Non-Profit Outlook

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Thought Leadership



Industry: Non-Profit


Industry Topic Content
3|7| 1| 09.01.2008 - Non-Profit Update on Form 990 and UPMIFA Changes
Important details regarding changes to Form 990 and UPMIFA implementation issues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 1|7| 01.01.2011 - White Paper: The Strategic Role of Finance
Finance organizations can be a catalyst for improved business performance by providing actionable information to a company’s most valuable assets – its leaders. Leaders possess a keen knowledge of the marketplace and critical competencies. They combine their market knowledge with internal company information to make operational, tactical and strategic business decisions. The sum of these decisions dictates how well a company performs. For finance to rise to its growing role, it must transform to overcome its current orientation of skills, processes and tools towards transaction processing and historical analysis.
1|3|4|6|7|8| 8|12| 02.04.2011 - A Cloud Full of ESI
Cloud computing is alive and flourishing. It has become the popular technology tool for many who want to shift from local PC/Network computer storage and processing to external computers in "the cloud" (on the Internet) handling these types of services.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 01.26.2011 - How Do I Implement the 2011 Payroll Tax Cut for Employees?
In 2011, millions of employees will receive a significant boost in their take-home pay as a result of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) enacted December 17.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 1| 01.13.2011 - Changes Ahead for Organizations with Operating Leases
In August 2010, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued exposure drafts that, if finalized in their current form, would have a significant impact on how companies account for leases.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 12.03.2010 - Master Data Management Series - Part 2
In the last article we introduced the concept of Master Data Management (MDM) and why it is relevant to a broad range of organizations. We ended the article with some of the indicators you might look for to determine whether you have an operational or analytical MDM challenge within your organization.
1|2|3|5|6|7| 6| 12.02.2010 - Forensic Accounting in the Underground Economy
More recently, U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) estimated that the U.S. Treasury loses $100 billion each year in unpaid taxes alone. This is commonly called the underground economy. In this article, I shall discuss the sources that fund the underground economy, how those funds are hidden and, more importantly, how they may be detected by forensic accountants.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 12| 11.03.2010 - Master Data Management – Part I
Regardless of the size of your organization, if you've integrated multiple lines of business systems (such as ERP, CRM, etc.) into your environment, you likely have a Master Data Management (MDM) problem. The likelihood of this is further amplified if you've acquired or merged with other businesses. This article is the first in a series that will serve to educate organizations on the importance of MDM, as well as some of the best practices and pitfalls associated with implementing an MDM solution.
3|5|7| 11| 12.01.2010 - New 990 Thresholds for 2010 Tax Year
Do you know which Form 990-series return you are required to file for the 2010 tax year?
3|5|7| 5| 12.02.2010 - Making Non-Profit Governing Documents Work For You
Many non-profits never look at their governing documents and only dust them off when requested by the auditors or a potential funding source. However, there are benefits to reviewing these documents on a regular basis and revising them to obtain maximum legal benefit.
1|9|7|6|5|4|3|2| 11| 04.15.2011 - Health Care Reform Requires Employers to Disclose the Cost of Health Care on Form W-2
Beginning in tax year January 1, 2012, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that employers disclose the aggregate value of employer-sponsored health coverage to each employee on form W-2, Box 12D. Employers do not need to specify the cost of the different types of health coverage, but only report the total cost of coverage.
3|7| 1| 09.01.2010 - New Standards Exist For Merging Schools, Not-For-Profits
Difficult economic times have put additional stresses on the finances of many mission-driven organizations just as they face unprecedented demands for their services. Many endowments have declined in value, and fundraising efforts are often yielding fewer results amidst economic uncertainties. In this environment, schools, hospitals and other non-profit organizations may conclude that the most effective way to continue to achieve their missions is by joining their resources with other similar organizations.
3|7| 11| 09.01.2010 - Managing Unrelated Business Income
The recent IRS survey of 400 institutions of higher education regarding their identification and reporting of unrelated business income (UBI) causes us to reflect on what constitutes UBI for non-profit organizations.
3|7| 1| 05.05.2010 - UPMIFA Recap
The Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act became effective at a time when most non-profits already had their hands full with a variety of challenges, including declining endowment values and more stringent 990 reporting requirements.
3|7| 1| 05.04.2010 - State Single Audit Changes
In October 2009 the State of Connecticut passed bill number 7707, which amended the State Single Audit Act and is effective for fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. The amendments increase dollar thresholds that were established in 1995 and bring the state single audit methodology back in line with the federal single audit methodology.
3|7| 5|11| 03.02.2010 - Executive Compensation and Form 990
The Internal Revenue Service has significantly revised the Form 990 for 2008 with several goals in mind. The goals include promoting compliance through improved usability and additional reporting, and to enhance transparency and accountability by tax-exempt organizations.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4| 09.16.2009 - Ten Signals of Occupational Fraud - It Could Happen to You
We all think "it can't happen to us." Our business is safe and our controls are sound. Don't be fooled. Fraud is rampant and is increasing rapidly as recessionary pressures take hold of our economy.
9|8|7|5|4| 1|9| 04.18.2011 - Are You Getting the "Return" on Your Accounting Software Investment?
Purchasing accounting software can be similar to some of your personal expenditures, such as a house or a car. You need something that meets your needs, budget and functional requirements. You want reliability, performance and, above all, a sense of security. All too often software vendors have promised a great deal but delivered a lot less than the customer expected.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4|8|12| 01.15.2010 - Making it Easier to Wave the Red Flag if You Detect Identity Theft
As part of the Fair and Accurate Transactions (FACT) act of 2003, the "Red Flags Rule" requires financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program (ITPP) to identify possible identity theft that mitigates the potential damage caused by this crime.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6| 02.05.2010 - Managing the Business Risk of Fraudulent Activity
In the 2009 business world, the unfortunate reality is occupational fraud is everywhere, and it is costing businesses enormous amounts of money when it goes unchecked and undetected.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6|15| 03.05.2010 - Corporate Account Take Over – The Latest Cyber Crime
The alarm has been sounded; online crime was up by 600% in 2009. A large portion of that increase was in the area of electronic funds transfers placed through the Automated Clearing House ("ACH"). Late last year the Electronic Payment Association (NACHA) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (iC3) issued warnings about what has come to be known as Corporate Account Takeover. In a Corporate Account Takeover, a business finds that, virtually overnight, funds have been stripped.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 03.12.2010 - Healthcare Reform 101: New Responsibilities and Taxes for Employers and Individuals
Healthcare reform is now law, and many employers are asking how it affects my business and employees. The first thing to keep in mind is that reform is gradual. The healthcare reforms and tax provisions in the new healthcare reform package play out over time, with some taking effect this year or next year, but others not until 2014 and beyond.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 04.01.2010 - Cloud Based Services Are Here. Are You Ready?
Email, like the telephone, has become a standard form of communication that most people, especially in the business world, take for granted. In order to provide users with this "always on" capability, many large organizations have invested in a variety of technologies (clustering, SANs, etc.) that have cost tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, and continue to invest to keep software and hardware up-to-date.
