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Free Refund Anticipation Loans Being Tested in California

H&R Block has announced that it is testing a new service in California, offering refund anticipation loans to clients at no charge.The prospect of clients getting cash in anticipation of their refunds has been popular for a few years now. H&R Block, along with many other tax return preparation outfits has been offering this service with a charge typically of about $20 or a percentage of the loan.
Community News

Can Auditors Be Barred From Service For Missing Fraud?

In a landmark case that it sure to send shockwaves throughout the accounting profession, the SEC is seeking to bar two accountants from a Big 5 firm from signing off on public company audits because they failed to detect a massive fraud at California Micro Devices five years ago.The CPAs gave Cal Micro a clean bill of health, but an internal investigation weeks later uncovered an enormous employee fraud resulting in over one third of the company's revenue being erroneous.
Community News

SEC Slams PwC on Auditor Independence Violations

In its continued crackdown of the auditing profession, the Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the results of an independent review, citing the partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers with over 8,000 violations of the auditor-independence rules.The majority of the violations occurred in cases where partners or their family members owned stock or mutual funds from companies that PwC was auditing, and a percentage of the problem stemmed from the recent merge
Technology

Tips for E-mail When Traveling Abroad

All of us who travel and check e-mail on a regular basis have encountered poor connections--or perhaps no connection at all--in remote locations. This can put the kabosh on even the most experience traveler!Traveling overseas may be even more tenuous.

Security Hinders NY Online Tax Program

As a service to taxpayers and accountants, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has provided the ability to visit the agency's Web site and obtain the state's list of estimated tax payments to enable individuals to compare their own payments to the state's.However, the system is not without fault, and the main problems seem to fall into the security arena.Up to now, access has been given based on social security numbers and the taxpayer's name.

Is Free DSL Too Good to be True?

There are lots of free Internet companies out there to choose from, so it’s not surprising that free DSL wouldn’t be too far behind. Broadband Digital Group (BDG) has just announced that they want to be the first company to offer the first free, broadband consumer Internet-access service.The company is offering the chance for potential customers to register for free DSL services.

Apply Your Y2K Investment for the Long Haul

OK - we're all tired of hearing about Y2K, but the investment you made and the preparation you endured along the way should not go to waste. There are many ways companies can learn from their extensive preparation to help them with future projects--and save money along the way.KPMG has compiled a short list of benefits for the short- and long-term. For example, if you are a company that hired Y2K specialists, these people already are trained on your systems and know quite a bit about your operation.

Six Travel Resolutions for the New Year

All of us travel at one time or another for business or pleasure. Thankfully, the cost of traveling on a plane has dropped considerably, and in some markets, Saturday night stayovers do not necessarily bring down the cost of ticket. As a result, we're traveling more frequently than before.In the event your trip goes awry, as in overcrowded planes, overbookings, lost luggage and the like, what do you normally do? Get mad - or get even?Start the year out right by considering these six travel resolutions.
Technology

Donating old PCs Leads to Privacy Woes

It's the beginning of the new year and companies traditionally update their systems with new servers and PCs to outfit their offices. While it may seem warm and fuzzy to give the PCs to a charity, be forewarned: you may be giving away personal information embedded within the PCs unless you take the proper precautions.While companies think they are fulfilling this task by simply deleting or getting rid of files, this isn't nearly enough. Just deleting files "hides" the information rather than getting rid of it completely.

Look for the Positive When Recruiting

When you are recruiting a new hire, are you looking strictly at the grades? A new survey indicates that other factors are just as important as accounting aptitude for an accountant’s success. Thirty-eight percent of the 1,400 chief financial officers surveyed said that a positive attitude is the most important interpersonal skill an accounting candidate can possess. Thirty percent said being a team player is most important.The ability of accountants to display enthusiasm and inspire coworkers to do their best is critical because employee retention is important in a tight labor market.
A&A

Who Wouldn't Want to Retire Early?

