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Adam Shay CPA

Meet This Firm: Adam Shay CPA

Meet This Firm is a series of video interviews featuring the best accounting employers across the United States for high performing accounting professionals and CPAs. Please enjoy this sponsored post courtesy of Adam Shay CPA, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. Contact Judy Schryver to learn more about firm partnerships. Adam Shay CPA, PLLC wants Tax Accountants […]

Atchley & Associates

Meet This Firm: Atchley & Associates

Meet This Firm is a series of video interviews featuring the best accounting employers across the United States for high performing accounting professionals and CPAs. Please enjoy this sponsored post courtesy of Atchley & Associates, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. Contact Judy Schryver to learn more about firm partnerships. Atchley & Associates, LLP is a full-service, […]

Lurie, LLP

Meet This Firm: Lurie, LLP

Meet This Firm is a series of video interviews featuring the best accounting employers across the United States for high performing accounting professionals and CPAs. Please enjoy this sponsored post courtesy of Lurie, LLP, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. Contact Judy Schryver to learn more about firm partnerships. There’s public. There’s private. And then there’s Lurie. […]

KHA Accountants and Advisors

Meet This Firm: KHA Accountants and Advisors, PC

Meet This Firm is a series of video interviews featuring the best accounting employers across the United States for high performing accounting professionals and CPAs. Please enjoy this sponsored post courtesy of KHA Accountants and Advisors, PC, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. Contact Judy Schryver to learn more about firm partnerships. With offices in Flower Mound […]

Catching Clouds

Meet This Firm: Catching Clouds

Meet This Firm is a series of video interviews featuring the best accounting employers across the United States for high performing accounting professionals and CPAs. Please enjoy this sponsored post courtesy of Catching Clouds, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. Contact Judy Schryver to learn more about firm partnerships. This interview features Catching Clouds, a Colorado-based e-commerce accounting […]

Tips for QuickBooks Online from Fellow CPAs

The following post is sponsored content from Intuit. As a CPA, you know how time consuming it can be for you and your clients when you have to request data files to prepare your clients' taxes. Bryce Forney, CPA, demonstrates how he has easily used Intuit’s cloud-based QuickBooks Online Accountant to help him meet his […]

Check Out Our Chat with Avalara, the Sales Tax Experts, About Digital Products Taxability

The following post is sponsored content by Shane Ratigan, Content Compliance Manager at Avalara. Check back here this Wednesday at 1 pm for a live chat with Avalara who will answer your questions. You can set up a reminder below.   You don’t have to be a SALT accountant to know that sales tax is […]

What to Do When You Get a Big Pay Raise

When that first huge chunk of money hits your bank account, you may just get stars in your eyes. The accountant in you is screaming, be smart, but this ability to finally afford those expensive meals out, your brand-new apartment, and new corporate duds is oh so appealing and finally within reach. But think back […]

Career Opportunities: Mail Away Accounting Degrees

Loblaw note: this is one of those sponsored posts that no one reads.  In this day and age, no one has time to study. So that's why you should just cough up a few bucks and use your life experience to earn your advanced degree. That's right. Surviving high school alone is a feat and […]

One Secret You Shouldn’t Keep From Your Managing Partner

While the concept of transparency may seem like a good thing, there are definitely some times when you want to keep secrets from your managing partner. You know what they are: texting personal messages from your cube on your cell phone, playing Words with Friends when you should be networking for referrals and, well, you […]

Five Reasons Why Your Boss Should Buy You an iPad

Don’t laugh. Mobile is the fastest growing segment in tax and accounting technology. New document presentation and file exchange capabilities make tablets the perfect complement to cloud-based data and applications. And IT departments that once recoiled in horror at anything that wasn’t Blackberry are developing a taste for Apple.  All these factors have slowly nudged […]

Let’s Cut Through the “Noise” About Forensic Accounting and Fraud Investigation Programs

West Virginia University’s Forensic Accounting & Fraud Investigation (FAFI) program, in the College of Business and Economics, is one of the most recognized and respected programs in the world. Period.

