January 1, 2024

Considerations For Paying Off a Mortgage Early

For many, buying a home is the biggest asset they will ever own. However, you aren’t able to fully benefit from that asset until you pay off the mortgage; until then it is technically a liability. The most common length of a mortgage loan is 30 years, but most people either sell their home, refinance their mortgage – or even pay it off before the end of that term. What are the pros and cons of paying off a mortgage early? Obviously, you no longer have to make monthly payments, so money can be directed elsewhere. It is advisable to pay off your mortgage before you retire, when most people live on a lower, fixed income. By having the mortgage […]
January 1, 2024

How a No-Spend January Can Kickstart Your New Year

Here we go again. The new year is approaching and those resolutions are staring us in the face – and the most common? Saving money. In fact, according to YouGov, this is the most important resolution for American adults. Now certainly, you can’t not spend money in January (you have to eat), but the idea is to rid yourself of any unnecessary cash outflow so you can kickstart the year with some solid financial habits. Limit Trips to the Store Of course, you’ll need food, toiletries and general household staples, but here’s your chance to step back and make lists, as opposed to running out to Target or Starbucks for a quick adrenaline rush. Plan your trips out. Buy store […]
January 1, 2024

Technology Trends for Businesses to Watch in 2024

The unrelenting advancement of technology is still going strong even as we enter 2024. The business landscape is poised for transformative changes, driven by ongoing developments that demand organizations to be innovative and adaptive. Below, we explore some key technology trends that businesses should keenly observe to remain competitive. 1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advancements: Unlocking New Possibilities The year 2023 witnessed widespread adoption of generative AI in various applications, from design tools to search engines and office software. This transformative shift changed the way businesses interact with technology. Continued integration of AI is expected to redefine automation, decision-making processes and customer experiences. Evolving AI algorithms, especially in natural language processing and computer vision, will play a pivotal role. From enhancing […]
January 1, 2024

Relaxing Small Business Accountability and Supporting Veteran Homelessness and Substance Abuse Disorders

A joint resolution providing for Congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection relating to Small Business Lending Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (SJ Res 32) – This resolution was introduced on June 13 by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). It nullifies a rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that requires financial institutions to collect and report credit application data for small businesses to the CFPB. The bill passed in the House and the Senate on Dec. 1, but President Biden has threatened to veto the resolution because he believes it would reduce transparency and accountability in small business lending. Caregiver Outreach and […]
December 1, 2023

The 2023 Tax Planning Guide

It’s that time of year again: time for year-end tax planning. With the end of 2023 coming fast, the time to act is now. In this article, we’ll look at the moves you can make to optimize your tax situation in 2023 as an individual taxpayer. Itemized Deductions Flexing your timing on itemized deductions is a solid strategic move. It can help you shift to a bigger itemized deduction in 2023 versus 2024 (but not both). This can be advantageous if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket in one year compared to the other. Key itemized deductions to consider are home interest, state and local taxes, charitable deductions and medical expenses. Electric Vehicles If you are in […]
December 1, 2023

Wage Garnishment Considerations for Business Owners

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA), wage garnishments are a complex legal process for employers to account for when it comes to employment matters. This article specifically refers to Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.  Usually authorized through a court order, a wage garnishment directs an employer to withhold or garnish an employee’s wages for a certain amount or percentage to satisfy an outstanding debt. Wage garnishments also can be implemented for delinquent tax obligations and other debts owed to federal agencies of the U.S. federal government, as well as for state-level tax collectors.  Another consideration for Title III is that for a single debt, employees may not be fired; but […]
December 1, 2023

How to Manage Taxes in Retirement

The biggest difference between managing taxes throughout your career versus during retirement is that when you are retired, you are responsible for calculating how much you owe and paying it on a timely basis. Retirees normally have several different income sources, and not all automatically withhold taxes from distributions. Retirement Income Sources Having multiple sources of income during retirement is a good strategy, as it helps protect you from market declines, tax legislation changes and potential defaults or cutbacks in pensions or entitlement programs. However, be aware that the more income sources you have, the more effort it takes to determine how much you owe in taxes for the year. As a general rule, retirement income is taxed as either […]
December 1, 2023

