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Industry: Government


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1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 1|7| 01.01.2011 - White Paper: The Strategic Role of Finance
Finance organizations can be a catalyst for improved business performance by providing actionable information to a company’s most valuable assets – its leaders. Leaders possess a keen knowledge of the marketplace and critical competencies. They combine their market knowledge with internal company information to make operational, tactical and strategic business decisions. The sum of these decisions dictates how well a company performs. For finance to rise to its growing role, it must transform to overcome its current orientation of skills, processes and tools towards transaction processing and historical analysis.
4|3|2|1|5|6|7|8|9| 1|8|12| 05.03.2011 - New Massachusetts Data Security Law Can Mean Harsh Penalties
A law passed in Massachusetts placed stringent new regulations on companies and organizations that are in possession of customers’ personal financial information. These data security measures also included harsh penalties for companies found not to be in full compliance by March 1, 2010, subjecting businesses who fail to adequately protect credit card, debit card, bank account or other financial information to potential fines of more than $100,000.
1|3|4|6|7|8| 8|12| 02.04.2011 - A Cloud Full of ESI
Cloud computing is alive and flourishing. It has become the popular technology tool for many who want to shift from local PC/Network computer storage and processing to external computers in "the cloud" (on the Internet) handling these types of services.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 01.26.2011 - How Do I Implement the 2011 Payroll Tax Cut for Employees?
In 2011, millions of employees will receive a significant boost in their take-home pay as a result of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (2010 Tax Relief Act) enacted December 17.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 12.03.2010 - Master Data Management Series - Part 2
In the last article we introduced the concept of Master Data Management (MDM) and why it is relevant to a broad range of organizations. We ended the article with some of the indicators you might look for to determine whether you have an operational or analytical MDM challenge within your organization.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 12| 11.03.2010 - Master Data Management – Part I
Regardless of the size of your organization, if you've integrated multiple lines of business systems (such as ERP, CRM, etc.) into your environment, you likely have a Master Data Management (MDM) problem. The likelihood of this is further amplified if you've acquired or merged with other businesses. This article is the first in a series that will serve to educate organizations on the importance of MDM, as well as some of the best practices and pitfalls associated with implementing an MDM solution.
1|9|7|6|5|4|3|2| 11| 04.15.2011 - Health Care Reform Requires Employers to Disclose the Cost of Health Care on Form W-2
Beginning in tax year January 1, 2012, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that employers disclose the aggregate value of employer-sponsored health coverage to each employee on form W-2, Box 12D. Employers do not need to specify the cost of the different types of health coverage, but only report the total cost of coverage.
4| 1| 09.15.2010 - GASB 54 – More Than Reclassifying Fund Balance
The components of the most talked-about attribute of a government financial statement are changing. Say hello to five new categories of fund balance and four new fund definitions that will make all of our lives all a bit more complicated, but nothing that a little planning can't solve.
4| 09.15.2010 - Government Reform: Starting the Dialogue
As the economy has continued to struggle this year and political races across the state and the country have heated up, one issue that seems to consistently arise is the role of government. Specifically, the question is often, "Is government functioning as efficiently as it can and, if not, what can be done to improve upon it?"
4| 1| 05.12.2010 - Revised State Single Audit Act Update
The Office of Policy and Management has long sought changes to the Revised State Single Audit Act, with the goal of making it more in line with the Federal Single Audit rules. Recently, many of these changes were addressed in Public Act 09-7, which was passed in the September 2009 legislative session.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4| 09.16.2009 - Ten Signals of Occupational Fraud - It Could Happen to You
We all think "it can't happen to us." Our business is safe and our controls are sound. Don't be fooled. Fraud is rampant and is increasing rapidly as recessionary pressures take hold of our economy.
9|8|7|5|4| 1|9| 04.18.2011 - Are You Getting the "Return" on Your Accounting Software Investment?
Purchasing accounting software can be similar to some of your personal expenditures, such as a house or a car. You need something that meets your needs, budget and functional requirements. You want reliability, performance and, above all, a sense of security. All too often software vendors have promised a great deal but delivered a lot less than the customer expected.
4| 11.04.2009 - The "Holy Grail" Of Local Government Efficiency: Carefully Considered Regionalization Can Save Money, Enhance Services
More and more these days we hear talk throughout Connecticut about a word that has been largely foreign in the state for many decades - regionalism.
4|8| 11.02.2009 - Hard Times Demand Municipal Reform
Government reform and regionalization has been discussed for the past decade, but little has been accomplished - or attempted - in any meaningful way. This is hardly surprising considering Connecticut's makeup and history - a small state of 169 municipalities where home rule abounds.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4|8|12| 01.15.2010 - Making it Easier to Wave the Red Flag if You Detect Identity Theft
As part of the Fair and Accurate Transactions (FACT) act of 2003, the "Red Flags Rule" requires financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program (ITPP) to identify possible identity theft that mitigates the potential damage caused by this crime.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6| 02.05.2010 - Managing the Business Risk of Fraudulent Activity
In the 2009 business world, the unfortunate reality is occupational fraud is everywhere, and it is costing businesses enormous amounts of money when it goes unchecked and undetected.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 4|6|15| 03.05.2010 - Corporate Account Take Over – The Latest Cyber Crime
The alarm has been sounded; online crime was up by 600% in 2009. A large portion of that increase was in the area of electronic funds transfers placed through the Automated Clearing House ("ACH"). Late last year the Electronic Payment Association (NACHA) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (iC3) issued warnings about what has come to be known as Corporate Account Takeover. In a Corporate Account Takeover, a business finds that, virtually overnight, funds have been stripped.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 03.12.2010 - Healthcare Reform 101: New Responsibilities and Taxes for Employers and Individuals
Healthcare reform is now law, and many employers are asking how it affects my business and employees. The first thing to keep in mind is that reform is gradual. The healthcare reforms and tax provisions in the new healthcare reform package play out over time, with some taking effect this year or next year, but others not until 2014 and beyond.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 04.01.2010 - Cloud Based Services Are Here. Are You Ready?
