header
header
header

Summing It Up

Keeping you ahead of the curve with timely news & updates.


Freed Maxick Tax

Recent Posts

Tax Effects of Intercompany Asset Sales: FASB's New Financial Reporting Requirements

ASU 2016-16 Adds Transparency and Simplifies Reporting

FASBReportingRequirements_iStock-542189312-240957-edited.jpgThe presently prescribed method of accounting for income taxes on the sale of assets between affiliated companies (intra-entity transfers) has in recent years generated discord between accounting professionals and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). With FASB’s October 24, 2016 issuance of ASU 2016-16, however, the concerns of the accounting profession in this respect have been largely addressed.

FASB stipulations to this point have required that recognition of the income tax effects of intra-entity transfers be deferred until the asset is subsequently sold outside the affiliated group, a rule running counter to the general ASC 740 principle that current and deferred income taxes be recognized in the year that the event triggering them occurs.

Under the newly enacted ASU 2016-16, this deferral methodology goes away for all intercompany asset sales other than sales of inventory (which will remain under the previous FASB guidance). Companies will now be required to recognize the income tax effects (current and deferred) of intercompany non-inventory asset sales in the period in which they occur, despite the transaction being eliminated from consolidated pre-tax income. Thus, this new guidance both simplifies the accounting procedures for intra-entity transfers and adds transparency to their financial reporting, as the income statement tax effects recorded will typically coincide with any cash tax impact incurred in the same reporting period.

While FASB did not prescribe new financial statement disclosure requirements in this pronouncement, it has commented that existing disclosure requirements may apply to intra-entity transfers and their tax ramifications. For instance, companies may have to cite the tax effects of intra-entity transfers within their effective tax rate reconciliations or in disclosing the types of temporary differences giving rise to their deferred tax assets and liabilities.

ASU 2016-16 becomes effective for publicly traded companies in years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those years (i.e., first quarter of 2018 for calendar-year companies). For non-public entities, they become effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and for interim reporting periods within annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption is permitted, but can only occur in the first quarter of a reporting year (e.g., first quarter 2017 for calendar year companies).

Questions? Contact us to discuss the new reporting requirements and what they might mean for your company.

View full article

Asset Based Lenders Need to Understand the New GAAP Exceptions

Author: John Costello

FASB releases new ASUs regarding alternate reporting methods but don’t worry – it’s good news for Asset Based Lenders!

For a number of years, small businesses and their accountants have complained about the growing complexity and costs of complying with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). That led the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to solicit feedback from private company lenders and other stakeholders about the usefulness of certain complex accounting rules.

Accounting standard updatesThe feedback showed that many lenders are disregarding complicated accounting measures — including the subsequent reporting of impairment losses, goodwill following business combinations, and simple interest rate swaps — when evaluating a business’s financial condition and operating performance.

In January 2014, FASB released a couple of Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) that offer private companies some alternate reporting methods. It’s critical for lenders to understand the new GAAP exceptions, which will go into effect for most private businesses at the end of 2014. Early adoption is permitted, as well.

Reporting Goodwill After a Merger or Acquisition

The first GAAP exception for private businesses applies to those that report goodwill following an acquisition or a merger. According to FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 350, Intangibles Goodwill and Other, goodwill is “a residual asset calculated after recognizing other (tangible and intangible) assets and liabilities acquired in a business combination.”

But, put another way, goodwill is the portion of the purchase price that’s left over after a buyer allocates fair value to all identifiable liabilities and assets. Goodwill can actually be a valuable asset. It’s commonly associated with professional practices, but retailers, manufacturers and even contractors can possess certain elements of goodwill that are transferable in a business combination.

The fair value of goodwill can decrease over time, particularly if a deal doesn’t live up to the buyer’s expectations. So GAAP requires that companies test for impairment. This occurs when the carrying value of goodwill exceeds its fair value. Nonprofits and public companies must test for impairment at least annually. And if triggering events occur, impairment testing should be even more frequent. (See the sidebar “Watch out for triggering events.”)

ASU 2014-02, Intangibles — Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Accounting for Goodwill, offers a different method for private companies that acquired goodwill in a business combination. Instead of testing for impairment each year, private companies can elect to amortize goodwill straight-line over 10 years (or fewer, if they can justify a shorter useful life). Private businesses still need to test for impairment whenever a triggering event occurs. But they must compute impairment at only the entity level.

