January 1, 2022

The Risks of Using Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs (SDIRAs) are becoming more and more popular as IRA holders look to enter alternative investments. While SDIRAs can open up a world of investment options, the rules around them are complicated and compliance can be tricky. Below, we’ll look at a couple of relevant court cases that illustrate some of the potential pitfalls. Self-Directed Equals Higher Fees A SDIRA can own an investment in pretty much any type of asset except life insurance or collectibles. The downside to accessing investments beyond stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and bonds is that it is more expensive. The SDIRA custodian usually charges an annual fee as well as per transaction fees. The assets also need to be valued at the end of […]
January 1, 2022

How Businesses Can Combat Inflation’s Toll

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Producer Price Index (PPI) or the increase in prices, goods and services that producers experienced for their input costs, saw a substantial rise, according to its latest report issued on Dec. 14. For November 2021, the PPI grew by 0.8 percent. For the past year ending in November 2021, it rose by 9.6 percent on an annualized basis. According to the BLS, this is the hottest PPI reading since this metric originated in November 2010. With costs not appearing to abate anytime soon, how can businesses combat rising costs? Figure out Financial Priorities Harvard Business Review (HBR) details steps that companies can take to evaluate and make adjustments to mitigate […]
January 1, 2022

Long-Term Investment Opportunities Presented by the Infrastructure Bill

In November, President Biden signed legislative funding that represents the largest transportation spending package in U.S. history. The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorized funding for roads, highways, bridges, public transit systems, utility systems, electrical grids, energy projects and broadband infrastructure. Because the funding extends over a five-year period, it should not have a major effect on the fiscal deficit. This is not only good news for taxpayers, but also investors. Those long-term investments offer the potential for shareholders to get in on the ground floor of reliable and well-capitalized government projects by hundreds of American companies poised to get the business. The new bill is expected to enhance productivity, innovation, improve labor force participation and have a […]
January 1, 2022

How to Get Your 2022 Finances in Order

Believe it or not, the New Year is here. If you’re trying to wrap your head around everything that’s ahead, one of the best things you can do is prepare yourself financially. Here are a few tasks you can get started on right away. Look Back at 2021 Depending on how in-depth you want to go, this could take a couple hours or more. That said, ask yourself these questions: Did you spend as planned? Where do you want to adjust, increase or decrease spending thresholds? What kind of unexpected expenses came up? How did you handle it? Think about what you’ll do for the upcoming year. When it comes to money, the cliché “hindsight is always 20/20” will often […]
January 1, 2022

2022 Technology Trends for The Accounting Industry

Technology has had a major impact on the accounting industry. Gone are days when technology was a second thought and accountants preferred the traditional methods to which they were accustomed. As we start another year, technology is also progressing rapidly. The recent business disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic also has contributed to the acceleration in tech adoption. A major lesson learned from the events of the past two years is the need for digital transformation and prioritizing technologies that will help businesses remain relevant. Since the accounting industry plays a crucial role in running businesses, it is important to be aware of relevant technologies that will impact their future work. Remote Accounting  Remote work is picking up, and accountants have […]
January 1, 2022

Raising the Debt Limit, Protecting the Capitol and Prohibiting Foreign Campaign Financing

A joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit(SJ Res 33) – This legislation was initially introduced on Dec. 14 by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It is a joint resolution that authorized an increase to the public debt limit by $2.5 trillion. It passed in the Senate and the House within one day and was enacted into law by the president on Dec. 16. Capitol Police Emergency Assistance Act of 2021(S 3377) – This bill empowers the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police to unilaterally request the assistance of the D.C. National Guard or Federal law enforcement agencies in emergencies without prior approval from the Capitol Police Board. The legislation was introduced on Dec. 13 by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). […]
December 1, 2021

Year-End Tax Planning Tips for Individuals and Businesses

Here we are again, nearing the end of another year. While the tax deadline for 2021 isn’t until April 2022, now is the time to plan and make some strategic moves to optimize your tax situation. Below we’ll look at some tax planning ideas for both small businesses and individuals. Business Tax Planning Business owners should consider a few potential planning areas. Below we’ll look at a handful of relevant topics. Section 163(j) Interest Expense Limitation Businesses can deduct interest expenses, subject to a limit at 30 percent of adjusted taxable income (ATI). The calculation for determining ATI is changing in 2022, so some planning might be in order. Currently, ATI is calculated as taxable income with depreciation and amortization […]
December 1, 2021

