September, 2016 | RKL LLP
Posted on: September 30th, 2016

RKL Helps M&D Leaders Adapt to New Industrial Revolution

Business owners and financial executives from the manufacturing and distribution industry gathered at the DoubleTree in Reading on Thursday, September 22, 2016, for RKL’s second annual M&D Growth and Profitability Forum. The theme of the day-long educational event was “The NEW Industrial Revolution,” and attendees were presented with information, insights and strategies to thrive in the shifting landscape facing their industry.

RKL’s event was bookended with keynotes from two experts focused on the future of M&D: Anirban Basu, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sage Policy Group, Inc., who provided an economic update tailored to the industry, and John McElligott, president of The Fortress Initative and CEO of York Exponential, who discussed how businesses can embrace disruptive and emerging technologies.

Throughout the day, RKL experts helmed breakout sessions on essential topics like operational and process improvement; workforce development and talent recruiting; lesser-known tax credits and incentives; cloud computing solutions; and risk and cyber security.

The unmatched expertise of RKL presenters, the innovative themes discussed during the keynotes and the valuable networking time with industry peers made this second installment of RKL’s premier regional event for M&D leaders a resounding success. Learn more about all the ways RKL is focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the manufacturing and distribution industry.

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

Event participants enjoyed a networking breakfast to start the day.

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

RKL Partner and Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Group Leader Steve Fisher kicks off the day with opening remarks.

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

Economist Anirban Basu from Sage Policy Group, Inc. delivers an M&D-focused economic update, peppered with James Bond references.

 

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

Attendees learn from RKL’s Business Consulting Services Group Manager Bob Pozesky how to accelerate growth using lean management principles.

 

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

RKL Business Consulting Services Group Partner Bethany Novis, in conjunction with George Werner, Partner with Barley Snyder, offers attendees an overview of risk, laws and policies related to information security.

 

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

RKL State and Local Tax Practice Leader Jason Skrinak helps attendees understand state and local tax credits they may be leaving on the table.

 

RKL's 2016 M&D Growth and Profitability Forum

Walt Goodfield, VP of Sales and Marketing for RKL eSolutions, discusses how cloud solutions provide faster time to value.

Posted on: September 27th, 2016

PA Tax News: e-Statements Now Available, Amnesty Program in 2017

PA Tax News: e-Statements Now Available, Amnesty Program in 2017Two recent announcements from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR) offer businesses taxpayers easier and expanded access to account information and give all taxpayers a limited-time opportunity to come into compliance.

Electronic Statements of Account Now Available

Earlier this month, the DOR announced a new component of e-TIDES, its online business tax system: the ability to electronically request and receive statements of accounts.

Previously, business taxpayers or tax practitioners were limited to requesting this information by phone or in writing, and would receive a hard copy of their statement via U.S. mail. Effective August 1, 2016, this electronic request and delivery method saves taxpayers time and cuts down on the expense of printing and mailing what often is a lengthy document. Now, electronic statements of account can be requested at any time, and the PDF version will be available for print or download within one business day.

Using the electronic statement, taxpayers can access real-time and detailed information about their accounts, including recent payments, outstanding liabilities or payments, open appeals, unused credits and more.

The DOR consulted business taxpayers and tax practitioners, including RKL’s State and Local Tax team, as it crafted this functionality to ensure the needs, insights and concerns of these groups were incorporated into the system. The result is a fast and easy-to-use tool that provides timely and comprehensive tax information critical to keeping client accounts up-to-date.

Taxpayers or practitioners should log in or register with e-TIDES to access the electronic statement option.

 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program

Another new initiative from the DOR stems from the 2016-17 Pennsylvania budget agreement signed into law in July 2016. The budget provided for a 60-day period during which taxpayers could come into compliance with reduced interest and waived penalties.

The DOR recently issued the timeframe and specific guidelines for Pennsylvania’s Tax Amnesty Program. Between April 21, 2017 and June 19, 2017, business and individual taxpayers with delinquencies as of December 31, 2015, are eligible to file and pay tax liabilities with no penalties and only half the amount of interest imposed.

It is important to note that even though delinquencies from periods subsequent to December 31, 2015, are not eligible for the beneficial treatment of the 2017 Amnesty Program, they must be filed in order for the taxpayer to be admitted into the program.

The 2017 Tax Amnesty Program will apply to a wide range of tax types, from sales and use to gross receipts and corporate net income. The DOR published a full list of eligible tax types in its program guidelines and frequently asked questions, with more information to follow as the start date approaches.

These two recent developments are significant for taxpayer transparency and compliance. RKL’s State and Local Tax team is here to help businesses access electronic statements or provide more detailed information on the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program as it become available. Contact me at jskrinak@rklcpa.com to start the conversation.

