AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 43

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 43

May 19, 2000

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* * * This week's newswire is sponsored by ePolicy.com, Inc. * * *

http://www.epolicy.com

In this week's newswire:

1. AICPA Offers New Tech Designation
2. Two Top-Tier Firms Near A Merger
3. Student Loans Now Available For Test Prep Courses
4. Employees Regularly Observe Illegal Activities
5. Ernst & Young Names New Leadership
6. Internet Based Malpractice Insurance Now Available
7. Improving Employee Assistance Programs Online
8. The Legal Audit: A How-To Manual - Part II
9. The One Question To Ask To Understand Your Clients' Expectations
10. Online Calculator: How Much Does it REALLY Cost When Your Network Goes Down?


Editor's Note

Everyone knows that there are thousands of web sites available to today's business person designed to help them do their job more efficiently and effectively. We thought it would be interesting to invite the AccountingWEB community to share the top three web sites that you use on a regular basis in your business so we can compile a list of the Best of the Best so everyone can benefit. Go to:
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17375&d=101

AccountingWEB congratulates Martin Pauker, a partner with Trachtenberg & Pauker, as the winner of our $500 cash giveaway at the AICPA Tech2000 Conference last week. Let me express our thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth last week, and offer my encouragement for you to share the excitement of where AccountingWEB is going with your colleagues.

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

AccountingWEB Workshop Watch

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Join Results Accountants' Ric Payne online on Tuesday May 23 at 4:00pm EDT as he outlines the benchmarking processes needed to ensure that your organization stays ahead of the competition.
http://www.accountingweb.com/workshop


1. AICPA Offers New Tech Designation

Make way for a new information technology (IT) accreditation for CPAs, known as the Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) designation, awarded by the AICPA. Unveiled at last week's Tech2000 conference, the CITP designation will assist members in delivering a wide spectrum of information technology concerns based on higher-level specialized expertise.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=16978&d=101


2. Two Top-Tier Firms Near A Merger

Two dominant Midwest CPA firms - Plante & Moran (#14 in the US) and Olive, LLP (#22 in the US) - are in merger talks, according to the ElectronicAccountant. A combined firm would be ranked #12 in the US, with 25 offices, revenues of approximately $175 million, and a staff of over 2,000. Merger discussions are currently underway, but no formal announcement has yet been made.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17298&d=101

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This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting professionals this week. For advertising information, contact Ryan Carmen at mailto:rcarmen@accountingweb.com


3. Student Loans Now Available For Test Prep Courses

An announcement this week that Kaplan test centers have teamed up with Sallie Mae, the nation's largest student loan service, to develop a low-interest student loan for anyone looking to take a Kaplan test preparation course. Kaplan students who are US citizens or permanent residents with a social security number are eligible for a loan.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17362&d=101


4. Employees Regularly Observe Illegal Activities

Survey results released this week by KPMG reveals a disturbing and widespread legal and ethical culture of misconduct in the American corporate workplace. The most common infractions cited by the 2,300 respondents were sexual harassment, employment discrimination and conflict of interest, while other offenses mentioned included deceptive sales practices, unsafe working conditions and environmental breaches. Implications of this study are far reaching and should be addressed by all organizations.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=16812&d=101


Help Us Build The List of The Best Business Web Sites

Please take a moment and tell us your top three most frequented web sites that you visit for business reasons. We're building a Best of the Best list, and would sincerely appreciate your input. To contribute to the survey, please go to:
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17375&d=101


5. Ernst & Young Names New Leadership

Current E&Y Chairman and CEO Phil Laskawy will be stepping down at the end of June, and his replacements were announced this week. The new Chairman will be Jim Turley, 44, currently area managing partner for metropolitan New York. Richard Bobrow, 46, currently the firm's senior vice chair for assurance and advisory business services, will assume the position as CEO.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=16798&d=101


6. Internet Based Malpractice Insurance Now Available

A new service was launched this week allowing CPA firms to research, shop and buy malpractice insurance over the Internet in an easier to use format. One-year-old ePolicy.com new malpractice insurance for accountants program covers claims made during the policy period against accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers for errors or omissions, or failure to perform professional services. The program will focus on those practices with fewer than ten professionals. (Also see advertisement below).
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17299&d=101


ADVERTISEMENT

Would you consider switching malpractice policies? Only if it saves you money. Now accounting professionals, in firms of ten or less, could save up to 15% or more by purchasing coverage online from ePolicy. Our policies are backed by TIG, an A-rated, national carrier. Log on to ePolicy.com today for a free quote!
http://offer.worldatamail.com/cgi-bin/mail.dll?9011


7. Improving Employee Assistance Programs Online

Like so many other areas, the Internet is revolutionizing how employers offer employee assistance programs (EAP). Employee Assistance Programs provide professional counselors whose job it is to provide confidential assessment, short-term counseling and referral information to employees and their family members in order to assist in dealing with these, and related, concerns. A new booklet called "Expanding EAP Services Online: 11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Internet Opportunities" is yours free just for the asking.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=16802&d=101


8. The Legal Audit: A How-To Manual - Part II

If you are a firm administrator or controller, or are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the bills you pay to your legal counsel, this article is for you! The first installment of The Legal Audit: A How-To manual published in AccountingWEB a couple of weeks ago examined the various billing problems and irregularities that auditors should be aware of when conducting a legal audit. Now, we look at the personnel policies and internal practices of law firms that should be investigated to uncover unfair billing and exorbitant legal costs. Be sure you are familiar with the steps you need to take to protect your organization from unfair billing practices.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17253&d=101


Help Out With Your Answers in the Q&A Forum

A number of new postings have been added in recent weeks in the AccountingWEB Q&A Forum, an area where members can post questions and others can offer their assistance with answers. Your knowledge and experience is requested and your input may someday be repaid by another AccountingWEB member who is willing to assist you with an answer to one of your questions. Won't you please help out? Go to:
http://www.accountingweb.com/help/anyanswers.html


9. The One Question To Ask To Understand Your Clients' Expectations

We've all taken courses on customer service and have all heard about client surveys, focus groups, feedback sessions and the like. If you want to short cut the entire process, ask one simple question of your clients or customers: "If you were going to rate me as an excellent service provider, what would I be doing?" Listen to your customers' responses. They are outlining their expectations of you and providing you a free roadmap to success.
http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=17355&d=101


10. Online Calculator: How Much Does it REALLY Cost When Your Network Goes Down?

Stuff happens. Networks crash. But what is the cost to your organization when that happens? The REAL answer might surprise you. A good disaster recovery planning website (www.drplanning.org) offers a link to a Network Downtime Cost Calculator where you can calculate both direct and indirect costs of a network failure. IT specialists - you may want to run this calculator to help justify increases in the technology budget for the firm. Management - you may also want to run this calculator to get a better feel for the impact of a downed network. Go to:
http://www.sss.co.nz/services/downtimepage.htm


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