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1. Cutting the clutter: Streamlined operations reports engage key stakeholders  

BY Neil Amato
Carol Kenner, CPA, CGMA, knew her company’s financial statements backward and forward. Every number on every page made sense to her. But not everyone at Solix Inc., the New Jersey company where Kenner is CFO, knew what the numbers meant. And among the finance staff, not everyone involved in the creation of those monthly operations reports, which had grown to 20 pages, considered the process routine.About a year ago, after a suggestion by a new board member, also a CPA, Kenner made the move to cut the clutter in the monthly Excel document that was emailed to

2. Planning for Uncertainty   CPEDirect

BY Matthew G. Lamoreaux
With national debt crises in both Europe and the United States, a shaky recovery from the deepest recession since World War II and volatile currency markets, it’s not surprising that recent research conducted by the Beyond Budgeting Round Table found that more than two-thirds of corporate budgets are irrelevant before the end of the first quarter.

3. Asset-Based Financing Basics  

BY Robert A. Modansky, CPA/CFF and Jerome P. Massimino, CPA
Once considered financing of last resort, asset-based lending and factoring have become popular choices for companies that do not have the credit rating or track record to qualify for more traditional types of financing. In general terms, asset-based lending is any kind of borrowing secured by an asset of the company.

4. Assessing the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts   CPEDirect

BY MARK E. RILEY, CPA, PH.D. and WILLIAM R. PASEWARK, CPA, PH.D.
Calculating estimates of the collectibility of accounts receivable and auditing those estimates is difficult. This article describes three techniques for assessing allowance for doubtful accounts estimates and complying with Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) no. 57 and AU section 342, Auditing Accounting Estimates, which suggest auditors compare prior accounting estimates with subsequent results to evaluate the reliability of the process used to develop estimates.

5. Forecasting Post-Combination Earnings  

BY Michael S. Devine
The acquisition method of financial accounting for business combinations under FASB Statement no. 141(R), Business Combinations, requires the acquiring company to recognize and measure all identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed and any noncontrolling interest in the acquired company as of the acquisition date at their respective fair values.

6. Managing Customer Profitability  

BY Marc J. Epstein, Michael Friedl and Kristi Yuthas
All people may be created equal, but the same can’t be said for customers. Everyone knows that some customers are more profitable than others. Conversely, some are downright unprofitable. Knowing which is which is the all-important question. Despite enormous variations in profitability, many companies continue unprofitable relationships with customers, often providing them with pricing and service levels identical to those received by the most profitable ones.

7. States Bite Into Broken Gift Cards  

BY Charles Owen Kile Jr. and Patricia S. Wall
At the peak of the 2008 holiday shopping season, gift card sales are expected to again have a material impact on the financial reports of many retailers. Gift card “breakage,” or the portion of gift card balances that consumers fail to redeem for merchandise, can boost a retailer’s short-term cash flows.

8. Post-Transaction Adjustments  

BY Alan Shapiro, Luis Coronado, Axel Nientimp
More and more, global companies are discovering that year-end adjustments to intercompany transfer pricing can improve the accuracy of their transfer pricing tax reporting and, potentially, help prevent overpaying taxes by millions of dollars. However, increasing scrutiny by tax authorities in the United States and other key countries makes it imperative that businesses make these adjustments in the right way at the right time and with proper documentation.

9. Tools for Financial Analysis  

BY James Estes, Richard S. Savich, Maya Ivanova
What do you do when a client asks you to look beyond the standard financial statements and help develop financial goals, forecasts and what-if scenarios? If you’re like many accountants, you’d hunker down with a spreadsheet and begin cobbling together an array of custom worksheets. Then you’d probably spend several more hours explaining to the company’s managers, most of whom have little or no financial background, what all those numbers mean.
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