There’s not a whole lot of positive news these days, but one sure source of inspiration has cropped up: Maryland manufacturers are stepping up and getting creative to help in the fight against COVID-19. Maryland’s Department of Commerce did some stepping up of its own by launching a $5 million incentive program to help Maryland manufacturers produce personal protective equipment and other items that are urgently needed by Maryland hospitals, healthcare facilities and emergency responders.
The economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are shaping up to be seismic. On March 25, the Senate passed a third economic stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Subscribe to our blog, and we'll send articles straight to your inbox when they're published.
Businesses are doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines for disinfecting and offering remote work arrangements for employees. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many business owners to put their contingency plans into place to keep operations going, and some are wondering how they will make payroll.
On March 23, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan announced new economic relief packages from the Maryland Department of Commerce for Maryland small businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is making low-interest disaster recovery loans available to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans are available to businesses located in declared disaster areas, including Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia.
Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin delayed the deadline for individual tax payments by 90 days, moving the deadline to July 15 from April 15, when individual tax returns are normally due. Today Secretary Mnuchin took to Twitter to announce that the deadline for individual income tax filings has been extended to July 15, 2020.
President Trump just signed into law a second phase of coronavirus-related relief, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It’s a $100 billion relief package designed to offer help to businesses and their employees who are impacted by the coronavirus. The first phase of relief, an $8.3 billion piece of legislation, was dedicated to coronavirus vaccine research and development. This new legislation includes provisions for tax credits for employers who offer paid sick leave or family or medical leave for their employees who miss work for various coronavirus-related reasons. Let’s take a closer look at the FFCRA and what it means for businesses and employees, and what business owners need to be ready to offer to employees by April 2.
With a potential economic crisis on the horizon, business owners are more than concerned. Business owners everywhere are walking a delicate tight rope of financial concern, meeting cancellations, travel restrictions, technology challenges and employee morale, all while trying to remain empathetic toward employees and customers. It’s flat out hard being a business owner right now. When I asked some of our firm’s leaders for their #1 piece of advice for business owners, several common themes emerged: communication and patience. Let’s look at what they had to say.
Sharon Paul, CPA, really wants you to install your computer updates. (Seriously, though.) A tech titan and partner in Gross Mendelsohn’s Technology Solutions Group, Sharon has been helping businesses figure out their toughest technology issues for 30+ years. When she stopped by the set of Next Level, Sharon told me about how technology can help a business run more efficiently.
Most small to mid-size business owners have a lot on their plate. Not only are you still involved in much of the day-to-day operations at your company, but you probably also wear the hat of accountant, marketer, recruiter and more. This shifting list of priorities can make it tough to focus on building and growing your business.
The secret sauce for a great marketing strategy starts with the story you tell about your business. Or at least that’s what Dan Schepleng of the Baltimore creative agency Kapowza told me when he stopped by the set of Next Level to talk about how to market a business.
The #1 accounting tip that Ernie Paszkiewicz has for business owners is this: if you’re going to grow, do it profitably. In his 40+ year career, Ernie has seen the full spectrum of challenges and mistakes that trip up growing businesses.
If Linda Pietras has learned one thing about hiring in her 30+ year career, it’s this: a bad hire will cost you more than waiting for the right candidate. Linda joined me on the set of Next Level to talk about hiring, including common hiring mistakes that growing businesses make.
Social Security and Medicare tax As of January 1, 2020, the maximum amount of annual earnings subject to Social Security increases to $137,700 (from $132,900 in 2019). There is no limit on the amount of earnings subject to the Medicare tax.
Every business wonders how they can pay less in taxes. Or at least that’s what the firm’s managing partner, David Goldner told me when we sat down on the set of Next Level to chat about tax challenges that growing businesses often face.
Computer software drives the world. Businesses use software to account for transactions, communicate with colleagues and customers, and design and manufacture new products. One thing is clear: without software, we’d be lost. Accounting for the costs associated with software acquisition, however, can be less than straightforward. In this article, we’ll outline some things a business will need to consider when acquiring or implementing new software for its own use and how to account for those transactions.
On December 20, 2019, the “parking tax” for nonprofits was repealed. The parking tax, otherwise known as the taxation of transportation fringe benefits by nonprofit employers under Section 512(a)(7), was first brought into law with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) at the end of 2017.
With the holidays over, tax-minded individuals are now focused on gathering their paperwork to file 2019 returns and project what their tax situation will look like in 2020. Each year, Congress decides to extend or let expire various provisions of the tax law. This article summarizes some of the more commonly-used “extenders” so individuals and business owners may understand the impact of various courses of action.