At WVU, our program is:

• based upon knowledge gained from leaders in forensic accounting-public accounting, industry, education and government, including U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
• geared toward exposing students to best practices in an expanding field of opportunities
• created by our faculty, who facilitated guidelines for the National Institute of Justice
• leading research in forensic accounting and fraud examination through the Institute for Fraud Prevention (IFP)

And we’re tailoring our graduate certificate program to fit your life — by giving you the option of enrolling in a traditional classroom program or an online program (the on-program includes two, two-day residencies on WVU’s main campus). Either way, your residencies include moot court, pitching cases to prosecutors and CSI-F (Crime Scene Investigation – Financial) experiences exclusive to WVU.

There’s a lot of white noise out there about forensic accounting and fraud investigation programs, and most of it is just that.

When the Internal Revenue Service needed to train its people in best practices for detecting fraud, identifying the real thing and collecting evidence to use in court, the agency came to WVU. The WVU Forensic Accounting & Fraud Investigation program offers:

• hands-on case investigations
• experiential learning
• extensive exposure to outside professionals
• moot court experience
• CSIF event
• your choice: traditional classroom or online program with on-campus residencies

And if you’re a non-West Virginia resident, you are eligible for a $4,000 scholarship.

West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics even has the nation’s first-ever Ph.D. program in accounting that offers a specialization in forensic accounting and fraud investigation. Credibility, curriculum, commitment. That’s WVU.

The bottom line is that you want a program that is going to dramatically increase your skill set, make you a more valuable asset to your company and help move your career upward. Done.

True Confessions from the Server Room: Why “Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough in Practice Management

Are you in your office? Good. Then take this article with you back to your server room. Look around. Then ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you see any floppy disks?
2. Is there a stack of printouts in the corner?
3. Does it take more than one hand to count the anagement applications you have running?

Don’t be embarrassed. Tech anachronisms like these are the mullets of the IT world, but most of us have a few of them lying around. And chances are they’re not part of your zoomy new secure client portal, your mobile-friendly website, or any other client-facing piece of technology. No, the skeletons in your server room are probably related to the ugly stepchild of tax and accounting technology: practice management.

If you’re like a lot of firms, your practice management technology has languished for years in an ugly jumble of disparate systems that has been “good enough” since the early Clinton administration. I feel your pain. But the sad fact is, “good enough” just isn’t good enough anymore.

You can’t afford to have staff entering the same data over and over. You can’t afford to wait overnight for updates to run. You can’t afford to tell clients “I’ll check the printout and get back to you.” You can’t afford to ask your employees “How long do you think that took you?” And you certainly can’t afford their answers.

The good news is, you don’t have to. Not with the new crop of integrated practice management software that integrates thorny components like time and billing, a/r tracking, and management reporting onto one slick platform. Your staff will enter data once and make it available across the entire firm in real time. You’ll be able to see the status of all your projects, who’s working on them, and who isn’t working on much of anything, all on one convenient dashboard. You’ll have the information you need to give your clients the instant answers they demand. And since your new practice management application will be capable of operating in the cloud, it will all be available to you anytime, from any Internet connection, and even on your smartphone.

Like a lot of the recent advances in cloud-based computing and mobile technology, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. But it’s more than just cool. Instant, anytime-anywhere access to practice management information is an essential survival tool in the lean new reality of tax and accounting. And so are the reduced IT expenses that come with cloud-based software.

There’s never been a better time to exorcise the skeletons from your server room, particularly with the advances being made in integrated practice management technology. “Good enough” just might be costing you more than you think.

Learn more about what the new generation of integrated practice management software can do.

Here’s a Friendly Reminder to Tune into “Let’s Talk CPA Exam” Tonight

This is just a friendly reminder that I’ll appearing on the Yaeger CPA Review weekly radio show to talk about the CPA exam. This particular chat will focus on balancing your study life and work life (i.e. you have no life). If you’re having trouble pulling it together, you can call in and I’ll motivate you like some sort of CPA exam drill sergeant.

Of course if you don’t have questions about that, you can simply call in to gripe about NASBA, BEC, or whatever else grinds your gears about this whole process.

Click here if you’d like an email reminder for this week’s show. Adrienne has promised to call in simply to heckle me so it should be pretty fun.

