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New Report Outlines State of Small Business

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration today unveiled a major new federal government report, The Small Business Economy, 2004, which outlines the state of small business and its contributions to the economy. This latest in an annual series analyzes 2003 data. "In 2003, the overall economic indicators improved as the economy gained momentum," said Office of Advocacy Chief Economist Dr. Chad Moutray. "Small businesses led the way.

SEC Debates Whether Whopping Fines Hurt More than Help

Do huge corporate fines deter fraudulent behavior or harm the very shareholders they are intended to benefit?The five Securities and Exchange Commissioners are becoming more divided on the question, as the two Republican commissioners are frequently voting against huge fines imposed upon publicly traded companies for shaky accounting procedures, mismanagement and fraud. The Wall Street Journal gave these examples: Republicans Paul Atkins and Cynthia Glassman earlier this month voted against a $37 million fine against Wachovia Corp.

Couple Sues to Deduct Religious School Costs

A nonjury trial began last week in Los Angeles that could set precedent for how religious school expense deductions are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
Community News

PCAOB To Hold Forum On Small-Business Auditing

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) last week announced a new initiative to bring important information concerning the PCAOB to small business communities. The Forum on Auditing in the Small Business Environment is an invitation-only program for registered accounting firms and public companies in the small business community to learn more about the work of the Board, specifically the PCAOB inspections process and the impact of new auditing standards. The first forum will be held in Costa Mesa, California, on Tuesday, November 30, and Wednesday, December 1, 2004.

Best Practices 2003 Registration Form

Print and mail or fax the form below to: Upstream Academy--HeadWaters™ 2003 P O Box 1147 · Helena MT 59624 Phone: 406-495-1850 · Fax: 406-442-1100

Free Download For All Premium Subscribers!

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 "Thirty Five No-Cost or Low-Cost Marketing Tips" to help your firm impress your clients and prospects and differentiate your organization. This document is available for free to all AccountingWEB Premium Members!

Premium Members: Top Vacation Destinations Around the World

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HOT New Book Recommendations

AccountingWEB has compiled a list (in no particular order) of new books on the site. Browse through this selection and see if you need to add any of these books to your library.

AccountingWEB News Content Package

INTRODUCTIONAccountingWEB, Inc. is pleased to provide you, our members with this turn-key service of providing Member Content. You are free to reproduce any of the articles created for this Member Content Package in any format you choose. You can cut and paste the stories into an e-mail format, use the content on your firm's Web site, or send a professionally prepared newsletter via snail-mail to your client base. Each week, AccountingWEB will prepare ten topical articles from our weekly news updates for you to share with your clients and/or staff.

The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

AccountingWEB's Summary of the New Tax Legislation The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 On May 28, 2003, President Bush signed the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA), the third largest tax cut in U.S. history.

Tailor Your Day For Productivity - Focuser or Juggler Quiz

Knowing your work style, and personal patterns is essential in managing your day-to-day activities. How you balance your daily activities is crucial for the upcoming tax season, or as you prepare for entry into the accounting profession. Some people are focusers - they work best when they focus on one project at a time until it is completed. Some people are jugglers - they work best with several projects going at the same time.

IRS Announces 'No Rule' Areas

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a packet of revenue procedures designed to clarify areas on which the service will not provide guidance to taxpayers in the form of letter rulings or determination letters.
Community News

'Watered-Down' Rules Please Big Firms, Roil Consumers

Reactions to the new auditor independence rules vary widely. Large accounting firms seem generally pleased. But consumer activists are openly scolding the Securities and Exchange Commission for watering down the rules. A report issued by The Consumer Federation of America concludes the accounting profession was "almost entirely successful in beating back" the SEC's efforts to expand on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to the benefit of investors.

Free Pizza And Doughnuts During Tax Season!

We all know the daily routines during tax season: eat and work, eat and work, eat and sleep - enough said. Deadline is February 28, 2003To recognize your contributions during this time and to show our support, AccountingWEB would like to again sponsor the eating habits of 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 for the winner of the AccountingWEB Tax Season Contest - up to a $500 value.

Premium Sample: Tips For Selecting The Right Employees

Job applicants may be more abundant in today’s employment market, but that doesn’t mean hiring the right person has become any easier. Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.), warns that poorly executed candidate searches and cumbersome hiring processes can undermine the recruiting process for managers.Messmer advises firms to avoid costly hiring mistakes by being diligent. "While many applicants may appear to be an ideal fit on paper, it’s important not to make snap judgments.

How to Make a Good 'First Impression'

by, The Small Business Knowledge BaseWe sometimes get only one chance to make an impression on someone either in our personal or business life. Therefore it is important to remember some basic things to do that will assure us of making the best impression possible. Here are ten of the most common things people can do to make the best first impression possible. 

Premium Sample: Excel Tip: Create a Quick Loan Calculator in Excel

You can use Excel to help figure out what your loan payment would be should you decide to borrow money. Here's a quick way to set up a loan payment calculator in your Excel worksheet:Step 1: Enter the following titles in six consecutive rows:Cell A1 PriceCell A2 DownpaymentCell A3 PrincipalCell A4 InterestCell A5 YearsCell A6 PaymentStep 2: These titles will become the cell names for the cell to the right of each cell containing a title. Highlight the cells containing titles and the cell to the right of each of those cells (12 cells altogether).

Premium Sample: Ten Steps to Branding Your Firm

by Terri M. Sommella, Sommella Market StrategiesStudies show that 75% of law firms are either in the process of a branding campaign or are considering one. Why? Succinctly put, branding creates differentiation and client loyalty. It is the purposeful development of a personal relationship between the client and the product or service. A brand is not all consuming but rather, represents a piece of the whole, one aspect of the firm.

Premium Sample: Top Ten Steps To Effective Delegation

Executives and managers are often left feeling frustrated when their staff doesn't perform a task the way they expected. This can be eliminated by sharpening your communication and filling in the gaps that are often left open for interpretation. Here are some guidelines.Step 1. Know what the task is.Step 2. Have the end result/desired outcome you want to produce in mind.Step 3. Find the person you need to delegate to and give them the task.Step 4. Share with them the results you desire.Step 5. Ask and inform them why it's important.

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