News Archive

ABCs of HSAs: How an HSA can benefit your estate plan

One health care arrangement that has been soaring in popularity in recent years has been the pairing of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The good news is that not only does an HSA provide a tax-advantaged way to pay for health care costs, but it also can help you achieve your estate planning goals. [...]

Should your business use per diem rates for travel reimbursement?

  Updated travel per diem rates go into effect October 1. To simplify recordkeeping, they can be used for reimbursement of ordinary and normal business expenses incurred while employees travel away from home. Per diem advantages As long as employees properly account for their business-travel expenses, reimbursements are generally tax-free to the employees and deductible by the employer. But keeping [...]

Why you should boost your 401(k) contribution rate between now and year end

One important step to both reducing taxes and saving for retirement is to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan. If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, contributing to that is likely your best first step. If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate between now and year end. Because of tax-deferred compounding (tax-free in the [...]

6 ways to control your unemployment tax costs

  Unemployment tax rates for employers vary from state to state. Your unemployment tax bill may be influenced by the number of former employees who’ve filed unemployment claims with the state, your current number of employees and your business’s age. Typically, the more claims made against a business, the higher the unemployment tax bill. Here are six ways to control [...]

5 accounting mistakes your nonprofit should avoid

  To err is human, but your not-for-profit’s supporters, not to mention the IRS, may be less than forgiving if errors affect your financial books. Fortunately, if you attend to accounting details, you can avoid these common pitfalls: 1. Failing to follow accounting procedures. Even the smallest nonprofit should set formal, documented and detailed procedures for managing financial and bookkeeping [...]

How can you take customer service to the next level?

  Just about every business intends to provide world-class customer service. And though many claim their customer service is exceptional, very few can back up that assertion. After all, once a company has established a baseline level of success in interacting with customers, it’s not easy to get to that next level of truly great service. But, fear not, there [...]

Create a strong system of checks and balances

  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to evaluate and report on internal controls over financial reporting using a recognized control framework. Private companies generally aren’t required to use a framework for the oversight of internal controls, unless they’re audited, but a strong system of checks and balances is essential for them as well. A critical process [...]

How external auditors can leverage your internal audit work

  Does your company have an internal audit function? If so, you may be able to use your internal audit team to streamline financial reporting by external auditors. Here’s guidance on how to facilitate this collaborative approach. Recognize the benefits External auditors aren’t required to use internal auditors in any capacity. But collaboration between internal and external audit teams can [...]

Asset valuations and your estate plan go hand in hand

If your estate plan calls for making noncash gifts in trust or outright to beneficiaries, you need to know the values of those gifts and disclose them to the IRS on a gift tax return. For substantial gifts of noncash assets other than marketable securities, it’s a good idea to have a qualified appraiser value the gifts at the time [...]

3 midyear tax planning strategies for business

  Tax reform has been a major topic of discussion in Washington, but it’s still unclear exactly what such legislation will include and whether it will be signed into law this year. However, the last major tax legislation that was signed into law — back in December of 2015 — still has a significant impact on tax planning for businesses. [...]