3|2|1|9|7|6|5|4| 11| 04.15.2011 - IRS Issues 2011 Vehicle Depreciation Dollar Limits
The IRS has issued the limitations on depreciation deductions for owners of passenger automobiles, trucks and vans first "placed in service" (i.e. used) during the 2011 calendar year. The IRS also provided revised tables of depreciation limits for vehicles first placed in service (or first leased by a taxpayer) during 2010 and to which bonus depreciation applies.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 09.15.2010 - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way -- 5 Technology Trends to Consider
We can always avail ourselves of new technology solutions to tackle problems in new ways. Some are evolutionary, some are revolutionary and some are subversive. There are five technology trends that your organization can take the lead on, wait for a few first movers and then follow, or simply get out of the way and let the trend pass.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 10.05.2010 - How Do I Prepare For the New W-2 Reporting for Healthcare Coverage?
Over the next few years, employers will face a number of new compliance and reporting obligations, among others, as a result of the new healthcare reform package (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). On the horizon for employers is the requirement to report the value of health insurance coverage they provide to each employee on the employee's annual Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
1|2|3|5|6|7| 11| 11.02.2010 - IRS Defers Reporting of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Costs on Form W-2
Employers are eligible for a one-year deferral of mandatory reporting of the costs of employer-provided health insurance on an employee's Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. According to the IRS, many employers need more time to make the necessary changes to their payroll systems to ensure accurate reporting.
7| 11| 08.10.2010 - Massachusetts Law Changes That Will Impact Public Charities
On July 19, 2010, Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2010: An Act Further Regulating Public Charities, was signed by Governor Deval Patrick. This legislation amends several of the Massachusetts General Laws impacting public charities.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 03.01.2011 - Protecting Your Organization From Fraud
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations lose 5% of annual revenue to fraud. Frauds include Ponzi schemes, asset misappropriation, computer hacking and identify theft, just to name a few. Small- and mid-size businesses tend to be the most vulnerable because they generally have fewer controls in place to detect and deter fraud.
4|3|2|1|5|6|7|8|9| 1|8|12| 05.03.2011 - New Massachusetts Data Security Law Can Mean Harsh Penalties
A law passed in Massachusetts placed stringent new regulations on companies and organizations that are in possession of customers’ personal financial information. These data security measures also included harsh penalties for companies found not to be in full compliance by March 1, 2010, subjecting businesses who fail to adequately protect credit card, debit card, bank account or other financial information to potential fines of more than $100,000.
7|3| 1| 05.02.2011 - New Reporting Rules for Direct Recipients of Federal Awards and Contracts
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) and related 2008 amendments have imposed new federal reporting requirements on non-profit organizations that receive direct federal grants of $25,000 or more. Those federal grant recipients are now required to report information on associated "first tier" subgrants of $25,000 or more. The terms "subrecipient" or "delegate" agency are also commonly used to signify subgrants.
5|7| 1| 05.02.2011 - Changes to PCUREG-01 Application for Connecticut Charitable Organizations
Recently, the Department of Consumer Protection Public Charities Unit changed the application process for charitable organizations registering under the Connecticut Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act. Effective with charitable organization registrations due by March 31, 2011, an application to renew the registrations will be mailed directly to the organization prior to their registration expiring.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 05.16.2011 - Highlights of Tax Changes in the 2011-2013 CT Budget Bill
Governor Malloy signed the much-discussed Connecticut (CT) biennial budget bill, now known as Public Act 11-6, on May 4, 2011. The Act contains numerous tax changes. We are highlighting the changes that affect the broadest cross section of our clients, though there are additional changes not covered herein. In addition, there are other tax proposals in various phases of consideration. The success or failure of obtaining a cost-cutting agreement with state employees could affect the need for additional revenue to balance the budget. The legislature is in session until June 8, 2011 so more tax changes could still be enacted.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3|11| 06.16.2011 - New Form 8955-SSA: Ensuring Compliance
Pension plans have used Schedule SSA of Form 5500 to report participants who separate from service with deferred vested benefits. However, with the start of the mandated 5500 electronic filing requirement for annual reports with the 2009 plan year, that information could not be filed through the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. As a result, Schedule SSA has been eliminated.
2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.17.2011 - Changes to the Estate and Gift Tax
In an effort to reduce the state deficit, the governor signed the state budget which included changes to the estate and gift tax retroactive from January 1, 2011.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 06.17.2011 - Economic Recovery Remains Slow and Problematic in the State
The economic recovery is in its 24th month, but growth has been disappointing due to frequent obstacles, including surges in oil and commodity prices that have prevented steady improvement or noticeable acceleration. While some areas of the economy are strong, including exports and commodities, others, especially housing and general construction, seem stuck.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 07.12.2011 - Inflation-adjusted amounts released for 2012 Health Savings Accounts
The IRS has provided the inflation-adjusted amounts that will govern health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2012. Amounts are increased for changes in the cost-of-living adjustment. The amounts generally have increased from 2011.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 07.12.2011 - PCI Compliance – It's All In The Numbers
Whether it is 14 or 16 numerical digits in length, securing and protecting credit card numbers and all associated information is extremely important. In an age where electronic information can be shared from anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, people need to know more than ever that their credit card information is being protected. The consequences of this information falling into the wrong hands are simply too severe – identity theft.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.13.2011 - Details of Connecticut Sales and Use Tax Legislative Changes Emerging
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (“DRS”), was forced into fast action by the Connecticut legislature’s passage of significant sales and use tax changes which took effect on July 1, 2011. We very briefly outlined those changes in our newsletter of May 16, 2011. Since that time, DRS has provided some much needed guidance with respect to many of the changes. This newsletter will highlight some of those changes in more detail per the DRS guidelines. We are not trying to be all-inclusive.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.05.2011 - White House and Congressional Leaders Agree to Raise Debt Ceiling - Tax Provisions Under Consideration
White House and Congressional Leaders have agreed to raise debt ceiling - creating a joint committee on deficit reduction.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 08.05.2011 - Tax Breaks for Energy Saving Can Provide Stimulus for Homeowners and Businesses
Federal tax laws provide some potential good news across the board in terms of lowering energy costs, as a number of key energy savings incentives exist for homeowners and businesses alike. What follows is a brief overview of the key tax rules in this area and the potential savings that may occur.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.13.2011 - It’s Still Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! But most economists raise chances of a double dip.
The most critical factor determining Connecticut's prospects for real and sustained economic recovery is, simply, jobs! More jobs will cure many of our state's ills, from tepid consumer spending to a stalled housing market and the state's long-term fiscal health.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Year-end Planning: Take Advantage of Business Provisions That May Sunset for Good on December 31, 2011
Although it's only September, taxpayers are well-advised to consider how to make the most of tax breaks that are available this year but may not be around next year, or may survive only in diluted form. Given the wrenching political battle that played out in July over deficits and the debt ceiling, many tax provisions expiring at the end of this year may not be given another lease on life. Those provisions that aid a particular industry or group of taxpayers could be the most at risk. This article reviews the tax breaks for businesses that are available right now but may sunset on Dec. 31, 2011.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Highlights of Bonus Depreciation for Vehicles
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the 2010 Jobs Act) and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Relief Act) were very favorable to taxpayers placing assets, including vehicles, in service in 2010 through 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 09.13.2011 - Debt Forgiven? You Are Not Home-Free - Tax May Apply to Cancellation-of-Debt Income
Let’s say an individual owes money to a third party, relating to a loan for business or personal reasons. Due to extenuating circumstances, the lender agrees to a settlement of an amount less than what the borrower owes in principal and interest. So the full amount of debt is effectively wiped off the books. Case closed, right?
