Administrative

Practice Management

Sleep Soundly with Data Security

Can you sleep soundly at night knowing your firm is safe from data security breaches? Security is a vitally important area that often is overlooked or taken for granted by accounting and law firms because it's not looked at as strategic, but rather one of those things that should and must be done "just in case."
Practice Management

Webcasts Look at Security

Two upcoming web seminars will focus on security related issues. The first, scheduled for October 25, will look at proven methods for measuring security.
A&A

Disasters Reveal Weaknesses in SBA Loan Programs

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released figures on its post-9/11 disaster lending program showing that $245 million of the total $1.2 billion lent is currently in default, representing a 20.4 percent default rate. More than 10,000 companies approved for SBA direct loans received a two-year grace period, between 2001 and 2003, to start making payments and now these defaulted loans are coming to light according to the Associated Press.
A&A

Users Say They Need Help Fighting Spyware at Work

A survey of 1,200 end users working in organizations ranging from large corporations to small businesses, conducted in the United States, Germany and Japan by Trend Micro Inc. found that while 87 percent of users were aware of spyware, 53 percent wanted more education and support from Information Technology (IT) departments, LinuxElectronics.com reports.
Community News

Mark Your Calendar: Celebrating More Than 25 Years of Women in Accounting

Join the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) in celebrating more than 25 years of women in accounting at a very special event on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.
A&A

Employees to Mull New Trade-offs in 2006 Health Care Options

An array of new health care benefits have become available that may help employees plan for ever-increasing medical costs.Advertisement
Practice

Board Oversight is Positive for Both Profit and Non-Profit Companies

A new study shows non-profit boards that practice good governance and stress accountability contrary to groups urging more oversight of non-profit organizations. The Johns Hopkins University Listening Post Project issued the report in which a vast majority of the 247 boards surveyed “are highly or significantly involved in the key strategic oversight functions that non-profit boards are expected to perform,” according to the study cited in the Fort Worth News-Sentinel.
A&A

Deductions for Casualty Losses Offer Big Tax Benefits to Katrina Victims

Katrina victims who claim personal or business casualty losses may be entitled to large refunds on their original 2004 and 2005 returns or by filing an amended 2004 return.Advertisement
A&A

Tricks for Taming the Specter of Month-End Reporting

In almost every business, the end of the month inevitably brings with it the need to generate and distribute a variety of reports. Many products market themselves saying they make month-end reporting simpler and more efficient. Some even promise to automate the process. Yet somehow, the month-end reporting always ends up in the lap of the office’s Excel guru.
Community News

Judge Delays KPMG Investor Lawsuit Settlement

U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Cavanaugh has scheduled a hearing to review the investor settlement where KPMG and the law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood agreed to pay $225 million. The the accounting firm and the law firm initially agreed to pay $195 million plus $30 million for legal fees to settle an investor class action suit back on September 27.
Community News

PCAOB Finds Failures in Deloitte's Audit Work

The Public Accounting Standards Board (PCAOB) issued its report on Thursday on its inspections from May to November 2004 of past audits performed by Deloitte & Touche. The report cited “audit deficiencies” including failure to identify or address accounting errors, according to Reuters.

SEC Looking to Streamline Auditor-Independence Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into simplifying its auditor-independence rules without weakening them.Advertisement
Community News

Report Exposes Errors Found in KPMG Audits

An annual report released by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) highlights errors found in a sampling of KPMG’s nearly 1,900 public audits performed between June and October 2004.

BP Leads Accountability Ratings of World's Top Companies

BP, followed by competitor Royal Dutch Shell Group and telecom provider Vodafone, top the 2005 Accountability Rating, a corporate rating of the world's 100 biggest grossing companies.Advertisement
Community News

KPMG, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood to Pay $225 Million to Settle Client Suit

KPMG and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP (Sidley Austin), a Chicago law firm, have reached preliminary agreement with a law firm representing hundreds of former clients who participated in tax shelters later determined to be abusive by the Internal Revenue Service, according to Bloomberg.com. KPMG and Sidley Austin will pay $195 million to their former clients, according to the agreement, which is preliminary, and $30 million to the attorneys in the class action lawsuit, Milberg, Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP.

New Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Citing anonymous sources “close to” or “who have been involved” in the accounting investigation at Fannie Mae, the Dow Jones Newswires said late Wednesday that the company had “overvalued its assets, underreported credit losses, and misused tax credits,” the Washington Post reported.
Technology

Finance and Accounting Outsourcing is Expanding

The Everest Research Institute reports that the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) is an expanding sector in the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) market. Approximately 70 percent of the 108 multi-process FAO contracts have been signed since 2001 according to the report. Industry analysts estimate in the current edition of Tekrati that the value of current FAO contracts have reached $12 billion.
Education & Careers

Katrina Exodus Proves Just How Mobile Americans Are

America is a mobile society. A fact demonstrated by the 1.3 million households from the Gulf Coast communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that USA Today reports have dispersed to every state in the nation.

Consumer Confidence Sinks to Lowest Level in Two Years in September

In the largest decline since 1990, U.S. consumer confidence in September sank almost 19 points to its lowest level in nearly two years.

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