Phone scams remain on IRS’s Dirty Dozen List

I recently received a call from a lady identifying herself as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service. She said I owed a large sum of money to the IRS in back taxes and that if I did not pay up, I would find myself being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and …

Keep Reading

How to prepare a SEFA for a single audit

Single audits are designed to be a cost-effective way of determining whether federal grant money is being properly expended. It is up to the entity to establish and maintain a system of controls that will give reasonable assurance that the grant is being spent within the laws, regulations and specific conditions of the grant. If …

Keep Reading

Benford’s Law and the mysteries beneath the numbers

Accounting is centered on numbers. Every day accounting journal entries full of numbers are recorded, accumulating as each day passes. By year-end, the general ledger will contain hundreds of thousands of entries, if not millions. As we roll up our sleeves to perform the year-end close, we are tasked with making sense of it all …

Keep Reading

More than just taxes – what do accountants do?

Upon telling someone that I’m an accountant, the most common response I’ve received is, “Oh, so you do taxes?” I then explain that the only taxes I prepare are my own. There are several different areas of accounting and types of accountants, both internal and external. First, there are several types of internal accountants. An …

Keep Reading

401(k) Pre-tax or roth contribution: which is better?

When it comes to making decisions on your 401(k) contributions, there can be a lot of different factors that make it difficult to ensure you are making the right choices. One of those choices can be deciding whether to make pre-tax contributions into a traditional 401(k) or after-tax contributions to a Roth 401(k). Pre-tax contributions …

Keep Reading

Prepare your organization for new standards, smooth transitions

The Government Accounting Standards Board is always issuing new standards on a range of topics such as pensions, postemployment benefit plans, lease standards and more. With so many technically complex changes issued within a short time frame, it can be hard to keep up. Implementing changes can be a time-consuming process, especially for those with …

Keep Reading

Drafting and modifying your will – just leave it to the professionals

As a former probate attorney, I’ve seen some interesting things. One memory that sticks out is receiving a last will and testament with red splotches on it. I told myself it was from candy and that the deceased person must have had a sugar addiction like me. Nonetheless, I quickly scanned the original to my …

Keep Reading

California tax bill? Mailing in a check? Not so fast

So, it’s April 15 and you need to file an extension on your California tax return. No problem, you know there is a balance owed and you plan to send in a check for $25,000 to cover the estimated amount due. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, if you are in California, this may not be …

Keep Reading

What does forensic accounting mean anyway?

We hear the term forensic all the time, and it holds a special place in pop culture thanks to TV shows like the fictional CSI and the “real-life” Forensic Files. The news also inundates us with stories about legal proceedings involving forensic accountants, psychiatrists, pathologists, toxicologists and others. However, when pressed, most people don’t really …

Keep Reading

Functional expense allocation: what to include

As many of you may know, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new standard ASU 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements. One effect this standard has is that it creates consistency on how expenses are presented in the financial statements for all nonprofit organizations. Functional expenses can be disclosed in three different ways: 1. …

Keep Reading