News

A&A

Airlines, Rental Cars Reach out to Small Business

Let's face it: you're not an Arthur Andersen or MobilExxon, and you'll never be in the big leagues when it comes to purchasing power. Nevertheless, the small business traveler may go on just as many trips or rent just as many cars as the big guys, so why should they get all the perks?Changes are very much in the works across all vertical travel industries. For example, several airlines, like Delta and Northwest, have revamped their Web sites to aid the small business traveler in make all arrangements through a one-stop shopping portal.

Auditors should audit. It’s that simple.

Among Wednesday’s speakers at the Securities and Exchange hearings on auditor independence was John H. Biggs, Chairman, President, and CEO of TIAA-CREF, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and College Retirement Equities Fund.TIAA-CREF manages $300 billion for its participants and invests $1.5 billion in new fixed income every month and even more in common stock. Biggs told of an incident that occurred several years ago in which his company relied on audited financial statements in making a $12 million investment.
Technology

Web-Based Accounting Services Rated and Reviewed

The Ziff-Davis Smart Business Labs rated and ranked Web-Based accounting software as part of a longer article examining the ins and outs of companies outsourcing accounting functions to a Web-based service.Accounting services reviewed include NetLedger, Flagship, Sage's MAS 90 and Intacct.

Auditors and managers have the same interests, says Yale Professor

Speaking before the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Professor Rick Antle of the Yale School of Management indicated it is usually unreasonable to assume an auditing firm than performs non-audit services is going to compromise its audit.Antle has studied the issue of auditor independence at length and is co-author of the white paper, "An Economic Analysis of Auditor Independence for a Multi-client, Multi-service Public Accounting Firm" submitted to the Independence Standards Board (ISB) on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).In an inte

XBRL Examined in Plain-Speak English

A new August 2000 Journal of Accountancy article written by Colorado CPA Wayne Harding, formerly with Great Plains, and Stanley Zarowin, a member of the JOA staff, examine XBRL and its applications to various accounting scenarios.In summary, Zarowin and Harding conclude that: XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, will be the standard for all business reporting; the authors believe the process will be truly revolutionary. The software to enable XBRL will be built into the majority of all financial and reporting software. The software will seamless

Excel Tip: Change Excel Default Settings

If you find that every time you create an Excel worksheet you need to change settings, such as margin, number format, typeface, footer, column width, etc., and these changes are the same for each of your worksheets, you may want to simply make changes in the new worksheet defaults.To create new default settings in Excel, follow these steps:1. Open a blank workbook.2. Without entering information in the cells, make all the formatting adjustments that you want to incorporate into your future workbooks.3. Choose File, Save. The Save As window will appear.4.
Practice Management

10 Steps to Developing Effective Client Service Strategy

Stephanie Leon of Results Accountants' Systems presented a free, interactive workshop on AccountingWEB in which she explained several useful measures that you can take to ensure that your clients are well-served and content.Among her suggestions are:Step 1: Commit yourself to the projectStep 2: Assess where the business is at in terms of the present service levelStep 3: Determine your customers' needsStep 4: Set performance standardsStep 5: Identify the moments

'Cognitor' Could be new Designation for CPA

AccountingWeb has learned that the American Institute of CPAs plans to propose a value-added designation called 'cognitor,' on behalf of the accounting profession. The announcement was made during the AICPA's State CPA Society Interchange Conference, held in Tucson July 19-21.Based on research and development, the new name is designed to talk to issues about thought and knowledge, and to enlarge the CPA's skill set.

Are you Feeling Burned Out?

Are your employees feeling overwhelmed, irritable or just plain drained? Maybe it’s happening to you. Rest assured that you can solve the problem, it just takes a few corrections in the way work is approached.Make sure your company stresses the importance of balance. Even your best employees can be prone to burnout. People don’t function well if they are functioning constantly without an occasional break.Help employees understand the inner workings of the company.
Tax

Separating Death and Taxes

Separating Death and Taxesby Michael B. Allmon, CPAThe U.S. Congress, encouraged by popular sentiment, tried to separate death and taxes by voting to repeal the estate tax in July.