UPDATE: If you missed it last night, here’s last night’s show for your listening enjoyment:

Listen to internet radio with Yaeger on Blog Talk Radio

Let’s Talk CPA Exam: Working and Studying: How to Keep Your Sanity and Pass

For any of you CPA exam candidates looking to spend this Thursday evening in front of computer listening to my magical voice sharing infinite wisdom, you’re in for a treat.

You may or may not be aware that Phil Yaeger of Yaeger’s CPA Review has a weekly radio show where he talks about…wait for it…yes, the CPA exam. I’ll be the featured guest on Phil’s radio program this Thursday evening at 10 pm eastern time. We’ll be discussing the delicate balance of studying for those three special letters and working full-time. You’ll be able to call in with questions or if you feel compelled to berate me about typos or ask why Adrienne has to use so many curse words in her posts, I’ll be happy to oblige you with answers.

Click here if you’d like an email reminder for this week’s show. Whatever your motivation for calling in or listening, it should be a hoot.

Michael Oxley Is Spreading the Good Sarbanes-Oxley Word to Nonprofits

Presented by Serenic Software. Download our free whitepaper – “5 Key Reasons Why Great Financial Management is So Important for Your Nonprofit Now”

If you’re a non-profit leader and free on April 12th, why not head to Washington and listen to Mike Oxley (yes, that Oxley, without whom SOX would still be the property of a certain Chicago baseball team and not the bane of accounting’s existence) speak about transparency and accountability for non-profits?

The ironic part, of course, is that non-profits don’t really have to suffer with the legislation named after Oxley but he’d like to see a little more, well, Oxley in NFP, even if it isn’t necessarily required by law.

[Oxley] will speak about the importance for nonprofit organizations to be transparent and ensure greater accountability with their financial standards to build on and preserve donor trust, strengthen the reputations of nonprofit organizations and associations, and enhance the overall nonprofit sector.

Attendees will include thought leaders from foremost nonprofits, trade associations and key congressional staff members. Both the House and Senate Ethics committee’s staff have deemed this a “widely attended event.”

My feelings on Sarbanes-Oxley have been expressed more than once here on Going Concern but I can sum them up thusly: more useful things could be done to “protect” the investor interest besides arcane SOX compliance and the PCAOB including but not limited to random auditor cavity searches, TSA-style interrogation of management, and waterboarding the internal audit team. Is Oxley trying to imply that non-profits should follow suit but only voluntarily and out of obligation to donors instead of investors?

Surely his plan is not that sinister.

Only because non-profits already have their own version of SOX in the Form 990 (which I have complained about before as well) that has all of their bases covered. The only SOX carry-overs are strengthened whistleblower protection and retention of documents in lawsuits, perhaps because non-profits may have been where Mike Oxley got his ideas.

SOX compliance costs averaged $2.9 million during fiscal year 2006, actually down 23% from the fiscal year previous according to FEI. Do you know many nonprofits who have that sort of cash lying around?

I think it might be better to get some advice from the guy who wrote the bill and start tightening up the ship just in case.

Recommended reading by April 11th if you’re checking out Oxley’s “I just want to be helpful” presentation: The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Implications for Nonprofit Organizations (last updated January 2006). Bring a notepad.

Former Congressman Mike Oxley to Speak at Nonprofit Summit [Council for Non-Profit Accountability]

Ninety Percent of Nonprofit Execs Expect 2010 to be as Financially Difficult as 2009

Presented by Serenic Software. Download our free whitepaper – “5 Key Reasons Why Great Financial Management is So Important for Your Nonprofit Now”

Not to be the harbinger of doom but the Non-profit Finance Fund released a survey Monday that reflects the less-than-optimistic hopes of non-profit leaders for the year ahead. Though it’s far more depressing than Financial Armageddon, it shows that non-profits are far more prepared for the worst (and more deft at handling adversity) than their for-profit counterparts. For-profit CFOs still seem preoccupied with the credit crunch while non-profits are merely trying to meet increased demand with less to provide.

