1/18/19 – The IRS has some good news for certain taxpayers — it’s waiving underpayment penalties for those whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments came in under their actual tax liabilities for the year.
1/9/19 – The IRS has announced that it will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns for the 2018 tax year on January 28, but much remains to be seen about how the ongoing shutdown of the federal government will affect this year’s filings.
1/7/19 – The median fraud loss among manufacturers was almost double the median loss for all industries, according to the 2018 Report to the Nations published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Internal controls are a company’s first line of defense in preventing and detecting fraudulent activity. Here, we identify five questions proactive managers should consider when evaluating the strength of their company’s internal controls.
1/1/19 – To prevent budget deficits, nonprofits need to improve cash management, particularly when it comes to billing, receipts and disbursements. Here, Yvonne de Calonne offers such tips as moving fundraising calendars ahead, correcting billing errors quickly, and prioritizing disbursements.
12/11/18 – The Treasury Department has announced inflation-adjusted figures for retirement account savings for 2019, and there are a lot of changes that will help your employees save more. In this article, VonLehman's Alex Baker compares retirement plan limits for 2018 versus the new limits for 2019 in a helpful chart.
11/26/18 – The IRS has announced its 2019 cost-of-living adjustments to tax items that might affect you. Many of the amounts increased to account for inflation, but some remained at 2018 levels. As you implement 2018 year-end tax planning strategies, be sure to take these 2019 adjustments into account in your planning.
11/26/18 – Communication breakdowns between a nonprofit organization’s development and accounting departments can lead to confusion, embarrassment and, worse yet, financial problems. Nonprofits, therefore, must take proactive steps to facilitate collaboration between these two critical functions. Here, we've outlined how to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
11/6/18 – Whether or not a nonprofit chooses to employ external auditors, it can utilize audit techniques, including year-to-year trends and benchmarking against other nonprofits, to get a better view of the organization’s revenue. Here, we assess key pieces of the revenue picture, such as individual contributions, grants, and fees for services.
11/1/18 – There’s a fine line between employee and independent contractor. In this article, VonLehman's Adam Davey provides an overview of this issue and the characteristics that distinguish employees from contractors. This distinction may take on even greater importance under the new tax law.
10/31/18 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created more than 100 new tax provisions — a staggering thought as you begin to prepare for the next filing season. The good news is that these and some of the surviving provisions create a wealth of year-end planning opportunities. Act now to cut your 2018 tax bill.
10/31/18 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) doubled the child tax credit to $2,000 per child under the age of 17. It also makes the credit available to more families thanks to increased income phaseout ranges. This handy infographic breaks down the eligibility requirements and modified AGI phaseout ranges.
10/30/18 – In a nutshell, the TCJA creates a new section of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 1400Z, that establishes Opportunity Zones within low-income communities. The provision allows taxpayers to defer tax on capital gains by investing in such Opportunity Zones. And now the IRS has released proposed regulations for this tax incentive.
10/18/18 – The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in late 2017 brought significant changes to the tax landscape. As the first tax season under the law looms on the horizon, new year-end tax planning strategies are emerging. Meanwhile, some of the old tried-and-true strategies have changed and others remain viable.
10/18/18 – While the TCJA eliminated the AMT for businesses, the new law keeps a modified version of the tax in place for individuals. Get the details in this handy infographic.
10/8/18 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was packed with goodies for businesses, but it also seemed to eliminate the popular meal expense deduction in some situations. Now, the IRS has issued transitional guidance — while it works on proposed regulations — that confirms the deduction remains allowable in certain circumstances and clarifies when businesses can claim it.
10/2/18 – Just when you thought accounting rules couldn’t get more complicated --- especially after the Revenue Recognition changes required for closely-held businesses in 2019 --- the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has changed how we account for leases beginning in 2020.
9/24/18 – Missing filing deadlines for Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan) for retirement and health and welfare plans can be extremely costly. The best way to avoid trouble is to ensure that meeting filing deadlines never falls between the cracks.
9/21/18 – Why is cost reporting important? In this presentation, you'll learn why, plus how to identify changes in data elements for proper completion of the cost report, find problem areas and changes needed for the future, and outline the steps that need to be taken now to prepare the cost report forms. Download your copy here.
9/17/18 – Every organization — whether for-profit or nonprofit — is at risk of falling victim to costly acts of fraud. Nonprofits, though, have some common characteristics that can make them particularly susceptible to such schemes. Fortunately, you can help combat the risks at your nonprofit by implementing some simple controls.
