The Official Publication of ISFFA San Francisco Chapter
ISFFA Mentor: Inspiring
By Shirley Bayani
he first mentors and members orientation kicked off last September 22, 2012 at the San Francisco office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) with the objective of:
Fiscal Tax Cliff
Final Report on IFRS Work Plan
Money in Good Faith
Sharing the organization’s mission and vision and its different committees; Getting to know the mentors and members; Discussing the purpose and mechanics of the mentoring program; Learning the value of coaching and mentoring and the needs of the mentees; Soliciting feedback to help design effective programs/activities to serve members’ needs, Creating possibilities and forming support group Continued on page 6
FROM THE EDITOR
The end of another year is almost here, and as we celebrate this holiday season, we would like to take a few moments to recollect the events that transpired this year as you browse through the pages of this Christmas issue.
Inside this issue:
This year has been remarkable! It’s the birth year of ISFFA’s new chapter, a new avenue to reach out and assist not only Filipinos in Finance and Accounting but the entire community. It has been five months since San Francisco chapter was launched. Since then, the common word in mind is “to empower”, and thus, we “convey” this word as we continue to walk, reach out and spread the word about ISFFA. So far, we have been lucky to have gained traction and more supporters as time goes by.
Cover Story: ISFFA Mentor: Inspiring the Next Generation
Mentoring Matters: The ISFFA Mentor
Snapshots : The First Orientation
ISFFA on the GO!
Career Path: Network with purpose and You won’t Get Worked Up
Members Corner: What Makes ISFFA Different?
Spotted... on the ISFFA Spotlight: CENTEX and Vicki Garchitorena
Tax Flash: 2012 Income Tax Updates
Audit Flash: Final Report on IFRS Work Plan
Finance Matters: Advisors Symposium 2012
Money in Good Faith
The first Member-Mentor Orientation held in September allowed us to present our flagship programs in detail. We have been blessed by the support extended to us by PricewaterhouseCoopers, San Francisco in allowing us to use their facility. Our special thanks to Mr. Don Pintor, PwC Senior Manager and Mr. Rick Gutierrez , WuHoover Partner , in helping us making this event possible. Further, we have been invited to a number of events around the bay area by organizations with similar purposes as ours- East Meets West, Power Ng Pinoy, Filipina Women’s Network, Centexto name a few. Moving forward, we hope to be in continued partnership with organizations that provide any kind of help to Filipino communities. Most recently, a remarkable Tax Seminar was offered to the general “tax-filing” community. Our heartfelt gratitude to Tim Lanigan (Devry University), and of course our generous and gifted mentor, Mr. Danny Raval who offered his great talent and precious time to present important tax updates before the fiscal cliff. As you scan through the latter pages, you will find useful resources and informative articles from our contributors. We are forever grateful to Amy Hill (Robert Half International), John Marquez ( Digitalaga, Inc.) and again, Mr. Danny Raval (Liberty Tax) for their invaluable support. Another year is soon to end, but it’s not the culmination of our journey. Our goal- to empower- has just commenced this year and we hope you will join us as we continue our journey into 2013. In the meantime, let us all enjoy the holidays! Here’s wishing you a very prosperous 2013!
Ryan Dumbrique Production Manager
Emily Enriquez-Patton Evelyn Torres Senior Editors
Rizza Velarde Melissa Garcia Shirley Bayani
Happy Holidays to All! Statements of fact and opinion are made by the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers and members of ISFFA. Articles in this publication contain information in summary form and are intended for general guidance only. They are not intended to be a substitute for detailed research nor the exercise of professional judgment. Neither ISFFA nor ISFFAn: The Next Generation can accept any responsibility for loss brought to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication. On any specific matter, reference should be made to an appropriate advisor.● Publication of an advertisement in the ISFFAn: The Next Generation does not constitute an endorsement of the product or service by ISFFA or ISFFAn: The Next Generation. ● 2
Danny Raval John Marquez Amy Hill Contributors
ISFFAn: The Next Generation
The ISFFA Mentor Who is an ISFFA mentor? An ISFFA mentor is someone who: has sincere desire to be involved in a coaching/ mentoring relationship; listens actively; can empathize; sees solutions and opportunities; can be flexible and open. What are the commitments of an ISFFA mentor? Short-term: Commit to attend a one-time mentoring (speed mentoring) event and/or; Long-term: Commit 3 months to each mentoring relationship (4 hours per month for mentors and 6 hours per month for mentees);
Not promote goods or services from sources in which you have a financial or personal interest; Not to accept and/or solicit fees or commissions; Encourage your mentee to maintain the highest ethical standards; Maintain a high standard of personal and professional conduct with your mentee; Always communicate in a truthful manner; Support the goals of the mentee; Avoid the intent or appearance of unethical or compromising practice in relationships, actions and communications; Accept only assignments qualified by experience and competence; and, Refer mentee/s to ISFFAMentor for issues or questions he/she is unqualified.