How Businesses Can Recognize and Combat Employee Burnout

According to the job site Indeed, COVID-19 has taken a toll on workers even more in 2021, compared to 2020. The survey conducted by Indeed found that 52 percent of those surveyed felt “burned out” in 2021. Sixty-seven percent of those asked said that feeling burned out has become more pronounced as COVID-19 has progressed. It’s more noticeable among remote workers (38 percent), compared to 28 percent of employees working in person. Gallup reported in October 2020 that between 2016 and 2019, worker burnout was already on the radar. Once COVID-19 hit workers in 2020, those working remotely 100 percent of the time are reporting even higher levels than those who work outside the home. Pre-COVID-19, when employees worked remotely […]
December 1, 2021

Venture Capitalism and ‘Unicorns’

Venture capitalism comes from an investor who offers money to start-up companies in exchange for an equity stake – much like you see on the ABC television show, Shark Tank. As a general rule, a venture capitalist (VC) invests after the new venture is up and running and looking for additional capital to further commercialize its product. Once a privately held enterprise reaches a value of $1 billion, it is referred to as a “Unicorn.” This is because new start-ups that reach this level of success are so rare that they are considered comparable to the mythical creature. What is interesting these days is that the current labor market is so disruptive that we are seeing more start-ups, and this […]
December 1, 2021

5 Affordable Ways to Share the Holiday Spirit

The holidays are a season of giving. While much of this involves financial expenditures, you can also give in ways that are more affordable and may hold more meaning. Here are some suggestions about how you can engage in acts of generosity and return to what the season is all about. Cook Food Nothing nourishes the heart and soul, not to mention your stomach, like food made with love from your own kitchen. Baking cookies is always an easy and fun thing to do, but a main dish (with protein) or hearty casseroles are also good options. People who are homebound due to an illness, those going through financial difficulties or even new moms will appreciate the gift of a […]
December 1, 2021

Considerations When Automating Accounts Payables

Accounts payables (AP) is a process in the financial department that can be inconsistent and burdensome. However, today’s workforce has driven AP transformation – especially with remote working. Some businesses do not have much choice but to accept automation while others may have realized the need to automate accounts payables due to the numerous benefits that come with it. Before hastily choosing automation, it’s important to make some careful considerations to avoid mistakes that come with the improper implementation of any business accounting technology. Here are a few guiding considerations: What is the cost-benefit analysis? Any new system comes with its expenses and as such, it is important to measure its return on investment (ROI). This can be calculated using the […]
December 1, 2021

Congress at Work: Infrastructure Spending, Hiring Veteran Health Heroes and Initiatives for Education, Childcare and Immigration

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act(HR 3684) – This legislation authorizes funding for federal highway, transit, safety, motor carrier, hazardous materials and rail programs of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill also addresses climate change with strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of the surface transportation system and facilitate the efficient use of federal resources. It was initially introduced on June 4; it passed in the House on July 1 and in the Senate on Aug. 10. It was passed again in the House in its final form on Nov. 5, and then was signed into law by the president on Nov. 15. A bill to require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on disparities […]
November 1, 2021

Potential New Tax on Stock Buybacks and What it Could Mean for the Financial Markets

President Biden’s latest spending bill could result in a new tax on corporate stock buybacks. In its most recent incarnation, the Senate version of the plan includes a 2 percent excise tax on stock buybacks. Still, this isn’t enough for many critics of stock buybacks, who claim they incentivize short-term behavior in lieu of long-term investment. Short-Term Incentives Stock buyback programs have long been criticized for giving a short-term boost to share prices with funds that could have been used for long-term investment instead. Critics, including the current president, believe stock buybacks come at the expense of capital investment in new or updated factories, research, worker training, etc. These critics believe this type of long-term investment is the key to […]
November 1, 2021

