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New Report Outlines State of Small Business

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration today unveiled a major new federal government report, The Small Business Economy, 2004, which outlines the state of small business and its contributions to the economy. This latest in an annual series analyzes 2003 data. "In 2003, the overall economic indicators improved as the economy gained momentum," said Office of Advocacy Chief Economist Dr. Chad Moutray. "Small businesses led the way.

SEC Debates Whether Whopping Fines Hurt More than Help

Do huge corporate fines deter fraudulent behavior or harm the very shareholders they are intended to benefit?The five Securities and Exchange Commissioners are becoming more divided on the question, as the two Republican commissioners are frequently voting against huge fines imposed upon publicly traded companies for shaky accounting procedures, mismanagement and fraud. The Wall Street Journal gave these examples: Republicans Paul Atkins and Cynthia Glassman earlier this month voted against a $37 million fine against Wachovia Corp.

Couple Sues to Deduct Religious School Costs

A nonjury trial began last week in Los Angeles that could set precedent for how religious school expense deductions are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

SEC Considering Plan to Standardize Exchange Governance

The Securities and Exchange Commission's five commissioners agreed to float a plan released today that would require 10 U.S. stock markets to file quarterly reports with regulators, Bloomberg reported.The exchanges, which include the New York Stock Exchange, would also have to ensure that a majority of their directors are independent.

FASB Says Companies Should Book Tax Break as Deduction

Companies that benefit from a new tax break should book it as a “special deduction” against taxable income over time.That recommendation came from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Wednesday, and U.S. companies are likely to greet the news warmly because it means they won't take a one-time hit on earnings, Dow Jones Newswires reported. Companies will not need to immediately adjust their deferred income-tax balances based on the new, lower rate.The tax break is included in the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2004” that President Bush signed into law on Oct. 22.

Starting a Business? What Business Owners Should Know

Starting a business can be overwhelming enough trying to get up and running but when you think about all the tax requirements, your cup may runneth over. Here is what you must know in order to start your own business on the right foot and avoid paying penalties and interest which can cost more than paying an accountant to do things right the first time.WHAT FORM OF BUSINESS SHOULD YOU SET UP WHEN STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?There are several different options including a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation or limited liability company.

Nurturing Your Own 'Green Grass', Six Ways to Reinvest in Your Current Clients

Imagine for a moment that your business is lackluster and your third-quarter sales numbers are not on track. What's that? You say you don't have to imagine? You're not alone. We may be on the cusp of a recovery, but many companies haven't yet gotten the memo. And if you're like many of your financially frustrated counterparts, your first instinct is to round up your sales team and send them prospecting for new leads. After all, your current client list isn't keeping you well-fed, so it's time to seek out greener pastures. Right?

2005 Toyota Prius Certified for Clean-Fuel Deduction, $2000 Deduction for 2004/2005

The Internal Revenue Service has certified the Toyota Prius for model year 2005 as being eligible for the clean-burning fuel deduction. The certification means taxpayers who purchase this vehicle new may claim a tax deduction of $2,000 on Form 1040.Federal tax law allows individuals to claim a deduction for the incremental cost of buying a motor vehicle that is propelled by a clean-burning fuel.

SEC Delays Plan to Oversee Bank Brokerages

The Securities and Exchange Commission has again delayed implementation of a plan that would give the commission oversight over brokerage services offered by banks-a move some banks say would force them out of business, Bloomberg News reported.Hearing the objections of banks, regulators and the Federal Reserve, the SEC delayed until March 31 the rule that exempts banks offering brokerage services from SEC oversight, Bloomberg reported.Banks have complained, saying the rule would be prohibitively expensive since each individual account would have to be scrutinized."The proposal would s

Navigating The Whitewater of Internal Politics

by Phyllis Weiss Haserot - Whether or not we like to acknowledge it, "politics" are a workplace fact of life for people at all levels and a possibility whenever more than one (or two) persons gather in a firm, team, group - whether temporarily or longer term.

Sarbanes-Oxley Remains a Force to Be Reckoned With in the Boardroom

Two years after the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, corporate reform continues to impact corporate directors, according to a recent study by Corporate Board Member magazine and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The third annual "What Directors Think" study measures the opinions of directors and CEOs of the top 2,000 publicly traded companies.

Divided SEC Votes to Begin Inspections of Hedge-Fund Operators

Large hedge-fund advisers will be required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and undergo inspections starting in February 2006, the SEC decided Tuesday.The change was approved on a 3-2 vote and will only apply to hedge-fund operators who manage $30 million or more of assets, Dow Jones Newswires reported.SEC Chairman William Donaldson led the move for greater oversight of hedge funds. He said inspections would provide more information about the industry and prevent fraud. Failing to do so "would be a major dereliction" of the SEC's duty to investors, he said.

Credit Card Access to 401(k) Savings on the Way

Will convenient access to savings in 401(k) plans encourage workers to put away more money for their future or tempt them to drain their retirement accounts?The debate over that question has raged for nearly 25 years, but the various theories will be tested in the real world soon. A new 401(k) credit card is set to be unveiled today at a financial conference in Washington, D.C.

Two Steps to Improving Your Marketing Success

by Joel Sussman - Since the human brain seems to be able to focus on only one thought at a time, it's difficult to evaluate an advertising idea from the perspective of both a marketer and a customer. That's why it's necessary to use a two-step process when developing highly effective ads, sales letters, web pages, and e-mails. The first step involves creating a rough draft of your marketing message, while emphasizing the strong points and best attributes of your product or service.

Texas Society Takes Stand on Social Security & Medicare Reform

Urging CPAs to be ready to assist policy makers in finding realistic solutions to the looming Social Security and Medicare funding crisis, the Texas Society of CPAs' Executive Board recently passed a resolution and issued a white paper calling for reform of these two federal programs. The resolution notes that benefit payments will soon exceed available funds for both programs, creating a fiscal crisis for policy makers and potentially passing a massive financial burden on to future generations.

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

Compliments of bizmove.com - You'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.

Fiducial Acquires CPA Firm, Adds ten Offices Across Midwest

As part of its aggressive expansion plan, Fiducial, an international provider of professional business outsourcing services to small businesses and entrepreneurs, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the accounting offices of Indianapolis, IN-based

Los Angeles to Encourage Immigrant Business Owners to Pay Taxes

In a plan that some say legitimizes illegal aliens, the city of Los Angeles plans to allow undocumented immigrant business owners to pay taxes without fear of being reported.City estimates put the total unpaid immigrant taxes around $39 million as illegal aliens begin small businesses to pay their bills.

SEC Probes Unit of Thomson Financial

The Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Thomson Financial to find out more about its service providing information to public companies about their institutional investors, the Wall Street Journal reported."Thomson Financial is cooperating fully with the SEC and has been informed that the inquiry should not be construed as an indication by the commission or its staff that any violation of law has occurred," the company said in a statement. The Stamford, CT, company is a unit of Thomson Corp.
Community News

Financial Accounting Foundation Names Donald M. Young to the FASB

The Financial Accounting Foundation has announced that Donald M. Young, currently Managing Director of Young & Company, a provider of consulting and research services for technology and private equity clients and former Managing Director with PaineWebber/UBS from 1998 to 2003, was named a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) effective January 1, 2005. Mr.


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