Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Hurricane Katrina would have earned national disaster status on the death and destruction wreacked on the Mississippi coast alone...and then the levees broke in New Orleans today and made things MANY times worse. It is not unreasonable to think in terms of 1000 or more dead and $1 trillion (or more, over 10% of GNP) in costs...and that before seeing the impact of possible disease outbreaks.

Blogosphere gurus Instapundit ( and Truth Laid Bear (see link in title) with aid from Technorati ( are coordinating an effort to have bloggers cite a relief agency to support by tomorrow. As a sporadic attender of Grace Nazarene in Clarksville, I recommend Nazarene Compassiate Ministries ( Having said that, I have had previous experiences with Habitat for Humanity and World Vision and would be glad to recommend either of them as well. The Instapundit and Truth Laid Bear sites have many other excellent sites for those less comfortable giving to a Protestant charity.

P. S. Free Money Finance is recommending Samaritan's Purse, which basically grew out of Billy Graham's ministry.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Possible blogging slowdown

Although I avoided a very awkward situation at school, I do have a crunch period in the next 10 days, followed by my wife's (Hooray for Pam!) birthday weekend. Blogging may therefore be lighter than usual between now and September 12 or so.

"Employee Pricing": More Hype than Help to Bargain Hunters?

Michael Englund of Business Week asserts that the popular recent "employee pricing" program used by American car makers has hidden some aggressive price raising prior to the promotion. As proof, the article points to GM's announcement that employee pricing will be extended to some new 2006 models; generally, new models do not receive promotional pricing. The author suggests that employee discount pricing follows on the heels of rebates and low financing rates as sales gimmicks; based on prior experience, the promotion will become less effective and more expected in the future. GM and Ford are asserted to never have fully recovered financially from the damage inflict on their profitability by the previous rebate and financing promotions.

Clearly, the article emphasizes the importance of "caveat emptor" in auto buying. Additionally, it may suggest that used car (especially certified or guaranteed used car options) purchases may be the way to go as many dealers probably have high inventories of used cars received as "trade-ins" from buyers using the "employee pricing". Finally, the article implies that investors should exercise care before investing in GM or Ford stock.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

No "Walking on Sunshine" in the French Quarter with THIS Katrina (and her waves)

Category 5 Hurricane Katrina looks likely to hit Louisiana HARD during the night tonight. Hurricane-force winds could reach as far north as the AR-LA border, tropical storm winds are even conceivable here in far north Tennessee. Pray for those without the financial resources to leave the Gulf Coast between Lake Charles, LA and Mobile, AL.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Best of Blogs--August 24-27

School starts next week--time will tell whether I will be able to continue this feature.

AAO: Top Kmart management taken to task by SEC for misleading disclosure regarding excessive inventory purchases in 2001 (also mentioned earlier by Footnoted). [26]

CPA Tech: Good post on alternatives to Package X. [27]

Vanilla: Reviews a PBS interview of Samuel Adams beer magnate Jim Koch and his views on accounting for a new enterprise. [24]

Consumerism: Hawaii tries price controls on gasoline. [25] (Does anyone learn from history; Mauled Again correctly points out that Hawaii is engaging in self-delusion)

Financial Rounds: Cites financial research which indicates that wealth gains have occurred from tax cuts in gains on house sales and dividends. [26]

Death and Taxes: Compares benefits and limitations of a living trust. [25]

Roth CPA: Brooks AG, an S corp, survives a wild ride in Tax Court. [26]

Tax Guru: Unhappily links to a Fox News story indicating that tax conferees are now considering keeping the estate tax; albeit at a lower level than pre-2000. [25]

Friday, August 26, 2005

Link comments

A big thank-you to Russ Fox and Taxable Talk for being the first known blog to offically link to Tick Marks (to be fair, Financial Rounds has provided an unofficial but nontheless valuable link here for quite a while).

More comments this weekend or early next week as the three-month anniversary of Tick Marks approaches. In mid-September, I intend to take my next look at who to add or delete from my links to provide the best access that I am aware of to accounting websites and accounting, personal finance and tax blogs.

P. S. A goof--I overlooked Consumerism Commentary who lists Tick Marks as an Investing and Trading blog
(a surprising classification, but I'm thrilled to be linked).

