September, 2017 | RKL LLP
Posted on: September 28th, 2017

RKL Forum Helps M&D Leaders Drive Performance

For the third year in a row, leaders from the manufacturing and distribution sectors tapped into RKL’s diverse expertise and business acumen at the firm’s exclusive industry-focused educational event. Centered around the theme “Drive Your Performance,” RKL’s 2017 Manufacturing & Distribution Growth & Profitability Forum, held on September 26 at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, equipped the record-setting crowd of more than 130 owners and executives with valuable insights and practical ideas to tackle the fast-paced challenges confronting the industry.

Keynote speaker Mary Ann Mauldwin, Chief Operations Officer of Roush Yates Engines, kicked off the event in high gear, sharing how she relies on innovation, education and efficiency to keep this leading-edge engine development company at the forefront of the racing industry. Mauldwin offered real world examples of the challenges and opportunities facing companies in high-growth mode like Roush Yates and discussed the strategies and tactics that help her pave the way for continued success.

RKL experts then helmed a series of breakout sessions centered around essential topics like change management, process improvement, human capital, international tax considerations, business transformation, revenue acceleration and information security.

This year’s event featured a new component to deepen attendees’ understanding of the day’s ideas and insights. Entitled Pit Crew Conversations, these roundtable discussions allowed presenters to turn the theories presented in the breakout sessions into practical applications attendees could take back to their companies.

Real-world perspectives from an industry leader, specialized expertise and takeaways from the RKL team and valuable networking time with peers and service providers all added up to a successful and engaging day of business-accelerating ideas for the region’s M&D leaders.

Learn more about RKL’s focus on the manufacturing and distribution industry.

Attendees and RKL team members network before the day’s agenda gets underway.

 

A scene from the continental networking breakfast before the keynote address. 

 

RKL’s M&D Industry Group leader Bob Pozesky kicks off the agenda with welcome remarks.

 

Roush Yates Engines COO and keynote speaker Mary Ann Mauldwin discusses the opportunities and challenges facing companies in high-growth mode.

 

Tax Manager Josie Parr addresses key international tax considerations for manufacturers.

 

Business Consulting Services Leader Bethany Novis teamed up with Kathryn Ross of Kross Strategies to offer attendees strategies for revenue enhancement.

 

RKL eSolutions’ Walt Goodfield and Bob Miller and Randy Coneby of RKL Risk Management speak during a panel on data security.

 

HR Consulting Practice Leader Danielle Hoffer discusses change management from the human capital perspective.

 

Business Consulting Manager Bob Pozesky addresses the operations, process improvement and growth aspects of change management.

 

Business Consulting Partner Paula Barrett leads a panel discussion centered around growth acceleration through business transformation.

Posted on: September 27th, 2017

RKL Announces Promotions

RKL LLP today announced the following promotions, effective September 1, 2017.

Samuel E. Gantz, CPA, Manager in RKL's Tax Services Group

Gantz

Samuel E. Gantz, CPA, Tax Services Group, promoted to Manager: Gantz delivers tax planning and compliance services to corporations, pass-through entities and individuals, with a specialized focus on pass-through entity taxation and multi-state compliance. Since joining RKL in 2012, Gantz has worked with clients in a variety of industries including construction, real estate, manufacturing and distribution. He is also active in the firm’s various training initiatives. Gantz is a board member and serves as Treasurer for Keystone Kidspace, and is a graduate of the Leadership York program. He received his B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from York College of Pennsylvania. Gantz resides in Spring Grove with his wife and two daughters.

Stephanie E. Kane, CPA

Kane

Stephanie E. Kane, CPA, Tax Services Group, promoted to Manager: Kane delivers tax planning and compliance services to clients in a wide variety of industries, with a focus on nonprofit entities. Since joining RKL in 2007, she has been an active member of the firm’s Not-for-Profit Industry Group. Kane belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and holds several leadership roles within the Reading Chapter and state level of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), including Executive Committee Member, President-Elect, Emerging CPAs Committee Co-Chair and State Council Member. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Berks at Alvernia University program, and was class president. Currently Kane sits on the board, finance and governance committees of Berks Connections Pretrial Services. Kane earned her B.S. in Accounting from York College, and resides in Douglassville with her husband and son.

