A&A news

Technology

Microsoft Announces Massive $32 Billion Payout Plan

Microsoft has announced it would pay a $32 billion special dividend to its shareholders, while buying back $30 billion of its shares over the next four years and doubling its regular dividend payment. Pending approval by shareholders, the special dividend of $3 a share will be paid out on Dec. 2. The annual dividend will be increase to 32 cents a share, or about $3.5 billion a year.Observers say Thursday’s announcement is an answer to critics who believe the software giant is too conservative with its cash, the Business Standard reported.
A&A

Bill Would Expand Small Business Tax Break

Small businesses would receive a boost from legislation passed Wednesday by the U.S. House that would save small businesses $10.9 billion in taxes from 2006 through 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported. It is not clear how much support the measure has in the Senate.The House’s bill would extend a small business tax break that allows them to immediately write off up to $100,000 in capital purchases as a business expense.
A&A

Salaries Increasing for Finance and Accounting Professionals

The results of the 15th annual salary survey for the nation's managerial accountants are in, and there is some good news and some bad news. While salary increases have slowed down and have shrunk, they have not stopped, and the gender gap for the total compensation for men and women appears to be shrinking but still significant, according to the study released by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and published in Strategic Finance magazine.
Tax

Senator Snowe Introduces Bill to Expand Cash Accounting

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has introduced the "Small Business Cash Accounting Act of 2004," a bill to simplify the tax code and reduce compliance burdens placed on small businesses by permitting businesses that generally earn less than $10 million during the tax year to use cash accounting methods to report their income. Snowe's bill, S.
A&A

House Limits Stock Option Expensing to Top 5 Officers

A much-discussed proposal to require public companies to treat all stock options as business expenses has been put on hold by the House of Representatives.In a 312-111 vote Tuesday, the House approved a bill that delays new rules pending an economic study, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move rejects the recommendation of the independent Financial Accounting Standards Board and supports technology companies that objected to the proposal.The bill would not prevent companies from treating stock options as expenses if they wish – that’s no change from the current rules.
A&A

More Automated Check Payments = More Scams

In what has been termed “the e-commerce equivalent of mugging,” scammers are targeting checking accounts as an easy access point for fraud.The huge number of automatic checking account withdrawals and deposits is opening the door to the increase in fraud.
Practice Management

Ten Strategies for Client Retention

by Bea Fields Traditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's competitive world of business, it is more important than ever to aim for more transactions with existing customers by using the power of customer follow-up and attention to good service. These ten tips may help you in turning your existing customers into walking billboards for your business. Spend thirty minutes each day talking with two existing clients.
A&A

SEC Votes to Propose Requirements on Hedge Fund Advisers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted this week to publish for comment proposed new Rule 203(b)(3)-2 that would require hedge fund advisers to register with the Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
A&A

Bonuses to IRS Attorneys Questioned

Whopping bonuses paid to the Internal Revenue Service’s top attorneys are raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill and among the agency’s non-Senior Executive Service employees, the Washington Post reported.Between 2001 and 2003, the IRS regularly paid its attorneys bonuses averaging about $20,000 with the highest award being $47,000 for an attorney singled out by President Bush.The bonuses have caused a stir between the IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union, which believes that performance bonuses are now institutionalized among top employees and are not based on actual performance.
Practice Management

Creative Strategies for Delivering 5-Star Customer Service

by Bea Fields Customer satisfaction is valuable, but customer loyalty is priceless. In today's competitive world of business, it is becoming more and more important to deliver customer service that is unbeatable. These ten creative strategies can support you in turning your customers into walking billboards for your business.
A&A

GASB Issues Proposal on Net Assets Restricted by Enabling Legislation

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) this week issued an Exposure Draft of proposed standards intended to clarify for the preparers of state and local government financial statements the requirements for reporting net assets contained in GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments.
A&A

AICPA Opposes Restrictions on Foreign Housing Benefit

A Senate proposal to limit a housing benefit employers provide to overseas workers has sparked opposition from the AICPA and business groups concerned about the loss of American jobs.The measure would change the 1978 formula for figuring the benefits for U.S. expatriate workers. Currently, overseas workers are allowed to exclude up to $80,000 from U.S. income taxes. If their employers pay for housing, however, they can exclude housing costs as long as they are not "lavish or extravagant," the Wall Street Journal reported.A proposal sponsored by Sen.
Technology

Tips for Effective Internal Investigations

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsEmployers are forced to defend themselves against large numbers of EEOC charges and lawsuits, many of which could be avoided by prompt and effective internal investigations. A primary goal of any human resource or EEO officer should be to have an effective mechanism for allowing work-related complaints to be resolved internally.
A&A

Providing Year Round Tax Services for Small Businesses

by Darren Oliver April 15 may be long gone, but many independent accountants and tax preparers or small firms will find themselves without that nice, additional tax season generated revenue. Although you may be used to experiencing this and plan for it accordingly, a trend within the industry towards providing year round federal tax review and recovery services for small businesses is emerging, that could redefine the time frame by which we define tax season.Meanwhile, small businesses are demanding that accountants advise and/or consult on a larger scale.
A&A

GAO Supports FASB’s Action on Stock Option Expense Rules

In a letter this week to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States gave full support to the proposed statement requiring companies to record share-based payment as an expense. Mr. Walker said, “In our view, stock options and other forms of share-based payment have economic value and represent a form of compensation expense.
Education & Careers

Tips For Small Business Owners and Summer Vacations, Don’t Worry, Plan!

With summer officially here and the Fourth of July holiday approaching, many small business owners are getting ready for vacation. Recent survey data from the OPEN Small Business Network 2004 Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express provides insight into small business owners' summer vacation plans.
Practice Management

Top Ten Strategies for Boosting Small Biz Profits

by Bea Fields No matter what stage your small business is in, one thing is for sure: money matters! If you are in a slump, the fastest way to jump-start your sales is to reach out and touch as many people as possible using your unique talents and gifts. These ten tips will guide you to maximizing profits from your small business while becoming a biz expert one day at a time. Choose your words with care.Each time you speak, you have the chance to make or break your business.
A&A

Business Survey Finds Health Care Costs 'Out of Control'

In a survey of health care decision-makers at 200 area employers, 92 percent said health care costs are out of control, but only 35 percent are considering taking any additional action to address the situation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charlie Baker discussed the results of the survey during a speech to business leaders at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today.
A&A

FASB Issues Proposal on Fair Value Measurements

In response to requests from constituents to improve the current guidance for measuring fair value, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published an Exposure Draft, Fair Value Measurements. The Exposure Draft seeks to establish a framework for measuring fair value that would apply broadly to financial and nonfinancial assets and liabilities, improving the consistency, comparability, and reliability of the measurements.
A&A

SEC Says Mutual Funds Must Have Independent Chairmen

After a vigorous debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission squeaked through a rule change that will require mutual-fund companies to have independent chairmen.The changes approved Wednesday, on a 3-2 vote, will also require 75 percent of fund seats be filled with independent directors, who must hold meetings separate from fund management, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pages


Already a member? log in here.