Many taxpayers don’t make the grade when it comes to recordkeeping. If you operate a small business, or you’re starting a new one, you probably know you need to keep records of your income and expenses. In particular, you should carefully record your expenses in order to claim the full amount of the tax deductions to which you’re entitled. And you want to make sure you can defend the amounts reported on your tax returns if you’re ever audited by the IRS or state tax agencies.

a file cabinet drawer open filled with organized file folders; image used for blog post about good recordkeeping for tax deductions and audits

Certain types of expenses, such as automobile, travel, meals and office-at-home expenses, require special attention because they’re subject to special recordkeeping requirements or limitations on deductibility.

It’s interesting to note that there’s not one way to keep business records. In its publication “Starting a Business and Keeping Records,” the IRS states: “Except in a few cases, the law does not require any specific kind of records. You can choose any recordkeeping system suited to your business that clearly shows your income and expenses.”

Here are three court cases to illustrate some of the issues.


Continue Reading Make Sure You Have Good Recordkeeping

An outside financial audit may seem like an extravagance to not-for-profits working to contain costs and focus on their mission. But undergoing regular audits allows your organization to identify risks early and act quickly to prevent problems.

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Independent audits also provide valuable reassurance to donors. Fortunately, you can reduce the cost of external audits with good preparation.


Continue Reading Prepare Your Not-for-Profit for a Financial Audit

A key fiduciary duty of your not-for-profit’s board of directors is to oversee and monitor the organization’s financial health. Some financial red flags and warning signs, such as the loss of a major funder, may jump out immediately.

a red flag waving in the air, image used for a blog post about financial red flags for not-for-profit boards

But other red flags can be more subtle. Here are some of them.


Continue Reading Watch for These Financial Red Flags for Your NFP Board

On Monday, February 10, 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) – “Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958).” The update aims to improve transparency of contributed nonfinancial assets — or more commonly referred to as in-kind donations — for not-for-profits by enhancing presentation and disclosure.

a box wrapped in pink paper with a gold ribbon tied into a bow, sprinkled with heart-shaped gold confetti; image used for blog post about proposed amendments for NFP nonfinancial assets from FASB

According to the draft of

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here once again with Kristin Ryan, Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of the PKF Texas employee benefit plan team. Kristin, great to see you again.

Kristin: Thank you.

Russ: Last time you were on we got into the SECURE Act and the impact on defined contribution plans, which was fascinating. I like doing this, because I get to learn stuff, too. But there’s a lot more about what actually the impact is on defined contributions; that’s why I want to talk about it again.

Kristin: Yeah, absolutely. So, we focused on defined contributions, the 401(k) plans last time. We want to focus on pension plans this time. So, one of the big things that I’m hearing about a lot with the pension plans is their relief for nondiscrimination testing for frozen plans. So, now a plan that’s frozen, participation frozen contributions, doesn’t have to do as much testing.

Russ: And why would they do that?


Continue Reading How the SECURE Act Affects Pension Plans

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director and one of the faces of our data analytics team. Danielle, welcome back the Playbook.

Danielle: Thank you again.

Jen: So, in this era of technology, and I mentioned in the intro—data analytics. One of the pieces that is data visualization. What are you seeing in that space, and how do you work with clients on that?

Danielle: Yeah, so, data visualization is what sounds like a scary term—people don’t really exactly know what it is—it pretty much is a fancy word for “pictures of graphs.” Just summering up data in a graph or a picture of some sort. A lot of people still seem to be very afraid to start, very afraid of, “What do I need to invest?” and afraid of, “What do I need to do?”


Continue Reading What is Data Visualization and How to Get Started

Jen: This is PKF Texas the Entrepreneurs Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I am back again with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director and one of the faces of our PKF Texas Consulting team. Danielle, welcome back the Playbook.

Danielle: Always happy to be here.

Jen: So, we’ve had a few other directors in here talking about lease accounting, and I know the standards have changed a little bit since the last time we had—I think it was Chris Hatten was here. Can you give us a little bit of an overview about what’s happened with the delayed lease accounting standards?

Danielle: Yeah sure. The AICPA’s Technical Issues Committee actually wrote an unsolicited letter to the FASB requesting an extension related to… it was really mainly tied to… that we have a lot going on with the Revenue Recognition implementation, I think we talked about the past. And then adding it to the leases, the leases can change your balance sheet a lot, and I think we’ve had a lot of people talking about the implications to your balance sheet of the actual standard, that it can impact your covenants or various ratio analysis.


Continue Reading Get Started on Lease Accounting Now!

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director in our Entrepreneurial Advisory Services group. Danielle, welcome back to the Playbook.

Danielle: Thank you for having me again.

Jen: I know revenue recognition is a hot topic right now; we’re getting ready to go into audit season. What are some trends you are seeing where clients need to get ready since it’s kind of a new thing that they should be ready for?

Danielle: A lot of clients, particularly certain industry types, have a tendency to kind of not dismiss revenue recognition, but they don’t perceive it as large of an impact. There’s a lot of areas where the revenue recognition rules effectively didn’t change too much, but there’s some really specific nuances that did change, as well as the auditors are going to be looking at how did somebody assess to see if it changed or not. So even in industries that didn’t change very much, there is a certain amount of documentation that needs to be in place for the company having assessed it.


Continue Reading How Revenue Recognition Impacts Companies

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a director on our Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team. Danielle, welcome back to the Playbook.

Danielle: Thanks for having me again.

Jen: So a few episodes back we talked about revenue recognition. Another one of

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s host, and I’m here today with Danielle Supkis Cheek, a Director on our Entrepreneurial Advisory Services team. Welcome back to the Playbook, Danielle.

Danielle: Thanks. Thanks for having me again.

Jen: So, we’ve done a series of accounting pronouncements from several of our other directors. What’s your perspective on some things that have been released recently?

Danielle: My big concern is actually the interplay between the various pronouncements. The pronouncements that we have coming out, particularly revenue recognition and the lease standards, are going to impact every single piece of the balance sheet, fairly simultaneously, within a one to two-year period.
Continue Reading Best of… How Revenue Recognition and Lease Standards Can Affect Your Balance Sheet