Audit & Accounting Update: October 12, 2017

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest financial reporting insights. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Webcast: Health care industry revenue recognition
Our webcast will address health care industry matters that are relevant when implementing the new revenue recognition guidance.

Short-duration contract disclosures: An overview of ASU 2015-09
Our whitepaper discusses the disclosure requirements of ASU 2015-09 and certain related key implementation considerations.

Proposed reorganization of consolidation guidance
The FASB has proposed to reorganize, and clarify certain areas of, Accounting Standards Codification Topic 810, “Consolidation.”

Audit and Accounting Updates for Business Owners and Financial Professionals

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
http://rsmus.com/our-insights/newsletters/financial-reporting-insights.html

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to receiving your feedback. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in the attached materials or our service offerings, please contact us directly.

Creating Customer Statements in QuickBooks

Invoices not being paid promptly? Customers questioning their payment history? Create statements.

Let’s say you have a regular customer who used to pay on time, but he’s been hit-and-miss lately. How do you get him caught up?

Or, one of your customers thinks she’s paid you more than she owes. How do you straighten out this account?

Both of these situations have a similar solution. QuickBooks’ statements provide an overview of every transaction that has occurred between you and individual customers during a specified period of time. They’re easy to create, easy to understand, and can be effective at resolving payment disputes.

A Simple Process

Here’s how they work. Click Statements on the home page, or open the Customers menu and select Create Statements. A window like this will open:

Select Statement Options in QuickBooks Screenshot

QuickBooks provides multiple options on this screen so you create the statement(s) you need.

First, make sure the Statement Date is correct, so your statement captures the precise set of transactions you want. Next, you have to tell QuickBooks what that set is. Should the statement(s) include transactions only within a specific date range? If so, click the button in front of Statement Period From, and enter that period’s beginning and ending dates by clicking on the calendar graphic. If you’d rather, you can include all open transactions by clicking on the button in front of that option. As you can see in the screen shot above, you can choose to Include only transactions over a specified number of days past due date.

Choosing Customers

Now you have to tell QuickBooks which customers you want to include in this statement run. Your options here are:

  • All Customers.
  • Multiple Customers. When you click on this choice, QuickBooks displays a Choose Click on it, and your customer list opens in a new window. Click on your selections there to create a check mark. Click OK to return to the previous window.
  • One Customer. QuickBooks displays a drop-down menu. Click the arrow on the right side of the box, and choose the correct one from the list that opens.
  • Customers of Type. Again, a drop-down list appears, but this one contains a list of the Customer Types you created to filter your customer list, like Commercial and Residential. You would have assigned one of these to customers when you were entering data in their QuickBooks records (click the Additional Info tab in a record to view).
  • Preferred Send Method. E-mail or Mail?

Miscellaneous Options

At the top of the right column, you can select a different Template if you’d like, or Customize an existing one. Not familiar with the options you have to change the layout and content of forms in QuickBooks? We can introduce you to the possibilities.

Below that, you can opt to Create One Statement either Per Customer or Per Job. The rest of the choices here are pretty self-explanatory – except for Assess Finance Charges. If you’ve never done this, we strongly recommend that you let us work with you on this complex process.

When you’re satisfied with the options you’ve selected in this window, click the Preview button in the lower left corner of the window (not pictured here). QuickBooks will prepare all the statements in the background, then display the first one. You can click Next to view them one by one. At the bottom of each, you’ll see a summary of how much is due in each aging period, like this:

Invoice Aging Summary Example

It’s easy to see how much each customer is past due within each aging period. This summary appears at the bottom of statements.

After you’ve checked all the statements, click the Print or E-mail button at the bottom of the window.

Other Avenues

Your company’s cash flow depends on the timely payment of invoices. Sending statements is only one way to encourage your customers to catch up on their past due accounts. There are many others, like opening a merchant account so customers can pay you online with a bank card or electronic check. If poor cash flow is threatening the health of your business, give us a call. We can work together to identify the trouble spots and get you on the road to recovery.

For more QuickBooks tips, tricks and info on training from our team of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors® subscribe to The QBC.

QuickBooks and QuickBooks ProAdvisor are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc.

Employee Benefits Update: October/November 2017

This issue’s topics include:

Staging a comeback

Stable value funds are back in the spotlight

It’s been awhile since stable value funds reigned as a top investment choice for 401(k) plan participants. Very low prevailing interest rates and a booming stock market have diminished their status. Although no one is predicting they’ll unseat target date funds as the top investment election for retirement investors, stable value funds have staged a bit of a comeback recently. This article explores just what’s behind the renewed interest.

Read More

Are you going to file Form 5500 on time?

