5/22/17 – The core of any organization’s fraud-prevention program is strong internal controls. Yet too many organizations either fail to develop controls that address common risks or, if they establish controls, neglect to enforce them. Your organization must do both if it wants to help prevent occupational theft and fraud perpetrated by outsiders.
5/16/17 – After being continually renewed since the 1980s, the research credit was finally made permanent under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. This change allows manufacturers to plan (with certainty) for their R&D expenditures. Here’s an overview of the current rules on how to claim credits for R&D spending, including how the break has been expanded for certain manufacturers.
5/4/17 – A nonprofit’s financial integrity is simply too important to leave to an unpaid, and possibly inexperienced bookkeeper. This article provides tips on hiring a bookkeeper, including determining the position’s responsibilities. Nonprofits are advised to look for an individual who’s familiar with accounting principles and experience and relevant software.
5/3/17 – Federal audits and investigations of retirement plans are on the rise. With proper preparation, you can get through the process with minimal problems. A well-prepared employer will help simplify the audit process, minimize paperwork, lower administrative costs and reduce risks connected with an audit.
5/1/17 – Would you be surprised to learn that most business owners don’t know the value of their own businesses? More than half of business owners have never had their company valued and don’t anticipate doing so, research shows, and many believe they don’t need a valuation unless they are planning to sell their company.
4/30/17 – The core of any organization’s fraud-prevention program is strong internal controls. Yet too many nonprofits either fail to develop controls that address common risks or, if they establish controls, neglect to enforce them. Your nonprofit must do both if it wants to help prevent occupational theft and fraud perpetrated by outsiders.
4/24/17 – Recent research provides some insight into donor motivation that can help nonprofits grow their financial support. This article summarizes a study of high net worth individuals that finds wealthy donors are primarily motivated by philanthropy. But other studies suggest that such factors as tax advantages and matching donations are critical to giving rates.
4/20/17 – While the past few years have seen ups and downs, volume has surged in the opening months of 2017. Will your company be part of this trend?
4/18/17 – Major accounting rule changes for leases and revenue recognition are expected to have significant impacts on how manufacturers and distributors report their financial results. This article explains what’s changing and when, as well as how the updates will affect financial statements.
3/12/17 – If you were forced to exit your business tomorrow, do you know how much money you would need? Some owners seem to have a handle on what they want, but fewer know how much they need. Both are important to understand. The post-exit lifestyle you want is critical in determining what value you will need from your business.
2/6/17 – If you travel for business purposes, you may be eligible to take tax deductions for ordinary and necessary job-related expenses – but your records can't be haphazard if you want to satisfy the Internal Revenue Service's substantiation requirements.
2/1/17 – CFMS who strive to lead Best in Class companies not only care about the companies they serve, but also actively seek to learn more about providing the best service and advice possible.
1/22/17 – Employees frequently incur expenses in the course of their employment. Some expenses may be reimbursed by the employer, while others may be the expense of the employees.
1/7/17 – Does an affidavit from the supposed dependent supply the IRS with enough evidence to justify a dependency exemption? It depends.
12/21/16 – It's obvious that taxpayers aren't eligible for the American Opportunity Credit when they don't have any qualified educational expenses, but it may not be as clear to taxpayers that they are responsible for the accuracy of their federal income tax returns – even when they pay a tax preparer to file for them.
12/16/16 – Lenders will try to do what they can to help their clients succeed. But financial institutions could be held accountable by a customer’s creditors under the legal theory of “deepening insolvency” if the customer seeks bankruptcy protection. In deepening insolvency, a struggling company takes on additional debt or equity financing, thereby compounding its insolvency and significantly impairing its ability to repay creditors.
12/14/16 – A major strategy of global companies is to build company and shareholder value through acquisition.
12/12/16 – Qualified education expenses under the American Opportunity Tax Credit are basically tuition, fees and course materials.
12/6/16 – Studies by the Gallup organization show that the No. 1 reason people leave their jobs is because of their boss.
12/5/16 – Recent events in Indiana have shined a spotlight on the differences in sales and use tax law in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Contractors with job sites in each state can simplify the process of paying the correct amount of sales and use tax to each state by asking themselves the right questions about their transactions. The trick is knowing which questions to ask.
11/29/16 – The tax treatment for renting out your vacation home depends on the number of days it's rented.
11/19/16 – In a perfect world, a business valuation would be a totally objective assessment of a company’s worth.
But many factors can influence the outcome, including parties involved and the purpose of the valuation.
11/17/16 – When you buy a new car, what exactly are you purchasing? You are buying a tangible asset, a method of transportation and often a symbol of taste and stature.
11/16/16 – As the year moves relentlessly toward December, individual taxpayers should review their tax situation at year-end and take actions that can reduce their tax liability.
