Economy

Consulting Firms Enter Price War

The days of $350 per hour consultancy fees are just another hazy memory among Chicago's consultancy professionals.A tight economy and corporate cutbacks on spending for IT consulting are resulting in a price war, the likes of which few have seen.

Cap Gemini Confirms 2,700 Global Layoffs

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young LLP has said that it will cut 2,700 jobs across its global operations due to an economic downturn and overlap issues arising from the merger between Cap Gemini and Ernst & Young's consultancy practice. Worldwide employment at Cap Gemini totals approximately 60,000.Jobs will be cut in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia, and across the firm's telecoms operations. In addition to the job cuts, another 700 employees are to be transferred as company divisions are overhauled.

Accounting Rules Enable Exaggeration of Profits

Wall Street analyst Merrill Lynch & Co.
Technology

When Economy Slows, IT Training Increases

The economy may be slowing down, but technology training is picking up, and there may be a direct correlation between the two.

KPMG Sends Marching Orders to Transportation Industry

A new transportation industry report released by KPMG revealed that 50 percent of shippers indicated they will have no hesitancy about changing transportation carriers if a desired level of e-commerce is not provided.The study, which polled 22 major transportation companies, 14 Fortune 500 shippers, and eight transportation analysts, found that many transportation carriers are not meeting the e-business requirements of their customers.In particular, shippers want transportation carriers to

Businesses Can Save Money in a Shaky Economy

A recent story in The Wall Street Journal listed several innovative methods companies are using to cut expenses in the current economic downturn. Perhaps some of these ideas will apply in your company. How is your company saving money? Have you made any cost-cutting suggestions to your clients?

KPMG Consulting Cutting Jobs

In response to economic factors that are causing companies to cut back on consulting services, KPMG Consulting has announced plans to cut five percent of its workforce, or approximately 450-550 people in the United States and Canada.This is the company's second round of firings this year. Approximately 350 employees were let go in February.The firm estimates the cost of the new layoffs will be between $15 and $20 million, and this cost will be reflected in its fiscal third quarter.
Technology

PwC Report Shows E-Business Really Does Make Difference

PricewaterhouseCoopers has released results of a study, which show the impact of the Internet on today's fastest growing companies. For the study, PwC interviewed CEOs of 441 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing US businesses over the past five years. Surveyed companies ranged in size from $1 million to $50 million in annual revenues.

2000 Census Reports Record Growth

In just ten years, the U.S. population has grown by a record 32.7 million people. In 2000, over 281.4 million people called the United States of America home. This record increase, second only to the "baby boom" of the 1950's, followed a familiar pattern, increased populations in the West and South, and slower growth rates in the Midwest and Northeast. The 2000 census showed a first for record growth in each and every state and close to 80 percent of counties increased in population during the last ten years.
Tax

House Approves Bush Tax Cut

In an unsurprising vote along party lines, the House of Representatives approved President Bush's budget, which incorporates a $1.6 trillion tax cut. The budget, if approved by the Senate, holds the government to a 4 percent increase in spending, and will become effective October 1, 2001.
A&A

Banks Tightening Lending Terms to Businesses

According to a Federal Reserve survey conducted in January, bank loan officers have continued to tighten their lending terms, particularly to riskier firms. Worried that business borrowers may have a hard time repaying loans with the economy growing so slowly was cited as the main reason for the stricter standards. Over half of the 54 U.S.

Fair Isaac Credit Reports Available to Consumers

Fair Isaac, the company that can either be your friend or your foe when you apply for a loan, has finally decided to make its secret credit analysis scores available to the general public. Previously, these top secret scores were only available to lenders.The scores are based on information that is available in standard credit reports. The point of the scoring system is to give lenders a picture of how likely a particular consumer is to repay a loan and to make the payments on time.There are five criteria used in determining the Fair Isaac (FICO) score.

Senate Votes to Toughen Bankruptcy Laws

Last week's Senate vote on personal bankruptcy promises to tighten the laws which permit consumers to erase debt. The Senate voted to 83 to 15 in favor of a bill that would require consumers facing bankruptcy to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code instead of the more popular Chapter 7.A debtor undergoing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must repay at least a portion of the debt over a three- to five-year period.
Community News

7th Ranked CBIZ Reports Fourth Quarter Losses

Century Business Services, Inc. has announced fourth quarter and full-year financial results for the period ending 12/31/00. Revenue for the year 2000 is $567.8 million, which is a 3.9% increase over the previous year. Operating income for the same period is $26.2 million, down 63.3% from the previous year.
Tax

A User Friendly Citizen's Guide to the Federal Budget

Next year, the Federal Government will spend over $1.8 trillion. Needless to say, that's a lot of money. And the Government spends it on lots of things--on programs as large as Social Security, and on activities as small and unknown as repairs to the Washington D.C. National Zoo. How much do you know about the budget? If your answer is "not much," you're not alone.

Laws to Protect You From Credit Card Fraud

If you are concerned about your personal liability for credit card fraud, take note. For the most part, you can be liable for up to $50 worth of fraudulent purchases, only if you don't report your card stolen or missing.The Federal Fair Credit Billing Act protects you when somebody misuses your credit card. If you report the misuse or report your card stolen within two business days of finding out about it, you're not liable for any unauthorized charges on your account.

What a Surprise! Boomers Will Drain Federal Budget

The General Accounting Office announced Tuesday that today's projected budget surpluses will be overwhelmed by the baby boom generation when it hits retirement. "Without a change in entitlement programs, demographics will overwhelm the surplus and drive us back into escalating deficits and debt," said David Walker, comptroller general.Mr.
A&A

Personal Checks Going Electronic?

Bankrate.com recently ran this article about the future of personal banking. The next time you write a personal check it could be deducted from your account as fast as an ATM withdrawal. Banks and retailers across the nation are ushering in the day when you write a check and it is debited instantly and electronically from your account. The future of checks as debits will be fed through a device that reads your account number at the bottom of the check.

Overseas Investors Get Guidance from PwC's Opacity Index

PricewaterhouseCoopers has released the initial results of research prepared by a team of economists under the auspices of the PwC Endowment for the Study of Transparency and Sustainability.
Education & Careers

Telecommuting and the New Workplace - DOL Overview

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a paper on the impact of telecommuting in the U.S. The paper, called "Telework and the New Workplace in the 21st Century," presents the work of scholars, economists, social scientists and others who were present at a symposium conducted by the DOL last October. The paper outlines three issues of telecommuting. They include telework's potential to help employers address the skills-shortage, its potential to help workers meet family obligations, and its potential to help society achieve greater workplace diversity.

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