• Nonprofits: Act thoroughly on audit findings

    External audits can help assure your not-for-profit’s stakeholders that your financial statements are fairly presented according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. They can also help prevent occupational fraud. Often, audit reports contain recommendations for organizations to act on. And if you fail to make changes that respond to risks or concerns discovered in an audit, it could threaten your nonprofit’s future. Discuss the report [...]

    Published On: June 14, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • When do valuable gifts to charity require an appraisal?

    If you donate valuable items to charity and you want to deduct them on your tax return, you may be required to get an appraisal. The IRS requires donors and charitable organizations to supply certain information to prove their right to deduct charitable contributions. How can you protect your deduction? First, be aware that in order to deduct charitable donations, you must itemize deductions. Due [...]

    Published On: June 14, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • Combatting negative public perceptions of your nonprofit

    In 2023, Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy released a public opinion survey that provided both good and bad news for nonprofits. Although the respondents said they trust philanthropic organizations more than government and businesses, 30% believe that not-for-profits are on the “wrong track.” Only 18% say charities are on the “right track.” (The rest of the surveyed individuals were undecided.) Obviously, you want [...]

    Published On: June 13, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • Taxes when you sell an appreciated vacation home

    Vacation homes in upscale areas may be worth way more than owners paid for them. That’s great, but what about taxes? Here are three scenarios to illustrate the federal income tax issues you face when selling an appreciated vacation home. Scenario 1: You’ve never used the home as your primary residence In this case, the home sale gain exclusion tax break (up to $250,000 or [...]

    Published On: June 13, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • Weighing potential risks and returns of alternative investments

    Alternative investments may appeal to your not-for-profit because they often offer higher long-term performance than traditional securities do. But these investments can come with tax liabilities. They also typically are riskier, which may not be appropriate for your organization. Here’s what you need to know. No easily ascertained value Alternative investments generally are defined in contrast to more traditional securities, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. [...]

    Published On: June 12, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • Surprise audits are proven to fight fraud

    Four antifraud controls are associated with at least a 50% reduction in both fraud loss and duration, according to “Occupational Fraud 2024: A Report to the Nations” published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). They are financial statement audits, reporting hotlines, surprise audits and proactive data analysis. However, the ACFE study also found that two of these — surprise audits and proactive data [...]

    Published On: June 12, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • Are your volunteers risking legal and tax liability?

    Comprehensive risk management is one of the primary responsibilities of not-for-profit leaders. You probably regularly consider and act to mitigate risk to your facilities and assets and your staffers and clients. What about your volunteers? Even though the federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 provides some protection, volunteers face the real risk of being sued for actions while working for your organization. They also can [...]

    Published On: June 11, 2024Categories: Featured, Not for Profit
  • Why audited financials matter

    Reliable financial reporting is key to any company’s success. Here’s why your business should at least consider investing in audited financial statements. Weighing the differences Most businesses maintain an in-house accounting system to manage their financials. The documents your staff prepares through your in-house accounting system are called “internally prepared financial statements.” In many cases, internal financials are perfectly functional for the day-to-day operational needs [...]

    Published On: June 11, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • House rich but cash poor? Consider a reverse mortgage strategy

    Are you an older taxpayer who owns a house that has appreciated greatly? At the same time, you may need income. Thankfully, there could be a solution with a tax-saving bonus. It involves taking out a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgage basics With a reverse mortgage, the borrower doesn’t make payments to the lender to pay down the mortgage principal over time. Instead, the reverse happens. [...]

    Published On: June 10, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • 4 bookkeeping pitfalls for small businesses to avoid

    Accurate bookkeeping is essential to operating a successful small business. The problems created by inadequate bookkeeping practices can have significant, long-lasting consequences. Here are four common pitfalls — and how to avoid them with the right knowledge and tools. 1. Commingled bank accounts It’s important to maintain a separate dedicated bank account for business transactions. Using the owner’s personal accounts for business purposes can have [...]

    Published On: June 10, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • You may be entitled to tax breaks if caring for an elderly relative

    There are many rewards for taking care of an elderly relative. They may include feeling needed, making a difference in the person’s life and allowing the person to receive quality care. In addition, you could also be eligible for tax breaks. Here’s a rundown of four of them: 1. Medical expenses. If the individual qualifies as your “medical dependent” and you itemize deductions on your [...]

    Published On: June 9, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • New survey reveals top audit committee concerns

    Audit committees act as gatekeepers over the accounting and financial reporting processes, including the effectiveness of the company’s control environment. However, as the regulatory landscape becomes increasingly complex and organizations face evolving risks, the scope of an audit committee’s responsibilities may extend beyond traditional financial reporting. Top-of-mind list In March 2024, a survey entitled “Audit Committee Practices Report: Common Threads Across Audit Committees” was published [...]

    Published On: June 9, 2024Categories: Business, Featured
  • A three-step strategy to save tax when selling appreciated vacant land

    Let’s say you own one or more vacant lots. The property has appreciated greatly and you’re ready to sell. Or maybe you have a parcel of appreciated land that you want to subdivide into lots, develop them and sell them off for a big profit. Either way, you’ll incur a tax bill. For purposes of these examples, let’s assume that you own the vacant land [...]

    Published On: June 8, 2024Categories: Featured, Individual Tax
  • It’s almost time for a midyear checkup on your company’s financial health

    Interim financial reporting is essential to running a successful business. When reviewing midyear financial reports, however, you should recognize their potential shortcomings. These reports might not be as reliable as year-end financials, unless a CPA prepares them or performs agreed-upon procedures on specific accounts. Realize the diagnostic benefits Monthly, quarterly and midyear financial reports can provide insight into trends and possible weaknesses. Reviewing interim results [...]

    Published On: June 8, 2024Categories: Business, Featured