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In this area you will find an archive of the most recent top stories featured on the home page of the FICPA Web site that we felt were informative enough to store for your future reference.

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Ask the CPAs: How to Survive a Sales and Use Tax Audit
The dreaded Form DR-840 Notice of Intent to Audit Books and Records for Sales and Use Tax from the Florida Department of Revenue– we’ve been seeing more and more of these lately. What can you do to prevent one? And what should you do...
How To Know When To Classify A Worker As An Employee Or An Independent Contractor
At first glance, it may seem like an easy decision for an employer to make.
Florida Leads The Nation In Job Creation
Governor Rick Scott says the state is continuing to see tremendous economic growth with more than 266,000 new jobs created in the last 12 months. Orlando International Airport -- and others in the state -- are factors in economic growth,...
Companies Have Found Something To Give Their Workers Instead Of Raises
Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees. More businesses are upping their spending...
How New Independent Contractor Standards Affect Your Business
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released a 15-page memo describing its standards for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Worker classification affects whether businesses must provide overtime and...
According To Data, South Florida Is Tops In Fraud
Since the first settlers hacked their way into the mangrove tangles and drained much of the swampland, sunny South Florida has been virtually synonymous with shady deals and scams.
Florida Business Climate: Sigh
The business climate in Florida for entrepreneurs is a tad better than mediocre, according to new report. Related Headlines: Expensive vacations, cheap travel Old name gets refreshed Scam puts online auctions in limbo Reach High The fourth...
BP Payouts To Local Governments To Start Soon
A federal judge says BP will begin paying up to $1 billion in settlements to compensate local governments across the Gulf Coast for lost tax revenue and other economic damages they blame on the company's 2010 oil spill....
Resumption Of U.S.-Cuba Relations Isn't Expected To Set Off A Business Stampede
With embassies now open in each country, it might seem that Cuba and the United States are ready to do business with each other. But there are still many barriers. Not only is a trade embargo still in effect, but businesses also are proceeding...
Federal Tax Implications For Same-sex Spouses
Same-sex marriages are now recognized for federal tax purposes. United States v. Windsor, is an important court case. The Supreme Court changed federal laws interpreting the meaning of "marriage" and "spouse" to a to include same-sex couples.
Fla. Sales Tax Holiday Is Aug. 7-16
School starts Aug.10 in Jackson County, but last-minute shoppers (and retailers) are in luck this year. Florida’s extended back-to-school sales tax holiday will kick off Friday, Aug. 7 and continue through the first week of classes, ending...
IASB Follows FASB in 1-Year Delay on Revenue Recognition Standard
The International Accounting Standards Board confirmed Wednesday a one-year deferral of the effective date of the revenue recognition standard to stay in alignment with the Financial Standards Accounting Board, which also recently decided to...
Why Paperwork Is Worth Millions To Florida College Students
It’s a midweek school night at Miami Beach Senior High School. Students, their parents and siblings — roughly 80 people in all — are waiting in the school’s library to get on a computer and answer a lot of...
Use The Backdoor Roth IRA While You Still Can
Few investors appreciate just how revolutionary the Roth IRA was when it first became available almost two decades ago. Traditionally, retirement accounts have been a method of deferring taxable income, with contributions to traditional IRAs and...
Florida Among Top States With Fastest Job Growth
The Sunshine State is ripe with opportunity when it comes to the job market, according to Kiplinger magazine. Florida was ranked one of the top 10 states expected to see the fastest employment gains in 2015. The state’s job market this...
Affordable Care Act Becoming Less Affordable as Florida Insurers Prepare Big Rate Hikes
The U.S. Supreme Court may have upheld the Affordable Care Act for the second time, but the ruling hasn’t made President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law any less controversial.
Two-thirds Of Calls To IRS Went Unanswered During Tax Season
Nearly two-thirds of calls routed to customer service representatives with the IRS during tax season went unanswered, and those who did get through were on hold for on average 23 minutes, a new report issued to Congress this week said.
Unknowns Loom As Governments Settle With BP
Several local governments approved large cash settlements with oil giant BP for economic development losses linked to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But how much money many of them will get hasn’t been released — and BP could...