Email, like the telephone, has become a standard form of communication that most people, especially in the business world, take for granted. In order to provide users with this "always on" capability, many large organizations have invested in a variety of technologies (clustering, SANs, etc.) that have cost tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, and continue to invest to keep software and hardware up-to-date.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| 09.15.2010 - Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way -- 5 Technology Trends to Consider
We can always avail ourselves of new technology solutions to tackle problems in new ways. Some are evolutionary, some are revolutionary and some are subversive. There are five technology trends that your organization can take the lead on, wait for a few first movers and then follow, or simply get out of the way and let the trend pass.
3|2|1|9|7|6|5|4| 11| 04.15.2011 - IRS Issues 2011 Vehicle Depreciation Dollar Limits
The IRS has issued the limitations on depreciation deductions for owners of passenger automobiles, trucks and vans first "placed in service" (i.e. used) during the 2011 calendar year. The IRS also provided revised tables of depreciation limits for vehicles first placed in service (or first leased by a taxpayer) during 2010 and to which bonus depreciation applies.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 10.05.2010 - How Do I Prepare For the New W-2 Reporting for Healthcare Coverage?
Over the next few years, employers will face a number of new compliance and reporting obligations, among others, as a result of the new healthcare reform package (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). On the horizon for employers is the requirement to report the value of health insurance coverage they provide to each employee on the employee's annual Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 03.01.2011 - Protecting Your Organization From Fraud
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations lose 5% of annual revenue to fraud. Frauds include Ponzi schemes, asset misappropriation, computer hacking and identify theft, just to name a few. Small- and mid-size businesses tend to be the most vulnerable because they generally have fewer controls in place to detect and deter fraud.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 05.16.2011 - Highlights of Tax Changes in the 2011-2013 CT Budget Bill
Governor Malloy signed the much-discussed Connecticut (CT) biennial budget bill, now known as Public Act 11-6, on May 4, 2011. The Act contains numerous tax changes. We are highlighting the changes that affect the broadest cross section of our clients, though there are additional changes not covered herein. In addition, there are other tax proposals in various phases of consideration. The success or failure of obtaining a cost-cutting agreement with state employees could affect the need for additional revenue to balance the budget. The legislature is in session until June 8, 2011 so more tax changes could still be enacted.
4| 1| 05.23.2011 - Making the Grade
I recently attended a joint Board of Finance/Board of Selectman meeting of a municipality and was asked “So…what grade did we get?” I have been asked similar questions in the past such as “How did we do?" or, “Did the audit go well?” but was never challenged to actually assign a grade.
4| 1| 05.23.2011 - Accounting for Refundings 101
Due to low interest rates, refundings have become pretty popular recently. It can get very confusing to account for them, especially since there are two different ways, one way for governmental funds and one way for proprietary funds (which also includes government-wide).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3|11| 06.16.2011 - New Form 8955-SSA: Ensuring Compliance
Pension plans have used Schedule SSA of Form 5500 to report participants who separate from service with deferred vested benefits. However, with the start of the mandated 5500 electronic filing requirement for annual reports with the 2009 plan year, that information could not be filed through the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. As a result, Schedule SSA has been eliminated.
2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.17.2011 - Changes to the Estate and Gift Tax
In an effort to reduce the state deficit, the governor signed the state budget which included changes to the estate and gift tax retroactive from January 1, 2011.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 06.17.2011 - Economic Recovery Remains Slow and Problematic in the State
The economic recovery is in its 24th month, but growth has been disappointing due to frequent obstacles, including surges in oil and commodity prices that have prevented steady improvement or noticeable acceleration. While some areas of the economy are strong, including exports and commodities, others, especially housing and general construction, seem stuck.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 07.12.2011 - Inflation-adjusted amounts released for 2012 Health Savings Accounts
The IRS has provided the inflation-adjusted amounts that will govern health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2012. Amounts are increased for changes in the cost-of-living adjustment. The amounts generally have increased from 2011.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 07.12.2011 - PCI Compliance – It's All In The Numbers
Whether it is 14 or 16 numerical digits in length, securing and protecting credit card numbers and all associated information is extremely important. In an age where electronic information can be shared from anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, people need to know more than ever that their credit card information is being protected. The consequences of this information falling into the wrong hands are simply too severe – identity theft.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.13.2011 - Details of Connecticut Sales and Use Tax Legislative Changes Emerging
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (“DRS”), was forced into fast action by the Connecticut legislature’s passage of significant sales and use tax changes which took effect on July 1, 2011. We very briefly outlined those changes in our newsletter of May 16, 2011. Since that time, DRS has provided some much needed guidance with respect to many of the changes. This newsletter will highlight some of those changes in more detail per the DRS guidelines. We are not trying to be all-inclusive.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.05.2011 - White House and Congressional Leaders Agree to Raise Debt Ceiling - Tax Provisions Under Consideration
White House and Congressional Leaders have agreed to raise debt ceiling - creating a joint committee on deficit reduction.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 08.05.2011 - Tax Breaks for Energy Saving Can Provide Stimulus for Homeowners and Businesses
Federal tax laws provide some potential good news across the board in terms of lowering energy costs, as a number of key energy savings incentives exist for homeowners and businesses alike. What follows is a brief overview of the key tax rules in this area and the potential savings that may occur.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.13.2011 - It’s Still Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! But most economists raise chances of a double dip.
The most critical factor determining Connecticut's prospects for real and sustained economic recovery is, simply, jobs! More jobs will cure many of our state's ills, from tepid consumer spending to a stalled housing market and the state's long-term fiscal health.
