CFO

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.
A&A

Accounting & Finance Workers' Confidence Rebounds

After cooling in February, worker confidence among accounting and finance workers jumped in March, as the group’s Hudson Employment IndexSM rose 8.1 points to 121.6. Increased job satisfaction and a decrease in expected layoffs drove the rise. The latest reading for this group of workers is much higher than last March’s reading of 108.8. The national Index, based on responses from approximately 9,000 workers across all sectors, climbed up 1.9 points to 109.0 in March.
A&A

A Conversation with Marcus Scholes: Poor Asset Management Risks Business Integrity

Growing risk awareness and recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, may have prompted an increasing number of companies to invest in disaster recovery (DR) as part of the business continuity program – but how safe is that investment?Just what, indeed, is being recovered? Few organizations have any real insight into the true extent of their corporate assets. In fact, on average, upwards of 50 percent of assets on the register cannot be located.Not only does this challenge the validity of the DR solution but it also raises huge questions in the event of an insurance claim.
Practice Management

Making Your Practice a Great Place to Work

By Lucie BensonThe recent publications of the "Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For" lists have included several accounting firms, from small companies up to The Big Four. Lucie Benson takes a closer look to see what they are doing for their staff to make their practice such a good place to work. This month saw the publication of the fourth “Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For” list.
Workplace Fitness

How to Motivate Small-Business Employees

Are you a small-business owner who is finding it more and more difficult to motivate your troops? SmartMoney.com offers five easy tips for kick-starting your crew without busting your budgets.While large corporations with deep pockets can easily dangle bonuses, perks and an array of fancy reward programs (often created by outside consultants) to encourage employees to outperform, you company isn't quite there yet.
Tax

Benefits, Dangers of Paying Taxes with Credit Card

Individuals and businesses may choose to pay taxes with one of the major credit cards through service providers that have contracts with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and earn miles, points, rewards or money back from the credit card issuer. For taxpayers whose returns contain an unpleasant surprise, the credit card option allows some time to pull together the cash he needs to pay the tax bill.But preparers should warn their clients that interest on credit card balances is generally higher than interest paid to the IRS on underpayment of taxes (currently 8 percent).
Community News

Massachusetts Extends Deadline for Expanded Health Coverage

Massachusetts, one of the first states to pass a universal health insurance law, requires all residents, including uninsured adults, to purchase some kind of health insurance policy by July 1, 2007 or face a fine; but businesses and individuals will be given until January 1, 2009 to sign on for what the state considers a “minimum standard of care,” the Associated Press reports. The additional time was needed to allow employers, workers and insurers to make the transition to the new standards, which will include prescription drug coverage.
A&A

A Conversation with Barry Goldwater: Handling High Net Worth Clients

As CPAs get deeper into financial services and wealth management, they will have to solve more and more complex financial problems which often cut across unfamiliar planning territory. One group of clients many firms hope to close, can be both challenging and rewarding. They are high net worth individuals, those clients who fit into the $10 million-and-above club. If you are fortunate in grabbing the opportunity to inform and perform for high net worth clients, you must stop and think about what is important to this group.What drives and motivates them?
Practice Management

7 Reasons Why Managers Find it Difficult to Throw Out Bad Apples

A new study shows that your company’s bad apples have a tendency to spoil your entire corporate culture. KEYGroup founder and president Dr. Joanne G. Sujansky, Ph.D, CSP, offers solutions for managers who don’t know what to do with these problematic employees.Every organization has at least one: that employee, who for whatever reason, behaves as though coming to work is a fate worse than death.
A&A

White Paper: Reduce the Headaches of Infrastructure Change in 5 Easy Steps

No matter how well prepared you are, managing change in the network infrastructure can be a bumpy process. There are many infrastructure changes that can cause significant problems for an organization if they are not appropriately planned, implemented, and supported with the right practices and technology.
A&A

Computer Theft Endangers Calif. Firm's Clients

A Santa Rosa tax accounting firm is alerting thousands of clients that their private financial records may be in jeopardy after a key computer was stolen from the office, the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press-Democrat reported.Terry Brown, owner of Tax Service Plus, said a computer containing the records of his firm's 3,000 to 4,000 clients was missing when he arrived at work March 7 and found a back door broken open.He said he's notifying clients by letter what actions they should take to protect themselves against anyone who tries to use the stolen information to open a fraudulen

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