Archive for the ‘General’ Category

What Can a Reno CPA Do For You or Your Business?

07/11/16 11:33 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Reno, Nevada CPAs in the office of Barnard Vogler & Co. can assist individuals in many ways. We offer the traditional CPA services of 1040 preparation and tax planning. More specifically, our Reno CPAs have tax experience with California residency issues, cancellation of debts of recourse and nonrecourse, Chapter 11 bankruptcy tax matters and va...

Bonus Pay Limitation

27/10/16 2:01 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Modern day business is built on constant competition and an ever changing landscape, where CEO’s must take risks to survive. Risk-taking is something that happens in everyday business and those that have good results from the risks are given bonuses. What if the CEO received a bonus from good results in the current year and then 3 years down the...

A Non-Partisan Comparison of Presidential Candidate Tax Plans

29/09/16 10:56 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Just over a month away is the election for the 45th President of the United States. No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, there is no doubt that each candidate has proposed some substantial tax legislation changes. Here is a comparison of the candidates tax plans:

Hillary Clinton's Plan:  

• “Fair Share Surcharge” – A propose...

The “Final-Offer” Arbitration Challenge

19/09/16 11:06 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The Harvard Business Review recently published an article outlining an interesting strategy which should make negotiations more civil, speedy and fair. The authors have proposed an approach they call the “final-offer arbitration challenge” for reaching fair agreements efficiently. It works like this. If the other side’s position is unreaso...

Accumulate or Spend?

27/07/16 2:05 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When is it time to retire? Is it some set age such as when social security or medicare benefits are available? It’s different for everyone. And people are continuing to work later in life. Why? Maybe because they need to (haven’t saved enough – the recession hit them hard) or maybe because they want to (enjoy what they are doing). The toughes...

Washoe County’s Proposed Sales Tax Increase

03/06/16 10:40 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

On the ballot in November will be a tax rate adjustment that’s worth taking a look at: Sales Tax. The proposed sales tax hike would increase Washoe County sales tax from 7.725% to 8.265%, which would make Washoe County the highest tax rate in Nevada. The current high is in Clark County at 8.15%. To put this into perspective - if you bought an iP...

Prepare Your Business for the New Overtime Rules

26/05/16 3:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  If you haven’t heard the buzz over the past few weeks, there has been a significant change in federal overtime rules for employees. For business owners it is important that you be aware of these changes. If you have employees you need to prepare to be in compliance and possibly fork out more cash when the law goes in to effect on December 1...

Passwords continue to be a security risk

31/03/16 11:18 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

According to a recent article in the Journal of Accountancy, passwords continue to be a major security risk. SplashData’s report compiling millions of leaked passwords has found that since 2011 the most frequently used passwords are “123456” and “password”. In addition to using weak passwords people often use the same one for everything. This ob...

Why cloud accounting is good for your business

10/03/16 4:36 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Accounting software shouldn’t be a chore to use

Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious. Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn't add value, and takes the fun out of being in business. Cloud software can save your company time and money.

 Why the clo...

Nevada Museum of Art – Tahoe Exhibit

12/11/15 10:55 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I recently had a chance to visit the Nevada Museum of Art’s Lake Tahoe exhibit and I have to say, I was blown away by the number of historical art pieces the museum had on display depicting Lake Tahoe during a time that few people today can remember. The museum suggests guests start off on the third floor in order to begin with the earliest pain...

Got spare change? You too, can have an investment account

29/10/15 8:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

A month or so ago, while on Facebook a sponsored ad came up on my news feed for Acorns, an investment app that allows you to open an account via your smartphone and in essence, invests your spare change.I was curious so clicked on it and was introduced to a whole new world of robo investing applications that I apparently had missed hearing about...

An Eventful Couple of Weeks for Tesla

22/10/15 10:53 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The past couple of weeks have produced some interesting headlines for Tesla, with headlines from the last couple of days even driving the price of Tesla’s stock down. On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, Consumer Reports released results from its Annual Auto Reliability Survey which forecasted Tesla’s Model S as likely to have a worse-than-average...

High Potential or High Performer. Which One Are You?

10/09/15 2:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I was intrigued by the article “High Performers and High-Potential Employees Are Not One in the Same” , by Andre Lavoie.  So I did a bit more investigation and found some other references out there. The consensus was: High Performers achieve your goals today. High Potentials help you achieve your future. High-potentials have the ab...

Presidential candidate tax returns show how tax law has changed

27/08/15 3:04 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Like almost all presidential candidates trying to be transparent to their voters, Jeb Bush recently released tax returns dating back to 1981 and going through 2013. I could write the standard blog on how Mr. Bush’s income went from nothing in the 1980’s to topping $1,000,000 for many years in the 90’s, becoming in the low six figures in the 2...

