AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 31

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 31
February 25, 2000
http://www.accountingweb.com


In the news this week:

1. More Online Troubles For H&R Block
2. Solving Employee Internet Abuse
3. Steve Jobs Flies High; CPAs Disagree On Bonus Classification
4. First FAS 133 Compliant System Hits The Market
5. Top Ten Ways To Protect Your Website -- and Your Clients'
6. Audit Scorecard: Deloitte on Top; PWC, AA and KPMG on a Slide
7. Teaching The Kids About Money: A Cool Website By E&Y?
8. California CPA Society Partners With Inc. Magazine
9. Finally, A Definition of "Valued Added" That Makes Sense!
10. Software Tip: Uncover The Secrets of Microsoft Office

Editor's Note
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Please help us build a list of the IRS targeted areas for audits in your part of the country. This list will prove very helpful for all of us with your input and support. If you want to remain anonymous, then just let us know what part of the country you're in and what is being targeted now. Please add any comments on IRS audit target areas by pointing your browser to:
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=12615&d=101

Thank you for your anticipated contributions!

Michael T. Platt
Editor-in-Chief
mailto:mplatt@accountingweb.com

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AccountingWEB's Online Workshop Schedule
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Be sure to mark your calendars to join us for the upcoming online
AccountingWEB workshops. Be sure to tell others in your firm who
would benefit from these sessions to join you online too!
http://www.accountingweb.com/workshop

Feb 28 9:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A
Feb 29 4:00pm EST - Beating Tax Season Stress
Mar 6 9:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A

1. More Online Troubles For H&R Block
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The H&R Block online tax preparation website is back up and running after a second shutdown of its site in as many weeks. Last week's shutdown was due to some "misplaced code" which allowed some taxpayers to view portions of other taxpayers returns. Block scrambled to fix the problem and reassured its customers that security of it's customers' data is paramount.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=12984&d=101

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This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting
professionals this week. Worldwide, AccountingWEB is a global
community of over 60,000 accounting professionals. For
advertising information, contact Ryan Carmen at
mailto:rcarmen@accountingweb.com

2. Solving Employee Internet Abuse
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Recent studies have shown that as much as half of the Internet activity that occurs in a business setting is activity that is not related to the business. Personal stock checking, buying online, sending personal email and viewing questionable sites make up the bulk of the abuse. But the labor market is to tight these days to simply fire an employee for exercising poor judgment and displaying bad Internet habits. A content monitoring device developed by esniff.com cam be placed on a computer network and report any activity that is outside the boundaries established by management. While businesses struggle to find the balance between open Internet access for all and proper use of resources, this may be one way of helping to curb any abuse that may occur in your organization.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13042&d=101

3. Steve Jobs Flies High; CPAs Disagree On Bonus Classification
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A recent bonus by Apple Computer to CEO Steve Jobs of a Gulfstream Jet has stirred accounting debates among CPAs and analysts, Wall Street and individual investors. Apple insists the generous gift is a non-recurring expense, which allows the company to report operating income at double what it would be if the gift were to be classified as a recurring expense, as part of Jobs' compensation package. The debate is more than just academic. Wall Street expected operating income of 89 cents a share, and the resolution of the "jet issue" is the difference between $1 per share and 49 cents per share. Wall Street accepted this as a non-recurring event, with one analyst joking "How would you top it? Give him an island? A small country?"
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13064&d=101

4. First FAS 133 Compliant System Hits The Market
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Energy companies and their accountants now have a solution for FASB Statement No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities. The statement, which was released in June 1998, requires all derivatives to be reported on balance sheets at fair market value beginning with the first fiscal year following June 15, 2000. Compliance with the standard has been difficult since it was issued. SunGuard Energy Systems announced this week that it is the first to develop a module to enable the reporting of derivatives positions according to FAS 133 requirements. Other companies are hopeful that this will pave the way to more applications that would be in compliance with FASB directives.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13136&d=101


What's Your Opinion? Cast your ballot in our online poll to determine the perception of the severity of the problem with auditors' enforcement of independence standards. Please join us online and vote now!
http://www.accountingweb.com/poll

5. Top Ten Ways To Protect Your Website -- and Your Clients'
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While many people were alarmed at the recent Internet interruptions caused by hackers to the mega-websites, a greater issue was raised regarding protecting your own website and e-commerce activities that you or your clients are pursuing. Congratulations go to the AICPA who quickly offered its own Top Ten Tips to e-commerce businesses for ensuring a safe and effective website. Check your precautions against this list and be sure to apply the list to each of your clients who have websites.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=12972&d=101

6. Audit Scorecard: Deloitte on Top; PWC, AA and KPMG on a Slide
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For those of you keeping score, Deloitte and Touche's growth rate at grabbing the audits of public companies was more than triple it's closest rival in 1999. D&T and Ernst & Young made significant inroads this year in whittling away PWC's commanding lead as the accounting professions biggest audit practice. A study by Public Accounting Report shows D&T gained audits with a combined revenue of over $33 billion, while PWC lost over 66 clients with combined revenues of over $25 billion.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=12971&d=101

7. Teaching The Kids About Money: A Cool Website By E&Y?
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In what looks like a website developed by Nickleodeon instead of a coat-and-tie accounting firm, Moneyopolis.org is Ernst & Young's enter into the educational marketplace designed to teach the fundamentals of financial planning to American schoolchildren in grades six through eight. Moneyopolis centers around a financial planning game based on the five-step Ernst & Young process used in educating adults: assessment, goal setting, strategy setting, implementation, review/adjust. The game incorporates a "virtual city" in which children move through various financial planning centers, managing money and working toward defined goals.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13171&d=101

8. California CPA Society Partners With Inc. Magazine
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The California CPA Society has announced an alliance with Inc. Magazine which will be providing small business articles and content to enhance the website of the CPA Society. The content will be geared to what Inc. does best--content for the entrepreneur, or those associated with starting and growing small businesses. CACPA saw a natural link between the strategies of today's CPA business advisor and the goals for Inc. This is yet another example of the power of alliances and the opening of traditionally closed associations and societies to encourage "outsiders" to enhance services provided to their members.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13115&d=101

9. Finally, A Definition of "Valued Added" That Makes Sense!
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All of us throughout our careers have been told that value-added services are what clients want. Yet recent studies show that 95% of companies that encourage "adding value" fail to define what that really means, and as a result employees are left discouraged and frustrated. Along comes Sylvia Pate, who led a workshop this week in AccountingWEB, who defines value added through a simple formula as INCREASED Results minus SAME or LOWER cost. Through some very well thought out examples, Sylvia will lead you through examples to differentiate added value from expected value, and gives you the tools you need to define, communicate and measure "value-added." DON'T MISS THIS RESOURCE!!
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=13188&d=101

10. Software Tip: Uncover The Secrets of Microsoft Office
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You've got to hand it to the folks at PC World who are always looking for new ways to improve the efficiency of today's modern Microsoft Office software user. Follow the link below to review their list of the "Top Ten Office Features You Don't Use (But Probably Should). It's worth a look, and you might even learn something.
http://www.pcworld.com/heres_how/article/0,1400,12897,00.html

Q&A Forum
========================
Several new questions have popped up this week on the
AccountingWEB Q&A Forum. Please take a moment to help
if you have any information that is appropriate on any of the
following issues:

* Electronic notification of W-4 changes

* Developing a business plan for a tax practice

* Accounting for interstate truckers

* Repossession of installment sale property

For full details of these questions, or to post your own, see:
http://www.accountingweb.com/help/anyanswers.html

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