Single Audits/Federal Audits/OMB A-133 Audits | Which is it? What is it? and Determining Who Needs One.

Posted by Jennifer A. Varley, CPA on Oct 9, 2017 10:50:00 AM

Which is it?

Entities that receive federal assistance (i.e. federal funds, federal grants, and federal awards) are subject to audits in order to ensure that the federal assistance programs are utilized in compliance with the federal government. Before 1984 these audits were performed per program rather than per entity. In other words, entities with multiple assistance sources were subject to multiple audits and the costs of those audits.

Single Audit:

For the sake of efficiency and cost-effectiveness the Single Audit Act of 1984 was passed. The act earned its name because its purpose is to consolidate these audits, allowing entities to receive one audit over all of their federal assistance.

Due to this act these audits are referred to as "Single Audits".

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Topics: Nonprofit Audit & Assurance, Single Audit, Audit & Assurance

QuickBooks Tips | How to Fix Duplicated List Items

Posted by Lauri A. Lisanti, CPA, MAcc, CPS, Certified QB ProAdvisor on Sep 18, 2017 4:19:00 PM

Using QuickBooks requires the creation and maintenance of lists such as customer, vendor, chart of accounts lists. Frequently, clients come across a scenario where they find duplications within these lists. For instance, they find two slightly different versions of the same customer or vendor.

Unfortunately, this can become a data management nightmare. Applying payments to a customer's account, pulling a report to determine if a vendor should receive a 1099, or posting a transaction to a general ledger account, etc. when there are active duplications in the necessary lists will result in potentially major errors.

This issue seems to be more prevalent when more than one person has access to the QuickBooks® data. One person may not see the name already created in the list by another individual and will proceed to create another. QuickBooks has a built-in feature to prevent this. A warning message should appear indicating the name is already in use and asks would you like to merge them. However, even the slightest variable in how the names are entered will bypass this feature. It only takes one small difference in the name to create a new one. An example is putting a middle initial in a name of an individual or a comma in the name of a business.

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Topics: Certified QuickBooks Proadvisor, Quickbooks Tips, Bookkeeping

The EZ way to Form a Charitable Organization

Posted by Stacey L. Schroeffel, CPA, MST on Sep 11, 2017 3:42:00 PM

In July 2014 the IRS released a new, easier version of Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

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Topics: Nonprofit Organizations, Form 1023-EZ, Charitable Organizations, Forming a Nonprofit

QuickBooks Tips | Memorizing Transactions

Posted by Lauri A. Lisanti, CPA, MAcc, CPS, Certified QB ProAdvisor on Aug 28, 2017 4:55:45 PM

Businesses can make any number of transactions in a given year. A transaction being any business agreement or exchange that one makes with another person or business.  To minimize mistakes and increase efficiency business should utilize QuickBooks to memorize transactions.

QuickBooks Memorized transactions:

Instructions on memorizing QuickBooks transactions.

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Topics: Advice from a Certified QuickBooks Proadvisor, Quickbooks Tips, Bookkeeping

Real Estate Investments | The Cash Flow Approach

Posted by Derek M. Backa, CPA, CVA on Aug 14, 2017 5:36:37 PM
I recently went on vacation to the Outer Banks, a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina. It is a popular tourist destination, known for the wide expanse of beach front, state parks and unique history. Driving along the main road, a relative of mine, noted all the for sale signs on million dollar properties. I started wondering how many first time buyers had purchased these properties.
 
Perhaps these owners decided to purchase a property and then rent it out believing that the $8000 per week rentals would cover all their expenses and a mortgage payment. They may have expected to have a vacation spot without needing to pay any rent. When the property began needing repairs, maybe they realized that the rental season is too short to cover the real estate company's commission, the mortgage payments, utilities, and repairs.
 
What these potential first time owners discovered was that it costs more to keep the place up and pay the bills than the amount of rental income they receive. Ultimately, renting a place may be less expensive than owning. So these hypothetical owners put the house on the market, if they are lucky the property appreciated enough for them to recoup part of their cash outlay. If they aren't lucky and hit a down market (like the real estate market crash in 2009), they'll end up paying to get out from under the property.
 

Many of my clients ask me about real estate investment as a means to diversify their investment portfolio.

Real estate investments are easy to track and calculate net income compared to other business investment options and only require some upfront calculations to determine if they will be profitable.
 