So, here’s what lenders must know about the goodwill exception’s alternate method: Smaller numbers of private borrowers will incur impairment losses, because amortization will automatically lower the carrying value of any goodwill over time. Moreover, the alternate method also reduces the need for valuations and makes reporting more predictable.

Understand that, because impairment is tested at the entity level, strong business segments may temporarily hide any “underperforming” acquisitions. So if a private borrower reports impairment under the alternate method, you should take it seriously.

An Easier Method for Interest Rate Swaps

The second GAAP exception applies to normal interest rate swaps. Following the recent financial crisis, certain borrowers could get only variable rate loans. So, they used simple interest rate swaps to get the consistency of fixed-rate payments. However, this strategy inadvertently opened up a can of worms of complex, and costly, accounting requirements that many private businesses weren’t prepared to handle.

Under GAAP, swaps are usually considered derivatives that must be reported at fair value. ASU 2014-03, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps — Simplified Hedge Accounting Approach, offers another method. It allows a private company to measure qualifying swaps at settlement value, rather than fair value. That means interest expense is pretty much the same as if the borrower had entered into a fixed-rate loan directly.

Private borrowers can choose the alternate method on a swap-by-swap basis. New and existing swaps alike may qualify for the simplified treatment.

FASB is hoping that the alternate method will make financial statements much easier to understand and a lot less costly to prepare for small businesses. And lenders can expect to see fewer confusing earnings fluctuations that used to result from changes in the fair value of borrowers’ simple interest rate swaps.

A Welcome Change

Certain accounting rules were originally drafted with public companies in mind. Small businesses tend to operate more simply, though, so FASB’s move to allow exceptions for private companies is highly lauded by many small companies and their constituents.

Even if there are no impairment losses recorded when a triggering event occurs, that event can still compromise debt service and disrupt operations. If you notice one or more of these events when monitoring your clients, ask about how management plans to mitigate its adverse effects.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………............................................

Freed Maxick’s Asset Based Lending Team works with dozens of asset based lenders across the country. We can help you reduce the risk of lending or assist your clients with our business advisory, audit, fraud detection and prevention, and tax services.

For more information about our business advisory, audit, and other accounting services contact us here, or call us at 716-847-2651.

View full article

The 6 Biggest Stumbling Blocks to a Successful PCI Audit

Is Your Organization PCI Compliant?

Author: Alex Douds

PCI compliancePCI DSS, which stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of 12 specific requirements that cover six different goals. It's prescriptive; providing guidance for organizations to become secure and protect their customer’s credit card data in accordance with PCI DSS. It's more about security than compliance. The goals cover topics such as, build and maintain a secure network, protect card holder data, and regularly monitor and test the networks.

Most organizations think they are doing everything necessary to be PCI compliant and are adequately prepared, whether for their first PCI audit or their fifth PCI audit. But are they really? A PCI audit, usually performed by a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), is trained by the PCI Counsel and licensed to conduct these audits.

PCI security standardsExperienced QSA’s, such as Freed Maxick, know that there are six areas or “stumbling blocks” around which organizations need to be particularly vigilant in order to design or maintain the proper controls to achieve and maintain PCI Compliance. We’ll start with the least common problem and work our way to number one on the hit list!

So What Does Your Business Need To Watch For?

(6) Lack of Security Awareness and Training: The ugly truth about data breaches is that it’s not so much a matter of if you’ll be a target, but when. The 2008 Study on the Uncertainty of Data Breach Detection in the U.S. by the Ponemon Institute concluded that approximately 80 percent of businesses in this country have been hit at least once by a data breach. According to the Ponemon Institute, there are three main causes for a data breach: personal negligence, which accounts for 40 percent of data breach cases; system glitches (36%) and malicious/criminal attacks (24%). Small and mid-sized merchants often lack the awareness, security background and resources that larger businesses and corporations can muster to execute an effective security awareness training program to combat these threats. Annual and on-going Security Awareness Training is critical to meeting the requirements of the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

(5) Not Monitoring Computer, and other systems, for Intrusions and Anomalies: Software and hardware exists to help businesses track normal functionality and anomalies within their computer systems; detecting computer intrusions and misuse by monitoring system activity. In order to determine what “attack traffic” is, the system must be taught to recognize normal system activity in order to minimize false positives. In addition, you must place intrusion detection at both the perimeter and critical points, to monitor all traffic within your PCI environment. Many organizations neglect to monitor critical points within their PCI environment, resulting in problems with their PCI compliance. The Freed Maxick technology consulting team can help your organization identify what monitoring systems need to be put into place and provide consulting, as QSA’s, to ensure you meet the intent of this standard.