11/14/16 – To keep your nonprofit organization functioning, you need to know exactly how much cash you need – and when. A cash flow projection will help you identify shortfalls in advance. And, even if you have generous reserves, you need to measure cash needs against deposits so you don’t blow through your buffer funds.
11/10/16 – Nonprofits are on the road to recovery, but it hasn’t been easy. Only those around during the Great Depression or maybe World War II have seen times tougher than these for securing grants – whether from a government agency, private foundation or corporation. Foundation and government funders are increasingly defining themselves as investors rather than as funders or donors. They take the term “investor” seriously, and before making an investment, they perform due diligence instead of just evaluating a proposal.
10/27/16 – No business is perfect.
Some liabilities or poorly performing assets are obvious and stated – debts and payables, uncollectable accounts receivable, obsolete equipment and warranty agreements.
10/15/16 – The U.S. Department of Labor's long-awaited final overtime rule will have a significant effect on practically every industry and profession in the country. And the nonprofit sector isn't immune.
10/13/16 – When do I have to withhold municipal income tax for my employees working in Ohio?
10/10/16 – Making a nonprofit’s financial results public is a key to the transparency required today. This overview is focused on the audits of financial statements performed by independent CPA firms. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, along with alternatives to a GAAS audit are discussed.
10/2/16 – In what is being called one of the biggest valuation decisions of recent years, the Tax Court had to determine which of four substantially different valuations of an estate interest in an investment holding company was the closest to the true value.
9/23/16 – Business partnerships have been compared to marriages – and never is that more apparent than when they come to an end. Without a solid agreement and valuation plan, the situation can get very messy.
9/17/16 – Although each board’s involvement in its nonprofit agency’s operations varies from situation to situation, all boards share a mandate to exercise fiscal responsibility.
9/15/16 – What is the most enjoyable aspect of being a board member?
Building new relationships and doing something good.
9/6/16 – Delegation is one of the most important skills of successful managers. It lets them spend less time on routine tasks and more time being a leader and a planner.
9/4/16 – Most people have little experience or know-how when it comes to reading a financial statement. For some, it seems a foreign language; for others, a task best left to someone else.
9/3/16 – When preparing an exit strategy, many business owners focus on operations and profitability, certainly two key areas.
9/3/16 – Anyone who has ever reviewed the summaries of valuations cases can readily see that testifying in a valuations case can be a very tricky business.
8/31/16 – Standards that have implications for employee benefit plan auditors and accountants have been recently updated.
8/31/16 – Swiss bank accounts. Cayman Islands. Hidden assets. Subpoenas. FinCEN. IRS. Penalties. Disclosure.
8/30/16 – Whether dealing with estates, divorces or business law, owners often face the issue of valuing their business.
8/15/16 – Nonprofit entities and tax preparers seem to be getting a handle on the new form despite continued IRS modifications and clarifications. They are also becoming more comfortable with the document being publicly available upon request and published on websites. However, there are increased pressures from public scrutiny that should be making nonprofits and their advisers take a second look at their Form 990.
8/8/16 – The Ohio Commercial Activity Tax has been in place since 2006. Each year the state gets a bit more aggressive in auditing potential taxpayers.
7/30/16 – Billionaire Warren Buffett – who is giving most of his fortune to charity – has famously said about the rich leaving money to their children: “Give them enough to do anything, but not enough to do nothing.”
7/23/16 – Would you be surprised to learn that most business owners don’t know the value of their own businesses?
7/22/16 – If your organization is facing an audit, it’s important to be well prepared before the auditors arrive.
7/18/16 – Job rotation and mandatory vacations, rewards for whistleblowers and surprise audits are the three least used anti-fraud controls by organizations that have been victims of employee theft. Less than one-third of organizations employ these methods to deter fraud.
7/18/16 – When a fraud is suspected, organizations must proceed quickly, but carefully.
7/6/16 – Time is a precious and perishable resource.
It is, perhaps, the most perishable resource on the planet. Each second that passes is the destruction of an asset – the asset of time. We can’t save it to use later, we can’t recycle it, and we can’t reclaim it once it has passed.
7/2/16 – As cliché as it may sound, one of the pillars of the accounting profession is integrity.
6/25/16 – According to the IRS, fair market value is defined as “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, when the former is not under any compulsion to buy and the latter is not under any compulsion to sell, both parties having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.”
6/10/16 – You’ve made the decision to sell. How can you get the most for your business?
6/8/16 – Appraising a business can be approached from a number of different directions, including book value of assets, capitalized income and discounted future earnings.
6/7/16 – A recent Tax Court case shows that keeping good auto mileage records – as well as a little persistence – pays off when it comes to dealing with the IRS.
