A&A news

Tax

Some Small Businesses Suffer, Others Profit from Outsourcing

As outsourcing accelerates, it can be the best of times or the worst of times for U.S. small businesses.Take for example Craig Schroer, president of Unitech, a tool and die manufacturer in Lee's Summit, Mo. His company’s revenues were slashed in half almost overnight when his biggest customer, a U.S. truckmaker, decided to purchase cheaper parts from a Chinese manufacturer. "One month they were talking to us about doubling their orders," said Schroer, who until recently employed 16 workers and enjoyed annual sales of $2 million.
Community News

The Value of Trust, A Client's Perspective

By, Joe Heller, The Strategy SamuraiOne of the most challenging, if not the most difficult piece of the business development puzzle in a sale is - Trust. Trust today is truly the pivotal point of building a successful business relationship. Trust is rarely tied to a product or service but it is facilitated by the person interacting with the customer. Why is this important? Because everything depends on trust and in this day and age, trust is difficult to come by.
A&A

Women-Owned Businesses Growing Twice National Average

Nearly half of all privately held firms in the U.S. -- 10.6 million -- are owned 50 percent or more by women, says a new Center for Women's Business Research study sponsored by Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). According to the study, "Women-Owned Businesses in 2004," between 1997 and 2004 the number of women-owned firms with employees were estimated to grow over 28 percent, nearly three times the rate of all privately held firms, and twice the national rate of all firms.
A&A

CCH Employment Law Briefing Analyzes Overtime Rules

The Department of Labor has issued a far-reaching revision of the basic rules on who does and who doesn’t qualify for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal wage-hour law, but has stepped back from an earlier, more fundamental reworking of the law, according to CCH INCORPORATED, a leading provider of human resources and employment law information. The proposed changes are expected to cost employers approximately $700 million to implement, but then produce savings of more than $1 billion annually.
Community News

Pension Crisis Prompting Changes to Company Retirement Plans

More than half (52 percent) of 125 companies polled are considering changes or already have made changes to their pension plans in the past year, according to a survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP.Buffeted by increased costs due to falling interest rates and investment returns and by continued pressure from financial analysts to limit future risk, more companies are opting to move away from defined benefit plans. Among those respondents that have changed their plans, the single most common shift (among 38 percent) was freezing their pension plan and moving to a defined contribution plan.
A&A

IRS Continues Launch of Online Business Tools

With record numbers of Americans e-filing their tax returns and recently announced e-filing options for corporations and tax exempt organizations, the Internal Revenue Service has launched a new online form that gives tax professionals a faster, easier method of applying to become an authorized e-filer.As more and more taxpayers ask for e-file, tax professionals now have an online application form that cuts processing time and reduces errors associated with using the paper Form 8633, Application to Participate in IRS e-file.
A&A

Google IPO Sparks Excitement among Investors, Wall Streeters

First Google became a verb: Have you goggled today?
A&A

Federal Government Unveils New $50 Bill

Ulysses S. Grant is getting a face-lift. Grant, who has adorned the $50 bill since 1913, will debut with his new look this week in the latest of the bill redesigns done to ward off counterfeiters.Production of the new $50s will begin this summer at the printing plant in Ft. Worth, TX, where the new look was unveiled this week.
A&A

Show Me the Money: Workers Put a Bonus, Raise First on Wish List

It may not buy happiness, but money is top of mind for employees today, according to a recent survey. Nearly half (48 percent) of workers polled said what they want most at work is a bonus or raise. More time off ranked second, with 24 percent of the response, followed by additional support at the office, with 17 percent. The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.
A&A

Congress Grapples with Stock Option Issue

Is history going to repeat itself? Will Congress move as it did 10 years ago to undercut the authority of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which is authorized by the Securities and Exchange Commission to set U.S accounting standards?For the second time in a decade, Congress is taking up the mandatory expensing of stock options, a controversial recommendation by FASB, which could be a direct hit to the bottom lines of many U.S. companies who use the options as a form of employee compensation.
A&A

Fast Growth Companies Regaining Their Stride

Back to the future! Revenue growth targets for America's "Trendsetter" companies are at their highest—and worries about market demand at their lowest—in more than three years, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study. Disproportionate new hiring and capital investments are planned by the fastest growers—suggesting that if others can achieve a threshold level of growth, more new jobs and greater investments will follow.
A&A

Small Businesses Should Start Tax Planning for Next Year Now

Don’t want to look at that 2003 tax return for a good long time?Understandable, but a bad idea, tax analysts say. Now is the time for small business owners to start thinking about their 2004 return, if they haven’t already."Once you complete the return, it's a time for reflection," said Paul Gada, a senior tax analyst with CCH Business Owners Toolkit, based in Riverwoods, Ill.
A&A

Oxley: Congress Belongs in Stock Option Debate

Stock options. Two little words that pack a big economic punch, so big that Congress is getting more involved in an ongoing debate on how companies should show the options on their financial statements.The term "stock options" refers to the practice of giving employees the option to buy or sell company stock at a fixed price in the future and is at the heart of a battle shaping up that pits Congress against the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which sets accounting standards for the private sector. Rep.
A&A

More Workers Eligible for Overtime Pay Under Rule Change

A new rule defining who must receive overtime pay will cover workers who make up to $100,000 a year, up from the $65,000 overtime ceiling proposed previously.Also, more low-wage workers would automatically become eligible for overtime, and emergency services workers would earn overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week.The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday issued the long-awaited and far-reaching change to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.
Community News

Good Questions Uncover Client Related Problems

In his book SPIN Selling, Neil Rackham discovered that sellers are fearful of asking problem questions while buyers welcome them. Buyers report that professionals, who ask problem questions seem to understand the business, seem to talk about valuable things and are more interesting.
A&A

IRS Awards $7.5 Million to Tax Clinics Assisting Low Income Taxpayers

The National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, announced that the Internal Revenue Service has awarded $7.5 million in matching grants to Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). This amount will fund 135 clinics in 2004.
Technology

OpenPages Acquires PwC's Sarbanes-Oxley Software

PricewaterhouseCoopers is getting out of the compliance software business.PwC and compliance platform vendor OpenPages announced last week that OpenPages has acquired the audit firm’s software product for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance. Terms of the deal were not announced.PwC’s product, called Internal Controls Workbench (ICW), will become OpenPages ICW. OpenPages already offers SOX Express, and has 50 clients and more than 7,500 users.
A&A

2004 Retirement Confidence Survey: Percentage of Americans Saving Stagnant Since 2001

What will it take to get more Americans to save and plan for retirement? Despite a recovering economy and efforts to educate the population about the importance of planning and saving for retirement, the percentage of Americans who say they are saving for retirement remains stagnant.
A&A

SOS from Financial Institutions: Stop Excessive Spending on Risk and Compliance!

BearingPoint, Inc., a business consulting and systems integration firm, announced the findings of a survey of leading financial institutions, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), that found wasteful spending and duplication of efforts around risk management and financial transparency, due to the absence of data standards.
A&A

Executive Compensation Emerges as Number One Corporate Governance Issue

Executive compensation has emerged as the top corporate governance issue this proxy season. Compensation panels are being scrutinized at unprecedented levels and shareholders are voting "no" on them when a disconnect between pay and performance is observed."The perceived failure of boards of directors to self-regulate and curtail excessive executive compensation has increasingly angered shareholders and incited dialogue regarding legislation to control compensation," states Bill Ide, Sr.

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