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News from Your Accounting Association

CPAmerica Advantage Top-10 Global Accounting Expertise –

November 2016 Events Special Issue insert P. 2

You’ve been in this situation before. You need to help a client, but it’s outside of the realm of tax expertise your firm offers. Even the membersharing resources CPAmerica has isn’t exactly what you need. What you need is help from a top-10 firm that has the experience. Since 2014, CPAmerica has been Lou Miller offering member firms access to resources and specialists in the Crowe Horwath LLP National Tax Office (NTO), a leading North American member of Crowe Horwath International, which is ranked among the top 10 global accounting networks. More than 40 percent of our member firms have accessed NTO’s services since the offering’s inception. “With the addition of the NTO offering, CPAmerica members have a unique combination of access to top10 expertise, plus the sharing ability with like-minded firms throughout the country,” said Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica. “I know of no other accounting association in such a position for its members.” Crowe Horwath LLP is a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with a tax services group that is comprised of more than 600 professionals, with 35 members solely dedicated to the NTO. These professionals are accessible to CPAmerica member

firms to consult on complex issues that Member News P. 3 include, but are not limited to: interRISE Inclusion Initiative P. 4 national taxation, expatriate tax, family wealth planning, transfer pricing, nonprofit taxation, mergers and acquisitions, accounting methods and periods, high level partnership issues, and accounting for income taxes. When asked about Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP’s experience with NTO, Tax Partner Dale Treatment of Related-Party Cox said, “It has been a 100 percent positive Debt Instruments experience – we get answers from simple Final and temporary regulations released under questions to full-blown projects we don’t Section 385 on Oct. 13 address have any knowledge of.” the treatment of related-party The firm's members access NTO services debt instruments as equity. five to ten times per month. Once aware of While broad in application, the process, anyone in the firm can contact the final regulations have a narrower application than NTO. the proposed regulations, “We are absolutely surwhich significantly reduces the number of taxpayers prised not every CPAmerica and transactions affected. firm has signed up so far,” Section 385 authorizes the U.S. Cox said. “We have some Department of the Treasury unique issues, but for the to prescribe regulations as most part, every CPAmerica A.J. Schiavone necessary or appropriate to determine whether an interest firm has the same issues.” We asked Lou Miller, tax partner at Crowe in a corporation is treated Horwath LLP, how he felt about this oppor- as stock or indebtedness for purposes of the IRC. Find out more at: www.crowehorwath. See NTO, continued on page 2 com/insights/tax-alert

How Technology Can Help Firms Do Business Internationally CPAmerica Tech Corner - Randy Johnston, NMGI

Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Opportunities are continuing to increase for your clients and firm. Some of these opportunities naturally draw us overseas. If you consider that the European Union has 400 million people and a $17 trillion dollar economy compared to the United States with 300 million people and a $17 trillion dollar economy, you have to believe that some of your clients might have success in Europe. Likewise, with the trend to bring manufacturing back to the United States from China and Mexico, there may be more local opportunity, but the supply chain and potential customers may still be in China. So how do we par-

ticipate? How does technology help? There are some simple choices that your firm can make: 1) recruit and acquire clients directly overseas based on an expertise that you have in your firm, an expensive proposition. 2) Use the relationship with Crowe Horwath International to find clients that fit your expertise. 3) More naturally, you can speak to your existing clients about their international needs and if they have operations in other countries. Determine the client needs and if you can develop an offering to meet those needs. In all three of these approaches,

See Technology, continued on page 2


CPAmerica congratulates Kaylen Saunders on her promotion to Senior Member Services Manager and Sarah Coulson on her promotion to Marketing Program Manager

Kaylen Saunders joined CPAmerica in 2012 after working in training at the University of Florida. She has more than 10 years of experience in professional development training. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Family, Youth and K AYLEN SAUNDERS Community Sciences from the University of Florida, and her Master of Art in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida. In her new role at CPAmerica, Saunders is responsible for functions pertaining to strengthening, developing and maintaining relationships between member firms and CPAmerica, as well as serving as the project lead on the implementation of the association’s website and database upgrade. Sarah Coulson joined CPAmerica in 2014 after working in public relations and marketing at a large national not-for-profit organization. She received her bachelor's in journalism

at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. In her new role, Coulson will develop and maintain marketing strategies, ensuring all communication lines are consistent with brand messaging. Coulson is SARAH COULSON a member of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), serving as a member of AAM’s Email Alert Committee, and she is a member of the Florida Public Relations Association Gainesville Chapter, serving on the board of directors as the director of electronic media.

