News

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 42

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 42May 12, 2000http://www.accountingweb.comIn the news this week:1. CPA Firm Consulting Divestiture Filters Down to National Firms2. SEC Steps Up Campaign To Assure Independence Standards Are Met3. E-Commerce Taxation Unlikely For Another Five Years4. IRS Shock Wave About To Hit Small Business5.

Wayne Harding

Contact: wharding@greatplains.comPhone: 303-290-0123As a Great Plains’ Vice President Outsourcing, Mr. Harding focuses on utilizing Great Plains Software’s products and services in a BPO environment. He is also one of Great Plains’ key speakers focusing on new internal and external technology.Before joining Great Plains Software in 1989, Mr. Harding was president of his own CPA firm, which emphasized accounting software for microcomputers. His past employment includes KPMG and Deloitte & Touche. He received a B.S.

KPMG chief on the warpath as SEC seeks to extend powers

KPMG chairman Stephen Butler has launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Securities and Exhange Commission just as SEC chief Arthur Levitt made a call for greater regulator powers to prevent possible auditor conflicts of interest.Butler lambasted SEC rules as "archaic, irrelevant and discriminatory" in an interview with CFO magazine, and rejected the need for such restrictive rules when audits are almost always above board.Speaking for the Big Five which Levitt attacked in a speech in New York yesterday morning, th
Tax

House Extends Internet Tax Moratorium

In a move sure to appeal to the important high-tech industry, the US House of Representatives has approved a five year extension on the moratorium on Internet taxation.The moratorium, which allows for e-commerce to be conducted free from any federal taxation issues, is seen as a way to continue encouraging the growth of a new medium, but at the same time does not address the even more important issue of state taxation of electronic commerce activities.Cynics may say that the move is a purely political one, coming in an election year when politicians are looking to the growing high tech i

SEC Chairman Wants a Better Plan

Yesterday, in a speech delivered to the New York University School of Law, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, Arthur Levitt, asked major accounting firms to join him and the SEC in developing a plan to assess the firms’ past compliance with financial investment rules.
Technology

Battle of the Search Engines Heats up

What is the best search engine in today's competitive marketplace? Many CPAs would argue that the best engines are the ones that deliver strategic information without a lot of hype.The battle for the best engine is getting more and more difficult, as two of the leading ones have announced some major changes. The end result?
Technology

eLedger.com Captures the Power of the Web

Internet-based accounting is no longer just for the big guys who can afford it. eLedger.com, an application service provider, just announced its Web-based accounting application solutions for small businesses.Now, for as little as $19.95 per month for ten users, companies can access their business data 24 hours a day from the Internet through an application that has the look and feel of Windows-based software.
Community News

Ernst & Young Buys Lobbying Firm

Big 5 firm Ernst & Young has stepped into Washington politics by buying the advocacy and lobbying firm Washington Counsel. The firm is managed by a bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawyers, and is among the top 10 largest lobbying groups in Washington.Why does E&Y want to own a lobbying arm? The $9 million lobbying firm represents many big name clients, including such giants as Merril Lynch, Ford, Charles Schwab, etc.
A&A

IRS Shock Wave About to Hit Small Businesses

In a surprise move, the IRS, without seeking input from small business owners and other interested groups, is preparing to release a new set of guidelines that will require many businesses with revenue over $1 million to use the accrual method of accounting. These guidelines are due to be released next week.Current law requires that businesses with revenue over $5 million must use the accrual method of accounting. Most businesses with revenue that is beneath this threshold may opt to use the accrual method, or may use the cash method of accounting.
Tax

Estate Tax Audits Resulting in Fewer Changes, Reduced Tax

The Wall Street Journal reported today that approximately 40% of audits of 1992 estate tax returns resulted in either no change or a reduced tax. The IRS audited about 19% of all estate tax returns filed for 1992.In many cases a reduced tax resulted from a decline in the value of property originally reported on the estate return.Nearly 20 percent of the 1992 estate returns that were examined resulted in no change in the tax computation. The results of the 1992 audit are being heralded as good news.
Technology