9/10/18 – In response to the Federal Government’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Kentucky General Assembly issued House Bill 487 (HB 487), passed in April of this year. For months, the measure of the bill’s impact on Kentucky’s manufacturing and distribution industry was uncertain. However, the State has since released a flurry of provisions expounding the bill’s reach. The provisions summarize the income tax laws implemented by the State of Kentucky as a result of HB 487.
8/31/18 – As mentioned in Part 1 of the series, this segment will analyze some of the less common terms associated with mergers and acquisitions and share how and why they are so important in negotiating the purchase or sale of a business.
8/30/18 – Some business owners are accustomed to running the whole show. But as your company grows, you’ll need to start sharing responsibility for major decisions. Whether you’ve recruited experienced managers or developed “home grown” talent, empower these employees with the tools and authority they need to be effective leaders.
8/29/18 – News of commercial database hacking incidents involving millions of people’s personal information seems commonplace. While many of these stories focus on bank and credit card accounts, many plan sponsors and participants don’t realize that 401(k) plan assets may be at risk — which can be a problem not only for participants, but sponsors as well.
8/28/18 – This summer, the federal government announced they were stepping up a nationwide effort to increase I-9 audits by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
8/21/18 – The IRS recently released highly anticipated regulations addressing the deduction for up to 20% of qualified business income (QBI) from pass-through entities. The deduction was a major component of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became law late last year.
8/13/18 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) significantly expands bonus depreciation under Section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code for both regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes. Now, the IRS has released proposed regulations that clarify the requirements that businesses must satisfy to claim bonus depreciation deductions.
8/10/18 – Preparing for and accommodating an independent audit can be stressful for nonprofit staffers. But, understanding the process and making the right records available can help ensure that everyone is comfortable with the audit and its results.
8/9/18 – In Part 1 of our 3-part series, Ely Friedman dives into common M&A terms are and explains how they can be used as part of the negotiation process of buying and selling a business.
7/26/18 – Republican lawmakers currently are considering a second round of tax reform legislation as a follow-up to last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
7/16/18 – At some point, a nonprofit might consider outsourcing the functions that fall under its accounting and financial umbrella. But, as this article explains, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making this important decision.
7/12/18 – VonLehman’s Director of M&A Advisory Services, Keith Carlson, recently participated in an industry panel to discuss market analysis, sales techniques, and a breakdown of the sale process, among other topics. Keith's insights are summarized here.
7/10/18 – How should you handle an offer to purchase your business when you haven’t expressed an interest to sell? How much value should you put into unsolicited offers? The potential could be huge if you manage the process correctly, know how far to take the conversation, and when to call some experts for help.
7/1/18 – If you were a peach farmer, would you rather harvest and sell your fruit at the same time as all the other peach farmers in the country, or (assuming you could control this) when peaches are scarcer? Hopefully you’d prefer to sell in a scarce market, where you could be more of a price-setter than a price-taker.
6/26/18 – Although retirement plan fiduciaries take their jobs seriously, it can be hard to cover all the bases. That’s understandable, considering the broad scope of fiduciary responsibility as well as the dynamic nature of the retirement plan designs, investment management and legal interpretations of fiduciary duty.
6/21/18 – It has been a big day in the world of sales tax! The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case South Dakota v. Wayfair that changes the standard for when a state can require sales tax to be collected.
6/19/18 – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OBWC) has initiated a Safety Intervention Grant Program, providing Ohio manufacturing and distribution employers with a rare opportunity to be compensated for equipment purchased to reduce injuries or illness in the workplace.
6/5/18 – The new federal procurement standards significantly alter the way governments and nonprofits handle purchasing. With some upfront planning and implementing the right steps ahead of time, you can avoid running afoul of the federal procurement guidelines.
6/3/18 – You’ve decided to explore the sale of your business. Now what? The five recommendations listed below are more than worth your time, investment, and consideration.
5/30/18 – The construction and real estate industry is closely tied to the American entrepreneurial spirit. While success and financial reward come at a cost, the opportunity to control your own destiny, through hard work and long hours, is a dream many prospective business owners are obsessed with making a reality.
5/22/18 – It takes a dedicated professional to lead critical human resources initiatives; a professional that many organizations do not have the luxury of employing in-house. If your HR needs are keeping you from advancing your mission, you might consider outsourcing some or all of your human resources functions.
5/17/18 – For the first time in Kentucky state history, a sales and use tax was imposed on labor or services for maintenance, repair, and installation, of “tangible personal property, digital property, or service sold” impacting the Kentucky manufacturing industry.
