News

Posted on: July 23, 2015

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud / Scams!

On May 5, 2015, we posted a blog on common Telephone Scams as reported by the Internal Revenue Service.  We continue to receive calls from clients at least once a week that have been contacted either by phone or email as potential victims of a scam.  Remember, the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue will not call you and threaten an arrest for non-payment.

Scams continue to grow in complexity with the vast amount of information available on the internet and tend to focus more on vulnerable individuals. Recently scams targeting Senior Citizens have been on the rise.   The Cobb County Police Department recently published an article called “Scams Targeting Seniors”.  The information and advice in this article is good for everyone.  We have received permission to share this information directly with our clients.  Click here to read the article:

http://cobbcounty.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1719&Itemid=919

If you have received notification from someone claiming to be a taxing agency, please contact us for assistance.  Likewise, if you believe you have been a victim of fraud, we can assist you with proper notification to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Posted on: March 30, 2015

Preparation of Financial Statements

A public practice accountant is required to follow certain accounting standards when asked to prepare financial statements for a company.  Prior to the issuance of SSARS 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services, an accountant was required to have performed an audit, review, or compilation when preparing financial statements for a company.  In order for an accountant to perform an audit or a review, the accountant must be independent of the company.  If the accountant is not independent of the company, a compilation can be performed if the lack of independence is disclosed in the report.  Now, Section 70, Preparation of Financial Statements, of SSARS 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification allows a public practice accountant to prepare your company’s financial statement without having to perform an audit, review, or a compilation on the statements. Consideration of the accountant’s independence is not a requirement and these financials statements can be distributed to third parties. However, the financials would include a statement that no assurance is being provided by the accountant.

This SSARS is effective for periods ending on or after December 15, 2015 but can be early implemented.  Please give Crace Galvis McGrath a call if you would like to discuss preparation of your company’s financial statements.

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Posted on: December 17, 2014

Tax Extenders Bill Passed

H.R. 5771 was passed by the Senate on December 16, 2014.  Along with many other individual and business “tax extenders”, this bill reinstates the 50% bonus depreciation and $500,000 Section 179 expensing through 12/31/14.  If you have a need to purchase fixed assets in 2014, please do so immediately.  This law is effective ONLY for 2014.   So, action needs to be taken to place assets in service before 12/31/14.

See the entire bill at:

www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/5771

Please call us to discuss at any time.

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Posted on: November 5, 2014

Planning and Set Up of Accounting Software for Your Business

To achieve the most optimal performance from your accounting software, the planning and design of crucial financial components within the setup stage is extremely important and should be conducted in a structured, meticulous manner.

During the initial implementation, many tend to jump to establishing a chart of accounts and begin entering transactions without considering the desired or required end results which might include specific reporting or tracking/grouping key financial components, etc.  In order to develop the most efficient and effective structure of your accounting system, you should define your desired end product(s) first whether it be your actual financial statements, job costing reports, inventory reports, etc.

Once you have defined your desired end product, you can use features such as sub-accounts, sub-items, etc. to provide flexibility in your reports such as taking a summarized report and expanding it to the lowest level of detail or even a more mid-range level of detail in between.

Here at Crace Galvis McGrath we have professionals who have had many years of experience in assisting clients in achieving the most with their accounting systems and have QuickBooks ProAdvisors on staff.  We provide assistance in design, implementation, monitoring, and customization of accounting software within various industries.  If your business is in need of assistance, please give us a call.

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Posted on: September 26, 2014

Proposed Pension and OPEB Standards

If you work in the area of government finance you’ve probably spent a lot of time recently training and preparing for implementation of GASB 67 & GASB 68 relating to your governmental pension plans.  We hope you attended one of the pension training programs sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association this summer where our own Donny McGrath was one of the presenters.

 

As we had all expected, GASB issued exposure drafts for your OPEB plans which will change the accounting and reporting of these plans.  The proposed OPEB standard would be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015.     GASB has published an article at http://www.gasb.org/resources/ccurl/99/702/GASB%20Proposals_OPEB%20EDs_%286-14%29.pdf that explains the proposed OPEB guidance.  Additionally, GASB has issued an exposure draft for a third pension standard that will provide requirements for pensions and pension plans that are not administered by trusts that meet specific criteria.  This proposed standard would be effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2016 or 2015 depending on whether the contributing entity falls within the scope of GASB 67 & 68.  If you have questions regarding these proposed standards, please give the audit staff at Crace Galvis McGrath a call.

 

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Posted on: August 22, 2014

Warning – Fraudulent Phone Scammers Are on the Loose

In the most recent article dated August 13, 2014 from the Internal Revenue Service, they continue to hear reports of unsolicited calls from individuals who demand payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.  The IRS has received approximately 90,000 phone complaints via their telephone hotline.  As a result of the hotline calls, the IRS has identified around 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these phone scammers.

Per the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.  A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment.  This is not how we operate.  People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

The IRS says that taxpayers need to know that they would never ask for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the phone.  They would also never insist that the taxpayer use a specific type of payment or request immediate payment over the phone.  It has been reported that the phone scam victims have been told that they owe money that must be paid immediately or that they are even entitled to large refunds.  Some of the characteristics of these phone scams include; the use of fake names and IRS badge numbers, the scammer may be able to recite the last four digits of your social security number, the phone number they are calling from may be spoofed to appear the IRS is calling, you may receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, and they may threaten you with jail time or driver’s license revocation.  The scammers who are not successful on the first call will often call again and use different tactics to lure individuals into providing their personal information.

If you know you don’t owe any taxes or have any reason to think that you owe any taxes and have received some bogus threats as stated above, you are urged to:

-          Call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

-          If you receive an email, you should NOT open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message.  Instead, forward the email to                    phishing @irs.gov.

Whenever you receive any correspondence from a governmental  taxing  agency please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.  If you are contacted by an agent, you have the right to hire representation. We can help you determine the validity of the correspondence as well as help you resolve any outstanding issues.

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