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December 23, 2009    
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Publisher's Note
Rob Nance, Publisher It’s a time of giving. We plan to give you, our audience, even more in 2010. We have exciting plans on the horizon that will be of interest to accountants all over the United States. Might I ask a favor at this time of year? We would love to see a large spike in our audience size...and the best way to accomplish that is through you, our loyal readers.

If every reader like you got only two co-workers, clients or friends to register for AccountingWEB’s free e-newsletters (take 15 seconds), it would mean the world to us. In the end, it would result in more resources for AccountingWEB...and more of what you want editorially. Could you give us a hand with this please? Santa will reward you. Thank you!

Rob Nance
Top News
No surprise here: Accountants found to be tech-savvy in CCH poll
While they may not be widely known for their tech-savvy, accountants are way ahead of other professions in using new technologies to grow their business according to research by software provider CCH.
More employers offering annuities as part of 401(k) package
The number of employers planning to offer annuities to participants in their 401(k) plans is expected to grow as companies look for ways to provide workers with a steady distribution of benefits during retirement, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm.
Blue ribbon panel to address private company accounting standards
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) have announced the establishment of a “blue-ribbon panel” to address how U.S. accounting standards can best meet the needs of users of private company financial statements.
Business Development Season - Tune-Up Your Marketing!
Edi Osborne It’s no secret that tax season is the best time to work on developing your firm. Unfortunately, even when we know what we should be doing, opportunities pass us by because we are focused on the wrong things. This webcast series from the team at Mentor Plus is designed to “prime the pump” with tools, techniques, and insight that will keep you and your team focused on the right things so you can make the most of your business development season.
Value Pass users: Please register for each webcast individually; Value Pass cannot be combined with other discounts.
Featured Articles
Mistletoe and mayhem: Surviving the company holiday party
Office parties: Innocent fun or the practice manager’s nightmare? Most years there is sage-like advice about what not to do at Christmas parties. This year the advice has gone further with staff being advised to leave their mobiles at home rather than taking risky photos.
Make your presentation perfect!
Knowing that your nerves are getting in the way of a powerful performance can pile up the pressure even higher, so how do you break the vicious circle? Of course, practicing the real thing is the best way to boost confidence and improve performance: Our gurus are agreed on that.
Best tips for winning new business
The old adage that ‘people buy people’ is true; I, for one, would never put my money and business in the hands of someone I found on a list in the phone book. First I would want to meet them and develop a rapport.
December CPE Sale - Save 20%
CPE Link Do you need CPE hours in December? No problem. CPE Link offers live webcasts covering a variety of subjects. You can get your Federal Tax Update, A&A update, Excel or QuickBooks training, or maybe something on Small Audits or Risk Assessment. Special for AccountingWEB subscribers: CPE Link would like to offer you 20% discounted admission to one live webcast of your choice in December. (Use promotion code AWEB1209 when checking out). Offer expires December 31.
Firm/State/People News
Rea & Associates collects 12 tons of food for the hungry
REA & Associates Ohio families will have more food for the holidays thanks to the efforts of employees at Rea & Associates. Employees of the CPA firm's 11 Ohio offices raised more than 24,000 pounds of food during the annual holiday food drive.
E&Y firm and six partners charged with accounting violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Ernst & Young LLP and six of its current and former partners, including three who are members of the firm's national office, for their roles relating to an accounting fraud at Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation. The SEC finds that E&Y knew or should have known about Bally's fraudulent financial accounting and disclosures.
Two Baltimore accounting firms announce merger
Gorfine, Schiller & Gardyn, P.A., (GSG) of Owings Mills and Hagerstown, Maryland, and Baltimore’s Bernard B. Cohen & Company LLC (BBC) have merged combining forces to provide a comprehensive menu of accounting, financial, and consulting services for businesses and individuals throughout Maryland.
New benchmarking study will help accounting and financial departments plan for future
A new benchmarking study of financial function practices has been co-developed by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Robert Half Management Resources to assist executives in evaluating their readiness for further changes in an evolving business landscape. The survey was conducted by Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the research arm of FEI.
What do you have to say today?
In the Year 2010....
Wasn't that the title of a song? Oh, I remember. It was "in the year 2525." Anyway, the year 2010 will be the beginning of a breath-taking trip into the future for accountants and auditors. In some ways, I feel like it's "backing into the future."
New Fair Value Disclosure for 2009 10K
This accounting standard update has been issued as a practical expedient for investments in alternative investments that do not have a readily determinable fair value, the investees have the attributes of investment companies and the net asset values (NAV) or their equivalents are calculated consistent with the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, Investment Companies.
The easiest tax break most people pass by
More than half of the people who have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) available for medical costs as an employee benefit don't take advantage of it.... I've had a FSA for at least 15 years, and I've saved at least $500 with it every year.
Potential State and Local Tax Issues and Opportunities in 2010!
I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog over this past year. I would also like to thank those who contacted me, asked questions, sought advice, provided commentary, etc.... Here is a brief list of some of the issues or opportunities I am looking at for 2010.
Kaplan Weekly Quiz
Kaplan Are you prepared for the CPA exam? Test your knowledge and keep your skills sharp by taking the weekly CPA Exam Quiz, brought to you by Kaplan Schweser CPA Review and AccountingWEB Education & Careers Zone. New questions will be posted for each section weekly. Take this week's quiz.
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Policy TemplatesAccountingWEB is pleased to bring you tools that can help systematize the accounting department of a small company, corporate business, or a public accounting firm. Over 200 accounting department policy templates available for immediate download.
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