News Wrap-Up - Issue 265

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THIS WEEK'S NEWS
  1. FASB Delays Rule on Stock-Options Expensing
  2. Congress Redefines "Gimmie" for Golfers
  3. KMPG Agrees to Pay $115M to Settle Lernout Lawsuit
  4. Tax Loophole with EU Closed by Controversial Bill
  5. E&Y Review Finds "Potential" Independence Problems
  6. Release of Fannie Mae Executive Pay Information Causes Flap
  7. Adelphia's Complex Bankruptcy: Claims Total $3 Trillion
  8. SEC Proposes IPO Allocation Reforms
  9. Royal Ahold Settles With SEC, Avoids Fine
  10. Players Line up Legal Counsel in Fannie Mae Case
  11. GASB Issues Technical Bulletin to Clarify Pension Accounting
  12. $100,000 "SUV Write-Off" to End for Small Businesses

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

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  5. **PLATT'S PERSPECTIVE**

    If you are a senior executive or a corporate board member, a new report released this week underscores a growing problem that you need to begin addressing soon. According to the survey, 2/3 of companies don't have effective systems for monitoring non-financial indicators of company performance.

    These indicators include customer satisfaction, innovation, supplier relations and employee commitment. These indicators represent the lifeblood of your organization. "Hard" financial analysis in business is likened to a doctor measuring your blood pressure, cholesterol and temperature. But embracing the "soft" indicators - similar to a doctor identifying habits, asking questions, asking "how are you feeling" and listening to your responses - will help your business grow, excel, and serve clients better.

    Listening is the key. Even President Bush in last night's debate acknowledged the importance of listening - in his case to the strong women in his life. So if you are charged with the responsibility of running an organization, listen intently to those who create, deliver, and consume the service and you'll go a long way towards identifying which non-financial indicators are important to monitor. You can review the survey here.

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

    THIS WEEK'S NEWS
    1. FASB Delays Rule on Stock-Options Expensing

    U.S. accounting rule-setters on Wednesday postponed implementation of a requirement that companies expense employee stock options. The seven-member Financial Accounting Standards Board unanimously agreed to a six-month delay in the options expensing rule - from January 1, 2005 to June 15, 2005.

    1. Congress Redefines "Gimmie" for Golfers

    Critics of the new tax bill have called it "a pile of pork," pointing to the goodies handed out to businesses of all kinds, but one group that has escaped criticism are professional golfers.

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    1. KMPG Agrees to Pay $115M to Settle Lernout Lawsuit

    Accounting firms KPMG Bedrijfsrevisoren of Belgium and KPMG LLP of the United States (together the "KPMG Defendants") have agreed to pay a total of $115 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit stemming from the collapse of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, N.V., a Belgian software company.

    1. Tax Loophole with EU Closed by Controversial Bill

    The Senate has taken action to finally close a loophole that has resulted in a tax dispute with the European Union in a bill that cleared the U.S. Senate this week with a 69-17 vote.

    1. E&Y Review Finds "Potential" Independence Problems

    Ernst & Young LLP has identified potential conflicts that may get in the way of the accounting firm's independence, a company spokesman said. The disclosures to regulators and some clients comes as part of a comprehensive review of the Big Four firm's independence policies and procedures, Ernst spokesman Charles Perkins.

    MORE HEADLINES...

    1. Release of Fannie Mae Executive Pay Information Causes Flap
    2. Adelphia's Complex Bankruptcy: Claims Total $3 Trillion
    3. SEC Proposes IPO Allocation Reforms
    4. Royal Ahold Settles With SEC, Avoids Fine
    5. Players Line up Legal Counsel in Fannie Mae Case
    6. GASB Issues Technical Bulletin to Clarify Pension Accounting
    7. $100,000 "SUV Write-Off" to End for Small Businesses

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      2. Tips to Strengthen Your Reputation as an Accountant
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      1. Fighting Fraud Calls for Assertive Auditors, Whistleblowers
      2. "Spyware" Under Attack by Government
      3. $100,000 "SUV Write-Off" to End for Small Businesses
      4. PeopleSoft CEO Ousted for "Situational Ethics"
      5. COSO Unveils Risk-Management Framework

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