Trends

A&A

SEC and PCAOB Still Working on Sarbanes-Oxley Changes

Christopher Cox, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, said Monday that regulators were still working on revisions to its rule requiring companies to adopt internal controls and procedures for financial reporting but said he was “confident” that the result would “improve the reliability of public company financial statements and better protect investors,” the Washington Post reports. The SEC will issue its proposed revision on December 13.
Tax

Congress May Extend Sales Tax Deduction This Week

If the House of Representatives and the Senate do not extend the sales tax deduction during the final days of the lame duck session, residents of the seven states that do not levy personal income tax, who itemize their deductions, will see an increase in federal tax owed for 2006.
A&A

Communities Partner with Salvation Army to Help Needy

Volunteer bell-ringers in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, want to bring in enough donations to help pay for holiday food baskets for 900 needy families in the region this year, says Major Marie Harris, Community Relations and Program Development Officer in Williamsport. Fifty local businesses have joined in the fundraising effort by participating in the Festival of Trees, donating and decorating trees in the Lycoming Mall that will be auctioned in mid-December for the benefit of the Salvation Army.

Accounting Firm’s Charity Challenge Makes a Difference

For the third year, the accounting and management advisory firm of Damon Topham and Company, LLC, is donating $1000 to the Marshfield, Mass., Boys and Girls Club and they are again challenging other local businesses to match the donation.
Technology

IRS Should Target Online Sellers, Committee Says

An Internal Revenue advisory committee made up of tax experts from outside the agency recently recommended that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) strengthen enforcement of current tax law as it applies to online sellers, USAToday reports.
A&A

Credit Card Companies Marketing New Small Business Cards

Spurred by the growth in small business owners since 2001, up 4 percent to 5.9 million, and the business potential of the 90 percent of small business spending not on credit cards, American Express, Visa and others are marketing new cards designed for the small business owner.
Tax

Largest Accounting Firms See Coming Revolution in Business Reporting

As part of the Global Public Policy Symposium in Paris, held on November 8 and attended by key players concerned with ensuring the quality and reliability of financial reporting worldwide, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) International, Grant Thornton International, Deloitte, KPMG International and Ernst & Young, published a joint statement of their vision of what the future might hold for financial reporting and the accounting profession.
Tax

Churches Adopt Business Management Methods

Megachurches with memberships in the thousands and budgets in the millions are hiring more staff and consultants with business experience as they look to implement corporate management and accounting methods for their congregations.Advertisement

Black Friday 2006 & Beyond

It may have been inevitable. What was called Black Friday has been so successful that it has gained the color of green. Mlive.com reports that legions of frantic shoppers poured through stores’ doors at 5 a.m., surely helped along with the stores offering merchandise at deep discount prices.

Credit Card 101: Advice Before Shopping

The numbers of bankruptcies is again on the rise after the tough bankruptcy law of 2005, and they are returning in large numbers.Advertisement

Use Your Frequent Flier Account; Inactive Programs Can be Cancelled

The incentive to redeem frequent flier miles – that free ticket – is not as appealing for travelers as it once was, because of blackout dates, limits on eligible seats, especially for popular destinations, and the lower fares on discount carriers, but not visiting your frequent flier accounts can have a price. Two carriers, Delta and US Airways, recently imposed new rules on inactive accounts. Starting January 31, 2007, US Airways Dividend Miles accounts will be closed and all miles forfeited if there has been no activity in the account for 18 months.
Technology

Job-Hopping May Not Be Good for Your Accounting Career

A recent survey from Robert Half Finance & Accounting indicates that the length of time spent by candidates in previous positions is an important factor in the hiring decisions.
Tax

Complex Rules Determine Who Will Pay Honolulu’s General Excise Tax Increase

When Hawaii’s state legislature decided to allow county governments on each of the four islands to vote separately on a .5 percent rate hike in the state’s general excise tax (GET), currently at 4 percent, to pay for the proposed mass transit system serving Honolulu, it was trying to avoid making taxpayers on all four islands pay the hike, according to Lowell L. Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii .

Bank, ATM Fees Reach Record Highs

The Fall 2006 Checking Account Pricing Study, a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, found that some customer fees and requirements hit record highs."What makes these fees especially irritating is that they're avoidable," according to Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Tax

Winners and Losers Among Ballot Propositions Affecting Taxes

Voters approved 141 of the 205 initiatives and referendums on the ballots of 37 states in Tuesday’s election, rejecting only 59, according to iandrinstitute.org’s Ballotwatch. Five measures, including Arizona’s controversial cap on property tax increases, remain to be decided.

Consumer Electronics Top Holiday Wish Lists; Socks Near Bottom

Ernst & Young (E&Y) predicts an increase of 6.5 percent in holiday spending this year, with consumer electronics the hottest category, according to a report in RTO online. Mobile phones that provide full internet access, thin-screen high density TVs and iPods are high on wish lists, along with NASCAR-related items, TMX Elmo and hanging earrings of all kinds, from loop to chandelier, the E&Y sixth annual holiday forecast says. A ConsumerReports.org survey of wish lists for this year found that electronics, along with toys, are on more than 50 percent of the respondents wish lists.

Senate May Reverse Closing of Iraq Auditor’s Office

The military authorization bill signed by President Bush in mid-October calls for the termination of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) by October 1, 2007. Susan Collins (R – Maine), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, says that provision was not in the conference version of the bill, the New York Times reports. In addition, some analysts say that the content of reports issued by the office, which were critical of weapons oversight by the U.S. military and accounting methods used by the U.S.
Tax

H&R Block Will Disclose More to Clients About Refund Anticipation Loans

H&R Block announced enhancements to its refund anticipation loan product that will inform clients about possible tax-related debt and the potential cost of the loans, the company announced Tuesday. In September, H&R Block announced that it could reduce costs by nearly 40 percent for clients who agreed to pay for the loans through the new H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard issued by H&R Block Bank.“Besides saving our clients money, we’re doing even more to make sure H&R Block customers receive the best service and disclosure in the industry,” said Mark A.
Tax

Republicans Point to Benefits of Low Taxes; Democrats Weigh Economic Policy Options

With the 2006 congressional election less than a week away, President Bush is campaigning for his fellow Republicans on the strength of the economy and on his tax cuts. Democrats, who may gain a majority in Congress and with it some control over the nation’s purse strings, are weighing their options.

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