Trends

Tax

IRS Initiative Will Scrutinize Exempt Organizations Compensation Practices

The Internal Revenue Service announced earlier this week a new enforcement effort to identify and halt abuses by tax- exempt organizations that pay excessive compensation and benefits to their officers and other insiders.As part of the Tax Exempt Compensation Enforcement Project, the IRS will contact nearly 2,000 charities and foundations to seek more information about their compensation practices and procedures. The IRS said the enforcement project will consist of examinations as well as other contacts.
Tax

Report: Thousands of Unique Phishing Attacks Occurred in June

Tumbleweed Communications Corp. and the Anti-Phishing Working Group last week released the Phishing Attack Trends Report for June 2004, an analysis of phishing scam attacks submitted to http://www.antiphishing.org, the Internet's most comprehensive archive of email fraud and phishing attacks. Analysis of over 1,400 attacks reported in June shows that 92% of all attacks use forged from addresses.
Tax

AICPA Ethics Committee Proposes Outsourcing Disclosure Rule

The Professional Ethics Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is proposing a rule that would require Institute members to disclose to their clients the outsourcing of professional services. “The outsourcing of services has been a subject of serious debate by members of Congress, the media, and state and federal regulators,” said Susan Coffey, AICPA Vice-President – Self Regulation.
A&A

New Faces in Bankruptcy Court: The Middle-Aged

Just when many baby boomers expected to be settling into their comfortable homes earned from a lifetime of hard work, they’re finding themselves in bankruptcy court instead.The reasons are numerous; the circumstances complicated. Bankruptcy attorneys are accustomed to helping young people who have overextended themselves with credit card debt and the expenses of starting a new home and family. The faces they see now, however, are lined with a history of hard work and the burden of caring for both their children and their parents.
Tax

IRS Offers New E-Mail Service For Technical Guidance

The IRS is launching a new service to make technical guidance available via e-mail to tax professionals when the documents are issued.“This is an easy way for tax professionals to get copies of important guidance quickly and directly,” said IRS Chief Counsel Don Korb.
Community News

Companies, Auditors Parting More Often

They say that breaking up is hard to do, but companies and auditors are parting at record rates this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.By the end of July, more than 900 companies had either fired or ended relationships with their auditors, which is about the number of breakups that occurred in all of 2003."If the trend continues, it's going to be a bigger year than last year," Leah Townsend, a research analyst at Glass Lewis & Co.
Community News

Building a Training & Learning Culture

By James K. Boomer, MCPTraining is one of the most crucial aspects of your firm’s strategy. It is an excellent tool to recruit the best and brightest employees and to retain them. Furthermore, it ties directly into your firm’s strategy by helping employees increase productivity and develop personally and professionally into future leaders of the firm. Most firms agree that training is important, however, many of those same firms argue that they just cannot afford the time commitment to send their employees to training. The numbers do not support this argument.
Community News

Survey: Security Top Concern for Corporate Networks

Seventy eight percent of corporate executives report that computer security is now the single most critical attribute of corporate networks, according to a new survey and report on networking and business strategy from AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Community News

Many Companies See SOX as Part of a Broader Initiative

By a margin of nearly two to one, large U.S. companies have made compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act part of their regular corporate governance approach and have integrated it with other regulatory activities, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Management Barometer.The survey of senior executives at U.S.-based multinational companies found that:64 percent say their company's senior management and board of directors see Sarbanes-Oxley as one of many steps in a larger corporate governance initiative, while 30 percent say it is simply a goal to be achieved.
Community News

Global Accounting Outsourcing to Surpass $47 Billion by 2008

The worldwide finance and accounting (FA) outsourcing market will reach $47.6 billion in 2008, growing at a 5-year CAGR of 9.6%, a new IDC study reveals. Spending on outsourcing of the transaction management function is expected to grow the fastest, at 9.8%, over the next five years. From a regional perspective, the study determined that the U.S. will remain by far the largest FA business process outsourcing (BPO) market, while EMEA will be the fastest growing region in terms of FA BPO spending in the short to mid-term.

