Insights

Articles & E-Books

Thought-provoking insights on long-range organizational issues.

Wipfli is dedicated to business leaders and their organizations. We bring you thought-provoking articles on long-range organizational issues related to people, processes, technology, customers, and financial management.

Making the Connection: Why Sage Intacct Integration Gives You More Spend Management Power

Today, we’re exploring how Sage Intacct’s ability to “play well with others” benefits users and how the platform’s best-of-breed design can bring more control and speed to your company’s spend management processes.

Dec 13, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Matt Rowley

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Who Thought That the IRS Could Cause Headaches Regarding Employee Parking?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) generally disallows a deduction for expenses with respect to qualified transportation fringes (QTF) provided by taxpayers to their employees. In the case of tax-exempt organizations, their unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) is increased by the amount of the QTF expense that is nondeductible. QTFs include:

  • Transportation in a commuter highway vehicle between the employee’s residence and place of employment.
  • Any transit passes.
  • Qualified parking—parking that is provided to an employee on or near the business premises of the employer or on or near a location from which the employee commutes to work.

Dec 12, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits, Health Care
By: Terri Rexrode

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Create Business Intelligence by Automating the Posting of Detailed Revenue Audit Data

Casinos handle significantly large amounts of financial transactions — both in payouts and general management of their operations. Therefore, ensuring cash flow in and out of a casino is incredibly important to its long-term success. Failure to properly monitor and audit revenue reports will put the casino at risk for major violations, and ultimately, a damaged reputation.

Dec 11, 2018
Industries: Tribal Gaming and Government, Tribal Gaming
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jason Winkler

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Here’s the Coverage Your Business Interruption Insurance Program May Be Missing

Traditionally, there must be some type of physical damage to insured property at covered locations and by covered “perils” in order to trigger business interruption coverage. Today, however, businesses are threatened and interrupted by many new types of disasters that do not involve physical damage to insured property.

Dec 04, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Litigation Support Services
By: William Metzdorff

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Performing a Year-End Inventory: Is It Worth It?

Counting your inventory can be a tedious job, and oftentimes it even means shutting down your operations for a period of time to manage the process and ensure all items are counted properly. Below we will discuss why accurate inventory balances are important, tips for an effective physical count and alternatives to a full year-end inventory count.

Dec 04, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Kyle Wierzba

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Colorado Enacting Economic Nexus Sales Tax Collection and Changing Collection Requirements for State-Collected Local and Special District Taxes

On September 11, 2018, the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) adopted emergency rules establishing an economic nexus standard for retailers without a physical presence in the state when such a retailer either (1) exceeds $100,000 in gross revenue from sales of tangible personal property or services delivered into the state in the current or previous year; or (2) makes 200 or more separate transactions of tangible personal property or services for delivery into the state in the current or previous year.

Dec 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Tiffany Davis, Tara T. Johnson, Daryl L. Ohland, Lisa J. Storey

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Tax Impacts of the Revenue Recognition Standard

In 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) collaborated with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to build a global standard for recognizing revenue on contracts with customers. The resulting standard, ASC 606, is the biggest alteration to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in 20 years. Everyone from auditors to tax advisors have had to wrap their heads around the changes. The standard by itself is a beast; add on top of that changes to the tax reporting for revenue recognition, and together you have a monster of an issue to deal with.

Dec 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Samantha A. Wimmer

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How to Maximize the 20% Pass-Through Deduction for Dealership Income

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered all individual tax rates, but it also added a special benefit for business owners that operate as pass-through entities (S corporations and Partnerships). Certain business owners can get an additional 7% tax rate reduction. It’s important to make sure that you qualify and that your benefit will not be limited by a number of special rules that reduce the amount of the tax benefit.

Dec 03, 2018
Industries: Dealerships
Services: Tax
By: Benjamin Dailey

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Part Three of Best Practices in Web Design: How to Create an Interactive, Frustration-Free Website Experience

Getting visitors on your website in the first place is hard enough, but keeping them there is equally difficult. If you look at your website analytics, you can see the bounce rate of site visitors. The bounce rate shows who leaves your site without visiting any pages other than the one they landed on, and the time they spend on your website before leaving.

Dec 03, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Dianne Newton-Shaw

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Audit Report Card

Think back to the last attest engagement you and your team prepared for and how you felt about the process overall. Were you relaxed, well-prepared and organized? Did you know the expectations of your role during on-site fieldwork? If the answer is no, then you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a couple of strategies you can use to make the attest procedures less daunting and overwhelming for your team.

Nov 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Amanda Flohr

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Digital Transformation: Finding the Key to Future Organizational Success

Companies that are innovating and introducing new value are making established, but static, companies irrelevant. In order to ensure its future, your business must embrace digital transformation. But what does that mean — and what kind of changes will you need to make? Read more in our recent article on Insight on Technology.

Nov 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Terry Kerscher

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Recommended Reading: ACFE’s 2018 Report to the Nations

The risk of fraud exists in every organization — and some businesses are more at risk than others. According to the newly released 2018 Report to the Nations by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), small businesses lose almost twice as much per instance of fraud as larger businesses, with a median loss of $200,000. Of course, this means larger businesses lose over $100,000 per instance of fraud, which is no small chunk of change either.

Nov 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Marc W. Courey

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The Real Blockchain: Turkey to Table

Blockchain has many applications, but what about at Thanksgiving? You may have a hard time believing these two are all that relevant to each other, but let’s imagine you have an app on your phone for paying for things like groceries, gas and your cable bill. And what’s more, this app is built on a blockchain platform with instant settlement of payment.

Nov 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Anthony D. Troxell

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Q&A: How One Community Bank Is Using CRM to Improve Its Customer Experience

Many community banks are driven by deep relationships that transcend generations, and they focus on providing personalized service that allows associates to know their customers’ needs and challenges inside and out. And though the marketplace has seen many new advancements over the past few decades — think “robo” financial advice and online, mobile-based banking services — many value direct relationships with these institutions and believe in investing their funds within their community.

Nov 16, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jason Muhlstein

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The Top 5 Forecasting Problems Your Business May Face — and How to Tackle Them

Financial planning is the cornerstone of every business’s continued success. The process of allocating funds and determining how to best use those funds to achieve both short- and long-term business objectives is vital and powerful.

Nov 14, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Jacquie Fossett

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Working on an Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Facility Like Foxconn? Don’t Overlook These Tax Exemptions

Manufacturing has long been a key driver of our nation’s economy. And thanks to advancements in technology, there has never been a more exciting time to be in the industry, as today’s companies are poised to make an even bigger impact than previous generations. In Wisconsin, specifically, many contractors are developing electronics and information technology manufacturing facilities, creating promising new economic opportunities — not only for the state itself but also for the contractors and subcontractors working here.

Nov 14, 2018
Industries: Construction and Real Estate
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle, Daryl L. Ohland, Tara T. Johnson, Austin DeMoss

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Making a Difference: Working With Nonprofits Inside and Out

Team Rubicon is a humanitarian organization that enables military veterans, volunteers and civilians to aid in disaster relief efforts around the world. No disaster is too small for Team Rubicon.

Nov 13, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Kevin Scully

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Why Measuring Needs to Be a Standard of Your Information Security Program

Monitoring your information systems to detect abnormalities plays just a single role in a comprehensive information security program. It’s the proactive step of measuring that most determines the effectiveness of your security controls and the likelihood of a security incident.

Nov 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Cybersecurity
By: Rick Ensenbach

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Three Steps to Close Your Organization’s Technology Skills Gap

Many organizations realize the power of and role technology plays in making processes and employees more efficient and productive. The time alone that technology saves enables employees to focus on the core responsibilities of their positions. That has led to businesses adopting more robust email solutions, enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Nov 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Mark A. Burger

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Sage Intacct’s Buy with Confidence Guarantee: How Does It Benefit Your Business?

At Wipfli, we have a long history of working with Sage Intacct — our Technology Consulting practice has partnered with the vendor for the better part of the past decade, implementing the software, designing integrations and improvements, and fully supporting our customers in their transition to cloud accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Nov 06, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Stephanie M. Smith

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2019 Compliance Training Plan – What to Consider

As we near the end of 2018, it is time once again to build training calendars for the upcoming year, and decisions must be made on what topics to include. Two questions we are frequently asked by compliance officers as they begin making decisions on which courses to cover are, “What regulations have required training, and how often must staff be trained?” 

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Cindy L. Mabry

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A One-Time Opportunity to Reclassify Qualifying Securities Held to Maturity

Many institutions classify debt security portfolios as held to maturity when they have the positive intent and ability to hold those securities to maturity. The advantage of this classification is that temporary changes in the fair value of these securities are not recognized in the financial statements, removing unnecessary volatility in other comprehensive income. However, if institutions change their intent to or can no longer hold even one security to its contractual maturity, generally the entire portfolio is “tainted” and must be reclassified as available for sale.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Can Your Board Do More Then Spell BSA?

Over the past few years Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance has crept back to the top of regulators’ minds and increased examiner expectations, so perhaps it is time to take another look at what your Board of Directors should know about BSA/AML.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Helen Touchton

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Common Flood Violations – Mitigating Your Risks

We have seen record flooding in recent years, and 2018 is no exception. With increased flooding, it is very likely flood maps will be changing. Flood map changes can increase the risk of financial institutions being assessed civil money penalties (CMP) for flood violations. Financial institutions should take the time to examine their flood procedures to ensure they have sufficient policies and procedures in place to help mitigate their risk of flood violations. If your financial institution has designated loans, you need to be aware of flood requirements and the most common violations. A designated loan is a loan secured by a building or mobile home located in a flood zone.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Shelley Foster

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Does Your BSA/AML Risk Assessment Cover the Bases?

If you’re like me and have been watching any of the postseason baseball games, you are impressed by the talent of the players, especially how quick they can cover the bases to turn a double play. I also get annoyed with all of the pitching changes. But that got me thinking about the amount of prep work done by each team to identify the best matchups. The managers must decide which risks they are willing to take by replacing one player with another. Those “risk assessments” drive the game plan and, hopefully, continued success. As we near year-end and approach the time of year when many financial institutions are getting ready to update their risk assessments for board approval, I thought it would be good to highlight the “bases” you need to cover in your BSA/AML Risk Assessment.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Adam B. Baker

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Liquidity Risk Management – The Tide Is Turning Again (Banks)

Loan growth in financial institutions is robust. The most recent FDIC Quarterly report noted loan growth in community banks is up 2.3% in just the last quarter (June 2018 to March 2018) and 7% in the past twelve months. Taking a deeper dive into those numbers, the largest increases in lending were in nonfarm, nonresidential loans (8.4%), commercial and industrial (7.9%), construction and development loans (11.6%), and multifamily residential loans (9.4%). This translates into higher net interest income for financial institutions as excess liquidity has been deployed into higher earning assets and bank management has lagged in raising deposit interest rates. Net income is also up, contributing to strong capital ratios.  

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Sara Mikuta

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Liquidity Risk Management – The Tide Is Turning Again (Credit Unions)

Loan growth in credit unions is robust. The most recent NCUA Call Report Analysis noted loan growth in credit unions is up 3.1% in just the last quarter (June 2018 to March 2018) and almost 10% in the past twelve months. This translates into higher net interest income for credit unions as excess liquidity has been deployed into higher earning assets and credit union management has lagged in raising share interest rates. Net income is also up, contributing to stronger net worth.  

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Sara Mikuta

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Successful Digital Change for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions of all sizes are transforming their digital assets to meet client needs, keep up with evolving regulations and safeguard their financial and data assets. Many believe that once they find the perfect technology solution to one or more of these challenges, the work is over. But without consistent leadership support, effective communications, and change management, the likelihood of reaching adoption and investment goals is proving to be very low for many institutions.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Seth Fine

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Taxation of Cryptocurrency

What is cryptocurrency, and are there any tax consequences with using cryptocurrency? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines cryptocurrency as “any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have the same definition for cryptocurrency. The IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which states cryptocurrency or any virtual currency is considered property.

Nov 05, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Jessica H. Mac Naughton

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Updated Employee Benefit Plan and IRA Quick Reference Table 2018 and 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for various qualified retirement plans and other amounts for 2019. Pension plan limitations changed for 2019 because the increase the in cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustments.

Nov 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Human Capital Management Solutions

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Draft Instructions for 2018 Form 1040 Released by IRS

Check out the draft instructions for the 2018 Form 1040 which provides a list of the major changes from the TCJA that impact individual taxpayers. 

Nov 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Why Casinos Are Upgrading to Sage Intacct from Sage 100

Business management solution upgrades are not something you do for fun. Yet, you can’t ignore how quickly growing and complex organizations are taking the plunge and investing in cloud solutions. Over the past decade, the cloud has become quite mature, offering superior features to on-premises solutions and ultimately morphing into the platform of choice for new solutions to be developed.

Oct 31, 2018
Industries: Tribal Gaming and Government, Tribal Gaming
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jason Winkler

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Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

The IRS has issued guidance, in Q&A form, on the new employer tax credit for paid family and medical leave that was enacted by the TCJA.  

Oct 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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First Guidance on New Opportunity Zones Issued

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 22, 2017, created a new section of the Internal Revenue Code, §1400Z, to incentivize long-term capital investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ). 

Oct 29, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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How Do the New Revenue Recognition Standards Affect Private Equity Funds?

As a private equity fund, you evaluate several metrics to measure the value of a potential and an existing portfolio company, but revenue is one of the most critical. So when the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued new revenue recognition standards (ASC 606) with an implementation deadline of 2019 for private companies, you likely took notice.

Oct 29, 2018
Industries: Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Mark B. Martinelli

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Why You Should Measure Employee Engagement — and How to Use the Results

Increasingly, employee engagement is one of the most important pieces of data an organization can collect — and for good reason. As the competition surpasses you, your organization will fall behind in recruiting top talent, managing leadership changes, overcoming continued technology disruption and adjusting to the shifting expectations that come with each new generation entering the workforce.

Oct 25, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Organizational Development & Governance, Change, Talent
By: Seth Fine

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Is Your Accounting Software Mobile-Capable? Why Casino Leaders Are Making the Leap

We specialize in the implementation of CasinoEdge powered by Intacct, a gaming-specific platform that sits on top of the #1 customer-rated modern cloud infrastructure in Sage Intacct. The solution’s mobile component can provide leaders with real-time, impactful data at their fingertips.

Oct 24, 2018
Industries: Tribal Gaming and Government, Tribal Gaming
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: April D. Bacon, Jason Winkler

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What’s New From Sage Intacct? R3 Overview and Elevate Invite

As one of the leading resellers and partners in the Sage Intacct channel, Wipfli knows that keeping current customers updated is as important, if not more important, than closing new business. It’s why we have continued to grow and can boast an impressive renewal rate. Our focus is on continued support and your ongoing success.

Oct 22, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Brian Dietz

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What You Need to Know About Valuing Your Business in a Divorce

Whether a couple’s divorce has been amicable or contentious, it can still be a challenge to divide assets (and liabilities) between the two parties. The court must classify assets as either marital or nonmarital, place a value on them and then distribute them between the spouses. The challenge comes in both classifying assets and correctly valuing them. If you are a business owner and are going through a divorce, this is what you need to know about valuing your company.

 

Oct 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Valuations
By: Audra M. Moncur

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Time Running out for Certain Taxpayers to Elect out of 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation

The TCJA increased the deduction for bonus depreciation from 50% of the cost of qualifying property to 100%. Although the TCJA did not become law until December 22, 2017, this increase in bonus depreciation was actually effective retroactively for assets acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017. 

Oct 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Celebrating Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How Sage Intacct Protects Your Company Information

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which means it’s the perfect time to pause and think about how you can protect your business from hacks, breaches, theft and other cyberattacks. With cybersecurity a top concern for many technology users and companies, we’re devoting today’s post to exploring cybersecurity through the lens of the Sage Intacct platform.

Oct 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology

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Moving Expenses Paid by Employer

Under the TCJA, moving expenses reimbursed by an employer after December 31, 2017, will generally be taxable to the employee. The IRS has issues clarifying guidance on these moving expenses. Learn more. 

Oct 16, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Crossing the Rubicon Part II: How Organizations Can Successfully Navigate Change

You thought you found the perfect technology solution to a challenge your organization has been dealing with for years — but when implementing the new tool, most everyone resisted using it, and very few replaced the old ways with the new. Now people have invented workarounds and figured out how to do the minimum necessary to be compliant, and the technology investment looks like a bad decision.

Oct 16, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Organizational Development & Governance
By: Ryan E. Risley

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Deductibility of Business Meals

Under the TCJA, deductions for entertainment, amusement, or recreation expenditures are now 100% disallowed, rather than being 50% deductible as they were prior to the TCJA. Fortunately, the IRS has issued guidance that clarifies that food and beverage expenditures will still be 50% deductible if associated with a trade or business and specific tests are satisfied. 

Oct 15, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

What is the Best-of-Breed Software Model in Financial Management?

As one of the top 20 accounting and consulting firms in the nation, Wipfli has worked to become a one-stop shop for all your business needs. From tax, audit, and advisory services to cybersecurity to technology consulting, our goal is to provide our clients with the highest levels of service—no matter their needs.

Oct 15, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Brian Dietz

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What’s New on the Policy Front? Trade, Tariffs and the Farm Relief Package

As we continue to keep a pulse on United States tariff and trade policies, it seems like new headlines sweep across the news cycle daily.

Oct 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Personal Goodwill vs. Entity Goodwill: Understanding and Valuing the Differences

In the event of divorce, it’s important to distinguish between personal and entity goodwill and then determine which is and is not part of marital assets. Although there is no magic formula for determining the amount of personal goodwill, a good starting place is to determine the specific individuals who might have personal goodwill related to the business.

Oct 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Valuations
By: Audra M. Moncur

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Crossing the Rubicon: How Committing to Technology Can Benefit Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations face many challenges that stretch beyond simply meeting their donation goals. Many struggle with implementing and maximizing technology or even getting the right information technology (IT) support. This is especially important considering most would rather be investing their resources directly on their mission.

Oct 10, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Ryan E. Risley

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How Robotic Process Automation Is Leading Organizational Efficiency

Continuous improvement is necessary for businesses to stay competitive in the market — regardless of the industry they’re in, the products/services they sell, the customers they have and the staff they employ. At Wipfli, we’re always improving our processes and tools so that we can become more efficient and productive, ultimately better serving our clients. Understandably, some of our most innovative work for clients has actually come out of improvement projects of our own.

Oct 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Murali S. Iyer

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How Discount Rates, Inflation and Uncertainty Factor Into Economic Damage Calculations

Interest rate considerations figure into almost every litigation project. Any situation involving pecuniary damages requires a thorough analysis of the expected timing of lost cash flows as well as an understanding of “time value of money” and risk inherent in the litigated financial transaction.

Oct 05, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Litigation Support Services, Consulting
By: Natalya S. Abdrasilova

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Former Casino Controller Discusses Top Impacts of Implementing Casino-Specific Accounting Software

Our technology consulting division specializes in working with leaders of casinos. As a current gaming-focused project manager and a previous casino controller, I know all too well the challenges of meeting regulatory requirements and ensuring that we have accurate metrics to measure our department-level performance.

Oct 03, 2018
Industries: Tribal Gaming and Government, Tribal Gaming
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: April D. Bacon, Jason Winkler

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Three Ways Manufacturers Can Retain Skilled Employees

Like any business, manufacturers must deal with employee turnover — but given the manufacturing industry’s increasing difficulty recruiting top talent, retention is particularly important to the long-term success of your company. So how can you retain your skilled employees? It comes down to coaching retention, enforcing accountability and conducting stay interviews.

Oct 02, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting, Business Advisory, Organizational Development & Governance, Talent
By: Deborah S. Marshall

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Wipfli to Sponsor Exhibit and Present at Sage Intacct Advantage 2018

As we enter the home stretch of 2018, one big event we look forward to is Sage Intacct Advantage. This annual conference shows users and executives how to take the product to the next level, help prospects to understand what it’s like to be part of the Sage Intacct community and help partners improve their work with the vendor. We are proud to be included in this annual event to connect with clients for five exciting days this October.

Oct 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Shereen Mahoney

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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Stress During Month-End Close

Month in and month out, it’s always a struggle to close those books. Whether you’re a business owner, CFO, controller or accounting staff member, if you’re like many, you’re dreading the first of the month. Working weekends and burning the midnight oil isn’t exactly what attracted you to this role. When was the last time you took a step back and asked yourself, “Is this the best way?” The following five tips may help you find a better way to make your month-end close work for you.

Sep 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Nicholas M. Hammer

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Good News – Now You Can Capitalize a Cloud!

For generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to remain relevant in today’s business environment, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) must increasingly address new topics. Whether it’s new financing instruments, investments or technological advances, if it affects inflows or outflows of funds or financial reporting, FASB needs to consider the impact and the corresponding accounting treatment.

Sep 25, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Sheila Border

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Is Expense Tracking and Reporting a Drain on Your Business?

Expense management and related recording are often referred to as pre-accounting. This is a term used to define the system through which financial data is gathered, coded, aggregated and normalized so that accounting can occur. Accounting processes have seen vast improvements in efficiency with the adoption of cloud-based ecosystems, but pre-accounting tasks such as expense management have mostly remained unchanged and continue to be inefficient, unscalable and time-consuming. 

Sep 25, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

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Don't Be Fooled: Changes to Revenue Recognition Will Affect Engineering & Constructions Entities

This article casts light on the reasoning behind Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606, what it should fix, who it affects, its anticipated effects, and its potential benefits.

