News

Growth Areas For The Year 2000

What specific services or products do you feel have the greatest growth potential for your firm in the year 2000? Please be as detailed as you can so others can share your vision.Please click on the Add Comments link below to add your responses.You may scroll down on this screen to see what others have said.Thank you for your input!Michael PlattAccountingWEB Editor

SEC Will be Watchdog for Internet Trading

In an announcement to the AICPA, SEC Enforcement Director Richard Walker said the Commission has received $7 million in funds from the President's 2000 appropriations bill.The SEC will use the funds to monitor online trading to ensure companies involved in transactions are reporting figure properly and there is no inappropriate activity. Simply, they are finding that there will be no stock manipulations.In the past year, the SEC has surveyed traders to find 83 people and firms committing fraud.
Practice Management

Candidates Prefer Dot Com Companies Over Firms

Finding qualified employees is getting tougher and tougher, thanks to the rash of online companies. Job candidates are literally lining up to work for high-tech companies with concerns on the Internet and avoiding the brick & mortar routine.What does this mean to CPA firms and companies hiring CPAs? More accounting professionals, especially risk-takers in the younger ages, will go to work for online companies rather than firms.The result?
Community News

Client Security and Social Security Numbers

How secure is your social security number? How about the numbers for your clients?A question for the Washington Post discusses this subject, along with the great concern that a large firm uses social security numbers as ID for client records. Records are distributed fairly loosly around the office for project handling, and have the potential for all sorts of fraud.Over a five-year period, credit theft has risen from 35,000 in 1992 to about 500,000 cases in 1997.

Free Calls Everyone!

Think nothing in life is free? Think again. You can hop-skip-and-jump over to dialpad.com and make unlimited long distance phone calls for free!You don’t have to use any special equipment (except for a microphone for your computer) and you don’t have to load any special software. The person you are calling doesn’t even need to be on a computer because dialpad calls an actual phone.What’s great about the service is that your voice is not distorted at all and the other person doesn’t even have to know you are calling via the Internet.
Practice Management

Knowledge Management Works

How are world-class companies saving millions and improving systems? They are harnessing the power of knowledge management systems specifically designed to directly contribute to larger corporate goals, according to Best Practices, LLC’s report, “Knowledge Management of Internal Best Practices.The report cites a leading chemical manufacturer that uses a systematic approach to ensure that knowledge management supports corporate strategy as an example.
Practice Management

Tips for Timely Collections

Most of us would rather buy a new car or go to the dentist than deal with overdue collections. Although we are numbers-oriented, we fall flat when it comes to taking the initiative to collect what's due.The trick is to act fast. For example, if a receivable is just one day overdue, call immediately to find out if something went wrong. There may be a very good reason, or the sender may indeed be tardy for no good reason.Still, acting quickly will jog the sender's memory and should help with collections.
A&A

'Tis the Season to Ship - Who's the Cheapest?

In this supersonic age of getting it there on time with few moments to spare, which of the mailing services is the most economical?Kiplinger.com decided to test the waters by sending a 10- pound fruitcake across the United States. They surveyed various overnight carriers as well as the U.S. Postal Service.The results? They found that the service was mostly the same around the country, but found that the U.S.
Community News

E&Y May Divest its Consulting Business

Could Ernst & Young be following in the footsteps of Big 5 rival Arthur Andersen when it spun off its consulting arm to Andersen Consulting? Today, E&Y announced it may sell its consulting business to Cap Gemini, a European services firm based in Paris.Reports suggest that the combined revenue for the two entities would total more than $8.5 billion, not to mention untold more revenues in future consulting services.Analysts are speculating that the split may be difficult given its integration with E&Y's accounting practice.
Tax

IRS Begins E-mail Q&A Taxpayer Forum

The IRS will soon begin a pilot program in which taxpayers may send e-mail to the Service via about 100 approved tax preparers selected for the project.No mail may be sent directly to the IRS.Preparers volunteered for the program, and will send the mail through encrypted messaging, which means that any taxpayer information will remain secure.The pilot program was developed based on the recommendations of a 1997 Congressional commission and the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
Community News

Auditing the Soft Stuff: Firms Step up to the "Touchy-Feely"

Auditing has taken on a new meaning as firms are called upon more and more to audit more than just the financials. Take BP Amoco, for instance. They called upon Ernst & Young Environmental Services Group to audit their social and ethical behavior.The reasoning behind this change in mindset stems from a growing responsibility companies feel they have to stakeholders who more than just the company's financial picture.