4| 1| 09.26.2011 - Government Pension Accounting and Financial Reporting – New Proposed Statement
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has proposed an overhaul to the accounting and financial reporting of government pension plans. While current practice treats accounting and financial reporting and how pensions are funded in a similar manner, these changes will result in a separation between accounting and financial reporting and the way pensions are funded.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4| 10.25.2011 - Re-Shaping Businesses To Eliminate Fraud Triangle
White collar criminals (or fraudsters) are not easily picked out from a crowd. They blend in seamlessly with society and do not look like criminals. They are likely educated, with no criminal record, and probably do not abuse drugs or alcohol.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.25.2011 - Ask the Expert: Minimizing Tax Burden in an Unusually High Income Year
I just sold my company. What can I do to minimize the tax bill that results from the event?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 10.25.2011 - Determination of Employer's Liability for Certain Employment Taxes — Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program
IRS detailed new program for employers to receive relief from payroll taxes otherwise owed for agreeing to prospectively treat workers as employees. To be eligible, employer must have filed Form 1099s for each worker for past 3 years, and not be currently under audit. In exchange for agreement to treat workers as employees, employer will be liable for 10% of liability due for most recent tax years, as determined under reduced rates of Code Sec. 3509; , but won't be liable for penalties and interest and won't be subject to audit for employment tax issues. Employer participating in program will agree to extend period of limitations on assessment of employment taxes for three years for first, second and third calendar years beginning after date on which employer has agreed under program to begin treating workers as employees. Those who are accepted into program will execute closing agreement with IRS and pay full amount due at same time.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 11.09.2011 - The Three Most Important Connecticut Economic Initiatives - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
Following a special fall session of the Connecticut General Assembly, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed into law tax legislation as part of a broad economic stimulus package. Among the most significant tax legislation enacted was the creation of a new jobs tax credit and revisions to the recently enacted Manufacturing Reinvestment Account program.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 12.01.2011 - New Law Repeals 3% Government Withholding, Provides Hiring Credits for Veterans, and More
On November 21, President Obama signed into law the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act. The new law does much more than merely repeal withholding on government contractors. The new law enhances the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, expands the IRS' continuous levy authority, and more.
1|2|4|5|6|9| 1| 01.06.2012 - Revised Standard Simplifies Goodwill Testing for Impairment, Testing Goodwill for Impairment
On September 15, 2011, Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2011-08, Testing Goodwill for Impairment. This update is intended to reduce the cost and complexity of the annual goodwill impairment test by simplifying how an entity tests goodwill for impairment.
1|2|4|5|6|9| 1| 01.06.2012 - Cash Flow Planning: A Good Reminder During These Uncertain Times
Many people solely consider profit when measuring the success of their business. The trouble is that profits do not necessarily coincide with their associated cash flows. The fact is, most failed businesses fail as a result of lack of cash flow. During these uncertain economic times, cash flow planning is an important exercise when running your business, regardless of the size of your operation. Trying to manage your business without a cash flow plan in today’s environment is like traveling to a new location without a map or a GPS device.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 01.06.2012 - Payroll Tax Cut Extension
At the eleventh hour, Congress approved a two-month extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut in the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. The two-month extension, for January and February 2012, is intended to give lawmakers additional time to negotiate a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012.
4|2|1|9|5|6|7| 11| 02.22.2012 - Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension Through 2012
On February 17, Congress passed H.R. 3630, the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” (the Act) and sent it to the President for his signature. The Act extends the 2-percentage-point payroll tax cut through the end of 2012, and also repeals a number of estimated tax shifts for large corporations. Here are highlights of the tax changes in this new law.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - The 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program
On January 9, 2012, the IRS reopened the offshore voluntary disclosure program (the “2012 OVDP”) to give taxpayers with unreported foreign accounts a chance to become current on their taxes and reporting obligations while mitigating the risk of criminal prosecution.
2|1|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 02.02.2012 - Connecticut Job Expansion Tax Credit (JET) Presentation Now Available
Connecticut businesses can be eligible for Connecticut tax credits of $500 per month for each new full‐time Connecticut job created. If the new employee is receiving vocational rehabilitative services from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, receiving unemployment benefits, or is a veteran then the tax credit is increased to $900 per month. These credits will be available for each new Connecticut employee hired between January 1, 2012 and prior to January 1, 2014 for a period of three years. Download our presentation to learn more about which taxes the credit may be applied against and how to apply.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 02.24.2012 - Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
President Obama on February 22, 2012, signed into law a much-anticipated extension of the employee-side payroll tax cut through the end of 2012. After weeks of uncertainty over whether an agreement could be reached, the House passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 3630) by a vote of 293 to 132 on February 17, 2012.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 3| 12.10.2014 - Retirement Plan Fund Revenue Equalization
Since the issuance of the fee disclosure regulations related to employee retirement plans, more transparency of fees and revenue-sharing agreements has resulted. This transparency has prompted a number of questions regarding the fees being paid, who they are being paid to and how revenue-sharing agreements play a role in the administration of the plan.
4| 03.23.2012 - Economic Condition Reporting: Financial Projections
The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued preliminary views supporting the inclusion of forward-looking projections in the basic financial statements as Required Supplementary Information. Through these views, the GASB has tackled the formerly nebulous idea of the fiscal sustainability of a government entity. The board has noted that the purpose of government financial statements is to provide the users of those statements a clear picture of the entity’s economic condition, of which, fiscal sustainability is the forward-looking component. The GASB has determined that the historical data currently included in the financial statements is not sufficient to present a holistic picture of the state of a government entity.
4| 1| 03.26.2012 - Independence and Integrity: The 2011 Yellow Book Revisions
As government entities continue to face significant budget cuts, high unemployment rates and rising prices, it has become more necessary and common for auditors to provide additional advisory and consulting services to help their clients make informed financial decisions for their organization. As a result, in December 2011, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its 2011 revision of Government Auditing Standards. This standard, more commonly known as the “the Yellow Book”, continues to give auditors guidance on performing high quality audit work that provides the accountability, integrity and transparency that the public has grown to expect from their auditors.
