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May/June 2021

That Hurt Not-for-Profits New ASCPA Board Members The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants y

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ASCPA - April 6, 2021 - Extended Deadline, Resized 2.indd 1



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AZ CPA is published by the Arizona Society Tucson - 5151 E Broadway Blvd Suite 1600, Tucson, AZ 85711 520-512-5400 Oro Valley - 1846 E Innovation Park Dr., Oro Valley, AZ 85755 520-318-5400

What a year we have had! Thank you for your support and for being a member during 2020.

of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) to provide information, news and trends to the accounting profession. It is distributed six times a year as a regular service to ASCPA members. The ASCPA, its members, board of directors and administrative staff assume no responsibility for advertisements herein. The ASCPA and the above people also assume no liability for business decisions made by readers in reference to statements and/or claims in articles or advertisements within this publication. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the ASCPA.

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Volume 37 Number 3


May/June 2021

Features Meet Your New ASCPA Board Members



2021 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient Katie Maxwell


Celebrating Patty Rife’s Retirement


Three Myths That Hurt Not-forProfit Organizations and How You Can Help

Columns & Departments

Chair’s Message by Tom Duensing, CPA


Member News


Member Benefits



New Conference Provides More

Networking and Educational Opportunities. by Jessica Iennarella, CPA

Classifieds 30 Quick Quiz

by Lisa B. Lumbard, CPA, CGFM



Build a Successful Investment

Policy Statement for Your Nonprofit Organization by Frank Sutton, CFA



High Expectations Lead to High Achievement in the Cannabis Sector by Josephine Giordano, CPA

4801 E. Washington St., Suite 180 Phoenix, Arizona 85034-2040



ASCPA Chair’s Message

Looking Forward As I’m sure you have heard over and over again, this has been an unprecedented year. At the time of this writing, the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is approaching 30 million with almost 550,000 deaths, and sadly, many of us have suffered personally and professionally. These statistics are staggering and remind me of what is really important.

Tom Duensing, CPA, CGMA Chair, Arizona Society of CPAs , Deputy Internal Services Director City of Tempe

Granted, adapting to a new workplace can be viewed as a short-term issue, but to assure that our workforce feels safe, to ensure workforce relationships are maintained, and to keep employees productive will require a different way of thinking and constant workforce interaction.

As I navigate through life, my priorities are 1) family and friends, 2) health and 3) work. For me, the goal is to maintain that order of priority. When work consumes my life and becomes the center of my world, it is important to reprioritize and place family and friends back to first. Keeping this priority has been a constant, yet dynamic process which has truly helped me personally and professionally. That said, like most of you, I still have the responsibility to my job, and the pandemic makes me wonder how my work-life will change moving forward. What does the post-pandemic, business environment look like? Luckily, I am limited on space in this Chair’s Message, and books could be written about the “new normal” for business, but here are a few thoughts based on casual research of this topic. • The first and most obvious impact is remote working. Many of us were forced to evaluate remote working simply to keep our employees and customers safe. Moving forward in a post-pandemic world, how does remote working fit in? Will we continue to offer remote working as a benefit to our employees, to save travel costs, or reduce office space? I am sure we will continue to refine and make the most of a virtual environment, but most information I’ve viewed on this topic indicates remote working is here to stay. • The second impact I ponder is how business will maintain flexibility and be able to prepare for the next event. Preparation is vital in my line of work. Whether responding to the next cyberattack, a chemical spill in the city, or protecting the public during a violent protest, predicting and reacting to events is a cornerstone of effective government. While I hope that the next event is a booming, stable economy in which we will all thrive, the ability to remain agile and be able to effectively ensure our business is able to adapt to changing environments is more critical than ever. • Finally, what is the post-pandemic impact on employees? For me, technical issues come and go, but it’s the management issues that keep me up at night. Granted, adapting to a new workplace can be viewed as a short-term issue, but to assure that our workforce feels safe, to ensure workforce relationships are maintained, and to keep employees productive will require a different way of thinking and constant workforce interaction. Regardless of change, I truly believe that business and the CPA profession will adapt and thrive. I am pleased to serve you as next fiscal year’s Chair of the Society and look forward to working with our new President & CEO, Oliver Yandle, to serve you. Thank you for your support, and I wish you much success over the next year and into the future. l

Respectfully, Tom Duensing 6


Member News Kenneth Udenze, CPA and Ross Gary Dietrich, CPA, were quoted in an article by the Phoenix Business Journal on the influence of COVID-19 on the Valley’s accounting profession. Cheryl Folkerth, CPA, and Barbara Rohwedder, CPA, were promoted to principal at REDW LLC. Sarah DiMatteo, CPA, was promoted to tax senior manager at BeachFleischman PC. Edward K. Zollars, CPA, Monica J. Stern, CPA, and Kathy M. Coleman, CPA, were featured in an article on income tax conformity in The Arizona Republic and on AZCentral. Mike Payne, CPA, was quoted in an article in The Capitol Times about nonlawyers being allowed to invest in law firms. Payne is also an attorney.

In Memoriam Jayne Anne Shaffer, CPA

ASCPA Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon May 13 | Noon – 1:15 p.m. Join us virtually on May 13 to celebrate 2021 Life Member honoree Anita Baker and our latest

Continue Your ASCPA Journey Thank you for being a member of the ASCPA during one of the most challenging years. We are ready to kick off a new membership year and cannot wait to continue being your connection to the CPA profession. We are planning new opportunities for you to maximize your growth and connect with your colleagues. Renew by May 31 to save an additional 15% on CPE! Your ASCPA membership is available for renewal. Check your email or log into your ASCPA account to renew. If you are set up with autorenewal, your membership will renew on May 1, 2021. If you have questions, please email

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Excellence in Teaching Award winner, Katie Maxwell. We will also recognize 2020 honorees, Life Member Julie Klewer and Excellence in Teaching Award winner, Maria Rykaczewski.

