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Human Resources

Court rules 401(k) participants may sue plan administrators

In a unanimous decision the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in February that individual participants of defined contribution pension plans such as 401(k) plans are protected under section 502(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and may sue for losses resulting from a breach of fiduciary duties.
Community News

RSM McGladrey wins award for work-life solution

RSM McGladrey, a leading accounting, tax and business consulting firm, received The Conference Board's Moving Into the Future Award for their innovative Coach-on-Call WorkLife solution.

Flextime arrangements gain popularity among employers, employees

As commutes grow and cubicles shrink, workers in the United States are eagerly exploring the potential of flexible work arrangements. Likewise, more and more employers are considering policies that allow employees to work whenever and wherever they can be most productive. A survey commissioned last year by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista mobility team to study attitudes toward this trend found that 77 percent of American office workers interviewed would like the opportunity to shift their work hours or to work remotely.
Practice Management

New rules proposed for auto enrollment 401(k) plans

While the Internal Revenue Service has decided to keep the limit of total employee contributions to 401(k) plans at $15,500 for traditional plans and $10,500 for SIMPLE plans for 2008, the agency has proposed rules changes to the optional safe harbor 401(k) plans that provide for automatic enrollment, CCH reports.
Community News

Not just horsing around: CPA finds fulfillment with two careers

By Amy L. Welch, Director of Communications, Oklahoma Society of Certified Public AccountantsHer license plate frame reads, "I'd Rather Be Trail Riding," and though passer-bys may believe it's wishful thinking, for Ann Cole, CPA, it's an after-work routine."I can't live without them," she said of her horses. "It's stress relief."For Cole, it's also a job.
Education & Careers

PwC report outlines expectations of new, younger workforce

A new global report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, "Managing Tomorrow's People: The Future of Work to 2020," illustrates how organizations need to adapt to the demands of a rapidly changing world and provides scenarios of future business models to help companies anticipate change and address how they will attract, retain, and motivate the people they will need in the future. PwC surveyed 2,793 graduates from China, the U.K. and U.S.

New tips for leveraging an aging workforce

One of the most anticipated workplace trends of the 21st Century is the huge retirement wave that will hit most industrialized countries, including the United States, in the next few years.

Effort to stop workplace bias against gays, lesbians spurs mixed reactions

As a lesbian with more than a decade of experience in biotechnology, Deb Connor has seen attitudes about gays in the workplace evolve, and she credits anti-discrimination laws for helping break down barriers."It's difficult to legislate peoples' attitudes," Connor said, as quoted in the New Hampshire Business Review.

Risky business: Facing adversity and riding the storm

Noah's Ark is the oldest example of a contingency plan, described in the Hebrew Scriptures as a great boat designed to save Noah, his family, and a fair few animals from the great flood. It's nothing new, therefore, to plan for the unexpected whether that is natural or man-made disasters. And there are plenty of examples to glean lessons from, including the recent fires of southern California, Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. terror attacks of 9/11, to name only a few.

Survey: Two-thirds who call in sick aren't really ill

A new survey suggests that U.S.

Mentor: What is it and who needs it?

The concept of mentoring generates enthusiastic discussion in the business world. Successful people readily acknowledge the impact of both informal and formal mentors on their personal and professional lives. Yet it is often difficult to define exactly what a mentor is. One definition describes a mentor as "someone who is considered to be a trusted and knowledgeable counselor, someone with the experience to guide another individual's development." This definition helps clarify what a mentor is, but other questions come to mind. What should I look for in a mentor?

Wellness programs: Well-intentioned, but too intrusive for some

Wellness programs have been popular with companies looking to lower their health care costs for years, but some observers are starting to question just how far these programs should go.As health care costs continue spiraling every year, some companies are taking a more assertive role in their quest for employee wellness.

Global accountant shortage worries employers

Employers around the world continue to feel the effects of a shortage of accounting and finance professionals, according to the recently released Robert Half International Global Financial Employment Monitor. More than half of the finance and human resources managers surveyed - 56 percent - reported difficulty finding skilled job candidates, and 43 percent expressed concern about losing top performers to other job opportunities.

Strange interview experiences: "I've got an unemployment allergy"

Conducting job interviews can be time consuming, but for many employers these meetings are far from boring. Executives were recently asked to describe the strangest pitches they've heard from potential hires. The responses ranged from a person who noted that he'd be a great addition to the company softball team to the candidate who sang her responses to interview questions. The national poll included responses from 150 senior executives - including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments - with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

IRS delays implementation of transportation debit/smart cards

The IRS has issued Notice 2007-76, the purpose of which is to delay the effective date of Revenue Ruling 2006-57. Revenue Ruling 2006-57 provides guidance to employers on the use of smartcards, debit or credit cards, or other electronic media which can be used by employees to pay for qualified transportation fringe benefits under Internal Revenue Code Sections 132(a)(5) and 132(f).
Practice Management

Ten things to think about before offering a payroll service to clients

Online payroll processing technologies are rapidly changing the economics of payroll services and are providing profitable solutions designed for accountants whose small business clients want help managing the process. "Offering payroll services leads to a higher retention level. The client has the need and can go somewhere else," says Phil Christensen CPA, sole proprietor and owner of Christensen Consulting LLC in Olympia, Washington.
Community News

Accounting firms populate <i>Working Mother</i> top 100 list

Working Mother magazine has released its annual list of the top 100 firms for working mothers, and this year, three of the Big Four firms appear in the top 10.Among the top 10 firms are Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Long Term Care insurance gains momentum

Long term care insurance, once a bit player in the health insurance field, is now entering center stage thanks to influential backers: states like California, Connecticut, Indiana, and New York. These four are the original long term care "partnership" states, now joined by many others. "States with partnership programs are spending millions promoting LTC insurance through the media and direct mail," says Cameron Truesdell, CEO of LTC Financial Partners.

Increasing numbers of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck

Sixty-seven percent of American employees are living paycheck to paycheck, according to results released this week from the 2007 "Getting Paid In America" survey.The online survey by the American Payroll Association asked respondents how difficult it would be to meet their current financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed for a week. An overwhelming 31,640 of more than 47,000 respondents said they'd find it difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed.

Social Security reform takes one step forward

The Treasury is studying reform methods to make the Social Security system sound.


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