63132298 - audit text painted and magnifying glass on wooden table

Why Must our 401(k) be Audited?

| Business Miscellaneous

Part 1 of 3 in the “How to Survive a 401(k) Audit” Series By Evan Rauch, CPA     For generations, defined benefit pension plans were the retirement plan standard for just about every employer. However, these pensions became financially draining for employers as the life expectancy of their retired employees increased, making way for a new type of retirement plan – the defined contribution plan or a profit sharing plan.  Nearly 40 years later, defined contribution plans have become the Read more [...]
IU Assembly Hall

The Crystal Client Spotlight shines on Verkler, Inc.

| Client Spotlight

It says a lot about someone’s skillset when he can feature the famous Notre Dame Football Stadium in his professional portfolio. Such was the good fortune of carpenter Harry Verkler, who originally started the construction company known today as Verkler, Inc., a long-time Alerding CPA Group client. Since its beginning in 1935 and eventual ownership by Jim and Fred Lusk, Verkler has become one of Indiana’s premier general contractors. It was recently recognized by the American Concrete Institute Read more [...]
Operating across state lines presents tax risks

Operating across state lines presents tax risks — or possibly rewards

| Tax Briefs

It’s a smaller business world after all. With the ease and popularity of e-commerce, as well as the incredible efficiency of many supply chains, companies of all sorts are finding it easier than ever to widen their markets. Doing so has become so much more feasible that many businesses quickly find themselves crossing state lines. But therein lies a risk: Operating in another state means possibly being subject to taxation in that state. The resulting liability can, in some cases, inhibit profitability. Read more [...]
Want to attract young board members

Want younger board members: Consider a second board

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel & Natalie Hopkins     If you have been around nonprofits for very long, you have discovered that recruiting new board members is an ongoing challenge. Finding the best mix of talent to fill their needs (finance, development, etc) within the right age demographic can be a struggle. Add to this mix the search for younger board members so the nonprofits can effectively plan their futures, and the challenge grows. To overcome this obstacle, an increasing number of organizations Read more [...]
Thoughtful businessman looking at three arrows

3 hot spots to look for your successor

| Business Briefs, News

Picking someone to lead your company after you step down is probably among the hardest aspects of retiring (or otherwise moving on). Sure, there are some business owners who have a ready-made successor waiting in the wings at a moment’s notice. But many have a few viable candidates to consider — others have too few. When looking for a successor, for best results, keep an open mind. Don’t assume you have to pick any one person — look everywhere. Here are three hot spots to consider. 1.    Read more [...]
Business Team Discussion Meeting Corporate Concept

Look at your employees with cybersecurity in mind

| Business Briefs

Today’s businesses operate in an era of hyper-connectedness and, unfortunately, a burgeoning global cybercrime industry. You can’t afford to hope you’ll luck out and avoid a cyberattack. It’s essential to establish policies and procedures to minimize risk. One specific area in which to focus is your employees. Know the threats There are a variety of cybercrimes you need to guard against. For instance, thieves may steal proprietary or sensitive business data with the intention of selling Read more [...]
Finding a solution

Consider key person insurance as a succession plan safeguard

| Business Briefs

In business, and in life, among the most important ways to manage risk is through insurance. For certain types of companies — particularly start-ups and small businesses — one major threat is the sudden loss of an owner or hard-to-replace employee. To safeguard against this risk, insurers offer key person insurance. Under a key person policy, a business buys life insurance covering the owner or employee, pays the premiums and names itself beneficiary. Should the key person die while the policy Read more [...]
Dollar symbol and percentage sign with two hands

Offer plan loans? Be sure to set a reasonable interest rate

| Business Briefs

Like many businesses, yours may allow retirement plan participants to take out loans from their accounts. Such loans are governed by many IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) rules and regulations. So if your company offers plan loans, your plan document must comply with current laws — including setting a “reasonable” interest rate. Agency perspectives Neither the IRS nor DOL provides a set percentage for plan sponsors to use. Yet both require the rate to be “reasonable.” The IRS asks Read more [...]
39635313 - close-up of businessmen handshaking on background of woman

Negotiations: tips from the trenches

| Business Miscellaneous

By Michael Alerding, CPA     We all exercise the art of negotiation many times each day.  We negotiate with family about weekend activities or plans for dinner and even who gets to take the dog out for a walk.  Negotiations are a natural part of our existence.  We usually don’t realize we are negotiating, but whenever two or more people endeavor to reach a conclusion that will satisfy the entire group, that’s called negotiation.  Conversely, if one person has the authority to make decisions Read more [...]
Deduct all of the mileage you

Deduct all of the mileage you’re entitled to — but not more

| Tax Briefs

Rather than keeping track of the actual cost of operating a vehicle, employees and self-employed taxpayers can use a standard mileage rate to compute their deduction related to using a vehicle for business. But you might also be able to deduct miles driven for other purposes, including medical, moving and charitable purposes. What are the deduction rates? The rates vary depending on the purpose and the year: Business: 54 cents (2016), 53.5 cents (2017) Medical: 19 cents (2016), 17 cents Read more [...]