SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Kaufman Rossin in the Community: YMCA

Which organization are you involved in and what is its objective?

I am involved with the YMCA of Greater Miami, whose mission is to develop social responsibility and healthy living in the youth community. Whether it’s a single mom in need of low-cost child care, a recently widowed woman looking for counseling or a family looking for teams and organizations for their children to join, the Y offers a place for the community to turn.The YMCA of Greater Miami

What is your role with the organization?

I serve on the board of directors as the secretary for the Miami chapter.

Why did you decide to get involved in this organization?

The YMCA’s mission is so crucial to the development of the South Florida community. Their support provides low-cost services to residents from all walks of life. I was drawn to the mission of the YMCA, and I wanted to help out in any way that I could.

How has Kaufman Rossin contributed to your success with this organization?

Kaufman Rossin has been extremely supportive of my service with the YMCA. The firm’s annual sponsorship has allowed us to achieve and exceed fundraising goals.  The firm offers flexibility to me so I can continue to serve on the board.

What is your advice for others who are thinking about getting involved in the community?

Find an organization that touches your heart and is making a significant impact in our South Florida community, and get involved! No matter how you join, whether as a board member or a volunteer, your skills could move an entire community forward. Put them to good use helping an organization to achieve its mission.

_____

Mike Moore is the director of profit and performance services in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is one of the top accounting firms in the U.S. Mike Moore can be reached at mmoore@kaufmanrossin.com.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

May 1 is the Annual Report Filing Deadline for Florida Companies

By May 1, 2014, corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships in Florida are responsible for filing annual reports. Submitting your company’s annual report after this date will result in a $400 fine.Carlos Somoza, J.D., of Kaufman, Rossin in Miami

Even if your company did not receive an annual report filing notice, you will still be held responsible for filing the report before the deadline. Exceptions are made for nonprofit organizations. Filing an income tax extension will not extend the due date on this document because it is a legal report, not a tax-related filing.

The Florida Department of State – Division of Corporations will revoke or dissolve a business entity from its records if a company does not file its annual report by the third Friday in September.

If you would like to see if a company has filed its 2014 annual report, you can review those documents at the Florida Division of Corporations website.

You can file your annual report online using your entity’s document number (located on your annual report filing notice), a valid email address, a credit card and your Federal Employer Identification number. There is a $150 filing fee.

If you have questions about filing your company’s annual report, you can contact me or another Kaufman Rossin professional.

Carlos A. Somoza, J.D., LL.M., is an international tax principal in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is one of the top accounting firms in the U.S. Carlos can be reached at csomoza@kaufmanrossin.com.  

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

What Service Organizations Need to Know About SOC 2 & 3 Reports Changes

If your organization provides services to other businesses, recent changes to the Service Organization Controls (SOC) reports should make your life a little easier.  The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recently issued an update to the Trust Services Principles for SOC reports to eliminate redundancies and better organize the criteria. The changes will go into effect later this year and greatly facilitate the audit process for service organizations.

Richard Salinas, CPA, of Kaufman RossinThe SOC report changes were a hot topic at this year’s ISACA WOW conference, which brought together technology, audit, control and security professionals to discuss the latest developments in information security and risk management.

SOC reports are important because they allow service organizations to demonstrate to their stakeholders, clients and prospective clients that they have the right controls in place to protect clients’ data. Depending on the size of your business and clients, you may have received requests for a SOC report directly from your clients or from your client’s external auditors. If you haven’t been receiving these requests, be assured that as your company and client base grows, so will the amount of requests pouring in for a SOC report.

SOC 2 & 3 reports provide assurance over the controls related to the five trust principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. Your clients want to know that their vendors have effective controls in place surrounding the trust principles, ensuring their data is safe.

What’s changing in the SOC reports?

The most important change coming to the SOC 2 &3 reports is that the trust service principles have been restructured. In the past, the trust principles all maintained standalone criteria. Going forward, four of the five trust principles (the privacy principle is the only exception) will have common criteria that comprehensively address all of the principles and fewer standalone criteria that are relevant to only a single trust principle.

The common criteria fall into seven categories:

  • Organization and management
  • Communications
  • Risk management and design and implementation of controls
  • Monitoring of controls
  • Logical and physical access controls
  • System operations
  • Change management

What’s the reason for these changes?

Redundancies in the current structure have created some areas of uncertainty for independent auditors in testing certain criteria for each trust principle. This can lead to inefficiencies both in the design and in the execution of the audit plan, as well as some difficulty in communicating the procedures with the service organization.

How will these changes affect you as a service provider?

The changes to the SOC 2 & 3 reports will benefit service organizations in two ways:

  1. The audit process will be easier to understand. External auditors will be able to more effectively communicate the procedures to be performed and explain what the objectives of those procedures will be. Although this was done in the past, the clarification and consolidation of the trust principle criteria will allow this to be communicated with greater ease.
  2. The audit process will become more efficient. The auditor should be making fewer requests of your team, reducing the time and effort on your end and making the experience less painful.

The changes to the Trust Services Principles and Criteria will take effect for reporting periods ending on or after December 15th, 2014. Only time and experience will tell what the extent of the impact of the changes will be, but it seems apparent that the AICPA is making an effort to streamline and clarify the criteria tested by independent auditors, which will ultimately make the process easier for service organizations.

