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PCAOB: Asset Valuation is Most Common Big Four Audit Problem –WSJ CFO Report

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board found 123 audit deficiencies related to fair-value estimates and asset impairments in 2010, making asset valuation the most common audit problem. Market volatility always makes it tough to value assets fairly based on market prices.  But that doesn't mean management forecasts—and the assumptions and methodologies of financial modeling used in corporate pricing—c ...

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The Accounting Crows Rock Out for Kids Camp

Ace Accounting Today reporter Danielle Lee may well have feared decadence, aggressive and overly-medicated groupies, atonal experimentation, psychedelics, and really bad rhyme.  But she braved the challenges and took on the story in any case, and it turned out to be pretty cool:  An all-CPA band rocked tax day, performing a long set of classic rock during their annual End of Season Tax Bash in a Connecticut ...

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Samsung: Apple Expert Witnesses in Patent Trial are “iSheep,” Unqualified –BGR

Zach Epstein shares the scoop at BGR:  Samsung has accused Apple of calling expert witnesses that exhibit “slavish adoration” to the company during an ongoing patent trial between the two consumer electronics giants. As noted by patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, court documents filed by Samsung in California seek to exclude testimony made by a number of Apple’s expert witnesses on the grounds t ...

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U.S. Private Companies Get Separate Accounting Board –WSJ

New private company council includes FASB, but in reduced role, The Journal of Accountancy explains.  "This announcement is excellent news for small businesses that have been concerned about the future of US GAAP particularly in relation to an international move toward IFRS," adds Editor Gail Perry at AccountingWeb.  Emily Chasan at the Wall Street Journal reports: The Financial Accounting Foundation’s Boar ...

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The Secret to Getting Small-Business Loans –OPEN Forum

The recession is over and entrepreneurs are looking for cash, but are banks willing to lend? The answer is a resounding yes, according to reports at OPEN Forum. OPEN Forum's Katie Morell talks to lending and credit experts to get the tips you need to get that loan application approved.  Here's what she found out: Bankers emphasize that borrowers need to present a solid picture of their business and themselv ...

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4 Ways to Value a Startup –Investopedia

Investopedia weighs in on the pros and cons of varying approaches: Business valuation is never straightforward - for any company. For startups with little or no revenue or profits and less-than-certain futures, the job of assigning a valuation is particularly tricky. For mature, publicly listed businesses with steady revenues and earnings, normally it's a matter of valuing them as a multiple of their earnin ...

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6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Merging Your CPA Firm

You can’t hold back the demographic tide. In the U.S., another baby boomer turns 60 every eight seconds. This translates into a leadership change in the near future at many CPA firms. In an important article in the Journal of Accountancy last year, John F. Raspante, CPA, and Joseph A. Tarasco, CPA explain:  Thousands of partners are at or reaching retirement age now and in the next five years, putting a tre ...

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What if Accountants Offered Work “In 30 Minutes Or It’s Free” or: “Absolutely, Positively Overnight”? It Could Change Everything!

 . . . or at least  so opines Edi Osborne, of Mentor Plus, at CPA Trendlines.  She throws in a third promise you've probably heard but we couldn't fit on the subject line:  "No Surprise Billing. Ever."  More:   What do these three tag lines have in common? Predictability. Dominoes and Fed Ex built their entire business model on making (and keeping) an uncomplicated predictability promise to the customer.  D ...

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CBO: Taxes and Spending Cuts Will Likely Send U.S. Into Recession

The U.S. likely will fall back into recession if scheduled spending cuts take effect and Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire this year, the Congressional Budget Office said. If the U.S. falls off this "fiscal cliff," the economy will probably contract 1.3% in the first half of 2013, the CBO said.  CNN Financial Times / Alphaville New York Times NPR Reuters USA Today Wall Street Journal Yahoo! Finance ...

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Private Equity Pros to Watch: 10 PE Investors Reshaping the Business — Mergers & Acquisitions

From attempting to recast the public image of private equity to trying to forge a new investment firm, 10 individuals profiled in the June issue of Mergers & Acquisitions are making their marks on middle-market investing, Tamika Cody, Mary Kathleen Flynn and Danielle Fugazy report.  From the intro: To highlight a few: Pam Hendrickson, chief operating officer of the Riverside Co. and a director of the gl ...

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SEC Ramps Up—New Enforcement Tools Include Cluster Analysis, Fuzzy Matching. Plus—Open Channels to DOJ, FBI.

"With New Firepower, S.E.C. Tracks Bigger Game,"  Ben Protess and Azam Ahmed  report at the New York Times Dealbook. Embarrassed after missing the warning signs of the financial crisis and the Ponzi scheme of Bernard L. Madoff, the agency’s enforcement division has adopted several new — if somewhat unconventional — strategies to restore its credibility. The S.E.C. is taking its cue from criminal authorities ...

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Few Small Businesses Claim Health Insurance Tax Credit –Accounting Today

Far fewer small employers claimed the health insurance tax credit for small businesses in the health care reform law than were eligible, according to a new government report.  So reports Michael Cohn at Accounting Today: The Small Employer Health Insurance Tax Credit was included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a way to help small businesses pay for the cost of health insurance. ...

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Seventh Circuit Applies ‘Independent Investor’ Test to Help Determine Reasonable Compensation

Payments an accounting firm characterized as consulting fees were really disguised dividends and should have been taxed as corporate income, the Seventh Circuit held on Thursday. The payments reduced the firm's income to zero, and the court applied the "independent investor" test to recharacterize them as dividends paid to the firm's owners.   Alistair M. Nevius at the Journal of Accountancy, in the article ...

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Lawmakers Put S-Corporations in Their Sights

Congressional Democrats have proposed financing student-loan legislation by expanding payroll taxes on subchapter S corporations and partnerships. The bill would levy Social Security and Medicare taxes on all business income if the firm is engaged in professional services, such as investment advice, or if 75% or more of the gross income of the firm is attributable to three or fewer shareholders. Investment ...

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Two Unexpected Paths to Small Business Growth

Over at OPENForum, Mike Periu, a Principal at EcoFin media writes: Using counterintuitive strategies in your business can be risky, but when they work the rewards can be enormous. Trying these methods can help you improve sales and profits: Preventing Theft Warehouse stores like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club are very careful with their inventory management and go to great lengths to avoid shrinkage, which is ...

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Do Our Brains Really Even Know How To Evaluate A Monte Carlo Analysis?

Nerd's Eye View, which provides commentary on financial planning news and developments,  points out that a growing body of research shows our brains are not quite the logical, rational decision-making machines we think they are – or at least, wish they could be.   Instead, our brains take shortcuts; we substitute easier questions for difficult ones, often without realizing it, and respond accordingly with o ...

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Survey: The 8 Qualities Employers Most Want in Their Employees

At TLNT:  The Business of HR, John Hollon reports on a new nationwide survey of 174 employers by OI Partners, an organization that describes itself as “a global talent management company, renowned for its highly personalized services …  (specializing) in mid-level, executive and group outplacement; executive coaching; leadership development and workforce solutions.” Being a team player (selected by 71 perce ...

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Three Ways to Make Your Employees Happy — American Express OPENForum, Families and Work Institute

The company culture you build has a major impact on how successful the business will be as it grows, writes Dan Schawbel, personal branding expert, at American Express OPENForum, a small business media hub.  One of the biggest trends in the past few years is workplace flexibility.   A new study by the Families and Work Institute shows that more than 75 percent of employers now offer some form of flex time. ...

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