Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ethics For Dummies

Take a moment if you will to answer this basic question.
A sweet, elderly lady comes into your business and mistakenly overpays for a $10 purchase by giving you $100. Now, do you or do you not tell your partner?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Owner's Box

Earlier this year, I moderated a panel for the New York State Society of CPAs regarding the often-polarizing subject of non-CPA ownership in the Empire State, which remains one of the few holdouts that prohibits any ownership of accounting firms by those without the CPA credential.

For those residing outside the borders of New York, that ongoing debate carries roughly the same Big Apple opponent-proponent ratio and intensity as which New York institution serves a better oversized pastrami sandwich – the Stage or the Carnegie Deli – two New York City landmarks.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Future Spending

A number of years ago, I attended a conference where the keynote speaker was futurist and author Alvin Toffler, whose ground-breaking 1970 tome “Future Shock,” chronicled the rapid acceleration of structural changes in society, specifically how America was evolving from industrial to “super-industrial." He threw out to attendees several then-unfamiliar terms (at least to yours truly) such as "digital revolution" and "knowledge workers."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who Approved The Expense Account?

Throughout my career, particularly the nearly quarter-century I spent as a journalist,  I estimate that I attended roughly 200 conventions and conferences throughout the country with conservatively about 30 of those held in Las Vegas.

And in 199 of them, I’ve never had an auditor from the accounts payable department question anything on my expense report. The only item I ever got declined was, believe it or not, an $8 pack of sinus tablets, purchased in desperation during a three-day stay in New Orleans where both the temperature and humidity flirted with triple digits as only The Big Easy can, and I felt like I was inhaling hay by the baleful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Thrill Is Gone

No doubt most of you remember the feeling when you held your first-ever paycheck in your hands. You   rushed down to the bank to either add to your fledgling savings account, or to cash it and splurge on some totally unnecessary item in celebration that you were now officially part of the workforce.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Skyping With the IRS

As the end of another tax season winds down, countless filers who may have, um, “embellished” on some deductions, hold their collective breaths that they won’t receive a letter inviting them down to the local IRS office for a chat.
Well, actually more like an audit.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making New Friends at the IRS

My family has never been what could be termed, lucky, at games of chance or, for that matter, taking a chance.

For example, my grandfather took Germany and 7 points in World War II and my father passed on an opportunity to acquire 500 acres of desert property in the mid-1950s claiming “no one would ever want to live in this place.”

“This place” as it turned out, was Scottsdale, Arizona,