Trends

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?

More Prosecutors Set Their Sights on Auditors

To date, most high-profile prosecutions related to the recent rash of accounting scandals have involved corporate executives. But there is a growing consensus among prosecutors that crimes would be easier to prevent by going after gatekeepers of capital markets, especially auditors. The major open issue seems to be when to go after the firm rather than individual auditors. Examples of recent quotes from prosecutors:Manhattan District Attorney Robert M.
A&A

Business Travelers Face New Airport Rules

Executives need to plan ahead if they want to use airport clubs and comply with a recent federal directive. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has mandated that airlines restrict use of airport clubs, a measure intended to limit access to secure areas of the airport.For many years, business travelers have relied on airport clubs as convenient places to relax between flights or meet with clients. Quite often, executives have used the clubs for impromptu meetings or conferences. But the new TSA directive ends spur-of-the-moment get-togethers.
A&A

Bankruptcy Reform Back on The Table

Is 2003 the lucky year for bankruptcy reform legislation? When Congress adjourned last November, it was the third time in six years that lawmakers had failed to pass stricter bankruptcy legislation. Weary and tired from the prolonged battle, many key supporters, including Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) and industry lobbyists, vowed not to try again in 2003. But with bankruptcies at record levels, the bill seems destined to return. The legislation still has strong backers in Congress and the White House, and Sen.
Technology

Efforts Continue to End Junk E-Mail

Bill Yerazunis wants to rid the world of spam. Not the spam that comes in a can but rather the constant stream of unsolicited e-mail messages. Viagra pills, mortgage refinancing, home based business opportunities, vitamin supplements, remedies to enhance body parts, and "as seen on TV" offers are flooding e-mail accounts worldwide.In the U.S., spam now accounts for 15 to 20 percent of inbound messages on corporate e-mail accounts, according to San Francisco-based Ferris Research. The research firm estimates that lost productivity due to spam will cost U.S.
Technology

E-Mail Replacing Face-to-Face Communication, Survey Shows

In today’s fast-paced corporate world, who has time to convene in person when you can "hit send"? In a new survey of executives, 92 percent of respondents say managers often send an e-mail message rather than meet one-on-one.

Want to Buy a Town? Just go to E-Bay...

It is true that you can buy just about anything on the Internet these days. Just ask Elizabeth Lapple, the owner of the tiny town of Bridgeville, California, who is auctioning off the town on E-Bay.Ms. Lapple put the town on the auction block back on November 27, but until Christmas day it failed to reach the minimum bid of $800,000. But Christmas Day brought good cheer when the bidding started getting very heavy, and burst past the $800,000 price tag.

IRS Turns up The Heat on Tax Cheats

2002 Year-in ReviewFacing a shrinking budget and limited resources, the IRS is using every available resource it has to catch tax cheats, which outgoing Chairman Charles Rossotti identifies as the biggest problem facing the IRS today.

International Auditing Standards Begin Convergence With US GAAP

2002 Year-in ReviewPrior to 2002, followers of US GAAP had little time to worry about what the rest of the world was doing with respect to accounting standards. While a number of high-profile US accounting profession luminaries worked with the International Accounting Standards Board to bring a convergence between US and international standards, it had been mostly an academic exercise - until this year.

Staggering Lawsuits Hit CPA Firms

2002 Year-in Review It seems like every week in 2002 we reported on a firm being sued for improper audits of client financial records. While these suits have occurred regularly in the past, it is the size of these lawsuits that has captured the attention of the press and the public. In addition to the startling numbers originally discussed to settle the Enron case ($800 million at one point), the Big Five firms, national firms, and even H&R Block found themselves settling lawsuits to the tune of tens of millions of dollars this year.

Big Changes in The Works For The CPA Exam

2002 Year-in ReviewAs the profession swirled through a very public display of its dirty laundry, one of the biggest changes to hit the accounting profession in a long time quietly made progress this year as the AICPA and State Boards of Accountancy continued the move towards computerization of the CPA exam, now scheduled to take effect in the spring of 2004.

Firm Name Changes And Spin-Offs Continue

2002 Year-in ReviewAs the profession and government regulators took a tougher stance on what accountants should and should not do, the lucrative consulting arms of the various national CPA firms did all they could to distance themselves from their auditor heritage and namesake. IPO plans were put on hold because of a weakened economy, but big money was spent on re-branding the consultants.

Forensic Accounting Emerges as Top Career Choice

2002 Year-in ReviewSometimes for the better, but often for the worse, the events of 2002 propelled the accounting profession into the glare of the spotlight. Enrollment in accounting courses at universities around the country jumped, as a recognition of the importance of this discipline to the stability of the American economy. Suddenly, the image of the accountant as either superhero or supervillain made it cool to be associated with accounting.

AICPA Refocuses on Core Values

2002 Year-in ReviewThe AICPA began the year with the announcement that the Global Business Credential, which was vigorously supported by the leadership as a way to expand the reach of the CPA, had been resoundingly defeated by the Institute's membership. Within weeks, the AICPA leadership found itself struggling to find its voice in the fast moving chaos that emerged with the rapid disintegration of Andersen and the public trust.

Ethics Are Back in Vogue

2002 Year-in ReviewCalls for accounting reform also brought calls for ethics training for corporate boards, corporate executives, and accountants. Students ranked ethics and reputation above salary and opportunity for advancement as the key determinants in choosing the organization for which they work.

Corporate Accounting Scandals Rock Public Confidence

2002 Year-in ReviewWe entered the year stunned with the bankruptcy of Enron, which was caused by accounting fraud and misdoings within the corporate office. Trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated as the stock market went south in a vote of no confidence by investors in corporate America, in the accountants who audit them, and in the investment houses that recommend them as investments. WorldCom came along by early summer and took over the dubious title of being the biggest accounting scandal in US history.

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