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Tag: AccountinFirm

The Importance of Audit Documentation

By Wiss Employee Numbers don’t lie, but they also don’t talk. Instead, clearly documented words in a work paper speak for the numbers, and in the case of audit documentation, this is how an auditor proves to others — including, perhaps, a court of law — that an audit was thoroughly and effectively executed. Despite the critical nature of this task, auditors often question whether the effort it takes to provide sufficient documentation is worth the end result. A competent...

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Keep the Brews Flowing Without Affecting Cash Flow

Understanding the NJ Alcohol Tax By Paul Lembo You’ve perfected your batch. You’ve scouted your location. You’ve raised the capital. And now you are ready to venture into the wild, wonderful world of professional brewing. But before you make that first pour, make sure you understand the state tax laws that apply to your sales. In New Jersey, alcohol producers must pay not only state and federal taxes, but also an additional alcoholic beverage tax. These taxes can be significant,...

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Conducting an Internal Audit: What Your Business Needs to Know

By Fatima Wallizadeh Updated 7/30/2019. When an internal audit is conducted, auditors set up in a conference room with boxes of files, stacks of binders and open laptops. They might stay for a day, a week or longer. But do you really know what goes on during an audit, and why doing one is so important to a company’s operations? Here is what happens during an audit, and how auditors work with their clients to help them improve their businesses. Learning the client It’s essential for...

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Brewing Up Compliance: How Changes to NJ Laws affect Microbreweries & Brewpubs

By Paul Lembo In recent years, the American alcohol scene has been overtaken by the rise of microbreweries and brewpubs. Entrepreneurs across the country have been taking advantage of the evolving tastes of a beer-drinking population willing to pay a premium for flavorful ports, pilsners, IPAs and other brews. But because of the archaic, limiting laws that were in place until late 2012, the state of New Jersey is behind the craft brew times and is only beginning to catch up to the...

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Wiss: Where Family Comes First

By: Fatima Wallizadeh, former Audit Staff member Life never prepares you for a loss. When a personal tragedy suddenly pierced my family and I, it was one of the toughest experiences we have ever encountered. Unfortunately, this tragedy occurred in the midst of busy season at Wiss, the most frenzied and exigent time of year at any accounting firm. Now not only would I have to cope with the tragedy—I would have to steady the myriad responsibilities that occur during this period on...

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You Cannot Automate a Relationship

By Ruth Raftery “Hello! My name is Samantha and I am an automated voice recognition answering service.  You can speak to me as you would with a live representative. Please tell me, what are you calling about today?” It seems many calls I make lately– whether to credit card companies or to other businesses – are answered by the type of technology that runs programs like “Samantha.” In my experience, these systems can never actually answer the types of questions...

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From Collator to Colorado

By Connor Doyle Hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes it takes time to get the full picture. My story begins at college graduation. I was bright eyed, bushy tailed, and without a job. One of my top accounting firm choices, Wiss & Company, had just turned me down for an internship. After an overly anxious two months, a last minute drop from the temporary positions in the Wiss tax department opened up with what I came to know as one of the most unglamorous jobs in accounting. I took...

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The Power and Pitfalls of Pressure

By Connor Doyle There are few things done in the business world that are performed at a leisurely pace. Owners don’t wander through their fiscal year, money doesn’t change hands without intent, and bosses don’t demand 10% of one’s abilities within a project. More often than not, there’s an urgency to requests. There’s an unspoken agreement that a concerted effort will be made towards completion in a timely manner. With that request comes pressure, and with that pressure often comes...

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Advice for Accounting Newbies: Words of Wisdom for Future Staff 1’s

By Danielle Patton, former Marketing intern Stepping into a brand new position in the accounting industry can be both exciting and intimidating. Even if you have acquired internships in the past, clocking in on your first official day as a Staff 1 will unlock access to a completely divergent domain full of new experiences and opportunities. To prepare yourself, here is some inspirational advice from our very own Wiss team, sharing some pointers on how to make your Staff 1 experience...

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Update to Fiduciary Rule Improves Retirement Advice

By Wiss Associate You may assume that when a broker, advisor, insurance agent, or consultant makes recommendations about your retirement account, the advice is in your best interest. But that hasn’t always been the case. While the majority of advisers act in the best interest of their clients, not all have been legally required to do so, and some have been swayed by hidden fees or commissions to recommend investments that weren’t necessarily the best choice for their clients’ individual...

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Does Your Business Qualify for Lucrative R&D Tax Credits?

By Wiss Associate “My company’s not in the business of research and development, so how could we qualify for R&D tax credits?” If that’s what runs through your head when you think of this particular credit, it’s understandable – especially if you don’t have any scientists or many engineers on staff. Or a dedicated research and development department. The truth is, you could earn lucrative federal, state and local tax credits with work that you don’t even think of in conventional...

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Borrowing from Your 401(k): What to Know Before Making the Decision

By Cindy Sandomenico Borrowing money from your 401(k) account can be tempting. You know the money is there, and it’s yours, so why not use it? Before you pull the trigger, however, consider the limitations and consequences. Here are some important points to keep in mind. Know the rules Generally, you can borrow from a 401(k) for any reason, such as paying educational expenses or buying a home for the first time — although employers are not required to offer a loan option within...