Sep 24, 2018
Industries: Construction and Real Estate
Services: Audit and Accounting, Revenue Recognition
By: Adam Mueller

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An Update on IRS Employer Shared Responsibility IRS Notices

There is no question that the employer shared responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act not only are confusing, but also are resulting in some significant penalty assessments. This article is applicable to employers with 50 or more full-time equivalents.

Sep 24, 2018
Industries: Health Care
Services: Human Capital Management Solutions, Employee Benefits
By: Thomas Krieg

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Succession Planning Starts with Transferability

According to a 2016 Family Business Institute survey, approximately 40% of family businesses expect the leadership of their companies to change hands by 2021, and 56% expect a leadership change by 2026. Moreover, four out of five businesses are still controlled by their founders. With baby boomers retiring at an ever-increasing rate, this is simply unsustainable, and everyone knows it — yet few are doing anything about it. Why not?

Sep 15, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Paul T. Lally

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Economic Nexus Reporting Requirements Reference Table

The states listed in the table below have either enacted sales tax economic nexus filing requirements or are in the process of adopting reporting requirements either legislatively or through administrative rule as of November 30, 2018. Keep in mind that the sales threshold may be defined differently from state to state. The sales threshold may be a combination of both taxable and exempt sales or taxable sales only.

Sep 10, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

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The Top Reasons Why You Need to Know the Value of Your Business

Knowing the value of a business ahead of time helps owners find the best buyer, ensure a smooth transition and fund a retirement that’s worth putting in all those years and hard work of building it. But there are also many other reasons owners need to know the value of their business — some of which can be unexpected and leave owners or their families scrambling for a solution. We cover the top nine reasons to know your business’s value.

 

Sep 07, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Valuations
By: Lisa M. Cribben

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Acquiring a Company? Make Sure You Do Your Cybersecurity Due Diligence First

Five years ago, analyzing cybersecurity strength was a low priority for private equity firms searching for merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities — but things have certainly turned around since then. Now firms are making cybersecurity part of their M&A due diligence process.

Sep 05, 2018
Industries: Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jeff Olejnik, Michael L. Vaccarella

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How to Successfully Manage Change in Your Organization

Did you know 60% of all projects fail to fully meet their objectives while staying within budget and on schedule, and while meeting set standards of quality? This same study also discovered that the biggest obstacle to achieving success is just changing mindsets and attitudes within a company.

Sep 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Governments, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Business Advisory
By: Deron J. Kling

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Strategic Planning vs. Strategic Management: What’s the Difference?

Strategic planning and strategic management may sound like they’re interchangeable, but they are two different parts of a very important process: achieving a business’s long-term goals.

Aug 31, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Business Advisory
By: Deron J. Kling

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New Guidance on the 20% Deduction for S-Corporation Banks

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created a brand-new tax deduction under Section 199A. In simple terms, Section 199A provides a 20% tax deduction for individuals, certain trusts, and estates on qualified business income (QBI), including pass-through income from an S corporation. One needs to wade through numerous definitions and limitations to calculate the amount of the tax deduction. Up to this point, there has been uncertainty regarding how these definitions and limitations apply in various scenarios, including whether S-corporation banks are fully eligible for the tax deduction.

Aug 30, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Melaine Brandt, Jason J. Wimmer

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Part Two of Best Practices in Web Design: Three Essential Visual Elements

Discover what makes a website poorly designed, and what businesses can do to redesign their website or to build a navigable, mobile-friendly site that engages potential customers and generates meaningful results. In part two of our three-part series on best practices in web design, we explore three essential elements of an effective website.

Aug 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Dianne Newton-Shaw

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IRS Issues Guidance on Section 199A: The 20 Percent Passthrough Deduction

On August 8, the IRS has issued highly anticipated guidance regarding the brand-new code Sec. 199A which resulted from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).   As a quick refresher before discussing the recent guidance, the following is a very brief summary of the basic rules of Sec. 199A.

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Beneficial Ownership Burning Questions (and Answers)!

The Customer Due Diligence/Beneficial Ownership rule was in effect as of May 11, 2018. That is except for the temporary exceptive relief ruling on CD rollovers and loan renewals, which, as of the date this article was written, was available through September 8, 2018. Although the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued two rounds of FAQs (FIN 2016-G003 issued July 19, 2016, and FIN 2018-G001 issued April 3, 2018), there are still many questions that have not been addressed either by the rule or the FAQs, which we hope to clarify in this article. 

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Robin Guthridge

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CECL Methodologies Series: Discounted Cash Flow

This article is the final one in our series of articles focusing on the different Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodologies and their pros and cons. 

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Connecting the Why to the What and How in Effective Knowledge Transfer

I have the privilege of facilitating regulatory and “soft skills” training (which we know are often hard skills to learn) across the U.S. for leadership and management teams. Most sessions focus on breaking down information into actionable items for participants to do when they get back to their jobs. The leaders in the audience are responsible for taking the information they learn and sharing it with their teams back at their financial institutions, which results in knowledge transfer.

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

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Developing a FinTech Partnership

In these days of broad and deep digital disruption in the financial services world, a frequently heard question in banking circles is, “Should we or shouldn’t we be looking to develop relationships with FinTech firms?”

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Murali S. Iyer

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ERM – Makes Sense for Everyone

If you think enterprise risk management (ERM) is just an exercise that benefits larger financial institutions, you could not be more wrong. ERM is growing in popularity in community banking organizations, and here is the reason why— it just makes good business sense. While not specifically prescribed by law unless certain asset sizes are met, ERM, or a formalized risk management practice (not all regulators use the term ERM), is being encouraged on a more frequent basis. Those financial institutions with ERM programs stand to be viewed in a more favorable light in the management assessment component of the CAMELs rating system. ERM is another acronym the meaning of which is somewhat nebulous or confusing to those trying to conceptualize the process. And the reason for that is ERM means something different and looks somewhat different in every organization. Every financial institution is different, every strategic vision is different, every culture is different. While each financial institution deals with fundamental risks common to all (e.g., credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity, price, operational, compliance, strategic and reputation risk, etc.), historically these have been managed in their respective silos and not viewed in a strategic or aggregate fashion across the enterprise. When the tables are turned upside down on this long-standing, backward-looking view (what has happened in the past), the institution can manage more proactively its strengths, its strategic vision, and its ultimate objective of value creation for its stakeholders and can explore possibilities for the future. 

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Karen A. Mitchell

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Playing Well With Others: Applying Another Regulator’s Perspective to Your Financial Institution

Oftentimes, it may be easy to dismiss a report from a regulator with whom you have no dealings or a publication you may not have the time to get to. However, an understanding of the regulatory regime under which other financial institutions operate may provide your financial institution with insight into examination trends you may be subject to in the near future. In addition, learning how other institutions manage risk may point out areas within your own program you have overlooked. Recently, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a report that provides such guidance.

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Nick Bonnema

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The Change to Personal Mortgage Interest Deductions and How It Will Impact Your Borrowers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) resulted in more tax law changes than any tax bill since 1986. Signed into law on December 22, 2017, TCJA has kept many people busy evaluating the impact on individuals and businesses and helping to proactively plan around these changes. One specific change in TCJA was the deduction for personal mortgage interest. As you help your borrowers, you should be careful to give accurate information on the deductibility of personal mortgage interest under TCJA.

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Nicole Meinhardt

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Updates and Reminders for Appraisal Requirements

Lately, discussions regarding appraisals have been occurring at many financial institutions due to changes in regulation and amendments made to the previous rules. First, the commercial real estate (CRE) appraisal threshold was increased in April 2018 from $250,000 to $500,000. Going forward appraisals are only required on CRE transactions above $500,000. A CRE transaction is any real estate-related transaction that is not secured by a single one- to four-family residential property (including construction loans). If the transaction is at or under $500,000, the lender may obtain an evaluation in lieu of the appraisal. Another change that may not affect many, but is important to point out, is that appraisals for CRE loans over $500,000 must be completed by a state-certified appraiser rather than a state-licensed appraiser. 

Aug 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Amanda L. Knudsen

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Bonus Depreciation Expanded

On August 14, 2018, Wipfli provided a Tax Alert on new guidance on 100% bonus depreciation. This update will discuss key elements of these newly-issued proposed regulations in much greater detail.

Aug 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Proposed Regulations Issued on Section 199A: What Do They Mean for Ag Producers?

On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the IRS issued proposed regulations on the new Section 199A rules. This new guidance helps clarify many of the gray areas that arose from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). But what exactly do the proposed regulations entail, and if implemented, how would they affect ag producers? First, let’s start from the beginning and explain some of the most important terms used in the Internal Revenue Code.

Aug 22, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Dustin Wiesner

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Sales and Use Tax Automation: Crucial Tools for Accurate Reporting

With sales and use tax being a complex and ever-changing area, it’s crucial to have an effective and up-to-date record of your sales and use tax activity. Accounting software is widely used by small to medium-sized companies to track financial transactions, as well as additional data surrounding business operations.

Aug 17, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle, Daryl L. Ohland

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Addressing Prior-Year Tax Exposure Issues: Nexus Studies

In light of the June 21 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., it is extremely important for a business to understand any prior tax risk in a state before it registers to collect sales tax, based on the state’s economic nexus rules. Prospectively registering to collect and remit sales tax in a state, without reviewing prior periods, could prompt a state-initiated review of prior periods and potentially expose your business to filing prior returns (8 to 10 years in certain states) while disqualifying your business from participating in any voluntary disclosure programs to mitigate your risk for prior periods. That is why it is extremely important to understand the concept of nexus prior to the Wayfair decision.

Aug 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

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The Latest Impacts of United States Supreme Court Overturning Quill

The Wayfair decision makes it critical that taxpayers understand both their prior and future sales tax filing obligations so they are not jumping into registering and filing prospectively without fully understanding their sales tax exposure for prior years.

Aug 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle, Jessica L. Macklin

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Prepayment of 2018 State Property Taxes in 2017

Under the TCJA, taxpayers’ itemized deduction for state and local taxes for tax years 2018 through 2025 is limited to $10,000 ($5,000 for married filing separately) per year. Anticipating some clever tax planning by taxpayers and their advisors, the new law specifically indicated that taxpayers could not deduct prepaid 2018 state income taxes on their 2017 federal income tax return.

Aug 15, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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IRS Issues Guidance on 100% Bonus Depreciation

The expansion of the bonus depreciation rules was one of the most significant taxpayer-friendly surprises in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The bonus depreciation provision allows a taxpayer to immediately deduct a certain percentage of the cost of qualifying property in the year the property is acquired rather than capitalizing that cost and depreciating it over a period of years.  

Aug 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Tax

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New Automatic Method Change for Citrus Replanting Costs

Under old law, owners of a citrus grove could write off the cost of replanting citrus plants in case of blight or other kinds of damage, as opposed to being required to capitalize such costs under the Sec. 263A Uniform Capitalization rules (UNICAP). The TCJA maintains that law but expands the list of eligible taxpayers. 

Aug 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Like-Kind Exchanges

The TCJA modified Sec. 1031 like-kind exchanges to limit application only to real property. Thus, personal property and other intangibles are no longer eligible for tax-free exchange.

Aug 13, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Three Ways Manufacturers Can Improve Recruiting Efforts

As a manufacturer, you know how difficult it is to hire good employees. Luckily, there are three things you can do to improve your recruiting efforts and attract top talent.

Aug 09, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting
By: Deborah S. Marshall

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Thirty-Percent Limitation on Business Interest Expense – The General Rules

Historically, business interest has generally been deductible for income tax purposes. There are limits on the deduction of personal interest and investment interest, but business interest was generally deductible. 

Aug 07, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Will the Wayfair Decision Change the Playing Field for Manufacturers?

Earlier this summer, the United States Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a case the media and other pundits have referred to as the “tax case of the millennium.” In a five-to-four decision, the Supreme Court overturned the physical presence standard set forth in its own decision in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state could require a business to collect sales tax only if it had a physical presence in that state.

 

Aug 06, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle, Tara T. Johnson

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4 Reasons You Need to Transition Your Website to HTTPS

If your business hasn’t transitioned to https, there are four big drivers that will make you reconsider —and soon. Here’s why acquiring an SSL certificate is better for both your business and your customers.

Aug 06, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Technology
By: Barbara Irias

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The Emotional Roller Coaster Ride of Selling a Business

My first boss once said, "Every deal you have will die at least five times before it closes. How you handle that will determine whether you can survive doing this for a living." As I enter my 28th year of helping business owners transition one of their proudest achievements, I still smile at that memory because it is as true today as it was then. It’s not uncommon during the deal process for both the buyer and the seller to say, "Forget it; I'm out," several times each. So the question is: How do you get a deal to close? The answer is patience, patience, patience.

Aug 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Paul T. Lally

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Attracting and Retaining Manufacturing Employees: Money Helps, but It Isn’t Everything

To no one’s surprise, hiring and retaining good employees is increasingly difficult for manufacturers. As baby boomers retire and birth rates decline, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the growth rate of the American labor force will continue to decrease through 2060. That’s certainly an excellent reason to plan your strategy and tactics for retaining great employees. Among other options we will explore in this article, this may include helping marginally performing employees be more productive versus struggling to replace them (though keeping a truly “bad apple” is rarely a good move).

Aug 02, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Talent
By: Deborah S. Marshall

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Rules Make the Fun in Contract Compliance

While not everyone may agree that construction contract compliance is fun, it is certainly true that a contract provides the rules the parties have agreed to conduct their business by.

Aug 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Litigation Support Services
By: Kevin P. Krueger

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The Secrets of Fraud Prevention

Desperate times drive people to take desperate measures. Even valued, long-time employees who have earned the trust of management can commit embezzlement because of financial or family situations. Fraud can put a smaller company out of business, so recognizing how it typically happens and what you can do to mitigate the impact should be big priorities for your organization.

Aug 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Fraud and Forensic Services
By: David G. Friedman

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Roth Conversions and Recharacterizations

Roth IRAs can provide a significant tax benefit to taxpayers. While contributions to such plans are not tax deductible, distributions from the plan, including accumulated earnings, can generally be taken out tax free if the amounts have been held in the plan for at least five years. 

Aug 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax, Human Capital Management Solutions
By: Crystal Christenson

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Rollover of Retirement Plan Loans

Prior to the TCJA, if an employee had a loan from the employer’s retirement plan account that was outstanding at the time the employee terminated employment or the plan was terminated, the amount of that outstanding loan was treated as an actual distribution to the employee, reported on Form 1099-R, taxable to the employee and subject to the 10% additional income tax on early distributions unless an exception applied. 

Jul 31, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax, Human Capital Management Solutions
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Data Strategies for People Who Hate Cleaning Their Garage

Cleaning up your business’s data is a lot like cleaning your garage. You’ve likely been putting it off for a while now. But do you really need all that paper or those emails and files on your computer or network? Will anyone in your company find them useful?

Jul 31, 2018
Services: Technology
By: Ryan Peasley

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Mid-Summer Tax Thoughts and Strategies for Ag Producers

As the sun ripens this year’s crops and talk of optimism for a good year is either full of excited anticipation or wrapped in the proverbial “wait till next year” comments, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize a few of the key strategy points that are starting to gel as the most significant tax law changes in over 30 years start to take hold.

Jul 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Surrender Versus Sale of a Life Insurance Policy

Prior to the TCJA, there was a significant difference between how taxpayers calculated their taxable gain on the surrender of a life insurance policy to the insurance company versus how they calculated their taxable gain on the sale of a life insurance policy. 

Jul 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

My Organization Is a Nonprofit – Do I Need to Worry About the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)?

The TCJA made major changes to not only the way nonprofits will be taxed, but potentially how they will operate when the TCJA takes effect. In an effort to create “parity” with the way for-profit organizations are taxed, the TCJA will leave nonprofits facing huge challenges in an effort to comply with the new tax act.

Jul 24, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Terri Rexrode

> Read More

5 Questions Executives Should Ask to Assess Cybersecurity Readiness

Did you know that cyber crime will cost businesses $2 trillion by 2019 and $8 trillion by 2022?  The costs can be extensive, including lost productivity, forensic investigations, reputational damage, fraud and the damages resulting from the theft of personal and financial data, money or intellectual property. Criminals don’t even need to be talented hackers; all they need are inexpensive tools bought on the internet or an unwitting employee who opens a digital backdoor by clicking on a link in an email.

Jul 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jeff Olejnik

> Read More

Better Visualize Your Data Analytics With Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has always been a great tool for performing data analysis. Improvements over the years have made it even easier to add visual graphics to your data to enhance its readability and the quality of its presentation. Below are some of those use cases and how to apply them to your data set.

Jul 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Richard McClure

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Employee Benefit Plans: Three Things to Consider Today

It’s tempting to take a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to your employee benefit plan. If no one’s complaining, why spend time on it? But if you take that approach, you may be missing opportunities to optimize your plan, satisfy ever-changing government regulations and protect your employees and your organization.

Jul 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Human Capital Management Solutions
By: Mary C. Bredeck

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Journey to the CFO of the Future

Like the role of meteorologists, the role of the chief financial officer (CFO) has evolved significantly in recent years. Once considered the keeper of all things financial (mostly historical-looking), the CFO has evolved into a trusted business partner who provides insights, predictions and recommendations that advance the business’s goals.

Jul 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Jacquie Fossett

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Succession Planning Starts With “Success”

Here’s the great succession planning quiz: How many companies have strategically planned for a seamless, well-orchestrated succession planning model and had it work out as well (or better) than they had anticipated?

Jul 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Tribal Gaming and Government, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Paul T. Lally

> Read More

TCJA Improves Tax Benefits of ABLE Accounts

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 allowed states to create ABLE accounts for people who become blind or disabled before age 26. ABLE accounts were designed to allow people with disabilities and their families with a tax-favored way to save and pay for disability-related expenses. The TCJA expanded the ability to make greater contributions to ABLE plans, starting in 2018. 

Jul 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Tax Reform 2.0 – An Update

The White House and Congressional Republicans continue to talk about introducing a tax bill this year to make permanent some of the 2017 tax cuts for individuals and pass-through businesses that were included in the TCJA and scheduled to expire by December 31, 2025. Republican leaders have also talked about addressing tax-favored retirement and education savings in this “phase two” legislation.

Jul 18, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Curious About What the New Form W-4 Might Look Like for 2019?

The IRS recently issued a 2019 draft version of Form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) and its instructions. The form has been updated to improve withholding accuracy as a result of major tax law changes in the TCJA. 

Jul 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Long-Promised “Postcard 1040” Makes Tentative Appearance

For years, individual taxpayers have been promised tax simplification that would result in a Form 1040 which would be the size of a postcard. The IRS has posted on its website a draft version of the Form 1040 for 2018 that is one-half page long and two sided. 

Jul 16, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Research Credit and Expenditures – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Because the TCJA reduced the individual tax rate from 39.6% to only 37%, the tax benefit of a flow-through entity making the election to reduce its research credit by the top corporate tax rate to avoid an M-1 adjustment, reducing its research expenses by the amount of the research credit, is even greater than before, even after factoring in the resulting reduction of the Sec. 199A 20% pass-through deduction. 

Jul 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Want to Save Money on Your New Construction Project? 4 Ways You Can Leverage Tax Engineering

On the topic of tax engineering, we last discussed reclassifying water lines, waste lines and process electrical power from building components to personal property in order to decrease the cost-recovery period and accelerate depreciation. But for new construction projects, there are four more areas where you can increase savings through tax engineering.

In our previous blog, we revealed that the IRS classifies building components with a 39-year recovery period and personal property with a 5- or 7-year recovery period, depending on the property’s use. This is a prime reason why you should consider leveraging tax engineering to add more to your bottom line.

Jul 10, 2018
Industries: Construction and Real Estate
Services: Tax
By: Steven A. Barnes

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Come Work for My Startup! Qualified Equity Grants

Many businesses use equity-based compensation plans to attract and retain employees. Historically, employees who received nonqualified stock options or restricted stock as compensation for services from their private-company employer faced a dilemma when they exercised those options or when the restricted stock vested.

Jul 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Part One of Best Practices in Web Design: The Written Word

Did you know the average visitor stays on a website for less than a minute, with most leaving after just 10 to 20 seconds? That’s not a lot of time for your business to generate leads! In part one of our three-part series on best practices in web design, we explore how you can use the written word to your advantage. From messaging to relevant content to calls to action, the right words lend clarity to your website and inspire prospective customers to take the next step.

Jul 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Technology
By: Dianne Newton-Shaw

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Private Equity – Meet Tax Reform

While there are no provisions of the TCJA that are exclusively applicable to private equity (PE) ownership structures, it is important to trace the impact of the general provisions through the PE ownership structure to realize the ultimate impact. This update will explore some of the general changes likely to impact the tax situation and decisions of private-equity-owned businesses. 

Jul 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Brian Lightfield

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5 Ways to Build Value and Sell Your Business for More

If you’re looking into selling your business, you may notice buyers are doing a lot more due diligence to determine if they’re taking the right kind of risk.

Jul 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory
By: Paul D. Ouweneel

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Why Blockchain Technology Won’t Replace the Forensic Accountant

While the auditing function for clients that utilize blockchain relationships with trading partners will likely be scaled back, blockchain will have a far smaller impact on forensic accountants and their usefulness in detecting and unraveling fraudulent schemes. 

Jul 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory
By: Allen E. Jacque

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How to Accelerate Depreciation for New Construction Projects Using Tax Engineering

When it comes to plumbing and process electrical power, the IRS distinguishes between building components and personal property — and thus the cost recovery period. Building components have a recovery period of 39 years, while personal property, depending on its use, has a recovery period of either 5 or 7 years.