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 10.06.2011 - Health Care Tax Credit Could Mean Savings For Small Businesses
One area where we have been advising some of our small business clients to explore this year for potential savings is a new Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, made possible by the new federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
1|2|3|6|7|9| 11| 10.06.2011 - Personal Use of Employer-Provided Cell Phones Generally Non-taxable Under New Guidance
Close to one year after cell phones were removed from the "listed property" category of Code Sec. 280F , IRS has explained the practical consequences of the change. In sum, where an employer provides employees with cell phones primarily for noncompensatory business reasons, neither the business nor personal use of the phone results in income to the employee, and no recordkeeping of usage is required. And, in most instances, an employer's reimbursement to employees for their providing a cell phone for bona fide business use won't be taxable. The guidance applies for all tax years after Dec. 31, 2009.
3|7| 1| 10.12.2011 - Healthy Operating Reserves Are Essential For Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit organizations truly don’t differ much from for-profit businesses when it comes to building for the future – all businesses/organizations want to succeed and often are forced to endure major economic challenges.
3|7| 10.12.2011 - Hard Economic Times Don’t Have To Mean the End for Non-Profit Organizations
In difficult economic times such as these, non-profit organizations often feel the brunt of the struggle as much as businesses do, sometimes even worse. A struggling economy often means that people and businesses are able to give less in terms of philanthropic donations to charities, despite the worthiness of the cause. This is a reality all non-profit organizations must face, unfortunate as it may seem.
7|5|3| 1| 01.17.2012 - Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee: Changes Are Coming
The big news in the non-profit organization (NFP) world these days is the establishment by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) of a Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC). The NAC is charged with evaluating current non-profit accounting and financial reporting standards and proposing changes to the FASB.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 10.25.2011 - Re-Shaping Businesses To Eliminate Fraud Triangle
White collar criminals (or fraudsters) are not easily picked out from a crowd. They blend in seamlessly with society and do not look like criminals. They are likely educated, with no criminal record, and probably do not abuse drugs or alcohol.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.25.2011 - Ask the Expert: Minimizing Tax Burden in an Unusually High Income Year
I just sold my company. What can I do to minimize the tax bill that results from the event?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 10.25.2011 - Determination of Employer's Liability for Certain Employment Taxes — Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program
IRS detailed new program for employers to receive relief from payroll taxes otherwise owed for agreeing to prospectively treat workers as employees. To be eligible, employer must have filed Form 1099s for each worker for past 3 years, and not be currently under audit. In exchange for agreement to treat workers as employees, employer will be liable for 10% of liability due for most recent tax years, as determined under reduced rates of Code Sec. 3509; , but won't be liable for penalties and interest and won't be subject to audit for employment tax issues. Employer participating in program will agree to extend period of limitations on assessment of employment taxes for three years for first, second and third calendar years beginning after date on which employer has agreed under program to begin treating workers as employees. Those who are accepted into program will execute closing agreement with IRS and pay full amount due at same time.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 11.09.2011 - The Three Most Important Connecticut Economic Initiatives - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Following a special fall session of the Connecticut General Assembly, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed into law tax legislation as part of a broad economic stimulus package. Among the most significant tax legislation enacted was the creation of a new jobs tax credit and revisions to the recently enacted Manufacturing Reinvestment Account program.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 12.01.2011 - New Law Repeals 3% Government Withholding, Provides Hiring Credits for Veterans, and More
On November 21, President Obama signed into law the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act. The new law does much more than merely repeal withholding on government contractors. The new law enhances the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, expands the IRS' continuous levy authority, and more.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 3| 12.10.2014 - Retirement Plan Fund Revenue Equalization
Since the issuance of the fee disclosure regulations related to employee retirement plans, more transparency of fees and revenue-sharing agreements has resulted. This transparency has prompted a number of questions regarding the fees being paid, who they are being paid to and how revenue-sharing agreements play a role in the administration of the plan.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 01.06.2012 - Payroll Tax Cut Extension
At the eleventh hour, Congress approved a two-month extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut in the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. The two-month extension, for January and February 2012, is intended to give lawmakers additional time to negotiate a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 01.06.2012 - New Hire Retention Credit
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010 (HIRE Act) contained several provisions to give employers incentive to hire employees. One of the provisions authorized a credit of up to $1,000 for “retained workers”. This credit is called the New Hire Retention Credit.
3|5|7| 11| 01.17.2012 - Form 990 Filing Deadline Extended For Some Tax-Exempt Organizations
In December 2011, the IRS issued Notice 2012-4 which notified tax-exempt organizations that the IRS eFile system would not be available from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 for electronic filing of Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-PF and Form 1120-POL. For organizations with filing due dates (or first three-month extended due dates) during this period, these organizations have the following options:
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - The 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
On January 9, 2012, the IRS reopened the offshore voluntary disclosure program (the “2012 OVDP”) to give taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts a chance to become current on their taxes and reporting obligations while mitigating the risk of criminal prosecution.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 1| 02.02.2012 - Sweeping New IRS 'Repair Regulations' Impact Most Businesses
The IRS has released much-anticipated temporary and proposed regulations on the capitalization of costs incurred for tangible property. They impact how virtually any business writes off costs that repair, maintain, improve or replace any tangible property used in the business, from office furniture to roof repairs to photocopy maintenance and everything in between. They apply immediately, to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012.
2|1|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - Connecticut Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) Presentation Now Available
Connecticut businesses can be eligible for Connecticut tax credits of $500 per month for each new full‐time Connecticut job created. If the new employee is receiving vocational rehabilitative services from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, receiving unemployment benefits, or is a veteran then the tax credit is increased to $900 per month. These credits will be available for each new Connecticut employee hired between January 1, 2012 and prior to January 1, 2014 for a period of three years. Download our presentation to learn more about which taxes the credit may be applied against and how to apply.
4|2|1|9|5|6|7| 11| 02.22.2012 - Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension Through 2012
On February 17, Congress passed H.R. 3630, the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (the Act) and sent it to the President for his signature. The Act extends the 2-percentage-point payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, and also repeals a number of estimated tax shifts for large corporations. Here are highlights of the tax changes in this new law.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 02.24.2012 - Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
President Obama on February 22, 2012, signed into law a much-anticipated extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut through the end of 2012. After weeks of uncertainty over whether an agreement could be reached, the House passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 3630) by a vote of 293 to 132 on February 17, 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 03.12.2012 - Connecticut’s Economy Shows Improvement, Although Caution Signs Ahead
Connecticut’s economy showed steady signs of improvement in the last quarter, but there is still reason to be cautious.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.12.2012 - Payroll Tax Holiday Extended for All of 2012
On February 22, President Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The new law extends the employee-side payroll tax holiday, giving wage earners and self-employed individuals 12 months of reduced payroll taxes in 2012.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.12.2012 - Administration Unveils Framework for Business Tax Reform
A reduced corporate tax rate, elimination of many business tax preferences, a new minimum tax on overseas profits, and much more are all part of President Obama's recently released Framework for Business Tax Reform (the "Framework"). The much-anticipated blueprint of the administration's plans for corporate tax reform was unveiled on February 22, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 11| 03.30.2012 - Avoiding Taxes on Real Estate Transactions Through Like-Kind Exchanges
With most of the country experiencing a depressed real estate market, you may find it difficult to sell a business building or apartment building. To make matters worse, a sale could result in significant tax consequences for real estate property that has appreciated in value since it was acquired.
