Interview: The First Year in Accounting

This fall, I sat down with a few of Insero’s audit staff to discuss their experiences during their first year in accounting at the firm. Here is what they had to say:

Erin Heizyk: What about your first year at the firm was surprising or different from what you expected?

Erica Cratsley: I was surprised about the responsibilities that new staff are given. We are given the chance to interact directly with clients from day one as well as constantly take on more responsibility and ownership over the work we are doing.

Edwin Hoefler: I was surprised by the number of people and industries I was able to work with during my first year. I have gotten the opportunity to work for each manager and partner in our audit practice and have had direct interactions with them during the process.

Shannon Allen: I was surprised by how many happy hours and fun events the firm hosts outside of work. I think it’s awesome to get together with everyone and have fun together instead of relationships being strictly work only.

staff in a conference room ready to discuss their first year in accounting

Erin Heizyk: Are there any aspects of the job that took some time to get used to?

Shannon Allen: I had a general idea of what busy season would be like, but with no prior experience I’d say that’s something that took me a while to adjust to. Along with that, getting adjusted to working full-time was a something that took me a couple of months to get used to.

Erin Heizyk: Have you had support as you made the transition from student to full-time employee?

Shannon Allen: I’m pretty impressed with our mentor and advisor programs. It’s extremely helpful as a first year to have someone I can go to ask questions, discuss my schedule, and help manage stressors that come with being a first year and learning something completely new.

Marissa Budwey: The advisor program has been something that really impressed me at Insero too. I have had an ally that I could go to about anything from the moment I started. I had no idea how much I would like having someone that I can talk to about my schedule, career path overall, even the little questions that I was afraid to ask anyone else. They also give us feedback that is passed down, and it is comforting to talk to my advisor about my feedback opposed to someone I don’t interact with constantly.

Erin Heizyk: What stood out to you during your first year at the firm?

Shannon Allen: I’ve appreciated how helpful everyone I have worked with has been. It’s comforting knowing that questions are encouraged and there is no such thing as a stupid question. Along those lines, I am surprised and happy that there is an open door policy around here. I figured that work I performed would go up the chain of command and I wouldn’t really ever interact with managers and partners until I was at a certain level. However, I’ve worked with and received help from multiple managers and partners. There’s a big push for first years to be more open to talking to and working with management instead of feeling like we can only go to select people for help.

Erica Cratsley: Everyone has the opportunity to be involved with out-of-town clients that require some travel. The best part about this is how much we are encouraged to make the most out of personal time in new cities. For many of these jobs we work regular hours and then get to see the city at night. The Audit Department even has a Summer Picture Challenge, which shows how much Partners and Managers expect us to be making the most out of our travel opportunities.

Marissa Budwey: The people that we work with at all levels trust us but are great about on-the-job training. We aren’t expected to know everything walking in the door, we have great group training but I found I have learned most on the job with my peers and managers teaching me. They don’t just tell you how to complete a workpaper, they encourage you to understand the process, why the steps are being completed, and explain how each step fits into the big picture. I started at the firm as an Intern, and by the end of my internship, I was taking responsibility for entire employee benefit plan audit files, not just doing the mindless work I assumed I would be doing.

Adrian Black: One thing that I think stands out about Insero is how much the partner group shares with the firm. I had no idea how much information would be shared with us on through firmwide communication calls. We get regular updates on new clients, events that the firm is participating in, the goals that the partners have set and what is being done to reach those goals, and noteworthy updates from each department and major committee.

To learn more about what it’s like to work for Insero, benefits, and current openings, click here.

Employee Benefits Update October/November 2018

This issue’s topics include:

Why target date fund oversight matters

Money management giant Vanguard began tracking the popularity of funds with professionally managed allocations — primarily target date funds (TDFs) — in 2003. Over the years, the organization has reported a steady growth of their prevalence in defined contribution retirement plans. As of the end of 2017, 58% of participants invested in a TDF, and Vanguard projects that number will hit 77% by 2022. This article discusses the reasons behind the TDF explosion, and a short sidebar covers some tips from the Department of Labor.

Read More

Investment option overload?

A cautionary tale from Yale University

When it comes to defined contribution plan investment options, giving participants an abundance of choices can backfire. Yale University recently dodged a bullet in this regard when it beat back — at least initially — a class action lawsuit accusing the institution of an ERISA breach. This article discusses why the case is instructive for plan sponsors.
Vellali et al v. Yale, Civil No. 3:16–cv–1345 (AWT), 03/30/2018

Read More

Pointing to agenda analysis of chart for investing and planning

Investing in HSAs for long-term retirement goals

Retirement plans are about saving for the cost of living in ― retirement. And typically one significant expense for retirees is medical bills. Actuaries at Fidelity Investments estimate that a typical 65-year-old couple retiring in 2018 will incur $280,000 in combined out-of-pocket health expenses during their retirement, excluding the cost of long-term care. This brief article discusses Health Savings Accounts, when employers can offer them to participants and why participants may be interested in them.