To learn more about how these SOC report changes affect your organization, contact me or another member of Kaufman Rossin’s risk advisory services team.

_____

Richard Salinas, CPA, is a senior accounting professional in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is one of the top accounting firms in the U.S. and offers SSAE16/SOC services to clients in a variety of industries. Richard can be reached at rsalinas@kaufmanrossin.com.

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Want to Be a Best Place to Work? These 5 Tips Are for You

Are you interested in transforming your company into a Best Place to Work?  Developing a culture of mutual appreciation and communication between you and your employees isn’t easy. The “Kaufman Rossin Presents: Want to be a Best Place to Work?” breakfast seminar on March 28, 2014, asked a panel of business executives to weigh-in on ways to build a company culture that is consistently recognized as a Best Place to Work.  Samantha Cronn of Kaufman Rossin

A panel of experts, moderated by Sammy Mack, a producer and editor at WLRN – Miami Herald News, discussed strategies for building and maintaining a positive work environment.  The panelists all lead businesses that have been recognized for having an outstanding company culture:

The panelists identified starting points for transforming your office culture, as well as tips for maintaining that culture as you grow.  They also discussed some of the challenges that arise when you put your employees first.

Here are five tips for turning your business into a Best Place to Work:

1.  Hire personalities, not skills. Skills can be learned, personalities can’t. The best way to begin building a happy office culture is to hire personalities that align with your vision. If you believe a potential employee’s personality would be a great fit for your organization, but he does not have enough experience, make room for him. If a candidate is perfect on paper but you aren’t sure about his personality, don’t hire him.

Understanding a potential employee’s personality before you make the hiring decision requires extra work. Invest in software to evaluate candidates based on a personality test or behavioral assessment such as the Predictive Index, or make time to get to know the candidate one-on-one before you decide.

2. Invest in your employees. Encourage employees to be the primary beneficiary of their own success. In other words, root for them to achieve their goals and assist them when you can. Investing in the continued education of an employee and promoting from within are less expensive and more rewarding than recruiting new candidates on a regular basis. You build a culture of trust and respect when you value your employees and encourage them to grow.

 3. The extras aren’t extra. Gyms, personal trainers, dinner parties, catered lunch, a game room –the “extras” make a big impact on the happiness and well-being of your employees. If you are investing in them, your employees are more inclined to feel loyal to your company, to work harder for you and ultimately, to stick around through good times and bad.

 4. Tear down the walls. An open floor plan in the office promotes transparency and encourages collaboration between employees. But having an open floor plan isn’t everything; the panelists suggest having an open-door policy with other aspects of your business as well, including your books.

 5. Lead by example.  Maintaining a Best Place to Work culture as your business grows is exceedingly difficult, and those in leadership positions are never off the clock. Be a champion of your culture, and show your team that you’re willing to make tough decisions in support of firm culture – even if those decisions occasionally come at the expense of profits.

Promoting a Best Place to Work culture in your office ultimately contributes to your company’s success. An open, collaborative culture attracts promising talent. Joyful, motivated and dedicated employees provide better service to your clients, who in turn will be more satisfied and loyal. The more you invest in your employees, the more you will get in return.

_____

Samantha Cronn is a communications coordinator in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is the fastest growing accounting firm in the U.S. Samantha can be reached at scronn@kaufmanrossin.com

SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Understanding Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets

Do you have foreign financial assets valued at over $50,000? If so, you may need to include an additional form with your individual tax return this year. Along with Form 1040, individuals who meet these criteria should submit Form 8938, the Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.

Since 2011, certain individual taxpayers have been required to attach Form 8938 to their individual U.S. income tax return on a yearly basis.Maria Toledo of Kaufman Rossin

Not sure if this requirement applies to you? The following are some examples of specified foreign financial assets:

  • An account maintained at a foreign financial institution
  • Stock or security issued by a foreign person
  • Interest in any foreign entity, including Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFIC)
  • A financial instrument or contract held for foreign investment that has a foreign issuer or counterpart who is not a U.S. resident
  • A financial instrument or contract, including interest and currency swaps, other swap contracts, options and other derivative contracts;
  • An interest in a foreign pension.

The filing threshold for taxpayers begins at $50,000, but different thresholds apply to taxpayers depending on their filing status and country of residence.

Many taxpayers incorrectly assume that filing Form 8938 will satisfy their obligation to file the  Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) FinCEN Form 114 with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but Form 8938 does not replace the FBAR reporting requirements.

Taxpayers who are subject to the Form 8938 reporting requirements and fail to comply face significant penalties including criminal charges and fines between $10,000 and $50,000 per year.  It’s important for individuals to determine whether they are subject to this requirement before filing.

The new requirement is currently applicable to individuals subject to U.S. taxation; however, the U.S. Treasury has indicated that the provisions will soon be extended to U.S. entities as well.

If you would like to find out how international tax changes affect you, please contact me or another member of Kaufman Rossin’s international tax practice.

_____

Maria Toledo, CPA, is a tax manager in Kaufman Rossin’s Miami office. Kaufman Rossin is one of the top CPA firms in the U.S. and offers international, state and local tax services to clients across the country. Maria can be reached at mtoledo@kaufmanrossin.com.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 56 57 58 Next