The current landscape in US manufacturing is changing rapidly. US manufacturing has declined over the past few decades, as the industry shifted to more cost-effective alternatives overseas. However, costs have risen overseas, and technology – specifically, artificial intelligence robotics and 3D commercial printing – could be a catalyst in bringing manufacturing back to the US, triggering a turning point in industry trends.
With regard to governments that are pursuing a market mechanisms to address carbon emissions, each country is encouraged to enable their continued use, expansion and evolution and ensure the flexibility of future carbon markets allowing differentiation in cooperative approaches to address climate change.
Did you know that divorce filings typically spike during the first three months of a new year, right after the holidays? This phenomenon is commonly known as “split up season” by divorce attorneys.
Controllers face many tasks at the end of the calendar year. This guide provides advice, reminders, and tips about certain responsibilities that require your attention in the next few weeks, and includes an update of rates and limits for 2017. Items covered include: I. W-2s AND YEAR-END PAYROLL ADJUSTMENTS II. INFORMATION RETURNS III. WITHHOLDING ON […]
The Domino Sugar Factory, at one time the largest sugar refiner in the country, producing over 50% of total sugar consumption, is being converted to an urban campus in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It will adorn Brooklyn’s waterfront with 2,800 apartments, 600,000 square feet of office space, 200,000 square feet of community and retail space, and 6 acres of parks and open spaces.
In recent years, the New York City skyline has been increasingly dotted with construction cranes. Hundreds of new buildings or conversions have added to the map of the five boroughs. What is causing this real estate boom? The low interest rates from the Federal Reserve for so long is one reason, and the popularity of financing through the EB-5 Program is probably another reason.
As prudent at this time of year, taxpayers look for ways to reduce their tax liability either through increased deductions or credits. Additionally, we look to the future opportunities relating to new policies as to be outlined by the incoming President and Republican controlled Congress. Businesses and individuals alike have many opportunities available to reduce their overall tax burden. While this may seem like a massive undertaking, the path ahead is not as intimidating as it may seem.
Storing goods or inventory has a monthly cost, which depends solely on how long we expect that product to remain in our warehouse. Handling revenue derived from moving product in or out of the warehouse depends largely on the speed at which we move it. Therefore, the cost of storing a unit of product decreases […]
Heading into 2017, it’s clear that we can expect to see a continuation of certain trends in the food and beverage industry. The hottest sectors – such as healthy and nutritious foods – are still red hot, despite a reduction in the overall number of deals. According to results from Mazars’ annual Food & Beverage […]
Accountants dealing with service concession arrangements are quite busy with several changes coming through as a result of new revenue recognition standards coming into effect, and a new exposure draft just published by the U.S. standard setter. While these publications clarify some matters, they raise a few questions. This is a reminder of the rationale […]
All arrows are pointing in the same direction that the South Bronx will be the next Williamsburg, the next Park Slope or the next Long Island City. For years New Yorkers have had a front row seat to witnessing the domino effect of working class outer borough neighborhoods with easy access to Manhattan being transformed into some of the priciest overdeveloped places in New York City.
While it’s still early to draw concrete conclusions on how the UK’s Brexit decision will impact the real estate sector, our global real estate experts at Mazars have mapped out five important considerations when assessing any challenges and opportunities likely to face strategic players, partners and competitors in the international real estate sector in key global locations; the UK, Germany, France and the US.
Business continuity and disaster planning has been a focus of the Securities and Exchange Commission in its examinations of Registered Investment Advisors in recent years, following the impact of disasters such as Hurricane Sandy on advisors in the affected region, as well as increased concern over cybersecurity risks.
Cash flow at a nonprofit often projects a shocking outlook of an organization’s ability to operate smoothly. Incorporating some guidelines into business activities can enhance monitoring cash flow. And, a financial statement note disclosure in an organization’s financial statements might be required due to a new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) pronouncement.
Succession planning has been a subject widely discussed among upper management for businesses and organizations of all sizes and industries, including for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental agencies. The topic of succession planning is broad in scope and has several implications for the workplace. Why, you ask? For one, the workplace is larger and more diverse by generation, gender, and race than ever.
Health care service providers seeking compliance through State regulations, NCQA, Medicare, or Medicaid requirements, need to have processes in place in order to ensure quality care and take necessary actions to correct and prevent quality issues. These issues include access to care and inappropriate treatment and/or services. The goal is to make sure that the quality of care is consistently at its highest level for each individual.
In October 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt changes for better reporting and disclosure of information by registered investment companies, and to enhance liquidity risk management by open-end funds, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The new rules are part of the SEC’s initiative to improve transparency and increase monitoring and regulation of the asset management industry.
Asset managers are encouraged to become familiar with the new revenue recognition standard and evaluate how the five-step approach will affect their systems, internal controls, policies, and practices. Entities should also discuss these changes with key stakeholders so they can understand the impact of these changes to the financial statements.
Hear what Lauren Reo has to say about what it takes to be a leader and about the adrenaline horseback riding and busy season give her.
What is the great American dream? In the earlier part of the century, most people would have defined it as finding a job, getting married, buying a house, and perhaps having children. Millennials are interesting because it seems that although they want the same things, they are willing to wait longer to get them.
The transition away from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payment models is accelerating rapidly across the United States as the Triple Aim takes hold. We have observed several lessons learned during our careers that provide a framework for this transition.
Now that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting quarterly hospital "star" ratings on the Hospital Compare website, hospitals are faced with a potentially damaging public relations nightmare.
When the average person thinks of nonprofit or charitable organizations, it’s quite likely that one of the first things that come to mind is that these entities are exempt from paying taxes. However, as we’ve mentioned time and time again, not-for-profit organizations are businesses, and as we know businesses pay taxes.
Commonly held foreign assets include interests in foreign mutual funds and foreign exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Most taxpayers are unaware that such funds are treated differently, and more harshly, than U.S. mutual funds or domestic ETFs.
