Trends

A&A

Small Business Payment Options: Cash and More

You might have heard of businesses that have stopped taking cash. Paying by credit card or plastic is becoming the norm, even as dollar bills are defined as “legal tender for all debts, public and private,” according to Slate. The Federal Reserve measured the amount of actual physical cash (M0) at $688 billion in 2004, according to Wikipedia. The Coinage Act of 1965 specifies that cash, excluding foreign gold or silver coins, is legal tender for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues, according to Slate. The word “public” is key in this sentence though.
Education & Careers

College Grads Earn More; Accountants’ Pay Continues to Climb

The cost of a college education pays off for most people, according to data from the Census Bureau’s 2005 Current Population Survey released last week. The average gap in earnings for all working adults with a bachelor’s degree and those with high school diplomas is about $23,000 a year, the Associated Press reports. College grads earned an average of $51,554 a year in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for high school graduates and $19,169 for high school dropouts.
A&A

Halloween Treats for Accountants

Editor's Note: This article was first published in 2005. All the links included have been verified and are still operational.The kids will soon be out begging for candy. You can let them, or your clients, put the “bite” on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with a chocolate candy bar wrapped in a 1040 tax return with the message “Here’s your chance to bite back at the IRS”. They also have a candy bar with a wrapping informing everyone that “Accountants make life less taxing”.
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

Spending Caps, Tax Measures on Ballot in Many States

After choosing their candidates on November 7, voters will check yes or no on ballot propositions that, along with more familiar bond issue proposals, would increase the minimum wage, support property rights, prohibit same sex marriage, and limit tax increases. While Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) proposals that put caps on future spending have received national attention, proposals that will affect property taxes and increases in personal exemptions are much more popular this year.
Tax

Patents on Tax Ideas Trouble the IRS and Tax Attorneys

Since 1998, when a federal appeals court ruled that business methods could be patented, the U.S. Patent Office has issued patents to 49 tax strategies.
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.
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

East European Hackers Invade Online Brokerage Accounts

Using spyware loaded on public computers in internet cafes or hotels or attached to email messages to potential victims, hi-tech crooks, operating from remote locations, have been able to enter online brokerage accounts in the U.S. and either sell off the contents and take the proceeds or manipulate stock prices, according to regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reuters reports.
Practice Management

Legal, Tax & Regulatory Information Market to Exceed $18 Billion by 2009

Providers of legal, tax and regulatory information can look forward to a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2006 to 2009, according to the first annual MarketVeiw report from Outsell, Inc., the only research and advisory firm for the worldwide information industry.
Community News

Mid-Size Firms Unite to Capture Big Four Business

A national network of 22 mid-size accounting firms is marketing itself as one company to draw business away from the Big Four.The network is called Baker Tilly USA, and it opened for business Monday, offering tax, audit and consulting services under one brand name, according to the Washington Post. "We're coming at a time when the business market is crying out for alternatives to the Big Four, and we believe our structure can fill that void," Geoff Barnes, chief executive and president of Baker Tilly International, told the Post.
Practice Management

AICPA Tries Again with Proposed Valuation Standard for CPAs

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on Monday released an Exposure Draft of Proposed Statement on Standards for Valuation Services (SSVS) Valuation of a Business, Business Ownership Interest, Security, or Intangible Asset.
A&A

More Restatements in 2006 for Smaller Accounting Firms - Update 1

Of the 928 companies that announced in the first half of 2006 that they would file restatements of their results for prior periods, 504 were clients of firms other than the eight largest accounting firms, according to data compiled by AuditAnalytics, a company that analyzes audit problems, the New York Times reports.
Tax

Avoid Using “Accounting Gimmicks”

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in America after Bill Gates, told his senior managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in a memo published by FT.com, to resist the temptation to use “accounting gimmicks” to manipulate earnings, Bloomberg.com says. “Every time you hear the phrase ‘Everybody else is doing it’, it should raise a huge red flag,” Buffet wrote.
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.
Tax

The Best, and Worst, State Tax Climates for Business

When it comes to gaining or losing jobs, the Department of Labor (DoL) reports the most mass job relocations occur between U.S. states, rather than jobs moving out of the country entirely.
Technology

NetSuite, “The Next Big Thing”, Ends Salesforce Sticker Shock

NetSuite, selected as one of five “the Next Big Thing” companies at http://www.sandhill.com/conferences/enter2006.php Enterprise 2006, has struck a blow to end sticker shock by offering life-time fixed subscription price for salesforce.com users migrating to NetSuite CRM+.
Community News

More Firms Combine – Goal is Long-term Growth

Mergers have been announced recently in Indiana and Connecticut between firms with similar cultures looking to expand their existing client service capabilities and establish a stronger presence in their regions.
Practice Management

PCAOB Drafts Rewrites to AS2; Senior Administrators Moving On

Signs that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is entering a new phase of its development came recently when the Board submitted a draft of changes to the Auditing Standard 2 (AS2) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that are said to modify confusing definitions and eliminate the need for separate internal control and financial statements audits.
A&A

SBA-Backed Loans Set Records for 6th Consecutive Year

Small businesses turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for commercial financing in record numbers during fiscal year 2006, setting new single-year records for both the number of loans and the dollars loaned, according to SBA Administrator Steven C.

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