News

Practice Management

Small Business Looks to MBAs for Ideas

Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, right? How about today-here and now!More and more small businesses are tapping the resources available to them through local graduate school programs, especially the red-hot MBA marketplace. Recruiting an MBA provides a fresh perspective to your business and, at the same time, helps the student receive invaluable experience.Businesses who must watch the bottom line are finding they can accomplish the same end result by relying on the graduate student to provide consulting services relative to his or her discipline.
Technology

PWC Survey Reveals E-Commerce is key to Economic Growth in Asia Pacific

Small- and medium-sized companies' use of electronic commerce is key to economic growth in Asia Pacific, according to the results an international survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Technology

DON'T DOWNLOAD AOL 5.0 WITHOUT READING THIS!

Stop press. New features abound in the new AOL v. 5.0, but you may find that in downloading the new version you will lose your connection to the Internet. If you have an AOL account and a separate dial up account with another Internet Service Provider, the new AOL 5.0 may disable your Internet connections. The culprit appears to be the AOL TCP/IP adapter installed by AOL 5.0. In some instances, it may establish itself as the default network adapter and disable any DNS settings required to connect to an ISP.
Practice

Ez401k.com is a Fast, Inexpensive Alternative to Setting up Plans

CPAs who provide consulting services in retirement planning take note: employers can now set up a 401(K) retirement plan on the Internet at ez401k.com.Ez401k.com markets itself as an efficient and inexpensive alternative to traditional 401(k) planning. With the cost to set up a company retirement plan at $401, ez401k.com gives businesses a savings in fees of $1,500 or more. A watch on the ez401k.com home page lets an employer see exactly how long it takes them to design a plan and print out announcements for employees.
Technology

Support For XML Available

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has developed an initiative that will encourage standardized digital financial statement formats using extensible markup language (XML).

Newsletters – To Have Or Not To Have

Newsletters are not inexpensive to produce or buy. A typical newsletter will cost a firm thousands of dollars per year to produce and mail. Make sure you are getting the most bang out of your newsletter buck!Why have one?If you have signed onto the newsletter bandwagon because your competitor had one, step back and analyze whether your newsletter is getting results. Do you hear from your customers more after an issue hits the mail? Do you have a fax-back from that allows your clients to easily reply to an article or other non-urgent subject?

3rd Quarter Earnings Expected High for Selected Industries

CPAs either employed by, or working in, energy, financial and technology companies will want to take note: analysts predict earnings in these three industries are expected to hit a four and one-half year high at the end of 3rd quarter 1999.Overall, companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 will grow earnings by 22 percent. Although it may seem that analysts sometimes use crystal balls to foretell earnings potential, there are definitive reasons for the increases.
Practice Management

CPAs Can Brush Up on Tax Strategies for Small Business Owners

In today's accounting marketplace, more and more CPAs and other professionals are getting further and further away from taxation and advise strategies for the small business owner.Some end-of-year tax planning will indeed help any situation, be it that of the CPA or a client. For example, by gathering together last year's tax statement, along with a projection of 1999, you can adequately take a look at where you may or may not be headed regarding the 1999 tax bill.Some strategies for small business boil down to the calendar itself, such as sending out invoices after Jan.

Fed Says "No" to Raising Interest Rates

For the time being, short-term interest rates will remain the same at 5.25 percent. In a much anticipated announcement, the Federal Reserve Bank said Tuesday that, although it would not raise rates, it indicated that rates may indeed rise should inflation occur.Also unchanged was the discount rate, which will remain at 4.75 percent. The discount rate is used by the Federal Reserve's 12 district banks who provide direct loans to banks and financial institutions.Should rates have risen, this would have been the third time in 1999.

MCI WorldCom, Sprint Merge

As reported here last week, MCI WorldCom Inc. and Sprint Corp. have concluded a deal to combine forces in the largest merger ever. The stock exchange is valued at $115 billion – $129 billion including debt. The new corporation will be called WorldCom.To make the deal more attractive to its investors, MCI said it would put cost saving strategies in place.
A&A

MSAs – Gold Mine Or Shaft?

