathered Hurricane Katrina and the immigrants who flooded in to clean up the mess are playing a waiting game, and their patience has run out.Mississippi and Louisiana residents who lost their homes and businesses are waiting for their insurance checks; workers, many of them illegal immigrants, are still waiting for paychecks after weeks of work.Meanwhile, the federal government is waiting for $3.7 billion from the state of Louisiana as repayment for its hurricane relief costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may be waiting the longest—Gov.

Attention Turning to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs

Just two months after Congress passed a massive energy bill supporting increasing supplies of oil and gas, homeowners and businesses in the Northeast and Midwest are bracing for huge projected cost increases for natural gas for heating and electricity this winter, and are scrambling to find ways of conserving energy. Children have been encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy to be on the lookout for “EnergyHog” in their homes, RedOrbit.com reports.

2005 Sees Increases in IRS Audits

More than 10,000 more audits of small businesses organized as corporations were conducted during fiscal year 2005 than in the previous year according to enforcement data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Wednesday. The number of large corporations and wealthy individuals audited also increased during the fiscal year ending September 30. These are just a few of the highlights were in remarks from IRS Commissioner Mark J.

Entrepreneurs Critical Piece of Economic Picture

Low taxes, manageable regulations and few obstacles to entering the business world are keys to encouraging small business growth around the world, a federal economist said last week."Countries around the global are discovering how important small business is for their growth and long-term economic health. Their policies toward entrepreneurship differ, but the results of similar policies are consistent,” Chad Moutray, chief economist of the U.S.

New Business Planning Tools for Small Businesses

Two new versions of popular business planning software offers small and mid-sized businesses the opportunity to utilize the same level of detailed business planning as their larger competitors. In fact, these new versions were designed with unique needs and challenges of small and mid-sized businesses in mind.SAP AG unveiled the latest version of SAP® Business One last week. SAP Business One is an affordable business management software solution designed to meet the needs of rapidly growing small and mid-sized businesses in more than 37 countries worldwide.

It Pays to Take Another Look at Ocean Freight Charges

Retailers and importers importing goods via ocean freight may have a sum of $50,000,000 in erroneous freight rate charges waiting to be claimed according to Ocean Freight Refunds. Ocean Freight Refunds closely examines ocean freight charges for importers to determine if any errors have been made.

In the Spirit of Halloween

A recent CareerBuilder.com survey shows about one-third of the 2,450 workers participating in the survey plan or considered dressing in the spirit of Halloween at the office tomorrow. The “Halloween at the Office 2005” survey also noted several creative last-minute costume ideas such as ‘A Day Off’, ‘Red Tape’, ‘Office Gossip’, and ‘Happy Hour’. Women seem to find costumes easier to pull together than any man.
Practice Management

Wanted: Accounting Grads, Willing to Pay Gym Fees

Overworked accounting executives are finding that great pay and benefits aren't enough to attract top talent.Satisfying the crushing demand for accounting services means getting creative: offering athletic club memberships, flexible work schedules, telework options, bonuses, training opportunities and the intangibles, such as a positive “work environment” and “work-life balance.”

Making Contributions to Foreign Charities

“Charity begins at home” is a popular phrase often used to encourage donations to local charities. But for a nation nearly 1 million people immigrated to and more than half a million new American citizens were naturalized in 2004 alone, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics, home may not always be the United States. Even Americans who are born here may have strong connections to other countries or feel compelled to contribute to foreign charities in the wake of such disasters as tsunamis and earthquakes.

Pumpkin Accounting is Left to the Experts in Keene

Counting the pumpkins at the annual Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, is not a job for amateurs. Maintaining the record for the most jack-o-lanterns lit at one time in one place is serious business, not just to the participants but also, the Equinox reports, to Lehman and Wilkinson, the Keene accounting firm responsible for tallying the total.Lehman and Wilkinson has been counting pumpkins at the Pumpkin Festival since 1992, the second year of the festival, when the total was only 1,628 according to the Equinox.

White Paper Overview: CPA Firms Lack Formal Staffing Programs

Few certified public accounting (CPA) firms have formal, documented programs for attracting and retaining qualified staff members a recent survey conducted by the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Survey results appear in the white paper Best Practices in Recruiting and Retaining Talented Staff. “Unfortunately, many firms believe that they lack the resources to implement a formal program.

HIPAA Privacy Concerns

Although it was not fully implemented until 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 was enacted to insure that people between jobs would have access to quality health care coverage. Changing insurance carriers before HIPAA was difficult or impossible without facing lowered coverage or exorbitant premiums. The Act was also intended to guard private health care information and create a uniform rules for dispersing personal information.Under HIPAA, the U.S.
Community News

Smaller Accounting Firms in Big Demand

With the Big Four accounting firms busy helping public companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, smaller firms are picking up business once dominated by their bigger rivals.At least two surveys over the last two years show that Big Four accounting firms are losing clients. Some of it is by choice, as the Big Four have had to drop some smaller companies to make sure their big public clients are in full compliance with the corporate reform legislation, especially the rigorous internal control requirements.

E-mail Just Got Safer for Small Businesses

Small businesses using Microsoft® Outlook® for e-mail can now get the same levels of rights management and encryption previously available only to large enterprises.


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