AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 33

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 33
March 10, 2000

In the news this week:

1. Internet 101 For KPMG Staffers
2. Andersen To Move Culture From "Partnership" to "Membership"
3. New Excel Pivot Table Tutorial Now Available
4. Accounting/Legal Professions Continue Blurring The Lines
5. Texas CPA Society Adds Online Classifieds
6. Here's A Question: Would Clients Notice If You Dropped Dead Today?
7. PWC Wants To Be the Johnny Appleseed of e-Businesses
8. Implementing Focus Groups on a Budget
9. AICPA is Seeking Our Help For Performance Measurement Study
10. Internet Tip: Real-Time Market Research -

Editor's Note

Our feature on target audit areas of the IRS has received a great deal of interest, but so far input from our members has been minimal. So let's up the stakes a bit. All survey entries identifying audit areas that the IRS is targeting in your marketplace will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to, courtesy of AccountingWEB. Is that worth two minutes of your time??? If you prefer to enter your information anonymously, you may do so, and just email me with your name so we can enter you in the drawing! Thank you!

Michael T. Platt

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AccountingWEB's Online Workshop Schedule
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AccountingWEB workshops continue to generate a "buzz" and have resulted in a number of excellent programs with some great tools for you to do your job better. Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming workshops, and tell others in your firm who would benefit from these sessions to join you online too!

Mar 13 9:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A

Mar 14 4:00pm EST - Differentiating Yourself From The Competition

1. Internet 101 For KPMG Staffers

In an effort to bolster the skills of its staff and to practice what it preaches to clients, KPMG Consulting has instituted an Internet 101 crash course for it's staff - from junior administrative assistants to senior partners. The rigorous 50-hour curriculum covers everything from copyright law to using the Web to manage inventory. Marketing people also are required to take the course to help them uncover new business opportunities among the client base. The course has been extremely popular so far, and a client version is now available.


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This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting professionals this week. For advertising information, contact Ryan Carmen at

2. Andersen To Move Culture From "Partnership" to "Membership"

Unlike rivals Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers which are divesting their consulting services, Arthur Andersen is planning its future strategy around keeping the assurance and consulting arm of the accounting firm together. (Recognize of course that Andersen Consulting is a completely separate organization and not part of this discussion.) Arthur Andersen believes that it's internal controls can meet the scrutiny of the SEC. Andersen also is opening up its previously secretive internal financial structure to show the world that it has the capital to invest in technology. In opening its compensation system, to allow for more profit sharing among all its employees, Andersen is attempting to move its culture from one of "partnership" to one of "membership."

3. New Excel Pivot Table Tutorial Now Available

A new addition is now available to the extremely popular Excel Pivot Table tutorial series developed by David Carter for AccountingWEB. "Using Pivot Tables For Data Extraction" highlights the practical use of Pivot Tables for those of you who use Sage software specifically. By using pivot tables, the author estimates that the whole process of accounts production could be turned on its head - accounts could take up to 25% less time, there would be better management reports, and costly visits to the client could be eradicated. Follow the tutorial and see for yourself.

4. Accounting/Legal Professions Continue Blurring The Lines

New rules out of Belgium are leading Arthur Andersen to inch ever closer to a formal alliance with its legal firm, Caestecker & Partners. The new rules allow for relationships to exist between multi-disciplinary practices (MDP's), but requires lawyers to deal only with the auditing arm of the accounting firm partner, and forfeit their bar membership. As the move towards MDP's continues growing stronger, regulatory bodies around the world are adjusting to meet the demands of the market.

AccountingWEB welcomes the National Association of Black Accountants to the growing number of organizations that are syndicating our accounting news on their website. If your organization has an accounting audience and you want to add significant value to your website at no cost, contact Kelly McRae or 1-877-927-2932.

5. Texas CPA Society Adds Online Classifieds

Looking to buy a practice or hire a tax manager in the Lone Star state? You can now turn to the Texas Society of CPAs website to advertise anything from job opportunities to peer review bids. As more CPAs continue to turn to the web to connect with each other, these kinds of features will become more popular and more necessary in the community of accountants.

6. Here's A Question: Would Clients Notice If You Dropped Dead Today?

A rather morbid headline, but a rather interesting question. In the first of a series of articles by Results Accountants Systems for AccountingWEB, the author explores what would happen to your business if you were not there, and encourages business owners to set up systems today to make the business less dependent on them personally. If your business has the systems in place to thrive without you being involved every step of the way, think of how far it can go with your continued guidance and leadership. Don't miss this first-in-a-series to help your business succeed. And don't neglect the implications on your clients businesses as well!

7. PWC Wants To Be the Johnny Appleseed of e-Businesses
How's this for a twist? PricewaterhouseCoopers is launching an international advertising campaign encouraging its own staff to start up an Internet business, and is offering up to a three month sabbatical for them to develop a business plan. PWC has committed to investing in up to 15 staff and external related Internet start-ups in the first year of it's e-Business Incubator service to the tune of $500 million. PWC will advise the businesses on tax and business strategy, financing, marketing and IPO strategy.

More on "Value Added: Two weeks ago, Sylvia Pate led an online workshop where she defined and described in detail what "value added" really means. She topped off an encore session this week with a methodology for using "value added" as a justification for fee increases. Don't miss the highlights!

8. Implementing Focus Groups on a Budget

Everyone agrees that getting client input before launching a new service is preferable. But a $5,000 outsourced focus group to garner that feedback may not be in every businesses budget. You can still get the integrity and feedback of a professionally polished focus group by doing some of it yourself. Save $1,000 by writing your own questions. Another $1,000 can stay in your pocket by using your own facilities or your own moderator. Data analysis can be done in-house at a savings of up to $2,000. Cutting corners to shave a few bucks off the price is OK, but make sure you don't skimp when it comes to recruiting the right people to participate in the focus group. Without the right group, all other efforts may be futile.

9. AICPA is Seeking Our Help For Performance Measurement Study

The AICPA needs your help in responding to a brief survey as it conducts research to better understand Performance Measurement Systems that focus on measuring business performance and to define Performance Measurement best practices for the year 2000 and beyond. The goal is to define the non-financial aspects of a company in valuing it in the marketplace. Opinions from finance managers as well as operations managers in industry are solicited. If you can help, go to their website and complete the 15 minute survey. By doing so, you'll help determine the Best Practices in industry, and will be entered to win a free registration to the AICPA Fall 2000 Industry Conference in Orlando. For more information contact Hadassah Baum at the AICPA For the survey, go to:

10. Internet Tip: Real-Time Market Research -
I saw an ad in an airline magazine this week that intrigued me. Billed as "20/20 Hindsight Up Front and Online," is a new service that conducts online surveys and market research based on parameters that you identify. For a fraction of the cost of traditional research methods, can help test new business concepts, gauge market potential, determine attitudes towards a service or stance, and validate within hours other research conclusions during the roll out of a new product or service. Take a look at this for yourself or for your clients, and let us know how it works for you.

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