AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 41

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The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 41

May 5, 2000

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"This week's newswire sponsored by Morningstar"

In this week's newswire:

1. Deloitte May Be Forced To Restructure
2. The Love Bug Strikes The World - Quickly
3. The Future of Financial Reporting Defined
4. Three Uses of the Web For CPAs
5. AICPA To Launch New CPE Offering
6. Budgeting With Pivot Tables - The Sequel
7. It's Back To School For Financial Executives
8. Corporate Acquisitions This Week
9. Protecting Assets From Nursing Homes
10. Web Resource: More For Those Interested in Not-For-Profits

Editor's Note

I spoke with a dozen people yesterday who were hit by the ILOVEYOU worm, a computer virus which infects Outlook files and replicates itself to everyone on your address list. Disguised as an email from a name you recognize with the subject "I Love You," this worm spread like wildfire across the world in a couple of hours. Please take this cyber-terrorist incident as a reminder that there are some very deranged people out there who can infiltrate and disrupt your business quickly, easily and cheaply from the comfort and security of their own basements. Be sure you keep your computers virus-free by ensuring that you have the latest in virus scanning software. And don't take the threat lightly. This one bites hard. . .

Michael T. Platt

1. Deloitte May Be Forced To Restructure

Acknowledgement comes this week from the lone Big 5 firm holdout who was not going to bow to regulatory pressure and had no intention of splitting its audit and consulting offerings. Seems the pressure is increasing by the SEC and a restructuring is now likely at Deloite & Touche as well. CEO John Copeland indicates that the firm may be forced into an unwanted restructuring in order to remain competitive. If they go ahead with a restructure plan, then all of the Big 5 accounting firms will have been organizationally altered due to SEC independence concerns.

2. The Love Bug Strikes The World - Quickly

In a matter of hours on Thursday, a computer virus which began in the Philippines swept across Asia, wreaked havoc in Europe, and slammed into thousands of businesses across North America, causing widespread outages and costing millions of dollars in down time while technicians struggled to clean up the virus. Known as the "ILOVEYOU" worm, this cyber-terrorist act corrupts your hard drive, changes file names, and clones itself to everyone in your address book. So if you get an email message from a friend with the subject "I Love You," be sure delete the message immediately and completely. AccountingWEB offers links to resources for quick relief from this virus. By the way, you can always pick up the phone and call your friend and tell them you love them too. . .

3. The Future of Financial Reporting Defined

AccountingWEB was honored to have Mike Willis, Chairman of the XBRL Steering Committee, as a guest host in our workshop room this week, laying out the future landscape for financial reporting. XBRL is a financial reporting language that will revolutionize financial reporting the way that the Guttenberg press revolutionized communications. XBRL will enable financial statements to "come to life" and provide valuable analytical tools to the end user to dissect information previously unavailable from financial statements. We don't expect you to know everything there is to know about this area, but you should understand the basics. Follow this link to a summary of Mr. Willis' presentation, and a host of resources explaining the fundamentals of XBRL.

AccountingWEB Welcomes Gail Perry To The Team

AccountingWEB is delighted to welcome Gail Perry, a CPA, tax expert and noted author and columnist, as managing editor of our site. With Gail's background and leadership, AccountingWEB is poised to continue to reach new heights in the delivery of valuable services and resources to you, our members. Come with us into the future . . .

4. Three Uses of the Web For CPAs

Everyone these days is on the Internet, but how much can you use the Internet in delivering value to clients? Three fundamental uses of the Web are reviewed, including answering basic questions online; encouraging the use of "rentable software" through your web site; and providing online access to client records. Review this article and explore how these three applications can help you become a leader in web based services to clients.

5. AICPA To Launch New CPE Offering

The AICPA has developed a new CPE program designed to award ‘fellow' status to practitioners who gain 64 credits over a three-year time period, including 16 hours of personal and leadership development courses. Known as the CPE Academies, the program will be part of a new $95 CPE buying opportunity in which members can take all the CPE they want for that price. Fields of study include treasury management, corporate tax management, fraud examinations, exempt organizations, tax advisors for small business and investment advisory services.

6. Budgeting With Pivot Tables - The Sequel

He's baaaaaaccckkk. Over 1,300 AccountingWEB members read David Carter's first tutorial on budgeting with pivot tables - now the consultant has written a sequel for AccountingWEB explaining how to use Excel pivot tables to report on Monthly and Year to Date Actual versus Budget, plus Variances, both at company and departmental level. Be sure to check out his latest tutorial, and don't miss his earlier pivot table tutorials on budgeting, analyzing sales data, data extraction, and audit and financial reporting.

Tip for getting ahead: Print or cut out articles you see relating to your business and post them on the bulletin board, fridge, etc. It shows you're on the ball and helps others learn as well.

7. It's Back To School For Financial Executives

A new trend is born as educational partnerships between companies and Universities are popping up all over the country, as corporate America seeks to find the best training resources available. Course programs tend to last over a number of years, allowing for executive/professor relationships to be established. Additionally, course topics tend to cut across a range of disciplines, giving the executives a much broader perspective of how they fit into the whole. How can a university partnership help your lifelong training needs?

8. Corporate Acquisitions This Week

The proposed breakup of Microsoft wasn't the only big news in the corporate restructure game this week. On the accounting front, CCH announced that it had acquired the assets of APlus Tax, Arthur Andersen's flagship tax preparation software. Also in the news this week was the announcement that Great Plains will acquire its long-time rival Solomon Software in a quest to deliver the top business management and ebusiness solutions software.

9. Protecting Assets From Nursing Homes

Clients who can afford long term care insurance can usually insulate themselves against the $200-$400 per day cost of nursing homes. But what are some other techniques for insulating a family's assets from the jaws of the long-term health care system? John Sciacca outlines these techniques, including transferring the home to a child; funeral prearrangements; annuities; purchasing exempt assets; and doing repairs and improvements on your home. Be sure to recognize these techniques and add them to your arsenal to assist clients in protecting their assets.

10. Web Resource: More For Those Interested in Not-For-Profits

AccountingWEB ran an article a couple of weeks ago on a couple of not-for-profit web resources ("Not For Profit Information Bonanza - that seemed to be a big hit with our readers. As a follow up to the sites listed in that article, we would like to point you to some additional not-for-profit resources compiled by Fast Company magazine. Have at it!

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