5|7| 1| 04.02.2012 - Post-Issuance Compliance Requirements for Tax-Exempt Bonds
Many tax-exempt organizations have raised money for capital and other improvements through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. This type of financing requires additional compliance and reporting. In recent correspondence from the IRS, issuers are being asked about their bonds as well as their internal policies to ensure post-issuance compliance.
3|5|7|4| 1| 04.02.2012 - The Federal Office of Management and Budget Proposes Changes to The Federal Single Audit and Related Circulars
The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new rules surrounding the federal single audit on February 28, 2012 in the Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 39. This represents the first efforts in many years to revamp the federal single audit process.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 04.27.2012 - Business Software Technology Alignment
In our last newsletter we introduced the concept of reviewing and assessing the alignment of your business software technology with your business strategy, processes and people. You might wonder how your business software could get out of alignment in the first place and what impact it could have on your business. It is important to understand how to recognize the symptoms and be able to make critical business decisions for your business when the time comes.
1|2|3|5|6|7| 05.09.2012 - 2011 Form 90-22.1 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)
The purpose of this alert is to remind you of the requirement to file the 2011 United States (U.S.) Treasury Department Form 90-22.1 for non-U.S. bank and financial accounts if the aggregate value of the financial account(s) exceeds $10,000 at any time during the year.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|9|12| 05.09.2012 - The Death of SAS70 - The Birth of SSAE16 Standards
In 1980 the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) implemented the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, commonly known as SAS No. 70, to review and evaluate the internal controls of a service organization. SAS No. 70 quickly became a standard for the user organizations to obtain assurance that their data was being protected and managed in a secure manner. At the same time, service organizations were using SAS No.70 as a way to show existing and potential customers that they were utilizing industry best practices.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.07.2012 - The Sales and Use Taxation of Software – Software Accessed from the Cloud
Since software was first invented, state tax authorities and taxpayers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to determine its sales and use taxation. With the introduction of the “Software as a Service” distribution model, the taxation of software has become increasingly complex. This article will provide an evolutionary background on software taxation, as well as sales and use taxation in relation to cloud computing.
1|2|4|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations Overview
On December 23, 2011, the IRS released the highly anticipated regulations regarding the deduction and capitalization of tangible asset costs in temporary and proposed form. The Temporary Regulations apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 or to amounts paid or incurred in tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012, as applicable and will affect every taxpayer that acquires, produces or improves tangible property.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations : Amounts Paid to Acquire or Produce Tangible Property
A taxpayer must capitalize amounts paid to acquire or produce a unit of real property or personal property, including leasehold improvement property, land and land improvements, buildings, machinery and equipment, and furniture and fixtures. Temporary Regulation 1.263(a)-2T provides guidance on whether to capitalize costs related to the acquisition or production of tangible property including a de mimimis rule. The rules under Temporary Regulation 1.162-3T also provide guidance for the treatment of materials and supplies and rotable and temporary spare parts.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations : Improvement to Tangible Property
The temporary regulations provide that generally a taxpayer must capitalize amounts paid to improve a unit of property owned by the taxpayer.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Unit of Property
In order to understand whether or not there has been an improvement to tangible property required to be capitalized under the temporary regulations, it is essential to understand the unit of property for that purpose. For example, if you replace the roof on your building, if the unit of property is the roof, then replacing it would clearly be a material improvement. If the unit of property is the building, then it might not be as clear to say that the building was improved by replacing the roof. Therefore, the temporary regulations define the unit of property rules for the purposes of section 263(a).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Asset Accounting and Dispositions
The temporary regulations allow taxpayers to account for MACRS property by either treating each asset as an account (a “single asset account” or “item account”) or combining two or more assets in a single account (as a “multiple asset account” or “pool”). A taxpayer must account for a MACRS asset using a single asset account when the asset is used both in a trade or business and in a personal activity, the asset is placed in service and disposed of during the same tax year, when the general asset account treatment terminates, if accounted for in a multiple asset account and is disposed of, or if a component of a larger assets and is disposed.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - Change in Accounting Method to Comply with the Tangible Property Regulations
The IRS released two Revenue Procedures, 2012-19 and 2012-20, in March 2012 to explain the procedures by which a taxpayer may obtain IRS's automatic consent to change to the accounting methods provided in recently issued temporary regulations under IRC Section 162 and 263.
1|2|6|7|9| 1|3| 06.21.2012 - New Disclosure Requirements for Benefit Plans
In an effort to increase fee transparency in benefit plans, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued two new regulations that require certain disclosures be provided to plan sponsors and plan participants. These disclosures are intended to provide both plan sponsors and plan participants with information regarding the fees charged in their retirement plans.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 11| 07.03.2012 - The Health Care Act Deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) made a historic decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). In a 5 to 4 decision, the nation's highest court upheld all of the tax provisions and health insurance reforms that were part of the overall health care reform legislation passed in 2010 except for a certain Medicaid provision involving state funding. Critical to the Court's approval of President Obama's signature health care law was its finding that the new law’s mandatory penalty for certain individuals who fail to obtain “minimum essential health insurance coverage” was constitutional based upon Congress' power to tax.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 12|15| 09.23.2015 - When BYOD is as Common as a Morning Coffee
As the practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work becomes as much of a business norm as a morning coffee, the question becomes how will companies remain secure as businesses — especially those that fall under compliancy rules (such as PCI and HIPAA) — which are still required to comply with regulations when allowing the BYOD model.
3|5|7| 11| 07.30.2012 - Tax Update: 2011 Form 990
The 2011 Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax, has been revised with several significant changes by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As we approach the 2011 Form 990 tax filing season for exempt organizations with fiscal year-ends ending in 2012, it is important to be aware of these modifications.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10| 08.10.2012 - Hiring Trends Update
The summer of 2012 has seen a marked increase in new job openings across different industries for accounting and finance professionals. We have recently seen a much higher demand for professionals on a permanent and temporary basis. We are recognizing that in addition to hiring a candidate directly, there has been a shift in the way companies are hiring. They are focusing on hiring on an as needed basis for project related work. This gives companies the ability to help alleviate the work load within their existing departments without having to add to their head count.
4|7| 9|12| 08.24.2012 - Is Your Accounting Software Making Your Finance Department “Stronger”?
Kelly Clarkson famously sang about her broken relationships “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” While finding the bright side of a love gone by is necessary to mend any broken heart, we have seen too many finance managers across New England convince themselves that there is a bright side to relying on inefficient monthly closing and reporting processes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.10.2012 - The 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
For over a decade, BlumShapiro and CBIA have partnered to produce the annual Survey of Connecticut Businesses, which explores the economic, fiscal, and regulatory climates for companies of all types and sizes throughout the state. This study takes the pulse of Connecticut’s business community and examines business leaders’ forecasts for conditions over the next 18 months. Findings help shape our government affairs agenda and set priorities for policymakers in order to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness and grow jobs.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.17.2012 - CBIA/BlumShapiro Release the 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
BlumShapiro and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) released their annual survey of Connecticut’s businesses on September 7. This year’s survey shows that while some progress is being made and profitability is up, Connecticut continues to struggle to grow in a post-recession economy, and the overall sentiment about Connecticut as a place to do business is still negative.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.15.2012 - Will Online Sales Tax Issues Finally Be Put to Rest?
For well over a decade, states have been grappling with the issue of collecting sales tax from online sales. Growing internet shopping has state tax commissioners scratching their heads trying to hatch ideas for getting in on those sales tax revenues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 10.16.2012 - Pay or Play—What Is It, What You Need to Know and Is There a Penalty in Your Future?