Nonprofits are required to include a liquidity disclosure in their financial statements. 1 This liquidity disclosure overviews qualitative and quantitative information about how the nonprofit manages its liquid resources. This information can make it easier for someone reviewing a nonprofit’s financial statements to understand the financial health of the organization. Currently, there is no required format on how to present the information in the liquidity disclosure, as long as all of the required elements are included in the disclosure.
The Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair continues to have a ripple effect for businesses with interstate sales. With the Wayfair decision adding potentially significant sales tax exposure to some businesses, there is also the potential for increased exposure to the personal liability of unsuspecting business owners, corporate officers and even employees like tax and finance managers. It’s more important than ever for “responsible persons,” which we’ll define in a moment, to understand their responsibility and potential liability in the sales tax process.
In June 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued their ruling in the case of South Dakota vs. Wayfair, which cleared the way for states to collect sales tax from businesses that do not have a “physical presence” in the state, but do have an “economic presence” in the state. While much attention has been given to the impact on online retailers, the decision potentially impacts the sales tax obligations of any business that makes remote sales to out-of-state customers. While some states are still reacting to the decision, many states have already implemented laws that require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on sales to out-of-state customers without having a physical presence in the state. Understanding this new and still evolving sales tax landscape is important for any company that conducts business in multiple states.
The long awaited new Form W-4 is finally here. Here’s the rundown on the new form, which businesses must start using for new employees hired on or after January 1, 2020.
The IRS recently announced new rules for e-filing requirements for tax-exempt organizations. The Taxpayer First Act requires all tax-exempt organizations to electronically file Form 990. Currently, only a limited number of nonprofits are required to file electronically. That all changes for tax-exempt organizations starting with tax years that begin after July 1, 2019. Let’s look at the kinds of organizations and tax returns that are affected.
Our firm has had a strong presence on social media for years, but when our staff asked for tips for using social media tools like LinkedIn to supplement their own networking efforts, we got right to work pulling together an internal training program. We turned to four social-savvy Baltimore area business people for help, and invited them to participate in a panel discussion called “How to Use Social Media to Supercharge Your Networking Efforts.” Our staff was invited to submit questions to the panel in advance of the discussion. Here are just some of the takeaways, which can be used by anyone in any line of work.
The IRS recently publicized that it will be cracking down on taxpayers for not properly reporting cryptocurrency transactions. In this article, we’ll summarize different types of transactions and how the IRS has recommended they be reported.
Just as sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie might be staples on your Thanksgiving table, community service days are staples for Gross Mendelsohn every autumn. Individually, our staff members volunteer year-round for organizations they believe in (you’ll see a sampling of them at the end of this blog post), but autumn is when we put our hearts and hands together as a team to help local nonprofits. It’s an all-hands-on-deck kind of thing. This year, we converged on Special Olympics Maryland’s tennis tournament and the Maryland Food Bank to help make the local community stronger through service.
Figuring out how to select a business valuation expert can be tough. A quick Google search yields hundreds of so-called valuation experts, but how do you whittle down the list? The good news is there are specific qualifications and certifications attorneys can use when evaluating potential business valuation experts.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) just authorized an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) that will defer the implementation of three accounting standards for private companies. The standards involve accounting for leases, credit losses and hedging.
In the recent Tax Court opinion in Estate of Aaron U. Jones v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (T.C. Memo 2019-101), the court came to some surprising opinions that benefit taxpayers valuing businesses for gift and estate tax purposes.
We recently polled private school heads and financial staff to find out whether their last audit was “stress-free.” Not surprisingly, nearly half of respondents answered “no.” While it’s easy to look at your school’s annual audit as a necessary evil, not to mention time consuming and stress inducing, there are several often overlooked benefits to the annual audit.
Business owners and financial executives now have one more thing to keep track of – making sure payroll taxes are actually getting paid to tax authorities. With so many businesses relying on outside parties to process paychecks and pay employment taxes, millions of dollars pass through the hands of payroll companies every day. But are those millions of dollars making it into workers’ paychecks and, just as important, being sent to federal and state tax authorities?
It’s something that divorce attorneys see fairly regularly – one spouse accusing the other spouse of accessing their private bank accounts during the divorce process. But what happens when one of the spouses is accessing the bank accounts from space? Yes, that’s right – outer space. That’s exactly what Summer Worden has accused her spouse, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, of doing.
It’s not too often that you hear about an organization losing their nonprofit status. Here’s the story of one that did.
Government contractors and GSA acquisition personnel will have more time to understand and participate in the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot. GSA just announced that the TDR pilot has been extended through FY2020.
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017, many taxpayers couldn’t foresee the implications of the legislation on their individual withholding for the coming year.
