Trends

Education & Careers

Does Corporate America Need CPOs?

First there was the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer. With scandals and fraud came the advent of the chief accountability officer and the chief ethics, knowledge, regulatory and disclosure officers, to name a few. Technology brought us the chief information officer.
Community News

EU Considers Audit Firm, Lead Partner Rotation Rule

The European Union is considering rules that would require publicly listed companies to rotate auditors every seven years or to change the senior partner in charge of the audit every five years, Financial Times reported.The proposed rules changes come from the European Commission in the wake of the Parmalat scandal in Italy, which was Europe’s version of Enron.
Technology

The CPA Exam Pilot Comes to a Successful End

The successful completion of a pilot version of the computer-based Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination was announced jointly today by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and Thomson Prometric. Beginning April 5, 2004, the computerized CPA Examination will be delivered on behalf of boards of accountancy through 300 Prometric testing labs in the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
Tax

CPAs Predict More Audits of Small Businesses

Accountants say a recent restructuring announced by the IRS could mean more audits of small companies and their owners.The IRS is adding 2,200 new positions to its audit operations in 2005, reversing declines over the last several years. IRS audit personnel decreased by more than 25 percent between 1996 and 2002, the Associated Press reported."The feeling out there is that they have lost money over the years and they're trying to regroup," said Theodore Kravitz, CPA, with New York-based accounting firm ERE LLPP.
Tax

AICPA Identifies Three Goals for IRS Strategic Plan

The principal strategic goals of the IRS over the next five years should be to continue to build on the agency’s reorganization, to support the information technology modernization efforts, and to strengthen enforcement activities, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) said at a meeting of the IRS Oversight Board.Improved communication was highlighted by Mark VanDeveer, chair of the AICPA’s IRS Practice and Procedures Committee, as a necessary central feature for the IRS’s next five-year strategic plan in order for the agency to successfully build on the restr
Education & Careers

Study Reveals Financial Performance Higher for Companies with Women at the Top

A new study released today by Catalyst demonstrates that companies with a higher representation of women in senior management positions financially outperform companies with proportionally fewer women at the top. These findings support the business case for diversity, which asserts companies that recruit, retain, and advance women will have a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Tax

SEC Shuts Down Investment Company that Attracted NFL Players

Ware Enterprises and Investments Inc., which targeted blacks and Christians as well as nearly 20 NFL players, is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday as it acted to shut down the Orlando-based investment firm.The SEC said the company got more than 600 people to invest about $16.5 million over three years by using religiously oriented pamphlets to attract vulnerable groups, the SEC said in its complaint.
Community News

Big Four Accounting Firms Lose Public Company Audit Clients

For the first time in at least a decade, in 2003 each of the accounting profession's biggest firms lost more public company audit clients than they acquired, according to an analysis by Auditor-Trak. PricewaterhouseCoopers suffered the biggest decline with a net loss of 91 audit clients. This shrinkage in PWC's client base reduced the firm's client revenue under audit by $46.4 billion and cut its client assets under audit by $543 billion. Auditor-Trak considers revenue for most public company audit clients but assets for certain financial services and other investment-oriented companies.
Tax

IRS Free File Opens Second Year; Improvements Detailed

The Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget unveiled a series of improvements last week designed to make the Free File program easier to use for more taxpayers. Now starting its second year, the Free File program lets millions of taxpayers prepare and file their federal taxes on-line for free.Free File, which is available at IRS.gov, gives taxpayers free access to the benefits of online tax preparation and e-filing. Filing taxes electronically is easy, fast and secure. And, people receive their refunds in half the time of a paper return.
Community News

Planning a Spring Get-Away or Partner Retreat? Think Spa

Every year, spas become more relevant to everyday Americans, as more and more people -- and more and more different types of people -- embrace spas to improve the way they look and feel. Spa Finder is at the very center of this unfolding story, representing the largest network of spas in the world and interacting with the largest audience of spa consumers.
A&A