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2021-22 ASCPA Board of Directors Executive Committee Members

Tom Duensing — Chair Deputy Internal Services Director — City of Tempe

Ginny DeSanto — Past Chair Vice President & CFO ASU Enterprise Partners

Samantha Crum Director 2021-2023 Accounting Manager Pioneer Title Agency, Inc.



Rachael Crump – Chair-Elect Principal Accounting Officer Insight Enterprises

Andrea Levy Secretary/Treasurer CFO — Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center

Lauren Murro* Director 2020-2022 Audit Manager Eide Bailly LLP

Jessica Estrada Director 2020-2022 Audit Manager Grant Thornton LLP

Glen Evans Director 2021-2023 Senior Manager KPMG LLP


Tabitha Fox Director 2020-2022 Director of Finance Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation

James McGettigan Director 2020-2022 Senior Manager Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors

David Gephart Director 2020-2022 CFO Town of Oro Valley

Eugene Park Director 2021-2023 Audit Partner Heinfeld, Meech & Co., PC

Gidget Schutte Director 2020-2022 Partner Schutte & Hilgendorf, PLLC

Christopher Tyhurst Director 2021-2023 Principal REDW LLC

AICPA Council Members 2021-2024

Mike Allen Principal REDW LLC Barbara Gonzalez Director 2021-2023 Professor of Accounting Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Megan Romo Director 2021-2023 Manager Quick and Associates, PC

Jared Van Arsdale Ullmann and Company, P.C.




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annual case competitions with public accounting firms. She is also the cocoordinator for the Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP) for high school students.

2021 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient Katie Maxwell This year’s ASCPA Excellence in Teaching Award goes to University of Arizona’s Professor Katie Maxwell who is senior lecturer and associate director for the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy (DRSA). Maxwell has been described as an incredibly talented educator who is truly “studentcentered.” Maxwell has taught many courses during her 15 years at DRSA, but now primarily focuses on teaching Intermediate Financial Accounting. This past year, the transition to online learning due to COVID-19 presented many challenges to the school. Maxwell took the lead in coordinating the school’s efforts to provide instructors and students with tools needed to navigate learning online.The best practices she created for exam proctoring and engaging on Zoom were shared across the Eller College, as well as at the university level. Even more importantly, she ensured that students were aware of the importance of paying attention to their mental health during this challenging time. In order to find ways to increase student engagement in her Intermediate Financial Accounting course, and to provide more time for in-class discussion and critical thinking/problem solving, Maxwell turned to prerecorded lecture videos for students to watch outside of class. She also realized that students could benefit from having additional videos of her solving accounting problems. Student feedback on the videos was overwhelmingly positive; especially with students who needed extra time to absorb the material. Aside from teaching, Maxwell has helped promote the profession by participating in and leading many of events, including an Accounting Career Immersion Day for first semester juniors, Meet the Firms, Big 4 National Speaker events and

“When I think holistically about Katie, she is the epitome of a truly outstanding academic who is THE BEST career track faculty I have ever had the pleasure to work with as a colleague in my 35 years at the DRSOA. Amongst career track faculty, she is the best teacher, the best mentor of students, and the best administrator I have ever seen ... period.” — Jeff Schatzberg Director, Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy Be sure to attend this year’s Virtual ASCPA Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on May 13 to hear more about Maxwell. l

Join us as we honor Professor Katie Maxwell at the

ASCPA Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon May 13 Noon – 1:15 p.m.




Celebrating Patty Rife’s Retirement Patty (Gannon) Rife has been bringing you news, updates and features for more than 21 years, and now she is heading out to create some new stories as she retires from the ASCPA on April 30, 2021. Many people have dreams of becoming a published author, and Patty has helped many members achieve that goal. She has encouraged and coached members, as they shared their thoughts and expertise with others through their articles and columns in AZ CPA magazine. She also used her fabulous design skills to add images and photos to bring the stories to life. One of the things Patty enjoyed most was writing feature stories about our members. She was always on the lookout for inspiring CPAs and shared their amazing talents and activities outside of their accounting work. From artists and actors to musicians and volunteers, she showcased our members’ talents and generosity in the community. Patty also helped the public learn more about CPAs and why they should hire a CPA to assist them as individuals and to help their businesses succeed. She coordinated media training and TV and newspaper interviews to give CPAs more exposure to the community. If you missed an ASCPA event, you always felt like you were there, as Patty always captured the moments through her photography. From a member volunteering to get tased at our Behind the Scenes event at Taser, to the crowds who gathered to see Don Farmer, Patty gave you a front row seat to the action. We may have tried to run away when we saw her with the camera, but she always found the best locations and poses for photos that quickly made us forget our fears. We thank Patty for her many contributions to the ASCPA over the last 22 years and wish her the best in her new adventures in retirement. If you would like to share any special memories or best wishes with Patty, please include them here and we will share them with Patty: l



The Society was a great place to work. My day was never the same — working on the magazine, attending events and meeting members. I will miss all of our great members (CPAs are the best!) and staff. Remember to keep smiling - even when it is someone else taking the pictures! — Patty

Some of Patty’s Favorite Covers

AZ CPA December 2019

AZ CPA October 2016

We Are Jumping for Joy —

See Our New Brand/Logo! And a Sticker Inside for You! (see pg. 8)

What’s New in


Block Chain— Stop Speculating, Start Gravitating Appraisal Review Procedures for Business Valuations

The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants y

Matt Holdsworth CFO, CrossFit, Inc. The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants y

AZ CPA May 2017

Hiking With Tanya

Navigating the New Normal Valuation Discounts in Marital Dissolutions

New Board Members Identity Theft on the Rise The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants y