Greenspan looks beyond his FRS days

FRS Chairman Alan Greenspan warns that increased protectionism in trade and growing budget deficits made him uneasy about long-term economic prospects for the U. S. Other concerns expressed by the bank boss were long-term Social Security solvency and the eventual end of low interest rates. He did that the U. S. economy had handled the run-up in petroleum prices reasonably well so far.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Intuit vs. Microsoft Returns--No "Secret Ambition@" in Small Business Accounting

@--Song title by Michael W. Smith, not only namesake but "homie" (Kenova, WV) of the QuickBooks GM.

Microsoft's announcement of Small Business Accounting software has not gone unnoticed by Intuit of QuickBooks fame. Key Intuit managers recently engaged in simulation exercises to plan how to handle anticipated Microsoft competitive thrusts and QuickBooks GM Brad Smith preannounced an improved QuickBooks package (code name Denali). Analysts see Microsoft as having general familarity (Word and Excel) while Quickbooks has as its advantages concentration on the small business accounting market (their other major offerings are check-writing and tax preparation software) and possibly lower price.

The analysts pick Intuit; I think that Microsoft has learned from the past and will be tough to shove out of the market. At the same time, Intuit cannot, will not and should not leave the scene.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Understanding Your Credit Report

A recent Forbes article provided good advice on interpreting credit reports. Three major reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, dominate the credit reporting arena. Key issues for credit users are: insuring maximum accuracy, both in personal information and status of accounts past and present, checking each agency's report regularly (once per year recommended) and determining the level of past due accounts. A troubling feature--the reports usually show all parts of your credit number except the last several digits--a smart and industrious theif could steal your credit report, find an apparently harmless credit card receipt with only the last few digits showing (this is fairly common practice on credit card receipts) and combine the two to steal your credit card number.

U.S. Justice Dept. Almost Ready to Indict Former KPMG Partners

About 15 former KPMG partners will soon be indicted in their role involving dubious tax shelters. The announcement of indictments will dovetail with the offical announcement of the agreement (announced yesterday by the Washington Post) where KPMG agreed to a $300-$500 million payment. The case appears to center around the use of BLIPS (bond linked issue premium structures), which the IRS contends would defraud the U. S. Government. Key witness is German banker DeGeorgio.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Best of Blogs--August 19-23

CPA Tech--CPA firms must become more flexible and receptive to change to survive in the future. [23]

Footnoted--A great stock tip based on observing new CFO Marshall of Panacos Pharma. [22]

Consumerism--Good tips for saving money on gasoline. [23]

Free Money--A long but good commentary on carnivals. [22]

In Cash Flow--Six step program for more prosperity (and half as difficult to implement as AA!). [19]

Mauled Again--A VERY in-depth look at the Forbes flat tax. [22]

Roth CPA--Washington Post reports that KPMG will pay $300-$500 million to avoid criminal prosecution. [23]

Tax Guru--IRS offical rate of $0.405 per business mile for gasoline is likely to understate actual fuel cost. [21]

Tax Mama--Since Social Security is unlikely to cover retirement cost, better start saving now. [19]

Tax Policy--Sings the praises of the Virginia Taxpayer Bill of Rights. [23]

A Federal Hearing of State Tax Issues

Council on State Taxation Legislative Director Joseph Crosby confirmed at a National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual meeting that many promises had been made by the Senate Finance Committee to hold hearings on a variety of topics. Neal Olson of NCSL had previously mentioned at a luncheon earlier in the conference. Likely issues to be addressed are telecommunication taxes, a "bright-line" test for corporate taxation of multi-state businesses, and federal legislation streamlining collection of state sales and use taxes.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Spam announcement

Effective immediately (4 am GMT Aug. 23, 10 pm CDT, 8 pm PST Aug. 22), any comments adjudged by me and at my sole discretion to be spam or otherwise content unsuitable for this blog will be deleted without future recourse. In some cases, the deletion may not occur immediately, readers beware! I welcome comments addressing the substance of the post, but not ads for stock tips (or worse).

The Kids May Be in School, But the Carnivals Go on...

My "Seventh Decade" Post last week was one of 28 items in Carnival of Personal Finance #10 at Frugal for Life. Carnival of the Capitalists is at (

Saturday, August 20, 2005

New London, CT: Would You Like Salt or Staph in That Wound?

A World Net Daily report claims that homeowners in New London not only are subject to forfeiture of their land, but also will be compensated at 2000 prices AND have to pay back rent for the last five years. Some property owners are being asked to pay $100,000 or more rent for the five years since the start of condemnation procedings. In a display of understatement which would make James Bond envious, University of Connecticut law professor Jeremy Dean recommended that the city would be politically prudent to try to settle with the property owners.

