AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 175
- MAP Survey Shows Stability Among Local Firms
- KPMG Sued by Missouri Department of Insurance
- SEC's Cutler Warns Firms of Tougher Penalties
- GASB Issues Two New Exposure Drafts
- Sentencing For Andersen's Duncan Postponed Again
- Online Charitable Giving Takes Hold
- H&R Block Settles Refund Loan Dispute With New York
- New Changes to IRS Form W-7
- House Panel Calls For Investigation of Andersen Attorney
- AICPA Asks SEC to Clarify Pro Formas Are Unaudited
When the UN weapons inspectors first went into Iraq last month, the media followed them everywhere and demanded a daily accounting of what the inspectors uncovered. The head of the inspection team urged patience and indicated that the process is scheduled to take many weeks, and to draw any conclusions or make any assessments too early would not only be unwise, but also would be counterproductive towards achieving the desired final outcome.
In a strange parallel within our profession, those individuals and organizations that are involved with creating new accounting rules and implementing the intent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are facing the same scrutiny by the media and the constituents whom they represent. Everyone wants to know how to implement Sarbanes-Oxley; what changes they will need to make; what proposals the AICPA supports; what revenue streams will be affected; how audit committees need to be restructured; what the relationship will be between the standard setting bodies, etc.
The answer is, "Direction is coming." But, like the head of the UN inspection team, the AICPA, SEC, PCAOB and other participating standard setters are urging "patience," "let us do our job," "we need to get it right," "it's still too early," and "the process will take months." The individuals creating the future of the profession are well aware of the awesome responsibilities they have been entrusted with - they watch the nightly news, read about the scandals and look at their investment portfolios just like the rest of us. We all want answers today, but patience is urged as the process needs to play out properly so that the right decisions are made to ensure the brightest future for all parties involved.
Michael Platt, CEO
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The results are in from the 2002 PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey, sponsored by the Texas CPA Society and PCPS, the AICPA's Alliance for CPA firms. The survey reveals the collective experiences of the more than 2,500 local CPA firms who participated in the survey this fall.
Big Four firm KPMG has been named as the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Missouri Department of Insurance. The suit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City, Missouri, alleges that KPMG contributed to the 1999 downfall of General American Holding Company.
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Stephen Cutler, Director of SEC's Enforcement Division, warned accounting firms of tougher penalties ahead for audit failures. He also provided practical advice on how to avoid the penalties.
GASB is seeking comments on proposed standards for "Accounting and Financial Reporting for Impairment of Capital Assets and for Insurance Recoveries" and "Budgetary Comparison Schedules - Perspective Differences."
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Like a moth caught in a spider's web, former Andersen partner David Duncan has once again had his sentencing postponed so that the prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice can continue to question and interview him in conjunction with their investigations of Enron, Andersen, and executives from both companies.
The holiday shopping season has always been associated with the ringing of the bell of the Salvation Army officer standing in front of the mall encouraging children and their parents to drop in whatever they could to help those in need. Now, American Express has created a new Internet portal bringing the power of the Internet to assist charitable givers.
H&R Block has announced an agreement with the Department of
Consumer Affairs (DCA) of the City of New York to settle refund anticipation loan disputes, launch new taxpayer educational programs, and establish a cooperative working relationship with the DCA.
Make sure you enter your firm today for the FREE PIZZA CONTEST  from AccountingWEB.com. AccountingWEB would like to sponsor one firm during the upcoming tax season (March 1st through April 15th). We will gladly pay for pizza and doughnuts during the six-week period between March 1 and April 15! Up to a $500 value. Visit the "Contest Rules" page  for more information and instructions on how to enter your firm today! Good luck!
8. New Changes to IRS Form W-7 
Resident and non-resident aliens applying for an Individual
Taxpayer Identification Number must soon use a newly revised Form W-7. The new application forms will request additional information.
Adding yet another chapter to the open book of accusations
against Arthur Andersen and its partners, the House Energy
Committee has asked the Justice Department to investigate a
possible perjury by Andersen attorney Nancy Temple.
In its comment letter on proposed Regulation G, the American Institute of CPAs asked the SEC to clarify the unaudited nature of pro forma data and reconciliations.
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The accounting industry is focusing on rebuilding its reputation with the public, but it's also crucial that every professional do the same. Here, we offer five tips that can help.
One of two employees believes that their immediate supervisor does a poor job of solving problems such as motivational, emotional, and personal issues. Here are some reasons why.
A recent survey shows employee morale is suffering as pay
increases and bonuses are kept low. Here are three ways
companies can boost morale in this, the third straight year of modest pay increases.
Today, trust is truly the pivotal point of building a successful business relationship. A recent study found that selling competences for professional service firms are explicitly focused on defining the element of trust from their client's perspective. Here are some building blocks.
According to survey/interview by Allan Boress, less than 15% of the firms interviewed were doing anything different regarding their marketing programs, being proactive in their personal marketing efforts, or even changing the way they did business with their clients from the year before. Here are some helpful ideas to help you get on track for 2003.
Technology for technology's sake is out. Businesses are done playing with computers and are now demanding solutions and results. Here are eight "Key Factors" to consider before moving forward with a new software implementation.
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