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No Health Coverage? Be Prepared to Pay a Hefty Price

As of now, Obamacare’s individual mandate requests that you purchase health insurance. If you can afford the coverage and refuse to acquire it, a big fee could be headed your way. For the tax year of 2016, the Individual Shared Responsibility fine skyrocketed to 2.5 percent of an individual’s complete household adjusted gross income. However, for the new year and beyond, the amount will stay at 2.5 but the flat fee will be regulated for inflation. For each month you do not have coverage,...

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What the DOL Looks for During an Audit

By Craig Erickson You’ve just learned that the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration has selected your company’s retirement plan for an investigation. Are you and your plan prepared for an audit? The DOL typically doesn’t provide much notice before beginning an audit, which can last several days, weeks or longer. However, in advance of starting, you will receive an investigation notice that includes a list of documents its people will want to review when...

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Fulfilling the Dream of Home Ownership

By Adriana Cabrera The prospect of buying a home can be daunting, especially for first-time homebuyers who may be saddled with student loans, car payments and credit card debt. But with planning – and some discipline – potential homeowners can make their dream of home ownership a reality. Here are some tips to help you through the process. Create a budget Begin by gaining an understanding of your income and expenses. On an Excel spreadsheet or a free budgeting app, enter your monthly...

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Tips for Providing Quality Client Service

By Carrie Grotz I am a lover of coffee and I frequent Dunkin Donuts (DD). I know their menu so well in fact, that I could probably work there. From the moment I enter a DD, I can usually tell which have knowledgeable staff, good donuts (the ones that look fresh, large and full of filling), those that offer the “fun” munchkins instead of just the plain, chocolate, and powdered ones, and just by glancing at the staff, I can usually tell from the moment I place my order if the coffee...

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Pursuing the American Dream

By Arnold Macalintal Whenever I think of grit, determination, and more importantly giving, I think of my father. My father was born in a small municipality in a province in the Philippines. The family didn’t have much growing up and being one of 12 children, there was even less to go around. He found himself running around with gangs in his younger days and has the fading tattoos on his hands to show for it. He could have easily stayed on this path, but he wanted more; so he changed...

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What Type of 401(k) Plan Document Do I Have and When Do I Need to Update it?

By Craig Erickson When you establish your company’s 401(k) plan, you have to make a range of decisions, from the type of plan and investment tools you’ll offer to participation requirements and guidelines. Once you’ve done this, you need to put it in writing. This is your plan document, a mandatory part of your plan that details its provisions and clearly communicates them to participants. There are three levels of plan documents: Prototype. This off-the-shelf version of a plan...

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Preparing for Change: New Rules to Impact NJ Renewal Registration for Nonprofits

By Linda Curro Effective Jan. 1, 2017, New Jersey will require that all charity registrations and annual renewals be submitted digitally, using a new online filing system. In many ways, this is good news: A process that once required up to 75 pages of documents to be sent via snail mail will now go paperless, saving tons of waste. The new system also promises to streamline renewal reviews, enabling the state to more efficiently verify that the forms are completed and accurate. And...

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Preparing for a Financial Audit

By Randy Cohen “We’re being audited.” Those three little words can strike fear into the heart of any executive. Nobody likes the prospect of an outsider combing through the books and potentially exposing errors. Yet as unpleasant as a financial audit can be, with the right attitude and approach, it can prove a valuable tool for improving your business — and an auditor can be viewed as a trusted adviser instead of as an adversary. The key to an efficient and successful financial audit...

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The Importance of Cultivating Relationships at Work

By Lisa Calick Just as maintaining solid relationships among family and friends is vital to a sense of well-being in our personal lives, building relationships is also critical for success in the workplace. A LinkedIn study revealed that 46 percent of professionals around the world believe that their friendships at work play an important role in their overall happiness. These bonds are particularly significant to millennials, who are more likely than older generations to share highly...

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Trump & Republican Tax Proposal

By Evan Gernant With Donald Trump set to move into the United States Presidency in January of 2017 and Republicans retaining control of both houses of Congress, the chances of us seeing significant tax legislation in the near term are likely. During his campaign, president-elect Trump put forward various proposals for substantial changes to the United States tax code. Furthermore, in June of 2016, House Republicans issued their “blueprint” for tax reform. Many of the Trump and House...

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When 401(k) Loans are Considered to be in Default

By Laura Zindel Taking out a 401(k) loan can seem like a relatively simple way to borrow money. It is a very common practice, but many employees who borrow from their plans aren’t prepared for the financial consequences of doing so if a loan ends up in default. The most common reason for defaulting on a 401(k) loan is the loss of a job. If the employee loses his or her job, the plan document rule requires that any outstanding loan balance must be repaid within a certain timeframe,...

