Personal Finance | AccountingWEB

Personal Finance

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.

The Consequences of Credit Card Company Created Bankruptcy

Chances are that back when you first began using credit cards, the credit card companies were never shy about offering you more cards and larger credit lines. They acted this way because they wanted you to live beyond your means and take on more debt than you could reasonably pay off on a monthly basis. These companies do not make money when customers charge low amounts and pay off their balances in full; they make money when customers carry high balances and pay hefty interest rates.
A&A

Adding Credit Counseling Helps Businesses Build Customer Loyalty, Build Bottom Line

By the end of the first quarter of 2006, U.S. consumer debt totaled $11.8 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The new bankruptcy reform, higher interest rates, rising gas prices and increased minimum credit card payments, also make it apparent that consumers are in need of financial advice and more businesses need to offer it.A recent study from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) indicates that individuals coming to NFCC agencies for pre-bankruptcy-filing counseling “were in desperate financial shape with debts that vastly exceeded their income.
Community News

NY Crackdown on Bad Accountants Addresses Long-Term Concern

New York State regulators’ new crackdown on the accounting profession addresses an issue that has been roiling in the Empire State ever since the Enron accounting scandal surfaced several years ago.The New York State Board of Regents has revised the definition of "unprofessional conduct" for CPA's licensed by the state to include disciplinary actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), meaning that accountants or accounting firms disciplined by either of those bodies now can be subject to censure, reprimand and t
Technology

Accounting Made Easy: BillMonk Formalizes IOUs

A new field of accounting has sprung forth from the software industry: “social money.” And a start-up company is servicing the recently identified market, helping college students and young adults track informal debt. “BillMonk helps you avoid the awkwardness of borrowing and sharing. We track the debts that might otherwise be forgotten, and we do the cumbersome money-math,” the company says.In short, BillMonk helps a circle of friends keep track of who owes how much to whom. For example, a user wants to report a debt like shared rent or an IOU to another person.
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.
Practice

Mark Your Calendar: 8 Critical Questions Webconference

1st Global is sharing the eight critical questions tax practitioners need to answer about their practice and wealth management in an hour-long webconference on Wednesday, June 21, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Central Time.
A&A

Succession Plans for Family Owned Businesses

Successful transitions from the first to the second or third generations in family-owned businesses come from identifying the family member who is capable of running the business and then structuring the transition as a business transaction, says Christopher Hirschfeld, Vice President and Managing Director, Goelzer Investment Banking, according to insideindianbusiness.com.The business owner may assume that a child wants to run the business and is capable, but “this assumption needs to be validated well before the owner steps aside,” Hirschfeld says.
Tax

Responsibilities of American Taxpayers Working Abroad

American taxpayers with tax homes in the U.S. and who are living or working abroad, still have responsibility for paying taxes on their worldwide income, according to the IRS. The good news is that they may also exclude all or part of their foreign salary, wages or other income, up to the maximum annual exclusion, by meeting the bona fide residence test or physical residence test.

Racing Economics: Horse Tales

Purchasing a racehorse is a risky investment in which the odds of hitting it big for most owners are about as long as getting an entry into this weekend’s Belmont Stakes.Even for the high rollers who pump millions of dollars into the sport, the sheer enjoyment of competing often outweighs grandiose visions of handsome paydays, said Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association in Lexington, Ky.

Investigation Spreads to Spring-Loading Executive Stock Option Grants

Individuals familiar with the rapidly expanding investigation into executive stock options grants have told Reuters that the practice of spring-loading, or setting a grant date and exercise price to occur shortly before the release of positive corporate news, is being scrutinized along with the practice of backdating.Advertisement

Funding Bill Changes Rules for Ex-Spouses; Military Accountants

Last week the Senate Armed Services Committee approved three adjustments to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act as part of the 2007 defense authorization bill (S 2766).
Tax

National Guard & Military Pay

For tax purposes, military pay is treated like regular income, while parts of National Guard pay have special treatment. Before the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, National Guard members could deduct 100 percent of their travel expenses.
Tax

IRS Encourages Safeguarding Financial & Tax Records

As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 21 – 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is encouraging taxpayers to protect their financial and tax records in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.Advertisement
Education & Careers

Free Agent Frame of Mind

Sitting in a cubicle after 5 p.m. on a Friday or even just on a beautiful spring day, can make anyone dream of striking out on their own. Freedom may not turn out the way corporate captives dream it will be. For instance, many freelancers/contractors end up occupying cubicles, just without the benefits or job security enjoyed by many full-time employees.

Travel insurance: Peace of mind or waste of money?

Travel insurance is nothing new. In recent years, however, it has attracted more attention and the debate regarding the value of the policies has grown more pronounced. Coverage has also expanded to include business travelers, extreme sports participants, and expatriates, among others. How does a traveler know if travel insurance is worth the investment?Like any kind of insurance, part of the value of travel insurance depends on a traveler's own tolerance for risk. The rest of the value equation involves the cost and length of the trip, the purpose of the trip, and the destination.
A&A

Flooding Hits Northeast Testing Financial Preparedness on Eve of Hurricane Season

Rivers crested after record rains eased in the Northeast U.S. on Tuesday leaving behind damage from some of the worst flooding the area has seen in nearly 80 years. As with the aftermath of last year’s hurricanes, many homes and businesses will not survive because the three states hardest hit by the flooding have relatively low participation rates in the federal flood insurance program, according to the Boston Globe.

How to Get the Right Mortgage

It seems that everyone sells mortgages these days. But finding the right mortgage with the right rate, in a sea of confusing ads and variable interest rate packages can be confusing and often costly if you don't have the best finance and negotiating skills. The lowest rate isn't always the best deal Before signing on the dotted line, there are other factors of the loan that need to be considered, such as points and closing costs. Closing costs are additional fees and expenses necessary in order to finance a property.
Tax

IRS’ Nationwide Tax Forums Offer Financial Planner CPE for the First Time

For the first time, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has registered as a continuing professional education sponsor for certified financial planners. The IRS is already a continuing education sponsor for enrolled agents and certified public accountants (CPAs). Thanks to an agreement with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the IRS will offer continuing education credits for certified financial planners for 24 of the 36 seminars at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum being held this summer.

Gas Rewards: The New Frequent Flier Mile?

For years, credit card issuers have tried to lure consumers into using their card by offering frequent flier miles. The recent dramatic rise in gas prices, however, has led some of these companies to promote gas rewards and rebates instead. The question is, how does anyone decide which card, including rewards, is best for them?Credit cards offering gas rebates should not be confused with the gas credit cards issued by the gas companies and that can be used only to purchase gas at their stations.

Pages

Premium content is currently locked