Trends

Technology

Forensic Technology is Growing: Fraud And The IT Revolution

Provided by, PricewaterhouseCoopers With increased reliance on IT, more information is being stored on hard drives, file servers and backup systems than ever before. These are fertile grounds for potential fraudsters and the way this information is handled can decide the difference between success and failure in any fraud-mitigation effort.
Education & Careers

Job Market For 2004 College Grads Shows Improvement

The college Class of 2004 may reap the benefits of an improving job market, but results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) show it's unlikely the better outlook will translate into big starting salary offers. In an earlier NACE survey, employers projected hiring 12.7 percent more new college graduates in 2003-04 than they hired in 2002-03, the first projected increase since 2000-2001.
Community News

Scandal-ridden Tyco Gets Serious About Ethics

Tyco International Ltd., dogged by a series of scandals and eager to polish its image, is putting its entire work force through a training program on legal and ethical issues. The conglomerate has signed on for a five-year training program led by Los Angeles-based LRN, or The Legal Knowledge Co. Tyco will require its roughly 260,000 workers around the world, from top to bottom, to understand legal and ethical issues.

Wall Street Wonders Where Spitzer Will Strike Next

The speculation on Wall Street is that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is waiting for just the right complaint to trigger an investigation of the mortgage industry, according to Toronto's Globe and Mail. Spitzer has led a crusade against Wall Street that started with investment firms that used tainted research to attract banking deals. Then he moved to mutual funds, one of the greatest stores of wealth in the United States. But it falls about $400 billion short of the mortgage industry, worth an estimated $7.4 trillion.
A&A

Insurance Associations Concerned About IASB Standard

Seven major insurance trade associations have asked the International Accounting Association (IASB) to take another look at its Exposure Draft 5, Insurance Contracts, which is also referred to as Phase I of the Insurance Contract Accounting project.The London-based IASB hopes to eventually standardize global accounting rules for publicly held companies. The standards would include financial accounting standards for insurance companies.
Practice Management

Survey Finds Little Effect From SOX on Not-for-Profits

A recent national survey of not-for-profit business leaders and executives conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, finds that Sarbanes-Oxley has had little effect on not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States."It is now more than a year since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted and still most not-for-profit organizations, including larger ones, have not made any changes to their board governance policies," says Bob Leavy, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for the Not-for-Profit Industry Practice.
A&A

Trend Setters, Company to Format & Release Own Earnings in XBRL

Bowne & Co., Inc., the world's largest financial printer and leading EDGAR filer, today announced it will participate in a major industry financial reporting demonstration utilizing Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL).

Foreign Registrants Face Unprecedented Shareholder Class Actions

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers research, 13 foreign companies have been sued in shareholder class actions through November 3, 2003.In 2002, PricewaterhouseCoopers Foreign Securities Litigation Study reported an unprecedented 22 foreign issuers who were named in securities class actions, an increase of 47 percent over the 15 cases filed in 2001. (Note: 2001 numbers exclude "IPO Laddering" cases).PricewaterhouseCoopers' research shows that since the start of 2002, foreign issuers have agreed to pay a total of approximately $700 million to settle shareholder class actions in the U.S.
Community News

Insurer Balks at Paying Fines For Xerox Executives

An insurance carrier, which provides directors & owners insurance to Xerox Corp., has refused to reimburse the company for the $19.4 million in federal fines levied against six former executives involved in last year’s accounting scandal.The insurer, a division of American International Group Inc., is asking a state court in New York City to declare that Xerox obtained its policies under false pretenses. AIG contends that Xerox "misrepresented the company’s financial condition and outlook," the Rochester, N.Y.

'Heads should roll' at the SEC, says NY Attorney General Spitzer

The Securities and Exchange Commission found itself in the hot seat at a Senate hearing yesterday for failing to act sooner to clean up the mutual fund sector.Charges against the industry range from illegal—including 10 percent of the fund firms that allegedly have participated in late trading, which allows favored investors to trade after the 4 p.m. deadline-to questionable, including marketing timing, in which larger, more savvy investors trade in and out of a fund quickly to make a better profit.
Technology

Orbitz Reports Secuirty Breach, Lands McDonald’s Account

Orbitz, the online travel agent, said on Thursday that it informed law enforcement officials about a security breach that compromised some customers' e-mail addresses.
A&A

Employees Ask For More Retirement Advice, Study Shows

After three years of market volatility, employees are now re-engaging with their retirement planning and, in turn, are asking their employers for more guidance in achieving their retirement goals, according to the latest survey commissioned by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive included 300 small business executives and 600 full-time small business employees ages 18 and older.

US and Finland go Head to Head in Competitiveness Report

The United States and Finland are the two most competitive economies in the world, according to a report by the World Economics Forum. Finland is the most competitive economy in the world, followed by the United States, Sweden, Denmark and Taiwan respectively. Highlights of The ReportFinland is the most competitive economy holding first position in the Growth Competitiveness Index rankings due to a good all-round performance.
Community News

Aligning Firm Culture With The Needs of The Times

In the wake of a an economic downturn which has left those spared from layoffs either working daunting hours under stress or not busy enough to feel secure, firms need to foster community feeling and sense of purpose as well as facilitate positive communication. Morale and productivity, inevitably linked, need more attention.

New Pilot Program Created to Assist Identity Theft Victims

The Financial Services Roundtable took a major step this week to help victims of identity theft/fraud recover their financial identities and restore their credit ratings. A pilot program, scheduled to launch in May 2004, will allow victims of identity theft/fraud to alert banks, credit card companies and law enforcement agencies with just one phone call.
Community News

Former Rite Aid Counsel First to be Convicted After Scandals

Franklin C. Brown, former Rite Aid chief counsel, was convicted Friday after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy and other charges, the first jury verdict in the wake of corporate scandals. Brown was convicted of conspiracy to inflate earnings, several obstruction charges, witness tampering and five charges of lying to SEC investigators, in a case that came to light a year before Enron erupted. He was acquitted of wire fraud and is free until sentencing at a date to be named later."We're all satisfied. This jury did what one hopes juries will do.
Community News

US, EU Close to Agreement on PCAOB Registration

U.S. and European Union regulators are nearing agreement over the once-controversial matter of European companies registering with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).As part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, all domestic and foreign firms auditing publicly held firms in the U.S. must register with the PCAOB. Domestic firms have until October 22, 2003.
Community News

2003 MAP "Top Five Issues" Survey Provides Insight into Accounting Profession

For the sixth consecutive year, “finding and retaining qualified staff” is the top pressing issue for CPA firms, according to this year’s “Top Five MAP Issues” survey, conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

New Poll Ranks The Accounting Profession (Not So) Prestigious

The latest Harris Poll of Most Prestigious Occupations ranks accounting almost at the bottom of the list. So why doesn't this seem like a problem?The poll, the result of telephone interviews during August 2003 among a cross section of 1,011 U.S. adults, provided insight into what Americans feel are the most prestigious occupations. Accounting came in at 18th place out of a possible 22 occupations. Fifteen percent of those questioned said that accounting is an occupation of very great prestige.
Education & Careers

Arthur Levitt to Chair Academic 'Think Tank'

Morgan Stanley, IBM Corp. and General Electric Co.’s GE Foundation will join forces and resources with Columbia University’s business school to create an academic think tank to take the lead in improving accounting standards and stock research.Called the Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis, the center will be chaired by Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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