This means that being able to classify water lines, waste lines and process electrical power as personal property rather than building components will decrease their cost recovery periods and accelerate depreciation — saving you money. In fact, for every $100,000 of cost or value moved from 39-year to 7-year depreciation, the first year after-tax net present-value benefit is about $17,000 for 2017 and nearly $24,000 for 2018.

Jun 29, 2018
Industries: Construction and Real Estate
Services: Tax
By: Steven A. Barnes

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U.S. Withholding on Foreign Partner’s Disposal of Interest in Partnership

In addition to the codification of Revenue Ruling 91-32, clarifying that a non-U.S. partner’s gain or loss on the disposal of their partnership interest is subject to U.S. taxation to the extent the partnership holds any ECI-generating assets, a new U.S. withholding requirement also applies to such disposals. 

Jun 28, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Taxation of Foreign Partner’s Disposal of Interest in Partnership

Under prior law, gain or loss from the sale of a partnership’s assets that was allocated to a non-U.S. partner would have been treated as effectively connected income (“ECI”) and subjected the non-U.S. partner to U.S. taxation and withholding to the extent those partnership assets had been used in the conduct of a U.S. trade or business. 

Jun 27, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Basis Adjustments for Charitable Contributions and Foreign Taxes

A partner is generally allowed to deduct their distributive share of flow-through partnership losses and deductions only to the extent the partner has sufficient tax basis at the end of the partnership year in which those losses and deductions occurred. 

Jun 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Building Enduring, Transferable Value — An Entrepreneur’s Dream

No one goes through the work, risk and sacrifice of starting a business without hoping it will last. Building value that endures is the dream that motivates entrepreneurs. Yet in many businesses, too little of that work goes into determining who will take over when the founders leave the stage. 

Jun 22, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax, Business Advisory
By: Paul T. Lally

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Wipfli Alerts and Updates: United States Supreme Court Overturns Quill - What Next?

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. — a case that has been referred to as the “Tax Case of the Millennium.” In a five-to-four decision, the Supreme Court overturned the physical presence standard set forth in its own decision involving Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a state can only require a business to collect sales tax if that business has a physical presence in that state. 

Jun 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Tax

> Read More

Are HIDTAs Addressed in Your BSA/AML Risk Assessment?

According to the FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual (the “Manual”), identifying geographic locations that may pose a higher risk is essential to a financial institution’s BSA/AML compliance program. U.S. financial institutions should understand and evaluate the specific risks associated with doing business in, opening accounts for consumers from, or facilitating transactions involving certain geographic locations. When considering BSA risks, focus on the geographic locations unique to your financial institution, and in particular, high intensity drug trafficking areas (HIDTAs). Many financial institutions have their main headquarters or branch locations in small towns or rural areas and perhaps not in an area where HIDTAs are top of mind, but many are located in or adjacent to counties designated as HIDTAs.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Craig E. Johnson

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CECL Methodologies Series: Probability of Default

The probability of default methodology is a relatively simple methodology in concept since it only requires three inputs to estimate lifetime losses. The challenging part of the methodology is calculating each of these inputs.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Does Anyone Really Look at These Reports?

Suspicious activity reports (SARs) and currency transaction reports (CTRs) are some of the primary means by which financial institutions share information with law enforcement. Financial institutions must prepare and submit CTRs and SARs for a couple of reasons. First, the Bank Secrecy Act regulation requires both reports. CTRs are required to report cash activity over $10,000. SARs are required to report a myriad of suspicious activity—money laundering, structured cash transactions, wire fraud, and terrorist financing—just to name a few. The important thing to remember is that it is not the financial institution’s responsibility to convict someone, but rather to report activity that appears suspicious in nature. Second, law enforcement relies on reports filed by financial institutions to aid them in criminal investigations. The big question is: Does anyone really look at these reports? The good news is that they do! There have been numerous crimes identified due to required BSA reporting.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Kristen Ferwerda

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Is It Time To Elevate Your Vendor Management Program?

Is vendor management keeping you up at night? Are you wondering if the right questions are being asked in order to fully understand and manage your risks? Are you getting what you want/require and have paid for? Are the right people involved in the process? Has it become too complicated and time consuming? If these are some of the questions running through your mind, you are not alone.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Tammy Wollersheim

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Loan Originator Compensation – It's Complicated

On January 18, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) issued its final loan originator compensation rule (the “Rule”). More than five years later, many financial institutions still find themselves struggling to understand what types of payments they can and cannot make to their loan originators because, well, it’s complicated. 

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brianna Herder

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Overdraft Overkill

I hesitated to write an article on overdraft practices because it seems there has been an over- abundance of industry information during recent years. However, although the concerns about overdraft practices may feel like old news, there constantly is new news about examiner scrutiny of anything overdraft related. So it seemed like a good time to review the potential overdraft tripwires.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Kathy Enbom

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Phishing: The Bad Guys Favorite Gift

It’s the bad gift that keeps on giving all year long. The holiday season may be gone and Spring may be upon us, but email phishing continues to be one of the greatest threats to financial institutions. You must remain vigilant to protect your institution and, at the same time, be prepared in the event a phishing attempt is successful.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Joel R. Lego

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"Smart" Software Selection

There are few responsibilities that instill fear and anguish in leaders quite like replacing software systems. Whether it is because of past experiences of failed projects, ballooning scope and costs, or the vast number of solutions available today, the process is daunting. Due to the sheer number of decisions and ramifications, we see many of our clients opt out and not make any changes, just limping along with systems that either don’t support or actively hinder their operations.

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett Polglaze

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Tax Reform for Financial Institutions

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) will have an immediate impact for financial institutions. The good news is that the general expectation of the changes is to have a current tax benefit

Jun 20, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Tax

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The TCJA Terminates Technical Terminations

Under prior law, a partnership experienced what was referred to as a technical termination if within any 12-month period there was a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interests in the partnership’s capital and profits. In such a case, the partnership was deemed to have contributed all of its assets and liabilities to a new partnership in exchange for equity interests in the new partnership and then to have distributed those equity interests in the new partnership to the purchasing partners and the other remaining partners in proportion to their respective interests in the terminated partnership.

Jun 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Hold On! There’s Now a Longer Holding Period for Certain Carried Interests

The TCJA leaves relatively untouched the favorable tax treatment provided for carried interests (sometimes also referred to as “sweat equity” interests or profits interests) in entities that are taxed as partnerships. 

Jun 18, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

The Top 5 Ways to Secure Your Cloud Environments

Here are five best practices that can help your organization reduce the risk of a data breach or unauthorized access to your cloud services.

Jun 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Eric M. Onderdonk

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Income Tax Implications of Alimony Agreements Post-TCJA

Since 1942, a taxpayer who paid alimony or separate maintenance to a former spouse received an income tax deduction for the amount paid. However, the TCJA put a rather surprising end to this long-standing treatment for alimony or separate maintenance payments. 

Jun 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Sales Tax Considerations – Prepare Today for the Outcome of Pending United States Supreme Court Decision

Sales taxes are inherently complicated because every state sets its own rules. On April 17, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., which challenges the physical presence standard. The Court is expected to issue its ruling over the next two weeks. While there is no clear consensus about how the Court will rule, now is the time to focus on building a solid understanding of your business activities in the various states. A solid understanding of your company’s facts now will better prepare you for any potential changes that could result from the Court’s decision and the states’ reaction to it.

Jun 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Tax

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The Whys and Hows of Strategic Planning

Businesses know that to thrive (and even survive), they need to pursue defined goals, adjust to changing market conditions, catch up to their competition and evolve their technology. Completing these initiatives successfully can only be accomplished by starting with strategic planning.

Jun 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory, Consulting
By: Deron J. Kling

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What About the Children? The Impact of TCJA on Kiddie Tax

Under prior law, a portion of a child’s unearned income was taxed at the parent’s marginal rate, which could be as high as 39.6%. Unearned income included capital gains, dividends, and interest income. 

Jun 13, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – Raising Capital in Seconds

At the end of 2017, cryptocurrency mania swept the world. With Bitcoin prices rising at unbelievable rates, everyone wanted to join the Bitcoin millionaire club. The whole world took interest in investing in cryptocurrency. The market expanded and many altcoins flooded the crypto market. Since Bitcoin was the first in the space, Bitcoin is considered a cryptocurrency and all the other coins, such as Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple, are considered alternative cryptocurrency coins (Altcoins).

Jun 13, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions, FinTech
By: Agnes Raz

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The #MeToo Movement – Income Tax Implication for Employers

Generally, under Sec. 162, a taxpayer can deduct any ordinary and necessary expenses that they pay or incur during the tax year in carrying on any trade or business. Under the TCJA, however, a new exception to this general rule was added, denying taxpayers a tax deduction for settlements or payment they make relating to claims of sexual harassment or sexual abuse if the payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement.

Jun 12, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

ERM Retooled: Driving Performance by Revising and Enhancing Risk Management Governance

In September 2017, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) — a committee that provides guidance in enterprise risk management (ERM), internal control and fraud deterrence — announced final revisions to 2004’s Enterprise Risk Management — Integrated Framework. The updated 2017 framework, entitled Enterprise Risk Management — Integrating with Strategy and Performance, unveiled a long-awaited, enhanced final statement on ERM.

These days, an organization’s stakeholders are increasingly engaged and requesting greater transparency on types and levels of risk, as well as accountability for managing risk impact versus performance. The ERM final statement emphasizes the importance of integrating risk management with strategy-setting and performance-driving efforts.

Jun 05, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Karen A. Mitchell

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How to Value Your Business

As you consider the transition plan for your business, it’s important to understand the value you might receive upon selling it. If you own shares of stock traded on a stock exchange, the value of your investment will simply be the number of shares multiplied by a stock price. Valuing and selling a closely held business not traded on the stock exchange is more difficult. There are certain drivers of value you should consider. 

Jun 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory
By: Lisa M. Cribben

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Here’s Why Managed Detection and Response Is So Important in Today’s Complicated Networks

As critical servers and services become better protected, insiders and outside attackers are focusing on easier targets. Often that’s the end users themselves. Humans are typically the weakest link in any cybersecurity protection plan, and we can see this in the continual rise — and success — of phishing attacks, which often lead to credentials harvesting, the installation of malware, or the installation of ransomware. 

Jun 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory
By: John Walther

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Does Your Back Office Come With Hidden Costs?

An organization’s leaders wear many hats and juggle numerous responsibilities, including those which don’t directly appear to contribute toward its goals. While back-office functions — including accounting, payroll, human resources, and IT — are vital to the organization, they can also significantly increase costs. 

The challenge for the leadership team is to maintain the quality of these back-office functions while keeping down costs and ensuring smooth operations. Staffing each back-office function with a full-time employee may not be the best approach, since some organizations do not have ample work to justify full-time positions. In this situation, the common fallback is either different leaders of the organization taking on the work or a single employee being assigned to cover multiple functions. 

May 31, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Outsourcing
By: Inga Arendt

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Going Beyond GAAP: 5 Unrecorded Liabilities You May Be Missing

Spoiler alert: This is not your run-of-the-mill article discussing unrecorded bonuses, profit sharing, commissions and other accruals. Instead, we will be taking a deeper dive into a topic that often flies under the radar: your business’s economic liabilities, the ones that generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) don’t require you to present and that are often overlooked in buy/sell agreements. 

May 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

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Back to the Basics: Deferred Taxes

Over the past few years, numerous changes have affected how deferred taxes are presented and calculated within most entities’ financial statements. As it is, the thought of preparing an income tax provision and recording the appropriate deferred tax assets and liabilities can be daunting, even for certified public accountants. However, there are some basic principles you should know and understand to ensure you’re reviewing your financial statements accurately.

May 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Scott M. Lang

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Wait … What? I Can’t Deduct All My Business Losses This Year?

By now, most people are very familiar with the new tax provision under Sec. 199A that generally allows a taxpayer with net flow-through trade or business income from a sole proprietorship, single member LLC, an S corporation or any entity taxed as a partnership to claim a tax deduction equal to 20% of such income. 

May 29, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Governments, Nonprofits, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

The #1 Thing You Need to Do Before Implementing an ERP System

The implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is likely one of the most critical business initiatives that any organization will face. A new ERP brings many potential positives, including better integration of key business processes in the areas of marketing, sales, financial management, production, delivery, quality management and delivery management. An ERP system can also reduce operating costs, better manage data and provide a more robust, objective way to plan strategically. 

While these positives and benefits are achievable, they do not come easily and require a solid understanding of how the ERP system will affect and impact the organization and each end-user of the new technology. In other words, implementing an ERP system can be a significant change for an organization, and change is hard!

May 25, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jeffrey H. Wulf

> Read More

Small Businesses Need to Know These Recent Accounting Method Changes

This article covers the pro-taxpayer expansion of the eligibility to utilize certain accounting methods for income tax purposes that are available only to small businesses and are generally “simpler” than the accounting methods required to be used by larger businesses. 

May 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Five Ways Manufacturers Can Create Better Banking Relationships

From inventory management to equipment purchases to slow payments from customers, many factors can impact a manufacturer’s cash flows as well as its ability to grow. It’s also why developing a strong relationship with the right bank can be vital to operating a successful business today and in the future. This article addresses five fundamental tips that can help create and sustain the right fit.

May 22, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Paul Barstad

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Section 199A Deduction: A Summary and Update

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a provision that created quite a stir in the ag sector. The Qualified Business Income Deduction, a/k/a “Section 199A Deduction,” appeared to create a distinct income tax advantage for producers selling their product through cooperatives. This article provides a brief overview of 199A and outlines the provisions of the recent corrections. 

 

May 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

> Read More

Health Savings Account Cost of Living Adjustments for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the annual cost-of-living adjustments for Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits for calendar year 2019. These limits apply for qualifying High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Plan sponsors should verify that their administrative and payroll systems reflect the appropriate limits. 

May 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech, Tribal Gaming and Government
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Opportunity Funds

The TCJA introduced the brand-new concept of Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Funds to encourage the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses in low-income communities.  

May 14, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

IRS Restores $6,900 HSA Family Contribution Limit for 2018

On April 26, 2018, the IRS granted much needed relief to taxpayers by allowing the family-coverage health savings account (HSA) contribution limit of $6,900 that was originally released on May 4, 2017, to remain in effect for 2018.

May 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Rebate for 2018

Because of a projected budget surplus of nearly $400 million, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature have enacted a Child Sales Tax Rebate.

May 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

> Read More

Running vs. Growing Your Business

The challenges, like the opportunities, for private companies today are numerous and varied. Do owners ever find time to reflect on whether they are running a business or growing a business?

May 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Private Wealth Services
By: Paul T. Lally

> Read More

Health Savings Accounts - Employee Benefit Cost Savings

Most businesses are looking for cost savings. Combine that with the recently enacted health care reforms, which could result in health benefits being even more costly for employers, and businesses have a great reason to revisit health savings accounts!

May 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Private Equity, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, FinTech
Services: Business Advisory
By: Marci Boyarski, Thomas Krieg, Robert A. Buss, Jr.

> Read More

Health Savings Account Cost of Living Adjustments for 2018

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the annual cost-of-living adjustments for Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits for calendar year 2018. These limits apply for qualifying High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Plan sponsors should verify that their administrative and payroll systems reflect the appropriate limits. 

May 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

International tax – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – P.L. 115-97: Section 965 Repatriation Dividend

Section 965 was enacted by Section 14103 of the TCJA, signed on December 22, 2017. Section 965 requires U.S. shareholders, as defined in Section 951(b), to pay a repatriation tax on their pro rata share of the accumulated foreign earnings and profits. 

May 07, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Robert F. Buetow

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Other international tax changes – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – P.L. 115-97

Other international tax changes from the TCJA including: 100% dividend received deduction, Section 958(b) amended, Section 951(b) expanded, Active trade or business exception eliminated, Sourcing under Section 863(b) amended.

May 07, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Robert F. Buetow

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Depreciation – Down on the Farm

The new law shortens the depreciation period for machinery and equipment that is used in a farming business from seven to five years. 

May 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Fiscal Year Corporations Need to Do More Math to Calculate Both Their Regular and AMT Tax Liabilities

Because the TCJA changed the corporate income tax rates effective January 1, 2018, the IRS has issued Notice 2018-38, notifying C corporations that have a tax year which straddles that date that they must use a blended rate to calculate their regular tax liability for that tax year. 

May 01, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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That’s a Nice Ride! What Kind of Tax Deduction Does It Get?

The IRS recently released the depreciation limits for business passenger autos that are placed in service in 2018 and are subject to the luxury auto limits (Rev. Proc. 2018-25). 

Apr 30, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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I Created That!! Self-Created Intangibles No Longer Qualify for Favorable Capital Gains Tax Rates

Effective for asset dispositions in 2018 and beyond, the TCJA states that certain intangible assets can no longer be treated as capital gain assets, as they were in the past. 

Apr 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Nonprofits
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Does Your Business Need a Physical?

Private business owners and managers spend most of their time actively involved with the everyday operations of their organization. But just as an annual checkup from your physician keeps you on top of your personal health and well-being, an annual checkup is also necessary for the health and well-being of your business.

Apr 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Private Wealth Services
By: Paul T. Lally

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Congratulations! It’s a Girl!! Employers Who Provide Paid FMLA Have a New Tax Credit

The TCJA created a new tax credit for eligible employers to claim a tax credit for wages they pay to qualifying employees who are on family and medical leave (FMLA).

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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CECL Methodologies Series: Remaining Life

This article is the fourth in our series of articles focusing on the different Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodologies and their pros and cons. Previously, we have looked at the following methodologies:

In this article, we will look at the remaining life method.

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Continuous Change in BSA Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

BSA recordkeeping and reporting requirements are continually changing. The FFIEC BSA/AML Examination Manual was enhanced in 2010, and again in 2014. Since 2014, guidance has been issued regarding new and emerging BSA concerns, beneficial ownership rules have been put in place, and the CTR and SAR forms have undergone changes. 

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Tracy Bush

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Does S-Corporation Status Still Make Sense for My Bank?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brings sweeping tax reform changes, and many of these changes favor C corporations. The most significant change is a reduction to corporate tax rates. For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the corporate tax rate will be reduced to 21% (from a maximum tax rate of 35%).

The reduction to individual tax rates under the TCJA pales in comparison. The highest individual tax rate will be reduced to 37% (from a maximum tax rate of 39.6%); therefore, depending on the marginal tax rate of its shareholder group, an S-corporation bank will be subject to much higher tax rates than a C-corporation bank.

This significant difference in tax rates begs the question: Does S-corporation status still make sense for my bank? Tax rates do not tell the entire story. To answer this question, the benefits of C-corporation status need to be compared side-by-side to the benefits of S-corporation status.

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Tax
By: Jason J. Wimmer

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Next Generation of Leadership: Individual and Team Engagement

As the qualified labor market continues to shrink and leadership positions continue to become available, it is becoming increasingly important to develop and retain future leaders. However, even the companies who are most dedicated to leadership development are consistently confronted with high-potential leaders leaving for other opportunities. Blame it on the wage structure or blame it on the Millennials, but the more likely culprit is related to how employees are engaged in their organizations.

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Shelly R. Schwane

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Regulation E: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The folks who drafted Regulation E took error resolution quite seriously because there is an entire section of the regulation devoted to it. Section 1005.11 provides guidance on what financial institutions must do to complete the error investigation process, and it should be used as the starting point for developing procedures for resolving Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) notice of errors. 

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions

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The Evolution to RegTech

So many articles have been written in recent years lamenting the regulatory burden heaped upon the financial services industry after the 2008 financial crisis. Financial institutions have dealt with these pressures in varying ways from merging into larger organizations with the infrastructure to handle compliance monitoring to engaging in growth tactics to reach a point of critical mass where it makes sense to continue operations to ceasing to exist altogether.[1] The entire landscape is in a period of rapid transformation, and the business model disruption, particularly in community banking, has been huge. Banking has never been a huge fan of change. And why not? The industry enjoyed a long history of profitable operations based on legacy infrastructures, traditional beliefs, and conservative values. The “sexy” tech world invading the financial services market is one not easily embraced by bankers even though technology and innovation have been quietly at the core of banking models for years.



[1] 2017, Waupsh, John, “Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech”

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Karen A. Mitchell

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The Fundamentals of BSA Documentation

The spirit of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) is, first and foremost, to identify and report suspicious activity in order to prevent financial crimes that threaten the stability of our financial infrastructure and national security. Let’s go back to the fundamentals and touch on a few hot spots that continue to result in examination recommendations. 

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Stephanie Jennings

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The Fundamentals of BSA Documentation - Credit Unions

The spirit of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) is, first and foremost, to identify and report suspicious activity in order to prevent financial crimes that threaten the stability of our financial infrastructure and national security. Let’s go back to the fundamentals and touch on a few hot spots that continue to result in examination recommendations. 

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Stephanie Jennings

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Why Wait Until Your Next Exam to Assess Your Community Reinvestment Act Performance?

As compliance specialists, we’ve seen a lot of hot topics come and go over the years. From the Truth in Savings Act, privacy, Good Faith Estimates, flood requirements, overdraft protection products, redlining, the Bank Secrecy Act, and integrated mortgage disclosures to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, each year seems to bring on a new theme. Usually, we can pinpoint a new or amended regulation or a national event that stimulates the interest and hype about the new hot topic that year, but this year we’ve seen an uptick in interest related to assessing a bank’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). At no time during the past twenty-five years have we seen such an interest in this topic, and we really can’t pinpoint any particular reason for the increase in the number of requests for this service, but it seems to be one of higher interest during the last few months.

Apr 25, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Melissa D. Blaser

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Challenges and Opportunities Dealerships Can Expect in 2018

The demand for vehicles often depends on factors such as consumer spending, interest rates, energy prices and technology innovation. Economic factors like these always keep auto dealerships on their toes. But last year, as auto dealerships continued to experience consolidation and grapple with an aging workforce, they also saw the advent of new technology change the traditional commission structure. This article identifies many of the challenges and opportunities dealerships should focus on in 2018.