CPAmerica congratulates Saunders and Coulson on their well-deserved promotions. “We are pleased to retain and recognize a team of highly qualified individuals to support the ongoing needs of our members and the initiatives of the association,” said Vice President of Services Grace Horvath.

NTO, continued from page 1 tunity between CPAmerica member firms and Crowe Horwath LLP’s National Tax Office, and he said, “As the leader of our National Tax Office, I am excited to partner with CPAmerica member firms to broaden the technical expertise that they can bring to their clients,” said Miller. “We expect our relationship to be similar to the relationship that we have with our own practice offices. We enjoy working with member firms and look forward to partnering in the success of CPAmerica.” Miller and other members of the National Tax Office have received numerous success stories. “It was the best money we have spent,” said Carl Harper, partner at Pulakos CPAs, PC. “We have had prompt responses to our questions and received a PowerPoint that we present to clients, comprehensive 3115 templates and updated templates for the new revenue procedures.” Miller described a satisfied member who received assistance with income tax provisions: “A member firm assisted one of its significant clients with its income tax provision that was audited by a Big Four accounting firm. The member firm reached out to us with technical questions regarding the appropriate federal tax treatment of an item ... our tax provision expert was able to quickly assist the member firm with some very complicated technical issues with a quick turnaround.” Miller shared another success story of about a member who received assistance with international restructuring: “A member firm’s client was looking to restructure its interna-

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tional operations. The member firm engaged Crowe to assist with the restructuring transaction in order to assist the company with determining the most efficient tax structure with respect to its foreign operations.” In addition to the on-demand expertise they offer, NTO also provides CPE-qualified bi-monthly webinars, additional webinars that cover specialized topics, and access to Crowe-moderated message board for announcements, weekly tax news highlights and CPE opportunities. This special relationship with NTO is avail able to CPAmerica members for an annual fee of $5,000. Plus, Crowe Horwath LLP will provide a credit for the first $2,500 of professional fees incurred for technical consultations, questions, or various tax services work. “We provide CPE and weekly updates, plus quick and easy access to national experts is worth the small investment,” said Miller. “Even if you never accessed the expertise and only received CPE, that in itself is worth the consideration.” For more information on Crowe Horwath LLP’s National Tax Office, visit: www.cpamerica.org/Member-Benefits/NationalTax-Office. For questions about NTO, please contact CPAmerica President, Alan Deichler, at adeichler@cpamerica.org or at (352) 727-4070. Crowe Horwath LLP will be an exhibitor at the 2016 Tax Conference this November 7-9 in Savannah. Be sure to stop by to speak with National Tax Office Partner, Lou Miller and National Tax Office Director, A.J. Schiavone.

Technology, continued from front page some international travel will be required to build the relationships. After the relationships are established, technology can step in to help. What are some options for using technology in the international market? Options include: 1) Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that you, your client and their global operation can use at the same time in a web browser. 2) Consider traditional software that is hosted that has foreign currency and foreign language support that can be used by your client and your firm. 3) Use Voice over IP (VOIP) and internet communications offerings to reduce the cost of doing business. Sample tools include: Skype, Lync, and GoToMeeting. Consider using USB cameras or the built-in cameras in your laptops to establish a video connection with your clients wherever they are. 4) Enable your remote workers by using remote technologies. Try to carry as little data with you as possible IF you know you can establish remote communications. Unfortunately, many countries do not have sufficient communications speed or quality for you to work online full-time. 5) Choose and use cellular phone technology that is supported globally, or at the very least, is available in the countries that you intend to visit regularly. Cellular data is not common or cheap globally, and your team members may have to work from client networks or hotels carrying their own firewall/switch combination device. 6) Consider supporting technologies that can help your client locally as well as globally. Sample tools in this category might include: document management (paperless), financial reporting – particularly for both locational and roll-up consolidations, fraud detection tools, and encryption. 7) Look for tools that aid in translation to support your work. You’ll find offerings that will trans late text in one language to text in another. Although these applications are not perfect, they are making progress. However, it is good to remember that English is the global technical language. 8) Use trusted labor in alternate markets to time shift tasks or to serve as translators. Consider where you can obtain the appropriate financial and linguistic skills to support your firm and your clients. It is always better to understand the culture and language of any market where you expect to be successful. However, technology is beginning to break down these barriers of language, time and place if you can define your client’s business needs.


