• Reaching Across the Delaware on Cross-State Tax Matters

    The PICPA State Taxation Steering Committee and their colleagues at the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants came together to tighten their connections and agree to work collaboratively to resolve potential cross-state tax issues.
  • Improving the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

    When acting as an administrator to an employee benefit plan, or an auditor of such, it is almost inevitable that you will become aware of a plan failure. The IRS describes a failure as those plans that are intended to satisfy the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Sections 401(a), 403(a), 408(k), or 408(p), but have not met those requirements for a period of time. The Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System was established to permit plan sponsors to correct failures and continue to provide employees with retirement benefits on a tax-favored basis.
  • How the Pandemic Impacts Determining Economic Damages

    Financial experts have a challenge, now and into the future, of separating out the effects of the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 economic disaster when expressing an opinion about lost profits, lost earnings, or other related damages in litigation matters, insurance claims, and other applications requiring financial forecasting.
  • Due Diligence on the Flip Side: A Seller’s Tool Too

    When thinking about due diligence in a merger or acquisition context, we tend to think about it solely from the buyer’s perspective. Perhaps you have a picture in your head of a team of lawyers, CPAs, and other experts combing through financial records and legal documents, searching for potential liabilities or areas of risk that the buyer soon will be inheriting as their own. Depending on the size of the transaction, this process can take weeks, or even months. The seller often discovers the literal torment of “sleepless nights,” finding themselves in a period of limbo hoping that no major issues exist that could delay or terminate negotiations.
  • Interviewing Your Potential Employer Is a Must

    Recruiters and interviewers use check-lists to identify the skills and attributes of the ideal candidate. You should do likewise. What type of organization, team, culture, and situation comprise your ideal role? Then, craft interview questions of your own, customized to the circumstances and within the context of what you learn from your research.
  • The Importance of Soft Skills for CPAs

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “We’re a relationship business.” Certainly more times than I can count during the 20-plus years I’ve worked with CPA firms. It’s seemingly the one constant in an ever-changing profession. Recently, though, I wonder if we’ve actually devalued relationship building.
  • Long-Standing Client Relationships Pose Largest Professional Risk

    As the saying goes, “There is no friend like an old friend.” The same can be true in your professional life as long-standing client relationships are often the most satisfying. They reinforce what it means to truly be a professional, guiding and advising clients across the arc of their working lives and, ideally, seeing them achieve financial security and peace of mind.
  • GASB’s New Essentiality Criterion

    This column looks at the essentiality criterion and its development, from GASB Concept Statement No. 3, to the original exposure draft, and now the revised exposure draft.
  • Transparency, Accountability, and Governmental Ethics

    Those in governmental administration are entrusted with effectively managing and deploying taxpayer funds for the advancement of the communities in which they serve. Ethical practices are paramount to good governance, and ethics in government have never been more relevant than they are right now.
  • Alternative Apportionment Options of State Income

    Any discussion of state corporate income tax apportionment formulas should always include the topic of “alternative apportionment.” In this column, Jonathan Liss explains the concept of alternative apportionment and the purpose of this statutory relief mechanism.
  • Are Your Clients Prepared for a Wave of IRS Audits?

    Changes to the nation’s tax system are on the horizon, and one of the biggest impacts will likely be a reinvigorated, well-funded IRS. And a well-funded IRS certainly means an increase in IRS audits. Businesses and high-income individuals would be well-advised to get their houses in order ahead of a potential wave of aggressive IRS reviews of tax returns and the consequent audits.
  • Material Misstatements: Find Them Before They Find You

    For auditors, material misstatements are the enemy. If they sneak in without detection, we fail. Maybe they enter in by error, other times on purpose: it doesn’t matter. They often secret themselves in myriad places: receivables, equity, inventory, payables, investments, or a debt disclosure, just to name a few.
  • TCJA: Mining the Tax Benefits for Natural Resources Holders

    Pennsylvania has a vast wealth of natural resources: minerals, coal, stone, forests, and, of course, natural gas and petroleum. This abundance can result in an economic benefit for property owners as well as for those who develop, mine, and harvest such resources.
  • Revenue-Related Disclosures for Contractors

    Beginning in 2018, public engineering and construction companies must comply with extensive revenue-related disclosures required under ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Beginning in 2019 (years beginning after Dec. 15, 2018), nonpublic engineering and construction companies issuing GAAP-basis financial statements must also comply with expanded revenue-related disclosures. While the Financial Accounting Standards Board has provided all nonpublic companies with practical expedients that significantly reduce the quantity and detail of these new disclosures, the revenue-related disclosures for nonpublic companies will still present challenges.
  • IRS Modifies Guidance for Terminated S Corps Changing from Cash to Accrual Accounting

    In Revenue Procedure 2018-44, the IRS modified Revenue Procedure 2018-31 to add temporary rules for corporations changing from a cash to an accrual method of accounting in connection with revoking S corporation status.
  • The Pennsylvania Sales Factor Conundrum

    In Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations: Book V, he proposed that there are four elements necessary for a good tax system: fairness, certainty, ability to pay, and administrative simplicity. Certainty, which refers to a taxpayer knowing when, how, and what to pay, is paramount to a good tax system. The AICPA also cites certainty as a guiding principle in its Tax Policy Concept Statement No. 1, whereby “[t]he tax rules should clearly specify how the amount of payment is determined, when payment of the tax should occur, and how payment is made.”
  • Pros and Cons of Selling a Business to a Key Employee

    Entrepreneurs work hard to make their businesses succeed, and they often have a large percentage of their personal wealth embedded in those businesses. When they begin to contemplate retirement, it is important to maximize the net proceeds from the sale of their business to provide sufficient resources to support their retirement.
  • The New & Improved CPA Exam: A Look Inside the CPA Evolution Updates

    The CPA Evolution initiative, a joint project between the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA, was created to transform the CPA licensure model. It was undertaken to embrace the changing skills and competencies required of CPAs, today and into the future.
  • Story Time: CFOs Can Make Their Financial Tales Engaging with a Good MD&A Report

    Have you ever produced financial statements that you reported out at a monthly management meeting only to be met by blank stares on the faces of those without a financial background? It can be unsettling, but it can be overcome. To break through those blank stares, you have to tell the financial story of your organization in a meaningful way to those with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of financial knowledge.
  • Deep Work in a Distracted World

    I was living a professional life best described as 10 miles wide and a millimeter deep. I was “busy” all the time, but was I really accomplishing anything? What could I possibly create in the scattered half-hours between meetings, with only enough time to check the emails that I hadn’t already distracted myself with during those same meetings? That’s when I stumbled upon Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. I was drawn to the book’s title: “Deep Work.”
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