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Fraud and the Family Business: It’s Not So Unusual

Fraud and the Family Business: It’s Not So Unusual The dynamics of a family-owned business are like no other, writes Robert Rothbort at Accounting Today.   There's usually a great atmosphere of trust. But that can leave family businesses uniquely vulnerable to fraud.  Here are some common schemes: • “Ghost” employees. The family member overseeing payroll creates “ghost” employees that do not exist and arran ...

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How to Pay Less in Taxes

How to Pay Less in Taxes  Norm Brodsky answers a reader's question at Inc.: To begin with, [the reader] needs to start his planning process early enough to allow him to end the year with as little cash profit as possible. That's the idea if you have a young company using cash-basis accounting. I gave him a hypothetical -- and oversimplified -- example, just so he'd have a general idea of how it works. Let's ...

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FASB Proposes Changes in Investment Accounting

FASB Proposes Changes in Investment Accounting Michael Cohen reports at Accounting Today: The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released two proposed accounting standards updates to clarify the criteria for investment company accounting and develop guidance for investment property accounting. The proposed update for investment company accounting stems from the efforts of FASB and the International Ac ...

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Estate-Tax-Basis Form Still Not Available

Estate-Tax-Basis Form Still Not Available Arden Dale at the Wall Street Journal's Financial Advisor blog: A Florida resident in her seventies lost her husband in early 2010. The couple had $8 million, but how much will remain after taxes is still a mystery. The key IRS form has yet to appear since last year’s estate tax law changes. Those changes have created a “practically unsolvable conundrum,” said Renee ...

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The Cost of Buying Small Business Companies

Chart:  The Cost of Buying Small Business Companies Scott Shane at Small Business Trends reports: Many people think buying a business is expensive. But, actually, the typical private company sells at a low price. According to BIZCOMPS, Business Valuation’s data base of private company sales, the median price of the 12,022 companies sold since 1995 on which Business Valuation has data was $166,000, less than ...

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Dentist’s Employment Contract Kills Personal Goodwill Argument

Dentist's Employment Contract Kills Personal Goodwill Argument - Ninth Circuit Rules Peter J. Reilly on Forbes.com:   Tax planners generally think that clients are well served by their thoroughness.  I have little doubt that this is generally the case.  Every once in a while, though, that little bit of extra work can be counterproductive.  In the case of Dr. Howard the extra step, that a less thorough plann ...

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Financial Pros Add ‘Expert Witness’ to Résumés

Small, midsize firms encourage employees to get specialized training to help in winning clients. So writes Eilene Zimmerman in Crain's New York Business, where she mentions American Institute for Expert Witness Education (AIEWE) courses: Sareena Sawhney is a detective of sorts. As a certified forensic financial analyst, she exposes a hidden world of fraud and negligence by analyzing financial transactions a ...

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Employee Fraud at Businesses

A Rogue Employee Might be On Your Payroll, Too So writes Sarah E. Needleman at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, where she points out that small businesses tend to be more vulnerable to fraud than large firms: If a business as established and well off as UBS can suffer at the hands of one bad apple, could the same can be true for any business, even a small firm? According to various media reports, an allege ...

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Jack Nicholson Takes Over E.U. Finance

Jack Nicholson Takes Over E.U. Finance FT's Alphaville Blog reprises an ECB press conference last week: Reporter: What is your answer to German people and economists who want the return of the DM? Trichet: You want answers? Reporter: I think the Germans are entitled. Trichet: You want answers? (SHOUTING) Reporter: Germans want the truth! (SHOUTING) Trichet: *You can’t handle the truth!*  (SHOUTING) [pauses] ...

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Adjusting, More M.D.’s Add M.B.A.

Adjusting, More M.D.’s Add M.B.A. Under heavy pressure from government regulators and insurance companies, more and more physicians across the country are learning to think like entrepreneurs, reports Milt Freudenheim at the New York Times: “All physicians need some kind of business training,” she said. “For example, some physicians with large research grants don’t know how to manage the money.” As for the ...

