News

<FONT color="orange">Plan Now For a Spooky Office Halloween!</FONT>

Halloween's almost here - are you ready?Celebrations at the office are commonplace these days, as more and more of us want to have an 'adult' Halloween party with our co-workers and friends.Start with a policy - do you want to decorate the office or are there safety issues to consider?If you decorate, start now in anticipation of the big day. Find inexpensive decorations at local craft stores. Items like bags of cotton make great spider webs when stretched.Distribute candy, and ask the boss to help fund the sweets.

AICPA Moves Ahead With Cognitor Designation

Even though several of the world's accounting organizations have shown mixed support for the 'Cognitor' designation, the American Institute of CPAs has decided to move ahead with its plans to create and implement the global designation.The decision was made this week at the Fall Council meeting in Las Vegas, and only was agreed to thanks to wording supplied by the Ohio Society of CPAs.
Community News

Andersen & CollegeNet Expand to UK

Arthur Andersen, LLP and Atlanta-based CollegeNet are crossing the Atlantic to deliver online learning throughout the United Kingdom.The courses are targeted at the U.K.'s small business community, with a philosophy that this size business wants to take parts of courses in shorter segments rather than spend the time and money on an entire course.

SEC Takes One Step Back

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt has indicated his willingness to take steps toward "mending and renewing the relationship between the SEC, the AICPA, and the [accounting] profession" in an address Tuesday to members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Levitt has been in the news repeatedly over the past year regarding his pro
Technology

Pay Your Bills Online?

A new service offered by the United States Postal Service, USPS™eBillPay, enables you to pay and view your monthly bills online for a monthly fee of $6.00 per month for up to 20 transactions. You are able to pay anyone in the United States that you would normally pay by check or automated debit, with the exceptions of, state and federal tax payments and court-ordered payments. The service allows you to set up a payee by entering payee information such as payee account number and the payee's address and phone number.
Community News

Grant Thornton to Sell E-Business Consulting Practice

Grant Thornton LLP, the leading U.S. accounting tax and management consulting firm serving middle-market, entrepreneurial companies, has agreed to sell its 450-person e-Business consulting practice to Hitachi Ltd. for approximately $175 million.Grant Thornton had announced plans last February to sell its e-Business Consulting Group. The consultancy group, headquartered in Dallas, enjoys annual revenue of about $90 million and has 15 U.S.
Technology

New Face in D.C. Could be an IT Czar

If Congress has its way, there may be a new face in Washington politics with the title, IT Czar.The position is considered to be a panacea to the ongoing problems plaguing the world of cyberspace with regard to regulations, security and other issues.A report published yesterday on AccountingWEB describing the lacking of security within Federal government agencies highlights the need for an IT Czar--or what would be more commonly known as a Chief Information Officer--who could take on the role of applying a knowledge of the IT revolution to government.Earlier this fall, Congress held h
A&A

Credit Card vs. the Bank Loan: Which is Better?

It's a common problem of our times. You, a client or someone you know wants to buy something, but may not have the cash readily available to make the purchase. What would you do, or advise your client to do?Experts say that the annual percentage rate (APR) probably would be lower for a bank loan, even an unsecured loan, than most credit card rates. Compare the two. A credit card with a 19 percent interest rate versus a bank loan with a 15 percent rate would yield a savings of $70 over a three-year period of paying back a $1,000 loan.
Technology

Amazon Secure About SEC Accounting Probes

Mega online retailer Amazon.com has gotten a taste of what the accounting industry is going through with regard to an SEC probe.The SEC has been in discussions with Amazon for the past month and has now launched an information inquiry into accounting practices revolving around Amazons partnerships with certain vendors.

Marketing Your Web Site, with Glen Christopher

Marketing Your Web SitePresented by Glen Christopher, Christopher & Associates

Joe Hurley

JOE HURLEYSavingForCollege.comJoseph F. Hurley, CPA is a certified public accountant with over 20 years of experience in providing tax-planning services to individuals, corporations, and tax-exempt organizations.

Levitt Takes on Accountants in Las Vegas Showdown

The casino city of Las Vegas, Nevada, today hosts a heavyweight confrontation between the main adversaries in the battle of auditor independence as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Arthur Levitt takes on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.Crusading chairman Levitt has made auditor independence the cornerstone of his term of office, which could come to an end if George W. Bush wins the presidential election in November.
Tax

Frequent-Flier Miles . . . and Taxes!

Frequent-flier miles are so widespread today that they can almost seem like another form of money. Frequent-flier mile awards have even become an issue in some divorce and estate cases. The federal government has considered taxing frequent-flier miles.After careful thought and research, the IRS studied the matter and decided the expense of monitoring and enforcing a tax on frequent-flier miles would be too much of an expense for the government.

Congress Should 'Butt Out' of FASB Issue

J. Edward Katz, an accounting professor at Penn State University, claims members of Congress don’t understand the accounting issues at hand in the recent controversy over a proposed Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ruling regarding the accounting treatment of merging companies.FASB is proposing doing away with the pooling of interests method of accounting when companies merge.

Indiana Students Get Go Ahead for CPA Exam

After last week's news that graduates of Indiana University and Purdue would not be able to sit for the CPA exam due to a lack of specific accreditation of the accounting departments of those schools, administrators scrambled to get to the bottom of the matter and do what was necessary to get these students into November's exam.In a public meeting last Friday with representatives from Indiana University, Purdue University, the Indiana CPA Society, the Indiana State Board of Accountanc
Community News

Number of Women in Partner Positions Almost Doubles

According to a survey by the CPA Personnel Report, 11.7 percent of the partners at the top 25 firms in the United States are women.Overall, this is a relatively small percentage. However, progress for women continues to be made. Four years ago, that number was only 6.7 percent.

State Lottery Statistics Influence S. Carolina Decision

It's been all over the news that South Carolina is strongly considering a state lottery to help fund state education, and one of the more interesting stories to come from the discussions is a rundown of the statistics of the typical lottery player.Governor Jim Hodges wants to do his homework before the talks proceed any further, including confirming or discounting the fact that organized lotteries often prey on the poor, which is his citizens' primary opposition to the lottery.He held a conference call on Monday with officials from other states to discuss the lottery in their states.
Technology

GAO: Government Sites Playing 'Big Brother'

When the General Accounting Office (GAO) goes on a fact-finding mission, it often uncovers some pretty strange things.Based on a new report, the GAO found that security and tracking aspects at many of government's Web sites do not meet stated guidelines, and that 13 agencies are secretly using technology to track the habits of its visitors.The report, 'Opportunities and Challenges Facing the FirstGov Web Gateway' outlines these accusations.
Community News

Bank of America Expands in Western U.S.

'Invest in the West' is the new motto of Bank of America, which is making efforts to expand its operations in the Western United States.In fact, the bank is doubling its private banking operations in California, and will open 10 new offices up and down the state by the end of the year. Previously, the bank had only nine offices in California.Why? The percentage of wealthy customers who live in the state is overwhelming, especially in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, according to banking officials.
A&A

CPAs Should Educate SB Owners

Perhaps it's the job of the CPA or accounting professional to educate small business clients on the ins and outs of offering medical and other benefit programs to their employees.The 2000 Small Employer Health Benefits Survey sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the Consumer Health Education Council found that the primary barrier preventing companies from offering benefits is the cost associated with employer-sponsored progr

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