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Articles & Updates

  • 10.30.2014 - 5 Ways to Get Your Best Employees Back on Track
    From time to time, even your best people may slack off a bit. They lose focus or just need a break. It's part of the human condition, right? But, after some rest, it's the leader's responsibility to get those high performers back in the game. After all, it is the superstars that have the greatest impact on a business. Their contributions can make or break the long-term success of the enterprise. So, it is imperative that the best among us stay engaged and committed to continued achievement.
  • 10.30.2014 - Is Lack of Internal Communication Affecting the Operations of Your Property Management Group?
    Communication is much like art—whether it’s considered good is in the eye, or ear, of the beholder. The ability to balance a checkbook does not indicate an expertise in accounting, just as the ability to follow a recipe does not make one a chef. In the same way, the ability to enunciate clearly or write legibly does not make one an effective communicator. Presuming that speaking and writing are the same as communicating is one of the great obstacles to organizational effectiveness.
  • 10.23.2014 - Time is Running Out to Make a Portability Election
    The IRS has provided a simplified method to obtain an extension of time to make a portability election for estates of decedents with deaths occurring from 2011 to 2013. Recently, the IRS announced that for anyone who died between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 and whose estate was not required to file a federal estate tax return and did not file a return to elect portability, the estate can go back now and file one. Even though the return will technically be late, this will be allowed as long as the requirements for relief are followed.
  • 10.23.2014 - IRS Finalizes Guidance on the Treatment of Tangible Property Under MACRs
    On August 14, 2014, the IRS released final regulations on the treatment of dispositions of tangible property under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) and Code Sec. 168. The final regulations clarify how taxpayers should identify which assets are subject to the rules, how to compute gain and loss from dispositions of assets (particularly in the context of general asset accounts), and how to approach partial dispositions of tangible property. The final regulations apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. However, taxpayers have several implementation options in regard to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2014.
  • 10.23.2014 - OECD Provides Guidance on Transfer Pricing Documentation
    A transfer price is the price for goods, services or intangibles that are sold or transferred between related legal entities within a multinational enterprise. Transfer pricing strategies have been employed by multinational companies that shift profits to countries with low corporate tax rates, even though the company may have little or no economic activity in that country. The practice of artificially shifting income into tax-advantaged environments is referred to as base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).
  • 10.23.2014 - 401(k) Trends: Target Date Funds
    Has your plan recently implemented Target Date Funds? Although they have been around for a number of years, Target Date Funds have grown in popularity exponentially in recent years. As plan sponsor fiduciary responsibility is emphasized more and more each year, these investment options have become more popular in 401(k) plans.
  • 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.
  • 09.29.2014 - DOL Updates Guidance on Locating Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans
    On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2014-01 (the FAB). When a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan, is terminated, it is the plan sponsor’s responsibility to locate all participants and distribute their accumulated balances held by the plan as soon as administratively feasible. The FAB addresses a plan fiduciary’s duties regarding “missing” or “lost” participants in terminated defined contribution plans.
  • 09.25.2014 - Don’t Forget About the Massachusetts Estate Tax
    By now everyone has heard that the federal estate tax exemption is up to $5,340,000 for 2014, and the law allows the portability of a spouse’s unused exemption. So if the value of your assets is less than $5,340,000 (or $10,680,000 for a married couple) you might be thinking that you are in the clear and don’t need to worry about estate tax. Well if you live in Massachusetts, you need to think again.
  • 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.
  • 09.22.2014 - Your Reputation Shows in Your Financial Statement
    As you already know, your dealership’s reputation ultimately shows up in your financial statement. In fact, it is in every department. But how do you find it? Your reputation can either hurt or help your financial results. As we all know, a dealership stands out in most communities, especially rural areas. If you treat your customers badly or just don’t care about them, your financial statements are eventually going to show you how badly you are doing.
  • 09.22.2014 - Volume or Gross?
    Auto franchises’ financial statements are quite different in format and how the financial data is displayed for your review. Each franchise seems to think its format is the best to inform you as the dealer how your business is performing. They are very different but the basics remain. There is a balance sheet and an income statement. The income statement is broken up into many departments: new, used, F&I, service, parts, body shop, rental, quick lube, etc. Some statements show some of the variable expenses under the sales and gross profit area, and others show the gross and all expenses separately.

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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) ,Quincy (MA) and Newton (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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