How to Develop Company Travel Policies Post-COVID

According to a recent U.S. Travel Association forecast, only about one-third of companies are requiring their employees to travel. With business travel still at a low, how can companies develop a travel policy that reduces the risk of COVID-19? Occupational Safety and Health Administration When it comes to business travelers, whether employees are traveling domestically or internationally, OSHA recommends employers consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance. Travel Guidance The CDC advises against traveling internationally if someone is not vaccinated, is exposed to, sick with, tests positive and/or is waiting results from COVID-19 exposure. Even for travelers who are fully vaccinated, the CDC reminds us that becoming infected and/or spreading the virus is still possible. Travelers […]
November 1, 2021

Flood Insurance: Insuring Your Home

Did you know that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage? Because of this, homes located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required by lenders to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. However, there are millions of homes at risk that also experience periodic flooding but are not located in the most hazardous zones. Regardless, any homeowner can purchase flood insurance and the good news is that, for some, rates will be reduced this year. Starting on Oct. 1, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) launched a new program called Risk Rating 2.0. This program is designed to encourage communities throughout the country to deploy measures that help mitigate potential damage due to flooding. The lower the risk resulting […]
November 1, 2021

10 Ways to Pay Off Student Debt Faster

If the thought of paying off your student loan causes a bit of anxiety, worry no more. Here are some ways to pay it off faster. Check them out. Sign Up for Auto-Pay This might seem like the most obvious thing to do, and yet, some alums don’t take full advantage of it. The psychology of this works well. When you decide to put your payment on auto-draft, you never miss it. You get used to living on a certain amount of money. Better still, there are lenders who offer refinancing at lower rates, ranging from 1.8 percent to 7.84 percent. But there’s more: Some lenders offer cash-back bonuses. With that said, the catch is you give up important benefits […]
November 1, 2021

Why you should automate your accounts payables

Accounts payable (AP) is a crucial function to any business, as errors in the process put a company in problems. Although many businesses still use manual methods as they find the system to work fine, it requires a lot of precision from the accounts payable team. There are better – and more efficient – ways to manage AP through automation. Challenges of the Process  An AP team is responsible for receiving invoices, reviewing invoices, approving invoices, and paying suppliers and vendors. Some AP departments also handle other functions, depending on the nature of the business. However, AP can be a time-consuming, strenuous and paper-intensive process. An AP team helps a business control costs, maintain a good supplier relationship and analyze […]
November 1, 2021

Increasing the Debt Limit, Extending Government Funding, and Protecting Vets, Veteran Moms and the Capitol Police

Increase of Public Debt Limit(S 1301) – This bill was enacted on Oct. 14 in order to increase the public debt limit. The debt was increased by $480 billion, the amount projected by the Treasury Department to be needed through early December in order to avoid surpassing the public debt limit. Had this stopgap legislation not been passed, it would have created the potential for a severe economic crisis in which the government would have run out of money to pay back existing debts, government salaries and other pre-existing obligations. The bill was initially introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on April 22; it passed in the House on Sept. 29 and in the Senate on Oct. 7. It was […]
October 1, 2021

New Proposed Tax Laws

The House recently released a nearly 900-page proposed bill that would make major changes to current tax laws. The bill is intended in large part to help pay for both the Biden Administration’s budget and infrastructure stimulus bill. It’s important to keep in mind that the provisions and changes outlined below are by no means settled. Changes can (and likely will) still be made as the Senate ratifies the bill; however, the remainder of this article should give readers a good idea of the most significant provisions. Income Tax Rates are Rising The increase in the top income tax rate is probably the most talked about proposed change in the bill, bringing it up from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. […]
October 1, 2021

How Businesses Can Help Employees Improve their Skills

Based upon a recent McKinsey Global Survey, nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of management and above level respondents affirmed they are currently, or within the upcoming five years, dealing with the skill gap among their employees. With the vast majority of businesses experiencing or forecasting a skills-gap, how can they close or reduce this challenge? Due to the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” as the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains, the best scenario it sees is 54 percent of workers requiring “reskilling and upskilling by 2022.” However, the WEF points out that 3 in 10 workers susceptible to occupation disruption due to advancements in applied science obtained additional training in 2018. It’s important to clarify the differences between re-skilling and […]
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