Play it safe and avoid penalties

Missing filing deadlines for Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, for retirement and health and welfare plans can be extremely costly. The best way to avoid trouble is to ensure that meeting filing deadlines never falls between the cracks. This article summarizes the penalties for delinquent filing of Form 5500 and whether plan sponsors can use the DOL’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program.

Read More

Target date fund labels can obscure their investment strategy

The proliferation of target date fund (TDF) varieties can bewilder many plan sponsors. One survey found that, while 65% of plan sponsors consider investment performance the most important selection criterion when choosing a TDF, 54% aren’t confident about how to benchmark the TDFs against others in the marketplace. This article examines how to compare competing TDFs by segmenting them into logical categories.

Read More

GAO report: Some plan designs may reduce retirement savings

Retirement plan sponsors have ways to limit their outlays for very young employees, and those that move to other employers soon after coming on board. The General Accountability Office (GAO) recently analyzed those plan design opportunities, and is sounding alarm bells. This short article highlights the GAO’s concerns that these options can reduce employees’ ultimate retirement savings potential.

Read More

Compliance alert

This feature lists a few key tax reporting deadlines for October and November.

Read More

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to receiving your feedback. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in the attached materials or our service offerings, please feel free to contact me directly.

Want to learn more?

Join our Employee Benefit Plan Resources group on LinkedIn for more frequent updates on recent developments and best practices and discuss related topics with your peers.

Join the Group

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Not-for-Profit Update: September/October 2017

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest insights for not-for-profit organizations. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

What your nonprofit board members need to know about Form 990
The first in a two-part series to help board members develop a better understanding of why the IRS asks for the information contained in the Form 990.
Read more

5 things to know about managing third-party relationship risks
Enforcement is scheduled to start on May 25, 2018. What do U.S. organizations need to do now? Here are five key considerations.
Read more

Do you know how managed IT services can help overcome your challenges?
A managed IT services agreement can provide peace of mind that you are making technology decisions to align with your strategy and goals.
Read more

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
http://rsmus.com/our-insights/newsletters/muse.html

7 Interview Tips for Accounting Students

Fall is a busy time for many of us. The kids are going back to school, businesses are gearing up for year-end, and college students are getting ready to interview for their first post-grad jobs. Here are my top 7 tips for how to prepare for and conduct yourself during an interview.

Job Interview for Accountant

1. Research the company – impress the interviewer by taking the time to learn about their organization

Utilize the following resources to research the organization:

    • Newspaper and magazine articles
    • Recruitment/employment literature (often available in school library or career service office)
    • Call the company & ask them to send you some company literature prior to your interview
    • Annual reports
    • Internet (visit the company’s web site, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
    • Talk to others who work for the company

Below are recommendations on the type of information you can research about the organization:

    • When was the company founded?
    • Where are their corporate offices located?
    • What does the organization do?
    • What are its products and/or services?
    • Has the organization been growing?
    • What are some of the organization’s latest achievements or awards?

2. Know your skills and qualifications and how they relate to the position for which you are applying

    • Take time to identify your individual strengths
    • Write down your strengths and think of how these strengths can benefit the company
    • Create a list of things you have accomplished in your career to date (or accomplishments from school) that you are particularly proud of

3. Prepare a brief list of questions to ask the interviewer about the organization and position to convey your interest

Examples of questions to ask during the interview:

    • What are some goals for someone in this position?
    • What would you expect one to have accomplished in the first 3 months on the job?
    • What computer systems/programs would this person work with daily?
    • What is the company culture like?
    • What do you enjoy about working here?

4. Be prepared for questions an interviewer might ask

Behavioral-Based Questions

    • In your current position, what would be one accomplishment that you are most proud of and why? What specifically did you do to accomplish this? What obstacles did you run into?
    • In your current/last position, give me a specific example of how you dealt with a recent customer service issue/complaint? How did the customer react? Was the customer satisfied?
    • Tell me about a more challenging team project that you were involved with. What was the project? What was your role? How did the team function? If you had the chance to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Fact Finding Questions

    • Tell me more about X?
    • What specifically did you do?

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

Role-play interview questions with a friend or conduct a mock interview with a college career service professional. It may seem awkward at first, but it will definitely help you to become more comfortable in the interview process.