Is the program available only for students and young professionals? ISFFA believes that mentors are important regardless of the level of one’s professional career. It gives opportunities for everyone to become a buddy, a coach, sponsor or a relationship partner. ISFFA’s mentoring program also offers flexibility to meet everyone’s need (e.g. a professional from audit can design his/her own mentoring relationships to complement his/her skills and training by getting involved, say, with someone in the private industry or an entrepreneur or tax professional. This program goes beyond a regular networking to noteworthy relationship building.
How do mentors and mentees register in the program? Each mentor and mentee will fill out the Mentor Brief Bio and Mentee Brief Bio forms. Each bio will indicate the career progression and field of expertise of each participant. Mentor will indicate his/her skills that he/she is willing to impart to his/her mentee/s. Mentee will likewise indicate the areas they are seeking help from their mentor. The Mentor Brief Bio forms serve as the mentor and mentee’s registration in the program. How is the mentoring relationship set up? Each mentee will also complete the Mentoring Candidate Self-assessment Questionnaire to assess the need of the mentee and to facilitate the matching process. ISFFA facilitator will introduce the mentee to the mentor via email, telephone, personal introduction or through the speed mentoring program. The mentor will go through the mentoring process with the mentee using the Guide to Setting up the Mentoring Relationship as presented in the Mentors Guide. What are the key tools for managing mentoring relationships? Using selected key tools used by successful coaching/ mentoring professionals, ISFFA has put together some essential tools/models to guide mentors in managing and facilitating mentoring activities. Please refer to key tools in managing mentoring relationships guide while others can share his/her own developed successful key tools to his/her mentees. How does ISFFA monitor the progress of the relationship and effectiveness of the program? There will be two stages of evaluation - midterm and final evaluation. Midterm evaluation is to assess the progress of the relationship and to address any underlying issues or problems that mentor and/or mentee might be experiencing that impact the likelihood of success of the mentoring relationship. Final evaluation is to assess the overall effectiveness of the program and any feedback regarding the relationship and the process. What our mentors and mentees say about ISFFA Leader and ISFFA Mentor? “I think it is important for students like us to receive feedback from professionals with the work experience in the field we are interested in. ISFFA leadership and mentorship program will definitely help us in achieving that goal.” Continued on page 10
SNAPSHOTS: THE FIRST ORIENTATION
THE MENTORING PROGRAM At ISFFA SF’s first “Mentors and Members Orientation at the PwC office in San Francisco
Mentors introduce themselves before the orientation… Cynthia Sanchez, John Marquez, Don Pintor, Rick Gutierrez, Gilbert Cabrera, Jenny Vanta, Danny Raval and Jeffrey Delgado.
The Speed Mentoring
Speakers talk about mentoring and diversity. Both mentors and members listen to the talks presented by PwC’s speakers—Frederick Eisenhart and Moire Rasmussen.
Mentors and members enjoy their “speed dating” style mentoring session. This small interaction facilitates the mentor-mentee matching process.
ISFFA on the GO! At the Becker Career Fair. From top left: Ryan Dumbrique, Lyn Naira, Mel Garcia, Maki Chan,. Seated from left: Mai Enriquez, John Marquez
ISFFA SF President Emily Enriquez presents ISFFA’s mission and vision to FILPABA (Filipino Professionals and Business Association.
Power ng Pinoy invites ISFFA -SF on its 2nd season launch and Jessica Cox Fundraising event.
Out and about ISFFA San Francisco Chapter attended events and activities.
ISFFA -SF attends East Meets West Dinner. From Left: Rizza Velarde, Mai Enriquez, Mitch Franco, Mel Garcia, Shirley Bayani
ISFFA attends the Fil-Am Thanksgiving and Victory party.
ISFFA -SF meets FWN’s President Marilyn Mondejar.