This year has brought some big changes for skilled nursing facilities. October will mark the implementation of the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). It’s no secret that this implementation has some facilities feeling skittish. In this year’s 2019 Skilled Nursing Facility Survey, conducted by our Healthcare Group, we surveyed skilled nursing facilities on what they thought about the future of the industry.
The Maryland Department of Commerce is helping defense contractors grow their businesses, increase profits and find new opportunities. The Maryland Defense Diversification Assistance (MDDA) program seeks to help defense contractors diversify into new markets. Diversification is important for defense contractors given the unpredictability of procurement trends of the United States Department of Defense (DoD).
Capital campaigns can be a great opportunity for a nonprofit to raise money for a specific project. However, not every nonprofit capital campaign performs as well as it should.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has had a significant impact on divorcing couples. Many divorcing couples and their attorneys are aware of the elimination of the alimony deduction under the TCJA, but fewer are aware of the changes related to 529 plan funds.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been in our new space for six months already. It feels like yesterday that we were packing up hundreds of boxes and decades of memories. We knew that moving a firm our size was going to be an enormous undertaking, but it was necessary. In addition to needing more room to accommodate our growth, all of us at Gross Mendelsohn wanted a space that better reflected who we are as a firm: modern, streamlined and open. After months of looking at existing real estate throughout Baltimore City, we ultimately decided on new construction in an exciting new part of the city called McHenry Row. Despite the massive effort it took to plan for and manage a move of 100+ people, it was worth it. Here’s what we love about our new office, and why.
Financial management can be tricky for private schools, especially when it comes to areas like fundraising, endowments, audits and strategic planning. That’s why we had four private school experts cover each of these topics in a webinar for private schools. Here’s a summary of each segment from panelists…
The vast majority of cases settle before ever going to trial. In many instances, they are settled through mediation. Having your financial expert at mediation, whether it’s for a divorce matter, damages claim, or any claim dealing with a complex financial matter, can be a game changer. A financial expert can serve many different roles during a mediation. Here are five things your financial expert can do to contribute to the success of your next mediation.
Government contractors have a new official source for wage determination data: beta.SAM.gov. WDOL.gov, short for Wage Determinations Online, was retired last week. All wage determination data can now be accessed through beta.SAM.gov, which features significant improvements over the old site.
Every year we poll Maryland construction business owners and employees to take the pulse of the state’s construction industry. This year, we saw a significant shift in the way contractors answered the question, “What are your top three concerns for your business in 2019?” Let’s first take a look at how contractors answered that question in 2018 vs 2019.
A recent Blackbaud Institute charitable giving report confirmed nationally what we have seen in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area market: charitable giving increased slightly, by 1.5%, from 2017 to 2018. This increase occurred not just among the super wealthy, but also among a larger population of high net worth charitably inclined individuals and families. This uptick in charitable giving is, of course, excellent news for nonprofits. A nonprofit can benefit even more, however, when its staff is able to educate potential donors about several tax benefits of charitable giving – beyond a simple cash donation. To understand the big picture, let’s first step back and take a look at the reason behind the increase in giving.
Nonprofit fundraising isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Most organizations struggle to bring in fundraising dollars. This can be especially difficult when your nonprofit’s board isn’t on board with fundraising. The board helps your nonprofit thrive. That can mean donating money, contributing their time or helping your organization make connections. At a recent webinar hosted by our Nonprofit Group, nonprofit fundraising expert Vince Connelly answered the audience’s questions on nonprofit fundraising. In this article, we’ll focus on Vince’s advice for engaging the board of directors in fundraising efforts.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently updated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights poster, which federal government contractors and subcontractors are required to display.
Culture can make or break a construction business. It’s not enough anymore to offer the lowest prices to customers or pay employees the most. Employees want to work for a business with a good culture. Not to mention, customers want to hire a business whose culture matches their personal values.
Earlier this year, we discussed the new income tax credit for qualified family leave. This credit applies to employers who satisfy certain criteria and pay employees under qualified plans.
If you have children or grandchildren, you’re likely concerned about the cost of their college education. For Marylanders, there is a little bit of relief in sight, thanks to the state teaming up with the Maryland College Investment Plan. You might be eligible to receive matching funds from the state of Maryland if you meet certain criteria, but you must submit an application by May 31.
Knowing where your Maryland construction business stands in relation to other contractors in the state can be tough. To get a pulse on the state of the industry, Gross Mendelsohn partnered with the Maryland Construction Network (MCN) in 2019 to gather and analyze data from 150+ people working in Maryland’s construction industry.
After collecting input from more than 150 Maryland contractors for our annual construction industry survey, we sifted through the data and found three common obstacles that are challenging contractors. Last week I presented the results of the survey to members of the Maryland Construction Network, and we reviewed those common obstacles – and how to overcome them.
