A&A news

Practice

Companies Choose Consumer-Driven Health Plans to Curb Costs

Nearly one in five companies (19 percent) of 314 firms surveyed offer a consumer-driven health plan, up from 11 percent in 2003, according to Deloitte Consulting LLP.
A&A

FASB May Delay Rule Change on Debt Securities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) may delay a rule change that would require financial institutions to reduce the value of debt in their bond holdings when interest rates fluctuate.The proposal would force banks and financial institutions to record declines in the value of mortgage-backed securities in their income statements even if the losses are caused only by rising interest rates rather than falling credit quality, the Wall Street Journal reported.The proposed requirement is part of a group of guidelines called EITF 03-1, which are designed to clarify when companies mu
A&A

New Financial Designation is Geared towards Serving High Net Worth Clients

The College for Financial Planning (CFP) recently announced it’s enrollment for the College’s new Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA) Designation, is now open.John Sears, College President said, "As the leader in financial planning education, we are proud to offer this innovative new program for those who have high net worth clients and wish to serve them better, or financial professionals who seek to add high net worth clients."
A&A

Workers Reveal Top Barriers to Career Progress in Latest Survey

In addition to picnics and parties, three-in-ten workers have thoughts of a better career on their minds this Labor Day weekend.
Technology

Lucent to Receive $816 Million Tax Refund

Lucent Technologies Inc. and the Internal Revenue Service have tentatively agreed that the telecommunications-equipment maker should receive an $816 million tax refund.Lucent is among the first companies to seek tax refunds under a 2002 statute that aims to help companies harmed when the technology bubble burst at the end of the 1990s, the Wall Street Journal reported. Massive layoffs resulted, and some companies closed or went bankrupt.Under the new statute, companies can apply losses in 2001 against taxes paid on profits earned during the profitable 1990s.
A&A

Former Invesco Executives Settle Market Timing Abuses

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced this week settled enforcement actions against Timothy J. Miller, the former chief investment officer and a portfolio manager for Invesco Funds Group, Inc. (IFG); Thomas A. Kolbe, the former national sales manager of IFG; and Michael D. Legoski, a former assistant vice president in IFG's sales department. The Commission issued orders alleging that Miller, Kolbe and Legoski violated federal securities laws by facilitating widespread market timing trading in certain Invesco funds in contravention of those funds' public disclosures.
A&A

FASB Will Allow Companies to Decide How to Value Stock Options

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) took a big step toward finalizing a rule on expensing stock options Wednesday by agreeing to let companies choose their own method for calculating value.FASB had previously singled out one approach as the preferred method for estimating the fair value of stock options.
A&A

Judge Tells Freddie Mac to Stop Withholding $60M in Ex-CEO's Pay

The former chief executive of mortgage giant Freddie Mac will receive about $60 million in compensation that was withheld by the company on orders from its regulator.A federal judge ruled Monday that the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight lacks the legal authority to freeze the assets of Leland Brendsel, who was ousted during last year's accounting scandal. The regulator told Freddie Mac to stop all pay and benefits for Brendsel while it was pursuing a civil lawsuit against him, the Wall Street Journal reported.U.S. District Court Judge Richard J.
A&A

Study: CEOs Who Outsourced More Took Home Larger Salaries

A new study on executive compensation found that chief executives who sent the most service jobs overseas made more money last year than other CEOs.At the 50 companies that outsourced the most service jobs, average CEO compensation rose 46 percent in 2003. CEOs at the 365 big companies surveyed by Business Week saw an overall 9 percent increase in 2003, according to the study by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy.The two groups put out an annual “Executive Excess” report.
A&A

Census Figures Show Slump in Women's Income

The gap in pay widened between men and women full-time workers last year, surprising analysts who could not explain why women's pay slumped for the first time in four years.Women made 75.5 cents for every dollar a man made last year, according to Census Bureau figures reported last week in USA Today. That figure in 2002 was 76.6 cents, an all-time high.
A&A

