Practice news

Tax

IRS, States Going after Tax Shelter Client Lists

Wealthy investors who bought questionable tax shelters to lower their tax bills are finding that they can’t hide from state and federal regulators.The Internal Revenue Service and California tax regulators are going to court to obtain client lists from accounting firms or insurers to identify investors who bought the shelters. The strategy appears to be working.A federal judge on Monday upheld efforts of the IRS to obtain the names of two tax shelter clients of accounting firm KPMG, according to the New York Times.
Practice Management

Bowman's Accounting Report Re-Named 'INSIDE Public Accounting'

“Bowman’s Accounting Report” has a new name: It’s now called INSIDE Public Accounting. “The change was made to better reflect our mission as the most authoritative and indispensable source of news and best practices at accounting firms and within the profession,” said Martha H. Sawyer, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting. Added Editor Julie Lindy: “In addition, the new name reflects the editorial direction we’re taking with the newsletter, with greater coverage of local and regional firms, as well as emphasis on best practices for profitability and growth.
A&A

SOS from Financial Institutions: Stop Excessive Spending on Risk and Compliance!

BearingPoint, Inc., a business consulting and systems integration firm, announced the findings of a survey of leading financial institutions, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), that found wasteful spending and duplication of efforts around risk management and financial transparency, due to the absence of data standards.
Community News

Client Centered Referrals

By Troy WaughAs I discuss in my book, whenever you have a client in common with another service provider, it’s logical to get acquainted with that person so you can coordinate in serving the client. Get to know your best clients’ other professional service providers. We find lawyers, bankers, bonding agents, and insurance brokers among the best. They are open to you and will readily meet with you because of your joint client.
Practice Management

KPMG, BearingPoint Pay $34 Million to Settle Travel Suit

KPMG and its former consulting unit BearingPoint, Inc., agreed to pay $17 million each for their part in a class-action lawsuit stemming from the practice of overbilling clients for travel expenses.In December, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP agreed to pay $54.5 million to settle its part in the class-action lawsuit. Also named in the suit are Ernst & Young LLP, and the U.S. branch of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, a French consulting practice that purchased Ernst & Young's consulting business in 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Community News

KPMG Creates 404 Institute to Facilitate Financial Reporting Dialogue

KPMG has announced the establishment of the 404 Institute, an open forum designed to inspire the exchange of ideas and the development of research, leading practices, and a range of activities related to meeting the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Practice

Managing IT to a Plan

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEOThe management of IT in professional service firms has evolved to the point where it is relatively easy to distinguish the firms who are getting the top returns on their IT investments.
Community News

Less Than Half of Workers are Committed to Their Organization's Goals

FranklinCovey, which has surveyed more than 2.5 million people about productivity and effectiveness issues, last week released the findings of its latest Execution Quotient study of 12,182 U.S. workers. The findings confirm that most organizations suffer from major "execution gaps," which undermine the achievement of their most critical, strategic goals.
Practice Management

Deloitte's Tinkler Outlines Three Elements to Creating an Ethically-Managed Company

Harold Tinkler, Deloitte & Touche LLP's chief ethics and compliance officer, told Baruch College's first Ethics Week forum that culture, controls and consequences are the elements necessary to creating a successful and ethically managed company.
Practice Management

New Guidance to Help Businesses Comply With Privacy Laws

CPAs seeking to help their clients and employers understand privacy legislation and adopt good privacy practices may turn to new guidance developed jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). The guidance, called the AICPA/CICA Privacy Framework, is available at www.aicpa.org/privacy.
Practice

Training is an Investment, Not an Expense

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc.Organizations spend a huge portion of their operating budgets compensating employees. In return, they expect them to provide excellent products and services to their customers. Yet half of all employees say that they don't receive the training they need to do their job well.Why don't organizations provide the training their employees need? 
Practice Management

Justice Department Seeks Client Names in Tax-Shelter Case

The U.S. Justice Department is taking legal action to force a law firm to reveal the identities of its tax-shelter clients.The law firm, Jenkins Gilchrist, participated in fraud, the Justice Department said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago this week.
Practice Management

PCAOB Checking Criminal Past of Auditors, Staff

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is digging deep into the lives of those who audit public companies, going so far as to require disclosure of criminal background from staff, some of whom don’t even work on audits.KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young told AccountancyAge.com that information about their employees’ criminal backgrounds has been requested as part of ongoing inspections the Board is conducting of the Big Four public accounting firms.
Practice

Executives Will ‘Never be Above the Law’

About two years ago it began and now the names Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth and Adelphia Communications are among those associated with scandal.
Practice Management

'The Future of the Accounting Profession' Special Report

Back in November of 2003, fifty-seven men and women, including leaders from the worlds of accounting, finance, law, academia, investment banking, journalism, non-governmental organizations, as well as the current and former regulatory officials gathered together for the 103rd American Assembly entitled "The Future of the Accounting Profession."Over the course of the Assembly, the distinguished professionals considered three broad areas of the accounting p
Practice Management

How to Manage Change in Your Organization Effectively

by The Change Management GroupA generation has grown up since the scientist and novelist C.P. Snow wrote that, until this century, social change was "so slow that it would pass unnoticed in one person's lifetime. That is no longer so. The rate of change has increased so much that our imagination can't keep up." Two of the most critical elements of leadership are the introduction and management of change. Many leaders have little or no training in the process.
Community News

Why Can't CPAs Get Traction with New Services?

By, Gale Crosley, CPA and Consultant Not so long ago, the business of an accounting firm was as predictable as men's business attire. Tax preparation and audits were about as far as it went. Unfortunately, as firms have attempted to branch out into an array of related services, their experiences have been hit or miss. More often than not, the reason is that they are unfamiliar with some of the fundamentals in bringing a new service to market, and often incorrectly pattern their efforts after bringing products to market.
Practice

Successful Business Alliances Built on Nine Key Elements

ENSR International and its key clients have developed continuous improvement programs that virtually ensure a mutually successful business relationship. Using the ENSR business alliance model, clients have succeeded in reducing their overall business and environmental project costs with no compromise on quality."In fact, our alliances have achieved better program performance while saving our client money", says Michael Beck, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Education & Careers

Outsourcing to India Grows While Legislation Aims to Apply Brakes

The trend towards outsourcing accounting work to India added another brick to its foundation this week, with the announcement of the launch of a new U.S. based company to assist with the transactions.Accountants in India (AII) is the brainchild ofaccounting profession veterans Wayne Harding (formerly with AICPA's CPA2Biz) and KC Truby (Bridge 21). The outsourcing matchmaker was launched Thursday to help lower costs for U.S. accounting firms by hiring full-time accounting professionals in India.
Practice Management

Partnership Ranks Reduced by 30 at BDO Seidman, LLP

Four months after a management shakeup at Chicago-based accounting firm BDO Seidman LLP, about 30 of 280 partners have been let go.The reductions in the tax, audit and consulting business lines follow a restructuring in which five board directors were replaced and Chief Executive Denis M. Field took an indefinite leave of absence.Spokesman Jerry Walsh told the Chicago Tribune that the firm decides every year whether changes should be made in its partnership ranks. "These decisions can be related to economics, performance or a change in demand in a particular service area.

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