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Trends

Community News

Firm Alliance Creates Memphis' Largest CPA Resource

Two of the largest accounting firms in the city are taking aim at the Big 4 accounting firms by forming an alliance that will create the largest single resource for CPAs in Memphis.Thompson Dunavant PLC, Memphis’ largest locally owned CPA firms, has signed a three-year contract to share resources with BDO Seidman LLP, a national professional services firm providing accounting services to publicly traded businesses. Thompson Dunavant has a professional staff of 58 including 40 CPAs while BDO has a professional staff of 34 including 25 CPAs.
A&A

What Can German Cost Accounting Do for US Firms?

Grenzplankostenrechnung or GPK is not a familiar phrase to most Americans. Given the general dissatisfaction with cost systems in the United States and the demonstrated success of GPK costing systems in German-speaking nations, perhaps it should be.The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, announced the results of a research study examining the benefits of GPK and the ways U.S. companies may use GPK effectively. The study was conducted in June 2004 by Kip R.
Tax

LexisNexis Breach Affects Hundreds of Thousands

Criminals who stole information from a LexisNexis database in the U.S. may have accessed the names, addresses, Social Security and driver license numbers of nearly 310,000 people, the Associated Press reported.The number of people affected is 10 times as many as publisher and data broker Reed Elsevier Group PLC had originally thought, the company acknowledged Tuesday. Last month, the company reported that personal information about 32,000 people had been accessed in a breach of LexisNexis' recently acquired Seisint unit.

GASB Issues Concept Statement on Communication

Hoping for more efficient and effective use of financial reports, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued Concepts Statement No.
Community News

Highlights from the SEC Chairman's Remarks in Financial Services Roundtable

On April 1, 2005, William H. Donaldson, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission spoke before the Financial Services Roundtable in Palm Beach, Florida. Participants in the roundtable represented a wide cross-section of the financial services industry in the United States. Mr. Donaldson used the opportunity to discuss his ideas on how the SEC and financial services industry can work together to improve financial markets and keep them a source of prosperity. Mr. Donaldson was careful to qualify his remarks as his own and not representing those of the SEC or SEC staff.
Tax

Accountants Remain Untapped Resource for Many Real Estate Investors

Commercial real estate investors who don’t seek the advice of certified public accountants could be missing out on valuable tax savings according to a recent survey sponsored by Bayview Financial Exchange Services (also known as Bayview 1031).The survey of randomly selected readers of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) CPA Insider e-newsletter between February 8 and 22, 2005, found that clients do not tap their CPA’s knowledge of Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Community News

Vital Records Management: Don't Get Distracted by SOX

When it comes to data management, executives must develop a strategic approach – thinking in both in terms of the “big picture” vision and the details of storage, Van Carlisle, CEO of Fire King, a security and records management group, told the ABA Banking Journal in an interview published in March 2005. Carlisle points out that not all records have the same value to a firm. To be distinguished as “vital,” a record must contain information that is essential to the organization in the event of a disaster.
A&A

Family Partnerships are Under the Microscope

Tread carefully if you are thinking of moving family estate assets into a partnership to reduce your tax burden. A U.S.
Tax

Highlights of IRS Commissioner Everson's Speech to the National Press Club

Exactly one year ago today, I stood here and gave you my assessment of our tax administration system. I spoke of the IRS mission of service and enforcement, and about our need to modernize. What I said one year ago was that the IRS was doing a good job improving service, had a mixed record on modernization, and a lot of work to do to restore enforcement to proper levels.Electronic filing continues to grow. Last year Americans filed 62 million electronic returns. This year the IRS expects that over half of all individual returns will be e-filed.
A&A

Survey Finds Workers Average Only Three Productive Days per Week

Unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters that workers around the world say make them feel unproductive for as much as a third of their workweek on average, according to results of an online Microsoft(R) Office survey announced last week.
Community News

Tax Preparation Support Program: The Next Small Firm Practice Area?

