AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 37

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The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 37

April 7, 2000

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In this week's newswire:

1. E&Y Partners Overwhelmingly Support Merger
2. FASB Issues Guidance For Stock Compensation
3. Accountants Still Ranked As Most Trusted Professional
4. IRS Highlights Top Errors So Far
5. Busy Season Stress Busters
6. Consumer Internet Privacy Consortium Formed
7. Pssst! Attn Marketers: Not-For-Profit Information Bonanza!
8. The Secrets Of Successful Faxing
9. You're a Winner! And Your Tax Burden Just Increased By . . .
10. Internet Tip: Privacy Software Puts Internet Security Back in Your Hands

Editor's Note

The Antitrust ruling against Microsoft this week touched off the most volatile week the stock market has seen in quite some time. For clients who needed assurance, it was a week to advise staying the course. For accountants who are contemplating entering into the offering of financial services, it was a soul-searching and challenging week. The experts agree that the volatility will not go away anytime soon. But the fact remains that clients need your assurance and guidance, and you are in the best position to offer it to them. AccountingWEB supports the development of financial services businesses for accounting firms, and encourages everyone to view this week as confirmation that clients need these services more than ever.

Michael T. Platt
mailto:[email protected]

1. E&Y Partners Overwhelmingly Support Merger

The Ernst & Young consulting merger with Cap Gemini is meeting with overwhelmingly strong support by the partners of E&Y. With 98% approval by the E&Y partners, the path is now set to create the world's largest consulting firm, with 58,000 employees and $7.5 billion in fees. The move is also expected to free the accounting firm of independence issues it's consulting arm would have caused for the auditing arm.


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This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting
professionals this week. For advertising information, contact Ryan Carmen at mailto:[email protected]

2. FASB Issues Guidance For Stock Compensation

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has come to the aid of companies who report stock issued to employees. The independent body that sets financial reporting standards for U.S. publicly traded companies has issued a new guidance that will become effective July 1, 2000. The new guidance is an interpretation of APB Opinion 25 that was first issued in 1972. One of the major clarifications is that elected outside members of a company's board of directors may be considered employees. Get the details.

3. Accountants Still Ranked As Most Trusted Professional

An independent survey of 500 individuals in British Columbia ranked Certified General Accountants and Certified Chartered Accountants in the #1 and #2 spots as the most trusted professionals in a field of eight different professions. A 94% and 93% "favorable" or "Very Favorable" rating for these two groups of professionals far outpaced police officers, doctors, teachers, judges and -- surprise! -- lawyers in terms of trust. What those accountants do with that high approval rating is now up to them.

Congratulations to the Massachusetts Society of CPAs who received the Award of Distinction in this year's national Communicator Awards for their web site AccountingWEB is proud to be a news provider to the Massachusetts Society web site bringing additional value to their members and the public.

4. IRS Highlights Top Errors So Far

As you enter the final days of tax season, you may want to check on the newest tool from the IRS designed to alert tax preparers to the most frequent mistakes being made on tax returns this year. The Top Errors web site offers insight on areas to watch out for, including taxpayer ID numbers and names of dependents not matching IRS records, earned income credit figured and/or entered incorrectly, child tax credit figured incorrectly, illegible names of taxpayer, etc. Check out the sight and finish the season error-free.

5. Busy Season Stress Busters

Looking for ideas on how to de-stress the staff during these last few days of tax season? Look no further. An AccountingWEB workshop this week unveiled the secrets to blowing off steam, and we've got the list to help any firm. Food, indoor golf tournaments, food, flowers, secret buddies, food, photo contests, themed days - and did we mention food? Check out the list and have fun!

6. Consumer Internet Privacy Consortium Formed

In an attempt to further bolster consumer privacy on the Internet, a group of 26 Internet companies is forming the Personalization Consortium, organized to develop guidelines for web sites that collect data on their users and their user's surfing behaviors. The Consortium will issue a seal to approved web sites that follow their guidelines, and require participating members to audit their privacy and security guidelines each year. KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers are both founding members of this consortium, and hope to bring the issues of consumer privacy under control for themselves and for their clients.

7. Pssst! Attn Marketers: Not-For-Profit Information Bonanza!

Whether you work with not-for-profit organizations and are looking for comparative financial information, or you are looking to develop a not-for-profit niche and want to identify prospects in your marketplace, your search is now over. Guidestar has just set up a web site that includes summaries of tax-form material filed by more than 205,000 public charities, as well as copies of the yearly IRS returns filed by 50,000 of those groups. Search by geographical area, category or budget size and you can find information on the executive staff, detailed financial statement information, and foundation and program information all online.

8. The Secrets Of Successful Faxing

They've been part of our lives for over a decade, and everyone uses the fax machine, but errors and fax-related annoyances are occurring more frequently as the number of machines continue to proliferate. A couple of rules will keep your use of the fax productive and effective: (1) always call to ensure that important faxes were received, (2) never send more than five pages at a time without checking first to see if it's convenient, (3) never send unsolicited faxes to sell products or services. There's more fax etiquette where these came from.


AICPA and ITA present:

TECH 2000 - 20th Annual Computer and Technology Conference

May 10-12, 2000 Atlanta, GA

Come to this conference and discover the newest technology
products and trends. Plus learn how to increase the profitability
of your organization or clients. For further information, visit

9. You're a Winner! And Your Tax Burden Just Increased By . . .

Most radio station giveaways are exciting, and winners who are "the 105th caller" are thrilled to win the Big Screen TVs or all-expense-paid trips to the Super Bowl. But the IRS is not far behind and the tax bite is real. Experts suggest advising your clients to consider what they won before accepting the prize. If you win something you want, take it. Otherwise, politely decline and you won't need to worry about an unexpected tax bill that comes with those $900 worth of Ginsu knives!

10. Internet Tip: Privacy Software Puts Internet Security Back in Your Hands

Here's one for you. has developed MyOrby, an Internet privacy software that puts privacy back in your control. It tells you when you're being tracked and gives you the option to stop a site from tracking your activities. MyOrby learns your web surfing behavior - like playing games, downloading music, searching for things, sending emails, chatting, shopping - and uses what it learns to communicate with web sites you are in to find your most preferred experience in that site. It's a little too eerie for my tastes, but for those of you who enjoy the leading edge of technology and are concerned about privacy issues, this might be one to check out.

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