Apr 24, 2018
Industries: Dealerships
Services: Business Advisory
By: Steve Hewitt, Kevin Cherney

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Standards for the Internal Audit Practice: Are You Following the IIA Standards?

Many of us in the accounting profession are familiar with and required to comply with accounting standards developed, issued, and enforced by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Did you know the internal audit profession is also governed by standards established by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)? The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) provide internal auditors with a roadmap for planning and performing the internal audit function for their organization. They also provide the Board of Directors and Audit Committee with a method to evaluate the internal audit function. 

Apr 24, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Teresa Francis

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Standards for the Internal Audit Practice, Credit Unions: Are You Following the IIA Standards?

Many of us in the accounting profession are familiar with and required to comply with accounting standards developed, issued, and enforced by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Did you know the internal audit profession is also governed by standards established by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)? The IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) provide internal auditors with a roadmap for planning and performing the internal audit function for their organization. They also provide the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee with a method to evaluate the internal audit function. 

Apr 24, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Teresa Francis

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It's Going to Be a Busy Summer at the IRS

Acting IRS Commissioner David KIautter recently provided some details on the daunting scope of the IRS’s preparations for next year’s filing season as a result of the changes brought about by the TCJA.

 

Apr 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Three Red Flags Your Accounting System Is Failing to Support Your Business

The goal of every business is to grow, but often its accounting system gets left behind. Many finance departments are working with technology half as effective as it could be or using outdated systems that only pile more work onto employees’ plates.

Apr 20, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Shereen Mahoney

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Russian State-Sponsored Cyber Actors Are Targeting Network Infrastructure Devices

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have issued a joint alert warning that Russian state-sponsored hackers are targeting public-facing networking equipment.  

Apr 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk

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Latest FFIEC Cyber Insurance Guidance - One Size Does Not Fit All

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently released a Joint Statement entitled Cyber Insurance and Its Potential Role in Risk Management Programs, highlighting the importance of cyber insurance and providing some considerations for how to best understand your financial institution’s insurance needs, evaluate providers, and understand different coverage levels. While cyber insurance is not required by regulatory agencies, it is an area that your management team and board of directors should pay attention to.

Apr 18, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Pedro J. Pinto

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You Are Not the Only One With Questions in Search of Answers

We all have questions on the practical application of TCJA: how it will impact our business and personal tax returns and what we can do now to minimize the resulting tax liabilities. 

Apr 17, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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How Transition Planning Can Be a GPS for Your Business

Most successful entrepreneurs have built their lives and businesses upon well thought-out processes to avoid not knowing where they’re going. Yet why do only about 20% of entrepreneurs have a written succession plan? Maybe, while inevitable, it’s a trip they don’t want to take!

Apr 16, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Private Wealth Services
By: Paul T. Lally

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Makes You Wonder Whether Congress Just Doesn’t Like College Sports

Under general income tax rules, if a donor receives any substantial benefit in exchange for a charitable contribution, the donor’s charitable contribution is reduced by the value of what is received in return. 

Apr 16, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

Using Data Analytics to Identify Errors, Waste and Abuse

Mistakes happen in organizations of all sizes and types. Unfortunately, so does fraud. Data analytics offers organizations an efficient and effective way to monitor what’s occurring so they can spot concerns before they cause problems.

Apr 12, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Marc W. Courey

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Sneak Peek at the IRS’s Thoughts on the Application of the 30% Business Interest Limitation

We now know a little more about how the IRS is interpreting the application of the 30% business interest limitation that applies to tax years beginning after 2017, thanks to its release of Notice 2018-28 and an accompanying news release on April 2nd. 

Apr 12, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Tracking Time in QuickBooks, Part 2

If your company sells services, you can track the time spent providing them in QuickBooks.

In part one, we learned about getting QuickBooks ready for time-tracking by activating it in Preferences. We also created a record for a service item. In part two, we’ll use that record in the two ways you’ll use it in QuickBooks: to pay employees for their hourly work and to bill customers for services.

Apr 10, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Attention Farmers, Partnerships and Developers of and Investors in Low-Income Housing Projects!

Congress recently signed a spending bill that funds the federal government through September 30, 2018, avoiding another last-minute federal government shutdown.

Apr 05, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or in This Case, a Tax-Free Grant)

Under the old tax law, a C or S corporation (but not a sole proprietorship, single-member LLC or any entity taxed as a partnership) could receive contributions to capital from any governmental entity or civic group on a tax-free basis.

Apr 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

New Section 199A Deduction for Cooperatives and Their Patrons

On Friday, March 23, 2018, President Trump signed a government spending bill, avoiding a government shutdown. Included in that bill was a very important change to the new Section 199A deduction available to patrons of agricultural and horticultural cooperatives that creates a two-pronged potential deduction. This article provides an overview. 

Apr 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Dustin Wiesner

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Is Your Business in the Zone?

The TCJA created a new source of equity for qualified operating businesses and real estate developments. 

Apr 02, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Tax Extenders

Just a reminder that in February Congress passed a law extending over 30 otherwise-expired tax provisions that were not addressed in the TCJA. Included in the extenders were the Section 179D deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings, the deduction of mortgage insurance premiums as qualified residence interest, and various energy-related tax credits.

Mar 31, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

2018 Outlook Survey Report for Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Financial Priorities Benchmark 2018 Survey sponsored by Wipfli was conducted in December 2017. Polling over 350 financial professionals and executives from the nonprofit sector across the country, the survey explored the challenges facing this industry, as well as organizations' priorities in 2018. Read the full report.

Mar 28, 2018
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Consulting, Governance & Risk, Technology

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What’s the word on technical corrections?

Pretty much everyone agrees that the last-minute scramble to write and pass a tax bill that would garner enough votes to pass resulted in a lot of “unexpected consequences.”

Mar 28, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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If I have carried interest in an S corporation, can I avoid the three-year holding period?

Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the TCJA imposes a three-year holding period requirement (instead of the former one-year holding period) for “applicable partnership interests” received in connection with the performance of services in “an applicable trade or business” to be taxed as long-term capital gain. These interests are often referred to as “carried interests” or “sweat equity.” The new statute stated that an applicable partnership interest does not include any interest in a partnership directly or indirectly held by a corporation.

Mar 27, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

TCJA makes home equity loan interest nondeductible – Or does it?

Here is what people thought the TCJA said: For tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, there is no longer a deduction for interest on “home equity debt.” The elimination of the deduction for interest on home equity debt applies regardless of when the home equity debt was incurred.

Mar 26, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

It’s All About the Data

It doesn’t take much to start turning data into information. The most important step is to get started. Leverage these ideas and start seeing how information can impact your business’s bottom line and customers.

Mar 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Luis J. Murgas

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Hey, why did my paycheck go up?

If you receive a paycheck, you might have noticed that your post-February 15, 2018 paychecks are larger than before. As a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the federal income tax withholding tables have been adjusted, generally resulting in less withholding and bigger paychecks. This could cause problems if you are set up with safe harbor estimates for 2018 and your withholding is assumed to be the same as it was in 2017. This could also cause problems if your individual situation results in you owing more, rather than less, tax for 2018 under the new law, and you would rather not write a check when you file your return in April.

Mar 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

> Read More

C Corp vs. S Corp – Comparison After 2017 Tax Reform

In this article, we’ll address the question of C corporation or S corporation.  This comparison, which is an option for most producers, has a new twist because of the changing tax rates, a few different rules, and the prominent new Section 199A deduction.  

 

Mar 22, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Five Myths About Internal Controls

An organization’s objectives are best achieved when everyone involved works toward a common goal. A strong internal control structure monitors progress, but to figure out exactly what role internal controls play in an organization’s success, we have to separate myths from reality.

Mar 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Dawson A. Smith

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Financial Planning and Analysis – The Magic 8 Ball® of Accounting

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is a means for any company to look into the proverbial Magic 8 Ball® to possibly predict its future and take steps to make adjustments to its strategies in a timely manner.

Mar 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Michelle Berkoben

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Leases – A Whole New Ball Game

While the adoption deadline for accounting standards update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), might seem far enough away to relegate this topic as tomorrow’s problem, given that the topic must be applied retrospectively for comparative financial statements and that time is needed to plan and execute implementation, your best bet is to begin planning for implementation today.

Mar 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Kortni K. Smith

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How Damage Calculations and Financial Condition Analyses Can Help You Win Your Case

Damage calculations can entail many things. They can involve calculating the lost profits and loss of future profits resulting from the improper denial of an insurance claim. 

Mar 13, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Carly S. Jacobson

> Read More

2018 Health Savings Account Contribution Limit Reduced for Family Coverage

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 2018-10, which revises certain 2018 inflation-adjusted amounts previously released.

Mar 08, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Align Performance Management and Compensation Systems

As talent management consultants, we see more frustration and consternation among our clients over performance management and compensation issues than any other human resource issue. It is important to align performance management and compensation systems to enhance employee understanding of the expectations surrounding performance and the impact performance has on compensation.

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Julia A. Johnson

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Compliance Steps to Complete Before the End of the First Quarter

We are already a couple months into the new year. If you have not already done so, now is the time to be thinking about your compliance management system and planning for the new year. 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Shelley Foster

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Compliance Steps to Complete Before the End of the First Quarter – Credit Unions

We are already a couple months into the new year. If you have not already done so, now is the time to be thinking about your compliance management system and planning for the new year. 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Shelley Foster

> Read More

FASB Simplifies Hedging Rules

Derivatives can be effective tools for managing various risks in financial institutions, especially interest rate risk; however, not many community financial institutions use derivatives for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Derivatives are not always well understood.
  • Derivatives can change the risk profile of a balance sheet very quickly, sometimes causing unintended consequences, especially if the impact of the derivatives isn’t well understood up front.
  • Accounting for derivatives when hedge accounting is not used can result in volatility in the income statement since the change in fair value of derivatives is reported in net income.
  • Taking advantage of hedge accounting rules, which can minimize volatility in the income statement, can often be complex and costly.

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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FinTech Accounting Issues: Accounting for Digital Currency

Since the emergence of digital currencies, there has been significant divergence in how to account for these instruments. There are currently several schools of thought on how these assets should appear on the financial statements of the holder.

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: David Schroepfer

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How Has the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Changed the Deductibility of Meals and Entertainment?

As they say, better late than never. I was one year late on when I thought we would have tax reform. I am not going to explain all the changes that went into effect with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There are numerous changes that will benefit taxpayers. Yet, as we know, for every tax benefit received, there is a cost. I want to explain in further detail one of those costs. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed Internal Revenue Code Section 274 that defines the tax deductibility of entertainment expenses. I cannot imagine that the loss in deduction from meals and entertainment expenses will nullify the tax savings from the other benefits taxpayers will experience. It will, however, change how you record these expenses in your general ledger

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Tax
By: Jessica H. Mac Naughton

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How to Minimize the Risk of Fraud by Customers

Since the 2009 recession, many statisticians have claimed fraud, especially against financial institutions, is on the rise and some claim that there are more frauds being exposed because there’s less cash to cover up frauds. In any case, almost every statistician would agree that more fraud is coming to light and being exposed.

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: David G. Friedman

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Regulatory Risk and FinTech/Faster Payments: Balancing Consumer Expectations With Regulatory Requirements

Based on information noted in the January 2018 Digital Banking Report’s 2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions[1], recent survey responses indicate consumers, particularly younger consumers, support and wish to have a relationship with financial service providers that embrace the following focus areas:

 

  • Improved consumer experience
  • Expanded use of data and analytics
  • Multichannel delivery support
  • FinTech partnership building
  • Upgraded digital payment capabilities
  • Exploration of advanced technologies
  • Blockchain capabilities testing 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Helen Touchton

> Read More

The Need for Enhanced Appraisal Reviews

The loan portfolios of many community banks are largely comprised of commercial real estate loans, including both owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied properties. Over a year ago, the Fed’s Monetary Policy Report to Congress singled out “commercial property prices” as a growing concern. The report stated “commercial real estate (CRE) valuations, which have been an area of growing concern over the past year, rose further, with property prices continuing to climb and capitalization decreasing to historically low levels. The rising valuation pressures may leave some smaller banks vulnerable to a sizable CRE price decline.” In 2017 the Fed also pointed out that prices of commercial real estate have grown faster than rents for an extended period and measures of the amount of operating income relative to the sale price of commercial properties have reached historic lows. Cap rates on commercial real estate are at the lowest point since 2007. As interest rates rise, heavily leveraged properties will produce even less net operating income. 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Doug Wynveen

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The Need for Enhanced Appraisal Reviews – Credit Unions

The member business loan portfolios of many credit unions are largely comprised of commercial real estate loans, including both owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied properties. Over a year ago, the Fed’s Monetary Policy Report to Congress singled out “commercial property prices” as a growing concern. The report stated “commercial real estate (CRE) valuations, which have been an area of growing concern over the past year, rose further, with property prices continuing to climb and capitalization decreasing to historically low levels. The rising valuation pressures may leave some smaller financial institutions vulnerable to a sizable CRE price decline.” In 2017 the Fed also pointed out that prices of commercial real estate have grown faster than rents for an extended period and measures of the amount of operating income relative to the sale price of commercial properties have reached historic lows. Cap rates on commercial real estate are at the lowest point since 2007. As interest rates rise, heavily leveraged properties will produce even less net operating income. 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Doug Wynveen

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Website Accessibility – An Exercise in Third-Party Risk Management

Website accessibility relates to the practice of designing websites and online content in such a way that individuals with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments are able to access such content in its native format, or through the use of assistive tools such as screen readers, voice recognition, magnification, etc.

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Pedro J. Pinto

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What’s Old Is New Again

Our Compliance Help email service has been inundated with questions on compliance with beneficial ownership as part of the customer due diligence rule. While the focus on beneficial ownership is not unfounded, I am a bit concerned that many financial institutions may be overlooking something more basic but very crucial in BSA management—the new codified expectation of customer due diligence and how it intertwines with your suspicious activity surveillance system. 

Feb 28, 2018
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: John Moniak

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10 Essential Ways to Protect Your Business Against Cyber Crime

Cyber crime will cost businesses $2 trillion by 2019 and $8 trillion by 2022. Costs can include damages resulting from theft of personal and financial data, stolen money, theft of intellectual property, fraud, lost productivity, forensic investigation, and reputational damages. Although there is no silver bullet, businesses can reduce risk and the likelihood of a breach.

Feb 27, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk, Consulting
By: Jeff Olejnik

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How Do You Determine Your Lost Profits?

A business suffers a loss of profits (also referred to as damages) when an act decreases its projected revenues, raises its projected expenses, or does a combination of both. It’s your legal counsel’s job to convince a judge, jury, or arbitrator that the defendant committed the act in question, but how do you know exactly how much profit you lost? Here’s a quick overview of how to quantify your lost profits.

Feb 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Thomas E. Copley

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Does the General Data Protection Regulation Apply to Your Business?

You’ve heard about the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and you probably know that it goes into effect on May 25, 2018, but you might not be sure what GDPR is or, more importantly, whether it applies to your business. To help you determine whether your organization is impacted and what you can do to comply, we answer common GDPR questions.

Feb 22, 2018
Industries: Construction and Real Estate, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk, Going Global
By: Robert D. Cedergren

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The New Depreciation Expense Rules – What You Need to Know

There are several major provisions of the 2017 tax reform that impact agriculture. In this article, we’ll dig deep into the new rules for depreciation expense and the opportunities the new law provides for producers. 

Feb 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Retirement Plan Design Considerations for Hardship Withdrawals

On February 9, 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Budget Act”) was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. This law passed not only to fund the federal government, but also to provide important changes to retirement plans, including provisions that expand hardship withdrawals from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Plan sponsors will need to carefully consider these provisions.

Feb 21, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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Tax Reform and Agribusiness – 2018 and Beyond

As you’re preparing your 2017 tax information and meeting with your tax service provider over the next few months, it’s an opportune time to outline some of the new tax reform topics as they pertain to our farming and ranching communities for 2018 and beyond. The purpose of this article is to help you prepare questions and discussion topics to discuss with your tax advisor.

 

 

Feb 13, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Kristina M. Odermann

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Customize QuickBooks Online Using Settings

You can start using QuickBooks Online the first time you sign in. However, your tasks will be easier and faster, if you customize it for your company.

Feb 10, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Tracking Time in QuickBooks, Part 1

If your company sells services, you can track the time spent providing them in QuickBooks.

If your business provides services to customers you’re selling your employees’ time and skills. There’s no inventory count; you can sell as many hours as you have workers to fill them. Tracking time accurately and comprehensively, though, is as important as knowing how many hard drives or tote bags you’ve sold.

QuickBooks contains tools to help you record the hours employees spend doing work for customers, so you can bill them for services rendered. You can also use these same features to enter employee time for payroll purposes. The software offers two options here: single-activity records and timesheets.

Feb 10, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Big Changes Ahead: The New Leasing Accounting Standard (ASC 842) and What It Means for Manufacturers Now

The new leasing accounting standard (ASC 842) is one of the most significant accounting changes in recent history. It fundamentally brings all leases, including operating leases, onto the balance sheet. It becomes effective for public companies in 2019 and for nonpublic companies in 2020, and it’s going to dramatically change financial statements. The time to prepare is now.

Feb 09, 2018
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steve Scaduto

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Top Five Ways the New Tax Law Affects Dealerships

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has passed. If you own or run a dealership, you’re probably wondering what this means for you. Most significantly, it means dealerships will pay less in taxes for the year 2018. However, we’re dealing with a very large piece of legislation, so there’s obviously more to it than that.

 

 

Jan 24, 2018
Industries: Dealerships
Services: Tax
By: Steve Hewitt, Michele Bazzanella

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Notice Reporting Compliance Requirements Reference Table

The states listed in this reference table have enacted notice reporting requirements either legislatively or through administrative rule as of December 31, 2017. The table provides the effective date of the notice reporting requirements, the required sales threshold. whether a state requires notification to be posted on the company’s website to a purchaser that use tax is due on the transaction, whether notification to the purchaser itself is required, and whether annual reporting to the state is required. Penalties imposed by the state for failure to comply with any notification requirements are also addressed.

Jan 23, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

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Why Is Succession Such a Dirty Word?

Having a solid strategic plan only enhances the likelihood of perpetuating a legacy, which you worked so hard to create. It’s good for your clients, your staff, your family and—oh, yeah—your business. Recommended timetables for succession planning are typically in the range of three to ten years (three years for a business that has a simple structure and is in very good shape, and longer for others). However, the sooner you incorporate succession planning into your strategic planning, the greater the benefits for your business. You can use this opportunity to leverage your succession planning for a competitive advantage.

Jan 19, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Private Wealth Services
By: Paul T. Lally

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Private Equity Fund Formation: 101

At first blush, the title of this article may seem somewhat fundamental. However, on four separate and recent occasions, a client or prospect asked me to provide an overview of typical fund formation and structure. The information in this article can serve as a simple reference for industry standards and practices as they relate to private equity fund formation and related infrastructure to support fund activities.

Jan 18, 2018
Industries: Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Consulting
By: Mark B. Martinelli

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Busted for Not Filing Proper Multistate Tax Returns—Now What?

In the article, Gotcha! How a state finds a non-filer, we addressed how a state may find out a company is active within its borders. This article addresses what you can do once a state catches up to you for not filing the proper sales, use, income, or franchise tax returns within its jurisdiction.

Jan 18, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Jessica L. Macklin

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Make the Most of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In addition to implementing the 30 tips we recommend in our e-book, here are some additional activities you should consider to promote security awareness.

Jan 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jeff Olejnik

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Don’t Lose Money in the Process of Collecting It: The Art and Science of Customer Invoicing for Sales Tax Purposes

The importance of a well-constructed invoice may come as a surprise to some, but it should not be underestimated. In sales tax audits, we see many instances when the way sales are invoiced leads to assessments, interest, and penalties—all of which could have been avoided. This article addresses five key fundamentals of customer invoicing. The thoughtful and intentional presentation of these key components can help you avoid sales tax headaches.

Jan 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Tara T. Johnson

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Buying an Airplane for Business Use: Frequently Asked Questions

Many companies with multiple facilities or customers in remote locations may decide to purchase an airplane for both business and personal use. While there are many benefits to aircraft ownership, there are potential sales tax implications to this purchase, depending on the structuring. Wipfli’s State and Local Tax experts frequently address sales tax questions related to airplane purchases. This article addresses those most common questions.

Jan 11, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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The Missing Middle: Making Succession Planning Part of Your Business’s Strategy

In over 28 years of working with privately owned businesses, I have noted recurring themes:  an entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to family and community, and a focus on building a legacy. I have also seen a common and critical blind spot regarding succession planning and the requisite good governance that should underlie it.

Jan 10, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Private Wealth Services
By: Paul T. Lally

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Five QuickBooks Reports You Need to Run in January

Getting all of your accounting tasks done in December is always a challenge. Besides the vacation time you and your employees probably took for the holidays, there are those year-end, “Let’s wrap it up by December 31” projects.

Besides paying bills and chasing payments, submitting taxes and counting inventory in December, there’s another item that should have been on your to-do list: creating end-of-year reports. If you didn’t get this done, it’s not too late. It’s important to have this information as you begin the New Year. QuickBooks can provide it.

Jan 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Using QuickBooks Online's Customer Records

Your customers are your company’s lifeblood. Are you managing those relationships carefully? Here’s how QuickBooks Online can help.

