How Safe and Sound is Your Information?

In today's day and age it seems like there are more and more reports of personal information being compromised.  More and more often people's financial information is finding its way into the hands of criminals.  As we move past last week's National Security Awareness Week, we must continue to be diligent in making sure our information is safe just as much as we work to care for our personal safety. Please consider these steps to protect yourself from identity thieves: Keep Your Computer and Mobile Phone Secure • Use security software and make sure it updates automatically; essential tools include:

Year-End Tax Reminders

Need a last minute gift for the hard to shop for person......how about some year-end tax tip reminders! Manage your Capital Gains and Losses - Talk to your broker/investment adviser to get an estimate of gains and losses, including projected taxable Review any potential sales before year end to take advantage of the capital gains o Review any potential stock option plans. Year-end Charitable Contributions - Donations prior to year-end can help reduce o Donor-advised funds may be a great alternative. Planning for 2020 donations using retirement accounts starts Retirement Planning - 401(k) limits are $19,000 per year for 2019

Wisconsin Sales & Use Taxes – Are You Ready for 2020?

As we near the end of 2019 and 2020 rapidly approaches, we find our Accounting Services Department busy getting ready for the changes ahead.  The end of the year means finalizing payroll reports and sales tax filings along with year-end bookkeeping and numerous other work for our accounting services clients.  But, it also means bringing our clients up to speed on the changes for the year to come.  For 2020, one such change is in the area of Wisconsin Sales Taxes. For what seems like an eternity, Wisconsin has had various additional city/local/additional taxes above and beyond our base 5%

Counting your employees for ACA compliance purposes

  It seems like a simple question: How many full-time workers does your organization employ? But, when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the calculation can be complicated — and the answer is important. Potential penalty The number of workers you employ determines whether your organization is an applicable large employer (ALE). If you’re an ALE, your organization may be subject to a penalty tax for either: Failing to offer minimum essential health care coverage to all full-time employees (and their dependents), or Offering eligible employer-sponsored coverage that isn’t “affordable” or doesn’t offer “minimum value.” The penalty tax

Management letters: Have you implemented any changes?

  Audited financial statements come with a special bonus: a “management letter” that recommends ways to improve your business. That’s free advice from financial pros who’ve seen hundreds of businesses at their best (and worst) and who know which strategies work (and which don’t). If you haven’t already implemented changes based on last year’s management letter, there’s no time like the present to improve your business operations. Reporting deficiencies Auditing standards require auditors to communicate in writing about “material weaknesses or significant deficiencies” that are discovered during audit fieldwork. The AICPA defines material weakness as “a deficiency, or combination of

Employers can truncate SSNs on employees’ W-2s

  The IRS recently issued final regulations that permit employers to voluntarily truncate employee Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on copies of Forms W-2 furnished to employees. The purpose of the regs is to aid employers’ efforts in protecting workers from identity theft. Proposals and comments On September 20, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regs on the truncation concept. A truncated taxpayer identification number (TTIN) displays only the last four digits of a taxpayer identifying number and uses asterisks or “Xs” for the first five digits. Seventeen comments were submitted on the notice of proposed rulemaking and many recommended adopting the

Auditing grant compliance

  Has your organization received any public or private grants to fund its growth? Grants sometimes require an independent audit by a qualified accounting firm. Here’s what grant recipients should know to help facilitate matters and ensure compliance at all levels. Federal compliance Federal awards require compliance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (also known as 2 CFR Part 200). This guidance requires any entity that expends $750,000 or more of federal assistance received for its operations to undergo a “single audit,” which is a rigorous, organizationwide examination. To provide grant recipients with

Should you revise your nonprofit’s bylaws?

  Your not-for-profit has likely grown and evolved since it was founded. Have your bylaws kept pace? Bylaws are the rules and principles that define your organization — and, if you haven’t revisited them recently, they may not be as effective as they could be. Rules and procedures Typically, bylaws cover such topics as the broad charitable purpose of an organization. They also include rules about the size and function of the board; election terms and duties of directors and officers; and basic guidelines for voting, holding meetings, electing directors and appointing officers. Without being too specific, your bylaws should

AUP engagements: A middle ground between audits and consulting services

  Your CPA offers a wide menu of services. An audit is a familiar type of attestation service that provides a formal opinion about whether the company’s financial statements conform to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Consulting services, in contrast, provide advice or technical assistance that’s only for internal purposes. That is, lenders and other third parties can’t rely on the findings, conclusions and recommendations presented during a consulting project. If you need a report that falls somewhere between these alternatives, consider an agreed upon procedures (AUP) engagement. Scope An AUP engagement uses procedures similar to an audit, but

Have the States Gone Too Far?

  As the Wayfair decision begins to settle in and more and more States write regulations to follow with what items they feel are subject to sales tax in there state for out-of-state sellers, it appears the trend is just getting started.  Employers BEWARE! The Wayfair decision has definitely changed how many employers need to keep records for sales taxation and the large new paperwork burden it is placing on them.  However, what's next?  Many believe the Wayfair decision will directly impact income tax filing regulations as well many more companies subject to state income tax filing obligations as well. 

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