September 1, 2021

Tax Breaks for Helping Relatives

It’s not uncommon for adult children or siblings to act as caregivers for family members or give them financial assistance for medical or long-term care needs. The problem is that all too often those providing the help don’t take advantage of the tax benefits. Types of Care Caregiving happens through many different avenues. For example, family members might pay for services that their elderly parents need, such as housekeeping, meal preparation, or nursing care. Outside the home, they may pay for all or a portion of the cost of an assisted living facility. In other circumstances, individuals could directly provide the care instead of paying for it. This could happen in either the home of the person giving the care […]
September 1, 2021

How and Why to Develop a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy

With the internet available for essentially all employees and remote work becoming a part of more businesses’ operations, developing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is almost necessary to help employees be more productive and safe while working. Research shows there are many reasons why businesses should develop the right type of BYOD policy. According to Intel and Dell, 61 percent of Gen Y and 50 percent of workers 30 and older think the electronic devices they use at home are more capable in completing tasks in their everyday life compared to their work devices. Frost & Sullivan found that connected handheld technology helps employees, making them about one-third more productive and reducing their average workday by 58 minutes. A BYOD policy […]
September 1, 2021

What is a Net Zero Economy?

President Biden re-entered the United States in the Paris Agreement. This is an international treaty first signed in 2015 in which countries around the globe committed to mitigating climate change. Specifically, the goal of the Paris Accord is to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This objective would generate what is called a net zero global economy, which means creating a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount of greenhouse gasses removed from the atmosphere. The main engine that places carbon back into the soil is healthy vegetation that grows all years round, these are called cover crops and reforestation. You can help by using the Ecosia search engine.  […]
September 1, 2021

How to Catch Up on Your Retirement

If you’re 40 or 50 and aren’t where you’d like to be in terms of saving for retirement, don’t despair. You can remedy this situation. And since people are living well into their 80s and 90s, it’s never too late to start. Here are a few things you can do. Max Out Your 401(k) This could be a game-changer. Stuart Ritter, a certified financial planner with T. Rowe Price, recommends that you save at least 15 percent of your income for retirement, including the amount your employer matches. If your company is contributing 3 percent, then you should save 12 percent. If you can’t go this high, then increase the amount by 2 percent each year. So, if you’re saving […]
September 1, 2021

Is Your Business Ready to Outsource Accounting?

Accurate and timely accounting is critical for any business’ survival. At the same time, it’s important for entrepreneurs to pour their energy into core business activities and not waste time on day-to-day bookkeeping. Unfortunately, the cost of setting up a full-time accounting department is prohibitive for small and mid-sized businesses. Thankfully, there is an option to outsource functions such as bookkeeping, payroll, tax services, financing, budgeting, chief finance officer services, and more to a third party. In this article, we discuss how to know if you are ready to outsource, the benefits, and how to choose the right professional. How to Know if You Should Outsource Here is how to know when you need to outsource. Business growth – when […]
September 1, 2021

Fiscal Year Funding Plus Legislative Support for Health Care Professionals and Physical Activity for All Americans

A bill to provide for the publication by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of physical activity recommendations for Americans (S 1301) – This bill authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish guidelines of recommended physical activity for Americans. The bill was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on April 22, passed in the Senate on July 30 and is under consideration in the House. Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (S 610) – This bill was introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on March 4. The purpose of this legislation is to establish grants and require activities designed to improve mental and behavioral health and prevent burnout among health care providers. Strategies include […]
August 1, 2021

How to Turn a Summer Job into a Tax-Free Retirement Nest Egg and More

Tis the season for summer jobs for high school and college kids. These seasonal jobs are more than just an opportunity for teens and college students to earn some money and gain experience. They also provide the opportunity for seeding a significant retirement nest egg and even a down payment on a home through a Roth IRA. Seems too good to be true? Well, it’s not – but as always, the devil’s in the details, and it is not exactly a free lunch. So, let’s walk through exactly how this all works. Step 1 – Earned Income First, teen or college students must get a job that pays – and the more the better. This is because the gateway to […]
August 1, 2021

