• Mobile Phone Fraud

    Mobile Phone Fraud

    Mobile phone fraud schemes in which thieves open a phone account in your name and use it to access your bank account, sign up for credit cards and gain access to personal information are only some of the recent fraud trends. Fraudsters have plenty of ways to defraud consumers through their phones.  Read More »
  • Retirement Plans for Small Business

    Retirement Plans for Small Business

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a final rule which should make it easier for smaller businesses to provide retirement plans to their employees. According to the DOL, the rule will enable more small and midsize unrelated businesses to join forces in multiple employer plans (MEPs) that provide their employees a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) plan or a SIMPLE IRA plan. Certain self-employed individuals also can participate in MEPs.  Read More »
  • Accounting Rule Delays

    Accounting Rule Delays

    On July 17, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) voted to issue a proposal that would delay several landmark accounting rules for certain companies. If finalized, these accounting rule delays would apply to new guidance for reporting leases, hedging transactions, credit losses and long-term insurance contracts.  Read More »
  • Power of Attorney ABCs

    Power of Attorney ABCs

    When drafting your estate plan, you and your attorney must account for what happens to your children and your assets after you die. But your plan must also spell out your wishes for making financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power of attorney (POA). Read More »
  • Reviewing Your Investments

    Reviewing Your Investments

    You may have heard about a proposal in Washington to cut the taxes paid on investments by indexing capital gains to inflation. Under the proposal, the purchase price of assets would be adjusted so that no tax is paid on the appreciation due to inflation.  Read More »
  • Corporate Governance

    Corporate Governance

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) doesn’t monitor just publicly traded companies. It also looks at the dealings of some private companies, often to the surprise of their owners and executives. Corporate governance is one area to which you need to pay attention.  Read More »
  • Generation Z

    Generation Z

    By now, most employers have read up on, hired and gotten to know Millennials. Well, guess what? A whole new demographic is here: Generation Z. Whereas Millennials are generally those who came of age around the Millennium, Gen Z are typically regarded as those born just before, on or relatively soon after the year 2000.  Read More »
  • Calculating Fraud Damages

    Calculating Fraud Damages

    Calculating fraud damages isn’t as simple as it may seem. When businesses are defrauded, courts can — and in some states must — order restitution. But it isn’t always easy for judges to decide how much a company has lost. That’s where fraud experts can help.  Read More »
  • Midyear KPIs

    Midyear KPIs

    We’ve reached the middle of the calendar year. So how are things going for your business? Conversationally you might say, “Pretty good.” But, analytically, can you put a number on how well you’re doing — or several numbers for that matter? You can if you choose and calculate the right key performance indicators (KPIs).  Read More »
  • Nonprofit Trade Associations

    Nonprofit Trade Associations

    Nonprofit trade associations, or 501(c)(6) organizations, exist to promote their members’ common interests and improve business conditions or “one or more lines of interest.” Whether the association is a local chamber of commerce, a real estate board or a large professional group, associations’ tax-exempt status is contingent on their sponsoring certain types of activities — and avoiding others. When they fail to do so, the IRS may take action.  Read More »
  • Social Security Phone Scams

    Social Security Phone Scams

    Despite the National Do Not Call registry and features such as caller ID, phone fraud, including social security phone scams, are thriving in the mobile phone era. Using spoofed numbers — which appear to be connected to legitimate government offices and businesses or that resemble your own number — fraud perpetrators say anything and everything to try to steal your money. Recently, scammers have posed as Social Security officials to steal from unsuspecting consumers. Since January 2018, the Federal Trade Commission has received more than 63,000 reports about this scam. Only 3% of reporting call recipients lost money, but the losses total $16.6 million.  Read More »
  • Signing Bonuses

    Signing Bonuses

    Is your organization looking to hire new employees? Many employers are finding that signing bonuses pay for themselves by giving them a competitive edge in winning over high-quality recruits. It’s a strategy well worth considering but, as always, you’ve got to be careful with your money. The U.S. unemployment rate hit a historic low this past April, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics household survey. It fell to 3.6%, the lowest rate since December 1969 — that’s almost 50 years! April also marked the 14th consecutive month of the unemployment rate being at or below 4%.  Read More »
  • AUP Engagements

    AUP Engagements

    This article provides an overview of “agreed upon procedures” or AUP engagements and their advantages. Your CPA offers a wide menu of services. An audit is a familiar type of attestation service that provides a formal opinion about whether the company’s financial statements conform to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Consulting services, in contrast, provide advice or technical assistance that’s only for internal purposes. That is, lenders and other third parties can’t rely on the findings, conclusions and recommendations presented during a consulting project.Read More »
  • CPA Standards

    CPA Standards

    The accounting profession is largely self-regulated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Part of its mission involves the development and enforcement of a broad range of standards for the profession. Why do these standards matter to you? By having a little familiarity with the guidance that accountants and auditors follow, business owners and managers are better able to take advantage of the services offered by CPAs.  Read More »
  • Your Health Care Plan and the Future

    Your Health Care Plan and the Future

    The pace of health care cost inflation has remained moderate over the past year or so, and employers are trying to keep it that way. In response, many businesses aren’t seeking immediate cost-cutting measures or asking employees to shoulder more of the burden. Rather, they’re looking to “future-focused” health care plan features to encourage healthful behaviors.  Read More »
  • Internal Audits and External Audits

    Internal Audits and External Audits

    Businesses use two types of audits to gauge financial results: internal and external. Here’s a closer look at how they measure up. Focus - Internal auditors go beyond traditional financial reporting. They focus on a company’s internal controls, accounting processes and ability to mitigate risk. Internal auditors also evaluate whether the company’s activities comply with its strategy, and they may consult on a variety of financial issues as they arise within the company.  Read More »
  • Payroll Cards

