• Means, Motive, Opportunity: It’s Always the Ones You Trust

    Dec 20, 2019
    Any closely held business that operates without adequate segregation of duties is exposed to the risk of embezzlement. This is hardly a revelation. In fact, it’s Bookkeeping 101. Yet, time and again, this vulnerability is exploited to devastating effect. There is an odd, overarching irony to it all.
  • Finance and Operating Leases under ASC Topic 842

    Dec 20, 2019
    A new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) leasing standard is finally available, and it likely will impact many companies in a wide array of industries. The major change in ASC Topic 842 is to put most leases, which reflect the right of the lessee to secure the asset in accordance with the underlying contract, on the lessee’s balance sheet instead of only in the footnote disclosures. This will affect corporate balance sheet and income statement ratios, the nature of corporate financing, and the leasing industry.
  • Understanding Pennsylvania’s Corporate Tax Add-Back Notice

    Dec 20, 2019
    On Feb. 19, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue issued Information Notice Corporation Taxes 2016-01. The notice provides guidance regarding the add-back provision enacted in July 2013. Effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2014, the add-back disallows certain Pennsylvania corporate net income tax deductions for transactions between affiliates involving intangible expenses and costs.
  • Integrating Higher-Order Thinking Skills in the Classroom

    Dec 20, 2019
    Higher-order thinking skills are essential for success in today’s workplace. According to a survey in The Wall Street Journal, more than half of college recruiters responded that a combination of critical thinking, problem-solving, and independent thinking were skills that college graduates needed to improve the most. The purpose of this column is to assist accounting educators in preparing students to succeed as accounting professionals by integrating higher-order thinking skills in the classroom.
  • Cloud Computing: Security and Risk Management

    Dec 20, 2019
    Peter J. Kaye, CPA, and Robert G. Korbeck Jr. explain how cloud computing technology can help many types of companies, but urge those who choose to take the leap to understand the implications of faulty risk management.
  • Why Not-for-Profits Need Both Audit and Finance Committees

    Dec 20, 2019
    When building a volunteer organization, optimizing volunteer resources and capitalizing on employee time are primary challenges. The common solution is to institute overarching committees of finance, nominating, programming, and fund-raising. Due to this committee consolidation, audit and financial reporting responsibilities are often added into the finance committee.
  • Beyond the Physical: Economic Nexus Developments

    Dec 20, 2019
    With the advent of economic nexus, out-of-state businesses may now be subject to a state’s taxing jurisdiction merely by selling a threshold amount of goods or services into a state, with or without a physical presence in that state.
  • Be Careful When Electing to Be a Campaign Treasurer

    Dec 20, 2019
    Every four years, when it is a presidential election year, the nation tends to focus more closely on politics. Of course elections take place every year, and these campaigns involve considerable amounts of money raised and spent by all levels of candidates seeking office.
  • AR-C Section 70: Are You Prepared to Prepare?

    Dec 20, 2019
    For years, clients have wanted to get quick and reasonably priced (read “inexpensive”) financial data at interim and year-end from their CPAs. CPAs may have wanted to deliver, but until Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review 21 and the new preparation service, this could not be done without an accountant’s compilation report.
  • The Power Behind Pennsylvania’s Uniformity Clause

    Dec 20, 2019
    The Tax Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution is central in the tax policy debates in the state. Gov. Tom Wolf’s desire to raise the personal income tax rate from a flat 3.07 percent to a graduated system has generated speculation that the state constitution would first need to be amended.
  • Week Ending Dec. 20, 2019

    Dec 20, 2019
    In this issue: Gov. Wolf Signs PICPA-Supported Tax Collection Law; Pennsylvania House Considers Criminal Justice Reform Measures; Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Introduce Auto-IRA Bill; and more.
  • Week Ending Dec. 13, 2019

    Dec 12, 2019
    In this issue: Gov. Wolf Signs PICPA-Supported Tax Collection Law; Pennsylvania House Considers Criminal Justice Reform Measures; Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Introduce Auto-IRA Bill; and more.
  • Keystone Opportunity Zones: Deep Tax Knowledge Can Offer Unique Benefits

    Dec 02, 2019
    The benefits and complexity of KOZs derive from the wide array of state and local taxes on which the program is based. Unlike other economic development and incentive programs based on singular activities such as job creation, capital investment, or geographic location, capitalizing on the benefits of the KOZ program requires an underlying knowledge of each of the taxes to which it applies.
  • Section 382(h) Proposed Regs Throw Taxpayers a Curveball

    Dec 02, 2019
    On Sept. 9, 2019, the U.S. Treasury and IRS issued proposed regulations under IRC Section 382(h) pertaining to the interaction between built-in gains or losses with Section 382 limitations. Treasury believes the proposed regulations will simplify the application of Section 382, provide needed clarification to taxpayers in determining built-in gains and losses, and address other issues relating to Section 382 that were created as a result of tax reform (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017). Taxpayers are not as optimistic about these recent developments, and for good reason.
  • Share More, Learn More, Grow the Profession

    Nov 25, 2019
    After more than 30 years, Maureen Renzi, vice president of communications and executive editor of this journal, retired this past October. Through the decades, Maureen worked diligently on your behalf to grow and protect the profession, create value and meaningful opportunities for our members, and enrich the lives of her colleagues. She has left an enduring mark on the PICPA and the CPA profession in Pennsylvania, and we wish her many more decades of happiness with her family and friends.
  • CPAs in Politics: Advocacy Allowed

    Nov 25, 2019
    More than ever, the polarization of America means CPAs need to be stronger advocates for positions that protect the public – one of the basic tenets of the CPA profession and a core value. This is where we must rely on our professional judgment.
  • Employee Benefit Plan Audits Get New Set of Rules

    Nov 25, 2019
    In July 2019, the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued AICPA Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA (new EBP SAS). This EBP SAS prescribes new performance requirements for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan financial statement audits and changes the form and content of the related auditor’s report to improve audit quality and enhance the communicative value and transparency of the report.
  • Generation Transfers: Five Questions to Ask Beforehand

    Nov 25, 2019
    For too many business owners or operators, succession planning takes a back seat to day-to-day operations and short-term goals. For family businesses, succession planning involves additional stresses, such as deciding which relatives will actively participate in the business, what their roles and responsibilities will be, and how much the owner will be compensated.
  • Risk Management Protocols: First Step against Cyberthreats

    Nov 25, 2019
    Wolters Kluwer, the provider of the CCH Tax Software suite of products, discovered an “anomaly” in the spring of 2019 that, upon further investigation, was determined to be malware infecting its systems. The company immediately took its systems off-line, and they remained so for over three days. Not only was access unavailable for most tax practitioners, many accountants began to ponder the question, “Do I have to do the data breach notification protocol mandated by my state?” Moreover, there was consternation in the profession concerning what this incident might mean for them in terms of liability exposure. The incident, as unhappy as it was, serves as a good learning moment to emphasize some risk management tools CPAs can use to protect themselves from liability exposures in the digital age.
  • Prevent Cyberattacks with These Five CPA Firm Controls

    Nov 25, 2019
    All CPA firms have something in common: we have access to a tremendous amount of sensitive client data. If we get compromised, that means some or all of our clients are compromised as well. That is a worst-case scenario for a CPA firm, and it can be tremendously detrimental to the relationships and trust that have been established over time.
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