4 Smart Ways to Maximize Your IRA Contributions

Unless you’re near retirement, chances are you’re depositing a certain amount of cash each year in your IRA at tax time, then kind of forgetting about it, not thinking much about it until the next year. This dynamic can cost you a lot of money – today and at retirement age. Here are few ways to make all your hard-earned money work even harder. Invest your money, don’t simply fund it. According to a Vanguard study, two-thirds of last-minute IRA contributions end up just sitting in money market funds. The result? They’re just a little more than a checking account with a fancy name. Lesson: Don’t let your funds sit idle. They should be placed in the right investment; perhaps, […]
December 1, 2023

Impact of Digital Currency on Businesses’ Accounting

The emergence of digital currency is reshaping how businesses operate and account for financial transactions. As accounting professionals navigate this transformative wave, understanding the profound impact of digital currency on business accounting becomes not just relevant but imperative. What is digital currency? Digital currency is a form of currency that exists only in electronic or digital form, without a physical counterpart like coins or banknotes. There are two main types of digital currencies.  First, there are decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or stablecoins such as USDC (that track to the US dollar at 1-1). Cryptocurrencies are always based on blockchain technology.  The other main type and more likely to serve as a substitute for traditional government issued currencies are digital […]
December 1, 2023

Expanding Benefits for Veterans and Extending Government Funding Until Jan. 19, 2024

A bill to amend Title 38, United States Code, to extend and modify certain authorities and requirements relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. (S 2795) – This bill was introduced on Sept. 13 by Sen. Don Tester (D-MT). This act extends various Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and benefits, including extending the use of contract healthcare professions for disability exams from three to five years; extending authorization for VA emergency preparedness for public health emergencies through fiscal year 2028; and extending certain fee rates under the VA’s home loan program through Nov. 15, 2031. The bill passed in the Senate on Sept. 13, the House on Sept. 26, and was signed into law by […]
November 1, 2023

New Business Travel Per Diem Rates Announced for 2023-2024

New per diem rates were recently announced by the IRS and are effective for per diem allowances on or after Oct. 1, 2023. These updated rates include changes for the transportation industry, incidental expenses as well as the high-low substantiation method. Before we dive into the detailed changes impacting per diem rates, let’s revisit the concept of the per diem in general. To Per Diem or Not to Per Diem There are two basic ways that employees can be reimbursed for business travel expenses. The first is a direct reimbursement of the actual expenses. The second is the per diem method. Direct actual expense reimbursement is exactly what it sounds like. For example, a sales employee pays for a plane […]
November 1, 2023

Two Ways to Measure Revenue Per User

When it comes to measuring revenue, it’s essential that businesses analyze it from a variety of perspectives. While there’s revenue and net income on an income statement to show a company’s quarterly financials, another way to measure it is through ARPU (average revenue per user) and ARPPU (average revenue per paying user). Defining ARPU ARPU is the average revenue per customer or per unit. It looks at how much revenue is earned over a particular timeframe (multiple times a month, quarter, half-year, or 12 months) divided by the average patron during the same timeframe. This can be applied to many different types of companies, including social media and software as a service (SaaS). It’s calculated as follows: ARPU = Total […]
November 1, 2023

2024 Cost of Living Adjustments

In one year’s time, the U.S. inflation rate dropped by more than half, from 8.2 percent in September 2022 to 3.7 percent in September of 2023. If there is a downside to lower inflation, it’s a lower cost of living adjustment (COLA). This year, the inflation rate plummeted from 6.4 percent in January to the current 3.7 percent. While food prices, both grocery and dining out, continue to increase. Between February 2020 and September 2023, grocery store prices rose 25%. That was slightly above the 23% increase in menu prices during the same period. But a number of consumer goods prices had decreased by midsummer, such as: Gasoline (-26.5%) Airline fares (-18.9%) Car and truck rentals (-12.4%) Major appliances (-10.7%) […]
November 1, 2023

