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Andersen Fined $7 Million by SEC

The SEC filed civil charges in federal court Tuesday against Andersen, alleging the firm "knowingly or recklessly issued false and misleading" audit reports for its client, Waste Management, Inc., for the years 1993 through 1996.In a swift response to the charges, Andersen settled with the SEC and consented to be censured by the agency and to pay a fine of $7 million, the largest ever paid by a Big Five accounting firm in an SEC enforcement action.Three Andersen partners also agreed to pay a total of $
Community News

PricewaterhouseCoopers To Close Office

The world's largest accounting firm is pulling in its reins a bit. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced that it will it will close its Spokane, Washington office as of the end of June. The Spokane office is made up of 30 employees, 30-35 corporate clients, and many individual accounts. The clients who choose to remain with PwC will be serviced out of the firm's Portland, Oregon or San Francisco, California offices.The Spokane practice was profitable, according to R. Gregory Hougham, PwC managing partner at the Spokane office. "It wasn't a bottom line thing.
Tax

Employers - New Withholding Tables Available For 2001

Under the recently enacted Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, personal income tax rates will be reduced effective July 1. The IRS has issued Publication 15-T, New Withholding Tables for 2001 (for wages paid after June 30, 2001), and reminds employers that they are to begin using the new tables for withholding on wages paid after June 30, 2001. The new withholding tables are a supplement to Publications 15, 15-A, and 51, and should be used instead of the tables in those publications.
Community News

Accenture Announces Plans for IPO

Accenture, the firm that will never again be known as Andersen Consulting, has filed plans with the SEC to float an Initial Public Offering. Plans call for a float of 115 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange representing approximately 12 percent of the firm's equity. The shares are to be valued in the range of $13 to $15 each, resulting in a total of approximately $2 billion that the company will raise.
Community News

Accenture to Cut 1,400 Jobs

Consultant firm Accenture is to cut 1,400 jobs at offices around the world. The move comes after KPMG Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young announced recent cuts.Accenture, the former Andersen Consulting, will cut 600 jobs. A further 800 employees - mainly in the U.S. - will be asked to take voluntary sabbaticals for up to a year, and draw on a fifth of their salaries and benefits.Partners at Accenture voted overwhelmingly in favor of a float of the business last April.
Community News

Prepare Your Staff to Train Remotely

The Web-based system, developed and hosted by GeoLearning, makes it possible for companies to manage the training of employees in computer skills and professional development topics, as well as meet regulatory compliance and certification requirements. GeoLearning helps organizations compete and succeed at Internet speed by delivering training and educational content via the latest technologies.
Community News

Top Ten Beliefs for Leaders to Live By

It may seem that today's managers and leaders need a top-10 list that clearly lays out the priorities for success. Whether you are running a small department or a large firm, the leadership principles that guide your decisions are much the same. Below are ten principles to help guide you and your firm to success. Give Direction. Look into the future. Believe in the future of the firm. A leader's most important job is to lay out a road map to the future. If you can't provide that direction, you're a manager -- not a leader.
Community News

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Client to Say 'Yes'

With the way consumers' goods are advertised and sold, one might get the idea that success requires some kind of "overpowering" of the buyers' mind and thinking process. Yet the successful way is exactly opposite. Marketing and sales are essentially EDUCATIONAL activities. You offer a good service - and once the prospect LEARNS (realizes) and understands those unique benefits, you usually get a new client. The starting point in both is that the potential client doesn't KNOW enough about you or Accounting / Finance to be able to make a POSITIVE decision.
Community News

Eide Bailly & Buckhoff O'Halloran Form Fraudwise LLC

HLB International reported that Eide Bailly, LLP and Buckhoff, O'Halloran & Associates, LLP have created a strategic partnership and formed a new company, Fraudwise, LLC, which offers fraud-related consulting services.
Community News

Training - Start With a Curriculum

Training is becoming a high priority in firms of all sizes and technology is no longer an option for accounting professionals. Therefore, leadership in all firms should assess their current situation and develop a training strategy for the future. In a previous article, I outlined the cost justification for a training program. In this article, I intend to demonstrate the significance of training requirements in a firm and how to get started with a basic curriculum.
Community News