COVER STORY Continued from page 1
Members were presented with an overview of the functions of the following committees: Sponsorship, Website & Newsletter, Events & Conventions, CPE, Membership & Student Relations, Mentoring & Community Services. These committees are responsible for carrying out ISFFA’s mission and vision through the programs and activities they undertake that benefit the members. One of the flagship programs is the mentor program wherein professionals in the Finance and Accounting have access to more experienced individuals who can give personal guidance and direction on issues affecting the members’ professional career. It connects members with distinguished mentors handpicked from various fields and industries. These mentors provide coaching and counseling to professionals through long term or short term interactions. Through reaching out to the mentors, ISFFA strengthens its relationships and continues the development of emerging students and professionals, which is the cornerstone of its mission. At the orientation, the host mentor is Don Pintor, Assurance Senior Manager - Private Company Services of PwC, San Francisco. Don has been with PwC since 2003 with international assignments such as in Amsterdam and Netherlands. He was also one of the ‘Mapping the Future’ panelists during the launching of ISFFA SF Chapter. Two prominent guest speakers from PwC, Frederick Eisenhart, SF Audit Partner/Sacramento Market Leader and Moire Rasmussen Diversity Leader, SF and Sacramento Offices also participated in the orientation. Fred talked about his own perspective as a PwC partner in dealing professionally with diversity in a large organization, as well as his experiences in mentoring Filipinos and staff from other cultural backgrounds. He also shared PwC’s own system of empowering their team members by having a buddy, coach and relationship partner. On the other hand, Moire, as a certified coach with a Strategic Professional Human Resource certification, discussed about the diversity challenges and best practices. Participants were inspired by Moire’s personal story of discovering her passion for human resource empowerment. Her presentation led to the realization of the difference between coaching and sponsorship and how both complement each other in empowering individuals and the community. Likewise, she has also inspired the participants about the value of building relationships to enhance sponsorship opportunities and empowerment. The speed-mentoring program was also introduced, which aims to give mentees direct and one-on-one interaction with the mentors, where mentors share different perspectives to a presented question, facilitate the matching process and provide an alternative method to mentors who are not able to commit to a more structured mentoring relationship. ISFFA is passionate about creating a new breed of successful, socially responsible leaders and believes that its Page 6
programs will bring tangible benefits to the members and the organization as a whole. The programs are open to all members, to share their talents and skills and benefit from other professionals to complement their skills and augment their training and experience, regardless of their professional career level. Revolutionizing its programs to meet the dynamic and growing demands of the organization and its members is one of the objectives of ISFFA. ISFFA encourages its members to explore the benefits of and participate in all of the programs and activities. ****
By Amy Hill of Robert Half International
Attending a professional networking event can be like going to a party at a stranger’s house. You scan the crowd, searching for friendly faces, hoping you know at least one other person. When you realize you have to work the event solo, you suddenly feel shy and jittery — especially if “working the room” doesn’t come naturally to you. Take a deep breath and dry those sweaty palms. First, remember that other professionals at the event are feeling exactly the way you do. Second, you should have an action plan. Focusing on event-specific goals will help you to check your nervousness at the door. Here are some strategies to help you navigate your next professional networking event successfully: Plan ahead Before the event, make a list of “targets” — the people you know you want to meet. Most conferences and other meet-and-greet events use social media now to publish a list of attendees, which can be helpful in your preparation. Many events also use hashtags on Twitter so attendees can connect before and during the event. Organize some brief notes on what you know about a targeted contact that could be relevant to your discussion. For example, perhaps you read a person’s blog or viewed their webinar. This type of information gives you an advantage not only because you can break the ice with a new contact more easily, but also because they’ll realize you sincerely want to meet them. (Another tip: Checking out someone’s LinkedIn profile before the event can be useful because it may include a photo, which will help you identify that person.) Turn your list of targets into an “event card,” which you can use to make notes about the people you meet and what you discuss. This can be a list in a notebook — or on your smartphone. Don’t take notes during a conversation, though. The other person may feel uncomfortable if they sense they’re being interviewed. Help contacts connect with you You need to show your targets why they should know you. This means you should rehearse your introductions and tailor them for each key target. For instance: Example 1: “Hi, I’m Ann. I’m an accountant with XYZ firm. Our firm does some work for your company. I’ve seen you copied on some of our correspondence, and I wanted to introduce myself since we’ve never actually met in person.