How Businesses Can Harness Demand Forecasting

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending has seen some interesting trends over the first half of 2021. May was flat, April was at 0.9 percent, March was 5.0 percent, and February was at 1.0 percent. With varied consumer spending statistics as the nation comes out of the pandemic, it’s important for businesses to get demand forecasting as accurate as possible. According to The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, demand forecasting is “a method for predicting future demand for a product.” It’s a calculated method to plan for inventory and helps prepare the supply chain for the future. Demand forecasting helps businesses forecast their future sales, which is based primarily on historical data. However, relying exclusively on historical data […]
August 1, 2021

HSA: Save it for Retirement

According to Fidelity Investments, the average 65-year-old couple retiring today will need about $300,000 for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses during retirement. And that doesn’t even include long-term care. One way to help pay for this enormous cost is to open a health savings account (HSA), which is a savings and investment vehicle designed to help people pay for medical-related expenses on a tax-free basis. To open one of these accounts, you must be enrolled in an HSA-eligible, high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). These are offered by many employers and also are available on the individual insurance market. One of the little-known advantages of the HSA is that if you delay withdrawing from it until retirement, you’ll have money ready to tap […]
August 1, 2021

5 Tips for Job Seekers Over 50

You’ve got loads of experience in your field. You know things that only time can teach you. However, all of your experience and knowledge can sometimes work against you. And even though age discrimination is illegal, it doesn’t mean it isn’t prevalent. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can reshape how you present yourself. Here are a few good ways to get started. Learn New Skills If you see a job posting in your industry that requires knowledge of the software you don’t know, hop on YouTube or enroll in an online class. Certifications help, too, and are available in some of the most in-demand programs, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Systems Applications and Products (SAP), Hootsuite […]
August 1, 2021

Technology Driven Accounting: How to Prepare Staff for a New Age in Accounting

Technology has no doubt changed the traditional way of doing things. Businesses and professionals are left with no choice but to adopt new technology to remain relevant in a changing environment. However, the successful adoption of this new age in accounting can happen only if you prepare your staff in advance. Why it’s Necessary to Prepare for the New Age Accounting Technology offers many benefits; however, the constant rapid changes in technology create a major challenge to organizations and even to the professionals/employees. Some decide to stick with systems with which they are already proficient. Unfortunately, such a decision is not an option if you want to remain relevant in a changing accounting landscape. Technological changes that have affected the […]
August 1, 2021

Blocking Voter Expansion, Proposing Greater Scrutiny of Inspectors General, and Paving the Way for Climate Change Measures

For the People Act of 2021 (HR 12) – This bill is designed to improve voter access to the ballot box by expanding automatic and same-day voter registration, vote-by-mail and early voting. The legislation also contains provisions that limit removing voters from voter rolls, strengthens ethics rules for public servants, reduces the influence of big money in politics and addresses other anti-corruption measures. The bill was introduced by Sen. John Sarbanes (D-MD) on Jan. 4 and passed in the House on March 3. In early July, the bill was blocked by Republicans in the Senate and its status is pending further action that may be taken by Senate Democrats. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S 65) – This bipartisan bill […]
July 1, 2021

Restricted Stock & RSUs: 3 Planning Tips

Equity compensation is becoming more mainstream and is not just for executives anymore. Grants of restricted stock or restricted stock units (RSUs) are getting to be more common than stock options – and the rules are different, as is the tax planning. Below we will look at some of the particulars of how restricted stock and RSUs operate, how to understand a grant, planning for the tax consequences, and what to do after the shares vest. How Restricted Stock and RSUs Work At their core, restricted stock and RSU company shares that vest according to a schedule can be awarded as compensation. The vesting schedule can be tied to length of employment, meeting certain performance criteria, or a combination of […]
July 1, 2021

