Government

Technology

Traditional Bookkeeping Best for Online Companies

In mid-February, AccountingWeb brought its readers a story about potential changes to accounting rules regarding "pooling of interests."Late last week, members of the bipartisan lobbying firm, TechNet, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that the issue of pooling, or changing traditional accounting rules related to mergers & acquisitions, should be kept as it is rather than changing the reporting procedures.The group argued

Adjustments Made to Pentagon Books

How's this for creative accounting? According to the Pentagon inspector general, money managers in charge of the Pentagon's books made almost $7 trillion in adjustments last year so figures would balance.And the news gets worse ...

SEC Begs for Dollars

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking for cash. As the organization maintains its uphill fight against burgeoning fraud over the Internet, it does so with 25 percent less staff. In the past two years, attorneys, accountants and examiners have left the agency for greener pastures in private practice.

Andersen Partner Named to FASB

On July 1, G. Michael Crooch will begin serving his five-year term on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). He replaces James J.

Informix Receives SEC Sanctions; EY Involved

The Securities and Exchange Commission has hit Informix, a database software firm in Menlo Park, CA, with administrative sanctions related to fraud and the performance of previous company executives.Between 1994 and 1997, the SEC discovered that Informix had falsly reported increased revenues of $295 million and earnings of $244 million during the three-year period.Also involved in the case is Ernst & Young, who was the auditor at the time.
Community News

SEC Calls for Accounting Industry Self-Regulation

Sometimes, the most important aspect of the accounting profession is its image, and SEC chair Arthur Levitt strongly believes the image is tarnished and needs to be polished.In the wake of the SEC's allegations that PricewaterhouseCoopers committed independence violations, Levitt believes the accounting profession's independence rules prohibiting auditors from owning stock in their client-companies needs to be reviewed.

SEC Files Suit Against Fraud Perpetrator

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit in a Chicago Federal court against a man who calls himself "Tokyo Joe." The SEC claims the New York resident illegally advised investors to buy stocks that he, himself, was selling at the same time.His real name is Yun Soo Oh Park, and he charged members of an investment club $200 for stock tips and advice.

Security Hinders NY Online Tax Program

As a service to taxpayers and accountants, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has provided the ability to visit the agency's Web site and obtain the state's list of estimated tax payments to enable individuals to compare their own payments to the state's.However, the system is not without fault, and the main problems seem to fall into the security arena.Up to now, access has been given based on social security numbers and the taxpayer's name.
Technology

SEC Pursues Reporting Glitches in Silicon Valley

Companies who specialize in providing Internet services and applications are one in a million, but one mark that distinguishes them from many companies is a potential lack of reporting practices.On the West coast, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is investigating auditors and those who work in financial services for any reporting mishaps because the agency believes these specialists are the primary ones to blame.For example, the SEC reports that they believe auditors and others have purposely misapplied GAAP, and instead,

Corporate Giant Under Investigation

Tyco International Ltd. announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company’s books. Securities lawyers say actions such as this underscores how serious regulators are about cleaning up companies' accounting practices.Management of earnings and revenues with specific reference to the acquisition arena is under scrutiny by the SEC. Tyco, with more than 100 acquisitions under its belt in the past seven years, has drawn the SEC’s attention.

SEC Will be Watchdog for Internet Trading

In an announcement to the AICPA, SEC Enforcement Director Richard Walker said the Commission has received $7 million in funds from the President's 2000 appropriations bill.The SEC will use the funds to monitor online trading to ensure companies involved in transactions are reporting figure properly and there is no inappropriate activity. Simply, they are finding that there will be no stock manipulations.In the past year, the SEC has surveyed traders to find 83 people and firms committing fraud.

San Francisco City Attorney Demands Audit

All is not well in the city by the Bay. According to sources, San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne has called for an audit of 30 companies that were awarded more than $72 million in construction contracts for expansion of the city's airport.This audit is an effort by the attorney to determine if these companies illegaly received profits from a minority "set-aside" program.
Technology

SEC Asks for Help to Regulate Excessive Internet Revenues

The financial repercussions of the yet-to-be-defined world of the Internet has caused the Securities and Exchange Commission to seek the help of organizations like the Financial Accounting Standards Board who issue accounting rules.The SEC wants these bodies to tighten the way they require Internet companies to book revenue in an effort to decrease the amount of fraud in Internet companies reporting high or excessive figures.The SEC also reported it has found Internet companies booking revenue for
A&A

Helping Clients Make Money With Uncle Sam

Last year the federal government spent $260 billion on outsourced services. Accounting and consulting firms have plenty of opportunities to get a piece of the pie.

Costly Accounting Error Impacts San Francisco Commuters

Things are not well in the Golden Gate city, and commuters will bear the brunt. A reported accounting error of $14.4 million by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) could enable riders to take aging buses for three years and delay projects in and around the Bay Area.The Commission's mistake in alloting sales tax revenues to the San Francisco Municipal Railway and AC Transit has caused expenditures of $7.2 million more than originally planned.

Budget Surplus of $115 Billion Larger Than Expected

The 1999 fiscal-year budget surplus weighed in at $115 billion, much larger than the $99 billion surplus analysts predicted over the summer. The announcement was made by President Clinton on Monday.Clinton asked Republicans to band together with him to determine how best to use the surplus.

Securitization Helps Small Business Owners Obtain Better Loans

Small business owners can thank the recent trend toward securitization for the favorable business loan rates they are receiving.Or, maybe the small business owners should thank the secondary market. Here's why. During the past year, banks have begun grouping and selling small conventional loans to investors as securities. The growing secondary market, in turn, is giving these lenders the opportunity to offer bigger loans with longer terms and better rates to small businesses.
Technology

To Tax Or Not To Tax

A Note From Tina Kersen, AccountingWEB ContributorThe other day I hopped online to order some Ray Ban sunglasses. I was pleasantly surprised when I signed onto Shades.com to find the exact pair of shades I admired in the mall for exactly half the price. Prior to ordering at the virtual "check out," I figured my total savings· $60.00 ($120 retail vs.

Federal Reserve See Hints of Inflation

Although talk of inflation was in the air as Alan Greenspan and Federal Reserve Governor Laurence Meyer spoke at separate functions on Wednesday, both declined to comment on the future outlook of interest rates.Greenspan, who gave a presentation at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., avoided the topic of interest rates and focused instead on the importance of education and technology in keeping the global economy strong.

Latest News in Washington: Congress Ponders Tax Changes

Before the year is out, taxpayers can rest assured that changes to the tax scenario once again will occur ..

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