On August 25, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) adopted amendments to various rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Act”). The amendments will be effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register, but investment advisers are expected to comply with the amendments after October 1, 2017.
Our real estate clients are making headlines, as Manhattan’s West 30s and the Lower East side undergo a facelift - not just a few nips and tucks, but a brand new look. Two mega-projects underway involve developing under-utilized space to expand and transform New York City.
At a time when traditional department and specialty stores are floundering, off-price retailers have emerged—and their business is booming. In new research released by The NPD Group, a global industry analysis and advisory services company, roughly two-thirds of consumers who shop for clothes do so at off-price retailers.
Monitoring key financial indicators is critical to sound business decisions and long-term financial success. To facilitate the decision-making process, WeiserMazars conducts an annual benchmarking survey.
As China’s economy and construction boom slow, the country’s steel manufacturers have not cut production. The result is significant overproduction of steel products in China and other Asian countries. China, who produces approximately half of all global steel, is relying on exports, rather than cutting production and terminating employees, to counter excess production capacity.
The transportation and logistics industry is usually the first to be affected by uncertain and erratic conditions. Although the dollar strengthened and imports surged, consumer and capital spending didn’t. Logistics providers must be agile, and have the ability to pivot quickly to make the necessary tactical shifts for their businesses to remain competitive.
Energy sources are found everywhere. Some are man-made, such as wells that are drilled to extract oil and gas, and others are alternative sources, like wind, solar, and landfill gas. The capital commitment required (through either traditional or alternative means) drives the global search for a source that is both more cost effective and safer for the environment.
One such benefit that is often overlooked, but over time can lead to significant savings, is the use of an organization's sales tax exemption while conducting business over meals. Organizations should be taking advantage of this, as sales tax can add up quickly, diverting much needed funds that could potentially be used for charitable purposes.
A prominent home furnishings company faced a nice problem. The good news was that its business was growing rapidly, thanks to increasing sales to current customers and an attractive new contract with a major retailer. But it needed to tune up its supply chain to manage inventory more efficiently and provide faster, more reliable service to meet more stringent customer requirements.
It is not unusual for a not-for-profit to receive an outright donation of real property. However, there has been an increasing trend whereby donors are contributing these interests "over time or piecemeal."
The landscape of sales tax and occupancy taxes for hotel operators operating in New York State is a complicated structure in that it requires hotel operators to collect various tax levies. This article discusses some of the most common sales and occupancy taxes that must be collected by hotel operators doing business in New York.
The Study surveyed over 200 food and beverage companies, including manufacturers and wholesalers/distributors, representing a range of annual sales volume from $1 million or less to more than $500 million.
Success in the brave new world of value-based reimbursement, emphasizing quality outcomes and cost, requires that all providers, big and small, integrate the use of data into routine processes.
As competition between Boeing and Airbus (and possibly Bombardier) continues to intensify, suppliers are being asked to provide higher-quality products at lower prices, leading organizations to implement efficiency improvement measures through investments in lean manufacturing, six sigma, just-in-time, Kanban, etc. Although these process improvements will help counter competition in the near term, suppliers also must consider making investments in future innovations to ensure sustainable growth.
It is commonly said there are two certainties in life - death and taxes. However, given the current business environment, all business and accounting professionals should consider one more: fraud.
Consumer order fulfillment incurs process costs including product warehouse storage, shipment and more. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers face increased pressure via e-commerce competition catering to consumers who prefer to shop across various channels, bolstered by the ubiquity of smartphones, which make it easy to compare prices and purchase desired items.
Europe is moving toward adopting and implementing a new economic model known as a Circular Economy (CE). Its supporters anticipate that it will bring many benefits, create a more sustainable economic model over the next 30-50 years, reduce raw material costs, and make the Eurozone economy more competitive in international markets.
The struggle continues for manufacturers to find the skilled labor they need to thrive in today’s U.S. economy. The biggest challenge of this on-going skills gap is the perception that good jobs do not exist in manufacturing. Now, technical schools, manufacturers, and even government agencies are working together to promote awareness and encourage students to consider careers in manufacturing.
The Merriam Dictionary defines a “perfect storm” as a critical or disastrous situation created by a powerful concurrence of factors. This definition, as well as the potential negative outcomes, can arguably be applied to the Long Term Care sector of the health industry, primarily for providers of home health services and facility based acute rehabilitation and custodial care.
The Paris Agreement is historical because it has garnered almost universal support: 195 countries are now members of UNFCCC, and 175 countries signed it on April 22, 2016. However, there is widespread disappointment over the agreement, because it is less ambitious than the Kyoto Protocol that was signed following COP3 in 1997.
Hear what Katelyn Kogan has to say about how she gets through the long hours of busy season and how the clubs she’s joined in the firm and the relationships she’s made with her coworkers have led her to become the leader she is today.
On April 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the first major bundled payment initiatives: the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. The impact on post-acute care providers – whether rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, or home health care agencies – will be tremendous.
For many years, the healthcare industry has been generally immune from the barrage of cyber-attacks which have been primarily directed towards the financial and retail sectors. In addition, data breaches tend to involve lost or stolen devices, often with unencrypted data.
As part of the content program on digital finance that Mazars has launched in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit, we are exploring in a new article how mobile money is driving Africa’s cashless future.
People live in more uncertain times today than in the past. To some extent this is because new technology and vehicles of communication, not to mention a more global social, political, and economic environment, have created a new vision of how society functions as a whole.
Globalization has made an increasing number of individuals and businesses subject to foreign filings, requiring them to report foreign assets and income. The following filings are mandatory for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and individuals who have income from foreign sources or have an interest in foreign financial accounts or assets.
Financial statement preparation under GAAP includes the presumption that the reporting entity will continue as a going concern unless and until that entity’s liquidation becomes imminent. This is referred to as the going concern basis of accounting.
The effect of falling oil prices over the past year on the renewable energy industry clear. When oil prices are high, there is a willingness to invest in solar panels, energy efficient cars, businesses providing electric charging stations and energy delivery infrastructure.