How to Develop a Hybrid Work Policy Post-Pandemic

According to a Prudential survey, 87 percent of respondents said they would prefer to work remotely at least one day per week. This is compared to 13 percent of respondents preferring to work at the office all the time. The same survey found that one-third of respondents wouldn’t want to work for a business that had a 100 percent on-site work policy. According to a report from Microsoft titled, “The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?” 54 percent of employees report “feeling overworked” while 39 percent say they “feel exhausted.” The study attributes these employee feelings to an overload of “digital collaboration” through “remote meetings, emails, chats, and groups working on documents together.” With workers reporting […]
July 1, 2021

Wishing on a Star: Investors Pour Billions in to SPACs

A SPAC is a special purpose acquisition company. It is typically sponsored by a venture capitalist or a private equity firm that has expertise in a specific sector or industry, such as green technology. A SPAC launches as an IPO, but it is nothing more than a shell company that raises money from investors. Post-IPO, it has a limited amount of time (one to two years) to merge with an existing company, where the capitol is deployed. Once that happens, the private operating company trades publicly under the SPAC name. While SPACs have been around for about 30 years, they’ve only become popular in the past year or so. In fact, this year investors have already poured more than $100 […]
July 1, 2021

5 Tips for Going Back to the Office

Slowly, our world is changing. A percentage of the population has been vaccinated and many employees are headed back to the office. However, this may cause a bit of anxiety – and understandably so. Here are few ways to help take the edge off of returning to the workplace. Wake up Earlier For some of you, working from home might have caused you to shift your office hours. Maybe you’re starting later and staying up later. Whatever your routine, it’s safe to say that generally, office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A few days, perhaps a week, before you expect to go back, set your alarm earlier. Each day, baby step it back a few minutes to the […]
July 1, 2021

Audits in Accounting: Improving Audit Quality with Data Analytics

Auditing is crucial to ensure the accuracy and fairness of financial information. However, one of the biggest threats to audit reputation today is data quality. This is because of the large volumes of data that businesses produce today. To deal with so much data, auditors are now turning to data analytics. Data Analytics and Audits Technology has played a major role in business growth as it aids in reducing operational costs and improving customer service. As such, many businesses have adopted enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These systems result in huge volumes of data, making it nearly impossible to analyze using the traditional audit process. Auditors are left with no choice but to also use IT-based solutions; and this led […]
July 1, 2021

Recognizing the Abolishment of Slavery and Compensating Law Enforcement, Overseas Federal Employees and Disaster Relief Victims

Juneteenth National Independence Day Act (S 475) – This bill authorizes Juneteenth National Independence Day on June 19 as a legal public holiday. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) on Feb. 25. It was passed by both the House and the Senate on June 16 and signed into law by the president on June 17. Protecting America’s First Responders Act (S 937) – This bill was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on April 29. The legislation ensures that certain law enforcement and first responders who have become permanently and totally disabled as a result of personal injuries sustained in the line of duty have prompt access to specific payments and benefits. The bill passed in the […]
June 1, 2021

The Biggest Winners and Losers in President Biden’s Proposed Individual Tax Plan

President Biden presented his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which focuses on expanding benefits for education, children and childcare. The Biden administration intends to pay for the plan with a series of tax hikes on certain individual taxpayers. Depending on your income and source of wealth, there are some clear winners and losers of this proposal, so let’s look at each and start with those who lose. Losers Under the Plan High Earners: The proposed plan would increase the highest individual tax rate from 37 percent up to 39.6 percent. Currently, this tax bracket starts with those earning more than $523,000 for singles and $628,000 for taxpayers who are married filing jointly. While the percentage increase may appear small, this […]
June 1, 2021

Vaccine Hesitancy: Why We Have It and How It Affects Employers and Employees

According to a Tufts University survey, six in ten of those surveyed are now vaccinated against COVID-19. However, almost 40 percent of the unvaccinated respondents said they won’t get the vaccine. Only 28.5 percent of the remaining unvaccinated respondents said they will get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future, with the remaining unvaccinated respondents unable to decide whether they will take the vaccination. With vaccine hesitancy a concern, how can employers encourage more people to get the vaccine? It is important to understand why some view vaccines skeptically in order to overcome vaccine hesitancy among employees. The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center attributes vaccine hesitancy to these factors: The first factor is safety. Since the vaccine was developed faster […]
360.357.9304