5/4/18 – 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.
5/1/18 – Without solid due diligence, an M&A deal can be fraught with disaster. A merger or an acquisition can be a long — and delicate — process, and there’s plenty that can go wrong before it’s over. To better the chances that your M&A will be a success, up-front and persistent due diligence work is a must.
4/27/18 – The new tax law will have a major impact on how much income taxes manufacturers and distributors will pay in 2018. And there’s good news: In addition to lowering business tax rates, the new law significantly expands the tax breaks for capital expenditures.
4/26/18 – Beyond the tax reform headlines, there are some major changes to federal estate taxes. Here are three key ways the TCJA will impact your estate plan.
4/26/18 – 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.
4/23/18 – While the U.S. economy continues to improve, construction contractors must carefully watch their bottom lines. This means keeping track of just how increases — or decreases — in profitability can affect your construction company.
4/20/18 – Plan sponsors have more flexibility than they may realize when it comes to setting eligibility rules for 401(k) plan participants. Even though ERISA sets many rules for eligibility, plan sponsors have leeway to meet the demands of the employment market. Here are some thoughts for plan sponsors to consider when determining plan enrollment.
4/16/18 – Moving away from original ink signatures, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted a new policy to allow for electronic signatures on Medicare Cost Reports, which should reduce processing time for everyone.
4/5/18 – While the branches of The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) are far reaching, one leaf you can’t afford to overlook is that of business expense reimbursables. This article offers a succinct interpretation of meal and entertainment reimbursement revisions set forth in the TCJA.
3/27/18 – The new Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) includes sweeping changes impacting virtually every type of business. The changes provide some great opportunities and incentives for contractors to invest in their businesses and employees, including saving on taxes!
3/15/18 – Much the way retailers rely on location, location, location, sell-side transactions are extremely reliant on timing, timing, timing. A number of factors impact “the right time,” and good advisors with considerable experience can draw upon a number of examples to help steer you in the right direction.
3/14/18 – Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics with your own historical data or those of other, similar companies. But how can that help you?
3/8/18 – Occupational fraud costs an organization an average of 5% revenue loss each year. Paying attention to these common red flags can keep your risk for fraud at a minimum.
3/1/18 – The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act includes new benefits for businesses, including enhancements to the Section 179 deduction.
2/28/18 – The AICPA is asking the FASB for special breaks for private companies as they implement the new revenue recognition standard, which goes into effect for private companies in 2019.
2/20/18 – In a turbulent industry like construction, it’s all too easy to let crisp, timely financials go soggy with outdated data and flat-out mistakes. Here are 6 ways to ensure your financial reporting is accurate.
2/19/18 – No matter what the size the retirement plan, if the plan sponsors aren’t careful, they can be faced with some serious trouble. Here, we review some of the most common red flags leading to ERISA litigation.
2/13/18 – Would you allow your dentist to perform an open heart surgery on you or a loved one? The easy answer is no.This analogy applies to many things in business and life – it definitely applies to business owners embarking on selling their business or buying another business.
2/12/18 – The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provides many tax planning opportunities for Manufacturers and Distributors. Several of the changes are highlighted here; bear in mind more specific information is yet forthcoming.
1/30/18 – FASB recently issued a new Accounting Standards Update that addresses revenue recognition under U.S. GAAP and includes a new 5-step process.
1/17/18 – Selling a business is difficult. From marketing to vetting buyers, to preparing financial statements and keeping negotiations on track, a lot can go wrong. Almost no detail is too small to affect the outcome of an M&A deal. But you can reduce the odds of making a deal-killing mistake by knowing how similar transactions have gone astray.
1/11/18 – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017 and is effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2018 and after. Corporate provisions in this new law are permanent, and we've explained the changes here.
1/11/18 – The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is effective for tax years beginning January 1, 2018 and after. Listed below is a snapshot of how the new tax law affects individuals.
1/6/18 – Studies by the Gallup organization show that the No. 1 reason people leave their jobs is because of their boss.
1/5/18 – Question from contractor - What are the typical problems you’ve seen contractors encounter when implementing a new accounting system?
12/22/17 – It is that time of year when everyone asks, "What can I do before year-end to lower my tax bill?" This year is no different than previous years except for one minor detail – Congress just finalized tax reform.
12/13/17 – Several changes to the Form 5500 were proposed that are scheduled to go into effect for plan years beginning in 2019.
