Several CARES Act Tax Provisions Will Soon Expire

The CARES Act granted several valuable federal tax breaks for individuals and businesses. But most will expire at the end of 2020 or at the end of tax years that begin in 2020. Here’s a roundup of tax breaks scheduled to go off the books soon, unless Congress extends them. (more…)

Webinar Series: Understanding QuickBooks Rules and GL Maintenance – November 17, 2020 10:00 am EST

 

Join us to learn best practices as they relate to utilizing the tools within QuickBooks Online to make the accounting process more efficient. We will be covering how to create QuickBooks “Rules” that can be used to recognize common transactions and assign the appropriate account and class detail. We will discuss best practices as they relate to accepting transactions and steps to be aware of before matching transactions. We will also review best practices around reviewing the general ledger and what steps you can take to streamline your year end accounting process.

When: November 17, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I3r28qM3SsieROV0ouMRPg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

KWC’s Client Advisory Services Group Featured in Accounting Today Report

Client Accounting Services (CAS) is a relatively new service line niche for the accounting industry. In short, CAS is a service customized for each client to provide an all-in-one accounting resource.

Accounting Today identifies CAS as follows:

Traditionally, client accounting services meant that you, the accountant, do most (if not all) of the accounting work for your clients. That means you perform:

  • After-the-fact financial statement preparation (write-ups);
  • Transaction processing, bill payment, processing of AP, AR, and bookkeeping;
  • Payroll and payroll compliance;
  • Periodic tax payments/compliance (sales tax, etc.); and,
  • Outsourced CFO and/or controller services, which entail ongoing, higher-level services to review financial performance and provide input on strategies to improve business.

Connie Hammell, KWC’s Managing Principal and head of the firm’s CAS group, was recently interviewed for Accounting Today‘s special report, CAS: Beyond Bookkeeping. Along with other industry specialists in CAS, she detailed the unique services offered and their alignment with clients’ operational goals.

“CAS has morphed from being seen as ‘bookkeeping’ and a relatively low-value service to being one of the premier service offerings in many firms. This has been driven by our desire to provide our clients with information that they can use to effectively manage and grow their businesses. … In order to go to that next step of advising our clients, we need to have solid, real-time accounting data that can be used to analyze results and provide insight into trends (whether good or bad), assist in creating strategic plans, and providing a roadmap on how to execute,” she said.

All of KWC’s CAS engagements begin with a systems and process analysis, said Hammell, which is a critical step both for the firm and its prospective clients.

“The clients see very early on that this is not after-the-fact general ledger maintenance. We want to understand the accounting cycle (or lack thereof) within the client’s business to make sure that proper internal controls are implemented, that there is backup for each step to ensure continuity, and that there is transparency at every step. We assist in building an accounting platform that is centered around QuickBooks Online that removes pain points in the process and allows for real-time data collection resulting in up-to-date records every single day instead of 20 days after the end of the month. This approach allows us to then provide the advisory and analysis services that business owners are looking for and place a premium on,” Hammell said.

To learn more about the firm’s CAS offerings visit https://kwcadvisors.com/ or contact your KWC advisor. 

Register to read the full Accounting Today report at https://www.accountingtoday.com/report/cas-as-the-core-of-an-advisory-practice.

To view Accounting Today’s overview of CAS click here

PPP Forgiveness Rules Clarify Rent-Related Costs and Owner-Employee Compensation

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim final rule further clarifying Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness considerations.

The interim final rule states that rent or lease payments to a related party are eligible for loan forgiveness provided that the amount of loan forgiveness requested for those payments is no more than the amount of mortgage interest owed on the property during the covered period.

In addition, the interim final rule addresses considerations for owner-employees with less than a 5% stake in a C or S corporation exempting them from the PPP owner-employee compensation rule. Taken literally, this should relax the restrictions on retirement and health benefits for these individuals, but we await further guidance from the SBA.

For the SBA’s new rules, click here

For the AICPA’s article on the new rules, click here.

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SBA Releases FAQs for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) addressed 23 frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to forgiveness on Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP loans). The FAQs highlight some of the questions we have all been grappling with since the June 2020 revised forgiveness application was released by the SBA. Here are a few of the highlights from the newest FAQs. (more…)

How to Treat COVID-19 Sideline Activities for Taxes (Hobby or Business?)

Today, many people sell homemade products online or work on some unincorporated sideline venture outside of their regular day jobs. Such activities can generate extra spending money. This can be especially helpful for retired people and stay-at-home parents — or for those who been laid off or taken a pay cut, during the COVID-19 crisis. (more…)

KWC Named to Equity Leadership List for Women in Accounting

KWC Certified Public Accountants has been named to the Accounting MOVE Project’s Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership for the sixth straight year. The list, which is prepared by the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., recognizes firms with high proportions of women partners and principals.
 
Since 2010, the Accounting MOVE Project has measured and supported the advancement of women at accounting and consulting firms. MOVE is the only annual benchmarking project that both counts and advocates for women in the profession.
 
The Accounting MOVE Project evaluates CPA firms across the nation based on percentage of women in leadership roles of various levels. The Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership list is based on MOVE survey results and recognizes firms with at least 33% women partners and principals, as 33% is widely recognized as the tipping point for members of any identity group to have individual impact. The Equity Leadership list recognizes firms that have achieved that milestone through any combination of culture, programs, initiatives and growth.
 
“Women are perfectly positioned to chart new ways to win new types of business, because they take encouragement and direction from incremental wins,” says Joanne Cleaver, President of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that manages the Accounting MOVE Project. “In an unpredictable business environment, firms can rely on the deep loyalty that many women earn with ongoing clients, and that create footholds for new practices.”