Jan 09, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

All In: Achieving ERP Implementation Success Across Portfolio Companies

Manufacturing portfolios, particularly those which consist of smaller, undervalued companies, are often attractive to private equity firms. Yet, a lot of these types of businesses rely on unsophisticated or antiquated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems while others might have adopted ERP but have yet to receive performance benefits or sound returns. This paper explores some of the best practices for achieving ERP implementation success across portfolio companies.

Jan 04, 2018
Industries: Private Equity
Services: Technology, Consulting
By: Jason Muhlstein, Michael L. Vaccarella

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Technology: Making connections and providing insights in every industry

By connecting customer, operational, and financial data, businesses can understand processes and identify improvement opportunities.

Jan 04, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Technology

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2017 GAAP – The Year in Review

As of November 30, the FASB issued 14 new Accounting Standards Updates (ASU) in 2017. This article highlights four of the new GAAP standards issued in 2017 and a few earlier standards with approaching effective dates. 

Jan 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Sheila Border

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New Revenue Recognition Standard: You Have Less Time Than You Think. Put Project Management on Your Side.

The new revenue recognition standard is said to be one of the largest changes to GAAP in over a decade. With adoption dates quickly approaching the importance of planning and taking action cannot be stressed enough. 

Jan 03, 2018
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Colleen Cooke-Varallo

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Six Microsoft Excel Tips to Increase Your Productivity

Some of us have used Microsoft Excel for so many years, we have built habits to do things the “old way.”  Some of us have been using it for only a few years but do not know some of the best ways to use it.  As with any software from a large company, enhancements come fast, so let’s learn about some ways to use Excel more efficiently.  Each of the items listed below is a habit I build for creating and manipulating Excel data in pivot tables.

Dec 29, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Richard McClure

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Decide Your Future Today With a Business Valuation Now

All business owners will exit their businesses someday, whether by choice, death, health, or other circumstances, and planning for the inevitable is crucial. Proper planning through a business valuation  and knowing what your company is worth today, you’re taking the first step toward planning for tomorrow. 

Dec 29, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Audra M. Moncur

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Tax Reform Impacting Construction and Real Estate Companies

On Friday, December 15, Congressional Republicans released the details of their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation. It now appears it will be sent to the President’s desk for signature by Christmas. Click here for Wipfli’s recently issued summary of the sweeping tax changes made by the bill.

The following is a more detailed discussion of those provisions in the proposed law that will most impact businesses in the construction and/or real estate industry. Unless otherwise noted, the changes would be effective for tax years beginning after 2017. Upon federal enactment, one can expect additional complications at the state level because some states automatically adopt federal changes and others may adopt them in part or in whole at a future time.

Dec 29, 2017
Industries: Construction and Real Estate
Services: Tax
By: Crystal Christenson

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Don’t let the new tax plan fool you: ACA employer mandate remains intact

Despite some administration officials touting that the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “essentially” repeals the health law, this is not the case. 

Dec 28, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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Tax Reform Provisions Impacting Agribusiness: Action Needed Before December 31, 2017

On December 20, Congress approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides sweeping changes for businesses, trusts, and individuals. President Trump signed the bill into law on December 22. The revised version of the bill carries the title “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to Titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.” However, the bill is still commonly referred to by its former name, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Following is a summary of some of the key changes affecting agricultural producers along with some tax planning strategies that need to happen before the end of 2017.

Unless otherwise noted, the changes will be effective for tax years beginning after 2017. Keep in mind that these are federal changes and that state-level conformity on applicable items will remain to be seen.

Dec 27, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax

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Tax Reform Provisions Impacting Manufacturing and Distribution: Action Needed Before December 31, 2017

On December 20, Congress approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides sweeping changes for businesses, trusts, and individuals. President Trump signed the bill into law on December 22. The revised version of the bill carries the title “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to Titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.” However, the bill is still commonly referred to by its former name, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Following is a summary of some of the key changes affecting manufacturers and distributors along with some tax planning strategies that need to happen before the end of 2017.

Dec 27, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Tax

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Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Approved - President Signs Tax Plan Into Law

On December 20, Congress approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provides sweeping changes for businesses, trusts, and individuals. The revised version of the bill carries the title “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to Titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.” The bill was signed by President Trump earlier today, December 22, 2017.

Dec 22, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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After the Loss: The Benefits of Insurance Claim Assistance

Sometimes the unthinkable happens to a business, and it happens in more ways than you might imagine. Catastrophes of all types not only cause physical damage and property losses, but can severely disrupt operations and create additional business losses.

Dec 19, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: William Metzdorff, Allen E. Jacque

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Common Issues Noted in Community Reinvestment Act Public Files

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) lays out specific information that must be contained in a bank’s public file at its main office. If the bank is located in multiple states (an interstate bank), CRA public files must be maintained at one branch office in each state. In addition, other branch locations must maintain a copy of the public section of the bank’s most recent CRA Performance Evaluation and a list of services provided by the branch and must be able to provide, within five calendar days of a request, all of the information in the public file relating to the assessment area in which the branch is located. 

Dec 19, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Cindy L. Mabry

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Critical Inputs to the Strategic Planning Process

In the world of software programming, there is an old saying “garbage in, garbage out,” we get results in line with the quality of our input. In working with financial institutions in recent strategic planning efforts, we saw this principle in action. One institution had taken great pains in collecting information and performance data through a number of channels, providing it to the strategic planning team ahead of the meeting and preparing the team in advance for a discussion of the information. The other institution approached the planning process with a heavy reliance on personal knowledge and a sort of “we’ll look it up as we need to” philosophy. 

Dec 19, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Deron J. Kling

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The Road to Beneficial Ownership Implementation

The Beneficial Ownership rule’s mandatory compliance date of May 11, 2018, is right around the corner.  While the mechanics of the rule may seem rudimentary, the implementation of this rule involves many facets. (For institutions who would like a refresher on the rule, please see the July 2016 BSA article, Beneficial Ownership Rule Is Finalized Finally, posted on Wipfli.com.)  Some areas of implementation are under financial institutions’ direct control, while in other areas, institutions may need to rely on third-party vendors to implement changes. The following areas are directly impacted by the rule.

Dec 19, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Robin Guthridge

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2018 Payroll Update

As a service to you, we are pleased to provide this list of updates and reminders regarding payroll. The information below includes federal updates; however, some state-specific information has also been included. 

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Outsourcing, Business Advisory

> Read More

FinTech – A Trend or a Mainstream Business?

FinTech was rather a cool trend to watch out for in the year 2017, and going into 2018, we are looking at FinTech becoming more of a mainstream business. 

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: FinTech, Financial Institutions
By: Girish M. Ramachandra

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Make a Resolution to Keep Your Identity Safe

This time of year finds many people making resolutions. Whether it is joining a gym, spending more time with family and friends, quitting a bad habit, starting a new hobby, or helping others, one resolution that you may not have considered is keeping your identity safe.

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Travis Wouters

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New Payday, Vehicle Title, and Other Short-Term Loan Rules: Will They Apply to Your Institution?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule in the Federal Register on November 17, 2017, that impacts payday and short-term loans as well as longer-term loans with balloon payments. The final rule will become effective January 16, 2018, 60 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. However, compliance with most sections including 12 CFR 1041.2 through 1041.10, 1041.12, and 1041.13 will not be required until August 19, 2019, 21 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. 

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Teri Downey

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New Year's Resolutions for Financial Institutions in 2018

The worst part of making New Year’s resolutions is that very shortly into the year, they usually fall by the wayside. Last year I challenged you to make one resolution: “Resolve to incorporate a change management model into any major project you undertake.” I, too, challenged myself to one resolution—“to find a greater balance in my life for work and play.” So, how did you do?

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Sara Mikuta

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Planning for Reform

2017 was a year of significant changes for our country. With the start of a new year, one change on everyone’s mind is tax reform. The year 2018 comes with the promise of one of the largest overhauls of our tax system in many years. With the potential for significantly lower tax rates for businesses, there are several planning opportunities to be cognizant of when preparing your 2017 tax returns. 

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Tax
By: Kimberly Massopust

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Revenue Recognition for Financial Institutions

You may have heard about the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, but you may not know very much about this new accounting standard. This standard is codified in the accounting standards as Topic 606 (ASC 606) and is applicable to all entities. For non-public entities, it will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. Public business entities must adopt the standard for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017. The standard does not impact the financial institution industry nearly as much as it does other industries, but there are some important concepts institutions should be aware of.

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Reconciliation Reached - Tax Reform Proposal - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On Friday, December 15, the conference committee reached an agreement to reconcile the discrepancies between the House and Senate tax bills and released their compromised bill, which proposes sweeping changes for businesses, trusts, and individuals.

Dec 18, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

> Read More

Working with Downloaded Transactions in QuickBooks Online

Its ability to download financial transactions is one of the five best things about QuickBooks Online. Without it, you’d spend a lot of time on tedious data entry, verifying which checks and deposits had cleared and entering new ones.

Instead, you can easily connect to your bank and bring in all your activity from the previous hours or day. QuickBooks Online stores this neatly in a register and provides tools for you to further describe and classify each transaction.

Dec 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Are You Using QuickBooks’ Reminders?

We can’t emphasize this enough: QuickBooks’ Reminders can prevent countless problems with your finances.

How do you know when it’s time to pay a bill or follow up on overdue customer payments or print payroll checks? If you’re still using a paper calendar and sticky notes and file folders, there’s a good chance you’re missing some important deadlines on occasion. Manual methods aren’t effective enough when you’re dealing with your business finances.

Dec 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Individual Year-End Tax Planning in Face of Potential Tax Reform

December is quickly coming to a close along with the final chance to do any significant tax planning before year-end. This year, however, the looming potential for individual income tax reform has created numerous uncertainties, making year-end tax planning more complex.

Dec 13, 2017
Services: Tax, Private Wealth Services

> Read More

The New Leasing Accounting Standard (ASC 842) and How It May Affect Your Valuation

The new FASB standard (ASC 842) has effective dates of 2019 for public companies and 2020 for private companies (see sidebar) and contains changes that will ripple through your organization and may affect your valuation. The primary change is to recognize a right-of-use asset and lease obligation for operating leases.

A few items, however, are not changing. Lease accounting from the lessor’s perspective, for instance, remains fairly unchanged, with real-estate-specific provisions and leveraged leases eliminated. The definition of a lease also remains fairly unchanged but was clarified by the new standard. But many other items are changing—more than 400 pages worth. Your appraiser will need to understand how the new lease accounting standard affects your balance sheet in terms of long-term assets, short- and long-term liabilities, and the effects on EBITDA and cash flow to properly value your company.

Dec 08, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Kevin Janke

> Read More

Revenue Recognition: Why Should I Care?

What’s the Big Deal?

“Why should I waste my time reading an article about financial statements? Shouldn’t we be putting a shovel in the ground instead to get some work done?”

Your financial statements matter, and you need to understand them. They are the prism through which your surety, financial institution, and investors see your company. There is no better time to get that understanding than in the calm before the storm. “What storm?” you might ask. The upcoming changes to revenue recognition from contracts with customers are going to be one heck of a storm, and many people don’t know it yet. It’s been brewing for a few years and it’s going to hit public entities hard in just a few short weeks (January 1, 2018). Nonpublic entities get a little more time to prepare: January 1, 2019. It’s coming fast though.

Dec 07, 2017
Industries: Construction and Real Estate, Health Care, Manufacturing and Distribution, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Adam Mueller

> Read More

Take Advantage of Opportunities for R&D Tax Credits

Contrary to popular belief, the research tax credit isn’t limited to high-tech, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies.  Many businesses do not realize that many of the day-to-day activities associated with agriculture and farming fit within the definition of activities that qualify for the R&D tax credit. Recent court cases have confirmed that businesses no longer are required to develop technology that is new to their industry; instead, the regulations now require that the technology or process be new to the taxpayer.

 

Dec 05, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Valerie K. Fedie

> Read More

2017 Pennsylvania Budget Bill Summary

On October 30, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed additional legislation (House Bill 542) to address the state’s $2.3 billion budget deficit. Estimated revenue derived from this bill is approximated at $1.6 billion, with $1.5 billion generated by borrowing against future revenues due to Pennsylvania from the 1998 national tobacco settlement. Some significant changes to Pennsylvania’s tax code as adopted in this legislation are discussed herein. 

Dec 05, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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Pretax Payroll Deductions of Insurance Benefits - IRS Requirements and Documentation

In order to deduct insurance benefits on a pretax basis, employers are required by the IRS to adopt a formal Section 125 plan document, provide a summary plan description (SPD) to employees, and distribute a new SPD once every five years if there have been any material changes.

Nov 28, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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Catastrophes: Before You Have a Loss and Need Help, Scrutinize Your Coverage

Natural disasters, hacker-directed malware and ransomware, explosions, fire, equipment failures, and a myriad of other hazards can leave a business in hardship. Manufacturers and distributors are especially vulnerable. For many, the physical losses are compounded by a loss of sales and accompanying profits. Yet, vulnerabilities can be partially mitigated through the use of business interruption, contingent business interruption, and extra expense insurance coverage.

Nov 28, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Governance & Risk, Consulting
By: Allen E. Jacque, William Metzdorff

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Avoiding ERP Implementation Disaster: Five Best Practices to Ensure Success for Your Portfolio Companies

When the topic of ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation comes up among private equity firms, you’re sure to hear a host of horror stories. More often than not, things go badly and become costly, delaying and/or reducing the expected benefits. Yet ERP implementation across all portfolio companies doesn’t have to be problematic or painful.

Nov 28, 2017
Industries: Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jason Muhlstein

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New Revenue Recognition Standard’s Impact on Dealerships

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a new accounting standard for revenue recognition, “ASC 606: Revenue from Contracts with Customers.”  This new standard outlines a single, comprehensive, principles-based model and replaces the current revenue recognition guidance under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP). 

 

 

Nov 17, 2017
Industries: Dealerships
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steve Hewitt

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5 Succession Planning Questions Every Family Business Owner Must Consider

Succession planning for family business owners is one of the most talked-about areas of financial planning — but it is often poorly executed or even overlooked altogether.

Article co-written by Dean Stange, J.D., CFP(R), Principal and Senior Financial Advisor - Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC

Nov 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Private Wealth Services, Business Advisory
By: David J. Elyashar

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Setting Up Sales Tax in QuickBooks Online

Sales tax is one of the more complicated concepts supported by QuickBooks Online.

However, just because QuickBooks Online can do something doesn’t mean you should attempt it on your own. Sales tax is one of those things. Depending on your geographical location, you may have to charge not only state sales tax, but also county and city/municipality taxes (and sometimes special taxes). If you’re selling products or services to customers in other states, your situation can get very complicated.

We’ll show you some of the mechanics involved, but we strongly recommend that you let us help you with this.

Nov 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Working with QuickBooks’ Vendor Records

It’s important to maintain good relationships with your vendors and suppliers. QuickBooks helps you track your interaction with them.

QuickBooks makes it possible—easy, even—to maintain thorough records of your vendors, the individuals and companies who provide you with office supplies, product parts, computer equipment – everything you need to keep your business operating. Once you’ve started building a vendor record, you’ll be able to use it in transactions and reports, and to simply refer to it when you need some information.

Nov 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Closing the Technology Skills Gap: Lessons From the Classroom

Before considering any new technology implementation, organizations should take an honest and introspective look at how well they are using their existing technology.

Nov 08, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Technology
By: Mark A. Burger

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House Tax Reform Proposal Released

After months of anticipation and speculation, the House has released its version of a comprehensive tax reform bill. The 429-page bill proposes sweeping changes for both businesses and individuals. Some of the key changes are summarized in this article.

Nov 03, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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It’s Almost Year-End. Do You Know Where Your Covenants Are?

One of the most crucial and overlooked parts of signing a debt agreement appears in that small paragraph entitled “Covenants.” It is essential to your organization to monitor your covenants throughout the year so you are not surprised come year-end. Failure to meet covenants could result in varying degrees of action the lender can take, ranging from waiving the violations to more serious consequences.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting

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“I think I see a GAAP in the clouds” – GAAP and Accounting for Cloud Computing Arrangements

For generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to remain relevant in today’s business environment, the FASB must increasingly address new topics. Cloud computing is one such topic. Examples of cloud computing arrangements include software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and other similar hosting arrangements. A new accounting standard, effective for years beginning after December 15, 2015 (calendar year 2016), addressed accounting for cloud computing costs.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Sheila Border

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Risky Business – Doing Business in Other Jurisdictions

As another year draws to an end, people may question whether their businesses must file tax returns in another state. The question is answered by asking whether a business has acquired “nexus” in a state. The determination of nexus affects a business’s financial reporting as well as tax compliance.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Gregory G. Butler, Sheila Border

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Succession Planning: Why NOW Is the Time

Most business owners recognize the need to plan for succession; however, very few have a written plan. A recent study of baby boomer business owners showed 96 percent of them thought an exit strategy was important, yet only 13 percent had a formal plan in place.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory
By: Lisa M. Cribben

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Workplace Fraud: Stats That Will Keep You Skeptical

Fraud happens. It happens to organizations of all sizes and across every industry. It happens even to the best of companies, and often it’s committed by the best of employees. And in almost every instance, businesses hit by occupational fraud say they never dreamed it would happen to them.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Governance & Risk
By: Marc W. Courey

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CECL Methodologies Series: Migration Analysis

This article is the third in our series of articles focusing on the different Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodologies and their pros and cons. The first methodology we looked at was the cumulative loss rate, which was the simplest methodology to use under the new standard, but it will require a great deal of qualitative (Q) factor analysis and will likely result in a higher allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) balance relative to other available methodologies. The second, more complicated methodology we looked at was the vintage loss rate, one of the most discussed CECL models that could still be prepared internally and utilizes data institutions should already collect. In this article, we will explore migration analysis.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Getting Off to the Right Start

Starting off on the right foot is always important, but it is essential when taking an application for a closed-end consumer mortgage loan that is subject to the integrated Truth in Lending Act disclosures, ”Know Before you Owe” or “TRID.” The technicalities of TRID can cause even one error at the time of application to have a snowball effect that impacts the contents of the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Amanda L. Knudsen

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Self-Identification and Prompt Corrective Action – Are You Ready for the New Uniform Consumer Compliance Rating System?

In November of 2016, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council published final guidance revising the consumer compliance rating system used by federal regulators during their compliance examinations effective March 31, 2017. If your institution hasn’t had a compliance examination since April 1, 2017, you may not know how the new Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System will affect your institution’s compliance management system (CMS).  

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Melissa D. Blaser

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Staying on the Right Side of Regulation O

Although Regulation O has been around since the 1930s, it is still sometimes easy to forget some of the requirements. This article includes some common mistakes to avoid and will help keep your Regulation O program compliant.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Teri Downey

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How to Avoid Information Reporting Penalties

The IRS has increased its information reporting penalties. Being on top of the filing requirements can help financial institutions, and all companies, avoid possible penalties. Mistakes can happen though, and when they do, there may be potential relief from the information reporting penalties, should you find yourself in that situation

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
Services: Tax
By: Nicole Meinhardt

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The Case for a Community Reinvestment Act Plan (or why every bank should have one)

When we work with financial institutions on Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) matters, we ask whether they have created a CRA plan. The answers we get range from “Yes” to “Not yet, but it’s on our list of things to do” to “No, and it’s not going to happen!”   

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions

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Where Is Your Center?

What I mean by that is, when you are contemplating a new product or service and the process to support it, who or what do you focus on? What is most important to you? Is it your client? Do you focus on whether it will be profitable? Or is it your employees? As you are reviewing most processes, ultimately your client should be the primary focus, and when you are doing that well, your profits will show it. 

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Susan Kappel

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You’ve Got (Suspicious) Mail: Email Compromise Fraud

The imminent threat posed by cyber attacks is constantly changing and always seems to be top of mind at each institution we visit. One aspect of this threat is how email compromise fraud has evolved over time, becoming more sophisticated and a larger risk to its victims. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced that from 2013 through June 2016 there had been approximately 22,000 reported cases that totaled $3.1 billion. Email compromise fraud has been reported in all 50 states and in 131 countries according to the statistics released by the FBI. Financial institutions should all be aware of the red flags indicating a possible fraudulent attempt and implement preventative measures to protect themselves and their customers or members.

Oct 30, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Nick Bonnema

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ACA Enforcement Has Begun: Are You Ready?

Even as the political rhetoric continues in relation to the Affordable Care Act, the IRS is stepping up enforcement of both the individual mandate, which requires individuals to obtain health insurance, and the employer mandate requiring many employers to offer insurance coverage to their employees and then report on that offer annually to the IRS.

Oct 25, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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QuickBooks Tip - Improving the Use of Reports Sent to Excel

One of the advantages of using QuickBooks is the ability to quickly generate meaningful reports about your business. This is true for both the Desktop and Online versions of QuickBooks. Both versions of QuickBooks have the ability to simply and seamlessly export reports to Microsoft Excel so that data analysis can be taken a step further with the tools and functions that are available within Excel.  Blending the best features of QuickBooks and Excel can be a powerful way to extract and analyze meaningful data about your business.

Ideally, Excel likes data in a list, block, or table-like format with no blank cells. Blank cells can be troublesome, if not downright destructive, when filtering, slicing data, or summarizing information within a pivot table. 

Oct 16, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory
By: Marv Reesor

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Creating Customer Statements in QuickBooks

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

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.

Oct 13, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Are You Using QuickBooks Online's Mobile App?

Even if you don’t travel for work (but especially if you do), you should explore what QuickBooks Online’s mobile app has to offer.

You already know how convenient it is to be able to access your company’s financial data from any desktop or laptop computer that has an internet connection. Still, there are times when you’d like to be able to complete some of your accounting tasks without firing up a full-blown browser and logging on to QuickBooks Online.