If you need to hire an outside Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for your construction business, you’re most likely wondering how to choose the best firm for the job. Finding a quality CPA can sometimes be time consuming, even for those who’ve been through the process before. The good news is that working with a good CPA firm can help your construction businesses grow and become more profitable.
Hiring and retaining quality construction employees is getting harder. In fact, of the 150+ contractors who took the 2019 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, not one respondent said it would be easier to hire employees in 2019 compared to 2018.
Jeffrey David, the former chief revenue officer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, recently pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and identity theft in a scheme that misappropriated approximately $13.4 million of the team’s funds. Mr. David, who was the corporate officer responsible for generating revenue for the Kings, directly negotiated sponsorship, partnership, and other advertising and marketing agreements between the Kings and outside companies. According to the plea agreement, Mr. David directed some of those companies to wire some of their payments to bank accounts held in the name of a limited liability company under his sole control, Sacramento Sports Partners, LLC. There are lessons business owners can learn from the Sacramento Kings' embezzlement case. Let's look at how the perpetrator embezzled funds, how the scheme was uncovered, and the ways it could have been avoided.
It’s no secret that technology has been evolving at light speed in the past few decades. If you need proof, just look at the development of computer and phone technology in the last ten years. The next big wave of manufacturing technology – as part of the fourth industrial revolution – is known as “Industry 4.0.”
Dividing assets in a divorce is rarely a simple matter. It gets even more complicated when there is a transfer of property between spouses after a divorce.I
Government contractors will soon be impacted by several changes that are in the pipeline. Here's what you need to know to get up to speed with the changes to PSS and SRP.
Divorce is considered to be one of the most stressful events that people may encounter in their lifetime, even more so if there is significant hostility between the spouses. As a result of the adversarial nature of divorce, the parties involved might behave irrationally or even vindictively, especially when it comes to their finances. There is the possibility that one or both spouses may not be entirely forthcoming or truthful about their financial situation during litigation. During divorce settlements, common areas of concern are undisclosed assets or the understatement of income, but another potential fraud area that should be considered is the dissipation of marital assets.
With more than 2,500 pieces of legislation proposed in the 90-day 2019 Maryland General Assembly session, it can be hard for business owners to identify the big issues that might affect them. Here, we identify four key pieces of legislation that, if passed, could have a dramatic effect on Maryland businesses.
More organizations are hiring military veterans every day. In addition to benefiting from the skills, dedication and experience that veterans offer, qualifying employers can earn a tax credit for their commitment to hiring, training and retaining veterans. Many of our clients, particularly government contractors, hire military veterans. Let’s look at some of the tax credits available to employers who hire veterans.
The 2020 Payroll Update is available here! Social Security and Medicare Tax As of January 1, 2019, the maximum amount of annual earnings subject to the Social Security increases to $132,900 (from $128,400 in 2018). There is no limit on the amount of earnings subject to the Medicare tax. The maximum Social Security tax to be deducted from an employee’s compensation during 2019 will be $8,239.80 (6.2% x $132,900).
If your business employs veterans, you might be eligible for a HIRE Vets Medallion Award. Businesses that earn this award are recognized for their leadership in recruiting, employing and retaining veterans. About HIRE Vets Created in 2017, President Trump signed into law the Honoring Investments Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, more commonly known as HIRE Vets. The program is overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor and while it is not a monetary award, it is the only federal award program that recognizes businesses for their commitment to veteran careers. (Note: there are tax credits available to businesses that hire veterans.) Is Your Business Eligible for a 2019 Award? You can visit the www.hirevets.gov website to review specific program criteria and determine whether your business is eligible for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award. There are awards for small, mid-sized and large employers. You can download a detailed award criteria checklist, along with sample applications, here.
On December 17, 2018, the Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018 was signed into law, increasing the measurement of a small business' size status. Prior to this, a business' small business status was determined based on three years of average gross receipts. Once the business’s three-year average gross receipts exceeded a specific dollar threshold, that business was considered ready to enter the open marketplace.
As 2019 gets closer, businesses and nonprofits across the country are struggling to understand how to calculate how new parking expense rules will impact their tax liability. The changes to parking expense deductibility and the unrelated business income tax for nonprofits are part of the changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
There continues to be a lot of discussion about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017. There are new tax rates for individuals and corporations and different ways to apply existing provisions of the tax code. One new credit, however, has been largely ignored and may provide a significant tax benefit for businesses that are paying employees under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
In case you haven’t noticed, community service in the workplace is more than a passing fad. Since the early days of employees putting in a day of labor for Habitat for Humanity, supporting social and community causes has only grown in popularity. Employees at all types of businesses are sharing their time and special skills with local nonprofits while on their employers’ clock. While nonprofits still rely heavily on corporate donations, it’s no longer just about companies writing a check at year end. Our staff here at Gross Mendelsohn looks forward to participating in several organized community service events every year. Since 2011, our firm has had a robust community service program in place. In case you’re feeling inspired to make community service a bigger part of your business, we are happy to share a behind-the-scenes look at our own experience with a structured, company-sponsored volunteer program.
