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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Employer match options for your 401(k) plan

Receiving an employer match for your 401(k) is a great perk and encourages employees to participate in the 401(k) programs available. There are several different types and they can differ in timing, amount, restrictions and how they are calculated. Safe Harbor match Safe Harbor is a type of match in which employees are immediately 100% …

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Functional expenses 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. …

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How to increase your focus at work

In the accounting profession, work can get busy. So much so, that many of us have probably caught ourselves saying, “I was so busy at work today, but feel like I got nothing done.” In general, one minute of focused time equals four and a half minutes of unfocused time, and while people can switch …

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Revenue recognition: costs of obtaining contracts

By now most of us are experiencing information overload on the new revenue recognition standard and are contemplating to jump ship before the standard comes into effect. The Accounting Standard Codification introduces Topic 606 (too close to triple-six if you ask me), Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and it is effective to all nonpublic companies …

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How to locate your old 401(k)

If you have contributed to a 401(k) at a former employer or think that you may have done so, you probably want to find your account. Maybe you switched jobs or moved and lost track of your funds. Not to worry. Your money is protected and should still be out there. Here are several steps …

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Asset allocation: the basics for investors

The investing landscape has changed dramatically over the years. Rather than calling a stockbroker to place an order, most investors now login to their e-broker to place an order. Instead of investing in expensively managed funds, many investors now choose to invest in passively managed exchange-trade funds (ETFs). A broader range of securities is available …

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