    Payroll Cards

    In the not-so-distant past, employers hand-delivered paychecks to employees. Employees then cashed their checks or deposited the money in checking accounts. Today, most employers use direct deposit, or, in a more recent development, payroll cards (or paycards). In January 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized regulations governing prepaid accounts, including payroll cards. Notably, the CFPB has modified earlier regulations about error resolution and liability limits when financial institutions haven't successfully completed consumer identification and verification procedures. These new regulations take effect April 1, 2019.  Read More »
  • Records Retention Guidelines

    Records Retention Guidelines

    Warm weather and rainy days bring the urge to purge. But before you clean your file cabinets or declutter your computer files, it's important to review these guidelines. Federal Tax Records Most tax advisors recommend that you retain copies of your finished tax returns indefinitely to prove that you actually filed. Even if you don't keep the returns indefinitely, hold onto them for at least six years after they're due  or filed, whichever is later.  It's a good idea to keep records that support items shown on your individual tax return until the statute of limitations runs out — generally, three years from the due date of the return or the date you filed, whichever is later. Examples of supporting documents include …Read More »
  • College Financing and Estate Plans

    College Financing and Estate Plans

    The staggering cost of college makes it critical for families to plan carefully for this major expense, and in many cases grandparents want to play a role. As you examine the many financing options for your grandchildren, be sure to consider their impact on your estate plan.  Read More »
  • Financial Abuse of Elderly Americans

    Financial Abuse of Elderly Americans

    Financial exploitation of elderly Americans is on the rise, according to a federal government agency. Knowing the common tactics employed by perpetrators of this abusive, often criminal, behavior could keep your loved ones from adding to the grim statistics. Here are some proactive ways you can help. Every year, thousands of elderly Americans fall victim to elder abuse and financial exploitation scams, sometimes at the hand of their spouses or adult children. In fact, suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) related to elder financial exploitation have quadrupled the last four years, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Read More »
  • Nonprofit Board Retreats

    Nonprofit Board Retreats

    If your not-for-profit’s board is like most, its members lead busy lives. They may not get to every board meeting or perhaps they’re able to attend meetings only via teleconference. That’s why it’s important to periodically bring everyone together in a relaxed setting. But to be successful, your retreat should be planned to the smallest detail.  Read More »
  • Business Meal Deductions

    Business Meal Deductions

    In the course of operating your business, you probably spend time and money “wining and dining” current or potential customers, vendors and employees. What can you deduct on your tax return for these expenses? The rules changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), but you can still claim some valuable write-offs.  Read More »
  • Data Breach Recovery Steps

    Data Breach Recovery Steps

    It’s every business owner’s nightmare. Should hackers gain access to your customers’ or employees’ sensitive data, the very reputation of your company could be compromised. And lawsuits might soon follow. No business owner wants to think about such a crisis, yet it’s imperative that you do. Suffering a data breach without an emergency response plan leaves you vulnerable to not only the damage of the attack itself, but also the potential fallout from your own panicked decisions.  Read More »
  • Holding On To Your Nonprofit’s Exempt Status

    Holding On To Your Nonprofit’s Exempt Status

    f you think that, once your not-for-profit receives its official tax-exempt status from the IRS, you don’t have to revisit it again, think again. Whether your organization is a Section 501(c)(3), Sec. 501(c)(7) or other type, be careful. The activities you conduct, the ways you generate revenue and how you use that revenue could potentially threaten your exempt status. It’s worth reviewing the IRS’s exempt-status rules to make sure your organization is operating within them.  Read More »
  • The New Dependent Tax Credit

    The New Dependent Tax Credit

    If you’re the parent of a child who is age 17 to 23, and you pay all (or most) of his or her expenses, you may be surprised to learn you’re not eligible for the child tax credit. But there’s a dependent tax credit that may be available to you. It’s not as valuable as the child tax credit, but when you’re saving for college or paying tuition, every dollar counts!  Read More »
  • Estate Plan Tips

    Estate Plan Tips

    No matter how much effort you’ve invested in designing your estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents may not be enough. Consider creating a “road map” — an informal letter or other document that guides your family in understanding and executing your plan and ensuring that your wishes are carried out.  Read More »
  • Tax Credit for Family and Medical Leave

    Tax Credit for Family and Medical Leave

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a new federal tax credit for employers that provide qualified paid family and medical leave to their employees. It’s subject to numerous rules and restrictions and the credit is only available for two tax years — those beginning between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. However, it may be worthwhile for some businesses.  Read More »
  • SEP Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

    SEP Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

    If you own a business and don’t have a tax-advantaged retirement plan, it’s not too late to establish one and reduce your 2018 tax bill. A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) can still be set up for 2018, and you can make contributions to it that you can deduct on your 2018 income tax return.  Read More »
  • Cybersecurity Audits

    Cybersecurity Audits

    In 2018, U.S. organizations that suffered a data breach lost an average of $7.91 million as a result. That’s the highest average organizational cost of all the countries and regions covered in the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by IBM and independent research firm Ponemon Institute. Malicious or criminal attacks were the source of more than half of those breaches, rather than system glitches and human errors.  Read More »
  • Scope Creep and IT Projects

    Scope Creep and IT Projects

    Today’s business technology is both powerful and restive. No matter how “feature rich” a software solution or hardware asset may be, there’s always another upgrade around the corner. In other words, it’s just a matter of time before your company’s next IT project. When that day arrives, watch out for “scope creep.” This term refers to the tendency of a project’s objective (or “scope”) to gradually expand while the job is underway. As a result, the schedule may drag and dollars may go to waste. &nnbsp;Read More »