Oct 13, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

2017 Wisconsin Budget Bill Updates

On September 21, 2017, the Governor of Wisconsin signed into law the 2017-2019 budget bill (2017 Wisconsin Act 59), which included many changes to the state of Wisconsin’s tax system. The changes affect sales and use taxes, individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, and property taxes.

Oct 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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Five Considerations When You Have a Sales and Use Tax Question and Your Crystal Ball is “Out of Order”

Oh, to live in a world where all sales and use tax questions are easily answered! Unfortunately, such a tax utopia does not currently exist. In reality, sales tax matters can be very complex, with limited state guidance on certain issues. It may be even more difficult to find an answer when your situation is unique. What’s a well-meaning, law-abiding taxpayer to do? This article addresses some ways in which taxpayers go about finding answers to their state and local tax questions and the pitfalls they encounter.

Oct 04, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Tara T. Johnson

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Gotcha! How a state finds a non-filer.

Things that we should be doing are often overshadowed by the activities that we are currently performing and that seem to be working for us. As companies continue to expand their sales across the country, a growing company may not realize the required tax filings needed in the various states. Oftentimes, it may take a state a few years to catch up with a new taxpayer…but eventually they need to pay the piper.


Oct 04, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Jessica L. Macklin

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New Trend in State Sales Taxation – Pennsylvania’s Proposed Warehouse Tax

A growing trend in state sales and use taxation is to extend the state’s sales and use tax rate to currently exempted services in hopes to bring in additional revenue to offset budget deficits.

Oct 04, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

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Seven Noteworthy Trends and Highlights in State and Local Tax

As we march steadily toward year-end (boy, didn’t that happen quickly?), we thought it might be a good time to let you know some of the things that are “going on” in state and local tax. Though it would be impossible to cover everything that has impacted the world of state and local taxes, this article addresses some of the highlights and trends.

Oct 04, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Linda J. Feirn

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Federal Tax Update – Republicans Release a “Unified Framework”

On Wednesday, September 27, the Trump administration and Congressional Republican leaders released their “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code.” We believe the items in bold in the article are most likely to have the biggest impact on you and your business. 

Sep 29, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Tax, Private Wealth Services

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Federal Fuel Tax Credit Subject to IRS Audit

In recent months, the IRS has been conducting “line item correspondence audits” of the fuel tax credit claimed by many farmers on their federal income tax return. 

 

Sep 29, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Nonprofits: Bringing Finance and Accounting to the Cloud

Learn how today’s cloud-based financial management solutions are helping nonprofit organizations solve their biggest challenges and take their missions to the next level.

Sep 22, 2017
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Technology, Consulting
By: Brian Dietz, Shereen Mahoney

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Livestock Disaster Recovery Assistance

It can be difficult to navigate the myriad of options available for disaster relief—and, in some cases, equally difficult to prove eligibility. This article outlines resources, programs, and options and offers tips for ranchers seeking disaster recovery assistance. 

 

Sep 21, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Equifax Data Breach – Is Your Identity at Risk?

With over 143 million records compromised, it is very likely that your personal data was compromised in the Equifax data breach.

Sep 11, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk

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QuickBooks Tip - The Importance of Account Types

The purpose of the chart of accounts is to summarize where money comes from and where it goes. Plain and simple right? Not always, setting up the chart of accounts is crucial when it comes to keeping your financial information in order.

The “account type” is the most important part of setting up the chart of accounts, it helps create reports like a balance sheet and Profit and Loss statement.

Sep 11, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory
By: Dean Klemenz

> Read More

Using QuickBooks' Income Tracker

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

Sep 11, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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About Three Years and Counting

During the next several years, experts project a significant change in the United States payment structure. Regulatory changes as well as a host of other risk areas falling under the scope of enterprise risk management will be in the spotlight due to the massive change. In addition, it will be important to address financial institution payment system connectivity along with that of nonfinancial institutions, including FinTech companies. And for the record, the United States is not alone in the push to expedite payments.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Karen A. Mitchell

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Are the Phones Your Employees Using to Contact Consumers Subjecting the Financial Institution to Compliance With the Telephone Consumer Protections Act?

At the recent ABA Compliance Conference in Orlando, Florida, I had the opportunity to hear Jonathan Thessin, Senior Counsel, American Bankers Association, speak on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). I had one of those “Aha!” moments when he was explaining one of the 2015 changes to the broad definition of “autodialer” and how financial institutions could be using one and not realize it.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Cindy L. Mabry

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CECL Methodologies Series: Vintage Loss Rate

In our last newsletter, we began a series of articles that will focus on the different Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodologies and their pros and cons. The first methodology we looked at was the cumulative loss rate, CECL Methodologies Series: Cumulative Loss Rate, which is the simplest methodology to use under the new standard, but will require a great deal of qualitative (Q) factor analysis and will likely result in a higher allowance for loan and lease losses (ALLL) balance relative to other available methodologies. In this article, we will explore the vintage loss rate methodology.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

> Read More

Cyber Threat Predictions for 2017

We live in a never-ending game of cat and mouse pitting security professionals and information technology administrators against bad actors out to steal money, corporate secrets, and personal identifiable information (PII). Methods used by bad actors have evolved over the years as security measures have been put in place. 2016 saw a continued rise in phishing and ransomware attacks. If bad actors can find a way to profit from these tactics, 2017 will continue with this trend and introduce newer threats.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Joel R. Lego

> Read More

Does Culture Drive Your Strategic Initiatives?

Strategic planning is a time to harness the thoughts, ideas, and energy of your financial institution’s leaders to identify key strategic issues, develop strategies and actions plans to address those issues, build capacity to implement action plans and create a single-minded team focus on desired outcomes.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Heather L. Debelak

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Historic Tax Credits and the R&D Credit for Financial Institutions

With the current top C-corporation tax rate at 35% and the top individual rate at 39.6% for S-corporation shareholders, many financial institutions actively look for deductions to take some of the bite out of their tax bill. The use of tax credits can be an extremely effective way to reduce tax liability. While tax deductions reduce the amount of taxable income to which the tax rates are applied to figure the liability, tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the tax liability itself. There are a plethora of credits available, but this article will focus on two types of credits that are increasingly being used by financial institutions: historic tax credits and the research credit. 

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brianna N. Komppa

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Improving Your Interest Rate and Liquidity Risk Process

A steep yield curve usually results in strong financial institution net interest margins. Unfortunately, the Great Recession lowered both short- and long-term interest rates to record lows and flattened the yield curve, which decreased net interest margins. For the past eight-plus years, the market has been forecasting higher interest rates. Since November 15, 2016, the Federal Reserve has raised short-term interest rates four times, each by 25 basis points, so short-term interest rates have risen modestly, but less than forecasted. In the same time frame, the 5-year rate in the Treasury curve has not experienced any significant increases at all. This has resulted in a continuing flattening of the yield curve. 

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services

> Read More

Let's Dip Into NDIP for a Refresher

Despite significant changes in the regulatory environment over the past 23 years, the Interagency Statement on Retail Sales of Nondeposit Investment Products (“Interagency Statement”), issued on February 15, 1994, remains unchanged. With the recent implementation of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, however, many banks have taken this as an opportunity to review and freshen up their nondeposit investment products (NDIP) written programs. In this article, we’ll give you a jump start by focusing on the regulatory requirements as they relate to the NDIP program, disclosure obligations, and setting and circumstances. Let’s get started!

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brianna Herder

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Section 314(b) and John Lennon: An Unusual Parallel

The 314(a) process has proven to be an effective tool in many law enforcement investigations. According to the July 2017 FinCEN 314(a) Fact Sheet, the 314(a) program office has processed 3,257 requests to date, relating to 556 cases of terrorism or terrorist financing and 2,701 cases of money laundering. FinCEN’s Section 314(a) reaches out to more than 16,000 financial institutions to locate accounts and transactions of persons who may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. The process enables law enforcement to obtain critical evidence to help advance their investigations.

Aug 25, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Craig E. Johnson

> Read More

Customer Digital Experience: There is more to catch up!

In one of its recent articles, American Banker mentioned that U.S. banks are falling behind in digital adoption as compared to banks in other parts of the world. When we explore this topic further, we find two specific areas where customers would have liked better digital experiences:  account opening and customer service.

Aug 24, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech
By: Girish M. Ramachandra

> Read More

How Come We Don’t Talk Anymore? Getting Your Systems Connected

So what if your systems could magically talk to each other? How much better reporting could you get? How much more time would you have to do actual analysis of the data and be a business advisor? How much more time would you have to think about innovation and increasing value in your organization? This article discusses how you can make steps toward making this dream become a reality.

Aug 23, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Matt Rowley

> Read More

SOC for Cybersecurity: Let Your Stakeholders Know You’re Ready for the Threats

There’s no better way to validate your cybersecurity efforts than with an independent SOC for Cybersecurity exam, and there’s no better way to easily communicate it to all your audiences than with a SOC for Cybersecurity report from an experienced CPA firm.

Aug 23, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Robert D. Cedergren, Torpey White

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Not-for-Profit Revenue Recognition

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an exposure draft that aims to clarify the guidance on determining whether a transfer of assets is a contribution or an exchange transaction and how to distinguish between a conditional and an unconditional contribution. The distinction is substantial because contributions are reported in accordance with FASB Topic 958-605, and exchange transactions are reported in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 606 (a/k/a the “new” revenue recognition standard that applies to contracts with customers). Although the accounting for contributions most commonly affects not-for-profit organizations, this draft proposal would apply to all entities (including business entities) that might receive or make contributions.

Aug 23, 2017
Industries: Nonprofits
By: Stephanie J. Cavadeas

> Read More

Interest Rates: What Goes Down Must Come Up

Increases in interest rates affect all businesses, regardless of size. It is important that businesses understand how changes in interest rates can impact their choices in lending, business expansion decisions, and current operations.

Aug 21, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Dan Fabich

> Read More

Thinking Outside the Net Income Box. How Does Your Organization Measure Success?

While you have to follow some regulatory standards governing how you prepare and present your financial statements, many organizations overlook the fact that they do have a lot of flexibility in what financial data they present in their financial statements. Make sure yours gives you the data necessary to evaluate the truly important aspects of what makes your organization successful.

Aug 21, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

> Read More

Ransomware: Avoiding a Hostage Situation

Ransomware attacks continue to escalate worldwide, causing data loss, downtime, and costly expense to businesses in all industries. Unfortunately, because of the ease of ransomware deployment and the lucrative nature of this type of cybercrime, all businesses must be prepared to prevent attacks and respond to them if affected.

Aug 21, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jeff Olejnik

> Read More

Seven Best Practices for QuickBooks Online

“Best practices” aren’t enforceable rules. They’re simply guidelines businesses commonly follow in one area or another. Even if you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a long time, it’s good to step back and evaluate your actions.

QuickBooks Online has many best practices, some of which may serve multiple purposes, including these:


Aug 19, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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What QuickBooks Sales Orders Are and When to Use Them

When you want to document sales that you can’t (or won’t) fulfill immediately, but you plan to do so in the future, you can’t create an invoice just yet. This is where sales orders come in. If you plan to use sales orders, you must first make sure QuickBooks is set up to accommodate them.

Aug 19, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Retiring From Farming Soon? Proactive Tax Planning Is Critical

Two things are apparent in the world of farming:  Farmers are getting older (the average age of farmers is now 58), and retirement and transition is becoming a major issue in the farming community.

 

Aug 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Edward Megli

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Take 2 – DOL Seeks to Delay Fiduciary Rule Implementation to 2019

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to further postpone the implementation date for the second phase of its investment fiduciary rule by 18 months.

Aug 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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Short-Lived Amnesty Program for Remote Sellers Requires Attention Now - Frequently Asked Questions

The recently drafted plan by the Multistate Tax Commission’s (MTC) Nexus Committee provides a voluntary disclosure program, or amnesty, that would be in effect for 60 days. During this period, businesses that engage in “marketplace sales” through Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or other online marketplaces can come into compliance with state sales tax laws.

Aug 14, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution, Freshwater
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Multistate Tax Commission Announces Special Voluntary Disclosure Program - Businesses Must Act Quickly

State governments continue to pursue remote sellers who sell to consumers in their state. Marketplace facilitators like Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) assist online sellers to facilitate retail sales in states where they have no locations/employees. The facilitators maintain fulfillment centers in various states to store the inventory of the sellers. The maintenance of inventory by the online seller through a marketplace facilitator is sufficient to create nexus. Many online sellers are not aware of this fact.

The Multistate Tax Commission's National Nexus Committee is offering a limited-time voluntary disclosure program, or amnesty, for remote sellers that would be in effect for 60 days.

Aug 14, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution, Freshwater
Services: Tax

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Tax Options for Crop Insurance Proceeds

If Mother Nature hands you crop damage via drought, inability to plant, hail, flooding, or fire and you receive crop insurance proceeds, alternatives for the tax reporting of this income are available. 

 

Aug 10, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness
Services: Tax
By: Curt Barnekoff

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Disaster Recovery Tips for Montana Farmers and Ranchers

In the aftermath of recent wildfires in northeastern Montana, farmers and ranchers are picking up the pieces and rebuilding. During this process, it is important to remember to keep records of losses and expenses, including receipts, pictures, and logs to substantiate losses that may be eligible for disaster assistance programs, as well as to report tax losses on state and federal returns. A number of relief and assistance resources are available to those affected.

 

Aug 03, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness

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Verify Third-Party Security: The Role of SOC 2 Reports

Outsourcing portions of your business to third-party vendors using the cloud and the Internet create great efficiencies for businesses, but they also introduce tremendous challenges. Information that’s stored in the cloud, information stored at a third-party location, and information in transit can put both organizations and their customers at risk. The AICPA’s SOC 2® reports are intended to meet the needs of a broad range of users who need information and assurance about the controls designed and implemented at third-party vendors.

Aug 02, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Robert D. Cedergren, Torpey White

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Getting It Right: Understanding the Updated Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting Standard

Current financial reporting standards for not-for-profit organizations have been in place for nearly 25 years. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the board responsible for setting the standards for not-for-profit organizations, recognized that while existing guidance held up well, some improvements were necessary. The updated standard reflects the desire for not-for-profit organizations to be able to tell their unique story while simultaneously improving relevance, transparency, and comparability for the ease of the intended users. It’s no surprise that over time the needs of intended users of financial statements have changed, thus changing the way information needs to be presented.

Aug 01, 2017
Industries: Governments, Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Stephanie J. Cavadeas

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The Business Associates Path to HITRUST CSF Certification

The Health Information Trust (HITRUST) Alliance developed the Common Security Framework (CSF) in 2007 to give health care organizations a comprehensive set of baseline security controls.This whitepaper presents the key measures and corresponding activities business associates can expect to encounter along the path to HITRUST CSF certification.

Jul 28, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Paul J. Johnson

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Colorado Use Tax Notice and Reporting Requirements Effective July 1, 2017

A Colorado law passed in 2010 aimed at significantly increasing sales and use tax remittance in the state took effect July 1, 2017, after many years of litigation. The law targets “non-collecting retailers,” better known as “remote sellers,” that sell tangible personal property into the state of Colorado but do not have a physical presence in the state to collect and remit sales and use tax. The Colorado Department of Revenue adopted an emergency rule effective July 1 and intends to promulgate a permanent rule later in the year.

Jul 11, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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Receiving Payments in QuickBooks Online

It’s perhaps one of your favorite activities in QuickBooks Online: recording money that comes in. Are you doing it right?

Jul 07, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Working with Checks in QuickBooks

Online banking may get all the headlines, but a lot of small businesses still prefer paper checks. QuickBooks can accommodate them.

Jul 07, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Illinois Budget Bill Enacted

The Illinois General Assembly passed the state’s spending plan yesterday, July 6, with an override of Governor Rauner’s veto. The legislation enacts quite a few changes, which are a mix of tax increases and tax credit extensions.

Jul 07, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax

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Looking for Reliable Cybersecurity Guidance? Start Here.

At first blush, it may seem odd that the words CPA and cybersecurity would appear in the same sentence together. The fact is, the public accounting profession has long been active in helping organizations address information security.

Jul 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Robert D. Cedergren, Torpey White

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Your Best Guess: Estimates in Accounting

To outsiders, the world of accounting seems very cut and dry. However, quality estimation is a critical part of financial reporting and is an exercise undertaken routinely.

Jun 27, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Bryan Johnson

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401(k) Plans – Always Room for Improvement

Offering a retirement plan can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, decisions an employer can make. By following these best practices and having the proper benefits in place, an employer can both operate its plan smoothly and efficiently and attract the right employees.

Jun 27, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Kayla M. Hembel

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Is it Time for a Mid-Year Resolution?

For calendar year-end organizations, June marks the mid-year. The mid-year period can serve as a refresher and call to focus topics that, if addressed now, can ease the year-end audit season and help firm up reported amounts to help round out the year. Here are a few areas that may be worth consideration during the summer months.

Jun 27, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Jim Hyland

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House Passes Mobile Workforce Taxation Bill

Under current law, it is extremely difficult for companies to comply with current state withholding rules. If this bill also passes the Senate and becomes law, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act (H.R. 1393) would simplify a national patchwork of interlocking obligations for employers who send employees over state lines to perform work. 

Jun 23, 2017
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

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The DOL Fiduciary Rule...Maybe Not As Bad As You Think

Unless you’ve been in solitary confinement or otherwise “off the grid” in the world of wealth management and retirement accounts, you have probably heard of the Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Rule, more commonly known as “the Fiduciary Rule.” The Fiduciary Rule was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016, became effective on June 7, 2016, and had an original applicability date of April 10, 2017, with a phased implementation period ending on January 1, 2018. Original time frames were established under President Obama’s administration, but after President Trump took office in January, things began to get “interesting” – for lack of a better term.

Jun 21, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Bryan Meddings

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BSA/AML Risk Management and Electronic Banking

Just as certain products and services offered by financial institutions pose a heightened level of risk, how customers interact with those products and services also alters the levels of associated risk, as well as the regulatory expectations for risk mitigation.  Financial institutions should consider all indicators of risk when evaluating methods of risk mitigation.  In this article, we will focus on electronic banking.  E-banking continues to become exponentially more important to the financial industry, both in terms of serving customers and presenting new challenges from a regulatory and risk standpoint.  

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Nick Bonnema

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CECL Methodologies Series: Cumulative Loss Rate

In a recent article, CECL:  Getting Started, we looked at setting specific milestones to help guide management teams through the CECL implementation process. The first milestone we suggested was to investigate available CECL methodologies. In the next several articles, we will explore some of the different methodologies and their pros and cons, starting in this article with the cumulative loss rate methodology.

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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ESOPs: Align Employee Interests With Long-Term Business Goals and Succession Planning

More and more companies are struggling to attract and retain good employees. Today’s younger generations are not committed to or even looking for a lifelong career, and it is getting harder to find and keep good people. The workforce is changing, and in order to stay competitive, business owners are going to have to offer more benefits and flexibility than ever before. 

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Nicole L. Stewart

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Have You Considered Your Redlining Risk Recently?

Those of us who have been in banking for a few decades remember some of the earlier redlining cases of the 1990s, which until recently seemed to be a thing of the past, a dark point in our history. But the recent uptick in enforcement activity involving redlining should cause us to stop and take another look at the geographies and communities from which we take applications and in which we originate loans.  

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Melissa D. Blaser

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Internal Controls – Back to the Basics

Performing a thorough, quality internal control risk assessment, documenting management internal controls, and identifying missing control points are rigorous tasks that all organizations, including financial institutions, are challenged with on an ongoing basis. Bank executives, regulators, boards of directors, and external auditors are all very invested in internal controls. Strong, well-thought-out internal controls are not just for Fortune 100 companies, they are also important for local community financial institutions.  

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: John Schroeder

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E-mail Compromise – Is Your Institution Vulnerable? Do You Know How to Report It?

On September 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) updated its Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Key Advisory Terms to add a new key term. FinCEN periodically issues these advisories to provide institutions with guidance on potential threats that may affect the U.S. financial banking system. The advisories also provide guidance to financial institutions on preparing SARs related to the covered activity. This article will discuss the details of the September 2016 advisory, including SAR preparation tips. The most recent advisory term addition, e-mail compromise, was the result of a recent spate of compromised personal and business e-mail accounts. According to the FBI, there have been approximately 22,000 reported cases involving $3.1 billion since 2013. These scams not only hit businesses and individuals but also financial institutions directly. The scams present themselves as follows: Business e-mail compromise (BEC) fraud, which means the cyber criminal is targeting a financial institution's commercial customers, and e-mail account compromise (EAC), which involves a victim's personal accounts. 

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Robin Guthridge

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What You Should Know Before Outsourcing Bank Services

Have you outsourced or are you thinking of outsourcing any banking services?  If so, here are some things to consider. 

The federal regulators actually have an act called The Bank Service Company Act (the “Act”), which was first introduced in 1962.  

Jun 20, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions
By: Teri Downey

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How to Keep Your QuickBooks Data Safe

We can’t overstate the vital importance of protecting your QuickBooks company file, especially your customer and payroll information. Whether someone steals it or it’s inaccessible for another reason, it’s gone. Keeping your business going after such a loss would be very difficult – maybe even impossible.

Here’s what we suggest to prevent that.

Jun 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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SOC 2 Reporting and HITRUST CSF Leveraging the Best Path to Assurance

Business associates can agree that providing assurances of the protection of systems and data is the right thing to do. Some of the biggest names in health care require that their business associates adopt the new HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) Assurance Program.