State of the Art Software Streamlines PwC

In a mere five months, Picasso Software, a Richardson, Texas based e-business company, turned PricewaterhouseCoopers’ paper-based tax data collection for master limited partnership (MLP) clients into a sophisticated Internet application. The new system allows 4.5 million individuals to access tax-reporting accounts and complete tax forms online.Picasso used TaxWeb, an eBusiness software application, to make the incredible transformation.
Community News

BDO Spins Off Consulting Division

BDO Seidman has announced that it will spin off its Business & Technology Solutions consulting practice into a separate company, named Wavebend Solutions, LLC.The consulting practice was launched by BDO Seidman five years ago, and has exhibited strong and steady growth in the ensuing years.Spokesmen for BDO indicate that the move will allow the consulting practice to continue its strong growth in today's environment, which has recently been hit with a wave of spin-offs of consulting businesses from traditional accounting firms.

Towards the Timeless Practice with Paul Dunn

Session Moderator: Welcome to all of you joining us today! Today we are excited to present Paul Dunn and his workshop, Towards The Timeless Practice. Remember that this is YOUR workshop. If you have any questions, please jump in and ask. If we miss a question, I'll "collect" them for answering at the end. With that, I'll turn it over to Paul! Welcome Paul! We are glad to have you today. Or is it night, there in France?Paul Dunn: It's night. Welcome. Hopefully my web connection from France holds up.
A&A

FASB Awaits "Thank You" from Microsoft Employees

If a company awards stock options and later reprices those options, FASB rules require that the repriced options must be charged against profits. In a small company where the value of the options is minimal, this might not make much of a difference to the bottom line. But if you happen to be Microsoft, and you're looking at having to offset your profits with a $30 billion adjustment over the seven-year life of the options, you may want to rethink the repricing strategy.Microsoft issued options to its employees last summer, assuming the price of its stock would continue to rise.
Technology

Warning! New Worm Detected

You just thought the love bug was a thorn in your side. Overnight, cyber criminals have rewritten the "I Love You" virus and generated many new mutations of what is now being classified as a worm. The new classification comes from its ability to replicate itself.News reports indicated that a new virus called, "Joke," closely followed the "I Love You" virus, but today, there are reports that two new worms are in distribution.
A&A

IRS Provides Tax Relief for Small Businesses

Businesses that must account for inventories and that have a three-year average of $1 million or less in gross receipts now have an option of using the cash method of accounting. Effective for tax years ending in December 1999, a new Revenue Procedure may result in tax savings for many small businesses.The IRS has issued Revenue Procedure 2000-22 which provides an exception to the accrual accounting rules for small taxpayers, which are defined as taxpayers with average annual gross receipts of $1 million or less.
Practice

The Learning Game

Does this sound familiar? You’ve tried it all – classroom training, internal training, books, videos – and still your staff are fumbling with their new software. They KNOW there are easier ways to complete their tasks, yet they say they’re so busy there’s no time to learn how to do things more efficiently. Why is this happening? It’s not because you’ve been unwilling to provide training, it’s not because your staff doesn’t want to learn.As a consultant, I have the opportunity to observe computer users at many different organizations.
Tax

Treasury Seeks To Curb Tax Shelters

The Wall Street Journal today reported that Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has asked a core group of some of the nation’s top accountants, lawyers and investment firms to join him in a series of meetings to limit corporate tax shelters.According to reports, Summers and the group will focus on how to strengthen the Treasury’s rules that govern the various professions, like accounting, that are associated with the tax-shelter industry.In addition to helping solve the problem, any further legislation related to this area looks like it will not happen this year.
Community News

Intel/PwC Join for Hosting Services

Intel Online Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers have announced a strategic collaboration in which the two companies will provide hosting and e-business services to PwC clients and customers.The service already is available in the United States, while services in the United Kingdom will be available later this year.
Community News

Lack of Temp Workers Spurs Consolidation

Now that tax season is over, the push for temporary personnel from firms like Accountemps and Robert Half isn't so bad. Nonetheless, alarming trend in a lack of applicants has hurt the overall staffing business.Unemployment is at an all time low, and this does not bode well for this huge industry.

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