One of the most valued itemized deductions available to individual taxpayers is the mortgage interest deduction. The potential deductibility of mortgage interest is one reason why owning a home may be a financially better move then renting. However, when determining the deductibility of mortgage interest, one must be mindful of the various requirements and limitations.
As the financial markets continue to evolve and information becomes instantaneously available around the globe, stakeholders are demanding transparency, predictability and accountability from all the organizations with which they are engaged.
In 2014, according to Nielsen Media Research, broadcast stations donated more than $2 billion of free airtime to air public service announcements. The accounting for this form of gift-in-kind revenue has become a significant issue for many notfor- profit organizations (NFPs) and their CPAs.
Learn more about WeiserMazars and the future of our firm from our very own Chairman and CEO, Victor Wahba, and Managing Partner, Jim Blake.
Hear what Gina Omolon has to say about the firm’s culture and the challenges she faces balancing being a leader and the roles of being an auditor, mother, and wife. Find out what words of advice she offers to future leaders on being successful.
After slowly rebounding from the recession, the outlook for 2016 in the industrial manufacturing sector is uncertain and skepticism about continued growth has returned. Increasing volatility in the investment market, divergent monetary policies worldwide, and decreasing commodity costs all having varying effects on industrial manufacturing. Manufacturing companies must focus on innovation and improvement to maintain […]
Regulatory compliance (environmental and economic) is a significant challenge facing the water industry. Various federal, state and local regulations are put in place with objectives ranging from keeping the public and environment safe to protecting customers from unjustified rising tariffs. The necessity of water quality regulations is clearly demonstrated by the recent events gaining headline […]
State and Local Tax – Benefits and Pitfalls By Seth Rabe and Harold Hecht Being a manufacturer in New York can have benefits. Effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, the New York State corporate tax rate for qualified New York manufacturers is 0%. The capital base tax will also be […]
Transfer pricing has become a key area of focus for tax authorities around the world. Maintaining appropriate documentation of a company’s transfer pricing policies mitigates the risk of a potential tax adjustment during a transfer pricing audit and eliminates the risk of substantial penalties. Taxpayers should proactively develop support of their intercompany transactions and carefully […]
401(k) plans are normally established and maintained by plan sponsors — usually the company — pursuant to a plan document or agreement. Fiduciaries (trustees) named in the plan document are responsible for the operation and administration of the plan. They, in turn, appoint an employee of the company to be the plan administrator. This individual […]
There comes a time in every company’s lifecycle where the decision has to be made whether or not to sell the business. This turning point can be due to several factors – lack of proper management team to continue the business, lack of a younger familial generation to take over, or simply “it is time” […]
In late 2013, the Port Authority created the Port Performance Task Force (PPTF) to: Provide a framework for constituents in the Port of NY and NJ (Port) to discuss areas of common interest Identify challenges to port efficiency and service reliability Recommend potential solutions and Key Performance Indicators in order to maintain the Port of […]
All too often, food and beverage companies do not analyze customer and product profitability. It is one of the most important items we address with our clients.
At the end of 2015, President Obama signed numerous tax extensions and modifications into law. A number of these provisions will impact energy and renewable energy businesses moving forward.
According to the WeiserMazars 2015 Food and Beverage Industry Survey, both small firms (companies with less than $50 million in annual revenue) and large firms (companies with more than $50 million in annual revenue), identified improving operations (including quality, delivery, safety and cost) as one of their highest areas of concern in the coming year.
Without a change in perspective, we risk losing the cyber war being waged on businesses by sophisticated nation states and criminal organizations. Traditional approaches to evaluating risks and controls are insufficient to prevent cyber-attacks. Risk assessments focusing on the people, processes and technology overemphasize the information technology organization.
Service professionals wear many hats: technicians, teachers, mentors, advocates, arbitrators, counselors, speakers, writers, salespeople and, let us not forget, bill collectors. For many of us, the latter can be one of our most dreaded roles.
In recent years, retirement plan sponsors have searched for ways to increase performance, while still maintaining a risk-averse strategy. Many are looking beyond traditional stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and taking a closer look at so called “alternative investments” including hedge funds, private equity offerings, real estate investment trusts, currency funds, oil and gas and real estate limited partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs).
I think back on the many New Year’s Eves I have spent counting inventory throughout the Northeast. As difficult as it was for me as an auditor, it was at least as challenging for my clients.
Compensation packages often include stock options, which are used to reward, incentivize and retain key employees. There are two types of stock options that can be granted - Qualified Stock Options, also called Incentive Stock Options (ISO), and Non-Qualified Stock Options (NQSO). The major difference between ISOs and NQSOs is their tax treatment.
Uncover the tax rules needed for individuals who live and work in multiple countries.
Organizations in the aerospace industry have much to celebrate. An expanding middle class and emerging global infrastructure have powered commercial aircraft orders to record levels. In response, aircraft manufacturers have been trading production increase announcements over the past few years.
Few things slow cash flow like a high accounts receivable (AR) balance. It consumes working capital that could pay down lines of credit, streamline operations or support growth initiatives. What causes high AR balances, how do you get them under control, and how are top-performing AR teams leveraging technology to deliver superior results?
Since October 1, 2015, the liability for credit card fraud has shifted to the party who is the least EMV chip technology compliant in a fraudulent transaction - generally the merchant.
The WeiserMazars 2015 U.S. Water Industry Outlook found that non-revenue water is a critical performance measure that provides indicators of: (1) aging of the system, (2) opportunities for improved efficiency, and (3) opportunities for improved financial performance/pricing.
At a time when U.S. unemployment remains high, the Manufacturing Institute’s 2015 Skills Gap report predicts that more than 3.4 million manufacturing jobs need to be filled over the next 10 years, but that more than half of these positions will go unfilled due to the current skills gap.
Chief financial officers take heed: the European Audit Reform (EAR), expected to be adopted by European Union member states by June 17, 2016, affects American companies with a presence in the EU.
