Trends

Tax

CCH Briefing Updates Streamlined Sales Tax Developments

States are confronting several sticky issues as they try to develop a Streamlined Sales Tax system that would see out-of-state vendors collect tax on purchases delivered to buyers in participating states, according to CCH Tax and Accounting (CCH), a leading provider of tax and accounting information, software and services and a Wolters Kluwer company. The latest developments – and a look at what has yet to happen to make the system a reality – are laid out in a special CCH Tax Briefing.According to Daniel T.
Technology

Anti-Spyware Bill Moves Forward

The House on Energy and Commerce subcommittee has approved the newly renamed “Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass” Act, (SPY ACT). This act will now move to full committee and then, if approved, to the House for a full vote. The bill was authored by U.S. Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.), who said in a statement, "Passage of the SPY ACT today represents a cooperative effort to bring commonsense legislation forward to protect consumers from the threat of spyware.
Tax

Industry Leaders Form Group to Combat Online Fraud

A “superhero slate” of cross-industry leaders in retail, telecommunications, financial services, banking and technology have joined forces to eliminate the threat of phishing to e-mail and e-commerce. The Trusted Electronic Communication Forum (TECF) said in a statement that the group formed as a “collaborative endeavor with the mission to help mitigate the risks posed by phishing, spoofing and other tactics of online identity fraud.” The group will also focus on finding an immediate cross-geographic and industry-wide standard to protect consumers and businesses.
Practice Management

A New Era in Competing For Clients

By Bruce Marcus, The Marcus NewsletterThe conversations with Professor Philip Kotler, and Larry Smith’s findings and their interpretations in his book Inside/Outside, focus on what may be an unheralded change in professional services marketing.From the time of the Bates Decision (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 1977), which laid the groundwork for a new era of marketing for professional services, until now, professional services marketing has concentrated on the traditional tools of marketing – the press release, the newsletter, the seminar, the brochure, etc..
Technology

PWC Launches New Performance Risk Management Service

PricewaterhouseCoopers announced this week a new Performance Risk Management (PRM) advisory service for CEOs, CFOs and board directors. The new PRM service will help corporations improve the quality and adequacy of management reporting, especially in the area of identifying risks that could impact short and long term performance.
A&A

FAF Issues Statement Opposing Legislative Proposals to Curb FASB Independence

Source: Financial Accounting Foundation The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), after extensive analysis and with careful public due process, issued a proposal on March 31, 2004 regarding accounting for employee stock options and other equity-based compensation. As Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) we do not take positions on the FASB's standards-setting proposals; we leave the complex task of accounting standards setting to the experts who comprise the FASB.
Tax

IRS Confirms it is Unlawful for Same-Sex Married Couples to File Jointly

In response to an inquiry about tax filings, the Public Advocate of the United States, Inc. received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming that it is unlawful for same-sex couples to file their taxes under any married status, even if the jurisdiction in which the couple lives, recognizes such a union.The text of the letter is as follows:Mr. Eugene A. DelgaudioPresidentPublic Advocate of the United States, Inc.5613 Leesburg Pike, Suite 17Falls Church, VA 22041-2912Dear Mr.

Accounting Rule on Derivatives Sparks Veto by 4 EU Nations

Four countries have voted down the latest version of a rule on accounting for derivatives, continuing a years-long debate and creating doubt that a full package of accounting standards will be passed by January.France, Italy, Spain and Belgium vetoed the compromise at a meeting of an advisory group called the Accounting Regulatory Committee, according to a European diplomat as reported in the New York Times. The committee is made up of representatives from the European Union’s 25 member states.
Practice Management

Two Strikes and You're Out ... for Poor Customer Service

A recent survey commissioned by Amdocs finds that consumers 'will not take it anymore' and are likely to change service providers after two negative experiences. The national survey, which queried 1000 consumers about recent experiences in the banking, cable, retail, and telecommunications industries, shows that consumers hold companies accountable for poor customer service.
Practice Management

Companies Offering Cash Incentives to Healthy Workers

A slimmer waistline may mean a fatter wallet at some companies looking to contain their health-care costs.Companies have long encouraged healthy lifestyles with the idea that more fit employees are more productive and more satisfied employees, but now they’re offering an incentive — cash."A few years ago, companies might have offered T-shirts or mugs," says Seth Serxner, a principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, according to CFO magazine.
Tax