Example 2: “Hi, I’m Ann. I’m an accountant at XYZ firm. I believe you know my manager, Sue Smith. I noticed you two are connected on LinkedIn. How do you know Sue?” Example 3: “Hi, I’m Ann. I’m an accountant at XYZ firm. I saw you speak at last year’s ASWA Annual Conference. I really enjoyed your presentation. Will you be speaking at the next event?” Remember that there’s a fine line between coming across as “all business” and being seen as a real, approachable human being. While it’s important to be prepared when you meet someone new who could be important to you professionally, don’t over-rehearse. You want conversations to flow naturally following your introduction. Just smile, be casual, and talk to that person as you would if you were building a relationship with a new friend. Don’t wait too long to follow up A day or two after the networking event, review your event card and the business cards you collected, and begin your follow-up emails. A brief email to say “hello” and remind a new contact about the conversation you had should suffice. Don’t call a contact unless you were encouraged to do so, or you both hit it off so well you know a phone call would be welcome. If you don’t hear back from a contact after two attempts, more than likely that person is not interested in keeping in touch. Don’t take it personally. Not every connection you make is going to lead to a meaningful business connection. Focus your energy instead on those relationships you sense are going to be the most fruitful. If you approached the event strategically, you’ll no doubt have more than enough interesting new contacts to add to your professional network. This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half International, parent company of Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources. Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm placing accounting and finance professionals on a temporary, full-time and project basis. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/roberthalf
MEMBER’S CORNER What Makes ISFFA Different?
By Melissa Garcia
t has been over five (5) months now since we launched the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting. We never stopped!!! I should say that the fire that fueled our passion to expand this Organization is still burning bright and high. Our desire to be known in the finance and accounting industry and our aspiration to make a difference in the Bay Area community has been the Officers’ number one priority. Our goal to assist, educate, train and mentor our fellow Filipino Professionals in the field of Finance and Accounting is akin to the fiduciary goals of the new presidential winner. A few weeks ago, someone asked me, “ Why should I join ISFFA? What makes this Organization different than the other finance organizations in the bay area other than that its target members are Filipino professionals?” That stopped me for a moment and made me think hard for an answer. I know our goals. I know that I wanted to make a difference in the community. I know that I wanted to help and network with my fellow Filipino professionals but seriously, what makes ISFFA different from the others? We’ve already said over and over that ISFFA is our one -stop shop of professional, personal and career development that will give you access to the tools, information and network you need, to drive your full potential.
database for possible candidates. Likewise, recruiters and head hunters are reaching out to ISFFA to tap the members. Job openings are frequently communicated to members through email as they become available.
Career and Professional Advancement/ Continuing Professional Education Courses – Seminars such as those related to tax, public speaking, accounting and finance career pathways, finance 101 and audit has been planned for the next few months. Tax training is already scheduled in December 2012 and professional development programs such as public speaking seminars will also be conducted early in 2013. There are minimal registration fees to attend but discounts are provided to ISFFA members.
Networking Events, Receptions and Programs – ISFFA officers and members have been actively involved in attending networking and fund raising events sponsored by the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco and other non-for-profit organization in the Bay Area. This provides opportunity to meet new friends and colleagues and spread the mission across. Mentorship – ISFFAMentor is a mentoring program designed to connect Filipino accounting and finance students and professionals with accomplished volunteer Filipino professionals in mentoring relationships.
Gain Professional and Moral Support, Family and Friends – My best friends are my fellow officers and members that have supported me here in the US. This is very important since my family is far away and I am by myself here in San Francisco. The support group that ISFFA provides is very helpful especially to those who just migrated here in the country. ISFFA’s Orientation package assists newly-arrived Filipinos and other immigrants to assimilate in the community by providing assistance through: language translation, housing, improving job skills, employment, as well as assistance with other basic social and cultural needs. The program is designed to provide new immigrants with a psychological advantage through the promotion of a socially friendly and responsive environment.
Newsletter Feature and Exposure : Our quarterly newsletter is called "ISFFAN: The Next Generation", which aims to feature ideas, events and people that are meaningful to all of us . This is our way of promoting communication, research , events, information, literacy and YOU in the community . Your voice is ISFFA’s voice! This will be an oppor-
Let’s revisit this and give a detailed account of what these tools, information and networks are:
Scholarship and Access to Assistance Programs for Higher Education – ISFFA has already awarded Roger CPA review Gold Scholarship (valued at $1,000) to one of our members who is planning to take the Uniform CPA examination next year. There are more scholarships to be awarded in the near future including those that are sponsored by American Institute of CPAs. In addition to scholarship, ISFFA partnered with Becker CPA Review and Roger CPA for members to get discounts when they enroll for their CPA review classes.
Employment and Internship/Access to Companies and Job Resources – ISFFA works closely with Becker CPA Review this year and was given access to their career fair starting in September. Members who are seeking potential employees for their companies want to penetrate ISFFA members’ d
tunity for us to hear and feature stories and voices from the people we serve. This is an important portal for all of us to get involved as we welcome your participation in a worthwhile project, driven by our grassroots , inspiration and dedication of volunteerism and community involvement and watch it evolve as a collaborative platform . Be the next contributor.
