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Community News

Vital Records Management: Don't Get Distracted by SOX

When it comes to data management, executives must develop a strategic approach – thinking in both in terms of the “big picture” vision and the details of storage, Van Carlisle, CEO of Fire King, a security and records management group, told the ABA Banking Journal in an interview published in March 2005. Carlisle points out that not all records have the same value to a firm. To be distinguished as “vital,” a record must contain information that is essential to the organization in the event of a disaster.
A&A

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts Ease the Way for Couples

Ending a marriage is a painful prospect for most couples but it becomes even more complicated for those with extensive financial assets. Enter the certified divorce financial analyst to simplify matters.The Springfield (MO) News-Leaders reported that more and more couples, especially those who own businesses together, are seeking the services of CDFAs to help them navigate the often-tricky path to divorce. The certification is offered by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, which was founded in 1993.
Community News

Liberty Tax Service is the Season's Fastest Growing

Liberty Tax Service is fastest growing branded tax service of the season. Between January 1 and March 31, 2005, the company has opened 311 new offices. In addition Liberty Tax Service has realized a 35 percent increase or prepared 142,000 more tax returns than in the same period last year. Liberty Tax Service was named “Leader in Tax” in the March issue of Accounting Today magazine. The January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur magazine ranked Liberty Tax Service 15th on its annual Franchise 500 list.
A&A

AICPA Issues Exposure Draft on Business Valuation Standards

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) last week issued an exposure draft of proposed Business Valuation Standards for comment.
A&A

Consolidation Rules for Sole General Partner LPs & LLPs

In its comments on EITF Issue No. 04-5, “Investor’s Accounting for an Investment in a Limited Partnership When the Investor Is the Sole General Partner and the Limited Partners Have Certain Right,” TIC noted that the title should be revised to clarify it also covers entities that are equivalent to limited partnerships, such as LLCs. The proposed standard discusses three types of rights: kick-out rights (as used in FASB’s FIN 46R), participatory rights and protective rights.
A&A

SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant Release Staff Accounting Bulletin on Share-Based Payments

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant and its Division of Corporation Finance announced on Tuesday announced the release of a Staff Accounting Bulletin relating to the Financial Accounting Standard’s Board (FASB) accounting standard for stock options and other share-based payments. Staff Accounting Bulletin No.
A&A

FASB Issues Final Interpretation of Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday published FASB No. 47, Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations. Interpretation No. 47, clarifies that the term “conditional asset retirement obligations” as used in FASB Statement No. 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations, refers to a legal obligation to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within the control of the entity.
Practice

Is Your Health Insurance Provider Overbilling You?

State regulators in Wisconsin say Milwaukee-based Assurant Health overbilled an unspecified number of small businesses and will have to pay refunds to those clients. It’s not yet clear how many of Assurant Health’s small employer clients, those having fewer than 50 employees, had to pay higher health insurance premiums because of the miscalculations or how far back the miscalculations stretch.During an investigation by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance found that Assurant Health, which was known as Fortis Health Insurance Co.
A&A

Poll: Public Divided on Regulating Appearance in the Office

Most would agree that nose rings and obesity are more common than ever in the U.S. workplace, but a new survey says the nation is divided over whether employers should have the right to ban body piercings or compel large-framed employees to drop weight. In the survey released today, 39 percent said employers should have the right to deny employment to someone based on appearance, including weight, clothing, piercings, body art or hairstyle.The survey comes as employer-employee disputes over appearance increasingly spill into the courts and government enforcement agencies.
A&A

Family Partnerships are Under the Microscope

Tread carefully if you are thinking of moving family estate assets into a partnership to reduce your tax burden. A U.S.
A&A

CIO Insight Magazine Releases The Global Outsourcing Report

Three-quarters of U.S. companies outsourced some or all of their information technology activities in 2004, and that percentage is likely to increase this year, according to a special survey on outsourcing and offshoring in the March issue of Ziff Davis Media's CIO Insight magazine. While a smaller percentage of companies are outsourcing those activities offshore (32%), half of them have cut full-time jobs as a result.India is the most competitive and popular technology outsourcing destination in the world in 2005, according to the Global Outsourcing Report and, China will be the No.
A&A

The IRS Asks, Do You Have a Deductible Home Office?

Whether you are self-employed or an employee, if you use a portion of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes, you may be able to take a home office deduction.You can deduct certain expenses if your home office is the principal place where your trade or business is conducted or where you meet and deal with clients or patients in the course of your business.
A&A

Debt vs. Equity: Accounting for Claims Contingent on Firms’ Common Stock Performance

Determining accurate accounting methods for employee stock options and other stock-related claims has long been a headache for companies, investors, analysts, standard-setters and regulators. Contradictory GAAP rulings that classify similar securities as both debt and equity have resulted in inconsistent company reporting over the years.
A&A

Survey Finds Workers Average Only Three Productive Days per Week

Unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters that workers around the world say make them feel unproductive for as much as a third of their workweek on average, according to results of an online Microsoft(R) Office survey announced last week.
A&A

Apple Plans to Boost Executive Compensation Through Bonuses

As Apple broadens distribution of its wildly popular iPod music players to retail outlets like Target, the company is making plans to offer cash bonuses to top managers, Bloomberg News reported.Citing a study Apple commissioned, the company said it is not paying its executives enough and is not positioned to be competitive in the area of executive pay with rivals such as Dell and Sony, both of which are trying to copy the success of the iPod. The iPod has fuelled the company's shares, which have more than tripled in the past year.
A&A

Women Sue Small Business Administration Over Missed Goals

Upon viewing the disturbing results of a recent U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce national survey of women business owners which found a remarkable 62 percent unable to access capital they need to be competitive -- despite their preparedness and available collateral --, the leaders of the USWCC decided to take dramatic action.To significantly increase access to capital for the more than 10 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., the USWCC announced a groundbreaking partnership with Newtek Small Business Finance.
Community News

Tax Preparation Support Program: The Next Small Firm Practice Area?

When it comes to understanding their income tax options, nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of employees do not fully comprehend how their W-4 forms impact their taxes and paychecks, according to a national survey by Hudson. That figure rises to 29 percent when looking at workers aged 18-29 years old. Additionally, two in every five U.S. workers (40 percent) would be interested in a tax preparation support program from their firms if it were offered.Further, just one-third (34 percent) of workers report that they prepare their taxes themselves, compared to 55 percent who hire a professional.
A&A

Push is on to Require Finance Education in High Schools

Hoping to stem the future tide of overwhelming credit card debt, personal bankruptcies and foreclosures, seven states are now requiring high school students take a personal finance class, the Associated Press reported.A survey by the National Council on Economic Education found that the seven states require the basic finance course as a prerequisite for graduation, which is up from four states in 2002.
A&A

Small Accounting Firms Shop for 'Safe' Companies

Smaller accounting firms are scrutinizing potential clients like never before.Accounting firms of all sizes and their clients are approaching each other far differently than they did in the pre-Enron business environment. Firms are looking for “safer” companies, and higher-risk companies are searching long and hard to find the right firms, the American City Business Journal Wire Service reported."The client-acceptance standards clearly have been raised, certainly by Grant Thornton, and, I believe, by all the firms," said Richard D.
A&A

You Can't Learn the Most Important Business Skill in School

In a recent study that asked more than 2,500 businesspeople what impacted their bottom line the most -- nearly 75% said it was networking. So why has almost nobody been taught to network in school?Dr. Ivan Misner, CEO of the world's largest networking firm and a business professor at Cal Poly University in Pomona, CA, has recently released data he compiled in a comprehensive study of businesspeople around the world.

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