Three Myths That Hurt Not-forProfit Organizations and How You Can Help by Lisa B. Lumbard, CPA, CGFM In presenting annual audit reports to not-for-profit governing boards over the past 30 years, I ran into many beliefs held by both board members and their donors that can seriously hurt the organization’s ability to fulfill its cherished mission. For those readers who also work with not-for-profits, I suspect you have similar stories of your own or you will in the future! MAY/JUNE 2021 AZ CPA


MYTH ONE — Not-for-profit organizations will lose their taxexempt status if they make a profit This was the loud protest I got from a panicked board member when I presented their organization’s audited financial statements in which they reported a profit. As accountants, we readily understand that an organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit,

cannot provide goods and services without covering costs and making a profit. Many not-for-profits are founded by good-hearted people in response to a need. However, often they do not take into consideration that profits need to be accumulated for such things as: 1. Tax law changes, such as the increase in the standard deduction, that resulted in significant declines in contributions

2. Economic downturns that reduce contributions 3. Capital asset maintenance and replacement 4. Facility, technology and staff expansions needed to meet growth in demand for services 5. Loss of key personnel and volunteers 6. Significant events, like a pandemic which can cause both a spike in demand for services and a simultaneous reduction in revenues. Fortunately, the United States legislature understood the necessity for profit accumulation. Between 1894 and 1969, Congress developed the basic principles and requirements of tax exemptions for charitable and voluntary organizations. You will note throughout this article that I use the terminology “not-forprofit” organizations rather than “nonprofits,” because organizations cannot survive unless they do make a profit. Some in the profession propose that it might be even clearer to simply refer to such organizations as “tax-exempt.”

MYTH TWO — The lower a not-forprofit organization’s management and general costs ratio, the better the organization As auditors and accountants, you know the dangers of inadequate internal controls. However, this myth persists among donors, and the not-forprofits to which they contribute often perpetuate the myth by bragging about their low overhead. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review — The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle: Organizations that build robust infrastructure –which includes sturdy information technology systems, financial systems, skills training, fundraising processes and other essential overhead – are more likely to succeed than those that do not. In 2014, GuideStar, Charity Navigator and BBB Wise Giving Alliance issued two public letters to not-forprofits and donors asking for help in debunking this damaging myth. The letters boldly state that financial ratios



are not a proxy for overall nonprofit performance and not-for-profits need to manage with a focus on results. In 2016, the president of the National Council of Nonprofits indicated that the overhead norm should be 25 to 35 percent. Since then, I have seen recommendations as high as 43 percent, which might be appropriate for exempt organizations that rely largely on nonprofessional volunteer services that do not meet the revenue and expense reporting criteria under generally accepted accounting principles. Note: If your organization meets the thresholds for rating by Charity Navigator, check their website for all of their financial rating criteria. Personally, any charity that claims “99 cents out of every dollar we get goes directly to programs” will not get a dime of donation from me because I will assume they are either lying or have no internal controls!

MYTH THREE — Not-for-profit organizations will lose their taxexempt status if they do any lobbying This myth is also connected to the misconception that our legislators understand not-for-profit organizations and how essential they are to the social, physical and economic wellbeing of our country. From my personal attendance at legislative hearings, I can assure you many do not! Therefore, legislators need to be informed. Additionally, the legislators who are bold enough to propose legislation that helps not-forprofits need support at the hearings for their bills. The IRS Form 990 defines lobbying, requires the costs of such activities to be reported on Schedule C and allows for election under Section 501(h) to define specific thresholds for organizations who spend more than minor amounts on such activities. Clearly, lobbying is allowed. However, it is true that 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in a political campaign for (or against) any candidate for elective public office.

Not-for-Profit Virtual Conference Webcast Only

June 24, 2021

Get up to speed on the most pressing issues facing notfor-profit organizations today. Topics Include: Not-For-Profit Frauds and the Pandemic Telling Your Story via Form 990 Audit and Accounting Update Lessons Learned in Revenue Recognition Investment Policy Design in a Muted-Return Environment Care and Feeding of Your Not-for-Profit Leadership Elegant Financial Systems Design An Update From Washington Charitable Gaming: House Rules & Limits Single Audit Update Finance Team of the Future: How to Use Your Data to Lead and Be More Resilient Thanks to Our Sponsors: Platinum

Gold CBIZ & MHM • CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) Henry+Horne • Heinfeld Meech & Co., P.C. Your Part-Time Controller LLC

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Did you know that the initial emergency legislation drafted to address the massive business closures from the COVID-19 pandemic left out not-for-profit employers? Thanks to the lobbying work of the National Council of Nonprofits and their state members, including the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, this situation was partially corrected so at least small not-for-profits could participate in the

initial Paycheck Protection Program. There is still much work to be done to educate the Federal and State legislators. The devastating impact of the increased standard deduction on contributions and the horrific costs of unemployment taxes on those not-forprofits who had elected to self-insure because they had such low turnover prior to the pandemic mandated shut downs are just two such issues.

If you work in a not-for-profit organization, you are in a position to educate their leadership that lobbying is indeed permitted. If they are new to lobbying, please advise them to discuss their options and limitations with their Form 990 preparer and/or auditor. As experienced CPAs, many key concepts like the importance of making a profit and maintaining strong internal controls in providing any service or product seem obvious to us. However, what is obvious to us, may not be obvious to many of the other good-hearted people involved in charitable organizations. Whether you are working with a not-for-profit organization as the CFO, accountant, treasurer or independent auditor, you have a valuable perspective that is of significant benefit to the not-for-profit organization! l Lisa B. Lumbard, CPA, CGFM is the founder of Lumbard Consulting, LLC which provides not-for-profit leadership training and consulting. For 25 years, her previous firm, Lumbard & Associates, PLLC, provided single audit and other attestation services to local governments and not-for-profit organizations throughout Arizona. She currently serves on the Arizona State Board of Accountancy, the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Public Policy Committee and as subject matter expert, Valleywise Health Finance, Audit & Compliance Committee and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Finance Committee. Contact Lisa B. Lumbard at

Lisa Lumbard will be presenting on the topic: The Care and Feeding of Your Not-for-Profit Leaders at the ASCPA Virtual Not-for-Profit Conference on June 24. You can register at



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ASCPA Annual Conference Nov. 9-10, 2021

We are combining several conferences into a new annual conference event! You will benefit from a larger conference experience including more networking and webcasted breakouts, while still receiving the quality specialty content you have come to expect from us. Planning is happening now and more detail will be shared in the coming weeks.