Financial ratios and benchmarks can be used to assess the financial health of your nonprofit. These ratios and benchmarks can help management make decisions regarding organizational strategy and budgeting and, ultimately, help your nonprofit manage its resources. This financial data can also help donors or grantors determine whether to support your nonprofit.
We get it. As an administrator, you’re overloaded. You’re wrestling with staffing shortages, complex reimbursement issues, and keeping up on regulatory requirements – all while giving top notch care to your residents. When polled for our 2018 Maryland Skilled Nursing Facility Survey, skilled nursing facility administrators, owners and senior financial staff said their top three concerns are finding and retaining qualified employees; changes in payment/reimbursement systems; and the level of outside regulatory requirements. These three issues consistently top our list of top concerns in our annual skilled nursing facility survey. Coming in at fourth in 2018 is maintaining census. Maintaining census is an excellent thing for administrators to be concerned about. Here's why.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt awkward introducing yourself to a stranger at a networking event. That’s an impressive show of virtual hands! You were probably told early in your career to have a rehearsed elevator speech in your back pocket at networking events. An elevator speech is a 20- to 30-second rehearsed introduction that you use when you meet someone new. It’s called an elevator speech because it should equate to the length of an elevator ride – not too short, not too long. The elevator speech includes a short introduction of yourself, your company, your products and services, and maybe something that makes you unique. Sounds like a smart tool to have in your networking toolbox, right?
In many divorces, a significant asset of the marriage is an S corporation. Oftentimes, the business owned by the S corporation is the source that will be used to make lifetime distributions to a spouse. Two important aspects of S corporations prevent a simple solution to this problem.
When people think about the divorce process, they often imagine combative couples and attorneys at each other’s throats. They picture a process completely void of trust among the parties, along with a cut-throat effort to “win” at any cost. Times have changed. These days, a growing number of divorcing couples are choosing alternatives that involve cooperation and good faith. One of those alternatives is known as a collaborative divorce.
There’s excellent news for Maryland businesses and it comes in the form of a tax credit. If your business has purchased cyber security goods or services from a Maryland cyber security company, congratulations. You’ve taken a smart step toward protecting your business from hackers. The promising news doesn’t stop there. There’s also a strong chance you’ll be eligible for a tax credit.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) financial expert can provide valuable assistance to attorneys throughout the discovery phase of a litigation case. Cases involving economic damages often depend on documents to establish or disprove the amount of the plaintiff’s damages. A financial expert gathers, analyzes and evaluates information from documents to calculate damages, and to provide expert testimony opining as to the amount of damages. When is the right time to hire your CPA expert? The answer is simple: sooner rather than later. Let’s consider why.
Sales and use tax compliance has changed significantly with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The changes especially impact online sellers. It’s imperative that you understand where your business has nexus and how the recent ruling might impact your taxes and reporting requirements.
The IRS finally issued its long awaited proposed regulations for the qualified business income deduction, also known as the Section 199A deduction for qualified business income of pass-through entities. Whew, what a mouthful! If your head is already spinning, I encourage you to keep reading, as business owners stand to benefit from this deduction.
There's good news for Maryland residents who have incurred at least $20,000 in undergraduate and/or graduate student loan debt: you may be eligible for a Maryland tax credit.
It’s no secret that playing golf can help you develop business relationships. While business has a long-standing place on the golf course, women haven’t had a prominent place on the green. According to Forbes, women are interested in playing golf, but they don’t because they haven’t been invited or don’t feel especially welcome. When only 19% of adult golfers are women, it’s intimidating to start.
Millions of small business owners – about 4.3 million to be more precise – rely on QuickBooks to manage their day-to day-accounting. While QuickBooks has earned a reputation for its ease of use, many small business owners don’t realize that with the addition of one or more software applications, they can run their business more efficiently both on the front end and on the back end.
A lot has been written on the new tax law, more formally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and how it will affect taxpayers. But really, what most business owners want to know is the bottom line – the actual numbers – and how the TCJA will affect them personally. There is really no simple way to determine how the tax law will affect you without a comprehensive analysis of your tax situation. (No worries – we can do that for you! Contact us to talk with one of our tax experts.) We’re going to show you the numbers through a real life example. Let’s take a look behind the curtain, shall we?