Among other things, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes new obligations on “large employers." These rules (outlined in Internal Revenue Code § 4980H) will increase reporting obligations for all affected employers and may increase costs for certain employers.
1|2|3|5|6|7|9| 1| 11.14.2012 - FASB Issues Guidance to Simplify Impairment Testing for Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets
On July 27, 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2012-02 to simplify impairment testing of indefinite-lived intangible assets other than goodwill. ASU 2012-02 applies to intangible assets that are not subject to amortization. Examples of intangible assets subject to the revised standard include indefinite-lived trademarks, licenses and distribution rights.
9|7|3| 1| 12.05.2014 - Update On Proposed Non-Profit Organization Financial Reporting Standards
We continue to monitor the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (the Board) project to-redesign the non-profit financial reporting model. The primary objectives are to improve the quality of financial reporting with an emphasis on improving the reporting of the nature of restrictions on an organization’s net assets, operating results and liquidity.
5|3|7| 12.04.2012 - Preventative Tax Planning for Tax-Exempt Organizations
In recent years, the IRS has increased the number of audits of tax-exempt organizations and the methods used to select an organization for audit. This is primarily the result of the new 990 as well as recent high-profile fraud cases and increased public scrutiny of such organizations. As such, it would be wise for all tax-exempt organizations to take a hard look at their operations, policies and activities to help prevent a costly outcome of an IRS examination. This article will focus on some of the high-risk audit areas, the factors used by the IRS in selecting tax-exempt organizations for audit, and will then provide some preventative steps that tax-exempt organizations can take to help minimize risks and ensure compliance with IRS requirements. Although this article is geared towards 501(c)(3) organizations, many of the concepts can be applied to all types of tax-exempt organizations.
4|3|2|1|9|7|6|5| 11| 01.14.2016 - It’s Tax Time Again and the IRS Sent Me a Personal Identification Number
If your 2014 tax return was rejected by the IRS because a return had already been filed, then you should have submitted Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Once you file Form 14039, the IRS will assign you a six digit Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP-PIN). You will need to use your assigned IP-PIN number for the subsequent year’s tax return.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|11| 10.22.2014 - Affordable Care Act Update: Employers Get First Look at Health Insurance Information Reporting
Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, several key requirements for employers have been delayed, including reporting of health coverage offered to employees, known as Code Sec. 6056 reporting. However, as 2015 nears, and the prospects of further delay appear unlikely, employers and the IRS are preparing for the filing of these new information returns. While the reporting requirement is not mandatory until 2015, employers must start planning now for how the required information will be acquired and reported, and by whom it will be reported.
7|5|3| 03.06.2013 - How to Foster an Effective Non-Profit Board of Directors
In today’s world, non-profit organizations are highly scrutinized and are struggling to survive. There are higher demands for services and diminishing resources. In order to face these challenges, it is more important than ever that the Board of Directors is effective and provides solid leadership. Executive management is in a position to help ensure the board is well prepared to lead the organization.
3|5|7| 11| 03.06.2013 - IRS Exempt Organization Division Publishes 2013 Workplan
The Exempt Organization division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued its 2013 Workplan. The purpose of the workplan is to provide an update on various ongoing projects that have been undertaken by the IRS with respect to exempt organizations, as well as new projects that the IRS will begin in 2013. Below is an overview of some of these key projects. As a reminder, all organizations should review their operations, policies and activities in order to minimize risk and ensure compliance with IRS requirements.
3|5|7| 03.06.2013 - Federal OMB Proposes Significant Changes to Federal Grantee and Audit Requirements
On February 28, 2012, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued an invitation to comment on a concepts document which outlined potential changes in federal grantee requirements and the federal single audit. The purpose of the changes is to streamline grantee and audit requirements while maintaining accountability. That proposal was covered in our spring 2012 newsletter.
3|5|7| 1| 03.12.2013 - Financial Reporting Update
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Not-for-profit Advisory Committee (NAC) is continuing to develop recommendations intended to improve the nonprofit financial reporting model. The NAC is reconsidering whether the current net asset classification scheme – unrestricted, temporarily restricted and permanently restricted, based on donor intent, is the most relevant and meaningful classification scheme.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.11.2013 - The Affordable Care Act: Very Soon, Businesses Need to Decide if They Are Going to “Play or Pay”
Come the start of next year, hundreds of businesses across Connecticut will have to have answered a critical question when it comes to healthcare – do they want to play or pay?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 6| 04.18.2013 - Calculating Damages of Early Stage Intellectual Property Infringement
As technology advances and its usage becomes even more widespread, intellectual property law and the related litigation becomes more relevant.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 05.17.2013 - Five Years Later, It’s Still About Jobs
What Connecticut needs most to achieve a real and sustained economic recovery is still, not surprisingly, more jobs. But we won’t get those jobs without both a housing recovery and a more confident business community.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11| 05.17.2013 - Is Tax Reform on the Horizon
There are several tax reform proposals being bantered about. All of the proposals have one common goal: reduce the federal government's approximate $16 trillion federal budget deficit. To reduce the budget deficit, many of the plans propose to cut spending and raise revenues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|8| 06.10.2013 - White paper: Your Finance Function - Where do you spend your time?
In our last white paper, we began with an adage that tends to hold true for most organizations: “the thinking that got you where you are may not be the thinking that propels you to the next level”. Your finance function will change, as change is an inevitable reality in a competitive business landscape. The pace is fast. As we know from experience, one day runs into the next and when a finance organization takes a breath, it may find itself with processes that are not as effective as they once were.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 07.02.2013 - Many Tax Planning Questions Arise After Supreme Court's DOMA Decision
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional (E.S. Windsor, SCt., June 26, 2013). Immediately after the decision, President Obama directed all federal agencies, including the IRS, to revise their regulations to reflect the Court's order. How the IRS will revise its tax regulations - and when - remains to be seen; but in the meantime, the Court's decision opens a number of planning tax opportunities for same-sex couples.
3|5|7| 4|5|8| 08.01.2013 - Performing a Risk Assessment for Non-Profit Organizations
There is quite a bit of buzz in the business world about internal controls. We all know you should have good internal control. You hear your accounting firm repeatedly refer to internal control, but it is sometimes a challenge to determine what good controls really are and how you get there.
3|5|7|9| 11| 08.01.2013 - IRS Focuses on Group Exemption
The IRS can recognize a group of organizations as tax exempt if they are affiliated with a central organization. This avoids the need for each of the organizations to individually apply for exemption. A group exemption letter has the same effect as an individual exemption letter except that it applies to more than one organization.
7|3|5| 07.11.2014 - FASB Progresses Toward Issuance of Exposure Draft to Redesign the Non-Profit Financial Reporting Model
As we have discussed in previous newsletters, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is working on a project to redesign the nonprofit financial reporting model in order to provide more useful, transparent and consistent information to financial statement users. The primary areas likely to be impacted by the changes include net asset classification, indicators of financial performance, expense reporting, the statement of cash flows and information about liquidity and required disclosures.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|2|4|6| 07.11.2017 - Financial Statement Red Flags
The last 15 years have produced some of the most notable financial statement frauds in U.S. History, including: Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth and AIG. The magnitude of the losses associated with recent accounting scandals continues to inform users of financial statements about the importance of recognizing financial reporting red flags. These red flags are often indicative of underlying operational or economic distress.
