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 […]
October 1, 2021

Strategies for Paying Off Student Loans

Today, 70 percent of college students graduate with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt. The average payment is nearly $400 a month and will take about 20 years to pay off. On an individual level, paying off high debt can delay hopes of saving to buy a house, start a family, launch a business or invest for retirement. On a broader level, the national burden of student debt could impact America’s economic future. When young adults are unable to afford home ownership, that reduces spending on all types of consumer products that accompany home buying. It also reduces property taxes used to support local resources and reduces the insurance pool of property owners used to help repair and […]
October 1, 2021

7 Ways to Save for a Home Down Payment

So you want to save for a down payment for your dream house, but you aren’t sure how to get there. It might even feel overwhelming. But take heart, here are some tried and true methods that you can start today that will help you save sooner than you think. Save a Fixed Amount Monthly This is super easy, but first you need to figure out how much of a down payment you want to make. Remember, the higher your down payment, the lower your loan and monthly mortgage payment will be. With that said, put this amount on auto draft and deposit it into your savings account. Once you get used to this, you won’t miss it. Never use […]
October 1, 2021

Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing Business Accounting Technology

Choosing to implement new technology for your accounting needs is a big step toward improving your business. Accounting technology helps streamline the accounting system, thereby offering various benefits. However, poor implementation can impact your business negatively. To make your implementation a success, there are several mistakes that you must avoid. Importance of New Accounting Technology  Before looking at the potential mistakes, it is important to understand why businesses implement new technologies. Technology advancement has played a great role in various life and business aspects. In businesses accounting, technology such as computerized systems help easily track and record financial transactions.  Various types of technologies have impacted business accounting, such as cloud-based systems, mobile accounting, big data, artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotic process […]
October 1, 2021

Enhancing Agency Budget Transparency, Opportunities to Study Science and Environmental Protections

Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2021 (S 272) – This bill mandates that federal agencies must make budget justification materials publicly available online. The Office of Management and Budget will be required to publish details regarding the agencies that submit budget justification materials to Congress and dates the materials are posted online, along with links to the materials. The bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on Feb. 8, passed in the Senate and the House on Aug. 23 and is awaiting enactment by the president. National Science Foundation for the Future Act (HR 2225) – Introduced by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-TX) on March 26, the bill authorizes appropriations for the National Science Foundation for fiscal years 2022 […]
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 […]
360.357.9304