Human Resources

Community News

Honoring the Patron Saint of Accountants on All Saints' Day

At this time of year, the focus of the world seems to be on ghosts, ghouls, vampires and candy. Halloween has become a multi-million dollar business. However, most people forget that November 1st is actually All Saint’s Day, when all saints are revered for their part in helping those on earth. Did you realize that there was a patron saint for accountants? The patron saint of accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, security guards and tax collectors is Saint Matthew of Apostle fame, and he also was the author of one of the Gospels.
Tax

International Economic Center, the OECD, Takes Aim at U.S. Tax Policy

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), signalled a growing interest in international tax with the publication of a draft of guidelines on tests that investment managers in the UK need to meet before profits from offshore hedge funds can remain outside of the UK’s taxing authority, hedgeweek.com reports.
Tax

Social Security: A Perennial Election Issue

With just two weeks until the Nov. 7 congressional elections, President Bush called Social Security reform one of the “big items” he wants to tackle next year, sparking debate among politicians on both sides.Bush said that he believes “that a worker, at his or her option, ought to be allowed to put some of their own money . . . in a private savings account, an account that they call their own,” according to the Washington Post.Democrats jumped on the comment as a chance to remind voters that his reform ideas never made it to the legislative stage because they were so unpopular.
Technology

Corporate Focus Now Meets FAS 123R Option Expensing Regulations

Two Step Software, Inc. introduced its new version of Corporate Focus at the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals’ Conference October 10-13 in Las Vegas. The new software includes option expensing to meet FAS 123R valuation regulations, Two Step said. FAS 123R rules require financial institutions to recognize in their income statement the grant-date fair value of stock options and other equity-based compensation issued to employees.The new Corporate Focus release will now be able to calculate that valuation according to FAS 123R guidelines.

Top Haunted Tours: Ghosts, Vampires and Witches, Oh My!

Haunted houses are popping up all over at this time of year. Some, however, exist all year and are said to be “really” haunted.

The Minimum Wage & Social Security

Congress is again being called on to raise the minimum wage. In fact, some 664 economists, including Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow, Clive Granger and Robert Solow, have signed a petition prepared by the Economic Policy Institute to show their conviction. Business Week reports their plan is to raise the current minimum wage of $5.15, over several years, to $7.25 an hour. The wage should also be indexed for inflation. The last time the minimum wage was raised was in 1997, but inflation has eroded any benefits or purchasing power of that wage by some 20 percent, according to Business Week.
Practice Management

Cohabitating Couples, Straight or Gay, Need to Know Rights

Now that the U.S. Census Bureau has found that married households are no longer the nation’s preferred living arrangement, the definition of “family-friendly” policies may change for a growing number of companies.For the first time, married couples make up a minority of the nation’s households, at 49.8 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey. Marriage did not play a part in 50.2 percent of roughly 111 million American family households.Single women headed 14 million households and single men headed 5 million.
Tax

Dow Breaks 12,000 as Former NYSE Chairman has a Down Day

The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 12,000, with a gain of 19 points last week. It was only a 0.2 percent gain, with help from Google’s big profit report and AT&T and Coca-Cola. The Dow lost 9.36 in Friday’s market to close at 12,002.37, according to CNBC. Former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso is also experiencing a decline. Reuters reports that New York Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos wrote a 72-page decision concerning certain payments and interest Grasso received while at the NYSE. Reuters reports that Grasso must return some $100 million paid to him.
Community News

Six “Women to Watch” in the CPA Profession

The Work/Life and Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee of the American Institutes of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Illinois CPA society and the New Mexico Society of CPAs, are honoring the accomplishments of six women in the CPA profession with “Women to Watch” Awards.
Technology

Canadian Accountants Return to Television

“As the first accounting association to get our message out on TV with a series of profile-raising ads that ran from 1994 to 1999, we definitely recognize the power of television,” Delmarie Scherloski, director of public affairs for the Certified General Accountants (CGA) of Ontario, explained in announcing the airing of three new television ads. “For the last few years we used ‘close captioning’, but the time has come to again expand on CGA Ontario’s message.
Practice Management

