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In This Issue
Your BRC Team
Natasha Jordan, Supervisor, shares a quote of Thanksgiving: 
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Noteworthy Links
Compromise for Lease Accounting Overhaul Starts to Fall Apart
Brain Foods that Help You Concentrate
Transcript of Obama's Remarks on Health-Care Change
What's the Latest on the Health Impacts of that Morning Cup of Coffee?
Super Foods for Super Performance: Avocados
Live advisors, not all foods were created equally, some just deliver more...

Why They're Super 
Just one half of a medium-size avocado contains more than 4 grams of fiber and 15% of your recommended daily folate intake. Cholesterol-free and rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, avocados are also a powerhouse for heart health.

How to Enjoy Them
Use avocados as the base for a creamy homemade sandwich spread, or add a few chunks to your favorite salsa for a simple and delicious way to dress up grilled chicken or fish.
-ABCNewsHealth

November 26, 2013 
I'm reminded at this time of year to pause and give thanks for milestones achieved. In 2013 Bernard Robinson & Company experienced tremendous growth and better positioned itself to do what we do best - serve our clients. We know that without you none of it would be possible. We thank you for the opportunity to advise and serve you as you allow us to help improve your businesses, and your lives. We appreciate the trust you place in us, never taking it for granted. It is truly our honor and privilege. We wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
- Wade Pack, Managing Partner 

Financial Reporting for Private Companies
GAAP Exceptions To Benefit Private Companies Approved
By Dan Hayes, Partner

Some long-awaited relief has been offered to private companies which should allow for better reporting at a lower cost.
 
The Private Company Council (PCC) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have been working jointly on a set of criteria to decide whether and when alternatives within U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are warranted for private companies. Based on those criteria, they determine what exceptions are in order to address the needs of users of private company financial statements.  The two exceptions will:
  • Exempt private companies from having to perform impairment tests for goodwill subsequent to a business combination.
  • Provide a simplified hedge accounting approach for accounting for certain interest rate swaps that private companies other than financial institutions enter to convert variable-rate debt to fixed-rate debt. Private companies whose only derivatives are such swaps also would be exempted from certain fair value disclosures.
A determination will also be made on whether changes to goodwill impairment accounting also should be made for not-for-profits. This may ultimately create additional changes for private companies later as well.

Additionally, the PCC has sent to FASB for endorsement an exception to applying variable-interest entity (VIE) guidance to common-control leasing arrangements for private companies.

Goodwill Impairment Tests Exception:
The goodwill exception directs private companies to amortize goodwill over 10 years, or less than 10 years if the company can demonstrate that another useful life is more appropriate. Under the exception, a private company will be able to make an accounting policy decision to perform its impairment testing at the entity level or the operating level.

A private company would test goodwill for impairment only when a triggering event occurs that may reduce the fair value of an entity or reporting unit (if elected) below its carrying amount. The exception also would eliminate Step 2 of the impairment test.

The guidance can be applied prospectively for goodwill existing as of the beginning of the period of adoption, and for goodwill generated from business combinations occurring in the first annual period beginning after Dec. 15, 2014, and interim and annual periods thereafter. Goodwill that exists at the beginning of the period of adoption can be amortized prospectively over 10 years, or less than 10 years if another useful life is more appropriate. Early adoption is permitted.

Small private companies are most likely to benefit from the exception by not being held to continuously monitoring, tracking and analyzing impairment. Larger companies who may have plans of someday going public may forgo the exception in lieu of greater future efforts in establishing the historical data later.

Simplified Hedge Accounting Exception:
The other exception allowing a simplified hedge accounting approach enables private companies to qualify for hedge accounting. For private companies using this approach, the periodic income statement charge for interest would be similar to the amount that would result if the private company had entered into fixed-rate borrowing rather than variable-rate borrowing.

The approach will take effect for the first annual period beginning after Dec. 15, 2014, and interim and annual periods thereafter. Early adoption is permitted.

Tax Savvy
A Few Tax Considerations to Keep in Mind as the End of Year Draws Near
By Kevin Witriol, Partner

Based on your particular circumstances, you may be missing out on tax savings if you do not revisit your plan before we ring in the new year. Speak with your tax advisor about particular opportunities that might be available to you.  Below are a couple of examples: 
 
Using IRA Distributions for Charitable Deductions - It's Not Too Late Yet!
 
If you are considering using the funds in your individual retirement account (IRA) to make a charitable contribution, it's a good idea to follow up on your plans sooner rather than later. Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, individuals who are age 70 or older can make a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA directly to a charity. You can exclude donations up to $100,000 of an otherwise taxable distribution from your gross income and count them toward the current tax year's required minimum IRA distributions. 
 
The rules only apply to distributions made in 2013, so you need to act now. If this option doesn't suit your needs, there are many other planning opportunities involving charitable giving. Reach out to your tax advisor to find out which ones apply to you.
 
Will You be Hiring Soon? Tax Credit for Certain Hires Only Available through Dec. 31 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit offers employers a tax credit for hiring members of certain groups, including many veterans and those who have received vocational rehabilitation. The maximum credit can be as high as $9,600, depending on the employee, but it only applies to hires who begin work before January 1, 2014.

Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill, so they are well worth taking advantage of. Your company may be eligible for many credits or deductions that can lower your tax outlay. Contact your tax advisor to discuss the best ways to minimize what you're paying to be sure you are taking advantage of the opportunities available to you. 
 
DOMA Decision's Impact on Financial Planning for Same-Sex Couples

If you and your partner are a married same-sex couple, then the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act could have a substantial effect on many aspects of your financial life. You may want to consider, for example, filing an amended income tax return if you now qualify for deductions or credits available to married couples under federal law. Since same-sex couples are now eligible for the estate tax exemption available to surviving spouses, it may also be time to review your estate planning.

Those are just a few of the changes affecting qualifying same-sex couples. If you have questions about the decision's impact and what it means to your financial situation, be sure to contact us today. 
 
Bernard Robinson & Company has diligently worked to offer clients superior quality with unparalleled service for over 65 years. If you have any suggestions for ways we can serve you better, we want to know about it. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us in this regard. Thank you for choosing Bernard Robinson & Company.- Rhonda Skiles, Partner

Bernard Robinson & Company | (336) 294-4494 | pmcmillan@brccpa.com |
1501 Highwoods Blvd, Ste 300
Greensboro, NC 27410