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In This Issue
Your BRC Team
 
A favorite quote shared by Lori Moshinski, EA, Client Services Specialist:

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men (women) say. I just watch what they do."-- Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American industrialist 

Noteworthy Links
Five ways to tie IT spending to business growth
Game-changing technology that will rock the advisory world
Capping hours to avoid Affordable Care Act costs could violate ERISA
Specific tips on how to turn stress into an asset
Experience & Stability
Helping clients navigate challenges and maximize opportunities since 1947... Our privilege and pleasure.
Super Foods for Super Performance: Papayas
Like advisors, not all foods were created equally, some just deliver more...
Why They're Super

If you are trying to get more vitamin C in your diet, one cup of papaya cubes supplies more than 100% of your daily requirement. Additionaly, it includes a large dose of potassium and folate. Papayas are also a good source of vitamins A and E which are powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease and colon cancer.

How to Enjoy Them 
Serve up this rich, flavorful tropical fruit in smoothies and salads, or just scoop it out of the shell with a spoon. 
-ABCNewsHealth 
April 30, 2014 
An Invitation
Let's be clear. As your trusted confidant and advisors, we want to hear from you and are prepared to help. 
 
Pick up the phone and give us a call with that issue that is on your mind. We do not charge for the conversation unless additional time or research is required, at which time we will let you know in advance so you can decide if you want to proceed or not. Because we do not represent or receive commissions for insurance, investment management or other financial products, our clients have the assurance of knowing the advice they are receiving is free from bias.

Below are some common concerns we are helping clients navigate through today:
  • Issues involving health insurance costs/Affordable Care Act to help them make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the health care reform provisions. This includes, but is not limited to, guiding clients through the health care reform paperwork to choose the best plan for their business, partnering with legal or insurance professional to provide the right level of client service and more. 
  • Keeping up with federal and state legislative / regulatory requirements on such issues as mobile workforce regulations and identity theft prevention.
  • Staying current with relevant tax changes and the complexity of tax laws with last-minute tax law changes flooding in from many different sources appear to be becoming the new norm.
  • Gaining access to capital and small business loans along with the opportunities and risks associated with each.  

Being proactive can save frustration and money down the road. If you are unsure whether you are headed in the right direction or not, reach out.  

 
-Wade Pack, Managing Partner
FASB Update
Private Company VIE Alternative for Leases Provided by FASB
By Courtney Coker, CPA, Senior Manager

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently issued guidance, FASB Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-07 / Applying Variable Interest Entities Guidance to Common Control Leasing Arrangements, intended to improve private company financial reporting regarding certain common control leasing arrangements. The guidance was based on a consensus reached by the Private Company Council (PCC).

Essentially it states that private companies following Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are permitted to elect not to consolidate the financial statements of certain variable interest entities (VIEs) that lease property to them in some cases. It could also apply in scenarios where an owner of a private company is also an owner of a second business entity that leases property to the company.

While current U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), require a company to consolidate the financial statements of entities in which it has a controlling financial interest, the new guidance allows a private company to elect-when certain conditions exist-not to apply VIE guidance to a lessor under common control. The private company would instead make certain disclosures about the lessor and the leasing arrangement. Therefore, useful lessor-related information could be provided to financial statement users through these disclosures, while reducing costs and complexity for private company lessees that apply VIE guidance.

According to this Update, a private company lessee could elect not to apply VIE guidance to a lessor when:

a. The private company lessee and the lessor are under common control,
b. The private company lessee has a leasing arrangement with the lessor,
c. Substantially all of the activity between the private company lessee and the lessor is related to the leasing activities (including supporting leasing activities) between those two companies, and
d. If the private company lessee explicitly guarantees or provides collateral for any obligation of the lessor related to the asset leased by the private company, then the principal amount of the obligation at inception does not exceed the value of the asset leased by the private company from the lessor.

If elected, disclosure is required in the notes to the financial statements. This guidance should be applied retrospectively to all periods presented, and is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2014, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015. Early application is permitted for all financial statements that have not yet been made available for issuance.

Additional information on this guidance can be found by reviewing a video, a FASB in Focus summary document and/or consulting with your Bernard Robinson & Company advisor in regard to your unique situation.
Tax Update
A Focus on Expired Tax Breaks 
By Tim Hooks, CPA, Senior Manager

With tax reform dropping down the priority list for 2014, the focus has turned to expired tax breaks. While many tax credits and write-offs important to individuals and businesses lapsed after 2013, some key breaks will definitely be revived, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2014 for individuals and businesses. These include:

Individuals:
  • Those 70 1/2 and older will be allowed direct distributions of up to $100,000 annually from their IRAs to charity.
  • Debtors will be permitted to exclude up to $2 million of forgiven debt on their primary homes.
  • Class supplies deductions for teachers, private mortgage insurance and college tuition will be allowed again.
  • An election to write off state and local sales taxes instead of state income taxes will be revived. 