6. Pay attention to your appearance

    • Dress professionally & conservatively – a suit is always best
    • It is always better to be over dressed than under dressed
    • Avoid displaying visible body piercings or tattoos
    • Keep your nails neatly trimmed and clean and avoid flashy nail polish or nail jewelry
    • If you wear a coat to the interview, hang it up (do not wear it during the interview)
    • Do not chew gum during the interview

7. Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes

What hiring Managers are looking for in a candidate:

    • Verbal and written communication skills
    • Willingness to learn new skills (flexibility)
    • Evidence of achievement & participation
      • Community involvement – sports, clubs & organizations
      • Work experience
    • Personal qualities
      • Ability to get along with others
      • Positive approach
      • Confidence, neat, professional appearance, motivation
      • Clear & realistic goals, enthusiasm
    • Computer Literacy (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Email, Internet)

Factors which may lead to rejection:

    • Overbearing, overaggressive behavior
    • Too soft spoken, timid, poor grammar/slang, swearing
    • Lack of interest/enthusiasm
    • Overemphasis on salary/job hopping
    • Being unwilling to start in entry level position
    • Speaking negatively about past employers & supervisors
    • Lack of eye contact
    • Arriving late for interview (Things happen – if you are late, explain tardiness upon arrival)
    • Poor personal appearance

I hope you have found these tips helpful, and look forward to a busy fall full of successful interviews!

 

Tax Update: September 2017

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit; and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest federal, state, and international tax news. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

2017-18 Tax Planning Guide
With the possibility of significant tax reform legislation this year, tax planning is more complicated yet more important than ever. Refer to this resource for up-to-date tax information pertaining to individual taxpayers, business owners and executives.

MTC nexus program offers limited-time amnesty for Amazon retailers
Retailers using “fulfilled by Amazon” distribution channel should be aware of the limited-time amnesty program.

Aligning executive plans with traditional employee plans
Anne Bushman and Mary Draayer address audience questions from the latest episode of our retirement plan issues webcast series.

New German bill combats harmful use of preferential IP regimes
As part of Germany’s efforts to implement the OECD’s BEPS Action Plan, expense deductions will be limited for payments after Dec. 31, 2017.

IRS issues updated return due dates and extended due dates
Regulations, effective July 20, 2017, reflect statutory requirements set by the Surface Transportation Act and the PATH Act.

Rhode Island enacts tax amnesty program
Amnesty period begins this winter, benefits include complete waiver of penalties, and partial waiver of interest.

IRS appeals Tax Court decision in Medtronic
IRS arguments on appeal provide useful insight for taxpayers into IRS consideration of transfer pricing cases.

Capitol Hill

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
http://rsmus.com/our-insights/newsletters/tax-digest.html

Disclaimer

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to receiving your feedback. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in the attached materials or our service offerings, please contact us directly.

Using QuickBooks’ Income Tracker

QuickBooks provides numerous ways to learn about your company’s health. Income Tracker is one of the most effective.

You can get an enormous amount of useful information from QuickBooks’ reports – especially if you customize them to isolate the precise data you want. Reports included with the software range from the very simple, like Open Invoices, to output that’s exceptionally complex, like Trial Balance and Profit & Loss.

Warning: Standard financial reports like Trial Balance are easy to run in QuickBooks, but very difficult to understand and analyze. You should, though, be aware of what they’re telling you at least once a quarter – even once a month in some cases. We can help with this.

Sometimes, especially first thing in the morning as you’re planning your day, you just want to cut to the chase and get a quick overview of your company’s finances. That’s where QuickBooks’ Income Tracker comes in. It not only provides that overview, but it also contains links to related screens where you can do the work that’s needed there.

A Simple Layout

Click the Income Tracker link in the toolbar to open the tool’s main screen. If you’ve been using QuickBooks for a while, you’ll see a framework like this with your own company’s data already filled in.

QuickBooks Income Tracker Screen Shot

QuickBooks Income Tracker displays both summaries of income types and the specific transactions that contribute to those totals.

Look first at the top of the screen. You’ll see six horizontal bars, each of which represents groups of transactions that either require immediate attention or will at some point in the future. Besides identifying the type of transaction, each block displays the number of transactions involved and their total dollar amount. They are:

  • Estimates – estimates that have been created and shared with customers, but haven’t yet turned into sales
  • Sales Orders – orders that have been entered but have been neither fulfilled nor converted to invoices
  • Time & Expenses – hours that have been recorded for customers but not yet invoiced
  • Open Invoices – invoices that have been created and sent to customers, but no payments have been received
  • Overdue – open invoices that have passed their due dates
  • Paid Last 30 Days – payments that have been received within the last 30 days

Modifying the View

Click on any of the colored bars, and the list of transactions below will change to include only those that meet that particular criteria. To get back to the default display of all transactions, click the Clear/Show All link in the upper right of the screen.

QuickBooks also lets you display a user-defined subset of the transactions. Click on one of the four drop-down lists above the transaction grid itself to change the view of:

  • Customer: Job – choose just one from the complete list
  • TypeSales Orders, Invoices, Received Payments, etc.
  • Status All, Open, Overdue, or Paid
  • Date – multiple ranges available

You can also modify the toolbar if your company doesn’t use all the sales forms/transaction types supported. To do so, click the gear icon in the far upper right of the screen and click in the boxes in front of Estimates, Sales Orders and/or Time & Expenses to remove them.