3|5|7|4| 1| 04.02.2012 - The Federal Office of Management and Budget Proposes Changes to The Federal Single Audit and Related Circulars
The Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed new rules surrounding the federal single audit on February 28, 2012 in the Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 39. This represents the first efforts in many years to revamp the federal single audit process.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 04.27.2012 - Business Software Technology Alignment
In our last newsletter we introduced the concept of reviewing and assessing the alignment of your business software technology with your business strategy, processes and people. You might wonder how your business software could get out of alignment in the first place and what impact it could have on your business. It is important to understand how to recognize the symptoms and be able to make critical business decisions for your business when the time comes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|9|12| 05.09.2012 - The Death of SAS70 - The Birth of SSAE16 Standards
In 1980 the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) implemented the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, commonly known as SAS No. 70, to review and evaluate the internal controls of a service organization. SAS No. 70 quickly became a standard for the user organizations to obtain assurance that their data was being protected and managed in a secure manner. At the same time, service organizations were using SAS No.70 as a way to show existing and potential customers that they were utilizing industry best practices.
4| 06.06.2012 - The Financial Reporting Entity: Omnibus
On December 17, 2010, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement No. 61, The Financial Reporting Entity: Omnibus. This statement amends Statements No. 14, The Financial Reporting Entity, and No. 34, Basic Financial Statements – and Management’s Discussion and Analysis – for State and Local Governments. The purpose of the new statement is to better meet user needs and to address issues that have surfaced since statements No. 14 and No. 34 were issued.
4|8| 06.06.2012 - Information Security, it’s Not Just an IT Thing
Information technology security (IT security), in its most basic sense, refers to the protection of information systems from unauthorized access. The goal and purpose of IT security is to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal and/or company information and data.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.07.2012 - The Sales and Use Taxation of Software – Software Accessed from the Cloud
Since software was first invented, state tax authorities and taxpayers have spent a considerable amount of time and resources to determine its sales and use taxation. With the introduction of the “Software as a Service” distribution model, the taxation of software has become increasingly complex. This article will provide an evolutionary background on software taxation, as well as sales and use taxation in relation to cloud computing.
1|2|4|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations Overview
On December 23, 2011, the IRS released the highly anticipated regulations regarding the deduction and capitalization of tangible asset costs in temporary and proposed form. The Temporary Regulations apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 or to amounts paid or incurred in tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012, as applicable and will affect every taxpayer that acquires, produces or improves tangible property.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations : Amounts Paid to Acquire or Produce Tangible Property
A taxpayer must capitalize amounts paid to acquire or produce a unit of real property or personal property, including leasehold improvement property, land and land improvements, buildings, machinery and equipment, and furniture and fixtures. Temporary Regulation 1.263(a)-2T provides guidance on whether to capitalize costs related to the acquisition or production of tangible property including a de mimimis rule. The rules under Temporary Regulation 1.162-3T also provide guidance for the treatment of materials and supplies and rotable and temporary spare parts.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations : Improvement to Tangible Property
The temporary regulations provide that generally a taxpayer must capitalize amounts paid to improve a unit of property owned by the taxpayer.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Unit of Property
In order to understand whether or not there has been an improvement to tangible property required to be capitalized under the temporary regulations, it is essential to understand the unit of property for that purpose. For example, if you replace the roof on your building, if the unit of property is the roof, then replacing it would clearly be a material improvement. If the unit of property is the building, then it might not be as clear to say that the building was improved by replacing the roof. Therefore, the temporary regulations define the unit of property rules for the purposes of section 263(a).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - The Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations: Asset Accounting and Dispositions
The temporary regulations allow taxpayers to account for MACRS property by either treating each asset as an account (a “single asset account” or “item account”) or combining two or more assets in a single account (as a “multiple asset account” or “pool”). A taxpayer must account for a MACRS asset using a single asset account when the asset is used both in a trade or business and in a personal activity, the asset is placed in service and disposed of during the same tax year, when the general asset account treatment terminates, if accounted for in a multiple asset account and is disposed of, or if a component of a larger assets and is disposed.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.08.2012 - Change in Accounting Method to Comply with the Tangible Property Regulations
The IRS released two Revenue Procedures, 2012-19 and 2012-20, in March 2012 to explain the procedures by which a taxpayer may obtain IRS's automatic consent to change to the accounting methods provided in recently issued temporary regulations under IRC Section 162 and 263.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 11| 07.03.2012 - The Health Care Act Deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) made a historic decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). In a 5 to 4 decision, the nation's highest court upheld all of the tax provisions and health insurance reforms that were part of the overall health care reform legislation passed in 2010 except for a certain Medicaid provision involving state funding. Critical to the Court's approval of President Obama's signature health care law was its finding that the new law’s mandatory penalty for certain individuals who fail to obtain “minimum essential health insurance coverage” was constitutional based upon Congress' power to tax.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 12|15| 09.23.2015 - When BYOD is as Common as a Morning Coffee
As the practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work becomes as much of a business norm as a morning coffee, the question becomes how will companies remain secure as businesses — especially those that fall under compliancy rules (such as PCI and HIPAA) — which are still required to comply with regulations when allowing the BYOD model.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10| 08.10.2012 - Hiring Trends Update
The summer of 2012 has seen a marked increase in new job openings across different industries for accounting and finance professionals. We have recently seen a much higher demand for professionals on a permanent and temporary basis. We are recognizing that in addition to hiring a candidate directly, there has been a shift in the way companies are hiring. They are focusing on hiring on an as needed basis for project related work. This gives companies the ability to help alleviate the work load within their existing departments without having to add to their head count.
4|7| 9|12| 08.24.2012 - Is Your Accounting Software Making Your Finance Department “Stronger”?
