Accounting Standards Update: Going Concern Disclosures

Traditionally under GAAP, financial statements are prepared using the going concern basis of accounting. This basis of accounting operates under the presumption that the reporting organization will continue to operate as a going concern (except in limited circumstances). Ultimately, this basis of accounting is critical to financial reporting because it establishes the fundamental basis for …

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Using current and quick ratios to help determine a company’s liquidity

There are many ratios that a company’s lenders use to gauge the strength of the company’s ability to pay its current bills as well as its long-term debts; and still have enough cash left in the bank to use for expanding the company’s operations. One concern of lenders, for example, is: How quickly can a …

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Expense Reimbursement Schemes – Are Your Employees Stealing from You?

Expense reimbursement schemes are extremely common in companies. Employers may underestimate the costs of this type of fraud. Perpetrators of these schemes range from administrative employees buying company supplies to highly compensated executives with million dollar travel budgets. One of my first assignments in the beginning of my career was to audit the expense reports …

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Fiduciary Duty Advice for 401(k) Plan Sponsors: The Small Things Matter

When 401(k) Plan Sponsors end up in trouble, it is often due to small things that were neglected or not given proper attention. Small mistakes can lead to big problems when it comes to the breaching of fiduciary duty. Below is a summary of mistakes made by Plan Sponsors that can lead to future problems …

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Establishing that Debt is Bona Fide Debt

Recently, there have been a number of cases disallowing bad debt deductions, particularly for loans to shareholders and related parties. If a related party loan becomes worthless, it is treated no differently from a debt to an unrelated party. Of course, this assumes the related party loan meets the bona fide debt standard. In order …

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Camaraderie or collusion: encourage one, but not both

Management teams across the nation are encouraging team building among staff to encourage and promote employee friendships and to boost morale. I commend these organizations for promoting a healthy work environment which provides a social support network at both a personal and a professional level. Positive employee morale can lead to reduced employee turnover, reduced …

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New Forms Simplify Streamlined Offshore Compliance Program

The IRS has made several recent changes to their offshore compliance programs in order to assist taxpayers who wish to come into compliance, as well as ease the resulting tax burden. These streamlined filing procedures are designed only for individual taxpayers and their estates, and are available to taxpayers residing inside or outside of the …

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The DOL Comes Down Hard on ESOP Trustee

On June 2, 2014 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reached a $5.25 million settlement with GreatBanc Trust Company (GreatBanc). It was alleged that GreatBanc, as trustee to the Sierra Aluminum Company Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), allowed the plan to purchase stock from Sierra Aluminum’s co-founders and top executives for more than fair market …

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How to Handle Forfeitures

As a plan sponsor, chances are that at some point throughout the course of business, the employee benefit plan that you manage has encountered plan forfeitures. Forfeitures typically result from the termination of service by an employee who was not fully vested in his or her employer contributions. The confusion related to forfeitures doesn’t revolve …

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Sale of Business – Personal Goodwill Considerations

Let’s say you have built a successful business and are now considering selling it. You have been approached by a company that wants to acquire the assets of the business as opposed to a stock acquisition. If the business is formed as a partnership, an LLC treated as a partnership, or an S corporation, no …

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