About the Accounting/MOVE Project Partners

The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance promotes the professional growth of women in accounting and finance. Members of the association benefit from opportunities to connect with colleagues, advance their careers, and become industry leaders. For 80 years, the organization has proudly upheld its mission to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession. Visit www.afwa.org for more information.

Strategic communication firm Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., has been designing and managing national research projects that measure the progress of women in the workplace since 1998. Its methodology pivots on factors proven to remove barriers so that women can fully participate in driving business results. Led by veteran business journalist Joanne Cleaver, its current and past clients include Women in Cable Telecommunications, the Women’s Transportation Seminar, the Alliance for Workplace Excellence, SitterCity, and many others. Please see Wilson-Taylor’s portfolio of work at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com

KWC CPAs Names New Managing Principal

KWC is proud to announce that Connie Hammell has been named Managing Principal of the firm. Connie succeeds Steve Travis, who has led the firm since 2010, and is the first female Managing Principal in the Firm’s 37 year history.

Connie, who began her career with the firm in 2005 as a staff accountant, oversees the Client Advisory Services group, which provides accounting, outsourcing and technology solutions to a broad range of clients. Internally, Connie has spearheaded the development of the Firm’s coaching program which provides for focused career counseling and professional development for all staff. She feels that it is important to recognize the industry is changing and the need for professionals with a range of backgrounds and expertise will be critical to the Firm’s future.

“One of our primary goals as a firm over my term as Managing Principal was to be an appealing career destination for top level talent that would develop into the next generation of leadership. Connie is a wonderful representative of our success,” said Steve Travis, the firm’s outgoing Managing Principal. “I look forward to serving on the firm’s Executive Committee and continuing in service to clients, knowing the firm’s direction is in good hands.”

“I am excited to serve as Managing Principal of KWC,” said Connie. “I welcome the opportunity to continue Steve’s vision of expanding the strategic services the firm can provide to our clients and our long tradition of developing a firm culture that is dedicated to providing exceptional, responsive client service. In addition, I am committed to building the next generation of problem solvers who will look beyond compliance and help our clients develop and execute on their strategic objectives. “

Over the years, Connie has observed the evolving business environment and the impact that emerging technologies have on how businesses conduct their daily activities. Guided by an interest in understanding these applications and how they could be applied to her clients, she developed a passion for building cloud-based accounting systems for her clients that free up business owners and their staff to focus on achieving their own strategic initiatives. The systems that Connie and her team put in place provide timely and complete data allowing their clients to understand the financial health of their businesses and provide a baseline for growth planning.

Connie is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is actively involved in the Rotary Club of Alexandria as well as John Marshall Bank’s Advisory Board, First Night Alexandria’s Board of Directors and Intuit’s Accountant Council. Connie has also been instrumental in the firm’s continued recognition as a progressive workplace, including continued input on behalf of the firm for the Accounting MOVE Project’s Equity Leadership Firms annual survey. As a result, the firm has been recognized as having one of the highest percentages of female principals and managers in the nation for six consecutive years (2015 through 2020).

Congress Passes PPP Flexibility Act, Easing Restrictions

On Wednesday night the Senate passed the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act” (the Act) which now goes to the President’s desk for signature after the House approved last week. The law attempts to ease restrictions on small businesses as they seek loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program authorized by the CARES Act.

The Act:

Reduces the amount of the loan required to be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%, thus increasing the amount of funds available for other expenses from 25% to 40%. These expenses still include rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and interest on loans.  Note that this change means that if a PPP loan recipient does not meet the 60% payroll requirement, none of the loan will be forgiven.

Extends the window businesses have to use the funds from eight weeks to 24 weeks.  Any borrower who received a loan before the law’s enactment can elect to use the original eight-week covered period.

Extends the June 30 deadline to rehire workers to December 31, 2020.

Removes the CARES Act provision restricting employers who receive PPP loan forgiveness from deferring payroll taxes incurred between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Extends the minimum loan term to five years, enlarging the two-year maturity date imposed by the SBA. This amendment to the PPP would take effect on the date of the law’s enactment and apply to any PPP loan made on or after such a date. Lenders and borrowers are not prohibited from mutually agreeing to modify the maturity terms of prior-disbursed PPP loans.

Eliminates the six-month deferral of payments due under CARES Act and replaces it with a deferral until the date on which the amount of loan forgiveness is remitted to the lender. If a borrower fails to apply for loan forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period for PPP loan forgiveness, the borrower must begin to make payments of principal and interest.

While the Act addresses many of the concerns expressed by small business since the passing of the CARES Act and the subsequent draconian guidance from Treasury and the SBA , the requirement to spend at least 60%  of loan proceeds on payroll  vs. the current partial forgiveness calculation could be problematic for some recipients.  Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship was quoted “people need to know that the way the Treasury has told us they are going to interpret that bill — if you don’t spend 60% of your money on payroll, if you only spend 59.9%, you will get zero forgiveness.”

This bill did not address the IRS decision that denied taxpayer’s ability to deduct expenses paid for by PPP funds.

We will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available. View additional firm updates and resources related to COVID-19 anytime at https://www.kwccpa.com

Fight Internal Fraud With These Precautions

When you read in the paper that a “trusted employee” has been charged with embezzlement, it can be shocking. But then, of course, it makes sense because the theft involved a trusted employee. An employee who isn’t trusted doesn’t have much of a chance to commit fraud. (more…)