CFO

A&A

Web-based Payroll and Accounting is a Match Made in Heaven

The accounting professional can play a key role to the business marketplace by evaluating and recommending any one of a number of companies emerging as headliners in the online payroll processing medium, and passing along those recommendations to their clients or employers.Outsourcing payroll to the CPA is not new, but going online to process payroll is.
A&A

Staying Connected With Your Clients’ Information Needs is key

Business leaders in the next century will be faced with information overload. Although we may already feel overloaded in our role as harbingers of information, CPAs and accounting professionals will undoubtedly be positioned in the forefront of this information onslaught.Consider this: there has been more information produced in the last 30 years than during the previous 5,000 years. That’s a lot of information. There are steps we can take to rise above this projected information overload. The first step is to differentiate the relevant from the non-relevant information.
A&A

Institute of Management Accountants Issues Warning to Merrill Lynch and Others on CFM Designation

The 75,000-member Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) has issued a stern warning to Merrill Lynch, the College for Financial Planning and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, for misusing the "CFM" designation and the words, "Certified in Financial Management."The IMA claims it has had jurisdiction over the designation since April 1994, and has used it in conjunction with the association's professional education and certification programs, offering it as a "license" to those who pass a rigorous exam process.Violations in
A&A

Dueling Internet 401(k) Providers

It’s funny how things work. One company believes they are the “first” to roll out a new Internet idea and, well, then so does another. The latest Internet offering is 401(k) plans via the Internet. Could this be competition for your firm’s pension plan administration niche?Two companies have rolled out their versions of 401(k) internet sites. I’m not sure which came “first.” However, Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans says they did.
Community News

Arthur Andersen Opens Austin Office

Another sign of the booming Austin, TX economy is evident by the opening of the Arthur Andersen office in the state's capitol. It has been almost 10 years since the Big 5 firm had an office in Austin.The office will focus primarily on providing services emerging technology companies, defined as businesses reaching revenues of $100 million.
A&A

CPAs Should Brush up on the "De Minimis" Rule

The de minimis rule doesn't come into play very often. Since it only rears its head when bond prices have fallen significantly, most CPAs probably haven't even thought of it since 1994. But after looking at this year's bond market, it may be time to familiarize ourselves with the rule for the upcoming tax season.According to Merrill Lynch, municipal bond prices have decreased more than eight percent this year. With some investors buying bonds at prices that are less than par, it's time to look at what is and what isn't tax exempt.
A&A

Use Portfolio Forecaster to Analyze Your Investments

How does your portfolio compare to the average investor's?
Practice

It Pays to Shop Around Before Making That Wire Transfer

Before you make your next domestic or international wire transfer, industry analysts recommend that you shop the rates and delivery schedules offered by banks and private systems. The difference in price and service could really affect your bottom line.While most private systems like Western Union offer same-day service and most banks require one or two business days to complete a domestic transfer, the price variance between the two is significant.
A&A

Regulators to Increase Supervision of U.S. Big Banks

In his speech to the American Bankers Association's annual convention in Phoenix on Monday, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that few regulatory changes are needed for the majority of banks in the U.S. However, regulators are looking into increasing the level of supervision of the country's largest banks because of the negative impact they could bring upon the U.S.
A&A

Dow 41,000?

Are you ready to run with the bulls into the next decade? According to author and prognosticator Harry S. Dent, you should be. In his latest book, "The Roaring 2000s Investor: Strategies for the Life You Want," Dent predicts the current stock-market boom will continue into the first decade of the new millennium and could take the Dow as high as 35,000 to 41,000 at the top of the boom. After the boom, Dent sees a long period of recession or depression beginning around 2009.
A&A

Plan Carefully to Avoid Tax Burden from Online Trading

Remember the story about the cobbler whose children had no shoes? In the accounting arena, don't be surprised at tax time-especially if you provide tax advice yourself-by a tax burden based on any gains you experienced from online trading.Since online trading is such a hot "commodity," many taxpayers will no doubt have problems come tax time. Remember the differences between stocks held for less than a year versus more than 12 months.
Practice Management

Small Business Looks to MBAs for Ideas

Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, right? How about today-here and now!More and more small businesses are tapping the resources available to them through local graduate school programs, especially the red-hot MBA marketplace. Recruiting an MBA provides a fresh perspective to your business and, at the same time, helps the student receive invaluable experience.Businesses who must watch the bottom line are finding they can accomplish the same end result by relying on the graduate student to provide consulting services relative to his or her discipline.
Practice Management

CPAs Can Brush Up on Tax Strategies for Small Business Owners

In today's accounting marketplace, more and more CPAs and other professionals are getting further and further away from taxation and advise strategies for the small business owner.Some end-of-year tax planning will indeed help any situation, be it that of the CPA or a client. For example, by gathering together last year's tax statement, along with a projection of 1999, you can adequately take a look at where you may or may not be headed regarding the 1999 tax bill.Some strategies for small business boil down to the calendar itself, such as sending out invoices after Jan.
A&A

MSAs – Gold Mine Or Shaft?

Republicans and Democrats are dueling over the experimental tax-free Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) this week. Republican leaders will propose legislation that would make MSAs available to all Americans.MSAs were designed to help people set aside money to pay for routine medical bills and the premium for a high-deductible insurance policy. MSAs have insured those who would otherwise not be able to afford health insurance.
Practice Management

Donations Good for Business and Goodwill

CPAs and accounting professionals try to teach their clients and employers each year the value of charitable donations and the tax breaks associated with regular giving programs. But what about applying some of this philosophy to their own businesses-as well as some of the intangible benefits, like reputation management?Each year, millions of businesses donate to charities and find themselves in a better position, not only from a tax standpoint, but in self-promotions as well.
A&A

Help Available on Sec 529 Qualified State Tuition Programs

State sponsored college savings programs are becoming hot, and every large financial institution is trying to figure out how to get a piece of the action.These plans represent a revolutionary new way parents (and grandparents) invest for college tuition. These pre-paid tuition plans are state sponsored investment plans and are given special tax status by the IRS.A new website is available to help you advise your clients through the array of programs available today through Section 529 plans.
A&A

Technology Used by CPAs Affects Online Brokerage Industry

Data mining is one of the new buzzwords in the accounting and technology industry, perpetuated by the ability to drill down into spreadsheets and general ledgers to extract information. In fact, it was named one of the AICPA's Top Ten Technologies in 1998.The banking industry has used data mining as a means to track information on customers from data submitted by the customers themselves. Data is compiled in a computerized data warehouse for use in other areas.
A&A

Insurance is a Back Burner Issue for Home Businesses

Home businesses are here to stay, and the accounting profession is one of a number of service industries capitalizing on operating a business at home.CPAs and accounting professionals who operate from their homes, as well as those in a position to advise their clients on financial matters, should have enough insurance coverage to survive a natural or man-made disaster.Standard homeowners policies may not be adequate because they do not include provisions for business liabilities or business interruptions.
A&A

New SBA Guide Takes an Inside Look at the Lending Process

Most small business owners have learned from experience that obtaining business loans is no simple task. Small business banking veteran Charles Green has worked to separate the mystique from the lending process in his recently published Small Business Association (SBA) Loan Book.
A&A

Worth Magazine Profiles Wizards of Wall Street

Over the past few years, many of us throughout the accounting profession have begun delivering services very similar to those who work in the financial planning arena on a full-time basis. Learning from the experts helps the CPA and accounting professional develop best practices to demonstrate value and competency to this growing client base.Worth magazine has taken the cream of the crop and profiled them in a new article featuring the 25 most knowledgeable people on Wall Street.

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