Human Resources

Justice Department Will Not Charge Fannie; Freddie Still Faces Civil Penalties

Fannie Mae announced on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had concluded its investigation into the accounting scandal at the giant mortgage company, a decision that removed the threat of criminal charges against the company.
A&A

Introducing the First Contactless MasterCard for Small Business

When MasterCard WolrdWide and Advanta Corp. begin issuing the PayPass™-enabled Advanta MasterCard® Small Business card in September, it will be the first small business credit card to be equipped with PayPass contactless payment technology.

Outstanding Deals for Labor Day Travel

“Despite the recent airline security measures, many people are looking for a quick getaway over the Labor Day holiday,” Ralph Bartel, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Travelzoo, said in a prepared statement naming the top Labor Day travel deals. “Drive-oriented vacation deals, in particular, are becoming more and more popular for travelers seeking to stay away from airports.
Practice

Ford Weighs Massive Buyouts in Hopes of Turnaround

With pressure building to make drastic moves to improve its bottom line, Ford Motor Co.
Education & Careers

Going Once, Going Twice: A New Paradigm for Accounting Professionals

A new company is trying to change the way businesses find and hire accounting, auditing and information technology services.Advertisement

Fannie Mae Update: Years to Recovery

Fannie Mae announced earlier this month in its second quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it was on schedule to file restated results for the years 2001 through 2004 by the end of this year, but it acknowledged that two more accounting errors have been discovered, one of which will lead to an unspecified gain on a previously estimated $2.4 billion loss on mortgage commitments.
Practice

Mark Your Calendar: Tools of Employee Engagement Workshops

There are many key influencers of employee engagement, including motivation, trust, cooperation and loyalty. When staff are not engaged, quality customer care and financial performance, as well as other measure of performance and success, decline or remain stagnant.
Practice Management

To Boost Productivity Companies Turn to Strategic Workforce Planning

“In many companies, traditional workforce planning was an onerous process that HR Imposed on management,” says Mary B. Young, Senior Research Associate with The Conference Board and author of a new study on strategic workforce planning. “Too often, the net result was a humongous report, blinding spreadsheets and a dizzying amount of data that provided very little value to the business.”The relatively new field of strategic workforce planning, however, involves analyzing and forecasting the talent that companies need to execute their business strategy.
A&A

Effective Employee Management Linked to Business Performance

A four-phase landmark study reveals that effective human resource practices directly affect business results, including revenue growth, profit growth and employee turnover reduction.“The results are definitive,” David Sikora, director of the Gevity Institute, said in a prepared statement announcing the results. “Through this unique and first-of-its-kind study, we have been able to quantify the impact that human resource practices have on small businesses.
Practice Management

Top Ten Comments Found on Employee Surveys

More than two thirds of U.S. companies survey their employees. These surveys measure employee satisfaction, the effectiveness of internal policies and are even used to help recruit prospective employees.

Pension Overhaul Bill Heads to Bush

The Senate passed legislation Thursday that, if signed by the president, will make U.S.
Tax

Verbal Agreement Found in Pension Bill Negotiations

Negotiators have been seeking concessions on compromise legislation to help America’s stressed employer-based pension system. Last week a verbal agreement on parts of the bill was reached. One hanging issue is a proposal backed in the Senate bill giving special relief to financially strapped airlines. GOP leaders are pressing negotiators for a cut in estate taxes as well, according to the Associated Press.

Raises Harder to Come by, College Graduates Find

Salaries among the ranks of college-educated, white-collar American workers are eroding for the first time since the 1970s, as globalization adds a new twist to the U.S.
Practice

White Paper Overview: Old Dogs & New Tricks

People have always been willing to change in order to improve the future. Consequently, old dogs can learn new tricks as they find more effective ways to adapt and leverage new technology, methods, processes, ideas, and social networks that help them improve the return on the investment they make in human capital. But can they create new tricks?According to Ron Baker, author of the white paper “Old Dogs Can’t Create New Tricks,” it’s not likely. Basically, what he means is that the older we get the less likely we are to create a ground breaking innovation.

SEC Will Issue Options-Timing Rule; Tells PCAOB to Delay Stock Options Alert

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked the Public Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to delay issuing an alert to accounting firms related to backdating stock options, the Wall Street Journal reported late last week. The SEC wants to complete its work on its own proposed rule regarding executive compensation. SEC Chairman Christopher Cox has said that he expects their rule, which should be completed later in the summer, to address backdating issues.An SEC spokesman said that it makes sense for the SEC and PCAOB “to go out with it at the same time” . . .
Technology

Employers Seek Alternatives for Easing Costs of Going to Work

With gas prices still high and possibly going higher, companies are trying to help their employees save money on their daily commutes by signing up for commuter tax benefit programs and discount programs with local mass transit and offering transportation subsidies, the Associated Press reports. Employers can also reap tax benefits from those participating in the commuter tax program which can help them to retain their employees.

Lucas Group Annual Hiring Survey Finds No Signs of Slowing Down

“With strong company growth expected throughout nearly every industry represented in the survey, accounting and finance talent will continue to be in high demand,” Andrea Jennings, vice president and general manager of Lucas Group Accounting & Finance, an executive search firm, said in a prepared statement announcing the results from its annual accounting and finance hiring manager survey. According to the survey, business growth and hiring trends continue to increase and reflect positive hiring projections for the next 12 months.
A&A

CPAs Debate FASB’s Pension Draft

The American Institute of Certified Public Accounting (AICPA), state societies of Certified Public Accountants and accounting firms have expressed the views of many in the profession in comment letters published on the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) web site on the Exposure Draft of the Proposed Statement, Employers’ Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans.

Confidence Among Accounting and Finance Workers Improves in June

After declining in May, confidence among accounting and finance workers rebounded to 110 in June, according to the Hudson Employment Index(SM). This level is lower than the 113.2 level of the previous year. In addition, the composite Index rose 0.1 point, to 102.4.The Hudson Employment Index for accounting and finance workers revealed that: Compared to May, when 21 percent of workers were concerned about job loss, only 17 percent made that statement in June.
Community News

The Business of Powwow

On a manicured, level stretch of soccer field, the drum beat begins. The eagle staff begins the procession, followed by the universal flag of American Indians,next comes the American flag, California flag, three Armed Services flags and a Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action flag. The dancers come next, representing native nations that span the western hemisphere, sharing a pride and dignity that is both difficult to describe and immediately evident. It is Grand Entry on Saturday afternoon at an Intertribal Powwow in Southern California.

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