Want to start a family? It helps to be financially prepared!

20/08/15 11:37 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When preparing to start a family, it is important to look at your finances, and assess your current financial situation. You are not always in a situation where you can do this, but if you can plan this ahead of time it could help ease some worry to know you are financially prepared. There is no exact amount you need to have saved when preparing...

Disneyland on a budget

13/08/15 11:15 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As summer winds down, Disneyland begins to get ready to start the transformation for Halloween, Christmas and New Years. If you have never had the chance to see what the park looks like during these special times of the year, I have to say that the transformation is quite spectacular. Growing up in Orange County, CA, I had many opportunities to ...

Hiking Lake Tahoe

06/08/15 10:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

If you are looking for cheap ways to enjoy the beautiful terrain in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin, hiking will be your best bet. There are relatively few locations on the Nevada side of the lake that require paid parking, whereas if you generally hike anywhere in California around Lake Tahoe, you are likely to be assessed a fee ranging from $5...

Star Power – Is It Portable?

30/07/15 10:06 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Harvard Business Review OnPoint’s Summer 2015 issue includes an article on “How Star Women Build Portable Skills” suggesting that women, in their efforts to maneuver in a male oriented environment, actually build skills that are more portable than men. The research study was conducted on stock analysts starting several years back. Strate...

Lost and Found Dogs? There’s an App for That!

22/07/15 8:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On June 22, 2015, Washoe County announced that it was the first in Nevada, along with the Nevada Humane Society, to team up with Finding Rover, an app that uses facial recognition to help identify lost dogs. Finding Rover consists of a free mobile app and website and is very easy to use. It has been extremely beneficial in assisting dog own...

Millennials – Overtaking the Work Force

16/07/15 11:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

According to an article on CNBC this week, this year millennials will surpass baby boomers and GenXers to become the largest generation in the American workforce. Adults age 18 to 34 now make up 1 in 3 American workers. There have been numerous articles, seminars and training sessions built around how to effectively lead and work with different ...

The Supreme Court Rules

09/07/15 10:21 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Kennedy, has held, in a case involving four state-wide bans on same-sex marriage, that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. And, since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there ...

Lake Tahoe Summer Activities

25/06/15 9:40 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Earlier this year I wrote a blog analyzing how one should go about purchasing a winter season pass at one of the many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, but I overlooked what that winter pass gets you during the summer months at the various ski resorts. In my previous post I declared that I buy my season pass at Sierra-at-Tahoe for $279 which is the best p...

To Unplug or Not?

18/06/15 3:09 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As I get ready to head off on vacation, I ran across a couple of articles on CFOs taking more working vacations. Robert Half Management Resources performed a study as to how often CFOs check in with the office during summer vacation. The percentage of time is increasing from their responses in 2012. It’s so easy now with everyone being so p...

My First Go at the RTO

04/06/15 11:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The Reno Tahoe Odyssey, or “RTO” as it has become to be known around the area, is a relay race that begins in the heart of downtown Reno, traverses the hills up through Verdi and Truckee, to the West Shore of Tahoe, back down through Genoa and Carson City, continues up to Virginia City and culminates back in Reno at Idlewild Park. It consists ma...

Drones – embrace them or run away?

28/05/15 12:24 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Drones have been in the headlines here in Northern Nevada as we compete to be a player in their research and manufacture. Sensational headlines are appearing on how drones will revolutionize the delivery of packages. But for all the excitement, I for one am lamenting the day these become more ubiquitous. The home is supposed to be the on...

The Give Hope Foundation

21/05/15 10:20 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are so many wonderful non-profit organizations in the Northern Nevada area, one of which is The Give Hope Foundation. I was recently asked to be a board member for this organization, and could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of an organization with such an important cause. Give Hope provides financial assistance to Northern N...

Hey big spender! A Guide to Tips and Tip Income

14/05/15 12:32 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

“Hey big spender! Bruce Willis treats waitress to a whopping 800 euro (roughly $900) tip after dining on filet mignon, lobster and gnocchi during Berlin getaway with Emma.” That was the headline published on Mail on Line May 12, 2015. The total bill was not disclosed. Typing “tipping guides” in Google search will result in no less than 35 ...

Recent News in Review

07/05/15 3:35 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

As my mind is busy with other things in life, I thought I’d buzz through some of the week’s events I have found interesting. And as much as the royal baby is cute, I won’t spend any more time on that subject. This week saw the American celebration of Cinco de Mayo (and yes, we are primarily the only ones celebrating). I personally didn’t get ...

Must we experience a full-blow crisis before we act?

