Legislation

FASB Issues Special Report on FASB Statement No. 140

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) published a Special Report today that addresses the most frequently asked questions about FASB Statement No. 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities.The report is designed as an aid in understanding and implementing Statement 140, which is effective for the transfer and servicing of financial assets and extinguishments of liabilities occurring after March 31, 2001.

Laws to Protect You From Credit Card Fraud

If you are concerned about your personal liability for credit card fraud, take note. For the most part, you can be liable for up to $50 worth of fraudulent purchases, only if you don't report your card stolen or missing.The Federal Fair Credit Billing Act protects you when somebody misuses your credit card. If you report the misuse or report your card stolen within two business days of finding out about it, you're not liable for any unauthorized charges on your account.
Tax

Bush Plan Calls for Retroactive Tax Cut

President Bush is wasting no time in promoting his plan for a comprehensive tax cut that would benefit all Americans, slashing the lowest tax rate to 10% and the highest rate to 33%. Recalling the early days of the Reagan era, Bush claims a massive tax cut at this time will stimulate the economy.

SEC Ruling Helps Investors Make Decisions

New rules approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission will require mutual funds to report their after-tax performance to investors. Traditionally, mutual fund companies have only disclosed returns before taxes.The new guidelines require mutual funds to report both before- and after-tax performance, with after-tax performance stated at the maximum individual federal income rate of 39.6 percent, thus providing a worst case scenario.
Tax

It's Full Speed Ahead with Bush Tax Cut Plan

The following article is provided courtesy of CCH, Inc.Senate Finance Committee member Phil Gramm, R-Texas, and Sen.

FMLA - Balancing the Needs of Families and Employers

A recent Department of Labor report released January 9th, 2001, assessed the overall effectiveness of the FMLA in “meeting the needs of employees without imposing undue burden on employers”.
Tax

Treasury Targets Tax Shelters

The Treasury plans on strengthening the ethics rules for both lawyers and accountants after calling tax shelters one of the nation's worst tax abuses. These proposed regulations would reinforce the existing standards, known as Circular 230, regarding factual due diligence and legal analysis.

FASB Announces End of Goodwill Amortization

It is a landmark decision. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has announced than an acquiring company can no longer amortize the goodwill associated with the acquisition.The ruling is tentative now, and is expected to become final by spring of 2001. It is also expected that the ruling will apply retroactively.The decision is good news for many companies. Although amortization is strictly a paper transaction, until now companies that amortized goodwill reported expenses that depleted current earnings.

SEC Issues Final Rules on Auditor Independence

The SEC voted unanimously to approve new guidelines for auditors. Four of the Big Five firms acquiesced in accepting the rules, KPMG being the hold out firm that still feels the rules are unnecessary.

Congress Should 'Butt Out' of FASB Issue

J. Edward Katz, an accounting professor at Penn State University, claims members of Congress don’t understand the accounting issues at hand in the recent controversy over a proposed Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) ruling regarding the accounting treatment of merging companies.FASB is proposing doing away with the pooling of interests method of accounting when companies merge.

Clinton and Gore Try to Side-Step Congress

Congress has been passing health care reform back and forth, but no agreements have been reached. Now that the legislative session is about to come to a close, it is clear no new laws will be passed in the area of health care reform this year. But that isn’t stopping President Clinton.The New York Times yesterday revealed Clinton’s plan to release a new set of health care rules for patients in time for the November election.
Tax

Roth Risk-Takers Rebuked by Regulators

Remember the confusion when the Roth IRA first surfaced?
Community News

Summers Warns Senators About Impeding SEC Plan

Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers claims he has knowledge that some Senators, who are remaining unnamed, are attempting to use government spending legislation to thwart the SEC proposal to issue auditor independence guidelines.
Community News

Senate Asks Levitt for Smoking Gun

Arthur Levitt, SEC Chairman, presented his case for new guidelines for auditor independence to the U.S.
Community News

Mr. Levitt Goes to Washington

Undaunted by days of public pleas for more time and less restrictive guidelines from members of the accounting profession, Chairman of the SEC, Arthur Levitt, will appear in Washington today to make his case for auditor independence before Congress.Mr. Levitt is expected to meet with heavy opposition from Republicans and other members of Congress who have complained that the strict guidelines would "force dramatic changes in the structure and business practices of accounting firms" and would require corporations "to pay increased costs for some types of accounting services."Mr.
Tax

Clinton Opposes 5-Year Internet Tax Moratorium

Earlier this year the House passed a measure to freeze any attempts at an Internet tax for five years.
Community News

Complete Transcripts - all SEC Testimony

Read what all of the witnesses have had to say about the SEC's proposed auditor independence guidelines. The SEC has published all of the transcripts of all testimonies from public hearings held on July 26, September 13, September 20, and September 21.The SEC has suggested guidelines to limit the scope of services that accounting firms conducting audits of publicly held companies can perform.
Community News

THERE'S STILL TIME ! ! !

Are you concerned about the SEC proposed guidelines to limit the scope of services performed by accounting firms? It's not too late to voice your opinion.The SEC is still accepting written responses to the proposed guidelines, until September 25.
Community News

Accounting Professionals Speak Out in Online Forum

Members of the accounting profession joined together Tuesday in an Open Forum sponsored by AccountingWEB and voiced their views on the proposed SEC hearings on auditor independence.
Community News

SEC Hearings, Final Day: Schedule of Witnesses

In response to requests for additional time to present views, the SEC has added an additional day of testimony to its Day Three schedule of auditor independence hearings. The final day of testimony will be Thursday, September 21, in Washington, D.C.The following people are scheduled to testify:8:30 am: Panel 1 Robert K. Elliott, ChairmanBarry Melancon, President and Chief Executive OfficerHarold L.

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