Global Tax Reform: Place Your BEPS

By Guest Blogger Doug Nakajima, JD, LLM | Smart Devine

Doug Nakajima, JD, LLM, is managing director of Smart Devine.

Doug Nakajima, JD, LLM, is managing director of Smart Devine.

Tax professionals are tasked with developing planning strategies to minimize or eliminate their tax burdens. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) addresses the need for a level of uniform tax treatment under the battle banner of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The problem with this approach is that not one, but all industries will be affected should OECD’s recommended solutions be approved.

I’m certain all tax professionals are receiving the same amount of updates in their inbox as I, making all of us aware of OECD’s approach to how domestic laws in each country contribute to tax avoidance through various schemes to shift profits from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions. BEPS seeks global agreement to a policy that matches the taxation of profits to where the economic activity generating the profits is performed and where economic value is created. Although I question whether the BEPS goals can ever be achieved, they are certainly necessary and laudable. Continue reading

PICPA Jeopardy – Do You Want To Play?

100304725Most everyone is familiar with the popular game show Jeopardy, where contestants are provided the answers and must state their response in the form of a question. I would like to propose a game of Jeopardy with our PICPA members.

In the next several weeks, PICPA’s newly constituted Board of Directors and Council will hold their initial meetings since our new governance model was approved by our members. While our Board of Directors will have fiduciary responsibility for PICPA operations, the larger (47 member) Council is charged with, among other duties, establishing strategic priorities and the direction for the PICPA. How will they do this? By staying connected to all members they represent and providing input on key issues and challenges. The Council does not have all of the answers (yet), but they do have some questions that will form the basis of discussions at its initial meeting.

Listed below is a sample of some of the challenges Council will be addressing at its first meeting: Continue reading

Great Onboarding Leads to Successful Employees

Onboarding-OnDemand

OnBoarding New Hires: The First 90 Days
Learn the process to onboard your new staff in order to ensure a smooth, successful transition.

Few factors influence a new employee’s experience as much as the onboarding program, and the company only gets one chance to successfully initiate an employee. This combination means a serious investment in the program is critical to building a successful organization, according to Hal Adler, president of Leadership Landing and the former president of Great Places to Work Institute (known for its work on Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list). Adler shares his insights in Onboarding New Hires: The First 90 Days, an on-demand course available from the PICPA.

Adler’s presentation is a combination of human resources theory, practical tips, and examples from the companies that do it best. I had a chance to view the session recently, and wanted to share a few points that I think can benefit all organizations: Continue reading

Reporting Tools Are Changing: New Programs Available

By Guest Blogger Randolph P. “Randy” Johnston, MCS | K2 Enterprises

Getting the right information out of a system can be difficult and time consuming: But technology vendors are releasing new-generation products solving decade-old problems.

Most of us have conceded that to get the reports we need, we use Excel, Microsoft’s universally appealing reporting tool. It’s the Swiss Army knife of reporting, chosen to create reports even when it’s not the best choice, but with Tables, PivotTables, and Power BI, the reporting engine has vastly improved over the past 15 to 20 years.

Reporting relief comes in the form of other, updated tools as well, such as BizNet, Palo Alto LivePlan, Aplos, and Xero. The systems of today are more meticulous in actionable management information through standard financial reporting, and provide appropriate dashboard and key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be assembled to fit your needs. Continue reading

Getting to Yes: How to Manage Concerns During the Sales Process

By Guest Blogger Martin Bissett | The Upward Spiral Partnership Ltd.

Bissett_Martin“You’re too expensive!”
“We like what you have to say, but we don’t want to change CPAs.”
“We will do something with you, but now is not the right time.”
“We need to think about this. We’ll get back to you.”

Do any of these sound familiar? They are some of the most commonly used objections when businesses are not completely convinced that they should change from their current CPA firm to yours.

Objections are always a sign of interest and rarely, if ever, do they constitute a final, immovable “no.” Yet, that’s how we hear them. We are naturally averse to personal rejection. In these examples, the potential customer not liking your proposal enough to change their CPA firm on the basis of it feels like personal rejection. But it’s not. It’s a rejection of the proposition, not the person.

If a potential client really does not want to consider using your firm, there’s a big clue that will inform you of this: no further meetings will be held and any that were already scheduled will be cancelled. If you have avoided this, then some level of interest exists with the prospect. Therefore, concerns should be met with enthusiasm. They are a sign of interest and should be treated not as blockades from winning a new client but rather as challenges that, if resolved, will result in a deal.

So next time you are in this situation, remember the following two-step process for resolving concerns: Continue reading

Switching Seats: Auditor as PICPA’s CFO

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Jennifer Cryder, CPA, PICPA’s chief financial officer and vice president of operations.

Earlier this year I transitioned out of public accounting to take over the role of CFO and vice president of operations at the PICPA. I truly couldn’t be more excited about this new opportunity. I’ve very much enjoyed meeting members from around the state and being part of the great team at the PICPA.

On my first day as CFO, I asked our controller about things that should be on my radar from an accounting perspective. She replied that the audit fieldwork would begin in a few days. I thought she was joking, but rather quickly realized she was not. After being an auditor for 15 years, I would have thought I knew nearly all there was to know about the process of an audit. Further, I knew that the PICPA accounting team was top notch and had great systems in place for internal controls and financial reporting. I was not worried, nor was I expecting to be surprised by much. Continue reading

Modern Data Security Threats

By Guest Blogger Sudhir Kondisetty, CISSP, CISA | McGladrey LLP

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Sudhir Kondisetty, CISSP, CISA McGladrey LLP | Speaker at 2015 Financial Institutions Conference

Data security issues have been with us since the usage of personal computers in the corporate environment became widespread in the 1990s, but 2014 is, in some circles, called the year of the breach. With high profile data breaches at wellknown companies such as Home Depot, Target, Apple, and Google, many consumers have received notice that their credit card or personal information has been compromised.

How is it possible that these breaches continue to happen, although the awareness of data security is reaching the highest levels of management in the public and private sectors? To answer this question, it would help to understand who cyber theives are, the strategies they use to steal data, and how we can protect ourselves against. Continue reading