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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Is the financial game plan for your intercollegiate athletics program ready to win?

Written by Michelle Fowler, CPA and Matthew P. Behnke, CPA

Maximizing the publicity of intercollegiate athletics provides your institution a winning strategy. The saying that “college athletics is the front window to the institution” rings truer today than at any time in the past.  It isn’t uncommon to hear conversations about college teams or pride in one’s alma mater, whether it be in a personal or professional setting. The way our society identifies higher education institutions through the viewing of athletics and athletic success continues to surge...

Thursday, 14 March 2019

A win-win: Ensuring your athletic program meets your institution’s goals

Written by Michelle Fowler, CPA and Matthew P. Behnke, CPA

For many colleges and universities, the need for increased resources is at a fever pitch. Many colleges find themselves in a fierce battle to generate enrollment numbers that will fund the growing program and financial needs of the institution. The next time you drive down an interstate highway, pay attention to who is advertising on the roadside billboards. The restaurants and auto dealerships we’re used to seeing are now joined by colleges and universities promoting higher education opportunities to prospective students...

Wednesday, 06 March 2019

Weigh the tax impact of income vs. growth when investing

Written by Thomson Reuters

As the 2018 tax-filing season heats up, investors have much to consider. Whether you structured your portfolio to emphasize income over growth — or vice versa, or perhaps a balance of the two — will have a substantial impact on your tax liability. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most significant “big picture” issues that affect income vs. growth...

Tuesday, 05 March 2019

How XBRL benefits companies, large and small

Written by Thomson Reuters

Investors and accounting professionals have warned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against exempting small companies from the requirement to add interactive data to their financial statements using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL). They believe that using XBRL in financial reporting helps investors analyze performance more efficiently and compare results across industries. XBRL timeline XBRL is an interactive data format that allows financial statement information to be downloaded directly into spreadsheets, analyzed in a variety of ways using commercial off-the-shelf software and used within investment models in other software formats. The use of standardized interactive data makes financial information easier for investors to analyze and assists in automating regulatory filings and business information processing...

Tuesday, 05 March 2019

Best practices for audit committees

Written by Thomson Reuters

In January 2019, the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a report intended to promote audit quality. It outlines best practices for audit committees. Although external auditors have primary responsibility for audit quality, the audit committee plays an important oversight role in the financial reporting process. Role of the audit committee Audit committees act as gatekeepers over financial reporting...

Monday, 25 February 2019

CECL proposal gets tepid response at recent roundtable

Written by The Rehmann Team

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s current expected credit loss (CECL) standard presents significant operational challenges for banks whose resources are already taxed to meet regulatory and reporting requirements. It’s an on-going issue that has received considerable attention and commentary. A recent roundtable, attended by financial industry institution organizations, regulators, users of financial statements, and representatives from banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations, focused on developing an alternative proposal submitted by a group of banks. The proposed alternative addressed the income statement impact of CECL due to concerns about the reliability of long-term CECL estimates, and would recognize certain expected charge-offs as part of comprehensive income rather than earnings...

Monday, 25 February 2019

How does a government shutdown impact financial institutions?

Written by The Rehmann Team

The recent partial government shutdown prompted the Fed, FDIC, OCC, NCUA and CFPB to issue a short press release on January 11 stating, “While the effects of the federal government shutdown on individuals should be temporary, affected borrowers may face a temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans or credit cards.” This message from regulators encouraged financial institutions across the country to consider ways they might modify terms on existing loans, extend new credit to help those not receiving a paycheck and take other measures to assist affected customers. Regulators made the same request in 2013 using the exact same language. Banks of all sizes, especially those serving federal workers, answered the call by offering low or no interest payroll advances and loans, waiving overdraft fees, and reversing direct deposit and credit card fees –among other actions – depending on customers’ individual circumstances...

In today’s digital economy, business success depends largely on the ability to deliver customer experiences and services in a rapidly evolving, high-tech environment. 2018 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions (published by the Digital Banking Report) noted that improving the customer experience with digital delivery channels that are easy, friendly and personalized, was a top priority. Priorities seem to have evolved over the past year. While emerging technologies still provide opportunities to enhance the customer experience, the 2019 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions reported “for the first time, ever, the use of data, AI, and advanced analytics was ranked first, replacing improving the customer experience as the number one trend...

Monday, 25 February 2019

Michigan changes state tax base law for banks

Written by The Rehmann Team

On December 26, 2018, Governor Snyder signed Public Act No. 460 which amends sections 651 and 655 of 1967 PA 281 concerning the franchise tax base calculation for financial institutions. For tax years beginning on or before December 31, 2020, the tax base is the bank’s average equity capital for the most recent five-year tax period. If a bank has not been in existence for five tax years, equity capital is the average equity capital for the number of tax years the bank has been in existence...

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The amount of your tax refund does not tell the whole story

Written by The Rehmann Team

Many taxpayers are receiving lower tax refunds on their 2018 income tax returns and are incorrectly assuming that Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) did not benefit them. There exists a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding concerning the TCJA. The TCJA reduced individual tax rates and brackets beginning in 2018. The IRS also modified the federal income tax payroll withholding tables to reduce the amount of federal income tax withheld from paychecks...

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