Photo of the Week: Looking Forward, Reflecting on Past

first_imgWhen I first saw the two Tundra Swans swimming in Newburg Lake at Edward Hines Park on Christmas Day, they were swimming side-by-side along the shoreline. One swan stopped its movement and turned to swim out toward the middle of the lake, while the other kept swimming along the shore. The view reminded me of what the end-of-year holiday season means for me: reflections and celebrations of the past year as I look forward to the joys and unexpected wonder of the coming year. Hope you had, or are still having, a lovely, relaxing holiday break! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedPhoto of the Week: Common Loon at Newburg LakeWhat a treat! Seeing the Common Loon at Newburg Lake was a FOY (first of year) find for me. Check out the bright red eye and the white collar, distinguishing marks for the Common Loon. If I hadn’t read about the sighting in our Michigan birding email list, I would…In “Michigan”Photo of the Week: Newburg LakeLooking out over snow-covered Newburg Lake from Edward Hines Park in Livonia, Michigan you can barely see the ice fisherman’s trail on the lake.In “Nature”Photo of the Week: Detroit Institute of Arts Inside|Out ProgramI was thrilled to read last week’s announcement from the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) that their popular Inside|Art program was back for the sixth year. And even more excited when I learned one of the venues for the program was near me, in Edward Hines Park in southeastern Michigan.…In “Michigan”last_img read more

Annual Filing Season Program Survives AICPA Challenge

first_imgThe AICPA lost its bid to stop the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program. The IRS created the program after losing its battle to regulate unenrolled tax preparers.Annual Filing Season ProgramThe IRS grants an annual Certificate of Completion to anyone who completes the program requirements. These include:obtaining a prearer tax identification number;taking the annual filing season refresher course or taking 18 hours of continuing education;passing an exam; andconsenting to be subject to the rules in Circular 230.As incentives for preparers to take part in the program, the IRS:lists unenrolled agents with a Certificate of Completion in its online directory of tax preparers; andgives them limited practice rights during audits of returns they prepared.Before the IRS began the Annual Filing Season Program, all unenrolled tax preparers had limited practice rights.Constitutional and Statutory StandingThe AICPA had standing to question the program because it injured some of its members. The program extends the scope of Circular 230 to unenrolled preparers, including those employed by AICPA members. Thus, it imposes new supervisory duties on AICPA members who employ preparers who complete the program. So, the AICPA had a grievance that supplied both constitutional and statutory standing.Authority for the ProgramHowever, the IRS has the statutory authority to establish and operate the program and publish its results. Contrary to the AICPA’s argument, the IRS does not tie Circular 230 violations to return preparation. Instead, it ties Circular 230 violations to the limited practice rights. Thus, the program did not run afoul of the restrictions in Loving.Also, the IRS followed the applicable procedure when it announced the program. The IRS did not have to adopt the program through notice and comment rulemaking under the APA.In addition, the program does not bind unenrolled preparers. Because the program is voluntary it provides an opportunity for those who chose to satisfy the requirements. Also, it does not impose any new or different rules upon supervisors of unenrolled preparers who do not participate in the program. .The procedure the IRS used to create the program was interpretive, not legislative, guidance. The guidance interpreted what the statute meant by competency.Also, the IRS gave unenrolled preparers limited practice rights through a revenue procedure. And, the IRS issued that procedure without notice and comment. Thus, the IRS did not violate the APA by failing to follow the notice and comment procedures.Program Not Arbitrary and CapriciousThe IRS’s Annual Filing Season program is not arbitrary and capricious. The IRS considered the AICPA’s concerns when setting up its return preparer database. Users can filter the directory to show each category of service provider. This includes those identified as Annual Filing Season Program participants.The IRS did not violate its obligations under the APA to consider reasonable alternatives to the program. The AICPA did not propose an alternative way to deal with:the problem of incompetent tax preparers; ortaxpayers who cannot tell whether an uncredentialed tax preparer is or is not competent.Reversing DC D.C., 2016-2 USTC ¶50,376.American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CA-D.C.Other References:Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