Unfortunately, many real estate investors are first time investors who are emotionally devoted to finding their dream vacation home. In most of these situations this is a second home and not an investment. It’s important to not let emotions get in the way of doing the homework involved in real estate investing.
 
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Topics: Real Estate Investments, Cash Flow

QuickBooks Tips | Using Class Tracking

Posted by Lauri A. Lisanti, CPA, MAcc, CPS, Certified QB ProAdvisor on Jul 31, 2017 1:15:00 PM

What is QuickBooks Class tracking?

Class tracking is a feature in QuickBooks that enables you to keep track of your transaction data by creating classes to categorize them.  

What is a class?

Classes are assigned to transactions that relate to one another by category.  For instance, many clients have a need to track income and expenses by categories such as, department, business segment, location, etc.

This feature is the best way for a business to separate any significant segments of the business without having to add additional income and expense accounts to the general ledger.

Examples:

  • For profit companies may want to track multiple locations or divisions of the company.
  • Not-for-profit companies may need to track grants and restricted and unrestricted funds.
  • Any company doing business with a governmental entity can use classes to track fixed priced jobs versus cost plus jobs versus overhead.
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Topics: Advice from a Certified QuickBooks Proadvisor, QuickBooks Expert, Quickbooks Tips

Types of Business Entities | S Corporations

Posted by Rick J. Alfera, CPA, MST, PFS on Jul 17, 2017 4:48:18 PM


  Previously in this blog series, we discussed
sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and Corporations, and areas to consider when deciding on a business structure (read our first post in this series for more detail regarding these areas). In this post we'll be discussing S corporations.

What is an S Corporation?

A Subchapter S (S Corporation or S Corp.) is a form of corporation that meets specific Internal Revenue Code 1361 requirements, giving a corporation with 100 shareholders or less the benefit of incorporation while being a pass-through entity.  S corporations pass income directly to shareholders and avoid double taxation on the dividends of corporations, while still enjoying the advantages of the corporate structure. 

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Topics: Different Types if Business Entities, Structuring Your Business, S Corporations

QuickBooks Tips | Budgeting and Forecasting

Posted by Lauri A. Lisanti, CPA, MAcc, CPS, Certified QB ProAdvisor on Jul 3, 2017 11:31:00 AM

QuickBooks® offers a module to make the process of preparing and updating a budget or forecast easy. At a time when clients are reviewing their goals and objectives, be it monthly, quarterly, or annually, the process often includes the preparation of an operating budget and/or financial forecast.

What is financial forecasting?

"Forecasting is the use of historic data to determine the direction of future trends. Businesses utilize forecasting to determine how to allocate their budgets or plan for anticipated expenses for an upcoming period of time. This is typically based on the projected demand for the goods and services they offer." - Investopedia
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Topics: Certified QuickBooks Proadvisor, Quickbooks Tips, Using QuickBooks

Types of Business Entities | Corporations

Posted by Rick J. Alfera, CPA, MST, PFS on Jun 19, 2017 5:13:37 PM
"Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing." - Warren Buffet. Determining the best legal structure for your business requires a healthy knowledge of the different business entity options and what they entail. Otherwise, owners face risks such as, paying too much in taxes or taking on too much liability.
 
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Topics: Different Types if Business Entities, Structuring Your Business, Corporations

Employee Benefit Plan Audits | 5 Answers to Questions You May Have

Posted by Matthew B. Sarver, CPA on Jun 5, 2017 2:20:20 PM

 1. Does my employee benefit plan need an audit?

The audit requirement for your ERISA plan is based on the number of plan participants at the beginning of a given plan year.

Generally, if a benefit plan covers 100 or more participants as of the beginning of the plan year, the plan should be filing form 5500 as a “large plan.” Filing form 5500 requires an accompanying audit. 

There is an exception to the 100 plan participant requirement for an audit.  The 80-120 Participant Rule can be summarized as follows:

If the number of participants at the beginning of the year is between 80 and 120 and a form 5500 was filed in the previous plan year, you may elect to file in the same category as the prior year filing. For example, if you filed the plan’s form 5500 in the previous year as a “small plan” and the number of plan participants at the beginning of the following year is less than 120, you may elect to file as a small plan for the following year as well.

Breaking it down, the following are the scenarios in which your plan may or may not require an audit;

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Topics: Employee Benefit Plan Audits, Employee Benefit Plans, ERISA Plans

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