Jason C. Skrinak, CPAContributed by Jason C. Skrinak, CPA, State and Local Taxes (SALT) Practice Leader for RKL’s Tax Services Group. Highly regarded throughout the region for his deep knowledge and expertise in SALT consulting, Jason has significant experience representing taxpayers before Pennsylvania’s Board of Appeals and Board of Finance and Revenue.

 

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Posted on: September 26th, 2016

RKL Announces Promotions

RKL announces 2016 manager-level promotionsPRESS RELEASE

LANCASTER, PA (September 26, 2016) – Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP (RKL), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, today announced two promotions in its Lancaster office, effective September 1, 2016:

David W. Achey, CPA, MST, Tax Services Group, promoted to Manager: Achey specializes in business tax services including combined reporting, multistate and international issues, as well as accounting for income taxes. He has extensive experience working with small and medium-sized businesses as well as multinational companies, serving clients in industries ranging from industrial manufacturing and transportation to consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals. Achey holds a B.S. in Accounting from Elizabethtown College and received an M.S. in Taxation from Villanova University. He resides in Manheim with his wife and their two sons.

Lindsey R. Marchant, CPA, Senior Living Services Consulting Group, promoted to Manager: Marchant provides interim finance department assistance, cost report preparation, due diligence services, financial feasibility studies, reimbursement support and audit services for clients. She has more than six years of experience serving the financially oriented needs of long term care providers. Marchant holds a B.S. in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University, and she resides in Mount Joy with her husband.

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Posted on: September 19th, 2016

RKL Appoints New Tax Department Head in Lancaster Office

Wendy L. Lance, CPA, MST, RKL Tax PartnerPRESS RELEASE

LANCASTER, PA (September 19, 2016) – Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP (RKL), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, today announced that Wendy L. Lance, CPA, MST, has been named Department Head of the Tax Services Group in the firm’s Lancaster Office, effective September 16, 2016.

Lance takes over as Lancaster Tax Department Head from Eric R. Wenger, CPA, MST, who was recently named Managing Partner of the Lancaster Office. As Department Head, Lance will oversee administrative, personnel and financial matters for the tax department in the Lancaster Office. She will work closely with firmwide tax leadership to ensure consistency and cohesion in client service across the tax practice.

Lance will continue to provide and manage strategic tax planning and compliance services for corporations, partnerships and individuals.

A Certified Public Accountant in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, Lance regularly presents seminars on various tax-related topics. She is a graduate of Leadership Lancaster.

Lance holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Richmond and received her M.S. in Taxation from Villanova University. She lives in Lititz with her husband and their four children.

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Posted on: September 14th, 2016

RKL Tax Partner One of Region’s “Forty Under 40” Leaders

Kevin A. Eisenhart, CPA, MBA, MST, RKL Tax PartnerKevin Eisenhart named to 2016 class by Central Penn Business Journal 

PRESS RELEASE

YORK, PA (September 14, 2016) – Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP (RKL), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, is pleased to announce that Tax Partner Kevin A. Eisenhart, CPA, MBA, MST, has been named by the Central Penn Business Journal as one of its 2016 “Forty Under 40” young leaders.

“Kevin quickly emerged as a firm leader due to his active role in RKL’s success, his deep commitment to client service excellence and his dedicated service to his community,” RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne said. “We’re proud to see him recognized among the best and brightest professionals in Central Pennsylvania.”

Throughout his 12-year professional career, Eisenhart has provided tax services for individuals and closely held businesses across a wide variety of industries, including architectural and engineering firms, construction companies, real estate developers and manufacturers. Since his admittance to the RKL partnership in January 2016, he continues to help his clients build value through a strategic approach to tax planning and compliance. Eisenhart is a key member of RKL’s Real Estate Development & Construction and Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Groups, focused on the unique tax and accounting needs of companies in these industries.

Eisenhart is an active member of his community, most notably through his service to the York County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), where he currently serves as Board President and previously served as Treasurer. Since his childhood, Eisenhart has been active in Boy Scouts, achieving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor in York College’s MBA program.

Eisenhart holds both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from York College of Pennsylvania. He completed his Master of Science in Taxation from Villanova University in 2011. Eisenhart lives in York with his wife, Amanda, and their two children.

2016 marks the 22nd edition of the “Forty Under 40” awards, which celebrates Central Pennsylvania’s best and brightest young business leaders. Eisenhart and the rest of the 2016 class will be honored at a ceremony scheduled for November 21 at the Hilton Harrisburg.

For more information on CPBJ’s “Forty Under 40” Awards, visit http://www.cpbj.com/section/40-Under-40-Awards.