12/11/17 – How often do you review the requirements for operating your 401(k) retirement plan?
12/11/17 – S corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs) that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes qualify for “pass-through” taxation.
12/8/17 – Not all business valuation reports are created equal. So it’s critical that attorneys scrutinize information prepared by valuation experts — both their own and their opponents’ — for signs of weakness or susceptibility to challenge in court.
12/4/17 – Ohio is offering an early holiday gift! Ohio has announced a tax amnesty program that will be open from January 1, 2018 to February 15, 2018.
11/27/17 – Learn about the Medicare revenue changes and how to project the bottom-line impact on your agency.
11/15/17 – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Calendar Year 2018 update for Home Health Agencies in the November 7, 2017 Federal Register. This represents the annual payment rate update for home health.
11/13/17 – Can you pay bonuses in 2018 but deduct them in 2018? Find out here!
11/9/17 – On November 2, 2017 House Republicans released a bill which, if passed, would make major changes to the current tax code impacting virtually every individual and business. The proposed plan has a long way to go before any of the provisions are passed and made effective.
11/7/17 – Raffles have long been a popular fundraiser for nonprofits. They’re easy to produce, affordable for participants and reliable revenue generators. But they’re also subject to strict rules, particularly in the area of tax law.
11/3/17 – Contractors continue to face a serious shortage of skilled workers, both on the job site and in the office. Not only did many of these talented professionals leave the construction industry for good following the 2008 recession, but many Baby Boomers are now retiring — further depleting the workforce.
10/26/17 – A buy-sell agreement is a contract set forth by the owner or owners of a business to describe how ownership changes may take place. More frequently than you might imagine, these key documents are absolutely vital for managing potentially turbulent situations among shareholders.
10/12/17 – The Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD) is commonly referred to as the "manufacturer's deduction" but can come from a number of activities, including the construction of real property in the United States, as well as engineering or architectural services performed stateside to construct real property.
10/4/17 – The FASB recently released its first update to the financial reporting rules for nonprofits since 1993. The new Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, will affect the financial statements of most nonprofits when it takes effect.
9/26/17 – If just one unscrupulous employee commits project fraud, a contractor’s chances of turning a profit can diminish significantly or disappear completely. For this reason, construction business owners have got to stay cognizant and proactive about cracking down on unethical and illegal practices.
9/11/17 – On July 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule for the 2018 payment update.
9/7/17 – Plan now for the future by preparing & projecting the bottom line impact on your agency.
8/29/17 – Many successful small manufacturing businesses are run by families. Unfortunately, family members sometimes disagree and decide to part ways. Here are some valuation methods and common adjustments that apply when dividing marital estates and buying out dissenting shareholders from the family business.
8/28/17 – The most significant financial transaction in a private business owner’s life is likely to be the sale of his or her business. Although many sales are premeditated, others result from unplanned events, which is why every owner should have an exit strategy.
8/15/17 – Do you sell products online? If so, you don’t want to miss out on the new tax amnesty opportunity for online sellers. Last week, the Multistate Tax Commission announced its Online Marketplace Seller Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.
8/8/17 – Don’t overlook the research credit! Construction businesses are often surprised to learn that they may be eligible for the research tax credit, often referred to as the “research and development,” “R&D”, “R&E” or “research and experimentation” credit.
7/18/17 – Only half of board chairpersons are prepared for their leadership role when they take on the post, according to a recent survey by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
7/13/17 – There has never been a greater need for efficient succession planning than there is today.
7/11/17 – As Congress and the Trump administration push for major changes to the U.S. tax code, large companies are encouraging the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to monitor how the changes may affect U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
7/7/17 – The Internal Revenue Service is warning people of a new scam that is associated with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
6/22/17 – What can you outsource and what are the benefits of outsourcing? Find out here!
6/19/17 – Manufacturers and distributors face rising costs of labor and benefits, burdensome government regulations and a shortage of skilled workers. Investing in automated equipment may seem like a smart alternative to relying on people. But automation can sometimes be more expensive and time-consuming than management expects.
6/1/17 – How long does it take your company to convert purchased raw materials into cash collected from customers? Cash flow is one of the most important metrics used in managing a manufacturing company and is often the factor that differentiates an average company from a very successful company.
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.
5/3/17 – 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.
2/16/17 – We're discussing changes to the financial components of PPS and how to analyze the impact of the final rule on your agency. If you have questions about the final rule for HHA PPS, you'll find answers here.
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.
12/5/16 – 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.
4/17/16 – 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.