Practice news

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Creating a Culture of High Achievement

by Sam M. Allred, CPAWe live in a time of unprecedented change, both in our profession and in the world market place. Stakeholders and staff in accounting firms are wondering what changes are on the horizon in the wake of Enron, World Com and the other debacles in our financial markets. In these uncertain times, the most important thing that leaders can do is to give their partners and staff members focus and a sense of confidence.
Practice Management

Insurers Demand Assurance of Accounting Reform

Although they play a less visible role than the Securities and Exchange Commission, insurance companies carry a big stick today when it comes to enforcing accounting reform. Companies that don't measure up to insurance company standards can find their D&O policies canceled or their rates raised.D&O stands for directors and officers liability coverage.
Practice Management

How Smart Leaders Reach Out

by Cheri L. Swales, MonsterDedication to your company is not the only thing you need to consider when developing your career. Volunteering can be an important part of your leadership skills repertoire. Networking is the best way to enhance your career status, and volunteering is one of the best networking opportunities.
Practice Management

CFO Compensation Survey - How Do You Stack Up?

CFO.com has posted the results of its CFO Compensation Survey, and the results show that CFO compensation seems to be stagnating, but you probably wouldn't guess that based on the compensation amounts shown below. The survey considers the salary, bonuses, and long-term incentives of 234 finance executives employed at 350 companies with earnings of $1 billion or more. The top 10 earners and their total compensation package are: Michael E. Lehman, Sun Microsystems, $37,201,000Mark H.
Practice

EY Study: Workers Speak Out on How to Stop Fraud

Investors may have been shocked by corporate fraud, but not workers. Results of a recent study by Ernst & Young show workers are aware of workplace fraud and they have some pretty good ideas about how to stop it. Common Offenses The study, which was conducted between June 3rd and 6th, found employers lose 20% of every dollar earned to some type of workplace fraud.
Practice Management

20 Ways You Can Detect Fraud

Here is a list of items to help you detect fraud in your company or a client's company. 1. Unusual BehaviorThe perpetrator will often display unusual behavior, that when taken as a whole is a strong indicator of fraud. The fraudster may not ever take a vacation or call in sick in fear of being caught. He or she may not assign out work even when overloaded. Other symptoms may be changes in behavior such as increased drinking, smoking, defensiveness, and unusual irritability and suspiciousness.2.
Practice Management

Four Ways Companies Combat Accounting Scandals

Shareholder Value Magazine surveyed top executives of publicly held companies to help assess the prevalence of accounting scandals and the corporate response. Respondents to the survey were primarily investor relations professionals of micro cap, small cap and mid cap companies.
Practice Management

Florida Firm Finds Compilations Don't Prevent Lawsuits

An Orlando, Florida accounting firm was recently sued after its client went bankrupt -- a familiar scenario for national firms that do audits of public companies. But this suit was different in that it involved a local accounting firm that didn't do anything more than a compilation for the client. The firm is Averett Warmus Durkee Bauder & Thompson.
Practice Management

Software Startup Says Growth Was Fictitious, Blames CEO

Silicon Valley companies had been mercifully spared the bad publicity of accounting scandals -- until HPL Technologies announced at a press conference earlier this week that much of its growth was based on fictitious transactions.The San Jose-based software company said it had uncovered massive accounting fraud that was apparently orchestrated by the company's founder and chief executive officer (CEO) who took the company public a year ago.HPL's audit committee chairman estimates that at leas
Practice Management

AAM Session Overview: The Accounting And Consulting Firm of The Future

By Lisa Dickson, Marketing Coordinator, Bland, Garvey, Eads, Medlock + Deppe, P.C. for the Association for Accounting MarketingAnother successful Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conference has concluded in San Antonio, Texas. This conference opened with a war cry by VeraSage Institute founder, Ronald J. Baker. Baker, a CPA and marketer, has shed some light on what direction the accounting industry in heading. He has challenged us to see beyond the present atmosphere of the tradition accounting firm and reach for excellence in our industry.
Practice

Cypress CEO Blasts GAAP, Urges Balance Sheet Integrity

In a paper released last week, T. J. Rodgers, chief executive officer of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, blasted the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for causing U.S. companies to move toward a second set of numbers known as proforma numbers.Mr. Rodgers cites a PricewaterhouseCoopers finding that 74% of semiconductor companies issue proforma earnings statements.
Practice Management

SEC Won't Let Companies Modify Financials

In light of the new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirement that corporate executives attest to the validity of their financial statements, there has been a wave of companies coming forward and asking to revise their financials before the August 14 SEC deadline.On June 28, the SEC ordered that corporate officers must personally certify that their most recent reports filed with the Commission are both complete and accurate.
Practice Management

Corporate CEOs, CFOs Voluntarily Certify SEC Filings

As stock prices continue to decline, companies seem to be growing as impatient as investors. Some corporate officers who are not required to comply with the certification order from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are doing so voluntarily, despite the risk of personal liability for making a false statement.Companies that choose to go this route may also issue press releases to make sure they get recognized by the capital markets.
Practice Management

SEC to Expand Shareholder Voting For Stock Option Plans

On July 15, 2002, as the Senate bickered over but eventually defeated tough stock option reforms, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) agreed to change a key policy involving stock option plans.
Practice Management

Strategic Thinking Versus Strategic Planning

Many corporations facing the future with diminishing resources, find that restricted resources exert increasing pressure on management to plan more carefully. This pressure necessitates the need to think strategically in the pursuit of viable opportunities. Senior management's ability to formulate and articulate a clear vision, accompanied by implementation of succinct strategic goals and objectives, is a primary determinate of the potential success of an organization. WHO IS THE COMPETITION? An organization's competition used to be clear and predictable.
Practice Management

A&P Restates Aggressive Retail Accounting Practices

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) restated prior year earnings in a Form 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 5, 2002.
Practice Management

S&P Lists Top 10 Companies With Most 'Inflated Profits'

Using its new standard for measuring profitability, Standard & Poor's (S&P) ranked companies in order of highest to lowest gaps between their reported earnings and core earnings for 2001.
Practice

You Can Lead a Horse to Water – How to Lead And Succeed In Business

Gone are the days when the boss was the BOSS. Today, one of the biggest challenges facing executives is how to incorporate new methods of motivational leadership while still maintaining old "command and control" management styles. How can a manager replicate the successes of Morgan, Rockefeller and Getty without ignoring the wants and needs of their employees?Alex Hiam is a management consultant and best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including The Portable MBA in Marketing and Marketing Kit for Dummies.
Practice Management

Three Reasons to Expect More Earnings Restatements

According to a report published by the New York Times, the capital markets have good reason to worry about corporate earnings this year. Companies have at least three good reasons to drag all the skeletons out of the closet and try to wipe the slate clean with an earnings restatement. The three reasons:Legacy of the 1990s. Lawyers and accountants blame the excesses of the 1990s. They say capital markets rewarded growth stocks handsomely, and companies sought to manage stock prices as a way of maximizing the value of their stock-based compensation plans.
Practice Management

SEC Orders Corporate Officers to Certify Financial Statements

Support for tough accounting and audit reforms is growing, provided the reforms also include stiff sanctions and penalties for top-level corporate management of large public companies. As the first major step in this direction, on June 28, 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered corporate officers to personally certify that their most recent reports filed with the Commission are both complete and accurate.

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