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How to Prevent Employee Data Theft

Published on February 21, 2020

While organizations have invested heavily in protecting their sensitive data, even the world’s most sophisticated companies often overlook a persistent risk when it comes to potential data theft: their own employees. 

Most data theft is perpetrated by outside actors, including criminal syndicates, according to an analysis of 41,686 security incidents for the 2019 version of the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. But more than a third, or 34%, of worldwide data security incidents were perpetrated or aided by employees or contractors from within organizations, according to the Verizon report. 

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What Are the Potential Tax Advantages of the LLC, C Corp and S Corp?

Published on February 21, 2020

As an accounting professional, you know there are potential tax-related upsides and downsides for every type of business entity. It’s important to communicate those considerations to your clients to help guide them as they decide which legal business structure to form for their company. In addition to your insight, of course, your clients should also consult a knowledgeable business attorney who can share the legal ramifications of the various business entity types.

Let’s take a moment to lay out the tax pros and cons in a way that may make it easier for you to cover all the bases in your conversations with your clients.

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Phone Hacks Can Happen to Anyone. Here's How to Protect Yourself

Published on February 21, 2020

Start by knowing what could expose you to an attack, like vacation clues, hotel Wi-Fi and inadequate verification procedures. 

The mobile phone belonging to Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, was allegedly hacked when he clicked a video sent through WhatsApp, essentially turning over control of his phone and all of its contents to the hackers. 

Compromising the security of the world’s wealthiest man is no mean feat. But hackers are using more surreptitious ways to gain access to people’s financial lives and threaten their wealth.

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Attention Taxpayers: Your Chances of Getting Audited Have Fallen Significantly

Published on February 07, 2020

KEY POINTS

As the adage goes, the only sure things in life are death and taxes.

But tax audits are another thing entirely. 

A taxpayer’s chances of getting audited by the IRS have fallen significantly over the past decade. 

The agency audited 0.45% of individual tax returns in fiscal 2019, which ran through Sept. 30, 2019. That figure is down from 0.59% in 2018, and down by more than half from what it was in 2010, when 1.11% of taxpayers were audited.

In other words, roughly 1 out of every 220 taxpayers were audited last year. A decade ago, those odds were closer to 1 in 90. 

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Audit Fees Keep Rising, Thanks to New Accounting Standards

Published on February 07, 2020

Average audit fees increased 4.25 percent from 2017 to 2018, going from an average of $2,220,251 in 2017 to $2,314,703 in 2018, mainly driven by new standards from the Financial Accounting Standards Board, according to a new report. 

The report, from the Financial Education & Research Foundation, an affiliate of Financial Executives International, found that more public companies are seeing an increase in the volume of work needed to get an audit report from their outside auditors (73 percent) than private companies (27 percent) and nonprofit organizations (22 percent). 

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The Best Skills to Have on Your Resume

Published on February 07, 2020

Writing a good resume is a tricky balancing act.

You want to impress recruiters by highlighting your skills and experiences, but you don't want to overwhelm them with too much information either.

The key to striking the right balance and making your resume stand out is to include skills that are tailored to the position you're applying for.

"A resume is a foot in the door," Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, told CNN Business. A well-tailored resume that highlights skills that are most important for the role and that you can back up with specific accomplishments or experiences will intrigue a recruiter and help get you through the door.

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IRS Issues 2020 Standard Mileage Rates

Published on February 07, 2020

The optional standard mileage rates for business use of a vehicle will decrease slightly in 2020 after increasing significantly in 2019, the IRS announced on Tuesday (Notice 2020-05). For business use of a car, van, pickup truck, or panel truck, the rate for 2020 will be 57.5 cents per mile in 2020, down from 58 cents per mile last year after increasing from 54.5 cents per mile in 2018. Taxpayers can use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile. 

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The Business Meal Expense Deduction After the TCJA

Published on February 07, 2020

Some taxpayers have wondered whether client-related business meal expenses remain deductible after the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), P.L. 115-97, which generally repealed the deduction for entertainment expenses.

One reading of current law is that because business meals are a form of entertainment, they are no longer deductible. Notably, the Joint Committee on Taxation in its Bluebook for the TCJA indicated that business meals generally cannot be deducted.

On the other hand, the conference committee report for the TCJA expressly indicates that Congress intended business meal expenses to remain 50% deductible.

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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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