Kelly Clarkson famously sang about her broken relationships “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” While finding the bright side of a love gone by is necessary to mend any broken heart, we have seen too many finance managers across New England convince themselves that there is a bright side to relying on inefficient monthly closing and reporting processes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.10.2012 - The 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
For over a decade, BlumShapiro and CBIA have partnered to produce the annual Survey of Connecticut Businesses, which explores the economic, fiscal, and regulatory climates for companies of all types and sizes throughout the state. This study takes the pulse of Connecticut’s business community and examines business leaders’ forecasts for conditions over the next 18 months. Findings help shape our government affairs agenda and set priorities for policymakers in order to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness and grow jobs.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 09.17.2012 - CBIA/BlumShapiro Release the 2012 Survey of Connecticut Businesses
BlumShapiro and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) released their annual survey of Connecticut’s businesses on September 7. This year’s survey shows that while some progress is being made and profitability is up, Connecticut continues to struggle to grow in a post-recession economy, and the overall sentiment about Connecticut as a place to do business is still negative.
4| 1| 09.26.2012 - Statement No. 63: Financial Reporting of Deferred Outflows of Resources, Deferred Inflows of Resources and Net Position
When issued in June 2007, Concepts Statement Number 4, Elements of Financial Statements, outlined seven elements of state and local government financial statements. Two of the seven elements are likely very familiar to any preparer or user of such statements – Assets and Liabilities.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 10.15.2012 - Will Online Sales Tax Issues Finally Be Put to Rest?
For well over a decade, states have been grappling with the issue of collecting sales tax from online sales. Growing internet shopping has state tax commissioners scratching their heads trying to hatch ideas for getting in on those sales tax revenues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 10.16.2012 - Pay or Play—What Is It, What You Need to Know and Is There a Penalty in Your Future?
Among other things, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes new obligations on “large employers." These rules (outlined in Internal Revenue Code § 4980H) will increase reporting obligations for all affected employers and may increase costs for certain employers.
1|2|3|4|6|9| 10.22.2012 - New York’s Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Held Unconstitutional – Potential Tax Refund Opportunity – Action Needed By November 2, 2012
If you had or have employees working or are self-employed (including partners in a partnership or members in a limited liability company with self-employment earnings) doing business in New York’s Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), a potential tax refund opportunity may be available.
4|3|2|1|9|7|6|5| 11| 01.14.2016 - It’s Tax Time Again and the IRS Sent Me a Personal Identification Number
If your 2014 tax return was rejected by the IRS because a return had already been filed, then you should have submitted Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Once you file Form 14039, the IRS will assign you a six digit Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP-PIN). You will need to use your assigned IP-PIN number for the subsequent year’s tax return.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|11| 10.22.2014 - Affordable Care Act Update: Employers Get First Look at Health Insurance Information Reporting
Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, several key requirements for employers have been delayed, including reporting of health coverage offered to employees, known as Code Sec. 6056 reporting. However, as 2015 nears, and the prospects of further delay appear unlikely, employers and the IRS are preparing for the filing of these new information returns. While the reporting requirement is not mandatory until 2015, employers must start planning now for how the required information will be acquired and reported, and by whom it will be reported.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.11.2013 - The Affordable Care Act: Very Soon, Businesses Need to Decide if They Are Going to “Play or Pay”
Come the start of next year, hundreds of businesses across Connecticut will have to have answered a critical question when it comes to healthcare – do they want to play or pay?
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 6| 04.18.2013 - Calculating Damages of Early Stage Intellectual Property Infringement
As technology advances and its usage becomes even more widespread, intellectual property law and the related litigation becomes more relevant.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 05.17.2013 - Five Years Later, It’s Still About Jobs
What Connecticut needs most to achieve a real and sustained economic recovery is still, not surprisingly, more jobs. But we won’t get those jobs without both a housing recovery and a more confident business community.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11| 05.17.2013 - Is Tax Reform on the Horizon
There are several tax reform proposals being bantered about. All of the proposals have one common goal: reduce the federal government's approximate $16 trillion federal budget deficit. To reduce the budget deficit, many of the plans propose to cut spending and raise revenues.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|8| 06.10.2013 - White paper: Your Finance Function - Where do you spend your time?
In our last white paper, we began with an adage that tends to hold true for most organizations: “the thinking that got you where you are may not be the thinking that propels you to the next level”. Your finance function will change, as change is an inevitable reality in a competitive business landscape. The pace is fast. As we know from experience, one day runs into the next and when a finance organization takes a breath, it may find itself with processes that are not as effective as they once were.
8|4|9| 7| 07.31.2013 - 4 Simple Steps for Improving Project Success
In today’s business world, organizations large and small are exploring ways to improve how they initiate, select, plan, track, collaborate and report on key initiatives — or projects. While these initiatives may differ in size and scope from those being worked on by your city, town or agency, government entities can benefit greatly from some of the same methods that have evolved into the professional discipline known as Project Management. Government projects can include anything from running public events, to developing an RFP, to implementing new software, to managing outside building contractors and everything in-between.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 07.02.2013 - Many Tax Planning Questions Arise After Supreme Court's DOMA Decision
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional (E.S. Windsor, SCt., June 26, 2013). Immediately after the decision, President Obama directed all federal agencies, including the IRS, to revise their regulations to reflect the Court's order. How the IRS will revise its tax regulations - and when - remains to be seen; but in the meantime, the Court's decision opens a number of planning tax opportunities for same-sex couples.
1|2|4|6|9| 07.18.2013 - How are vacation homes taxed?
Vacation homes offer owners many tax breaks similar to those for primary residences. Vacation homes also offer owners the opportunity to earn tax-advantaged and even tax-free income from a certain level of rental income. The value of vacation homes are also on the rise again, offering an investment side to ownership that can ultimately be realized at a beneficial long-term capital gains rate.
