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Leading off
Podcast: The ties that bind are people
How important is the human element to the future of work in the accounting and finance profession? International podcaster and finance pro Andrew Codd takes a closer look in this week’s episode of our “Future-Proof” podcast. (From the MACPA)
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Spring 2021 issue of The Statement now online
The Spring 2021 edition of The Statement is now available digitally. The new edition features our e-book “Insights From The Innovation Summit” in its entirety, with its crowdsourced look at the future of our profession. The new issue also includes closer looks at Maryland’s digital advertising tax and the state’s newly revised tax forms. Download it here.
Browse the Statement archives here.
New CPA Evolution curriculum coming in June
The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy will unveil the new CPA Evolution Model Accounting Curriculum during a free, online launch event in June, co-hosted with the American Accounting Association. The two-day event, to be held June 15-16, will provide attendees with a detailed overview of the new Model Accounting Curriculum. (From Accounting Today)
MACPA's Preferred Providers offer resources to help you succeed in a changing professional landscape.
Find the latest future-focused content
As strategic partners of the MACPA, our Preferred Providers are on the cutting edge of the hard trends impacting the CPA profession. Whether it’s cybersecurity, automation, AI and machine learning, or any of the other issues you’re wondering about, chances are our Preferred Providers have resources for you.
Forensic Valuation Services Conference 2021
Business valuation, litigation support, and forensic accounting have all seen massive changes in the last few years thanks to new regulations, legislation, and technological developments. MACPA has designed the Forensic Valuation Conference specifically to serve the critical niche of CPAs involved or interested in these sectors.
Choose the track that’s best for you based on your professional experience.
(05/20) Quarterly Financial Leaders Series: Avoiding Bankruptcy – The Business Case for Designing an Experience-Led Organization
In an age when word-of-mouth has become weaponized, traditional marketing approaches to brand and reputation are no longer sufficient. This course educates business leaders on the changing market conditions of our Experience Economy, where experience-led brands have begun to dominate. It features an introduction to customer experience, employee experience, and intentional culture management, use cases, and metrics.
2021 Employee Benefit Plan Audit Conference
The Employee Benefit Plan Audit Conference equips CPAs in public practice with guidance on how to perform a quality audit of an EBP.
The conference offers two tracks that will be offered over two days in May – Basic and Intermediate/Advanced – each dealing with issues that impact EBPs.
Wednesday, May 12 – The Intermediate/Advanced Track provides CPAs an update on accounting and auditing issues and offers a variety of sessions designed to address areas that add complexity to EBP engagements.
Tuesday, May 25 – The Basic Audit Track walks through the required audit procedures for CPAs who are new to auditing EBPs.
2021 Future CPA Leadership Series
The Future CPA Leadership Series is a virtual offering designed to give aspiring CPAs an inside look into the profession. Each day of the series is broken down for individual registration to allow you to take advantage of as little or as many of the sessions your schedule allows. We know life is busy and the current environment uncertain, but MACPA is here to help you navigate your future and plan for continued success.
Please note, the Future CPA Leadership Series is open to all students and upon completion of the series in its entirety, you will receive a certificate of completion.
Financial Analytics for Acquiring and Retaining Customers
Acquiring new customers is expensive and the longer you can retain them the more profitable your business can be. This is especially true for businesses that rely on repeat sales because long-term profitability comes from repeatedly providing products and/or services over an extended period of time. This webcast reviews the KPIs, retention metrics, and customer segmentation that can be generated from existing accounting data to inform revenue operations, sales strategies and marketing efforts.
MACPA Town Hall (May 2021)
Join us for this MACPA all member update. We will host these monthly to bring you the latest in what impacts you and the CPA profession.
Virtual Beach Retreat 2021
The annual MACPA Beach Retreat is a CPE experience that’s unlike any other. And even though we can’t be together in person this year, we’re excited to present this year’s Beach Retreat through an innovative virtual format!
Choose from any of the courses offered each day of the retreat, including a professional issues update to kick things off and two full days of seminars with some of MACPA’s leading instructors and subject matter experts.
