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SME CPA BLOG

Business owners: When it comes to IRS audits, be prepared

May 31, 2017

If you recently filed your 2016 income tax return (rather than filing for an extension) you may now be wondering whether it’s likely that your business could be audited by the IRS based on your filing. Here’s what every business owner should know about the process. Catching the IRS’s eye Many business audits occur randomly,…

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Is annual financial reporting enough?

March 16, 2017

Businesses generally issue year-end financial statements to let investors and lenders evaluate their financial health. But proactive stakeholders — including the company’s CEO and board of directors — may want more than one “snapshot” per year of financial results. Interim statements let stakeholders know how a company is doing each quarter or month, but they…

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Understanding the statement of cash flows

February 24, 2017

The statement of cash flows highlights the sources and uses of cash. It’s arguably the most misunderstood and underappreciated part of a company’s annual report. Here’s an overview of how this statement is organized and what the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has recently done to make it more user-friendly. Cash flows from operations The…

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Ready, set, audit

February 2, 2017

If your business issues audited financial statements and follows a calendar year end, your external auditing procedures have already begun. At a minimum, you’ve signed an engagement letter, sent over preliminary financial statements and allowed your CPA to observe any year end physical inventory counts. But there are some steps you can still take to…

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How to report discontinued operations today.

December 30, 2016

Did your company undergo a major strategic shift in 2016? If so, management may need to comply with the updated rules for reporting discontinued operations that went into effect in 2015 for most companies. Discontinued operations typically don’t happen every year, so it’s important to review the basics before preparing your year-end financial statements. Narrower…

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Are you ready for the new revenue recognition rules?

December 15, 2016

A landmark financial reporting update is replacing about 180 pieces of industry-specific revenue accounting guidance with a single, principles-based approach. In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) unveiled Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. In 2015, the FASB postponed the effective date for the new revenue guidance by…

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Beware of accounts deceivables

December 2, 2016

More than half of financial statement frauds involve sales and accounts receivable, according to the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. (COSO is a joint initiative of five private sector organizations that develops frameworks and guidance on enterprise risk management, internal control and fraud deterrence.) But why do fraudsters tend to target accounts…

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Fair value reporting: What it means to the FASB and you

November 23, 2016

In 2002, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), as part of its move toward international financial reporting convergence, began to transition from the principle of historic cost to fair value reporting. Fair value estimates are now used to report such assets as derivatives, nonpublic entity securities, certain long-lived assets, and acquired goodwill and other intangibles.…

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Why you can’t always count on the book value of property and equipment

August 23, 2016

The market value of property and equipment often exceeds book value, especially for fixed assets that appreciate (rather than depreciate) in value or if your company uses accelerated depreciation methods. But the reverse sometimes occurs, too. When book value exceeds market value, a write-off may be required under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Recording impairment…

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Substantial doubt: It’s a matter of opinion

August 23, 2016

Auditors reconsider the “going concern” assumption every time they audit your financial statements. When your company’s long-term viability is doubtful, it may cause the auditor to issue a qualified audit opinion. Depending on the level of uncertainty and the underlying reasons, a qualified opinion could raise a red flag that your company is under financial…

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