Trends

Corporate Executives Still Reeling in the Perks

America’s highest paid executives collectively made $30.9 million in additional compensation outside of salaries, bonuses and stock awards, according to the proxy statements of Fortune 100 companies.While the perks don’t match the lavish extremes once reported at scandal-ridden Tyco International Ltd.
Community News

Pension Crisis Prompting Changes to Company Retirement Plans

More than half (52 percent) of 125 companies polled are considering changes or already have made changes to their pension plans in the past year, according to a survey by Deloitte Consulting LLP.Buffeted by increased costs due to falling interest rates and investment returns and by continued pressure from financial analysts to limit future risk, more companies are opting to move away from defined benefit plans. Among those respondents that have changed their plans, the single most common shift (among 38 percent) was freezing their pension plan and moving to a defined contribution plan.
Community News

Outsourcing to India to Increase 50% Next Year

All the talk against foreign outsourcing this political season has not translated into action by U.S. executives, who plan to send 50 percent more work to India next year.According to a study by Ernst & Young, while opposition to outsourcing has intensified in the presidential campaign and among union groups, the flow of work to India has remained constant, the Financial Times of London reported. "The sentiment is very strong.
A&A

Show Me the Money: Workers Put a Bonus, Raise First on Wish List

It may not buy happiness, but money is top of mind for employees today, according to a recent survey. Nearly half (48 percent) of workers polled said what they want most at work is a bonus or raise. More time off ranked second, with 24 percent of the response, followed by additional support at the office, with 17 percent. The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.
Education & Careers

Recruiters Searching for MBA Grads in Finance and Accounting

Companies that hire MBA graduates are more optimistic about their recruiting plans this year. Only half are blaming the economy for limiting their hiring, compared to 69 percent only two years ago, according to the 2004 Corporate Recruiters Survey just released by the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®).Improvement in the economy has also allowed more companies to hire new MBAs.
A&A

Fast Growth Companies Regaining Their Stride

Back to the future! Revenue growth targets for America's "Trendsetter" companies are at their highest—and worries about market demand at their lowest—in more than three years, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers study. Disproportionate new hiring and capital investments are planned by the fastest growers—suggesting that if others can achieve a threshold level of growth, more new jobs and greater investments will follow.
Community News

Achieving Corporate Ethics Standards a Gradual, Deliberate Process Within U.S. Companies

Newly released research from Deloitte & Touche LLP, finds that while most companies have taken the initial steps toward establishing a code of ethics, a limited number are actively monitoring adherence to the programs. In a detailed questionnaire sent to 5,000 directors of the top 4,000 publicly traded companies, Deloitte determined that 83 percent of the firms responding have established formal codes of ethics and conduct, but 25 percent are not actively monitoring compliance.Further slippage can be seen in the allocation of resources to ethics activities.
Tax

Most Americans Say Job Creation More Important than Tax Cuts

The April MONEY/ICR Poll has found that three-quarters of Americans say that if they had had a choice between enacting the 2003 tax cuts or spending additional money to create new jobs, they would have picked job creation. The national poll, fielded last week, also found that half of all Americans would also have preferred cutting the deficit over last year's tax cuts. And a majority of Americans-60 percent-said they didn't benefit personally from the tax cuts of 2003.

Yale Dean Suggests New Debate On How to Fix Corporate Boards

One voice is missing from the mix of regulators, attorneys, shareholder activists and business leaders who are trying to fix corporate boards — psychologists.Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean at the Yale School of Management, suggests in Forbes.com that psychologists could add information about the "litany of pathologies" on corporate boards, which he lists as "groupthink, bystander apathy, diffusion of responsibility, inconsistent incentives, obedience to authority, atrophy and the like."Sonnenfeld says that now is the time to move the governance debate away from new procedures and c
A&A

