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JUNE 5, 2008

Features

For most states, stimulus payments will mean added revenue
The economic stimulus payments that taxpayers have received will not be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service but some of this money may end up in the coffers of individual states, which are free to decide how to treat the payments.

IRS employee charged with illegally accessing celebrity tax records
An Internal Revenue Service tax examiner has been charged with snooping into the tax records of nearly 200 actors, celebrities, professional athletes, and even his next-door neighbor.

New estimates published on retiree savings needs for health care
The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published a new, more comprehensive set of estimates of the amount of money individuals and couples will need to cover certain health care expenses in retirement.

Blogs!

What have you got to say today?

Eva Lang:
aka BV Girl
The Veracity of Valuation Specialists

Last month, Sarah Johnson, a senior writer at CFO magazine wrote in the article "How Far Can Fair Value Go?" that the problem with moving from historical cost to fair value financial statements lay in the difficulty of determining value due to "lack of consistent valuation standards, questionable valuation models, and uncertainty about the veracity of valuation specialists." Ouch....

Gary Levine:
Capitalization Matters
Stock Option Valuation: How Hard Have They Made It?

In a recent issue of the popular newsletter Softletter, Edward Pratesi, CPA of Brentmore Advisors, LLC, does an outstanding job in the article entitled "Valuing Options While Running the Compliance Gauntlet" explaining the complicated interplay between FAS 123R and Sec. 409A in the context of determining the fair market value for privately-held companies of the common stock underlying an employee stock option. This is a critical input for qualified stock options where the option must be issued with a strike price equal to fair market value on the date of grant to comply with IRS Sec. 422 and can't be issued at a discount if you want to avoid the penalties under Sec. 409A....

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Quiz Me!

Accounting Cash Flow Quiz
This week's Student Zone quiz is "Accounting Cash Flow Quiz" and is brought to us by Barbara W. Scofield, PhD, CPA - Associate Professor of Accounting and Director of the Financial Accounting Concentration at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. Sharpen your skills!

Publisher's Note

Research has shown over the years that a primary reason why customers leave or are dissatisfied with professional services companies is poor communications from frontline staff. Many accounting firms, medical and dental offices, and law practices are guilty of inefficient, neglectful, or ill-timed communications from workers responsible for communicating with customers.

Make it a mission at your place of business this summer to ensure that the communications practices are top-notch. As we all know, unhappy customers don't always state why they leave one business for another. It's human nature.

A CPA in Kentucky suggested that I touch on this topic. She told me they comb through this process every summer at her small firm - and it's always worth the time and effort.

Rob Nance
Publisher
publisher@accountingweb.com


Latest News

Tech News

10-minute checklist for reviewing your firm's Web site
For many firms, the Web site is your client's first introduction to you. Is it possible that information on your Web site is out of date or that the material has not been changed for months? Does your Web site have the look of a static site that is just a placeholder online, a location where users can find your address and phone number and little more?

Firm/State News

Accounting firm office manager jailed for participation in visa fraud scheme
Illuminada "Nida" Quenga, 52, the former office manager of an accounting firm in the Los Angeles area, has been convicted of visa fraud and sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison after participating in a scheme to issue 120 fraudulent visas to Filipino citizens attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Student News

Accounting school receives $10 million donation
San Diego State University has received a $10 million gift to name the university's nationally recognized school of accountancy the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy. The gift, among the largest in university history, was made by Gertrude Lamden in honor of her late husband who was instrumental in launching SDSU's College of Business Administration.

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