AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 34

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 34

March 17, 2000

**This week's Newswire is sponsored by Corporation**

In the news this week:

1. $1 Billion Venture Between Andersen Consulting and Microsoft Set
To Deploy Internet Services Based on Windows 2000 Technology
2. A New Association Is Formed To Help CPAs Deliver Financial Services
3. 150-Hour Rule To Have Little Affect On Hiring Practices
4. Ernst & Young Acquires SMA Software To Track Employee Capital
5. "My God, I've Never Experienced That Before!"
6. How Do Lawyers Feel About Alliances With CPAs?
7. SEC To Ensure After-Tax Returns on Mutual Funds Are Reported
8. How Ready Are You To Adapt To Change? Take This Test.
9. And The Oscar Goes To . . . PWC. Not!
10. Internet Tip: Access Your Favorite Bookmarks From Any Computer

Editor's Note

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the many emails and phone calls over the last few months with your kind words and praise for our service. Our staff truly enjoys bringing all the relevant news and resources to you through this free newswire and through our web site, and we look forward to continuing to add many new features and resources for your ongoing benefit. The very best thing you can do with your enthusiasm and energy is to tell five colleagues about AccountingWEB, and encourage them to join you and thousands of others who are discovering new ways to profit from and benefit from AccountingWEB each and every day.

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 20 9:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A

Mar 21 4:00pm EST - On-Campus Recruiting Strategies

1. $1 Billion Venture Between Andersen Consulting and Microsoft Set To Deploy Internet Services Based on Windows 2000 Technology

Andersen Consulting (AC) announced this week a $1 billion joint venture to help Microsoft enter into the highly lucrative e-commerce consulting arena. The new company, called Avanade, will be owned 51% by AC who will bring "sweat equity" of training and intellectual capital into the venture. Microsoft will initially bring $385 million in cash. The company will be recruiting 5,000 consultants over the coming months to create e-commerce opportunities for American business based on Microsoft's Windows 2000 technology. Initial client base will focus on the Fortune 500 and expand towards smaller businesses from there.



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2. A New Association Is Formed To Help CPAs Deliver Financial Services

A new national membership organization of CPAs, attorneys and financial services professionals, called "SYNERGY" has been launched. SYNERGY's focus will be on helping CPAs build and manage financial planning practices through resources offered through their website, publications, special events and mentoring of members. Additionally, SYNERGY will focus its local efforts on integrating financial professional teams to increase their business and assist their clients in building and protecting their wealth.

3. 150-Hour Rule To Have Little Affect On Hiring Practices

A new survey just released by the Illinois CPA Society indicates that the majority of firms in the state will continue to hire recruits who have completed just 120 hours of education, regardless of the 150-hour requirement set to take effect January 1, 2001. Those recruits with 150-hours of education will reap additional compensation rewards, with two-thirds of the respondents indicating that they would pay a 10% premium to 150-hour candidates.

4. Ernst & Young Acquires SMA Software To Track Employee Capital
E&Y announced this week the acquisition of the assets of SMA, makers of software products that enable large corporations to screen and track employees and maximize tax incentives. This is an opportunity for E&Y to provide an even stronger incentives offering for clients. There are many ways that employers can utilize employment related incentives from federal, state and local governments and the people at SMA will help the firm do just that.

Haven't been through our web site recently? Take a quick tour and discover for yourself all there is to see and do at AccountingWEB.

5. "My God, I've Never Experienced That Before!"

If your clients are praising you and saying this about your service, then you've articulated and proven your Unique Core Differentiator -- that perception of what makes you stand out from your competitors. Whether it's actually something unique that you provide or a perceived difference in your clients' eyes, you need to define that thing that makes you different. Follow the highlights from this week's workshop led by Rich Durkin on how to identify, define and articulate your Unique Core Differentiator so you too can hear the "wow" in your clients' voice about your service!

6. How Do Lawyers Feel About Alliances With CPAs?

As the rulemakers of the legal profession grapple with the idea of CPA/lawyer partnerships, the grass roots of the legal profession is beginning to speak out. In a recent survey by the Ohio Bar, half of the membership opposed any form of economic partnership with CPAs or other professions. Only 25% were supportive of this kind of partnership. "Whether we like it or not, accounting and other professional firms are carrying the day," said one attorney who spoke at a hearing on the subject.

What Do You Think About CPA/Attorney Partnerships?

Are CPA/Law partnerships a good thing for the accounting profession? Are they good for clients? Voice your opinion on the topic in our poll this month. Your input is appreciated!

7. SEC To Ensure After-Tax Returns on Mutual Funds Are Reported

Fred and Barney bragged to each about their fund-picking prowess when their individual mutual funds both reported a pre-tax return of 22.5% this past year. But at tax time, poor Fred realized his star winner only reflected a real return of 17% after taxes, while Barney grinned ear to ear with his 22.5%. The SEC wants to be sure Fred knows what he's getting into next year. They are proposing that all mutual funds report a standard format that includes after tax returns so investors will have all the facts they need.

8. How Ready Are You To Adapt To Change? Take This Test.

QuickSilver Consulting, presenters of our recently acclaimed Value Added workshop, have made available to AccountingWEB users their Agility Tool Survey to measure your organization's ability to react and adapt to changing market conditions. In order to be nimble and successful in today's changing economy, your organization needs to bridge the agility gap - the distance between turning on a dime and how well your organization can adapt today. This gap is measured by the pace of change, the ability of your leadership to react, and the ability of your employees to adjust. Test your organization's readiness using this free tool.



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9. And The Oscar Goes To . . . PWC. Not!

OK. It's only "The Biggest Night Of Television," with millions of viewers glued to their seat to find out who the Academy has voted as Best Picture. But voting ballots, which are to be sent to the members of the Academy, which were entrusted to the capable staff of PricewaterhouseCoopers, got misplaced on a loading dock at the famous 90210 Post Office and the mixup threatened to throw the Oscars into a tailspin. Duplicate ballots have now been sent out, and the March 26 awards show has been saved!

10. Internet Tip: Access Your Favorite Bookmarks From Any Computer

If you're like me, you often find yourself in remote locations checking email, and doing work on the Internet. If you're using different computers all the time (say at a client's office or even at a Kinko's down the road), you can now access your personal Bookmarks or Favorites using A quick download of free software on your own computer allows you access to the system. When you're traveling, simply logon to their website and you have full and immediate access to your bookmarks.

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Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.
Nov 12This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.