A&A news

A&A

Banks go Online for Business Loans

The Internet revolution is everywhere, and banks across the world are beginning to realize that a secure future may lie in offering loans to businesses via the Internet.A mindset must be switched in the banking industry from that of the "customer" to "small business client." With a rash of small businesses popping up daily in all corners of the planet, more and more financing is needed to operate effectively.
Practice

Move That Home Office Meeting to a Public Place

Meeting clients in public spaces is a solid alternative than meeting at your office, especially if you telecommute and that office is in your home.Although almost anyone that has a home office is proud of his or her environment, the home as "meeting space" is not always idea. There are children, of course, that can be a distraction, but so are pets and other interruptions.
A&A

KPMG Study Reveals M&A Trends and Pitfalls

Research conducted by KPMG indicates an overwhelming majority of 83 percent of mergers & acquisitions fail to enhance stockholder value.
A&A

Former Andersen Accountant Hits the Web - Big Time!

Accountants have a certain knack for analyzing a situation a bit better than the rest of the world based on their training and inert ability to see the fine points. Take Gregory Peters. He saw the forest through the trees and is making a lot of money profiting from making the Web work.Peters has taken his Austin, TX-based company called Vignette and propelled it to more than $25 million in sales.
A&A

Helping Clients Make Money With Uncle Sam

Last year the federal government spent $260 billion on outsourced services. Accounting and consulting firms have plenty of opportunities to get a piece of the pie.
A&A

Cash Balance Plans Offer Lump Sums

The announcement earlier this year by IBM rocked the planned benefits world when Big Blue changed their benefits fom a pension plan to a cash-balance plan.Employees working at IBM shouldn't feel they are alone. In fact, more than 325 companies with names like AT&T and Xerox, also have converted to cash-balance plans.Most everyone understands that the traditional pension plan thrives through employee and employer donations for the long-term.
A&A

Intuit Brings One-Stop Portal for Personal Finances

Popular financial software vendor Intuit is making banking online a real no-brainer.
Community News

Venture Capital Funding Hits The Accounting Market

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey reports this week that $21 billion in venture capital funding was invested in US companies in the first nine months of this year. Here's the story of one accounting/bookkeeping company that snagged $12 million of it this week.Virtual Growth, Incorporated is a pioneer in providing outsourced bookkeeping and accounting services to fast growing small and medium sized businesses.
A&A

Fraud Gets the Better of American Companies

CPAs and accounting professionals familiar with the dramatic influx of fraud on today's business know how devastating this mishap can be, even on the very small company.Fraud isn't going away any time soon. In fact, fraud is adding up to more than $400 billion annually, and more often than not, involves the theft of money in some form or fashion.What can be done to limit fraud? Experts say background checks on personnel who come in direct contact with funds is a way to start. Also of paramount importance is tighter controls and increased oversight from the CPA and the company owner.
A&A

RIA Issues Year-end tax Tips

Popular tax information source Research Institute of America has announced the release of its annual year-end tax cutting tips."Tax Saving Moves for the Rest of '99" is designed to assist taxpayers to take the initiative before the end of 1999 to maximize tax savings.Even though this year did not involve any significant tax legislation, RIA advises that 1999 is the last year that five-year income averaging can be used to compute the income taxes due on lump-sum distributions from a qualified employer plan.In addition, the IRS has just extended the
A&A

Microloans are New Alternatives for Small Business Loans

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, from the small shop owner on the corner to the multi-million dollar super player. Finally, an organization called the Association for Enterprise Opportunity is watching out for the small shop owner and a lot more people with good ideas who are having trouble finding capital.A trade association, AEO is a clearinghouse for more than 400 organizations who make "microloans," or loans valued less than $25,000. The average loan is about $12,000.AEO requires its recipients to educate themselves on business practices in order to qualify for loans.
A&A

Web-based Payroll and Accounting is a Match Made in Heaven

The accounting professional can play a key role to the business marketplace by evaluating and recommending any one of a number of companies emerging as headliners in the online payroll processing medium, and passing along those recommendations to their clients or employers.Outsourcing payroll to the CPA is not new, but going online to process payroll is.
A&A

Staying Connected With Your Clients’ Information Needs is key

Business leaders in the next century will be faced with information overload. Although we may already feel overloaded in our role as harbingers of information, CPAs and accounting professionals will undoubtedly be positioned in the forefront of this information onslaught.Consider this: there has been more information produced in the last 30 years than during the previous 5,000 years. That’s a lot of information. There are steps we can take to rise above this projected information overload. The first step is to differentiate the relevant from the non-relevant information.
A&A

Institute of Management Accountants Issues Warning to Merrill Lynch and Others on CFM Designation

The 75,000-member Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has issued a stern warning to Merrill Lynch, the College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, for misusing the "CFM" designation and the words, "Certified in Financial Management."The IMA claims it has had jurisdiction over the designation since April 1994, and has used it in conjunction with the association's professional education and certification programs, offering it as a "license" to those who pass a rigorous exam process.Violations in
A&A

Dueling Internet 401(k) Providers

It’s funny how things work. One company believes they are the “first” to roll out a new Internet idea and, well, then so does another. The latest Internet offering is 401(k) plans via the Internet. Could this be competition for your firm’s pension plan administration niche?Two companies have rolled out their versions of 401(k) internet sites. I’m not sure which came “first.” However, Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans says they did.
Community News

Arthur Andersen Opens Austin Office

Another sign of the booming Austin, TX economy is evident by the opening of the Arthur Andersen office in the state's capitol. It has been almost 10 years since the Big 5 firm had an office in Austin.The office will focus primarily on providing services emerging technology companies, defined as businesses reaching revenues of $100 million.
A&A

CPAs Should Brush up on the "De Minimis" Rule

The de minimis rule doesn't come into play very often. Since it only rears its head when bond prices have fallen significantly, most CPAs probably haven't even thought of it since 1994. But after looking at this year's bond market, it may be time to familiarize ourselves with the rule for the upcoming tax season.According to Merrill Lynch, municipal bond prices have decreased more than eight percent this year. With some investors buying bonds at prices that are less than par, it's time to look at what is and what isn't tax exempt.
A&A

Use Portfolio Forecaster to Analyze Your Investments

How does your portfolio compare to the average investor's?
Practice

It Pays to Shop Around Before Making That Wire Transfer

Before you make your next domestic or international wire transfer, industry analysts recommend that you shop the rates and delivery schedules offered by banks and private systems. The difference in price and service could really affect your bottom line.While most private systems like Western Union offer same-day service and most banks require one or two business days to complete a domestic transfer, the price variance between the two is significant.
A&A

Regulators to Increase Supervision of U.S. Big Banks

In his speech to the American Bankers Association's annual convention in Phoenix on Monday, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that few regulatory changes are needed for the majority of banks in the U.S. However, regulators are looking into increasing the level of supervision of the country's largest banks because of the negative impact they could bring upon the U.S.

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