• House votes to scrap payment disclosures for oil, gas and mining companies

    The House of Representatives voted to nullify an SEC rule requiring publicly listed oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose payments made to the U.S. and foreign governments. The action, which takes advantage of the Congressional Review Act, is part of a broader push by a GOP-controlled Congress and White House to roll back Obama-era regulation.
  • Companies asked to report problems adopting pay-ratio disclosure rule

    For the second time in two weeks, the SEC’s acting chair asked the agency’s staff to review a Dodd-Frank Act rule public companies are in the process of complying with. Called the pay-ratio disclosure rule, it was bitterly attacked at the time of its adoption by the companies that have to follow it, despite the strong support shareholder rights advocates expressed for it.
  • U.S. GAAP’s definition of a business is revised

    The FASB revised the definition of a business in U.S. GAAP in response to complaints that the existing definition is too broad and forces companies to unnecessarily follow the complicated guidance for business combinations when all they are doing is buying or selling assets. The revised definition is intended to sharpen the distinction between the purchase or disposal of a business and the purchase or disposal of assets.
  • Auditing standards board votes to finalize going concern guidance

    The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board (ASB) unanimously voted to issue a final going concern standard at its January meeting. The board also discussed other projects, including the auditor’s responsibilities for employee benefit plans, proposed guidance for unregistered securities offerings, and a new service that CPAs may perform without expressing an opinion.
  • Update to U.S. GAAP scraps second step of goodwill impairment test

    The FASB published an update to U.S. GAAP that drops the second step in the two-step test for calculating a drop in goodwill. Research by the FASB staff found that analysts and investors care more about the existence of a goodwill impairment versus a precise calculation of the impairment’s amount, although three of the FASB’s seven members dissented from the issuance of the update.
  • New overtime rules from US Department of Labor

    The US Department of Labor has announced the highly anticipated changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations. These final regulations substantially change the compensation threshold for “white collar” exemptions from the requirement to pay overtime to employees.
  • Significant changes to Form 3115

    The IRS’s new Form 3115 and instructions contain revisions that incorporate modifications and additions from two revenue procedures issued in early 2015.
  • Integrated planning for food processing facility expansion

    Expanding a business and positioning it for long-term growth and profitability are tremendous undertakings for any company. For any food processing company that is contemplating growth, whether it is achieved through an expansion or the construction of a greenfield plant, making an informed decision on how to proceed with such an effort goes beyond looking at the dollars and cents associated with any single activity.
  • New Markets Tax Credit program: how it works

    The New Markets Tax Credit program, or NMTC, attracts investment for real estate projects, community facilities, and operating businesses. This video provides a basic overview of the NMTC program and projects that are particularly attractive for investment.
  • IRS issues regulation prohibiting lump sum payments from defined benefit pension plans

    On July 9, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-49, Use of Lump Sum Payments to Replace Lifetime Income Being Received By Retirees Under Defined Benefit Pension Plans, amending the required minimum distribution regulations under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The regulation, as amended, no longer permits qualified defined benefit plans to replace any joint and survivor, single life, or other annuity currently being paid with a lump sum payment or other accelerated form of distribution.
  • Bill affects 5500 filing date and summary annual report distribution date

    On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, often referred to as the highway funding bill. The bill modifies the filing due dates for partnerships, C corporations, certain tax-exempt entities, and Form 5500 filers with the intention to create a more logical flow of information.
  • Revenue recognition requirements delayed one year

    On July 9, 2015, the FASB approved its April 2015 proposal to defer the effective date of ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, for all entities for one year. Entities will, however, be allowed to apply the new standard as of the original effective dates set out in the standard. This article examines the revenue recognition standard and explains why the FASB granted an extension.
  • DOL report finds major deficiencies in employee benefit plan audits

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a report on its inspection of 2011 employee benefit plan audits, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits. The report is quite troubling as the DOL found a deficiency rate that is too high for such an important element of the system to protect participants in employee benefit plans.
  • Accelerated Genetics

    David Score, Former Board Director of Accelerated Genetics, describes the benefits he and his organization receive from working with Baker Tilly.
  • Site selection: effectively closing the deal

    When making a location decision, understanding how to compete, negotiate, structure, and close transactions is critical for complex capital structures that include federal, state, and local financial products.
  • The IRS grants health coverage reimbursement relief to small employers

    The IRS released Notice 2015-17 to provide small employers relief from the assessment of excise tax, involving the use of employer payment plans and health reimbursement accounts (HRA) including tax treatment for reimbursement of premiums for individual coverage owned by 2 percent shareholder-employees of subchapter S corporations.
  • 2014 W-2 compliance with the Affordable Care Act and 2015 reporting

    2014 was a transition year for determining who was subject to the Affordable Care Act employer mandate, but companies still may have some obligations to fulfill before 2014 W-2s are issued. A new year also means employers need to ramp up preparations for ACA-related reporting requirements.
  • Revenue recognition standards will have major impact on financial statements