Read More

New IRS preapproved plan regime takes effect

Last year, in Revenue Procedure 2017-41, the IRS announced a new regulatory regime for defined contribution plans. The regime was issued to encourage employers with individually designed plans to convert to the preapproved format. This article discusses what employers should know going forward to meet the October 1, 2018, deadline for prospective submitters of “preapproved” defined contribution plan documents.

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 Employee Benefit Plan Services, 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.

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LinkedIn button to join Insero's Employee Benefit Plan Resources Group on LinkedIn

Audit & Accounting Update: September 2018

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.


Proposed amendments to credit losses standard
On August 20, the FASB issued a proposal to amend the effective date of ASU 2016-13 for non-public business entities.

Changes to accounting for grants and contributions made and received
Our white paper will help financial statement preparers understand the clarifications made by FASB ASU 2018-08.

FASB proposes narrow-scope amendments to ASC 842
A recent FASB proposal addresses issues lessors sometimes encounter when implementing ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842).

Two working drafts: Allowance for credit losses implementation issues
The AICPA Financial Reporting Executive Committee is requesting comment on two working drafts discussing ASU 2016-13 implementation issues.

Accounting guidance for long-duration insurance contracts
A recent ASU addresses long-duration insurance contracts, such as life insurance, disability income, long-term care and annuities.

Changes to fair value measurement disclosure requirements
Recently issued FASB ASU 2018-13 removes, modifies and adds certain disclosure requirements within ASC Topic 820.

Changes to disclosures for sponsors of defined benefit plans
ASU 2018-14 changes certain disclosure requirements for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension or other postretirement plans.

Accounting for costs of cloud computing implementation
ASU 2018-15 addresses the customer’s accounting for the costs of implementing a cloud computing service arrangement.

Changes to revenue recognition in the industrial products industry
Our white paper explains how FASB ASC 606 could significantly affect entities in the industrial products industry.


SEC disclosure update and simplification
The SEC recently amended certain disclosure requirements that have become redundant, outdated, overlapping or superseded.

Compliance guide: Amendments to smaller reporting company definition
A recent SEC compliance guide addresses matters related to a final SEC rule that amended the smaller reporting company definition.

aerial business computer

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance

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.

What Non-Profits Need to Know About ASU 2018-08

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-08. This update improves and clarifies the guidance regarding contributions received and contributions made.

The board found that there was a lack of clarity and consistency in how grants and contracts were characterized as either exchanges or contributions. In addition, they found that non-profit organizations differed in how they determined if contributions were conditional or unconditional.

“That’s important because that distinction between conditional vs. unconditional impacts the pattern of revenue recognition,” said Christine Botosan, FASB Board Member.

top tab folder labeled grants related to ASU 2018-08

ASU 2018-08 provides criteria for determining between exchanges or contributions by looking at whether the provider is receiving commensurate value in return for resources transferred. This clarification will help organizations determine if the transfer should be treated as a contribution (nonreciprocal transaction) or an exchange (reciprocal) transaction.

Note that the “commensurate value” described above is value to the provider, not to the general public. So, funds transferred from New York State would be considered a contribution unless New York State itself receives commensurate value.

If commensurate value is not provided, the organization should determine if the transaction is a third-party payment for an existing exchange transaction (such as Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grant, etc.) If commensurate value is not provided, and the transaction isn’t a third-party payment, it should be accounted for as a contribution.

The ASU also provides additional detail on how to distinguish conditional contributions from unconditional contributions, as well as the difference between donor-imposed conditions and donor-imposed restrictions. Conditional contributions must include a barrier that must be overcome and a right of return or right of release. If a contribution is determined to be unconditional, it must be analyzed to determine if it is restricted or unrestricted.

ASU 2018-08 applies primarily to non-profit organizations, however it can apply to organizations that receive or make contributions of cash and other assets, including businesses. It does not apply to transfers of assets from governments to businesses.

The amendments in this ASU are effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2018 for non-profit organizations and public companies serving as resource recipients (and December 15, 2018 for other organizations). For non-profit organizations serving as resource providers, the amendments are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 (and December 15, 2019 for other organizations.) Early adoption is permitted.

For more information on ASU 2018-08, visit

For more information on Insero’s non-profit solutions, visit or contact us today.

Tax Update: September 2018

Tax Reform
A closer look at the new pass-through deduction proposed regulations
Initial thoughts, observations and insights on several key areas of the new pass-through deduction proposed regulations.

Trending in Tax

Wayfair, sales tax, and economic presence laws
Economic sales and use tax nexus laws are gaining momentum as states make a direct challenge to traditional physical presence standards.

How to structure executive compensation in a competitive market
Effective executive compensation includes strategy, a mix of components and metrics closely aligned with the organization’s goals.

Ninth Circuit finds transferee liability in asset sale
Former shareholders found liable for tax from asset sale as transferees because the subsequent stock sale lacked economic substance.


