AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 123
1. Don't Miss E-File Registration Deadline!
2. Cisco Accountants Sentenced
3. Cap Gemini to Slash Workforce
4. AICPA Gives Out Member Addresses
5. Andersen Enron Fiasco Prompts Look at Peer Reviews
6. Senate Pushing for Social Security Holiday
7. New Test for MBA Candidates
8. President Signs Bill Banning Internet Taxes
9. QuickBooks Releases Accountant Version of Program
10.IRS: Exempt Status of Charities Not at Risk
Members of Congress are teaming up with what they think is a grand idea for jump-starting a sluggish economy - give every employee and employer a one-month break from paying Social Security tax. While the benefit of such an arrangement would be enormous to employers with large payrolls, the ensuing bookkeeping, tax reporting, and software reprogramming nightmare would be mind-boggling!
In addition, the proposal gives new meaning to the concept of tax planning with its implications for shifting income of self-employed and other individuals who have control over the timing of reporting income.
Let's hope that our senators and representatives talk with some accounting and IT professionals before voting for an initiative that may cost more to implement than its offsetting benefit.
Gail Perry 
Tax preparers are reminded that December 1 is the IRS deadline for registering for e-filing capabilities for the forthcoming tax filing season. Although the e-file application may be filed after December 1, the IRS recommends filing by December 1 to ensure your participation in the e-file season beginning January 1. The application, Form 8633, can be downloaded from the IRS Web site.
2. Cisco Accountants Sentenced 
Two former Cisco Systems Inc. accountants who admitted to stealing more than $5 million in company shares by hacking into the company computer systems have been sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison.
Blaming worsening economic conditions, Cap Gemini, the consultancy practice that split off from Ernst & Young last year, has requested volunteers for participation in a layoff program that will encompass at least 750 workers in Ireland and the UK and as many as 2,000 workers worldwide. In addition, highly paid partners can expect a cut in pay.
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Citing concerns of fairness and a spirit of cooperation, the AICPA has made addresses of its membership available to accounting firm BDO Seidman and XYZ opponent Susan Bradley of XYZTalk.com for the purpose of presenting opposition views regarding the ongoing vote on the organization's proposed global credential.
The recent news of Enron Corp.'s need to restate financial statements dating back to 1997 as a result of accounting issues missed in Big Five firm Andersen's audits, has caused the Public Oversight Board to decide to take a closer look at the peer review process employed by public accounting firms.
Senate Republicans are hopeful that they can tie a one-month Social Security holiday for all workers and employers to the economic stimulus package that is currently before Congress. The holiday would take the place of previously discussed plans for an additional tax rebate for low-income workers, and would most likely occur in January, 2002.
Meanwhile, the American Payroll Association  warns that such a tax hiatus would wreak havoc with payroll tax return filing requirements, payroll calculations, and payroll software programs.
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7. New Test for MBA Candidates 
Researchers at Yale and the University of Michigan have spent two years developing a new test to assess business school candidates. The Successful Intelligence Assessment (SIA) test is not expected to replace the GMAT any time soon, but may be offered as a supplement to the GMAT. The SIA test assesses an applicant's potential for business success.
President Bush has signed into law the two-year moratorium on Internet access taxes. The bill effectively slows progress on attempts by states to impose an Internet sales tax.
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Intuit has announced the release of a new accountants' version of the QuickBooks program, QuickBooks Premier 2002: Accountant Edition. The newest addition to the QuickBooks library features real-time remote access to the popular accounting software for small businesses, as well as many other long-awaited attributes.
The IRS has provided guidance to charities regarding payments made by reason of the death, injury or wounding of an individual as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.
Visit our Q&A Forum  to post your questions and share your ideas with the members of AccountingWEB! Simply click on the "Add Comments" option at the bottom of any question to add your response and comments.
Here is a sample of the questions that have been posted this week. Check out all the questions at our Q&A Forum and see if you can lend a hand.
1. A donor wants to set up a pre-tax endowment with an existing foundation. Where can the foundation go  for information about this process?
2. A member is looking for an Excel-based asset spreadsheet  that calculates depreciation for ACE, AMT, MACRS, ACRS, Double declining balance, etc. using the relevant mid-month / mid-quarter conventions.
3. Is there a resource  that can provide information regarding how many CPA firms are in the U.S., South, and State of Georgia. If possible, the firms need to be broken down into Big 5, regional, local, sole practitioner, etc.