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Practice Management

Donating Vacation Days For Hurricane Relief

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will allow workers and employers donating their paid days of vacation to victims of Katrina to get a tax benefit. Usually contributions to charity can only be written off by those who itemize their taxes but this IRS rule is an exception that applies to those who can itemize and those who cannot. “I think this is a great avenue for people who want to provide relief,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson speaking with the Los Angeles Times. “They can give in a way that might be easier than giving cash.

President Bush Signs Flexibility for Displaced Workers Act

On Friday, President Bush expanded disaster relief employment by signing the Flexibility for Displaced Workers Act. Advertisement
Education & Careers

Middle Managers Carrying Companies Through Rocky Times

With companies increasingly looking outside their own ranks for top talent, the ability of the middle managers to quickly adapt during the transition is critical.While the CEOs enjoy high profiles, big salaries and generous bonus packages, middle managers are often the forgotten heroes of big-business transformations. And CEOs who recognize this can themselves enjoy greater success.The Wall Street Journal reported that dozens of CEOs have been ousted in the last 12 months.

U.S. Businesses Unprepared for Disaster

For nearly 40 percent of American businesses, said business continuity planning is not a priority.

ADP Announces “Do-It-Yourself” Payroll for Microsoft’s SBA Software

ADP Small Business Services, part of the Employer Services division, last week announced the general availability of ADP Payroll for Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006. This new ADP software solution allows users to process payroll in four clicks, yet is capable of calculating federal, state and local taxes. “After activating ADP Payroll for Microsoft Office SBA, I was successfully prompted through the steps without any instructions. Now, all I have to do is log onto the web site and enter each month’s numbers.

IRS Increases Mileage Rate Through the End of 2005

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department on Friday announced an 8 cent per mile increase to the optional standard mileage rates for the final four months of 2005. Between September 1 and December 31, 2005, the rate will increase to 48.5 cents for all business miles driven.“This is about fairness for taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson in announcing the increase. “People are entitled to deduct the real cost of operating a vehicle.
Practice Management

Small Business Compliance with Current Labor Laws

Labor Day pays tribute to the American worker. What better time to remind employers that compliance with all labor laws promotes the spirit of hard work and enterprise and is not only well-warranted but can help prevent expensive penalties. Companies that do not keep current with constant changes to federal, state and OSHA labor law postings risk being cited for non-compliance, says Fiducial, an international provider of professional business services to small businesses and individuals.
Practice Management

Accretive Solutions Sets Up Disaster Relief Fund

Accretive Solutions, Inc. has established a Disaster Relief Fund for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Each dollar donated by an Accretive Employee will be matched by Accretive up to a total of $25,000. All funds will be allocated to the American Red Cross.“We wanted to do something to help. Through this fund, any contributions our employees planned to make on their own will have twice the impact,” Joseph V. Amella, President and CEO of Accretive said in announcing the creation of the fund.

Occupancy Costs -- More than Just Rent

While rising rents in commercial real estate will impact occupancy costs, other components such as technical infrastructure and work environment changes can push these costs even higher, says Ryan Morris, President of Real Estate Partnerships & Alliances Inc. in the Houston Business Journal.

Businesses Seek Solutions for Storing E-mail

Failing to retain e-mail records may cost Morgan Stanley $10 million.The Securities and Exchange Commission is threatening to levy the fine because the Wall Street brokerage firm did not keep e-mails connected with a number of big cases the SEC is investigating, the Wall Street Journal reported.The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said that the firm, the SEC and other regulators met last week in Washington to discuss the document-retention problems.

New Compliance Solution Saves Time and Money

A new service from e-know, Inc. automates the outbound communications, business ethics policies, finance and administration controls, non-compete/non-disclosure agreements, conflict of interest policies, operating procedures, sexual harassment policies and other compliance related activities helping commercial and government organizations dramatically reduce the time, expense and effort required to implement initiatives, conduct audits and manage the organization’s overall risk mitigation effort.“Companies continue to spend huge sums and
Practice Management

New Roth 401(k) Option Will Be Offered in January

Employers can offer a new 401(k) retirement account starting January 1, 2006. The Roth 401(k) merges the traditional 401(k) account with the tax benefits of the Roth IRA. The new Roth 401(k) is funded using after-tax dollars and withdrawals from the account are tax-free while the traditional 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars and withdrawals are taxed as income. The Roth IRA has income eligibility limitations for single filers making more than $110,000 a year and joint filers making more than $160,000 yearly.
Education & Careers

The Value of Ethics & Compliance Officers and the Ethics Officer Association (EOA) have announced the results of the 2005 EOA Survey of Ethics & Compliance Officer Jobs. The results of the survey indicate an increase in the value of ethics and compliance officers as gauged by their compensation.

Dress for the Job -- Appearance and Paycheck

Make sure to have a homework shirt in back-to-school wardrobes, says Ken Haller M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine according to Newswise. “What a child is wearing can really help him to buckle down and study.” Haller said that he first heard of the idea of wearing special homework clothes in a psychology class in medical school. Wearing the homework shirt helped him because it said it was time to study.

SOX Institute Takes Sarbanes-Oxley Training Program on the Road

“Last month, the Institute of Management Accountants reported that top management accountants and finance professionals pulled ahead of public accountants in both average salary and total compensation in 2004 as a direct result of Sarbanes-Oxley,” says Board Chairman Fw. CFE, CSOX, CSOXP. “This is an opportunity for us to reach those who want and need the education right where they are, and at a price they can afford.”The SOX Institute is taking its SOX training program on the road.
Practice Management

Stock Option Studies and Options Expensing

Two studies have found connections between lucrative stock options and grants paid to chief executives as compensation and companies that report accounting irregularities, flawed accounting practices, or engage in risky business strategies.
Education & Careers

Choosing a Financial Planner Takes Some Research

Investors of all ages believe they need professional help to manage their money, leading them to question the best way to find a skilled financial planner they can trust.A new survey shows half of “GenX” investors (26 to 40 years old), 46 percent of “Boomers” (41 to 59) and 45 percent of “Matures” (60 to 82) say they “need the help of professionals” in managing their investments.

Protecting Web-enabled Sensitive Data from Insider Threats

The 2005 Global Security Survey, released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in June, identified internal attacks as a greater threat than external attacks to the information technology systems of the world’s largest financial institutions.
Practice Management

Streamlining Document Management for Accounting Firms

Keeping client files organized and accessible can seem like a full time job, even in small accounting firms. As firms grow, they have more employees interacting with more clients generating more files. Keeping things organized becomes a Herculean task. Fortunately, the days of file cabinets and paper folders are rapidly disappearing.On Monday, July 25, Interwoven, Inc.
Practice Management

Summer is Time for Small Business Re-evaluation

Summers can offer small business owners opportunities not usually available in busier times. With either a slower pace or busier times, it might be an occasion to reevaluate any range of plans made earlier in the year.“You can make changes to your business model, re-evaluate clients, really plan out your budget and some of the investments you want to make,” said Richard Magid, CEO of SoundBoard in a statement made to Yahoo! News.


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