Community Service and Participation in Fundraising events and charity – ISFFA has been proactively raising funds for the victims of Typhoon Soala and Habagat Flood in the Philippines and has donated monetary support for these victims. Our next project is with Centex (Center for Excellence Program ) . We have formed a community service committee to be in-charge of determining which help can be extended not only in the Philippines but in the bay area community as well.
With all of those that were mentioned above, I can say that ISFFA empowers the Filipinos by elevating the stature of Accounting and Finance professionals, not just in the US but in the global workforce. ISFFA can be the catalyst to inspire fellow Filipinos and at the same time be inspired by the distinguished work of others and to empower tomorrow’s leaders today! ISFFA’s guiding principle of high integrity, strong ideals, professionalism and brotherhood that encourages and motivates all of us to be the best that we can become is the most distinct difference of ISFFA when compared with the other professional organization here in the Bay Area. ISFFA is not merely an organization, it is OUR family, OUR charity, OUR support group, OUR employment agency, OUR training organization, and OUR social networking group. People ask me why they should join ISFFA and what makes this Organization different when compared with the other finance organization in the bay area. My answer is simple – ISFFA is a way of life. And I will join because I care. I care not only in elevating my stature as a Filipino professional but also in elevating the stature of my fellow Filipinos in Finance and Accounting. I want to be its partner in moving forward. In summary, ISFFA’s core values and programs can be recapitulated into three categories: (1) Reconnecting to our Filipino heritage; (2) Improving management, leadership and mentorship
skills, and (3) Extending community service. ISFFA Committees Sponsorship This committee shall be responsible in raising financial and other resources for the organization. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee.
The Committee is responsible in getting sponsors to support the projects of the organization. Assist the committee with finding sponsored events Drafts sponsorship letters, thank you/appreciation letters to sponsors Keep list of sponsors for subsequent events use
Membership and Student Relations The committee leads in identifying prospective members and student members for the organization, and creating programs and activities that supports the organizations mission for its members. In addition, it may plan and conduct orientation for new members, organize continuing programs that enhance member’s knowledge of governance responsibilities in general, and lead an annual evaluation of individual committee members and the board as a whole. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee: The Committee is responsible in identifying prospective members/students Send welcome packet to members/students In charge in sending identification cards (passports) to members/students Monitor members/students attendance to the organization events Responsible in keeping the membership list up to data Collect membership fees from members/students In charge in the overall welfare of the members/ students Is responsible in disseminating relevant information to the members/students Website and Newsletter This committee is mainly responsible in issuing press releases regarding the organization and the organization’s events, and maintenance of chapter’s website and publication. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee: Continued on page 10 Page 9
Continued from page 9
Overall in charge on the organization’s newsletter Responsible in drafting press release to be published in the newspaper, website, social networking site Accountable in managing the organization’s email, website, facebook, twitter
special events Helps brainstorm new ideas for upcoming events Recommends events venues, menu/food choices and ambiance Assists in planning event timeline and scheduling guest speakers and works with VP of Operations and VP of Communications to outline a communications plan for the event Helps decide what networking events ISFFA has to attend, considering all risks and opportunities. Primarily responsible for annual social events: holiday party, summer event, sportsfest.
This committee is responsible for identifying or developing structured programs and activities that address social issues which will directly benefit the community. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee:
The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, a fundraising plan, and annual budget with staff and other Officers. The Officers must approve the budget, and all expenditures must be within the budget. Any major change in the budget must be approved by the Officers. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year. Annual reports are required to be submitted to the National Board showing income, expenditures and pending income. The financial records of the organization are public information and shall be made available to the membership, Officers and the National Board. ****
Identify community service that the organization can participate in. Connect with organizations and people who can help the planned community service. Overall in charge in organizing resources required to implement the planned community service, including fundraising, if necessary.