House Bill Would Simplify Older Payers' Tax Form

A new bill pending in the U.S. House would make filing taxes easier for seniors but its chief proponent is considered extremely vulnerable in the fall election and there’s no similar bill in the Senate.Introduced on April 1 by Rep.
Practice Management

Lawyers Shifting from Estate-Planning to More Lucrative Practices

Large law firms around the country are moving away from estate-planning to focus on the more lucrative areas of litigation, corporation finance, mergers and acquisitions.According to the Wall Street Journal, this shift is happening for a number of reasons:Delays — Some clients are waiting before drafting estate plans because of the uncertainty surrounding estate taxes.Competition — Banks and financial planners are becoming more active in the estate-planning business by advising clients on planning strategies before turning them over to attorneys to draft document

SEC Looks to Hire Psychologist to Boost Employee Morale

Some think employee morale at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is at a new low in the wake of seemingly endless scandals, long hours for less pay than in the private sector and a series of embarrassments.To combat stress, burnout and conflict, the SEC is planning to hire an organizational psychologist to boost employee morale. The new, full-time job pays upwards of $147,978 per year and is a two-year appointment with the possibility of an extension. The SEC seeks a candidate with a degree in psychology with a master’s or doctorate preferred.
Technology

EDGAR Online Completes XBRL Conversion of All U.S. Public Co. Financial Statements

EDGAR® Online®, Inc., a financial information company specializing in making complex regulatory reporting by public companies actionable and easy-to-use, announced today that it now offers U.S. public company financial statements in a new importable format called eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). One of the first financial services companies to make use of XBRL, EDGAR Online is also offering users for the first time and at no cost a limited number of real-time public company financial statements directly downloaded into Microsoft Excel 2003 worksheets.
Practice Management

Become Fully Accountable For Your Success: Expose Your Diversionary Tactics

By Keith Rosen, MCC - - Have you ever done something that you know is not in your best interest? Have you ever avoided doing something that is in your best interest? In either of these scenarios you were probably able to justify your behavior as well as your line of thinking and most of all; avoid being accountable. While that may sting a little bit, allow me to introduce to you a new definition for this type of behavior.
Practice Management

Employees Lack Confidence in Management

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., President DISCOVERY SURVEYS, INC.Employees need to feel confident that senior management is competently running the organization and has solid long-term plans for the future. Otherwise, there will be an erosion of employee: Motivation;Job performance; andCommitment to the organization.What can be done to build employee trust in management? 
Practice Management

And the Goal of Prospecting Is...

By, Keith Rosen, MCC - - Think about the intention or the end result of your prospecting efforts. It's probably not what you think.

Boards of Directors Working Harder Than Ever

Gone are the days when sitting on a corporate board meant showing up for occasional meetings and collecting fat honorariums from your buddy the CEO.Today’s boards of directors are under the microscope in the wake of the devastating corporate scandals of recent years, which found many a board asleep at the wheel while management ran the company into the ground. New legislation puts more responsibility on corporate boards to take seriously their responsibilities to shareholders by filling their ranks with people qualified to be there—and people who plan to show up to do the job.
Technology

Companies Lobby for Enhanced Software Security

A group of 150 of the country’s largest companies—including several "Rust Belt" companies—are beginning a lobby effort to put the technology sector on notice that they want better security and support of software products vulnerable to hackers, the Washington Post reported.The Business Roundtable, a trade group of executives of the 150 companies, is fed up with the expense and hassle of keeping computer networks safe for consumers, the Post reported.

Family-Friendly Cutbacks Affecting Employee Choices

Back in the roaring 90s, companies in need of good employees instituted a number of family-friendly programs designed to attract working parents. With the boom over, some companies are now cutting back on family-friendly programs, forcing parents to make tough choices.Melissa Kimball quit her job as an architect in Washington, D.C., when her company refused to allow her to work part-time permanently, USA Today reported."I didn't want to quit. I loved my job," says Kimball, 36, who left her job in April to stay home with Chance, 20 months.

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