(4) Not Encrypting Data: Encrypted data is unreadable and unusable to a system intruder without the proper encryption keys. Many businesses make the mistake of storing cardholder data when it’s not absolutely necessary, or storing card holder data without proper encryption. Other “don’ts” include- not storing the three digit validation code on the back of a holder’s card. Do not have PED terminals print out personally identifiable payment card data (printouts should be masked). Do not store payment card data in payment card terminals. Do not permit any unauthorized people access to stored card holder data.

Merchants should develop data retention and storage policies that strictly limit storage amount and retention time for only what is required for business, legal, and regulatory purposes. You should also understand where your payment card data flows for the entire transaction process. Use strong cryptography to render unreadable cardholder data that you store. You can verify payment application compliance through the Payment Application Data Security Standard.

(3) Storing Too Much Data:  Many clients have questions around what card data can and cannot be stored. More specifically, can CCV and CCV2 card information be stored? The simple answer is “no.” According to PCI DSS requirement 3.2, the storage of sensitive authentication data after authorization is strictly prohibited. Even if the data is encrypted, it is still not allowed. The requirement goes into more detail, stating that you should not store the card-verification code, or the three or four digit codes on the back of the payment card, which is used to verify card-not-present transactions. When businesses are unaware of how much data their systems are storing they are less likely to be PCI compliant.

(2) Not Understanding the Flow of Data: A key to PCI Compliance is for the organization and the organizations QSA to understand the flow of data, including what card data is stored and encrypted. In order to truly understand what data should and shouldn’t be stored, organizations should understand the flow of data; where it goes, how it gets there, what wireless networks are connected to cardholder data, how it’s processed, and how it’s transmitted. Network documentation is extremely valuable to a QSA. Documenting card data flow on top of the network diagram can serve to be invaluable. Documenting this data flow on a network diagram can help a company come to a unified and clear understanding of where card data is stored, processed or transmitted within their environment as well as identify all supporting and connected systems and devices.

The number one problem on our PCI Compliance hit list is……

(1)Not Appropriately Segmenting Network Infrastructure that processes, transmits, or stores PCI Data: A critical step for any organization to ensure that they minimize the heavy cost of PCI Compliance is network segmentation of the PCI network or card holder data environment (CDE) from the rest of the organization’s IT infrastructure. Segmentation follows the commonly used strategy of minimization: store as little sensitive data in as few locations as possible and allow access to those who absolutely need it. The PCI DSS encourages all organizations to segment their networks “through internal network firewalls, routers with strong access control lists or other technology that restricts access to a particular segment of a network.” Like most standards, it provides a “high level” goal while still offering flexibility in implementation. The relevant PCI DSS section reads: “At a high level adequate network segmentation isolates systems that store, process, or transmit cardholder data from those that do not. However the adequacy of a specific implementation of network segmentation is highly variable and dependent upon such things as:  a given network’s configuration, the technologies deployed, and other controls that may be implemented.”

All organizations should work with a QSA to verify that they have proper PCI network segmentation in place prior to their initial PCI audit or anytime a significant change is made to an existing PCI segmented network. Network segmentation gives the organization greater security and monitoring by reducing the scope of their CDE to a limited area on the network infrastructure. Even more importantly, it can drastically reduce the scope of the PCI audit and therefore increase an organization’s likelihood of having a successful PCI audit.

Freed Maxick is here to help!

PCIAt Freed Maxick, we understand you face unique challenges in assessing the effectiveness of your technology. With this in mind, we offer a customized, flexible approach that’s based on your needs. We can give you senior-level attention and personalized service. Our technology consultants have experience across a number of industries that often yield opportunities to increase productivity and reduce costs. And if you contact us today we can offer a reduction in price on a quarterly self assessment scan!

View full article

Merchant Eligibility for the PCI DSS Self-Assessment Questionnaire Process

Which SAQ is Right for Your Situation?

Author: Alex Douds

PCI complianceThe PCI Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) is a list of questions used to assess compliance with the requirements of the PCI DSS. The SAQ process is basically a validation tool for merchants and service providers that are not required to do an on-site data security assessment. Any oversight in the SAQ process puts the entire PCI compliance effort at risk, so having a QSA assist or consult on a self assessment is a common PCI risk mitigation strategy used by many small to mid-size merchants and service providers. PCI DSS standards can be very complex and difficult to negotiate for any organization, but particularly for smaller organizations with limited IT staff and resources. Even when a QSA review is not mandatory, organizations often seek the advice of a QSA in order to ensure that everything in the SAQ has been completed correctly.

