News Wrap-Up - Issue 248

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. House Committee Votes to Restrict Expensing of Stock Options
  2. RSM McGladrey Targets St. Louis Market
  3. SEC Cracking Down on Contingency Fee, Independence
  4. Vegas Firm Permanently Barred from Tax Returns
  5. IRS Issues Letter on Exempt Organizations; Stay out of Politics
  6. KPMG Tax Shelter Helped Companies Cut Tax Liability by $1.7B
  7. Constitutional Challenges to State Taxes Can Go to Federal Court
  8. Couple Claims Government Agents Tried to Influence Jury
  9. Arthur Andersen's Conviction in Enron Case Upheld
  10. Scrushy Seeks Court Action on Three Counts, Challenges
  11. IRS Confirms No Joint Filing Status for Same-Sex Married Couples
  12. Accounting Rule on Derivatives Sparks Veto by Four EU
  13. Perk-Heavy Tax Bill for Corporations Gets Nod from House Panel

Check out the News Page for this week's news and more.

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**** PLATT'S PERSPECTIVE ****

If you ever feel like you are getting too big a head and need to be brought down a notch, treat yourself to the joy of shopping for a new TV, which I have recently done. The array of choices are dizzying - widescreen vs. full screen, High-Def vs. enhanced vs. digital vs. analog, projection vs. plasma vs. CRT vs. LCD vs. DLP - the choices go on and on. But worst of all is the actual buying experience, specifically trying to understand what it is that you don't know, knowing which questions to ask, and being able to find someone - anyone - who can give you a straight answer.

What does all of this have to do with you? Plenty! Having recently gone through this painful experience, I would challenge you to look at your own prospect system and consider how easy you make it for prospects to buy from you. Are you educating them? Are their choices clear? Do they know what they are buying? What do they need to know from you to make an informed decision? What are they going to be surprised (upset) at after they say "yes?" Do you offer them a buyer's guide where they can compare your service to others? Do you coach them to an informed decision or confuse them into making a gut choice?

Like TV sellers, you are likely in a selling mode many, many times a year. Like a TV buyer, your prospects are in a buying mode much less frequently and are less sophisticated about the process. My advice: Do what you can to make it easier to buy your services and you'll have much more happy and satisfied clients!

Michael Platt, Founder
editor@accountingweb.com

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. House Committee Votes to Restrict Expensing of Stock Options

The House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would require companies to count as an expense only the cost of options offered to their top five executives. The proposal by FASB would require counting the cost of all employee stock options.

  1. RSM McGladrey Targets St. Louis Market

A subsidiary of H&R Block has approached two of the largest accounting firms in St. Louis in an effort to capture a share of the market, industry sources say.

  1. SEC Cracking Down on Contingency Fee, Independence

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, acting to preserve auditor independence, is making sure the nation’s largest accounting firms are getting the message that accepting contingency fees for doing tax work for the companies they audit is not allowed.

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  1. Vegas Firm Permanently Barred from Tax Returns

The National Audit Defense Network of Las Vegas, which last month closed its doors and filed a petition to liquidate its operations, has been permanently stopped from preparing federal tax returns.

  1. IRS Issues Letter on Exempt Organizations; Stay Out of Politics

In a letter sent last week to national political parties, the IRS reissued guidance regarding political activities by tax-exempt organizations, including churches.

MORE HEADLINES...

  1. KPMG Tax Shelter Helped Companies Cut Tax Liability by $1.7 Billion
  2. Constitutional Challenges to State Taxes Can Go to Federal Court
  3. Couple Claims Government Agents Tried to Influence Jury
  4. Arthur Andersen's Conviction in Enron Case Upheld
  5. Scrushy Seeks Court Action on Three Counts, Challenges SOX
  6. IRS Confirms No Joint Filing Status for Same-Sex Married Couples
  7. Accounting Rule on Derivatives Sparks Veto by Four EU Nations
  8. Perk-Heavy Tax Bill for Corporations Gets Nod from House Panel

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  1. The Road to Success: Growing Your Network
  2. Tooting Your Own Horn
  3. Adding a Wrap Text Shortcut in Microsoft Excel
  4. Build an Organization Based on Values
  5. Hold Your Managing Partner Accountable

HOT TOPICS ON ACCOUNTINGWEB

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  1. Survey Shows 87 Percent of CEOs Fail Candor Test
  2. SEC Shoots Down Contingent Fee Loophole
  3. Workplace Harassment is Not Just about Sex Anymore
  4. Audit Firm Settles $50 Million Class-Action Suit
  5. Lack of Direction, Too Many Goals Keep Businesses from Achieving Goals

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