In the wake of new Social Security Administration figures that tell us there will be an increasingly smaller percentage each year for government checks once we reach retirement, everyone still has early retirement on the brain.A poll conducted by the International Longevity Center and Harris reported that 25 percent of workers, ages 25 to 29 expect to retire before 55; however, history has shown that once this group reaches their 40s, reality hits, and less than 10 percent think 55 still is realistic.So how do you retire early?
Community News

EY Sponsors E-business Workshop for Women

Ernst & Young has announced it will sponsor an April 5 gathering of women business leaders in New York, and will hold a special April 4 e-business workshop in conjunction with the conference.The meeting covers professional and lifestyle issues, and is organized by Women.future. It will be beamed via satellite to more than 200 locations across the world. An expected 100,000 women and men are expected to attend.Among other activities, the e-business workshop will enable attendees to divide into groups to explore issues related to dot.com economies.

Selecting the Right Chair for Your Office

All of us spend a tremendous amount of our day sitting, and having an ergonomically correct chair is paramount to good posture, your back and attitude. Some even say the chair is more important than your computer or other office equipment purchases.Those in home offices--or offices at a business location--should know that a good chair isn't cheap.

Seminar Helps HR Professionals Face Change

A free seminar that looks at new ways for forward-thinking businesses to understand, embrace and seek change in human resources will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2000 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. The seminar, Moving@the Speed of Change: Is HR Ready for the Ride?, is offered by Infinium, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions that enable the virtual enterprise.Dr. James A. Crupi, president and founder of Strategic Leadership Solutions, will address the many changes taking place in the field of human resources.

Outlook 2000 SuperGuide

For many of you, Microsoft Outlook is your choice for your Personal Information Manager (PIM).

Disclaimer

ACCOUNTINGWEB, INC.DISCLAIMER GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONSAccountingWEB, Inc. (AW) maintains a site on the Internet located at www.accountingweb.com, (the AW Site), that allows users and members to search and access news stories, gather information, utilize Chat Room facilities and over all to inform to enrich to enlighten and to entertain accounting professionals on what’s new and innovative in the Accounting Industry.Information and data contained on the AW Site is provided as a service. Information on the AW Site is subject to change without notice.
Technology

Navigating the Newsgroup Maze

Newsgroups may still be one of the mysteries left to solve based on the sheer number of groups (30,000+), daily messages (more than 1 million each day) and how a group benefits you firm or business.Those who think Newsgroups are simply a source of the latest gossip are wrong; they can a powerful ally in business, especially for owners and partners who seek credible resources and information.Finding the appropriate newsgroup(s) and figuring out how to use them to your advantage is the challenge. Most specialize by subject, but where do you begin and what do you say?
Technology

SEC Pursues Reporting Glitches in Silicon Valley

Companies who specialize in providing Internet services and applications are one in a million, but one mark that distinguishes them from many companies is a potential lack of reporting practices.On the West coast, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is investigating auditors and those who work in financial services for any reporting mishaps because the agency believes these specialists are the primary ones to blame.For example, the SEC reports that they believe auditors and others have purposely misapplied GAAP, and instead,

Beware of Y2K Viruses and Hoaxes

They come in all shapes and sizes. They are called viruses. Y2K has inspired malicious hackers to concoct some doozies for your viewing pleasure. From a worm that displays “Hi 2000” as it eats away your data to a trojan horse virus that uses chat rooms to spread its disease, they are up and running in 2000.And then there are the “hoaxes” that masquerade as viruses. Among the most notable are the Happy New Year Virus and the AOL Year 2000 Update.

Don’t Let Your Y2K Guard Down

Although the lights are on, the water’s running and you are able to withdraw money from the bank, this isn’t a time to get cozy with the Y2K bug idea. According to The Gartner Group, a U.S. information technology research company, Y2K glitches aren’t over until 2000 is over.The Gartner Group estimates that fewer than 10 percent of Y2K-related failures will occur during the two weeks surrounding January 1.

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