30/04/15 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

In a study done last year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office disclosed that the total amount of federal debt held by the public equaled 74% of the gross domestic product. While it represents one of the highest levels in history, the CBO projects that, if the current laws remain unchanged, the publicly-held federal debt would exceed 100...

Tax Season Haikus

04/04/15 10:25 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Blossoms everywhere

Tax deadline will soon be here

Two more weeks then sleep

   

Tax deadline is near

Pink and white blossoms abound

It’s cold; spring is here

 

How the United States Tax Rates Compares to Germany

15/03/15 10:56 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Having recently visited Germany and being a CPA, I naturally was interested in their taxes. I have heard throughout my life how taxes in Europe are extremely higher than in the United States and I thought I’d do a simple comparison. According to a KPMG report on income tax and social security rates on $100,000 USD of income, in Germany t...

Cutting the Cord

05/03/15 12:44 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Since we moved back in September, my wife and I have dropped cable television and have gone the cord cutting route of using various streaming services. I’m happy to report that we’re very satisfied with the choice. It’s not a perfect alternative, but I do enjoy knowing I’m not shelling out $150 a month for a bundle of TV and internet servic...

A Quick Look at the History of the IRS

19/02/15 1:23 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Have you ever wondered when and how the IRS got its start? I did and so I did a little research. The IRS traces its origins back to the Civil War. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1862 into effect. This law was intended to help pay for war expenses by establishing a Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the country’s f...

The Future of the Daily Show

12/02/15 10:46 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In case you have not heard, Jon Stewart will be stepping down as the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Currently his contract is set to run out sometime in September, but he has said that he is unsure of when he will actually leave the show. Jon’s satirical reporting is what has gotten me, as well as many other younger people, to wat...

High Time for Better Air Service

29/01/15 2:37 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The past couple of months have seen some new announcements for added airlines and destinations previously unserved for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Hooray! It is about time we see a little new blood flexing their muscles in our air service community. I don’t know if anyone else has become frustrated with the “old standby” (no pu...

Lake Tahoe Season Passes – Worth the Price?

08/01/15 11:27 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Which resort will I buy my season pass to next year? This is a question that I ask myself every winter when the ski and snowboard season is in full swing here in Lake Tahoe. I have learned over the last 24 years of skiing and snowboarding that I will visit one single resort enough to make buying a season pass worth the price. I have also...

Medicare – The A B Cs (& Ds)

18/12/14 11:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It seems like Medicare has been around forever, but actually, President Lyndon Baines Johnson called on the Congress to create Medicare in 1964 and signed the bill creating it on July 30, 1965. Medicare services began July 1, 1966 when more than 19 million Americans 65 and older enrolled in the program. Basically, the traditional (or ori...

The Fortitude of Women

04/12/14 1:21 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I always find it interesting to hear the back story of people’s success…men and women. Over the last few months I’ve read a couple of historical novels: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. What struck me the most from these novels was the strong influence on their families and the fortitude these wo...

Credit or Cash?

06/11/14 10:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Companies having their data hacked seems to be a common occurrence these days. This is causing credit card companies to issue new cards every few months, or at least it feels like it happens this often. This has me thinking that maybe using cash more frequently may be a good idea. There are times when using a credit card can be beneficial; ...

Women… We Want “Glamour Work”…And Men to Mentor Us

25/09/14 1:00 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  Women, women, everywhere. But are we in the right places? Yes and No. It is interesting that when we focus on something we find it everywhere we look. Last week I was off to a conference In Portland. I always end up picking up reading material in the airport so I bought the October 2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review. In it I found...

Will This Winter Help Our Drought?

18/09/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On August 21, 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for the period of August 21 through November 30, 2014. Unfortunately, for residents in California, Nevada, and southern Oregon, the predictions are not encouraging. According to the NOAA, the drought in these areas is ex...

An accounting Haiku during this busy season

12/09/14 2:27 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Workdays turn to night

Leaves soon bathe in red and orange

Tax deadlines approach

 
Deadlines
September 15, 2014:
  • Corporations, S Corps, Partnerships and Trusts - 2013 calendar year income tax returns due (if timely extension was requested)
  • Individuals and Corporations - 2014 third quarter estimated income tax payments due
Octo...

IRS Resources Curtailed in Fight Against Financial Crime

04/09/14 3:13 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division is cutting the number of investigators to the lowest level in forty years. This division investigates all sorts of financial crimes involving such activities as tax fraud, money laundering, identity theft, narcotics and counter-terrorism. Recent investigations involved probes...

Save Money – Move to Nevada!

28/08/14 8:00 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

California has always been notorious for their high cost of living combined with high income taxes. These tax rates are as high as 13.3% for high earners with income over $1,000,000. And to make matters worse, in 2012 California took the precedence of retroactively raising rates at the beginning of 2012 for a law that passed on November 6, 2012....