Businesses:

  • 50% bonus depreciation will be allowed.
  • An allowance to expense up to $500,000 of assets and the R&D credit will be permitted.
  • 15-year write-offs for renovations of restaurants, retail stores, and landlord improvements for retail tenants will come back.
Additionally, reinstated provisions are expected to be modified a bit, such as:
  • More energy savings will be required to get the deduction for energy-efficient buildings.
  • Small start-up companies with no income tax liability will be permitted to claim a credit for their R&D costs (which will offset their payroll tax liability).
Some enforcement-related restrictions are expected too, such as:
  • Preparers of returns claiming the child tax credit will have extra work to do. The IRS will want more documentation of the efforts tax preparers took to determine that their clients' claims for the child credit were valid or face a $500 penalty.
  • The IRS will receive 100% of Medicare payments to doctors who owe tax.
The Senate wants to revive the expired tax breaks within a few weeks, but the House is moving slower. Therefore, it does not look like the breaks will be reinstated until late this year, retroactive to Jan. 1. They will likely be in effect over a two-year period, until the end of 2015. 
Talent Management 
Is Your Organization Rewarding "A Players" or Enabling Mediocrity? 
By Marsha Kunz, Director of Human Resources

In ensuring an organization's culture and structure is conducive to attracting, cultivating and maintaining top talent, one must look at what the company's processes and policies are communicating to the team. Below are some costly mistakes often made by organizations that contribute to a tolerance for mediocrity:
  • Fail to make A players a priority: Is your focus on hiring candidates who can "do the job" or those who will be top performers in the job? 
  • Pay below market value for talent: Top talent is often happily employed. When you pay below market value for a position, you attract the wrong candidates - "B or C players". 
  • Maintain an extensive, prolonged hiring process: Don't forget that part of the hiring process is a "selling process". If you take longer than three weeks to complete it, you run the risk of turning top candidates off.
  • Hire based on interviewing skills: Be careful not to fall into the trap of hiring someone like yourself, based on chemistry. Be objective leaning more toward past performance being a good predictor of future behaviors.
  • Do not provide clear career paths: The biggest reason A players consider other opportunities is because they do not see a clear path for advancement.
  • Limited means of sourcing candidates: Utilizing more sources will help produce more options.
  • Cease interviews when all positions are filled: Keep an open, welcoming door to any A players interested in your organization. Opportunities can open up quickly including potentially making a position for someone with extraordinary skills in an area. 
  • Cut training and development: Top performers expect and appreciate access to training and development. Not making these investments leads to missed opportunities for incremental improvements.
  • Limited attention and follow up regarding performance management system: Consistently allowing missed goals communicates an acceptance of mediocrity and conditions the organization to accept less and diminishing the company's ability to compete.
Tech Tips
Time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts Using the Windows Logo Key 
By Andrea Hine, Systems Administrator

Power users know that learning a few simple computer keyboard shortcuts can be more efficient than having to point-and-click your way through every task. If your keyboard has a Microsoft Windows Logo Key on it (it looks like a window pane), note these shortcuts to increase your efficiency.
  • Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
  • Windows Logo+BREAK (Display the System Properties dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
  • Windows Logo+M (Minimize all windows)
  • Windows Logo+SHIFT+M (Restore minimized windows)
  • Windows Logo+E (Open Computer)
  • Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
  • CTRL+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
  • Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
  • Windows Logo+L (Lock the keyboard)
  • Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+U (Open Ease of Access Center)

REMINDER: 2014 BRC Programs! Save the dates!
BRC Privately Held Business Forums - [ongoing quarterly meetings]

Triad: Tues. Sept. 23, 2014 / (ongoing meetings to follow each first Tuesday of the first month of every quarter)

From family-owned businesses to entrepreneurial start-ups to mature companies in traditional industries, privately held companies today face increasingly complex challenges in the quest to grow in size and profitability. In these quarterly forums, we will be focusing on the issues most relevant to privately held businesses. Whether you attend to discern a new way of looking at a challenging issue, determine actionable ideas for ways to capture opportunities, network with others in similar situations or a myriad of other reasons, we look forward to seeing you!

BRC Not-for-Profit Board Seminars

Triad: Tues., Oct. 21, 2014

Triangle: Thurs., Oct. 23, 2014

Whether interested in maximizing your board's effectiveness through a greater understanding of financial statements or tax forms, attaining a better understanding of your fiduciary responsibilities or networking with other influential leaders on not-for-profit boards with the desire to make a difference, this program has something for you. Advising and serving over 140 not-for-profit entities, this program was client-requested and developed with client input.

BRC Financial Symposiums

Triad: Tues. Oct. 28, 2014

Triangle: Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014

This past December, we conducted full day 8 hour CPE workshops in the Triad and Triangle. Well-received, with participant ratings of 4.8/5.0 and 4.9/5.0, we plan to hit it out of the park again with knowledgeable presenters and relevant topics - delivering high value CPE.

There will be more to come on these programs... Mark your calendars and make plans to attend now! All programs above qualify for CPE credit.

-Paula McMillan, CPA, Director of Marketing & Practice Development

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

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