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Posted on: September 13th, 2016

The 3 Keys to a Strong Internal Control Foundation

The 3 Keys to a Strong Internal Control FoundationIn its most simplistic form, the dictionary defines risk as “the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as an injury or a loss) will happen.” Just like each individual has his or her own risk tolerance that influences behavior, every company has its own unique risk profile based collectively on management’s tolerance and priorities. There are multiple strategies a company can use to reduce its risk exposure, but the strongest mitigation strategy is one that is proactive, risk-aware, control-minded and based on a solid internal control foundation.

According to the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (a joint initiative dedicated to providing guidance on internal control, enterprise risk management and fraud deterrence), internal control is “a process, effected by the entities’ Board of Directors, Management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives related to operations, reporting and compliance.” By its very definition, internal control must be co-developed and supported at the highest levels of the organization. But where does a business start when developing internal controls? Let’s take a look at the three essentials of a well-designed internal control structure: people, processes and technology.

Key #1: People

Internal control is not merely about policy and procedure manuals, systems and forms. At the most basic level, it has a human element that cannot be overlooked. The people in your organization and the actions they take at every level can affect internal controls.  Having well-designed internal controls is only part of the solution – if they aren’t executed successfully, their benefit diminishes rapidly and can ultimately leave the company in a vulnerable position. That’s why it is essential that senior management sets the tone at the top and is involved in the development and ongoing monitoring of the internal control system. Be sure to involve staff through ongoing training and accountability assessments.

Key #2: Process

Internal control is not a once-and-done task; it is a process consisting of on-going thoughts, actions and activities. It is important to recognize that internal control is a means to an end – a more secure and prepared company – not an end in itself.  Integrating controls into your everyday activities helps your company achieve its objectives. Approaching internal control as an on-going and dynamic process, just like your business, allows it to provide reasonable assurance to senior management and the Board of Directors. Absolute inoculation from risk simply isn’t possible or even desired in today’s fast-changing economic environment, but having internal controls “baked in” to your everyday processes is key to mitigate risk while minimizing redundancies and administration costs.  

Key #3: Technology

Technology is an integral part of business in today’s world. In a society where modern technology entails the regular exchange of access and convenience for security, it can be daunting for companies to understand the part internal controls play in systems. Add in the increased savviness of criminals and it’s no wonder that technology risk has rightfully risen to the top of management’s concerns. While mitigating risk across multiple solutions requires the expertise and guidance of technology specialists, there are several basic tasks every company should complete as part of their internal control process. If not already underway, be sure your IT staff or third-party IT support provider incorporate the below components:

  • A protected network is essential for maintaining information security.
  • Each computer connected to the network needs to be installed with antivirus software as well as the latest software updates.
  • Firewalls must be active and regular scans should be run to ensure protection.
  • Frequently monitor the network and system logs for possible vulnerabilities.
  • Network administrator should consistently check for software upgrades and patches to protect against potential threats.

Does your business have a solid internal control foundation? RKL’s Business Risk Services team can help assess current processes or improve weak controls. Contact one of our offices today to get started.

Bethany A. Novis, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, partner in RKL’s Business Consulting Services GroupContributed by Bethany A. Novis, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, a partner in RKL’s Business Consulting Services Group. Bethany specializes in risk management, fraud investigation, business valuation and litigation services. In addition to being a licensed CPA accredited in business valuation, she holds designations as a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

 

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Posted on: September 7th, 2016

Wenger Named Managing Partner of RKL’s Lancaster Office

Eric Wenger, CPA, MSTPRESS RELEASE

LANCASTER, PA (September 7, 2016) – Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP (RKL), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, today announced that Eric R. Wenger, CPA, MST, has been named Managing Partner of the firm’s Lancaster office, effective September 1, 2016.

As Managing Partner, Wenger is responsible for the overall operations of the Lancaster office. He takes over this role from Bethany A. Novis, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, who will focus primarily on leading the firm’s growing Business Risk Practice. Novis will also continue to provide clients with other specialized consulting services, such as fraud and forensic accounting, litigation consulting and business valuation.

Wenger joined RKL in 2002 and was named to the partnership in 2008. As a partner in RKL’s Tax Services Group, Wenger will continue to provide clients with strategic tax planning and business advisory services.

Wenger graduated magna cum laude from Messiah College with a B.S. in Accounting, and he received his M.S. in Taxation from Villanova University. He resides in Lititz with his wife and their three children.

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Posted on: September 6th, 2016

Is Your Small Business Prepared for an Emergency or Disaster?

RKL flags key concepts every crisis response plan should incorporate. Do you know how your company would respond to widespread flooding? What about an extended power outage? If you cannot answer these questions, you are not alone. Business owners invest hard work, time and money to grow their enterprises, but far too many are unprepared to respond to an emergency or disaster. In fact, 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and 25 percent fail within one year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Whether it is a large scale disaster, like a damaging storm, or a more centralized incident, like a website crash, having a response plan in place helps make small businesses more successful and resilient.