PCI security standardsThere are multiple versions (A, B, C, D) of the PCI DSS SAQ to meet various business situations. The most comprehensive of these – Version D - .for merchants who store cardholder data on their computer systems – requires answers to over 220 questions

A brief overview follows:

 

SAQ VALIDATION TYPE

DESCRIPTION

SAQ

1

Card-not-present (e-commerce or mail/telephone-order) merchants, all cardholder data functions outsourced. This would never apply to face-to-face merchants.

A

2

Imprint-only merchants with no electronic cardholder data storage

B

3

Merchants with web based virtual terminals, no electronic cardholder data storage

C-VT

4

Merchants with POS systems connected to the Internet, no electronic cardholder data storage

C

5

All other merchants (not included in Types 1-4 above) and all service providers defined by a payment brand as eligible to complete an SAQ.

D

PCI

 

If you are a merchant, it’s important for you to understand whether or not you need to conduct on a site assessment in order to get into PCI DSS compliance, or whether you can use a self evaluation process. If you can self evaluate, it’s then important to understand which SAQ process is the right one for your situation.

Need more information about how you can get in compliance with PCI Data Security Standards or the compliance process that’s right for you? Contact us here. Or call Larry Hessney at 585-360-1480.

View full article

Why Should Merchants Comply with PCI Security Standards?

PCI Data Security is Not the Headache You Might Expect

Author: Alex Douds

PCIWhy should you, as a merchant, comply with the PCI Security Standards? At first glance, especially if you are a smaller organization, it may seem like a lot of effort, and confusing to boot. However, compliance is becoming increasingly important and it may not be the headache you expected.

Compliance with data security standards can bring major benefits to businesses of all sizes, while failure to comply can have serious and long-term negative consequences. Here are some reasons why.

Compliance with the PCI DSS means that your systems are secure, and customers can trust you with their sensitive payment card information:

  • Trust means your customers have confidence in doing business with you.
  • Confident customers are more likely to be repeat customers, and to recommend you to others.

Compliance improves your reputation with acquirers and pay­ment brands - the partners you need in order to do business.

Compliance is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It helps prevent security breaches and theft of payment card data, not just today, but in the future:

  • PCI ComplianceAs data compromise becomes ever more sophisticated, it becomes ever more difficult for an individual merchant to stay ahead of the threats.
  • The PCI Security Standards Council is constantly working to monitor threats and improve the industry’s means of dealing with them, through enhancements to PCI Security Standards and by the training of security professionals. 
  • When you stay compliant, you are part of the solution – a united, global response to fighting payment card data compromise.

Compliance has indirect benefits as well:

  • PCI Security StandardsThrough your efforts to comply with PCI Security Standards, you’ll likely be better prepared to comply with other regulations as they come along, such as HIPAA, SOX, etc.
  • You’ll have a basis for a corporate security strategy.
  • You will likely identify ways to improve the efficiency of your IT infrastructure.

But if you are not compliant, it could be disastrous:

  • Compromised data negatively affects consumers, merchants, and financial institutions.
  • Just one incident can severely damage your reputation and your ability to conduct business effectively, far into the future.
  • Account data breaches can lead to catastrophic loss of sales, relationships and standing in your community, and depressed share price if yours is a public company.
  • Possible negative consequences also include:
    • Lawsuits
    • Insurance claims
    • Cancelled accounts
    • Payment card issuer fines
    • Government fines

Need more information about how you can get in compliance with PCI Data Security Standards or the compliance process that’s right for you? Contact us here. Or call Larry Hessney at 585-360-1480.

View full article

Occupational Fraud: Could Your Office be at Risk?

Report Sheds Light on Fraud Perpetrators

Author: Adrienne Schreier

In its 2012 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that the typical organization loses 5% of its revenues to occupational fraud every year. The median loss in the ACFE’s survey of almost 1,400 fraud cases was $140,000, and more than 20% of these cases resulted in losses of at least $1 million.

The numbers are alarming, as few companies can afford such losses. Perhaps more surprising are the ACFE’s findings related to fraud perpetrators. The employees behind such costly schemes aren’t your average criminals.

Tone at the top

Although it’s easy to place the blame for occupational fraud on lower-level employees, research tells another story: 42% of the perpetrators in the ACFE survey were nonmanagement, but 38% were managers and 18% were owners or executives.