There's No "I" In T-E-A-M

Developing a team that works well together can boost productivity and overcome personality conflicts. Keep these points in mind as you lead your “team” into victory.If Johnny’s getting on your nerves, take a break. Remember, no one is perfect and you just may be getting on Johnny’s nerves, too! Give each other space to be individuals within the team. Also, cut people slack for having an “off” day.You are on the same team. Each person on your team is working toward the same goal you are – completion of a project.

Newsletters - What does yours say about you?

The only reason to create a newsletter is to make money by selling goods or services. What's spent on producing literature must show a return. Otherwise, it's money flushed down the drain. If your readers wouldn’t call you when they miss an issue, chances are your marketing dollars are better spent somewhere else.Your newsletter can make your company appear professional, human and established. To do that, keep these ideas in mind:Write for your readers’ level. Don’t talk down to them and don’t technospeak above their head.

Going Behind Enemy Lines

When I announced that I was having lunch with the marketing director at [insert name of competitor here], one of our partners who just happened to be passing through the lobby said, “What? You are having lunch with who?” I smiled and said, “Yes, we have lunch regularly.”He looked at me with disbelief. I told him that we are “friendly competitors.” I then went on to tell him that competition is always going to be present in the marketplace. How we look at our competition will determine how well we do in the marketplace.

Forecasts and Reflections Section Added

A new feature called "Forecasts and Reflections" was added today, increasing the interactivity of the site and further expanding the ability to gather information about the profession from the members of the AccountingWEB community. User views on current topics, trends, and major initiatives affecting the profession will be developed and can be used as an arena to find out what others are thinking.
A&A

Banks go Online for Business Loans

The Internet revolution is everywhere, and banks across the world are beginning to realize that a secure future may lie in offering loans to businesses via the Internet.A mindset must be switched in the banking industry from that of the "customer" to "small business client." With a rash of small businesses popping up daily in all corners of the planet, more and more financing is needed to operate effectively.
Community News

Rite-Aid Taps Deloitte as Audit Firm

Deloitte & Touche has been hired by drug retailer Rite-Aid to replace KPMG as the company's audit firm. KPMG resigned the account last month, claiming that it could not trust the information the drug store chain provided to it.The hiring of Deloitte coincides with the hiring of new CEO Robert G. Miller, vice chairman of Kroger Corporation and former chief of Fred Meyer Inc. Kroger owns Rite-Aid.The company announced in October that it had to restate downward pretax earnings for the last three fiscal years to the tune of approximately $500 million.

Accounting Salaries Increase 4.65 Percent In 2000

Starting salaries for Y2K are expected to increase by 4.65 percent, according to the newly released Robert Half and Accountemps Salary Guide. Last year’s increase was 4.67 percent, so rest assured that the demand for these individuals hasn’t decreased in the past 12 months.Large accounting firms (those with fees of $250M+), will see salaries increase 4.8 percent with managers and directors looking at an 8.4 percent increase. Small accounting firms may be hit hard, too, with first-year accountants facing a 5.8 increase in average base compensation.

SEC Issues Bulletin On Revenue Recognition

Federal securities regulators, concerned with the growing number of companies inappropriately managing earnings by artificially boosting revenue, issued guidance on revenue recognition last week. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a staff accounting bulletin (SAB) that discloses how companies should manage revenue recognition practices. The SAB also points out basic criteria that companies must adhere to before they can record revenue.
Community News

E&Y Ranked High for Knowledge Management

Kudos go to Ernst & Young for receiving an award for one of the top five most admired organizations for knowledge management.The MAKE, or "Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise" awards are conducted by conducted by Teleos in conjunction wtih the KNOW Network, a group of knowledge management companies that share best practices.

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