Many tax exempt organizations, whether by bequest from a donor or as part of an investment strategy, find themselves invested in alternative vehicles such as Partnerships, Private Equity Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, and Hedge Funds. While these types of entities can afford an organization a significantly larger return on its investment than traditional stocks, bonds or money market funds, there are significant tax compliance consequences that can be tied to these investments.
It is tax planning time again and taxpayers are looking for deductions and credits wherever possible to decrease their overall tax liability. With 2016 as a major election year, constituents would expect that Congress would have at least addressed the popular Bush Tax Cuts which have been extended several times since their creation in 2001.
We can reasonably expect to have autonomous trucks by the year 2035. However, this will not eliminate the need for drivers to operate the vehicles - airplanes have been flown by autopilot for more than 25 years, but still require two pilots on every commercial flight.
That the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) should be revised is one of the few areas of Congressional bi-partisan agreement. Originally enacted in 1980 to restrict certain tax benefits accruing to foreign investors in real estate, the common view today is that FIRPTA discourages much-needed foreign capital financing of U.S. real estate and infrastructure projects.
The media industry has been disrupted by new internet-based business models, and content digitalization and enablement for different platforms.
Sometimes employees need cash to pay for unexpected life events and may consider withdrawing money from their 401(k) as a hardship distribution. These distributions can be extremely helpful to the employee in their time of need, but the employer or plan administrator needs to understand the rules surrounding these transactions if they wish to stay in compliance with the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”).
Department of Labor (DOL) regulations related to pension plans, health care and other welfare plans are primarily intended to protect employee contributions. One of the main ways of ensuring such contributions are safeguarded is to investigate situations where employers have delays in remitting participant contributions to the participant’s employee benefit plan.
Whether you are a start-up or have been in business for years, you will at one time or another need financing. The cash flow of a business is arguably the most crucial element to keeping operations running smoothly. Cash flow needs can, and will, fluctuate quite often, due to timing of collections and payments. A business might need cash to purchase inventory, equipment, or to cover a payroll and the cash is simply not available to address the current needs.
In the not-for-profit community, so much good is done by a range of organizations: social welfare groups help clients achieve quality of life; religious and membership organizations create advocacy for beneficial economic, social and human rights policies. With all this positive energy, we often lose sight of the potential these efforts have to also generate risk. Most of the risk we assume is unintentional. However we must be prepared and while some risk may not be blatantly intentional, it is clearly avoidable.
Most business owners understand and appreciate the need for a properly drafted buy–sell agreement, but too many operate without one – the demands of day-to-day operations relegate such planning to the back burner. One thing I have heard too many times from business partners/co-owners is “when I die, my partner will do the right thing.” Maybe so, but death significantly changes the relationship balance and there is typically a lot of money at stake… a time when people get “funny.”
Often clients and practitioners alike will assume that losses reported on a Schedule K-1 are completely deductible, only to find out later that there was not sufficient basis to take the loss. IRC Sec. 704(d) states that a partner’s distributive share of loss is allowable to the extent of the partner’s adjusted tax basis in the partnership at the end of the partnership year in which such loss occurred. Any losses in excess of the tax basis are disallowed and are carried forward.
Distribution networks that service the grocery sector continue to face escalating challenges in delivering expected service performance at a profit. Manufacturers are increasingly building a better understanding of the costs to service each of their customers and quite often find wide variation due to delivery network geography and order profiles along with product, handling and delivery characteristics.
A fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in another party's interests. Parties owing this duty are called fiduciaries (owners, executives, human resources personnel, retirement plan committee members). Fiduciaries may not profit from their decisions and have a duty to avoid any conflicts of interest between themselves and the plan.
Financing U.S. real estate by issuing corporate debt through the Israeli bond market is a growing business, and major owner/operators and developers are using it for acquisitions and the development of new projects. Although figures vary as to the size of the Israeli bond finance market, NIS 40 billion in debt capital was raised in 2013, up from NIS 32 billion in 2012.
Currently, the sale of real estate condominiums under development has been reported one of two ways under FASB ASC 360-20 Accounting for Gains on Real Estate Sales. The most commonly used methods are the percentage of completion method and the deposit method. The percentage of completion method recognizes income pro-rated over the time of the development, based on the percentage of the costs completed to date over the expected total project costs.
Among a myriad of complex financial accounting and reporting matters facing financial decision makers, accountants and auditors of small to medium-sized privately held businesses in the United States, there is hope. U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) is not the final word of financial reporting and disclosure.
Whether your bank uses an in–house, an outsourced or co-sourced internal audit function, the internal audit program must be independent. And no matter the arrangement, management and the board have a degree of responsibility for internal audit’s efficacy - as such, they must accept ownership of this function even where it is fully outsourced.
This video David Weinstock offers three tips for companies to follow when looking at buy-sell planning.
There are many reasons a plan sponsor may choose to change their trustee or record keeper. The plan sponsor may have gone through an acquisition and is preparing to merge plans to simplify administration.
On June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on a series of consolidated cases known as Obergefell v. Hodges, that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right of same-sex couples to marry. The landmark ruling found that states are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The reform requires that publicly traded subsidiaries on an EU Member State stock exchange and registered in an EU Member State conform to new audit rotation rules and restrictions on non-audit services.
On June 24, 2015, after weeks of intensive discussions, the United States Congress gave President Barack Obama the authority to conclude the 12 country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and move forward with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“TTIP”).
This is a follow-up to our earlier Alert on this topic which has already been the focus of much attention and the source of so much commentary, positive and negative, directed at the FASB. WeiserMazars has submitted a Comment Letter on this exposure draft. No doubt, based on the volume of response from both the […]
Starting a new business can be a very exciting and stressful time. The decisions you make early in the process can be the deciding factor of whether your business succeeds or fails. There a few sure fire things you can do and/or avoid doing that will give your business a much better chance to succeed.