By now, most taxpayers are aware of some of the basics of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including the decrease in individual and corporate tax rates and increase in standard deductions. But there are some aspects of the new law that haven’t gotten nearly as much attention. That’s why we’re going to reveal ten things you might not know about the tax law, but should.
Religious organizations may technically be classified as nonprofit organizations, yet they are subject to a unique set of accounting rules. Anyone providing accounting services within a religious organization must be aware of special policies that can affect the organization’s compliance and tax status.
Construction contractors are getting worried about profitability. In our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, concerns about profitability jumped 11% in 2018, making it the second biggest concern contractors had for 2018.
If you are a government contractor, you likely already have a CPA helping you with accounting and taxes. But is the CPA you hired when you started your business still the right CPA for you? There are a number of reasons why it might be time to consider a new CPA firm. Let’s take a look at a few of those triggers.
There’s a lot of talk about employee engagement these days. At Gross Mendelsohn, we have an unusually large number of career employees (i.e., individuals who stick with one company throughout the majority of their career). Despite this, most employers would agree that career employees are becoming less and less the norm.
Hiring a chief financial officer (CFO) for your nonprofit and hiring the right CFO are two very different things. While some accountants get their start at for-profit businesses, nonprofits have specific accounting and tax needs that differ from how accounting is done at private businesses. This means nonprofit CFOs need special training and expertise outside of the standard for-profit accounting and tax environment.
As construction companies see booms in business, finding and holding onto good employees is only going to get tougher. Construction contractors must be prepared for even fiercer competition for quality staff. Our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey revealed several trends in personnel development, including why employees leave, common benefits being offered and more. We documented a few of these trends in the following infographic.
Mission and vision statements are an essential element of running a successful and forward-thinking nonprofit. Not only do mission and vision statements serve as the foundation for all organizational programs, goals and activities, but these statements also serve as tools to better educate the public on who your organization is and what you do.
Not all accountants are created equal when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of government contracting. Understanding the compliance issues that encompass government contracts sounds easy enough: cross your T’s and dot your I’s, right? Wrong. Government contract compliance is akin to learning Arabic. Learning a new language sounds fairly simple, but it’s not. With an entirely different alphabet and grammar rules to learn, it can take years of intense study for an English speaker to master Arabic. The same goes for accountants who work with government contractors. It takes YEARS of immersion in the world of government contracts for a CPA to master the complex rules and compliance issues that can make or break a contractor. It is an understatement to say that your CPA should have an extremely specialized skill set. Only then can your CPA help you keep your government contracting business in compliance and successful. Whether you’re looking for a new CPA for your established government contracting business, or you’re just starting out, there are a few key traits to focus on.
For the third consecutive year the #1 concern among contractors is recruiting and retaining employees, according to our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey. Now that the economy has bounced back, the work is coming in but the competition for construction employees is fierce. Given the industry’s aging workforce and an unprecedented number of retiring owners, contractors need to do everything possible to recruit young employees into the industry. We polled local construction contractors to see what they think should be done to attract younger people to the profession. Here’s what they said …
There’s a provision in the new tax law that allows owners of sole proprietorships, S corporations and partnerships to deduct up to 20% of income earned by the business. It’s known as the Qualified Business Income (QBI) deduction, or more formally, Internal Revenue Code §199A. The QBI deduction was introduced in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017, and represents the largest change to the tax system since 1986. The intent of this new deduction is to give these business owners a level playing field to keep pace with the significant corporate tax cut, previously a top rate of 35%, reduced to a flat 21%. As with any tax legislation, there are certain requirements, limitations and exceptions. In this article, we’ll discuss the general provisions of the QBI deduction, who qualifies, and how eligible taxpayers can benefit.
Government contractors along with grant recipients and managers who use the System for Award Management, more commonly known as SAM.gov, are seeing changes to the free database’s login and registration process.
One of the most common questions we get from construction business owners is, “Should I own or lease my building”? The answer, which we will get to in a moment, might be simpler than you think.
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed in late 2017, nonprofits across the country had one big question – how does this affect us as an organization? Here is a quick overview of the four key changes that nonprofits should look out for under the TCJA.
Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law at the end of 2017, businesses will experience dramatic tax cuts. Those tax cuts will not only have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, but will significantly affect the company’s value. If you’re an attorney and have a matter where a business valuation comes into play, or a business owner who is thinking of selling, it’s essential that you know how business values could change as a result of the new tax law.
On June 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court passed a landmark ruling that will permit individual states to collect sales tax from online retailers.
Whether you want your construction company to continue growing after you retire or simply want to turn a profit on the sale of your business, every construction company owner needs an exit plan. In the 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, 60% of Maryland construction contractors said they didn’t have an exit plan. That means more than half of Maryland’s construction company owners have no plan as to how they are going to sell or transfer their business. As a CPA who has worked with construction contractors for over 30 years, I’ve seen several companies unravel simply because they failed to plan ahead. Here’s just one example of a company who lost it all.