4|8| 7| 09.10.2013 - Changing LEAN Government from Incremental Improvement to Sweeping Agency Transformation
The LEAN approach is a well-known and often misused process improvement tool because it is regularly implemented without the benefit of a well articulated strategic vision in place. Wanting of sufficient context, the archetypal LEAN effort overstresses operational efficiency at the cost of proficient strategic execution.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.16.2013 - Two Things Your Employee Benefit Plan Cannot Live Without
It is not uncommon in the retirement plan marketplace for plan sponsors to place the responsibility of investment selection on the participants in the plan. However, the fiduciary responsibility remains with the plan sponsor, who is charged with oversight over the plan. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was designed to protect participants, not the plan administrator or the plan sponsor.
1|2|3|4|6|7|9| 11.19.2013 - Give Yourself Credit For Hiring!
Employers considering hiring or who hire on a continuous basis should give themselves some credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) allows an employer a credit of $1,200 to $9,600 per employee hired from certain targeted groups. The credit is based on potential wages paid to these targeted new hires and the group in which they qualify.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12.17.2013 - 2013 – Flashback to 2000
This year has brought many changes to the tax landscape. The top rates have been increased and deductions are being phased out. Although we knew this was coming, reality has set in and it is time to deal with it. As we compare 2013 to 2012 it is very likely that if you are affected by the higher tax rates and phase-out of deductions, you could see a 15% to 20% increase in your tax bill. As 2013 comes to an end there are three numbers you should keep in mind.
9|7|6|5|4|3|2|1| 1|2|4|6| 07.11.2017 - Financial Statement Red Flags
The last 15 years have produced some of the most notable financial statement frauds in U.S. History, including: Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth and AIG. The magnitude of the losses associated with recent accounting scandals continues to inform users of financial statements about the importance of recognizing financial reporting red flags. These red flags are often indicative of underlying operational or economic distress.
3|4|5|7| 01.16.2014 - OMB Issues Final Guidance Revising Grantee and Auditor Requirements
In prior newsletters we discussed the federal Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) proposals for revising grantee and auditor compliance requirements with regard to federal grants. The revisions were made for the purpose of streamlining requirements to promote efficient grant administration, although in the end there was less trimming of requirements and more of a consolidation of prior requirements into one document, which is still an improvement.
9|2|3|4|5|6|7| 1| 01.27.2014 - FASB Issues New Standards to Simplify Private Company Accounting for Goodwill and Interest Rate Swaps in Certain Instances
On January 16, 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Updates 2014-2 Intangibles – Goodwill and Other: Accounting for Goodwill (a consensus of the Private Company Council) and ASU 2014-3 Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps—Simplified Hedge Accounting Approach (a consensus of the Private Company Council). These new standards will allow private companies simplified alternatives to existing accounting principles for goodwill and certain receive-variable, pay-fixed interest rate swaps.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 3| 01.27.2014 - Errors in Employee Benefit Plans – What are Your Options?
No plan sponsor wants to find an error in their employee retirement plan, but mistakes happen and no plan is perfect. The key to avoiding severe penalties and tax qualification issues is to identify and correct mistakes in a timely manner. If plan sponsors roll the dice and hope for the best, corrections can get very expensive. Both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offer various correction programs to facilitate the correction of errors found in employee benefit plans.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9|10|13|12|11|14| 09.01.2017 - Tips to Prepare for the Employee Benefit Plan Year-End Audit
Many companies are in the process of gathering information for the year-end audit of their employee benefit plan. This article provides a checklist of review procedures the plan sponsor should complete in order to fulfill and provide support of compliance with some of their fiduciary duties. Completing these procedures will help your organization prepare for the employee benefit plan year-end audit, as well as provide strong fiduciary oversight. This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a reminder of the more common areas which are often overlooked.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|9|12| 05.19.2014 - Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Company?
With all of the hype surrounding the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing, business owners often ask whether it’s worth moving their financial applications to the cloud. You’ve probably wondered this yourself. The benefits of the cloud are real, but the risks can be, too. What’s important is that you look at the unique features of your company and determine whether the cloud is right for you. In contemplating a switch to cloud computing, one of your first steps should be to consider the potential benefits given your company’s work style, culture and location(s).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 05.19.2014 - Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciaries: What is Your Responsibility?
As a fiduciary of an employee retirement plan, it is important to understand your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the other fiduciaries of the plan. An understanding of these responsibilities can be obtained by reviewing various plan instruments, including the plan document and related adoption agreement, trust document, service agreements, collective bargaining agreements and internal policies and procedures manuals. This article provides a brief description of the key parties to a retirement plan (which are generally the fiduciaries of the plan) and their responsibilities.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 1|3| 06.17.2014 - Reducing or Suspending Safe Harbor Contributions Mid-Year
Beginning with plan years after 2014, under Treasury Regulation 9641, 401(k) safe harbor matching contributions may be reduced or suspended mid-year under the same circumstances that apply to safe harbor non-elective contributions.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 06.17.2014 - Revenue Recognition Changes… Are you Ready?
As the business climate continues to evolve and become more global, it has become increasingly important to ensure comparability of financial information reported by companies around the world. Accounting Standards Update 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (the Update), was a result of a joint project between the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with the goals of clarifying the principles regarding revenue recognition and developing a common revenue standard for both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 07.16.2014 - Connecticut Tax Legislation Highlights: 2014 Session
The recently concluded 2014 legislation session of the Connecticut General Assembly passed (with the governor’s approval) important broad-based tax measures which will impact individual and business taxpayers. Following is a brief explanation of the enacted legislation which will likely have the broadest impact in the areas of individual income taxation, sales and use taxation, property taxation and business entity taxation.
