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December 3, 2009    
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Publisher's Note
Accountants have certainly had to consult with many clients on their severance packages due to the massive amounts of downsizing and company closures that have occurred this year. Few people are in the same boat, however, as the recently-terminated Charlie Weis. The former Notre Dame football coach stands to rake in as much as $18 million for his contract buyout. We should all be so fortunate!

Enjoy the final month of the year, advising clients to squeeze in those last deductions for 2009, working on forecasts for 2010, and all that December brings.

Rob Nance
Top News
2010 Standard mileage rates announced
Highway Traffic The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2010 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Grant Thornton and Overstock Inc. call each other liars
Overstock Inc., which has filed an unaudited third quarter financial statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), because it had fired its auditor, Grant Thornton, has accused the accounting firm of lying about whether it had approved some of the company's accounting. "They are saying we are liars, and you know what, we're not," Overstock President Jonathan Johnson said last week.
U.S. value-added tax expected within five years
More than half of senior business executives surveyed by the Tax Governance Institute (TGI) expect some type of value-added tax (VAT) to be introduced in the United States within five years.
Systemic risk legislation update: No change in FASB oversight
In the face of opposition from the accounting profession and business community, the House Financial Services Committee has approved a revised amendment to the Financial Stability Improvement Act (FSIA) (H.R. 3996) that limits the authority of a proposed systemic risk council of regulators to offering advice about accounting rules that could pose problems to the broader marketplace.
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Featured Articles
Arnold Schwarzenegger in tax trouble?
Arnold Schwarzenegger Last week, posted a copy of a tax lien filed on May 11 against California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for nearly $80,000. That was news to the actor-turned governor and his office. According to Schwarzenegger's representatives, TMZ's story was the first he'd heard of it.
A can't-miss event for accounting professionals from Intuit… and it's free!
In these tough economic times, we’re all searching for greater value and ways to make more money. On December 9th, Intuit is providing an opportunity for accounting professionals that is one of those rare moments when you can disregard the old adage, “you get what you pay for” ... because this opportunity is free.
AccountingWEB teams with Mrs. Claus to provide holiday opportunity for children
AccountingWEB, the online daily news source for accounting professionals, is excited to announce that it has forged a relationship this December with Mrs. Claus in her home at the North Pole. Santa's famous wife has agreed to take calls specifically from children of accountants, and make sure that their wishes are brought to the attention of her very busy husband.
SurePayroll's Referral Rewards Program - Free iPhone® or Blackberry® Promotional Offer
SurePayroll With SurePayroll’s Referral Rewards Program, receive a $50 gift card or charitable contribution when you refer your clients and they chose SurePayroll. Plus they can get 1 FREE iPhone®/BlackBerry®, or take advantage of any of our other current promotions if they act now. Call 877.954.7873 or visit for details. If you would like to learn how to become a reseller email
Firm/State/People News
Wipfli’s Community Day helps 35 organizations
Wipfli’s Community Day Wipfli LLP, a national CPA and consulting firm with 15 offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin, closed its doors for business recently so that hundreds of associates throughout the Midwest could spend the day giving back to the communities.
Anchin launches MWBE recognition award
Anchin, Block, & Anchin LLP, an accounting and advisory firm to the architecture, engineering, and construction sectors, will honor minority and women-owned business enterprises.
Marks Paneth & Shron advises businesses on best practices for 2010
Signs suggest the economy may have hit rock-bottom, but smart businesses and individuals will go into 2010 with their guard up and their belts tightened, according to partners at Marks Paneth & Shron.
Live Webcasts with Allan Boress, CPA
Allan Boree, CPABased on over 25 years being a practitioner and consultant to the profession, Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book. Click here for more details.
What do you have to say today?
The Key to an Entity's Control Environment
Underpinning the accounting system and the internal control activities of an entity is the control environment. The control environment includes management's attitudes and other factors...
The Death of Sarbanes-Oxley (and Internal Control)
An article in the November 30th issue of Business Week described how two attorneys are challenging the legality of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002....
Why Accounting Matters
In our previous post, we reported that two amendments relating to the Financial Accounting Standards Board were approved by the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) during markup of its systemic risk bill....
A Rabbi argues for effectiveness over efficiency
Those who know me know I listen religiously to Rabbi Daniel Lapin on KSFO 560AM every Sunday from 1-4 pm. He's one of the most astute observers of human behavior....
Book Giveaway - Choice of Two! Book Giveaway
Sign up here to be a random winner of one of six copies of "100 Ways To Profit In A Volatile Economy" by Barry R. Schimel and Gary Kravitz, or one of twelve copies of "QuickBooks 2009 on Demand" by AccountingWEB's own Gail Perry and also Laura Madeira. Enter for both if you'd like! The names of the winners will be posted on AccountingWEB's home page in early December. As always, your information will be used solely to contact the prize winners, and will never be shared with anyone.
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S.O.S AccountingWEB's Q&A section is full of unanswered questions just begging for your knowledge and advice. Don't be shy, share your knowledge today on unanswered topics such as: Departmental Accounting, Effective Yield Calculation, Calculating Full-Time Equivalent for R&D Employees, accounting student help and much more.
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