Warren Buffett Quote



“The five most dangerous
words in business may be
‘Everybody else is doing it.’”

—Warren Buffett, on stock
options backdating

For Love or Money?
I t turns out money buys a little bit of happiness, but love conquers all.

In a Gallup survey of 1,010 adults, those who were married, at any income level, were as likely, if not more likely, to report being happy and satisfied than even the wealthiest single adults.

While 72% of respondents with incomes of $75,000 or more reported being very satisfied with their personal lives, only 36% of those with annual incomes of $30,000 or less did. And about 64% of married people said they were satisfied with their personal lives, compared with 43% of singles.

In terms of happiness, 56% of married adults in the lowest income bracket reported being very happy, compared with 50% of unmarried adults in the highest bracket.

Those respondents who had both love and money were happiest of all: 67% of married adults in the highest income group said they were very happy.

Source: The Gallup Poll, www.galluppoll.com .

Red Tide Rising
T he next big wave of bankruptcies is on the horizon, say attorneys, financial advisers, investment bankers and other restructuring professionals.

According to a survey by Dow Jones & Co.’s Daily Bankruptcy Review and the American Bankruptcy Institute, 82% predicted the next major group of corporate restructurings would hit by the end of 2007.

The majority of the restructuring experts said the industries most likely to be affected are real estate/construction, retail, airlines, manufacturing and transportation.

The most likely trigger: interest rates. Falling home prices, higher commodity prices, global competition and a bear stock market also were expected to contribute.

Source: American Bankruptcy Institute, www.abiworld.org .

A Matter of Perspective
F ifty may be the new 40 as the nation’s 78 million baby boomers approach their 60s, but stereotypes still affect how some managers view older workers, according to an AARP survey.

Executives who managed at least some employees over age 50 rated the workers higher in the following qualities than did executives who managed none in that age group: communication, professionalism, ease to work with, enthusiasm, flexibility, independence, innovation, experience, leadership and technological savvy.

Moreover, the favorable ratings increased with the number of 50-plus workers managed. All the executives rated older employees high in loyalty, regardless of the number they managed.

Source: Business Executives’ Attitudes Toward the Aging Workforce: Aware But Not Prepared? 2006, AARP, http://research.aarp.org .

Mark of a Good Manager

Call it the trickle-down effect of satisfaction: Happy employees make for happy customers.

Ed Rehkopf, author of Leadership on the Line—A Guide for Front Line Supervisors, Business Owners and Emerging Leaders, says an effective manager can motivate workers by creating an environment in which

Employees are continually recognized.
An open flow of ideas, opinions and information prevails.
Initiative and risk are highly regarded.
It’s more important to find a solution to a problem than it is to assign blame.
Every worker feels energized and valuable.
Prestige is derived from performance and contribution, not title or position.

Taking Security Into Your Own Hands
M ore than 80% of companies reported the theft or loss of an electronic data-storage device containing sensitive or confidential information during the previous year, according to a survey by the Ponemon Institute, an information-security research organization, and Vontu, a maker of data-loss prevention software.

The three storage devices most likely to contain unprotected data were PDAs, laptops and USB memory sticks.

Source: www.vontu.com .

I’ll Raise You One
T he average financial professional’s salary is more than 30% higher than the national average, according to the 2006 AFP Compensation Survey, and is growing at a quicker pace, too. Of the 27 finance-related job positions included in the survey, 25 received salary increases greater than the national average of 3.3%. Base salaries for management level positions increased the most (5.3%). Who’s benefiting from the largest bonuses? Financial professionals at the executive level, whose average bonuses were valued at $46,500, or 34% of base salary.

Most Audit Committees Still Lack Accountants

T he number of accountants on audit committees more than doubled from 2002 to 2005, according to Huron Consulting Group’s 2006 Audit Committee Research Report ( www.huronconsultinggroup.com ), which sampled the biographies of committee members at 178 public companies from Nasdaq 100 and Fortune 100 listings.

However, more than 60% of the companies still did not have an accountant on their audit committee.

While all companies reported having a committee member with financial expertise, only 23% of those individuals had accounting backgrounds.

TOP 10
States with the fastest growth rates
for majority women-owned firms*

1. Florida
2. Arizona
3. Hawaii
4. Georgia
5. New York
6. Virginia
7. New Hampshire (tie)
8. New Jersey (tie)
9. Rhode Island
10. Nevada

Source: Women-Owned Businesses in 2006: Trends in the U.S. and 50 States, Center for Women’s Business Research, www.womensbusinessresearch.org .

*Firms with at least 51% female ownership.


The median fraud loss per scheme in 2004-2006 by organizations with fewer than 100 employees. The amount was greater than in even the largest organizations.

Source: 2006 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse,
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Four Key Indicators Pointing to Promotion
Are you READY? Are you a star? Have you developed a reputation in your field? Do you help others in your department? Are you so known for your skills that people look to you for help? Is the next move an obvious career step? If the move doesn’t make sense to you, it probably won’t make sense to others either.

Are you INCLUDED? Are you the type who simply helps out while the choice assignments go to someone else? Or do you get good assignments so you’re seen as a person on the leading edge? Are you asked to represent your department on important projects and task forces? Do you volunteer for critical responsibilities, including tasks for which your boss is responsible?

Are you ACCEPTABLE to others? Do you get along well with your peers? Do you get along well with your boss? Make sure your boss looks to you for input. Have you supported your boss and never undermined him or her? If not, you’re doomed. Have you become part of the power center? Are you known to your boss’s peers and others above you? If no one knows your talents or likes you, you won’t be promoted.

Are you in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME? If you are doing everything right, but your company is not doing well, you’re not going anywhere. Is your boss going somewhere? If not, he or she may be a roadblock. Consider lateral moves into faster-growing companies. Think of ideas for changing your present job to move it in the direction you want to go.

© 2006 The Five O'Clock Club. Reprinted by permission.

Top Five Influences on Business Ethics

M ore than 1,100 managers and human-resources experts polled by the Human Resource Institute ranked factors influencing business ethics today and 10 years hence:

Factor Rank Today Rank in 10 Years
Corporate scandals 1 4
Marketplace competition 2 2
Demands by investors 3 5
Pressure from customers 4 3
Globalization 5 1

Source: American Management Association/Human Resource Institute, Business Ethics Survey 2005, www.amanet.org .

Workers Tune In
A lmost one-third (32%) of workers listened to music while working using an iPod, MP3 player or similar gadget, according to a Spherion Workplace Snapshot survey. The percentage of workers who felt that listening to a personal music device improved their job satisfaction or productivity was highest among younger adults, with 90% of workers ages 18 to 24 and 89% of those ages 30 to 39 making this claim. In addition, of adult workers who listened to music while working, 55 percent felt it improves both job satisfaction and productivity.

Missing the Train
T he typical U.S. company spent nearly 50 times as much to recruit a professional making $100,000 a year than it did to train that person. Across all compensation levels, U.S. companies spent $1,415 in recruiting costs for every $10,000 of new-employee pay. But the median training expense per full-time worker was only $288. Larger companies did worse: Enterprises employing more than 5,000 spent only $109.

Source: Deloitte Research, It’s 2008: Do You Know Where Your Talent Is? www.deloitte.com .


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.