    After many years of discussion, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued the long awaited and converged revenue recognition standard on May 28. This standard has the potential to be one of the biggest changes ever in financial reporting because it impacts virtually every financial statement issued in the world.
  • Preventing and detecting fraud

    Governing boards, usually via an audit committee, should take an active role in monitoring the risk and mitigation of fraud, as well as in overseeing an effective ethics and compliance program.
  • New accounting guidance likely to change your revenue recognition practices

    The bodies that establish US and international accounting standards have released new guidance on the timing of companies’ revenue recognition. The new guidance from FASB and the IASB have been in development for more than a decade and are intended to enhance comparability of revenue recognition practices across companies, industries, jurisdictions, and capital markets. FASB’s version of the guidance was published in ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. This article provides an overview of the converged guidance, along with a brief look at the potential impact on certain industries.
  • Affordable Care Act update

    Baker Tilly’s 2014 midyear tax letter’s update on the Affordable Care Act discusses the many changes made by the Obama administration and the IRS to the ACA implementation and rules.
  • FASB releases simplified reporting rules for discontinued operations

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released revised guidance for financial reporting on discontinued operations in April 2014. The new rules directly respond to concerns that too many disposals of assets, including small groups of assets that are recurring in nature, qualify for discontinued operations, and that the guidance for applying the current definition of a discontinued operation is complicated to interpret and apply.
  • FASB grants variable interest entities reporting exception for private company leases

    As part of continuing efforts to ease the burden on private companies that prepare their financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has established another alternative to GAAP reporting requirements. The alternative, described in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-07, Consolidation (Topic 810): Applying Variable Interest Entities Guidance to Common Control Leasing Arrangements, may provide relief for private companies that lease property from a business entity owned by an owner of the private company.
  • IT security controls webinar series

    This series will help you see eye to eye with your IT department as you discover the ways in which IT controls can help your organization’s finance activities. Each quarter, a new webcast will be introduced with each presentation for viewing at your convenience.
  • I do or … I don’t?

    The Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, so what are the tax implications for married same-sex couples.
  • Energy for dairy processors: New feasibility report and economic modeling and mapping tool

    To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, the future of sustainable food production in the United States may be a biogas, gas, gas − thanks to tools available through Baker Tilly as part of a grant funded by the State of Wisconsin State Energy Office. Baker Tilly received a grant from Wisconsin’s State Energy Office to create a feedstock assessment mapping tool, conduct biogas technology evaluation, and create an economic toolkit.
  • Special rules for cooperatives-Section 199 planning, the pass through provision, and wage limitation

    There are a number of special rules that apply to cooperatives for purposes of calculating the Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD). For instance, cooperatives that market agricultural or horticultural products for their patrons are treated as having manufactured, produced, grown or extracted (MPGE) any agricultural or horticultural products that its patrons have MPGE.
  • Waste to energy for food processors

    Food and beverage processors are beginning to realize the potential of turning their by-product into energy/revenue sources. Our role in this process is to help remove the barriers to growth that currently face the processing industry.
  • Webinar Q&A: American Biogas Council

    Biogas projects can be very complicated to complete given the number of participating parties often required to make a successful project move forward. Each project has its own unique circumstances as to why it is being built. Is it a waste treatment or distributed energy generation facility, a resource to fuel vehicle fleets, an extension of manufacturing … or all of the above?
  • What is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)?

    The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 4, 2011, is designed to ensure safety of the US food supply by shifting regulator focus from response activities to preventive activities.
  • Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) webinar

    With government regulation adding more pressure to food manufacturers and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gray areas, businesses need answers and certainty as they navigate 2013. This webinar updated companies on the latest FSMA developments, as well as the best options for electronic tracking to prepare for audits and potential food safety recalls.
  • Real life results

    We believe in a team approach that combines our technical and industry specialists with the people that know your business best – you. We focus on understanding your needs, bringing the right team to the table and offering a holistic service approach that results in the best solution for your business. We are your Valued Business Advisors.
  • Biogas economic model and toolkit

    A basic economic model and associated toolkit was developed to allow an evaluation basis to be made relative to the feasibility of a biogas project. The ultimate outcome of using the biogas economic model allows the user to begin to make certain go/no-go decisions relative to various project scenarios. The economic evaluation model was constructed using Microsoft Excel.
  • Fraud: Could it happen in your organization?

    The most recent news headline from Dixon, Illinois, has pushed the issue of fraud in the public sector into the spotlight. To date, the prosecutors allege that the City comptroller stole more than $53 million since the 1990s from public funds through a secret bank account. While this story would seem like an isolated incident, the truth is, fraud is more widespread than you might think. According to a just-released report, “2012 Report to the Nations - Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Inc.," the cost of fraud amounts to $3.5 trillion on a global scale.