A&A news

A&A

Smaller Accounting Firms Reap Benefits from SOX

Many companies, both large and small, have complained that the tough accounting and corporate governance standards of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are far too costly.For mid-level and regional accounting firms, however, SOX has created an opportunity to provide tax services to corporations that need to divvy up work among various firms.
A&A

Employee Benefits: Keeping Employees…Happy

Rising healthcare costs have turned employer-sponsored health coverage into a premium perk for many employees. Those same costs have put employer-sponsored health coverage out of reach for many small businesses. Fortunately, though health insurance may be the most desired benefit of employees, it is not the only one they value.MyrtleBeachOnline.com reports that survey of 1,092 adults commissioned by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. found more than half (58 percent) of adult workers said participation in a health plan was the best choice among possible employee benefits.
A&A

FASB Issues Standard as Part IASB Convergence Effort

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Statement No. 154, Accounting Changes and Error Corrections applying to all voluntary accounting principle changes as well as the accounting for and reporting of such changes. Statement No. 154 is effective for accounting changes and corrections of errors made in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2005. Earlier application is permitted for fiscal years beginning after June 1, 2005.Statement No.
A&A

Time to Prepare for Disasters is Before the Unexpected Happens

When disaster hits - be it a hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack - will your family and your business be able to bounce back?Financial planners are advising their clients to do more than gather gallons of water, batteries and flashlights, but to also consider the financial implications of a disaster.A new report shows that most business owners are unprepared to continue operations if the unexpected happens.
A&A

Burn it, Pulverize it or Shred it, Don't Just Toss it

Employees' personal information must be destroyed to prevent identity theft under a new law that went into effect Wednesday.Business owners who don't own a shredder should consider buying one because it's no longer good enough to rip up personal documents and throw them away.
A&A

Income, Saving, & Confidence All Play Role in Economic Growth

April saw personal incomes increase at the fastest pace this year. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on Friday, May 27, that personal incomes increased $69.1 billion or 0.7 percent and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $45.7 billion or 0.5 percent. Disposable personal income is the amount of income remaining after taxes are paid.Personal consumption expenditures (PCE), often called consumer spending, increased $53.6 billion or 0.6 percent which was less than the 0.8 percent rise expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.
A&A

Mark Your Calendar: SEC Advisory Committee for Smaller Public Companies

The first public meeting of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies is scheduled for Thursday, June 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday, June 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Columbia Law School. The meeting will also be audio webcast on the SEC website . Requests to present oral testimony must be submitted by June 6. Written statements must be received by June 8.
A&A

Summer Vacations on Many Small Business Calendars

Sixty-seven percent of small business owners expect to take at least a week’s vacation this summer. They are among the record number of Americans that will be taking vacations this year.“The bottom line is that business balance sheets are the strongest in decades, which means a greatly improved job market with more Americans back at work. Homeownership is more than 69 percent – its highest level in U.S. history – and given high appreciation rates, many consumers have gained an asset that gives them more buying power.
A&A

AICPA & FASB Exploring Changes in GAAP for Private Companies

The accounting profession will work with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to evaluate potential changes to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for privately held, for-profit companies the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) announced on Monday.The AICPA Council resolution directs AICPA management to work with the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the Financial Accounting Standards (FASB) in identifying and implementing a process for evaluating potential changes in recognition, measurement and disclosure from G
A&A

Open Source Accounting Options

How much does accounting software cost your firm every year? How much does it cost your clients? How much does the cost increase if you add in software for spreadsheets, reporting, online banking and bill pay, and other common accounting related tasks? Is it worth it? What if there was another way?A new wave of freely available open source business applications is already being adopted by a significant number of small and mid-sized businesses.
Practice

AICPA Business Solutions Expands to Include 401(k)

Paychex 401(k) Recordkeeping services have been added to the Paychex Partner Program from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Business Solutions. “The addition of 401(k) to the CPAs’ tool chest offers another great way to professionally serve their clients,” said Tony Tortorella, vice president of Human Resource Services – Sales for Paychex.
Technology

Intuit Announces Big Success in Launch of Payroll Program

Intuit's launch of QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll services is one of the software company's most successful, with 100,000 customers in just seven months.Owners of small businesses often take on many different roles, so managing payroll can be time-consuming, not to mention confusing, the company said.
A&A

401(k) Plan Participation Increasing, but Mistakes Abound

Despite efforts of businesses to educate Americans about the need to plan wisely for retirement, too many workers are making common mistakes - not saving enough, for example, or relying too heavily on company stock.Self-employed individuals or those who own a business that employs only their spouse are not taking advantage of Individual 401(k)s, thinking that they can't afford to set up a retirement plan, according to Fiducial, an international financial services firm."The hottest thing for self-employed individuals or a very small company's business owner and spouse is the Individual 40
A&A

Small, Medium Businesses Turn to Intuit, Best Software, Microsoft

The market for accounting software among small and medium-sized businesses is dominated by Intuit, Best Software and Microsoft, according to Boston-based analysts with the Yankee Group.The company said that Intuit has a “firm grasp” on the small business market, with 68.3 percent of companies with 2 to 9 employees using Intuit products. In the 20- to 99-employee range, Best Software and Intuit both boast 29 percent market share.
A&A

Calendar: Succession Planning Webcast

Succession planning consistently ranks among the top issues facing businesses of all sizes and types. According to a survey conducted by the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in 2004, 56 percent of CPA firms have at least one partner retiring in the next five years.
Education & Careers

Employee Background Checks on the Increase

A new online employment screening company is offering a quick way for employers to check the educational and work histories of potential employees.Employers can turn to www.Employact.com to conduct background checks, education verification and pre-employment screening to weed out applicants who list on their resumes fake diplomas or degrees from online diploma mills.“Our employment screening process will put the diploma mills out of business,” said CEO Samuel Anderson in a press release.
A&A

Cisco Proposes Option for Options

When the new rules regarding the expensing of options go into effect over the next year, technology firms, like Cisco Systems Inc., will be among the hardest hit. Billions of dollars are stake in Silicon Valley with its high concentration of technology firms.
A&A

Impending Bankruptcy Changes Push Up Filings

A major overhaul of the bankruptcy law is prompting more people to file for protection now to avoid going through a more difficult and expensive procedure in the fall.Bankruptcy filings in March jumped nearly 60 percent from February, according to Cardweb.com, which tracks the credit and debit card industries. Attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy law say the increase is directly related to the new law, which takes effect Oct.
A&A

FASB May Re-Open Talks on Derivatives and Hedging Activities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) may re-start discussions on one of its most controversial standards–accounting for derivatives.Financial Accounting Standard 133–Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities–took effect in 2000 and angered many business owners.
A&A

Sales, Business Tax Reform on Meeting Agenda

The next meeting of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform is scheduled for May 11 and 12, 2005 at the Transportation Safety Board Auditorium in Washington D.C.. On the agenda are specific tax reform options for retail sales tax, value-added tax and flat tax as well as a full day of discussion on business tax reform.The panel will also hear testimony on the “Transform America Transactions Fee Act of 2005” or H.R. 1601, submitted by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).

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