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The Next Generation Accountant: Skills and Opportunities

Next Generation Accountant: Skills and OpportunitiesPresented by Wayne MelloExecutive Director, Robert HalfMarch 22, 2001Visit the AccountingWEB Workshop Calendar for upcoming sessions.Workshop SummaryThis is a summary of the topics that were covered in the workshop. You can read the full transcript below.1. The Impact of Technology   a.

Employers Can Require Arbitration of Employee Disputes

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that companies can insist that workplace disputes go to arbitration rather than to court. The court said that agreements to arbitrate workplace disputes are enforceable even if a requirement to sign an agreement to arbitrate was a condition of being employed. Agreements to arbitrate are a common part of employment contracts.

Ways and Means to Advance Marriage Penalty Relief Bill

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.The House Ways and Means Committee plans to mark up marriage penalty relief legislation on March 22. Committee member Jerry Weller, R-Ill., said at a March 21 committee hearing that relief from the marriage penalty in the tax code should be a main priority of this Congress.

Illinois CPAs Give 'Thumbs Down' to XYZ Designation

The Board of Directors of the Illinois CPA Society has voted unanimously to oppose any further development of or investment in the XYZ credential, the financial credential that has been touted by the AICPA as the global designation of the future.The designation, which has been referred to as "XYZ" and "Cognitor," has met with obstacles on an international level as well.

Tax Tip: Education IRAs Make College Costs Less Taxing

The Education IRA is an incentive to help parents and students save for higher education. Up to $500 may be contributed to a child's Education IRA each year, according to the IRS. Earnings on contributions will be distributed tax free provided that they are used to pay the beneficiary's post-secondary education expenses. Any individual who meets adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements can make a non-deductible contribution on behalf of a child under the age of 18. The AGI requirements are $95,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers.

Tax Time and You're Short of Cash - What to Do?

Wondering how you're going to afford your tax bill this April? The financial writers at have put together a nice summary of tax payment alternatives.Pay as Much as You Can in AprilAll taxes not paid by April 16 are subject to a penalty and interest.

Benefits 101: What Do Today's Recruits Want?

When contemplating hiring and retention of employees, "people issues" are more important than they were in 1998, according to 80 percent of business leaders interviewed in a study performed by Accenture. Companies that struggle with retention tend to be those that ignore issues such as flexible work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting, short-term assignments, and mentoring programs.

Fair Isaac Credit Reports Available to Consumers

Fair Isaac, the company that can either be your friend or your foe when you apply for a loan, has finally decided to make its secret credit analysis scores available to the general public. Previously, these top secret scores were only available to lenders.The scores are based on information that is available in standard credit reports. The point of the scoring system is to give lenders a picture of how likely a particular consumer is to repay a loan and to make the payments on time.There are five criteria used in determining the Fair Isaac (FICO) score.

Tax Tip: Roth IRAs

Confused about whether you can contribute to a Roth IRA? The IRS suggests checking these simple rules:Income To contribute to a Roth IRA, you must have compensation (i.e. wages, salary, tips, professional fees, bonuses). Your modified adjusted gross income must be less than:$160,000 - Married filing jointly. $10,000 - Married filing separately (and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year).

CCH Offers Guidance on Transfer Pricing Rules

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., March 20, 2001) – The stakes are high, and companies that don’t know the rules and how to apply them can lose big when their transfer pricing arrangements are challenged by taxing authorities, according to CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business law information and software.

IRS Auditing More Returns Than it Admits

A recent report about the reduction in number of tax returns being audited by the IRS incited the Senate to respond that there are actually considerably more returns that undergo examination.

AccountingWEB Launches IndustryZONE

To assist firms and businesses as they continue to specialize in industry niche areas, AccountingWEB is pleased to launch its newest service - the IndustryZONE Resource Center. Whether you are a public accountant serving a certain industry, or a controller in business, the IndustryZONE Resource Center can help.
Community News

PwC May Not Sell Financial Unit

Big Five firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is believed to be backing off on previously announced plans to sell its Financial Advisory Services unit.

NYSSCPA Grapples With H&R Block Over Ad Campaign

The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) is not satisfied with H&R Block's current advertising campaign regarding the filing of complex tax returns. P. Gerard Sokolski, NYSSCPA president, believes that the ads are misleading and detrimental to consumers.According to Mr. Sokolski, H&R Block claims that it prepares more complex tax returns than any CPA firm in America. When challenged, Steven A. Christianson, H&R Block Assistant Vice President, said that they define "complex" as individual returns with schedules.

Senate Votes to Toughen Bankruptcy Laws

Last week's Senate vote on personal bankruptcy promises to tighten the laws which permit consumers to erase debt. The Senate voted to 83 to 15 in favor of a bill that would require consumers facing bankruptcy to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code instead of the more popular Chapter 7.A debtor undergoing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must repay at least a portion of the debt over a three- to five-year period.

Survey Shows More Women Accountants in Management

A recent survey developed by RHI Management Resources shows 43% of firms surveyed report an increase in the past five years in the number of women accountants who hold management positions.According to the 1,400 CFOs surveyed from a random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees, 15% are showing a significant increase in the number of women accountants who hold management positions, 28% are showing some increase in this number. Additional survey results show that 58% of CFOs expect their company management ranks to continue to add woman accountants in the next five years.

IRS Data Files May Not Be Secure

The General Accounting Office, Congress's watchdog agency, has published a report citing security lapses in the Internal Revenue Service computer system.

Tax Tip: IRA Contributions Can Be Made Until April 16

If you haven't put any money into an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) for tax year 2000, or if you've put in less than the maximum allowed, you still have time, according to the IRS. You can contribute to either a traditional or Roth IRA until the April due date of your tax return.If you make a contribution for the previous tax year, tell the IRA trustee which year the contribution is for. Otherwise, the trustee may report the contribution as being for the year in which it was received.You may contribute up to $2,000 of your earnings each year to an IRA.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Return

Here's hoping you didn't make any of these mistakes and that you get through tax season with your bank account and good humor still intact!Making math errors. Not including Social Security numbers. Not signing and dating your return.Not using the pre-printed label and envelope from the tax package. Forgetting about interest and dividends. Forgetting to donate unwanted items to charity. Not including all your forms. Not properly tracking your investment basis. Using the EZ form when a longer form could cut your taxes.

Wolters Kluwer North America Acquires ePace! Software

Audit Engagement Software Innovator Will Become Part of CCH INCORPORATED (CHICAGO, March 19, 2001) – Wolters Kluwer North America (WKNA) said today that it has acquired ePace! Software, Newport Beach, Calif., a provider of audit and engagement software for accounting professionals. ePace! will be integrated into CCH Tax Compliance, Torrance, Calif., which produces the ProSystem fx Office software suite for CPA and accounting firms. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.Founded in 1997, ePace!


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