Back by Popular Demand: #FutureReady Learning Labs
Please join us for MACPA’s #FutureReady Learning Labs, a complimentary series of TED Talk-style presentations that will kick off Beach Retreat
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Federal legislation
Biden unveils massive family aid plan
President Joe Biden will unveil on Wednesday a sweeping $1.8 trillion plan to expand educational opportunities and child care for families, funded in part by the largest tax increases on wealthy Americans in decades — the centerpiece of his first address to a joint session of Congress. (From Accounting Today)
What’s in the proposed $1.8 trillion spending plan?
President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday unveiled a $1.8 trillion, 10-year plan to ramp up federal support for American families, with a major expansion in spending on child care, paid leave and education. (From Accounting Today)
Tax hikes proposed for high-income Americans
President Biden on Wednesday proposed tax increases for high-income individuals — including increases to the top income tax rate and capital gains tax rate — as a way to pay for his new plan focused on education and child care. (From The Hill)
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COVID-19 relief
Maryland lifts outdoor mask mandate
Maryland has lifted its outdoor mask mandate effective immediately and will also eliminate all restrictions on outdoor dining statewide later this week. (From the Baltimore Business Journal)
CDC says it is safe for vaccinated people to unmask outdoor
SBA sets opening dates for Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The U.S. Small Business Administration has unveiled opening dates for the much-anticipated Restaurant Revitalization Fund. (From the Journal of Accountancy)
How employers should proceed with 'the vaccination question'
As COVID-19 vaccination rates climb, more employers are setting their return plans in motion. For many businesses, the return is expected to be accompanied by a question: “Are you vaccinated?” (From the Baltimore Business Journal)
SBA rolls out $5 billion "Supplemental Targeted Advance" grant program
The Small Business Administration has officially begun doling out $5 billion in additional grants to small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, the agency announced April 23. (From the Baltimore Business Journal)
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Tax season
IRS is holding millions of tax returns, delaying refunds
The IRS is holding 29 million tax returns for manual processing, delaying tax refunds for many Americans, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent arm of the tax agency that looks out for consumers’ interest. The delays are prompting some taxpayers to fret over social media about spending weeks waiting in limbo for their money. (From CBS News)
At least 8 million tax returns are in limbo at the IRS
The IRS has been stretched to the limit. In addition to typical tax-season duties, the IRS has been tasked over the last year with distributing three rounds of stimulus checks and implementing a slew of last-minute tax code changes meant to ease the financial strain on individuals and businesses across the country. (From Business Insider)
10 numbers that sum up the dire backlog at the IRS
As the U.S. economy recovers from the disruption and damage of Covid-19, the Internal Revenue Service is struggling through a filing season unlike any other in history. (From Forbes)
12 ways to stress less this busy season
Many adults reported not knowing what to do to change their lifestyle so they could reduce their stress, so it just makes sense to talk about this a little. (From CPA Trendlines)
How to thrive after another challenging tax season
This tax season will go on record as another challenging one for tax practitioners. COVID relief programs have added another layer of complexity to our normally complicated process. (From AccountingWEB)
More in tax
Biden seeks $80 billion to beef up IRS audits of high-earners
The president’s “American Families Plan,” which he will detail this week, will be offset in part by a tax enforcement effort that administration officials believe will raise $700 billion over a decade. (From The New York Times)
Maryland Comptroller offers guidance to businesses on sales and use tax credit
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is issuing a reminder and further guidance to business owners who may be eligible for a sales and use tax credit under the RELIEF Act of 2021. (From Maryland’s Comptroller)
IRS ups tax credit amounts for inflation after American Rescue Plan
The Internal Revenue Service is increasing the inflation-adjusted amounts of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit for this year in accordance with the latest coronavirus relief package. (From Accounting Today)
With Florida law, almost all states require online sales tax collection
Florida, one of the last two holdout states to enact economic nexus legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision on taxing online sales, has finally passed a bill that applies sales tax collection requirements to remote sellers and marketplace facilitators. (From Accounting Today)
Maryland to pay $11 million to homeowners after tax error
The state will pay over $11 million in refunds to some Maryland homeowners — primarily in Montgomery County and Baltimore City — after Louis Wilen of Olney uncovered a mistake by the state taxation department. (From Bethesda Magazine)
IRS pushed to crack down on peer-to-peer payment apps
