News Articles

NSAC Tax Committee: Qualified Payment Letter to IRS 12-20-2019

Published on December 28, 2019

December 20, 2019
CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-118425-18)
Room 5203
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 7604
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044 

Dear Sirs and Madams:

The National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC) is a professional society comprised of accountants who are actively involved with the financial management and planning of cooperative businesses. NSAC members are either employed by cooperatives or provide professional services for cooperatives.

The members of NSAC would like to comment on an important issue relating to the proposed regulations under section 199A: The reporting and definitional issues surrounding qualified payments. This issue is of special concern to cooperatives and their advisors because of upcoming reporting deadlines. Cooperatives will be providing Form 1099-PATRs to their patrons no later than January 31, 2020, in accordance with applicable law, and part of that reporting includes the information for Box 7.

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How to Handle an Office Know-It-All

Published on December 27, 2019

Know-it-alls get that title because they are usually right. They are smart and do their homework, and they are happy to flaunt their wisdom in front of anyone who will listen. They may act with an air of superiority that can make others feel incredibly angry and uncomfortable. Most do not enjoy hanging around an office know-it-all. Still, when we share office space with this individual, it is impossible and impractical to avoid him or her.

If you love your job but can’t stand dealing with a know-it-all colleague, it may be best to just interact with this person as minimally as possible. Take the emotion out of the workplace situation. Recognize that you would not be friends with this person outside of the workplace. Your goal is not to confide in one another or to spend lunches together. Rather, your goal is to communicate effectively and to collaborate, as needed, on team projects so that you can get your job done. Focus on minimal contact with maximum purpose. 

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Passwords Should Become a Thing of the Past. Here's Why

Published on December 27, 2019

When the man who invented passwords says it’s time to move on, it probably is. Four years ago, Fernando Corbato, who invented the first computer password in the 1960s, said that passwords had become "a nightmare”. Considering that his creation was not intended for the web, how data breaches have shaped the digital era, and the rise of privacy-awareness, it’s clear that things need to change.

Passwords were once one of our most trusted security measures, but over the past decade, the average person’s digital footprint has been exposed to increasing numbers of third parties. Now the average consumer manages over 191 pairs of usernames and passwords. It is almost guaranteed that people reuse the same passwords or tactics to authenticate across various services.

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Want a Happy Employee? Give Them an Office

Published on December 27, 2019

I know, I know. You just ordered a 50-foot, untreated walnut conference table, and you envision all of your employees filing into work each day, grabbing a seat at random, and coding away as part of a super chill, inter-departmental brainstorming session. The veining underneath all their MacBooks will look glorious—just use a coaster for the Starbucks! I said use a coaster!

However, a new survey of 1,500 employees by ResumeLab demonstrates that, once again, people prefer working in workspaces that have actual offices—rooms with a door where people can work on their own, in peace.

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Independent Contractor or Employee? Varying Tests

Published on December 27, 2019

It is not unusual to read news stories about companies being sued for classifying workers as independent contractors when they claim to be employees. Being designated an employee can have a profound effect on everything from overtime pay to fringe benefits to, of course, taxes. Numerous articles have been written about the advantages and disadvantages for both the worker and the business of how an individual is classified. The present focus is what criteria are to be used in the determination.

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New Accounting Standards Seem to Drive Up Audit Costs

Published on December 27, 2019

The survey, by FloQast, a provider of close management software for accountants, and Dimension Research, asked controllers and senior accounting professionals at small, midsize and large companies about their audit costs in the wake of the revenue recognition and leases standards, also known as ASC 606 and ASC 842 after their positions in the Accounting Standards Codification. It found that 45 percent of the companies surveyed said they are paying more than $100,000 for their year-end audit.

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FASB Updates Accounting for Income Taxes

Published on December 27, 2019

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released a new Accounting Standards Update aimed at reducing the cost and complexity of accounting for income taxes.

Part of the board’s simplification initiative, ASU 2019-12 removes certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 – “Income Taxes in GAAP,” and means organizations don’t need to determine whether these exceptions apply for a given period: 

The board also expects that it will simplify GAAP for a number of areas, including:

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Year-end Accounting and Disclosure Reminders for Reporting Under the New Leases Standard

Published on December 27, 2019

As they prepare for year-end reporting, entities that adopted the new leases standard should carefully review their accounting and disclosures in areas that require significant judgment, estimates and changes in practice. These areas include determining whether a contract is a lease or contains a lease, determining the discount rate to use for new or modified leases, and identifying lease modifications and reassessment events. Entities should be mindful of changes to their processes and controls over these areas, especially if they implemented a new IT system or modified their IT system during the year. Our Technical Line provides key reminders about these topics and other challenging aspects of the standard

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How Safe Are Password Managers?

Published on November 20, 2019

A password manager stores all your passwords and automatically fills them in your web browser and mobile apps. But is trusting an app with your passwords and storing them all in one place a smart idea?

Yes, yes, it is. We recommend everyone use a password manager, which is far superior to other ways of keeping track of your passwords. Here’s why they’re a safe choice.

Password Managers Are Safer Than the Alternative
A password manager stores your passwords in a secure vault, which you can unlock with a single master password—and, optionally, an extra two-factor authentication method to help keep everything extra secure.

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Lease Accounting: Keep Pushing Ahead

Published on November 20, 2019

In February 2016, FASB issued new lease accounting requirements in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). Under its core principle, a lessee recognizes a right-of-use (ROU) asset and a lease liability on its balance sheet for most leases, including operating leases. This is expected to have a significant impact on most entities' balance sheets, considering how prevalent and routine leasing is to most businesses.

FASB issued the new standard to increase transparency and comparability among entities by recognizing leases on the balance sheet and providing more information about leasing arrangements so that users can assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows from leases.

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