Blogs

Why advocate?

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If you have been a member of INCPAS over the past few years, you have probably heard someone reference our INCPAS 2025 document. Hopefully, it’s been hard to miss. It has been a topic of Professional Issues Updates, Leadership Cabinet and Emerging Leaders meetings, and published in the CPA IN Perspective magazine. Since 2015, we have been working to make the four bold challenges and vision a reality in the everyday operations of our society.  One of the four bold challenges outlined in the document addresses advocacy: INCPAS and our members become the most trusted business resource and advocates in Indiana. Additionally, we defined success in part as ...
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Imagine working for a large multi-national corporation with highly recognizable products and services used around the world. Now place yourself in your ideal role, working with a high performing and enjoyable team making more money than you’ve made at any time in your career. Add to this mix a supportive boss, high degree of flexibility in your work product and opportunities to make significant impacts in the operations of the organization. After building this ideal scenario, what would it take for you to walk away from this environment? Would you counsel someone to leave such a fortunate situation to pursue their passion? Outside of a life-changing event, ...
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Relax (just do it!)

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First off, congratulations to all of us for getting through the 3/15 deadline! The first big milestone of tax season has passed and for those of us who are tax focused, we have about a month of “really” busy season left. We can do it! Tying into surviving this first deadline: I thought this would be the perfect time to write about ways to handle stress and maintain a work-life balance, especially during this time of year. I am sure your emails are already full of similar articles, so while I will pull from some general guidelines, I am going to focus mainly on my own tried-and-true methods. Every tax season I find a main thing as my “relief,” and this varies ...
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As a CPA, one of my hobbies is following the news, as I’m sure is the same with many of you. Two of my favorite tools to digest news are my iPhone and iPad, and I use a variety of apps to check in on what’s going on daily. Here are three of my favorite apps. Twitter At this point, must of us are probably familiar with Twitter, a one-stop shop for news across business, politics, sports, pop culture, and everything else in between. The biggest advantage for me is easy access to the information that is trending and the ability to absorb it in bite size chunks, which is great if I’m on the go or in between meetings. Personally, I am a big fan of the ...
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Countless resources exist on leadership. Our conversation, yes, I look forward to your insight, embodies some of what I perceive and value as great leadership as portrayed by business and community leaders. For many, our discussion serves as a refresher and opportunity for you to reflect on your opinion of a great leader. As I attempt to articulate some of what I value, I welcome your expertise so that we can all continue to grow and learn. For those early in your respective profession, I hope this fosters some ideas applicable to your journey. If you aspire upward movement at your organization, keep in mind the importance of developing and applying soft skills. ...
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Yaugen Karakin, INCPAS Scholar alum and former INCPAS intern shares tips with future accounting majors on how to acclimate to college life. Academics, social life and sleep are the three essentials for every college student. These activities seemed to flow so seamlessly in high school, yet unfortunately college students can only ever seem to successfully manage two of the three. This is referred to as “The College Triangle,” and after my first three semesters of college I can attest to the fact this triangle is real. Coming into college it’s easy to be flooded with emotions - uncertainty, nervousness, anxiousness, fear, joy and most of all excitement ...
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Lately, I feel like every other article I read is about either artificial intelligence or blockchain. I felt I have a pretty good understanding of AI but knew very little about the blockchain. Over the past few months, I made it my goal to learn more about it. How does it work? And how will it impact my profession? So what is the blockchain? It is basically a digital record of economic transitions that can be programmed to record just about anything that is deemed to have value in knowing. It creates a recorded history of whatever that blockchain is designed to track. We currently have a lot of systems that are used to record history, such as an accounting ...
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While most of the world considers "the most wonderful time of year" to be in December, we as CPAs know the truth. The "most wonderful time of year" is in the coming months.  It’s the time of year that most of us have the opportunity to see many of our clients and to help them navigate the challenges that face them at the start of a new year. With this opportunity looming, it’s important that we refocus and remember that we have an ethical responsibility to the public, to our clients and to our colleagues. This ethical responsibility calls for an unadulterated commitment to honorable behavior, even if that behavior is at the cost of our own benefit. With ...
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This is not going to be your typical send-off letter, waxing poetic about a great leader. Instead, I want to attempt to write something for Gary Bolinger who supported so many (including me) and influenced even more. The desired result is not necessarily to thank him for his work - sorry, man - we’ve done that already! - but rather to drive you to take the ultimate proverbial page from his playbook: create change that you will not even see. It is a new year, a fresh start and a period of change everywhere, especially at the Indiana CPA Society where we welcome Jennifer Briggs to the helm of top leadership. Yet, while looking for the subject matter for this ...
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“I found if you have a goal that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And let me tell you, it feels phenomenal,” from the sarcastic viewpoint of Vince Vaughn in the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Although this notion is entertaining, the reality is that without any goals, there would be no accountability for those of us attempting to succeed in our careers. Generally when the new year comes around, we often hear the cliché of making one or a few significant changes to assist us in improving our livelihoods. Whether these resolutions include losing weight, being more disciplined, or being more ...
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2017 Best in Blogs