Putting Away for Retirement; Some Troubling Statistics

21/08/14 9:34 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  According to a recent survey performed by Bankrate.com, a third of people (roughly 36%) in the U.S. have nothing saved for retirement. Of the 1,003 adults surveyed, 69% of those with no retirement savings were between the ages of 18 to 29. That’s not entirely shocking given the fact that not only are most adults at that age not even concern...

IOLTA – What Is It?

14/08/14 9:01 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) was created in 1980, when the Congress modified federal banking laws allowing banks to pay interest on checking accounts. The first IOLTA account was created in Florida in 1981. IOLTA is source of funding to provide access to justice for individuals and to improve our justice system. Every state...

Cutting costs for back to school shopping

07/08/14 10:01 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It’s time for your kids to go back to school, and with that comes a lot of added expenses. With all of the back to school sales it is easy to get overwhelmed, and end up spending much more than planned. Here are a few tips to stay in budget when going back to school shopping this year:

  • Create a plan before you go shopping. Have a list o...

AUTOmazement

31/07/14 8:24 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Okay…I confess…I am a little goofy when it comes to cars. However, in my defense, the goofiness is a rather common ailment for many people these days. Hot August Nights 2014 began earlier this week in northern Nevada and will conclude on August 3, 2014. This will wrap up the 28th year of this event which debuted August 1, 1986. This even...

Aereo Loses at Supreme Court

24/07/14 11:54 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In April, I wrote a blog discussing the case of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc v. Aereo, Inc. The case had just been argued in front of the Supreme Court, so a decision was a couple of months off. On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court finally issued its ruling with a 6-3 decision in favor of the broadcasting companies. The majority’s...

The Wolf Pack Fast Break Golf Challenge – Golf with the Wolf Pack Basketball Players and Coaches

09/07/14 2:20 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Coach Carter’s Second Annual Fast Break Golf Challenge is one of the most fun preseason events! Last year the efforts of our Host Committee made this a great event with Wolf Pack boosters getting a chance to play golf with the basketball players and coaches. What a great way to get to know these kids and their coaches! This year we are agai...

Reno is Artown

02/07/14 11:02 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Barnard Vogler & Co. is celebrating its 45 Anniversary this year and during all of those 45 years, the firm has chosen to locate our offices in the downtown Reno area. Further, as one of the owners of our "locally-owned" firm, I have chosen to make my home in the downtown Reno neighborhood known as old southwest Reno and specifically the Ne...

Hiring for Potential

26/06/14 2:28 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  What's more important: experience or potential? In an accounting firm, experience can sometimes be the focus of a hiring decision. However, potential really is a smart hire. High performing potentials...that's a win. In Claudio Fernandez-Araoz's article 21st Century Talent Spotting in the June 2014 Harvard Business Review, he points out ...

Foreign Financial Asset Reporting: An unintended consequence

18/06/14 2:15 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law in the United States in 2010. The provisions of the law focus on reporting for both U.S. taxpayers and foreign financial institutions to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents through the use of offshore accounts. U.S. individuals must report information about certain for...

Tax Scams: Beware of Fake Charities!

12/06/14 9:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  At the beginning of the year, the IRS released its annual list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. The list covers a variety of scams, ranging from schemes perpetrated by taxpayers themselves (such as hiding income offshore or implementing abusive tax structures) to scams that are committed against taxpayers without their knowledge (such as phishin...

The importance of a budget

05/06/14 9:56 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Saving money and getting your finances on track is not always an easy thing to accomplish. One of the most helpful things to do to accomplish these goals is to create a budget. There are many different reasons why someone would want to create a budget including retiring early, paying off debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, etc. Once you...

What Would Happen If Social Security Funds Run Out

15/05/14 9:30 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It’s a little scary to contemplate that Social Security trust funds are projected to be exhausted in the not-too-distant future. But that is the subject recently studied in a 2013 report from the Congressional Research Services (CRS). If the trust funds cannot pay current expenses out of current income or accumulated assets, they are con...

Who Pays First?

07/05/14 1:15 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Are you 65 or older, have Medicare, and other insurance coverage such as a group health plan from an employer? Who is the “primary payer” responsible for paying your medical bills first? When there’s more than one payer, “coordination of benefits” rules decide who pays first. The “primary payer” pays what it owes on your bills first, and...

Tiny Antennas Make Broadcasters Mad

23/04/14 9:41 am | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc v. Aereo, Inc. This case pits an Internet startup against the behemoths of the broadcasting world. At the heart of the case is basically whether or not Aereo can continue to be in business. Let’s start at the beginning. Aereo is an Internet b...

