Hot Topics Article Archives

2020 Depreciation Limits for Cars and Trucks Are Issued

Published on July 21, 2020

The IRS issued the limitations on depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles first placed in service in 2020 and the amounts of income inclusion for lessees of passenger automobiles first leased during 2020 (Rev. Proc. 2020-37). For these purposes, passenger automobiles include trucks and vans. The amounts in the revenue procedure are inflation-adjusted as required by Sec. 280F(d)(7), using the automobile component of the chained consumer price index for all urban consumers (C-CPI-U).

For passenger automobiles to which the Sec. 168(k) additional (bonus) first-year depreciation deduction applies and that are acquired after Sept. 27, 2017, and placed in service during calendar year 2020, the depreciation limit under Sec. 280F(d)(7) is $18,100 for the first tax year; $16,100 for the second tax year; $9,700 for the third tax year; and $5,760 for each succeeding year, all unchanged from 2019. Under Sec. 168(k)(8)(D)(i), no bonus depreciation is allowed for property acquired before Sept. 28, 2017, and placed in service after 2019.

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The 5 C's of Leadership During COVID-19

Published on July 21, 2020

Many organizations plan for a potential crisis, but most didn’t predict a pandemic. Yet, even in difficult times, we can often find silver linings. Perhaps it’s the things we learn about ourselves or others, different ways of doing things, or gaining new perspectives. The challenge for leaders is to find those silver linings, celebrate them, and use them as inspiration.

Recently, at CLA, we reflected on what lessons we have learned from this situation, and how to use those lessons as we move forward. Here are our five C’s of maintaining a strong organization during COVID-19.

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5 Tips for Running a Successful Remote Close

Published on July 21, 2020

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, CFOs and finance leaders faced an increasingly complex landscape, driven by a multitude of social, political and economic threats. Few could have been prepared for the impact of a global pandemic that has changed the very nature of business as usual.

Today, with the majority of their workforce operating remotely, many forward-thinking finance teams across the world have or are preparing to push the button on their first remote close. Closing the books and using multiple systems even under normal circumstances can be complex and cumbersome. It can be even harder when most employees work remotely and there’s no chance for impromptu over-the-cubicle check ins. The remote or virtual close brings many new challenges to the table, including employee communication, risk assessment, process changes and control of documentation.

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What's In Your Firm's Social Media Policy?

Published on July 21, 2020

Social media is one of the most powerful and easy ways to market your firm, and it is the rare accounting firm that doesn’t have some sort of social media presence. But with great power comes great responsibility, and it is time for firms to either create, or update, their social media policies.

We all like to think that everyone who works for our firms is knowledgeable about what is, and is not, appropriate to share publicly. We also want to believe they are polite and thoughtful and would never say something threatening, disparaging or careless. But as one sad — and sometimes devastating — story after another proves, this isn’t always the case.

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PPP Recipients Can Apply Early for Loan Forgiveness, SBA Says

Published on July 21, 2020

New Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) guidance released Monday night declares that PPP recipients can apply for loan forgiveness early but that doing so could cost them money.

In a 34-page interim final rule (IFR) issued in consultation with Treasury, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) addresses a number of issues related to the PPP, which was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, P.L. 116-136, to provide forgivable loans to small businesses, not-for-profits, and certain other entities hurt by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government-imposed quarantines.  

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A World Without Passwords?

Published on July 21, 2020

Q. I am sick to death of having to remember passwords. Is there any hope of getting rid of them soon?

A. "I love passwords," said no one, ever!

The idea of remembering hundreds of passwords is nauseating and, for many, results in poor password hygiene. A 2017 report from LastPass indicates the average business user has 191 passwords to manage. I personally have over 300!

In the world of cybersecurity, there are continuous efforts to develop tools to keep our data secure. Yet, not much has changed since the original computer passwords were first used in the 1960s.

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IRS Proposes Rules for Elimination of Commuting Benefits Deduction

Published on July 21, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a set of proposed regulations to provide guidance on the elimination of the deduction of qualified transportation fringe and commuting expenses in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The TCJA got rid of the traditional deduction for qualified transportation fringe expenses and generally doesn’t allow employers to claim the deduction for transportation and commuting expenses of their employees between their home and workplace anymore.

The 2017 tax overhaul originally also said a tax-exempt organization’s unrelated business taxable income would be increased by the amount of the qualified transportation fringe (QTF) expense that’s nondeductible. However, last December, that was repealed as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. The repeal was retroactive to the original date of enactment by the TCJA.

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What Does It Take to Move Your Business to the Cloud

Published on June 23, 2020

Moving your accounting and business applications to the cloud lets you and your employees access them from anywhere with an internet connection, including your own home, at any time. Working at home is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity, and the ability to work from home is becoming more important all the time. But just how difficult is moving your business to the cloud? What does moving to the cloud require? Not very and not much. In fact, it might be easier to discuss what it doesn’t require. Here are some answers to a few common misconceptions about moving to the cloud.

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Homeland Security Warns Over "Wormable" Windows 10 Bug

Published on June 23, 2020

Homeland Security’s cybersecurity advisory unit is warning Windows 10 users to make sure that their systems are fully patched, after exploit code for a “wormable” bug was published online last week. 

The code takes advantage of a security vulnerability patched by?Microsoft??back?in March. The bug caused confusion and concern after details of the “critical”-rated bug were?initially published but quickly pulled offline. 

The exploit code, known as SMBGhost, exploits a bug in the server message block — or SMB — component that lets Windows talk with other devices, like printers and file servers. Once exploited, the bug gives the attacker unfettered access to a Windows computer to run malicious code, like malware or ransomware, remotely from the internet. 

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COSO Provides New Guidance on Risk Appetite

Published on June 23, 2020

Risk appetite plays an important role in organizational success and should be considered carefully by leaders as they make strategic decisions. 

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) has published?new guidance?on risk appetite focusing on how organizations can promote risk appetite as a key factor in decision-making. 

“Risk appetite is a fundamental part of setting strategy and objectives, providing context as the organization pursues a given level of performance,” COSO Chairman Paul Sobel said in a news release. “What is important is to recognize that the choice of strategies and objectives requires an understanding of the appetite for risk. While most often an organization can adjust to take on more risk, there may be times where it needs to adjust the appetite, or perhaps even strategy, to accommodate a shifting business environment such as the one we are currently experiencing.” 

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