Accounting & Audit

benchmarking financial performance

Benchmarking Financial Performance

You already may have reviewed a preliminary draft of your company’s year-end financial statements. But without a frame of reference, they don’t mean much. That’s why it’s important to compare your company’s performance over time and against competitors. Conduct a well-rounded evaluation A comprehensive benchmarking study requires calculating ratios that gauge the following five elements:…

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employee benefit plans

Employee Benefit Plans: Do You Need a Form 5500 Audit?

Some benefit plans are required to include an opinion from an independent qualified public accountant (IQPA) when filing Form 5500 each year. The IQPA examines the plan’s financial statements and schedules to ensure they’re presented fairly and in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The financial statements and IQPA opinion are often referred to collectively…

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nonprofit guidance for contribution

Nonprofits: Are You Ready for the New Contribution Guidance?

When the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) updated its rules for recognizing revenue from contracts in 2014, it only added to the confusion that nonprofits already had about accounting for grants and similar contracts. Fortunately, last year, the FASB provided some much-needed clarification with Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2018-08, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Clarifying…

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Year-End Accounting Recap

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) hasn’t issued any major new accounting rules in 2019. But there have been some important developments to be aware of when preparing annual financial statements under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Deferral of major accounting rules Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2019-09 delays the effective date of the updated…

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risk assessment

Risk Assessment: A Critical Part of the Audit Process

Audit season is right around the corner for calendar-year entities. Here’s what your auditor is doing behind the scenes to prepare — and how you can help facilitate the audit planning process. The big picture Every audit starts with assessing “audit risk.” This refers to the likelihood that the auditor will issue an adverse opinion…

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prepaid expenses

FAQs About Prepaid Expenses

The concept of “matching” is one of the basic principles of accrual-basis accounting. It requires companies to match expenses (efforts) with revenues (accomplishments) whenever it’s reasonable or practical to do so. This concept applies when companies make advance payments for expenses that will benefit more than one accounting period. Here are some questions small business…

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goodwill impairment

The Art and Science of Goodwill Impairment Testing

Goodwill shows up on a company’s balance sheet when the company has been acquired in a business combination. It represents what’s left over after the purchase price in a merger or acquisition is allocated to the company’s tangible assets, identifiable intangible assets and liabilities. Periodically, companies must test goodwill for “impairment” — that is, whether…

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working capital

Manage Your Working Capital More Efficiently

Working capital is the difference between a company’s current assets and current liabilities. For a business to thrive, its working capital must be greater than zero. A positive balance enables the company to meet its short-term cash flow needs and grow. But too much working capital can be a sign of inefficient management. In general,…

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bar-code technology

How to Keep Track of Small Tools and Equipment

Whether it’s hard hats and drills on a jobsite, iPads in an office or RFID readers in a warehouse, small tools and equipment have a tendency to disappear at many companies. The cost of lost, damaged and stolen items can quickly add up, consuming profits and cash flow. What can you do to manage these…

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profits interest award

Valuing Profits Interests in LLCs

The use of so-called “profits interest” awards as a tool to attract and retain skilled workers has increased, as more companies are being structured as limited liability companies (LLCs), rather than as corporations. But accounting complexity has caused some private companies to shy away from these arrangements. Fortunately, relief from the Financial Accounting Standards Board…

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