A&A news

A&A

NCSL Opposes Rule Affecting State Authority Over National Banks

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has let the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency know that it opposes a proposed rule that would eliminate state authority over national banks and all their diverse range of non-banking operating subsidiaries."The OCC proposal threatens to undermine the integrity of the dual banking system and moves toward a centralized, European-style regulatory model," according to NCSL’s written comments signed by Delaware Representative Donna Stone and Illinois Representative Frank Mautino, chair and vice-chair, respectively, of NCSL’s Financ
A&A

Small Business, Investors Could Benefit From New Bill

Small business owners may soon benefit from an increased business loan pool if Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has her way.
Practice Management

Merging Financial Services: A Wave of the Future?

The city of Citrus Heights, CA is home to an innovative financial network of firms that continues to grow and offer a multitude of services to its clients.Tax & Financial Professional Center, Inc. is way more than a CPA firm. The firm provides tax services to some 5,000 clients, but that's only the beginning.
Tax

SEC Looks at Hedge Funds, Amex Irregularities

Seeking to better understand how hedge funds are managed and how their assets are valued, the Securities and Exchange Commission will consider a staff proposal to put hedge funds under its oversight umbrella.“Hedge funds for the most part operate below the commission’s radar screen,” SEC Chairman William Donaldson said at a press conference in Washington, at which the SEC staff proposal was unveiled.
A&A

8th Annual State by State Rankings of Small Business Climates

Last week, the Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) released its eighth annual rankings of the states according to their respective policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship in the "Small Business Survival Index 2003."In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the "Small Business Survival Index 200" are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) New Hampshire, 5) Florida, 6) Texas, 7) Tennessee, 8) Washington, 9) Michigan, 10) Mississippi, 11) Alabama, 12)
A&A

FASB Proposes Improvements to Pension Accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an Exposure Draft, Employers’ Disclosures about Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits that would improve financial statement disclosures for defined benefit plans. The project was initiated by the FASB earlier this year in response to concerns raised by investors and other users of financial statements about the need for greater transparency of pension information.
A&A

FASB to Propose Additional Disclosure for Acquisitions

The Financial Accounting Standards Board plans to take up the issue of accounting for acquisitions. Several issues associated with disclosure of transactions relating to acquisitions were decided last month and reported in a recent FASB Action Alert.The Board has proposed that, among other items of disclosure, companies provide separate disclosure of revenue and net income of acquired companies, if practicable, for at least the period from the date of acquisition to the end of the fiscal year of acquisition.
A&A

NYSE’s Grasso Yields to Public Outcry and Resigns

Amid increasing pressure from many fronts to resign, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso told the Board Wednesday night that he is calling it quits.Richard Grasso's compensation package was severely criticized after it was recently made public as part of an effort to add transparency to the activities of the New York Stock Exchange.
A&A

Resource: Free Management and Operations Reports

Now it's easy to get the free special reports that have been used by over 100,000 managers all across the United States to improve their operations and stay on the right side of employment law. Below are just a few free downloadable reports you may access from Alexander Hamilton Institute, Inc. (AHI).
A&A

IRS Reminds Some Businesses of Retirement Plan Deadline

The Internal Revenue Service reminded approximately 750,000 small and mid-size businesses using "off-the-shelf" retirement plan documents that they must update their plans by Sept. 30, 2003. Businesses must formally adopt updates to maintain the tax benefits associated with retirement plans.The deadline is a result of rules that apply to so-called Master & Prototype (M&P) plans and Volume Submitter plans. These off-the-shelf retirement plans are IRS-approved templates intended to standardize and simplify the complex employee plan area.
A&A

Levitt Takes Knowledge on The Road

Beginning this week, former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Arthur Levitt will visit six cities to discuss "Meeting the Compliance Challenge: Issues, Risks and Rewards."Levitt, who served as the SEC’s longest running chairman from 1993 to 2001, will share his insights from his distinguished career in the finance arena.
Practice Management

FASB Addresses, Delays Stock Option Rule Setting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board met yesterday to address a myriad of complicated issues surrounding the expensing of stock options. The definitive decision reached at the end of the meeting: delay the issuance of rules by 6-9 months.FASB has been under pressure from a number of groups, including Congress, to define how companies should expense stock options granted to employees. The sticky point, everyone agrees, is honing in on an appropriate valuation method. The widely used Black-Scholes method has often been criticized as an imperfect tool to value options.
A&A

CFOs Measuring Cost of Sarbanes-Oxley Implementation

A recent survey of corporate chief financial officers by CFO magazine found that most of corporate America’s top finance officers believe the Sarbanes-Oxley Act regulations have been a boon for attorneys and auditors and have caused "sticker shock" for companies.Many of the CFOs surveyed said they think Congress acted too hastily in response to the corporate meltdowns of Enron, Tyco, WorldCom and others.
A&A

Cost of Health Insurance Continues to Soar

There is more bad news for both employers and employees. A new survey released this week shows that the cost of health insurance in the U.S.
Technology

Identity Theft on the Rise, FTC Reports

Updated - September 10,2003 - Identity theft is rising at an alarming rate. A survey released last week by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the government’s consumer protection agency, found that 27.3 million Americans have had their identity stolen or used fraudulently—more than 9 million last year alone.The cost of identity theft to businesses and financial organizations is staggering — $48 billion last year alone and another $5 billion in reported losses to individual victims.
A&A

NYSE Chief’s Pay Package Under SEC Scrutiny

With executive pay packages under increased scrutiny after recent scandals, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into the compensation of Richard A. Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.The NYSE claims it will save about $3.5 million this year by paying out a lump sum of $140 million to Grasso in the form of accrued savings and incentives.
A&A

Grant Thornton Ends Select Services For Audit Clients

Grant Thornton LLP, the nation’s fifth largest accounting and business advisory firm and one of the seven global accounting organizations, announced that it will not provide a number of services for its public audit clients that it believes is in keeping with the intent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002."Just as we believe that the accounting industry should accept a principles versus rules based approach to accounting, we believe the same should be the case in adhering to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act," said Grant Thornton CEO Ed Nusbaum.
A&A

E-Mail Marketing Help For Small Business

Press ReleaseThe U.S. Small Business Administration and Topica Inc., have announced a series of free, live online “webinars” about e-mail marketing strategies, entitled “E-mail Marketing for Small Business.” The first of the 60-minute webinars will be held September 3, at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
A&A

First CEO, CFO Fines Levied Under Sarbanes-Oxley

The first fines have been levied under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Chief Executive Officers who sign off on financial statements knowing they are not accurate. Poultry firm Rica Foods Inc., and its top two officers settled federal charges this week. Chief Executive Calixto Chaves and Chief Financial Officer Gina Sequeira settled the charges, with Chaves agreeing to pay a $25,000 fine. Sequeira cooperated with the SEC and will not be required to pay a fine.
A&A

Mid-Market Companies: Competition is More Intense Than Last Year

From competition within the middle market to vying with larger competitors and new companies entering the market, middle-market business leaders are feeling the pinch of a heightened competitive environment, according to findings from the Grant Thornton Survey of Middle-Market Business Leaders.Ninety-four percent cite competition as more intense or as intense as one year ago, while just 6 percent say the competitive environment is less intense."As the market has tightened, so, too, have the competitive pressures on middle-market companies," says John Desmond, partner in charge of the Bus

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