Reno’s High Home Prices

20/03/14 10:24 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I can’t believe how much homes in Reno are going for nowadays! Lately I have been helping a friend look for a home and it appears now close to $300,000 must be spent to afford a starter home (even though the experts say the average price is closer to $250,000, I find this hard to believe). In my recent home viewing experience $300,000 affords a ...

I Joined the Republic

06/03/14 11:50 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

When I last made noise on the BVCo. blog I was discussing my search for a cheaper cell phone bill. Well, I finally made a decision. I joined up with Republic Wireless and brought my phone bill down to $25 a month. This is $55 savings from the $80 a month bill I was previously paying. With these monthly savings I will recoup the cost of the new p...

Reno/Tahoe should host the Olympics

20/02/14 10:02 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Watching the Winter Olympics in Russia makes me wonder if they will ever grace Reno/Tahoe in my lifetime. It has been over 50 years since Squaw Valley hosted the Olympics and I wasn’t alive to see that.  Tahoe certainly has the snow, even in this drought.  The storm from early February would have been a saving grace for the Olympics that are sta...

IRS issues delay on employees health insurance mandate

13/02/14 10:41 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  On Monday, February 10, the IRS announced that it is delaying the shared-responsibility requirement under Sec. 4980H of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) for employers who have 50 to 99 full-time equivalent employees in 2014. These employers will now have until 2016 to offer health care coverage to their employees.  However,...

Come Rain or no Rain…Buy Local First

06/02/14 10:42 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Surveyors measured the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada in January 2014, and the results are more proof of Nevada and California's severe drought:  The California Department of Water Resources said the snowpack was 12 percent of average for this time of the year, the lowest level since electronic record-keeping began in 1960 . Prior to today, ...

The Quest for a Cheaper Cell Phone Bill

09/01/14 12:54 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

  How much do you pay for your cell phone monthly? I’m not on the most expensive plan, but I still pay nearly $80 a month. While the price of my plan hasn’t increased in recent years, primarily because I haven’t upgraded my phone, I still feel $80 is too much. On top of it currently being too expensive, if I decide to upgrade my phone at a su...

Tax Identity Theft – Before and After

02/01/14 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Theft of personal information, such as social security numbers, to commit fraud on tax returns, to claim refunds or credits to which a taxpayer is not entitled to or commit other financial crimes is on the rise. Using this information, thieves often file fraudulent returns early during the filing season to avoid information matching. So you shou...

Traveling to Asia

19/12/13 10:54 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I recently came back from a 3 ½ week vacation from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. We were traveling in a group tour in both Taiwan and China. I was very impressed with the tour guides who provided us with information about the various places we were visiting as well as stories from previous tours they headed. One particular story told pertains ...

A New Way to Learn

12/12/13 9:20 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As many of my clients and friends reading my blogs may know, I serve as Nevada's only elected representative to the governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This is a position that I am pleased and honored to hold as it offers me the opportunity to provide a voice in the national forum that repres...

Tips for SAFE online holiday shopping

05/12/13 9:39 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The holiday season is here, and for many people that means it is time for Christmas shopping. Many people take advantage of the sales on "Black Friday" to kick off their holiday shopping. This year was no different with large crowds trying to find the best sales. People could even start earlier this year, as many of the stores opened on Tha...

Plan on working past 65? It takes some planning!

14/11/13 1:01 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

The fastest growing segment of the labor force is workers over the age of 65,  according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you plan on working past 65, there are some issues to be aware of that author Mark Miller points out in his Wealth Management.com article: Social Security timing: It doesn’t make sense to take Social Security ...

How to Raise a Rocket Scientist

31/10/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Fall is in the air. I awoke to the year's first dusting of snow covering the ground. The holidays are just around the corner. I am going to take my blog space today to recommend an inspirational story that celebrates the beauty and wonder of life that we are surrounded with everyday. This remarkable story, written by a lifelong friend, will make...

Is Reno a City of Sustenance as Well as Indulgence?

24/10/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In an article published last week ("A Reno Neighborhood Drinks in Style"), The New York Times declared “Reno is now a city of sustenance as well as indulgence.” This declaration came after some enthusiastic and positive writing on the happenings of Midtown District businesses. The article wandered from the Old Granite Street Eatery to Reno ...

Government Shutdown and Debt Ceiling Breach Consequences: Do They Affect You?

16/10/13 4:44 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  If this week’s negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling do not end well, there could be major consequences to the economy. Administration officials say that by Thursday they will have exhausted all borrowing authority and only have cash on hand. There would be enough money to make payments for a few days, but not more than two weeks. ...

Your Retirement Plan – Take a Loan or a Hardship Distribution?