Thomas D. Reardon, CFP, Senior Wealth Advisor, RKL Wealth Management

Reardon

Thomas D. Reardon, CFP®, RKL Wealth Management, promoted to Senior Wealth Advisor: Reardon creates and implements customized financial plans for clients and their families, with a focus on helping them identify and prioritize goals for retirement, educational funding and estate planning. He works closely with the RKL Wealth Management Investment Team on advising clients with regards to their investment plans. Reardon earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) credential from the American College of Financial Services, and a Series 65 license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Association. He sits on the boards of the Tri Valley YMCA and the Wyomissing Football Association, and belongs to the Greater Reading Young Professionals and the Financial Planning Association. Reardon holds a B.S. Business Management from West Chester University, and he resides in Sinking Spring with his wife and two daughters.

Laura S. Rineer, CPA

Rineer

Laura S. Rineer, CPA, Small Business Services Group, promoted to Manager: Rineer specializes in corporate financial and tax reporting, business financial and tax planning and 5500 reporting for employee benefit and welfare plans. Since joining RKL in 2007, she has served clients from a wide range of industries including manufacturing/distribution, retail and services. Rineer holds a B.S. in Spanish with Business Option from Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in Accounting from Albright College. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). Rineer serves as Treasurer for CASA of Lancaster County, and she resides in Columbia with her husband and daughter.

Kyle L. Weller, CPA, Manager in RKL's Tax Services Group

Weller

Kyle L. Weller, CPA, Tax Services Group, promoted to Manager: Weller assists corporations, partnership and individuals with tax planning and compliance. He belongs to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). Weller is a 2014 graduate of the Leadership Berks at Alvernia University program. He sits on the Tri Valley YMCA Board of Directors and belongs to the Greater Reading Young Professionals. Weller resides in West Lawn.

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Posted on: September 26th, 2017

Nonprofits: Don’t Overlook This Tax-Advantaged Way to Raise Funds

Nonprofits: Don’t Overlook This Tax-Advantaged Way to Raise FundsEducation-related Pennsylvania nonprofits may be eligible to apply to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to receive contributions from the state’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Many organizations currently reap the benefits of this tax-advantaged funding mechanism, but recent changes to the EITC program increase the availability of these credits to businesses and their owners in ways that expand potential donor pools.

What is the EITC program?

The EITC program has long promoted expanded educational opportunities for Pennsylvania students by providing tax credits to eligible businesses that contribute to approved scholarship (including pre-kindergarten) and educational improvement organizations.

Once a nonprofit is approved by DCED to accept qualified contributions, businesses can support it with charitable donations and receive tax credits to offset certain Pennsylvania business and individual tax balances.

The EITC program encompasses two types of tax credits – Education Tax Credits and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits. Both of these tax credits can equal 75% of the value of the contributed amount up to a maximum of $750,000 per taxable year. The credit can be increased to 90% of the contribution if the contributor agrees to a two-year commitment. The threshold is different for using the EITC program for contributions to registered pre-kindergarten scholarship organizations. In this case, the tax credit is 100% of the first $10,000 contributed and 90% on any additional amount, up to a maximum contribution of $200,000 annually.

What types of organizations qualify to participate in the EITC program?

There are three categories of organizations registered for the EITC program: Scholarship, Educational Improvement and Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship. All three categories require an organization to be a nonprofit entity that is exempt from payment of federal income tax under IRC 501(C)(3). Beyond these criteria, each category has additional requirements, as outlined below. 

Scholarship Organization:

  • Must contribute at least 80% of its annual EITC receipts to a scholarship program, qualified under the requirements of Article XVII-F of the Tax Reform Code.

Educational Improvement Organization:

  • Must contribute at least 80% of its annual EITC receipts as grants to a public school, charter school or private school for innovative educational programs. The grants can include costs incurred by these organizations to carryout innovative educational programs in conjunction with public schools.

Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization:

  • Must contribute at least 80% of its annual EITC receipts to aqualified Pre-K Scholarship Program.
  • If the nonprofit serves as both a Scholarship Organization and a Pre-K Scholarship Organization, it must maintain separate funds for contributions to each category.

What’s changed with the EITC program?

In 2014, Pennsylvania amended its tax code to expand portions of the EITC in several key ways, including broadened definitions of entity types that can apply for the credit and the addition of more tax types to be offset by the credit.

The most significant adjustment is the expanded definition of a “business firm” to include a “Special Purpose Entity” (SPE). An SPE must be formed as a pass-through entity. The sole purpose of the SPE can be to receive capital from its members, apply for the tax credits and disburse funds to approved organizations. The members of the SPE can then receive EITC credits to offset their individual tax liabilities, based upon ownership percentages, which can be varied from the formal business entity.

How can my nonprofit leverage these changes for financial benefit?

Organizations can encourage SPEs to increase the funding received through the EITC program. If any potential donors are partners, shareholders, members or employees of another business firm and wish to maximize the amount of tax credits they may earn, they can pool their contributions into an SPE, which can serve as the vehicle to financially support a nonprofit and earn tax credits. Since Pennsylvania tax law does not allow individuals to use charitable contributions to offset taxable income, funding an SPE that contributes to an EITC-eligible organization allows individuals to receive a state tax credit to offset their individual PA income tax liabilities.

Nonprofits can take advantage of the boom in the craft brewing sector to find new corporate donors by incentivizing local small brewers that pay the malt beverage tax to contribute financial support via the EITC program.  

 

RKL’s Not-for-Profit Industry Group can help currently registered organizations maximize the EITC expansion among potential or existing donors, and help interested organizations determine EITC eligibility and register for the program. Contact Ruthann Woll, RKL Tax Principal, at 610.376.1595 for more information or assistance.

Stephanie E. Kane, CPAContributed by Stephanie E. Kane, CPA, Manager in RKL’s Tax Services Group. Her client responsibilities include serving clients in a wide variety of industries with a focus on not-for-profit entities.

 

 

 

 

 Working Capital blog disclaimer

Posted on: September 21st, 2017

RKL’s Godfrey and Mink Honored as PICPA Young Leaders

Kelly M. Godfrey, CPA

Kelly M. Godfrey, CPA

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) has named RKL’s Kelly M. Godfrey, CPA, and D. Hunter Mink, CPA, CCIFP®, among its 2017 Young Leaders, in recognition of their positive impact on the accounting profession and their communities.

Godfrey and Mink, along with their fellow Young Leader Award recipients, were honored at the PICPA Leadership Conference, held on September 18, 2017, in Harrisburg.

A manager in RKL’s Audit Services Group, Godfrey serves the accounting and assurance needs of clients in the not-for-profit and public sectors. In addition to her public accounting experience, she also has seven years of commercial operations management experience. Godfrey holds a B.S. in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Bloomsburg University and a B.S. in Accounting from Lebanon Valley College.

D. Hunter Mink, CPA, CCIFP, manager in RKL's Audit Services Group

D. Hunter Mink, CPA, CCIFP

Godfrey is an active PICPA member, serving on the Reading Chapter’s Emerging CPAs Committee, as well as the Local Government Accounting and Auditing, Not-for-Profit and Ethics committees. She also serves as a loaned accountant for the United Way of Berks County Annual Campaign and volunteers as a tutor for the organization’s Ready.Set.Read! program. Godfrey lives in Lebanon with her husband and three daughters.

In his role as Audit Services Group manager, Mink plans and supervises engagements for clients in a variety of industries. He primarily focuses on serving the consulting and assurance needs of the architecture/engineering (A/E) sector and the construction industry. He expanded his relevance and expertise in this sector by earning the Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP®) designation in 2015. Mink also sits on RKL’s Audit & Accounting Committee, helping to manage the firm’s professional development, continuing education and quality control standards. He earned his B.S in Accounting from York College.

