CFO

A&A

SEC Fights for Fund Disclosure

Investors looking to learn about the impact of taxes on their funds' performance may soon find their fund companies doing this for them. The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed that fund companies take this role because investors are entitled to be told the after-tax consequences of funds.Taxes affect funds differently. Two funds with identical before-tax returns can have two very different tax liabilities. Fund investment strategies can really make a difference at tax time.
A&A

Tax Bill Yields Results

In addition to a rise in minimum wage, the recently passed tax bill is generally positive for small business owners, according to analysts and experts who are examining the legislation.A gradual reduction in the estate tax is viewed as a boon for small business owners, although Democrats disagree with the logic.
A&A

Further Defining 'Value Added'

Sylvia Pate of QuickSilver Consulting gave an encore performance this week to her initial workshop session on Value Added services. This week's session focused on the incremental efforts that add value.
A&A

Local CPAs Compete With Larger, Online Preparers

It's finally happened: a group of CPAs think they build a better mousetrap--or online tax preparation service--than the big guys like H&R Block, Intuit and H.D. Vest.The company is based in Encino, CA, and is called Taxes4Less.com. It is run by Russell Gotlich and Gregory Yulish, both formerly with Arthur Andersen.One of the main differences between their company and the larger ones is the ability to personally attend to tax returns and complete the electronic transaction.
A&A

Money-Saving Tips for Focus Groups

Who has time to do research in today's rush-rush environment? None of us, of course--but if companies don't make an effort to perform some type of testing prior to implementing a new service, they could lose out on collecting valuable data that could potentially end in mixed results.One way to accomplish short-term research is through a Focus Group, a meeting of unbiased individuals who can provide feedback, personal feelings, expectations and other factors related to a potential product or service.
A&A

Prevent Fraud by Double-Handling Checks

One of the most common sources of fraud in today's businesses--be them small or large--is the handling of checks for making deposits and paying bills.Experts say it's best to separate the duties - let one person handle incoming payments, while another person writes the checks and pays the bills.And, if you can't afford this kind of duplicity, make sure that you, as the owner or president of the business, sign each and every check, matching the check up to the invoice to ensure accuracy.Lastly, never sign checks in a hurry; there's too great a potential for making mistakes.
A&A

3,500 Trades on Schedule D!

How many CPAs have ever seen a tax return with 3,500 trades on Schedule D? In this escalating time of the "day-traders," more and more accounting professionals may one day be faced with a similar situation.David Goehl is a 31-year-old, self-employed lawyer, who traded 3,500 times in 1999 for a net profit of $85,000, which averages to trades worth about $1,000 per day after taxes, commissions, rent on the apartment where he performs the trades and even a portion of his cable service.Schedule D is often difficult for any tax preparer given a small number of trades, let alone 3,500.
A&A

Good Advice for Home-Equity Loans

Clients often ask their accounting professionals to dispense advice on home-equity loans, the somewhat "panacea" to get out of credit card debt, college loans and other drains.Based on financial situations, the home equity loan is not all its cracked up to be. All too often, if a person borrows against the equity in their home to pay off credit card debit or college loans, then he or she may not have even learned how to avoid debt in the first place.
A&A

Steve Jobs' Quandry: Airplane Tax Classification

The head of Apple Computers has a team of CPAs at KPMG working to resolve whether a bonus given to CEO Steve Jobs should be classified as a "recurring" or "non-recurring" event.The difference in the classification for reporting purposes is amazing. Experts say shareholders and financial analysts usually give more importance to recurring operations, which typically are the day-to-day activities.Because of this concept, Apple and KPMG chose to classify that gift of the Gulfstream V jet as a non-recurring expense.
A&A

Company Chief Resigns Due to Audit Findings

The head and two other executives with JDN Realty in Atlanta resigned their positions on Monday as a result of the findings of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and almost five years' of accounting faults.The REIT discovered that certain transactions were not properly recorded from 1994 to 1998. As a result of the resignations of J. Donald Nichols (CEO), Jeb Hughes and C.
A&A

