AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 8

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The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 8
September 9, 1999

In the headlines this week:
1. Public Oversight Board To Determine Effectiveness of Audits
2. H&R Block Buys Olde Securities
3. IRS Changes Website Address
4. PWC Talks With Grant Thornton About Merger
5. New York Offers Personalized CPA License plates
6. Pentium Speed Reaches 700MHz
7. Internet Tip: Test The Way Your Email Looks

From the Editor:

Top Accounting Events of The Century:
Be sure to send in your nominations for our millennium poll on the top accounting events that have shaped this century. Send your nominations to [email protected].com in order to be included in our poll in a couple of weeks!

You are also invited to check out the newest feature of, our Practice Ideas section. We will be regularly posting feature stories, ideas and tips in this location on how to better run an accounting practice. Management, marketing, human resources, technology and other practice management ideas will be added, and are fully searchable in our website. Contributions to our library are encouraged. We will always give full recognition and acknowledgement to the author/contributor. Let me know what you think!

Michael T. Platt
[email protected]

1. Public Oversight Board To Determine Effectiveness of Audits

In response to SEC concerns about "management of earnings" by corporate executives, the Public Oversight Board will survey more than 500 persons and organizations regarding the effectiveness of independent audits in protecting investors' interests. The Board intends to issue recommendations regarding auditor's responsibilities, the quality of audits, the effect of non-audit services on audit quality, audit staffing issues, and audit methodologies employed by today's CPA firms. Do the audits you perform bring utility in addressing the needs of investors?

2. H&R Block Buys Olde Securities

H&R Block solidified a deal last week to buy Olde Financial Corp., a discount stock brokerage based in Detroit. The company was bought for a reported $850 million in cash, and is intended to provide an estimated 16.5 million H&R Block customers with a greater range of financial services. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

3. IRS Changes Website Address

The IRS may not be completely user-friendly yet, but at least they are making big strides to have their web site become more friendly. Apparently the old IRS web site address was just too much for taxpayers and preparers to remember, so a blue ribbon panel has decided to simplify all of our lives and shorten it to which is now live. NOW they can move on to tax simplification!

4. PWC Talks With Grant Thornton About Merger

The Wall Street Journal confirmed this week that PricewaterhouseCoopers and Grant Thornton held merger talks earlier this summer, but jointly decided not to pursue anything further at this time. PWC, the world's biggest accounting and consulting firm, was interested in #8 Grant Thornton predominantly for access to its list of 340 publicly traded clients, according to the Journal. While talks were cut off because of financial issues as well as a lack of synergy between the firms, spokesmen for both parties indicate that talks could resume again. "Never say never," says David Nestor, a spokesman for PWC.

5. New York Offers Personalized CPA License Plates

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles offers CPAs an additional opportunity to tell the world that you are an accountant - that is if the world is sitting in a car behind you in traffic. Personalized license plates, emblazoned with "CPA" in the left corner, will help "ensure vast visibility" for CPAs, according to the New York State Society of CPAs. To order, go to:

6. Pentium Speed Reaches 700MHz

Do you remember a couple of years ago when Intel announced a new chip called a "Pentium" that operated at amazing speeds of 300MHz? And not too long ago it announced a Pentium II which accelerates computer speed to 450MHz? Did you miss the recent announcement about the Pentium III at 600MHz? Well, hold on, because Intel is about to announce its new Coppermine Pentium III with processing speeds up to 700MHz. Whatever happened to the concept of computer speed relating to how fast Pacman ate those blinking dots . . .

7. Internet Tip: Test The Way Your Email Looks

Do you ever wonder what your email looks like to a recipient? Is the format right? Does it contain all those #@%*! email tags at the bottom? To test your email, compose a short message and mail it to [email protected]. Once sent, go to see your message on display. (If you don't see it, hit reload or refresh on your browser). Obviously don't send anything confidential - your message will remain on the site until the next one is posted.

If you know of an Internet tip, or a technology tip that others can benefit from, you are encouraged to send it in to us at [email protected].

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