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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
Education & Careers

Choosing a Financial Planner Takes Some Research

Investors of all ages believe they need professional help to manage their money, leading them to question the best way to find a skilled financial planner they can trust.A new survey shows half of “GenX” investors (26 to 40 years old), 46 percent of “Boomers” (41 to 59) and 45 percent of “Matures” (60 to 82) say they “need the help of professionals” in managing their investments.

Quasar Accounting: A Cost Effective Software Solution

In the world of small and medium enterprises, there is a myriad of accounting packages available to track income and expenses, pay bills, invoice customers, and keep track of inventory. From the nearly ubiquitous QuickBooks to other options such as PeachTree, Cougar Mountain, and Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting, most packages have the same basic functionality and offer more features for more money. But what if there was a solid solution that wasn’t so costly?
Education & Careers

Survey of Financial Pay in the Manufacturing Industry

The median annual income reported for Chief Corporate Financial Officers (CFO)in the manufacturing field is $130,032, but 10 percent make less than $87,414 and 10 percent make over $259,603. Of course, not all financial professionals working in the manufacturing industry are CFOs. Even among CFOs, pay varies widely with the fiscal size of the manufacturing firm. For example, CFOs in manufacturing firms with annual revenues of $10-$24.9 million have a median annual income of $111,916 vs.

AICPA: CPAs Have What it Takes to be CFOs

What does it take to be a good CFO? Expertise in accounting, financial reporting and internal controls, says the AICPA, and CPAs possess the skills to excel in the role.That's the position the AICPA lays out in a new white paper, "CPAs as CFOs: Why You Should Have a CPA in Your C-Suite." The paper outlines the many new demands on the CFO and how CPAs are particularly attuned to handle the variety of operational, financial and compliance challenges."There is a dual role for today's CFO," said AICPA President and CEO Barry C. Melancon, CPA.


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