CPE The committee is the overall in charge in planning, creating and designing the yearly trainings and seminars that will benefit the members of the organization. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee: Overall in charge in designing the yearly trainings that will benefit the members of the organization Monitors the distributions of the CPE certifications to the training attendees Mentoring The committee is responsible in monitoring the mentormentee relationship, and designing programs and activities for the benefit of the both mentors and mentees. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee: Responsible in recruiting mentors for the organization Oversee the mentoring program Events and Conventions The committee is responsible in planning, organizing and execution of chapter events – including but not limited to choosing right resources, coming up with a unifying theme and creating a program flow. The following are the responsibilities of this Committee:
The Committee recommends policies, procedures, and initiatives to assure ISFFA offers its members relevant, varied and vibrant programs and events that encourage membership participation and increase awareness. Assists in the development and implementation of
Continued from page 3
“ISFFA Mentor Program will not only get students like me a chance to network with other professionals but it opens the door for opportunities such as gaining knowledge on how to communicate effectively and eventually build successful working relationships. “ “I believe that it is very important to have an inspiration in this very challenging and dynamic profession. On top of the high demands of the job in terms of technical knowledge and experience, we also have to surpass challenges related to cultural differences, diverse work styles or even language barriers sometimes. I feel that I would have never gone this far without the help and guidance of my very own mentors at work or even within my Filipino community. As my own way of imparting to my fellow Filipinos what I have learned, I am very excited to participate in this mentoring program.” Inspiring the Next Generation is a mentoring program designed to connect Filipino accounting and finance students and professionals with accomplished volunteer Filipino professionals in mentoring relationships. If interested to participate in this meaningful program, please contact ISFFA (email Shey Bayani, VP of Mentoring at email@example.com ) or watch out for the next mentoring orientation next year. ****
SPOTTED… ON THE ISFFA SPOTLIGHT By Emily “Mai” Enriquez-Patton
CENTEX is a dream.
t is a dream we dreamed in 1998 to pilot a Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education: an education for Poverty Eradication. A dream to offer the gift of quality education to the thousands of very bright children among poor families whose potential, if unleashed, could catapult them to the level of changemakers in our society.” This prompted Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), in partnership with Department of Education, to start a school that would help reform public education and provide children the opportunity to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. CENTEX aims to provide highly intelligent but economically disadvantaged children with an education equal to that of the best private schools in the Philippines. The CENTEX curriculum emphasizes language, math, science, values, environment and being Filipino. At present, there are two CENTEX schools –one in Tondo, Manila and another in Bauan, Batangas . Students enjoy special support and benefits like books, a feeding program, uniforms, shoes and transportation allowance to ensure the continuity of learning. Teachers are trained continuously. Facilities are upgraded with the help of generous donors. The CENTEX Self-Esteem program gives them a strong sense of their dignity and the confidence that they can achieve their dreams – in school and in life. More importantly, parents give their time and talent as volunteers, working hand in hand with the teachers and the school administration for the benefit of the children. It aims to enable these children to become successful professionals and leaders, and thus, improve their lives, their communities and ultimately, the nation. The total eradication of poverty maybe an impossible, but CENTEX has shown that given the right opportunities, bright young people can rise above the circumstances of poverty in which they were born to reach their full potentials and achieve excellence in their chosen fields. Almost 700 students have graduated from CENTEX schools. Now on their 12th year, the first 2 batches of Kindergarteners have entered college. Acceptance of high school graduates into bachelor’s degree programs is 100%. “It is a dream that, like a magnet, has attracted so many individuals who have offered to share their unique talents and resources with our gifted children – education experts who served as pro bono consultants; our many funders, who gave generously and continuously to support
the program; its first director, who gave up a comfortable life in California to share her experience and expertise in the service of these children. Over the years, we attracted many more - a Julliard trained maestro giving violin lessons to Kindergarten children; a Paris-based Filipina who sets aside a few weeks of her vacation time to train our students in English composition; a generous lady who has offered scholarships in her ballet studio; a Brent high school student who teaches guitar during his summer break; professionals at a multinational company who share their skills. The list goes on and on. “ - Victoria P. Garchitorena, Trustee, Ayala Foundation, Inc. CENTEX is a dream come true for the parents of the children who have been accepted into the program, saying it is like winning the lotto. They ,too, give generously of their time to help in cooking meals, preparing learning materials, supporting their children, and making the effort to improve themselves as well. More importantly, CENTEX is a realization of a dream for every one of our thousands of students who have passed through its gates and the thousands more who hope to enter them. Each one of them in turn holds the promise of a bright future – for themselves, for their parents, for their community, for the Philippines, and for the world. We invite you, dear friends, to share the dream that is CENTEX. It takes only $500 to support a CENTEX child for a year. We invite you to adopt one of the 1,000 CENTEX students from Kindergarten through Grade 6 and make one more child’s dream come true. Centex is constantly looking for partners to offer more children an excellent education that is their key to a brighter future. Centex was my mother’s wonderful dream in the name of her selfless service to the public school system . I wish she was here witnessing my heartfelt campaign for Centex. Imbibing her values and her outreach for the poor, I want to encourage you to sponsor one CENTEX child. Let us give each child the gift of quality education and make his/her wish come true . For more information ,visit www.centex.org.ph. ISFFA, in partnership with Centex-Ayala Foundation, Inc. will start accept donation for the benefit of Centex programs. ****
TAX FLASH By Danny Raval, CPA, MST, EA
Social Security/SE Tax Information – the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax is $110,100 up from $106,800 from a year ago. FICA tax rate and SE tax rate remain at the 2011 rate, which are 4.2% and 10.4%, respectively. The maximum employee FICA contribution equals $4,624.20, up from $4,485.60 in 2011.