Diversity and Turnover: An Unexpectedly Weak Link

Employees are more likely to quit if few of their co-workers share the same race. That’s the popular thinking among diversity consultants.
Tax

Zuckerman Named Head of Employee Plans Rulings & Agreements

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has named Andres E. Zuckerman as the new Director of Rulings and Agreements in the Employee Plans division. Zuckerman will be responsible for developing and managing the IRS’s up-front compliance programs for Employee Plans, including the EP voluntary compliance programs, the determination letter program and the development of guidance and rulings.“We welcome Andy back to TE/GE,” Steven T. Miller, Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Commissioner, said in a statement announcing the appointment.

The Other Side of the CEO Compensation Story

In direct contrast to high CEO salaries and other benefits, is Warren Buffett, the investment legend. Buffett is a rare example of high efficiency and modest salary as a CEO, doing the job on a well documented $100,000 a year salary. Buffett makes his money as an investor, as do the stockholders in his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), which has delivered an annual 22 percent return since he took control some forty years ago. The stock is worth over $99,800 a share as of this date.

U.S. CEO Compensation: Abuse or Reward?

Executive compensation is a hot topic, especially for anyone whose paycheck hasn't risen by 14,000 percent in a single year. Sehat Sutardja, CEO of the Marvell Technology Group Limited, saw the largest increase in compensation in 2005, according to Reuters. Several studies have recently attempted to explain the mechanics and effects of executive compensation to non-executives.Rather than exploring why executive compensation is so high, these studies examine CEO compensation in terms of final effects.
Practice Management

Taking the Pain Out of Employee Performance Reviews

Pay and performance reviews are the most common causes of conflict between employees and their supervisors or managers. Globally, 32 percent of workers report pay reviews as the source of workplace conflict, while 19 percent cite performance reviews or not being considered for a promotion as the main cause of conflict, according to the latest Financial Directions Survey from Robert Half International. “Issues over pay and career progression are clearly a cause of stress for finance professionals.
Tax

SOX Compliance Can Transform Payroll Management

Time tracking in today’s service businesses is central to understanding costs, to the billing process and tracking salary information or paid leave, all issues with important Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) implications, according to Curt Finch , writing for ecommercetimes.com. The Human Resource payroll professionals need to understand how their functions can lead to risk or greater profitability for the company as a whole.
Education & Careers

Contentment Doesn’t Breed Confidence Among Accounting & Finance Professionals

The good news is that nearly three-quarters of accounting and finance professionals were still happy at work in September, according to the latest Hudson Employment Index for Accounting and Finance Workers. The bad news is their contentment didn’t translate into confidence, as the overall confidence level dropped 6.3 points, to 106.2 during the same period.These mixed signals, as accounting and finance professionals enter the fourth quarter, traditionally a strong period for industry workers as firms increase
A&A

Accounting Rules Allow “Spring-loading,” “Bullet-dodging” Option Grants

The government will not have any accounting basis for enforcement actions against companies for “spring-loading” or “bullet-dodging” stock option grants, according to Scott Taub, deputy chief accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ). Taub spoke at a Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) advisory council meeting in New York on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
A&A

Examining the Financial Health of America's Pastime

Despite the cloud of suspected steroid use that continues to hover over baseball, the sport seems to be financially healthy — at all levels.Representatives of Little League Baseball and Softball in Williamsport, Penn., the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Indianapolis and Major League Baseball in New York City, all report recent growth in revenue or profit.Advertisement
Education & Careers

Study Finds Young Workers Displaced by New Immigrants

That the arrival of new immigrants in a state results in a decline in employment among young native-born workers in that state is just one of the stark images revealed by the authors of The Impact of New Immigrants on Young Native-Born Workers, 2000-2005.

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