A&A news

A&A

AICPA Opposes Restrictions on Foreign Housing Benefit

A Senate proposal to limit a housing benefit employers provide to overseas workers has sparked opposition from the AICPA and business groups concerned about the loss of American jobs.The measure would change the 1978 formula for figuring the benefits for U.S. expatriate workers. Currently, overseas workers are allowed to exclude up to $80,000 from U.S. income taxes. If their employers pay for housing, however, they can exclude housing costs as long as they are not "lavish or extravagant," the Wall Street Journal reported.A proposal sponsored by Sen.
Technology

Tips for Effective Internal Investigations

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsEmployers are forced to defend themselves against large numbers of EEOC charges and lawsuits, many of which could be avoided by prompt and effective internal investigations. A primary goal of any human resource or EEO officer should be to have an effective mechanism for allowing work-related complaints to be resolved internally.
A&A

Providing Year Round Tax Services for Small Businesses

by Darren Oliver April 15 may be long gone, but many independent accountants and tax preparers or small firms will find themselves without that nice, additional tax season generated revenue. Although you may be used to experiencing this and plan for it accordingly, a trend within the industry towards providing year round federal tax review and recovery services for small businesses is emerging, that could redefine the time frame by which we define tax season.Meanwhile, small businesses are demanding that accountants advise and/or consult on a larger scale.
A&A

GAO Supports FASB’s Action on Stock Option Expense Rules

In a letter this week to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States gave full support to the proposed statement requiring companies to record share-based payment as an expense. Mr. Walker said, “In our view, stock options and other forms of share-based payment have economic value and represent a form of compensation expense.
Education & Careers

Tips For Small Business Owners and Summer Vacations, Don’t Worry, Plan!

With summer officially here and the Fourth of July holiday approaching, many small business owners are getting ready for vacation. Recent survey data from the OPEN Small Business Network 2004 Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express provides insight into small business owners' summer vacation plans.
Practice Management

Top Ten Strategies for Boosting Small Biz Profits

by Bea Fields No matter what stage your small business is in, one thing is for sure: money matters! If you are in a slump, the fastest way to jump-start your sales is to reach out and touch as many people as possible using your unique talents and gifts. These ten tips will guide you to maximizing profits from your small business while becoming a biz expert one day at a time. Choose your words with care.Each time you speak, you have the chance to make or break your business.
A&A

Business Survey Finds Health Care Costs 'Out of Control'

In a survey of health care decision-makers at 200 area employers, 92 percent said health care costs are out of control, but only 35 percent are considering taking any additional action to address the situation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charlie Baker discussed the results of the survey during a speech to business leaders at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today.
A&A

FASB Issues Proposal on Fair Value Measurements

In response to requests from constituents to improve the current guidance for measuring fair value, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published an Exposure Draft, Fair Value Measurements. The Exposure Draft seeks to establish a framework for measuring fair value that would apply broadly to financial and nonfinancial assets and liabilities, improving the consistency, comparability, and reliability of the measurements.
A&A

SEC Says Mutual Funds Must Have Independent Chairmen

After a vigorous debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission squeaked through a rule change that will require mutual-fund companies to have independent chairmen.The changes approved Wednesday, on a 3-2 vote, will also require 75 percent of fund seats be filled with independent directors, who must hold meetings separate from fund management, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A&A

House Passes Bill Allowing More Child Care Savings

The House passed a bill on Tuesday that would allow families to keep unspent money they saved that year in tax-free child care accounts.Currently, employees have to give up any money that remains unspent in their flexible spending accounts at the end of the year. Under the bill, passed by voice vote, families will be able to roll over up to $500 in unused child care savings to the next year, the Associated Press reported.Flexible spending accounts are offered by employers so families can set aside pre-tax money for health care or child care expenses.
A&A

Jury Awards $6.4M in Damages against Payroll Service Provider

Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury returned a verdict for $6.4 million in favor of a Texas firm called The Payroll Partnership LP and two of its sister companies against Rapid Payroll, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Paychex, Inc., the nation's #2 payroll processing firm.The jury found Paychex subsidiary Rapid Payroll liable for breaching software licensing agreements related to a personal computer based payroll processing system called "Rapid Pay." The lawyer for The Payroll Partnership LP, Stephen Wald of the Boston law firm Craig and Macauley, stated, "We are delighted wi
A&A

FASB Offers Guidance for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published an Exposure Draft, Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations, an Interpretation of FASB Statement No. 143, in response to the diverse accounting practices that have developed with respect to the timing of liability recognition for conditional asset retirement obligations.
Practice

Many Companies Fail to Achieve Success with Pay-for-Performance Programs

Companies nationwide are placing greater emphasis on performance-based pay (in both salaries and bonuses), yet most have done little to ensure this approach to compensation is successful in meeting their goals, according to a new study from Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing firm and WorldatWork, the leading association for total rewards professionals.
A&A

Study: Credit Report Errors Common, Damaging

One in four credit reports contain serious errors that could lead creditors to believe that a consumer is over-extended or delinquent on loans, according to a new study.The study, conducted by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), defined "serious" errors as ones that could result in an automatic denial of credit, CNN/Money reported."It is outrageous that inaccurate credit reports could damage one in four consumer's ability to buy a home, rent an apartment, obtain credit, open a bank account, or even get a job," Ed Mierzwinski, director of consumer programs at consumer group PIRG, s
Tax

Couple Claims Government Agents Tried to Influence Jury

The possibility that Internal Revenue Service agents and Justice Department lawyers "glared" at jurors during a recent trial will be the subject of a federal appeals court hearing, the New York Times reported.A Nevada couple, on trial for tax evasion, claims the federal officers attempted to intimidate the jurors into reaching their guilty verdict. The hearing could result in the overturning of the tax evasion convictions of Martin Rutherford, a Reno chiropractor, and his wife, Nanja.
A&A

FAF Issues Statement Opposing Legislative Proposals to Curb FASB Independence

Source: Financial Accounting Foundation The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), after extensive analysis and with careful public due process, issued a proposal on March 31, 2004 regarding accounting for employee stock options and other equity-based compensation. As Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) we do not take positions on the FASB's standards-setting proposals; we leave the complex task of accounting standards setting to the experts who comprise the FASB.
A&A

House Committee Votes to Restrict Expensing of Stock Options

A House committee has greatly narrowed the scope of a proposal requiring U.S. companies to count stock options as business expenses.The House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would require companies to count as an expense only the cost of options offered to their top five executives, Reuters reported.
A&A

Tax Windfall Possible for Tech, Drug Companies

Technology firms and pharmaceutical companies would win huge tax breaks under a bill that would permit them to bring home profits earned abroad without the heavy tax burden that goes with it.The bill would allow American companies with foreign operations to "repatriate" earnings held overseas at a tax rate of 5.25 percent, versus the current rate of 35 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A&A

The Road to Success: Growing Your Network

By Alvah Parker, Career and Business Coach"How do I grow my business through referrals?" "I was just downsized and need another job, what are your suggestions?" " I want to work in the US but I need to find a company to work for that will sponsor me. How do I find that company?" These are the questions people ask me. While each question has an array of answers, one answer that comes up for all these questions is to network. Whether you are a business owner, work in business or are starting a new career, having a network of people to support you is imperative.

Pages