And, in fact, the higher the thief’s position in the company, the more costly the fraud. Owners and executives were responsible for losses that were approximately three times higher than managers instigated. For their part, managers rang up losses about three times higher than regular employees caused. The ACFE attributes such statistics to the fact that those with more authority have greater access to their company’s assets. They’re also in a better position to override internal controls. Not surprisingly, the study also finds that the amount of fraud losses increases with perpetrators’ tenure and education — which typically are associated with higher positions and greater trust.

Other notable findings

Certain departments provide greater opportunities for fraud. Accounting, operations, sales, executive / upper management, customer service and purchasing areas together accounted for 77% of all cases.

Another important finding is that most occupational thieves aren’t career criminals. Of the 860 cases in the ACFE study (where information was available), only 6% involved a perpetrator who had previously been convicted of a fraud-related offense. And of 695 cases with information on the perpetrator’s employment history, 84% of them had never been punished or terminated by an employer for fraud.

Under pressure

Most fraud perpetrators turn to theft because they’re experiencing some type of pressure — at work, in their personal lives or both. The pressure could be financial — stemming from debt, addiction, gambling losses, poor investments, medical bills, divorce, or “keeping up with the Joneses.” Or pressure may come from supervisors with unreasonable performance goals or from company shareholders with high earnings expectations.

Frequently, occupational thieves are motivated by anger and dissatisfaction with their manager or the company’s leadership. Their anger may be fueled by a perception that management’s own ethics and integrity are lacking. In rare cases, perpetrators draw personal satisfaction from outsmarting their boss or the system.

Prevention tips

The ACFE report makes several recommendations to employers that want to prevent fraud:

Set up fraud reporting mechanisms. Typically, this means a confidential tipline accessible to both internal and external sources. As in previous surveys, the ACFE report found that such tiplines were one of the most effective methods of catching occupational thieves.

Provide targeted fraud-awareness training. At a minimum, a qualified fraud expert should explain to employees and managers the actions that constitute fraud, how fraud harms everyone in the organization and how employees can safely voice their suspicions. ACFE research shows that organizations with antifraud training programs experience lower losses and schemes of shorter duration than those without.

Educate on the characteristics and behavior of fraud perpetrators. It’s important that managers and employees be able to spot red flags — and know how to report them.

No program can prevent all fraud, but following these tips should help you reduce its incidence in your organization. When you know how to detect fraud schemes, you can stop them quickly and thereby reduce overall losses. In addition, potential perpetrators may be more hesitant to steal if they know that management and co-workers are on the lookout for fraud and have the means to report it.

Don’t go it alone

A little knowledge about fraud can go a long way, but companies can get themselves in trouble by acting too hastily on mere suspicions. Encourage your clients to retain fraud experts who have experience performing thorough and comprehensive investigations.     

If you have any questions about fraud perpetrators or any other issue, give us a call at 716.847.2651, or you may contact us here.

occupational fraud

View full article

Technology Update: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Look for us twitterThis spring Freed Maxick will be at SXSW Interactive as well as Internet Week NY. It's all part of the Firm's corporate culture and an effort to stay ahead of the curve and innovative in all that we do.

From emerging media tools, social media platforms and the web, to the rapid growth rate of mobile and even blogs, Freed Maxick recognizes the importance of technology and wants to communicate effectively with our employees, clients and the community. The best way to do that is to stay on top of the trends, and learn all that we can to best serve our clients.

From our Twitter account where we relay the most up to the minute updates concerning taxes, accounting and industries such as manufacturing, healthcare or real estate, to our careers blog featuring insight into the accounting profession, Freed Maxick aims to stay connected.

Attending SXSW Interactive or Internet Week NY? Make sure to look for Freed Maxick on Twitter @FreedMaxickCPAs, using the event hashtags #SXSW and #IWNY. We're there to learn from thought leaders in the industry and apply new knowledge to the way we do business. We'll be sure to communicate helpful info for high tech companies, share best practices learned and take part in the innovative coversation.

View full article

ASC 740: Income Tax Accounting for 2013 LIVE Webcast 5/17

Event Details:                                                                                                   

With the ever-changing and complex regulatory environment, compliance with accounting for income taxes
(ASC 740), formerly known as FAS 109, has become more difficult for companies to manage efficiently. Companies must work hard to ensure that they minimize compliance related errors with the current tax laws and financial accounting and reporting standards. 