7 Smart Saving Strategies for Retirement

Next year, something called Peak 65 is happening. This moniker refers to the fact that more Americans will reach the traditional retirement age of 65 in the same year than at any time in history. Crazy, right? However, many of these people don’t feel like they’ve saved enough to live comfortably after they retire. Here are some ways to maximize your savings and cut costs so you can be prepared and retire with less financial worry. Use a retirement calculator. This is key. You’ll be able to see if what you have in retirement so far will be enough to actually live on. Here’s the tool. Once you know where you are, you’ll be able to determine your financial goals. […]
November 1, 2023

Super Apps and Their Impact on Traditional Business Models

As technology advances, users crave convenient and feature-rich solutions. In mobile app development, the concept of super apps is taking the tech world by storm. These apps include a wide range of services within a single platform, such as messaging, payments, ride-hailing, food delivery, and more. Super apps have disrupted traditional business models by providing a more convenient, personalized, and cost-effective user experience. Defining Super Apps Super apps are powerful, multifunctional platforms that offer numerous services, from transportation and finance to e-commerce and social networking, all within a single application. This is unlike standalone apps, where each focuses on a specific function, like the video-sharing service YouTube. The super apps allow users to access different services without downloading them to […]
November 1, 2023

Banning Weapons Training in Public Schools, Funding Assistance for Ukraine, and Various Appropriations Bills for Fiscal Year 2024

Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act (HR 5110) – This bill was introduced in the House on Aug. 1 by Rep. Mark E. Green (R-TN). The purpose of this bill is to ban federal funds from being used for weapons training in public schools, except in the case of training students in archery, hunting, and other school sports that involve shooting guns. The bill passed in the House on Sept. 26, the Senate on Sept. 27, and was signed into law by the president on Oct. 6. Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024 and Other Extensions Act (HR 5860) – This last-minute continuing resolution (CR) authorizes fiscal year 2024 appropriations to federal agencies through Nov. 17, as well as emergency funding for […]
October 1, 2023

IRS Plans to Use AI and Ramp Up Enforcement on Millionaires, Partnerships and Crypto

Recently, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel spoke of changes within the IRS, announcing several initiatives focusing on high-income earners and partnerships, as well as integrating the use of AI within the agency’s work. According to the commissioner, the initiatives were made possible by additional IRS funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. Without the funding from this bill, the agency would not have the budget to implement these ramp-ups in enforcement. Millionaires with Tax Debt The new initiative on millionaires is not just because they are high-earning taxpayers; it will focus on those with open tax debt. Currently, the IRS has identified approximately 1,600 millionaires who are in debt to the IRS for $250,000 or more. The agency plans to designate […]
October 1, 2023

Common Financial Reporting Mistakes and How to Correct Them

With accounting fraud and financial reporting mistakes creating a lack of confidence, understanding how financial reporting mistakes occur and are detected is an important topic. According to the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the first nine months of 2018 saw 8.8 percent more accounting fraud enforcement action cases versus 2017. Controls are procedures implemented to lower the chance of financial reporting issues. While these mechanisms are meant to prevent an overload of problems, they are not always foolproof. Corporations also are required to show that sufficient financial oversight is in place for financial records and assets by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. There are two types of controls: preventive and detective. As […]
October 1, 2023

Work and Social Security Benefits

You can work and still receive Social Security benefits, but how much you receive depends on a number of factors. First, if you do plan to continue working after becoming eligible to receive benefits, you might consider delaying filing for benefits for as long as possible. That’s because the earlier you begin drawing benefits, the lower the amount you will receive. In fact, your monthly payout will be permanently reduced from what you’ll receive if you wait until full retirement age (FRA). Your FRA depends on the year you were born (note that for people born on Jan. 1 of any year, they should refer to the previous year): Born 1943-1954: full retirement age is 66 Born in 1955: 66 […]
October 1, 2023

How to Organize Your Tax Documents

Since tax time isn’t until next April, organizing your documents right about now might not be top of mind or even something you want to do. However, if you don’t want to have to scramble come springtime, you might want to organize your paperwork all year long. Here’s why: It expedites the process when you really do have to begin your tax prep, and it’s actually pretty easy. Start with simple categories (listed below), grab some folders, and put them in a filing cabinet – or any safe place. This way, when tax time comes around, you’ll be ready. Income This is pretty obvious, but it’s not just limited to your paycheck, W-2 forms, or 1099s. You’ll also want to […]
360.357.9304