November 2018 Article Archives

How to Master Performance Reviews

Published on November 19, 2018

Express gratitude for any kind of feedback you receive, because it presents opportunities to improve. 

Traditional Performance evaluations are going extinct. The rapid pace of change in the modern business landscape has decreased the utility of formal, once-a-year reviews, which once loomed large over workers' careers and earnings. 

Most employees won't miss those dinosaurs, experts say, noting that younger workers especially crave more frequent feedback. They tend to be happier with the continuous performance review systems evolving to fill the void, which are "more frequent, more employee-centric, more coaching-in-nature conversations between manager and employees," says Anna Tavis, clinical associate professor of human capital management at New York University. 

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FASB Expands Private Company Consolidation Relief

Published on November 19, 2018

FASB addressed an area of accounting that has long been a concern for private companies with the issuance of a standard designed to improve consolidation accounting for private companies. 

The standard-setting board also amended for all entities the guidance for determining whether a decision-making fee is a variable interest. 

The changes were published in Accounting Standards Update No. 2018-17Consolidation (Topic 810): Targeted Improvements to Related Party Guidance for Variable Interest Entities. The standard is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of financial reporting associated with variable-interest entities (VIEs), which are organizations in which consolidation is not based on a majority of voting rights. 

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It's Crunch Time for Private Companies on Revenue Recognition

Published on November 19, 2018

It’s understandable that FASB’s new revenue recognition standard might not be top-of-mind for private company finance personnel despite the impending effective date. 

The standard takes effect for private companies for annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019. So effectively, private companies must adopt by the 2019 year end.

That doesn’t give them much time to work on implementation, but it’s still easy for them to overlook the importance of this new standard.  In this case, it may be tempting to give minimal attention to the implementation because the timing and amount of revenue that companies report under the new standard may not be much different from the previous numbers. 

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Auditors See Challenges in New Leasing Standard

Published on November 19, 2018

The new lease accounting standard that takes effect for public companies next year poses obstacles for the audit firms that have begun implementing it for their clients. 

The leases standard, which was jointly developed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board but has some differences under U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards, will put operating leases on the balance sheet of many companies for the first time. 

A new survey from the lease accounting software company LeaseCrunch polled auditors from 77 different CPA firms in the U.S. about the upcoming changes. Of those auditors who have started conversations with clients about the new lease accounting requirements, the number one problem is determining which practical expedients should be applied (21 percent), followed by book vs. tax implications (17 percent), determining the incremental borrowing rate (14 percent) and accounting for operating leases (11 percent).  

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Social Security Wage Base Set for 2019

Published on November 19, 2018

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the maximum amount of wages subject to the old age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI) tax will increase to $132,900 for 2019. The OASDI tax rate is 6.2%, so an employee with wages up to or above the maximum in 2019 would pay $8,239.80 in tax and the employer would pay an equal amount. Self-employed individuals pay tax at a 12.4% rate up to the limit. The 2018 wage base is $128,400, for a $7,960.80 maximum amount of OASDI tax. 

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What You Should Know About The 2018 W-2, 1099 & 1095 Filing Season

Published on November 19, 2018

Businesses are gearing up for a busy W-2, 1099 & 1095 filing season in the months ahead, navigating through an accelerated reporting season and getting re-acquainted with specific state and federal requirements. 

Deadlines & Timing

For 2019, the PATH (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes) Act requires businesses to file W-2, 1099 and 1095 forms before the January 31 deadline. In previous years, the IRS has provided leniency to businesses filing 1095 (Affordable Care Act) forms, but at this time IRS has yet to announce an automatic extension. Therefore, don’t expect the IRS to extend the ACA filing deadline this year just because they have in the past. Be prepared to file your forms before the January 31 recipient deadline to remain in compliance and avoid potential fines. 

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Inflation Adjustments and Tax Tables Issued for 2019

Published on November 19, 2018

The IRS issued the 2019 annual inflation adjustments for many tax provisions as well as the 2019 tax rate tables for individuals and estates and trusts (Rev. Proc. 2018-57). These adjusted amounts will be used to prepare tax year 2019 returns in 2020. 

Many amounts are increasing for inflation in 2019. The standard deduction will increase to $24,400 for married individuals filing joint returns or surviving spouses, $18,350 for heads of household, and $12,200 for unmarried individuals (other than surviving spouses) and married individuals filing separate returns. 

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