News Articles

Work-life balance' top priority for millennials, global survey finds

Published on January 29, 2018

A new global survey via professional services network World Services Group found that among young professionals in North America (as well as the rest of the world), work-life balance was the biggest priority in their professional lives, beating out wealth and leadership opportunities. 

The Generation Now Survey, which polled over 1,500 young professionals across 84 of the World Services Group's professional service firms, sought to dig deeper into the millennial workforce and find out what made a "generation that many understand to be different from those that have gone before it" tick. 

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When the New Corporate Tax Rate Kicks in: A Primer

Published on January 29, 2018

The lower corporate tax rate under the new tax law spurred some confusion for corporations whose taxable years don’t begin on January 1. 

Tax professionals have been practically unanimous in their expectations for guidance from the Treasury Department on how to interpret and follow the new tax law. But on this issue — application of the new corporate rate to companies with a non-calendar taxable year — they shouldn’t have to wait at all, as the answer lies in Section 15 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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7 proposed changes to the auditor's report

Published on January 29, 2018

An auditor’s report gives lenders confidence that financial statements are free of material misstatement. But does the auditor’s report really tell the story of what the auditor did to gain assurance about the financial statements? Thanks to proposed changes to the auditor’s report, readers will gain a better understanding of what the auditor did and observed. 

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has released a set of exposure drafts  aimed at enhancing the relevance and usefulness of the auditor’s report.

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New tax withholding tables are issued

Published on January 29, 2018

The IRS issued new income tax withholding tables that reflect new tax rates and other changes for individuals implemented by P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted Dec. 22 (Notice 1036). Employers should use the updated withholding rules for 2018, putting them into effect as soon as possible but no later than Feb. 15, the IRS said. Until then, employers should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables. 

The IRS noted that many employees should begin to see their take-home pay increase in February depending on how quickly their employers implement the new tables and whether they are paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The new withholding tables are designed to work with Forms W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, that employees already have on file, so employees do not have to fill out new ones at this time. The IRS plans on issuing a new Form W-4 in the near future. It is also working on revising the withholding tax calculator available on its website, which it expects will be finished by the end of February. 

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Taking Clients to Ballgames? Tax Law Change Makes It Costlier

Published on January 29, 2018

Businesses—especially smaller firms—may scale back on treating clients to major league baseball games, golf outings and the like after Congress and President Donald Trump ended a tax break for such entertainment. 

The tax overhaul that Trump signed Dec. 22 eliminated a 50 percent deduction for business-related expenses for “entertainment, amusement or recreation.” Suddenly, luxury boxes at stadiums and arenas—along with theater and concert tickets—will be more costly for firms that use them to woo clients. 

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How The Tax Bill Affects Coops

Published on January 29, 2018

By the time you read this post, it is likely that President Trump has already signed the new Tax Act. Today’s post has been prepared by Rebecca Smith.  She is our director of tax for cooperatives.  This post if fairly long, but we want to get the information to our cooperative clients.  We would strongly suggest talking the tax bill over with your tax advisor now since there may be some actions needed before year-end.  

Tax Reform overall appears to be a win for cooperatives as well as their patrons.  A key change is the repeal of the Section 199 deduction which many cooperatives and their patrons have benefited from since its inception in January 2005. For cooperatives that currently benefit from the deduction and/or pass it through to patrons please consult your tax advisor prior to December 31st to discuss the implications. 

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IRS Issues 2018 Standard Mileage Rates

Published on December 22, 2017

The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will increase slightly in 2018, after decreasing in the two previous years, the IRS announced (Notice 2018-3). For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2018 will be 54.5 cents per mile, up from 53.5 cents per mile in 2017. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile. 

Driving for medical or moving purposes may be deducted at 18 cents per mile, which is one cent higher than for 2017. (The medical and moving expense deductions may be affected by the pending tax reform legislation.) 

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U.S. Accounting Rulemaker Chief Outlines 2018 Goals

Published on December 22, 2017

The 2018 objectives for FASB include assisting companies with accounting implementation challenges on four important standards—revenue recognition, leases, credit losses, and hedging—Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman Russell Golden told Bloomberg Tax.

Additionally, FASB will initiate or advance new projects relating to accounting for life insurance, distinguishing liabilities from equity, and improving segment reporting, Golden said. 

Golden said the revenue recognition standard is “ready to go with an on time implementation beginning in 2018.” Approximately one month from the effective date of the new standard, this news could be viewed with relief, or anxiety, depending on where companies stand with their implementation efforts.

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7 Key Steps to Master Revenue Recognition Implementation

Published on December 22, 2017

Standard setters have made game-changing revisions to revenue recognition standards, and the effective date for implementation is fast-approaching. The new standard replaces the existing transaction- and industry-specific revenue approach with a principles-based approach. Is your organization ready for this shift? 

The new standard was originally issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board as Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers , and several clarifying amendments have since been issued. The guidance affects all entities—public, private and not-for-profit—that have contracts with customers. The standard’s original effective date was postponed because of the complexity involved. 

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Practical Considerations for Lease Accounting

Published on December 22, 2017

On the heels of a transformative and challenging revenue recognition standard, FASB's new lease accounting standard presents a potential tsunami of changes to the financial statements of public and private companies.  

In February 2016, FASB issued new lease accounting guidance in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). This new guidance was initiated as a joint project with the International Accounting Standards Board to simplify lease accounting and improve the quality and comparability of financial information for users. The IASB also issued guidance in IFRS 16 during January 2016. 

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