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CFO

A&A

Study shows small business confidence index and revenue expectations on the rise

Regionally, businesses in the Northeast, South, and Midwest have increased confidence and anticipate higher staff levels and more hiring during the next 12 months. Confidence levels of businesses in the Western U.S. ebbs and is now more in line with the rest of the nation says an SBRB report prepared in conjunction with International Profit Associates.The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) U.S.
A&A

SBA to educate 100,000 small businesses about software management and risks

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, have announced a partnership to educate nearly 100,000 small businesses on proper software management and the risks associated with the use of unlicensed software.
A&A

New credit cards target smallest firms

With growth slowing in the consumer credit card market, credit card companies are offering new small business cards designed for the smallest businesses, from two or three-person operations up to firms with a few million dollars in annual revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports. Only one in four of businesses this size uses a business card, according to Advanta, a Spring House, PA company, that specializes in small business plastic, The Journal says.
A&A

Integrity tops CFO leadership survey

A survey of Chief Financial Officers identified integrity as the most important quality in a leader.The mark of a good leader may lie in his or her ability to be honest and upstanding, said 31 percent of CFOs in a recent Robert Half Management survey. Experience and communication skills followed, each receiving 27 percent of the response, and technical or functional expertise received 11 percent.The survey includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.
A&A

Profits To Be Lost Under New Accounting Rules

Accounting-rule makers are planning to unveil a draft plan to rework financial statements, the data that millions of investors use every day when deciding whether to buy or sell stocks, bonds and other financial instruments, the Wall Street Journal reports. One possible result will be the elimination of net income or net profit, the bottom-line figure showing what is left after expenses have been met and taxes paid. It is the item many investors look to as a key gauge of corporate performance and one measure used to determine executive compensation.
A&A

IMA Statement on ERM Implementation

The Institute of Management Accountants released a statement, as part of its series of practitioner guides, that covers specific practices and techniques for enterprise risk management (ERM) implementation. ERM is a concept used by organizations to identify, assess and manage risks to meet objectives and remain accountable to their stakeholders. It approaches risk from a holistic view across the enterprise.
Tax

New Electronic Filing Requirement for Small Tax-Exempt Organizations

Beginning in 2008, small tax-exempt organizations that previously were not required to file returns may be required to file an annual electronic notice, Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. This filing requirement applies to tax periods beginning after December 31, 2006.Small tax-exempt organizations, whose gross receipts are normally $25,000 or less, are not required to file Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, or Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.
A&A

People Skills Help Controllers Rise to CFO

Controllers who want to rise to chief financial officer need to move beyond finance expertise and become leaders with strong people skills, according to a new report.The results of a Korn/Ferry International survey reveal that controllers seem to have an advantage when competing for the CFO position. As many as one-third (33 percent) of Fortune 500 CFOs had been promoted from a controller post. But, just four percent of external hires were controllers, while 58 percent originated from CFO posts elsewhere, and 17 percent came from a CEO or general manager position elsewhere.
A&A

President Vetos Small Business Tax Breaks

President Bush vetoed the supplemental appropriations bill Congress narrowly passed last week. The bill, which primarily would have provided money necessary to continue military operations in Iraq, also included a set of tax breaks for small businesses.
Tax

Issues Spouse-owned Businesses Should Consider

One of the advantages of operating your own business is hiring family members. However, the employment tax requirements for family employees may vary from those that apply to other employees. How Spouses Earn Social Security BenefitsA spouse is considered an employee if there is an employer/employee type of relationship, i.e., the first spouse substantially controls the business in terms of management decisions and the second spouse is under the direction and control of the first spouse.
Practice Management

Retaining the Start-up Spirit

Despite being almost 20 years old, Cobra Beer still very much retains an entrepreneurial attitude in the United Kingdom. Dynshaw Italia, for instance, is not only the firm's finance director but also heads up its HR and IT departments.
A&A

House Bill Promotes Shareholder Say in Executive Pay

The House voted Friday to give shareholders at public corporations a voice in executive pay packages that typically equal 500 times the salaries of workers at those companies. The shareholder vote under the bill (H.R. 1257) would be advisory only. But Democratic backers of this provision said that investors need a say when companies losing money or laying off workers are paying executives eight- and nine-figure salaries and retirement packages.
A&A

More than 78% of CFOs Favor Chairman-CEO Separation

In a national survey of CFOs and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, more than three-quarters (78 percent) believe that the roles of CEO and chairman should be held by different people. Currently, approximately 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by a CEO who is also Chairman of the Board. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the respondents think that shareholders of public companies should have greater access to the company proxy, and more than half the respondents think it would be possible to intentionally misstate their financial statement to their auditor.
A&A

S Corp Still Learning Experience

According to the Journal of Accountancy, life with the popular S Corporation structure can still be a learning experience. By some accounts, the advent of S corporations in the late 1950s was the most notable revolution in American tax policy since the Revolution. And it’s easy to see why: S corporation owners can protect themselves against personal liability and have their income and gains taxed only once, as opposed to the double exposure of C corporations and their owners at the corporate level and again on individual returns.
Practice

5 Start-Up Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

According to the Small Business Administration, one-third of small businesses fail in the first two years and one-half fail within the first five years, statistics that might discourage even the most determined potential entrepreneurs from trying to realize their business dreams. But avoiding the five most serious mistakes entrepreneurs can make in the startup phase can go a long way towards helping them achieve success, CNNMoney reports.The most deadly errors small business owners make in their first year are:1.
A&A

67% of CFOs Believe SEC Should Revise 8-K Rules

In a national survey of CFOs and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, 67 percent believe that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should revise 8-K rules to require reasons for all company dismissals of auditors, for all auditor resignations and for all instances in which the auditor chooses not to stand for re-election.
A&A

Fewer Healthcare Insurance Choices for Self-employed

Fewer than one-quarter of professional and small business associations still offer basic health care plans, long the choice of self-employed professionals, contractors and freelancers, according to the American Society of Association Executives, the Los Angeles Times reports. Many, including the American Bar Association, which dropped its health care benefit last year, say they would like to offer these plans and may resurrect them.
Practice Management

Outside Controllers Rarely Promoted to CFO

New research reveals that less than 5 percent of chief financial officers hired from outside their company were controllers.The survey by executive search firm Korn Ferry International shows that the number of Fortune 500 CFOs hired from outside of their new companies totals 190.
A&A

SEC Seeks Small Business SOX Relief

In a move designed to benefit smaller companies, the SEC endorsed recommendations to eliminate waste and duplication with SOX compliance.The new PCAOB standard will be submitted for SEC review by early June, in time for the 2007 financial statement audits.The SEC staff will be working closely with the PCAOB to make the internal controls provisions of SOX Section 404 more efficient and cost effective.
A&A

Smith Appointed to FASB

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) appointed Lawrence W. Smith to a five-year term as a member effective July 1, 2007. Smith will replace Edward W. Trott who will retire from the board on June 30, 2007. Board members are appointed by the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF). Smith is currently director of FASB's Technical Application and Implementation Activities, and chairman of the Emerging Issues Task Force. Prior to joining FASB in 2002, Smith worked at KPMG for 25 years. The seven-member FASB is led by Chairman Robert Herz.

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