AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 171

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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

  1. PCAOB Head Quits, Signaling New Ballgame For Accountants
  2. SEC Chief Accountant Resigns Amidst Controversy
  3. Three Accounting Firms Sued for Raiding Andersen's Assets
  4. Chairman Pitt Defends Record, Gets Standing Ovation
  5. Growing Demand For Pre-Deal Audits Slows M&A Activity
  6. Andersen's Berardino Offers Guidance to Profession
  7. Deloitte Reports Growth in Clients and Revenues
  8. Insight Available For Tax Exempt Bond Specialists
  9. AICPA Issues Interpretation of Statement on Tax Services
  10. Hit List Picked For Fast-Track FASB/IASB Convergence

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  1. Four Basic Rules For Growing Your CPA Firm
  2. How You Can Overcome Career Boredom
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  4. Strategic Vision - All Firms Need It

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EDITORIAL

Comfort Zones are strange things. All of us have them, and all of us define them as "that which is easy for me to do." All of us say we want to expand our comfort zone, yet by definition it is painful to do so. Stretching your comfort zone accomplishes several things at once. It boosts confidence, helps overcome career and/or personal boredom, opens doors to new opportunities, and gives a new perspective on old problems enabling you to think more creatively about solutions.

Stretching your comfort zone doesn't have to be painful and
doesn't have to be done in quantum leaps. Opportunities to stretch are everywhere. Start a conversation with a stranger. Read a book you wouldn't normally pick up. Go to lunch with a staff member you don't know so well. Attend a professional meeting of a different profession. For me, I attended a local Toastmasters Club meeting for the first time this week. It was a bit foreign, but I could quickly see a number of benefits in continuing.

As you move out of your routine, you will begin to see things differently, and your creative juices will be stirred in approaching problems you have been struggling with. Your brain needs variety, and with a little effort you can begin expanding your comfort zone. Give it a shot - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. PCAOB Head Quits, Signaling New Ballgame For Accountants

William Webster resigned as chairman of the accounting oversight board, signaling the start of a whole new ballgame for the accounting profession. Many believe his successor will be more of a "hard-line" reformer.

2. SEC Chief Accountant Resigns Amidst Controversy

SEC Chief Accountant Robert K. Herdman resigned last week effective immediately. He had worked closely with Chairman Harvey Pitt and was criticized for his role in the appointment of William Webster as the new PCAOB chairman.

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3. Three Accounting Firms Sued for Raiding Andersen's Assets

Three accounting firms are being sued for looting Andersen's
assets and leaving it unable to pay retirement benefits. The suit seeks damages to cover lost retirement payments for roughly 1,000 former partners of Arthur Andersen.

4. Chairman Pitt Defends Record, Gets Standing Ovation

Acting now as a lame duck chairman following his resignation
last week, SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt defended his record, received a standing ovation, and offered comforting words to anyone who has ever been in a similar situation.

5. Growing Demand For Pre-Deal Audits Slows M&A Activity

In the aftermath of bad investments and troubled loans, both corporate buyers and their lenders are clamoring for more upfront audits as part of pre-deal due diligence.

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6. Andersen's Berardino Offers Guidance to Profession

Speaking at an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants conference in Phoenix Tuesday, former Andersen CEO Joseph Berardino offered his insights as to the crisis troubling both the accounting profession and corporate America and made suggestions as to how such a crisis can be overcome.

7. Deloitte Reports Growth in Clients and Revenues

Despite a weak economy and post-Enron pressures in its consulting business, Deloitte reported net worldwide revenue growth of 1% for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2002. Revenues in services other than consulting increased 4.5%.

8. Insight Available For Tax Exempt Bond Specialists

IRS agents have long had access to continuing education courses to assist them in performing their duties. A recently released text of a course on tax-exempt bonds now gives practitioners a glimpse of the issues and topics on which bond agents are being trained.

9. AICPA Issues Interpretation of Statement on Tax Services

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has issued an exposure draft of a proposed interpretation of Statement on Standards for Tax Services (SSTS) No. 1, "Tax Return Positions," specifically emphasizing the tax accountant's role in the area of tax planning.

10. Hit List Picked For Fast-Track FASB/IASB Convergence

FASB has drawn up a hit list of 17 topics targeted for fast
track convergence with IASB standards. The topics are not necessarily the U.S. rules most likely to be scrapped, just those that lend themselves most readily to fast decision-making.

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