What The Delay Of FASB's Revenue Recognition Standard Means
On July 9, the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to defer the effective date of its revenue recognition standard by a year, while still allowing companies to adopt the standard as initially planned.
Watch Out! Five Ways ObamaCare Will Impact Your Business In The Next Two Years
Just last week three small business owners told a Senate hearing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare as we know it) is "riddled with problems that are leading to more expensive insurance policies, which is making it harder for...
Misty Martin Servia Files To Run For Dave Miner's Manatee County School Board Seat
The first candidate to announce for the Manatee County School Board District 3 seat has filed the necessary paperwork with the elections office. Misty Martin Servia, a 51-year-old planning department manager at King Engineering Associates and a...
Florida To Swear In First Female State Auditor General
Florida is getting its first female state auditor general. Sherrill Norman will be sworn in Wednesday as the state’s sixth Auditor General, a constitutional officer who serves as the state’s independent auditor. She will replace...
What The Ruling On Subsidies Means For Florida
On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court announced a ruling in the case of King v. Burwell, which upholds the subsidies awarded to Floridians who enrolled in coverage through healthcare.gov. Over the last few months, policymakers, health care...
Florida Retailers Expect A Back-to-school Boom With 10-day Sales-tax Holiday
Florida retailers are expecting a busy August as shoppers across the Sunshine State take advantage of a 10-day sales-tax holiday. Last week, the Legislature voted to extend the back-to-school tax holiday to 10 days, a large increase from the...
No One Said Accounting Standards Are Easy But This Is Ridiculous
In the Wall Street Journal recently Art Garcia, CFO for Ryder System, said out loud what probably every finance executive has been thinking for the last year: Why can't regulators put both the forthcoming revenue-recognition and lease-accounting...
Can Anything Save Us From Accounting Standards Madness?
In part one of this article we looked at the complicated issues surrounding accounting and how they are increasingly affecting non-accounting real estate decisions. To sum up its conclusion: it's a mess and getting messier as key standards...
See Where Florida Ranks Among 'America's Top States For Business'
In newly released rankings by CNBC of "America's Top States for Business," Florida came in at No. 16. All 50 states were scored on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from business and policy experts, government...
Sherrill Norman To Be Sworn In As State Auditor General
Ms. Sherrill Norman will be sworn in as Florida’s new Auditor General on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the atrium of the Claude Pepper Building (111 West Madison Street, Tallahassee). A reception will...
Agency: Staff Cuts Take Toll On Irs Tax Enforcement Efforts
Budget cuts to the IRS are hampering the agency's efforts to uncover tax cheats, an agency watchdog said Wednesday, and more trims are on the way under legislation approved by a GOP-controlled House panel. IRS budget cuts are hurting tax...
2015 Poised To Be Best Year For M&A Since Financial Crisis, According To PwC
Coming off a historic year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the U.S. retains its position among the most attractive markets for investments. As such, dealmaking during first half of 2015 has reflected a buoyant U.S. M&A market which is...
Court Decision Holds Fate Of 1.3m Floridians
The Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, will soon decide whether more than a million Floridians will lose subsidies they rely on to buy insurance on HealthCare.gov.
Florida Gov. Oks More Than $400 Million Tax Cut Package
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is moving quickly to approve a more than $400 million tax cut package. Scott on Tuesday signed into law a tax cut bill that the Florida Legislature approved a day earlier.
What Florida's Rejection Of Medicaid Expansion Means To Your Business
Under state lawmakers' new plan, about $2 billion will go to nearly 200 hospitals in Florida to help cover the cost of treating the uninsured. The state's plan includes using $400 million in state tax revenue to fund the Low Income Pool. The...
Governor Rick Scott Appoints Patrick T. Hogan to Board of Directors of Florida ABLE, Inc.
Today, Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Patrick T. Hogan to the Board of Directors of Florida ABLE, Inc. Hogan, 47, of Bradenton, is the managing shareholder of Hogan Legal Services. He is currently a member of the Florida...
Update: Florida Legislature Oks $400 Million In Tax Cuts
Floridians will get a small cut on their cellphone bills and be able to do their back-to-school shopping tax free for 10 days under a tax cut package approved Monday by the Florida Legislature. The package, which had been caught in the middle of...
