As businesses rush to exploit GOP tax cuts, government revenue may shrink more than expected

By DON LEE DEC 10, 2017 | 7:00 AM | WASHINGTON Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) listens to reporters’ questions about the GOP tax bill passed by the Senate. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)  As soon as the last major tax overhaul was enacted in the fall of 1986, accountant Edward Mendlowitz remembers working around the clock to convert corporations into partnerships and other so-called pass-through businesses to take advantage of the new tax code. Now with congressional Republicans drawing closer to passing a package of $1.5 trillion in net tax cuts, mostly for corporations, Mendlowitz reckons he may soon be doing the reverse. The corporate tax rate is expected to fall from 35%…


Melancon: Accountants Must Commit To Change | Accounting Today

By Daniel Hood Published December 06 2017, 2:04pm EST The accounting profession will change beyond recognition over the next 10 years, according to American Institute of CPAs president and CEO Barry Melancon—except he really thinks it will come much more quickly than that. “I really mean five years, but people get scared when I say that,” he said during a keynote address on “The State of the Profession” at the 2017 Digital CPA Conference, held in San Francisco by AICPA technology subsidiary CPA.com. “In a world in which everything is changing, who are we to believe that we won’t have to change as well?” he asked. “The speed of change in…


Mendlowitz Elected To Hall Of Fame

The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) has named Edward Mendlowitz, a partner with WithumSmith+Brown (Withum) PC, as an entrant into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and recipient of the Accredited Estate Planner (Distinguished) Designation. The business valuation and accredited personal financial specialist, based in Withum’s East Brunswick office, was recently recognized at the NAEPC’s 54th Annual Conference in New Orleans. Visit www.naepc.org. The National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) recently named Edward Mendlowitz (center), a partner with WithumSmith+Brown (Withum) PC, as an entrant into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and recipient of the Accredited Estate Planner (Distinguished) Designation. Also pictured are NAEPC Trust…


Essentials of Personal Financial Planning | The CPA Journal

By  Edward Mendlowitz, CPA/PFS, ABV December 2017 Many CPAs and most tax specialists perform personal financial planning (PFP) services; the AICPA estimates that more than 100,000 of its members perform some form of PFP for clients. The AICPA tried to unify and formalize PFP services with a credential—the Personal Finance Specialist (PFS)—but it doesn’t seem to have gained the wide acceptance it should have, based on the importance of these services. Essentials of Personal Financial Planning is a textbook aimed at reaching graduate students with an organized protocol of how to perform PFP services. More than that, it has excellent coverage of the entire range of these services and is an effective guide…


Art of Accounting: Easing tax season workload compression | Edward Mendlowitz, Accounting Today

By Edward Mendlowitz Published November 13 2017, 11:45am EST Last week I conducted a breakfast meeting of the Withum Partners’ Network and I was asked a question that was not answered, so I’ll answer it in this column. Before I start, this meeting used a format I had never employed before. It was a “show and tell” roundtable in which each participant would raise practice management issues they had and would also share best practices they use successfully. The two hours seemed to fly by and everyone seemed to leave with ideas they could immediately implement. I know I did. A question raised early on is why tax season is…


Accounting firms wouldn’t get low tax rate under reform bill | Accounting Today

By Michael Cohn Published November 03 2017, 3:58pm EDT The tax reform bill introduced by House Republicans doesn’t give the low 25 percent income tax rate for pass-through businesses to accounting firms and other professional service firms, and the rules for getting around it are complicated. “The anti-abuse provisions for the reduction in the pass-through rate appear to be very complicated, so professional services firms will get no break,” said Bill Smith, managing director at CBIZ MHM and leader of the firm’s National Tax Office. “If you’re not a professional services firm, it appears you have an election. You can treat 70 percent as wages, and 30 percent subject to…


Good Times Are Here Again? | Joanne Barry, The CPA Journal

Good Times Are Here Again? By  Joanne S. Barry, CAE October 2017 Issue, Publisher’s Column | October 2017 It’s a great time to be a CPA firm. So says Marc Rosenberg in his foreword to the 2017 Rosenberg Survey. The annual practice management survey, now in its 19th year, provides a wealth of quantitative and qualitative assessments of the current state of American CPA firms. The most recent survey, released just last month by the Growth Partnership, has some surprises—some good, none uninteresting. While the rosy picture painted by the Rosenberg Survey does lead one to believe that it’s a great time to be a CPA firm, how great depends largely…


Art of Accounting: One-partner businesses | Ed Mendlowitz

By Edward Mendlowitz, Accounting Today October 9, 2017 The reality of being a partner in a firm, regardless of the size, is that you are running a “one-partner business.” That is so since it is your responsibility to manage the relationship with your clients, staff it, see that the deliverable reaches the client on time and coordinate everything to make that occur, that the pricing of your services is agreed to and paid when due. You also are responsible for budgeting the work and the realization and making sure the proper mix of staff are assigned and doing what they are supposed to be doing. You ensure that coordination with other…


Why Financial Planning Makes Sense for CPAs, Stuart Kessler | The CPA Journal

By  Stuart Kessler, CPA, PFS September 2017 In contemplating the nuances of why financial planning makes sense for CPAs, I thought of the old story about the ship with the stubborn captain. While plying the waters off of Long Island, he noted what he thought was a ship on his radar. Upon being informed of this problem, the captain ordered his radio operator to send the following message: “You are in our path. We advise you to adjust your course 10′ west.” The reply came back, “You are in our path, we advise you to adjust your course 10′ east.” The captain, a bit annoyed, then declared: “I am a…