AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 159

This Week's News Brought To You By:

Comshare

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Some Companies Unable to Meet SEC Attestation Requirement
2. Complying With The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Four Top Priorities
3. Deloitte Responds to Growing Risk of Unethical Behavior
4. Andersen Loses License to Practice in Texas
5. Toyota Asked For It, They Got It
6. Companies Report More Conservative Pro-Forma Earnings
7. Accounting Scandals Take a Toll on Bank Lending Policies
8. Survey Ranks KPMG as Canada's Leading Tax Practice
9. Treasury Closes Life Insurance Loophole
10.Former Andersen Head Who First Suggested Split Has Died

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EDITORIAL

As summer draws to a close, and children around the country head back to school, it's time for professionals to re-assess their commitment to ongoing education, and re-dedicate themselves to a concept of lifelong learning. With the amount of knowledge and information that is being generated today, our rate of obsolescence as professionals will continue to accelerate exponentially unless we re-evaluate our approach to continuing education.

No, I'm not talking about the required 40 hours a year of CPE where you scramble at year-end to find another 7-hour course to meet minimum requirements. I'm talking about a consistent lifelong commitment to continually re-tool and re-invent yourself with new ideas, new skills, new service offerings, new levels of client understanding, and new approaches to your job.

Max De Pree once said, "We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are." The marketplace is demanding more sophistication from our profession. The Government is requiring it. Employers expect it. Clients crave it. And you owe it to yourself to take a fresh look at what "continuing education" means to today's accounting professional so that you don't become obsolete before your time.

Michael Platt, CEO

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Some Companies Unable to Meet SEC Attestation Requirement

Of the nearly 700 companies required to certify their results by August 14, 2002, the SEC found just 16 or 2% weren't able to sign oaths about their financial reports. Next up for swearing are the 14,700 other public companies.

Related article: SEC OKs 98% of U.S. Oaths – Europeans Prepare to Swear

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2. Complying With The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Four Top Priorities

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is complicated, confusing and open to interpretation. To help companies set priorities, experts point to four major changes that take effect this month.

3. Deloitte Responds to Growing Risk of Unethical Behavior

Deloitte plans to expand its ethical awareness program to tackle the types of risks that have severely shaken confidence in today's audits and capital markets.

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4. Andersen Loses License to Practice in Texas

On Friday, August 16, the Texas Board of Accountancy revoked the former Big Five firm's license to practice accounting in the state. The Board used the accounting firm's June 15 guilty verdict on federal obstruction of justice charges as the reason for its unanimous decision to issue the revocation.

5. Toyota Asked For It, They Got It

The Internal Revenue Service has given the green light to Toyota owners to take a $2,000 above-the-line tax deduction as a prize for purchasing a 2001, 2002, or 2003 Toyota Prius.

6. Companies Report More Conservative Pro-Forma Earnings

Large companies still reported pro forma earnings during the second quarter reporting season. But statistics show a trend toward more conservatism.

7. Accounting Scandals Take a Toll on Bank Lending Policies

The Federal Reserve Board reported that few banks have encountered significant problems with the financial statements submitted to them, but many are tightening up their lending practices.

8. Survey Ranks KPMG as Canada's Leading Tax Practice

KPMG has emerged as the leading tax adviser in Canada in a recent survey conducted by the prominent tax journal International Tax Review.

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9. Treasury Closes Life Insurance Loophole

Wealthy taxpayers who want to avoid paying exorbitantly high estate taxes of up to 50% have taken solace in recent years with a tax scheme that enabled them to purchase certain life insurance policies, which get passed on to heirs tax free. Those days are over.

10. Former Andersen Head Who First Suggested Split Has Died

Harvey Kapnick, a former head of Arthur Andersen who first suggested back in the 1970s that the group's accounting and consulting practices should be split, has died at his home in Florida.

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