Block Combines Real Estate Companies

H&R Block has taken the retail operations of the two real estate companies it owns and given them a new name, H&R Block Mortgage Corporation. The two companies were Option One Mortgage Corporation and Assurance Mortgage Corporation.The new company, based in Burlington, MA, marks another move by the tax preparing giant to capture more of the financial services marketplace. Recently, Block opened its newest venture, a complete financial services center, in major cities.H&R Block Mortgage is licensed to operated in 48 states.
A&A

Auto Write-Offs: Bigger is Better

Tax season is the time of year when clients invariably try to take as many deductions as possible--within the extent of the law. One area commonly overlooked, especially for self-employed individuals, is the allowable deductions for a car.Brushing up on the rules will benefit your client (and perhaps you, too!).Naturally, if a car is used primarily for business, the IRS allows taxpayers to deduct a maximum $3,060 each year. But now that cars cost more, and more of us yearn for a luxury car--even a gigantic SUV--how does the car depreciate over time?Slowly, for sure.
A&A

Tips for Selling to Women Business Owners

Gerry Myers, President of the Myers Group, a consulting firm specializing in women owned businesses, led a discussion in this week's AccountingWEB Workshop on tips for selling to women owned businesses.Some interesting ideas and trends that she provided about selling to women should be reviewed carefully:90% of all women will be responsible for managing their own finances at some point in their lives.Given their traditional investing and savings patterns, women retiring in the next 20 years
A&A

FEI Finds Audit Should Focus on Business Risks

A new survey by the Financial Executives Institute (FEI) calls for audit committees of company boards to focus on key business risks by challenging management's assumptions even more than they do today, and ensuring the tough questions are asked -- and answered.On a scale of 1-5, with five being "very effective", survey respondents reported the effectiveness of audit committees at a somewhat unfavorable 2.1 rating.
A&A

The Seven Risk Factors In Successful Mergers

William Case is the founder of Integrated ChangeWare Systems, a company that specializes in merger integration, multiple organization roll-ups, and strategic change. In a workshop presented for AccountingWEB, Mr.
A&A

Tax-Saving Tactics for IRAs

Many CPAs and accounting professionals provide advice to clients on the virtues of investing in long-term IRAs. But how do you explain the tax ramifications for heirs to an estate in plain-speak?Some measures can be implemented to prevent Federal estate tax, and Federal and state income taxes from taking up to 75 percent of investments.
A&A

AICPA Teams Up With Fidelity Investments

The American Institute of CPAs has announced an exclusive arrangement with financial giant Fidelity Investments Brokerage Group to provide services and support to AICPA members who are building investment advisory practices.Fidelity will be the exclusive provider of custody and clearing services for the AICPA's Center for Investment Advisory Services.Fidelity will provide brokerage services, training, business development assistance, back-office support and ongoing CPA market developme
A&A

M&A Activity to Increase in 2000

Merger & acquisition (M&A) activity hit record levels in 1999. According to a forecast by the Transaction Services group of PricewaterhousCoopers, M&A activity could increase even more dramatically in 2000.Several factors will drive the growth. First, there’s a lot of money out in the market that will make M&As easy. There is an unprecedented supply of capital right now. Second, in business circles, a lack of growth will be punished – growth will become the new indicator of success for companies.
A&A

Who Wouldn't Want to Retire Early?

In the wake of new Social Security Administration figures that tell us there will be an increasingly smaller percentage each year for government checks once we reach retirement, everyone still has early retirement on the brain.A poll conducted by the International Longevity Center and Harris reported that 25 percent of workers, ages 25 to 29 expect to retire before 55; however, history has shown that once this group reaches their 40s, reality hits, and less than 10 percent think 55 still is realistic.So how do you retire early?
A&A

Microsoft CFO Resigns to Join Start-Up

Popular Microsoft CFO, John Maffei, has resigned his postion to join a Vancouver, B.C. start-up called Worldwide Fiber, Inc., a company that manages fiber optic networks for its clients.Maffei will be replaced by John Connors, who has been with Microsoft for 11 years.Maffei leaves behind a legacy, known best to the media and shareholders, as a very conservative view of Microsoft revenues.

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