It’s all too easy to let not-for-profit programs that have outlived their effectiveness to continue, even as they consume budget resources. To help ensure your resources are being deployed efficiently and effectively, consider using the tradition of spring cleaning to review and, potentially, replace older programs.

Go to the sources

Instead of relying on old assumptions about your programs’ effectiveness, perform new research. Start by surveying participants, members, donors, employees, volunteers and community leaders about which of your nonprofit’s programs are the most — and least — effective and why.

Continue Reading Clearing the Cobwebs from Your Not- For-Profit’s Program Offerings

We tried something new for the Desk Buddies video series! Who are the faces of PKF Texas starring in this next video?

Meet Bailey and Obum – audit interns for the Winter, who have only known each other a short time during their internship. We sat them together and tested how well they knew each other with our usual white boards questionnaire and a bonus lightning round! Find out how they did in our latest video! Continue Reading Desk Buddies Special Intern Edition is Now Live!

As you all know, we are in the midst of a globally-declared pandemic concerning the respiratory illness caused by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As the impact on our community, here in Houston and across the country, continues to evolve, PKF Texas is taking a prudent approach to addressing this event in an attempt to “flatten the curve”. As such, effective today, March 17, 2020, we are encouraging all of our staff to work from home through March 31st (to be reassessed at that time). While our approach is consistent with what many other organizations are doing, we recognize our special service commitment to you, our clients.

The PKF Texas office is open and is currently staffed by a limited crew of support team members only. While we recognize that this temporary arrangement could have the potential to impact our service to you, we believe it will be mitigated by our paperless work environment.

As a firm, we have been at the forefront in the use of technology, including: electronic workpapers, instant messaging and team chats, video conference capabilities, SharePoint sites to share documents through an electronic upload, and a history of working with many clients on a remote basis. This includes those of you who are located in Houston and surrounding areas, in other cities in Texas, the U.S. and globally. In addition to our advanced technology, as always, we are also available by phone or email to meet your ever-changing needs.

With this in mind, we believe our services to you will continue virtually uninterrupted. If you have any concerns about this temporary arrangement, please contact your client service team.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and for your partnership with us as we all work through this unprecedented event. PKF Texas is grateful for your business and for the confidence you have placed in our firm.

If you have a life insurance policy, you probably want to make sure that the life insurance benefits your family will receive after your death won’t be included in your estate. That way, the benefits won’t be subject to the federal estate tax.

Under the estate tax rules, life insurance will be included in your taxable estate if either:

  • Your estate is the beneficiary of the insurance proceeds, or
  • You possessed certain economic ownership rights (called “incidents of ownership”) in the policy at your death (or within three years of your death).

Continue Reading Why You Should Keep Life Insurance Out of Your Estate

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski and I’m back again with Ryan Istre, one of our audit directors and one of the faces of the PKF Texas SEC team. Ryan welcome back to the Playbook.

Ryan: Good to be here Jen.

Jen: So, audit independence issues are always a hot topic. What are you hearing from the SEC and PCAOB?

Ryan: So, you’re right, audit independence issues are always a hot topic and every auditor always has it on their mind 100% of the time while working with their audit clients. While the vast majority of firms have processes and controls in place to get it right, to make sure they are independent with respect to their audit clients, every once in a while, little nuances slip by. Continue Reading Maintaining Independence: Navigating SEC and PCAOB Guidance

As the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve; we wanted to let you, our valued clients and friends of the firm, know that PKF Texas is actively monitoring the situation, along with the Houston business community. As such, the health and safety of our team, clients and the friends of our firm is our number one priority.

Our leadership team is following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our state and local health authorities.

At this point, we are conducting business as usual and the PKF Texas office is open. Furthermore, during this busy time of year with deadlines fast approaching, PKF Texas is committed to continuing to serve our clients with the level of attention and timeliness you have come to expect from our professional team.

As an early adopter of technology in our business, we have the tools, policies and procedures in place to allow for our team to work remotely should the need arise. We will communicate with you if there are any changes to our current work environment.

Thank you for your continued support and please reach out to us at any time if you have additional questions.

Every nonprofit needs an executive search plan. Even if you aren’t facing an imminent vacancy, your organization is smart to prepare for what can be a long process. In fact, executive searches generally take several months — even if you end up hiring someone already known to your nonprofit. So make plans now.

Focusing energy

Start by forming a search team made up of board members. Even if your current executive director isn’t leaving, the existence of a committee enables members to stay abreast of compensation trends and be on the lookout for potential successors to current executives.

Continue Reading How are you Going to Find your Not-for-Profit’s Next Executive?

If you made large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a 2019 gift tax return. And in some cases, even if it’s not required to file one, it may be beneficial to do so anyway.

Who must file?

Generally, you must file a gift tax return for 2019 if, during the tax year, you made gifts:

  • That exceeded the $15,000-per-recipient gift tax annual exclusion (other than to your U.S. citizen spouse),
  • That you wish to split with your spouse to take advantage of your combined $30,000 annual exclusion,
  • That exceeded the $155,000 annual exclusion for gifts to a noncitizen spouse,
  • To a Section 529 college savings plan and wish to accelerate up to five years’ worth of annual exclusions ($75,000) into 2019,
  • Of future interests — such as remainder interests in a trust — regardless of the amount, or
  • Of jointly held or community property.

Keep in mind that you’ll owe gift tax only to the extent that an exclusion doesn’t apply and you’ve used up your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption ($11.4 million for 2019). As you can see, some transfers require a return even if you don’t owe tax. Continue Reading The 2019 Gift Tax Return Deadline is Coming Up

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook, I’m Jen Lemanski and I’m here with Ryan Istre, an audit director and one of the faces of our PKF Texas SEC team. Ryan, welcome back to the Playbook.

Ryan: Thanks for having me Jen.

Jen: So, I’ve heard you guys on the audit side talk a little bit about CAMs, what are they and how do they affect public companies?

Ryan: So, a CAM is defined as a Critical Audit Matter. The PCAOB issued an amendment to AS 3101 which is the literature that governs what an auditor is required to include in an audit opinion of public companies. So the amendment actually adjusted what will be now seen in public company audit opinions. Continue Reading How Critical Audit Matters (CAMs) Affect SEC Companies

A majority of large U.S. companies offer programs of matching gifts to boost the impact of their employees’ charitable gifts. Double the Donation estimates that $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year.

a small box wrapped in brown paper with blue and white starts on it sits on a wooden table; image used for a blog post about not-for-profits matching gifts to double donor contributions

At the same time, between $4 and $7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed annually. Is your not-for-profit doing everything it can to claim its share of this pool of corporate gifts?

Continue Reading How Matching Gifts Can Double Donors’ Contributions