Republicans and Democrats are dueling over the experimental tax-free Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) this week. Republican leaders will propose legislation that would make MSAs available to all Americans.MSAs were designed to help people set aside money to pay for routine medical bills and the premium for a high-deductible insurance policy. MSAs have insured those who would otherwise not be able to afford health insurance.
Technology

Another Big 5 Exec Lured To the Internet

Hot on the heels of Andersen Consulting CEO George Shaheen's retirement to head up Internet startup Webvan, Jeffrey Hirschberg today announced his retirement as Vice Chairman of Ernst & Young to become a director of visitalk.com, a web-based telecommunications start up company.At visitalk, Hirschberg's role will be to help facilitate the company's attempt to build a global directory that allows online voice and video calling.
Technology

Internet Taxation Panel May Delay Report

Following up on a story we published last month, it appears as if the Congressionally appointed Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce may not complete its much anticipated report in April 2000, as originally expected.The U.S. Senate's primary sponsor of the panel, Sen.
Technology

GAO Issues Report on Risks in Computer Networks

Overprotective or not, the General Accounting Office today issued a report citing the unstable environment associated with computer networks and the associated fallout related to national defense, taxation, law enforcement and air traffic control.Part of the report focused on statistics compounded by the risky networks, including the number of times the federally funded emergency response team at Carnegie Melon University's CERT Coordination Center responded to security problems.

Conducting Business in the Air no Longer a Problem

How many times have you been airborne and felt the frustration of "dead" time? Sure, you're using your laptop, but what about that ever-important cellular phone?Heretofore prohibited, British Telecommunications, owners of the Skyphone Mobile Connect service, just announced that it is paving the way to enable passengers to use mobile phones to talk, use the Web to conduct business and even send e-mails while flying.Through innovations in telecommunications, calls would be sent to mobile phones located on the seat backs in front of the passengers.
Technology

IBM Joins Apple and Others in Adding Color to its Hardware Palette

Color is the key with IBM ThinkPad I-Series 1400 notebooks. Purchasers will soon have a choice between seven covers that snap on to the notebook computers. Colors range from a metallic green to the corporate "big blue."This particular line of notebook computers is only 12 months old, but IBM believes the color choices add to the personalization associated with today's computing needs.

The Venerable 401(k): A Last Ditch Resort to Obtaining Cash

Everyone knows that regular, planned donations to a 401(k) set up by your employer reaps tremendous financial rewards in the long run, especially in a scenario in which an employer matches donations. But should a 401(k) be used as a way to make ends meet should you have a rainy day?Experts say no. Last year, nearly 10 percent of America's employees who regularly donated to their 401(k) obtained loans from their plans, borrowing just over $18 billion last year for an average loan of $7,600.
Practice Management

Donations Good for Business and Goodwill

CPAs and accounting professionals try to teach their clients and employers each year the value of charitable donations and the tax breaks associated with regular giving programs. But what about applying some of this philosophy to their own businesses-as well as some of the intangible benefits, like reputation management?Each year, millions of businesses donate to charities and find themselves in a better position, not only from a tax standpoint, but in self-promotions as well.

Online Workshops Added

AccountingWEB has launched an online workshop series inviting visitors to participate in online chats with topic experts. The series begins October 12 with a session on selling professional services with Maura Schrier-Fleming, President of Strategic Selling, Inc. Check the workshop schedule and be sure to join us on line!
Technology

Delays For Windows 2000

Microsoft promised Windows 2000 and a whole lot more, but hasn’t delivered – yet. Microsoft announced a new release date in November which means many IT professionals may not get the new operating system until January. So much for ringing in Y2K with Windows 2000.Beta testers of the software complain that the ongoing delays have affected their maintenance plans and their budgets. For example, one company budgeted training money for the new operating system for a certain quarter.

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