19/09/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  More people are heading to their retirement plans at work for a bail out in today’s economic times. An individual will have financial options if he or she should be so lucky as to a have a retirement plan at work. An employee may request a hardship distribution or a loan from their retirement plan at work, if available. There are strict ...

Innovation and Public Accounting: Lessons from Marissa Mayer and Steve Jobs

05/09/13 10:59 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

How do we bring innovation into the world of Public Accounting?  The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography by Nicholas Carlson popped up in the recommended news section of my Linked In account this weekend. Thinking I would just scan through it, I later found it was a lengthy but intriguing article which I read in two sittings....

Alex Rodriguez: The Guy we Love to Hate

29/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I’m going to talk a little baseball today. It’s been on my mind since hearing about it and then watching a recap of the eventful New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, August 18. I know most everyone hates Alex Rodriquez, public enemy number one in the baseball world, but just indulge me. For those unaware, Alex Rodriquez and tw...

A Reno Renaissance: Neighborhoods, Nevada Opera, The Biggest Little City Campaign

22/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are so many good things going on in Reno right now, and you don’t have to look far to find them! When you ask the question, What makes a neighborhood great?, the answers include "It's always a bunch of individuals coming in who think the potential for their community is bigger." And "A great neighborhood usually evolves organically...

Should You Contribute to a Regular IRA or a Roth?

08/08/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  There are two types of IRAs that individuals can create themselves, with extremely different characteristics. One is a regular IRA, for which the contributions are deductible. A regular IRA will put you ahead if you’re in a high tax bracket when you make the contributions and expect to be in a lower bracket when you retire and take the d...

Blogging about Blogs – you can learn quite a bit

01/08/13 1:55 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It's my turn again. The dreaded blog is due. What to write always seems to drive the "dreaded" part of a "blog is due." So, I fired up Google News and started reading away. There was definitely much to write about, but I wanted something local. Clicking on the News Near You section didn't highlight any particularly interesting articles, but it d...

2013 Triple-A All-Star Week

11/07/13 7:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In a few days, Reno will host the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Week at the Reno Aces stadium. This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.  Triple-A teams from across the country bid to host this event, and the Reno Aces Baseball Club was the one chosen. Hundreds of former Triple-A All-Stars have gone on to the Major League, and many have even ...

Do you treat your employees like dogs?? Maybe you should!

03/07/13 11:30 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  I ran across an article - Why Smart Bosses Treat Their Employees Like Dogs - comparing dog obedience training to the way that business owners should treat their employees and I found it very intriguing. I spend considerable time training my German Shepherds and they are too big not to have manners! I hadn't thought about it before but there...

Adding Children to Joint Bank Accounts – A Do or a Don’t?

20/06/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In an interesting recent article “Your Clients and Their Children: The Problems With Joint Bank Accounts” by Andrew Rice there is a recurring question that pops up during elder and estate planning: should I add my child to my bank account? When a senior begins to lose their ability to manage their finances like paying the bills, these accou...

Technology and Transparency in Government

13/06/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The Government Finance Officers Association held its annual conference in San Francisco this past week. Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco opened the conference speaking about transparency in government including sharing data with innovative businesses that develop mobile applications that can be utilized by everyone. In San Francisco...

Avoid “Bizspeak”

23/05/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

At one time or another we are probably all guilty of slipping a little “bizspeak” into our conversations. But if you are really interested in acquiring clever phrases and made-up words to embellish your written (and oral) business communications skills, then you should check out a recent Harvard Business Review blog on the subject. The buz...

Your first post-graduation job – a reality check

16/05/13 10:48 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With graduation season upon us, I thought I’d reflect back on what I think college graduates should really expect with their first job after receiving their diplomas. During my college years I was an endless optimistic about what my first few years working full time would bring. After these years of being a neophyte, and many more after, I br...

Spring Time Means…Food Truck Fridays!

09/05/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It's that time of year again: The weather is warming, the skies are blue, let’s grab some grub at Reno Food Truck Fridays to feed that hunger in you. My horrible rhyming aside, this bimonthly, gastronomic event is back in town. Setting up shop every first and third Friday of the month, Reno Food Truck Fridays (RFTF) is a great way to get out...

Disposable Thinking

02/05/13 10:52 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  They just don’t make them like they used to. Have you ever said or thought these words? Products were not designed to last. Purchase of replacement products contribute to the profits of the manufacturers. Software programs, for instance, are constantly changing and must be replaced if you want support. The software still works but is no ...

Dining Out For Life – TODAY, April 25, 2013

25/04/13 8:25 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

While reading the newspaper this morning, I came across a fundraising event that allows you to make a big difference and will fit right into your busy schedule. This event is called “Dining Out For Life” and it’s happening TODAY, April 25, 2013. All you have to do to help is go have a great meal at one of the many participating restaurants! R...