Ind vs Aus 2nd Test: India in dire straits after Clarke’s triple ton

first_imgMichael Clarke’s triple ton was the highlight for the day that saw Australian batsmen dominate at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. Score | PhotosIndia can take heart from the fact that the SCG wicket has eased out a bit. But the visitors still have a daunting task ahead as their batsmen continue to chip into the mammoth Aussie first innings lead of 468 runs.India were 114/2 with opener Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar at the crease at stumps on Day 3 of the second Test. The visitors still trail by 354 runs in their second innings.Australia 1st inningsStarting with an overnight total of 482/4, Australia captain Clarke and Michael Hussey continued to torment the India bowlers.Clarke, who batted for the whole day on Wednesday putting on 251 runs on board continued to pile on runs as India bowlers struggled to get their line right.At lunch Australia were 583/4 with Michael Clarke, eyeing a triple ton and Hussey having completed his century convincingly. Clearly the two were enjoying batting against a listless India attack.Soon into the second session the Aussie captain Clarke converted his maiden double ton into a triple hundred. Batting at ease, Clarke hit a four off Ishant Sharma to reach the magical figure of 300. His triple hundred was decorated with 37 fours and one over the fence shot – no wonder the man timed the innings rather well giving little chances to the opposition with just one aerial shot in his mammoth innings.The two batsmen also set a new record putting on 334 runs – the highest total by an Aussie pair against India for any wicket. Surprisingly they overhauled the 288-run record that was set by Clarke and Ricky Ponting on Wednesday.advertisementNothing has come India way in this Test, for after a poor batting performance, their bowlers were walloped across the park. Maybe it’s time for the team management to make some major changes in the team composition.Finally there was some respite for the bowlers when captain Clarke decided to declare the innings on 659/5 – a lead of 468 runs in their first essay. Clarke (329) and Hussey (150) remained unbeaten in the innings.Clarke’s efforts can be judged from the fact that the man came out to bat when Australia were reeling on 37/3 on Day One and went on to score almost the double of his previous best of 168.India 2nd inningsA commanding 468 runs lead by the Aussies was enough to put pressure on the visitors as they lost their opener Virender Sehwag rather early.Sehwag fell in the fourth over of the innings with paceman Ben Hilfenhaus and David Warner combining to dispatch him when the India total was 18.At tea India were 53/1 with opener Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid at the crease.The final session for the day saw Gambhir and Dravid try hard to thwart the Aussie attack. The two made good progress, chipping away from the Aussie lead. Runs kept coming at steady pace on a wicket that looked dry and primed for a good batting innings.Soon Gambhir was past his half-century and India had taken away 100 runs from the Aussies lead. But that was when Ben Hilfenhaus struck to remove Dravid on 29 ending their 82-run stand with a ball that entered the batsman gate and crashed against his stumps.With Dravid gone, it was time for Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar to have another go at his 100th ton in this Test.With the wicket proving conducive to batting, it would be appropriate that Sachin scores his 100th ton here in SCG’s 100th Test.last_img read more

Japan eye record gold haul at Tokyo 2020

first_imgJapan’s previous best effort in terms of gold medals was as host of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and at the 2004 Athens Games, when they won 16.Thirty golds would have put them above second-placed Britain’s 27 in Rio, but still a long way behind the table-topping United States, who captured 46.Yamashita was also bullish about Japan’s chances at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, predicting nine medals overall.The country’s previous best haul at a Winter Games was five gold medals and 10 in total as host of the Nagano Olympics in 1998.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MVP favorite Fajardo, Beermen likely to banner Mythical Team LATEST STORIES MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I reckon we can aim to get 2.5 times the amount we did in Rio,” the former Olympic judo champion told local media, pointing to Japan’s recent success in gymnastics, table tennis and badminton.“That’s just my personal opinion, not that of the technical committee,” added the 60-year-old Yamashita, who was Japan’s deputy chef de mission in Brazil.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We will collect the relevant data and decide (the official target) hopefully by next summer.”Yamashita, who won judo gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, also raised the hope that the host nation’s track athletes could deliver a surprise after a Japanese sprinter, Yoshihide Kiryu, finally broke the 10-second barrier last month after years of trying. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claimscenter_img No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges 2020 summer Olympic games host city, Tokyo, is projected on the floor as dancers perform during the closing ceremony in the Maracana stadium at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)A senior Japanese Olympic official has called on the host country’s athletes to win a national-record 30 gold medals at the 2020 Summer Games, local media reported Friday.Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) sports committee chairman Yasuhiro Yamashita backed home-grown competitors to more than double their haul of 12 golds at last year’s Rio Olympics, where Japan finished sixth in the medal table.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Inbound Marketing: Doing is Believing!