Member News

DMJ & Co., PLLC announces acquisition of North Carolina accounting firm Hutchings & Hutchings Member firm , headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., announced that the Durham, N.C. firm of Hutchings & Hutchings Certified Public Accountants, PA (H&H), will become DMJ & Co., PLLC. H&H will assume the DMJ name in November. H&H, a third-generation firm, was established in the 1930s by Philip W. Hutchings, Sr. Philip Hutchings, III became owner in 1984, growing the practice to focus on tax compliPHILIP HUTCHINGS III ance and planning and developing strong relationships among industry leaders and individuals. Philip Hutchings, III will continue with DMJ as principal and all staff positions will be retained. The combined firm will now employ more than 73 people, including 10 partners. “We are very excited to join forces with DMJ,” said Hutchings. “DMJ is a dynamic firm that shares our values and commitment to quality. People come first and DMJ shares this sentiment. It’s important that relationships MIKE GILLIS remain intact.” Mike Gillis, DMJ’s managing partner said, “This commitment speaks volumes about the confidence we have in the growth of our region ... and the firm’s vision and future.”

HK awarded a state of Iowa 2016 Top Workplace by the Des Moines Register

(HK), has been awarded a 2016 Top Workplaces honor by the Des Moines Register. The Top Workplaces lists are based entirely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Greg Burbach, managing partner for HK stated, “What is so special about this recognition is that it is solely based on employee feedback ... We are excited and humbled to be recognized for the fourth time amongst other great companies in our state. We are dedicated to making our firm a great place to work and will continue to do so into the future.”

THF announces 40 Under 40 honoree, new hires and promotions (THF), headquartered in Tallahassee, Fla., announced Michael Kalifeh as being selected as a CPA Practice Advisor “40 Under 40” honoree. The annual 40 Under 40 program seeks to recognize and support professionals who are making a difference and are accomplished leaders in the accounting profession. The hon orees are active within the professional community, as well as within their local community, and focus on shaping the profession for future CPAs and highlighting the importance of accounting. THF also welcomed Seth Grantham and William Groom to the firm. Grantham received his bachelor’s in accounting and master of taxation from Florida State University. While getting his master's, Grantham joined THF as a part-time staff accountant in the Tax Services Department. Groom received a bachelor’s in accounting and one in finance from Florida State University. He then received his master's of taxation from Florida State University. Groom has joined THF as a staff accountant in the Tax Services Department. The firm also congratulates Becca Gilbert on her promotion to director of marketing and business development; Stephen Andrews on his promotion to senior manager in the Tax Services Department; Matt Walker on his promotion to manager in the Assurance Services Department; Kavisha McCranie on her promotion to manager in the Tax Services Department.

Helme chosen as a George Mason University Prominent Patriot

Fairfax, Va.-based announced that Charles F. Helme III, CPA, managing principal, was named a member of the 2016 Class of 20 Prominent Patriots by George Mason University. Each year, the George Mason University School of Business honors an elite group of alumni that CHIP HELME epitomize “The Mason Graduate” as engaged citizens and well-rounded scholars who are prepared to act. Peer-nominated and peer-selected, the 20 Prominent Patriots represent School of Business alumni as the very best in demonstrating citizenship, scholarship, and leadership in their daily lives. Helme is the managing principal of and has been with the firm since 1986. Helme is a 1985 graduate of George Mason University with a BS in accounting.