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3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Understand Your Cap Table

By Ryan S. Silva Very often some of the most promising early stage growth companies find themselves challenged when asked about their cap table. Simply put, the cap table should list all the securities of the company (i.e., stock options, warrants, convertible debt, SAFE, etc.) and who owns them. This isn’t difficult when it’s just a few people, but as the capital structure becomes more complex from financing transactions, the cap table usually does as well. This is generally because...

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Focus on Your Process: Take Full Advantage of Your Accounting Software

By Carolyn Hall Your business can be using the best accounting software in the world, but unless your team is following standard processes, you’re not taking full advantage of your investment. Here’s how to make sure your system is running efficiently and that you have the right people and processes in place. When setting up a new system, lay out all of the steps involved and continue to communicate to team members throughout the lifecycle of a product or service. Project management...

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Building Customer Relationships: Today’s Clients Demand More

By Paul Peterson Updated 7/30/2019. Your relationship with your customers has never mattered more than it does today. Customers no longer just expect you to sell them a product or service. Instead, they want you to be one step ahead of them, understanding their pain points and bringing issues — and solutions — to the table. To do that, you need to understand your customer and bring transparency to the relationship. Today’s consumers have more access than ever to information...

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How to Make Sure Your Bookkeeping is Efficient and Accurate

By Laura Melville Updated 7/30/2019. Get organized. Stay timely. Be informed. These three mandates can change the way you manage your books and free you up to focus on other tasks needed to grow your company. Here are some effective bookkeeping strategies to help keep your business on track. Understand and communicate the importance of timely and accurate financial reports Make sure responsible parties are trained on how to keep records,  how to create reports and when those reports...

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Utilize Your Point of Difference to Stand Out Among the Crowd

By Paul Peterson How to Utilize Your Point of Difference Today’s marketplace has never been more competitive. The fierce combat for the preponderance of consumer attention has skyrocketed in the past decade. Consequently, it is imperative for establishments to acquire and apply the professional skills required to be distinct among contenders, add value to the profession, and assist in supporting clients with sculpting a more affluent future for their businesses. When casting your...

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Sales Tax Nexus – Comprehending your Business’ Sales Tax Obligations

By Wiss Employee In simpler times, a New York-based industry sold its products or services within its state boundaries. As such, it was their responsibility to gather and remit sales tax to the taxing authority of The Big Apple. However, thanks to the rapid advancements in technology, today’s corporate atmosphere has become much more multifaceted. As inter-state sales are becoming routine, the same New York-based company has many more consumers to choose from, amplifying their client...

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New Jersey ERG Program can Prove Lucrative for Qualifying Redevelopment Projects

By Alex Narcise and Darin Valentine Updated 7/30/2019. Residential and commercial developers are constantly in need of funding and many qualifying New Jersey developers have taken advantage of a program offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). If you’re considering undertaking a redevelopment project in a qualifying economic and redevelopment, and grant incentive area in New Jersey, a program offered by the NJEDA could generate a significant amount of cash...

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How to Assess and Resolve Business Process Issues

By Paul Ursich Updated 7/30/2019. As companies grow, they often fail to focus on the technology or resources required to maintain their edge in the marketplace. This can lead to a breakdown in business process optimization, hinder productivity and impact morale. Take, for example, a construction company that approached Wiss after experiencing 300 percent growth over a five-year period. While sales had tripled, the size of the accounting department and the technology used to run...

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Key Steps to Take When Adopting New Accounting Software

By Paul Ursich Accounting software has certainly changed the way industries function. These systems eliminate numerous manual components of financial organizations while offering businesses countless ways of analyzing and improving corporate performance. Hence, when a myriad of software solutions are at your fingertips, how can you capture the greatest dynamic structure for your business? Execute the following actions necessary to acquire the desired and worthwhile results: Strategize Grasping...

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The Technological Evolution of the Accounting Profession

By Bob Risk Towards the culmination of the twentieth century as the advancement of technologies intensified, accounting organizations across the corporate province eyed a distinct change in their routine activities and interactions with clients. Attributable to these transformations, CPAs are urged to acquire the latest innovative proficiencies, freshly blended into the daily operations of each accounting specialist. Bookkeeping, the respected dialect of the business realm, continues...

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Pursuing Top Talent in the Digital Era

By Lisa Calick Remember what recruiting talent was like during the Great Recession? In 2008 and 2009, hiring topnotch professionals involved little more than spreading the word among your staff and waiting for choice candidates to roll in. Fast-forward several years, and recruiting young, bright employees is markedly more difficult. The job market has rebounded over the last five years, recruitment tools have evolved and younger job candidates are using new media to access job information....

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12 Days of Giving – Day 11: Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is highlighted in Day 11 of the #12DaysofGiving Celebration. Wiss is proud to celebrate this organization that inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy.   Junior Achievement (JA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA helps prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate...

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Make the Outsourced Accounting Transition and Watch your Business Soar

By Carolyn Hall Many companies consider outsourced accounting services at some point in their development, whether it is to support growth, improve efficiency or simply ease the administrative burden on their staff. There are a number of advantages, but it is a big decision to outsource part of your operations. Here are five key reasons to consider making the transition. With that responsibility out of the way, you can focus on your core strengths. The primary reason to consider...

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