Trends

Forbes 500 Introduces Report on Pro Forma Earnings

Noting that aggregate corporate earnings for 2001 were "pretty awful," Forbes Magazine added a new table to its annual report on the 500 largest American companies. For the first time in 34 years of ranking companies, this year's report features companies that use "pro forma accounting."Although it admits pro forma earnings can present useful information for investors at times, (e.g.

BW Rankings Drop Companies with Accounting Issues

The crisis of confidence in accounting numbers has grown so severe, it is even affecting the annual rankings published by the business press. When Business Week published its annual ranking of the top 500 companies by earnings and revenues, it left some companies unranked because their financial statements had raised accounting questions, often accompanied by an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission ("After Enron, A Whole New Yardstick," Spring 2002).

Merrill Lynch Readies GAAP-based Analytical Standards

In an effort to improve the quality of its research, Merrill Lynch has issued an internal memo telling its stock analysts to use a variety of metrics to gauge the state of companies' financial performance, rather than relying on pro-forma earnings. According to the Wall Street Journal, the memo is part of a project to develop and define internal standards for analyzing financial performance.
Education & Careers

Rx For Overworked Accountants During Busy Season

Tired of putting in 12-hour days, 7 days a week? Think there ought to be a law against mandatory overtime? Well, you’re not alone. The Japanese, known for long work hours, even have a word – karoshi – to describe death from overwork. Now, at last, there are products in the U.S. legislative pipeline that may actually cure this sickness without the expected side effects. The SicknessA study released in January 2002, by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) confirms there are a few U.S.
Tax

Point and Click for a Trouble-Free Tax Season

Need a tax form? Have a question about changes to tax law? Want to find the nearest IRS taxpayer assistance center? Now anyone with a personal computer and Internet access can point and click their way to trouble-free tax filing at www.irs.gov.The IRS Web site offers a wealth of resources for making tax time, well, a little less taxing. A user-friendly format allows even novice Web surfers to quickly find the information they need.

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