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APRIL 23, 2008
 

Editor's Note

Disaster can come in many different forms. There are physical disasters like hurricanes and trees coming through your roof, there are computer crashes and electrical surges that destroy hard drives, there are tax audits, thefts, identity theft, and many more crises that can come unexpectedly and hurt you and your business. AccountingWEB's Bloggers Crew members have been asked to address the issue of disaster and how it relates to their own areas of expertise. Not only will you learn a plethora of useful tips in this special AccountingWEB Bloggers Supplement, but you will have a chance to meet our bloggers and appreciate the range of their viewpoints! Follow the links, read what they have to say, and by all means post your own comments - blogging, after all, is meant to be a participatory experience.

Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor
editor@accountingweb.com


FEI Financial Reporting Blog
As the SEC continues to receive comments on the 116- page "Petition for Interpretive Guidance on Climate Risk Disclosure" filed jointly by 22 signatories on Sept. 18, 2007 (there's also the "Petition for Interpretive Guidance on Business Risk of Global Warming Regulation" filed by the Free Enterprise Action Fund Oct. 22, 2007), President Bush spoke yesterday on "Taking Action to Confront Climate Change," announcing, "a new national goal to stop the growth in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025"....


Sally Glick: Marketing Today and Tomorrow!
All firms have to be prepared for the inevitable "what ifs" that life brings. What if your best client - your favorite client and the one that generates a significant amount of fees for the firm - goes through a major transition? Perhaps the owner is getting ready to retire, or a wonderful offer has been made that cannot be refused, and he suddenly decides to sell. No matter what the reason, the client will be leaving the firm. I would say that this would be the absolute worst time to tighten your belt and reduce your networking and marketing endeavors....


The K2 Team: Accounting Technology Talk and More
Laptop theft appears to be a cottage industry in the US. Consider these facts:
  • According to Safeware Insurance Agency, more than 750,000 laptops are stolen every year. This translates into more than 1 billion dollars in lost property and according to the study more than $5 billion loss of proprietary information.
  • According to the FBI, a whopping 97% to 98% of stolen computers never return to their rightful owner.
  • From 2005 to 2006 there was an 81% increase in the number of companies reporting stolen laptops containing sensitive information (2006 Annual Study: The Cost of Data Breach. Ponemon Institute, LLC, 2007).
Today's post is focused on technology that can improve the chances of recovering a stolen laptop from 2% to over 75%. This is technology that is widely available and proven to work. It involves loading software on your computer that allows your computer to let you know where it is when it has been stolen....


Bill Kennedy: CA. IT, PMP: Energized Accounting
We were just discussing how to apply credit notes to invoices when the lights went out. Everything was dark in the office except the computer screen. I knew I had 20 minutes until the UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) batteries ran out. I decided to use this as a teaching moment and explained to the client how it's better to power down the servers gracefully than just have them stop when the power is cut. On the way to the server room, I glanced out the window and saw the people across the street leaving their buildings....


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA: Talk to TaxMama
California is a disaster...

We have earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides, AIDs, and the Rodney King riot.

Yup, I've lived through all of those, and held clients' hands and reconstructed records through every kind of disaster.

The interesting thing is, once the disaster is over, people forget. Especially government tax people. We remember. So do our clients, who experienced the disaster....


Liz Zitzow: Far and Away: Offshore Taxation
Welcome back from tax season! I hope you've all had a chance to put your feet up and give yourself a day off. Today's topic is "When disaster strikes ..." For our clients, it strikes when they move to another country and only get around to "getting their taxes done" around the due date. It's bad enough for stateside people, but when you've moved to another country, this can cost you $10,000's in lost tax deductions from not setting things up before you move....

Check Out These Postings!


Allan Boress, CPA: Truth Be Told About Business Development Blog
These past few months have been some of the most fun times I can remember in business. You see, I expect business to be fun and have pointed my career in that direction since dad explained to me why he worked so many hours and told me all those years ago that work was adult's play.

One of the reasons we lose so many young people (and experienced old ones, too) is that public accounting never was fun, or their firm doesn't make it so. We will examine how to keep valued employees, partners and staff in a future blog....


Anita Campbell: The Complete Small Business Blog
I woke up Christmas morning to find that one of my websites had been hacked! What a present.

In my case the site was purely a content site. The site databases had no customer data, no credit card information, no sensitive company information.

I couldn't help but think how much worse it would have been, had the site contained sensitive information. What if the hackers had managed to reach my most treasured company data? Or my customers' data? What a nightmare THAT would have been....


Linda Cavanaugh, CPA: Plugged In
FAS 141 Business Combinations

This new Statement was a lot more involved than I thought at first glance. Here is the first installment.

FAS 141R -"Business Combinations" was issued to improve relevance, representational faithfulness and comparability of the information surrounding business combinations. The first step to applying this Statement is to determine whether a transaction is a business combination by applying the definition in Paragraph 3....


Michelle Golden: Golden Practices
In accounting firms, the term "busy season" is synonymous with the period of January to mid-April.

These are the months when professionals talk to clients, referral sources, friends, family, and sometimes just about anybody who will listen, about being swamped, exhausted and "really crazy" right now....


Eva Lang, aka BV Girl
Business appraisers know how important it is for owners of closely held companies to have a business valuation. It is sometimes more difficult to convince the business owner. The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) recently issued five tips for business owners on the need to have a current business valuation, noting how essential it is to many management decisions....


Ryan Williams: Tech Better
This week's tech tip is a simple one to help you navigate the Internet better. If you are like me, you find it cumbersome to peruse Internet search results because every time you click a search result link the webpage reloads and you lose access to your original results page. Then, after you are finished reading the linked site you have to click the back button and wait for the screen to rebuild which takes time....


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