Clifton Gunderson Announces Merger

Clifton Gunderson, the 11th largest U.S. accounting firm, has announced its merger with the Colorado-based firm of Van Schooneveld & Co.Van Schooneveld & Co. brings 36 professionals to the merger and plans to continue operations from its present location in Greenwood Village, a suburb of Denver.Clifton Gunderson chief executive Carl George commented on the merger: "One of our key firm-wide growth strategies is to further enhance our presence in key Clifton Gunderson markets, like the Denver area.
Community News

PwC, H-P Try Dating Instead of Marriage

Hewlett-Packard and PricewaterhouseCoopers have announced they will join forces to sell computers and services to the aviation industry. H-P already sells software and systems to Swissair and American Airlines, and is looking to compete head-on with IBM in this market. The deal comes seven months after the collapse of a takeover bid by H-P to buy the consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and many insiders believe that this alliance could be a test to see how the two firms may be able to work more closely in the future.
Community News

Andersen's Training Program Gets High Marks

Reprinted with permission from Training Magazine's 2001 Top 50 Report. For the complete report, see the March 2001 issue or visit www.trainingmag.comOn the surface, Arthur Andersen certainly boasts the numbers to qualify for the No. 3 spot on the Training Magazine Top 50. After all, an annual training budget of $504 million (second only to IBM's $1 billion) for its 77,000 global employees is a concrete valuation of the company’s commitment to training.
Community News

PwC May Want To Stick with Numbers, not Music

In the department of people with way too much time on their hands, the musicians at PricewaterhouseCoopers have created a firm theme song that, it is probably safe to say, will never reach the top of the Billboard chart."Go further, reach higher, go forth," is the background chant in the rap-style song that includes lyrics such as, Being number one is just sensational it helps our cause and international;We're fast and smart and super mobile, my friends it's true;We're downright global. We work with companies that want to grow, to find new markets and inc
Community News

Deloitte Determined to Advance Women

Big Five firm Deloitte & Touche has announced the launch of a new initiative called Vision 2005. The program provides a new set of goals for the company with the objective of doubling the rate at which women are admitted to partner or director positions by 2005.The current female partner/director admission rate at D&T is 18 percent. The company expects this rate to reach 35% by 2005. James E.
Community News

Multi-Disciplinary Practices - Reality… or Only a Dream?

By Bobby R. Creech, Jr., CPA, partner, Webster Rogers & Company, LLP. President, 2000, South Carolina Association of CPAsIs the union inevitable? Are we currently living together, just waiting on the judge's blessings? Who stands to benefit - Attorneys? CPAs? Clients? All of the above? While the U.S. legal and accounting arenas discuss and debate the possibility of Multi-Disciplinary Practices (MDPs), attorneys and accountants have already formed alliances and partnerships.
Community News

Accenture Partners Start to Scatter

Competitors of Accenture, the management consultancy firm formerly known as Andersen Consulting, are noticing a steady increase in the number of Accenture partners applying for jobs.Accenture is expected to file its prospectus for a float early this summer.
Community News

E&Y Goes Where No Big Five Firm Has Gone Before

Big Five firm Ernst & Young is ready to become the first Big Five accounting firm to open a law office in New York. This is the second such alliance for Ernst & Young, which has been operating an independent affiliate in Washington DC, McKee Nelson Ernst & Young LLP, for over a year.The firm, which will operate under the name McKee Nelson, is expected to open in the fall, and will feature a corporate and finance practice that will compete with other Wall Street firms.
Community News

CPA Firm Fined $23k for Software Piracy

A North Carolina accounting firm has agreed to pay a fine of $23,229 for piracy of Microsoft software.
Community News

Study Finds CPA Firms Need to Change Benefits

To address the current staffing crisis, what should CPA firms do to keep their people happy?The first place to look may be the benefits package, according to a survey released this week at the AICPA Staffing Forum in Broomfield, Colorado.

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