Journal Article
  • All Good Things…

    It is said that all good things must come to an end. This thought was foremost in my mind as I prepared my final column for the Pennsylvania CPA Journal. Forty-two years after I began my PICPA journey, including the last 10 years as your CEO and executive director, I look back with great satisfaction and gratitude that this opportunity was provided to me.
  • 2021-2022 Pennsylvania State Budget Breakdown

    With less political drama than typically accompanies the budget process, the Pennsylvania General Assembly approved on June 25 a $40.8 billion spending plan for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (FY) that began July 1. State lawmakers passed the budget with bipartisan support: 43-7 in the Senate and 140-61 in the House. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the budget bill – which does not include the tax changes he had proposed – on June 30.
  • Live the Succession Process

    Developing and cultivating the next generation of leaders and owners is a crucial part of any healthy CPA practice. While succession in CPA firms has received a lot of attention – even to the level of anxiety – for a very long time, not enough firms have figured it all out. In fact, according to the 2020 Rosenberg Survey, only a little more than half of the firms surveyed of all sizes had a written, approved succession plan in place. That percentage is far lower in smaller firms.
  • PFIC Status: Practical Considerations for a Potential Tax Trap

    If a U.S. person makes a minority investment internationally, a determination must be made as to whether or not the investment is considered a passive foreign investment company. Distributions from, and sales of, PFICs are taxed at ordinary income tax rates coupled with a complex anti-deferral interest charge. Many foreign mutual funds are PFICs, as are certain foreign stocks. There are many times, however, when a PFIC investment is made unknowingly and the tax consequences can be adverse. Certain elections should be considered that can lessen the tax implications, but it can be difficult obtaining the financial information necessary to determine whether or not the investment is a PFIC.
  • How Employees Spent Their Commute Time during COVID-19

    When COVID-19 hit, an expansion of telecommuting in the workforce was already a growing trend. According to the National Study of Employers, by 2016 more than 66% of employers already allowed employees to work some regular paid hours at home at least on an occasional basis, and 40% allowed such work on a regular basis. By spring 2020, work-from-home accounted for 52.3% of all employment, a significant increase from pre-COVID-19 statistics. Working from home freed 62.4 million hours per workday for all U.S. workers that had been consumed by commuting. The question is, how was that time spent and what purposes did it serve?
  • Mediation: A Better Solution than You May Have Thought

    Due to the impact of COVID-19 on the nuts and bolts administration of justice, there is a particularly troublesome backlog in the court system. Legislators at all levels and court watchdog groups are proposing methods to streamline the litigation process. One solution that may be gaining traction is the use of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation.
  • The Pandemic’s Impact on Business Insurance Coverage

    With the pandemic and its consequent economic turmoil, new challenges and questions arose for companies, including the power and limits of business insurance coverage. To explore the pandemic’s impact on insurance coverage, I spoke with Todd Rhoads, vice president and professional services practice group leader at EHD Insurance. I wanted to find out what he is seeing in the business insurance arena.
  • Unlock the Tax Benefits of a Legal Entity Review

    An organization’s legal entity structure should link its tax efficiency, business purpose, strategic direction, and operational effectiveness. An efficient structure creates value for its public or private owners, provides clarity for its employees, and reduces the overall cost structure. This is true whether an organization has two legal entities or a sprawling organizational chart.
  • IRS Private Letter Rulings during the Pandemic: One CPA’s Winding Adventure

    In four decades as a CPA, I have done some interesting things: preparing expatriate tax returns in South Korea and the Philippines, holding a uranium pellet during a nuclear fuel rod inventory, and making PICPA CPE presentations locally and statewide. But a private letter ruling request? Never. Well, I was about to check off one more item on my tax CPA bucket list.
  • Attest Flexibility: New Examination and Revised Review Engagements

    Reviews are generally identified in context of historical financial statements, either in accordance with the statements on auditing standards or statements on standards for accounting and review services. However, for those reviews that fall within the scope of the statements on standards for attestation engagements, there is a pathway to perform an attestation service on other than historical financial statements. There are three types of attestation engagements: agreed-upon procedures, examinations, and reviews.
  • PICPA’s New CEO Proud to Be a CPA

    I am incredibly excited to be writing my first Pennsylvania CPA Journal column as chief executive officer! But I may be even more excited to work each day on behalf of the profession I care so deeply about. I’m currently spending some time refining my vision for the PICPA, which is no simple task. The PICPA has been a vital support network to the profession for the past 125 years, and it’s my honor and privilege to help guide the PICPA into the future.
  • Independence Threats Hidden in Technology Services

    Do you provide information technology services for your attest clients? Or does the firm that performs your attest work also provide information technology services? Those services may now cause independence concerns.
  • Business Interruption Claims in a Knot after Pandemic

    This feature does not look at business interruption claims as a result of COVID, but rather how business interruption claims were analyzed and evaluated in the past and what impact COVID-19 has had on this process to date and going forward. The world is adjusting to a new normal, and how business interruption claims are evaluated is evolving as well.
  • An Office Environment Revolution: The Working World after COVID

    With more than nine months of availability of multiple COVID-19 vaccinations, many U.S. businesses have committed to reopening their offices in fall 2021. Firms have been preparing for a safe return to in-person work, but the pandemic undoubtedly changed the operational landscape. In addition to employee safety, firms must also manage the intricacies and implications of hybrid and remote work.
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