Standard Mileage Rate – there is only one rate for Business and Schedule E (Rental property), which is at $.555 per mile, compared to the two 2011 rates of $.555 for miles driven from July 1 to December 31, 2011 and $.510 from January 1, to June 30, 2011.
For medical and moving expenses, there is also one standard mileage rate, which is $.23 per mile compared to the 2011 rates of $.235 for miles driven from July 1 to December 31, 2011 and $.190 from January 1 to June 30, 2012.
Home Energy Credit – unless congress extends, the home energy tax credit expires this year
On the payroll tax side, the employee social security rate of 4.2%, which went down from 6.2%, expires in 2012 and will go back to 6.2% in 2013.
hile congress talks about how to fix the “Fiscal Cliff”, which will affect income taxes for the tax year 2013, there are many income tax changes that will go into effect this year.
What is a Fiscal Cliff? At the end of December 31, 2012, there are tax law changes that will expire. For example, for tax year 2012, the long-term capital gains tax rates are 0% & 15%. These rates mean that taxpayers who are in the 15% or less tax brackets will pay no capital gains tax for tax year 2012, and those who are in the higher tax brackets pay a maximum of 15% on their long-term capital gains. In 2013, these rates will be at 10% and 20% depending on the taxpayer’s tax bracket. For tax year 2012, qualified ordinary dividends are also taxed at the capital gains tax rate. In 2013, there are talks that these qualified ordinary dividends will be taxed at an individual’s ordinary income tax rate – yikes! To illustrate, a taxpayer, who is at the 30% bracket and has qualified dividends income of $5,000 in 2012, will pay $750 of capital gains tax (15% x $5,000). In 2013, this taxpayer will pay $1,500 (30% x $5,000) of taxes on this qualified ordinary dividend income. As of this writing, Washington’s top policy makers are still talking about a fundamental issue of higher tax rates for couples who have more than $250,000 in income (or single individuals with income of more than $200,000) or a tax hike across the board for all income earners. Other income tax provisions that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 are: American Opportunity tax credit Across the board lower tax rates Mortgage Forgiveness Act of 2007 Student Loan interest deductions $1,000 child tax credit reverts back to $500
I wouldn’t worry about the fiscal cliff just yet. Let congress hash out the details - what spending needs to be cut, where revenues will come from, whether to eliminate or reduce itemized tax deductions, and whether to increase tax rates in 2013. For now, I’ll just enjoy the holiday and prepare for what’s in store for tax year 2012.
Happy Holidays to all!
Who knows what income tax changes will happen next year? We do know this - there are numerous changes that will reflect on your 2012 income tax form. Here are some of these sure changes:
Standard Deduction – Married Filing Jointly increases to $11,900, from $11,600; Single and Married Filing Separately - goes up to $5,950, from $5,800; Head of Household – increases to $8,700, from $8,500. Page 12
At the ISFFA-SF Tax Seminar held on 8th of December , at Devry University in Fremont,CA , featuring Mr. Danny Raval as presentor.
By Rizza Velarde
n July 2012, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) staff issued its Final Report on the Work Plan about a possible move to a set of global accounting standards. The Commission will use the Final Report, along with other information, to decide whether and, if so, when and how to incorporate International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into the financial reporting system for US issuers. The Final Report addresses the staff’s findings in six focus areas identified in the Work Plan. In executing the Work Plan, the staff compared IFRS with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) and studied how consistently IFRS was applied in practice. The staff also talked to investors, preparers and regulators about the potential incorporation of IFRS. The staff observed that the global financial reporting community generally perceives IFRSs to be high quality. However, several key themes emerged, including: Development of IFRS - IFRS continues to be underdeveloped in certain areas, such as extractive industries, insurance and rate-regulated industries. Interpretive process - The IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) should do more to address emerging accounting issues on a timely basis. The staff stated that the IFRS Trustees are changing the operating procedures of the IFRS IC, but it is unclear what effect the changes will have. IASB’s use of National Standard Setters - Many existing laws and regulations currently refer to US GAAP. If IFRS replaced US GAAP, these laws and regulations would need to be rewritten.