Starting a business sounds simple – take your idea, get a federal ID number and a bank account, and you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, that level of simplicity is a myth. There are many complexities when creating a business at the federal, state, and local levels. In this article, we offer insight on the varying regulations throughout New Jersey, New York, New York City, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia with a focus on the limited liability company (LLC) structure.
With all the changes in the health care arena over the past several years, the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) is on the rise. The number of accounts has risen from 6.1 million as of January 2008 to an estimated 13.8 million at the end of 2014.
With a volatile stock market and low yields on fixed income, many high net worth individuals are looking for alternative investments. One alternative is nontraditional real estate investments such as farm property or timber land. However, the tax rules relating to timber can be extraordinarily complex for those lacking experience in the area.
WeiserMazars works with Tax executives to transform tax operations across the entire Tax Value Chain. Our focus is to drive our clients towards achieving a Target Operating Model that aligns people, process and technology.
In today’s dynamic business environment, management must precisely navigate a plethora of obstacles in controlling a company’s exposure to risk so as to develop a clear path for success. The water industry is particularly burdened by risk from a variety of sources including regulatory changes, supply sourcing, and personnel changes.
When Congress passed the Food & Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”) a little over four years ago, we all knew it was going to be a big deal. After years of import safety problems and market disruptions that shook consumer confidence, Congress established a modern system of food safety protection based on preventing such failures from happening in the first place, rather than simply reacting to problems.
Each year companies create new and exciting fashion designs which must be transformed into product that can be shipped and sold to customers throughout the world. Going from drawing board to tangible product can be a difficult path, but with a well-structured supply chain, that path is manageable.
Many C-suite executives at early-stage companies with limited financial resources face the difficult decision of how to adequately compensate their top employees.
States have become increasingly aggressive in enforcing their tax codes as they seek to increase revenue and close budget shortfalls. As competition across sectors increases, it is more crucial than ever to consider the importance of multi-state nexus issues in order to protect narrowing profit margins, prevent noncompliance and be fully prepared for your business’s tax burden.
“Global mergers and acquisitions are on pace this year to hit the highest level on record, thanks to a buying spree from companies on the hunt for growth,” claims an August 10, 2015 Wall Street Journal article by Dana Mattioli and Dan Strumpf. The aerospace industry is a driver of this M&A trend.
Millions of government personnel files were recently compromised as part of a malicious hacking of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) and the Interior Department. As the human resources department for the federal government, the OPM maintains personnel files on all employees and also issues security clearances, which makes this cybersecurity breach particularly damaging.
When a taxpayer, or their accountant, evaluates their tax standing, an important piece to consider is the use and maximization of tax credits. Learn more about this year's changes!
Recently, New York State enacted changes to the widely popular Brownfield Clean-Up Program (BCP). Although relatively modest, the amendments are important to anyone seeking to redevelop sites in New York.
Many food & beverage industry professionals express the struggle of finding internal software solutions. They need accurate information quickly to keep up with changes and stay competitive and profitable. They want to be proactive, not reactive. Unfortunately, companies often have software applications that are poorly integrated and maintaining important data on manual schedules.
Recently, the federal government has been a likely target for malicious hacking, but historically, the most common targets have been retailers and other companies that maintain databases of credit card information. Learn what you can do to keep your business and clients safe.
WeiserMazars Consulting has pioneered a 5-Step 'Repeatable' Approach for analyzing operating expenses to identify opportunities to drive sustainable annual cost savings. Over a six week period, one of our specialized teams will provide cost reduction recommendations based on findings from reviewing costs and feedback from stakeholders.
Despite the last decade of economic uncertainty, it has become clear that commercial airlines and business jet manufacturers must continue to reinvest their accumulated earnings or risk being overtaken by both existing and new competitors. This increased investment will ultimately create value throughout the aerospace industry at all levels of the supply chain.
Businesses are increasingly moving towards cloud-based platforms for their operational and financial systems. Many companies also allow their employees to work remotely through some sort of virtual private network.
On June 6, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell¹ upheld the legality of tax subsidies that are offered to individuals who purchase insurance on federal exchanges.
In the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a hotly debated topic. Proponents saw the benefits of less-constrained international trade; those opposed feared that U.S.-based manufacturing jobs would be lost. Both were right: NAFTA passed, jobs left, but U.S.-based manufacturers reaped bottom line benefits from lower labor costs - not just in Mexico, but across the globe.
At a time when nonprofits are scrambling to replace funding from cutbacks in government programs, some fundraising professionals have noted significant amounts of money sitting just beyond their reach in Donor Advised Funds.
Operating a not-for-profit entity requires significant management skills. These include people skills, programmatic skills in tune with the organization’s mission, fiscal skills and more. And, as the economic environment becomes more tenuous, these skills need to be shared by the right management team, leaving the era of “silos” behind.
Although investments are made with an expectation of increased value over time, the reality is that not every investment will generate a profit. Some investments decrease in value and, when sold, result in losses.
The challenges physicians face in their efforts to meet Meaningful Use (MU) require focus and appropriately allocated resources that are often overlooked.
Many not-for-profit organizations fail to address important operational and organizational formalities, such as an employee manual, because their focus is on their mission and goals. Smaller not-for-profit organizations may not believe an employee manual to be necessary when, in fact, any organization with more than one employee should have one in place.
States have become increasingly aggressive in enforcing their tax codes as they seek to increase revenue and close budget shortfalls. As competition across sectors increases, it is more crucial than ever to consider the importance of multistate nexus issues in order to protect narrowing profit margins, prevent noncompliance and be fully prepared for your business’s tax burden.
To best maximize profits, management must know which customers are profitable, contribute to overhead or generate losses. Firms that can identify these customers are better able to maximize profits by retaining profitable accounts and improving on others.
The use of water is ingrained in all facets of the U.S. manufacturing and distribution sector – from utilities to food and beverage, consumer products, agriculture and more. Difficulties with this crucial resource can have a significant impact on a business’s current and future operations and financial results.
