News Wrap-Up - Issue 263

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. Auditors are Urged to Test Information System Integrity
  2. Companies Deciding Big 4 Seal of Approval Not Worth the Cost
  3. Federal Court Stops Ohio Tax Promotions
  4. GE Settles Enforcement over Failure to Disclose Welch's Perks
  5. KPMG Settles AmGen Suit; Agrees to Pay $18 Million
  6. SEC Chairman: Find Solutions Before Problems Explode
  7. South Carolina Considers Restricting KPMG
  8. Some Accounting Firms Offering Large Raises to Keep Talent
  9. Wall Street Firms Take Issue with FASB's Fair-Market Standard
  10. SEC Considers Easing SOX Rules for Small Businesses
  11. Management Shakeup May Lie Ahead for Fannie Mae
  12. AICPA Offers Portal for Business Valuation, Forensic/Litigation & Governmental Audit Quality

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

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**PLATT'S PERSPECTIVE**

It has always been interesting to me to watch accountants and financial professionals in a conference like setting, both as attendees and as vendors. I attended the Illinois Government Finance Officers Association annual conference this past week, and observed scores of participants as they meandered through the conference sessions and through the exhibit hall.

This conference re-confirmed past experiences and further supports what I have termed "Platt's Rule of Commercial Engagement," which states that the farther away from a formal exhibit booth setting, the more open both buyers and sellers are in exploring mutual relationships. Like a Geiger counter chirping ever louder as an attendee approaches an exhibit booth, the level of desire to engage in dialog tends to be inversely proportional to the proximity of a formal exhibit setting. In plain English: as a buyer or seller of services, be sure you talk to your counterpart in the halls, during the breaks, at the lunch, during the cocktail reception, and during any of the social events planned by the sponsoring organization.

Many conference participants are intimidated to walk up to a booth, even if there is a friendly face behind the table. Many vendors sit around waiting for someone to stop and talk to them, often getting frustrated if traffic isn't what they expect. So, if you participate in these types of conferences, remember Platt's Rule of Commercial Engagement, and be sure to take advantage of all of the other networking opportunities made available to you at these events. If you do, you will undoubtedly reap the benefits both as a potential buyer and as a service provider.

Michael Platt
Founder, AccountingWEB, Inc.
editor@accountingweb.com

THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. Auditors are Urged to Test Information System Integrity

Sarbanes-Oxley is clear: companies must have internal controls in place and the effectiveness of those controls must be audited. However, the law does not address the reliability of the company's information systems, which is now being addressed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  1. Companies Deciding Big 4 Seal of Approval Not Worth the Cost

With audit fees skyrocketing and a highly complex portion of Sarbanes-Oxley coming due for implementation, many companies are leaving Big Four accounting firms for smaller audit shops where they can get more attention at less cost.

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  1. Schedule C-EZ Change Means Savings for Small Businesses
  2. Financial Planner, CPA Join Forces to Assist Clients
  3. IRS Defrauded by Chicago Woman, Ex-Rabbi
  4. CEOs Expect Big Jump in Federal Business Taxes
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      1. Federal Court Stops Ohio Tax Promotions

      The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that a federal
      court in Akron has entered an order barring two area tax
      preparers from promoting abusive tax schemes and preparing
      federal tax returns for others.

      1. GE Settles Enforcement over Failure to Disclose Welch's Perks

      The Securities and Exchange Commission announced last week that it has instituted settled enforcement proceedings against General Electric Company. The Commission charged that GE failed to fully describe the substantial benefits it had agreed to provide its former chairman and CEO John F. "Jack" Welch, Jr., under an "employment and post-retirement consulting agreement."

      1. KPMG Settles AmGen Suit; Agrees to Pay $18 Million

      Without admitting fault, KPMG LLP settled a suit connected to the collapse of General American Life Insurance Co., formerly Missouri's largest insurance company. In a settlement approved last week, KPMG will pay $18 million to a General American liquidation fund.

      MORE HEADLINES...

      1. SEC Chairman: Find Solutions Before Problems Explode
      2. South Carolina Considers Restricting KPMG
      3. Some Accounting Firms Offering Large Raises to Keep Talent
      4. Wall Street Firms Take Issue with FASB's Fair-Market Standard
      5. SEC Considers Easing SOX Rules for Small Businesses
      6. Management Shakeup May Lie Ahead for Fannie Mae
      7. AICPA Offers Portal for Business Valuation, Forensic/Litigation and Governmental Audit Quality Center

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  1. Five Sure-Fire Ways to Alienate Your Employees
  2. Organizational Effectiveness: What Can You Influence?
  3. What's Your Marketing Attitude?

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  1. "Tech-Etiquette" Blunders Common in Workplace: What to Avoid
  2. Ernst & Young Disciplined by California Accountancy Board
  3. Congress Extends Popular Tax Breaks
  4. KPMG Admits 160 New Partners in Class of 2004
  5. Consumers Don't Understand Their Credit Scores, Do You?

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