NewsFlash Feb. 23, 2017

Printer Friendly
Text Size: A A A A

Did you miss an issue of NewsFlash? View our archives here.


to the top

Tax Practitioners' Information Soon Will Be Available On IRS Website

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The Tax Adviser

The IRS alerted tax practitioners it soon will be publishing their registration information online. The information was previously available only on a CD-ROM for a $35 fee for those who submitted a request to the IRS. The information will be available without cost.

The Freedom of Information Act requires the IRS to release certain information about people who hold preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) and enrolled agents. The information includes the PTIN holder’s name, business name, mailing address, phone number, website, email address and professional credentials (see the IRS webpage, “FOIA Awareness for PTIN Holders”).

The IRS told PTIN holders they now may use P.O. boxes for their business mailing address. It also said if a practitioner used a personal address instead of a business address, or used a street address instead of a P.O. box, he or she may want to change it. It also advised practitioners who receive unwanted solicitations to report the problem to the Federal Trade Commission.

According to the IRS in a Jan. 26 email from the IRS Office of National Public Liaison, the Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2016, P.L. 114-185, enacted June 30, 2016, requires agencies to “make available for public inspection in an electronic format…copies of all records…that have been requested three or more times.”

The IRS said it now is working to implement downloadable versions of the PTIN holder and enrolled agent lists in its Electronic Reading Room on irs.gov, and that the lists will be updated twice a year and be available at no cost. The IRS will provide an update when the lists are placed on the website.

Sally P. Schreiber (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a Tax Adviser senior editor.


to the top

IRS Alerts Practitioners of E-Services Account Suspensions

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.
The Tax Adviser

The IRS recently announced it has suspended the e-Services accounts of users who failed to verify their identities in accordance with letters sent out in December (see “IRS Announces Start of e-Services Re-Registration,” Nov. 30, 2016). Practitioners can reinstate a suspended account by re-registering and revalidating their identity.

The IRS said that it mailed letters between Dec. 1 and 16 to those users who had been active on their accounts in the past year and who had access to the Transcript Delivery System. These e-Services users had 30 days to verify their identities as part of the IRS’ increased effort to secure the e-Services program and better protect taxpayer data.

The new e-Services registration process involves a two-factor authentication that is intended to keep cybercriminals from accessing the accounts when they obtain usernames and passwords through phishing. Once they have successfully registered, returning users must provide their username and password and a security code sent to their mobile phone by text.

Practitioners whose accounts have been suspended can reinstate them by going to the IRS website and re-registering. The IRS e-Services page and its webpage “Important Update About Your e-Services Account” both were updated Feb. 6 to provide users who failed to re-register within 30 days instructions on how to reinstate their accounts.

Sally P. Schreiber (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a Tax Adviser senior editor. 


to the top

Image: Scott Price
Scott Price, CPA
Price Appointed as FSU Professional Advisory Board Chair

The Florida State University (FSU) College of Business appointed A-LIGN Managing Partner and FICPA Past Board Chair Scott Price as chair of the department of accounting’s Professional Advisory Board (PAB).

Price received his master’s in accountancy from FSU. He was president of the Accounting Society and vice president of Delta Chi fraternity.

“As an alumnus, I learned so much in my time at Florida State University, and want to continue to enhance the accounting program at Florida State University from the employer perspective,” said Price.

The PAB is comprised of accounting and auditing leaders from throughout the country who provide input to the accounting faculty to enhance the accounting education at FSU.

A-LIGN is a full-service security, assurance and compliance solutions firm offering services ranging from SOC 1 examinations to FedRAMP security assessments. Price recently was named to Accounting Today’s 2016 Managing Partner Elite list as one of the top accounting-firm leaders in the nation.


to the top

Sponsor a Piece of South Florida History
Community Run & Accounting Career Fair Returns

Are South Florida’s running, CPA and/or accounting student communities among your target markets? Reach them all by becoming a sponsor of the FICPA Educational Foundation’s (EDF) 28th Annual 1040K 5K/10K/Kids run on Saturday, April 22. The run is South Florida’s second oldest and has become a favorite of area locals – runners, families, co-workers, FICPA chapters and accounting firms. This year’s race again will take place in beautiful Coconut Grove.