America’s nonprofits expect that 2010 will be financially more difficult or as difficult as 2009, according to a survey released today by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF). The survey of more than 1,300 nonprofit leaders in markets nationwide also found strong evidence of the dramatic and creative steps that organizations are taking in order to maintain and even expand service delivery to meet increased demand during this time of continued economic uncertainty.

• Nearly 90% expect 2010 to be as difficult or more difficult than 2009; only 12% expect 2010 to be financially easier for their organizations.

• 80% of nonprofits anticipate an increase in demand for services in 2010; 49% expect to be able to fully meet this demand level.

• Only 18% of organizations expect to end 2010 above break-even; 35% of organizations ended 2009 with an operating surplus.

• The majority — 61% — have less than three months of cash available; 12% have none.

“We expect 2010 to be another treacherous year for many nonprofits that routinely take heroic measures to meet demand for services,” said Clara Miller, President and CEO of NFF. “The economic ‘recovery’ has not yet reached people in need, or the organizations that serve them. We must do more to repair the tattered social safety net.”

Interestingly, only 46% of non-profits surveyed said they believed they would not be able to replace government stimulus money from other sources when the money is gone. Also curious, non-profits appear to be having an easier time of getting loans. Only 30% of survey respondents said they’d applied for a loan in the last 12 months but incredibly 74% of those secured the loan. Oh and 26% said they only applied for a loan because they were waiting for late government payments.

There were quite a few memorable responses from survey participants but I think this one sums up the theme of NFF’s results pretty well: “WE DIDN’T GIVE UP.”

2010 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey [NFF]

Give It Up Tax Protesters, You’re Just Screwing Yourselves

Of the adherents of strange and puzzling belief systems – 9/11 Truthers, Fed groupies, Cubs fans – few work so hard to screw themselves as tax protesters.

By their own account, twww.rothcpa.com/archives/000480.php”>spend “thousands of hours” reading their arcane tracts, expanding on theories of why the 16th Amendment is a figment of our imagination, or why a gold-fringed flag means you’re in an admiralty court, which somehow undoes the income tax.

Or why the federal tax law only covers the District of Columbia and federal forts, or why Section 861 says U.S. source income isn’t taxable. The result? They still owe the taxes, penalties, and maybe $25,000 idiot fees from the tax court – and that’s if things go well. If they go badly, they go very badly.

Every year the IRS updates its handy debunking of tax protester arguments. It does little good. You can spend hours trying to talk tax protesters out of their ideas, but they move effortlessly from one gold-fringed bad idea to another, and they can almost sound like they make sense, until you get outside and get some fresh air. But there is one common problem in all of these “Tax Honesty” arguments: they don’t work.

No matter how convinced you are that Irwin Schiff’s theories of the income tax are true, that there is no income tax, all of the federal judges think there is one. So does the IRS, the Federal Marshals Service, and pretty much everyone in the Bureau of Prisons. What they say trumps what Irwin says, which is why the poor man is likely to die in jail.

But what about the glorious courtroom triumphs of Lloyd Long, Vernice Kuglin and Tom Cryer? They were acquitted by juries! Yes, these guys beat criminal charges. Why the juries voted the way they did, we’ll never really know. Maybe they were nullifiers, striking a blow against the income tax. Maybe they decided that the defendants really believed their schtick, so they didn’t “willfully” fail to pay their taxes. But these acquittals debunk the income tax only if the O.J. acquittal debunks California’s murder statute. Even though these guys didn’t go to jail (unlike many, including their pied piper, Irwin Schiff), they still have to pay their taxes.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Of course he says that. He does taxes for a living. He’s in on the conspiracy!” If so, come on. If this stuff actually worked, I wouldn’t grind my way through every tax season pretending there is an income tax. If it worked, I would just talk to a few of my wealthiest clients, work out a deal to take 5% of their income for the next 10 years in return for making their taxes go away, wave my wand, and spend March in Mesa.

But here I am, grinding out those returns. That no more makes me “pro-tax” than believing in germ theory makes a doctor “pro-bacteria.” Still, if you really want to ruin your financial life, you’re welcome to choose your poison. But first ask yourself: are all of these big companies and rich guys who pay taxes crazy or stupid? Or is it just you?

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