4.5 Billion Glimpses of Tax Returns filed in 2004, says Treasury

The Joint Committee on Taxation reported that four and and a half BILLION disclosures of tax returns were made to Congressional Committees, Federal agencies and states for tax returns and related documents filed in 2004. The Department of Treasury is required to report who was reviewed, what was reviewed and why the disclosure was made.

I guess it depends on your point of view as whether these disclosures were made for public interest reasons or whether this was an example of "Big Brother Snooping". Another interesting question: how many times were tax returns of major politicians examined by media organizations and "Judical Watch"-style organizations.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Best of blogs--August 14-18

Next up: next Tuesday--note: with school upcoming, this feature may diminish in upcoming weeks

Vanilla Accounting: Good tips on proper documentation of shareholder loans. [15]

Consumerism: T-shirt web page has fun with "housing bubble"; a realtor group was not amused. [18]

Finance Prof: Pitfalls of investing/gambling on basis of recent trends, whether good or bad. [16]

Financial Rounds: Link to Scholarship America's "40 Money Tips Every College Freshman Should Know." [18]

Death and Taxes: Administratix is forced to accept a settlement in a wrongful-death suit (also mentioned by Roth CPA). [16]

Mauled Again: Lengthy but good post on what to expect in a law school tax class. [17]

Taxing Times: President's Tax Reform Advisory Panel proposes 1% national sales tax to replace AMT. [16]

TBL Commentary: No need for a blog to include a Circular 230-style disclaimer if no client is involved (also mentioned in Tax Prof). [16]

Tax Guru: Looks at SUV deductibility for a child-care center. [14]

Tax Policy: Commemorates 70th anniversary of Social Security by calling for it to return to its roots. [15]

Taxable Talk: More discussion of poker winnings and taxes. [17]

GAO to IRS: Show Us the (Tax) Money!

A report yesterday by the GAO criticized the IRS for the tax noncompliance gap and recommended setting long-term goals with emphasis on improved results and developing better measures of the gap. Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Baucus (D-MT) were critical of the performance of the IRS with Grassley emphasizing infomation shortcomings and Baucus primarily citing unsatisfactory planning.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The GAO Looks at Protecting U. S. Government Computers

A recent GAO study indicates that federal information systems are susceptible to spam, spyware and even phishing. Among findings were that many agencies underestimated the dangers of spam, had not given employees enough training on phishing and had seen decreased employee productivity because of spyware. Among recommendations were government-wide policies for cyberprotection and incident reporting, security awareness training and periodic risk assessments.

Managers of private businesses may want to read the report (link provided by clicking on title of this post); many of the problems cited by the GAO would also apply to businesses. Also note that the U. S. Government does provide limited assistance (such as the Identity Theft Clearinghouse) to businesses that have already become infected.

Your Seventh Decade: Career Conclusion, Change or Continuation?

(Note: Obviously the above title does not apply to those whose health has failed.) Almost 70% of workers surveyed in an AP report plan to continue working after reaching retirement age, with an increasing number doing so to make ends meet. Among those continuing for financial need reasons, one factor mentioned was the need to continue health insurance. It should also be noted that a sizable number of continuing workers plan to do so for self-realization reasons.

Two points become clear in looking at the article: [1] many more people need to be reading personal finance blogs such as Consumerism Commentary, Financial Rounds, Free Money Finance, In Cash We Trust and PF Blog (see links at right) to get good ideas for managing their present income and [2] there will be increasing pressure on Congress to increase benefits for Social Security at a time where the long-term solvency of Social Security is in legitimate question. I hope that this is reason to institute partial privitization of Social Security; I fear instead another round of increases in Social Security payroll taxes; especially to taxpayers earning over $60,000 per year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

SEC Committee on Smaller Public Cos.: Go Slow in SOX Compliance Timetable and Other Issues

A Securities and Exchange Commission press release today indicates that a Small Business Capital Formation
Forum would be held concurrently with an SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies meeting. The Advisory Committee intends to set forth the following three proposals: [1] A one-year extension, to June 15, 2007, of required compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 404 for companies with less than $75 million in public "float", (2) definitions of "small cap" (presently about $700 million or bottom 6% of publicly-traded companies) and "micro cap" (presently about $120 million or bottom 1% of publicly-traded companies) as well as defining companies on the basis of market cap rather than public float, (3) no acceleration of the responsibility for small-caps to accelerate due dates for 10-Qs and 10-Ks. Keep in mind that these are proposals at this time.

