Practice news

Practice Management

KPMG Feels Tax Shelter Heat on Several Fronts

Big Four accounting firm KPMG is in the spotlight this week as media focus turned to several incidents regarding KPMG's alleged misconduct with selling tax shelters.KPMG E-Mails Raise Concerns Over Tax SheltersThe Wall Street Journal is reporting today that internal KPMG e-mails show evidence of knowledge about possible flaws in various tax shelter products more than a year before they stopped selling the tax shelters in question.
A&A

Intuit and Amazon.com Launch Boutique For Small Business

Press ReleaseIntuit Inc. has announced an agreement with Amazon.com, Inc. to offer a QuickBooks Software Add-ons boutique on Amazon.com that sells business applications that share data with QuickBooks® 2003 products. The QuickBooks Software Add-ons boutique will provide an easy way for small and growing businesses to find and purchase industry-specific software products that integrate with QuickBooks.
Practice

How to Control Time Sheet Manipulation & Check Fraud

"Excerpted from IOMA's "Payroll Managers Report" June 2003 issue.Large amounts of money flow through your company's payroll account. The potential for fraud is significant, and the consequences can be devastating. Whether it's time sheet manipulation or check fraud, today's technology requires payroll professionals to be diligent in finding the red flags of fraud and instituting internal controls to stamp it out.
Practice Management

Landmark Accounting Legislation Passes in New York State Senate

Press ReleaseThe New York State Senate unanimously passed S302-D, landmark legislation which provides greater oversight of the accounting profession in New York.
Practice Management

Corporate Failures Lead to ‘Feeding Frenzy’ For Professionals

While investors and creditors, burned in some of history’s most dramatic corporate meltdowns, wait to hear if they will ever see a dime of the money they are owed, one thing is certain — many of the legal and accounting firms investigating what went wrong in the first place are profiting handsomely from the situation.Enron, WorldCom, Tyco and Conseco all declared bankruptcy in the last two years, wiping out shareholders, employees and pensioners in the process.
Practice Management

Conference Board Finds Ethical Training Lacking

A survey released this week by The Conference Board shows that few corporate directors get training in ethics and compliance - two traits that investors rely on them to exhibit.Highlights of the survey of human resource and legal officers attending an ethics conference in New York include:While 81 percent of firms have conducted ethics and compliance training among their employees, only 27 percent have held any training sessions for their directors.About 55 percent of those surveyed say their boards are "not engaged enough" in major ethical issues involving the company.
Practice Management

2003 MAP Survey Now Available Online

The 2003 National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey is now available online. The MAP survey provides benchmark information for small and mid-size accounting practices. Significant features of this year's survey include the ability to customize results by sorting data by location, firm size, compensation, and profitability.The survey will be available throughout the rest of June, July, and through August 22. It takes about an hour to complete the survey, however the survey does not need to be completed in one sitting.
Practice Management

An Investigator's Checklist of Vital Information Sources

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com.The bedrock of any effective fraud investigation is a search pattern that covers the essential steps for information gathering...documentation of the fraud and calculation of the loss—to both the client and to a court of law.
Practice Management

Creating Summer Memories, Corporate Style

Press Release Cookouts in the parking lot, visits from the Good Humor Truck, scavenger hunts, weekend vacations at the beach and casual dining on the office balcony…welcome to summer, Plante & Moran style.
Practice Management

Daily Habits For Developing The Art of Leadership

Many people are born leaders, yet the ability to lead is actually an art and an amazing collection of skills which can be learned and sharpened. The following top ten daily habits will help you and/or your clients grow as a leader personally, professionally, and spiritually. Spend 30 minutes each morning looking for "cracks" in the major areas of your life. Expert Tidbit - Time is a very precious and costly commodity that many of us take for granted.
Practice Management

Timeliness of Remitting Employee Contributions to Retirement Plans

By Dixon OdomThe Employee Benefits Security Administration, formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, a division of the Department of Labor (DOL), has clarified and emphasized its position regarding the timeliness of remittances of participant contributions to employee retirement plans.
Practice Management

Reports Blast Corporate Culture That Caused WorldCom Collapse

Two new reports on the collapse of WorldCom Inc. place the blame for the company’s demise on the shoulders of founder and Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Ebbers. The reports accuse him of running a company so concerned about meeting Wall Street expectations that warnings about accounting irregularities were met with scorn and ridicule.The nation’s second-largest long distance company was the victim of executive hubris, the reports found."The fraud was the consequence of the way WorldCom's chief executive officer, Bernard J. Ebbers, ran the company," one report read.
Practice

Client Peer Reviews - Does Your Firm Conduct Them?

If your firm struggles with Partner reviews and Partner peer reviews, you may want to try the Client Audit method. With this method your firm would invite clients to evaluate the performance of the partners and staff who are responsible for the their work.
Community News

Record Number of State Societies to Participate in MAP Survey

The 2003 National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey launches this week with the highest number ever of state CPA societies, 44, agreeing to participate. The survey, jointly produced by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Alliance for CPA Firms (PCPS) and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), is designed to aid firms in analyzing and comparing their performance and profitability.Last year's survey attracted 2,500 accounting firms and 38 state societies.
Practice Management

Freddie Mac Fires Top Three in Accounting Shakeup

Freddie Mac, the nation’s No. 2 mortgage finance company, replaced its top three executives this week in the wake of an accounting investigation. The company’s president was accused of not fully cooperating with auditors reviewing the company’s 2000-2002 financial statements.Update 6-11-03: In spite of attempts to control damage, the mortgage giant now faces even greater scrutiny. Results of an informal probe of the company, begun by the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) in January, 2003, has prompted a formal investigation. Additionally, the U.S.
Practice Management

Ten Tips For Better Technology Management in Your Firm

Simply knowing the rules will not turn you into a technology guru, but it will enable you to participate in the development of a technology strategy for your firm. Below are ten tips provided by Gary Boomer of Boomer Consulting. Technology is a Strategic Asset: Many people, including accountants, often try to manage technology as though it were overhead. This approach ensures frustration because expectations are always greater than the resources committed.
Practice Management

Making Ethical Decisions - Part Five: Obstacles to Ethical Decision Making

Reprinted from Ethics in Action with permission of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. © 2002 Josephson Institute of EthicsObstacles to Ethical Decision Making: Rationalizations...We judge ourselves by our best intentions, our noblest acts and our most virtuous habits. But others tend to judge us by our last worst act. So in making tough decisions, don’t be distracted by rationalizations. Here are some of the most common ones:If It’s Necessary, It’s EthicalThis rationalization rests on the false assumption that necessity breeds propriety.
Community News

Build Better Business Partnerships and Alliances

There can be disastrous results when care is not taken to build a solid foundation under which a new Business Partnership or Alliance can safely develop strength and stability.
Practice Management

Niche-Building in Professional Services Firms

Many professional service firms are creating specialty areas within their practices and in some cases whole new “offspring” companies to respond to the changing demands of clients and to create growth opportunities for associates and younger staff.Among the three types of professional service firms, CPA firms are for once being viewed as exciting because they continue to experience the most change, which for junior staff in the midsize and smaller-sized firms is being translated into new opportunities.
Community News

Making Ethical Decisions - Part Four: The Seven-Step Path to Better Decisions

Reprinted from Ethics in Action with permission of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. © 2002 Josephson Institute of EthicsThe Seven-Step Path to Better Decisions...1. STOP AND THINKOne of the most important steps to better decisions is the oldest advice in the world: think ahead. To do so it’s necessary to first stop the momentum of events long enough to permit calm analysis.

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