News

Public Companies Affected By New GAAP Rule

The AICPA is out to eliminate "diversity in practice" for insurance-related assessments for publicly-held companies. A new rule will force companies to immediately accrue estimates of financial liabilities for insurance-related assessments that are based on paid losses. The idea behind the practice is that it will make financial statements more uniform across companies.AICPA's Statement of Position 97-3 applies to financial statements for company fiscal years beginning after December 15, 1998.
Practice Management

One-Button Disaster Recovery Available For Small, Medium Businesses

As accounting professionals, we live and die by bits and bytes of computer data. If you lost all computer systems in your firm, do you know what it would take to get your firm back "online?"Hewlett-Packard does. The worldwide market leader in tape backup solutions just recently announced that its One-Button Disaster Recovery (OBDR) system now can be utilized by many of the leading servers used in small- to medium-sized businesses. Among those supported: Acer, Compaq, Dell and IBM. ARCserve IT for NT is scheduled to support OBDR by October.
Technology

Step up Folks! Dell Slashes Prices on PCs up to 18 Percent!

Austin-based Dell Computer Corporation today announced it would cut prices up to 18 percent on its network-ready OptiPlex business desktop PCs. The decision was made based on savings the company has gained from reductions in component costs, dramatic increases in online support versus telephone-based technical support or other support, and surging Internet sales. The reported daily savings figure is $30 million.

Latest News in Washington: Congress Ponders Tax Changes

Before the year is out, taxpayers can rest assured that changes to the tax scenario once again will occur ..
Community News

HRB International Taps Former AmEx Exec

H&R Block expands its international tax operations today by appointing Jeffery Yabuki to the newly created position of President of H&R Block International.Mr. Yabuki will head up the company's international tax operations, with primary focus on Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. He will also be responsible for implementing the financial services expansion stategy overseas.Mr. Yabuki was former President and CEO of American Express Tax and Business Services, and was a key player in the CPA firm acquisition strategy of American Express.

Pay For Performance Increases In The Year 2000

Employees looking to line their pockets with green better step up their performance in 2000. According to Hewitt Associates Salary Increase Survey, salary increases will be moderate - ranging from 4.4 percent for executives to 3.9 for non-union hourly workers.Conversely, the survey finds variable compensation plans will increase by 16 percent. Companies funneling money into pay for performance programs find their fixed costs don't expand with rising salaries; self-funding performance awards are paid as company goals are realized.

Russian Bank Under Investigation By The IMF

The Russian central bank received its first $640 million loan installment from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but will the bank receive future installments on the $4.5 billion loan?It depends on what the IMF and PricewaterhouseCoopers uncover in their joint investigation of the bank. The investigation coincides with allegations that Russians may have illegally diverted up to $10 billion through the Bank of New York.
A&A

NYSE Delays Plan to go Public

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has delayed plans indefinitely for its own IPO while it provides tough answers to issues involving regulation and taxation.Based on feedback from its own board of directors and other parties, chairman Richard Grasso said the NYSE made the decision to go forward with a strategic plan addressing public policy-related questions rather than solidify the IPO at this time.
Technology

Makers of Palm Pilot Develop New Wireless Service for Earlier Models

Healthy competition is good, but competing against yourself? 3Com Corp, makers of the Palm Pilot line of personal digital assistants (PDAs), along with Aether Systems, Inc., have announced a new wireless service called Open Sky that will serve the Palm III and Palm V. The service is expected to debut first quarter 2000.3Com has beta-tested its new Palm VII this summer in various markets, and plan to roll out the model in mass this fall.
Technology

Happy 30th Birthday to the (Invisible) Internet

Join us in wishing the Internet an unofficial Happy 30th Birthday!
Practice Management

Sell Like A Harley

Everyone knows Harley-Davidson. You need to wait in line if you want one of their motorcycles. And you'll pay a premium for your hog because they're so popular. Maybe you forgot when no one wanted to buy them. In 1981 when AMF tried to sell them, not one company offered to buy them. That's quite a turn around from no one wanting you, to everyone who wants you standing in line. Their strategy for turning their business around has some powerful seeds of wisdom that can help us grow our businesses.Know your business.
Practice Management

Survey Finds Companies Rewarding "Y2K Weekend" Staff

Information systems professionals working the weekend of December 31 through January 2 can forget that New Year's party. In lieu of spirits and camaraderie, however, they may receive extra pay, compensatory time off, and other special privileges. A new survey by William M.
Technology

Watch Out For The "Thursday" Virus

Network Associates Inc. reported yesterday that a new Word Macro virus, dubbed "Thursday," has cropped up among banks and financial institutions in eight different countries.The Word 97 virus attacks the normal.dot file. What's scary is the virus is what is known as a "sleeper" virus. Users won't know they are infected until December 13, 1999 when the virus will attempt to delete all files on a user's "C" drive.Users in London first detected the virus. It's now in the U.S.
Technology

Panel Asks Congress for Funds to Study Internet Taxation

In order to seek funds to finance a study on Internet taxation, the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, a panel appointed by Congress, is returning to its creator to ask for $2 million to finance the project.The 19-member Commission has raised the eyebrows of such high-profile companies as America Online, AT&T, Time Warner and other businesses who believe the Panel's recommendations may affect their bottom line by shaping e-commer

Sept. 9 Marks Test Day for Y2K

Ready or not, in only a few short days, the first real benchmark as to whether Y2K will impact the world will occur. The date is Sept.
Technology

Intel Predicts PC Prices Will not go any Lower

During the Intel Developers Forum in Palm Springs, Intel vice president Pat Gelsinger predicted that prices for a Windows-based PC will not dip much below the already bottomed-out price of $400. Prices may fall another $50, he said, but that is speculation at this point.Some PCs have fallen to $399, but these models are considered by analysts to be low-end computers with non-Windows operating systems, such as Linux and Be.

Independent Audits' Effectiveness Surveyed by Public Oversight Board

More than 500 persons and organizations familiar with auditing or affected by an audit will be sent confidential questionnaires regarding the effectiveness of independent audits in protecting investors' interests.
Tax

IRS: Certain Pensions may Violate Age-Discrimination Laws

A cost-cutting pension plan used by as many as 300 U.S. companies may be illegal because the plan violates age-discrimination laws, reports a Cincinnati office of the IRS. In effect, the plan violates Federal rules because the pension benefit accumulation is denied to middle-aged workers.The pension in question is a cash-balance program designed for companies who want to cut pension expenses while also reducing future benefits to middle-aged employees.
A&A

H&R Block Buys Discount Stock Brokerage

H&R Block solidified a deal Wednesday to buy Olde Financial Corp., a discount stock brokerage based in Detroit. The company was bought for a reported $850 million in cash, and is intended to provide an estimated 16.5 million H&R Block customers with a greater range of financial services.
Practice

Use Your Team's Input To Increase Your Bottom Line

Your marketing efforts are bringing more business in the door. Your gross revenue has increased significantly in the past year. But somehow, you don't think your people are performing at the level they could be. Or, maybe, you need them to increase their productivity level to keep up with your new business. How do you bump up productivity without making employees feel overworked and underappreciated?Chances are, your hunch is trying to tell you something. There may be room for increased productivity with your existing employees; hiring more talent isn't always the answer.

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