Few American consumers lament the return of a strong dollar. They see the rewards in their gas tank and whenever they buy foreign-produced products. But the rest of the world, particularly Europe, are not as sanguine. For nearly ten years, the U.S. dollar took a back seat to the euro. Record-high federal deficits, soaring commodity […]
When starting a new business, there are several hidden costs, whether monetary or not, that many entrepreneurs do not take into consideration. Having an understanding of these five hidden costs can largely impact the success of the business.
Changes were recently made to the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Examination Manual. Below, we present the “Top 10” revisions to the Manual along with our analysis.
A trusted advisor delivers benefits that make them sought out by decision-makers. They understand the challenges faced by their clients, from industry-specific features to unique day-to-day operational issues.
Gradual changes in the costs of international shipping over the last decade are beginning to have a profound impact on the entire North American economy.
Oftentimes, we feel that the best way for our organization to improve is to replicate the successes of other organizations within our industry. While following these best practices may lead to some success, it can also severely limit our ability to achieve a competitive advantage as industry leaders have already implemented these ideas. How can we go beyond buzz words, to create true innovation?
With consolidation on the rise and incentives for the food and beverage sector to reduce operating costs and increase cash flow, switching to solar power has become a way for companies to accomplish both while also becoming energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
Five years after the Great Recession blasted large holes in government budgets, many states are still struggling to balance their books. 16 states are expected to have significant budget deficits over the next two years in the face of rising costs. These deficit challenges have resulted in states scrambling to find new sources of revenue - with the taxation of internet based sales perceived as a "pot of gold" by some states.
Startup companies may go through various stages of external funding throughout their lifecycle. Typically, the first stage consists of seed funding, which is usually earmarked for developing the company’s product or technology and achieving marketplace fit.
Respondents to the WeiserMazars LLP 2014 U.S. Water Industry Outlook, who came from both private and public companies, identified three key challenges for the US water industry.
Every year there is some change in the tax law that makes tax season unbearable for CPAs, attorneys and tax preparers alike. In 2015, it will be Repair Regulations, the last minute passage of the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014”, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandate, and changes in New York for estate and gift tax planning.
A successful internal audit function is made up of people with the right skills, who are business partners with management and provide insight into identifying and addressing risks of the company, including emerging risks, It is this incubator of risk-focused people who we also look to enter the business and assist the company in achieving its long-term objectives.
Continuous Auditing (CA) has been in the minds of Audit Committees and Chief Audit Executives (CAE) for more than two decades. While the overall concept is well understood, sometimes it is confused with Continuous Monitoring (CM). A distinction between these two has to be made to understand how CA complements continuous monitoring and the unique benefits of CA.
Thus far, there have been approximately 191,000 2013 calendar year end Form 5500 filings. Of those filings, approximately 47,000 (25%) were received within the last 3 days of the extended October 15th due date or after the due date. Although I can’t say for certain why those numbers are so high, based on previous experience, I can point to three common areas that cause delayed or late filings and offer tips on how to avoid these pitfalls.
Recent successful cyber attacks against large, well-known healthcare organizations – such as the widely discussed Anthem security breach – are forcing organizations of all sizes across the continuum of care (health systems, hospitals, physician practices, IPAs, and payers) to give IT security increased attention and investment. Cyber attacks can wreak havoc on an organization’s reputation and have a significant negative impact on its bottom line.
For contractors and property owners it may be difficult to distinguish whether services performed are a capital improvement to real property or if they constitute repairs, maintenance, or installation services to real property. Depending on how the service is classified, contractors must follow the rules set forth by New York State to collect and/or pay sales and use tax.
Prominent real estate owners and developers are sourcing a new form of capital—bonds issued and traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). It’s a creative concept, with benefits for both sides of the transaction. The funding technique is also attractive to technology companies, looking for capital to expand with a less-onerous due diligence process than U.S. securities funding often demands.
There is much anxiety, concern and trepidation currently in the not-for-profit industry due to a number of factors both internal and external. As CPAs, we focus our attention not only on basic services such as audit and tax, but also on management-related issues that impact our clients, including: Risk Management and Reputational Risk Reputational risk holds […]
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) at its March 4, 2015 Board meeting approved the issuance of an Exposure Draft of a Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU), in the very near future, representing significant changes in standards that have applied to the not-for-profit industry since 1993.
As a result of several recently completed examinations of healthcare practices and healthcare related entities, it has become apparent that there is a major lack of understanding of borrowers’ and examiners’ responsibility as it relates to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy rules and compliance.
"The volume of deals we are seeing is slightly higher in the U.S. than in other countries, but the dollar amount flowing into U.S. markets is much higher due to much larger deal sizes. Nonetheless, despite slowdowns in Europe and some emerging markets such as Brazil, deal flow into certain countries is burgeoning."
The crisis may be over, but the challenges of managing credit risk in a low interest rate environment and increasingly competitive marketplace are not. David Shaw, director, Credit Risk Management Services at WeiserMazars LLP, discusses new credit risk concerns, the forces driving them and the need for enhanced risk management programs.
As the not-for-profit sector moves toward greater transparency, organizations are facing a previously unknown level of scrutiny from the public, the government, and even from client communities. As part of their operating and fiscal responsibility, not-for-profits, like all businesses, need to focus on their costs in order to both sustain themselves and improve their effectiveness in achieving their mission, they need to budget all available resources.
Cybersecurity has long been a top concern for the private sector and government agencies, but not-for-profit organizations are now realizing the importance of cybersecurity, as well. Cyber attacks are hugely costly in terms of both monetary loss and damage to an organization’s reputation – its most valuable asset.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, commonly known as T-TIP, a proposal to banish regulatory barriers and improve the exchange of goods and services between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), is generating buzz on both sides of the Atlantic.
The end of the year is a time to reflect upon the past and plan for the future, including planning for income and estate taxes. Below, we present some important income and estate tax items to consider before the end of the year.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is putting healthcare organizations between a rock and a hard place, introducing requirements meant to improve quality care, while also mandating reduced spending.
