A&A news

A&A

Stock Option Expensing Subject of House Hearing

Robert Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) strongly objected this week to proposed legislation that would place a three-year moratorium on the expensing of stock options. He said the action "would be in direct conflict with the expressed needs and demands of investors." "The moratorium would establish a potentially dangerous precedent," Herz said in testimony before a House panel.
A&A

IRS Moves to Reduce Retirement Savings Barriers

The Internal Revenue Service moved today to make it easier for retirement plans to stay within complex rules and to reduce barriers that discourage some businesses, particularly small businesses, from adopting such employee benefits.The IRS is streamlining its system of voluntary correction programs designed to help retirement plan sponsors and administrators retain the favorable tax status of their plans, including simplifying the fee structure for voluntary submissions.
A&A

Survey: Small Businesses Not Offering Employee Retirement Plans

If you are planning to get by in your golden years on your company-sponsored retirement plan proceeds, make sure you are working for a large company.
A&A

FASB Agrees to Rethink Pension Rule Change

Under increasing pressure, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed to take another look at its proposed rule that would change the way some pensions are valued which could have had a possible negative impact on some companies’ balance sheets. Industry groups decried the proposed rule change, which would have required companies to use an interest rate tied to a market index—a one-year Treasury bill, for instance—to place a value on their pension liabilities.
Practice Management

What Do Your Clients Really Want?

It's really no secret what your clients and prospects want, they want solutions and leadership. Solutions and leadership demonstrate value to a client. These come from a thorough knowledge of the client's objectives, strategies, existing circumstances, competitive position, and personnel.
A&A

Quickbooks Launches Healthcare, Non-Profit Focused Versions

Quickbooks maker Intuit has unveiled several new industry specific software titles to expand the usefulness of its line of Quickbooks products.Specific Quickbooks products have been launched for non-profit organizations and for health care organizations. The non-profit tool adds grant/donor management tools, budgeting by projects, and non-profit specific streamlined reporting systems.
Tax

Tax Cut Effects on Corporate Dividend Policies Uncertain

As both houses of Congress and the White House begin work on finalizing a huge 10-year tax cut that includes changes to incomes taxes on dividends, companies are adopting a wait-and-see approach when it comes to changing their policies on issuing dividends."At this point we've had no specific directions as to what impact this will have," Chris Preuss, Washington spokesman for General Motors Corp., was quoted in the Washington Post (“Firms Cautious on Prospect of Dividend Tax Change,” May 16, 2003).
A&A

Electronic Card May be The New Face of Payroll

A new payroll option — the payroll card — may soon be available to American workers, including the 13 percent of workers who don’t have bank accounts and who can't take advantage of the more popular direct deposit from their employers.With the cost of preparing paper checks averaging $1.07 plus postage per check, companies and governments are trying to get away from the traditional paycheck. A recent survey showed that 83 percent of companies polled participate in voluntary direct deposit with most indicating they would make it mandatory if the law would allow it.
A&A

How to Detect and Investigate Kickback Schemes

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com.After bank fraud, securities fraud and corporate embezzlements, kickback schemes are the most common type of fraud of $1 million or more.However, of all the different types of white-collar crimes, kickback schemes are among the toughest for forensics specialists to detect and investigate.Major reason: Kickback schemes can't easily be discerned in a company's books and records.
A&A

Qwest Executive Agrees to Pay Millions in Settlement

In what marks the first time a corporate executive has been penalized for participating in the practice known as IPO spinning, former Quest Communications International Inc. Chairman Phillip F. Anschutz has agreed to pay a $4.4 million settlement.IPO spinning is the name given to the strategy employed by investment banks that reward corporate executives for letting the banks offer the company's initial public offering by giving company executives shares of the IPO. New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has made it his personal objective to end the practice of IPO spinning.
A&A

Successful Financial Crime Prevention

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com.While the ingenuity and complexity of today's huge corporate frauds make interesting reading, there are countless other varieties of financial wrongdoing plaguing companies that don't receive mass media attention.LOW PROFILE, HIGH COSTUnfortunately, these "lesser" frauds usually have devastating results on a company's bottom line and reputation—just as the mega-frauds do on the Enrons, Worldcoms and Tycos that the mas
A&A

FASB Grapples With Valuation of Stock Options

How to place a value on stock options is just one of the issues the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is challenged with as it moved this week to allow companies to reverse stock option expenses on their financial statements when an employee later gives up the options. The Board is working to develop new stock option accounting rules. Most of corporate America is deeply concerned and adamantly opposed to the Board’s move last month to require the expensing of options.
A&A

Employees Feel They Are Stagnating - What Can You Do?

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEMOur research shows that employees are not learning on their jobs. Only 1 out of 2 feel that they are given a chance to learn new skills. This is a problem for both employees and their employers.Here are three reasons why employees need to continue to learn new skills: 
A&A

Providing Financial Services - Avoiding The Ten Traps

A few years ago, one of my clients decided to get into the lucrative business of financial services. After all, financial services companies have been competing with CPAs in the accounting and tax business for years. Partners selected one owner to become the financial services “guru” for the firm.
A&A

Progress in The Learning Firm

by Kenneth M. McCall, MBA Boomer Consulting, Inc. has been providing technology management assistance to the accounting profession for many years. For the past five years Boomer Consulting, Inc has sponsored a gathering of training and learning professionals for a conference dedicated to their unique needs and concerns. Over the life of these meetings, one consistent theme which has been presented throughout is the need to practice a training or learning management process. The model for this process is simple, yet powerful.
A&A

FASB Approves Expensing of Stock Options

The debate on mandatory expensing of stock options moved center stage last week when the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) voted unanimously to require companies to expense employee stock options. It could take up to a year before the final draft is released with the new rule taking effect sometime in 2004. In 1994 the board considered adopting the expensing method but encountered resistance from corporate groups as well as Congressional members. It seems likely that will happen again. Last month, 15 U.S.
A&A

SEC Formally Reaffirms FASB, Approves PCAOB

Responding to a requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, The Securities and Exchange Commission has reaffirmed that the Financial Accounting Standards Board has met the criteria needed to continue to be recognized as the accounting standard setting body.FASB Chairman Robert Herz said, "We appreciate the continued confidence and support of the SEC and look forward to working closely and effectively with the Commission and its staff, as well as with the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in ensuring quality fi
A&A

CPAs Join Red Cross in Financial Planning Aspects of Disasters

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) announced they have jointly developed a new, broad-based guide to help people affected by natural and man-made disasters recover from financial loss. Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues will be offered free of charge by local American Red Cross chapters across the country as a public service to aid people affected by disasters and their families.
A&A

Top Executives’ Pensions Protected in Bankruptcy Filings

Even in the wake of significant layoffs, some companies are reportedly making use of trusts and other creative arrangements to protect their top executives’ huge pensions, which are not usually covered by pension insurance when a company declares bankruptcy.Airlines such as Delta and United have taken steps to protect their top executives’ pensions as the airline industry struggles to regain its footing after the Sept.
A&A

IRS Targets Abusive Employee Leasing Arrangements

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department are warning taxpayers against participating in certain offshore deferred compensation arrangements involving domestic and foreign employee leasing companies.Taxpayers who are current or past participants in such arrangements are encouraged to apply to participate in the Offshore Voluntary Compliance Initiative (OVCI) that IRS announced on Jan. 14 of this year.

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