2020 TFACC Monday Breakout Sessions Highlight

Published July 15, 2020

Have you checked out the 2020 TFACC schedule? This year’s TFACC has an education-packed schedule to provide you with the opportunity to earn 14 CPEs by participating live! Take a look at Monday, August 3’s breakout sessions below.

For more event information and to register, please visit bit.ly/2020VirtualTFACC

*All times on the schedule are EASTERN TIME. Please plan accordingly.

11:15am - 12:05pm
G&T/Distribution CEO Panel - Wholesale Agreements Changes Due to Disruption in the Industry

Marcus Harris, President & CEO, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative
Mike Leverett, Owner, Energy Economics Consulting
Mark Johnston, General Manager, Mountain Parks Electric Inc.
Due to the introduction of new and emerging technologies, existing power supply agreements may need to be re-visited in order to accommodate changing business objectives.  This session to include an expert CEO panel discussing their experiences in this area.

Depolarizing the Workplace - Everyone has Talent, Bring it Together and Capitalize on it
Jeremy Wortman, PhD, Owner, HRD Initiatives
Managing your workforce in a polarized political and social environment can be a challenging task and a distraction from achieving your organization's business goals.  Today's business leaders must focus on building an inclusive culture which brings alignment and excitement across the entire workforce.  During this session we will define what is organization culture is (and is not) and why it should be a strategic priority.  We will then explore best practices you can take back to your organization to further articulate the type of culture you want and need to have in order to achieve your near and long-term business goals.

Payroll Taxes
Jacob Franklin, CPA, Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.

Capital Credits: Potential Risks in the Capital Credit Allocation Process
Bill Miller, CPA, Tax Partner, Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss, LLP
Ty Thompson, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Director and Member Legal Services, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Terry Mitchell, CPA, PPM, Senior Partner-Utilities Consulting, Jackson Thornton
The "operation at cost" principle requires cooperatives to operate at neither above nor below cost by returning the excess of operating revenue to the patrons in proportion to their business with the cooperative. Electric cooperatives fulfill this requirement by annually allocating capital credits in a fair and equitable process that should be pursuant to a preexisting legal obligation, made out of the net earnings from business done for or with patrons, and ratably on the basis of patronage. In a Q&A format, the panelists will discuss the primary risk areas in the capital credit allocation process. Issues to be discussed include, but are not limited to: definition of patronage earnings for the exempt electric cooperative, importance of considering differences in rates when adopting an allocation methodology, due diligence for if a change in the allocation methodology is needed, options for recovering operating losses, and key policy considerations.

COVID-19: Opening the Door for Fraud
Jessica Kaczor, Senior Auditor, Bauknight Pietras & Stormer, PA
2020 has proven to be a year for the history books.  Businesses are adapting to remote work and constant changes in the business climate, while fraudsters are always adapting their schemes to take advantage of businesses – and are usually one step ahead of everyone!  Learn about updated benchmarks in regards to fraud schemes and how remote work and furloughed employees factor into the fraud equation.?

1:35pm - 2:25pm
Capital Credit Strategies
Bill Miller, CPA, Tax Partner, Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss, LLP
David Antoni, CPA, Managing Director, Tax, National Director of Cooperative Tax Services, KPMG, LLP
Cooperatives are increasingly using special retirements of capital credits as one component of their overall strategy to manage patrons' allocated equity. This typically involves retiring capital credits "early" when certain events occur, such as the change in a patrons' status from active to inactive, rather than waiting until such amounts would be retired generally under an established retirement cycle. Such early retirements are generally done on a discounted, net present value basis. This session will discuss reasons for considering discounted retirements, primary factors driving net present value, IRS guidance, and an illustrative example. Included will be a discussion of the potential tax implications of the discount to both the cooperative and patron will also be discussed. We will conclude with policy considerations. This session is designed with both Sub-chapter T and electric utility cooperatives in mind.

Family First Act
Monica Murdo, MAIR, SPHR, SHRM-SCP HR Business Consultant, Outsourcing, CLA

Hand in the Cookie Jar?
Julie Desimone, CPA, Partner, Moss Adams

Valuations and External Sources of Capital Trends
Mark Ellmer, Staff Director – Revenue Requirements, JSI
ReConnect, RDOF, and other federal and state grant/loan sources have the potential to provide rural LECs with significant sources of investment capital. What are the important criteria to keep in mind when considering applying for available funding? Once your decision to apply is made, what should your application include? Are there steps that can be taken in advance to ease the application process? This session also will include first-hand examples from companies like yours who have applied for these types of financing programs recently. ??

2:40pm - 3:30pm
Cost of Service Study
Craig Woycheese, CPA, MBA, Senior Utility Rate Consultant, Toth and Associates, Inc.
Expert speaker walks through basics of what is included in a Cost of Service Study, explaining the importance of a study, and what information is needed to complete a study.  Touch on current trends in rate structures being deployed by electric cooperatives.