The Internal Revenue Service could be doing more to track unreported income flowing through increasingly popular peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo and Zelle, according to a new report. (From Accounting Today)
Business and industry
Small businesses recovering despite pandemic
Small businesses are gaining more revenue this year despite the lingering challenges from COVID-19 and reversing last year’s losses, according to a report from Intuit’s QuickBooks unit. (From Accounting Today)
Pandemic recovery is strewn with risks, corporate leaders say
Corporate leaders are increasingly optimistic that the economic outlook will brighten over the course of 2021, despite the myriad risks they continue to worry about as the next pandemic chapter unfolds, research suggests. (From Financial Management)
Economic confidence hits net positive for first time in pandemic
A Gallup ranking of economic confidence turned positive in April for the first time since the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy last March. (From The Hill)
Report: CFO role has grown during pandemic
The coronavirus has compelled CFOs to increase their C-suite clout by streamlining business and financial processes and ensuring better use of enterprise data for “strategic, real-time and predictive insights,” Accenture said in a survey. (From CFO Dive)
Enforcement levels stayed high at SEC in 2020, but dropped at PCAOB
The Securities and Exchange Commission maintained a high level of enforcement actions last year despite the pandemic, but activity fell to record lows at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. (From Accounting Today)
Public practice / A&A
An accountant's guide to post-pandemic growth
The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 incredibly unpredictable for most professions, including accountancy. With the virus now winding down and “business as usual” resuming across the United States, Heather Robinson of Boomer Consulting says it’s crucial for accountants to take a proactive approach to ensure their firms experience post-pandemic growth. (From AccountingWEB)
Firms faced record ransomware attacks, IT personnel shortages amid COVID
Cybersecurity and IT professionals across all industries faced record levels of successful cyber attacks in the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report from Annapolis’ CyberEdge Group. (From the Baltimore Business Journal)
What's the blueprint for the 'unstoppable practice?'
Joe Woodard lays out a blueprint for the ideal accounting firm of the future in this Accounting Today podcast. (From Accounting Today)
3 workflows that every accounting practice should know
Every business owner knows that workflows are your company’s map to efficient teamwork and consistently quality results. For this reason, it’s worth your time and energy to make sure you’re getting your workflow right. (From CPA Practice Advisor)
Diversity and inclusion
AICPA to hold public forum on diversity and inclusion
The American Institute of CPAs’ National Committee on Diversity and Inclusion will host its second public forum on diversity, equity and inclusivity on May 10. (From Accounting Today)
Resilience lessons for women accountants
Women made up 59.7 percent of all accountants and auditors and 52.6 percent of financial managers in the United States in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This kind of trail blazing requires resilience. (From the Journal of Accountancy)
From our partners
Trust and taking a position on the right side of history
Can you trust what you’re about to read? Tony Ward hopes you believe the answer to that question is yes, but he thinks we all have to acknowledge that the state of trust in the world today suggests that it can’t be assumed. In a very upside-down way, findings from the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey of perceived credibility and trust in the information we consume and its sources, signal a massive opportunity — and perhaps an obligation — for businesses and their leaders. (From Xero)
Botkeeper partners with Xero
Botkeeper, which uses artificial intelligence and outsourcing to provide automated bookkeeping solutions to accounting firms, has partnered with Xero to use its cloud accounting platform in delivering its services. (From Accounting Today)
Avalara acquires another tax automation company
Avalara has closed a deal to acquire Davo Technologies, which automates sales taxes for small businesses. (From Accounting Today)
Intuit releases Small Business Recovery Report
Intuit has released an Intuit Small Business Recovery Report that quantifies and confirms that resilience. U.S. small businesses are on the road to recovery from the financial losses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, but challenges remain. The report is based on anonymized QuickBooks net bank deposits data from a sample of 800,000 to 1.1 million businesses and uncovers how the pandemic affected the finances of small businesses throughout the U.S. from March 2020 to March 2021. (From Intuit)
The impact of electronic signature solutions
When the country and the world essentially shut down one month before the tax deadline last year, it did not invoke feelings of peace and tranquility. While everyday use of electronic signatures in the tax and accounting profession has been slow but steady over the years, a thundering rush of firms searching for the best solutions came with the pandemic. Read more about how e-signing and electronic signature solutions affected the tax and accounting profession. (From SafeSend)
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