July, 2013 | RKL LLP
Posted on: July 29th, 2013

QuickBooks Must for Medicare Deduction for High-Wage Earners

Use QuickBooks to process your payroll? Have employees who gross more than $200,000 annually? Now is the time to make sure that your QuickBooks files are set up to deduct a new tax on high-wage earners.

The new Medicare tax applies to those whose gross pay reaches or exceeds $200,000 and requires employers to deduct an additional 0.9% from their employee’s pay.

Unfortunately, some employers have noticed that while they’ve run QuickBooks payroll updates, their program did not activate the new additional Medicare tax deduction. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Verify that you have the most recent payroll update installed from QuickBooks.
  2. Review your QuickBooks payroll items to ensure the Additional Medicare Tax Deduction is listed.
  3. If the deduction is not listed, run the payroll set-up in QuickBooks to activate it.

A quick review will ensure that the proper deductions are being withheld from your high-wage earning employees – or allow you to rectify the issue promptly.

Need additional help or have questions? Contact Natalie G. Fuhrman at nfuhrman@rklcpa.com or 717.843.3804.

Contributed by Natalie G. Fuhrman, CPA, a manager in RKL’s Small Business Services Group. She specializes in providing accounting services to companies from a wide range of industries, as well as tax services for business and individual clients.

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Posted on: July 25th, 2013

Young Professionals Enhance Communications Skills

Special thanks to Cheryl Weir, corporate coach, and the RKL Young Professionals Committee for organizing an outstanding firm-wide CPE program on building effective communications skills. Professionals from RKL’s Lancaster, Reading and York offices were on-hand to gain insight into their own communications styles and learn how to communicate more effectively with others. A great time learning and spending time with colleagues from across RKL’s Central and Eastern PA footprint.

RKL Accounting Careers

RKL Accounting Careers

 RKL Accounting Careers

 

Posted on: July 23rd, 2013

Proposals Aimed at Accounting Reducing Costs and Complexities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued three proposals for public comment that offer alternatives to the U.S. GAAP for private companies, intended to reduce the cost and complexity of accounting for these companies. Now through August 23, companies have the opportunity to weigh in with their comments on the following proposals.

fasb accounting proposals for private companiesThe Accounting for Intangible Assets in a Business Combination Proposal alleviates private companies from recognizing separately certain intangible assets acquired in a business combination. Only those identifiable intangible assets arising from non-cancelable contractual terms or other legal rights would be required to be separately recognized (for example, most trademarks, trade names, non-compete agreements, etc.). Any other intangible assets acquired would be permitted to be recognized as goodwill (for example, most customer lists and customer relationships).

This proposal would generally result in fewer intangible assets being recognized in a business combination for private companies. This proposal is expected to reduce the significant cost and complexity of valuing intangible assets when a business combination occurs.

The Accounting for Goodwill Subsequent to a Business Combination Proposal permits private companies to amortize goodwill and to use a simplified goodwill impairment testing model. This accounting alternative permits private companies to amortize goodwill on a straight-line basis over the useful life of the most significant long-lived asset that is acquired, not to exceed 10 years. Goodwill would only be tested for impairment when a triggering event occurs and would be tested for impairment at the Company-wide level (versus the current requirement to test on an annual basis at the reporting unit level). The complex and costly “Step Two” of the goodwill impairment test would also be eliminated; any impairment of goodwill would represent the excess of the Company’s carrying amount over its fair value.

For companies that have goodwill on their balance sheets, this proposal is expected to result in significant time and cost savings as an annual goodwill impairment test would no longer be required.  For those entities that have goodwill impairment, the simplified goodwill impairment model is expected to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of determining the amount of the impairment.

The Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps Proposal offers non-financial institution private companies the option of two simpler approaches to accounting for certain types of interest rate swaps.  Under the first approach, companies would be permitted to account for qualifying swaps and variable-rate borrowings as one combined financial instrument.  Under the second approach, companies would be provided with a practical expedient to qualify for hedge accounting if certain criteria are met.  Under this method, no ineffectiveness would be assumed for qualifying swaps and the designed swap can be recorded at settlement value on the balance sheet (versus fair value).

For private companies with qualifying interest rate swaps, this is expected to reduce the cost and complexity of accounting for interest rate swaps.  Proponents believe that these approaches will also result in more relevant financial reporting based on the economic purpose of entering into these interest-rate swaps.

The FASB is currently researching whether these proposals should also be considered for public and not-for-profit organizations. These proposals are out for public comment until August 23, 2013. The effective dates will be determined after review of the public feedback.

Last week, the Financial Accounting Foundation proposed another item for consideration that would exempt private companies from applying the consolidation guidance for variable interest entities under common control leasing arrangements. This fourth proposal will be issued in detail and discussed by the FASB before being issued for public comment.

Visit www.fasb.org to submit comments and stay tuned to RKL’s Working Capital for further updates on this topic.

Contributed by Sara C. Merrill, CPA, a supervisor in RKL’s Audit Services Group. Sara specializes in corporate audits for companies in a variety of industries, as well as employee benefit plan audits.  

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Posted on: July 22nd, 2013

Taking A Swing Against Breast Cancer

Nearly everyone knows someone who’s been affected by breast cancer. In the spirit of raising awareness and funds toward breast cancer education and research, team members from RKL’s York office took to the field to participate in the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s “Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer” Home Run Derby at Sovereign Bank Stadium on July 19.

Two teams of four led by Ryan Kleinfelter and Hunter Mink joined professionals from other community-minded companies from York County. RKL’s teams raised a combined $1,450 for the organization. Despite the brutally hot temps, a great time was had by all for a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts. Congratulations, PA Breast Cancer Coalition, on a successful event.

RKL York PA community events

 

Posted on: July 16th, 2013

RKL Welcomes New HR Appointments

RKL is pleased to welcome Danielle Hoffer, SPHR, as the new Director of Human Resources and Kathy Gutierrez, CPLP, PHR, as the new Human Resources Manager of our fast-growing firm.

RKL Human Resources Director

Danielle Hoffer

As Director of Human Resources, Danielle oversees all areas of recruitment and staffing, performance review and management systems, employee development and relations, compensation and benefits administration, employment compliance and more. A senior human resources professional, Danielle brings more than 18 years experience in the areas of human resources, training and development, recruitment and more. Most recently, she was a Senior Human Resources Consultant with Vantagen LLC.

Danielle earned a bachelor of science degree in international area studies from Drexel University. She serves on the board of directors of the Lancaster General United Auxiliary and resides in Mountville, PA.

RKL Human Resources Manager

Kathy Gutierrez

As Human Resources Manager, Kathy is responsible for recruitment, learning and development and other human resources functions. A certified human resources professional, Kathy brings more than six years experience in the field. Prior to pursuing a career in human resources, she held a position in accounting. Most recently, Kathy served as a Learning & Development Specialist with a regional accounting firm.

Kathy earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration/accounting from Millersville University. She resides in Lancaster, PA.

 

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