CFO

A&A

Change your IT strategy to work smarter in the recession

By Jennie LeopardThe recession is pushing every organization, regardless of size, to find ways to work smarter. Companies both large and small need to reduce operating costs at the same time they continue to increase productivity, efficiency, retain a competitive edge, and stop that bottom line from shrinking.How can you adapt your IT strategy in this economic downturn?1. Sweating existing IT assets harder
A&A

Getting your feet wet with marketing online

By James Pennington, consultant at the National B2B Centre (NB2BC)Plan your Web siteMany people sit down and start working on their Web site but then stop and never get started again because they haven't thought about what they are trying to achieve. Remember, that your Web site is another sales medium. Understand your proposition and unique selling point and have a strategy for using the Web. The following resources can help: 
A&A

Running a business: From rural life to Second Life

SciArt Media, a Temple, NH based Web design and publishing company, opened a new office and more on President's Day, February 18th. What is unusual is the location of the new office: It is nowhere in the real world – it is entirely virtual – located in the realm of Second Life.
A&A

Increase your sales by improving your Web site design

Design and usability matter a lot when creating a company Web site, and getting it right could be the difference between business success and business failure. Chris Barling, chief executive of ecommerce software provider Actinic, offers best practice advice.
Practice Management

52 Random insights to grow your business

1. Be careful of being too anxious to prove your value.2. Be willing to walk away from every sale.3. Be worth the price of admission.4. Become like the companies and people you admire.5. Brand your honesty.6. Build an asset so attractive that buyers will come looking for it.7. Build things worth noticing.8. Clearly define what you are a steward of.9. Create a product people can easily become obsessed with.10. Develop a system for dealing with customer complaints.11. Discover whether or not this is your own thinking.
A&A

IASB and FASB announce further steps in response to global financial crisis

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have announced further steps in response to the global financial crisis following their joint board meeting held in London on March 23 and 24, 2009.Building on work underway, the two boards have agreed to work jointly and expeditiously towards common standards that deal with off balance sheet activity and the accounting for financial instruments. They will also work towards analyzing loan loss accounting within the financial instruments project.
A&A

Small businesses are using technology to cut costs and grow business

Microsoft Corporation has released a study of the business challenges and technology priorities that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are facing in the year ahead. The first "Microsoft SMB Insight Report," which will be published annually, identified virtualization, IT consolidation, business intelligence, software as a service and support of remote workers as the top technology investment priorities for SMBs in 2009.
A&A

DOL clarifies stimulus bill’s COBRA rules and issues model notices

The Department of Labor (DOL) has published model notices of temporary premium reductions in COBRA payments mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (the stimulus bill), that employers are required to send to employees whose loss of coverage occurred between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Eligible individuals should receive a notice by April 18 informing them of this opportunity. The stimulus package reduces the premium for COBRA coverage for eligible individuals to 35 percent of the full COBRA premiums for up to nine months.
A&A

Expedited fair value guidance may ease pressure on banks

Following a hearing at a House Financial Services subcommittee last week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed to expedite release of their proposed guidance for the application of FAS 157 "Fair Value Measurement." The proposed guidance was published for public comment on March 17th and will be voted on by the Board on April 2. If approved, the FASB recommends that the guidance be effective for interim and annual periods ending after March 15, 2009. According to CFO.com, FASB chairman, Robert H.
A&A

Telecommuting calculator adds up savings for employees and employers

The folks at Undress4success.com, the Web site jam-packed with everything you need to know about working from home, have introduced the Telework Savings Calculator. Based on U.S. Census data and other information, the calculator can help determine if working from home is beneficial to you as an employer and as an employee. It also reflects the environmental impact of not getting in a car each day and commuting to work.
A&A

New tax law extends NOL carryback period

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that small businesses with deductions exceeding their income in 2008 can use a new net operating loss tax provision to get a refund of taxes paid in prior years.
A&A

Provisioning Your Home Accounting Office

As the economy continues to contract, more and more accountants are considering striking out on their own. A benefit to providing accounting services is that you can often ease your way into your own business, as long as you don't run afoul of any non-compete agreements with your primary employer. I'm sure you've read a million articles about how to establish a separate workspace that's all your own and how to organize your files, so instead I'm going to focus on elements of my own home office that I've found particularly effective.
A&A

FASB Chairman Robert H. Herz testifies on mark-to-market accounting

Robert H. Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), testified about mark-to-market accounting today before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Herz appeared at a hearing convened by Congressman and Committee Chairman Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) on "Mark-to-Market Accounting: Practices and Implications."
A&A

Special accounting needs of not-for-profits and moving business forward

by Ken Garen, CPANot-for-profit organizations find themselves in a very challenging position. Government and funding sources thrust extremely sophisticated reporting requirements upon them, yet budget and personnel constraints often hamper their ability to fulfill the requirements. The organization's very existence and their ability to move forward may depend upon being able to closely track expenditures and create unique reports required by government and funding sources in an accurate and timely manner.
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Small businesses found to be especially vulnerable to fraud

According to a report released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), U.S. organizations lose an estimated seven percent of their annual revenues to fraud – but the damage is the worst among small businesses. Among the fraud cases detailed for the survey, the median loss suffered by organizations with fewer than 100 employees was $200,000, higher than the median loss for larger organizations.
A&A

How will the Economic Stimulus Act affect payroll for me and my clients?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), aka the Economic Stimulus Act, includes new tax credits and other assistance that, while beneficial, will require changes to how payroll is calculated. Intuit, producer of QuickBooks, Intuit Payroll, is providing its clients with several methods for keeping up to date on the latest changes. Here are the suggestions Intuit is making to its clients for how to ensure payroll is current and correct:
A&A

Scrub data before getting rid of old computers

Company officials know that they must properly dispose of computers to protect personal information as well as the environment.Here are some tips for companies and for individuals who are looking to upgrade old computers without unwittingly making the hard drives available to identity thieves. Think of all the passwords, account numbers, addresses, phone numbers, tax returns, medical information, registration numbers for software programs and other information that's available.
A&A

Obama pushes for mandatory retirement savings plans

Part of President Obama’s budget proposal would require employers who do not offer a pension plan to provide their employees with a direct-deposit retirement savings plan, modeled after a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA).“The result will be that workers will be automatically enrolled in some form of savings vehicle when they go to work, making it easy for them to save while also allowing them to opt out if their family or individual circumstances make it particularly difficult or unwise to save,” according to the budget plan.
A&A

Talent mapping: Navigating through the downturn

Having a clear understanding of the talents, skills, and behaviors of every employee could be the difference between your organization successfully emerging at the end of the downturn, or it failing, says Mark Hopkins, who recommends talent mapping as a means of ensuring success.
A&A

Maximizing profitability: Mind your Ps and Qs

By Barbara Bix and Melissa Josephson EdwardsAccountants' top directives to companies may very well be: aim to maximize profit. Yet, in the frenzy of everyday work, it is not uncommon for "urgent" issues to supplant "important" ones. How, then, can companies stay on target and maximize profitability? Marketers at your client companies need to consciously choose a strategy for optimizing sales and marketing resources—and then stick to it.Selecting the Right Target Market

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