"Second Tier" Increasing Audit Clout

Demands of SOX compliance and wanting to keep top clients happy has stretched Big Four firms thin (and perhaps could get thinner depending on how severe KPMG's troubles become). As a result, smaller national/international firms including Grant Thornton, BDO Seidman, McGladrey Pullen and Crowe Group have taken up some of the slack with Seidman particularly successful (note: I briefly worked for then-Seidman and Seidman in the late 1970s and actually met founding brother P. K.). Analysts believe that Seidman has been particularly successful because of historic concentration in retail and related industries, thus minimizing client losses of their own as the accounting industry reconsolidates.

Monday, August 15, 2005


[1] Today is the last day to file individual tax returns without a second extension (Form 2688) for most Americans.

[2] Carnival of the Capitalists is up at Weekend Pundit.

[3] On more personal subjects, we had our first significant rain in the month of August yesterday and our dog Treasure turns (by my reckoning of about six dog years per human year) 70 "dog years" tomorrow.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Links

I wish to welcome to my link section the following blogs: Vanilla Accounting (accounting), Consumerism Commentary and In Cash Flow We Trust (personal finance) and Tax Policy Blog (taxation). Hopefully, I will be able to post at least one item from each this week in the "Best of Blogs" feature.

Best of blogs--August 11-13

49th birthday edition of BoB:

AAO: Explanation of why Krispy Kreme was better for consuming than for investing in. [11]

CPA Tech: More praise for Intuit financial products; this time, Quick Books. [11]

FreeMoneyFinance: A good series on money and marriage (or other cohabitating relationships). [11-13]

Roth CPA: Quotes Benefits Blog on acronym soup in the pension area. [11]

Tax Prof: Larken Rose convicted of tax obstruction/evasion (also mentioned by Tax Guru). [13]

Taxable Tax: Russ Fox points out numerous tax fallacies related to online poker (also mentioned by Roth CPA) (question: does former Nashville accountant Chris Moneymaker comply with all these laws?). [11]

Wills, Trusts, etc.: Creative (unethical?) financial approach to nursing home (wife effectively disowns husband) surprisingly upheld in U. S. District and Appealate Courts. [12]

Friday, August 12, 2005

GAO: New IRS Training Courses May Not Be Cost-Effective

Democratic Senators Max Baucus (MT) and Byron Dorgan (ND) released a GAO report yesterday which critcized new IRS training programs for employees taking calls from taxpayers as being potentially inefficient and for failing to provide measures of employee progress. The new training programs were a response to complaints by the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration that over-the-phone aid to taxpayers as well as Taxpayer Assistance Center performance was unsatisfactory.

Unquestionably, measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of aid to taxpayers is not routinely accomplished. Additionally, it is important to ensure that American taxpayers receive high-quality assistance from IRS personnel whether in person or over the phone. Nevertheless, Baucus and Dorgan correctly point out that American taxpayers also deserve to have training done in a manner that is cost-effective and which can clearly demonstrate trainee improvement.

Caveat Enterpeneur: The Tricky Business of Intellectual Property

Karen Klein of Business Week interviews attorneys Nadine Jacobson and Allison Strickland about patents, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property. The attorneys recommended the U. S. Copyright Web Site ( and U.S. Patent and Trademark Site ( for preliminary information. After that, they suggested being wary of urban myths, making sure that the idea was feasible before acting and seeking specialized legal help.

My wife attended law school several years ago and took an intellectual property class. As I understand it, this is a "hot" area within law and the advice to get specialized aid is well-warranted.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

S & P: The Cisco "Kid" is Not a Friend of Mine

An interesting phenonemon in the Tech section of Business Week today; in one article Cisco Systems CEO is interviewed regarding his company's commitment to donating to worthy causes; in a second, Standard and Poor's downgrades their rating (although the downgraded rating is still good). Guess Milton Friedman is applauding somewhere.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Best of blogs: August 7-10

Note: For some reason, Tax Mama's weekly issue has a lag of several days.

AAO: Jack Ciesiekski think that small public companies "protesth too much" on SOX compliance. [9]

Footnoted: A report by Krispy Kreme shows that "Greed" makes for a better game show title than it makes for a technique for running a public company. [10]

Finance Professor: A well-written piece on Islamic mortgages and historic Islamic (and Christian) thinking on the morality of interest. [10]

Financial Rounds: Cites a Forbes article asserting that call options aren't as good as they sound. [7]

Free Money Finance: Celebrates 30,000 views by running a contest with beach towels as prizes. [9]

Roth CPA: Mentions a client lawsuit against KPMG for S Corporation Charitable Contribution Strategy (SC2) tax shelters (also mentioned by Tax Analysts and Tax Prof). [8]

Tax Mama: Applauds the incoming version of Quicken. [5]

Tax Prof: Reviews the IRS 2005-2006 Priority Guidance Plan. [8]

Residential Housing: The New Beanie Baby?