6/4/16 – Once only seen on Wall Street, interest rate swap derivatives have migrated to Main Street and become a common way for companies to attempt to borrow with a fixed amount of interest.
5/22/16 – There are many reasons to sell your business.
Because it’s going downhill isn’t the best one – not if you want to recoup the value of your hard work.
5/20/16 – It may seem natural to defer consideration of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, given the number of years before required adoption. It isn't effective for nonpublic entities until annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2017.
5/12/16 – Small business owners need to establish a bookkeeping system and retain proper documentation for each year to substantiate items of income and expense. Otherwise, IRS encounters may be expensive.
5/9/16 – In a matrimonial proceeding, a forensic accountant can be an essential member of a valuation team working to determine an equitable settlement – particularly if a business is involved.
5/7/16 – Today’s audit committee is a far cry from the audit committee of years past.
5/2/16 – Every nonprofit dreams of receiving a large endowment that will keep it financially worry-free in the future and allow it to fulfill its mission with ease. But, in the real world, endowments also carry serious responsibilities, created by the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA).
4/28/16 – Selling your business to a third party could provide you with a lucrative and effective exit strategy.
4/26/16 – A business plan is like a road map. It can help you get where you’re going. It also can tell you that it may not be a good idea to begin the journey.
4/17/16 – CPAs bring instant credibility to the witness stand.
Unlike many expert witnesses, it is generally assumed that the CPA will testify honestly and offer the court a carefully reasoned and supported opinion. The well-recognized credential speaks for itself, initially setting the bar a little higher for opposing counsel.
4/15/16 – To claim a mortgage interest deduction, taxpayers must provide certain key information to the IRS.
4/14/16 – Is your company missing out on international sales? Exporting represents a huge sales opportunity for many companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises.
4/12/16 – The old adage, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you,” doesn’t usually apply in business situations.
4/12/16 – Toxic managers can ruin a business from the inside out.
Toxic managers don’t have a clue how their behavior affects their employees, or don’t care. They are self-interested, have big egos and don’t respond well to feedback about their behavior.
4/12/16 – The Baby Boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, began turning 65 in 2011. Boomers are the largest generation in U.S. history, and their retirement means companies will soon be facing an exodus of many of their senior leaders and most knowledgeable people.
4/12/16 – A solid pricing strategy can do more for your business than cover costs and generate a profit. It can position you in the marketplace and affect your long-term success.
4/12/16 – Thomas Edison made 1,000 attempts before he successfully created the light bulb. That seemingly small item transformed our standard of living and led to tens of thousands of other new products.
4/12/16 – Do you ever feel like there must be a better way? That some of the things your company is doing are not as efficient as they could be?
4/12/16 – Improving plant performance is an effort that includes both growing revenues and cutting costs.
4/12/16 – You can improve your company’s bottom line by keeping a sharp eye on the needs of your customers and by improving your business processes.
4/12/16 – No matter how lean your operation is, your company will likely end up with excess inventory at some point.
4/12/16 – Is your business taking full advantage of the Domestic Production Activities deduction?
4/12/16 – Depreciation is complicated.
It is probably one of the more difficult tax concepts for business owners to understand. There are many complex rules that can prove quite elusive for anyone but a tax aficionado.
4/12/16 – There has been a lot of press in recent years about the shortage of skilled labor in manufacturing.
The employees you need can’t be created overnight, but there is one way your company can fight the challenge – recruit wisely and then retain your people.
4/12/16 – It’s becoming increasingly common for organizations to require background evaluations of prospective employees or volunteers.
4/12/16 – It can be a challenge for a manager to cover the duties of an employee who is out on disability or other leave of absence.
4/12/16 – More than 90 percent of businesses in the United States are family owned, but fewer than 30 percent make it to the second generation, and less than 12 percent make it to the third generation.
4/12/16 – Manufacturers attempting to optimize investment and profit created the concept of lean manufacturing.
4/12/16 – A slowdown in sales. High energy and transportation costs. Economic uncertainty. Before you know it, everyone is paying vendors late. Including your customers.
4/12/16 – After several years, multiple drafts and numerous letters from interested parties, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board have issued guidance on when and how to recognize contract revenue.
4/12/16 – Remember those days when you were counting inventory stock while everyone else was comparing golfing scores?
4/6/16 – Running a business is difficult enough under the best circumstances. But family-owned enterprises are often complicated by an additional element – inactive family members.
4/6/16 – As smart phones and tablets become more popular, employees are increasingly asking if they can use their own devices for work.
4/6/16 – What does your company stand for? If a customer asked several of your employees that question, would they each answer differently?
4/6/16 – Despite a continued slow economy in many sectors, major shifts in the marketplace are taking place.
4/6/16 – When the founder of a manufacturing company hired his son-in-law to manage a department, it was with high hopes and expectations.
