Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FASB - Financial Accounting Standards Board

FASB stands for the Financial Accounting Standards Board. This is an important non-profit organization run by seven members which establish standards and rules that govern accounting and financial reporting in the United States. The ten step process FASB uses in determining statements and interpretations is as follows:

1) Introduction of topic or project on the FASB agenda
2) Research and analysis of the problem
3) Issuance of a discussion memorandum
4) Public hearings
5) Board analysis and evaluation
6) Issuance of an exposure draft
7) Period for public comment
8) Review of public response, revision
9) Issuance of Statements of Financial Accounting Standards
10) Amendments and interpretations, as needed
(Steps taken "Understanding Financial Statements" by Lyn Faser and Aileen Ormiston)

FASB's role in creating accounting standards can be an important public issue as well as a matter of private business. The rules sets by the FASB provide a measure of standardization and transparency that should help investors in determining the value of a firm. The FASB may soon be asked to look into whether or not to suspend a Mark-To-Market system of accounting. This could have vast implications regarding how firms account for their assets, since they currently value them based on what those assets would currently fetch in the market.

Visit the FASB website to learn more about this organization.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Have you ever wondered where the money in the government's unclaimed property website comes from? Well, one of the sources of this unclaimed property comes from uncashed checks and abandoned accounts that have been escheated to the state. People and their beneficiaries lose out on money simply because they don't know it's there.

Here's how an escheatment works: Sometimes there are uncashed checks that have been lost and never reissued. These simply need to be reissued. The bigger concern may be when the entire account is due to be escheated. Say that you move twice in a year and forget to tell somebody, for example, the post office and your mutual fund company. If that mutual fund company receives several pieces of returned mail, the company will freeze the mail going to that address while it puts in a search to find the missing shareholder. Unfortunately, you never told the post office that you were moving, so they don't have a forwarding address. The mutual fund company is then required to expend resources trying to locate the shareholder. The firm may use the internet with sites like anywho.com, switchboard.com, and whitepages.com to locate the shareholder. Search engines like google rarely provide quality results because there is too much unfiltered information to wade through. As a last resort, the company may use a paid search service such as Intelius to try to find the shareholder.

After an extended period of time, usually several years, the mutual fund company will need to abandon the search. At that time, the account or uncashed checks, will be turned over to the state treasurer's office. The process to get your unclaimed property can be lengthy and complex at that point.

So how can you avoid your account and uncashed checks from going to the lovely state government? It's pretty easy. Make sure that people have a way to contact you. Update your post office when you move and keep the financial institutions in the loop. If you have a will, it's a good idea to let the beneficiaries and heirs know that the account exists. Let them know that in the event of your passing, that they will need to contact the companies to update their records.

Escheatment can be an important topic to know about and I hope that this brief post has been useful. Feel free to drop me a comment if you have any questions and I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Twittering For Your Career

Have you signed up for a Twitter account yet? I just activated my account, check it out HERE. This could be a way to connect with others in your industry. Twitter can act to give potential contacts a glimpse into your way of thinking. It can also help you raise your visibility on the web promoting your "brand". If you want to start your own Twitter account, you can do it HERE. Finally, there is a useful tool that I found can help you with searching the twitterscape HERE. Okay, best of luck to those of you that decide to try opening accounts.

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