There has long been a debate among professionals as to the method for achieving tax compliance when handling start-up and organizational costs after a technical termination. The IRS recently released final regulations to address and clarify this issue.
New York City enacted the nation’s first comprehensive zoning resolution in 1916. Currently, with the exception of parkland and other open spaces, every square foot of the city is subject to zoning regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure some degree of structural and usage conformity in the various boroughs and neighborhoods that comprise this very diverse metropolitan area.
Lease incentives are negotiated into many commercial property leases as an incentive for the tenant to sign a long-term lease. Free rent, cash for moving expenses, renovations, video conferencing equipment, and elaborate conference rooms help close deals.
This is the time to reflect on the past year and make plans for the year to come. Here are some income and estate tax planning items to consider before the year-end.
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In this month’s Wealth Advisor Newsletter, we discuss the pros and cons of making charitable contributions through Donor Advised Funds as compared to Private Foundations.
Succession planning is essential to every aspect of a not-for-profit’s operations and is a top-to-bottom process if the organization is mindful of its long-term sustainability. In this issue, we discuss the importance of succession planning for not-for-profit organizations.
In this issue we discuss the benefits of donating appreciated securities and collectibles to charitable organizations in comparison to cash donations.
Complex government regulation and constantly-changing legislation make employee benefit plan administration complicated and time-consuming. Knowing common pitfalls and how to avoid them will help ease the complexity for plan administrators.
WeiserMazars is adept at assisting government entities to improve their financial performance and overall processes. We help you achieve best practices, offering practical solutions to your challenges.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), is arguably a thorn in the sides of many foreign hedge funds. While some funds are attempting to tackle compliance flying by the seats of their pants, for others, FATCA compliance is not even on their radar.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) has led to a transformation in the healthcare industry. As of April 1, 2014, more than 7 million previously uninsured Americans have signed up for healthcare through the ACA. Private equity firms and investors are wasting no time seeking ways to profit from this burgeoning market.
FATCA was enacted by Congress and signed into law in response to headlines describing wealthy Americans hiding assets in offshore financial institutions in order to avoid paying taxes on the income generated by those assets. Because FATCA withholding applies to certain US source payments, US and foreign P&C companies ceding US risks offshore and Foreign P&C companies assuming business on US risks must comply with FATCA.
The New York City Department of Finance requires the owners or the owners’ representatives (“Owners”) of income-producing property in New York City, that have an actual assessed value (“Total Actual AV”) of more than $40,000, to file an annual Real Property Income and Expense statement commonly known as an RPIE. New York City has moved the annual filing deadline three months earlier to June 1st. Since the filing date is a Sunday, this year the RPIE is due June 2nd. The RPIE-2013 covers the 2013 calendar year or, if records are maintained on a fiscal year basis, the last fiscal year concluded as of May 1, 2014.
A major concern for self-employed individuals, and particularly sole proprietors, is how to save for retirement. A sole proprietor needs both flexibility in determining annual contributions and administrative simplicity from a retirement plan. There are numerous plan designs from which a sole proprietor may choose, including defined benefit plans and profit sharing plans.
Each not-for-profit organization has its own unique management needs. And, though the particular type of not-for-profit may vary, providing high quality service with stellar administration is required by all. It is impossible to achieve these goals, promote automation and reduce expenses without a robust, efficient accounting system.
Meaningful Use (MU) participation is at an all-time high, leading to an inevitable surge in audits. Preparing for a potential audit is crucial in this all or nothing program, where documentation shortfalls can lead to big losses. With millions of dollars at stake, the time to secure past and future incentive payments is now.
Two years ago we issued the inaugural WeiserMazars’ U.S. Water Industry Outlook in an effort to contribute to recognition of the water industry as an important sector – a factor we strongly believe is critical to addressing its challenges. Today, the water industry faces many of the same obstacles, particularly aging infrastructure and capital needs.
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upon us. To date, the most visible effect is neither the promised decrease in medical costs nor the promised increase in healthcare quality, but rather the increasing frustration of healthcare payers, providers, and consumers.
In the current not-for-profit environment, with revenues tight, expenses increasing, and more “competition” from other service providers, not-for-profit organizations must be focused and effective.
As technology advances and the professional landscape continue to evolve, the use of a home office is increasingly common. The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 50% of all U.S. businesses now operate primarily from someone’s home.
No industry has faced greater recent change and evolution than the media industry. This interview discusses the industry's current risk factors, opportunities and takeaways as well as upcoming trends.
While development plans vary, the most effective plans focus on core business strengths, clients and contacts.
In 1913, when the original U.S. tax system was revamped and the federal income tax re-imposed, it included a deduction for all interest paid. While personal interest (interest on personal loans and credit cards) was originally deductible, today's interest deduction is limited to investment interest expense and home mortgage interest.
In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed 2008’s Guiding Principles which implement the Protect Respect, Remedy Framework. These Guiding Principles, in part, state that companies have a responsibility to respect human rights and to act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others.
The answer is simple: transparency and competitive advantage. Transparency – if you are looking for an unintended consequence of the internet and social media age, it is that companies, no matter their industry, or their location, are seeing a need to become more transparent. Companies need to be more transparent because if they don’t tell […]
The new proposed accounting standard related to accounting for leases has been the subject of controversy and criticism from landlords, tenants, other lessors and lessees of all types since originally proposed in 2010.
IRS Form 990 is a familiar feature of the working lives of all those engaged with the not-for-profit sector. It is completed and filed each year to comply with IRS requirements, undergoing some changes over the years, including a major overhaul just a few years ago, so as to better serve as a tool for monitoring the activity of this robust industry.
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is upon us. To date, the most visible effect is neither the promised decrease in medical costs nor the promised increase in healthcare quality, but rather the increasing frustration of healthcare payers, providers, and consumers.
Real estate Tax Certiorari (“Certiorari”) is the legal process by which a property owner can challenge a real estate tax assessment. The Tax Commission is the City of New York's forum for independent administrative review of real property tax assessments set by the New York City Department of Finance annually on January 15th.
