News

Antitrust Laws May Affect Internet B2B Sites

Court sentiment seems to be anti-monopoly these days, a far cry from the Reagan era when antitrust lawyers were looking for something else to do for a living. Giant corporations are striving to become larger and more powerful, while closing the marketplace to their smaller competitors.The newspapers are filled with stories of major corporate mergers and the negative effects these mergers can have on smaller companies, but the undercurrent seems to be dragging along the Internet economy as well.

Fight to Ban ATM Fees Loses Ground

The ban on ATM fees that went into effect last year in San Francisco attempted to prevent what was considered to be "double-dipping" by banks who charged non-members a fee for the consumer's bank as well as a fee for the bank providing the ATM service. A U.S. District Court ruled that the ban on fees violated federal laws which provide banks with the right to charge the access fees. Lawyers representing the San Francisco voters vow to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has previously ruled that states have the right to regulate ATMs.
Tax

Is Your City Animal Sculpture Friendly?

Manhattan has cows, Saginaw has hares, New Orleans has fish, Norfolk has mermaids, and Bloomington, IL has giant ears of corn. These are just a few of the many structures gracing, or grazing, the streets and parks of cities nationwide. While cities embrace this latest craze, businesses can gain promotional exposure and a tax deduction by sponsoring the streetside artwork.
Tax

PACs Must Disclose Campaign Contributors

President Clinton signed the 527 Disclosure Bill on July 1, a bill that requires groups organized under Internal Revenue Code 527 (relating to political organizations) to notify the IRS of their existence and to disclose details of all contributions that exceed $200 per year and all expenditures that exceed $500 per year.The IRS will be required to report this information and make it publicly available on the Internet and at the IRS offices. Organizations that are organized under Section 527 are now required to file quarterly reports with the IRS.

Tax Havens Under Fire

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an organization composed of members of 29 industrialized countries that strives to analyze trends, forecast economic development, and coordinate international policies. The members of the organization are, as a group, committed to encouraging a free market economy and a pluralistic democracy. The organization finished two days of meetings last week, the purpose of which was to address the growing concern about harmful tax practices in countries that encourage investment that is subject to little or no taxation.

Top Consultants Include Accounting Experts, E-Specialties

The June 2000 issue of Consulting magazine has a list of the top 25 consultants in the world.This year's issue once again includes experts from Big 5 firms and spin-off consulting firms.Most interesting about the list was that more than half of those listed are involved in e-Consulting from companies whose primary business is electronic business, as well as e-commerce departments of traditional consultancy practices.The magazine reports that the top consultant, Bill Nussey, CEO of iXL, Inc. is 'what every traditional consultancy fears:' a venture capitalist turned consultant.

Back to High School to Recruit Accounting Majors

A booming economy and fewer accounting graduates (about 10,000 over a four-year period) has motivated the Big 5, along with other accounting and consulting firms, to dig deeper for qualified applicants. One place that seems to be a prime resource for the future of accounting is America's high schools. In some cases, even middle schools makes sense.The Big 5 are arriving in droves, and this time they have more than promises of employment.
Technology

Clinton e-signs Digital Signature Bill

The passage of the e-signature bill will enable Internet commerce to move forward at an even quicker pace. Now contracts, checks, and loan applications can be signed online. E-signature laws are already in place in several states, and the IRS experimented with receiving some tax returns with e-signatures this past spring.
A&A

Touched by an Angel or Stung by the Devil?