Book on desk open with pen

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance


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.

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 Energage and one of Central New York’s Best Places to Work by Business Journal News Network and BizEventz.

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, see what our employees have to say!

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

8 Reasons to Work for Insero Infographic

Infographic Reads:

Top 8 Reasons to Work for Insero

It’s no secret that Insero & Co. has been consistently ranked locally and nationally as a great place to work. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

Our People

At Insero, our people are our greatest asset. From partners to interns, we hire the best people and cultivate a culture of open communication, teamwork, and trust, so that co-workers feel like family.


Work-life balance is one of the keys to happiness and success. Insero’s generous paid time off and flexible scheduling can help you achieve that balance, and our travel bonus programs provide compensation for time spent on the road.

Your Comfort

You should be comfortable where you work. That’s why at Insero, we encourage employees to decorate and make their workspace their own and our “dress for the day” philosophy allows for a more relaxed dress code (including jeans) depending on daily activities.


We appreciate a job well done. That’s why Insero is committed to recognizing our employees’ good work in a variety of ways, from spot bonuses and formal evaluations to Spotlight, our peer recognition app.

Your Health

From annual flu shots, healthy snacks, and standing desks to team sports and active outings, Insero’s Wellness Committee supports a variety of ways to help maintain your health. We also offer a variety of competitive health insurance packages with options for vision, dental, and savings account dollars.

Your Future

Your individual strengths and interests should help guide your career. By utilizing your advisors, crafting individual development plans, and participating in various training programs and leadership opportunities, you can identify and achieve your personal goals. In addition, our Innovation Committee is committed to gathering feedback and exploring new ideas to keep us all moving forward.


Insero is dedicated to making sure you get the education you need throughout your career, including assistance with CPA exam costs and a CPA license bonus. Our Training Committee also supports ongoing education through our tuition reimbursement program, continuing professional education, association memberships, and soft skills trainings.


We take pride in giving back to the community. All employees are encouraged to take part in community service. Whether it be a monetary donation on behalf of the firm or time off to volunteer for a cause, Insero’s Charitable Giving Committee is dedicated to making a difference.

Now is a Great Time to Revisit Your Will

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making a dramatic impact on will drafting. There are many changes, but one of the most impactful is that the estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping tax lifetime exclusion has been doubled for years beginning in 2018 and ending on December 31, 2025. If your will was drafted before the TCJA was signed into law on December 22, 2017, there is a chance that your estate planning goals will not be accomplished by your current will structure. You may be leaving too much or too little to an intended loved one or charity.

For example, if your will contains a provision leaving your children an amount equaling your available federal estate tax exclusion with your remaining or excess assets going to your spouse, there is a possibility that your spouse will not receive the amount you originally intended her/him to receive when you pass away. This is because the lifetime exclusion amount has increased from $5,490,000 to $11,180,000 per taxpayer. In essence, your children may potentially receive an amount that is twice what you intended when you drafted your will. If your total assets do not exceed $11,180,000, your spouse will not get a dime pursuant to your will.

Photo of paper reading last will and testament with a fountain pen

If you are charitably inclined, there is also a possibility that charities may not receive what you intended under your will. For instance, if your will states that your children will receive an amount equal to your remaining lifetime exclusion and that your remaining wealth should go to named charities, the charities may receive fewer assets (or even nothing), depending on the value of your estate. If the value of your estate is less than $11,180,000, the charities will not get a dime.

As you can see, it is important to meet with your estate planning team regarding your current will to ensure your wishes are still being met under the new law. Insero’s Estates & Trusts Group can work together with you and your attorney to help ensure your wishes are met. Contact us today to learn more about our team and how we can help.

Tax Update: August 2018

Tax Reform
U.S. tax reform international implications
RSM’s Ramon Camacho and Ayana Martinez discuss the TCJA and BEPS with BEPS Global Currents.
Estate planning subsequent to the enactment of tax reform
Estate planning strategies to help minimize future estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes for estates in excess of the exemption. This article explores tips and traps associated with estate planning strategies to consider.

Trending in Tax

Frequently asked questions on country-by-country reporting
A guide for multinational corporations regarding country-by-country reporting questions and base erosion profit shifting. These regulations are based on model legislation from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and are part of the project addressing base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

Stock options and section 409A: Frequently asked questions
An explanation of the section 409A considerations that companies need to be aware of when issuing stock options.

Economic Insight 

The Real Economy: Volume 44
In this issue we discuss the growing risk to key industries and the middle market economy. The hit to the economy caused by the taxes on imports and exports will spread asymmetrically across the industrial ecosystems that make up the domestic economy. Based on our conversation with officials in Washington, it is apparent that the middle market will bear a disproportionate burden of adjustments from trade tariffs and should prepare accordingly.


two people with laptops, pencils, and paper, planning for tax reform international implications

Source: RSM US LLP
Used with permission as a member of the RSM US Alliance


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.