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How to Give Constructive Criticism That Gets Results

Offering constructive criticism is an essential part of being a manager.  Thoughtful feedback improves communication with staff members while encouraging them to grow.  Show how small changes can be part of the big picture. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: How to Give Constructive Criticism That Gets Results. ...

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Engagement Letter Stories—When They Hurt and When They Worked

As a risk management professional at CNA, professional liability insurance carrier for nearly 25,000 CPA firms, I am often asked if engagement letters are worth all the effort.  The answer, based on my personal and CNA’s claim experience, is a resounding YES!  I’ve experienced firsthand the value these letters bring to the table. To read the full article in AICPA, click: Engagement Letter Stories—When They ...

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New Tax Law, More Business for Financial Advisors

Soon after President Trump signed the bill, some wealthy clients who owned businesses needed to know if they could save on taxes by buying manufacturing equipment in 2017.  Others needed advice on whether to pay state income tax by Dec. 31 if they were not subject to the alternative minimum tax. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: New Tax Law, More Business for Financial Advisors. ...

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FASB Addresses Stranded Income Tax Effects of New Tax Law

Under the new FASB rules, financial statement preparers are provided an option to reclassify stranded tax effects within accumulated other comprehensive income in each period in which the effect of the change in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or portion thereof) is recorded. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: FASB Addresses Stranded Incom ...

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How AI, Blockchain, and Automation Will Reinvent Accounting

The accounting profession sits on the cusp of unprecedented change.  Transformative technologies will reshape virtually every corner of the accounting world.  For CPAs to survive and thrive, they will need to learn—and unlearn—on a scale and at a pace that can seem overwhelming.  To help CPAs prepare, the JofA gathered three of the profession’s top technology experts for its annual accounting technology rou ...

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Ten Key Findings: Sexual Harassment in the Professional Workplace

This article highlights a broad, industrywide study of the impact and implications of sexual harassment across professional communities, including banking, payments, mortgages, financial advisory, accounting, health care, employee benefits and capital markets (including municipal finance and M&A advising). To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Ten Key Findings: Sexual Harassment in the P ...

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No One’s Sure Who Qualifies for this $415B Tax Deduction

Congressional Republicans created a juicy new tax break for clients when they rewrote the U.S. tax code late last year.  Three months later, hundreds of thousands of them still do not know if they qualify.  The IRS has said it will provide guidance detailing exactly who is allowed to take the so-called pass-through deduction.  With billions of dollars at stake, business groups are lobbying for the agency to ...

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Accountants Reveal What Inspires Them Every Day

Day in, and day out, how do you stay inspired?  We asked nine accountants what inspires them and what advice they would give to help others in the profession find that inspiration. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Accountants Reveal What Inspires Them Every Day. ...

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FINRA Helpline Aims to Aid Smaller Firms, but Concerns Arise

FINRA has launched a helpline to provide firms with direct assistance and answers to general and routine FINRA related questions, as well as direct callers to the proper regulatory staff and other departments. The effort is part of its FINRA360 organizational improvement program. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: FINRA Helpline Aims to Aid Smaller Firms, but Concerns Arise. ...

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Risk Tolerance: The Misperception that Keeps Hurting Clients

Before investing client assets, advisors are required to assess a client’s risk tolerance. If the investor takes on more risk than they can endure, they are likely to lose more money than they can stomach when the inevitable bear market comes. And even if the market recovers, there’s a risk that the investor will panic sell at the bottom of the market. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: ...

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How to Create More Quality Family Time

The world is more hectic than ever.  Busy professionals often struggle to escape the career treadmill, and omnipresent technology keeps us working around the clock.  Dinnertimes eaten up by e-mails and weekends lost to client calls create a costly intrusion.  When free time becomes scarce, family activities frequently get moved down the to-do list. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, cli ...

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Wealth Management Fares Worst in Broad Study of Sexual Harassment

When a male co-worker got too close for comfort, he drove a financial advisor to leave a regional brokerage firm where she had been working for years.  He gave other female colleagues shoulder rubs that they “did not want, nor ask for," said the advisor, who requested anonymity to share her story. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Wealth Management Fares Worst in Broad Study of Sexual Ha ...

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Five Questions to Ask Your Estate Planner After the New Tax Law

The new tax law could affect existing estate plans, so now is a good time to review documents with clients.  Clients may need guidance in five areas, including the impact of the law on state-level estate taxes. To read the full article in Next Avenue, click: Five Questions to Ask Your Estate Planner After the New Tax Law. ...

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Fee Disruption is Coming

Some of the most disruptive business models that the world has ever known have succeeded through the use of cross-subsidies—the act of giving away for free something that consumers were previously paying for. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Fee Disruption is Coming. ...

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Where are all the Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes?

Some planners are adding language to grantor trusts that allows trustees to pay taxes directly or to reimburse grantors.  This can dissuade grantors from turning off grantor trust status entirely, but there are certain IRS rules to consider. To read the full article in WealthManagement, click: Where are all the Grantor Trust Reimbursement Statutes? ...

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Alexa, Can You be My Financial Planner?

Alexa, can you be my financial planner?  Artificial intelligence is getting more sophisticated, but where does that leave the professionals?  I asked that question of my new device, a birthday present from my son.  The answer?  “I don’t know that.”  But for how long?  Just as other industries have been disrupted by technological advancement, so, too, will the financial industry. To read the full article in ...

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Wells Fargo Ends Fight with a Whistleblower in Fake-Accounts Scandal

Wells Fargo has put an end to a well-publicized fight with a former retail bank manager who blew the whistle on its sham-accounts scheme that ultimately affected 3.5 million Americans.  Both sides say they reached a settlement this month, though its terms are confidential.  The agreement signals a possible shift in legal strategy for Wells as it appears to be the first instance in which the bank has volunta ...

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