Specialty Tracks: Arizona Federal Tax Institute Technology for Accounting, Accounting & Assurance, Financial Planning, Business Valuation and Forensic & Litigation Services, Leadership & Growth Alliance, Corporate Finance, Construction 18


New Conference Provides More Networking and Educational Opportunities by Jessica Iennarella, CPA To my fellow ASCPA members, I want to take this opportunity to tell you why you should be excited about the upcoming ASCPA Annual Conference. The conference combines a few past ASCPA conference under one roof, making it a more rewarding networking experience. Build Your Own Agenda: Over the last few years, each conference planning team has had the challenging task of creating an agenda specific to their area of practice, while also addressing those same member’s needs. For highly technical conferences, participants have been asking for more general topics, such as economic updates or leadership sessions. For more general conferences, participants have a challenge taking the time to attend without the benefit of more specific technical training. The new format addresses those concerns by allowing participants to essentially build their own agenda. Want a submersion in the tax world – you can attend tax classes all day. Have a hard time staying focused on a full day of technical training? You can attend a leadership seminar. Curious about a different practice area but don’t want to commit to attending an entire day to learning about it? Add one of those courses to your conference agenda. The Annual Conference will also include general sessions meant for all attendees – everyone will have access to that economic update! Centralized Location & Flexible Viewing Options: Due to fluctuations in attendance, selecting an appropriate venue size has become complicated. By combining previous stand-alone conferences into tracks within the Annual Conference, the ASCPA is able to utilize Desert Willow Conference Center – a centrally located and versatile location. For those who will not yet be comfortable attending in person or who don’t have the ability to attend in person, the conference will also be webcast. In addi-

tion, the ASCPA will also be recording sessions for later viewing by attendees. While CPE credit will only be offered for sessions watched at the time of the conference, attendees will still be able to access all the great content from the sessions they had to miss from the day. The new format and recording of sessions provides conference attendees with truly all-inclusive access to material presented that day, as well as flexible viewing options. Networking Opportunities: One of my favorite parts of attending any conference or all-day training is the opportunity to network with my fellow CPAs. By offering programming for multiple audiences in one day, one goal of this new format is to provide attendees with access to a greater diversity of members than offered at stand-alone conferences. This profession can be challenging at times, particularly of late with so many changes flying fast and furious. Come connect with others who can relate and have the chance to pick up a new tip, create a referral source or forge a relationship with someone you can float ideas by (or maybe vent to occasionally). As chair of the Leadership & Growth Alliance, I am extremely excited by the programming change and hope to see you all there! l Jessica Iennarella, CPA, is controller at the State Bar of Arizona. She is a past ASCPA Board Member and chair of the Leadership & Growth Alliance. She can be reached at





Build A Successful Investment Policy Statement for Your Nonprofit Organization by Frank Sutton, CFA An investment policy statement (IPS) provides a roadmap for managing your organization’s investments and spending over time. When carefully crafted, an IPS can help you define your investment philosophy and process. Why do I need an IPS? The overriding reason for having an IPS is that it is a plan that can be followed in all market environments. The IPS is essentially a blueprint for portfolio management. This document promotes investment strategy continuity over time even as board members may rotate on and off the board. A well designed IPS will include the fundamental objectives of your organization’s portfolio. This should include guidelines to help ensure your organization’s investments are managed consistently with your short- and long-term goals and objectives. By memorializing a portfolio management framework, the IPS enables your board members and investment advisors to carry out their duties with confidence. For example, it will help board members fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities such as the “duty of care” provision of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act.

Another great reason for having an IPS is that it demonstrates to donors that the funds they contribute are being prudently managed.

What are Key Elements of an IPS? Every IPS should include a few important components. A Statement of Purpose is often the first section of the statement. It should be a clear and concise description of your organization and its mission, and how the portfolio supports that mission. This overview can set the tone for the specifics within the body of the document. A section covering Delegation of Authority should describe the roles and responsibilities of board members, committees, staff, custodian and outside advisors. The board of directors typically has final authority but may delegate all or part of its responsibility. The IPS should provide accountability for decision making at all levels, including approval of changes to the IPS itself. The IPS should also communicate the Investment Philosophy of your organization. You may have a specific, written philosophy, or it may be that the overall IPS conveys the collective attitude of board members toward investment management issues.



Clear and realistic investment objectives are an essential part of the IPS. Nonprofits should describe the shortand long-term goals of the portfolio. A realistic understanding of the return and risk potential of major asset classes is essential to avoid disappointment later. The investment goal of the portfolio is an important question that should be answered. The goal may include an emphasis on capital preservation, consistency of payout, real return, maximum long-term growth, etc. Risk Tolerance should be outlined in your IPS. Many organizations spend significant time on determining the return target for a portfolio, however the other side of that coin is the risk that is being assumed for a given return



target. The ability of an organization to tolerate investment volatility and illiquidity should be carefully considered. In addition to volatility and illiquidity, other metrics to measure risk may also be considered such as beta, value at risk, tracking error, maximum drawdown, etc. An organization may have specific requirements or limits on illiquid investment strategies and these should be included. Any specific investment restrictions desired by the organization may be included. You may wish to enumerate diversification requirements, and also any prohibited investments. Of course it is important to assign responsibility for monitoring risks and reporting any violations of risk parameters.

