How to Implement “Step 0” of the New Goodwill Impairment Testing Standards

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued new guidance that is aimed to make goodwill impairment testing easier for companies, and this guidance is effective for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. How will the new standard impact my company?  The new standard modifies the previous …

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3 Ways to Prepare for Your Audit

As we step into a new year, it is time to begin preparations for your upcoming audit. Here are 3 ways to make the experience as smooth as possible. 1. Communicate – While communication is always important, it is especially crucial to establish expectations early with the auditors.  Oftentimes, the auditors will contact the client with …

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Questions to Ask When Selecting Auditors for Your Employee Benefit Plan

When an employee benefits plan such as a 401(k) plan reaches a certain size or qualifies under other requirements, the Department of Labor requires an audit to be performed. If you are selecting an audit firm for your employee benefits plan, you might consider asking the following questions: 1. How many employee benefit plan audits does …

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Special Opportunity for Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts

H.R.8, the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” provides a special opportunity for Charitable IRA Rollover Gifts in 2012 if they are made in January of 2013.  The new tax law which has been signed by the President extends the Charitable IRA Rollover through December 31, 2013. This means that Donors age 70 and ½ or older …

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How Can You Lose Tax Exempt Status? With EBT’s

Tax exempt entities can lose their tax exempt status with the IRS if they are involved in private inurement which applies to exemptions under 501c3, 4, 6 and 7.  It basically means that insiders can’t personally benefit in any way through the “use” of a tax exempt entity.  Funds can be received from a tax …

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“What You Should Know” – Guides for Local Government

Are you looking for an easy-to understand guide to various government financial statements to offer insight to new governmental financial reporting staff or to new council or Board members?  The GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board) “store” is currently offering several inexpensive comprehensive, yet readily understandable guides in the following areas: • Government Service Efforts and Accomplishments …

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The Fiscal Cliff Act – A Breakdown of Tax Provisions

After much back and forth negotiations the terms of a fiscal cliff resolution have finally been successfully negotiated. The major tax provisions are as follows: • The income tax rate increases to 39.6% (up from 35%) for individuals making more than $400,000 a year ($450,000 for joint filers; $425,000 for heads of household); • The two-percentage-point reduction …

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To Defer or not Defer, that is the GASB? A Look into GASB 63 and 65 – Part II

Last month our blog began a discussion regarding the changes to governmental financial statements based on GASB Statements 63 and 65.  This is the second part of that discussion. GASB Statement 65: GASB Statement 65 is going to be implemented for all governments with periods beginning after December 15, 2012.  This means most governments with …

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Income Taxes – A Long Road Traveled

As news comes in this morning of our almost leap over the fiscal cliff, you may ask, “How did we get here and has it always been this complicated?” Well, President Lincoln signed the first revenue-raising measure to help pay Civil War expenses in 1862.  The measure created a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the nation’s first …

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