AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 12

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The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 12
October 8, 1999
http://www.accountingweb.com

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In the headlines this week:
1. AOL Releases Version 5.0 -- BUT WATCH OUT !!!!!!
2. Consolidator Update: CBIZ Looking To Possibly Sell Itself?
3. 401(k) Plan Administration Just Got EZ
4. Microsoft To Offer Software For Rent
5. Another Big 5 Exec Lured Into The Internet
6. Adding "Stickiness" To Your Website To Increase Visits
7. Take Control of Your Meetings
8. Internet Taxation: Will We or Won't We?
9. Internet Tip: Brush Up On Your Techno-Glossary

Editor's Note
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We had a flurry of activity and feedback last week after the
story we published on Mars & Venus -- the differences in buying
habits of men and women. Have you experienced different buying
styles between genders? Go to the story and add your comments at
the bottom of the page!
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=6967&d=101

You are invited and encouraged to participate in our on-line
poll this week as we try to identify the particular skill sets
that accountants need to improve upon. Take our results and
extrapolate to your firm. To access the poll, go to:
http://www.accountingweb.com/poll/index.html

AccountingWEB Sales Workshop Reminder: Mark your calendars now
for Tuesday October 12 at 4:00pm Eastern Time and join us online
from your desktop for the very first in our series of
AccountingWEB Online Practice Workshops. Our topic will explore
The Sales Process For Accounting Professionals, and will be
presented by Maura Schrier-Fleming, President of Strategic
Selling, Inc., in Dallas, Texas. To participate, you'll need
Internet access and about an hour of time. For more details,
see:
http://www.accountingweb.com/workshop/

We thank you in advance for your participation in these
interactive features of AccountingWEB.

Michael T. Platt
Editor-in-Chief
mplatt@accountingweb.com


1. AOL Releases Version 5.0 -- But Watch Out!
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If you are an AOL user, and have a separate dial-up account with
another Internet provider, BEWARE of downloading the new Version
5.0 -- it may disable your connection to the Internet. Apparently
the AOL TCP/IP adapter installed by AOL 5.0 is to blame. In some
instances, it may establish itself as the default network adapter
and disable any DNS settings required to connect to an ISP -- in
other words, you can't get on the Internet! If you have already
downloaded the new software, one fix is to uninstall AOL 5.0, go
into the Windows Network configuration menu, and manually re-
enter the IP address information. Or just wait for AOL to come
up with a solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7185&d=101

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2. Consolidator Update: CBIZ Looking To Possibly Sell Itself?
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Century Business Services announced this week that it has hired
Merrill Lynch & Co. to explore strategic alternatives which would
result in increased shareholder value for the accounting
consolidator. Translation: "Now that we've got the 7th largest
accounting firm in the USA, what do we do with it?" Among the
alternatives it is exploring is finding a merger partner or even
selling itself outright. CBIZ began operations in 1996 and
trading on the NASDAQ shows a current market capitalization of
just about $1 billion. Any takers?
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?ap=1&id=7214&d=101


3. 401(k) Administration Just Got EZ
----------------------------------------
The blessing and the curse of the Internet is alive and well as
complex processes, once the great domain of the CPA profession,
are being simplified and commoditized. The newest entry in this
area is ez401k.com, a web site that claims that employers can
design a 401(k) plan and print out plan announcements for
employees in just five minutes for a $401 set up fee and a
monthly maintenance fee. The service includes plan set up,
reporting, deposits and withdrawals. Whether you think this is a
good service or not is irrelevant. Your clients will hear about
this and other similar services, so the 401(k) administration
that you are doing for them better bring some added value or they
are just a mouse click away from going elsewhere.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7184&d=101

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Reminder: As the October 15 tax filing deadline approaches this
week, keep in mind that it is the last day to revert a 1998 Roth
IRA conversion to a regular IRA.
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4. Microsoft To Offer Software For Rent
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Excel -- 1.5 hours; PowerPoint -- 3.5 hours; Invoice -- $72.50?
In response to consumer demands, Microsoft is planning to add
software rental to its distribution channels by allowing
individual users to access software through the Internet on an
hourly basis. The target audience would be small to medium sized
businesses. Working with Internet provider Verio, Microsoft
hopes to have this new service in place by the end of the 1st
quarter next year.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7182&d=101


5. Another Big 5 Exec Lured Into The Internet
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Hot on the heels of last month's announcement that Andersen
Consulting CEO George Shaheen has retired to head up Internet
start-up Webvan, Jeffrey Hirschberg this week announced his
retirement as Vice Chairman of Ernst & Young to become a director
of visitalk.com, a web-based telecommunications start up company.
The potential payoff for Hirschberg is in the $millions . . .
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7147&d=101

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You can now enhance your website or internal Intranet system by
syndicating the AccountingWEB daily news stories and adding them
to your site. These stories are available at no cost to you! Go
to http://www.accountingweb.com/news/syndicatednews.htmlfor
details and to download the code to add topicality and timeliness
to your site.
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6. Adding "Stickiness" To Your Website To Increase Visits
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Research shows that around 80 percent of first time surfers tend
not to return to a web site once they have made their initial
visit. How can you find ways to attract clients to your web site
and keep them coming back for more? Technology company Nvision
outlines ten steps every organization must follow in order to
build a web site with lasting appeal to the audience. Download
the checklist here:
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7183&d=101


7. Take Control of Your Meetings
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We have all been there. Going from meeting to meeting, with each
one seemingly less organized and focused than the last. But it
doesn't need to be this way. How can you help move a meeting
along if you're not the one in charge? How can you take control
without breaking any politically correct business rules? We have
gathered some PRACTICAL tips to help both meeting organizers and
meeting attendees be more productive. Click here if you want to
save your company and yourself time and money and be more
effective at meetings:
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7114&d=101

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IRS - The Lighter Side

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a fence company
was ordered by a U.S. district court to pay the IRS $6,000 in
printing costs incurred at Kinko's when the agency copied 22,720
of the company's documents at 25 cents per copy. God bless the
Internal Revenue Service!
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8. Internet Taxation: Will We or Won't We?
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Following up on a story we reported last month, it appears as if
the Congressionally appointed Advisory Commission on Electronic
Commerce will NOT publish its report in April 2000 with its
recommendations as to whether and how to tax Internet commerce.
It appears they are held up on some critical issues, and will not
be able to reach any conclusions by then. Thankfully, Oregon
Senator Ron Wyden is on the Committee overseeing this group, and
as long as there are numerous Internet entrepreneurs in the State
of Oregon, the constituency can be heard . . .
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=7125&d=101

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Customer Service Tip borrowed from a Cherokee Indian saying:
"Listen to the whispers and you won't have to hear the screams."
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9. Internet Tip: Brush Up On Your Techno-Glossary
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The techies in your office are constantly bringing you
information about ISPs, LANs, WANs, bump mapping, P3P, DSTP and
other terms that most people don't know and don't want to know
about. Luckily for the majority of us there is a technology
encyclopaedia available on line, which defines this alphabet soup
of today's technical lexicon. Impress your friends at the next
party by chatting knowingly about steganography (The art and
science of hiding information by embedding messages within other,
seemingly harmless messages.) OK, so you may not use it
everyday, but bookmark this site and you'll never wonder what the
techies say again.
http://webopedia.internet.com/

If you know of an Internet tip, or a technology tip that others
can benefit from, you are encouraged to send it in to us at
mailto:editor@accountingweb.com.


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