A&A news


SBA Seeks Comments on Small Business Size Standards

The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking comments from the general public on key issues relating to its small business size standards, the rules used by the SBA and other federal agencies to determine whether a business is small.

SBA Implements New Policy to Report on Small Business Federal Contracting

The U.S. Small Business Administration today implemented a new policy that enables the federal government to more accurately monitor contract awards when a small business is purchased or merged with a large business through the process of novation.The new policy requires a business to recertify itself as small for federal contracts transferred to it from another business if the contract is to continue being counted as a small business contract. It will also assist small businesses in obtaining contracts as federal agencies seek out new small businesses for contracting opportunities.

FEI Outlines Top Financial Reporting Challenges for 2005

Financial Executives International has identified the top 10 financial reporting challenges for 2005. These challenges will impact the way companies manage their businesses, report their financial results, and compensate their employees. The challenges include:Stock option expensing. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has mandated that all stock compensation be expensed beginning June 30, 2005 for most public companies. Smaller public companies and private firms have until the first annual reporting period after Dec.

Rothstein Kass Divests Investment Fund Business

Rothstein Kass, an international accounting and consulting firm with a specialization in the financial services industry and specifically alternative investments, announced today that it will divest its interests in RK Consulting, the Firm's investment fund administration affiliate. RK Consulting will be acquired by The BISYS Group, Inc. (NYSE: BSG), a leading provider of outsourcing solutions for the financial sector. The transaction, which is subject to usual and customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the next several weeks.

Small Business Loan Programs Receive Significant Boost

President Bush signed legislation this month making more than $21 billion available to small businesses through the SBA’s two main loan programs. The legislation also reauthorizes the agency’s programs and provides a $580 million budget for fiscal year 2005.The SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan guarantee program was boosted to a $16 billion level, $3.5 billion above what the program provided last fiscal year, when a record $12.55 billion in financing was made to small business.

'Franchising is Small Business at Its Best', Tax Services Franchise Tops List

For the 26th year Entrepreneur magazine is pleased to announce the top franchise opportunities. The Top 10 franchises for 2005 are: Subway Curves The Quiznos Franchise Co. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service The UPS Store Sonic Drive-In Restaurants Jani-King 7-Eleven, Inc. Dunkin' Donuts RE/MAX Int'l, Inc. America has stepped up to the sandwich bar once again - Subway comes in at No. 1 for the 13th time in 18 years.

AICPA Issues Statement on Accounting for Real Estate Time-Sharing Transactions

The Accounting Standards Executive Committee (AcSEC) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has issued a Statement of Position (SOP) 04-2, Accounting for Real Estate Time-Sharing Transactions.AcSEC issued the SOP to address diversity in practice caused by a lack of guidance specific to real estate time-sharing transactions.

American Express Announces Card Issuing Alliance with Citibank

American Express announced late last week that it has reached an agreement for Citibank to issue credit cards in the United States that will be accepted on the American Express global merchant network.American Express anticipates that the new credit card products developed by Citibank will be available in late 2005.Citibank will be responsible for issuing the cards, managing the customer relationships, providing service, billing and credit management and designing the card product features.

FASB: Companies Must Expense Options

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Thursday, published FASB Statement No. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment. Statement 123(R) will provide investors and other users of financial statements with more complete and neutral financial information by requiring that the compensation cost relating to share-based payment transactions be recognized in financial statements. That cost will be measured based on the fair value of the equity or liability instruments issued.

SEC's Chief Accountants Statement on FASB's Action

On Thursday, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued its Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment (Statement 123R), which addresses the accounting for employee stock options. The Commission's Chief Accountant, Donald T. Nicolaisen, issued the following comments on Statement 123R:The issuance of Statement 123R represents another important improvement in US generally accepted accounting principles. It will result in more comparable information in financial statements provided to investors.

Tax Day Is Coming - Helpful Hints For Small Business Clients

Tax Day is fast approaching. CPAs with small business clients are often stressed understanding their client's various business expenditures during tax season. Small businesses rarely have the means to keep up strong accounting files.

New Law is the 'Sarbanes-Oxley' of the Human Resources Sector

A new provision passed in response to recent corporate scandals is likely to have an unintended -- and costly -- effect on consultants and employees ranging from staff members to top managers at all types of companies. The American Jobs Creation Act, which goes into affect Jan.

FASB Rules that Companies Must Expense Stock Options

In a long-awaited and sure-to-be controversial move, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ruled yesterday that companies have to begin expensing for stock options given to employees as part of compensation packages. The issuance of Statement 123R represents another important improvement in US generally accepted accounting principles. It will result in more comparable information in financial statements provided to investors, SEC's Donald T. Nicolaisen said in a statement.

Self-Employment Up Sharply For Women, Blacks, And Latinos

Self-employment rates for women, blacks, and Latinos have risen sharply since 1979, according to a study released this week by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. During the period, self-employment rates increased across ethnic groups and gender, with an overall increase of more than five percent.“Self-employment is a critical part of our economy,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “Self-employment provides the main source of income for a diverse group of over 12 million Americans.

SEI Investments Releases Research for Pension Accounting Disclosures

SEI Investments a leading global provider of asset management and investment technology solutions, today announced the release of a new research paper outlining actuarial assumption ranges to be used for Financial Accounting Standards No. 87 (FAS 87).

IMA and RHI Honor National Financial Executive of the Year

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and Robert Half International Inc.(RHI) today announced that Peggy Scott, chief financial officer of New Orleans-based Pan-American Life Insurance, has been selected as the national winner of the 2004 Financial Executive of the Year Award.

SEC May Reject PCAOB's Budget

The Securities and Exchange Commission may not approve the budget of the accounting oversight board, which offers an average salary of $203,000 a year.The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which has requested $153 million, offers salary increases of 30 percent a year, according to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people familiar with the matter.The PCAOB, formed in 2002 in the aftermath of massive corporate scandals and bankruptcies, is funded by publicly traded companies.

Grant Thornton Posts Rise in Fiscal 2004 Revenues

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, last week reported that revenues climbed 23 percent in the fiscal year ended July 31, 2004 to $565 million. In fiscal 2003, the firm posted revenues of $458 million, up 25 percent from the previous year, leading the global accounting firms in U.S. growth.
Community News

IBM Scraps Pension Plan for New Hires in Favor of 401(k)

In a surprising announcement that may have a ripple effect throughout corporate American, International Business Machines Corp. has stated that as of January 1, 2005 it will no longer offer its cash-balance pension plan to newly hired employees.


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