Category: The Plus Side

Senate Approves Tax Treaties with Major Trading Partners

The Senate recently approved four tax treaties with U.S. trading partners. The tax protocols with Japan, Luxembourg, Spain and Switzerland update existing treaty provisions with these countries and contain important articles aimed at providing certainty to U.S. persons doing business abroad. ...


IRS Finalizes Section 199A Real Estate Safe Harbor

In September, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2019-38 which finalizes the section 199A real estate safe harbor. Although much of the proposed safe harbor is contained in the final version, there are some important differences. This article analyses the final safe harbor rules. Background:...


The Classification of Debt (Topic 740) Is Changing

In September 2019, FASB released a revised exposure draft related to a proposed accounting standard update for simplifying the classification of debt in a classified balance sheet. The new deadline for further comment is October 28, 2019. The FASB originally issued a proposed update back in 2017....


How to Use Waterfall Charts in Excel

In 2016 Excel added many new charts, including the Waterfall chart. Waterfall Charts are great for telling the story of how a quantity of interest (for example, cash position) changes over time. Waterfall charts also allow the finance professional to chart for a single point in time how a quantity...


How to Summarize Data with Treemap and Sunburst Charts in Excel

Treemap charts, also known as mosaic charts, and Sunburst charts were added to Excel to help you visualize hierarchical data. Hierarchical data is a way to organize data with multiple one-to-many relationships. The structure is based on the rule that one parent can have many children, but children...


Auditors Have New Responsibilities Relating to Other Information in Annual Reports

Statements on Auditing Standards No. 137, The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information Included in Annual Reports, was issued in July 2019.  It is codified under AU-C Section 720 of the AICPA Professional Standards.  The standard applies only to a single document or...


Here's What You Should Know About the Latest International Tax Guidance

Summertime is often associated with long vacations, lazy days, and afternoons by the pool sipping lemonade. This summer, however, has been anything but relaxing for the folks working at the Treasury Department and IRS. These organizations continue to issue the necessary guidance related to the...


Changed Requirements for Auditor Reporting and Performance on ERISA Plan Financial Statements

The Statement on Auditing Standards No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA, was issued in July 2019. It is codified under AU-C Section 703 in the AICPA Professional Standards. The standard addresses the auditor’s...


3 Tricks to Help You Work Across Microsoft Excel Worksheets

Excel has three dimensions: rows, columns and worksheets. Most of us are familiar with how to use the powerful and indispensable Copy command to “copy” a formula across columns and down rows. In this article, we explore three tricks that can help you work across worksheets. Copying a...


How to Use Hyperlinks in Microsoft Excel

When navigating the web, we have all clicked on blue hyperlinks that send us to another web page. In this article, we will show you how to use hyperlinks in Excel to create links in your workbook to web pages or locations in your current workbook. Our work is in the file...


Understanding the Substance Over Form Doctrine

Substance over form. For tax practitioners this can be a big issue. Is that a real business loss your client has or is it just a hobby? Do you get to deduct all of your expenses related to the Becker Annual Tax Conference or is that merely a disguised gambling trip to Las Vegas? Two recent court...


Top Three Questions for Implementing the New Nonprofit Reporting Model

ASU 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements for Not-for-Profit Entities, made targeted improvements to the financial reporting model. The ASU was effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017. All calendar year-end entities have adopted the...


AICPA Releases New SAS on Auditor Reporting

Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, was recently released by the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board. The overall objective is to update the form and content of the...


Excel’s Stock Data Types

Office 365’s new stock data types allow you to type a company name or stock ticker symbol in Excel and write formulas that extract information about the company to a different cell. The file Stockdatatypes.xlsx contains our work. To begin we typed in the company names and ticker symbols shown...


The Joint Committee on Taxation Publishes Data on New BEAT Provision

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act added a new provision to the Internal Revenue Code called the “Base Erosion and Anti-abuse Tax” (BEAT). In April 2019, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) published a report that offers insight into the number of corporations that will be impacted by the BEAT...


An Auditor’s Responsibility for Cybersecurity Risks

Cybersecurity has rapidly become a significant risk to businesses as breaches of information may result in financial and reputational damage, diminished investor confidence, and exposure to potential regulatory fines. Cybersecurity risks and controls are within the scope of the financial statement...


Joint Committee on Taxation Publishes Distributional Effects of TCJA

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) recently published a series of documents tied to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. One of the documents receiving a great deal of attention is the “Distributional Effects of Public Law 115-97.” The document provides distributional tables and analysis of the Tax...


Excel’s New Geographic Data Types

Office 365’s new geographic data types allow you to type a location in Excel and write formulas that extract information about the location to a different cell. For example, if you enter “Paris” in cell E4, entering the formula “E4.Population” in a different cell will...


Dynamic Ranges and the OFFSET FUNCTION

In our January and February 2019 newsletters we discussed the OFFSET function. Recall that the syntax of the OFFSET function is OFFSET(cell  reference, rows moved, columns moved,height,width). As we explained in our last two articles, we begin in the cell reference and based on the rows...


Will Private Company GAAP Alternatives Soon Be Made Available to Nonprofits?

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed that two GAAP alternatives currently available only to nonpublic business entities also be made available to nonprofit organizations.   The accounting alternatives were originally codified into GAAP through ASU 2014-02 and ASU...