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Community News

Tyco Faces Follow-On Suit over Settlement

As part of their 2001 settlement with Tyco International Ltd., an investor group was given company shares.
Practice Management

Lack of Direction and Too Many Goals Keep Businesses from Achieving Top Goals

Workers Need Four Basic Disciplines of Execution. Stephen R. Covey, author of the best-seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, believes the major reason businesses fail or remain mediocre is not due to the market or product, but because they lack the ability to take their high-level goals and strategies and translate them into concrete actions."U.S. workers have so many goals to work on, they can't stay focused on and execute their organization's top three goals," said Covey, vice chairman of FranklinCovey.
A&A

Tax Law Changes Drive Higher Error Rate on 1099s

The Securities and Industry Association says that 9.5 percent of dividend tax forms sent by major Wall Street firms this year were wrong.The error rate is usually 5 to 8 percent, the Washington trade group says, but the new tax law created difficulties in reporting the corporate-dividends tax rate correctly this year.
A&A

Beware of Medicare Drug Discount Card Fraud

As the new Medicare drug discount card program begins this week, Medicare consumers should be aware of three common frauds including identity theft and "bait and switch" tactics, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Seniors should read the fine the print of drug discount card contracts and watch for fraud and identity theft," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
Tax

Lecture Circuit Beckons Some Ex-White-Collar Criminals

Some former white-collar criminals are finding that crime does pay, with lucrative speaking careers following prison terms.Those who have a compelling story to tell and who are willing to take responsibility for their misdeeds are highly sought after on the speaking circuit where they can make thousands of dollars per speech, the New York Times reported.Those interested in hearing from ex-cons include business schools, professional associations and corporations, the Times reported."It's a powerful message," Kellie McElhany, professor of corporate management at the Haas School of Busin
A&A

How to Manage a Rapidly Growing Business

By Alvah Parker While some new business owners face the issue of not enough customers, others face the issue of too many customers/clients. Both are serious issues and must be dealt with carefully. There are many lists on how to find new customers/clients. Here is a list of 10 ways to deal with a rapid influx of new customers.
A&A

Student Loan Interest Rates to Fall to All-Time Lows

Interest rates on federally guaranteed student loans will drop to historic lows again this summer, potentially saving both new and current education loan borrowers thousands of dollars in interest over the life of their loans. These record-low rates will help families and students finance college this fall. "College financing has never been more affordable," said Tom Joyce, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sallie Mae.
A&A

Private Collectors Could Reduce Backlog of Unpaid Taxes: GAO Report

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has recommended that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) consider using private collection agencies to go after unpaid taxes.Because the IRS lacked enough staff to aggressively collect the unpaid taxes, the backlog has grown the $120 billion, Government Computer News reported.
Community News

NY Attorney General Spitzer Sues Grasso and NYSE

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer yesterday sued former New York Stock Exchange Chief Executive Richard Grasso to try to recoup nearly $100 million of the $188.5 million the exchange paid him before he resigned last September.At a Manhattan press conference, Spitzer called Grasso’s compensation process "rigged," and "wholly inappropriate and illegal." He said that Grasso, who was also the NYSE chairman, at turns misled and intimidated some of the exchange's board members, Reuters reported.
A&A

Survey Finds SOX Compliance Making Some Companies Consider Going Private

The rising and unpredictable costs of complying with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is causing some companies to consider going private to avoid being forced to adhere to the law’s provisions, CFO.com reported.What some had thought would be one-time costs are turning out to be accelerating costs, according to a study from Foley & Lardner, which found that 21 percent of the companies surveyed are considering going private.Smaller companies are particularly struggling with compliance with 85 companies with annual revenue below $1 billion (out of the 115 companies that responded to the survey), s
A&A

FAF Chairman Responds to 'The Stock Option Accounting Reform Act'

Robert Denham, Chairman and President of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), expressed grave concern over the approval of H.R. 3574 “The Stock Option Accounting Reform Act,” by the Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of the Committee on Financial Services.“Advancing this bill in the legislative process harms the credibility of America's system for providing transparent and unbiased financial information to investors,” Denham said. “By inserting Congress into the setting of standards for accounting by publicly traded companies, H.R.
A&A

FASB Issues Rule on Accounting for Medicare Subsidy

Companies are barred from booking a federal Medicare subsidy as a one-time boost to their earnings under a new rule issued Wednesday.The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) final guideline requires companies to record the amount of federal subsidy they expect to receive as an "actuarial gain," to be amortized into income over the average working life of their employees, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Community News

Women Business Owners Underserved According to a New Survey

The results of the survey of women business owners conducted by National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC) were announced today. Women entrepreneurs have a 50 percent or greater stake in nearly half (48 percent) of all privately-held businesses in the United States and they generate approximately $2.3 trillion in sales and employ 19.1 million people nationwide, according to the Center for Women's Business Research.
A&A

House Subcommittee Votes to Dilute Stock Option Rule

Congress may once again stymie the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) efforts to require companies to show stock options as an expense on company financial statements. A decade ago Congress forced the accounting standards setting board to settle for footnotes in the financial statements addressing stock options. This time, Congress may end up requiring that only the options paid to a company’s top five executives be shown as an expense.The controversial FASB proposal was considered last week by a House Financial Services Subcommittee, taking up a bill sponsored by Rep.
A&A

IRS Offers Small Businesses New Tools to Help Manage Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service today introduced two new tools to help small businesses keep their employee retirement plans compliant with federal tax law. These tools — a suite of retirement-plan “Check-Ups” and an employer newsletter — will help employers better understand their retirement plans and stay up to date with new developments.“Small business owners have told us they want more information on how to choose, establish and operate their retirement plans,” said Carol Gold, Director of Employee Plans for the IRS.
A&A

USPS Offers Solution to Validate Mutual Fund Trades

Cleaning up the mutual fund industry is going to take more than good intentions on the part of traders. The U.S. Postal Service is suggesting the $7 trillion mutual fund industry make use of technology that would stamp the date and time on electronic transactions, making it impossible to sneak in a late trade.The mutual fund sector has been beset by scandal as it came to light that fund mangers were allowing some preferred trades to go through after the 4 p.m. close of trading for the day.
Tax

EU Reaches Accord With Switzerland Over Savings Tax Issue

After a decade of negotiating, the European Union’s proposal to tax non-residents’ savings appears likely to become reality since a deal was struck between the European Commission and Switzerland.Representatives of the EU's 25 member states last week cleared the way for the deal to be signed on Wednesday, the Financial Times of London reported.
A&A

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

Compliments of bizmove.comYou've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve.
A&A

Dos and Don'ts for Releasing Records of Deadbeat Clients

A slow economy means slow-paying clients and increased client turnover. This can add up to tough ethical questions for accountants who prepare tax returns. One especially tough dilemma arises when a former client, who hasn't paid his bill, demands that copies of all his records be provided to his new accountant. What would you do in that situation?Do adhere to AICPA Professional Standards, ET section 501.
A&A

Business-Owned Life Insurance is Topic of Latest GAO Report

A recent report out by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) titled BUSINESS-OWNED LIFE INSURANCE - More Data Could Be Useful in Making Tax Policy Decisions looks into the subject of Business Owned Life Insurance. Federal and state regulators, in pursuing their regulatory responsibilities, have collected limited data on the prevalence and use of business-owned life insurance. Federal bank regulators have collected more data than other regulators.

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