If your organization has a Spending Policy, it is helpful to include this or a reference to it in your IPS. The two policies should work hand in hand as spending goals are an important consideration for the return target and risk tolerance of the investment portfolio. Carefully balance the spending policy and the portfolio’s ability to generate the required return with an acceptable level of risk. One of the most important components of an IPS is a Framework for Asset Allocation. Traditionally a table is used with a list of major asset classes (US Equity, International Equity, Fixed Income, Real Estate, etc.) and the target allocation, as well as an allowable range for each asset class. There should also

be a discussion of rebalancing procedures around the targets. The document should provide guidelines within which the portfolio will operate, along with flexibility to manage within a wide range of investment environments. These targets are meant to be longterm oriented and therefore shouldn’t be changed frequently. However, they should be reviewed annually to ensure continued alignment with organizational goals and the current capital market environment. A discussion about how portfolio performance will be measured (Benchmarking) should be included. The total portfolio’s benchmark should be based on the target asset allocation to create an objective way to evaluate relative performance during any type of market environment. Specific benchmarks should be used to evaluate asset classes and individual investment solutions. Asset managers and advisors should be given a good understanding of monitoring and reporting requirements. There should be language in the IPS covering how and when third party advisors and money managers will be engaged. This section includes the criteria for hiring and terminating an advisor, consultant or manager and the details need to be tied to the specific type of advice being sought.

Additional Considerations and Recommendations You may wish to prohibit certain investment strategies or security types. Caution should be used when broadly excluding investment strategies. Don’t corner your organization by being specific unless that is exactly what you intend. You may inadvertently rule out strategies that your external managers/ fund employ routinely. Examples often include securities lending, the use of derivatives, the use of leverage or the use of commodity contracts. It is common for the prospectuses of mutual funds to specifically allow such strategies and securities. Many non-profits will include a discussion of strategies or unique investment restrictions based on the

charitable mission targeted by the organization. This generally will fall under the umbrella of sustainable investing or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). ESG is rapidly growing in popularity, and there has also been an expansion of the definition and an increase in the potential implementation methods. Years ago, the most common approach was to exclude certain sectors (such as tobacco or firearms) from a portfolio based on an organization’s values. There is now a wide spectrum of ESG investing strategies such as exclusion, integration, thematic and impact investing. Organizations that wish to include ESG criteria in an IPS should carefully evaluate ESG investing approaches in light of organizational values. Then select an approach or combination of approaches that aligns with those values. Once an IPS is established, there should also be a plan to review the policy regularly. Organizational circumstances change and the investment environment is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is important to ensure that

the policy remains relevant and effective with periodic updates. As a “living breathing” document, your Investment Policy Statement will remain a valuable governance tool for your board of directors and will help ensure that your investment portfolio helps advance your organizational goals. l Frank Sutton, CFA, is a senior portfolio manager at Northern Trust. He can be reached at

Frank Sutton will be presenting on the topic: Investment Policy Design in a MutedReturn Environment at the ASCPA Virtual Not-for-Profit Conference on June 24. You can register at npc21.

Be one with us, not one of many. At Schellman, our mission is to connect with talented IT Audit & Cybersecurity professionals. It’s about relationships, not just numbers.



were $16,012,587. In comparison, Colorado’s medical marijuana sales in January 2021 were $35.9 million. As of February 2021, there were 312,321 medical marijuana active cardholders of which 301,612 are qualified patients. Of the qualified patients, 67% reside in Maricopa County, 13% in Pima County and 20% amongst the other counties. The number of qualifying patients increased 33% from February 2020 and 57% from February 2019.

Adult Use

ASCPA Cannabis Special Interest Section Update

High Expectations Lead to High Achievement in the Cannabis Sector by Josephine Giordano, CPA, ABV, CFE, CFF, CBA, ASA, CDBV, CIRA, CICA, CTP, CCCE Expectations are high as we forge into 2021. To quote American inventor Charles F. Kettering: “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” The Cannabis Special Interest Section was formed to bring education and information to Arizona CPAs to better serve clients while protecting the public in this burgeoning cannabis and hemp industry. Research shows that in 2020, Americans purchased $18.3 billion worth of cannabis products, a 71% increase over 20191. The U.S. cannabis industry is estimated to be worth $61 billion and projected to be worth $100 billion by the year 2030.2

Medical Marijuana Program According to reports filed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Arizona medical marijuana stores sold 211,557 pounds of product in 2020, a 28% increase from the 165,722 pounds sold in 2019. According to the Leafly Job Report 2021, Arizona medical sales in 2020 topped $1 billion. In January and February 2021, a total of 31,482 pounds of product were sold compared to 30,189 and 23,350 pounds sold in those two months of 2019 and 2018, respectively. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue’s (ADOR) Office of Economic Research, medical marijuana retail sales for January 2021



As of March 15, 2021, there were 130 licenses approved for recreational sales. According to communications with ADHS, data (pounds sold) for adult-use are not required to be reported. According to ADOR’s Office of Economic Research and Analysis, for the partial month of January, adult use marijuana sales reported were $2,904,762 with TPT and excise taxes collected of $226,355 and $511,520, respectively. ADOR expects that the quantity of adult-use marijuana sold will be reported at a later date.

Job Growth According to the Leafly Job Report 2021 3, the legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs in the U.S. in 2020. It was estimated that Arizona added 5,648 cannabis jobs in 2020, an increase of 37% from 2019. Arizona ranked fourth out of the top 10 states by cannabis-related jobs in 2020. The states that ranked above Arizona, with respect to the number of cannabis jobs, included California, Colorado and Florida.