Company Culture – Why Is It Important?

18/04/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Would you normally wake up and want to go to work? Most people would probably answer NO to this question, especially during tax season. Tax season is a stressful time for employees of CPA firms. Does it make a difference if there is a good company culture to help alleviate some of the stress? The workplace should not be something an empl...

The CPA…Your Trusted Advisor…And Congressional Representative

28/03/13 10:29 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  It is bewildering to witness the "goings-on" in Washington DC these days…partisan bickering, gridlock, inability to meet critical deadlines…the list goes on and on. It is definitely a time for a change. Sweeping change? Not highly likely, nor possible. But how about a slight change that is happening gradually as we speak. CPA's are gaining ...

Naps During the Work Day Equal Increased Productivity

14/03/13 7:53 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Now that we are in the thick of tax season, I have to say...I'm tired. No, not of work. I'm physically and mentally tired, mainly because I don't get enough sleep during the night. Longer work days and longer work weeks have made my available sleep time appear to diminish. (Oh, and let's not get started about daylight saving time; I've been...

North Dakota envy – jobs envy

07/03/13 12:08 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

For the first time in history I have become slightly envious of North Dakota. Why would I be envious of a state that is so cold you have to plug in your car battery during winter nights? I’m envious because of their hot economy where unemployment is only 3.2%, not in the double digits as in Nevada. Their low unemployment rate mainly stems from h...

Why Do We Blog?

21/02/13 8:50 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  The first known use of a blog was in 1999.  Blog is short for Weblog.  The Merriam-Webster defines a blog as “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also: the contents of such a site”. Internet users have jumped from 360 million in 2000 to over 2 billio...

Do You Use Social Media?

14/02/13 11:46 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  So, how about it? Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter. Do you use any of them? Do you post pictures and check-in when you visit places? While your intent may be to keep your friends and family in the loop (even when we don't want to know), other parties may be interested too. Raytheon, a Massachusetts-based defense contractor, has been developing...

Creating Community Conversation…Ideas Worth Spreading

31/01/13 8:00 am | Comments (2) | Posted By:

  I consider myself one of the lucky ones that had the opportunity to participate in the first TEDx held in Reno at the University of Nevada. I didn't know what a TEDx event was, but happened to run across it on a LinkedIn message from Bret Simmons, University of Nevada College of Business associate professor and TEDxUniversityofNevada event ...

The “Fiscal Cliff” Bill – What It Means for You

03/01/13 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  When I advised my clients to complete their transactions in 2012, it was apparent that the effects of the actions our elected officials were going to take to avoid the “fiscal cliff” could only have a negative effect on taxes. At the twelfth hour, Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Minority Leader bypassed Nevada’s own Harry Reid and reache...

The Affordable Care Act: Large Employers Should Consider All Their Options

27/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Many large companies are determining how they will handle the changes coming in January 2014 with the Affordable Care Act. For a company who employs 50 or more full-time employees that is already offering health care benefits, one option that I am reading about over and over is: Employers would terminate their current health insurance pl...

The Power of the Purse continues to grow

20/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

It has been known for quite some time that women make up most of the purchasing decision power in households but their increasing presence in the workforce is becoming nearly as significant. According to a recent post by XYZ University, these are a few of their interesting statistics:

  • Women hold the majority of jobs in the US including 51.4%...

There will be Twinkies again, trust me

13/12/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

A few weeks ago, I, along with the rest of the world, heard that Hostess and their unions could not come to a new personnel agreement and would be going bankrupt. The television news stations all started blasting their sensational headline that Twinkies were going the way of the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, Crystal Pepsi, and the Delorean and would n...

When Can I Retire?

06/12/12 7:48 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  With so much of your retirement funds invested in the market these days, the thought of retirement is a risky proposition.  I personally don't have plans to retire anytime soon; however, listening to Bill Hampel, an economist for the Credit Union National Association, speak at the AICPA National Conference on Credit Unions, one take away fo...

Financial Statements: Compilations, Reviews, and Audits – which one do you really need?

29/11/12 2:00 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Many times we have been contacted by clients and potential clients inquiring about our firm performing an audit for them, and more importantly, what will it cost? Some of the first questions we ask are “who is asking for it” and “do you think you really need an audit”? The answer depends on who will be using the financial statements and ...

The Fiscal Cliff – The Work Begins…Theirs AND Ours

15/11/12 5:50 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Referencing a recent article in Bloomberg.com, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have a big job ahead of them in the coming weeks. They hope to come together in act of solidarity to work out an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff which happens at the end of this year if no deal is struck. Obama, claiming a m...