Floridians To Get 10-day Sales Tax Holiday
Floridians will get a 10-day tax break on school supplies, computers and clothes under a more than $400 million tax cut package approved by the Florida Legislature. The Senate on Monday passed the tax cut bill by a 34-2 margin. The Florida House...
Exclusive: U.S.-Cuba Deal Expected In Early July To Restore Ties, Reopen Embassies
The Obama administration is expected to announce an agreement with Cuba in early July to reopen embassies and restore diplomatic relations severed more than five decades ago, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. The two sides...
Gus Bilirakis Proposes Tax Credits For Hurricane, Tornado Readiness
With hurricane season upon us, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., brought out the “Strengthening Homes and Eliminating Liabilities Through Encouraging Readiness” (SHELTER) Act on Friday. The proposed legislation would give tax credits...
The Downside Of Treadmill Desks
Treadmill desks are popular, even aspirational, in many offices today since they can help those of us who are deskbound move more, burn extra calories and generally improve our health.
RPOF's Second In Command Running For Legislature
The second highest ranking official in the state Republican Party is hoping to join the top ranking officer in the Florida Legislature next year. Sarasota Republican Joe Gruters, the vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, officially...
Last-minute Rush As Deadline Nears For Oil Spill Settlement
Brisk business was reported at Gulf Coast offices and on the Internet as people filing claims for losses blamed on the 2010 BP oil spill rushed to meet a midnight deadline. Claims administrator Patrick Juneau predicted a last-minute rush last...
Lawmakers Close To Ending State Budget Battles
Lawmakers kicked-off final budget talks Saturday afternoon, making quick progress on the biggest issue that forced a special legislative session and promising to have a spending plan hammered out by early next week. The state’s regular...
What's The Outlook For Accounting Firms In Florida?
“I’m extremely optimistic about 2015. The signs are pointing to an improving economy, which means more business opportunities and more jobs in Miami. It’s also positive that individuals from Latin America, Europe and Asia are...
IG: IRS Failed To Upgrade Security Ahead Of Cyberattack
The IRS failed to implement dozens of security upgrades to its computer systems, some of which could have made it more difficult for hackers to use an IRS website to steal tax information from 104,000 taxpayers, a government investigator told...
Four Florida CPA Candidates Receive National Award For Outstanding Exam Performance
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Division of Certified Public Accounting today congratulates the winners of the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award. Four candidates from Florida are being recognized for their...
Florida Leads Nation In Number Of New Self-employed Jobs
Florida created more jobs with people working for themselves than any state in the nation, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, but the reason may have more to do with underemployment than anything else. The state...
The IRS Hack: Beware Of Follow-up Scams
The drill should be familiar by now: A company or government agency -- like the IRS -- announces it's been hacked. Next thing you know, scamsters strike again. This time, they pretend to be the breached entity offering to help people clean up...
What To Consider Before Monitoring Employee Smartphones
In the latest chapter of the saga known as “deflategate,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is preparing to appeal a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. Brady’s lack of...
House Releases Special Session Calendar
Monday, June 1 1:00 p.m. Special Session convenes 3:00 p.m. Workshop on the substance of CS/SB 7044 (2015) All members will be invited to this workshop hosted by the House Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday, June 2 9:00 a.m. Finance...
Health Law's Disputed Phrase May Have Been An Oversight
They are only four words in a 900-page law: "established by the state." Related News/Archive At USF visit, Obama official talks up health care law 6 Months Ago Report: Many Florida children still have no health insurance 6 Months Ago CDC...
Tips For Choosing The Right Accountant
I often hear that it is difficult to find a great accountant. As with anything in life, it is a matter of research and finding the right match for your personality and technical requirements. Here is some information to assist you in finding the...
Report: What Separates Great Managers From The Rest
To win the global battle for the best customers, companies must choose managers based on their innate talent to lead. Naturally talented managers know how to develop and engage their employees, according to Gallup research. They create...
Accounting Students Urged To Apply For Clay Ford Scholarship
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Certified Public Accounting and the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) are encouraging minority accounting students statewide to apply for this year’s Clay...