(Note: Except for parents of five and six year olds, the headline is exaggeration for effect) Some people fear a sudden drop in house prices and a few have gone so far as to sell and rent. A better strategy, advise a team of Business Week writers, is to be careful to limit your house purchase to what you can afford. For older homeowners, a reverse mortgage might also be a good idea.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Who says you can't go to carnivals on a work day?

The Carnival of the Capitalists ( and the Carnival of Personal Finance ( are, as usual, up on Monday. I took this week off, so enjoy the many articles available at both sites.

Passbook Savings Accounts: The Financial Equivalent of the Typewriter or Rotary Phone?

Americans had a personal savings rate of zero for June 2005, one of the lowest since the Great Depression. While the personal savings rate does not include all retirement savings, there is concern that people are already spending "paper profits" from rising home prices and capital gains. Women are in particularly precarious position, with over 40% having savings of less than $500.

Some have called for campaigns to discourage debt-financed consumer spending; others have called for more savings breaks for savers. A few, in fact, have even called for a consumption-based tax system to encourage savings. While there may be merit in these approaches, one other issue must be addressed--with interest rates on savings vehicles generally under 2% and frequently less than 1% on accounts without time limits on withdrawals; it seems that most investors can get better results by investing in mutual funds or paying off high-interest credit cards.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Review of August Journal of Accountancy

The cover article sings the praises of XBRL--a financial reporting language which is designed to improve formatting of financial information, make financial reporting easier to automate and reduce ambiguous business terminology. Charles Hoffman, the leading developer of XBRL, is interviewed and points out websites which will help accountants understand this new language. It is important to note that federal banking regulators will require financial institutions to use XBRL in quarterly reporting and the that the SEC now has a voluntary program allowing public companies to file required documents in XBRL online.

Other topics covered in the August JoA are motivators for Generation X employees, penalty-free withdrawals of IRA accumulations for special circumstances such as health insurance if unemployed or qualified higher education experiences and distinguishing PCAOB standards from GAAS while insuring private company audits which comply with both sets of standards.

Best of blogs--August 3-6

Tax blogs take most of the entries this time:

CPA Tech: Microsoft has developed software to redact (purge) confidential information before releasing sensitive material to the public. [6]

Footnoted: Smithfield Foods has pork in the boardroom as well as the grocery. [4]

Financial Rounds: Links to "The Program" on valuable tips for better academic presentations. [3]

Death and Taxes: The dangers of being a trustee--and why having the lawyer writing the trust as the trustee may create conflict of interest. [5]

Mauled Again: Proverbially shakes his head in wonderment at the prospect of Mike Tyson becoming a porn actor to pay off back taxes. [4]

Roth CPA: The collapse of a 95-year old deck during a graduation party does not produce a casualty loss because it was progressive deterioration rather than a sudden event which ultimately caused the fall. [5]

Tax Guru: A celebration of a SIX-month automatic extension (Form 4868) starting next year. [4]

Tax Prof: Provides excerpt of President Bush claiming that his tax cut helped increase tax revenues and urging Congress to provide tax simplification. [5]

Friday, August 05, 2005

Keeping Current with GASB

Yesterday, GASB announced two items: [1] a projects page which updated GASB progress on such issues as conceptual framework, fund balance reporting, intangible assets and termination benefits, [2] a$5,000 grant to an academic working on research of existing standards or accounting/financial reporting issues which may require new standards. An example of research on existing standards would be the government-wide statements and management discussion and analysis requirements of GASB Statement 34.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New SEC Head Greets Staffers

New Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox made his first address to staff members today. He praised staff members for their efforts to protect investors and promised to be a "relentless adversary of anyone trying to drive a wedge between the SEC and investors." He spoke of the SEC as a watchdog for other people's money and emphasized the importance of using "plain English" in SEC rulemaking. Additionally, he told staff that would try to bring more better pay and more respect to them.
Finally, he noted that his overseas travel had convinced him that US capital markets were the best in the world.

