AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 124 | AccountingWEB

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 124

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 124

December 7, 2001

This News Wrap-Up Sponsored by:

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1. Enron: Andersen Hits Back after $1B Lawsuit Threat
2. IRS Releases 2002 Withholding Tables
3. Big Five Vow to Improve Standards
4. SEC Fires Warning Shot Over Tech Statements
5. PwC Sacks 1,100 at Enron as SEC Targets Andersen
6. IRS: Lower Interest Rate on Tax Over/Underpayments
7. Washington Post Articles Take Aim at Accountants
8. BDO Seidman, XYZTalk Contact AICPA Members re Global Credential
9. IRS Warns of Sham Charities Looking for Used Cars
10.Computer Users Beware - New Virus Alerts


The AICPA's proposed global business credential, Strategic Business Professional (IISBP), is back in the news this week with the anti-credential view being distributed to all AICPA members, due to the efforts of accounting firm BDO Seidman and Internet site XYZTalk. Both organizations requested equal time from the AICPA to express their views and were granted the unprecedented opportunity to contact the individuals on the rolls of the national organization.

Whatever your position on the credential, it's time to cast your vote. All votes must be received by December 28. You can download a copy of the ballot, and read all about the credential, at AccountingWEB's Global Business Credential Resource Center.

Gail Perry
Managing Editor


1. Enron: Andersen Hits Back after $1B Lawsuit Threat

Andersen chief executive Joe Berardino has lambasted the financial reporting system as the firm was hit by a $1 billion legal threat from disgruntled former employees of the energy giant Enron.

2. IRS Releases 2002 Withholding Tables

The IRS has released the income tax withholding and advance earned income credit payment tables for 2002. These are the tables that will appear in Publication 15, Circular E, and the Employer's Tax Guide, which will be published in late December. You can download these tables today.

3. Big Five Vow to Improve Standards

Facing up to a raft of negative publicity for the accounting profession in light of Big Five firm Andersen's association with failed energy giant Enron, members of all of the Big Five firms joined proverbial hands on Tuesday and vowed to uphold higher standards in the future.


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4. SEC Fires Warning Shot Over Tech Statements

The Securities and Exchange Commission has told investors to be wary of the financial statements of many high-tech companies. In its latest Investor Alert, the watchdog agency has cautioned against taking pro forma announcements - the kind favored by companies such as Amazon, Yahoo and Cisco - at face value.

5. PwC Sacks 1,100 at Enron as SEC Targets Andersen

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers have cut 1,100 UK jobs at the European holding company of the Enron group - just as the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it plans to investigate the work of Andersen auditors for the troubled energy group.

6. IRS: Lower Interest Rate on Tax Over/Underpayments

The IRS has announced new quarterly interest rates for overpayments and underpayments of taxes, all of which represent a drop of one percentage point. The new rates are effective January 1, 2002.


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7. Washington Post Articles Take Aim at Accountants

The Washington Post has begun a series of articles that place the accounting profession under a microscope. The first article focuses on the billions of dollars lost by investors as a result of accounting errors, the role of accountants as public watchdogs, the independence policies heralded by the Big Five firms and the SEC's attempt to pull in the reins on auditor independence, the standards and practices that are expected of public accountants, and the types of conflicts that can arise.


Inform your staff, your members and your clients on ways to minimize their tax burden by offering the AccountingWEB Tax Tips Ticker on your Web site. Earlybird pricing available through December 17. Find out more!

8. BDO Seidman, XYZTalk Contact AICPA Members re Global Credential

Accounting firm BDO Seidman, and the Internet site XYZTalk have been given access to the AICPA membership mailing list, for purposes of distributing position letters opposing the proposed Strategic Business Professional (IISBP) credential. You can read the content of both of those letters on AccountingWEB.

BDO Seidman Letter

XYZTalk Letter

9. IRS Warns of Sham Charities Looking for Used Cars

The IRS warns taxpayers to watch out for charities that are clamoring for used car donations as the year winds down. The last month of the year is typically a busy time for charities to collect from taxpayers who hope to generate a year-end tax deduction. Find out how you can check to see if the charity is a bona fide tax-exempt organization, and get tips on valuing your vehicle.

10. Computer Users Beware - New Virus Alerts

Check out two of the latest ALERTS for computer users!

Virus Alert: New Virus on the Loose

Virus Alert: W32/BadTrans Worm Spreading


Visit our Q&A Forum to post your questions and share your ideas with the members of AccountingWEB! Simply click on the "Add Comments" option at the bottom of any question to add your response and comments.

Here is a sample of the questions that have been posted this week. Check out all the questions at our Q&A Forum and see if you can lend a hand.

1. How is the Savers' Credit of $2,600 discussed in IRS Announcement 2001-106 computed?

2. How should product rebates be accounted for?

3. Can Internal Auditors truly be independent while being employed by the entity and seen as working for the management to achieve organizational goals? In theory, External Auditors are more likely to be perceived as independent, but is it not the case that Internal Auditors appear to have little or no independence?

4. Does anyone have first hand experience with asset tags that utilize radio frequency technology or some other system beyond bar coding that can aid in a fixed asset physical inventory?

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