In this two-hour LIVE webcast on May 17th, a panel of distinguished professionals assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the significant topics related to tax accounting rules and implementation of ASC 740. The faculty will discuss:

  • Brief Overview of ASC 740 and Refresher in Current and Deferred Tax Computation
     
  • Pertinent Accounting Principles and Tax Accounting Provisions
     
  • Application of ASC 740 to State and International Income Taxes
     
  • Hot Topics in Internal Controls
     
  • Issues Relating to Compensation and Benefits Developments
     
  • Best Practices and Practical Guidance for Tax Preparation, Compliance and Effectiveness
     
  • Up-to-the-Minute Regulatory Updates

This is a must attend event for Finance Executives, CPAs, Attorneys, Enrolled Agents, Tax Practitioners, and other Interested Professionals. Attending this course will give you the tools you need to understand the latest developments in ASC-740.

Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Method Of Presentation: Group-Based-Internet
Developer: The Knowledge Group, LLC
Recommended CLE/CPE Hours: 1.75 - 2.0
Advance Preparation: Print and review course materials
Course Code: 134416
Course Fee:
$199 - $249 (Early Bird Discounted Rate - on or before 05/07/2013)
$299 - $349 (Regular Rate - registration after 05/07/2013)
$149 (Government / Nonprofit Rate)
(Please click here for details)

 

Featured Speakers for ASC 740: Income Tax Accounting for 2013 LIVE Webcast :

Douglas I Schwartz, LLC
Douglas I. Schwartz, CPA/CFF, Cr.FA
Managing Member
speaker bio »»

Freed Maxick CPAs, PC
Mark A. Stebbins, CPA
Director - Tax Practice Leader
speaker bio »»

Freed Maxick CPAs, PC
Samuel C. DiSalvo, CPA J.D.
Director
speaker bio »»

Who Should Attend?

- Finance Executives
- CPAs
- Tax Attorneys
- Enrolled Agents
- Tax Practitioners
- Tax Directors
- Tax Managers/Executive
- Internal Audits
- CFOs
- Financial Planners and Executives
- Tax Consultants
- And Other Interested Professionals

Why Attend?

This is a must attend event for anyone interested in understanding the related issues and changes to Income Tax Accounting (ASC 740). In this live virtual course, you will hear:

- Detailed guidance explained by the most qualified key leaders & experts
- Hear directly from experienced practitioners & thought leaders
- Interact directly with panel during Q&A

Advanced registration is recommended as space is limited. Please click the “Register” button below to enroll in this course today. Significant discounts apply for early registrants.

Registration Information:                                                                                                                                    

(Click here for information on group registrations and discounts)


View full article

Leading Edge Alliance Named Second Largest International Association

Freed Maxick CPAs is a member of LEA Global / The Leading Edge Alliance, ranked by the International Accounting Bulletin as the second largest international association of independent accounting firms for 2013. 

The LEA Global is an international alliance of independently owned accounting and consulting firms. Established in 1999, The LEA has more than 190 member firms worldwide with collective revenues of 2.7 billion USD. There are approximately 100 countries represented in the association.

“By utilizing technology, developing innovative special interest groups, and connecting internationally to the knowledge of our member firms, LEA Global members are able to compete on a substantial scale, throughout the country and across the globe,” stated Michael Davis, Managing Partner HW Fisher & Company, London & LEA Chair. “LEA provides the resources that support their consistent growth and, subsequently, its own. The combined knowledge of the many top firms in LEA is shared across all firms, and contributes to the continuing success of each

 “When the idea for LEA was conceived, the plan was to introduce an independent association that helped firms compete with the Big Four. The competitive landscape changed since our inception in 1999 as other large national and regional firms emerged. Yet the continued growth of the Alliance is a testament to the independent successes of member firms and their ability to understand and proactively deal with new challenges. The appeal of an accomplished association that consistently meets the needs of its membership is indisputable,” said Gary Shamis, Managing Partner SS&G Financial Services, Inc. & LEA Chair Emeritus.

“Accounting has come out of the dark ages. The most successful firms operate as strategic businesses, and this view extends to its client base, centers of influence and the alliance it belongs to.  Over the past 12 years, LEA’s success has proven that the attention and support it provides to its members, including their overall operations special interest groups, has been a major factor in the success of its member firms.”

View full article

Hurricane Sandy Tax Deadlines Extended

The IRS is offering additional tax relief to individuals and businesses affected by October 2012's Hurricane Sandy, which devastated portions of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. 

Tax deadlines are further extended until April 1 for Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and Nassau, Queens, Richmond and Suffolk Counties in New York.

For more detailed information, check out this helpful article from Accounting Today

View full article