AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 25 | AccountingWEB

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 25

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 25
January 14, 2000

In the headlines this week:

1. SEC Calls For Further Accounting Industry Self-Regulation
2. M&A Activity To Surpass Last Year's Record
3. More Pivot Table Secrets Unveiled
4. Accounting Firms Merge Health Care Practices
5. AICPA Selects Fidelity To Drive Investment Advisory Services
6. Words of Accounting Wisdom From An Entrepreneur
7. Integrating Databases to Yield Efficiency
8. CPA Firms Woo MBAs With Gimmicks
9. Certified Financial Planner Exam Draws Record Number
10. Internet Tip: Manage Multiple Passwords with PassKeeper

Editor's Note

Welcome to the 25th Issue of the AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire! With this "Silver Anniversary" edition, we are launching "Any Answers," a new feature to help you get the answers you need from other members of the AccountingWEB Community to questions you run across in your organization every day. This is the area where YOU post your questions, and our readers respond. Got a question on taxes, or new piece of software? Looking for an expert in an area? Want to know if someone has a checklist or document that you can copy? Any Answers is the place to turn.

Help us kick off this new feature by addressing Jim Cunningham's question on the IRS' position on deductibility of website designs. Any Answers? Go to:

Michael T. Platt

1. SEC Calls For Further Accounting Industry Self-Regulation

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt renewed his calls this week for a self-regulatory body to step in and police the accounting profession, in the wake of several high profile reports that have come out in recent days that have led to a tarnished image for CPAs. Levitt believes that public confidence is at stake, and the frenzy of mergers and takeovers in the accounting profession have only contributed to a decreased level of confidence. AICPA President Barry Melancon fights back with a commitment to keep the profession clean of any wrongdoing, but is urging the SEC to modernize its thinking and to create a 21st century view of the relationships between auditors and their clients.

Looking to host an online workshop for your organization? How about featuring an in-house expert in an online workshop for your clients? The AccountingWEB Workshop Room is available for rent for groups of up to fifty people. Users only need Internet access -- no special hardware, software or skills. Contact Kelly McRae at or call 1-317-876-7525.

Over 3,500 accounting professionals will read this newswire
this week. Worldwide, AccountingWEB is a global community of over 50,000 accountancy professionals. For details of how to reach this audience: contact Ryan Carmen at or go online to

2. M&A Activity To Surpass Last Year's Record

Mergers and acquisitions in industry this year are expected to surpass a record breaking 1999, according to a forecast issued by the Transactions Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Several global trends are contributing to this explosion, including the fact that there is an incredible amount of money available out there for acquisitions. Also driving the trend is the concept of growth as the predominant new metric of success. Time is being compressed, cross disciplines are required, and the only way to keep up will be to acquire new businesses. For a further analysis on the outlook for M&A in 2000, see our article:

3. More Pivot Table Secrets Unveiled

To the thousands of you who downloaded David Carter's Excel Pivot Table Tutorial in the last few weeks, you're in for a treat. Analyzing Sales Data Using Excel Pivot Tables is his follow up tutorial, filled with the same practical techniques to use this hidden Excel feature to better analyze sales data. So go ahead and access the tutorial -- it's free, and it will likely greatly enhance you're ability to help analyze clients' sales data.

4. Accounting Firms Merge Health Care Practices

The accounting and consulting firm of Moore Stephens Lovelace, P.A. (MS Lovelace) has merged the healthcare division of Moore Stephens Frost (MS Frost) into its own healthcare practice. MS Frost is a fellow Moore Stephens North America, Inc. accounting network member firm from Little Rock, Arkansas. The two firms have joint ventured a lot of work previously and have sponsored joint training together. "It made perfect sense to join strengths and present a more unified marketing effort," says senior healthcare partner Ron Shuck of MS Lovelace.

AccountingWEB welcomes the Colorado Society of CPAs to the growing list of organizations that are offering daily AccountingWEB news headlines to their members. Contact Kelly McRae at AccountingWEB if your organization is interested in syndicating news on your website.

5. AICPA Selects Fidelity To Drive Investment Advisory Services

The AICPA has partnered with Fidelity Investments Brokerage Group to provide brokerage, training and business development services to CPAs who want to start investment advisory practices. The AICPA has encouraged its members to become registered investment advisors, and enter into practice in that way, rather that simply referring business to existing brokers. This exclusive arrangement with Fidelity will provide Institute members with the tools they need to run their advisory practices efficiently and profitably.

6. Words of Accounting Wisdom From An Entrepreneur

Stephen Gibson has grown a successful business over the last twenty-five years, due in part to the team focused, trusting relationship that his CPA has with the company. He has published an article this week on the best advice his CPA has offered over the past 25 years of their relationship. His list is simple and straightforward, but provides a powerful message: Client testimonials make powerful practice development tools. What's on your clients' list of the "best" advice you have given them? Did you ever ask? Would it be helpful to compile that list and share it with your other clients or prospects? What are you waiting for?

7. Integrating Databases to Yield Efficiency

Steve Sanchez, a partner with InfoSolve, Inc. in Dallas, led a highly successful online workshop this week sharing thoughts and procedures for integrating the millions of bits of data we all have in a number of databases in place in our businesses. The trick is getting the right data to the right people at the right time in order to leverage that data for maximum gain. His session focused on ways to save time, reduce errors and improve efficiency. If you missed the session, transcripts are available:

Presentation Tip: Surveys show that groups reach a consensus 30% more often when using visual props (slides, graphics, etc.) in their communication than those groups who do not use visuals.

8. CPA Firms Woo MBAs With Gimmicks

Tossing Ernst & Young footballs as they walk to the Goldman-Sachs amphitheater to hear a lecture sponsored by Merrill Lynch -- is that the way MBAs should be treated? A resounding "Yes" and then some, according to a report describing ways to attract business schools' best and brightest. Competition for the cream of the crop has gotten so intense, it's like recruiting a superstar college basketball player for an NBA team. Gimmicks and sponsorships aside, the best way to attract talent is still in relationships, staff referrals, and providing an exciting and challenging place to excel.

9. Certified Financial Planner Exam Draws Record Number

A record 1,920 people sat for the most recent CFP Certification Examination, further proof of the trend highlighting financial planning needs of the consumer. The numbers of "Challenge candidates," or credentialed professionals who can automatically sit for the exam without verifying educational topic coverage, is on the rise. The CFP Board expects increasing numbers of CPAs to sit for the exam this year as more financial professionals seek to demonstrate to the public their ability to practice financial planning at the highest level.

10. Internet Tip: Manage Multiple Passwords with PassKeeper

If you use the Web, chances are you're accumulating many user Ids and passwords that are getting increasingly more difficult to manage. For obvious security reasons, you DON'T want to use the same login information for each site. So what to do? PassKeeper ( is a free Windows utility that allows you to keep a list of accounts with usernames, passwords, and even notes on the sites you visit -- a handy feature if you frequent multiple locations. The list is stored encrypted, and does require a password to get into, but is a terrific repository for all the "stuff" you have been accumulating as you move down the information superhighway.

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

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