Florida Health Insurer Wants 31% Hike In 2016
Most filings are hidden from public view as trade secrets, but records obtained by The Palm Beach Post show one Florida health insurer wants a 31.3 percent rate increase in 2016 and another 18.2 percent. There’s a glimpse of good news for...
Scott Reiterates Fight For Tax Cuts
Gov. Rick Scott resumed his push Wednesday for a massive tax-cut package and a “historic” increase in school funding, downplaying a call for agency heads to prepare for a bare-bones budget. “I’m cautiously optimistic that...
AICPA Releases 6-point Plan To Enhance Audit Quality
In a six-point plan released Thursday, the AICPA describes extensive ongoing and new efforts to improve audit quality. Continued improvement in the quality of audits has long been a core focus of the AICPA. In May 2014, the Institute launched...
Feds Suggest Possible Hospital Funding To End Florida's Budget Standoff
The federal government told Florida Thursday that the state will need $1 billion next year to maintain a hospital funding program that’s at the center of a political stalemate preventing passage of a new state budget — but officials...
Payment Snafus Plague Switch In Nearly 600,000 Citizens Policy Numbers
By Charles Elmore - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Florida’s largest insurer changed its account numbers for nearly 600,000 customers, but some payments to the old account numbers are going awry and causing headaches for customers of...
Employers Must Monitor 401(k) Fees, Supreme Court Rules
In a move that could brighten retirement prospects for millions of Americans, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers have a duty to keep watch over 401(k) plans to guard against high management fees that can erode retirement savings. A...
Gray Area In The Law: Banks Just Say No To Legal Marijuana
The U.S. government has opened a new line of business for America's biggest banks, and for once they don't want it. Little wonder: It's cash from legalized marijuana. The financial-crimes arm of the Treasury Department is making it easier to...
How Much Do CPAs Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor's degree in the U.S. is only 3.5%, compared to 6% for those with a high school diploma. Still, many college graduates seek additional education...
Senators Offer Civics Lessons In Response To Scott's Request For Budget Data
Gov. Rick Scott asked state agencies Thursday for bare-bones spending plans to stave off a government shutdown, a move that has prompted key senators to note the governor does not write state budgets. It’s a continuation of the jockeying...
Gov. Scott Asks For Critical Needs List In Case Of Government Shutdown
Gov. Rick Scott directed all state agencies Thursday to draw up lists of "critical service needs … in the event Florida is forced into a government shutdown on July 1." Scott's memos to agencies carry an alarming tone and were released the day...
AICPA to FAF: Full Steam Ahead on Private Company Accounting Matters
In a letter to the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) Board of Trustees on May 8, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) urged the FAF to “continue the momentum” of addressing private company financial reporting issues. AICPA...
Benefits of Establishing Long-Term Relationship with CPA
A CPA is more than just a person who does your taxes. In this Money Matters Report, Time Warner Cable News’ Tara Lynn Wagner explains why you might want to make them a more vital member of your team.
What To Know About Taxes And Health Care
It has caused a lot of taxpayers who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act some confusion and has even affected people who have private insurance. However, with this added confusion, there are some things people need to know. First, if you have...
CPA Firm Administrators Wear Many Hats
Thirty-five years ago, Celia Cue was the first hire at Miami CPA firm Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants. During those early years, Celia did a little bit of everything while serving as administrative assistant to firm CEO Richard...
The 'Dirty Dozen' Tax Scams to Avoid
The IRS recently released its "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2015 filing season, and phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents top the list. Fake emails or phishing schemes, identity theft and tax return preparer fraud followed...
IRS To Florida Taxpayers: Apply For PIN
Aiming to thwart rampant fraud, the IRS is urging Florida taxpayers to apply for PINs that will stop scammers from claiming phony refunds. The IRS program lets taxpayers who filed returns last year from Florida, Georgia or the District of...
Retirement: What The New Congress Has In Store
Exactly what do they have in store for older Americans and retirees? Are changes to Social Security and Medicare on the table, as some activists wonder? And, are changes in store for the tax advantages of our retirement savings accounts, like...