The time and expense required to develop a disaster response plan pales in comparison to the cost of being caught unprepared. Think your business is immune? Think again: The Small Business Administration reports that almost 70 percent of all companies will lose power at some point over the next year. Companies with a plan in place to respond to disruptive incidents large or small can return to business as usual much quicker than those that do not, which can have a lasting impact on sales, perception, customer loyalty and more.

Make the time to evaluate preparedness

With September recognized as National Preparedness Month, businesses should take the opportunity to create a crisis response plan or review and test existing plans. The Small Business Administration has partnered with private sector companies and disaster relief organizations to create PrepareMyBusiness.org, where small businesses can access continuity strategies and disaster preparedness tools and resources. Below we highlight a few high-level concepts to keep in mind as your business considers how it would respond to a disaster.

Identify key business functions

When developing your disaster response plan, consider the aspects of your business that are critical to daily operations and what would need to happen to restore them during or after an interruption or incident. Examples of key business functions include order fulfillment, billing or payroll. Depending on the nature and scope of the emergency, you will need to identify processes for getting these functions back online (alternate worksites, backup servers, alternate communications, etc.).

Crisis communication is key

In times of a crisis, your business has several audiences to which it must convey important information, such as employees, customers, vendors and emergency responders. Having a well-rounded communications strategy in place helps to keep your team on the same page in terms of chain of command, messaging, contact information and media interaction, and lessens the risk of incorrect information causing even more confusion at a hectic and stressful time.

Test and review regularly

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning is not a once and done exercise. These plans are constantly evolving, living documents that must be tested and reviewed regularly to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. Keep everyone in the loop as well, with plan updates and by providing test results and changes in the plan with all employees.

Business continuity and disaster planning is certainly not a cheerful project, but your business is too valuable and important to leave unprotected. After all, you can’t stop every bad thing from happening, but you can control how your business responds to it. A business advisor like RKL can be an asset to companies developing or testing business continuity plans. Contact one of our local offices today for more information.

Michelle S. Gibbons, CPA, Principal in RKL’s Small Business Services GroupContributed by Michelle S. Gibbons, CPA, Principal in RKL’s Small Business Services Group. Michelle is responsible for compilation, review and tax services for small businesses, as well as coordinating all additional services for her clients. She has experience serving various industries, including real estate service, manufacturing and retail. 

 

 

 

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Posted on: September 1st, 2016

Pennsylvania Limits Sales and Use Tax Vendor Discounts

Pennsylvania Limits Sales and Use Tax Vendor Discounts Vendors may now owe more sales tax to the Commonwealth, thanks to changes signed into law as part of Pennsylvania’s 2016-17 budget.

Several tax increases and adjustments were included in the budget to fund increased education spending, including a hike in tobacco type taxes and the expansion of sales and use tax to digital downloads of media. Most notably for businesses, however, is a new limitation on the sales and use tax vendor discount, which was created long ago to help businesses offset the costs of collecting sales tax.

Let’s drill down further on this discount and what the changes mean for businesses.

What type of discount did businesses previously receive?

Previously, businesses that turned over sales tax proceeds to the Commonwealth received a discount on those liabilities of 1 percent of tax collected. This 1 percent discount was unlimited for timely filers.

What changes were made to the discount?

The state budget limits this discount to the lesser of 1 percent of the tax collected or $300 annually. For those businesses that file periodically throughout the year, the $300 annual cap breaks down as follows: $25 per monthly return filers, $75 per return for quarterly filers or $150 per return for semi-annual filers.

When does this take effect and will it impact past filings?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR), the vendor discount limitation takes effect for all returns that have a period end date after August 1, 2016. DOR will apply the discount cap “starting with the monthly return filed for August 2016, third quarter and the second half of 2016 returns and all subsequent periods.”

The cap will be applied prospectively, not retroactively, so there is no impact to any discounts received for periods ending before August 1, 2016.

What impact will this have on my business?

This change is big for some taxpayers, most notably large retailers. It is expected to generate nearly $56 million annually for state coffers. This proposal had been circulating around the Capitol for a number of years, as Pennsylvania was only one of 13 states that still offered the unlimited vendor discount for work that was largely automated.

What happens if a business doesn’t file on time?

Any business that does not file a return and payment in a timely fashion is ineligible for any discount. Furthermore, late filers or noncompliant businesses will be assessed penalty and interest charges.

 

Businesses with questions about how to assess the impact of this limited discount on their sales and use tax filings should contact me at jskrinak@rklcpa.com.

Jason C. Skrinak, CPAContributed by Jason C. Skrinak, CPA, State and Local Taxes (SALT) Practice Leader for RKL’s Tax Services Group. Highly regarded throughout the region for his deep knowledge and expertise in SALT consulting, Jason has significant experience representing taxpayers before Pennsylvania’s Board of Appeals and Board of Finance and Revenue.

 

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