Jun 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Paul J. Johnson

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Recording Simple Expenses in QuickBooks Online

Keeping track of your outgoing funds can be challenging, since there are so many ways to complete those transactions. But it’s important that all expenses are recorded correctly and consistently, to keep your company file accurate. In addition, so many of your expenses are tax-deductible. You don’t want to miss any of them.

Jun 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Making Cybersecurity a Business Priority: Can You Handle the Risks?

Cybersecurity has become a nonnegotiable responsibility for companies of every size and in every industry. That’s because cybercriminals are equal opportunity offenders. Today’s organizations must continually identify risks and diligently mitigate them in order to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information systems and overall infrastructures. This includes protecting customer data and especially applies to all third-party relationships.

Jun 05, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Robert D. Cedergren, Torpey White

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Hospital-Physician Leasing Arrangements: If You’ve Seen One, You’ve Seen One

Structuring legally compliant hospital-physician leases and establishing fair market value (FMV) rental rates can be challenging. This is especially true given that scrutiny has increased greatly over the past decade, with the government taking aim at fraud and questionable arrangements and more fervently enforcing the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). When regulatory and reimbursement pressures are combined with the wide variety of leasing arrangements, it’s easy to see why obtaining an independent valuation can be a prudent move.

May 25, 2017
Industries: Health Care
Services: Business Advisory
By: Lisa M. Cribben, Francis P. Egan

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Succession Planning: A Critical Talent Retention Strategy

From the regulators to the board of directors, to bank executives to human resources leaders, succession planning and talent retention is a hot topic!  Not only is finding quality talent a challenge faced by every organization in every industry at every level, but retaining that highly sought after talent has also become a significant challenge—particularly for the banking industry.

May 24, 2017
Industries: Financial Services, Financial Institutions
By: Julia A. Johnson

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Cost Segregation Studies: Understanding the Application of Income Tax Analysis to Property Tax and Sales Tax Reporting

To get the most state-tax-favorable treatment for your construction project, it is important to understand the potential integration between the cost segregation study and sales and property taxes. Understanding your study will ensure that your company will use the information from the study to properly report both sales/use and property taxes. Used properly, the cost segregation study may also provide valuable substantiation for property and sales tax opportunities available to your organization.

May 23, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Demystifying Out-of-State Sales Tax Registration

Companies should be reviewing their sales tax filing requirements in other states regularly, even long before they hire their first out-of-state employee. We find that companies may not think this is necessary because of two misunderstandings that occur with regard to filing requirements.

May 23, 2017
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Handling a Sales and Use Tax Audit: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You

You didn’t ask for it, but you have been selected for and notified of a sales tax audit! You immediately ask yourself, “What should I do?”  While the requested lists of records and documents that will be reviewed appear straightforward, there is much more to handling a sales tax audit. There are a lot of potential pitfalls during the interaction with auditors that may occur as you address the questions they typically ask. 

May 23, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Minnesota Provides Up-Front Sales Tax Exemption on Capital Equipment

Minnesota law allows a sales and use tax exemption at the time of purchase on qualified capital equipment; previously a purchaser was required to file a refund claim for any tax paid at time of purchase. 

May 23, 2017
Services: Tax
By: Jessica L. Macklin

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Sales Tax and Technology Solutions: Accepting the Mission Impossible

An often overlooked item in a software and technology implementation is the sales tax treatment of the transaction. This article features 10 tips to help you navigate the complex sales tax world of technology solutions.

 

May 18, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Linda J. Feirn

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An Influence Strategy for Changing Patient Behavior

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could send patients home from the hospital or physician’s office and count on them to follow through with all the recommendations for how to finish their healing, improve a chronic health condition, or increase their overall health status? Let’s face it, health is a complex concept. It’s even more complicated (and costly) to manage the health status of someone with multiple health or chronic conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic disease accounts for approximately 75 percent of the nation's aggregate health care spending or an estimated $5,300 per person in the U.S. each year. For those covered under Medicare, 96 cents per dollar is spent on managing chronic disease and for those covered by Medicaid, its 83 cents per dollar. Chronic disease and the nation’s aging population, combined with other existing risk factors (tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity), lead to the conclusion that we must do a better job of changing patient behaviors if we are to improve our country’s health status.

May 18, 2017
Industries: Health Care
By: Tina Nazier

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WannaCry Delivers a Wake-up Call

A global ransomware attack called WannaCry was launched on May 12 to exploit a known vulnerability in Windows SMB and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This malware targeted networks in health care and critical infrastructure throughout at least 99 countries, with the bulk of infections reported in Russia, Taiwan, and Spain. Infected users’ computers were encrypted, and the users were instructed to pay a ransom for the decryption key. 

Despite this widespread event, the reality is that ransomware itself is nothing new. However, because of the numbers affected in this recent event, the size of the attack, and the velocity of its spread, WannaCry has caught attention of the media and consequently of business executives.

May 17, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk

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Getting to Know QuickBooks Online Reports

QuickBooks Online’s home page only tells part of the story. You also need more in-depth, customizable reports. In the short term, reports help you further determine any necessary accounting work. Long-term, they’ll provide insight to help you make smarter decisions as you plan for your company’s future.

May 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Receiving Customer Payments: Your Options

The process of receiving customer payments is one of your more enjoyable responsibilities. You supplied a product or service that someone liked and purchased, and you’re getting the money due you. Depending on the situation, you’ll use one of multiple methods to record customer payments. Here’s a look at some of your options

May 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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The American Health Care Act (AHCA) Passed the House in a 217 to 213 Vote

The House of Representatives has passed the AHCA, the bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill must now pass the Senate.  

May 05, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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5 Reasons to Conduct Penetration Tests

Want an eye-opening view of your institution’s true vulnerability? Conduct penetration (pen) testing. Pen testing, when performed by experienced, qualified, and ethical hackers, can either give you peace of mind and allow you to sleep well or show you weaknesses that will keep you up at night. Whatever the outcome, organizations are always glad they conducted a pen test.

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Jeff Olejnik

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A Tip of the Hat to My Favorite Columnist, Mike Royko

Recently I was having lunch with my old pal Slats Grobnick, Jr., you know the one who got all huffy about the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Slats has been promoted to chief lending officer overseeing commercial and consumer lending.  He was bemoaning all of the rules relating to notifying loan applicants about the decision.  Each sentence started out, “When I was a commercial lender . . . .”  We are really good friends, so I bit my tongue and proceeded to give him my elevator speech on Regulation B.   

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: John Moniak

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Elder Financial Exploitation: The Crime of the 21st Century

Elder financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property, or assets.  Studies suggest that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse, yet only a small fraction of incidents are reported, just one in 44 cases according to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA).

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Craig E. Johnson

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Medical Information: Does Your Financial Institution Have a Policy and Procedures?

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) included rules governing medical information protections.  In November 2005, the federal agencies finalized these rules, and they became effective in April 2006.  The rules are codified now in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (Regulation V), 12 CFR Part 1022, sections 1022.30 to 1022.32.  Despite the fact that these rules have been around for more than 10 years, when we visit financial institutions and ask for their policy and procedures regarding the proper use of medical information, we are usually informed there is nothing documented for us to review.

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Cindy L. Mabry

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Not Just For Sale–Disposing of OREO Properties

Most financial institutions have worked their way out of holding other real estate properties.  However, there are times when a bank may hold a property on its books that it can’t seem to find the right buyer for.  There are several other options available to dispose of these properties.  One way is to donate the property to a qualified charitable organization that could benefit from the donation.    

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Lindsey L. Sabelko

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Overcoming Resistance to Change

When individuals at your financial institution learn about plans to change the status quo, many are likely to react with cynicism and skepticism, either vocally or privately. While these people may seem like they are just being negative or not seeing the big picture, their reactions might be quite rational and deserved. 

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Jeffrey H. Wulf

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RegTech – New Opportunities From the World of FinTech

The term FinTech has recently become frequent newsworthy focus.  Likewise, through innovation, the term RegTech is also emerging as industry jargon.  In the financial services industry, the two terms are often considered to be related.

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services

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Some Big (And Not So Big) Changes Ahead

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issues new accounting standards each year in an effort to continually improve the usefulness of accounting standards generally accepted in the United States (GAAP).  Since 2014, the FASB has finalized three key Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs), concluding its work on some longstanding projects.  These are not some marginal adjustments to existing guidance; these standards will bring about fundamental changes in how organizations account for elements that haven’t changed all that much for decades.  Financial institutions need to understand the impact these ASUs and related Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topics will have on their financial statements and their operations so they can properly plan and implement necessary changes.

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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What About Those "Other" Higher Risk Customers?

The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements for customer and enhanced due diligence are the cornerstone of a strong BSA/AML compliance program.  Customer due diligence procedures are critical to your institution to aid in detecting and reporting unusual or suspicious transactions that potentially expose your institution to financial loss, increased expenses, or reputation risk; avoiding criminal exposure from persons who use or attempt to use your institution’s products and services for illicit purposes; and adhering to safe and sound banking practices.  

May 01, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Tracy Bush

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ASC 606: The Devil Is in the Details – Six Key Considerations to Take Away From the New Revenue Recognition Standard

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) completed its revenue recognition project by issuing Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which can be found in the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606.

This article will cover six topics within ASC 606 that will likely impact your organization.  

Apr 28, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Joshua J. Boyle, Brad Werner

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Trump Makes Opening Bid for Biggest Tax Cut in U.S. History

President Trump announced the broad outlines of what he is calling “the biggest tax cut” in U.S. history on Wednesday. While the plan is short on specific details, it provides a clear indication that upcoming tax reform negotiations are going to center on simplifying the tax code and reducing business tax burdens.  

Apr 27, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Tax

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Data Analytics – How ready are you to become a data scientist?

The world is changing, and data analytics is a frequent topic when we are making business decisions. Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said in an article that the world’s first trillionaire will be a person who invests in artificial intelligence (AI). So what is AI, and how do data analytics fit in? 

Apr 19, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Richard McClure

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HITRUST: What You Should Know About Using Third-Party Tools - Part 4

This series has already explored potential solutions that support five of the 19 CSF Assessment domains. Today’s article dives into another two domains.

Apr 13, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jason J. Papador

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Are You Memorizing Transactions? Should You Be?

QuickBooks contains a shortcut to recurring tasks, called Memorized Transactions. You can save the details that remain the same every time, and use that template every time the bill or invoice is due, which can save a lot of time and improve accuracy. Here’s how it works.

Apr 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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American Health Care Act (AHCA) - Does it have a future?

The AHCA draft was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee on March 9, 2017. The bill was scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and went through a number of amendments and rescoring and was scheduled to be voted on by the full House on March 27, which was delayed to March 28 as negotiations for changes continued. The vote was ultimately canceled late on March 28. The bill had failed to get the support necessary to pass the House.

Apr 04, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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By the Numbers: A Look at Overseas Expansion

There’s a lot of press about corporate inversions and losing jobs to other countries. But there’s another side of this story, and it’s the significant benefits of exporting as a way to growth.

Mar 16, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Tax, Consulting, Audit and Accounting
By: Kelly M. Fisher

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Setting Up Users in QuickBooks

When you add new employees to the mix, do you want them to have access to absolutely everything in QuickBooks? Probably not. You have confidence in your employees or you wouldn’t have hired them, but this isn’t solely a matter of trust. It’s just good business practice to restrict individuals to specific areas and responsibilities--no matter what the application.

That’s why QuickBooks has built-in tools to help you limit activity. Here’s how it works.

Mar 07, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Your First Hour with QuickBooks Online

Whether you’re just launching a business or you’re going online with an existing company, take some time to get acquainted with QuickBooks Online.

Mar 05, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Quiz: Are You Smarter Than a Fraudster?

Given the enormity of the risk and costs and the prevalence of frauds occurrence, how fraud savvy do you believe you are? Take this short quiz to determine whether you can outsmart a fraudster. 

Mar 03, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory
By: Marc W. Courey

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Audit Committee: Keeping Your Organization Running at the Top of Its Game

The culture of compliance is rapidly evolving, and while public companies have been directly impacted, private companies, governments, and not-for-profits are also feeling the effects of change. Governing bodies are directly responsible for organizational governance and oversight; however, a well-functioning audit committee can be a substantial component in improving overall governance and compliance.

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Stephanie J. Cavadeas, Brian Walczak

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FASB 2017-01 Business Combinations (Topic 805): Clarifying the Definition of a Business

New guidance issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in January 2017 revises the definition of a business. If you are wondering whether this will have any effect on your organization, the definition of a business affects many areas of accounting, including acquisitions, disposals, goodwill, and consolidation. The new standard will affect all entities that must determine whether they have acquired/sold a business.

This revision in the definition is anticipated to result in far fewer business combinations and more asset acquisitions.

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Private Equity, Nonprofits, Manufacturing and Distribution, Insurance, Health Care, Governments, Freshwater, Financial Services, Financial Institutions, Dealerships, Construction and Real Estate, Agribusiness, FinTech
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Sheila Border

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Materiality - What Is It Good For?

No, the answer is not “absolutely nothing.” Materiality is something that we come across in our everyday lives whether we recognize it or not. For example, if the speed limit is 65 miles an hour, and you are driving 66 miles an hour, would you be surprised if you were pulled over and issued a citation? Probably so. You might argue that you were not “materially” exceeding the speed limit, right?

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

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Accounting Methods Can Save Your Bank Money

When was the last time you looked at your accounting methods for tax purposes as a strategy to save money?  Does this question make you ask yourself, What is an accounting method and when did I make an election for it?  Many banks do not realize that they have made an accounting method election because it is done on the first tax return, and most banks do not revisit the election as they continue to grow.  

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Jessica H. Mac Naughton

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CECL: Getting Started

We know the Current Expected Credit Loss model (CECL) will be effective starting in 2020 for public institutions and 2021 for all other institutions, and we know it will be a significant change to the current process each institution uses to estimate its allowance for loan losses. The real question is, How do we implement a new model that is so different from what we are accustomed to seeing and using?

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Don’t Lose Sleep Over Your HMDA LAR

It’s that time of year again.  If you are responsible for filing your financial institution’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Loan Application Register (LAR), you just finished reviewing it for accuracy and correcting errors prior to submission.  For some, it was an easy seamless process, but for others, year after year, it seems to take weeks away from other duties and leaves them worrying about what errors have gone undetected.

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Melissa D. Blaser

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Are Your Incentive Programs Exposing You to UDAAP Risks?

With the recent fines and consent order issued to Wells Fargo, financial institutions are taking a look at their sales culture and incentive programs.  In response to the Wells Fargo findings, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin November 28, 2016, titled “Detecting and Preventing Consumer Harm from Production Incentives,” informing financial institutions of the risks of consumer harm that may result from poorly established and managed incentive programs

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Shelley Foster

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New Year, New BSA Focus?

The decorations are put away, holiday time with friends and family was enjoyed, and another year in the banking business is well underway.  Where will you spend your compliance time and dollars this year?  Regardless of the number of regulations and changes in the regulatory world, one area should be firmly entrenched in every institution’s compliance resource plan every year, and that’s the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Maureen Fassbinder

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Seven Ways to Be a Great Banker in the Future

The pace of change in the financial services industry is accelerating faster than many bankers can imagine.  The millennial generation will soon dominate our customer demographics and our workforce. The upcoming and eminent evolution of financial products, services, and payment methods will likely create a new prototype of a “great banker.”  

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: David Bue

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Troubled Debt Restructuring and Agricultural Lending – How Subjective Is It?

Most financial institutions had a good understanding of troubled debt restructuring (TDR) during the “work-out” years, 2009–2011. Most of the credits were commercial real estate or land development loans, and it was relatively easy to identify them as TDRs. There was little doubt that the borrowers were experiencing financial difficulties, and it was also obvious that the financial institutions were making a concession in most work-out situations. Now that most of the troubled commercial real estate and land development loans have been worked out with an improved economy, financial institutions who are involved in agricultural lending are dealing with TDR determinations on Ag credits that have underperformed due to low commodity prices.  

Mar 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Doug Wynveen

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What the Internet of Things (IoT) Means to the Future of Discrete Manufacturing

Microsoft reports that 79 percent of today’s manufacturing leaders are using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with 82 percent of them reporting increases in operational efficiency and improved product quality. Are you leveraging the IoT to your best advantage? This eBook explains the benefits manufacturers are realizing in many areas of their operation by using the IoT—and what it means to you.

Mar 01, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Mark Stevens

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Why Change Management Is Key To Technology Implementation Success

A technology initiative’s success depends largely on effective change management. Too often, leaders assume people are ready for new projects, rather than actively preparing personnel for coming changes. Using a change management approach helps a company get the most value from technology investments, while keeping personnel engaged and motivated.

Feb 28, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jeffrey H. Wulf

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How ERM Can Enhance Your Insurance Investment

Given the volume of attention and buzz that regulators, credit rating agencies, the SEC, consultancies, Fortune 500 firms, insurance brokers, and others are creating about risk management and ERM in particular, you may be left wondering is ERM best practice, required practice, or a  practice in futility? Let’s cut through the ERM buzz so you can determine if an ERM program could enhance your organization’s financial, operational, compliance, and/or risk management results while also enhancing and supplementing the value your insurance program provides. 

Feb 23, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Robert D. Cedergren

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The Future of Fiduciary - What You Should Know Now

The President has instructed the DOL to review the regulation and, pending the results of its analysis, start the process of developing a new version of the rule or repealing it altogether.

Feb 15, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

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Establishing Preferences in QuickBooks

QuickBooks was designed to serve the needs of millions of small businesses. To do that, it had to include the tools and processes suitable for a wide variety of companies. But Intuit recognized that every organization is unique, so your copy of QuickBooks can be customized in ways that make it work best for you.

Feb 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Using Custom Fields and Classes in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online's tools are generic enough that myriad businesses can use it. However, custom fields and classes help you shape it to meet your specific needs.

Feb 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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2017 Payroll Update

We are pleased to provide this list of updates and reminders regarding payroll. The information below includes federal updates; however, some state-specific information has been included.

Feb 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Outsourcing

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What's the Cost of Putting Off an ERP Decision?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a valuable tool for any job shop interested in streamlining processes for better data management, sharing, and optimization across all departments. Unfortunately, many job shops do not include ERP implementation in their business strategy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is allegiance to—and comfort with—outdated processes. This could be detrimental to production, planning, and ROI. A cloud-based ERP helps streamline and optimize processes to save time and money throughout the organization.

Feb 01, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Mark Stevens

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Five Mistakes Companies Make In Managing Customer-Provided Exemption Certificates

Too often, exemption certificates take a back seat in a company’s sales tax compliance procedures, when a proper system can protect the company from significant liability. Here are five of the most common mistakes we see.

Jan 24, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Linda J. Feirn

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Most Common Sales and Use Tax Audit Adjustments

Sales and use tax audits are common these days and on the rise. More and more states are hiring auditors to find unreported taxes. What could you expect during a sales and use tax examination?

Jan 24, 2017
Services: Tax
By: Tara T. Johnson, Austin DeMoss

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SALT-ED Q&A: My vendor is being audited and I'm being asked for information. What should I do?

A concern frequently addressed by Wipfli’s State and Local Tax Practice Group relates to a client’s vendor being audited. This article answers the question, ‘My vendor is being audited, and I’m being asked for information. What should I do?'

Jan 24, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Top Ten Red Flags for a Sales Tax Audit

The following ‘top ten’ list is designed to help make you aware of the most common items/actions that could trigger or increase the likelihood of a possible sales tax audit.

Jan 24, 2017
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Why Company Credit Cards Can Become a Sales Tax Audit Nightmare

We'll discuss why credit cards can become a sales tax audit nightmare (or at least a bad dream) and what should be done about it.

Jan 24, 2017
By: Linda J. Feirn

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Excel: The Power of a Grid

Excel. Some people love it, some despise it, and many fall somewhere in the middle. Often, users build bad habits in working with Excel that lead to an inefficient use of the tool or dissatisfaction with it. Yet by changing a few habits and unlocking your imagination about everything it can accomplish, you will discover that Excel can fully be the software you need it to be. This article provides ways to stop those bad habits and start unleashing the power of Excel.

Jan 17, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Dealerships, Construction and Real Estate, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Private Equity, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, FinTech
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Richard McClure

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GAAP - The Year in Review

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) had another busy year, issuing 18 Accounting Standards Updates (ASU). This article highlights five of the 18 U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) standards, as well as a few earlier standards that now have approaching effective dates or that you may want to consider for early adoption.

Whether you work in the health care, financial institution, manufacturing, nonprofit, or another industry, many of these ASUs could potentially impact your organization and have a direct effect on your annual financial reporting.

Jan 10, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Donna Mae Huss, Sheila Border

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Keys to Minimizing Surprises in Your Audit

If you “love” surprises, you probably have never had anything bad happen to you in your life. Life is full of surprises. In an ideal world, we would maximize the “good” surprises and minimize the “bad” surprises, right? This article focuses on the latter, specifically those in your year-end audit.

Jan 10, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

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Understanding the New Lease Guidance

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02 Leases (Topic 842). Topic 842 defines a lease as “a contract, or part of a contract, that conveys the right to control the use of identified property, plant, or equipment (an identified asset) for a period of time in exchange for consideration.”

Jan 10, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting

> Read More

HITRUST: What You Should Know About Using Third-Party Tools - Part 3

In this continuing article series, Wipfli explores the list of HITRUST CSF assessment domains and describes the potentially beneficial compliance tools the firm has encountered most frequently.

Jan 10, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jason J. Papador

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Anatomy of a QuickBooks Inventory Item

QuickBooks can help you create thorough records for each product you sell. It keeps track of how much you have on hand and warns you when your stock is running low. And its reports tell you what’s selling and what’s not, so you can make better, smarter purchasing decisions.