1|2|3|4|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 08.18.2014 - How to Safely “BYOD”
As technology advances and new mobile devices emerge daily, businesses need to continuously evolve their security strategies in order to protect their organizations.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 08.18.2014 - Pension Plan De-Risking Trending Upwards
Among the many trends seen in the pension plan arena over the past several years is the continued annuitization of defined benefit plans. Large and small companies continue to investigate strategies to lower their pension liabilities and shift the obligations from the sponsoring company to an insurance company.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1| 09.25.2014 - The Importance of Establishing a Record Retention Policy for Your Organization
As accountants and business consultants, we are often asked how long business records should be saved. Recordkeeping is important because it provides information to support decision-making by management and is generally required by legal retention requirements.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.18.2017 - Liquidation Basis Accounting Standards for Employee Benefit Plans
With interest rates on the rise, it has become more attractive to plan sponsors to terminate their legacy-defined benefit pension plans. When a plan sponsor decides to terminate an employee benefit plan, they must look to the liquidation basis of accounting requirements for proper presentation of their plan's financial statements.
4|8| 7|12| 04.20.2015 - Re-imagining The City of the Future
A century ago, as one immigrant population after another made its way to America in search of a better life, their destinations were our country's burgeoning cities. This was where they could build their desired quality of life — they would make friends, educate their children in nearby schools and find good jobs there. Slowly and steadily during the second half of the 20th century, those old cities lost people to growing suburbs, taking their jobs and personal investments with them. Evidence today, however, shows people have a desire to return to urban areas. But in order for that to happen, more of the old simply won't do. Our 21st-century cities must be modern, innovative, accessible, open and technologically advanced to attract people back.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 04.13.2015 - New Health Care Provisions Impact Tax Returns
Tax Day on April 15 is fast approaching, and both business and individual filers across the state should be busy preparing their returns in anticipation of the looming deadline. As this is done, filers need to be mindful of one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be signed into law in the past decade — the Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare — and the tax implications that exist this year that need to be considered. These include new forms to be filed as well as penalties businesses and individuals face for failing to comply with the ACA.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 4|8| 04.24.2015 - Fraud and Internal Controls
The most recent recession sharpened a trend already in place across the national economy – companies run leaner today than they did 5, 10 or 15 years ago. The financial difficulties many companies are experiencing have reinforced a movement spurred by technological advances. Mainly, there are fewer people in the workplace handling more responsibilities. Unfortunately for business owners and senior corporate executives, reduction of the workforce equates to fewer supervisors, thus less availability to oversee and audit operations. This condition is an invitation for employees to pilfer from a company -- either by walking off with inventory or inappropriately handling receipts.
4|8|9| 7| 04.28.2015 - The City of the Future – A Re-Imagining of City Life in the 21st Century
A century ago, as one immigrant population after another made its way to America in search of a better life, their destinations were our country’s burgeoning cities. This was where they could build their desired quality of life—they would make friends, educate their children in nearby schools and find good jobs there. Everything they needed to make their lives whole was there, beneath the steeples and spires and growing skylines.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|4|7| 05.15.2015 - Payroll Fraud – An Often Overlooked Risk and How to Address It
We often hear or read stories in the news about fraud occurring within businesses. Frequently, such businesses are victimized when an individual in a position of financial authority makes unauthorized withdrawals or disbursements from bank accounts, or misdirects cash deposits. In response to these risks, controls are often implemented to prevent and detect fraud relating to cash, but what is often overlooked is the potential for payroll fraud.
4|5|7| 1| 05.27.2015 - Grantee Implementation of Federal Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements
This article addresses how to implement UG from a grantee perspective and how to transition from the former requirements to UG.
6|5|4|3|2|1|9|7| 11| 02.04.2016 - How Long Should I Keep My Tax Records?
One record retention guideline is often misconstrued; the retention guideline pertaining to tax returns and related documents. A common misconception is that the Internal Revenue Service can only audit tax returns related to the last three years.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 07.21.2015 - Tibble v. Edison: Lessons for 401(k)/403(b) Plan Sponsors
In 2007 a lawsuit was brought against the Edison International company sponsored 401(k) plan. The suit alleged that the plan sponsor and its fiduciaries failed to monitor the fees charged to the company retirement plan. There are five key outcomes from this case that plan sponsors and fiduciaries should pay close attention to. These lessons, outlined below, should be implemented by all sponsors of company retirement plans.
1|2|3|4|5|7|9| 1|4| 07.21.2015 - Ten Tips to Help Businesses Avoid Payroll-Related Fraud
Payroll is one of the largest, if not the largest, expense on a corporate income statement. Accordingly, companies should design, implement and maintain a system of controls over payroll in order to ensure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded. Payroll-related fraud is not industry specific and can be difficult to detect. It is also one of the most common.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 08.21.2015 - Penalty Relief for Form 5500-EZ Late Filings
In 2014, the IRS established a one-year pilot program that provided penalty relief for failure to timely file annual reports for one-participant retirement plans. The feedback from the pilot program was favorable, and it was suggested that a permanent penalty relief program be put in place. In June 2015, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2015-32, which establishes a permanent penalty relief program for filers of Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan.
8|9|4|7| 15|8|12| 05.06.2016 - Municipalities, Schools and Non-Profits Need To Protect Against Cyber Attacks
It has become an increasingly common occurrence to see data breaches at large multi-national corporations that have put consumer’s personal information at risk. In recent years businesses such as Anthem, Sony and Target have all been thrown into crisis thanks to hackers breaking into their systems, gaining access to protected information and causing widespread panic.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|15| 04.26.2016 - Ransomware - The New Pandemic
What is ransomware? How can you mitigate risk? What do you do if infected by ransomware? Learn about all of the above in this compelling and information packed article.
9|4| 5| 05.16.2016 - Agencies in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut Assisting Businesses to Grow and Succeed
In an effort to stimulate growth in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all have customer service-focused government and quasi-government agencies that assist business to grow and succeed. These agencies devise and implement strategies to streamline the business expansion in, and relocation to, their respective states.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|12|15| 06.03.2016 - Are mobile phones your biggest weakness to cyber threats?
