Trends

A&A

The Magic of Ethanol

Ethanol is a magic elixir. The corn-based gasoline additive is enjoying the record-setting prices. Those manufacturing ethanol are seeing booming sales and recording record profits as well, according to SmartMoney.com.

Dirty Secrets of Bankruptcy Lawyers

The field of bankruptcy law has exploded in recent years, even though the process of filing for bankruptcy really only involves filling out a few forms.

Survey Says: Doctors, Teachers and Accountants Tell the Truth

A recent Harris Interactive poll of 1,002 adults in the United States found that 85 percent would trust their doctors to tell them the truth, up from 77 percent in 2002, the last time the survey was conducted.

More Than Ivy in U.S. News’ College Rankings

Breaking a three year tie with Harvard, Princeton ranked first among National Universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual guide “America’s Best Colleges”. It is the seventh straight year Princeton had been at least tied for the top ranking.
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
Tax

E-Passports Now Being Issued to Americans

The U.S. State Department has begun issuing e-passports. These passports have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in the rear cover of the document. AFP reports that all previously issued passports will remain valid until they expire.

IFAC Publishes New Paper on Ethics Education

“The paper is the result of a wide-ranging research project into ethics education in the worldwide accountancy profession. It is designed to stimulate discussion and debate on the subject of ethics education,” states International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) Chairman Henry Saville.
A&A

New Texas Margin Tax -- Business or Income Tax

Candidates for governor in Texas last week reacted to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) conclusion that the new Texas margin tax was an income tax under Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) 109 “because the tax is based on some measure of income.” FASB declined to set up a project to give advice on the matter.Kathy Walt, spokeswoman for Republican Governor Rick Perry, and former state Comptroller Democrat John Sharp, who headed the commission that recommended the tax, said that FASB was providing instructions for accounting purposes only, according to the Houston Chro
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.
Technology

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend a Big Hit with Shoppers

Shoppers in ten states and the District of Columbia flocked to stores and malls last weekend to take advantage of “sales tax holidays” timed to benefit back-to-school-shoppers. Two more states, Connecticut and Maryland, have scheduled sales tax holidays during the third week of August. In most states, the tax holiday applies to moderately priced clothes, school supplies and in some states, to computers.
A&A

Accenture Closes Acquisition, Enhances BPO Services

Accenture has enhanced its finance and accounting business process outsourcing (BPO) capabilities by closing the previously announced acquisition of Advantium Inc., including related entity XPAN LLC, and Meridian Informed Purchasing Ltd.
A&A

AICPA Launches Revamped Online CPE Site

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in May rolled out a much faster and user friendly training and library Web site, called CPExpress, formerly known as Infobytes. Feedback is extremely positive, say Dr. Paden Neeley, AICPA Vice President of Group Study and David Tolson, Director of CPE Product Development, who spoke with AccountingWeb recently about how the AICPA’s online CPE offerings and other training options meet the needs of small and mid-sized accounting firms. CPExpress is much faster than the previous site, says Tolson.

Students Getting Sticker Shock from Textbook Prices

Students entering college in 2006 can expect to pay more than $500 for textbooks for their first semester courses, a huge outlay of cash for many who have already taken out student loans to pay for tuition and fees. University of Connecticut freshman Ben March returned to UConn’s Co-op bookstore for an accounting textbook last February, after having already spent $400 on other textbooks. The book cost $101. “I was trying not to buy it, but I ended up needing it," March said, according to boston.com.
Education & Careers

Accounting & Finance Worker Confidence Hits Summer Doldrums

Worker confidence among accounting and finance professionals fell 3.4 points, to 106.6 in July, according to the latest Hudson Employment Index. This level is lower than July 2005 when the confidence level among accounting and finance workers was 110.

US Airways Sacks Advertisers with New Ad Space

You might have seen the name of airlines on airsickness bags on flights before, but US Airways is now considering selling advertising on them. The airline has begun negotiating with its first advertisers and the new bags with advertisements are due to be introduced in September, according to the Associated Press. “September 11 is what pushed us over the edge – in the ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’ category,” Travis Christ, US Airways’ vice president for sales and marketing, told the Miami Herald.

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.
A&A

Retailers Say Visa and MasterCard Violate Antitrust Laws

Antitrust attorney W. Stephen Cannon, representing the Merchants Payments Coalition, a group of about 20 retail trade associations, in written testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week accused Visa and MasterCard of violating federal antitrust laws through their practice of setting the interchange rates charged by banks to complete consumer transactions. The interchange fee, now close to 1.74 percent, is charged every time a consumer uses a credit or debit card to pay for a purchase.
Community News

CGA-Canada Accepts Independence Standard

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) welcomes the Canadian Public Accountability Board’s (CPAB) decision to accept the CGA Independence Standard, giving effect to the required rule change as of June 20, 2006."CGA-Canada is responsible for setting professional standards for itsmembers and has an obligation to protect the public and ensure CGAs maintain the highest ethical standards," says Anthony Ariganello, FCGA, CPA (Delaware), President and Chief Executive Officer of CGA-Canada.
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.
Tax

Audits Find Problems with Use of Government Vehicles

Recent audits at state, local and national government departments have revealed weak controls over personal use of government–owned vehicles by employees, government failure to report personal use as a taxable benefit, underutilization of government owned vehicles and inadequate control of employees’ access to government-owned fuel.

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