When it comes to understanding their income tax options, nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of employees do not fully comprehend how their W-4 forms impact their taxes and paychecks, according to a national survey by Hudson. That figure rises to 29 percent when looking at workers aged 18-29 years old. Additionally, two in every five U.S. workers (40 percent) would be interested in a tax preparation support program from their firms if it were offered.Further, just one-third (34 percent) of workers report that they prepare their taxes themselves, compared to 55 percent who hire a professional.
Community News

Best Practices in Effectively, Efficiently Administering Employee Surveys

Accurate measurement of employee opinion better equips a company for continuous productivity increases, employee retention and overall profitability. Yet, only 32% of benchmarked companies administer regular employee surveys throughout the year, according to a study conducted by Best Practices, LLC. The study uncovers how and why organizations survey employee level of commitment, engagement and satisfaction.The study profiles 27 financial services, biotech, insurance, technology and energy companies.
Community News

Investment Firms Digging Deeper into Client Relationships

Some investment houses are going the extra mile to forge lasting relationships with clients by offering “life planning” advice as part of the investment package, the Associated Press reported.You've seen the Morgan Stanley commercials where the investment advisor could be mistaken for a spouse, well that strategy is taking hold across the industry as investment advisors talk to their clients about life goals, dreams and values.Some are going so far as taking their clients away on short retreats to country clubs and resorts to get a better handle on the individual's needs.
Community News

Plante & Moran Solidifies Michigan Presence with Merger

Michigan-based Plante & Moran is merging with the Flint and Ann Arbor-based accounting and consulting firm BKR Dupuis & Ryden. The merger will be effective July 1, 2005, and the combined firms will operate as Plante & Moran, PLLC. The addition of BKR Dupuis & Ryden's 60 staff, seven partners, and $7.5 million in annual revenue will give Plante & Moran a total of 1,450 staff, 204 partners, and annual revenues of $210 million.
Community News

Minorities, Women See Greater Opportunities on Corporate Boards

While minorities and women are filling corporate board seats at unprecedented rates, challenges continue to impede the progress of diversification, according to the March issue of Worth magazine.Signifying a trend that "is not just good PR but also good business," contributing writer Suzanne McGee cites the changing face of the workforce and the steady rise in minority-owned businesses as factors contributing to this evolution.

Domestic Partner Benefits Becoming Commonplace in Corporate America

It seems corporate America is more concerned about recruiting and retaining talented employees than it is about the lifestyle choices those employees make outside of work.Charlotte Observer reported that more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 companies are now offering health benefits to same-sex couples, even as national debate on the issue rages on.According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half Management, 1,400 CFOs, ranked "recruiting and retaining qualified staff" as the third top priority for success in 2005, just behind "growing revenue" and "controlling expenses," the Obs

SEC Boss Chastises Attorneys Over Fund Scandal

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William H.
Education & Careers

CEOs, Partners Face Tough Choices in Deciding When to Step Down

The toughest task for many CEOs is not running their companies but determining when it is time to step down, according to a new report in Across the Board, The Conference Board's magazine.Says James Krohe Jr., author of the article: "For the miscreant CEO, the question of when to leave the job has an easy answer: 'Before they find out.' For the merely mediocre senior executive, the answer is different--'Before they push me out' -- but equally easy. But what about the CEO who is neither being shoved out the door nor sneaking out by the freight elevator?
Tax

Free Credit Report Offers... Are They Really Free? - Consumer Alert

Free credit report offers seem to flood the Internet these days. Most companies claiming to give you a free credit report are really looking to sell you something in the long run, such as a credit monitoring service or identity-fraud protection. Once you purchase the service, you will be given a copy of your credit report, usually from just one of the major credit bureaus. Since there are three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax), you will not see the complete picture if you do not receive a report from each one.

International Board Created to Set Auditing Standards

A group of international regulators is seeking to restore investor confidence by forming the Public Interest Oversight Board to set auditing standards, the New York Times reported.The new body was established by the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Basel Committee of Banking Supervisors, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the World Bank and the Financial Stability Forum.

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