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2017 Best in Blogs These are the Top 10 most-read posts from your fellow members! 1.  Are you ready for Artificial Intelligence? 2.  Small business checklist can help with start-ups 3.  Bridging the generational leadership gap 4.  How are you advising people about tax reform? 5.  Helping shape the minds of future leaders and professionals 6.  Are you challenging the status quo? If not, that's a "Kroc" ...
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As mentioned in my previous article , I want to take a moment this holiday season to highlight the various ways to engage with and responsibilities of serving the community and nonprofit sector. Trusted business advisors offer an important perspective. Many opportunities exist whether board , committee, or volunteer service. Self-awareness represents an important step for those interested in partnering with an organization. The full board as well as individual members have and must fully understand their role and responsibilities. Given this importance as well as engagement and aligning passion for the mission, I always strongly encourage interested colleagues ...
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First things first: I am not Charles Dickens. However, as we approach year-end, we have a great opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and begin to look forward to the year ahead. During this time, we look to the past to provide wisdom for the present and future. Unlike Ebenezer Scrooge in the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” fortunately we do not have the ghost of Jacob Marley to guide us through our contemplation. Instead, we have this article and others like it, which are far less scary than a ghost while accomplishing the same objective. So, take a break from reading the proposed tax legislation as we explore the ghosts of busy seasons ...
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Whose inspiration would you follow about the current Bitcoin windfall and frenzy? Do you think “A Change Will Do You Good” as Sheryl Crow’s music lyrics might suggest, or follow the recommendation of The Steve Miller Band to “Take the Money and Run?”  Obviously there is a wide range of opinion based upon your individual viewpoint and the increased awareness regarding virtual currency (sometimes referred to as cryptocurrency). Why are virtual currencies creating so much excitement ? Interestingly, one reason could be a result of Wall Street recently receiving its initial exposure to Bitcoin with the first-ever futures contract going to market and ...
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Beneficiary IRA RMD

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​My client's mother who was over 70 1/2 died late in 2016 leaving my client two IRAs.  My client took all the money in 2017 directly from one of the IRAs and transferred the second IRA into a beneficiary IRA.  Does the distribution from the first IRA count as a RMD from the beneficiary IRA even though it never had the character of a beneficiary IRA?  Seems logical that it would but can't find a 100% answer.  Thank you everyone.
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Are you looking to be more competitive in an ever-changing global economy? Are you being asked to develop and improve designs and processes to be more forward thinking? Are you finding that the cost of this constant development and improvement is becoming more costly? Many AEC firms don’t realize it, but the complexity of modern structures often requires a great deal of innovation, design, and development – efforts that may qualify a firm for significant research and development tax incentives. If an AEC firm expends time and effort in the design phase of projects and processes, then they are in a great position to claim the R&D credit. A firm does not ...
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While reading through several different magazines and trade publications to find something topical for this week’s blog, I ran across a short opinion piece by Hitendra Patil from the October 2017 issue of Accounting Today titled “Your Child Probably Won’t Be an Accountant.” This was funny to me, as I have one child in college and one starting next year, and I typically get asked if either of them want to get into accounting. The answer in my case is “no,” but why might the author’s statement be true? The author was actually writing about what seems to be outdated definitions of CPAs, accountants, auditors, bookkeepers, etc. and by reading those definitions, ...
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In my last blog post, I talked about a topic that has always been interesting to me: identify theft and fraud. Now I am going to dive into something that has always held a special place in my heart and highlight the ways it has shaped and continues to shape my life and professional growth. I have quite a few hobbies. Ask anyone in my office and they will likely list off many random things I do in my spare time (which I have little of) including gaming, cosplaying, crafting, etc. But the one thing that probably stands out the most – well, besides my cosplaying - is my passion and sport: horses and riding. I have been riding horses since I was five years old, ...
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When talking about risk within a nonprofit, it’s common to think of fraud risk - the areas within the organization that are susceptible to fraud occurring. Or you might think of IT risk - the risk of someone hacking into the organization’s computer system. Or even legal and compliance risk - the risk of not following applicable laws or requirements. What about reputation risk? Given that a nonprofit’s greatest asset is its reputation, time should be granted to focus on protecting it. Reputational risk is the loss due to damages to an organization’s reputation. It includes not only what is true but what is perceived about your organization. In addition ...
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The House Problem Solvers Caucus has released a bipartisan plan to stabilize the healthcare marketplace and keep health insurance premiums down. Unfortunately, this plan is not yet law and will have to clear several additional hurdles first. One of the important factors in this plan is that there was bipartisan support in the House for this plan.  Hopefully, this will start a new comeback on Capitol Hill regarding working together. How did this happen? When the Founders of the constitution were shaping our democracy, they intended the House of Representatives to reflect more immediate popular opinion which is why the representatives only have two-year terms. ...
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