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Articles & Updates

  • 04.10.2014 - Finding the Right Advisors: Your Job as a Business Owner!
    "My investment advisor suggested that I sell my company to an ESOP. Is that a good idea?" "My estate planning attorney recommended that I begin transferring my business to my children. What do you think?" "I'm getting tired of running my business every day. My accountant thinks a sale to a third party is a good idea. What's your opinion?" As advisors, unless and until we know more about an owner's company and what goals he or she wants his exit plan to achieve, we cannot possibly know which route is best. It is the job of your exit planning advisor to help you plan and implement your exit strategies by asking the questions that help you to clarify your goals. Experienced exit planning advisors ask the right questions so that you know where you are going, who is going to help you get there and the route you are going to take.
  • 04.10.2014 - Seven Reasons to Outsource Your Accounting Practice
    In today’s high-stakes business environment, companies outsource some operational functions to save time and money. As one of the first processes to be widely outsourced, accounting procedures continue to be released from in-house operations at an epic rate. This is because outsourced accounting practices can save money and time while offering an unwavering peace of mind to managers. As a business consultant, company owners often ask me whether they, too, should make this switch. My answer, consistently, is “absolutely”.
  • 04.08.2014 - IRS Final Report on Tax-Exempt Colleges and Universities Compliance Project—Compensation Issues
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued its final report last year summarizing the audit results from its college and university compliance study, which began in 2008. The final report focuses on two primary areas: reporting of unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) and compensation, including employment tax and retirement issues. A previous article summarized the UBTI reporting issues identified in the report. This article focuses on the compensation, employment tax and retirement issues identified in the final report.
  • 03.25.2014 - Cultivating a Relationship Between the Finance and Development Offices
    It is not uncommon for the relationship between the finance and development offices at non-profit organizations to be strained or non-existent. Yet this relationship is probably one of the most important within a non-profit organization, especially for those organizations that rely heavily on donations and grants. Poor communication between these two offices can result in the improper receiving and handling of contributions and, ultimately, lost funding and upset donors.
  • 03.25.2014 - The New York Non-profit Revitalization Act of 2013
    New York state laws governing non-profit organizations have been overhauled. The Non-profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the Act) includes substantial reforms that will reduce red tape while enhancing governance and oversight of non-profits. Under the new laws, non-profit organizations will now be able to incorporate, dissolve and merge more easily, communicate and hold meetings using modern technology and enter transactions without having to go to court.
  • 03.25.2014 - Best Practices for Developing Compensation for Non-Profit Organizations
    Non-profit compensation can often be a challenge for many organizations which want to recruit top leadership talent. They want the best and brightest to lead their organizations, but they also must stay within reasonable compensation ranges to avoid scrutiny and misuse of donors’ dollars. That is why the IRS asks questions on how compensation is set on their annual Form 990. An organization’s form 990 can be accessed by the public and includes questions on how compensation is determined, and discloses compensation for the organization’s highest paid employees. Therefore, it is critical that non-profit boards and executive committees understand the steps to take to determine fair and reasonable executive compensation.
  • 03.18.2014 - Transition Relief for Mid-Sized Employers Regarding the Final Employer Mandate
    Mid-sized employers may be eligible for recently announced transition relief from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's employer-shared responsibility requirements. Final regulations issued by the IRS in late January include transition relief for mid-sized employers for 2015. Mid-sized employers for this relief are defined generally as businesses employing at least 50 but fewer than 100 full-time employees. Exceptions and complicated measurement rules continue to apply. The final regulations also describe the treatment of seasonal employees, volunteer workers, student employees, the calculation of the employer shared responsibility payment and much more.
  • 03.18.2014 - DOMA Update: Deadline Approaching to Amend Returns for 2010 Tax Year
    Same-sex couples have some calculating to do this spring as the effects play out from the U.S. Supreme Court decision made last year regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Among a number of choices same-sex couples must make in the aftermath of that landmark ruling is whether to file amended tax returns for previous years. For the 2010 tax year, the filing deadline for amended returns is fast approaching. Typically, that deadline will be April 15, 2014, though Rhode Island law is less flexible than federal law in this regard.
  • 03.18.2014 - Treasury Set to Develop New Retirement Savings Vehicle: myRAs
    Early this year, President Obama instructed the Treasury Department to develop a new savings vehicle called "myRA." These accounts are to share many similarities with Roth IRAs but also have unique features. myRAs are expected to roll out before year-end 2014 with details on how they operate to be forthcoming.
  • 03.18.2014 - Economic Downturn Gives Owners Time to Work on Value Drivers
    Value Drivers are the intrinsic characteristics of a company that buyers look for when deciding what company to buy and how much to pay. Value Drivers are an important aspect in a successful sale of a business, and consequently it is the work of the owner (not employees) to create and to nurture them. Installing value drivers in your company is the best thing you can do to increase both the salability of your company and its price tag, but doing so takes time. Today’s economic downturn gives you the time you need to prepare your company to sell when the M&A market recovers.
  • 03.18.2014 - Tangible Property "Repair" Regulations Require Taxpayer Action in 2014 and Beyond
    The IRS's final tangible property "repair" regulations became effective January 1, 2014. The regulations provide a massive revision to the rules on capitalizing and deducting costs incurred with respect to tangible property. The regulations apply to amounts paid to acquire, produce or improve tangible property; every business is affected, especially those with significant fixed assets.
  • 03.18.2014 - 401(k) Loan Policies – What to Consider
    Although it is not required by law to maintain a participant loan feature within an employee retirement plan, most plans do allow these programs. When choosing to allow a loan program within an employee retirement plan, it is important to adopt the loan policy features that are right for the plan.

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Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs - Blum Shapiro is one of the premier public accounting firms in the northeast and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve businesses, individuals and organizations in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Providence (RI), Shelton (CT) and Quincy (MA) with audit, tax and business consulting services. Our firm has developed practice areas in automotive, construction, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, nonprofit organizations and professional service firms. New Haven CT, Fairfield CT,  Norwalk CT, Waterbury CT. 

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