first_img From my experience, most people only believe something will work for them once they’ve done it themselves and it worked for them. Chamber’s New England Business Expo a year ago inbound marketing stats from the event website . It took us about 5 weeks to sign up 30 people for the event. Based on the current sign up rate, we should have 50 attendees. We used no traditional marketing methods to market this. No direct mail. No cold calling. Just blogging, social media and email invitations to a very small portion of our opt-in email list.  We didn’t even implement all of the suggestions in Ellie’s leveraging the long tail for online marketing , I jumped at the opportunity. I spoke at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack event Do you want to start DOING your inbound marketing?  Free Online Crash Course on Inbound Marketing… We’re constantly sharing the Inbound Marketing ROI results from our own marketing efforts. (See the graphs in Prashant’s post about The attendees walked away from the seminar “believing”. However, only a few of them started “doing”. A bunch more said they needed more training. So, the Chamber called and asked if we could do a longer more hands-on format.  . excellent “inbound marketing for events” guide. .) Thus, the quandary… a Catch-22. is designed to have small business owners and marketers actually start doing their inbound marketing.  to a packed room.  But, my other answer will be to show the The most common question that I expect to hear during the event is, “How long will this take for me to achieve online lead generation success?” last_img read more

Study Shows More Pages Indexed by Google Means More Leads

first_img keywords Originally published Apr 1, 2010 7:55:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It might be reasonable to think that only larger firms have sufficient resources to create hundreds of pages that make it into Google’s database. To test this, we calculated customer size mix for each category of indexed pages. Our proxy for customer size is number of employees. Improve each page’s optimization Our analysis of over 1,400 firms shows a clear positive relationship between pages indexed by Google and the leads a company generates; companies with more indexed pages tend to generate more leads.  based on results from these companies. The report and this article were written by Sophie L. Schmitt. consider To represent the relationship between Google indexed pages and leads, we divided customers evenly into five categories based on number of Google indexed pages. For each of these categories, we graphed the median number of monthly leads. We used median instead of average to lessen the impact of outliers. incremental 50 to 100 indexed pages can cause double-digit lead growth Off-Page Search Engine Optimization: Marketers are likely to ask: Marketing Takeaways lead generation best practices It is interesting to note that the number of inbound links did not have a meaningful relationship with leads. Inbound links did correlate well, however, with unique visitors. This implies that for those interested in generating leads, quality of sites vs. quantity is more important when building inbound links. to quickly increase number of pages On-Page Search Engine Optimization: as per Google’s methodology to maximize chances of having all of your web pages included in the index: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Build page volume: . What we found is that Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT  Learn how companies are using inbound marketing techniques to generate higher volume and lower cost leads and customers. State of Inbound Lead Generation report Reserve Your Spot Now placing This is the first of three articles that share findings from  The State of Inbound Lead Generation Date and time: The graph above shows the strong positive correlation between the number of Google indexed pages and median leads. More specifically, it reveals that an building inbound links Is Company Size a Factor for Growing Indexed Pages? starting a blog Want to read more? Download the full  up until customers reach several hundred Google indexed pages. Customers with more than a few hundred indexed pages appear to be in a league of their own as median leads are more than 2x that of the prior category.   Increasing Google Indexed Pages by 50-100 Causes Double-Digit Lead Growth Live Webinar: The State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Measuring SEO in the right places on web pages such that Google and other search engines know what each page of your web site is about, and what keywords to rank you for , a new HubSpot report based on statistical analysis of 1,400 customers’ inbound marketing activities. The study identifies  for achieving significant volumes of Google indexed pages. Size and number of pages are mildly positively correlated, mostly in the extreme categories of Google indexed pages. While HubSpot’s large customers formed the biggest group with 311+ indexed pages in Google, small and medium-sized customers together outnumbered large ones in this category. In addition, small customers formed the largest group with 176 to 310 Google indexed pages. What are techniques for growing the number of Google indexed pages on my site? Topics: size is not a critical factor from reputable sites, thus demonstrating your popularity to search engineslast_img read more

