The CPA Desk

A Thought Leader Production by PKFTexas

Category Archives: Tax and Accounting Desk

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Family Philanthropy: Private Foundations vs. Donor Advised Funds

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Annjeanette Yglesias, one of our tax managers and a member of our not-for-profit team. Annjeanette, welcome back to the playbook. Annjeanette: Hi, Jen, it’s nice to be here. Jen: So, we’ve talked a lot about different not-for-profit topics, and… Continue Reading

Best Practices – Financials for Religious Congregations

Churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious congregations aren’t required to file tax returns, so they might not regularly hire independent accountants. But regardless of size, religious organizations often are subject to other requirements, such as paying unrelated business income tax (UBIT) and properly classifying employees. Without the oversight of tax authorities or outside accountants, religious… Continue Reading

Your Year-End Tax and Financial To-Do List

With the dawn of 2019 on the near horizon, here’s a quick list of tax and financial to-dos you should address before 2018 ends. Check your FSA balance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care expenses, you need to incur qualifying expenses by December 31 to use up these funds or… Continue Reading

Dos and Don’ts of Not-for-Profit Member Surveys

You can’t serve the needs of your not-for-profit’s members unless you know what those needs are. Many organizations take the pulse of their membership with regular surveys but fail to conduct them strategically — and end up with useless information. Instead, maximize your next survey’s effectiveness by focusing on your objectives during every stage of… Continue Reading

Key Deadlines on the 2019 Q1 Tax Calendar

Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the first quarter of 2019. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact your advisors to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements…. Continue Reading

How Tax Reform Directly–and Indirectly–Impacts Not-for-Profits

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Annjeanette Yglesias, one of our tax managers and a member of our not-for-profit team. Annjeanette, welcome back to The Playbook. Annjeanette: Thanks, Jen. It’s good to be here. Jen: So, tax manager, tax reform is a hot topic this… Continue Reading

Three Tips for Not-for-Profits to Improve Accounting and Development

Communication breakdowns between a not-for-profit’s accounting and development departments can lead to confusion, embarrassment and even financial problems. Here are three ways your organization can facilitate cooperation between these two critical functions. 1. Recognize Differences Accounting and development typically record their financial information differently, which is why they can produce numbers that vary but nonetheless… Continue Reading

Should You Prepay Property Taxes Anymore?

Prepaying property taxes related to the current year but due the following year has long been one of the most popular and effective year-end tax-planning strategies. But does it still make sense in 2018? The answer, for some people, is yes — accelerating this expense will increase their itemized deductions, reducing their tax bills. But… Continue Reading

How the “Commerciality Doctrine” Can Trip Up Your Not-for-Profit

The commerciality doctrine was created along with the operational test to address concerns over not-for-profits competing at an unfair tax advantage with for-profit businesses. But even business activities related to your exempt purpose could fall prey to the commerciality doctrine, resulting in the potential loss of your organization’s exempt status. Several Factors Considered The operational… Continue Reading

New Opportunity Zone Program Provides Tax Incentives

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here with Martin Euson, a director on our tax team. Martin, welcome back to the Playbook. Martin: Thanks, Jen. I’m glad to be here. Jen: So, I’ve heard a little bit about the Opportunity Zone Program. What is it? Martin: The Opportunity… Continue Reading

What to Know About Accounting Standards Update 2018-17

Under the amendments in Accounting Standards Update 2018-17, a private company will be able to elect not to apply Variable Interest Entities (VIE) guidance to legal entities under common control (including common control leasing arrangements) if both the parent and the legal entity being evaluated for consolidation are not public business entities, simply by adopting… Continue Reading

Best Practices – 5 Delegation Tips for Not-for-Profit Leaders

Done well, delegation allows not-for-profit executives to focus on their most important tasks, helps to build bench strength and gets staffers out of the office before midnight. But done poorly, it can create more burdens than it eases. Here are five practices all not-for-profit leaders should adopt. 1. Choose Tasks Wisely Always try to devote… Continue Reading

How to Handle Mutual Funds with Care at Year End

As we approach the end of 2018, it’s a good idea to review the mutual funds holdings in your taxable accounts and take steps to avoid potential tax traps. Here are some tips. Avoid Surprise Capital Gains Unlike with stocks, you can’t avoid capital gains on mutual funds simply by holding on to the shares…. Continue Reading

Fiscal Sponsorships – How They Work for Charities

Fiscal sponsorships occur when an established charity provides a kind of legal and financial umbrella to a charitable project that lacks 501(c)(3) status. This type of arrangement can benefit both groups. But before agreeing to be a sponsor, be sure you understand how these arrangements work and the risks involved. Mutually Beneficial In a fiscal… Continue Reading

The FASB Changes Public Companies Need to Know

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m here today with Ryan Istre, an audit director and a member of the PKF Texas SEC team. Ryan, welcome back to the Playbook. Ryan: Thanks, Jen. Appreciate it. Jen: So, I’ve heard FASB is making some changes to share-based payment accounting. What… Continue Reading

Tips: Make Your Not-for-Profit’s Accounting More Efficient

How efficient is your not-for-profit? Even tightly run organizations can use some improvement — particularly in the accounting area. Adopting the following six tips can help improve timeliness and accuracy. Set cutoff policies. Create policies for the monthly cutoff of invoicing and recording expenses — and adhere to them. For example, require all invoices to… Continue Reading

Has Your Not-for-Profit Successfully Transitioned from Overhead to Impact?

In the not-so-distant past, charity watchdog groups such as GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance were notorious for giving overhead ratios significant weightings in their rankings of not-for-profits. While such a practice can help potential donors weed out spendthrift organizations, it also tends to unfairly penalize not-for-profits making reasonable expenditures… Continue Reading