Targeting the Best Prospects, Narrow Your Focus

Many partners think that selling to the widest possible market is the likeliest path to success. They are afraid to pursue a market niche because they fear they'll lose business by turning away customers. But this 'take all comers' approach is not very effective. It's hard to stand out when you market your business without a distinctive set of prospects in mind. Occupying a niche means you won't be competing with a lot of similar businesses solely on price.
Community News

Study: Those Who Invest in Their Business, Grow Their Business

The adage "you have to spend a buck to make a buck" holds true, according to a new study of small business owners and accountants. Intuit Inc.'s annual "Voices of Small Businesses and Accountants Study" found that 64 percent of businesses and 73 percent of accountants who invested in their business reported growth in the last 12 months. "Investing in your business or in your accounting firm may sound like common sense, but it's often a scary proposition when things look uncertain in the economy," said Jill Ward, vice president and general manager of Intuit's Accountant Central group.
A&A

Large U.S. Companies Increase Hiring and Investment Plans

Senior executives at most large U.S. companies plan to increase both hiring and investments over the next 12 months amid growing optimism about the economy, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Barometer. "Despite higher oil prices and the unsettled situation in the Middle East, executives expressed confidence about the continued strength of the economy and their company's ability to grow at a healthy pace," said Frank Brown, global leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Advisory practice.
Practice Management

Doing Well by Doing Good; Organizing Contributions With A Firm Giving Policy

By Bruce W. Marcus, marcus@marcusletter.comWe’re getting to that time of year when the requests for corporate donations to good causes begin to come in. So much need. So few available dollars. And as you grow larger, and make deeper inroads into your community and your market, so too do the demands and urgings for your participation increase.Obviously, you can’t respond generously to everyone who solicits your help.
A&A

IRS to Clamp Down on Reporting by Nonprofit Political Groups

A new enforcement initiative by the Internal Revenue Service aims to give the public a clearer picture of who is contributing to tax-exempt political groups and how those donations are being spent.The IRS has announced it will be taking a hard look at so-called "527s," nonprofit political groups named for Section 527 of the tax code that regulates them.
A&A

As Hiring Rebounds, Managers Seek a Different Labor Force

Hiring managers place a premium on teamwork -- even higher than qualities like ambition and the ability to think on their feet, according to a recent study from Development Dimensions International (DDI). DDI, a global human resource consulting firm specializing in leadershipand selection, surveyed 1,515 hiring managers to learn more about their experiences when interviewing, evaluating and hiring employees as they increase their workforces. For example, 75 percent of hiring managers surveyed want employees who are compatible in a team setting, while only 20 percent look for em
A&A

Investor Scam; Con Artists Snaring Victims Across the Country

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week issued an investor alert designed to warn Americans about a new scam sweeping the country-answering machine "wrong number" stock touts. Voice mail messages are appearing on home answering machines from coast to coast saying that the stock price of certain small, thinly traded companies will soon shoot up.
Tax

Janus Finalizes $226M Settlement on Fraud Charges

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Wednesday a settled enforcement action against Janus Capital Management LLC (JCM), for entering into undisclosed market timing agreements with certain investors. The Commission ordered JCM to pay disgorgement of $50 million and civil penalties of $50 million, for a total payment of $100 million. JCM also consented to a cease-and-desist order and a censure, and agreed to undertake certain compliance and mutual-fund governance reforms.Stephen M.
A&A

Equity Wins Out Over Liability in FASB Debate Over Options

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday ruled out the possibility that stock-option pay could be treated as a liability.The decision ends the debate between the liability advocates and those who believe stock-option pay should be classified as equity.Wall Street analysts have argued that employee options are an economic liability because the actual cost to shareholders is the difference between the strike price of the options versus the higher stock price when the options are exercised, the Associated Press reported.
A&A

Price for Google IPO Set at $85 Per Share; Trading Starts Today

Google cut the value of its initial public offering by nearly half Wednesday, setting the price at $85 a share.With the Nasdaq symbl “GOOG.O,” the search engine giant will begin trading this morning.A tepid response by investors and a cool market for Internet stocks hurt Google, which cut its IPO price from its initial range of $108 to $135 per share. The final price was set through an unusual auction involving would-be investors.

Pages


Already a member? log in here.