Three South Florida accounting students will be awarded scholarships from race proceeds, including one in memory of Lewis Davis, Miami-Dade county’s first African-American CPA. Lewis is fondly remembered as a community leader and co-founder of the Greater Miami-South Florida Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. Since its inception, the 1040K Race Committee has raised more than $250,000 in scholarship funds.

Kaufman Rossin, for the second year, is sponsoring the Foundation’s accounting career fair immediately following the race. Dozens of area CPA firms will be on hand to meet and mingle with the next generation of CPAs.

“It’s no wonder the 1040K is one of South Florida’s oldest races,” said Chair Ken Strauss of Berkowitz Pollack Brant. “There’s no better place or reason to celebrate the end of tax season than running through beautiful Coconut Grove while raising money for accounting students.”

Secure your sponsorship or career-fair booth today by contacting EDF Sr. Director Jan Dobson at (800) 342-3197, Ext. 380 or dobsonj@ficpa.org. The race T-shirt deadline for sponsor logos is fast approaching. Be a part of history while helping support the next generation of CPAs. Become a 1040K sponsor today.

Sponsorship | Race Brochure | Photo Gallery


to the top

CPA Day of Service: Improving Florida Communities

This is your chance to make a difference in your community. On Saturday, May 20, unite with other accountants in your area for CPA Day of Service to give back and meet fellow professionals who share your passion for making your community a better place.

There are two ways to get involved:

1.) Sign up to help with an event that’s already being planned in your region.

2.) Plan your own community service project. You can do something on your own, with your firm or volunteer with an organization. Getting involved can be as simple as assisting with housecleaning, mobilizing a beach clean-up or organizing charity donations. Get creative and make it something meaningful for you and your community. When you have an idea in place, register your event at ficpa.org so others can volunteer, too!

CPA Day of Service is hosted by the YCPA Committee and is open to all FICPA members and their families, friends and colleagues. Join us today!

Sign Up
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


to the top

Artificial Intelligence Comes to Financial Statement Audits

Bill Brennan, Mike Baccala and Mike Flynn, contributors
CFO.com

Artificial intelligence (AI) advocates speak of a time to come when these systems will be capable of auditing 100 percent of a company’s financial transactions. These visionaries foresee the day when AI will enable auditing that is a continuous and real-time process, not a prolonged exercise requiring large teams of accountants working overtime after the close of a fiscal year.

But is AI in auditing a good idea? Or do we even have a choice – is it just part of the data-focused technology wave that all companies must embrace?

We’ve approached our development of AI in auditing from the ground up to ensure that human values remain at the core of our audit work and that auditors have the tools they need to continue to improve audit quality. Here’s what we’ve learned.

To read the full article on CFO.com, click here.


to the top

Flexibility as a Retention Tool

By Ken Tysiac
journalofaccountancy.com

CPA firms are responding to a competitive talent environment by offering a number of employee-friendly working arrangements, according to the 2016 Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) survey released last fall by the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) team and CPA.com, the Institute’s technology and marketing subsidiary.

The biennial survey examines financial and other information for fiscal year 2015 for the more than 1,500 firms that participated. For the first time in 2016, the survey asked for information about flexible arrangements that firms are offering their workers.

Among the findings:

  • Flex time is offered by at least two-thirds of the firms in six of the seven revenue categories, including 96 percent of the largest firms ($10 million in revenue and up). The lone exception is the smallest firm category (under $200,000 in revenue), with 55 percent of those offering flex time.
  • About half of firms offer reduced hours in the offseason. The prevalence of this perk ranges from a high of 65 percent for firms with $500,000 to $750,000 in revenue to a low of 42 percent for the largest firms.
  • Telecommuting opportunities are provided by many firms, especially the largest ones (83 percent). This perk is less popular among firms in the three smallest revenue categories, where about one-third of firms offer these options to their people.

These perks may be an important retention tool to accommodate a workforce that showed an uptick in turnover compared with two years ago in three of the four largest firm sizes represented in the survey. The largest rise came in the $750,000 to $1.5 million revenue bracket, where turnover increased from 6.8 percent in 2014 to 8 percent in 2016.

