News

Auditor Recommendations Offered in Time for SEC Hearings

The Panel on Audit Effectiveness, which was appointed by the SEC to evaluate the way in which audits are performed and the effects of such audits on the public interest, has issued its final recommendations in anticipation of next week’s SEC hearings.The panel has been studying audit effectiveness for two years, and now offers the following suggestions which will be discussed at the next two SEC public hearings on September 13 and September 20.Auditors should perfor
A&A

Fin. Exec. of the Year Nominations Open

Fiscal responsibility affecting cost savings, productivity and profitability are the attributes associated with the Financial Executive of the Year awards competition.Now in its fifth year, the awards are sponsored by Accountants on Call (AOC) and the Institute of Management Accountants.Both members and nonmembers of the IMA are encouraged to apply for the award; deadline for submitting nominations is Nov.
Tax

Ragin' Cajun! Improving Tax Receipts in Louisiana

The state of Louisiana is in trouble.

E&Y to Face Trial in $65m Audit Claim

Ernst & Young faces a civil trial following a claim by three leading US banks that it failed to detect serious flaws in a client's financial statements, according to the New York Law Journal.The banks, led by LaSalle National Bank, claim that they increased funding to the now-bankrupt electronic wholesaler Kent International Associates by $65m on the strength of E&Y audits for 1995 and 1996.No irregularities were discovered in the audits, but later it was discovered that net sales had been overstated by almost 400% at the firm,
A&A

NetLedger and ADP Launch Online Payroll and Accounts

Accounting application service provider NetLedger has formed an alliance with payroll company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) to offer an integrated "one-stop" payroll and accounting service on the Web.EasyPayNet is available to customers of both companies and lets them automatically update their accounting records as their payroll is processed.
Community News

Panel Chosen for Round 2 of SEC Hearings

SEC Announces Schedule of Witnesses for Public Hearing on Auditor IndependenceSchedule of AppearancesPublic Hearing9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.As previously announced, the Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, September 13, in connection with its proposed rule amendments regarding auditor independence. The hearing will take place in the Pace Downtown Theatre at Pace UniversityNew York, New York The following is a schedule of appearances for the hearing:8:45 am: Opening Remarks Morning Session9:00 am: Panel 1 Laurence H.
Technology

Time for a Cookie Break? Munch on This Microsoft Program

If you go to a web site and register your name and password (like you probably did with AccountingWEB, a small file called a "cookie" is left on your computer. The next time you go to the web site, the site recognizes you and you gain instant access. The site recognizes you because it has found the cookie. You may notice that if you are using a different computer and you try to go to a site on which you have registered, you have to provide your registration information again.

Labor Market 2000: Prospects Good; Worker Shortage Looms

The economy looks good, albeit a continuous labor shortage, according to the Economic Policy Foundation's annual report on the state of the economy.The labor shortage may be as many as 5 million workers short, according to the report, 'Workplace Policy for the New Economy,' unless employment policies change industry-wide.
Community News

EY Creates Single, Worldwide Firm

This week from London, Ernst & Young announced their new firm strategy to integrate 60 countries and their practices into 10, new geographically based areas.The intent is to bring the organization to the global arena by consolidating functions, form a new management team and not be restricted to geographical borders.
A&A

Going for the Gold in Salt Lake: Expenses Loom

As we prepare to watch the summer Olympics from Sydney, Australia, the scene is very much different in Utah, where the already scandalized 2002 winter games from Salt Lake City loom on the horizon.At the helm of the money matters connected to the Olympics is Fraser Bullock, Salt Lake Olympic Committee chief financial officer, who, according to CFO magazine is not trying to put on the best Olympics ever in the history of the games. He's just trying to put on the games.
Practice

When is a Merger the Right Answer?

August Aquila, Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions for American Express Tax and Business Services, presented an interactive workshop at AccountingWEB on Tuesday, September 5, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Consolidation and the Mid-Sized Firm, presented by August Aquila

Consolidation and the Mid-Sized Firmpresented by August Aquila, Vice President, Mergers & Aquisitions, American Express Tax and Business ServicesSession Moderator: Good afternoon everyone!

Employee Contentment: How Far is Too Far?

In today’s booming economy the job market is good. No, actually, it’s fantastic and employees know it. With this newly found power has come a backlash against the downsizing of the 80s and 90s that many large companies periodically went through. Now, employers are not only trying to attract staff, but also attempting to find new and creative ways of keeping staff. Often, it comes down to money and some small companies simply can’t afford to keep throwing it at employees in an effort to keep them around.

Trade Sanctions Threatened Against U.S.

The European Union has rejected a U.S. plan to create tax breaks for U.S. exports, stating that the plan violates World Trade Organization rules. The WTO has threatened sanctions and tariffs if the U.S. doesn’t come up with a viable alternative to the offshore tax havens now available to U.S. companies.Presently, under the auspices of the Foreign Sales Corporation program, many U.S.

Phased-In Retirement Bill a Workable Solution?

The proposed Phased Retirement Liberalization (PRL) Act may be just what the worker ordered should it actually be enacted into law.This bill is intended to offer phased-in retirement options, enabling companies to keep experienced employees for a longer period of time to help ease the shortage in the labor pool.In short, the bill allows companies to distribute pension benefits to eligible employees even if those employees are still working for the company.
Community News

Andersen's Shared Services Helps City Governments

The city of Hurst, Texas, one of the suburbs located between Dallas and Fort Worth, has signed up as the first client under Arthur Andersen's new Shared Services Center.The idea is to have Andersen merge the activities performed by cities anywhere in the United States, or world (if applicable), and offer these services at a lower cost based on volume.In this case, the city of Hurst will outsource many accounting functions to Andersen, including general ledger, purchasing, accounts payable, fixed assets, accounts receivable and payroll.

Four Big 5 Firms Make Best Co. List for Working Mothers

Amenities, advancement, benefits and a better working environment for women enabled four of the Big 5 accounting firms to make Working Mother magazine's annual survey of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in the United States.Why did these companies stand apart from others?
Tax

New Per Diem Rates Available for Travelers

The IRS has announced that travelers have the option of reporting expenses based on the per diem rates that have been in place since January 1, or they may opt to use the newly published government rates for the last three months of the year.The government rates are reflective of the new General Services Administration policy to change per diem rates as of the beginning of the federal government fiscal year, October 1, instead of waiting until the beginning of the calendar year.
Technology

Big Five Firms Have Mixed Messages for Dotcoms

Dotcom leaders work long hours but are only interested in short-term gain, according to reports issued by KPMG Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers.The KPMG Consulting study found that, whilst the leaders of the new economy may dress down for the office, they are still dedicated to their task.

What Are You Talking About?

Last week I attended a workshop intended to help the professionals in our firm learn more about a new service our company is offering. On the last day of the workshop a considerable amount of time was spent on how to interview the client about this service. I was interested to see that many of the partners, who often pride themselves on knowing their clients better than the client knows him or herself, didn’t quite know how to approach the client about this new service.

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