• Legislation in Full Bloom in Harrisburg

    May 30, 2019
    With nearly 50 freshmen joining the 2019-2020 General Assembly in January and several new chairs taking the reins of key committees, legislation had been relatively slow moving through the process in the early part of the session in Harrisburg. Bills finally are starting to fill the calendars of both chambers, and PICPA’s government relations team and volunteer committees are busy at work reviewing dozens of proposals and providing technical assistance where necessary. At the same time, the PICPA is working to position several bills we are championing. Here’s a look at the status of PICPA’s legislative agenda.
  • Disposing of IRC 197 Intangibles: It’s All or Nothing

    May 30, 2019
    In a column published in last summer’s Pennsylvania CPA Journal, we discussed why we anticipated seeing more asset deals among mergers and acquisitions as a result of certain changes brought on by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This includes deemed asset purchases via an Internal Revenue Code Section 338(h)(10) election. Taxpayers would receive the benefit of getting a stepped-up basis in the assets acquired and resulting depreciation (including immediate expensing via bonus depreciation) and amortization deductions to follow.
  • Cybersecurity for Benefit Plan Sponsors and Auditors

    May 30, 2019
    Employee benefit plans are ripe with information that may be vulnerable to a data breach. Protecting plan information is often overlooked by plan sponsors when devising their cybersecurity strategies. However, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 404 requires benefit plan sponsors and other fiduciaries to administer plans with the “care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use.”
  • Cross Over the Missing Middle to Secure Succession Plan

    May 30, 2019
    In more than 30 years of working with privately owned businesses, I have too often seen what can only be described as an ongoing blind spot regarding succession planning and the requisite good governance that should underlie it. This is an odd outcome for a group of individuals who are generally committed to family, community, and building a legacy.
  • Retirement Readiness: An Employer’s Role

    May 30, 2019
    Retirement readiness was discussed in the spring 2019 Pennsylvania CPA Journal, but it focused on the employee’s responsibilities with regard to savings. Here, we look at a different angle. When it comes to retirement planning, employers also have an important role.
  • Best Practices for Successful Fee Collection

    May 30, 2019
    Ask any lawyer who routinely represents CPAs: “What is the No. 1 mistake CPAs make that gets them into trouble with their clients?” The answer almost invariably will be, “Suing clients for fees.”
  • It’s a Matter of Trust

    May 30, 2019
    CPAs are skeptical. We are trained to question everything and to look for any indication that something may not be right. According to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, this professional skepticism arises from a questioning mind and critical assessments. Our training, however, can sometimes affect workplace relationships.
  • Data Privacy in a Data-Driven World

    May 30, 2019
    Organizations must understand what kinds of personal data or other sensitive data are being collected, as well as how they are being managed and protected. With the introduction of data privacy laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Protection Act, organizations are being told to reduce the risk of misuse of personal data by collecting only the data required for business purposes and then deleting or anonymizing the data when it is no longer needed.
  • Philadelphia Alters Tax Positions Based on Federal Events

    May 30, 2019
    The City of Philadelphia has been busy formulating its tax positions in response to both the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. decision and Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This column summarizes the changes affecting the city’s Business Income and Receipts Tax and Net Profits Tax.
  • Guidance on Contributions Made and Contributions Received

    May 30, 2019
    On June 21, 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-08, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Clarifying the Scope and Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made. While the ASU applies to all types of organizations, it is most applicable to not-for-profit organizations.
  • Quality Mentoring Programs Don’t Just Happen, They Need to Be Assembled

    May 30, 2019
    Mentorship can mean many things to many people. Generally, mentoring programs can drive learning and development for both mentees and mentors, but they also can benefit the sponsoring organization through increased retention, promotion rates, and employee satisfaction. However, for a mentoring program to succeed, it is critical that the organization has the solid foundation of a learning culture.
  • Don’t Let Lax Reliance on Experts Blow Up into an Ethics Violation

    May 30, 2019
    The AICPA and PICPA codes of professional conduct set out guidance and rules to members of each organization as they carry out their professional responsibilities. They consist of principles, rules, and interpretations related to the performance of services.
  • Business Advisory Services Open New Opportunities for CPAs

    May 30, 2019
    CPA firms and the services they provide continue to evolve as the profession responds to a changing business environment. Many are expanding into business advisory services. This can provide great opportunities for growth if firms clearly grasp their professional independence requirements.
  • ASC 842 Lease Accounting: If You’re Not Ready, It Could Hit You Like a Ton of Bricks

    May 30, 2019
    When the very first IKEA store came to the United States in 1985, there were signs and billboards two years beforehand declaring, “IKEA is coming!” I lived in Plymouth Meeting where it was built, saw the signs, and heard the news. Still, I had no idea what this store was about, let alone whether it would catch on. In my professional life, the new lease accounting standards exposure draft was issued in 2010, and we have long endured the “New lease accounting is coming!” promotions. Finally, it is here: Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 842 is in effect for 2019 for public companies and 2020 for nonpublic companies.
  • Do I pay capital gains taxes on the sale of funds in the same quarter that I sold them?

    May 24, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether one pays capital gains taxes on the sale of funds in the same quarter they were sold.
  • For nonprofits, can approved budget categories be considered an authorization for expenditure?

    May 24, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether approved budget categories for nonprofits can be considered an authorization for expenditure.
  • Will I be able to file Pennsylvania taxes with a New Jersey driver’s license?

    May 24, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether one can file Pennsylvania taxes with a New Jersey driver's license.
  • Would I report the sale of trading cards I’ve been collecting as income, even if the sale resulted in a net loss?

    May 22, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether someone who has sold trading cards would report the sale as income, even if the sale resulted in a net loss.
  • How many years of tax filing paperwork do I need to keep?

    May 22, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on how many years of tax filing paperwork one would need to keep.
  • If a payroll company didn’t pay me my entire salary for 2018, can I get a corrected W-2 and file my taxes without a penalty?

    May 22, 2019
    Answer from the free Ask a CPA service on whether an employee can get a corrected W-2 and file taxes without a penalty if a payroll company did not pay them their entire salary for 2018.
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