To read the full article with images, click here.


to the top

Not-for-Profit Organizations Conference (16 CPE)
May 18-19, 2017
Tampa • Ft. Lauderdale • Online

 

 

In August, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued an Accounting Standards Update that simplifies and improves how a not-for-profit organization classifies its net assets, as well as the information it presents in financial statements and notes about its liquidity, financial performance and cash flows. Do you know how these changes will impact your business? Join us in Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale or online for our biggest event devoted to your complex requirements and today’s evolving issues!

In-demand Sessions: FASB Update & Financial Reporting Model
Assistant Director of FASB, Jeffrey D. Mechanick, CPA, CGMA will guide you through key developments in GAAP affecting not-for-profits. Mechanic also will focus specifically on ASU 2016-14 (NFP Financial Statements); implementation matters concerning the recent standards on revenue recognition and leases; and the FASB’s current project on grants and contracts to not-for-profits.

Register now and save $55 on up to 16 CPE credits with the early-bird price!

Register for Tampa | Register for Ft. Lauderdale
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


to the top

Introducing OneSource: Your New Solution for Classified Ads, Job Postings and More

Need to rent office space or find your next staff accountant? Looking for your next career opportunity? Want to find an internship or your first job in the industry? OneSource can help you do it all. The FICPA’s new classified ad and job board system is here, and it’s powerful.

Post.

  • Set up, pay for and post your ad with ease in our secure system.
  • Get connected to hot leads looking for ads like yours.
  • Access candidate résumés to find the perfect fit for your organization.
  • Attract a buyer or merger opportunity for your practice.
  • Use marketing tools to boost your message.

Find.

  • Find your next career move and apply for positions at companies throughout Florida.
  • Secure new office space for your growing practice.
  • Discover accounting practice sales and merger opportunities.

Grow.

  • Access the Career Learning Center for helpful webinars and resources.
  • Get professional résumé writing assistance.
  • Apply for internships and jobs for your start in the accounting industry.

Log in today and see how OneSource can work for you!

Access OneSource
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


to the top

Florida State University Accounting Conference (17 CPE)
May 11-12, 2017
Tallahassee or Online

 

 

You don’t have to travel far to be part of one of the state’s best CPE events. Join us and CPAs from throughout North Florida at the state-of-the-art Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center during the second week of May.

Held at one of the Florida’s largest universities, this conference offers up to 17 CPE credits covering employment law, internal controls, accounting for leases, tax reform, revenue recognition and more – plus the updates you need on the economy, single audit, not-for-profit reporting and GASB.

You’ll have many networking opportunities with fellow FSU alum and local professionals to boot. Everyone can save $55 with the early-bird price by registering before April 11, 2017. First-time attendees can save $100 by using promo code NEWFSU17 during registration,* and young CPAs can save $150 by using promo code YCPAFSU17!**

If you can’t attend in person, we’re also offering up to 15 CPE credits from the conference via online Simulcast.

Register Now | Learn More
Ask Us: Member Service Center (800) 342-3197 | (850) 224-2727 | msc@ficpa.org


to the top

Tech Tip
Microsoft Excel: 3 Ways to Calculate Internal Rate of Return in Excel

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
journalofaccountancy.com

Q. I have prepared projections for a proposed project and I want to calculate the internal rate of return. Instead of using Excel’s IRR function, should I use simple math formulas so others can follow my calculations?

A. Excel offers three functions for calculating the internal rate of return, and I recommend you use all three. The problem with using math to calculate the internal rate of return is that the necessary calculations are complicated and time consuming. 

Basically, a math-based solution involves calculating the net present value (NPV) for each cash flow amount (in a series of cash flows) using various guessed interest rates on a trial-and-error basis, and then those NPVs are added together. This process is repeated using various interest rates until you find/stumble upon the exact interest rate that produces NPV amounts that sum to zero. The interest rate that produces a zero-sum NPV then is declared the internal rate of return.

To simplify this process, Excel offers three functions for calculating the internal rate of return, each of which represents a better option than using the math-based formulas approach. These Excel functions are IRR, XIRR and MIRR. Explanations and examples for these functions are presented below. You can download the example workbook at carltoncollins.com/irr.xlsx.

To read the full article with images, click here.

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor and Journal of Accountancy contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.


to the top

In Memoriam

Cesar J. Rivero – Feb. 13, 2017


Look for the next issue of FICPA NewsFlash March 9, 2017.

Comments or Suggestions?

We are interested in your comments or suggestions. Please email communications@ficpa.org.