AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 174

This Week's News Brought To You By:

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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

  1. Bush Nominates William Donaldson to Chair SEC
  2. Grant Thornton Warns of Problems With Tax Shelter Regulations
  3. PwC Alerts Audit Clients to Darker Side to Reforms
  4. 2002 National MAP Survey Results Are Available
  5. President Bush Pushing For Immediate Tax Cuts
  6. AICPA and ACFE Offer Free Training on Fraud Detection
  7. States Want Tax-Dodging Companies Ousted From S&P 500
  8. GAO Report Expected to Fault SEC's Herdman
  9. IRS Drops Interest Rates - Lowest Since 1975
  10. IRS Awards Grants to Low Income Tax Clinics

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EDITORIAL

A question was raised on the AccountingWEB Q&A Forum this week about the criteria for stratifying a firm's client database. The concept is a long standing good business practice geared towards determining who are your "A," "B," "C," and "D" clients.

The primary goal of such an exercise is an obvious one: make your "A" clients "A+" clients by offering them your highest level business development and consulting services; make your "B" level clients "A" level by providing them with higher value services that you offer; Your "C" level clients should either be upgraded to "B" clients or downgraded to "D" status. And, I would argue, your goal with "D" clients should be to transition them to other service providers.

While it may be controversial to suggest that you fire your "D" level clients, research has shown that it is one of the best things that you can do for the long term health and well being of your practice. By getting rid of the difficult, low paying clients you WILL clear your plate and attract better, more interesting, more satisfying clients that challenge and excite you. After all, isn't that why you are in business in the first place?

Michael Platt, CEO
AccountingWEB, Inc.

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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Bush Nominates William Donaldson to Chair SEC

President Bush nominated William Donaldson, a senior Wall Street investment banker, to be the new chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Donaldson's nomination must still be confirmed by the Senate.

2. Grant Thornton Warns of Problems With Tax Shelter Regulations

Grant Thornton, currently the nation's fifth largest accounting firm, has responded to the Internal Revenue Service's request for comments on proposed tax shelter regulations and has raised issues that may be of concern to middle-market companies.

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3. PwC Alerts Audit Clients to Darker Side to Reforms

According to a report in the Financial Times, PwC is warning audit clients of higher fees, greater client selectivity and other steps PricewaterhouseCoopers is taking in response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

4. 2002 National MAP Survey Results Are Available

The annual Management of an Accounting Practice survey results are in and there are a few surprises. Making their appearance on the list of important issues facing accounting firms are two issues that didn't make the top five list last year: seasonality/workload compression and the effect of the new regulatory environment on local and regional firms.

2003 AMAA CONFERENCE M&A and Corporate Growth Advisory Services For Private Companies

Featuring more than 18 recognized experts, this training program on mergers & acquisitions and corporate growth advisory services is designed for CPAs that want to offer more services for privately held companies. Considering the uncertain market conditions we face in 2003, key relationships and collaboration will matter more than ever. For professional development and ongoing success, consider attending this conference and investing in yourself. The complete conference brochure and registration form can be downloaded now.

5. President Bush Pushing For Immediate Tax Cuts

In an attempt to spur the sagging economy, the Bush White House is considering recommending tax cuts that could go into effect as early as January 1, 2003.

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6. AICPA and ACFE Offer Free Training on Fraud Detection

The AICPA and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners have jointly developed a one-hour training course that can be used by businesses and given to clients. The course is entitled "How Fraud Hurts You and Your Organization."

7. States Want Tax-Dodging Companies Ousted From S&P 500

A coalition of state officials demanded that Standard & Poor's remove ten companies from the S&P 500 because all ten have moved their legal address to a location considered an offshore tax haven.

** CONTRIBUTING EDITOR WANTED **

AccountingWEB is seeking your editorial talents as a
contributing editor. The right person will possess a Certified Public Accounting license, work in the private sector and enjoy writing and researching the private accounting industry. Please send your resume and information in confidence to Contributing Editor.

8. GAO Report Expected to Fault SEC's Herdman

The U.S. General Accounting Office is expected to release a
report next week on the events leading up to the appointment of William Webster as Chairman of the Public Accounting Oversight Board. The report is expected to place the lion's share of the blame on former SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman, while lightening up on outgoing SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt.

Free Pizza During Tax Season From AccountingWEB!

We all know the daily routines during tax season, eat and work, eat and work, eat and sleep - enough said. AccountingWEB will again sponsor one firm during the upcoming tax season (March 1st through April 15th). We will provide free pizza during the tax crunch. Watch for contest rules and information in the upcoming editions of the weekly news wrap-up and weekly resource guides.

9. IRS Drops Interest Rates - Lowest Since 1975

Effective January 1, 2003, the Internal Revenue Service will drop interest rates by one percentage point. The new rates are the lowest rates since 1975.

10. IRS Awards Grants to Low Income Tax Clinics

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it has awarded $7 million in matching-fund grants to 138 tax-exempt organizations and academic institutions under the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program.

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ACCOUNTINGWEB Q&A FORUM

Visit the Q&A Forum "Member Questions" Page for the most recent questions/answers posted by our subscribers. Add your comments and lend a hand!

1. I did monthly cash flow reconciliation. My cash on hand decreased more than my cash flow analysis said it should. My question is: where should I be looking to find it. Do I have a theft problem, etc.?

2. Journal Entry on Trade-in of a Vehicle. I am just starting as administrative manager of a small business. There are vehicles on the books that have never been depreciated. There is one vehicle that was traded in on a new vehicle. I need help with the entry to get the old one off the books and the entry for recording the new one.

3. I have two clients (husband and wife) who each are 100%
owners of their own S Corporations. Is there a way to merge these two corporations into one in a NON-TAXABLE transaction?

4. Does anyone have any information or can point me to
information
about the procedure needed to convert a SIMPLE pension plan to a SEP plan for a small business?

5. Donation in Terms of Tax Relief. What amount can my company donate in order to work best for us? Is there any percentage that I can calculate?

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"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

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