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Q&A: New Guidance on Valuation of Contingent Consideration (Earnouts)

How do you get buyers and sellers to execute an M&A transaction when the prospects of an industry are extremely uncertain?  Part of the answer may be to structure the deal in a way that defers payment of a (significant) portion of the purchase price in the form of contingent consideration.  In this blog post, Sujan Rajbhandary, vice president, interviews Travis Harms, who leads Mercer’s valuation for fi ...

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3 Tricks to Crush College Planning and Save Big

How to Form a Sound College-Savings Plan Early preparation is key for handling children's college expenses.  This article offers three pieces of advice for families, regardless of where they are in the savings process.  Kelli Grant, personal finance and consumer spending reporter, offers some wise and helpful tips. To read the full article in CNBC, click: 3 Tricks to Crush College Planning and Save Big. ...

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Innovation Showcase: CPA Employers on the Cutting Edge

Practices usually associated with startups have helped these seven employers of CPAs establish welcoming cultures and retain employees.  From virtual workplaces to vacation stipends to having employees set their own hours, these innovative practices are helping employers drive productivity.  Lea Hart, AICPA associate editor, explains. To read the full article in the Journal of Accountancy, click: Innovation ...

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5 Things to Know about Fair Value and Equity Investments

New rules from the FASB regarding how entities will have to measure certain equity investments  may lead to increased earnings volatility and additional fair value complexities.  Lucas Parris, senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, discusses five things to know about the new rules and some questions to consider. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting ...

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Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone? Here’s How to Stop Them

An unfamiliar number, an unnatural pause after you say hello…another day, another irritating robocall.  If it feels as if your cellphone has increasingly been flooded with them, you’re right.  Christopher Mele explains. To read the full article in The New York Times, click: Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone?  Here’s How to Stop Them. ...

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Using Excel and Benford’s Law to Detect Fraud

Learn the formulas, functions, and techniques that enable efficient Benford analysis of data sets.  J. Carlton Collins, Journal of Accountancy contributing editor, looks into this issue and provides some very useful tips and insights. To read the full article in JofA, click: Using Excel and Benford’s Law to Detect Fraud. ...

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Compensating for Something: Facebook’s GAAP Change

It seems like it was just last year when we mused if non-GAAP earnings measurements were becoming a permanent fixture of the market.  How quickly the times change.  Samantha Albert, senior financial analyst with Mercer Capital, explains. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: Compensating for Something: Facebook’s GAAP Change. This article is republished from Mercer Ca ...

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The Statute of Limitation for Net Operating Losses

The statute of limitation defines the time within which the IRS may initiate an audit of a tax return.  According to Sec. 6501(a), the statute of limitation for income tax returns is three years from the filing date of the return or the due date if the return is filed early.  Marilyn Young discusses the issue. To read the full article in The Tax Adviser, click: The Statute of Limitation for Net Operating Lo ...

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5 Tips to Make Working from Home Successful

First things first: Get out of bed.  Once you've accomplished this, you're ready for five more tips that can help you minimize interruptions, maximize your time, and make the most of working from home. To read the full article in AICPA Insights, click: 5 Tips to Make Working from Home Successful. ...

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If it was Easy, We’d all be Rich

Market sentiment seems to oscillate between a preference for growth and a desire for profitability now.  Travis Harms, Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group lead, discusses the challenges of managing and investing in early-stage companies. To read the full article in Mercer Capital's Financial Reporting Blog, click: If it was Easy, We’d all be Rich. This article is republished from Mercer Cap ...

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Kitces: A New Hierarchy of Retirement Needs

We mentally deposit money in buckets of current income, current assets, and future income.  This instinctive categorization explains the popularity of so-called bucketing strategies for retirement income, whether segmented by time or type of spending.  Michael Kitces, contributing writer for Financial Planning, explains how advisers can help overcome their irrational expectations. To read the full article i ...

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How to Recognize Your Biggest Weaknesses as a Leader (and Why You Should)

Why Leaders Need to Identify Their Weaknesses Gaining an understanding of your weaknesses as a leader can help you take steps to compensate for them.  Working with mentors and asking for feedback from your team can allow you to identify these weaknesses.  Jayson Demers, CEO of AudienceBloom, shares some great tips. To read the full article in Entrepreneur, click: How to Recognize Your Biggest Weaknesses as ...

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Corporate Venture Capital Trends

In an age of rapid technological change, the traditional corporate R&D process just won’t cut it.  Bureaucracy and slow decision making are impediments to a company’s ability to innovate and the speed of execution.  As younger companies like Tesla are surpassing incumbents in their industries, the established players need to change to keep up.  Megan Richards, financial analyst with Mercer Capital, expl ...

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know Google Chrome?

Google Chrome is the world's most popular web browser.  Are you using its features as effectively as possible?  J. Carlton Collins, CGMA Magazine contributing editor, provides a useful quiz to test your navigation skills in Chrome. To read the full article in CGMA, click: Quiz: How Well Do You Know Google Chrome? ...

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Who’s Fighting for Advisers and Clients in Financial Data Debate?

Access to banking information ensures advisers can perform holistic planning, fintech firms say.  Yet, Suleman Din looks into the problem that young digital-first firms hoping to revolutionize the way advisers manage client finances and build their wealth claim they have run into resistance from major banks opposed to sharing financial data. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Who’s Fighti ...

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People Are Worried About Equity Compensation

The fading use of equity compensation by more mature companies likely reflects: i) relatively cash-rich treasuries; ii) greater interchangeability of personnel to fulfill work functions; and iii) workers’ risk-tolerances (or lack thereof).  Sujan Rajbhandary, vice president and senior member of Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation Group, discusses the issue. To read the full article in Mercer Capi ...

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What is Forensic Accounting and How is it Used in Litigation Cases?

The rudimentary definition of forensic accounting is the application of accounting procedures or practices to a matter that may be litigated.  Forensic accounting involves the use of intelligence gathering techniques and accounting/business skills to analyze past financial data.  Brittni Langel, CFE for McGovern & Greene LLP, discusses how litigation teams will determine if there is a need to use this i ...

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Revenue Synergies in Acquisitions

What is driving the global surge in M&A deals?  In many cases, companies are looking for revenue growth.  But how is the pursuit of revenue synergies working out?  With less than a quarter of acquirers reporting that they are achieving more than 80% of their target, there is clearly room for improvement.  This may not come as a surprise—it is widely understood that revenue synergies are more difficult t ...

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GM Trades at 5.6x Earnings for a Reason; Subprime Lenders Can Too

David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Inc. is no stranger to controversy.  Over the years, he has had a knack for shining a light on an asset and raising a valuation question.  He will wade into a capital structure issue as was the case in 2013 when he sued Apple Inc. to issue a dividend paying preferred stock.  Jeff K. Davis, managing director of Mercer Capital’s Financial Institutions Group, discusses this ...

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If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together is Pointless

Too often, effective collaboration is taken to mean that everyone quickly agrees and is happy with a collective decision, but this idea overlooks the truly creative tension that comes from differing viewpoints.  In this article, Liane Davey, co-founder of 3COze Inc., describes exercises to help overcome your team's fear of constructive conflict. To read the full article in Harvard Business Review, click: If ...

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