2004 Retirement Confidence Survey: Percentage of Americans Saving Stagnant Since 2001

What will it take to get more Americans to save and plan for retirement? Despite a recovering economy and efforts to educate the population about the importance of planning and saving for retirement, the percentage of Americans who say they are saving for retirement remains stagnant.
Tax

Group Calls for IRS Action against Gay Marriage Tax Filers

Public Advocate of the United States, a non-profit, pro-family group, delivered a letter to the Internal Revenue Service earlier this week calling for investigations into same-sex couples who may file any tax form as "married - filing jointly" or "married filing separately" as part of a fraudulent same-sex marriage, such as those that have been performed by the thousands in San Francisco, California between homosexual couples. The text of the letter is as follows:Hon. Mark W. EversonCommissioner of Internal RevenueInternal Revenue ServiceU.S.
A&A

Spitzer’s Office Adds $250 Million to State Coffers

The New York State Attorney General’s office has doubled the amount of money it won in fines and restitution last year, thanks to a number of multimillion-dollar settlements with firms on Wall Street.Eliot Spitzer’s office won $786 million last year in judgments and settlements — the highest ever — up from $352 million the year before, the Wall Street Journal reported."As a result of the office's activities, more than half a billion dollars will be returned to individual New Yorkers, and another $250 million will go to the state's coffers, which will reduce the tax burden on stat

Poll Says CEO Confidence Hits 20-Year High

A new survey says chief executives’ confidence in the U.S. economy has risen to the highest level in 20 years."Half of all CEOs surveyed anticipate an increase in hiring plans over the course of the year, suggesting labor market growth should gain momentum in the months ahead," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's consumer research center.A year ago, only 16 percent of CEOs surveyed believed employment levels in their industry would increase, Reuters reported.The Department of Labor announced Friday that U.S.

As Demands on Directors Increase, So Does Pay

Betsy S. Atkins, a board member of three technology companies, has seen her workload as a director triple in the post-Enron environment. The time she spends in audit and compensation committee meetings has grown even more.This is the new reality for Atkins and many other corporate board directors, who are working harder while facing greater risks of lawsuits and a fouled reputation if something goes wrong.
Tax

Most CFOs File Tax Returns Early, Survey Shows

Robert Half Accountants are at the head of the line when it comes to filing personal income tax returns. In a recent survey, 67 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they submit their taxes in the first three months of the year. But not all respondents act quickly; one in four wait until April to file their returns.The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis.
Community News

SEC to Take Hard Look at Off-Balance-Sheet Disclosures

Off-balance-sheet transactions, once abused by Enron to hide debt and overstate profits, will be closely scrutinized as regulators look for ways to improve financial disclosures.That warning came from Donald T. Nicolaisen, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nicolaisen said at a Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council meeting Tuesday that the agency will study the details about off-balance-sheet activity that companies provided in their latest filings.
Technology

'Browser Hijacking' the Latest Threat for Windows Users

Windows users already have enough security risks to worry about, but here’s a new one — browser hijacking.It takes tedious, time-consuming work to undo the damage, and most users only discover the ‘hijacking’ after it’s happened.
Practice Management

Deloitte's Tinkler Outlines Three Elements to Creating an Ethically-Managed Company

Harold Tinkler, Deloitte & Touche LLP's chief ethics and compliance officer, told Baruch College's first Ethics Week forum that culture, controls and consequences are the elements necessary to creating a successful and ethically managed company.
Community News

NJ Moving to Hold Professionals Accountable for Ad Statements

New Jersey’s legislature has taken steps toward ensuring that licensed professionals, including accountants, can be sued for false claims made in their advertising. According to the Courier Post in Trenton, the Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill that would hold anyone who has a professional or occupational license, a certificate of registration or a certification issued or renewed by a board. Professionals such as accountants, architects, doctors, lawyers, morticians, veterinarians and social workers accountable for false claims made in their advertisements.
Community News

AICPA Task Force to Explore Financial Reporting for Private Companies

With the vast majority of U.S.

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