AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 89
April 6, 2001
1. House Votes to Repeal Estate Tax
2. IRS Dragging its Feet on the Phone
3. Andersen Changes its Focus
4. New York Accountants Nix AICPA's XYZ Designation
5. Strategic Vision - All Firms Need It
6. Security Defect Found in Microsoft Explorer
7. House Approves Marriage Tax Cut
8. Tax Tip: Ten Ways to Avoid Problems at Tax Time
9. Top Training Companies List Includes CPA Firms
10. Excel Tip: Combine Two Columns of First and Last Names
Financial Reporting Professionals - Experience high-quality, up-to-date, on-demand training in the SEC registration and reporting process. Earn CPE and a $100 reward  with the SEC Financial Training Series.
On the surface it would seem that our representatives in Washington are doing their best to keep our new president happy. The House passed both an estate tax repeal bill and a marriage penalty relief bill this week, paving the way for major tax reform, the likes of which we haven't seen in 15 years.
But don't start planning on how to spend your tax savings just yet. After all, the passage of these bills may be merely window-dressing. Only time will tell us if these changes actually will occur. The bills now proceed to the Senate, where they are expected to be dissected and changed. Ultimately, all of this tax legislation is to be made part of the federal budget, but a lot could change between now and the time a final budget is approved.
Gail Perry , Managing Editor
Paving the way for future tax legislation, the House voted to repeal the federal estate tax over a 10-year period. Fifty-eight Democrats joined Republicans in the passage of this controversial bill.
Many frustrated taxpayers are receiving busy signals and incorrect information when calling the IRS for help.
3. Andersen Changes its Focus 
"Nimble," "targeted" and "integrated" are the words now used to describe Andersen's new vision as part of the firm's strategic decision to move away from being "all things to everyone."
PDI's Institute of Profit Advisors Spring Conference  features lessons from the pros about building a consulting practice. Jay Nisberg says "If you can only attend one conference on business consulting this year, this is the one to go to. Outstanding content, stimulating format, and the chance to network with other top consultants is priceless." April 26 & 27 in Chicago. Call 800-227-0498.
The Board of Directors of the New York State Society of CPAs has unanimously voted against the proposed XYZ designation for financial professionals. Does this mean the death knell for the global designation?
Guest writer, Gary Boomer, of Boomer Consulting, shares his insights on the importance of strategic planning to the success of an accounting firm of any size.
A glitch has been identified in MS Explorer versions 5.01 and 5.5.You can download a patch directly from Microsoft to make sure your computer system isn't harmed.
7. House Approves Marriage Tax Cut 
The marriage tax penalty - the common phrase to describe the part of the tax code that penalizes working couples for getting married - continues on its path to elimination.
Still procrastinating? There are not many days left! Here are ten tips for making the whole tax return process a bit easier to swallow.
Financial Reporting Professionals - Looking for up-to-date electronic research, web-based SEC training, and in-depth publications? Get the most comprehensive and interpretive sources for accounting and SEC matters. FREE 30-day trial  of Accounting Research ManagerTM.
Two CPA firms have turned up on the list of the Top 50 Training Organizations as determined by Training Magazine.
Here's a quick Excel tip for taking the first names from one column, the last names from another column, and making a new column with first and last names combined.
AccountingWEB and MicroMash have teamed up to bring the members of AccountingWEB online training  for CPE, CLE and GAO. MicroMash offers over 100 titles in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Management, Industry Courses, Personal Development and more.
Whether you have questions on tax related items, software downloads, or need to find an answer to a problem, AccountingWEB's Q&A Forum is the place to go. Here are some of our latest questions. Click on the link(s) below to offer your insight and feedback or to see what others recommend:
Visit the Q&A Forum  and share your ideas! Simply click on the Add Comments option at the bottom of any question to add your response and comments.
AccountingWEB will resume our normal weekly workshop series beginning Tuesday April 19 with a session on liability issues surrounding sexual harassment. Check out the Workshop Schedule  for the upcoming spring and summer sessions.
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