This week's PC Expo brought out the best the computer world has to offer for the future of small business, including a strategic effort for start-up entrepreneurs to seek venture capital funding.A two-day seminar called 'Touched by an Angel' put start-ups at the mercy of 'angels' or so-called investors. Entrepreneurs were given four minutes to plead their case, but most of the time, every one was shot down. Why?Experts attending the seminar picked on this point and that point.
Technology

Support Dying for Internet Tax Moratorium

Pro-tax bills have surfaced in both the House and Senate, supported by legislators who recognize the loss in tax revenue that states will continue to suffer as sales on the Internet proliferate. The current Internet sales tax moratorium expires in October, 2001, and it is unlikely any further legislation to either extend this moratorium or institute a sales tax policy will occur this year. All but five states have a sales tax, but currently no state enforces the taxation of sales if the seller has no in-state store or warehouse.
A&A

Rev 'em up! Porsche Boxsters as Benefits Incentive

Today's corporate benefits plan includes all the traditional modes, such as 401(k) plans, insurance, vacation and the like. But Porsche Boxters?Mercury Computer Systems recently awarded 24 such cars to management as an incentive to boost sales and increase the company's earnings. What's the fallout from an incentive program like this?Analysts outside the company think stockholders should be upset that the company is investing its money into benefits like a Porsche.

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 49

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 49 June 30, 2000 Logon to http://www.accountingweb.com for more resources. Don't know your membership logon details?
Tax

IRS May Become Competitor in Online Tax Filing Arena

The Clinton administration’s fiscal 2001 funding request includes a requirement that the IRS provide tax preparation and filing services at no charge on its web site.
Tax

Marriage Tax Relief Bill Goes to Senate Floor

The latest attempt at passing marriage tax penalty relief bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, under the leadership of Senator William Roth. The bill offers a complete restructuring of the standard deduction and the tax brackets so that married taxpayers pay taxes as if they are two single taxpayers. The bill is expected to land on the Senate floor in July. President Clinton has indicated a willingness to sign such a measure, but only if a Medicare prescription drug bill is incorporated into the plan.
Technology

Online Banking: Is it in Your Clients' Future?

Many accounting professionals have used the Internet to conduct business with the IRS and other organizations for some time, but may have held off their support of online banking for their clients because of security issues.A new survey reveals Americans remain, for the most part, skeptical of online banking.
A&A

The Effect of Interest Rate Hikes on Small Business

By the time you see the late news, you'll know backwards and forwards that the Federal Reserve Bank didn't raise short-term interest rates, but may do so again in August.In the meantime, how does this affect small business? More and more CPAs and accounting professionals rely on the small guys for their bread and butter income, so what kind of effect does a rate hike really have on the economy for the small business owner?Plenty, most of which has to do with financing the start-up or new business venture.

SurePayroll.com is open for business

HIGHLAND PARK, IL —June 28, 2000 — MEDIA ALERTGround-breaking On-line Payroll Solution to Reduce Time and Money Spent on Payroll by 50 percent. Marketplace Demand:In a survey conducted by DraftWorldwide, nearly 25 percent of the small business owners surveyed are not happy with their current payroll system. According to an ICR study, 40 percent of 11 million small business owners are fined an average $845 by the IRS for inaccurate or late payroll filing—which translates into more than $3 billion dollars annually.
A&A

CPAs Have Role to Play in B2B Commerce

It's no secret that B2B (Business to Business) Commerce has brought extremely lucrative profits, but did you know it's now a multi-trillion industry?Amidst the hustle and bustle of making money, many financial professionals are puzzled as to their role in the long-term environment. Just what is the CPA's role as the financial advisor to clients, customers and employers?A new Journal of Accountancy article (click on link below) traces the growth of the market and the place financial advisors have in the food chain.

Great Plains Attracts Big 5 for Global Account Initiative

In an effort to focus business on large, multi-national companies who need assistance with implementing its solutions, Great Plains has announced an alliance with many leading market players in a new program called the 'Global Accounts Initiative.'Partners include two Big Five firms, Deloitte & Touche and KPMG, as well as Ernst & Young Technologies.

Quick Tips for Researching on the Internet

Jim Kaplan, author of The Auditor's Guide to Internet Resources and webmaster of AuditNet, an electronic information network for auditors, presented a workshop featuring tips and tricks for successful researching on the Internet.Jim Kaplan is the Internal Auditor for Fairfax County Public Schools, the 12th largest school district in the United States. He founded AuditNet with the goal of linking auditors around the world with audit-related resources.

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