Trends

Community News

Public Companies Are Increasingly Going Private

by Grant Thornton, LLPRecently, it was the mad rush for private companies to go public and offer initial public offerings (IPOs).

While You Were Out . . . Tax Season Developments Across The Profession

Many of you have been "nose to the grindstone" for the last few months preparing client tax returns. Now that the crunch is over, you've got an opportunity to pick your head up, look around, and see what's been happening around the profession.Here, AccountingWEB presents some of the highlights of the last few months.
Technology

Creating And Delivering Value is Top Concern For CIOs

Chief information officers and IT executives at leading companies face complex challenges in creating and delivering value related to technology investments, as well as defining that value across the enterprise, according to a new survey conducted by the Management Solutions and Services Group at Deloitte & Touche LLP, and IDG Research Services Group.
Tax

Workers Seek Pension Plan Protections

After a three-year lull, debate on cash balance pensions heated up last week when workers and labor advocates asked the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to safeguard the pensions of older workers.Labor supporters are asking the government to mandate employee protections for plan conversions. At stake are the pensions of thousands of older workers, who stand to lose promised benefits in the conversion from traditional plans to cash balance plans.
Tax

Tax Time Provides Insight Into Human Nature

Tax payers and tax preparers have toiled since January 1 in gathering the critical data needed to pay Uncle Sam. But while this group rummaged through shoeboxes and 1040 forms, social scientists sat back and observed, looking for clues into human nature.What do they see, these scientists who look at taxpayers the way a doctor observes a virus in a microscope?

Are Women More Ethical in Business?

Do men and women have different ethical behavior in the business world? Apparently inquiring minds want to know.

Social Security: 'Not Sustainable For Long-Term'

The Social Security Board of Trustees has declared that the Social Security program is not sustainable over the long term.
A&A

War Uncertainty Shades CFOs' Revenue Predictions

For Chief Financial Officers of U.S. companies, a short successful war will mean positive revenue growth over the next year according to the March "CFO Outlook Survey," conducted this week by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. However, a prolonged war with Iraq would cause revenues to remain flat for the coming 12 months.
Education & Careers

Career Fairs—Your Shortcut to Job Interviews

By, Deborah Walker, CCMC In many cities and local communities, spring is career fair season. While these events often prove disappointing, job-seekers who understand how “work” career fairs use these events as powerful networking sessions leading to interviews with future employers. If you are considering attending a job fair soon, you’ll get more out of the event by following these three rules.Rule #1: Plan ahead.Know ahead of time which companies will attend the event. Decide which employers you are interested in contacting.
Practice Management

CEO Incentives Fail to Boost Company Performance

The topic of CEO compensation has taken center stage recently with news about top executives becoming incredibly wealthy even though they did little for their company’s stockholders. Over the years boards have supported incentive-heavy packages for CEOs by rationalizing that what’s good for the executive is good for the company.
Education & Careers

Professional Trends in Accounting For 2003

By Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc.A number of important developments will affect accounting professionals in 2003. New regulations, changing job responsibilities, emerging technologies and specialties, and a more moderate hiring climate are a few of the key issues. Individuals who adapt quickly to these trends will be in the strongest position for career advancement this year. WANTED: A DIVERSIFIED SKILL SET Accountants continue to assume broader responsibilities, undertaking more of an advisory role with their clients.

Corporations Take Big Hits on Goodwill in 2002

U.S. corporations wrote $750 billion off their books last year to reflect the decline in value of business acquisitions. If the market continues to slide, analysts believe that goodwill write-downs could reach $200 billion in 2003. Most of the write-downs are for businesses acquired in the merger and acquisition frenzy in the late 1990s and 2000, especially those in the technology sector. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) statement on goodwill, FASB 142, requires companies to perform an annual goodwill impairment test and write down to value.

Bankruptcies Reached Record Heights in 2002

Last year was a record breaker for bankruptcy filings. There were a total of 1,577,651 bankruptcies in 2002, an increase of 5.7 percent over the previous year, according to data released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The last three months of 2002 showed a slight improvement, with filings declining 1.5 percent from the third quarter.Personal bankruptcies rose 6 percent from 2001 to 2002 and accounted for the overwhelming majority of the filings, nearly 98 percent.
Community News

Second-Tier Accounting Firms Poised to Move Up

In light of the changes in the accounting profession in the last year, CFO.com weighs in this month with a special report about the current state of the industry. The report looks at how these changes have affected the second-tier, or Group B, accounting firms, such as Chicago-based Grant Thornton or Seattle-based Moss Adams.The report explores the possibility of the Second Six, that is the six largest Group B firms, expanding into Big Four territory.
Technology

Dell Phases Out Floppy Disk Drives

Dell Computer Corp. is ready to begin supersizing computer memory storage. Dell, one of the largest computer makers in the world, recently announced that it would stop putting floppy disk drives in its high-end personal desktop computers. Dell is replacing the floppies with UB flash memory, which offers greater storage capacity. The 3.5-inch diskette, which has been the standard since the early 1990s, has 1.44 megabytes of memory while the UB flash memory has 16 megabytes. Dell contends that the UB flash memory is more compatible with today’s mega-memory computers.
Technology

New Poll Reveals Internet Growth in U.S. is Slowing

Three years ago, bold proclamations were being made that within the decade, everyone on the planet will be accessing the Internet. While that rate of penetration never materialized, Internet usage in the United States does continue to grow, but at a much slower rate, according to a new Harris Poll released today.The poll reveals that 67 percent of U.S. adults are online from somewhere, up from 63% in 2000.
Practice Management

AccountingWEB Interviews: David Maister, Practice Management Consultant

As part of a series of interviews with prominent members of the profession, AccountingWEB sits down with David Maister, acclaimed professional services firm expert and author, to get his perspective on what's happening in the profession. AccountingWEB (AW): Over the years you have offered many of the best suggestions for professional services firms to be more successful.
Education & Careers

Student Cheating Goes High Tech

Cheating on exams is nothing new, but the tools that students are using are much more sophisticated. Instead of writing answers on their palms, today’s students employ an arsenal of state-of-the-art gadgetry. On January 25, the Washington Post reported that 12 University of Maryland students had been caught cheating on exams when friends relayed the correct answers using the text messaging system on cell phones.

Consulting Group Analyzes Cause of Financial Restatements

What was really behind all of the financial restatements last year? What kinds of trends can be seen in the causes of these financial restatements?

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