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Only $37 million of the $400 million allocated to the California New Jobs Credit created for the 2009 tax year was used and the program is being extended.

The credit is for up to $3,000 for each additional full-time employee hired by small businesses with 20 or fewer employees during the 2010 tax year. It is prorated on an annual full-time equivalent basis for employees employed less than a full year.

An employer will qualify for the credit if each qualified full-time hourly employee is paid wages for not less than an average of 35 hours per week.

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The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, in consultation with state boards of accountancy, the Board of Examiners, and other major stakeholders, spent two years studying an international accounting examination delivery program.

The result is the international administration of the Uniform CPA Examination set to be given starting August of this year.

The California Board of Accountancy discussed the international delivery of this exam at recent hearings and it has not taken a position on whether California will participate in the iExam.

The concerns raised by the CBA include grading, security of the examination, enforcement, benefits to California consumers, and the Social Security Number requirement for initial CPA licensure. The CBA sated it has not "reached a comfort level with these topics nor have they reached a conclusion on how participating in iExam is in concert with the CBA's mission to protect the consumers of California."

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Burr Pilger Mayer opened a Hong Kong office and plans to acquire San Jose accounting and tax operations of CBIZ.

In May, BPM launched its venture into Hong Kong and hosted a launch party at the American club to celebrate the new presence. Representatives from InvestHK, a government organization that supports overseas businesses by helping them set up and expand in Hong Kong and BPM employees Doug Schultz, Inna Merzheritsky, Kent Lawson, Barry Wen, Kathy Wong, Selena Yeung, and Catherine Wong attended the event.

In San Jose, BPM has expanded its offering by acquiring the accounting and tax operations of CBIZ Inc. The transaction is subject to the successful completion of due diligence, definitive legal documentation and required corporate approvals.

With the acquisition, BPM strengthens its presence in the South Bay where it has existing offices in San Jose and Palo Alto.

"This acquisition will enhance our ability to serve our current South Bay clients, and give us an opportunity to continue to meet the needs of CBIZ's clients," said Steve Mayer, chief executive officer and managing partner of BPM.

"We're excited about joining our people and clients with BPM," said Jim Babcock, managing director of CBIZ in San Jose. "BPM's depth and breadth of expertise in areas like international tax and consulting will let us offer even more value to our clients. Together, this will be a great fit."

Headquartered in San Francisco, BPM is the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm. It provides a range of services in the areas of assurance, corporate and international tax, individual tax, business consulting, and wealth management.

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Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.