Mink recently elevated his PICPA engagement to a leadership role, when he was installed as Treasurer of the South Central Chapter in May of this year. A lifelong York County resident, Mink resides in York with his wife and twin daughters.

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Posted on: September 20th, 2017

RKL Recognized Among Best Places to Work in PA

PRESS RELEASE

LANCASTER, PA (September 20, 2017) – RKL LLP stands among the best employers in Pennsylvania, according to a statewide awards program designed to recognize and celebrate the commonwealth’s top 100 workplaces.

“At RKL, we work hard to foster a workplace culture of trust, teamwork and accountability and to position our team members to achieve superior results while enriching their lives,” said RKL CEO Edward W. Monborne. “We’re proud that our efforts to strengthen our team and create a fulfilling professional environment place us among the top employers in Pennsylvania.”

The Best Places to Work awards program annually identifies the top 100 employers in the state based on employee surveys and company evaluations. The program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Central Penn Business Journal.

RKL and the rest of the top 100 employers will be recognized and rankings will be revealed at the Best Places to Work in PA awards banquet on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

For more information on the Best Places to Work in PA, visit www.bestplacestoworkinpa.com.

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Posted on: September 19th, 2017

The Equifax Hack: How to Protect Your Data

The Equifax Hack: How to Protect Your DataEquifax recently announced that its systems were breached this summer by an unauthorized third party, which gained access to personal information including full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and addresses.

The breach, which Equifax discovered in late July, has the potential to impact approximately 143 million consumers. With nearly one in three American’s personal data potentially exposed, consumers are left wondering what they can do to protect themselves or their companies.

Determine Equifax exposure

Equifax says it will be contacting all consumers whose personal information was breached. In the meantime, the credit reporting bureau has set up a dedicated website to provide information and help consumers find out if they’ve been impacted. Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com and click the “Potential Impact” tab or call the Equifax hotline at 866.447.7559.

ID theft protection from Equifax

Whether or not they are directly affected, Equifax is offering one year of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers. To get the free year of TrustedID Premier Credit Monitoring, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com and click the “Enroll” tab. Please note that after the one-year period expires, standard charges will apply.

Credit monitoring best practices

The significant impact of this and other recent hacks is an important reminder to all consumers, businesses and organizations to remain vigilant about identity theft. Below is an overview of steps to take now and into the future to monitor the security of personal and financial data.

Use two-step authentication

Most companies and financial institutions offer two-step authentication. This adds a second layer of protection to account log-ins, by requiring an additional credential beyond username and password. Examples include a bank sending a one-time passcode via text or email to access accounts, or a ZIP code required to confirm a credit card payment. Consumers should explore all online accounts and enable two-step authentication when available.

Regularly review credit report

Consumers have the right to request a free copy of their credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus. A best practice is to stagger these requests so an updated report can be reviewed every four months. Unrecognizable accounts or activity could indicate identify theft. Free reports can be requested from www.annualcreditreport.com.

Beyond the free credit reports, consumers may consider engaging a service provider to closely monitor existing credit cards and bank accounts closely. Constant fraud monitoring services are available for a fee, but there are also free services available, such as CreditKarma.

Place fraud alert on credit report

By placing a fraud alert on their credit report, consumers require lenders and creditors to take extra precautions in verifying their identities before extending credit. Initial fraud alerts are free and last for 90 days. Placing a fraud alert can be done online through any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion), and the agency of choice will notify the other two bureaus.

Freeze credit report

Placing a security freeze on a credit report takes a consumer’s information out of circulation and makes it harder for a third party to open a fraudulent credit card or new account. No current or potential lender can access credit history when frozen, so consumers that need to apply for credit would need to lift the freeze before doing so.

Unlike a fraud alert, there is a cost to activate and deactivate a credit freeze. Freezes also differ from fraud alerts in that they must be placed individually with the three credit reporting bureaus via phone.

Today’s digital world requires constant vigilance against cyber threats. At RKL, ensuring the security and privacy of our clients is a top priority, and our team of fraud investigators help businesses and organizations prevent, detect or mitigate fraudulent activity. Contact your RKL advisor or one of our local offices with any questions or concerns.

