A&A news


XBRL GL: More Than Reporting

As powerful, and useful, as eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is for sharing information between organizations, there is more to business, and accounting than just reporting. There is also more to XBRL than just financial reporting taxonomies. In July, XBRL International release the latest version of XBRL GL, the General Ledger taxonomy which allows for more efficient handling of financial and business information within an organization.The XBRL GL taxonomy represents any information found in a chart of accounts, journal entries or historical transactions.

Accounting and Tax Relief for Business Owners Hit by Katrina

The financial impact of Hurricane Katrina will not be known for many days, even weeks. But that is not stopping the Internal Revenue Service or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from doing what they can as fast as they can.The IRS is offering taxpayers immediate relief in those counties and parishes that have been declared disaster areas by President Bush. The deadlines for making employment and excise tax deposits has been extended to September 23 while those for tax returns and other tax payments have been extended until October 31.

Occupancy Costs -- More than Just Rent

While rising rents in commercial real estate will impact occupancy costs, other components such as technical infrastructure and work environment changes can push these costs even higher, says Ryan Morris, President of Real Estate Partnerships & Alliances Inc. in the Houston Business Journal.

Small Business Owners Work Long Hours But Manage Work/Life Balance

The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index finds that small business owners today work an average of 52 hours per week. The majority, 57 percent work six days a week and more than 20 percent work all seven days. Sixty-Five percent of respondents say that they make time outside of work for things that are important to them. The small business owners surveyed average two weeks of vacation per year with 14 percent taking no vacation at all.
Practice Management

New Roth 401(k) Option Will Be Offered in January

Employers can offer a new 401(k) retirement account starting January 1, 2006. The Roth 401(k) merges the traditional 401(k) account with the tax benefits of the Roth IRA. The new Roth 401(k) is funded using after-tax dollars and withdrawals from the account are tax-free while the traditional 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars and withdrawals are taxed as income. The Roth IRA has income eligibility limitations for single filers making more than $110,000 a year and joint filers making more than $160,000 yearly.

Small- and Medium-Sized Companies in UK Want to Halt Convergence

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) has joined the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in calling for a halt to use of international financial reporting standards for small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) in the UK, according to a report in Accountancy Age.
Community News

Inside the 25th Annual Business & Technology Solutions Show: The Future Tunnel

Star Trek seemed pretty high-tech at the time, probably much like the abacus did. Wayne Harding, CPA, Vice President of Business Development at Rivet Software, used the old William Shatner vehicle to illustrate some very relevant and eye-opening points in his presentation on XBRL. Asked why the small firm CPA should pay attention to XBRL, Harding looked me directly in the eye (much like Shatner would) saying, “XBRL is here. It’s real.

BRAC Commission Making Final Recommendations

The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) has announced that it is ready to review and vote on each individual proposed closure and Department of Defense (DOD) realignment commencing August 24 to August 27. The Commission must submit its final recommendations to President Bush on September 8. The President must approve or disapprove the Commission list by the September 23 deadline.

Introducing Envision Accounting Software for Accounting & Financial Professionals

EmeraldKey Technologies, Inc. introduced Envision Accounting Software for accounting and financial professionals last week.

NATBO Selects Orrtax Software as Endorsed Provider

Orrtax Software Solutions Inc. announced earlier this month participation with the National Alliance of Tax Business Owners (NATBO) as a Charter Sponsor and Endorsed Provider.

Intuit Aims to Solve Accountants’ Most Critical Needs

Intuit® is increasing its commitment to accountants by rolling out a series of new and enhanced programs including free technical support for QuickBooks ProAdvisors®, a new accountant-dedicated support team and free training seminars in 80 cities across the nation.

Two More Banks Settle Enron Claims

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Toronto-Dominion Bank will pay Enron a total of $480 million to settle allegations that they helped the once-mighty energy giant hide debt and inflate earnings.The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by Enron against 10 banks. The suit contends the banks could have prevented the company's 2001 collapse if they hadn't “aided and abetted fraud,” the Houston Chronicle reported.J.P. Morgan will pay Enron $350 million in cash and drop $660 million in claims against the company.

Flagging Optimism on Economy Among Accountants

What a difference six months can make. In December, 71 percent of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) serving as chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and other decision makers had a positive outlook on the state of the economy. According to the latest Business and Industry Economic Outlook Survey, only 57 percent still feel that way.Concerns about rising energy and employee costs, increased regulation and the cascade effect of provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have hurt optimism.

FAA Taking Sharper Look at Contracts

Questionable billing and hiring practices by a government contractor have spurred the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine whether certain contracts are costing the agency more money than they save.According to the Washington Post, the FAA is now reviewing so-called support services contracts with hundreds of small businesses because of problems with D.C.-based Crown Consulting Inc, which has 58 different contracts with the FAA worth up to $135 million.

Accountants Host “Hill of Beans”

Abalos & Associates, P.C., a full service CPA firm serving small and mid-sized businesses in Phoenix, Arizona, is bean counting, literally. The firm is hosting the eight annual “Hill of Beans” Food Drive with St. Mary’s Food Bank through August 22, 2005.“The summer months are a difficult time for St. Mary’s Food Bank because with more children out of school and food donation in short supply, their supply of nonperishable food is depleted more quickly,” says Cheryl Folkerth, manager at Abalos & Associates, P.C.

Wyoming Will Use New System to Track Education Grants

State audit officials in Cheyenne, Wyoming have announced that they will install software to separate out and track federal grants, beginning with the Education Department, according to the Associated Press. The tracking software has already been installed on the Department of Environmental Quality to track federal grants, State Auditor Max Maxfield said, the AP reported.

FASB Issues Exposure Drafts on Accounting for Financial Assets & Instruments

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, on Thursday, issued a revised Exposure Draft, Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets, Accounting for Servicing of Financial Assets and Accounting for Certain Hybrid Financial Instruments. All the proposed Statements would amend FASB Statement 140.

CPAs with .pro Domain in the Spotlight

Throughout August, Showcase.pro is highlighting four web sites owned by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and having the .pro domain. The .pro domain was created to give professionals a distinctive means of branding and marketing their services. "A .pro address is perfect for branding a Professional Service firm,” says Tom Barrett, President of EnCirca, sponsor of Showcase.pro. “Professionals can also use .pro to secure targeted search engine keywords for their Internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) programs.

Fed Increases Interest Rates - Again

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday once again raised interest rates, the 10th increase in 14 months, and signaled that more rate hikes are likely.The central bank stated that it would raise short-term rates at a "measured" pace, a term that analysts believe will translate into quarter-point increases at Fed meetings set for September, November and December, the Associated Press reported.The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised a key short-term rate by one-quarter percentage point to 3.5 percent. In just over a year, the benchmark rate has increased 2.5 percentage points.

Finance Operations Overlooking Technology in Improving Operational Efficiency

More than three-quarters of finance executives surveyed say they need to improve operational efficiency in their organizations, according to a report released Tuesday by Accenture. The report, based on a survey of more than 120 senior executives conducted in January 2005, also found that a significant number of organizations were unaware of the process improvements they could experience with the appropriate implementation of technology.“The findings show that finance executives are challenged to improve efficiency and reduce the time and


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