The staff outlined a possible approach by which the FASB could endorse new IFRSs for incorporation into US GAAP potentially without change, but that the FASB would retain the authority to modify IFRSs for adoption in the US. Under this approach, the FASB would use a decision protocol that would consider the public interest and protection of investors. The FASB also would have the responsibility and authority to issue guidance or standards to fill perceived gaps, such as in cases where the IFRS IC has not yet addressed emerging issues. This approach would help ensure that standards are of sufficient quality, address gaps in current IASB standards or provide needed interpretive guidance on emerging issues, and reduce the need to rewrite existing regulations and contracts. An endorsement mechanism also would help ensure a strong US voice in the IASB standard-setting process. The SEC staff has not made a formal public recommendation to the Commissioners. For more information about IFRS, refer to the SEC website: http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/ globalaccountingstandards/ifrs-work-plan-finalreport.pdf
Learn about the differences between US GAAP and IFRS. Watch out for ISFFA’s IFRS seminar next year !!
Global application and enforcement - The consistency of global application of IFRS could be improved to reduce differences. Governance of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) - Investors expressed concerns about the IASB‘s independence under its current funding mechanism as well as the potential for political interference in standard setting. Status of funding - The cost of adopting IFRS, and the effect on a company‘s systems and processes, may be prohibitive. Investor understanding - Investor, issuer and regulator knowledge of IFRS varies. Page 13
FINANCE MATTERS ADVISOR SYMPOSIUM 2012 Issues of Interest to Advisors Today
By: Shirley Bayani
n October 24, 2012, New York Life Insurance Company broadcasted live nationwide the second annual Advisor Symposium, an advancedlevel course, for the benefit of practicing accountants, attorneys, and insurance and financial planning professionals presented by exceptionally well-credentialed and experienced financial service experts. The program provided the participants with:
an overview of the technical topics related to estate planning for clients who utilize life insurance as a planning tool;
sections on designing the optimal trust owned life insurance policy, advising clients on asset protection strategies, preserving family wealth and family cohesiveness by understanding risks to wealth, practice management from the financial planner’s perspective, and a discussion of the economy and financial markets.
The following is a section on estate planning presented by Patricia Annino, JD, LL.M.
Why Estate Planning is Important for All and Why Action Is Needed Now? Estate planning is not just to protect the family upon death; it is to protect the family while they are alive Today, estate planning is far more than a will; it addresses what happens if one becomes disabled or incapacitated. Putting appropriate legal documents, such as durable power of attorney and a living trust, in place with necessary safeguards will enable the estate planning process to select who should be in charge of the assets if one is alive but loses the ability to handle financial affairs. Case in point: A home owned by husband and wife jointly with right of survivorship: If one becomes incapacitated or disabled, the house is frozen since both signatures are required to transfer, sell, mortgage or deed the home.
Estate planning should begin when young Once reaching the age of majority, even without any assets, execute a healthcare proxy or healthcare durable power of attorney to designate one person (and successors) to make medical care decisions if unable to do so. This is equally critical in a second-marriage situation as the new spouse and adult child might end up vying for the right to make healthcare decisions. In cases where someone is in a relationship but not married, the person has no legal standing to make medical care decisions for the other person, or, in some states, even to visit the other person in the hospital unless there is a healthcare proxy or health care durable power of attorney that can grant the person the legal authority to visit and make those decisions. The document should bear the phone number of the healthcare agent. Make sure to inform the appointed healthcare proxy, give a copy of the document to the primary care physician and keep a copy of it with the passport when traveling. Nominate a guardian to protect children. For minor children, no matter what their net worth, an estate plan is needed to choose the person who will make decisions concerning the children’s care, upbringing and education when the parents are no longer around so that important decisions will not be left to a stranger, probably a judge. If there is no estate plan, the domicile state will write one. The laws of the domicile state will dictate who receives any asset. Any asset in a deceased spouse’s name will be split between the couple and their children. Ms Annino raised the issue of estate planning now so that the control of the direction of the estate, health and assets of the children are taken care of in the way one would like them to be and not rest on other’s judgments. If you would like to watch a replay of the Symposium, you may do so here: http://video.webcasts.com/events/ nylf001/44128/ ****
ISFFA- San Francisco Chapter's Newsletter 2nd issue