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Barron’s Goes Unicorn Hunting

In Barron’s November 20 cover story, “The Trouble with Unicorns,” Alex Eule discusses some of the finer points of venture-stage valuation that are often overlooked in the press.  Travis Harms, Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group Lead, explains that this article is prompted by the dual observations that (1) a large number of venture-backed companies are achieving unicorn status, and (2) desp ...

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To Woo Advisors, Betterment Takes to Hybrid Approach

Priding itself on being a technology company first, Betterment has learned it needs a deeper human touch to sustain its advisor platform.  RIAs are often impressed by the slick interface of Betterment for Advisors, its contemporary user experience and the way it helps speed onboarding and back office tasks.  But, the young firm can’t scale on technology alone. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, ...

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Clients Build Defensive Cash Positions Even as Bullishness Rises

Clients are boosting their cash positions by taking gains off the table as they hedge against the possibility of a selloff, according to the latest Retirement Advisor Confidence Index—Financial Planning’s barometer of business conditions for wealth managers. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Clients Build Defensive Cash Positions Even as Bullishness Rises. ...

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Developing Your B2B Website

Key Strategies and Steps In the November 2, 2017 article, the author shared some thoughts on what to avoid when developing your website. In this article, the author focuses on the positive: strategies and steps to get you where you want to go. ...

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Win Some, and Then Some: Equity Compensation Tax Reform

In this week’s blog post, we present a select reading list that has helped us keep up with recent legislative developments around equity and executive compensation. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Win Some, and Then Some: Equity Compensation Tax Reform. This article is republished from Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog.  It is reprinted with permission.  ...

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Rules Would Allow Truncated Taxpayer IDs on Forms W-2

In an effort to reduce identity theft, the IRS issued proposed regulations that would permit employers to use truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs) on Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, issued to employees. To read the full article in The Tax Adviser, click: Rules Would Allow Truncated Taxpayer IDs on Forms W-2. ...

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Stay Up on Medicare Enrollment with Annual Reviews

Why Annual Medicare Coverage Reviews Benefit Clients Annual reviews can ensure clients who are Medicare beneficiaries have the coverage they need.  During the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which starts Oct. 15, clients can select different prescription drug coverage, move to a Medicare Advantage plan, or make other changes to their coverage.  PFP/PFS Section members can access over 100 ready-to-go, clien ...

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Early Purchase Price Allocation Estimates Help Avoid EPS Surprises

For public companies, it is increasingly necessary to disclose a preliminary allocation of purchase price in the 10-Q or 10-K immediately following the closing date.  Although M&A activity slowed in the first nine months of 2017 compared to 2016, valuation multiples have continued to rise and major stock market indices marched steadily higher.  Lucas Parris, senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial R ...

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Reliance on Tax Software Does Not Let Taxpayer Off the Hook

A taxpayer cannot blame tax preparation software for inaccuracies that lead to penalties.  A recent Tax Court case provides a cautionary tale for taxpayers who rely on do-it-yourself tax preparation software to prepare their tax returns.  Craig Smalley provides some insight into this. To read the full article in The Tax Adviser, click: Reliance on Tax Software Does Not Let Taxpayer Off the Hook. ...

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Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Framework

Republican lawmakers released a framework for tax reform, announcing that their goals are to cut tax rates, simplify the Internal Revenue Code, and provide a more competitive environment for business.  The framework generally reiterates proposals made in April.  Alistair Nevius, JofA’s editor in chief, explains. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Fra ...

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Seven Ways the New Tax Fight Could Hit Annuities

What Tax Reform Could Mean for Annuities Republican lawmakers have said a tax overhaul framework would retain incentives meant to encourage retirement security, but uncertainty remains about the direction that reform will take.  This article summarizes several ways changes in federal tax laws could affect annuities, charitable giving, and other aspects of retirement planning. To read the full article in Thi ...

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Four Ways to Generate Ideas Fast

Creativity is a very 21st century virtue.  Relying on your skills as a technician does not seem like a very good idea in the nascent age of AI, regardless of your field.  But being able to generate innovative and imaginative ideas can mark you out as a star, a shining goose laying golden eggs. To read the full article in Management Today, click: Four Ways to Generate Ideas Fast. ...

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This is Your Brain on Retirement

Preparing for Clients’ Cognitive Decline Older clients may experience cognitive decline and memory problems that can lead to loneliness and other negative emotions.  Understanding the ways in which clients' cognition may change—and helping them plan for intellectually stimulating activities—can lead to better outcomes in retirement. To read the full article in the Financial Advisor, click: This is Your Brai ...

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SEC Approves New PCAOB Audit Standards

On June 1, 2017 the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) adopted a new auditing standard to provide additional information to investors.  The new standard received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 23, 2017.  In this post, Rohan Bose, financial analyst with Mercer Capital, summarizes several of the major changes coming to audit reports in the near future. To read t ...

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Four Great Ways to Lose Talent

Is your firm inadvertently pushing its best staff out the door?  Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA, explains the four most common mistakes to avoid to retain talent and to best use employees' skills. To read the full article in AICPA Insights, click: Four Great Ways to Lose Talent. ...

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Seven Tips for Managing Sideways

Accountants and business experts agree—if you want to create a stronger team, make a more substantial contribution to your company, and expand your sphere of influence, then you need to think outside the silo.  Eddie Huffman describes how CPAs need to focus more on connecting with and influencing their management peers, not just the people above and below them. To read the full article in the Journal of Acc ...

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Four Etiquette Tips for Videoconference Calls

We have all had those cringe-worthy moments on videoconference calls when a colleague or customer forgets that we can see and hear everything they are doing.  It is hard to be our best selves all the time on screen, especially with videoconferences becoming more common as remote work arrangements and widespread teams become increasingly common.  Lori Sexton, CPA, CGMA, provides you with four considerations ...

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The Importance of Audit Planning

What is the purpose of audit planning if the audit may not ultimately follow the carefully thought out plan?  As may be inferred from Dwight D. Eisenhower's words—"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything"—the value of audit planning is not derived solely from the resulting audit plan.  Daniel Gartland, risk control consultant at CNA, describes the importance of detailed planning. To read the full ar ...

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CPAs Should Shift to Niche Services as Automation Takes Over

Accountants should focus on providing niche areas of service such as business valuation and retirement planning and move away from tasks including bookkeeping and financial reporting because automation and technological advances will take over much of their work.  Dominic Diongson, deputy editor for AccountingWEB, explains. To read the full article in AccountingWEB, click:  CPAs Should Shift to Niche Servic ...

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PCAOB Inspection Scrutiny of Fair Value Measurement Continues

Fair value measurement has been a hot topic during the last few years, increasingly attributable to PCAOB identified audit deficiencies and heightening scrutiny over the existing fair value framework and related auditing standards.  In this post, we take a look at the causes of attention and recent responses from professionals and professional organizations. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Fina ...

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