Cox was asked whether he would advocate for investors or business--his first response was: is there necessarily a difference in their goals, then clarified by pointing out that the Department of Commerce was designed to help business and the SEC to help investors. Three foci of investor's watchcare would be: compliance with rules, policing rule compliance and seeking views of investors and markets to determine their priorities.

Who Might Fill Alan's Greenspan's Shoes?

With Alan Greenspan expected to retire as head of the Federal Reserve System next spring, rumors have already started flying in Washington, DC as to his replacement atop the Fed. Joining the list of Ben Bernanke, Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard is ex-National Economic Council member Lawrence Lindsey. In spite of being fired in 2002, Lindsey is considered an option because he foretold the economic slowdown during the early years of the Bush Presidency and for his part in getting the first Bush tax cut through. A potential problem for Lindsey is that many Democrats consider him overly conservative.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

No mercy for pulpwood trees

This article by Forbes estimates compliance cost with post-Enron federal regulations at up to $65 million--and for what? Many of the required disclosures, it is asserted, are basically thrown away or cause as much extra paperwork for firms with good reputations as they do for past offenders. One can also assume, as the extra paperwork becomes a greater issue for mutual funds, that the funds will pass at least part of the cost to investors. Moreover, the SEC has watered down one disclosure that might be quite valuable to non-sophisticated investors; the hypothetical annual cost per $1,000 invested.

Department of Justice, South NY Division: It's Time to Indite

U.S. Attorneys are not-so-patiently waiting on their counterparts in the Tax Division to approve indictments of 20 former KPMG partners on tax evasion. Many of the partners have been in conference with government attorneys, but there appears to be little willingness to defer, plea bargain, etc.

Best of blogs--End of July/Start of August

Not the best of periods for the blogosphere (save the Carnivals)--but in fairness, I've also had better weeks blogging.

Footnoted: Hewlett-Packard gets kudos for scaling back top executive severance bonuses. [29]

Real Life Accounting: Announces new Heart of Accounting (see what I mean above). [30]

Free Money Finance: Back-to-back winners on using rental insurance and saving on healthcare costs. Maybe the best bet of the period. [2]

PF Blog: Coordinator took a personal trip to the Northeast and returned with praise for, Homewood Suites and NYC cabs. [2]

Death and Taxes: Foresees probate war over Rupert Murdoch's estate. [1]

Mauled Again: James Maule takes over from Roth CPA in shredding last week's energy bill. [1]

Roth CPA: "Who could object to a State Tax Holiday?" The Tax Foundation--and they may have a point. [1]

Tax Prof: Reviews a Tax Notes article on the Top 10 myths of a consumption tax. [31]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Majority of SEC confirmed recently

Chairman Christopher Cox and nominees Roel Campos and Annette Nazareth were confirmed by the Senate on July 29 and Cox resigns his Congressional seat (R-CA) today. Cox plans to start Thursday and has assured Senators that he will take enforcement seriously. Campos and Nazareth are viewed as the two Democrats on the SEC; this is the first term for Nazareth.

Oh the games accountants play now, every possible single day now...

Ellen Simon of ABC News revisits and updates typically legal but ethically dubious accounting methods used by some businesses to make financial statements more appealing to investors. Restatements, known as "the big bath", have been around for a while, but compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements have increased the popularity of this device (preferably done through extraordinary items or changes in accounting principle to leave operating income unchanged) as a way to meet requirements while minimizing loss of investor appeal. "Cookie jar accounting" essentially salts away part of an unusually good period as insurance against less satisfactory future periods. Probably the least ethical of the three procedures, channel surfing, involves generous return policies to increase sales. This can mislead an investor as to a company's growth.

Monday, August 01, 2005

August Calendar

Please feel free to suggest other items:

5-10: Annual Meeting, National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Anchorage
6-10: Annual Meeting, ALPFA (Hispanic Accountants), Miami
7-10: Annual Meeting, American Accounting Association (academics), San Francisco
9-11: IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, New York City
13: The 21st commemoration of my 29th birthday (actually, #49)
13-17: Annual Meeting, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, Portland, OR
22-24: AICPA Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update, Washington, DC
23-25: IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, Las Vegas
29: Start of Fall Semester, Austin Peay State University
30-Sept. 1: IRS Nationwide Tax Forum, Chicago

Just need an armband for the rollercoaster...

I am excited to be included for the second consecutive week in the Carnival of Personal Finance for "An In-Depth Look at a Charity's Estate Planning Primer" from Thursday.

My blog is worth $7,903.56.
How much is your blog worth?