Jan 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Use Recurring Transactions in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online can reduce the time you spend on accounting chores: recurring transactions. If you have invoices, bills, and other transactions that occur on a regular basis, you can save all or part of their data to use again. You can even choose to have them dispatched automatically.

Jan 06, 2017
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Harness the Power of Business Intelligence For Better Decision Making and More Effective Collaboration

Business intelligence technology is now cheaper, the development time is faster, and the tool is intuitive. Manufacturers are eager to unleash the potential buried in their data asset and are ready for the right BI system to help them. Learn how today’s BI can help you find the insights to run and improve your business.

Jan 03, 2017
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Mark Stevens

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Assess the Quality and Priorities of Your Boards Governance

In a U.S. CEO Outlook Directors Quarterly published in July of 2016 by KPMG, the article “It’s Now or Never” highlighted the finding that two-thirds of CEOs polled believe that the next three years will be more critical than the last 50 years. Of course, that publication was before the recent U.S. presidential election!

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services

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Banking Marijuana-Related Businesses in 2017 and Beyond

While many people were watching the elections in November to witness who would be the next President, other important ballots were on the table across the country to legalize recreational and/or medicinal marijuana usage.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Helen Touchton

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CECL Governance

The Current Expected Credit Loss model (CECL) is top of mind for most financial institution executives—if it isn’t, it probably should be.  As we’ve discussed previously, the accounting standard that introduced CECL is going to be one of the most significant changes to financial institution accounting in at least a generation.

Jan 02, 2017
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Deferred Tax Asset-Liability Valuation

Given all the discussion of tax reform in Washington, D.C., financial institutions should understand how tax reform, if passed, may affect their financial statements.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Traci J. Hollister

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Discovering How To Become Lean

How many times do employees come to you with a problem, looking to you to come up with the solution even though they know their job better than anyone? If this happens more frequently than you would like, you are not alone. This article will offer some insights on how to increase efficiency by teaching your employees how to be lean.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Susan Kappel

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How Blockchain Could Influence the Way We See the World of Finance

A blockchain is a distributed database hosted across different computers across the globe, which maintains a continuously growing list of records called “blocks” secured from tampering and revision.  Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block, which makes each one of them very unique and immutable.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services, FinTech
By: Girish M. Ramachandra

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Moving From Holiday Shopping to Processing Regulation E Error Disputes

It’s that time of year again. As we move past Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a month’s long slog through various sales, deals, and steals, we move into a period of higher incidence of Regulation E error disputes. Unfortunately, along with the increase in shopping and holiday cheer, there is also an increase in fraud and stolen debit cards. With this in mind, now is a great time to revisit internal procedures, as well as follow up with personnel to ensure they are acting appropriately and within the confines of consumer regulations.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Nick Bonnema

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New Year Resolutions for Financial Institutions in 2017

It’s that time of year again and many of the same resolutions from my New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 still apply, including but by no means limited to those concerning cybersecurity, BSA and AML, CECL, credit underwriting, and consumer regulation.

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Sara Mikuta

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Tax Reform and Tax Planning for 2017

Today is the start of a new year, and one that comes with many questions.  What will the new diet fads be for New Year’s resolutions?  What will be the new popular trends for 2017?  What will happen to interest rates?  And what will happen with tax reform?

Jan 02, 2017
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Kimberly Massopust

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2016 Year-End Compensation Accruals

The deductibility of year-end compensation accruals varies by the type of business and the relationship of the worker to the business.

Dec 28, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Private Equity, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting, Tax, Business Advisory

> Read More

2016 Year-End Compensation Accruals

The deductibility of year-end compensation accruals varies by the type of business and the relationship of the worker to the business. Learn the general rules for deduction in this Wipfli Alerts & Updates article.

Dec 28, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Small Employers Can Use HRAs and Reimburse for Individual Health Insurance Premiums

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law in December of 2016. The legislation allows small employers to implement a standalone Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) so employers can provide funds to employees to help pay for medical care expenses.

Dec 22, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Clarification Regarding the U.S. Department of Labor Letter on Quality Audits of Benefit Plans

Organizations with 401(k) and other benefit plans that require an annual audit will likely receive a letter via email from the Department of Labor emphasizing the importance of audit quality and due diligence in selecting your plan auditor.

Dec 12, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Business Advisory, Audit and Accounting

> Read More

Five QuickBooks Online Add-On Apps You May Need in 2017

Intuit has partnered with other small business websites to provide add-ons  —  applications that extend the usefulness of QuickBooks Online in one or more areas, like accounts receivable and payable, inventory, and expense-tracking. They integrate easily to share data and do the extra work you need. Here are some of them to consider.

Dec 09, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

HITRUST: What You Should Know About Using AWS, Azure, and Other Third-Party Tools - Part 2

As a designated HITRUST CSF Assessor, Wipfli helps health care clients and business associates with HITRUST programs. In this article series, we address some of the uncertainties encountered with cloud computing services with regard to HITRUST compliance.

The intent is to share examples of tools that can help with HITRUST compliance by mentioning as many of the most useful offerings as possible. We’ll continue down the list of HITRUST CSF assessment domains and call attention to those tools which come up most frequently and/or heavily promote specific security features.  

Dec 07, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jason J. Papador

> Read More

Ringing Out 2016 in QuickBooks

The end of the year is rapidly approaching. In the midst of holiday get-togethers, gift shopping, and perhaps preparing for travel, you probably have a list of work tasks that must be completed by December 31.

Is your annual QuickBooks wrap-up on that list? It should be. Here are some of the things we suggest you fit into your busy schedule sometime this month.

Dec 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

> Read More

Sales Tax and Technology Solutions: Accepting the “Mission Impossible”

Ten Tips to Help Navigate Sales Tax Treatment of Technology Solutions

Dec 02, 2016
Services: Tax
By: Linda J. Feirn

> Read More

Goodwill: Why it Shouldn't be a Dirty Word in the Valuation of Physician Practices

The topic of goodwill in a physician practice acquisition continues to be hotly debated. This article discusses the merits of considering and including goodwill in the valuation of a physician practice.

Dec 01, 2016
Industries: Health Care
Services: Business Advisory
By: Lisa M. Cribben

> Read More

Federal Judge Delays Overtime Rule

On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant issued an injunction delaying the national implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule that was scheduled to take effect on December 1.

Nov 29, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Private Equity, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Extension of Due Date for Furnishing Statements to Participants of Forms 1095 and Related Relief

For employers subject to 2016 information reporting on Forms 1095-B and 1095-C under the Affordable Care Act, the IRS has granted taxpayers an automatic extension from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017, to furnish the forms to employees, without the need to file an application with the IRS.

Nov 23, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Business Advisory

> Read More

Addressing Prior-Year Exposure Issues Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Versus Tax Amnesty

Not filing the proper multistate tax returns creates exposure. There are remedies for correction prior year(s) exposure but how do you know which option is best for your business? This article will review the concept of nexus and the remedies available to businesses when they have been doing business in another state in past years and not filing proper returns.

Nov 19, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Private Equity
Services: Tax
By: Craig A. Cookle

> Read More

Audit Defense in the Digital Age

Technology continues to be a significant part of our day to day business lives. Just as this is true for our business, the same is true for state taxing authorities. This article will address some of the challenges faced in handling electronic records requests.

Nov 19, 2016
Services: Tax
By: Linda J. Feirn

> Read More

Pennsylvania Tax Credits and Incentives

There are a plethora of credits and incentives available in the Northeast. This article will highlight some of the tax savings available in the State of Pennsylvania. Although it will focus on credits and incentives applicable to Pennsylvania, many of these tax savings are available in other states as well.

Nov 19, 2016
Services: Tax

> Read More

Understanding the State Tax Implications of Consumer Direct Sales

Many manufacturers, distributors, and retailers looking for additional sales and revenue are considering selling directly to consumers. While there are potential benefits, there are a few state tax considerations you should factor into your decision making

Nov 19, 2016
Services: Tax
By: Daryl L. Ohland

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Evaluating the Robustness of "Market Determined" Rates in Litigation Settings

Individuals serving as financial experts in the legal field (e.g., financial damages) may utilize rates that are presumed to be “market determined.” Such use is frequently embodied in the formulation of a “should have been” scenario, which when compared to an actual outcome yields a difference. Pending adjustments, this difference provides the basis for a calculation of financial damages.

Nov 18, 2016
Services: Business Advisory
By: Allen E. Jacque

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Creating Reports in QuickBooks, Part 2

Sometimes, QuickBooks’ own report output is a bit too broad for your needs. So the program provides sophisticated customization options. You can work with these to narrow down and shape the data that appears in your reports.

Nov 04, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Paying Bills in QuickBooks Online

We recently laid out the benefits of using QuickBooks Online for bill entry and payment. It’s faster than manual methods. It leaves an electronic record of your accounts payable. And it helps ensure that bills are paid accurately and on time.

As we discussed, QuickBooks Online employs a two-step process for bill payment. Once you’ve completed the first (setup), the hard part is done, and you can move on to fulfilling your financial obligations. Let’s take a look.

Nov 04, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Accounting for Debt – The Devil Is in the Details

Businesses take out debt obligations, including loans payable and bonds payable, for many reasons. It may be to purchase real estate, equipment, or inventory; expand operations; or increase working capital. Before debt obligations are obtained, it is important to understand the financial reporting implications.

This article explores some of the common accounting topics related to debt financing:  how to initially measure debt, accounting for debt issuance costs, debt covenants, presenting debt as either current or noncurrent, and other details that may be present in debt agreements.

Nov 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, FinTech
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Michael Webber

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Simplifying and Improving Not-for-Profit Financial Statements

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-14 Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (ASU). The ASU is Phase I of the FASB project to update the financial statement presentation and disclosures for not-for-profit entities. It’s intended to improve the current net asset classification and the information presented in the notes about a not-for-profit’s liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows. The changes are expected to improve the usefulness of information provided to financial statement users and/or reduce complexities or costs for preparers or users of the financial statements.

Nov 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Michelle R. Swoboda, Rachel Most

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The Three “D”s of Fixed Asset Accounting: Dos, Don’ts, and Details

Fixed assets—also known as tangible assets or property, plant, and equipment (PP&E)—is an accounting term for assets and property that cannot be easily converted into cash. The word fixed indicates that these assets will not be used up, consumed, or sold in the current accounting year. Yet there still can be confusion surrounding the accounting for fixed assets.

Nov 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Sheila Border

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Top 10 Budgeting Tips for Your Business

Creating and using a budget is a key component in driving your organization’s financial future.This top 10 list offers guidance. Even if all 10 of these tips won’t work for your organization, just by adopting a few suggestions you can make your organization’s budget a more effective tool.

Nov 02, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Steven A. Jordan

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2016 Year-End Tax Planning

It’s that time of the year when tax savvy banks start identifying year-end tax-saving opportunities.  Few tax law changes are expected in 2016, making this year the first time in several years that taxpayers can project their tax outcome with some confidence.  Combining traditional strategies and “extender” provisions enacted in December 2015 should make year-end tax planning somewhat less complicated this year.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Susan M. Rammer

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Building Blocks of FinTech for Community Bankers

In recent years, an increasing buzz has emerged on FinTech and its related components.  A few of our financial institution clients find this to be exciting and innovative, eagerly embracing the opportunity to work in this developing field.  However, the majority of clients find themselves in varying stages of skepticism and perhaps even annoyance at this subtle threat of disruption to business as they know it.  While technology has a place in a community financial institution’s strategic planning and risk management process, FinTech considerations have probably not been front and center in that process.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services

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Investigating CECL Methodologies

In our September 2016 e-Newsletter, we provided an overview of the new Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.  This standard will be effective in 2020 or 2021, depending on whether an institution meets the definition of a public business entity.  Please refer to the article, Measuring Credit Impairment of Financial Instruments, for an overview of ASU No. 2016-13.
 
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and regulators have emphasized that the standard is scalable for different institutions and that various methods are permitted to estimate life-of-loan losses.  In other words, not every institution will implement the same methodology to estimate loan losses.  This will allow institutions to implement a Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) methodology that is appropriate for the size and complexity of their specific institution and loan portfolio.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Overdraft Programs: Balancing Risk vs. Reward

One thing that came out of the financial crisis that started in 2007 in the United States was the government concluding that consumers needed more protection from the financial industry.  President Obama proposed a new financial agency that would focus on consumers instead of on bank safety and soundness or monetary policy.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was born in 2010 as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  One of the CFPB’s main focuses, since its inception, has been fees charged to consumers.  One type of fee that has always been on the CFPB’s radar is the overdraft fee.  Regulators are looking at overdraft programs as they pertain to specific regulations such as Regulation DD, Regulation E, and Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP), and the expanded Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP).  It is crucial for banks to minimize their risks associated with overdraft products.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Kristen Ferwerda

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Taking a Look at Your Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Program

When was the last time you took a close look at your financial institution’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) program?  With the recent implementation of rules to strengthen the customer due diligence requirements, now is a good time to do a careful review of your program to ensure it is adequate.  Financial institutions are expected to implement and maintain a sound, effective BSA/AML program that incorporates procedures to identify, measure, monitor, and manage risks and is reviewed and revised as necessary on an ongoing basis.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Shelley Foster

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Who's Guarding the Exits?

I was in a movie theater recently and sat in one of those new lounger seats.  I had my popcorn, my soda, and I was ready to start the movie.  Just as the lights dimmed, something drew my attention to the exit signs.  As the theater employees walked down the main aisles to make sure everything was functioning, nobody snuck into the movie, and there were no safety or security issues.  It was at that point that I thought about my youth and how kids used to sneak into the movie theater.  While the kids would have been caught if there was someone consistently watching, most theaters were too busy and didn’t have enough employees to cover every exit.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Travis Wouters

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Why Change Management Is Key To Manufacturing Technology Implementation Success

A technology initiative’s success depends largely on effective change management. Too often, leaders assume people are ready for new projects, rather than actively preparing personnel for coming changes. Using a change management approach helps a company get the most value from technology investments, while keeping personnel engaged and motivated.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Consulting, Technology
By: Jeffrey H. Wulf

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Accounting for Debt The Devil Is in the Details

This article explores some of the common accounting topics related to debt financing: how to initially measure debt, accounting for debt issuance costs, debt covenants, presenting debt as either current or noncurrent, and other details that may be present in debt agreements.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Governments, Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting, Consulting, Private Wealth Services, Tax
By: Michael Webber

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Simplifying and Improving Not-for-Profit Financial Statements

In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-14 Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958) Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities (ASU). The ASU is Phase I of the FASB project to update the financial statement presentation and disclosures for not-for-profit entities. It’s intended to improve the current net asset classification and the information presented in the notes about a not-for-profit’s liquidity, financial performance, and cash flows.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Nonprofits
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Michelle R. Swoboda, Rachel Most

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HITRUST: What You Should Know About Using AWS, Azure, and Other Third-Party Tools

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Common Security Framework (CSF) is one of the industry’s most widely adopted security frameworks. As a designated HITRUST CSF Assessor, Wipfli helps health care clients and business associates alike with HITRUST programs and does so in a variety of capacities.

Lately, we’ve uncovered uncertainties about cloud computing services with regard to HITRUST compliance—in particular, whether Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or other third-party tools offer features that can help address the assurances required across the 19 CSF assessment domains.

This series of articles will share some of the useful tools and features we’ve encountered while performing assessments. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list; rather, it’s a list of constructive observations. The intent is to share examples of tools that can help with HITRUST compliance by mentioning as many of the most useful offerings as possible. And if your organization already pays for an enterprise security solution, by all means ask your vendor if it can also provide some of the other security controls mentioned in this series of articles.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jason J. Papador

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Going Global: Business, Banking, Tax, and Accounting Considerations

If you’re thinking about overseas expansion or exporting products and services, you’re also thinking about how to get paid, how to protect your intellectual property, and how to simply operate internationally. Obviously, it’s important to understand the environment you’re entering. That’s because business, banking, tax, and accounting rules can all be very different than they are in the United States, and they often vary from country to country.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Audit and Accounting, Tax
By: Kelly M. Fisher

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Going Global: General Objectives and Considerations for Structuring

Whether you’ve already jumped into overseas opportunities through buying, selling, or sourcing materials or have yet to develop a market strategy, one thing is for certain: There are plenty of hurdles, challenges, and tax consequences that come with doing business internationally.

An essential objective is to balance your tax requirements with your business requirements to find an optimal arrangement. Avoid overcomplicating, so you can grow comfortably into your structural, reporting, and legal requirements.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Audit and Accounting, Tax
By: Kelly M. Fisher

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Going Global: International Tax Planning Primer

When expanding globally, there are many tax repercussions to address, and simply being aware that taxes will be “different” is not the same as actively planning for them. After all, every business is different and every foreign jurisdiction is also different.

Nov 01, 2016
Industries: Manufacturing and Distribution
Services: Tax
By: Kelly M. Fisher

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6 Questions Boards of Directors Should Be Asking About Cybersecurity

According to the Allianz 2016 Global Risk Report, business interruption and cybersecurity occupied two of the top three risks to businesses. It’s no wonder that with the increased frequency of cyber attacks, data leaks, and computer fraud, cyber risk now nears the top of board and audit committee agendas.

Oct 19, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, FinTech, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Governance & Risk
By: Jeff Olejnik

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Creating Reports in QuickBooks, Part 1

QuickBooks comes with dozens of report templates that can be run as is. This month and next, we’ll show you ways to make them “fit” your company.

Oct 06, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Customizing QuickBooks Online Forms

Make a good impression on your customers by sending them well-designed sales forms. QuickBooks Online helps you create them.

Oct 05, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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What Are Payroll Items in QuickBooks?

Considering processing your own payroll in QuickBooks? Whether you’re moving from a payroll service or getting ready to pay your first employee, you’re taking on a complex set of tasks that requires a great deal of setup and absolute precision. But the reward is complete control over your compensation records and transactions, and constant access to your payroll data.

Sep 07, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care
Services: Audit and Accounting, Business Advisory

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Accounting Improvements for Share-Based Payments

In March 2016 the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting. The intention of the new guidance is to simplify certain aspects of the accounting for stock-based compensation. Some of the provisions apply to all companies, while others are specific to nonpublic companies only. The changes are significant and worth a closer look.

Sep 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Gina C. Skibo

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Breaking the Stereotype of Being Audited

“I’m being audited.” Those are three of the most terrifying words in the English language, especially when followed by the words “by the IRS.” However, when your CPA audits you, it can be a valuable process for your organization, one that provides a variety of benefits. 

Sep 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Adam Mueller

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How Dr. Phil Could Help You Build a Better Accounting Department

Accounting staff handle a great number of tasks to ensure a business runs smoothly. Unfortunately, a great deal of stress can often result from managing all these responsibilities, details, and deadlines. 

This stress, accompanied by the technical requirements of handling a company’s confidential financial information, can produce undesirable outcomes among employees. They may become unmotivated, inefficient, or difficult to get along with, or they may choose to leave your organization. If your team is experiencing high turnover, lack of cohesion among team members, or low productivity, there are things you can do to re-engage your employees and lead a high-performing team.

Sep 03, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Daniel T. Szidon, Anne E. Kirschling

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Financial Statements – Let’s Meet the Players!

Financial statements is a term used to describe a set of individual statements a company might use to assess and analyze its business. Financial statements always include a balance sheet and income statement. They may also include a statement of cash flows, a statement of owner’s equity, or footnotes. Supplementary information like detailed cost information or contract information may also be part of financial statements. Each of these statements provides different information that, when used together, helps owners and other users gain a better understanding of the overall financial position of the business.

This article will not discuss the specifics of each statement. Rather, it is meant to introduce you to the different types of “players” in the financial statements “game.” Each player performs a different role on the team, brings different performance expectations, and uses varying methods of preparation in advance of the big game

Sep 02, 2016
Industries: Agribusiness, Construction and Real Estate, Dealerships, Financial Institutions, Financial Services, Freshwater, Governments, Health Care, Insurance, Manufacturing and Distribution, Nonprofits, Private Equity
Services: Audit and Accounting
By: Kelly R. Runge

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Measuring Credit Impairment of Financial Instruments

In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.  This standard replaces existing financial asset impairment models with two new models—one for financial assets measured at amortized cost, such as loans held for investment and debt securities held to maturity (the CECL model), and one for debt securities classified as available for sale.  

Sep 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Brett D. Schwantes

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Money Market Reform 2016

In July 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued new rules to enhance the stability and resilience of money market funds.  These rules, which are to be implemented by October 2016, place tighter restrictions on portfolio holdings, enhance liquidity and credit quality requirements, and provide for greater transparency.  Furthermore, the rules allow all money market funds, during times of extreme volatility, to temporarily prevent investors from making withdrawals or to impose fees for investors who redeem shares.

 

Sep 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Julianne Hoffmaster

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Privacy Notice-Decoded

Your financial institution’s privacy practices aren’t supposed to be a secret.  But trying to complete this notice properly and ensure compliance with Regulation P and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can sometimes make you feel like a secret agent trying to decode the regulation and the act to correctly describe your privacy practices.  Throughout the years, Wipfli has continued to receive many questions about this.  It’s important for you to identify exactly what information you share, with whom you share it, how the entity you share it with uses the information, and whether there is a contractual agreement in place between the parties that specifies how it can be used.

 

Sep 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: Brianna Herder

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The Next Generation- Emerging Leaders

Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric, once said, “If we don’t get the people thing right, we lose.  It’s the most important thing in all of our businesses.”  Ultimately, people, the right people, are your competitive differentiator and advantage.  So, what are you doing to develop your emerging leaders and strengthen your business?

 

Sep 01, 2016
Industries: Financial Institutions, Financial Services
By: