A&A news

A&A

Small Businesses Get New Tool to Assess Risk of Fraud

Business owners with limited money to hire anti-fraud professionals now can see for themselves whether their company is vulnerable to insider fraud.Larry Cook, president of CVA Solutions Inc. of Lenexa, Kan., developed the Internal Fraud Vulnerability Assessment Tool, or IFVAT, for auditors to assess internal control weaknesses as part of the new requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
A&A

SOX and Small Business

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has created an advisory committee to look at the impact of federal securities laws including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) on small businesses. The 21 members of the Committee on Smaller Public Companies is charged with examining the impact of SOX in three key areas:Internal Controls. What financial reporting frameworks are available to smaller companies? How does management assess internal controls and what audit standards exist?Corporate Disclosure, Reporting Requirements, and Governance Requirements.
Practice

New Accounting Graduates Paid More

The average starting salary of graduates with degrees in accounting have risen 3.9 percent since the same period last year, according to the spring salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.Accounting graduates can expect offers averaging of $43,809. Economics and finance graduates can expect to see offers of $42,802, which is an increase of 5.1 percent over the previous year. This increase is in part due to financial and treasury analysis offers averaging.
A&A

Companies Aim to Help Small Businesses Meet SOX Rules

Two technology companies have announced a partnership to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses meet the internal control requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.The demanding internal control rules in Section 404 have caused U.S. public companies and their auditors the most headaches since the 2002 law went into effect.
A&A

SEC Delays Implementation of Accounting Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday that large public companies won’t have to expense options until the fiscal year beginning after December 15, 2005.The rules, issued by the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB), were have gone into effect for large firms in the first quarter starting after June 15, 2005. The deadline for smaller firms has always been the first fiscal after June 15, 2005.
A&A

What Can German Cost Accounting Do for US Firms?

Grenzplankostenrechnung or GPK is not a familiar phrase to most Americans. Given the general dissatisfaction with cost systems in the United States and the demonstrated success of GPK costing systems in German-speaking nations, perhaps it should be.The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, announced the results of a research study examining the benefits of GPK and the ways U.S. companies may use GPK effectively. The study was conducted in June 2004 by Kip R.
A&A

Small Business Accounting Gets EDI Link

RedTail Solutions has created a new program to build and support direct EDI links to several popular small business accounting software applications.On Monday, RedTail Solutions, which sells hosted EDI communications service through solution provider partners, has lined up the top 5 value added resellers (VARs) to build interfaces to top selling accounting applications from Microsoft, Best Software, and Accountmate Software.
A&A

Five Ways to Improve Due Diligence

Due diligence is most commonly performed during the sale of a business. It can, however, be a useful tool for gaining a truer picture of the current state of a company whether it is up for sale or not. Here are 5 hints from TheStreet.com, for making the most of a due diligence audit:Double-check everything. This includes financials, the customer database, tax returns and filings, copyright and patent filings, employment contracts, vendor lists, and leases for equipment or property.
A&A

FASB Options Rules Also Affect Private Firms

Late in 2004, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a controversial ruling regarding how companies list outstanding options as expenses on their books. The impact of the new guidelines on public companies, which goes into effect in June, has attracted most of the attention.
A&A

IRS Targets Small Business

The Internal Revenue Service is targeting small businesses. Concerned about widespread noncompliance with employment tax rules, the IRS in February unveiled a new form for filing employment taxes, it hopes will simplify payroll tax reporting and reduce errors. The IRS also hopes the new form will make it easier for auditors to spot inappropriate transactions and questionable reporting as they step up their auditing efforts of small businesses. According to Financial-Planning.com, among the specific targets on the audit list are:S Corporations.
A&A

Microsoft Prepares to Roll out Small Business Accounting Software

There are 40 million small businesses using PCs in the world and Microsoft aims to make all of them customers of its soon-to-be released Office Small Business Accounting software, IDG News Service reported.The company claims the new product will enable small businesses to manage customer, financial and business processes. Payroll functionality is offered through integration with services from outsourced payroll services provider Automatic Data Processing.Available now in a beta test version with the final release slated for September.
A&A

Tax Wars: Small Firms v. Large National Chains

What do clients look for in a tax preparer? Are they looking for an accountant tucked in an office with calculator and computer or for a nationally recognized brand promising fast refunds?Many Americans still do their own taxes. More complicated tax rules, however, are forcing greater numbers of taxpayers to seek help preparing their returns. Of the 132 million returns filed last year, 80 million filers paid a third party tax preparer. That number is expected to rise at an annual rate of one percent.“It’s like changing the oil in your car.
Community News

Vital Records Management: Don't Get Distracted by SOX

When it comes to data management, executives must develop a strategic approach – thinking in both in terms of the “big picture” vision and the details of storage, Van Carlisle, CEO of Fire King, a security and records management group, told the ABA Banking Journal in an interview published in March 2005. Carlisle points out that not all records have the same value to a firm. To be distinguished as “vital,” a record must contain information that is essential to the organization in the event of a disaster.
A&A

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts Ease the Way for Couples

Ending a marriage is a painful prospect for most couples but it becomes even more complicated for those with extensive financial assets. Enter the certified divorce financial analyst to simplify matters.The Springfield (MO) News-Leaders reported that more and more couples, especially those who own businesses together, are seeking the services of CDFAs to help them navigate the often-tricky path to divorce. The certification is offered by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, which was founded in 1993.
Community News

Liberty Tax Service is the Season's Fastest Growing

Liberty Tax Service is fastest growing branded tax service of the season. Between January 1 and March 31, 2005, the company has opened 311 new offices. In addition Liberty Tax Service has realized a 35 percent increase or prepared 142,000 more tax returns than in the same period last year. Liberty Tax Service was named “Leader in Tax” in the March issue of Accounting Today magazine. The January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur magazine ranked Liberty Tax Service 15th on its annual Franchise 500 list.
A&A

AICPA Issues Exposure Draft on Business Valuation Standards

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) last week issued an exposure draft of proposed Business Valuation Standards for comment.
A&A

Consolidation Rules for Sole General Partner LPs & LLPs

In its comments on EITF Issue No. 04-5, “Investor’s Accounting for an Investment in a Limited Partnership When the Investor Is the Sole General Partner and the Limited Partners Have Certain Right,” TIC noted that the title should be revised to clarify it also covers entities that are equivalent to limited partnerships, such as LLCs. The proposed standard discusses three types of rights: kick-out rights (as used in FASB’s FIN 46R), participatory rights and protective rights.
A&A

SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant Release Staff Accounting Bulletin on Share-Based Payments

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant and its Division of Corporation Finance announced on Tuesday announced the release of a Staff Accounting Bulletin relating to the Financial Accounting Standard’s Board (FASB) accounting standard for stock options and other share-based payments. Staff Accounting Bulletin No.
A&A

FASB Issues Final Interpretation of Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday published FASB No. 47, Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations. Interpretation No. 47, clarifies that the term “conditional asset retirement obligations” as used in FASB Statement No. 143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations, refers to a legal obligation to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within the control of the entity.
Practice

Is Your Health Insurance Provider Overbilling You?

State regulators in Wisconsin say Milwaukee-based Assurant Health overbilled an unspecified number of small businesses and will have to pay refunds to those clients. It’s not yet clear how many of Assurant Health’s small employer clients, those having fewer than 50 employees, had to pay higher health insurance premiums because of the miscalculations or how far back the miscalculations stretch.During an investigation by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance found that Assurant Health, which was known as Fortis Health Insurance Co.

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