Running the Family Business: And the Winners Are…

01/11/12 8:30 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  A recent Harvard Business Review article, What You Can Learn From Family Business, compared the performance of similar sized family businesses to traditional public companies with some interesting results. Their conclusion:  family businesses focus on resilience more than performance.  Forgoing excess returns in the good times to ensure ...

Vote Early, Not Often in Washoe County

18/10/12 4:03 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Have you heard? There's an election coming up. It's not easy to miss with the constant barrage of TV, radio, and mail advertisements. With the General Election a little less than three weeks away, early voting is almost here. Saturday, October 20, 2012, is the first day to vote early in Washoe County and you will then have until November 2, 2...

Be Informed about the New Health Care Coverage Penalties!

11/10/12 11:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

    For tax years beginning after 2013, U.S. Citizens and legal residents, with few exceptions, will be required to maintain health insurance coverage. A number of programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, eligible employer-sponsored plans, plans in the individual market, certain grandfathered group plans and other plans recognized by Health...

Credit Scores – The Confusion Continues

28/09/12 9:14 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Credit scores...do we really understand where they come from and how they are used?  A study just released by researchers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that credit bureaus sometimes provide Americans with credit scores different than those used by lenders in as many as one out of four times.  The study was based on a ran...

When Should You Start Collecting Social Security?

20/09/12 2:00 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

With baby boomers nearing or at retirement age, many expect social security to be one of their main sources of income, or at least a nice addition. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, the age for receiving the maximum amount of your earned benefits is 66. This age increases by two months for each year born until being born after 1959 when it...

Plan and Prep – How to Start a Business during Hard Times

13/09/12 8:42 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  “A negative economy has little effect on a given business’ survival. Businesses started in expanding economies in 1995 and 2005, those started just before the downturn in 2000, and those started just after the downturn had almost identical survival paths”…(Source: BLS, Business Employment Dynamics.)   Many new small businesses go ...

What I Learned in School Today (OK, it’s actually in Leadership this Year)

06/09/12 9:16 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

I am excited to share what I have learned from participating in the 2012 Leadership Reno Sparks Program. I have really enjoyed the experience and learned so much about our community. Leadership Reno-Sparks is a year-long program consisting of 12 workshops throughout the year where the participants are exposed to different segments of our comm...

The Financial Literacy Talk – Just as Important as the Birds and Bees

23/08/12 10:12 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

Having given financial literacy presentations to children in our community, I found the recent survey results published by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) dismaying. According to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, three in 10 parents never talk to their children about money, or have only had one big talk w...

Identity Theft Taken to the Next Level

16/08/12 5:13 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

I recently came across an article on yahoo news, which left me flabbergasted. It explained that one home in Florida was the recipient of more than $1 million in refunds by filing 741 false income tax returns. This is a whole different level of tax fraud that goes way beyond fibbing on charitable donations or not reporting some cash income. T...

Retirement planning – using all your tools

26/07/12 8:00 am | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  In recent years with the uncertainty in the economy and Baby Boomers coming into retirement age, Social Security has been a hot topic.  What is there not to worry about!?  Will it be there when you are ready to retire?  Should you take it early? Should you postpone benefits? A recent article by Dan Kadlec for Time showed that the numb...

America’s Fiscal Integrity is in Jeopardy

12/07/12 7:30 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  Our nation’s founders believed in certain core values that have served as the foundation upon which this great country has survived and thrived – prudence, thrift, limited debt, savings and stewardship. However, in the last several decades, our country and many of its citizens have strayed off course. Our future is now at risk. If we do not...

2012 Leadership Reno/Sparks Class Fundraiser to benefit the Sparks Senior Citizen Center

22/06/12 5:33 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

  As a member of the class of 2012 Leadership Reno/Sparks, I invite you to join us for a fund-raising event benefitting the Sparks Senior Center. Come join us for a great opportunity to appreciate the offerings of two of Reno’s most popular riverfront businesses while supporting the community. Each year, as part of the program, the Lead...

Credit Scores Are Changing, Beware:

16/04/12 9:33 pm | Comments (1) | Posted By:

According to the NY Times, credit scores are getting a facelift. A company called CoreLogic has introduced a new type of credit report which contains additional consumer data than what the traditional credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) show. Have you missed a rental payment that is now in collections or are you behind on HOA dues...

Protecting Yourself from Identify Theft

16/04/12 9:25 pm | Comments (0) | Posted By:

Let’s assume you are a law-abiding taxpayer but do not get around to filing your return until later in the filing season. Suddenly you are informed that two returns have been filed using the same social security number. Yours! Guess what? Your identity has been stolen.

To avoid having your identity heisted, there are a number of things you shou...