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Dec 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Has Your Goodwill Gone Bad?

Each year, a question from your auditor will inevitably pop up, “Have you tested your goodwill for impairment yet?” In 2015, that question might have sparked more grimace than in prior years; try DOUBLE the grimace.

A recently released survey of more than 8,500 publicly-traded companies in the U.S. found that total goodwill impairment increased from $26 billion in 2014 to $57 billion in 2015. Ironically, this occurred in a year characterized by exceptionally high merger and acquisition activity. The increased M&A activity last year seems to promise more write-offs in the future and even more reasons to be concerned about getting it right.

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Topics: Audit, FASB, goodwill impairment

Nov 17, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Biggest Takeaways from Trump's Tax Plan

After one of the most memorable and acrimonious presidential campaigns in American history, Donald Trump stunned observers by defeating Hillary Clinton to be elected the 45th President of the United States. Additionally, the Republican Party maintained control of both the House and the Senate.

This combination will give Mr. Trump and a Republican Congress a unique opportunity to shape many areas of policy, such as health care, regulatory reform, defense spending, immigration and more. However, near the top of that list will almost certainly be taxes. 

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Topics: Tax, Trump

Nov 10, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Alphabet Soup: Understanding the Qualifications of Risk Management Professionals

Imagine you’ve just received an email from a potential vendor looking to make a connection. You notice that after his name in the signature block he has listed five abbreviations, all intended to make him appear qualified, reputable and knowledgeable. But what do the abbreviations actually mean? Are they relevant to the service you're trying to procure? 

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Topics: IT Risk, Risk, Risk Management

Nov 3, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Exporting Goods or Services? The IC-DISC Tax Incentive Could Save You Thousands of Tax Dollars

Are you a small- or medium-sized company that exports its USA-made products to foreign countries? If so, are you taking advantage of a tax incentive known as an "interest charge-domestic international sales company" or IC-DISC?

The use of an IC-DISC allows you to significantly increase your company’s after-tax income. For example, profits are taxed at the dividend rate, as opposed to ordinary income tax rates that currently top out at 35 percent.

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Topics: Tax Planning, IC-DISC

Oct 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Do You Have Ghosts in Your Fixed Asset Roles?

Every year, the civic organization I joined hosts a haunted house during October as a fundraiser. I am always amused by visitor’s reactions to the ghosts and goblins as they creep through the house. Some aren’t scared at all and just ignore the actors.  Everyone else goes from mildly to massively frightened; it seems to depend on the person’s situation. 

We seem to love being scared by the ghosts that show up at Halloween. We know where to look for them and recognize them when we see them, but are you as excited about the ghosts that might exist in your fixed asset roles? 

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Topics: fixed assets

Oct 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Trucking Regulations to Increase in 2017: Are You Prepared?

As I’m sure you’re aware, the trucking and logistics industry is one of the most regulated industries in the United States. Almost everything a trucking company does is governed by regulations, and complying with regulations is sometimes daunting and often frustrating. Ignoring applicable laws, however, can lead to heavy fines and losses in revenue.

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Topics: Regulations, Trucking, EPA

Oct 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Wells Fargo Scandal: How to Avoid the Fraud Pyramid and Its Costly Effects

A colleague told me a story about fraud at a retail chain where she worked after college. The company was having a problem with cash theft in one particular store, so the district manager scheduled polygraph tests for the cashiers to find the culprit or culprits.

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Topics: Audit, Fraud, Internal Audit

Oct 6, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Family-Owned Businesses: The Heart of the U.S. Economy

Family-owned businesses really are the heart of the U.S. economy. Forbes magazine estimates that 90 percent of all U.S. businesses are family-owned or controlled by a family. More than that, family-owned businesses account for 50 percent of the U.S. Gross National Product. Clearly, they are critical to the stability and growth of the U.S. economy, as well as to job creation.

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Topics: family owned business, succession planning

Sep 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM

New DOL Overtime Rule: What Are You Risking by Preparing Alone?

From time to time, I talk with a retired HR executive who stays up to date on significant HR related issues. Lately, he’s been working on the new Department of Labor overtime rules, and I found his comments significant as we work towards the new rule’s deadline on December 1, 2016.

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Topics: Overtime Rule, DOL, FLSA

Sep 22, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Prepare Your State Tax Audit Team Like a Winning Football Team

I was thinking the other day how similar football and state tax audits are. Stay with me here.

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Topics: Audit, Tax, Preparation

Sep 15, 2016 10:30:00 AM

New Lease Standard Requires New Definitions & Judgment

The HORNE team has written quite a bit about the new revenue recognition and lease standards, but the new rules will impact the telecommunications industry more than other industries. In this blog, I’d like to provide information for telecom companies to assist them with managing their finances and operations, as well as developing the judgment necessary to identify what actually constitutes or contains a lease.

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Topics: Revenue Recognition Standard, Lease Standard, Telecommunications

Sep 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Preventing the ‘Seven-Year Itch’ in Your Business Relationships

Before becoming a parent I believed being married was the hardest thing ever.  Of course, after 13 years of proper training, my wife has almost whipped me into shape.  Forget the “seven-year itch,” she was probably ready to kick me to the curb after about two weeks.  Thank goodness she didn’t.

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Topics: Relationships, Communication

Sep 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Struggling Communities Benefit from NMTC Program; Investors Benefit from Tax Credits

Last month, the City of Detroit demolished the 10,000th vacant home in Mayor Mike Duggan's massive plan to eliminate blight in the city. Detroit was hit hard by the recession of 2008 and the corresponding drop in residential property values. As home values declined, homeowners couldn’t afford their mortgage payments and went into foreclosure. Currently, Detroit lists almost 140,000 homes in the foreclosure process with more foreclosures on the way.

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Topics: NMTC, New Market Tax Credits