AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 177
- SEC Proposes New Audit Committee Requirements
- Developments at The PCAOB
- Summary of 2002 Tax Law Changes For Businesses
- Bush Tax Plan Has Something For Everyone
- President of AmEx Tax & Business Services Resigns
- AICPA Announces Top Ten Technologies For 2003
- KPMG Invites Comments on Current Audit Issues
- AICPA's Melancon Named Among Worst Managers of 2002
- After Tyco's "Aggressive Accounting," PwC Vows Selectivity
- Taxpayer Advocate Group Lists Top Complaints About The IRS
Since September 11, 2001, more than 100,000 Reserve and National Guard members have been called to active duty. We all understand what kind of stresses arise for those individuals and their families. But what about the financial and workplace implications for the thousands of businesses that employ these guardsmen? What are their responsibilities? What resources are available to ease the burden caused by employees being called to action?
As we seemingly move closer to war, you need to make it your business to know the answer to these questions. Whether you are the owner of a CPA firm with reservists on staff, whether you are a CFO of a company with reservists, or an advisor to businesses that have reservists, you need to know.
AccountingWEB is committed to assisting military reservists and the businesses that employ them, and offers the link below to resources available to you. Additionally, we want to know how the issue of military reservists affects you. Does your organization have any military reservists on staff? Please go to the following article and take our poll. 
Michael Platt, CEO
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The SEC put real teeth into proposed new rules for the oversight of auditors by audit committees. Any U.S. public company that doesn't follow the rules will not be permitted to list its shares on a national stock exchange.
2. Developments at The PCAOB
Three former chief accountants of the SEC wrote to members of the new accounting oversight board, urging the board to take audit standards away from the AICPA.
The Oversight Board held it's first official meeting this week, naming Charles Niemeier as acting Chairman. Additionally, the Board set salary levels for itself that already are controversial, established a recruitment center to fill key positions, and in an ironic development secured office space vacated by former Big Five firm Andersen.
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There are some changes to the tax laws effective for 2002 income tax returns that work to the benefit of business taxpayers. Tax accountants will want to make sure their clients are aware of these changes that will save their clients tax dollars on their 2002 tax returns and in years to come.
President Bush presented his latest tax plan to Congress on
Tuesday. Included in the plan are tax reductions and credits that will benefit all taxpayers.
"Incorporate Your Business: A 50 State Legal Guide to Forming a Corporation." Written by the author of Nolo's state-specific corporation books, this national edition takes you through the entire process in any state. When you're finished, your corporation will enjoy unique tax benefits, investment attraction, and much more. Just $49. Download it today. 
Andrew P. Cvitanov, the man at the helm of American Express Tax & Business Services (TBS), has resigned, effective immediately. The AmEx TBS division is the organization behind the consolidation of the non-attest assets of CPA firms into the American Express umbrella.
Information Security is once again the number one issue for the American technology community, according to the results of the 2003 Top Technologies survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. It took the lead spot in the Institute's 2001 ranking and came in third place last year.
The most comprehensive estate-planning book available, "Plan Your Estate" covers everything from basic estate planning to sophisticated tax-saving strategies for people with estates worth up to $1,200,000 or more. It demystifies: probate avoidance; living wills; estate tax saving trusts; funerals and burials; federal estate and gift taxes; charitable remainder trusts; durable powers of attorney. This useful book includes valuable information about estate tax savings and family "pot trusts." Good in all states except Louisiana. Download it today for just $44.99. 
KPMG is publicly inviting comments on current audit issues.
Readers can submit comments on a newly established interactive Web site.
8. AICPA's Melancon Named Among Worst Managers of 2002 
BusinessWeek magazine released its annual Best Managers of the Year list last week for 2002 and supplemented this year's list with a complementary Worst Managers of the Year. Take a look at how the accounting profession was represented.
CPA firms and businesses of all sizes are always looking for new ways to market their services and improve customer loyalty without spending all of their hard-earned money to do so. With this in mind, AccountingWEB offers 35 no-cost or low-cost ways to impress your clients and prospects and differentiate your organization so they will think of you the next time they have a need that you can address.
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In a series of ads timed to correspond with the release of a critical report into the accounting practices of its audit client Tyco International, PwC is vowing a return to an era of greater selectivity in client service.
The National Taxpayer Advocate Service has filed its annual
report with Congress setting out the most serious problems
encountered by taxpayers in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, the most litigated tax issues, and the TAS's recommendations for legislation.
Visit the Q&A Forum "Member Questions" Page  for the most recent questions/answers posted by our subscribers. Add your comments and lend a hand!
- Social Security Taxes on Foreign Wages. If a US Citizen works in a foreign country for a foreign business what is the social security implications. I am getting different opinions  from social security and CPA's concerning the social security taxes due.
- Health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The HRA allows
employee participants to carry forward any unused medical
reimbursement amounts to the next year. After several years, the employer could be carrying forward a large liability. Is this booked as a liability and expensed  as a form of employee benefit each year? Or is it expensed only when the employee is reimbursed?
- CPA for US branch or Ltd Co subsidiary. I am trying to set up either a Branch or Ltd Co in the US for a small Irish software company. We have a representative in Boston, so we would prefer to deal with a firm based there or familiar with applicable local law. If your firm can assist us, please get in touch. 
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!
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