Microsoft’s New Version of Office in the Works

A crack team of engineers called NetDocs has been working since 1997 to re-think the current function of Microsoft Office. While updates of the current program featuring Word, Excel and Outlook e-mail still keep rolling out; growth for the program has been slowing down. The trouble is finding new users to take on the program. Thus, the hope for a new Office named Office.NET.When available, the new program will be offered as a subscription. Instead of buying the program outright, the user will rent it.
A&A

Health Care, Taxes Vex Small Business Owners

The National Federation of Independent Business has released its Small Business Problems & Priorities Survey in which 4,044 small businesses rank their toughest problems.The cost of health care has had a lock on the number one spot since 1986, and 47% of survey respondents cite the problem as 'critical.' "No other single problem can touch health costs in terms of either the unanimity or intensity of concern it generates among small business owners," according to William J. Dennis, Senior Research Fellow at the NFIB Education Foundation and author of the study.
Community News

KPMG Takes a Stab at SEC Auditor Independence Proposals

Terry Strange, Global Managing Partner of Audit for KPMG, took the podium yesterday at the SEC auditor independence hearings, and offered his reservations about the hurried nature of the proposed auditor restrictions as well as the inappropriateness of the barriers to auditing firms providing non-audit services.Noting his complete support of the SEC's desire to modernize independence rules, Strange expressed two troubling aspects of the proposals:The bundling of the much needed revisions of existing rules on investments and family relationships
Technology

A Focus on the Secret Service Cyber-Crimes Unit

With more and more CPAs and their staffs specializing in fraud-related engagements, especially forensic accounting investigations, a look inside the Secret Services' cyber crime fighting division is a fascinating study in high-tech surveillance.Known as the Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program (ECSAP), the division itself has grown over 900 percent in the last three years.

SurePayroll.com Announces Formation of Three Strategic Partnerships

HIGHLAND PARK, IL - July 27, 2000 - SurePayroll.com, a radically new web-based payroll system, announces it has created strategic partnerships with American Express, Compubank and SmartAge.com. SurePayroll.com continues to aggressively push into the small business arena. Its 100% web-based payroll solution has already simplified the tedious and time-consuming back-office task of processing payroll for companies throughout the country.
Community News

Deloitte Demonstrates Commitment to Women's Issues

Deloitte & Touche has released the findings of a survey conducted late last year regarding women in elected positions, particularly as president of the United States.According to CEO James Copeland Jr., the firm commissioned the survey to demonstrate its commitment to women's issues.

It's Mickey Mouse: How Copyright Law Affects Accounting

In many situations, matters like copyright infringement directly affect the accounting profession in a number of ways. Why?It's easy to understand that big business wants to protect its assets. Take the case of Disney, who banks on the fact that Mickey Mouse is spared any public domain once the character's copyright period expires.Based on a 1998 law enacted by Congress called the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), companies like Disney can hold on to a copyright for a term as long as 20 more years.

CPAvenue Launches Virtual Office for Accounting Firms

CPAvenue Launches Virtual Office for Accounting Firms(teams with leading ASP, huddle247, Inc.)ASP "Virtual Office" product launched by Charles R. McCann,CPA, former managing partner of now CBIZ company, Mayer Hoffman McCannKansas City, MO and Santa Ana, CA--July 25, 2000--Charles R. McCann, CPA, President of Q3Avenue, LLC announced today the launch of CPAvenue, a remote-hosted, subscription-based ASP "Virtual Office" for small and medium size accounting firms.

Global Tax Network's 2000 Online Tax Organizer

Global Tax Network announces the latest version of its online tax organizer, including download support for Prosystem fx, GoSystem, and Lacerte software.Global Tax Network (gtn) is an online service that provides an easy to use, convenient online tax organizer for use by individual tax clients. The online organizer supplements existing professional tax software programs. GTN’s online tax organizer allows tax preparers to download client information directly into their tax preparation software.
Technology

Columbia Law Professor Offers Auditor/SEC Compromise

"The contemporary auditing firm has moved from providing a single service at relatively modest cost to becoming a multi-faceted vendor of business advisory services," according to Professor John C. Coffee, Jr. of the Columbia Law School who testified today in the auditor independence hearings before the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pages