Members of our team listened with rapt attention as four of Maryland’s finest business leaders spoke about their paths to career success during a recent panel discussion on women’s leadership here at Gross Mendelsohn.
Every year Gross Mendelsohn takes the pulse of Maryland’s construction industry in the form of a survey. As this infographic shows, 70% of contractors reported being more optimistic about the construction industry in 2018 as compared to last year. While that upbeat feeling is reassuring for those working in and around the industry, the stock market may be foreshadowing something a little different about the outlook for the remainder of 2018.
When it comes to strategic planning, there are several key steps that organizations must prepare themselves for. Strategic planning is the formal process of determining an organization’s long term goals and identifying the best approach to take to achieve those goals. This usually involves key people in an organization, sometimes with the help of outside advisors, who analyze the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This short video offers tips for developing your nonprofit's strategic plan:
Responding to a bad review about your construction company can be difficult. It’s natural that criticism of you, your business and/or your employees can sting. However, bad reviews aren’t always bad for your business. There is value in the candid feedback of customers, and even though it may bruise an ego or two, business owners who take and learn from the feedback in reviews can better their business overall.
Managing the board or serving on the board of a nonprofit can be tough. To help, we asked three members of our nonprofit group — Ernie Paszkiewicz, CPA, Lisa Johnson, CPA, and Richard Wolf, CPA — about their experience working on various nonprofit boards.
If you’re a business owner or CFO, the idea of leaving money on the table is cringe-worthy. Tax credits and incentives offer the opportunity to lower your construction company’s tax burden, dropping more money to your bottom line. If your construction business isn’t taking advantage of every available tax savings opportunity, you’re missing out. Many construction contractors, however, aren’t aware of some Maryland and federal credits that could generate substantial tax savings for them.
Between the recent presidential election, a pickup in the economy and an abundance of new work, construction contractors remain hopeful for the future. This trend continues from 2017, when Maryland construction contractors reported record levels of optimism for the year ahead.
For three consecutive years, construction contractors in Maryland have reported that finding and retaining good employees is their #1 concern. In fact, according to our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, the number of contractors who ranked employee recruiting and retention as their top concern jumped from 64% in 2016 to 75% in 2018. That’s quite an increase! With many Maryland contractors reporting a large backlog of work in 2018, this jump is not surprising. As contractors battle to find, manage and complete new projects, a construction company’s ability to retain its best employees is paramount to success.
Yesterday I presented the results of our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey to members of the Maryland Construction Network. As I analyzed the results of our annual survey to prepare my presentation, one theme kept cropping up: construction contractors would benefit greatly by saying “no” more often. “No” to certain jobs, and “no” to certain customers.
According to our 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, less than half of Maryland contractors have a Facebook page. The more important statistic, though, is that a third of contractors don’t use social media at all to promote their business. And, the majority of those contractors say they have no plans to start. So what's a contractor to do?
If your nonprofit is concerned about security, you’re not alone. According to Capterra, the top nonprofit security concerns are weak passwords, outdated software, past employees and insecure payment processors. Managing network health and security is a time-consuming job. It makes sense that nonprofit leaders are opting for managed services to ensure their organization is secure, without compromising their job duties.
This post was updated on March 7, 2018 to reflect new guidance issued by the IRS.
The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) raises a lot of questions for divorce attorneys. I recently hosted several seminars on the effects of the TCJA on divorcing couples alongside my colleague, Richard Wolf. At these seminars, several questions were raised, which we will individually address in this and future blog posts. In this article, co-authored with family law attorney Carol Ehlenberger, Esq., we will discuss the new dependency exemption and child tax credit.
With the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017, the IRS has been working diligently to keep up with the changes of the law. On March 1, 2018, the IRS released a new withholding calculator for individual taxpayers and an updated Form W-4.
If you’re a government contractor, or if your organization makes, receives or manages federal grants, you’ve probably heard about beta.SAM.gov. According to the beta.SAM.gov website, “SAM is the official U.S. government website for people who make, receive and manage federal awards. It’s the central hub for the entire federal awards community.” If you think SAM sounds all encompassing, you’re right – it is. Let's take a look at what the website is and whether you should create a user account.
Being a business owner generally doesn’t come with an excitement for keeping the books. But QuickBooks can help owners comply with the required chore of keeping accounting records in good shape without costing an arm and a leg — or needing a full-time staff with accounting degrees. QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting software packages around. When setup correctly and used well, it is a formidable low-cost alternative to more sophisticated accounting systems.
