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The Daily

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR MONDAY - 4.4.16

By:
Maya Lindsay
Published Date:
Apr 4, 2016

NYSSCPA Members in the News

Matt Bryant (Rochester)
Tax refund suggestions
WROC Rochester First
CPA Matt Bryant offered some tips for how to utilize your income tax refund Monday morning on News 8 at Sunrise. Bryant said your top priority should be to pay off high interest debt. After paying down your debt, Bryant said save for the future by contributing to an IRA. You can also save for college by contributing to a 529 College Savings Plan.

Richard Kravitz (NYSSCPA staff/Nassau member)
Driving Membership Engagement on Multiple Platforms
Folio Magazine
Just because professional associations cover an incredibly wide range of various trades and industries, it doesn't mean there aren't some universal truths. Today, associations are engaging with their members across more platforms than ever before. With more than two decades in the publishing business, Rick Kravitz, editor-in-chief of The CPA Journal and managing director of content and publishing at the New York State Society of CPA's (NYSSCPA), has extensive experience managing content and guiding strategies across multiple platforms.

David Barrett (Buffalo)
State’s tax cut ‘better than nothing,’ but it won’t go far
The Buffalo News
Don’t expect to pay for a nice vacation with the tax cut you’ll be getting with the new state budget. Unless, of course, you’re not going any farther than a single tank of gas will take you, and you aren’t planning to stop anywhere or eat anything. That’s because the first year of the tax cut will amount to less than $1 a week for a single filer at the low end of the middle-class tax scale. For someone at the top, we’re talking about $5 a week. In other words, the tax cut amounts to pocket change for most middle-class New Yorkers, not a windfall.

Vincent Cervone (Queens/Brooklyn) and Barry Kleiman (Manhattan/Bronx)
Yahoo Finance
Countdown to Tax Day: We're answering your questions
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you’re probably in good company (or at least you have company). Tax procrastination is an American tradition. Let’s face it: Getting all those forms together, filling out 1040s and 1099s, and writing a check to the U.S. Treasury are no one’s idea of fun. And the procrastinators are often the folks who owe money. “People who owe taxes wait until the last minute. It’s human nature,” says Vincent Cervone, a CPA in New York. “I try to tell clients, if you owe money come in early so we can prepare ahead of time.”

Other Accounting and Financial News Stories

Investors Turn More Negative on Dollar
Wall Street Journal
Investors are betting on a trend that few analysts predicted heading into 2016: a depreciating dollar. Hedge funds and other speculative investors are less bullish on the dollar than at any time since May 2014, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

AICPA Plans Revamped CPA Exam
Accounting Today
The next version of the exam is based on a practice analysis, a research project overseen by the AICPA’s Board of Examiners, which received input from different stakeholders in the accounting profession. Among the changes to the next version of the CPA Exam: Increased assessment of higher-order cognitive skills that include, but are not limited to, critical thinking, problem solving and analytical ability.

Cyberthieves’ Latest Target: Your Tax Forms
Wall Street Journal
An email scam targeting companies is putting huge amounts of individuals’ tax information into the hands of criminals, potentially wreaking havoc on the victims’ lives for years. Coming at the height of tax season, when millions of workers are filing their federal and state returns, the “phishing” or “spoofing” scheme is simple and effective: The perpetrator, impersonating a company’s high-ranking executive from a phony email address that appears legitimate, fools staffers in the payroll or human-resources departments into forwarding W-2 forms or other tax information.

Employers Added 215,000 Jobs in March, Including 500 in Accounting
Accounting Today
Employment rose by 215,000 in March, including 500 jobs in accounting and bookkeeping services, although the unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The 215,000 jobs beat analyst estimates. Employment gains mainly occurred in retail trade, construction, and health care, while job losses occurred in manufacturing and mining.

What will be tested on the next CPA exam
Journal of Accountancy
As the business environment has changed, a shift has occurred in the type of work newly licensed CPAs perform. Technical proficiency of accounting, auditing, and tax concepts remains important. Following the AICPA Examinations team’s most recent practice analysis, feedback from the profession indicated that the Uniform CPA Examination should evolve so that it will continue to measure the knowledge and skills a newly licensed CPA uses on the job.

It’s Time for CPAs to Demand Their Clients’ Advisors Follow a Fiduciary Standard
AccountingWEB
As a CPA myself, I recognize that most investors place their greatest trust in their CPAs and look to them to provide counsel on who can provide them with financial advice free of conflict. With that responsibility, you want to make sure you are fully considering financial advisors who will serve your clients in an unbiased way, helping to protect and grow their wealth as a member of their professional consulting team.

Business Leaders Concerned about Tax Proposals
Accounting Today
Senior business leaders are concerned about some of the proposed tax changes they have heard from presidential candidates and other sources, according to a new survey by Friedman LLP. The accounting and advisory firm released a white paper, 2016 Election Grows Near: Business Leaders React to Proposed Tax Changes, highlighting six key findings: Business taxation is of less concern than individual taxation, but should it be?

IRS Releases FY 2015 Data Book
IRS.gov
The Internal Revenue Service today released the 2015 IRS Data Book, a snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year. The 2015 Data Book describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015 and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance and the IRS budget and workforce, among others.