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Getting in Shape for Tax Season

As the start of another tax season draws closer, practitioners would do well to review the new due diligence requirements for preparing returns that claim child tax credits and the American opportunity credit, Internal Revenue Service warnings to safeguard client data from cybercriminals and other important developments. To read the full article in Journal of Accountancy, click: Getting in Shape for Tax Sea ...

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Corporate Boards aren’t Prepared for Cyberattacks

Is Cybersecurity Preparedness Lacking Among Boards? Some company boards are failing to take the necessary steps to defend against cyberattacks, with one survey finding that only 19% of directors say their boards have a high level of understanding of the issue.  Many states have data breach notification laws on the books, although such a provision has yet to pass at the federal level. To read the full articl ...

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Corporate Taxes, Other Pro-Growth Policies, and Business Value—A Brave New World?

The inauguration of a new POTUS is now behind us.  Time, then, to add to the cacophony of pop-prognostications.  This blog post will make broad observations regarding potential changes to select corporate tax and other pro-growth economic policies in hopes of teasing out inferences for inputs to a basic valuation framework. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Corpor ...

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Defending the Devil

An Expert Witness Tells All Martin H. Abo, CPA, ABV, CVA, CFF shares the story of a fraud engagement, where he was retained to analyze the business practices of FirstPlus Financial. Mr. Abo shares his experience getting the engagement and testifying in the racketeering case. ...

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Keeping it in Perspective: A Woman’s Take on the Profession

When Amy Sonstein, CPA, PFS, started her first job in financial planning 12 years ago, she was the only woman in her training group.  Some progress has been made in the past decade, but many financial planning firms still don't have a large number of female advisers on staff.  In this blog post, Sonstein shares how a woman's perspective can help firms provide better service and value to their clients. To re ...

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How to Address Common Concerns About Retirement

Some American workers are worried about their financial security in retirement, according to a Transamerica survey.  In this article, Todd Campbell looks at five common fears involving retirement and how they can be addressed. To read the full article in The Motley Fool, click: How to Address Common Concerns About Retirement. ...

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Crafting a Deal in Order to Stay Afloat

Sears has booked losses of over nine billion dollars during the past eight years.  The company has had to resort to shedding assets—tangible and intangible—in a bid to right-size operations and manage liquidity.  In January 2017, Sears announced the sale of its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker.  Samantha Albert, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, explains the transaction. To read the ...

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Transfer Pricing Business Models

Aligning Business Models and Business Practices A key factor in establishing a reasonable transfer price is establishing the business model used by sales and distribution organizations. In this article, the authors describe the three primary models and their relevance establishing and defending a transfer price. ...

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A Case for Mediation

What do You Have to Lose? Since only a fraction of the cases filed go to trial, it seems prudent to explore settlement sooner rather than later. It is not rocket science, and statistics support the claim that the earlier a case settles the lower the expense to achieve that settlement. If this is not enough to encourage someone to consider mediation sooner rather than later, then perhaps recent court statist ...

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The Growth Plan: Keeping your Practice on Course

Many advisers have plans for growth, but does anyone really know what causes above average sustained progress?  After years of experience and study, Glenn Kautt, CFP, EA, AIFA, concluded that leading a firm requires you to have a detailed plan. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: The Growth Plan: Keeping your Practice on Course. ...

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A Tax Nightmare: Excess IRA Contributions

We’re quickly approaching the time of year when most contributions are made to IRAs and Roth IRAs.  But there are limits to how much can be contributed to an IRA, and exceeding them can result in costly penalties.  Ed Slott, CPA, tells us what to look out for. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: A Tax Nightmare: Excess IRA Contributions. ...

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Gravity Matters, Especially for Financial Investors

What risk assets are not near record valuations, aside from assets in a few sectors such as energy and retail?  Investing when multiple expansion occurs over a holding period is a great thing, but multiples cannot expand forever; they also can contract.  Jeff Davis, managing director of Mercer Capital’s Financial Institutions Group, explains. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting ...

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The Quandary Over Wandry

Audit Risk and Use of Defined Value Clauses Estate planning attorneys and their clients are aware of the risk of an audit. Despite knowing this risk, they seek certainty. Business valuation is as much art, as it is science. Estate planning attorneys have devised techniques to hedge the aforementioned risk and provide their clients with a greater degree of certainty. One such technique utilized by estate pla ...

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The Best Learning Tool Ever

After Actions Reviews A firm’s intellectual capital is the most important source of its long-term wealth creating capacity. It must be constantly replenished and created to build the firm’s invisible balance sheet. Constantly focusing on doing rather than learning, creativity, innovation, and knowledge sharing is the equivalent of eating the firm’s seed corn. In this article, Ron Baker discusses the value o ...

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IRS Issues 2017 Inflation Adjustments for Many Tax Provisions

The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual revenue procedure containing inflation-adjusted amounts for the 2017 tax year, affecting more than 50 Code provisions, as well as the new tax-rate tables for individuals and estates and trusts.  Sally Schreiber, JofA senior editor, takes us through the revenue procedure. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: IRS Issues 2017 Inflation Ad ...

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Phishing Scams Target Tax Professionals

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated and cast a wider net, tax practitioners should take a number of steps to protect themselves and their clients.  Shannon Smith Retzke, Esq., explains that practitioners need to be careful about everything they do online as cybercriminals proliferate. To read the full article in The Tax Adviser, click: Phishing Scams Target Tax Professionals. ...

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Financial Reporting Blog: Best of 2016

2016’s 10 most popular posts from Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Blog.  2016 proved to be an interesting year, both in terms of developments in financial reporting and the range of topics covered on this blog.  We’ve enjoyed sharing our thoughts in this forum over the last three years and look forward to new challenges and opportunities in 2017. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial R ...

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Physician Practice Acquisitions

Deal Structuring and Workforce in Place Considerations Under IRC and Stark Law What complications arise when two separate transactions are used to structure an asset sale of a physician practice? The key to compliance is to hit a reasonable middle ground under somewhat competing frameworks, and carefully drafting, documenting, and reporting accordingly. Valuators play a key role not only in establishing and ...

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