IESOC Urges Field Testing of FASB’s Proposed Stock Options Rules

The International Employee Stock Options Coalition is asking the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to "field test" stock-option valuation models before issuing new statements covering the issue.The group sent a letter to FASB Chairman Robert Herz on Thursday that said, "Investors, issuers and all stakeholders in the financial reporting system would be well-served by such testing," Dow Jones Newswires reported.Currently, FASB does not require companies to expense stock options, but a new standard under consideration would require the options to be expensed the same way other typ

SEC Goes After Deadbeats; Considers New Fee Structure

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up a new unit to collect millions of dollars in unpaid fines.A team of three lawyers has been hired to find hidden money and get court orders to enforce judgements.
Community News

CPA Turns to Toys and TVs to Help Him Compete

Wooing customers away from the giants of the tax preparation industry is never easy, but one creative CPA in Tennessee is hoping toy trains, Teletubbies and teddy bears will give him an edge.Stephen Nestor, with four children of his own, knows how hard it is to cart the kids from activity to activity while also running the necessary, but boring, errands of everyday life — filing taxes, for one."My wife can't seem to go anywhere without taking kids with her," Nestor told the Tennessean.
A&A

The Top 10 Scams, Schemes & Scandals for 2004

State securities regulators forecast that investors will be challenged with increasingly complex and confusing investment frauds and identified the Top 10 schemes investors are likely to see in 2004. New to the NASAA annual survey of state securities enforcement officials are mutual fund practices, senior investment fraud, and variable annuities.“Investors face a complex maze of scams, schemes and scandals," said Ralph A. Lambiase, NASAA's president and director of the Connecticut Division of Securities.
Community News

Survey: Workers Put Off by Favoritism, Hypocrisy

When employers play favorites among employees or look the other way on some questionable behaviors, they are doing more harm than they realize in an already ethically challenged society. They are setting a tone of unethical leadership within an organization.With most of the attention these days focused on high-level accounting frauds, a recent survey shows that most employees find hypocrisy and favoritism to be the most egregious of workplace ethical breaches.
A&A

SEC Proposes New Investment Rules, Fund Firms Oppose

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose three regulatory initiatives designed to better protect the 95 million investors in mutual funds. Later in the day, two of the nation's largest mutual fund groups, Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group, said they oppose the plan by the US Securities and Exchange Commission to require chairmen of mutual fund boards to be independent.
A&A

Mortgage Industry Has a Long Way to Go With Customer Satisfaction

New CFI Group Study Shows Challenges For Mortgage Industry In Face of Reforms, Rate Increases A new survey of recent mortgage purchasers by the international consulting firm CFI Group, co-sponsored by Mortgage Banking Magazine, shows that mortgage lending ranks relatively low on customer satisfaction among financial services organizations.

SEC Finds ‘Revenue Sharing’ Practices at 13 Brokerages

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that the activity behind the scandal rocking the $7 trillion mutual fund industry is apparently quite common, with 13 out of 15 brokerages under SEC scrutiny admitting to "revenue sharing" practices.Revenue sharing occurs when mutual funds pay brokerages to promote the funds’ shares.
Education & Careers

Insights For a Better Organization During The Coming Year!

Stay flexible. Change will be constant. New opportunities will present themselves. Unexpected challenges will throw themselves at you. Be ready to duck, bob, weave, side step, and hop-scotch. Agility is power. Stay alert to your own environment. Even carefully watching the trends, we can't predict everything that will happen to you and your company. Futurists work at the "30,000 foot" level; corporate leaders operate at the mountain top level. Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground. Practice "Future Thinking." Always look ahead in everything you do.
A&A

Corporate Boards Logged More Time in 2003, Compensation Declines

In the wake of corporate scandals, the new Sarbanes-Oxley law and other governance and accounting requirements, nearly two-thirds of corporate boards of directors spent more time on their duties during the past year, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Barometer. Despite the added workload, board compensation increased at only 20 percent of companies, and remained the same at 47 percent. The remainder was either uncertain about board compensation or did not report. For those receiving a raise, the average increase was 17.9 percent.

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