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Higher Education

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...

On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed the largest tax overhaul of the U.S. tax system in 30 years. We have summarized highlights of this legislation that affect the higher education sector...

Michigan public schools and higher education institutions have been waiting for the final IRS ruling regarding the federal tax treatment of the 3 percent Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) healthcare contribution. The IRS ruling determines whether the 3% contribution is taxable for Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)/Medicare purposes.  In August 2016, the IRS issued a statement to some districts indicating future receipt of refunds from the protective claims filed. The Office of Retirement Services (ORS) tried to get a system-wide answer to the tax questions by filing a Private Letter Ruling (PLR) with the IRS...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Learning from cybersecurity incidents at institutions

Written by Lisa VanDeWeert, CPA

According to University Business, higher education institutions have been the victims of 539 breaches involving nearly 13 million known records since 2005. With these attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s more important than ever for institutions to effectively safeguard their personal, intellectual and financial assets.  Let’s review two recent examples that may help protect your institution. Scenario 1: Vendor security A higher education institution faced a recent hacking attempt through internet correspondence...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Higher education overtime: New Department of Labor rule

Written by Rehmann Team

The Department of Labor’s newly released overtime rule updates the salary level required for the exemption to rise from $455 a week/$23,660 a full year to $913 a week/$47,476 a full year, effective December 2, 2016. It’s intended to offer protections to 4.2 million workers nationwide, creating clarity and greater certainty about overtime into the future since the threshold will be updated every three years. As a result, many employees who earn less than the new threshold are entitled to overtime compensation...

Friday, 01 January 2016

Cybersecurity threats: Is your institution vulnerable?

Written by Michelle Fowler

Higher education institutions have always had to worry about crimes such as fraud and embezzlement. But the dangers they face now are much more sophisticated — and can be far costlier. According to the Ponemon Institute's latest U.S...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Accounting Post-GASB 68 Implementation

Written by Lisa VanDeWeert, CPA

By now you have likely completed implementation of GASB 68 “Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions”. Congratulations! Hopefully, you did not find it to be as challenging of a task as initially anticipated. In this GASB 68 post-implementation world, here are a few related topics to note: 1...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Charities Would Be Permitted to Issue Information Returns to Donors

Written by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Charities will be allowed to file information returns instead of providing contemporaneous written acknowledgment of charitable donations under proposed regulations issued by the IRS that implement a statutory exception that donors until now had been unable to use (REG-138344-13). Under the new rules, charities will be allowed to file an information return with the IRS and the donor to substantiate donations of $250 or more. Under Sec. 170(f)(8), a donor must obtain from the charity a contemporaneous written acknowledgment—containing specific information—for any donation over $250...

Tuesday, 07 July 2015

GASB 68 Implementation: Is Your Institution Prepared?

Written by Lisa VanDeWeert, CPA

The implementation date for GASB 68 is right around the corner, impacting institutions with a year-end of June 30, 2015. Employers will be required to recognize the net pension liability on the statement of net position for the respective defined benefit pension plan in which it participates. For employers participating in the cost-sharing multi-employer plans provided by the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement Systems (MPSERS), the reports and data to be provided by the plan actuary for the MPSERS is anticipated to be available in early August. While institutions are waiting for the information, there are a few key points to consider in adopting GASB 68...

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