News

Technology

Le Club Prive Bilked Members for Millions

The SEC has filed suit against Le Club Prive, an Internet club, offering advice and recommendations about investments to its members. The suit alleges that the club’s pyramid scheme is a “sham” operation and all assets of the club have been temporarily frozen. A temporary restraining order has halted all club activity.Members of Le Club Prive paid $1,495 to join plus a $149 monthly fee. Members could purchase unregistered shares in mutual funds that promised big returns, and received investment advice. The pyramid feature of the club involved recruitment of new members.
Tax

Eighth Circuit Overturns Tax Court

Previous tax rulings, notably the INDOPCO Inc. vs. Commissioner case, have required that the tax treatment of officers’ salaries in an acquired subsidiary be capitalized.
A&A

The Jailbird CFO: Fraud on the Rise

What's going on in the world of the CFO? The latest trend seems to find some CFOs caught with their hand in the cookie jar - caught in some sort of fraud scheme.Take several examples that have recently made the news. Office equipment leases offered through Bennett Funding Corporation in New York landed CFO Patrick Bennett in jail. Paul Polishan, who was the CFO with Leslie Fay, was sent to jail based on indictments of 18 errors related to accounting misstatements.Why is this happening, over and over, in a seemingly increased capacity?
Community News

Arthur Andersen Makes the Grade in Customer Satisfaction

Congratulations to Arthur Andersen, who was ranked Number One in 14 service categories and attributes by Emerson Research Company in the 2000 Big 5 Annual Report.The report is a compilation of all five firms' operating results as they apply to professional service corporations.Areas covered include opportunities for staff, services to clients, investments for the future, and achieving profitability.A complete copy of the report can be obtained from Emerson at their Web site.

Jack Fox, M.B.A., Author, speaker, comedian

Jack Fox is an unforgettable speaker, retreat facilitator, practice development consultant, master of ceremonies and accomplished professional stand-up comedian. Knowing that business is not a laughing matter, this results-producing author/consultant/seminar leader has assisted accountants and consultants in starting and building their very own successful businesses for more than twenty years.

Value Pricing, with Ron Baker

Value Pricing WorkshopPresented by Ron Baker, speaker, consultant, trainer, and best-selling author of "The Professional's Guide to Value Pricing"Session Moderator: Thank you, Ron, for leading our workshop today!Session Moderator: Ronald J. Baker started his accounting career in 1984 with KPMG Peat Marwick's Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco.
Practice

Managing Voice Mail For Improved Results

No one likes voice mail, but if you make an effort to use voice mail more efficiently, you will see improved results in a matter of days.Take advantage of the greeting to promote a new offer or new service of some kind. And, be sure to update your email message daily so you send a clear signal that you are on top of your agenda at all times.There are other tips as well.
Community News

SEC May Have Leaked News of Audit Irregularities

The ongoing probe by the SEC of Andersen’s accounting practices was made public last week when a story appeared in the Wall Street Journal that included confidential details of the investigation into the accounting services provided by Andersen to Waste Management Inc. The accounting problems that were uncovered last year resulted in billions of dollars of write-offs for Waste Management.
Community News

Survey Says: 96% of Accountants Have Internet Access

Harris Interactive, the folks who bring you Harris Polls, have finished conducting the CCH Accountants on the Internet 2000 poll and the results are fascinating.
Technology

Amazon's Debt Load Worries Investors

Admit it. You've been at parties or social functions at which a group of accountants, CPAs or financial professionals cussed and discussed the much-anticipated fate of Amazon.com. It's on everyone's minds as we still sort out the dotcom winners from the dotcom failures.Amazon.com continues to be strong in the eyes of the consumer, but the investor side is a different story completely.
Tax

Section 83(b) Election an Option for Tax Clients

Are you familiar with Section 83(b) of the tax code? It provides a method to save your clients money on their tax bill should they own stock options through their employer.With an election made under Section 83(b), the taxpayer agrees to pay taxes on the current value of shares after exercising the option, even if the taxpayer doesn't have full ownership of the shares now because they are restricted.
Technology

Word Tip: Customize Spelling & Grammar Tools

Word’s spelling and grammar checker is a great tool, but it is far from perfect. The system often flags "mistakes" that are actually correct. To prevent Word from flagging an item in the future, you can simply click the Ignore or Ignore All button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box while you're running the spelling checker.

Denver-based Company Forms Alliance with PWC

TeleTech Holdings Inc., a company that manages customer service operations and marketing for customers such as American Express and Ford Motor Co. announced plans for buying a firm in California for $200 million. TeleTech will soon be revealing plans to open a call center in Northern Ireland as well.In the midst of all the excitement, TeleTech has also announced an alliance that has been formed with PricewaterhouseCoopers. The goal: to place TeleTech in touch with prospective clients that the company wouldn’t normally have access to.
Technology

Make Your Site Search Engine Friendly

When you develop your web site there are certain tricks you can use to optimize being found by search engines. However, there are also a few tricks that you shouldn’t use in an effort to help people find you. Here they are:Do not use popular keywords in your Meta and Title tags that have nothing to do with your site. Make sure they are directly related to your site. Also, don’t “borrow” other people’s Meta Tags and Titles.Do not use hidden text in your website.

Ronald Baker, Author, Speaker, Consultant, Trainer

Ronald J. Baker started his accounting career in 1984 with KPMG Peat Marwick’s Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco. Today, he is a partner in Baker & Barnett, CPAs, located in Corte Madera, California–the firm he co-founded in 1988.As a frequent speaker at CPA events and conferences, and a consultant to CPA firms on implementing Total Quality Service and Value Pricing, his work takes him around the world.
Tax

H&R Block Jumps into Online Tax Filing Fray

H&R Block, which has served more tax clients than any other single company through is offices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia, has announce an exclusive agreement with Inisoft to provide online personal tax preparation services throughout Canada.
Technology

ASPs and the Value of Web-Based Accounting Services

Here's a story about a company in search of a way to enter the fast lane of the ASP (Application Service Provider) superhighway.Insilicon manufactures software that gives a computer chip the ability to communicate across various platforms.

HR Consultancy Goes Online With Investment Services

The ability to surf the Internet and handle day-in, day-out tasks associated with the human resources function is getting hotter and hotter. Now, Hewitt Associates has tapped into the power of the Web to provide defined contribution services for more than 4.3 million employees and clients by partnering with Business Logic.Business Logic created 'AccountLink,' a system that enables anyone with investments administered by Hewitt to obtain investment balances on a 24/7 basis.
Community News

PWC Finds Banks Non-Compliant With Privacy Act

A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that two-thirds of U.S. banks are non-compliant with disclosure standards for online privacy as outlined in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.According to the Act, which becomes effective July 1, 2001, a bank must declare that any business a customer conducts on the Internet is secure. Even though the implementation date is in the middle of next year, banks only have until Nov.
Practice Management

US Firms Reveal Best Practices for Audit Efficiency

The AICPA's Journal of Accountancy has a feature in its September issue in which firms cited for their excellent quality controls share practice tips on how to improve audits while saving time and enhancing profits. There is probably something for most practicing accountants here, and many well-organized firms will find much familiar ground.The first step towards audit efficiency is to manage and train clients. Auditors work best when clients provide them with the data they need.

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