AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-Up - Issue 184

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This News Wrap-Up Brought To You By:

Profit Builders Success Coaching

THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

  1. Two Ex-Kmart Executives Charged With Accounting Fraud
  2. Qwest Executives Charged by SEC
  3. AICPA Reviews Specialties, Reassures Credential Holders
  4. IRS Reduces Burden For Family Day Care Providers
  5. Giant Retailer Reeling From Accounting Scandal
  6. Help is on The Way For Real Estate Time-Share Reporting
  7. Intuit Addresses TurboTax Controversy
  8. KPMG is First of Big Four to Face Chinese Court
  9. Accountants Lobby For Cap on Liability Claims in Europe
  10. IRS Updates List of "Dirty Dozen" Scams For 2003
  11. Busy Season Stress Busters Part Two!

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"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

EDITORIAL

Public opinion has always fascinated me. When asked, "Do you trust Congress to look after your best interest?" most people would say "no." But when asked, "Do you trust YOUR Congressman to look after your best interest?" the overwhelming majority offer a resounding "yes."

The same opposing views dictate varied opinions of the accounting profession. When asked about their perception of accountants, people are more willing to be disparaging towards a nameless, faceless profession, than THEIR accountant whom they know, like, and trust.

As a profession, we need to understand this dichotomy and recognize two important points: (1) A nationwide public relations campaign to improve the image of the profession(which the AICPA is re-starting) will be terribly expensive if done properly and can only accomplish so much if done within available budgets; and (2) Real, lasting progress can only be made one-on-one, one person at a time, one firm at a time. It may be an old cliche, but "Think Globally, Act Locally" is - and will continue to be - an absolute battle cry for defining your future role in the preservation of the profession.

Michael Platt, CEO
AccountingWEB, Inc.
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THIS WEEK'S TOP NEWS

1. Two Ex-Kmart Executives Charged With Accounting Fraud

Federal authorities have charged two former Kmart executives for committing an accounting fraud that resulted in the bankrupt retailer overstating earnings by $42 million. Separately, the SEC filed civil and criminal complaints against the two.

2. Qwest Executives Charged by SEC

A federal grand jury in Denver has indicted four former executives of Qwest Communications for fraud. The four are accused of violating Security and Exchange Commission rules through a scheme that involved recording revenue before delivering merchandise, then covering their actions with false documents.

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3. AICPA Reviews Specialties, Reassures Credential Holders

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced last week its plan to evaluate its financial commitment to the ongoing support of the organization's specialty credentials. Following some very vocal feedback, the AICPA has responded with a promise to continue supporting any member who holds a specialty designation, regardless of any decisions that are made on the future of the credentials.

4. IRS Reduces Burden For Family Day Care Providers

The IRS has announced that family day care providers may now choose to use a standardized rate to claim the deduction for meals provided to children in their care instead of keeping detailed records and receipts of food purchased for use in their business. Use of the standardized rate will significantly reduce the recordkeeping burden of family day care providers.

How to Create a Noncompete Agreement

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5. Giant Retailer Reeling From Accounting Scandal

Dutch consumer giant Royal Ahold, the world's third largest
retailer after WalMart and France's Carrefour SA, has announced an accounting irregularity in its U.S. division that amounts to at least $500 million. A spokesman for auditor Deloitte & Touche said, "We stand by the work we did for Ahold."

6. Help is on The Way For Real Estate Time-Share Reporting

Professionals dealing with real estate time sharing transactions will soon get additional reporting guidance by both the AICPA and the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Comments are requested by April 30, 2003.

2003 TAX CALENDAR

Visit the AccountingWEB.com 2003 Tax Calendar today

7. Intuit Addresses TurboTax Controversy

AccountingWEB recently reported on the controversy surrounding TurboTax 2002 and the concerns over alleged "spyware" software that it was using in the installation process. Intuit, maker of TurboTax, is now offering results of independent tests of the software which outline the impact of the software, and apologies to those who may have been adversely affected.

8. KPMG is First of Big Four to Face Chinese Court

For the first time a Big Four accounting firm faces a lawsuit in mainland China. The legal action was brought by a shareholder of Jinzhou Port Co. who has sued the company and KPMG alleging she lost money due to falsified financial statements.

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9. Accountants Lobby For Cap on Liability Claims in Europe

Legal negligence claims against the Big Four firms threaten to decrease that number to the Big Three or less, according to David Devlin, President of the European Federation of Accountants. With that concern, Devlin is leading a charge to lobby the European Union for caps on liability claims against accounting firms.

10. IRS Updates List of "Dirty Dozen" Scams For 2003

In an update of an annual consumer alert, the Internal Revenue Service urged taxpayers to avoid falling victim to one of the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams. In the new 2003 ranking, several new scams have reached the top of the consumer watch list, including offshore banking and identity theft schemes.

General Accounting Department Policy Templates

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11. Busy Season Stress Busters Part Two!

Here are some more great ideas from the members of
AccountingWEB.com - Part Two.

TAX TIP: Taxability of Social Security Benefits

The IRS says that whether your Social Security benefits are taxable or not depends on your total income and marital status. Find out more.

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Copyright (C) 2003 AccountingWEB, Inc.
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"To inform, to enrich, to enlighten, to entertain."

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