Watchdog

Tax

White Collar Crime Prosecutions Down; ID Theft Crimes Up

A case-by-case analysis released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonpartisan research organization, shows that prosecution of white collar crime cases by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in U.S. District Courts has declined by 31.3 percent from levels reported in 2001.
Technology

Companies Face Daunting Task of Managing E-mail

Many of the demands that Sarbanes-Oxley compliance has placed on accounting firms have developed into commercial opportunities for other industries.
Tax

Has Enron Made Companies More Ethical?

There has been a dramatic five-year increase in how employees perceive their company’s ethics, according to a new national business ethics survey from global employee research and consulting firm ISR.Advertisement
Tax

Accounting Anomalies Continue for Computer Associates

Computer Associates (CA) will delay its fourth quarter and full year financial results, according to their announcement this week. CA was expected to post 2 cents per share earnings for their fourth quarter, according to the Register.
Tax

Guilty Verdicts for Ex-Enron Execs Spark Little Sympathy

A Texas jury on Thursday declared former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling guilty of fraud and conspiracy.
Tax

Prosecution, Defense Wrap in Enron Trial; Case Goes to the Jury

Enron Task Force prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler wrapped up the government’s case against Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, former chief executives of the bankrupt company, in a four-hour presentation on Monday in Houston, asking the jury to hold both men accountable for the choices they made and the lies they told. Defense attorneys, who presented their arguments on Tuesday, admitted bad business judgment on the part of their clients but emphatically denied criminal intent or conduct that would support the government’s charges of conspiracy and securities fraud against the two men.
Tax

AICPA Offers Credit Monitoring After Loss of Computer Hard Drive

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has told members that a computer hard drive containing names, addresses and Social Security numbers has been lost.Advertisement
Tax

Testimony Ends in Enron Trial

Testimony has ended in the trial of former Enron executives Jeffery Skilling and Ken Lay. Both are facing multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. Lay faces six counts, while Skilling faces 28 counts, in addition to insider trading and lying to auditors, according to the Associated Press.
A&A

Bookkeepers Saving Employers From Fraud

“Small businesses don’t have the Security Department enjoyed by large corporations, so if the bookkeeper doesn’t spot the fraud, the business takes a hit,” explained Steve Sahlein, co-president of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) in a prepared statement. In fact, many small firms are simply swept under by the $50 billion in check fraud and $1 billion in credit card fraud that occur annually.
Tax

Skilling Cross Examination Ends with Challenge, Denial

On Wednesday, the final day of cross examination in the trial of Enron’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, for conspiracy and insider trading, Federal prosecutor Sean Berkowitz surprised the Houston court when he suggested Skilling had lied about the reasons he resigned as Enron’s CEO in August 2001, the New York Times reports. Berkowitz asked Skilling whether he had told a friend, Dick Foster, in October 2001, that he was considering a chief executive position at Lucent Technologies.
Tax

Skimming the Most Common Way to Commit Fraud

Embezzling money from the employer is a temptation too strong for some to resist.The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), a professional association of 30,000 anti-fraud specialists, puts a high cost on occupational fraud and abuse.
Tax

Internal Auditing Gaining in Popularity

With internal auditors taking a more prominent role in U.S. companies, the popularity of the field is surging."Our membership has more than doubled in the last 10 years," said Trish Harris, director of communications for The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
Tax

More Privacy or Less Under Proposed IRS Rules?

A privacy proposal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently angered consumer advocates, tax professionals and state governments.The IRS, in a hearing Tuesday, took comments on changes to new privacy proposals that would allow tax preparers, with the taxpayers' permission, to sell or disclose information included on their returns.Advertisement
Tax

Accountants Can Help Identify Alter-Egos

Piercing the corporate veil is a law doctrine recognized throughout the country to prevent the abuse of corporations and protect creditors who might otherwise not be paid. When the veil is pierced, the courts will disregard the separate legal existence of corporations (including LLCs) and its shareholders or members.
Technology

IRS Opens New E-mail Box for Reporting Phony E-mails

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a new electronic mailbox, at phishing@irs.gov, where taxpayers should send information regarding suspicious e-mails claiming to be from the IRS.
Practice Management

Former Andersen Partners Testify in Trial of Lay and Skilling

John R.
Tax

IRS Proposes to Let Tax Preparers Sell Tax Information

A proposal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to permit tax preparers to sell tax information to third parties for marketing purposes if the taxpayer has signed a consent, drew little attention when it was first published in December as part of a set of proposed changes to Section 6103 of the tax code. Section 6103 covers disclosure of taxpayer information.
Tax

Scams Increase As Tax Deadline Approaches

An unsolicited e-mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is most likely a scam.Identity thieves are using the IRS name, or logo, in an attempt to gain access to financial information and steal the assets of unknowing taxpayers, the IRS warns.
Tax

Federal Contractors Probed as Tax Gap Widens

A new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that more than 3,800 contractors doing business with the General Services Administration (GSA) have tax debts totaling some $1.4 billion, reports Time.
Tax

State Guidelines, Accounting Issues Hold Up Disaster Relief Funds in Louisiana

State officials in Louisiana are delaying access to $7.5 billion in Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds (GO Zone) to public and private companies for nonresidential reconstruction and renovation projects until the state establishes new standards for these projects.

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