Taking Action

QuickBooks’ Income Tracker provides a great way to get a quick look at your finances. But it also serves as a launching pad for related activities.

Convert to Invoice Screen Shot

Click the down arrow in the Action column to take care of tasks related to that transaction.

Highlight a transaction by clicking in the row, then click the down arrow at the end of the row in the Action column. The options that appear there depend on the type of transaction you selected. Choose a Sales Order, for example, and you can Convert to Invoice, Print Row, or Email Row. Options for an invoice are Receive Payment, Print Row, or Email Row.

As we said before, QuickBooks offers numerous reports that can give you more insight about your accounts receivable. If you understand the software’s robust customization tools, you can create reports about your income that will answer questions you may have. If you don’t, let us know. We’ll be happy to work with you on pulling together just the data you need.

For more QuickBooks tips, tricks and info on training from our team of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors® subscribe to The QBC.

QuickBooks and QuickBooks ProAdvisor are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc.

Infographic: 8 Reasons to Work for Insero

In recent years, Insero has consistently been named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for by Accounting Today and Best Companies Group. This annual list recognizes 100 top firms across the U.S. We have also been selected as one of Rochester’s Top Workplaces by the Democrat and Chronicle and WorkplaceDymanics and one of the Best Places to Work for Millennials by The Center for Generational Kinetics and Best Companies Group.

With locations in Rochester, Ithaca, Corning, Cortland, and Watkins Glen, we cover much of the state of New York, but rest assured that at Insero you’re not just a number, you are an individual with aspirations. We work with you to craft your career to match your interests and future plans. Don’t just take our word for it, hear what our employees have to say!

Need a few more reasons? Check out the infographic below, and visit our website at www.inserocpa.com/career to take your career to The Highest Standard.

8 Reasons to Work for Insero Infographic

Audit & Accounting Update: August 24, 2017

At Insero, we make it our business to stay abreast of the latest trends and technical updates in accounting, tax, and audit and we understand how important timely updates are to our clients. As a member of the RSM US Alliance, we also have the benefit of access to the resources and subject matter experts of RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey LLP). This includes regular updates on the latest financial reporting insights. We hope that you find these informative and useful, and invite you to reach out to us if you have any questions.

Revenue recognition resources updated for recent developments
We have updated our revenue recognition resources for recent developments related to the new revenue recognition guidance.

Proposed clarifying guidance for contributions received and made
To clarify the accounting guidance for contributions received and contributions made, the FASB recently issued a proposed ASU.

Audit and Accounting Updates for Business Owners and Financial Professionals

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance
http://rsmus.com/our-insights/newsletters/financial-reporting-insights.html

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to receiving your feedback. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in the attached materials or our service offerings, please contact us directly.

Employee Benefits Update: August/September 2017

This issue’s topics include:

Voluntary Correction Program

How to correct 401(k) plan loan “failures”

“To err is human; to forgive is divine,” as the familiar saying goes. But the IRS will forgive errors involving 401(k) plan loans only when retirement plans use the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). One of the biggest areas that trip up plan sponsors is plan loans. This article summarizes the three primary “failures” involving plan loans that require an IRS remedy: loan defaults, loans exceeding prescribed loan limits, and loan terms that exceed repayment limits. A brief sidebar reviews the accounting implications of loan defaults.

Read More

Making age a factor in choosing QDIA options

Target date funds (TDFs), the most popular 401(k) qualified default investment alternative, were designed to meet the investment needs of typical plan participants, no matter what their age. The theory is that employees can essentially “set it and forget it,” as TDF portfolios are automatically adjusted from aggressive to more conservative as employees approach and proceed through retirement. That theory, however, has been challenged by research pointing to participants’ failure to use TDFs as intended. This article examines why this is, and what employee benefit plans can do about it.

Read More

Active vs. passive investment funds: Should you let participants decide?

According to a report from Casey Quirk by Deloitte and McLagan, 72% of money invested into funds went into passive funds in 2015. While some may see this as a strong case for passive investing, the issue for plan sponsors isn’t clear-cut. This article summarizes recent data on the trend and whether passive or active funds are right for participants.

Read More

Consider your options with nonvested participant forfeitures

Employee benefit plans provide a combination of vested and nonvested assets. When employees leave a company before their matching 401(k) contributions have vested, they forfeit those amounts. This brief article reviews the options available to plan sponsors when dealing with these assets.

Read More

Compliance alert

This feature lists a few key tax reporting deadlines for September.

Read More

As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and we look forward to receiving your feedback. Should you have any questions regarding the information contained in the attached materials or our service offerings, please feel free to contact me directly.

Want to learn more?

Join our Employee Benefit Plan Resources group on LinkedIn for more frequent updates on recent developments and best practices and discuss related topics with your peers.

Join the Group

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