4/6/16 – Checking references is an accepted part of the hiring process. Yet, when you ask managers about reference checking processes, you often get mixed results.
3/31/16 – Business owners don’t want to believe that a trusted employee would steal from the company. But the truth is that every organization is at some risk of internal fraud.
3/31/16 – In any kind of organization that issues payroll checks to employees, the possibility of payroll fraud exists. Payroll fraud can be perpetrated in variety of ways.
3/31/16 – Small businesses face particular difficulties in creating effective internal controls that will minimize the possibility of fraud – and maximize the chance of detecting fraud before serious damage is done.
3/31/16 – There has never been a greater need for efficient succession planning than there is today.
3/31/16 – They have been lauded as the next “Great Generation,” praised as tech savvy, optimistic and eager to please.
3/31/16 – The way managers approach their job tends to evolve over time. The archetypal manager 100 years ago was a no-nonsense authority figure who acted as overseer, making sure employees were hard at work and not goofing off.
3/31/16 – Whether or not to promote employees to their first management position is a tough call and somewhat of a gamble. The smartest, most productive employees may still bomb as managers.
3/31/16 – Although small businesses are vital to the economy – and create the most jobs – stringent regulations and extensive red tape often hamper business operations.
3/30/16 – One of the easiest ways dishonest employees steal from the company is by submitting inflated expense reports.
3/30/16 – The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners calls occupational fraud a “financial iceberg” where some of the losses are clearly visible and others are hidden below the surface.
3/30/16 – One of the key elements to understanding fraud is to realize that, where opportunities exist, perpetrators can act.
3/30/16 – There are definite red flags of fraudulent behavior. Unfortunately, it is often after the crime has been committed that these warning signs become apparent.
3/28/16 – Every day, during the normal course of our lives, we encounter numerous controls or safeguards.
Whether your place of work requires an identification badge or a key fob, a password to log onto your computer or an access code to use a copier, controls are a way of life.
3/28/16 – In 1982, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman published an acclaimed business book called In Search of Excellence. They espoused a practice of “management by walking around” as a way to achieve excellence. They were on to something then, and the lesson still applies today.
3/28/16 – Did you know that 9 in 10 American businesses are family owned and operated? And yet surprisingly, nearly 7 in 10 of these businesses don’t currently have a proper plan in place for the smooth transfer of managerial power should the owner retire, fall sick or die.
3/28/16 – Does your construction company suffer from chronic underbillings, missed change orders and job deadlines you failed to meet? If so, you have probably fallen victim to two words every contractor dreads: profit fade.
3/28/16 – When you’re looking to add or replace vehicles and equipment, the decision to lease or buy is more than a financial one. It can affect your operations, taxes and future company decisions.
3/28/16 – A contractor’s financial statements are only as accurate as the work-in-process (WIP) schedule, and the WIP schedule is only as good as the estimated costs to complete.
3/28/16 – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Of course, there are some things that just can’t be prevented. But with planning, they can be later cured.
3/28/16 – Construction projects that proceed exactly as planned are rare.
Experienced contractors understand how to effectively generate, authenticate and substantiate change orders to avoid legal battles and be fully compensated for work performed.
3/28/16 – With construction work picking up in some parts of the country, the incidence of employee theft is also likely. Roughly 5 percent of revenue is lost to fraud annually – usually through spending schemes – with small organizations the most likely target.
3/28/16 – "Who likes money?” It sounds like a cheesy line you’d hear watching a late night infomercial when you’re having trouble sleeping.
3/28/16 – With rising materials costs and downward price pressures, it’s more important than ever to manage project expenditures. Since there are fewer jobs out there, it’s essential to make a profit on every project.
3/25/16 – A new Accounting Standards Update represents a significant change for many entities not only in their financial statements but also in their business dealings with customers.
3/25/16 – Internal auditors and other audit professionals place concerns about data security among their top priorities, according to Protiviti’s 2015 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey.
3/10/16 – When starting a new business, a wise first step is to seek the advice of your CPA.
3/9/16 – Corporate equity and shareholder issues are staples in the study of accounting, starting in Accounting 101 and continuing in-depth in most core classes throughout the accountant’s five-year course of study.
2/17/16 – Nearly one in three sales of a business enterprise fell through last year, most because of a valuation gap in pricing, according to a new study.
1/25/16 – The IRS allows taxpayers to use an optional safe harbor method when claiming a home office deduction.
1/14/16 – A budget may not be exciting to prepare or review, but it is essential for any organization, including a nonprofit.
9/8/15 – In recent years, report accuracy has declined. Many providers have placed a lower emphasis on the cost report since there is no direct settlement impact. Medicare Cost Reports still play a vital role for home health agencies.