Practice news

Education & Careers

Strategic Vision - All Firms Need It

This article provided by Gary Boomer, CPA, of Boomer Consulting. Vision is important if your firm plans to grow and prosper. The large firms spend considerable resources on visioning and strategic planning. Building consensus and gaining input from staff, managers, and owners is important. Perhaps your firm is smaller and doesn’t feel it can spend the resources on strategic planning. Based upon what the well-managed firms do, at a minimum, your firm should have a one-page strategic plan with measurable goals.
Practice Management

Survey Reveals More Organizations Detecting Fraud

Spurred by new government regulations and demands by investors, more companies today are working to uncover fraud, finding it, and taking action against those who commit fraud, according to a new survey by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP.The survey showed that 75 percent of respondents report they have uncovered fraud in their organizations in the last year, compared with 62 percent of executives responding to a similar survey in 1998. Employee fraud occurred the most frequently, although financial reporting and medical/insurance fraud were much more costly.
Practice

IMA Launches Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) announced this week the launch of its Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network http://www.imaknowledge.org/sox. (Note: Registration is required.)The Network is a new and first-of-its-kind Web-based collaborative learning tool designed to aid financial professionals in understanding and implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the SOX Act).
Practice Management

PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2003 Revenues Increase by $2 Billion

PricewaterhouseCoopers announced last week that aggregated net revenues for fiscal year 2003 were $14.7 billion (compared to $13.8 billion in fiscal year 2002). With reimbursed client expenses included, aggregated gross revenues totaled $16 billion."Given the sluggish global economy, continued weakness in global capital markets and substantial regulatory changes in 2002-2003, we are pleased that our revenue figures held up so well," said Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.
Practice Management

Keys to Effective Employee Communication

Employee communication is both simple and complex. We communicate with employees each day. Sometimes directly – when we respond to questions or requests, for example. Sometimes indirectly – when we issue new policies or send out a memo. Sometimes inadvertently – when employees observe our actions. Perhaps because communication takes place so naturally, we often fail to consider the process of communication as seriously as we should.
Practice Management

Teams at Work - Tips to Revive Tired Teams

Suzanne Willis Zoglio, author of Teams At Work: 7 Keys to Success, sheds some light on how to help build and foster team spirit and uncovers ways to rejuvenate once productive teams. Encourage innovation from the team. There's a little bit of entrepreneur in each of us, and being given the opportunity to take reasonable risk can renew member interest in the project. Identifying and improving on the work process may be just what a team needs for new energy.
Practice Management

Morgan Stanley Pays $50 Million To Settle SEC Action

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week announced the institution and simultaneous settlement of an enforcement action against Morgan Stanley DW Inc. for failing to provide customers important information relating to their purchases of mutual fund shares.
Education & Careers

CEOs Concerned About Threats to Their Corporate Reputation

In a new national study of nearly 200 American chief executive officers, 81% expressed concern over threats to their corporate reputations, citing customer service problems, financial irregularity, negative press coverage and employee misconduct as among the issues that have the greatest potential to damage their corporate reputation."The clear message today is that CEOs live in a fishbowl," noted Christopher Komisarjevsky, president and chief executive officer, Burson-Marsteller worldwide.
Practice

Winning and Keeping Clients

By Richard Murphy, Strategy and Finance ConsultantNo business goes anywhere without work to do. This is as true of an accountant's practice as anything else. The successful firm will recognize it. This means they need a positive approach to winning and keeping clients. Client cash is the lifeblood of the business.Many practices think the art of keeping and winning clients is concerned solely with brochures or websites. It isn't. It is a whole firm activity encompassing everything it does, and everything it wants to be.
Practice Management

Strong Manager-Employee Relationship Key to Worker Satisfaction, Survey Finds

Getting along with the boss is more important than pay or benefits when it comes to happiness at work, a new survey suggests.
Community News

Small Businesses Most Vulnerable to Payroll Fraud, Five Tips to Avoid Costly Fraud Schemes

Small businesses are often the most vulnerable and easiest targets for occupational fraud and abuse, and particularly payroll fraud, according to Fiducial, an international provider of professional business outsourcing for tax, financial and business services to small businesses.
Practice Management