Online Salary Survey for Accounting, Finance and Banking Launched

Accounting, finance and banking professionals have a chance to voice their experience and opinions about salaries in this year’s survey from CareerBank.com. The survey, which covers everything from how people are finding jobs to how large raises have been in the past year, is now online and accepting responses throughout the summer. A report on the results will be released by CareerBank.com in the fall. CareerBank.com has conducted this survey for five years; last year more than 2,900 professionals took part in the survey.
Technology

Many Corporations Employ Staff to Monitor, Read Outbound E-mail

A new omnibus study conducted by Forrester Consulting on outbound email security and content issues, sponsored by Proofpoint, finds that more than 43% of corporations with more than 20,000 employees employ staff to monitor andread outbound email.This staggering statistic is a testament to the widespread failure of current content-scanning technologies to stop the leak of intellectual property, confidential memos and embarrassing information from the enterprise.Respondents also expressed major concern about ensuring that emails leaving the enterprise comply with personal, financial an
Technology

Software Companies Blaming Sarbanes-Oxley for Lagging Earnings

Some software companies are missing second quarter earnings estimates and are blaming the time, energy and money companies are spending on Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements for slowing software purchase decisions, Reuters reported.The Sarbanes-Oxley reform legislation was enacted in 2002 after Enron imploded taking its auditing firm Arthur Andersen down with it. Veritas Software Corp.
Technology

New Hampshire Pondering Extending Internet Taxes; A Trend to Watch

New Hampshire tax officials are considering a new 7 percent tax on many Internet services, including chat rooms and voice mail, the Associated Press reported.The state’s Department of Revenue Administration is holding a hearing on the matter, which would need legislative approval.
Community News

From the Archives: 'The Future of the Accounting Profession' Special Report

Back in November of 2003, fifty-seven men and women, including leaders from the worlds of accounting, finance, law, academia, investment banking, journalism, non-governmental organizations, as well as the current and former regulatory officials gathered together for the 103rd American Assembly entitled "The Future of the Accounting Profession."Over the course of the Assembly, the distinguished professionals considered three broad areas of the accounting

AICPA Launches Survey on GAAP Statements; Private Co. Stakeholders

The American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) announced last week that it had launched a Web-based survey to poll the stakeholders of private company financial reporting - bank lenders, investor and venture capital/buyout firms, surety, bonding and insurance firms, business owners and managers, auditors, and more - to determine if general purpose financial statements prepared for private companies’ stakeholders are meeting their needs.
Practice Management

2004 Accounting Practice Survey Launched

Forty-three states, in addition to the Association for Accounting Administration (AAA), are participating in this year’s PCPS/TSCPA National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey, which launched last week. The PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey provides local and regional CPA firms with the most comprehensive information available for benchmarking management policies and financial results against other firms.
Community News

PA Firms Merge to Increase Client Service

Pittsburgh-based Dewey & Kaye announced a merger with McCroy & McDowell LLC, Pittsburgh's 10th-largest public accounting firm.According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Dewey and Kaye will retain its name and will be known as a division of McCrory & McDowell, confirmed principal Ken McCrory. "There's no dollars changing hands per se," said Mr. McCrory, who is also leader of his firm's nonprofit practice.
Tax

Whistleblower Rules May Provide New Niche for Accountants

As public companies begin actively encouraging whistleblower complaints, accountants and consultants are offering products and services to gather the sensitive information and deal with it quickly.The new whistleblower provisions, required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, are providing another opportunity for accounting firms to help companies cope in the post-Enron environment.Under the corporate reform law, audit committees must allow employees to report accounting or auditing irregularities without fear of being identified.
Community News

H&R Block Forms Alliance to Help Low and Moderate-Income Taxpayers

Low and moderate-income taxpayers will learn how they may be eligible for bigger tax refunds and money-saving government benefits because of a new alliance between the nation’s largest tax preparation company and a leading community organization.Sharing a goal of helping low-income taxpayers, H&R Block and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) together will create and execute community outreach programs designed to help consumers claim larger tax refunds and enroll in often-missed government assistance programs.“Nearly 4.3 million eligible taxpayers missed

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