September 14, 2017

End of the Year Tax Planning: 5 Last Minute Ideas

By Kristen Coyner, MSA   Your April 18, 2016 tax bill is still the stuff of nightmares. It was a good year, but that check to the Treasury Department really dampened your outlook about it. This year is looking good too, but even with estimated tax payments, it looks like the 2017 tax return isn’t going to be much better. Is it too late to mitigate the damage? Even though the leaves are turning and there’s a chill in the […]
August 31, 2017

Do You Really Need a Tax Accountant?

These days, anyone with an internet connection and a QWERTY keyboard can file their own income taxes. The number of online providers offering low cost, simple tax preparation is astounding. And for many of us, those services are perfectly adequate and a wise cost-saving measure. However, sometimes taxpayers find themselves in a situation where they need to call on a professional to do the heavy lifting. When this happens, some might turn to same day tax preparation from one of […]
February 8, 2017

Health Care Information Forms for 2016

The IRS has posted the following information about forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C: Because of the health care law, you might receive some new forms this winter providing you with information about the health coverage you had or were offered in 2015.  The information below is intended to help individuals understand these new forms, including who should expect to receive them and what to do with them. The Basics 1. Will I receive any new health care tax forms in […]
February 8, 2017

Document Retention-What should you really keep?

As you prepare your current tax paperwork, it’s an opportunity to go through the piles of paper and files you’ve saved for years. Here’s some guidelines on what to keep. To start, we advise you to keep originals of all legal documents, loan satisfactions, and notarized documents indefinitely. Most of the rest can be scanned and saved digitally. Income Tax Returns: Keep all federal and state income tax returns and the supporting documents for at least three years. If your […]
February 8, 2017

What is an Enrolled Agent?

Most people have heard about Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs. But there is another designation of highly specialized tax expert that the IRS authorizes: The Enrolled Agent. Enrolled Agents, or EAs, are licensed by the federal government to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons to represent citizens in their dealings with the United States Treasury Department. EAs are tax […]
December 15, 2016

Information Technology: Four Best Practices for Your Organization

Do you think your organization is too small to worry about information security? Not so. According to a 2015 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. To protect yourself against invaders and hardware failures, consider implementing the following four best practices: 1. Keep your employees passwords confidential by using an administrator password. Do your employees share passwords? Do you keep a list of all of the passwords used by your employees in a little binder […]
November 15, 2016

Three Ways to Implement Segregation of Duties in Your Organization Now

For those interested in keeping material errors and fraud out of their organization (and who isn’t), it’s important to embrace segregation of duties. Segregation of Duties (SOD) is a fancy term for a simple idea: having more than one person required to complete a task. The reason to do this is also simple: no employee should be in a position to both perpetrate a fraud and to conceal it. SOD also helps by bringing another set of eyes to a […]
October 14, 2016

Is it Really an Audit That I Need? What are the Other Options?

Although the word “auditor” has “audit” within it, audits are not the only services that we provide. In fact, depending upon your needs and your organization’s regulatory requirements, an audit might be overkill. So what are your other choices? First, you will need to decide if the users of your financial statements need the auditor to provide some assurance regarding their overall accuracy. Depending upon your answer, you will most likely choose from the following services: Compilation with Disclosures Financial […]
September 15, 2016

What Does an Auditor Do Besides Ask a Bunch of Questions? An Audit Explained…

In going about our business, we auditors will often throw around the term “audit” like the whole world knows what we’re talking about. For those of you too polite to ask, let’s talk about what we do in an audit. At heart, an audit is an examination. As independent auditors, we are engaged to examine your financial statements, the processes that you use to input your financial data, and the safeguards you have put in place to prevent and detect […]
August 8, 2016

What is GAAP? It Sounds Like a Hazard on the Sidewalk…

What was your company’s net profit last year? It seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? In fact, we should add a joke here about it being harder to earn the profit than it is to measure it. The surprising truth is that your company’s profit is a subjective question. Not only does the amount earned last year depend upon how it is measured, the method chosen to measure it may make the difference between a net profit and a […]