News

Tax

IRS: Spending Millions To Collect Hundreds

A recently completed audit by the General Accounting Office shows that the IRS routinely sends notices to millions of Americans about mistakes in their returns, often involving amounts due of less than $5 or refunds of less than $1.Depending on the circumstances, it costs the IRS between 42 cents and $14.32, including staff labor, to prepare and send each of these notices, the GAO estimated.The IRS has indicated that it is upgrading its communications systems to avoid duplicate notices and past due notices that have already been paid.But by law, the IRS is required to notify taxpayers

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 39

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 39April 21, 2000http://www.accountingweb.comLogon to http://www.accountingweb.com for more resources.Don't know your membership logon details?Go to
Technology

Katie Couric, Watch Your Back

Broadcast news will never again be the same, as Ananova, the world's first computer-generated virtual newscaster, made her somewhat-shaky debut on the Internet yesterday from her home in the United Kingdom.A year in the making, this virtual broadcaster is a technological marvel, "reading" the news headlines with all of the head and eye motions of today's top news anchors.
A&A

Cracking the Safe Open on Wireless Banking

These days, you can hardly turn around without a new innovation, invention or iteration ... so why should the concept of wireless banking be any different?At the COMDEX show, global business giant EDS has developed a way to conduct banking transactions using the Palm VII.
Community News

PWC Creates VeriSign Competitor

PricewaterhouseCoopers has developed its own digital certificate system to compete with market leader VeriSign.The new company is called 'beTrusted,' and is based in Columbia, MD with 120 employees.

Excel Tip: Top 20 Productivity Points

AccountingWEB's latest Excel guru Chris Bales has put together his Top 20 Excel Productivity Points - a must for all Excel users.Useful tips include advice on hardware, software, worksheets, and troubleshooting. Print out this essential guide and you can make the most of Microsoft's popular spreadsheet tool.Chris Bales' Top 20 Excel Productivity PointsHardwareFrequently overlooked, hardware setup can make a big difference, but the power of the computer is not that important for Excel in everyday use.
A&A

Laughing At Your Expense

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is behind a competition looking for the world's funniest expense claim story, and lunch with the celebrated cartoonist forms part of the prize.The "Laughing At Your Expense" contest wants to hear - in 150 words or less - the funniest or craziest expense report story, or the most hilarious item you have ever had to have approved on an expense report.A grand prize of a weekend for two in San Francisco, plus lunch with Adams, awaits the overall winner, with runners-up receiving an autographed Dilbert book and

US Accounting Association Adds International Network

The Leading Edge Alliance, a new organization consisting of 25 of America's largest local CPA firms, has entered into a strategic alliance with Kreston International, an international network of independent accounting and consulting practices, headquartered in the United Kingdom. The agreement provides The Leading Edge Alliance with an international network of 245 firms in 68 countries, while Kreston International gains an expanded U.S.
A&A

Bottling Strategy Drain's Coke Finances

The real thing isn't very real these days, according to a new report in which Coca-Cola's continuously weak financial performance is attributed to a poor relationship with its bottlers. And now, the way in which Coke handled its stake in bottling has raised more than a few eyebrows when it comes to GAAP.Back in 1986 when Coke spun off its slight majority interest in bottling operations to Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE), it retained seats on CCE's board.
Technology

Andersen Signs on With Telemate.Net

Arthur Andersen just announced that it has signed on with Telemate.Net to beef up the Big 5 firm's technology and e-Business risk consulting services.Telemate.Net offers software that tracks Internet usage.

AICPA's SysTrust Offers IS Solutions

In the very near future, CPAs may be able to verify and test a computer system's reliability, based on four principles of availability, security, integrity and maintainability. This offering is available through the AICPA’s SysTrust, jointly developed by the AICPA and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA).SysTrust could possibly be a solution to protect information systems for the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Practice Management

Accounting Firm Profitability

This is the fourth in a series of editorials by Results Accountants' Systems.MAKING YOUR PRACTICE MORE PROFITABLEAccounting businesses are mature industry. There is intense competition for clients which is typical when the principal services offered in the industry have a very generic look and feel about them. Clients are able to drive prices down because switching costs are relatively low.Accounting firms have very similar cost structures to their intra-industry competitors.
Technology

Four Prominent Consultants Join Forces

Four of the most experienced and knowledgeable consultants in the accounting and financial services industry have joined forces in a collaborative new venture called The Advisory Board.Founding members of The Advisory Board include:L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CEO of Boomer Consulting in Manhattan, Kansas, email: lgboomer@boomer.comAllan D.

While You Were Out . . .

Many of you have been buried in your desk for the last couple of months filling out tax returns and solving client problems. AccountingWEB has been working steadily monitoring the changing landscape of the accounting profession, and we want to be sure you don't miss any of the big stories that have emerged in the past few weeks. And boy, have there been some big stories!Follow the links below to the full story to get a better flavor for the issues.
A&A

SEC Announces Revenue Recognition Policies and Rules

Article by Charles Hecht of Hecht & Stechman.Reprinted with permission from The Financial Management Network.Citing a study which found that over half of financial reporting frauds involved the overstating of revenue, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued a Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) in its continuing efforts to combat earnings management.

Words That Kill

Words that kill a direct marketing campaign are easily avoided, but are they? Do you know which words will foil your next direct marketing piece? On average, you have about 10 to 20 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention.When you are talking to a business to business prospect, it’s about them. Make sure you beef up your market-tested winners and leave the negative ones at the door. One marketer estimates that one word change in his direct marketing campaign dropped results by 60 percent.

Deltek Acquires RFP Proposal and Tracking Automation System: Industry Leading Software Designed for A/E/C and Other Professional

McLean, Virginia – April 17, 2000 – Deltek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTK). Deltek today agreed to acquire substantially all assets of A/E Management Services, including their complete suite of RFP proposal automation and tracking software for the purchase price of $3.5 million. A/E Management recorded approximately $2 million in revenue for 1999. Deltek's President and CEO, Ken deLaski states, "One of the most important components of end-to-end automation for professional services organizations is proposal generation and tracking.
Technology

Postal Service Creates New Bill Paying Service

Long lines, one clerk serving all windows, and spending untold amounts of time may quickly become icons of the past as more and more of us use online bill paying services, electronic postage and other services for which we usually go (and still are, for the most part) to the neighborhood post officeEven though first-class mail continues to increase, the U.S.

Exposure Draft of Insurance SOP Deadline Shortened

A new Statement of Position (SOP) covering demutualization and formations of mutual insurance holding companies has a shorter deadline than previously announced of 60 rather than 90 days.The SOP was issued on April 3 by the AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee, and is formally titled Accounting by Insurance Enterprises for Demutualizations and Formations of Mutual Insurance Holding Companies and for Certain Long-Duration Participating Contracts.The shorter time period is attributed to the significant acti

Take This Tax Day Humor - Please!

Nothing is funnier than poking fun at the IRS, Tax Day, a dreaded audit, or even an accountant, and this year’s humor-related Web sites and other resources are full of zingers designed to make even Charles Rosotti laugh.Start with Hallmark Cards - this company provides consumers with free, online greeting cards (e-cards). The company that expects you to send the very best expects our clients and customers to send 250 million cards during this year’s busy season.

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