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1. How to calculate employer health care responsibilities   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
In compliance with new health care employer responsibility regulations, two halves indeed equal a whole for employers when they determine their number of full-time employees.To determine whether a business is subject to the employer mandate penalty under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L. 111-148, the business must determine the number of its full-time employees, which includes its full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).

2. Seven ways for small businesses to rein in health care costs   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Editor's note: On Feb. 10, the IRS delayed the penalty for employers with 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees. Click here for details.New health care regulations in the United States have small business leaders bracing for increased costs and eager to save where they can.Although it was delayed a year, the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), P.L.

3. Honing your hiring  

BY Doug Blizzard
It takes some detective work to hire the right new employee. Management needs to piece together clues about the applicant’s personality and work history. It takes time to determine whether a candidate has the character and credentials to fit the company’s needs. Here are a few steps to help you land the right candidates.

4. Internal auditors get modest raises in U.S., Canada   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
U.S. organizations gave internal auditors slightly more generous base-salary increases in the past 12 months, but the magnitude of raises fell slightly in Canada, according to a new survey report.The percentage of U.S. organizations that gave internal auditors base salary increases of 4% or more grew to 16% from 10% the previous year, according to the 2013 Internal Audit Compensation Study released by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).More modest raises—2% to 3.9%—were given to U.S.

5. Six techniques for building a strategic finance department   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Finance teams want to perform strategic duties in their organizations, but new research shows many of them are not building the right competencies to fulfill these duties.Typical finance teams are weak in the nontechnical competencies that matter the most, according to a white paper reporting results of a survey by member-based business advisory company CEB.A survey of more than 2,200 finance professionals at more than 75 global companies assessed hiring, training, and performance management programs, and asked finance managers to rate their direct reports on their likelihood to exhibit behaviors in CEB’s competency model.The model separated about

6. SEC proposes rules to compare pay of CEO, median employee   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A rule proposed Wednesday by the SEC would require U.S. public companies to disclose the ratio between what companies pay their CEOs and their median employee.SEC commissioners voted 3–2 to propose the rule, which was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203.If the rule is approved, companies would be required to disclose:The median of the total annual compensation of all their employees except the CEO.The annual total compensation of the CEO.The ratio of the two amounts.The proposal was drafted to provide companies with flexibility in complying with the requirement while fulfilling

7. Hiring optimism up among U.S. finance professionals   WebExclusive

BY Neil Amato
U.S. companies expect to make more money, and spend more of it, in the year ahead—and that could translate into more jobs. At the same time, finance executives’ outlook of the overall economy has cooled. Those are the key takeaways from the third-quarter Business & Industry Economic Outlook Survey, released Tuesday by the AICPA.

8. The opaque CFO bonus  

BY Neil Amato
Get a B on a math test, and you understand how that grade was determined: You got 88% of the answers correct. Get a B on an art project, and you’re wondering exactly what could have been better or what the instructor was looking for. CFOs would rather be graded in math, at least when it comes to determining their annual bonuses.

9. Can you succeed in finance without international experience?   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
As commerce increasingly transcends borders, international experience is becoming a valuable asset for accounting and finance professionals. Almost seven in 10 (69%) of more than 2,100 CFOs in large U.S. metropolitan areas said international experience will be at least somewhat necessary for accounting and finance staff five years from now, according to a survey by staffing services firm Robert Half.

10. North American CFOs feeling good, but not about hiring   WebExclusive

BY Neil Amato
CFO optimism is on the rise overall, but finance chiefs remain skeptical about hiring, according to a quarterly Deloitte survey. Meanwhile, expectations for earnings and sales growth are moderating. Nearly 60% of North American CFOs expressed rising economic optimism in the second-quarter CFO Signals survey, compared with 13% expressing a rise in pessimism.
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