Real estate professionals as defined under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”), will be happy to learn that they may not be subject to the new 3.8% Unearned Income Medicare Contribution Tax (‘Medicare Tax”), which becomes effective January 1, 2013 as part of IRC 1411.
...having a clean and comprehensible balance sheet...is Banking 101
Recent Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) rule changes and developments will have a significant impact on the auditing of broker dealers. SEC Release No. 34-70073 Broker Dealer Reports
Defining what is a “Good Bank” can lead to us to reflect on a number of important considerations. Can a financial institution balance its role in the economy, social conscience, servicing clients and maximizing profits for its shareholders?
In this month’s NonProfit Trends we discuss the importance of having a well-defined relationship between a company’s CFO and its external auditor as well as some of the duties that apply to each party. Learn more about how you can get increased value from your audit.
We spoke with Signature Bank President and CEO Joseph J. DePaolo regarding the state of the banking industry and what it takes to make a Good Bank. Mr. DePaolo was also recently featured in the May 20th issue of Crain’s New York Business, discussing the potential for a new banking crisis. Signature Bank, with 27 private client banking offices and more than $19 billion in assets, is engaged in the old-fashioned business of providing highly personalized banking services while producing business and commercial real estate loans for small and mid-size companies. During the past decade, Signature Bank has posted 15 consecutive quarters of record earnings. Its stock performance during the past five years is the best of any New York-based bank.
An Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) section (“§”) 403(b) plan (“403(b) plan”), also known as a tax-sheltered annuity (“TSA”), is a salary reduction defined contribution retirement plan for certain ministers and certain employees of public schools or tax-exempt §501(c)(3) organizations. These plans share many characteristics with §401(k) plans and operate under similar statutory and regulatory requirements. For example, employee salary reduction contributions to a 403(b) plan are excluded from an employee’s gross income and earnings on the plan’s assets accumulate on a deferred tax basis. In addition, amounts become taxable only upon receipt and rollovers are available to IRAs, other 403(b) plans, qualified plans, and governmental 457(b) plans. Yet, a 403(b) is not a qualified retirement plan.
Our “Estate Planning Quick Guide”, provides insight into the current legislation surrounding estate planning, and the ongoing impact of the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 and how it affects you.
If you own income -producing property in New York City and are not filing an annual RPIE you may be subject to penalties for not filing. The New York City Department of Finance requires the owners or the owners’ representatives (“Owners”) of income-producing property in New York City, that have an actual assessed value of more than $40,000, to file an annual Real Property Income and Expense statement commonly known as an RPIE. The RPIE filing is due on September 3, 2013
It’s a well-known fact that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insures deposits in banks up to the first $250,000 in any single bank. Any funds on deposit over this amount are considered uninsured and subject to loss if a bank were to go into bankruptcy. These rules apply to commercial bank accounts as well […]
Recent financial scandals, organizational blunders, concerns over executive compensation and instances of fraud have increasingly landed not-for-profit organizations in the headlines. In the attached article, we discuss the importance of Enterprise Risk Management to not-for-profits and how to implement it in your organization.
On August 2, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued final rule, Release No. 34-70073, Broker Dealer Reports, (the “Release”), which requires significant changes for broker dealers, including on audits of non-listed, but registered broker dealers. Areas affected include additional reporting requirements, notification, amending SEC Rule 17a-5 (Reports to Be Made by Certain Brokers and Dealers), and 17a-11 (Notification Provisions for Brokers and Dealers). The most significant change for auditors and their non-listed broker dealer clients is that auditing will now fall under Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards rather than the AICPA generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), which have been the standards for decades.
The IRS is turning its attention to the ways that nonprofit organizations calculate the tax they pay on unrelated business activities. In the wake of a recent IRS compliance study of 400 public and private colleges and universities, the agency has become concerned that nonprofits may be improperly reporting losses related to these activities and may not be paying unrelated business income tax (UBIT). After collecting statistical information on the ways these companies allocated expenses, the IRS launched 30 audits.
Our lead story talks about how new international tax standards promise to provide greater transparency and accountability.
The most recent real estate bubble burst between 2007 and 2008, under the weight of a market saturated with overpriced properties and subprime mortgages. Unfortunately, this bubble likely won't be the last. When real estate values again spike to unsustainable levels, will you (and your clients) be prepared?
Recent financial scandals, organizational blunders, concerns over executive compensation and instances of fraud have increasingly landed not-for-profit organizations in the headlines. These stories have caused damage not only to the reputations of specific not-for-profits, but to the sector overall and led to increased scrutiny from both the public at large and regulatory authorities. Although NFPs […]
With traditional bank business lending in the UK and Europe heavily restricted, asset based lending is becoming a more attractive alternative. As acceptance of ABL as a product grows in European markets, they represent an enticing form of financing for new entrants into industries with large growth potential. Increased understanding of the nuances of ABL facility structuring likewise leads to more opportunities to invest in businesses based in economies currently coming out of recession.
If there’s a T.V. Junkie in your home, you’re familiar with House, the television medical drama that followed Dr. Gregory House as he led a team of top diagnosticians to miraculously solve the most difficult medical cases. Dr. House saved each of his patients’ lives in under 45 minutes—an awesome feat. Of course this show […]
The globalization of commerce has had many impacts in today’s business environment. These changes have affected many aspects of business operations including procurement, logistics, accounting, and human resources. These changes have also affected the information technology area as well. Some of the key IT concerns that need to be effectively managed at some point in […]
Conditions in the 2013 Insurance industry are significantly changed from those of the past. Existing companies are adding geographies and deploying innovative products, new companies are entering the market, regulation is increasing, and shareholders want larger top-line growth with lower expense ratios. And yet, many companies are using decades-old legacy systems and financial processes that require too much manual labor. The following case studies of recent work by WeiserMazars Consulting demonstrate that the environment is rich with solutions if you work with the right people.