Tax Court Cases On February 17, 2021, the U.S. Tax Court published its opinion, San Jose Wellness (“SJW”) v. Commissioner. As a result of the Tax Court’s opinion, SJW, a subsidiary of Harborside, was ordered to pay tax deficiencies plus penalties of approximately $4.2 million on business deductions improperly claimed for tax years 2010-2012, 2014 and 2015. The judge in this case cites a prior Tax Court opinion decided in 2019 (Patients Mutual

Assistance Collective Corp v. Commissioner) where the Tax Court rejected the argument that 280E should not apply to legal marijuana businesses that also sell other goods and services.4

M&A Activity Cannabis merger and acquisition deals are on the rise throughout the U.S. Adult-use legalization in Arizona is expected to contribute its fair share of transaction activity. In March 2021, Verano Holdings Corp., a multi-state cannabis company, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire control of Patient Alternative Relief Center, Inc. d/b/a Local Joint, a dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona. The total consideration includes cash consideration of $13.5 million, with $10 million payable on the closing date and a $3.5 million promissory note payable within 120 days after the closing date, and stock consideration of $3.5 million payable in Class A subordinate voting shares of the company.5 In March 2021, Item 9 Labs Corp, a vertically integrated cannabis operator and dispensary franchisor headquartered in Arizona, announced the closing of its acquisition of ONE Cannabis Group, parent company of cannabis dispensary franchise Unity Rd.6

Banking Banking institutions are faced with many challenges in the cannabis sector that necessitate dedicated adequate resources to mitigate risk and monitor compliance. In March 2021, a small credit union in Michigan was penalized for alleged compliance failures involving the cannabis industry. Credit union management acknowledged reliance on manual compliance processes and missed/late suspicious activity report (SAR) filing. 7 If you recall back in February 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) issued guidelines – “BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses” - to banks and credit unions who provide services to the cannabis industry. This guidance included establishing best practices

for customer due diligence, a SAR filing structure, and ways to identify marijuana-related businesses (MRB) red flags.8 On March 18, 2021, a safe banking bill for 2021 (H.R. 1996) was introduced in the House of Representatives “to provide protections for financial institutions that provide financial services to cannabisrelated legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.”9 The bill sponsors

acknowledge that by operating largely in cash, businesses are assuming huge risks making them more susceptible to theft and are more difficult to audit. Days later, a bill to protect banks that service state-legal marijuana businesses from being penalized by federal regulators was reintroduced in the Senate.10

Hemp Update In January 2020, Hemp Industry Daily reported that Arizona producers,


Arizona companies and CTSO:

There is still time to change lives! Donate by April 15th! In low-income families, many bright, deserving students are shut out of college simply because their families can’t afford it...and high school dropout rates are often over 50%. But with the help of companies across Arizona, many of these children are getting an exceptional education that is changing their lives! Over the past 20+ years, CTSO has given over 70,000 children in low-income families over $124 million in scholarships. 99% of those students are graduating high school! 98% are college bound! If your client’s company might want to help, we’d love to talk!

If you have a client whose company might like to join us in changing children’s lives, please give Bill Osteen a call at 520.838.2573 or Gracie Marum at 520.838.2571.We’d love to meet with you!



along with farmers across the U.S., had to destroy their 2019 crops after the plants tested positive for elevated levels of THC. It was estimated then that 41% of Arizona’s hemp plants tested above the 0.3% legal THC limit.11 In January 2021, the USDA published its final regulations, which became effective on March 22, 2021, for the production of industrial hemp in the U.S. The final rule includes raising the acceptable threshold that differentiates industrial hemp from illegal marijuana. The negligence threshold increased from 0.5% to 1.0% giving farmers wider protection, while creating a more viable industrial hemp industry.12 However, the negligence threshold does not change the fact that crops exceeding the 0.3% THC limit still need to be destroyed.

Looking Forward Arizona’s high expectations of growth, along with the cannabis industry’s

continuous financial, operational and legal challenges, provides a multitude of opportunities for CPAs and other professionals to guide Arizona’s cannabis industry in realizing its highest achievement. l

Endnotes: 1. 2. 3.

Josephine Giordano, CPA, ABV, CFE, CFF, CBA, ASA, CDBV, CIRA, CICA, CTP, CCCE is a director in the Financial Forensics and Business Valuation Group of BeachFleischman PC, chairperson of the ASCPA’s Cannabis Special Interest Section and author of ASCPA’s Monthly Update enewsletter’s Bud Brief column. Giordano has extensive experience as a financial professional, with a diversified background in audit, banking, tax, business valuation, fraud investigation and forensic accounting, bankruptcy, restructuring and turnaround, expert witness and other litigation support services. She can be reached at or (602) 792-5981.





8. 9. 10.




AZ CPA MAY/JUNE 2021 cannabis-jobs-report https://leafly-cms-production. news/first-penalty-for-pot-bankingviolations-lands-on-credit-union NAFCU Issue Brief – Marijuana Banking, December 2020 h t t p s : / / w w w. c o n g r e s s . g o v / bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1996 https://www.marijuanamoment. net/marijuana-banking-bill-reintroduced-in-senate-with-nearly-athird-of-the-chamber-signed-on/ arizona-climate-blamed-for-off-thecharts-thc-failure-in-first-hempcrops

Phoenix Tax Workshop Series 24 Hours of Live CPE for $375 * Added Bonus for purchasing 2021-22 Phoenix Tax Workshop Series! You will gain access to all 2021-22 recorded sessions for later viewing.

Who’s on the agenda? Presentation topics are selected and then matched with the expertise of speakers drawn from the Advisory Committee, members of the Legislature and Arizona government.

The Phoenix Tax Workshop was established in 1961 to educate professionals in all areas of taxation—federal, state and local. We invite you to join this elite group of tax professionals at their Saturday CPE/CLE sessions (eight times per year). This series is also offered as a webcast.