3|7| 11| 11.05.2013 - Now More than Ever, Charities Need to Show Accountability, Transparency
There is a general feeling of uneasiness surrounding the non-profit industry these days, as many are concerned that changes in tax policy at both the federal and state level could have an impact on how much and how often people and businesses continue to contribute.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.16.2013 - Two Things Your Employee Benefit Plan Cannot Live Without
It is not uncommon in the retirement plan marketplace for plan sponsors to place the responsibility of investment selection on the participants in the plan. However, the fiduciary responsibility remains with the plan sponsor, who is charged with oversight over the plan. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was designed to protect participants, not the plan administrator or the plan sponsor.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11.19.2013 - Give Yourself Credit For Hiring!
Employers considering hiring or who hire on a continuous basis should give themselves some credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) allows an employer a credit of $1,200 to $9,600 per employee hired from certain targeted groups. The credit is based on potential wages paid to these targeted new hires and the group in which they qualify.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12.17.2013 - 2013 – Flashback to 2000
This year has brought many changes to the tax landscape. The top rates have been increased and deductions are being phased out. Although we knew this was coming, reality has set in and it is time to deal with it. As we compare 2013 to 2012 it is very likely that if you are affected by the higher tax rates and phase-out of deductions, you could see a 15% to 20% increase in your tax bill. As 2013 comes to an end there are three numbers you should keep in mind.
3|5|7| 01.15.2014 - Update on The Non-Profit Financial Reporting Model
As you may recall from prior newsletters, the Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board is re-evaluating the non-profit financial reporting model. Their focus is on improving net asset classification requirements and information provided in the financial statements and footnotes about liquidity, financial performance and cash flows.
3|4|5|7| 01.16.2014 - OMB Issues Final Guidance Revising Grantee and Auditor Requirements
In prior newsletters we discussed the federal Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) proposals for revising grantee and auditor compliance requirements with regard to federal grants. The revisions were made for the purpose of streamlining requirements to promote efficient grant administration, although in the end there was less trimming of requirements and more of a consolidation of prior requirements into one document, which is still an improvement.
9|2|3|4|5|6|7| 1| 01.27.2014 - FASB Issues New Standards to Simplify Private Company Accounting for Goodwill and Interest Rate Swaps in Certain Instances
On January 16, 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Updates 2014-2 Intangibles – Goodwill and Other: Accounting for Goodwill (a consensus of the Private Company Council) and ASU 2014-3 Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps—Simplified Hedge Accounting Approach (a consensus of the Private Company Council). These new standards will allow private companies simplified alternatives to existing accounting principles for goodwill and certain receive-variable, pay-fixed interest rate swaps.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 3| 01.27.2014 - Errors in Employee Benefit Plans – What are Your Options?
No plan sponsor wants to find an error in their employee retirement plan, but mistakes happen and no plan is perfect. The key to avoiding severe penalties and tax qualification issues is to identify and correct mistakes in a timely manner. If plan sponsors roll the dice and hope for the best, corrections can get very expensive. Both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offer various correction programs to facilitate the correction of errors found in employee benefit plans.
9|7|3| 11| 12.08.2014 - Using Form 990 to Improve Non-Profit Board Governance
In a previous article entitled, "Using Your Form 990 for Organizational Improvements", we looked at ways in which an organization can use the form as a tool to improve its organization’s operations. In this installment we look specifically at how the Board of Directors should look at data included in Form 990 and use that as a guide to improve board governance.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10|13|12|11|14| 09.01.2017 - Tips to Prepare for the Employee Benefit Plan Year-End Audit
Many companies are in the process of gathering information for the year-end audit of their employee benefit plan. This article provides a checklist of review procedures the plan sponsor should complete in order to fulfill and provide support of compliance with some of their fiduciary duties. Completing these procedures will help your organization prepare for the employee benefit plan year-end audit, as well as provide strong fiduciary oversight. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a reminder of the more common areas which are often overlooked.
3|5|7| 1|7|11| 03.25.2014 - Best Practices for Developing Compensation for Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit compensation can often be a challenge for many organizations which want to recruit top leadership talent. They want the best and brightest to lead their organizations, but they also must stay within reasonable compensation ranges to avoid scrutiny and misuse of donors’ dollars. That is why the IRS asks questions on how compensation is set on their annual Form 990. An organization’s form 990 can be accessed by the public and includes questions on how compensation is determined, and discloses compensation for the organization’s highest paid employees. Therefore, it is critical that non-profit boards and executive committees understand the steps to take to determine fair and reasonable executive compensation.
3|5|7| 1|7| 03.25.2014 - Cultivating a Relationship Between the Finance and Development Offices
It is not uncommon for the relationship between the finance and development offices at non-profit organizations to be strained or non-existent. Yet this relationship is probably one of the most important within a non-profit organization, especially for those organizations that rely heavily on donations and grants. Poor communication between these two offices can result in the improper receiving and handling of contributions and, ultimately, lost funding and upset donors.
3|5|7| 1|7| 03.25.2014 - The New York Non-profit Revitalization Act of 2013
New York state laws governing non-profit organizations have been overhauled. The Non-profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the Act) includes substantial reforms that will reduce red tape while enhancing governance and oversight of non-profits. Under the new laws, non-profit organizations will now be able to incorporate, dissolve and merge more easily, communicate and hold meetings using modern technology and enter transactions without having to go to court.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|9|12| 05.19.2014 - Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Company?
With all of the hype surrounding the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing, business owners often ask whether it’s worth moving their financial applications to the cloud. You’ve probably wondered this yourself. The benefits of the cloud are real, but the risks can be, too. What’s important is that you look at the unique features of your company and determine whether the cloud is right for you. In contemplating a switch to cloud computing, one of your first steps should be to consider the potential benefits given your company’s work style, culture and location(s).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 05.19.2014 - Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciaries: What is Your Responsibility?
As a fiduciary of an employee retirement plan, it is important to understand your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the other fiduciaries of the plan. An understanding of these responsibilities can be obtained by reviewing various plan instruments, including the plan document and related adoption agreement, trust document, service agreements, collective bargaining agreements and internal policies and procedures manuals. This article provides a brief description of the key parties to a retirement plan (which are generally the fiduciaries of the plan) and their responsibilities.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 1|3| 06.17.2014 - Reducing or Suspending Safe Harbor Contributions Mid-Year
Beginning with plan years after 2014, under Treasury Regulation 9641, 401(k) safe harbor matching contributions may be reduced or suspended mid-year under the same circumstances that apply to safe harbor non-elective contributions.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 06.17.2014 - Revenue Recognition Changes… Are you Ready?
As the business climate continues to evolve and become more global, it has become increasingly important to ensure comparability of financial information reported by companies around the world. Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (the Update), was a result of a joint project between the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with the goals of clarifying the principles regarding revenue recognition and developing a common revenue standard for both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
3|5|9|7| 11| 07.16.2014 - Using Form 990 for Organizational Improvements
While many non-profit organizations may be exempt from income taxes, they are not exempt from the federal government’s recordkeeping requirements. Among those requirements are tracking revenues and expenses and reporting those items to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by way of Form 990. Most importantly failure to file a Form 990 for three years results in the automatic revocation of exempt status. Reinstatement can be costly, even under the expedited process implemented in 2014 by the IRS. For a small organization, reinstatement can take a substantial bite out of its bank balance.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.16.2014 - Connecticut Tax Legislation Highlights: 2014 Session
The recently concluded 2014 legislation session of the Connecticut General Assembly passed (with the governor’s approval) important broad-based tax measures which will impact individual and business taxpayers. Following is a brief explanation of the enacted legislation which will likely have the broadest impact in the areas of individual income taxation, sales and use taxation, property taxation and business entity taxation.