 

Bethany A. Novis, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, partner and leader of RKL’s Business Consulting Services Group

Contributed by Bethany A. Novis, CPA/ABV, CVA, CFE, a partner in RKL’s Business Consulting Services Group. Bethany specializes in 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).

Working Capital blog disclaimer

Posted on: September 12th, 2017

Upcoming Changes to Improve ERISA Audit Report Quality

employee benefit plan auditAdministrators of employee benefit plans (EBP) rely on routine and rigorous third-party audits to help them maintain compliance with applicable federal regulations, so it is critical to ensure that the audit reports themselves meet high quality standards and offer relevant, actionable information. Recent reviews by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) produced several changes and recommended action items to strengthen the EBP auditor’s report.

Given the integral role played by the auditor’s report, the DOL set out to assess its quality by reviewing financial statement audits of employee benefit plans for the 2011 plan year. In its May 2015 report, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits, DOL found that 17 percent of the auditor’s reports from 2011 failed to comply with one or more of the reporting and disclosure requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). These deficiencies led the DOL to suggest ways to rethink the auditor’s report and improve the final product relied upon by plan administrators.

Clarified auditor responsibilities and greater transparency

In response to the DOL’s detected shortcomings and suggested improvements, the ASB issued the April 2017 proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS), Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA. This proposed SAS addresses the reporting for audits of financial statements in ERISA plans, including when management imposes a limitation on the scope of the audit as permitted by 29 CFR 2520.103-5 (ERISA-permitted audit scope limitation). In this situation, the proposed SAS would require a new form of report to include, among other things:

  • Expanded management and auditor responsibilities sections;
  • A special form of opinion stating that, based on use of the certification of investment information, the financial statements are fairly stated in all material respects in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework;
  • Expanded communications on the ERISA supplemental schedules; and
  • A by-product report, entitled Report on Specific Plan Provisions Relating to the Financial Statements, that includes findings from procedures performed on specific plan provisions relating to the financial statements. This new by-product report should be provided either in a separate section in the auditor’s report or in a separate report entirely. If provided in a separate report, it must be included with the auditor’s report that is attached to the Form 5500 filing.

It is possible that, because procedures to be performed on specific plan provisions would be required irrespective of the risk of material misstatement, additional audit work will be necessary. The proposed SAS is effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2018.

EBP administrators with questions regarding how these changes to the auditor’s report will improve the quality of their annual audits and ongoing compliance efforts can contact me at fdonnelly@rklcpa.com or 610.376.1595.

Francis J. Donnelly, CPA, Partner in RKL’s Audit Services GroupContributed by Francis J. Donnelly, CPA, Partner in RKL’s Audit Services Group. Frank specializes in accounting and consulting services for employee benefit plans and the credit union industry.

 

 

 

Working Capital blog disclaimer

 

Posted on: September 1st, 2017

RKL Admits Jonathan Clark to Firm Partnership

Jonathan M. Clark, Partner in RKL's Tax Services GroupPRESS RELEASE

WYOMISSING, PA (September 1, 2017) – RKL LLP today announced that Jonathan M. Clark, CPA, has been admitted to the firm’s partnership, effective September 1, 2017.

“We are proud to welcome Jonathan as a firm partner. Jonathan’s specialized expertise and strategic approach to tax planning have made him a trusted advisor to his clients, a respected mentor to his colleagues and a major force in RKL’s continued success,” said Edward W. Monborne, RKL CEO.

As Partner in the Tax Services Group, Clark will continue to serve clients throughout RKL’s Central and Eastern Pennsylvania footprint and will be primarily based out of the firm’s Wyomissing office.

Clark delivers tax planning and compliance services to corporations, pass-through entities and individuals. He specializes in multi-state taxation and accounting for income taxes. Previously a manager in the Tax Services Group, Clark has amassed significant experience providing outsourced tax services to multinational companies since joining RKL in 2009.

Clark graduated summa cum laude from Liberty University with a B.S. in Accounting and earned his Masters in Taxation from Villanova University. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA).

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