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Senate Bill of Rights To Address Audits, FASB, Options

On April 22, 2002, as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) prepared for a new chairman and the House of Representatives prepared for a vote on its leading accounting reform bill, Senator Carl Levin unveiled the Shareholders' Bill of Rights. Tougher and more comprehensive than the House bill, this new Senate bill will address audit reforms, accounting standard-setting, executive stock options, and more.Senator Levin is chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
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Small Corporations Say Good-bye to Schedules L and M

The IRS announced last week that beginning with tax year 2002, companies with less than $250,000 in gross receipts and less than $250,000 in assets can bypass filling out the Schedules L, M-1, and M-2 on their corporate income tax returns. Corporations who file Form 1120-A and who are under the $250,000 threshold no longer have to prepare Parts III and IV of their 1120-A.The immediate result of this ruling will be a significant reduction in record-keeping and paperwork for small businesses. Many small businesses will no longer need to struggle to learn accounting rules.
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Wireless Security Cameras May Leave You More Exposed

If you are among the thousands of homeowners and business owners who have installed a wireless video camera to monitor activities inside, beware. Someone else may be watching too.The so-called "nanny cams," like the highly advertised X-10 Camera, are made to transmit an unscrambled analog radio signal which is sent to a base station in the home or office attached to a computer monitor or television set for viewing.
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Panel Wants SEC to Lead Accounting into Internet Age

On April 4, 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hosted a roundtable in Chicago to find out how best to improve financial disclosures. The participants represented key occupations and associations that typically take a back seat in the setting of accounting standards. Their nearly unanimous conclusion: the SEC should take the lead in bringing accounting and financial disclosures into the Internet Age. How to Overcome ObstaclesThe panelists also gave the SEC some advice about how to overcome obstacles to needed reforms:Priority no.
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FASB Endorses Radical Change in Funding

In a significant change for the accounting profession, the Financial Accounting Standards Board released on March 19, 2002 a statement by its chairman, Edmund Jenkins, saying the FASB will support legislation that would replace its private fu
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FAF Issues Proposal to 'Streamline' FASB

As expected, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) issued a request for comments on proposed changes designed to streamline the standard-setting process of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
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FASB Vows to Speed Standards, Keep Process Open

Recent Congressional hearings and legislative initiatives have zeroed in on the importance of increasing the independence of the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) and speeding up its standard-setting process.
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$300M Disaster Relief Available For NY Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $300 million in disaster loans to over 3,841 New York City residents and businesses following the World Trade Center attacks, SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto announced March 8, 2002."The Small Business Administration is committed to helping the people of New York City rebuild their homes and businesses," Barreto said.
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CFOs Plan Moderate Hiring Activity in Second Quarter

According to a recent poll, Chief financial officers (CFOs) foresee a slight increase in financial hiring in the second quarter of 2002, according to the just-released Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index. Seven percent of CFOs surveyed said their firms plan to add accounting and finance personnel and 3 percent expect staff reductions. The net 4 percent increase is up one percentage point from the previous quarter's forecast. Eighty-six percent of executives anticipate no change in hiring activity.
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Marketing during busy season? It’s easier than you think!

It happens every year. Firms get so bogged down during the busy season (and who doesn’t?) that business development and marketing get pushed aside. But the reality is that just a few months later, those same firms are often reviewing poor growth numbers without realizing they just missed their best opportunity to grow. As you make your way through this busy season, here are a few simple strategies you can employ to keep generating new business all year and get the growth you’re looking for.Satisfy your clients with a high level of service.
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IRS To Review Employment Tax Compliance Programs

A General Accounting Office (GAO) report, "IRS's Efforts to Improve Compliance with Employment Tax Requirements Should Be Evaluated," takes the Internal Revenue Service to task over the agency's follow through procedures for helping businesses pay their employment taxes in a timely fashion.While businesses that file form 941 receive notice of errors, interest, and penalties within five weeks of filing the form, businesses that fail to file form 941 are not notified of a problem for 14 to 28 weeks.The GAO is encourag
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FASB Proposes A Change To Lease Accounting

As influential House Energy Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin called for a review of accounting rules “across the country and across corporate boards,” the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) continued its relentless drive to strengthen the standards.
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FASB Moves Forward on Accounting for SPEs

Under pressure to set accounting standards for the kinds of special purpose entities (SPEs) that kept debt off Enron's balance sheet, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has tentatively decided on an approach and directed its staff to begin writing an exposure draft.The approach will be a blend of the Consolidated Policy-Modified Approach as of Sept.
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Former SEC Chairmen Urge Congress to Free FASB

Former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on February 12, 2002 on the issues that have arisen as a result of the Enron collapse. A key topic was their shared frustration with the process for setting accounting principles. They urged Congress to find a way to free the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from the business pressures of constituencies and funding dilemmas.
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Survey Finds Employees Feel They Are Not Treated With Respect

By The Discovery GroupPart 1 - THE PROBLEMOne out of every two employees feels he or she is not treated with respect and dignity by the management of their organization.Does this matter? Of course! Without management respect, employees will eventually: Lose their respect for management, Stop trusting management, Become resentful and less motivated, and  Lose commitment to the organization and its goals.Part 2 - WHAT CAN BE DONE?
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Reminder: Retirement Plan Amendments Due By February 28

The IRS has issued a reminder to employers and retirement plan administrators that they must amend their employees' retirement plans to comply with the changes made by the "GUST" laws by the February 28, 2002, deadline. The deadline affects qualified retirement plans, including Code Sec. 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and Keogh plans.An exception to the February 28, 2002, deadline exists for plans with a fiscal year other than a calendar year. The deadline for those plans is the last day of the fiscal year that began in 2001.
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FASB Releases Proposal for Revenue Recognition Project

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has released for public comment a proposal for a new project on Issues Related to the Recognition of Revenues and Liabilities. In many respects, this is a “back-to-basics” project that will reexamine fundamental concepts. But don’t let the theoretical considerations deter you from reading this proposal.
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Investors Get Scammed in SEC-Backed Sting

Gotcha! The SEC has created a unique and harmless "sting" operation to remind investors that research on a company is paramount to investment success.
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Goodwill Write-offs: Paper Losses or Squandered Money?

First quarter earnings announcements of many companies bring news of huge one-time write-offs under the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Statement No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. This is leading to controversy and changing performance measures.Huge write-offs and controversyFor media giant AOL-Time Warner Inc., the projected write-down for first quarter 2002 amounts to a breath-taking $40 to $60 billion.
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FASB Forges Ahead on Three New Frontiers

At its January 9, 2002 meeting, following a rash of well-publicized complaints about the slowness of the accounting standard-setting process, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) decided to forge ahead on three new frontiers. It tentatively agreed to: 1. Issue for public comment a prospectus for a major project to update the concepts and principles of revenue recognition. 2.

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