Stanley, Rodden join Mobile, Alabama-based RTBH

This month, the partners at

, announced that Hillary Stanley joined their team as executive coordinator. Stanley is a 2016 graduate HILLARY STANLEY of the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing management. RTBH also announced that Casey Rodden, CPA, has joined the firm as a senior accountant. Rodden is a 2010 graduate of the University of Memphis CASEY RODDEN and holds a bachelor's in accountancy. He received his CPA accreditation in 2012 and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

MBK brings in young talent as Klassanos, Benson join firm

Holyoke, Mass.-based firm (MBK), welcomed Emily Klassanos and Brian J. Benson to the firm as part of their next generation of talent as associates. Klassanos earned a dual bachelor’s in accounting and marketing from Elms College. She has a unique foundation in EMILY KLASSANOS both technical work and the creative and strategic applications of marketing and market development. Klassanos is currently pursuing her master's in accounting and financial planning. She is a member of MSCPA and the AICPA. Brian J. Benson graduated from Elms College with degrees in accounting and business management. He will begin his journey to an MBA at Elms this fall with a concentration in financial planning, followed by a graduate BRIAN BENSON certificate in public accounting. He is a member of the AICPA and MSCPA. “The culture of the firm grows and evolves with each new addition of talented young people such as Emily and Brian,” said MBK partner Howard Cheney. “They bring vital energy to a staff that is on the precipice of evolution. As a partner, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing our next generation come into their own.”

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From Member Services: Based upon a recent s ea rc h of on l i ne recruiting websites, an average of 360 new job ads seeking experienced accountants are posted each week. The ongoing staffing efforts by firms and their outsourced D'Yãn Davis recruiters can tempt S ENIOR M EM BER S ERVICE S M ANAGER even the most loyal employee, making it increasingly more vital that your team members can envision a successful career at your firm. According to Forbes, winning this new war for talent requires a renewed emphasis on finding new ways of recruiting, onboarding and retaining top talent. In response to the overwhelming need for a variety of diversity and employee engagement efforts to continue to improve the ability to recruit, onboard and retain employees, CPAmerica International has developed the RISE Inclusion Initiative. The materials contained in this program are centered upon a foundation of focused mentorship and career development. RISE is designed to Recruit, Involve, Sustain and Elevate your employees to ensure that each staff member has equal opportunity to develop a successful long-term career with your firm. CPAmerica members who were present at this year’s Leading Partner Retreat and Firm Administration Roundtable in Minneapolis, Minn., were able to hear firsthand about the goals of the RISE Inclusion Initiative which include: • Recruit. Candidates will be drawn

to a firm that shares in each employee’s personal and professional growth by providing a well-defined career path and strong mentorship initiatives. Toolkit elements designed to enhance recruiting efforts include RISE branded table top material for use at recruiting events; a mentorship program which involves all new staff (including interns); and quarterly sharing calls for firm liaisons who are tasked with recruitment and RISE program management. • Involve. Community involvement, customized career development plans and client development training all ensure that each staff member finds success in their individual career while enjoying the support of a cohesive team. The Personal and Professional Development Plan guides each individual through the different methods of participating in community or professional endeavors to create early success as they develop their career with your firm. • Sustain. Transparent expectations, flexible work arrangements and peer support groups encourage an atmosphere in which participants support one another to develop and achieve long-term career goals. By encouraging staff members to work together via mentorship relationships and peer group involvement, we find that loyalty to the firm, your clients and one another continues to strengthen and grow. • Elevate. Employees are encouraged to challenge themselves and take opp or t u n it ie s t o g r o w w it h t he f i r m . Participation in RISE can help develop each individual’s blueprint for success. Staff members who actively participate in the RISE Inclusion Initiative will have quarterly and annual documentation of their career

development efforts, providing a tangible tool to identify high performers and build bench strength for your firm.

To learn more about the RISE Inclusion Initiative, members should go to the RISE page on our website at: https://www. cpamerica.org/Services/RISE-InclusionInitiative. Here, firms can enroll in this complimentary program and download the entire RISE toolkit as well as helpful supplemental documents such as a sample flexible work arrangement policy, standard job expectations, and a sample program rollout presentation.

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11 2016 advantage newsletter final