Key to Foiling Financial Fraud: Protect Honest Employees

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.comAs the "Enron pattern" shows no signs of abating, it is clearer than ever that corporate book-cooking will remain a stubborn blemish on America's corporate image for, well, a very long time. For corporate, regulatory and law enforcement fraud-fighters, the question therefore is, "How can we at least reduce the number of Enron-type cases?"One obvious, yet often unpalatable answer is, let employees tell the truth...
Community News

KPMG Separates Legal Services, Discussing Formation of New Legal Group

KPMG announced this week that it will stop providing full-scope legal services, and that its associated legal network – KLegal International – is to be discontinued.Member firms of the KLegal International network are now discussing the formation of a new legal grouping that will be completely independent of KPMG, and which will work with KPMG member firms - where appropriate - on a non-exclusive basis. The announcement reflects changed market conditions, including the U.S.
Practice Management

IRS Expands Locations For Convention Expense Deductions

According to CCH, the IRS has updated the list of countries and locations included in the "North American area" for the purposes of the Code Sec. 274(h) convention expense deduction. Expenditures related to meetings and conventions in these locations generally can be deducted just as if they were held in the U.S. Comment. In today's global business environment, conventions and meetings are frequently held outside of the U.S. The IRS traditionally has taken a hard line toward deducting foreign convention expenses. Code Sec.
Practice Management

Survey Finds Little Effect From SOX on Not-for-Profits

A recent national survey of not-for-profit business leaders and executives conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, finds that Sarbanes-Oxley has had little effect on not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States."It is now more than a year since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted and still most not-for-profit organizations, including larger ones, have not made any changes to their board governance policies," says Bob Leavy, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for the Not-for-Profit Industry Practice.
Practice Management

Federal Court Blocks Tax Avoidance Scheme

A federal court has temporarily stopped a Colorado couple from promoting their "expatriation/repatriation" tax avoidance scheme.Chief Judge Lewis T. Babcock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado issued a preliminary injunction barring the couple from selling advice that encouraged individuals to renounce their “United States citizenship” for “American citizenship” and stop paying federal income taxes. The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday estimated that Austin Gary Cooper and his wife, Martha E. Cooper, charged as many as 2,000 people for their advice.
Practice Management

Fannie Mae Issues $1.2 Billion Revision to 3rd Quarter Statement

Fannie Mae, the company that guarantees most of America’s mortgages, revealed a $1.2 billion mistake on its third-quarter earnings statement, which it revised on Wednesday.The revision took total accumulated other comprehensive income to minus $15.228 billion from its original statement of minus $16.364 billion and total assets shifted from $1.018 trillion to $1.019 trillion. Reuters reported that the revisions will only impact balance sheet items and would not affect the income statement.
Practice Management

Accounting Scandal Will Cost Ahold $117.2 Million

Dutch food giant Ahold will spend more than $117.2 million on the billion-dollar accounting scandal that has engulfed the world’s third largest retailer.Ahold on Tuesday announced what it expected to pay in fees to lawyers, accountants and external consultants for 2003, along with unaudited third-quarter sales of $15.2 billion, which is down 7 percent from 2002.The company predicted its earnings in 2003 would be hurt not only by the millions in professional costs, but by pressure on its margins, particularly at subsidiary US Foodservice.
Practice Management

Ten Goals Worth Pursuing

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". Personal Development The single best investment any of us can ever make is in our own personal growth and development. The accumulation of knowledge means everything to your future. Excellent Physical Health Your body impacts everything you do. Take good care of it through proper nourishment, exercise and rest. Rest, Relaxation and Renewal We must take good care of ourselves without feeling guilty. Building a Loving Family Family is the emotional core of our lives.
Community News

BDO Seidman Management Shakeup

Amid a barrage of scrutiny by the IRS regarding its tax practices and product line, top 10 CPA firm BDO Seidman is shuffling its management and looking fresh at strategic directions for its future.The firm announced last week that CEO Denis Field - who rose through the ranks as a champion of BDO's tax consulting practice - is taking an "indefinite" leave of absence.Additionally, five of twelve members of the board of directors are being replaced, resulting in equal representation between the audit and tax disciplines at the firm.Vice Chairman Jack Weisbaum will come out of retirement

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