We sat down on camera with three members of our nonprofit group — Ernie Paszkiewicz, CPA, Lisa Johnson, CPA, and Richard Wolf, CPA — to solicit a few tips from their experience working with nonprofit organizations.
A new law, dubbed “mandatory paid sick leave,” will have a substantial impact on many Maryland businesses, starting now. Despite a last minute attempt by the Maryland Senate to delay the roll out of the new mandatory paid sick leave law until July, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act took effect yesterday, February 11, 2018. The core provision of the Act that’s causing Maryland employers to scramble revolves around sick leave. Under the new law, which was hotly debated in the state legislature, some Maryland businesses must provide paid sick leave for employees.
I recently hosted several seminars as part of the firm’s divorce seminar series regarding the effects of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on divorcing couples alongside my colleague, Richard Wolf. At these seminars, several questions were raised which we will individually address in this and future blog posts. Under the current law, alimony is considered income for IRA contribution purposes. However, under the TCJA and as of 2019, alimony will no longer be taxable income for the alimony recipient. This raises the question of whether IRA contributions can still be made based on alimony income. For some taxpayers, alimony could be the main or only source of income.
Everyone starts somewhere, even nonprofit board members. Serving on a board is not only gratifying, but it also gives you an opportunity to share and develop your expertise and skills to help an organization grow. As a board member, you will grow your professional network by making new contacts and building connections with new businesses and organizations.
There’s one aspect of the new tax law that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but is worth considering — the $25 million average gross receipt.
While there are many good summaries of the new tax law, it can be overwhelming when trying to find only the changes that impact you and your business. This article focuses on some of the major items in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that impact manufacturers.
Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been signed into law, we can start to examine its impact on family law attorneys and their divorce clients. As a result of the sweeping tax reform, family law attorneys will need to reconsider the financial strategies they use for their divorce clients.
When it comes to fundraising, you may be surprised that some donors, and especially those with deep pockets, could be taking a long look at your nonprofit’s IRS Form 990 before signing their first (or hundredth) donation check.
The new tax reform law, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the biggest federal tax law overhaul in 31 years, and it has both good and bad news for taxpayers.
When it comes to investing, nonprofits often struggle to invest their hard earned donation dollars. Not only do organizations need the right knowledge and understanding to make sound investments, but many nonprofits are paralyzed (and understandably so) by the idea of potentially losing charitable funds due to fluctuations in the market.
I hear it from family law attorneys frequently: “My client doesn’t own a business, so I really don’t need a financial expert for this case.” In cases where one or both parties own a business, it’s a no brainer to work with a Certified Valuation Analyst. But even when neither party owns a business, a qualified financial expert with experience handling complex financial issues can assist you in your divorce case.
If your Maryland nonprofit has an exemption certificate, it may have expired on September 30, 2017. An exemption certificate is a wallet-sized card with the holder’s eight-digit exemption number.
With the confusing terminology, complicated tax code and the feeling that tax rates are just too high, many business owners hear “taxes” and run the other way. However, there is one tax phrase that’s easy to understand and every business owner likes to hear: safe harbor. With the de minimis safe harbor election, you can immediately expense certain assets up to $2,500. If you have an applicable financial statement (AFS), this goes up to $5,000. Subscribe to our blog to get articles like this delivered to your inbox. Sound good? You must act NOW to ensure that your business is eligible to make this election for the 2018 tax year.
December is the time of year when many taxpayers take last-minute steps to lower their income tax liability. This year, however, year-end tax planning is proving to be difficult. As taxpayers think about dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s as 2017 comes to a rapid close, there is one big item up in the air: a major tax reform bill. The Senate just approved the most comprehensive tax reform proposal in 30 years, and we’re now waiting for the House and Senate versions of the bill to be reconciled before going to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. While the changes brought about by the tax reform bill are not expected to apply to the 2017 tax year, there are provisions in the bill that make certain year-end tax planning strategies for 2017 especially important. Let’s take a look at several steps you can take now to take advantage of current tax laws, and position yourself for the changes that are coming down the pipeline.
Family law attorneys could see some big changes in the treatment of alimony and business valuation thanks to proposed tax legislation that is making its way to the Senate floor.
Do you find yourself stuck performing (sometimes mundane) tasks in areas of your business that might be better off performed by someone else? Most small business owners would answer with a resounding “YES!” In the ideal world you’d have a chief financial officer who generates financial reports that help you monitor profitability. Wouldn’t it also be nice to have a human resources director to coordinate hiring and employee benefits for your business? Let’s not forget about a chief technology officer who can make sure your computer network and software are up and running smoothly 24/7. If this sounds like a dream come true for your business, join the club of small business owners who would love to delegate accounting, HR and technology tasks to someone else. But what if that “someone else” doesn’t exist in your business?