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Tax patent bill introduced by Rep. Boucher
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) commended Rep. Rick Boucher for introducing legislation that would control damages and other legal solutions available to holders of patents useful in tax planning. The U.S Tax Code is not equally beneficial for all those who pay taxes, due to tax strategy patents. The introduction of the legislation will help protect tax practitioners from being exploited at the hands of such tax laws. About 60 tax strategy patents are already granted and 86 applications are still pending. The patents comprise of estate, gift tax, pension plans, and other tax compensation affecting taxpayers.

Headquartered in New York, AICPA is America's professional society of CPAs set in business, public practice, government, and education and has approximately 330,000 effective members.

Dell names new accounting chief
Dell, in midst of several government investigations into its finances, announced the appointment of a new chief accountant. Thomas Sweet was previously vice president of finances for Dell's diverse operations, and he takes charge as finance chief at a crucial phase—Dell is the focus of investigations. Sweet will replace Joan Hooper, designated as chief financial officer since 2005. Hooper now will head finance for Dell's Americas division. Dell has restructured much of its leadership quite a few times in an attempt to improve the company's finance. The company has also put in efforts to enhance and broaden its customer service and to deliver its products through third-party vendors.

Washington's minority traders confident despite obstacles
Research by the University of Washington Business School found Washington's minority-owned small enterprises under critical distress due to depressed investment, competition from giant enterprises, and weak sales (determined by estimates). The researchers at the university concluded that the state's minority enterprise owners are akin to entrepreneurs across the country. They are optimistic of their capabilities to prosper irrespective of the fact that less than one-third of them find Washington's business atmosphere encouraging.

The results are based on the Washington Minority Small Business Survey, conducted on a random sample of 376 minority-owned small enterprises, whose owners explain future industry prospects and convey their confidence levels. Their overall confidence level, a measure of how favorably they viewed the future, was 56 on an 100-point scale in response to the prospects of their business.

The knack of acquiring recognition is one of the main points that lead the minority-owned small enterprises.

Board to vote on new audit standards
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) voted on May 24 on the final standard on auditing internal control over financial reporting. The new standard would confirm amendments to its auditing standards. Auditing Standard No. 5, the new standard, if adopted is expected to surpass the present Auditing Standard No. 2, which has been constantly under controversy for being formed less on principles, more on rules.

Two more proposals the board addressed would amend the frequency of inspections. None of the amendments would affect the yearly inspection cycle for firms auditing more than 100 issuers. The first proposal is to eliminate the need for regular inspection by the board of all registered public accounting firms, which play a "substantial role" in audits but do not issue audit reports.

Committee launched to study problems in accounting industry
The Treasury Department, Washington, just formed a committee to study the problems faced by the accounting industry. Former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Arthur Levitt would guide the committee. Former SEC Chief Accountant Donald Nicolaisen has also been chosen as a co-partner in the working group.

The ministry appointed the committee to address business complaints such as superfluous regulations and litigations in the U.S. compared to its foreign rivals. The committee is expected to take about a year to study the hitches in accounting industry. Matters like the "concentration of four large audit firms and their exposure to potentially crippling shareholder lawsuits" would be part of the study.
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