What is the Advisory Committee? The Advisory Committee is comprised of the Valley’s top legal and tax accounting professionals who have agreed to volunteer their time.

What does it cost? The annual fee of $375 (due by the first meeting in May) includes the opportunity to earn 24 hours of CPE/CLE credit per year, by attending eight, three-hour meetings. You may attend individual meetings for $70. (Payment can be applied toward annual fee if you decide to enroll in the series). To enroll in the Phoenix Tax Workshop Series, complete the registration form below or register online at

Meeting dates and times The following Saturday meetings are held at the ASCPA offices in Phoenix from 9 a.m. to noon.* (*Some may be webcast only.) You may participate by webcast from your home or office.

What’s on the agenda? Topics are drawn from current tax issues, court cases and current legislation on both federal and state arenas. You will have the opportunity to take part in question and answer sessions to ensure you leave with a complete understanding of the material. Updated agendas will be sent prior to each meeting and will be available in the online CPE catalog. Check periodically for updated information.

Name ___________________________________________ Company ________________________________________ Address ________________________________________ City ___________________State _____ Zip ___________ Phone __________________ Fax ____________________ Email ___________________________________________ Check all that apply: r ASCPA Member r Nonmember r CPA r Not a CPA r Attorney r Other I will be attending: r In-person r On Webcast

July 17, 2021

Jan. 15, 2022

Aug. 21, 2021

Feb. 19, 2022

Sept. 25, 2021

April 23, 2022

Oct. 23, 2021 Nov. 20, 2021

Method of Payment:

r Check r VISA r MasterCard r American Express Name on Card _______________________________ Card Number ________________________________ Exp. Date ____________ Amount $ Signature of Card Holderr______________________ Please return this form and payment to: Arizona Society of CPAs 4801 E. Washington St., Ste. 180 Phoenix, AZ 85034 Fax credit card orders to: (602) 252-1511 or register online at MAY/JUNE 2021 AZ CPA 27

Your CPA Community Standing Strong Last year, your practice, connections and resilience were tested. The ASCPA committed to turning the tide with you by advocating for the CPA profession and providing you with community to maximize your growth.

Your ASCPA Membership Maximizes Your Growth During Adversity The ASCPA focused on providing you with exclusive virtual learning opportunities to maximize your growth during a challenging year. Some of these exclusive opportunities included free webinars like COVID-19 Crisis Tax Update with Ed Zollars and the CARES Act The Aftermath with Ed Zollars. With nearly 1,000 attendees, these timely and relevant programs provided our CPA community with vital information.

COVID-19 Crisis Tax Update with Ed Zollars

Industry-specific conferences were entirely virtual to provide a safe environment that focused on your educational needs. This massive shift demonstrated that the ASCPA is prepared to make any necessary changes to maximize your growth.

Your ASCPA Membership Strengthens the CPA Profession The ASCPA is the voice for the CPA profession in Arizona. With your support, the ASCPA engages with lawmakers and regulators, and they listen, knowing we speak for the profession.

End of Year Tax Party



Last year, the CPA profession faced severe opposition at the Arizona Legislature. Bills that would have devalued your CPA credential and created a public majority of members on the Arizona State Board of Accountancy (ASBA) were introduced in a one-size-fits-all approach. The ASCPA’s advocacy team immediately connected with legislators to educate them on ASBA’s important work and the value of the CPA credential. With CPA members’ collective voice, we successfully navigated the political process, amending the legislation to exclude the CPA profession.

Some of the ASCPA’s advocacy achievements include: • Successfully defending against one-size-fits-all legislation that would devalue your CPA certificate • Passage of efficiency and streamlining legislation for ASBA (SB 1131), brought forward and championed by the ASCPA • Ensuring CPAs were included among essential services during the stay-at-home order • Engagement in occupational licensing reform legislation • Education of lawmakers on federal income tax conformity and tax policy • Meetings with legislative leaders, Governor Ducey and political parties

Facebook’s Member Mondays

Your ASCPA Membership is Your Connection to the CPA Profession In a year where in-person contact was impossible, the ASCPA brought the CPA Community together by offering fun and engaging virtual networking and learning opportunities. ASCPA Connect Site The use of the ASCPA Connect site increased and served as an invaluable resource during 2020. This dynamic, members-only discussion forum is an excellent way to collaborate with your colleagues and find answers to pressing questions. Join the conversation at

Spooktacular Networking Event

Virtual Networking Events At the End of Tax Season Party, members learned from each other’s struggles, triumphs and shared resources while celebrating the end of a long tax season. During the ASCPA Virtual Initiation, new ASCPA members had a chance to learn about their membership through the experiences shared by ASCPA Champion members. This event was an excellent way to connect members with resources and colleagues. At the ASCPA Spooktacular Event, attendees learned how to make spooky cocktails and mocktails, shared accounting horror stories and participated in a virtual costume contest!

Renew Your Membership at | Call: (602) 252-4144. If you have questions, please email:

Thank you for your membership and continued support. We are stronger together. MAY/JUNE 2021 AZ CPA


Classifieds Business Opportunities

Arizona CPA Foundation for Education & Innovation Donors Thank you to our members for your generous contributions to the Arizona CPA Foundation for Education & Innovation in 2020. Your donations support accounting students on their path to becoming CPAs. $5,000 Deloitte $1,000 AICPA Virginia E. DeSanto $500 Rachael A. Bertrandt Crump Rufus Glasper Richard C. Hornung James S. McGettigan Bruce J. Nordstrom Gidget S. Schutte Leslie B. Stackpole $100-$400 Craig Capirchio George M. Cohen Keith B. Cowan Kelly K. Damron Scott A. Donaldson Thomas F. Duensing Patricia J. Elder Paul R. Fannin LeRoy M. Gaintner Vincent R. Gosz Ross M. Grainger Cynthia Hays Jessica R. Iennarella Adela E. Jimenez Ayo Jordan-Jones Mark Landy James F. Magrogan, Sr. Phillip J. Martens Keith J. Miller W. Gregory Nelson