6 Reasons Great Content Fails

first_img Originally published Nov 10, 2011 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 That’s right. Sometimes truly great content flops. And to be honest, it’s a big disappointment (and a damn shame). The silver lining is, there’s usually a pretty good explanation for why that particular piece of content failed to spread, and understanding some of the top reasons why great content fails can put you on a righteous path that enables you to succeed with future pieces of great content.And if anything positive can come from failure, it’s a good lesson or two. We’ve come in contact with a few content failures in our experience as content creators, so we’ve nailed down 6 compelling reasons — and lessons to learn from — why great content fails.1. The Topic Isn’t Appropriately TargetedWhen it comes to successful content, the topic/idea is everything. You can write the most amazing piece of content and make it the best it can be, but that doesn’t mean it will be enough. One of the core reasons great content fails is because the topic was the wrong one. It could be “wrong” for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s not a topic that is appropriately targeted toward the audience it’s being presented to. Maybe it’s targeted, but it’s just not a topic your audience would necessarily think is interesting.How to Avoid Failure: Spend the time to make sure the topic and idea has the potential to be successful. A major part of this is truly understanding your target audience and marketing personas, and analyzing the topics and ideas that have resonated with that audience in the past. Your analytics are your best friend here, so leverage them!2. The Title or Headline is CrappyA great piece of content hidden behind a crappy title or headline is just that — hidden. The title of your content is a potential reader’s first impression of that content, whether they find a link to your content in social media, search results, or via email. If you’re headline isn’t enticing enough to get that reader to click on and view your content, it’s doomed to fail.How to Avoid Failure: Put some solid effort into learning how to write awesome titles for your content. A great headline is actionable, brief, keyword-conscious, clear, definitive, and intriguing. Master the art of exceptional blog titles, and you’ll be one step closer to preventing content failure.3. There Is No Attention to DetailThe topic of your content, the ideas you present, and the way in which you present them may all be top-notch, but it’s amazing how simple details like spelling and grammar can easily ruin an otherwise amazing piece of content. Don’t undermine the importance of paying attention to these types of details when pulling together a final draft of your content.How to Avoid Failure: Always, I repeat, ALWAYS have a colleague or teammate (preferably one who has an eye for details) proofread and edit your work. It’s stupidly silly to let a great piece of content go to waste because of a few easily preventable typos.4. It Isn’t PromotedTrust a recovering content marketer –if you build it, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. Without any promotion, your awesome content is basically stuck on an island. And the only thing it will have to keep it company is the other lonesome content on your blog or website. Don’t fall victim to the common assumption that great content will just naturally get stumbled across. In order for great content to be truly successful, it needs a little help.How to Avoid Failure: Get your content out there, for goodness’ sake! Send that awesome new ebook you wrote to your email database, and share your latest blog article with your fans and followers in social media!5. It’s Not Socially EnabledSuccessful content isn’t just proactively promoted by its author. It’s also promoted by readers who love the content and want to share it with their networks. Successful content makes it easy for readers and viewers to share in the first place by offering social media sharing buttons in obvious places.How to Avoid Failure: Add social media sharing links/buttons to every piece of content you produce in obvious places. People are lazy. Make it mind-numbingly simple for them to share if they want to. Chances are, if you put the buttons right in front of them, they’ll use them, giving your content more exposure to potentially interested content consumers. Research shows that including a Twitter share button on your content leads to 7x more mentions!6. It’s Not Optimized for SearchOne of the best ways to generate organic visibility for your content is to make sure it’s optimized for search. Your prospects are looking for and finding content via search. If your content isn’t optimized well enough to show up in their search results, it’s not going to get found there. Without proper search engine optimization, your content is at great risk of failure.  How to Avoid Failure: Conduct keyword research to identify appropriate keywords for your business. Then search engine optimize your content by sprinkling those keywords throughout — in page titles, header tags, and throughout the body of your content.What are some other reasons great content fails to spread?Image Credit: Kevin Jarrett Content Creation Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more