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Michael Zovistoski, Managing Director, was recently quoted in Financial Advisor. To view the article, "Shocking Disparity in LTC Insurance Rates."

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The new lease accounting standard, ASU 2016-02 (Topic 842), is set to take effect for not-for-profit organizations that have issued, or is a conduit bond obligor for, securities that are traded, listed, or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market, with fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2018 and for all other not-for-profits for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019. Issued by the FASB in February 2016, the new standard significantly affects the way leases are recorded on the balance sheet. While there has been considerable emphasis placed on understanding what will change under this new standard, it is just as important to understand what will remain the same.

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When it comes to maintaining a proper accounting environment and having effective internal controls, not-for-profits (NFP) have essentially the same requirement as commercial organizations do. Having both are critical to capturing accounting data to provide for proper financial reporting, decision making, third party requirements, etc. However, in the increasingly competitive landscape of charitable organizations, smaller NFPs face some unique constraints that can significantly impact the internal control environment.

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When clients ask if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) means tax simplification, I remind them of the three fundamental paradigms of taxation: only two things are certain in life – death and taxes; the correct answer to every tax question is “it depends”; and there is no such thing as tax simplification. This holds true in the new tax landscape, the tax reform will not result in simplification of tax law. The new law has brought meaningful changes to the tax code, but with that comes the following added complexities.

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A recent article written by Scott Miller, Partner and Leader of the National Petroleum Practice, “What the New Section 199(A) Proposed Regulations May Mean For You,” was featured in the winter 2019 edition of MPA Marketer Magazine. To view the full article, click here.

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The Albany Business Review hosted six experts to discuss changes to tax laws and their impact on individuals and businesses. Partner Patrick Diggin participated in this discussion on tax reform.

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With the government shutdown over and the IRS reopened, what can be expected? Currently, the IRS has an estimated five million unanswered inquires that took place during the shutdown. Additionally, it is estimated that they have already received several million tax returns since the filing season started on January 28.

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UHY Advisors Michigan, Inc., announced the appointment of four new managing directors: Michelle Felmlee, Brent Jones, Chad Kime and Todd Tigges. A fifth person from Missouri also made managing director, Jill Starrs.

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On December 20, 2018 the FASB issued a draft proposal that extends the private company accounting alternative for goodwill (ASU 2014-02) and business combinations (ASU 2014-18) to nonprofit entities and is intended to simplify the subsequent accounting for goodwill and for certain identifiable intangible assets in a business combination.

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UHY Advisors, Inc. (“UHY Advisors”), one of the nation’s leading professional services firms, announced the appointment of five new managing directors: Michelle Felmlee, Brent Jones, Chad Kime, Jill Starrs and Todd Tigges.

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The Bonus Bind: Are Bonuses Appropriate in Today’s Economy?
Sunday, November 8, 2009 by SuperUser Account
As our nation prepares for a slow economic revival in 2010, companies are realizing that their employees — especially those who have stuck through the ups and downs of 2009 — are more valuable than ever. Validating key performers’ efforts and recognizing work well done will move up a rung on the ladder of importance for talent retention. According to “American Job Thankfulness,” a survey conducted just before Thanksgiving, while most Americans are thankful for their jobs, a good number are willing to leave. Why? For 46% of those surveyed, it’s because they do not feel they are being recognized for their performance and the value they add.
 
These circumstances present an interesting quandary for companies and begs the question, how should companies recognize top performers? Giving bonuses comes to mind as a natural way to keep a company’s best talent happy. But in the face of continued pressure to conserve assets and operate in a tight fiscal environment, what part should bonuses play in the recognition mix?
You may recall the debates that ensued last January after Wall Street bankers accepted close to $20 billion in bonuses at the same time that the financial industry accepted a $700 billion bailout fund to prop up the financial system. President Obama called the bankers’ acceptance of those bonuses "shameful.”
 
The underlying predicament with bonuses — which companies will continue to face, perhaps to an even greater degree in 2010 — is the belief that there is a time for bonuses, and tough times are not the time. Others feel that times might get tougher if you lose top performers. In fact, many employees claim feeling burnt-out in their jobs because of extra work they’ve taken on as a result of company layoffs and being willing to shop around as soon as the job market stabilizes. The notion that employees are just thankful to have jobs is not entirely true.
 
Taking into account the price companies pay when losing key employees and finding replacements, the loss of intellectual capital and the interruption to production — developing a retention strategy as part of your upturn preparation is key. In fact, according to an article in the WorldatWork magazine, workspan, "The Balance Beam: Keeping Key People in Tough Times," it’s not only important to keep the best people, but the right people as well. “In times of economic distress, it becomes even more critical for organizations to optimize their workforces, use the right engagement and development strategies with employees and make the best human capital investments and decisions.”
 
Considering all of this, it seems that if the performance is there and the company is able to safely pay, it’s important to reward individuals for a job well done and take one more step toward retaining those valuable employees. This time of year also seems most appropriate to reexamine bonus recognition programs and ensure that companies are executing an effective approach. While most companies tie salary increases to some mix of individual and business performance, few companies develop recognition programs that differentiate high performers from other workers. As bonus pools dwindle, making this distinction will be imperative to the financial health of most companies.
 
To further define companies’ positions on whether bonuses are appropriate in today’s economy and if so, the basis for which bonuses are being distributed, UHY Advisors conducted a pulse survey on the topic during their Fourth Quarter 2009 Financial Leaders Summit. According to the results, 18.2% of respondents will not be granting bonuses; however a full 81.8% are giving bonus recognition. How are these responding companies going about granting their bonuses? The large majority, 48.5%, of the respondents are basing bonuses on a combination of personal and company performance; the remaining bonus rationale was based on company performance (24.2%), personal performance (9.1%), and end of year/holiday recognition (6.1%).
 
In the end, it all comes down to striking a balance between motivating your team and demonstrating to them their value, and being fiscally responsible. Below are a few bonus strategies for business leaders to consider:
1. If top workers are accustomed to receiving bonuses based on performance, and your company is financially able, then give bonuses. Why? Because by doing so you confirm their value to the organization and give recognition to the impact of their work on the company’s future direction. Plus, if you don’t give bonuses when expected, the message is sent that the company is not doing well, and employees may begin to fear for their jobs and potentially look elsewhere. Again, retention is paramount now ― so it’s important to give bonus pay if able. If your company is in a position to give bonuses but needs to reduce the amount, explain that to employees. People understand the pressures companies face today to conserve cash and operate in a lean manner. 
 
2. If bonus pay is a stretch, give other perks in lieu of cash — paid time off, alternative work schedules, gift certificates to local establishments. Any form of recognition is better than none at all. Make sure your top performers’ efforts are recognized, conversations are open about the status of the company and expectations for future bonuses are discussed.
 
3. Over-communicate. Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate it openly and honestly with your staff. Keeping employees, especially top performers, in the dark might send them searching for a more stable environment.
All things considered, bonus strategies boil down to securing your brain trust and expressing the value your top talent brings to the company. There is no cookie-cutter answer to this critical question—the decision will be different for each company. One decision that is the same for companies across the board, however, is that the last thing they need right now is to lose top performers who are critical to sustaining market share and driving future success.