1|2|3|4|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 08.18.2014 - How to Safely “BYOD”
As technology advances and new mobile devices emerge daily, businesses need to continuously evolve their security strategies in order to protect their organizations.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 08.18.2014 - Pension Plan De-Risking Trending Upwards
Among the many trends seen in the pension plan arena over the past several years is the continued annuitization of defined benefit plans. Large and small companies continue to investigate strategies to lower their pension liabilities and shift the obligations from the sponsoring company to an insurance company.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 09.25.2014 - The Importance of Establishing a Record Retention Policy for Your Organization
As accountants and business consultants, we are often asked how long business records should be saved. Recordkeeping is important because it provides information to support decision-making by management and is generally required by legal retention requirements.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.18.2017 - Liquidation Basis Accounting Standards for Employee Benefit Plans
With interest rates on the rise, it has become more attractive to plan sponsors to terminate their legacy-defined benefit pension plans. When a plan sponsor decides to terminate an employee benefit plan, they must look to the liquidation basis of accounting requirements for proper presentation of their plan's financial statements.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.13.2015 - New Health Care Provisions Impact Tax Returns
Tax Day on April 15 is fast approaching, and both business and individual filers across the state should be busy preparing their returns in anticipation of the looming deadline. As this is done, filers need to be mindful of one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be signed into law in the past decade — the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare — and the tax implications that exist this year that need to be considered. These include new forms to be filed as well as penalties businesses and individuals face for failing to comply with the ACA.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4|8| 04.24.2015 - Fraud and Internal Controls
The most recent recession sharpened a trend already in place across the national economy – companies run leaner today than they did 5, 10 or 15 years ago. The financial difficulties many companies are experiencing have reinforced a movement spurred by technological advances. Mainly, there are fewer people in the workplace handling more responsibilities. Unfortunately for business owners and senior corporate executives, reduction of the workforce equates to fewer supervisors, thus less availability to oversee and audit operations. This condition is an invitation for employees to pilfer from a company -- either by walking off with inventory or inappropriately handling receipts.
5|7| 04.27.2015 - FASB Exposure Draft on Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting Issued
The long awaited exposure draft on non-profit financial reporting was issued on April 22, 2015. The exposure draft (ED), Not-for-Profit Entities and Healthcare Entities―Presentation of Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Entities has a comment due date of August 20, 2015. No effective date has been proposed in the exposure draft. The ED states that the effective date will be considered after receiving feedback.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|4|7| 05.15.2015 - Payroll Fraud – An Often Overlooked Risk and How to Address It
We often hear or read stories in the news about fraud occurring within businesses. Frequently, such businesses are victimized when an individual in a position of financial authority makes unauthorized withdrawals or disbursements from bank accounts, or misdirects cash deposits. In response to these risks, controls are often implemented to prevent and detect fraud relating to cash, but what is often overlooked is the potential for payroll fraud.
4|5|7| 1| 05.27.2015 - Grantee Implementation of Federal Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements
This article addresses how to implement UG from a grantee perspective and how to transition from the former requirements to UG.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.21.2015 - Tibble v. Edison: Lessons for 401(k)/403(b) Plan Sponsors
In 2007 a lawsuit was brought against the Edison International company sponsored 401(k) plan. The suit alleged that the plan sponsor and its fiduciaries failed to monitor the fees charged to the company retirement plan. There are five key outcomes from this case that plan sponsors and fiduciaries should pay close attention to. These lessons, outlined below, should be implemented by all sponsors of company retirement plans.
1|2|3|4|5|7|9| 1|4| 07.21.2015 - Ten Tips to Help Businesses Avoid Payroll-Related Fraud
Payroll is one of the largest, if not the largest, expense on a corporate income statement. Accordingly, companies should design, implement and maintain a system of controls over payroll in order to ensure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded. Payroll-related fraud is not industry specific and can be difficult to detect. It is also one of the most common.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 08.21.2015 - Penalty Relief for Form 5500-EZ Late Filings
In 2014, the IRS established a one-year pilot program that provided penalty relief for failure to timely file annual reports for one-participant retirement plans. The feedback from the pilot program was favorable, and it was suggested that a permanent penalty relief program be put in place. In June 2015, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2015-32, which establishes a permanent penalty relief program for filers of Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan.
6|5|4|3|2|1|9|7| 11| 02.04.2016 - How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?
One record retention guideline is often misconstrued; the retention guideline pertaining to tax returns and related documents. A common misconception is that the Internal Revenue Service can only audit tax returns related to the last three years.
3|5|7| 1| 11.13.2015 - Recovering Indirect Costs from Federal Grants Under Uniform Guidance
In this article, we’ll take a look at recovering indirect costs from federal grants under UG. One of the common issues our grant-driven clients face is ensuring they are recovering the maximum amount of indirect costs from their federal grants.
7|9| 12.03.2015 - State Registration Requirements for Fundraising
Most states require registration with the state agency before soliciting contributions. Solicitation of contributions generally includes any requests of the state’s residents by mail, phone, email, advertisement, etc. and is not dependent on whether contributions are actually collected.
7| 1| 12.16.2015 - FASB Reaches Tentative Decisions Concerning Its Exposure Draft on the Presentation of Financial Statements for Nonprofit Organizations
In December 2015 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) reached the following decisions regarding its proposal advocating changes in financial reporting for non-profit organizations:
5|3|7|9| 11| 02.09.2016 - IRS Audits on the Rise for Tax Exempt Organizations
Whether you are a board member, executive director, accounting manager or CFO of a non-profit organization, you should be aware that the Internal Revenue Service is increasing their audits of the Form 990.
9|7| 1| 04.14.2016 - Top 7 Responsibilities of Non-Profit Boards
Non-profit organizations in today’s business climate are expected to meet increasingly large demands while operating with small staffs and limited resources. In order to ensure sustainable success, non-profits must have in place effective, focused and committed leadership.
7| 04.29.2016 - What are the responsibilities of individual non-profit board members?
As members of non-profit organizations’ governing bodies, individual board members must adhere to the legal responsibilities of fiduciaries. As fiduciaries, non-profit board members have three specific legal duties:
8|9|4|7| 15|8|12| 05.06.2016 - Municipalities, Schools and Non-Profits Need To Protect Against Cyber Attacks
It has become an increasingly common occurrence to see data breaches at large multi-national corporations that have put consumer’s personal information at risk. In recent years businesses such as Anthem, Sony and Target have all been thrown into crisis thanks to hackers breaking into their systems, gaining access to protected information and causing widespread panic.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|15| 04.26.2016 - Ransomware - The New Pandemic
What is ransomware? How can you mitigate risk? What do you do if infected by ransomware? Learn about all of the above in this compelling and information packed article.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|12|15| 06.03.2016 - Are mobile phones your biggest weakness to cyber threats?
Our phones are no longer only for making calls, they’ve evolved into our hand-held personal computers. With this, comes the storing of sensitive data so it's easily available to us―emails, calendars, contact information, passwords, payment data, etc. While these features are great for the traveling or telecommuting employee, it’s also attractive to hackers.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 06.08.2016 - Employers Need to Prepare Now For New Federal Overtime Guidelines
Regulations released by the United States Department of Labor establishing new guidelines under which employees must be paid overtime will have a far-reaching impact on employers throughout Connecticut and the nation. Business leaders now must take the right steps to ensure they are in compliance with these new rules before they take effect in December.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 06.30.2016 - Cyber Security Facts and Trends Infographic
Learn more about the real costs of cyber attacks with our cybersecurity facts, trends and statistics infographic.