Finders Keepers - Retaining Top Talent
Shawn Miller, Principal, Morrison
This session will focus on strategies to retain your number one resource…..your best people!

COVID-19 Payroll Tax Credits
Jared Kempel, CPA, Senior Tax Accountant, Baker Tilly

The Future of Broadband Competition
Camille Christensen, Partner Moss Adams
Chad Holzer, Partner, Moss Adams
A variety of competitors entering the broadband marketplace may have a significant impact on rural broadband providers and customers in the near future.  We’ll cover the change landscape of providers with an outlook on the current and future impacts on the marketplace for both providers and customers.

3:45pm - 4:35pm
DER/EV/Three Part Rate Design in the Future From an Expert Perspective
Mike Searcy, Managing Consultant, Managing Consultant, Guernsey
Cooperatives are increasing considering the pros and cons of three-part (demand) rate for all of their customer classes, including residential. Mr. Searcy will discuss this issue, including the advantages of these rate related to cost recovery, the confusion surrounding these rates and the potential road blocks in implementing rates of this type.

Tell it to Your Board
Randy Throener, CPA, Audit Partner, BKD, LLP
This session will discuss the challenges of communicating with your board of directors. The speakers will focus on how to communicate effectively and what information is key!

Foundation of Electric Cooperative Financial Reporting - An Introduction to the Form 7
Kacey Gast, CPA, Audit Partner, Bolinger, Segars, Gilbert & Moss, L.L.P.
The workshop will give participants a greater understanding of the overall Form 7.  Prepare the Form 7 Part A Statement of Operations and Part C Balance Sheet and understand the relationship between the two.  A brief overview of the annual supplemental forms will also be included.

85-15 Test - Overview, Calculations and Pitfalls
Russ Wasson, CPA, Senior Director of Tax, Finance and Accounting Policy, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
David Cook, JD, Attorney, Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
In general, electric cooperatives are exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501©(12) of the Internal Revenue Code provided that at least 85% of income is received from members for the sole purpose of meeting losses and expenses. This session will walk-through the requirements of the so-called 85-15 Test by discussing what is and is not member income, distinctions between member income versus member related income, and when income from a member is "non-member" for purposes of the 85-15 Test. We will walk-through a typical calculation and conclude with a discussion of transactions that can potentially cause the cooperative to fail the 85-15 Test depending on how such transactions are structured.

Interest Expense Limitations - Code Section 163(j)
Howard Wagner, Partner, Crowe LLP
This session will provide an overview of the general limitations for deducting business interest expense, updated for changes to the CARES Act. We will discuss rules specific to electing farming businesses and cooperatives.

Evolution of FASB Lease Accounting: Where Are We Now?
Jessica Richter, Partner, BKD
Learn how to tackle lease modifications and additional ASC 840 fallout from COVID-19 and how they may affect your implementation of the new lease standard, ASC 842. We'll also share best practices we've gained from ASC 842 adoption, including pain points and lessons learned.

4:50pm - 5:40pm
Trends in Solar Rates
Mike Searcy, Managing Consultant, Guernsey
Cooperatives around the country are seeing a rapidly evolving solar landscape. Traditional means of recovering costs from solar generation and compensating for solar generation are varying wildly around the country. Mr. Searcy will describe a variety of options for recovering costs and for providing compensation, as well as regulatory hurdles sometimes seen.

Internal Fraud: Addressing the Segregation of Duties Dilemma
Steve Dawson, CPA CFE, President, Dawson Forensic Group
Common in smaller Cooperatives, and even in some of the larger Cooperatives, providing the staff size necessary to properly segregate duties for internal control purposes is just not feasible. This segregation of duties dilemma leads many to incorrectly conclude that “we can’t have good internal controls”. This session counters that conclusion by focusing on those controls and processes that can be implemented to help mitigate the lack of segregation of duties. With the proper combination of prevention AND detection controls and processes, the Cooperative can still achieve an effective control structure that serves to prevent and detect internal fraud.

Best Practices for Inventory Management
Rod Ballard, CPA, CFE, Principal, Jackson Thornton
Brent Hill, VP of Sales, General Pacific
During this session, we will review existing best practices for inventory management.

IRS Exam Issues for the Taxable Electric Distribution Coop
Jacob Franklin, CPA, Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.
Michael Raum, Esq., Attorney, Fredrikson & Byron, PA?
This session will explore what it means to operate as a non-exempt or taxable electric cooperative, how taxable income is calculated, the tax benefit of allocating patronage capital, and other tax considerations. Included will be an example calculation of taxable income and the impacts of differing methodologies for calculating the allocable margin will have on taxable income.

PPP Loans and Forgiveness - A Cooperative Perspective
Eric Krienert, CPA, Tax Director, Moss Adams LLP

What Broadband Customers Want from a Provider
Tim Owens, President, Cronin Commun??ications
For starters, customers just want their Internet to work. They want to pay a little and get a lot. Tim Owens will gui??de you through Cronin Communications’ primary research on this subject to help financial professionals understand what drives ??customers wants and needs. ?