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GuideStar® is a major player and one of the top charity watchdogs in the United States. Through their website at www.guidestar.org, they provide all tax exempt entities in the US with the ability to tell their story, share their mission and solicit program funding. This article highlights how big data from tax exempts and their tax filings of form 990 can be leveraged to provide valuable information to the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector.

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Every organization is in search of new revenues to support its mission. It might be tempting to see federal and state grants as a cost-free source of those revenues. Before you go chasing those new grants, you should be aware that they can come with a heavy administrative burden.

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As part of the sweeping changes facing nonprofit organizations implemented by FASB ASU 2016-14, the new accounting standards will also include requirements for additional disclosures of information to help users of nonprofit financial statements in assessing the liquidity of a nonprofit organization.

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In late 2017, the IRS issued Notice 2017-64 which provides the annual cost of living adjustments and contribution limits on 401(k) plans, pension plans and retirement accounts for 2018. Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made changes as to how cost of living adjustments are made, the previously released amounts remain unchanged.

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The newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") gave us what some people refer to as "mandatory repatriation" for previously untaxed foreign earnings of specified foreign corporations. In other words, Section 965 of the Internal Revenue Code now requires some taxpayers to pay tax on the untaxed foreign earnings of certain foreign corporations as if the earnings had been repatriated to the United States. This will take effect for the 2017 tax year for a majority of taxpayers.

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GASB issued a new standard on April 2 that requires state and local governments to present direct borrowings and direct placements of debt separately from other types of debt in their statement note disclosures. This new standard mandates the disclosure of additional debt-related information for all types of debt (including amounts of unused lines of credit and assets pledged as collateral for debt).

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SPI Research, a leading independent technology services research firm, named UHY Advisors’ Management & Technology Consulting practice as one of the 2018 Best-of-the-Best professional services organizations (PSO)! SPI’s extensive annual survey, the PS Maturity™ Benchmark, revealed UHY Advisors as a top performer that grew in both revenues and new jobs at more than twice the rate of average firms.

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The Trump administration's trade policy made a bold statement with a spontaneous announcement to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. The president excluded Canada and Mexico, for now.

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The Internal Revenue Service announced on March 13 that it plans to end its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) on Sept. 28, 2018. The OVDP allowed taxpayers to avoid prosecution by voluntarily disclosing untaxed money held overseas and paying a set penalty. The OVDP, which has been available since 2009, has experienced a significant decline in taxpayer participation as awareness of offshore tax and reporting requirements has increased.

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The US has a tax burden of 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a third (30 percent) lower than the G7 average (of 31.1 percent) shows research by UHY, the international accounting and consultancy network.

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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.