7|9| 1| 07.06.2016 - Setting Executive Compensation: How Much is Too Much?
A non-profit’s chief executive is often the heart, soul and public face of the organization. The chief executive is responsible for leading and coaching staff members; overseeing revenue-generating and fundraising activities; making final strategic decisions to ensure the organization’s mission is advanced; and countless other day-to-day tasks.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.12.2016 - Affordable Care Act Could Bring Additional Challenges for Employers in 2017
As hard as it may be to believe, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known to many as Obamacare) is now more than six years old. It was signed into law amid cheers and protests from competing sides, and in that time has survived dozens of efforts by Congress to repeal it. Through all of that it still exists and requires businesses with more than 50 people to provide health insurance for employees. While the results of the November election could have an impact on its long-term viability, it is safe to say that qualifying businesses would be wise to plan to continue adhering to the law into 2017.
3|5|7|9| 1| 08.22.2016 - FASB Issues Much Awaited Not-For-Profit Financial Reporting Standard
On August 18, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Entities, to improve financial reporting for nonprofit organizations.
4|7|8|9| 15| 08.24.2016 - Cyber Security Basics: 10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Computer Network from Viruses and Attacks
Hackers, viruses, worms, ransomware and spyware are only a few things that can do harm to your computer, network and in some cases your wallet. It can be scary to know how easily your identity can be stolen, simply by clicking a malicious link from an email. Although there are numerous ways in which a computer user can be attacked or exploited, there are also many ways you can protect yourself and your company from cyber threats.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 09.01.2016 - When Does Your Retirement Plan Need an Audit?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) establishes standards and rules governing employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension, other retirement and health and welfare plans), including independent audit requirements. Generally, all large non-governmental and non-church retirement plans are required to be audited by a qualified certified or licensed public accountant on an annual basis. ERISA also generally requires large funded health and welfare plans (normally indicated by the establishment of a trust to hold plan assets) to be audited on an annual basis.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 15| 09.07.2016 - 8 Lessons Learned from History's Biggest Cyber Attacks
Every day, over 4,000 cyber-attacks occur, nearly three attacks every minute. The sophistication and techniques used by hackers is growing and evolving constantly. Fortunately, we can use the lessons learned throughout the history of cyber-attacks to increase our knowledge and awareness, and in turn, better protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.
8|5|7|9| 15| 09.08.2016 - Securing Medical Records From Cyber Attacks is Imperative
Electronic medical records are an innovation that has greatly helped the overall medical industry, but with this improved access comes an urgent need to protect it. Learn more about HIPPA Compliance, Security Risk Analysis, Medical Record Security, and more.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 09.27.2016 - How to Select an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan
All employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension and other retirement and health and welfare plans) categorized as “large” plans for Form 5500 reporting purposes are required to have an annual audit performed by an independent auditor.
7| 1| 09.27.2016 - Navigating The Crowded Non-Profit Sector
Find out how organizations can set themselves apart to secure—and retain—donors.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.01.2016 - 401(k) and 403(b) Audit Checklist
It is important to prepare for your annual retirement plan audit to ensure a smooth audit and Form 5500 filing. This checklist is designed as a summary of the items that will typically be reviewed as part of the annual audit of your defined contribution plan (401(k), 403(b) and profit sharing plans). It is not meant to be all-inclusive, but covers the common items requested during an audit of a defined contribution plan.
7|9| 11.08.2016 - The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Group (“TE/GE”) Releases 2017 Work Plan
The work plan summarizes the IRS’s accomplishments for FY2016 and outlines its focus for FY2017. This article outlines the five strategic issue areas for FY2017.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 11.14.2016 - What are “excepted benefits” for purposes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum essential coverage?
The ACA created Code Sec. 5000A whereby individuals must now have minimum essential health insurance coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption or make an individual shared responsibility payment.
9|7| 1| 11.17.2016 - Implementation of ASU 2016-14 Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958), Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities
Now that the nonprofit reporting standard has been issued in its final form, it’s time to think about implementation.The update is effective for annual financial statements for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, which means calendar year 2018 and after. Earlier adoption is permitted. The provisions should be applied on a retrospective basis to all prior years presented.
7| 11| 11.23.2016 - Year-end planning: What can non-profits do now to prepare for 2017?
As a non-profit, you are likely in the middle of your annual appeal and evaluating how to raise funds for the coming year’s operational budget. While you’re closing the calendar year and finalizing the last of your annual contributions, make sure you are also keeping tax processes top of mind. In this article, I offer some tips and best practices to save you time and frustration during tax season.
7|9| 12.08.2016 - The Tax Exempt and Government Entities Group (TE/GE) Releases New Tax Procedures for Examinations of Tax-exempt Organizations - Part 1
This article provides the highlights of the IRS' Tax Exempt and Government Entities Group recently released procedures for tax-exempt organizations.
7| 12.15.2016 - Tax Exempt and Government Entities Group FY2017 Work Plan - Part 2
This article highlights a few additional areas of the IRS’s TE/GE FY2017 work plan that may be of interest to tax-exempt organizations.
8|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12| 12.01.2016 - Investing in Technology Helps Businesses Stay Ahead
Everywhere we look, both here in Connecticut and throughout the nation, the largest internal investment being made by businesses is in new technology. Find out how this investment in technology can lead to success for your organization.
3|2|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.26.2017 - Senate Unveils Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related taxes is now in the Senate following passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House this April. The Senate unveiled their discussion draft, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, on June 22, which contains many tax provision similarities to the House bill in efforts to repeal ACA taxes.
7|9|3|5| 1| 08.16.2017 - Top Trends for Managing Not-For-Profits
The world is moving quickly, and in order for non-profit organizations to survive and continue to do their good works, they need to be nimble and ahead of the curve.
7|9| 1| 08.21.2017 - Proposed CHARITY Act Legislation Aims to Encourage Charitable Giving
A bipartisan pair of United States senators serving on the Senate Finance Committee recently introduced a bill that may affect charitable organizations—and the individuals who donate to them.
9|7| 11| 10.16.2017 - Our Predictions for IRS Audit Queries
According to its FY 2018 Work Plan for Tax-Exempt and Government Entities, agency leaders are continuing to focus on making their processes more efficient and effective.
7|9| 11| 10.23.2017 - Best Practices for Your Tax-Risk Function
Tax-exempt organizations risk embarrassment and possibly sanctions if they make tax-related mistakes. In this article, we’ll attempt to answer a simple question: What can tax-exempt organizations preemptively do, right now, to protect themselves?
7|9| 11| 11.08.2017 - Donating Your Property to Charity
U.S. tax law allows individual taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions of up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income. That’s a major incentive to cut a check to your alma mater or favorite nonprofit organization but, before you do that, it’s important to think about your options. There are several tax strategies that could help you save money while doing a good deed.
 

Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs – BlumShapiro is one of the premier nonprofit Accounting firms in New England and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve associations, charities and trade organizations in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Cranston (RI), Shelton (CT), Quincy (MA)and Newton (MA) with audit, tax and business consulting services. We are members of the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, Connecticut Society of Association Executives and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.