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FASB Approves Standard to Simplify Testing Goodwill for Impairment

FASB Approves Standard to Simplify Testing Goodwill for Impairment  The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) approved a revised accounting standard intended to simplify how an entity tests goodwill for impairment. Per the FASB: “The Board’s decision today comes as a direct result of what we heard from private companies, which had expressed concerns about the cost and complexity of performing the good ...

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A Quarter of LPs Plan to Increase Allocations

Study: A Quarter of LPs Plan to Increase Allocations  An overwhelming majority of investors who responded to a recent survey planned to maintain or increase their allocations to private equity, with high fees and a lack of transparency dissuading the remainder from committing more capital to the asset class. Clare Burrows reports at Private Equity International: Only 2 percent of the 411 investors and consu ...

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Stumped on How to Figure Discounts? The IRS Can Help.

Stumped on How to Figure Discounts?  The IRS Can Help.  The Engineering/Valuation Program DLOM Team at the IRS has posted a job aid on the IRS site. The 112-page guide reviews definitions of marketability and discusses factors that influence it.  The aid illuminates the distinctions between minority and controlling interests.  It offers sample initial information document requests (IDRs). A large section of ...

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Apple’s ‘bogus’ patents will ‘strangle’ Android: Google

Apple's 'bogus' patents will 'strangle' Android: Google So reports Asher Moses this month in The Advertiser: Google's chief legal officer has launched a blistering attack on competitors, including Apple, for attempting to stifle innovation by using "bogus patents" to target Google's Android partners including Samsung. David Drummond, who is also Google's senior vice-president, wrote in an explosive blog pos ...

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Magic, Sex, and Outer Space

Magic, Sex, and Outer Space Goodwill is the established reputation of a business regarded as a quantifiable asset. Or of a person who's part of that business: That's why you often hear discussions about how to best separate personal goodwill from enterprise goodwill. But what if your personal goodwill was regarded so highly, in a contract, that you'd need to work for the new company that was buying you out ...

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Dueling Documentaries

Dueling Documentaries You've maybe read about the pro-trial lawyer documentary out recently from HBO called "Hot Coffee" in The Atlantic.  (The title "Hot Coffee" refers to the famed McDonalds case of a few years back, when a woman was awarded some $3M+ by a jury for overly-hot coffee spilled on her by McDonalds.) Now there's "Injustice," which asks, "What do you have to do to earn a billion dollars in lawy ...

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In Silicon Valley, a Culture Clash Sullies a Romance

In Silicon Valley, a Culture Clash Sullies a Romance Steven M. Davidoff reports on the New York Times DealBook blog:   Private equity has broken venture capital’s heart, and V.C. is not taking it well.   The romance ended when Silver Lake, the private equity firm, agreed to sell Skype to Microsoft. Silver Lake is estimated to be pocketing more than $4 billion from the sale.   This would normally be a joyous ...

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Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Survey Reports Top Challenges

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Survey Reports Top Challenges MGMA members were asked to identify top management challenges, and the results of the 2011 survey are in:    See what MGMA members had to say about the results in the July MGMA Connexion. Compare this year's results with previous years. Read the story behind the numbers and see how challenges are ranked by applicability. ...

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The 7 Biggest Financial Mistakes Businesses Make

  The 7 Biggest Financial Mistakes Businesses Make  Running a business should earn you an honorary degree given all you will learn, writes Brian Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Sageworks, over at Inc.    We live and we learn. In the time it’s taken me to build two companies, I have learned and more importantly, lived, these mistakes. I hope these pieces of advice can help both aspiring and existing entrepre ...

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IT Guru Turns Out to Be Security Hole

IT Guru Turns Out to Be Security Hole  Roger Kay reports at Forbes:  Small businesses have become a choice target for hackers, but by far the most common — and devastating — attacks on small businesses are inside jobs. This is the story of one such assault. The target (we’ll call him Peter) trusted his IT guy (Joe, for our purposes) because Joe worked magic.  Peter didn’t understand exactly what Joe was doi ...

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