Our phones are no longer only for making calls, they’ve evolved into our hand-held personal computers. With this, comes the storing of sensitive data so it's easily available to us―emails, calendars, contact information, passwords, payment data, etc. While these features are great for the traveling or telecommuting employee, it’s also attractive to hackers.
9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 11| 06.08.2016 - Employers Need to Prepare Now For New Federal Overtime Guidelines
Regulations released by the United States Department of Labor establishing new guidelines under which employees must be paid overtime will have a far-reaching impact on employers throughout Connecticut and the nation. Business leaders now must take the right steps to ensure they are in compliance with these new rules before they take effect in December.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| 06.30.2016 - Cyber Security Facts and Trends Infographic
Learn more about the real costs of cyber attacks with our cybersecurity facts, trends and statistics infographic.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 08.12.2016 - Affordable Care Act Could Bring Additional Challenges for Employers in 2017
As hard as it may be to believe, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known to many as Obamacare) is now more than six years old. It was signed into law amid cheers and protests from competing sides, and in that time has survived dozens of efforts by Congress to repeal it. Through all of that it still exists and requires businesses with more than 50 people to provide health insurance for employees. While the results of the November election could have an impact on its long-term viability, it is safe to say that qualifying businesses would be wise to plan to continue adhering to the law into 2017.
4|5|6|8|9| 15| 08.15.2016 - Five Industries with Growing Cybersecurity Needs
While every industry, business, entity and organization is susceptible to cyber-attacks, 2015 has shown a shift in the industries experiencing the highest incident rates. IBM has recently released the 2016 version of its annual IBM X-Force Cyber Security Intelligence Index – a report that provides readers with an overview and detailed look at the types and volume of attacks out there, the industries that are most affected and the key factors enabling hackers to attack.
4| 1| 08.19.2016 - Municipalities Need to Ensure Proper Management, Disclosure of Bond Sales
A critical resource for building new and maintaining existing infrastructure for most municipalities is the issuing of municipal bonds. Most municipalities do not have the funds available in their budgets for these major projects, the issuance of bonds allow for improvement and repair work to get done in a timely matter and paid back over time. It has become a fairly routine funding methodology for cities and towns across the country.
4|7|8|9| 15| 08.24.2016 - Cyber Security Basics: 10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Computer Network from Viruses and Attacks
Hackers, viruses, worms, ransomware and spyware are only a few things that can do harm to your computer, network and in some cases your wallet. It can be scary to know how easily your identity can be stolen, simply by clicking a malicious link from an email. Although there are numerous ways in which a computer user can be attacked or exploited, there are also many ways you can protect yourself and your company from cyber threats.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 1|3| 09.01.2016 - When Does Your Retirement Plan Need an Audit?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) establishes standards and rules governing employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension, other retirement and health and welfare plans), including independent audit requirements. Generally, all large non-governmental and non-church retirement plans are required to be audited by a qualified certified or licensed public accountant on an annual basis. ERISA also generally requires large funded health and welfare plans (normally indicated by the establishment of a trust to hold plan assets) to be audited on an annual basis.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 15| 09.07.2016 - 8 Lessons Learned from History's Biggest Cyber Attacks
Every day, over 4,000 cyber-attacks occur, nearly three attacks every minute. The sophistication and techniques used by hackers is growing and evolving constantly. Fortunately, we can use the lessons learned throughout the history of cyber-attacks to increase our knowledge and awareness, and in turn, better protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 09.27.2016 - How to Select an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan
All employee benefit plans (401(k), 403(b), Pension and other retirement and health and welfare plans) categorized as “large” plans for Form 5500 reporting purposes are required to have an annual audit performed by an independent auditor.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 3| 11.01.2016 - 401(k) and 403(b) Audit Checklist
It is important to prepare for your annual retirement plan audit to ensure a smooth audit and Form 5500 filing. This checklist is designed as a summary of the items that will typically be reviewed as part of the annual audit of your defined contribution plan (401(k), 403(b) and profit sharing plans). It is not meant to be all-inclusive, but covers the common items requested during an audit of a defined contribution plan.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 11.14.2016 - What are “excepted benefits” for purposes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum essential coverage?
The ACA created Code Sec. 5000A whereby individuals must now have minimum essential health insurance coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption or make an individual shared responsibility payment.
4|8| 15| 08.02.2016 - Watch our Video: Cybersecurity Risks for Government Leaders
Learn about the top cybersecurity risks for cities, towns, and school districts. Jeff Ziplow, Partner at BlumShapiro shares some areas that government leaders should consider when it comes to assessing cybersecurity risks and ensuring a government organization has proper cybersecurity risk management plan in place.
8|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12| 12.01.2016 - Investing in Technology Helps Businesses Stay Ahead
Everywhere we look, both here in Connecticut and throughout the nation, the largest internal investment being made by businesses is in new technology. Find out how this investment in technology can lead to success for your organization.
3|2|4|5|6|7|9| 11| 06.26.2017 - Senate Unveils Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related taxes is now in the Senate following passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House this April. The Senate unveiled their discussion draft, Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, on June 22, which contains many tax provision similarities to the House bill in efforts to repeal ACA taxes.
9|4| 11| 08.17.2017 - Tax Reform Discussions Continue in Congress
House and Senate lawmakers have started their August recess, leaving pending tax legislation for after Labor Day. In past years, September has been a busy month for tax legislation and this year is likely to be the same. Before leaving Capitol Hill, lawmakers took actions in several areas related to tax reform.
 

Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs – BlumShapiro is one of the premier government focused accounting firms in New England and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve government agencies, cities, towns, municipalities and quasi-government organizations in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Cranston (RI), Shelton (CT), Quincy (MA)and Newton (MA) with audit, tax and business consulting services. We are members of the Government Finance Officers Association, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Connecticut Council of Small Towns and the Government Finance Officers Association of Rhode Island. Learn more about our City of the Future offerings.