CW Payne Karen B. Quick David H. Richardson Tess L. Ridgway Maria Elena P. Rivas Stephanie Sandro Carolyn S. Sechler Richard M. Shapiro Layne R. Simmons Monica J. Stern Nancy Thomas Lynette R. Wachterhauser Randy D. Wagner

$50-$99 John Allis, III Gilbert B. Blumenthal John T. Dallmus James V. Danovich Chris W. Ludwig Lisa B. Lumbard Scott R. Meyer Susan M. Mortenson Michael J. Suriano Susan D. Vines Michael A. Zongolowicz Andrea B. Levy Thank you also to our members who donated other amounts throughout the year and with their annual dues renewal. To learn more and donate, go to

TEMPE CPA FIRM FOR SALE ($850,000 Revenue) — Tempe-based CPA firm for sale. Firm provides tax preparation, write-up (preparation of financial statement engagements only) and payroll processing services. Approx. 47% tax, 45% write up, 8% payroll/1099 processing. No compilations, reviews, or audits. Owners will facilitate transition but will not transfer. Successful practice development program in place and available to continue with new owners. For additional information contact Asking price $1,050,000. Employment FINANCIAL CONTROLLER — Christian Family Care — Looking for a Financial Controller to be responsible for our finances. Goals are to maximize the health of our organization, perform data analysis and advise leadership on ways to properly steward expenditures and revenues. Create financial reports, investment strategies and long-term financial goals. Oversight of all finance, accounting and reporting activities including cash management policies, day-to-day operations of annual budget and supervision of accounting staff. Oversee preparing of reports required by governing entities and audits. Requirements: Bachelors’ degree in related field, MBA preferred. 10+ years experience in management role. CPA preferred. Knowledge in non-profit preferred.

For classified advertising, go to and click on classfieds.

AZ CPA Quick Quiz You’ve Read It, Now Get Credit Take this quiz on AZ CPA content online or submit this hard copy. Receive a score of 70 percent or more and earn one hour of CPE credit in specialized knowledge. It’s that easy! Fees: Members: $25 Nonmembers: $40 Online Access Go to to access links to all active quizzes. Once a quiz is purchased, a link and password will be emailed to you. Your results will be sent immediately after completion, and certificates are emailed within two business days. Hard Copy Please select one answer for each question. Fill out registration/payment information below and mail or fax to the Society office. Quiz results and certificates will be emailed to the address provided on the registration form. *This quiz will be available until June 2022. Please note that users have three attempts to pass the quiz with at least a 70 percent score.

May/June 2021 Issue of AZ CPA* 1. This month’s Chair’s message is written by ... m ASCPA Chair Tom Duensing m AICPA Chair Barry Melancon m ADOR Director Carlton Woodruff 2. Who received this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award? m Katie Perry m Katie Klewer m Katie Maxwell 3. What long-time ASCPA employee retired in April? m Patty Davis m Patty Rife m Patty Benatar 4. Not-for-profit organizations will lose their tax-exempt status if they make a profit. m True m False 5. Lisa Lumbard writes that she is suspicious of a not-for-profit that claims: m They give 99 cents out of every dollar to their program

m They make a profit m They participate in lobbying

6. What does the acronym IPS stand for? m Internal Process Server m Investment Policy Statement m Investment Process Statement

7. According to Frank Sutton, one of the most important components of an IPS is the: m Benchmark Worksheet m Taxable Table m Framework for Asset Allocation 8. It was estimated that Arizona added how many cannabis jobs in 2020? m 5,648 m 15,648 m 20,856 9. In March, what bill was introduced “to provide protections for financial institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers for such businesses, and for other purposes.” m H.R. 420 m H.R. 1602 m H.R. 1996 10. Some of the ASCPA’s advocacy achievements include: m Successfully defending against legislation that would devalue your CPA certificate m Ensuring CPAs were included among essential services during the stay-at-home order m All of the above and more

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2021-2022 Annual ASCPA Membership Dues Renewal It is renewal time! If you haven’t already done so, you may use this form to send your renewal payment. Select Dues Category: r Industry or Public Practice....................................... $295 r Government or Educators........................................$220 r Candidate (passed CPA exam, not certified).... $295 r Affiliate (Non-CPA)..................................................... $315

r *Retired................................................................. $80 r **Leave of Absence (CPA).............................. $80 r Unemployed....................................................... .$80 r Full-Time Student............ ............................. ....$65

*Retired: Any person who is a CPA, licensed under the laws of any state, or persons who have passed the uniform examination for CPAs may apply. These individuals are completely retired from the accounting practice. **Leave of Absence: Any persons who is a CPA, licensed under the laws of any state or persons who have passed the uniform examination for CPAs may apply. These individuals are currently not working (maternity, military leave, disability).

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Save an additional 15% on CPE when you renew on or before May 31, 2021!

Renew Online: By Check: Return invoice and make check payable to ASCPA Mail to: 4801 E. Washington St., Ste. 180, Phoenix, AZ 85034 Credit Card: Fax payment to (602) 252-1511 or Call (602) 252-4144 Your membership will auto-renew annually. We’ll remind you about the upcoming payment via email. You can update your payment information or cancel your auto-renewal at any time by logging into ASCPA profile or by calling (602) 252-4144. (ASCPA is PCI Compliant)

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If you have questions, please contact the ASCPA at (602) 252-4144 or email Contributions or gifts of income to associations are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary business expense subject to restrictions imposed as a result of association lobbying activities. The ASCPA estimates that the nondeductible portion of your dues for the period of May 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 is 8.38%.