AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 30

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The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 30February 18,

In the news this week:

1. PWC Will Likely Split Into Three Units
2. Accounting Irregularities and Fraud
3. Writing Winning Sales Proposals
4. ABA Still Struggling With Legal/Accounting Partnerships
5. Financial Services Advisor Resource Bonanza Week
6. FASB Struggles To Solve Pooling-of-Interests Question
7. Tips to Avoid the Pitfalls of Website Development
8. Financial Implications of Divorce - Internet Style
9. Jazz Up Your PowerPoint Presentations Now!
10. A Software Tip Each Day

Editor's Note

Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system debuts this week. It is an evolutionary development, billed as the tool to change the way business thinks about business. It is not intended as a simple upgrade from Windows 95 or Windows 98. We encourage you to do your research carefully and figure out if the new system can help your business before making the leap too quickly. Watch our site for helpful Windows 2000 decision resources.

Michael T. Platt
[email protected]

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AccountingWEB's Online Workshop Schedule
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Be sure to mark your calendars to join us for the upcoming online AccountingWEB workshops. Be sure to tell others in your firm who would benefit from these sessions to join you online too!

Feb 21 7:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A
Feb 22 4:00pm EST - Adding Value to Clients
Feb 28 7:00pm EST - Tax Season Q&A

1. PWC Will Likely Split Into Three Units

PricewaterhouseCoopers is considering a plan to split the firm into three separate units, and selling shares in two of them, according to the Financial Times of London. The split could result in an auditing unit, a consulting unit, and a human resource unit. The discussion of whether to split comes on the heels of the announcement of a number of high profile Big 5 reorganizations, and as a result of a number of negative PWC reports which have stung the firm recently.

2. Accounting Irregularities and Fraud

We reported a story this week about three key executives at JDN Realty in Atlanta quitting after five years of accounting irregularities were uncovered. The stock plummeted 40% in one day. For some perspective, we identified one law firm that specializes in class action suits for accounting irregularities, and the list of current cases was staggering. Have a look at, and just sit back and
absorb the scope of the cases listed. This is ONE law firm!


Bisk Totaltape Publishing CPEAmerica's #1 provider of self-study CPE for accountants since 1971 with over 300 programs announces a brand new CD-ROM MINI Suite - our 13 most popular programs with 150 credits to choose from. Choose the 40 most useful for you! The only NASBA & QAS-approved multimedia and online provider of CPE. CD-ROM, disks, video, audio, book & online access. or call 1-800-404-7438 today!

This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting professionals this week. Worldwide, AccountingWEB is a global community of over 60,000 accountancy professionals. For advertising information, contact Ryan Carmen at [email protected]

3. Writing Winning Sales Proposals

If you are responsible for proposal writing in your organization, then you need to spend some time exploring the wealth of tools and materials that we've uncovered for you. Bob Kantin, President of led an AccountingWEB workshop this week that outlined, step-by-step, the process and the content of a winning proposal. Even better, the valuable ideas and free materials on the company's website is worth an hour of
your time. Don't miss this!

Your input is needed to help identify IRS Audit Target Areas: Tell us what areas the IRS is targeting in your market, and see what others have identified as potential targets. Be prepared, and help others be prepared!

4. ABA Still Struggling With Legal/Accounting Partnerships

The American Bar Association's six-day national convention ended this week with much debate but no decision on whether to change its rules to allow law firms to allow partnerships with accounting firms and other professional organizations. The contentious debate is the biggest to hit the 400,000 member legal association in 20 years, and a decision is now not expected until at least August.

5. Financial Services Advisor Resource Bonanza Week

Two new resources were announced this week to help accountants develop a viable financial services niche.

Accounting publisher Strafford Publications Inc. introduced "CPA Financial Services Advisor", a monthly newsletter devoted exclusively to helping CPAs take advantage of emerging opportunities ranging from personal financial planning and investment management, securities and insurance brokerage, trust and estate planning, and other non-traditional services.

CCH introduces an Internet based practice aide called CCH
Solutions for Financial Planning at,
which includes a series of practice-focused treatments of
essential topics in the areas of estate, investment, insurance and retirement planning, all authored by expert practitioners.

All this as financial services business development partner
1st Global announces the affiliation of their 1000th licensed financial advisor.

6. FASB Struggles To Solve Pooling-of-Interests Question

The preferred method for booking mergers, through pooling-of-interests accounting, has been under fire and continues to undergo heated debate this week as the Financial Accounting Standards Board hears opinions on how to save the favored method. FASB's concerns are over the widespread abuse of the method, which allows "mergers of equals" to use pooling instead of purchase accounting, which books purchase premiums as goodwill - an intangible asset that creates a drag to earnings as it is amortized, according to experts. The debate will continue, and unless someone is able to convince FASB otherwise, pooling-of-interest accounting will cease to exist next year.

What's Your Opinion? Cast your ballot in our online poll to determine the perception of the severity of the problem with auditors' enforcement of independence standards. Please join us online and vote now!

7. Tips to Avoid the Pitfalls of Website Development

Developing your organization's website can be an intimidating, confusing, frustrating and costly process if not done correctly. The key? Plan, plan, plan. Developers are not psychic, and need your organizational expertise and knowledge of your client base to help them propose solutions to your needs. A website should be so much more than an online brochure. Know what you want to accomplish with your website and your outsourced developer can assist you in getting there. For more tips, go to:

8. Financial Implications of Divorce - Internet Style

The fabulously successful authors of Kiplinger's Tax Cut software have taken their talents to the streets with the development of an Internet site designed to help couples analyze and calculate the costs of divorce. In addition to divorce calculators, discussion groups and legal advice, (I know, I couldn't believe the name either) has some pretty good articles about the financial implications of divorce, and a growing database of state-by-state legal information. Check it out.

9. Jazz Up Your PowerPoint Presentations Now!

Have you seen enough PowerPoint presentations to be able to
memorize all of the standard Microsoft templates used?
AccountingWEB offers some ideas for jazzing up your presentations in an article published this week. From animating graphics to using pictures to jazzing up your tables, follow these helpful hints and tricks to wake up your audience and break from the pack. Remember the key: keep it simple, and keep it interesting!

10. A Software Tip Each Day

For those of you who are hungry for software tips each and every day, Internet publisher ZDNet has a solution for you. Register to receive daily tips on the Microsoft Office software suite and more by going to

But for those of you who prefer weekly ideas, try this one: a complete Windows shortcut list, including how to effectively use all those function keys, can be found at You're welcome.

Q&A Forum

Several new questions have popped up this week on the AccountingWEB Q&A Forum. Please take a moment to help out if you have any information that is appropriate on any of the following issues:

* Costs of shareholder communication of stock changes

* Electronic notification of W-4 changes

* Developing a business plan for a tax practice

* Accounting for interstate truckers

* Repossession of installment sale property

For full details of these questions, or to post your own, see:

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