AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 156
- President Bush Signs Bill Establishing New Rules For The Accounting Profession
- IBM, PwC Consulting Agree to Terms of Acquisition
- House Approves Deduction For Long-Term Care Insurance
- DOJ Files Request to Block Andersen's Retrial
- KPMG Reprimanded And Fined in Ireland
- U.K. Takes Slower, Gentler Approach to Audit Reforms
- Senate Confirms Two SEC Nominees With Accounting Ties
- AICPA Proposes Audit Standard For Interim Financial Info
- $1 Billion Tax Break For Military Families Proposed
- FASB Issues FAS 146, Ending Six-Year Project
As many of you know, on July 15 AccountingWEB took a bold step and introduced a premium fee-based subscription offering paying subscribers access to a wider range of resources, tools, tips and special offers not available to our general membership/subscriber base of over 50,000.
We are pleased to report that the launch of a Premium service has met with a very encouraging start. We have been asked to develop a plan for firm-wide subscriptions and will be rolling out that program shortly. So whichever path you choose - free or premium subscriber - we welcome and appreciate your ongoing support, and look forward to continuing to bring you the news, ideas, tools and best information across the entire spectrum of the profession.
For additional insight and perspective, I invite you to read the entire "A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO" and "Letters to The Editor" at the bottom of this Weekly News Wrap-Up.
Michael Platt, CEO
President Bush has signed into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, one of the most far-reaching bills ever to address corporate fraud and public accounting.
There was a time when PricewaterhouseCoopers entertained the idea of receiving $18 billion from Hewlett-Packard for the acquisition of its consulting division. Now, IBM and PwC have announced plans for the acquisition of PwC Consulting for a far less dollar amount that what was under consideration in the past.
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The Department of Justice has responded to the appeal filed by Andersen's attorneys in June. It argues Andersen is guilty, even if the jurors arrived at the verdict using faulty reasoning.
By a vote of 362-61, the House of Representatives has approved a measure to provide an above-the-line tax deduction for long-term health care expenses, such as nursing home costs. Other provisions of the bill include a tax deduction for the care of a dependent in a taxpayer's home and expanded access to Archer Medical Savings Accounts.
Accounting firm KPMG has been reprimanded and fined by the
Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland for what the
Institute described as an audit that "in terms of efficiency and competence fell below the standards to be expected."
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The U.K.'s approach to tentative audit reforms is slower and gentler than that of the U.S., but it is still controversial. Recent concerns have centered around market domination by the Big Four and the need for mandatory auditor rotation.
In a victory of sorts for the accounting profession, the Senate Banking Committee confirmed nominees with accounting ties for appointment as two of the four incoming Securities and Exchange Commissioners.
The Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of CPAs has issued a proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) entitled "Interim Financial Information."
A bill has been proposed to offer military personnel a tax
break amounting to $1 billion over ten years.
Better late than never, FAS 146 "Accounting for Costs
Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities" debuts at the
end of an economic slump that forced companies to make the
types of tough decisions covered by the new standard.
Below is a sampling of the featured Premium Subscription
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1. The Niceties of Negotiating 
We've received a lot of mail over the past two weeks voicing both strong support and tremendous disdain for introducing an optional fee-based service. We've been told everything from "it's about time you did this" to "you have no right to do this" to flat out "go to hell" - and worse! (We've reproduced some of the comments in the "Letters to the Editor" section below.)
AccountingWEB has been providing our members unrestricted free access to all we have for over three years now, thanks in a large part to the many vendors and advertisers who continue to support our organization. Like you, we are committed to providing a valued service to our constituents and to doing so in a manner that encourages profitability and long-term viability. We believe strongly that this premium subscription service will help ensure that even more valuable, practical, relevant content is available to those who want it, and will help AccountingWEB continue to grow as a profitable business to ensure that our value to you is continuously improving.
In making this move, we decided to price an annual subscription at just $49 - roughly the cost of thirty minutes of billable time PER YEAR. If no other benefit were derived from a Premium Subscription other than saving you just five minutes a day of "surfing" time, than you would save over 20 hours a year by accessing AccountingWEB. Along with member discounts, special offers, productivity tips, new service ideas and more, we believe we have put together a compelling value. Is that worth $49 a year? That's for you to decide.
If you determine that a standard subscription is for you, then you are welcome to continue on as a free member, receiving the newswires, accessing the news on the site and using the many free resources available on AccountingWEB. If, however, you decide that you would like unrestricted access to the full range of the tips, ideas, special offers and discounts available through AccountingWEB, then you are invited to become a premium subscriber. 
We have heard all types of feedback from subscribers over the last two weeks regarding our new Premium Subscription service. Here are just a few:
"Great idea. Hope you get thousands. I signed up right away and hope to be one of the first. We need you and should pay for it"
"Thank you for all the great information you provide me on a day to day basis. I wish you much success, ps..I signed up today."
"Now that you are promoting premium subscription services on your Web site, I'd like to ask about the possibility of a corporate membership in lieu of individual memberships. I've already spoken to several people within our firm who would be interested in such an option. Do you have any provisions for a corporate membership or volume discount?"
"Just wanted you to know that I read your "newsletter"
regularly, and find it invaluable. You have been especially helpful in keeping me informed during the accounting profession shockwave. If our firm is not yet signed up for the premium services, let us know how we can do so."
But not every one has been so kind:
"Please take me off your email list. I am not interested in your service anymore now that you have become a pay site. Too bad, it was a decent site - and what a time to make a decision like this - the most turbulent time in the accounting profession."
"Why do you send me these links when I do not have access? It is a shame that you have changed your format to a pay service because I think you will lose a significant number of readers. Changing from a free service to a pay service has failed many times on the Internet before due to the fact that users can easily move to other free sources of information. Thanks for the e-mails, but they are more annoying than useful."
"Keep up the LOUSY WORK! You won't have any subscribers at all"
"I've decided to Sift your portal out. I think it is very high-handed to charge for content . . . Your content is not worth paying anything for and I wouldn't contribute anything more in addition to what I already have."
ACCPAC offers great value to the professional accountant
community with solutions designed to enhance client retention, improve client acquisition and increase billable services. Assess your clients' financial health and enhance your own with the ACCPAC Business Analysis Suite (BAS)  - a full set of financial analysis tools. Tap the power of ACCPAC Online Professional Accountant Subscription Services (PASS )  and deliver your brand and value-added services to your clients' desktop - every day.
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