• Accounting Automation: A Threat to CPAs or an Opportunity?

    Jun 04, 2021
    For years, business pundits have predicted the demise of the accounting profession as technology replaces work traditionally performed by the industry. According to The Hackett Group, since 2004 the median number of full-time employees in the finance department at large companies has declined 40 percent, to about 71 people for every $1 billion of revenue.
  • New Depreciation Rules Affect Mergers and Acquisitions

    Jun 04, 2021
    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modifies rules related to depreciating tangible property, net operating losses (NOLs), interest expense limitations, and the taxation of foreign income. One area that remains mostly untouched are the rules related to taxable and nontaxable reorganizations, spin-offs, incorporations, and liquidations.
  • Week Ending June 4, 2021

    Jun 04, 2021
    In this issue: Pennsylvania Budget Deadline Looming; Pa. Revenue Collections Post Strong May; Pa. Local Governments Urged to Request Pandemic Funding Now; and more.
  • Week Ending May 28, 2021

    May 28, 2021
    In this issue: Pa. Estimated Payments, Tax Credit Bills Advance; Pennsylvania Lawmakers Wrap Up a Busy May; IFO Releases Pa. Revenue Estimate; and more.
  • 2021-2022 PICPA President Finds Opportunities Among Challenges

    May 27, 2021
    I am the biggest fan, cheerleader, and promoter of the accounting profession, which is why I am so delighted to represent PICPA’s 20,000 members. I am extremely honored and proud to serve as PICPA president for the 2021-2022 year. Though my presidency will kick off remotely, I hope to meet many of you face-to-face at some point during the year.
  • PICPA Springs into Action in New Legislative Session

    May 27, 2021
    Ordinarily, the Pennsylvania General Assembly can be slow and methodical. Moving policy options through 203 members of the Pennsylvania House, 50 members of the Senate, plus staff is fraught with significant administrative and logistical hurdles. Add a pandemic to the equation, and the process takes on a new level of complication. However, the pace of activity in the first quarter of 2021 was more of a whirlwind for the PICPA government relations team.
  • Five Valuation Questions When Planning Your Succession

    May 27, 2021
    Valuation is critical when preparing for a business transition, whether it’s an acquisition by an outside party or a transfer of ownership to a family member or key employee. Valuation is a broad and subjective concept, and critical factors can be interpreted differently. This can lead to a disparity in valuation opinions. As such, it is important to start the valuation process with a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts.
  • Tax Uncertainty Causing M&A Disruption

    May 27, 2021
    After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020, and several new regulations, we once again find ourselves on the path of tax reconfiguration arising from President Joe Biden’s agenda. Biden’s tax plans, as they currently stand, are quite comprehensive, with several new provisions to go with the reversal or undoing of the tax code adjustments enacted a few short years ago.
  • Independence Considerations and COVID-19

    May 27, 2021
    COVID-19 has been full of challenges, but it has also created opportunities for CPA firms to provide new professional services. According to a recent poll, 55% of accounting firms created new services as a result of the pandemic. Some nonattest offerings include advisory services related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, cybersecurity consulting, cash flow management advisory, business continuity, bankruptcy or restructuring consulting, assistance with insurance claims, and tax strategy consulting.
  • The Geometry of Fraud and Improving Risk Management

    May 27, 2021
    Financial and occupational fraud is a serious problem in the United States, resulting in nearly $2 billion in losses every year. With the onset of COVID-19, this problem has only been exacerbated because it created additional opportunities for fraudsters.
  • Ping-Pong Planning

    May 27, 2021
    Tax planning these days feels like playing ping-pong. Last year at this time, I wrote an article on the changes related to required minimum distributions under the December 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act and the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Other changes will come when the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expires in 2025 and tax law reverts to previous rates.
  • SSAE 19 Offers Agreed-Upon Procedure Efficiencies for Governments

    May 26, 2021
    The AICPA’s Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement (SSAE) No. 19, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, applies to reports dated on or after July 15, 2021. SSAE 19 provides flexibility to a practitioner’s ability to perform agreed-upon procedures engagements by removing the requirement that the practitioner request a written assertion from the responsible party.
  • CPAs and Automation in SOC 2 and IT Audits

    May 26, 2021
    The traditional way of doing information technology (IT) and SOC 2 audits is going away, and it’s happening really fast. Automation is here, and it’s having an impact. But that doesn’t mean CPA firms cannot adapt and enhance their practices, deliverables, and value. Embracing automation, and the tools that facilitate it, are the key.
  • Ensuring Equal Entrance into the CPA Profession

    May 26, 2021
    The rigor of the Uniform CPA Examination is a considerable hurdle for those pursuing a career in accounting. For a subset of candidates, though, it is the testing environment itself that poses the greatest challenge. For those candidates, accommodations based on a proven need can be provided.
  • Managing the Risks of Remote Accounting Work

    May 26, 2021
    When managing a virtual workforce, building a remote-work policy is crucial. This document must spell out the objectives of virtual work teams and define which employees are eligible and the conditions under which they should work.
  • Sustainability Reporting Gaining Traction

    May 26, 2021
    Sustainability reporting, or social accountability as it is sometimes called, is receiving increased attention. It has been defined as encouraging companies to go beyond their legal responsibilities to invest in and improve their human capital, physical environment, and relations with diverse stakeholders. In this column, we look at the importance of social accountability in the minds of corporate leaders, review the research that investigates the performance of companies that embrace sustainability reporting, and discuss disclosure frameworks.
  • Where Are We with Client Noncompliance Issues?

    May 26, 2021
    Noncompliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) pertains to suspected or identified noncompliance, including fraud, by CPAs. How this knowledge or suspicion impacts a current or successor CPA firm within the constraints of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct confidentiality guidance of ET 1.700, as well as a range of nuanced state laws and regulation pertaining to client/employer confidentiality, has been at the core of the profession’s years-long wrestling with NOCLAR issues.
  • Managing a Whistleblower Investigation

    May 26, 2021
    Whistleblower investigations come in all shapes and sizes, and they occur irrespective of the quality of a company’s compliance program or internal controls. In this feature, I will examine investigations from the assumed point of view that the whistleblower is a company employee or third party alleging a potential violation of company policy through an established internal whistleblower process.
  • Text Analytics and the Accounting Profession

    May 26, 2021
    Text analytics, also referred to as text mining or textual analysis, consists of data mining techniques and software programs that analyze and extract insights from unstructured textual data, such as PDF documents, HTML pages, emails, and social media posts. These techniques have been generally used in academia, library services, artificial intelligence (AI) research, and marketing.
  • For Nonprofits, State and Local Tax Exemption May Soon Be a Tough Entry

    May 26, 2021
    Of the many factors that go into a nonprofit achieving its mission, one of the most important assets sometimes goes overlooked: tax exemption. The benefit provided at the federal, state, and local levels frees essential funds to support operations that otherwise would be paid out in taxes. This can often be the difference between success or failure.
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