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The Surprising Role of Client Education

In Closing New Business Deals Client education can have a huge impact in accounting and professional service firms’ content marketing efforts. By providing prospects with increasingly valuable pieces of educational content, you can not only attract them to your firm, but also nurture them as they move into and through your sales funnel. ...

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Why All Values Are Not Created Equal

Understanding Terms and Bridging a Potential Valuation Gap It is not uncommon for litigation to stem from disagreements over the value of privately held companies and ownership interests in those entities. In those situations, many different values are often discussed as the parties attempt to reach a resolution. It is important to make sure that the parties are speaking the same language as far as the type ...

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AARP Wants Prospective Clients to put Advisors on the Record

Financial advisors, more accustomed to fielding questions about fees or the stock market outlook from prospective clients, should get ready to also answer queries about best interest or suitability standards.  This is, if state regulators and AARP have anything to say about it. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: AARP Wants Prospective Clients to put Advisors on the Record. ...

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The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer

The Retiree's Cost of Care Barometer is an Excel planning tool designed to help you measure retiree health care costs and deliver funding solutions and planning advice tailored to your clients' needs.  This tool, developed by James A. Shambo, CPA/PFS (retired), will help you unveil the mystery of health care costs. To read the full article in AICPA, click: The Retiree’s Cost of Care Barometer. ...

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Managing the Unique Needs of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Clients

Illiquid assets may constitute a sizeable chunk of the assets owned by ultra-high-net-worth clients, who often have different needs than other clients in areas such as data aggregation.  In many cases, these clients are especially focused on cash flow and philanthropic issues. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Managing the Unique Needs of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Clients. ...

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Lease Accounting 2018 Update

Overview—Putting it on the Balance Sheet In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The existing standard has been criticized because its bright line classification criteria enabled entities to structure leases in such a way as to avoid putting them on the balance sheet. The new standard aims to improve and simplify the financial reporting for leases and ...

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Lessons to Learn from SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcements

Since enacting the Securities Exchange Act in 1934, Congress has repeatedly expanded the arsenal of the SEC to protect investors through enforcement actions.  As a result, the SEC has steadily increased the number of enforcement actions.  The author's analysis of 1,563 accounting and auditing enforcement cases from 2008 to 2014 shows the most frequent securities law violations adjudicated by the SEC, the pe ...

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SEC Should Define “Advisor,” Says CFA Institute

With the fiduciary rule in question, a prominent industry association is calling on the SEC to issue guidance on the use of the term "advisor" when offering advice to retail investors.  The CFA Institute has drafted a letter asking the SEC to take steps–ahead of the full regulatory initiative it is contemplating–to clarify the way financial pros describe themselves and their services. To read the full artic ...

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This Time-Saving Trick Gets Advisors Fired. Don’t do it.

I have a number of elderly clients.  It’s difficult for them to come in and sign documents, and if I overnight it to them, they often come back signed in the wrong place or otherwise incorrectly filled out.  To make life easier for my clients I’ve had them sign blank forms, and then I’ll fill them in as needed.  I’ve never used those forms improperly, but I’ve heard that if my firm finds out I can be in big ...

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Which is Best: EV/EBITDA, EV/EBITA, or EV/EBIT?

Adherence to Development and Reporting Standards in Family Law Litigation When applied correctly, the Market Approach can link value to market evidence and help support a thorough and well-reasoned valuation. However, valuation analysts often struggle with a variety of challenges when applying the Market Approach that include locating and selecting good comparable companies, selecting or calculating various ...

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Sixteen Compliance Trends to Watch in the New Year

Financial advisors face a slew of new regulatory issues in 2018, and when it comes to compliance, they are “better off changing the oil regularly than waiting for the engine to blow up.”  That vivid warning comes from Todd Cipperman, founder of Cipperman Compliance Services, a consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance.  To find out what to expect next year according to Cipperman, as well as Bao ...

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Last-Minute Revenue Recognition Implementation Tips

The implementation effort surrounding FASB’s new revenue recognition standard is nearing an end for many companies; the deadline for compliance for public companies is the beginning of 2018.  Despite the years of preparation, certain aspects of compliance, particularly the complex disclosure requirements, are being left to the final hours.  Some companies are playing catch-up, scrambling to have their discl ...

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How Small Financial Advisories can Prevent Sexual Harassment

The dominoes keep falling—allegations of sexual harassment are rampant.  Who is next?  The wounds are open, and it is time to start healing.  Before we can do that, though, we have to wonder why we have not seen more reports out of the wealth management industry recently.  In part, I believe it is because our male-heavy finance culture went through a slew of sexual harassment cases in the 90’s, including th ...

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New Sanity Check Model

Provides Independent Validation of Indicated Values Newly-minted valuation analysts may question the reasonableness of their conclusion of value. That is natural. In this article, the author introduces readers to the Hypothetical Willing Buyer-Willing Seller Sanity Check Model. This is a model developed by the author in connection with valuation of a 100% controlling interest. ...

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Analyzing Transactional Databases

Issues Using Transactional Databases and whether there is a Florida Effect that Biases the Transaction Multiplies In this article, the author discusses issues that impact the transaction multiples. He warns appraisers that it is dangerous to assume that the data offered by the transactional databases is consistent from transaction to transaction and, therefore, can be combined into a single sample and then ...

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Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

Wealth management firms of all sizes are trying to streamline their operations to benefit clients, and mobile is a prime example, according to the recent Financial Planning Tech Survey.  Forty percent of respondents cited mobile apps as a potential difference maker for the industry.  This article will cite which technologies offer the most promise to advisors, and which could fall by the wayside. To read th ...

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Blockchain Considerations for Management and Auditors

Members of the accounting profession are being challenged to gain a deep understanding of how ledger technology and digital currencies work.  As the use cases for blockchain multiply, accountants and auditors need to consider how the existing accounting and auditing rules relate to distributed ledger technology. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Blockchain Considerations for Man ...

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Advisor Gets Prison Time After Pleading Guilty to Bilking Client for $911K

A financial planner who admitted to defrauding his client out of nearly $1 million through a signature-forging scheme received a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years.  William P. Carlson Jr. pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the U.S. District Court in Chicago and agreed to pay restitution of $911,000 in connection with the five-year scam. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Advisor Gets ...

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