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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 have ...
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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 to ...
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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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One of the biggest challenges facing the CPA profession today is the transition of leadership from those in the Baby Boomer Generation to those in Generation X and the Millennial Generation. This shift is creating a leadership gap in many organizations that can have far-reaching effects if not handled properly through leadership development and progressive transition. Without mitigating the risks brought on by this leadership gap, organizations face the challenges of being left with incoming leaders who have very little leadership experience, or even worse, being stranded with no incoming leaders at all. However, the responsibility for bridging this leadership ...
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It has taken close to a decade for me to even begin to understand what comes with experience.  In navigating through our professional and personal lives, we struggle with understanding the journey and direct our focus solely on the destination.  This post is not another attempt to say that life is all about the journey. If you are still conducting this debate under the pretense of self-monologue, you have already missed the ship out of town. I am 31. To the baby boomers, I am the disdained “millennial.” To my colleagues, I’m likely just another guy.  For those that I meet that are younger, I probably have achieved a respectable level of success that is the ...
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I am extremely honored and excited having received an invitation from the Indiana CPA Society to emcee the 2018 CPA Celebration . It has and continues to be a privilege to be part of such a forward-thinking and innovative organization and group of colleagues. Having served five years on the Leadership Cabinet, I really hope to participate again in the very near future. Soon after joining LC, I participated on the educational foundation board of trustees and got involved with the Fusion Network writing articles on trends, new ideas, and innovation in the CPA profession. I also commenced as a discussion leader for continuing education . Though I have been a ...
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“Will it happen or not? And if so when?” These are the frequent and common questions we receive from our clients and business owners. Along with potential optimism, also comes frustration among not only clients, but CPAs as well. Generally, CPAs look to assist and be proactive from a planning perspective, and to have their clients' or employer's best interests in mind. How do we advise people about the possibility of changes to a tax system and when could we actually see this take shape? Some refer to it as tax reform, while others consider it tax reductions depending upon your perspective. We have heard various details about proposed items regarding tax ...
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Over the years, I have written articles spanning many different areas. As I looked ahead and contemplated my next topic, I reached out to the Indiana CPA Society to see what might interest our readers. As I returned to the classroom this fall having taken a year off from teaching, I too thought of higher education. Upon recommendation from the Society and drawing inspiration from my new adjunct opportunities at the University of Saint Francis and Indiana Tech , I decided to share more of my higher education experiences.  The Journal of Accountancy recently discussed three myths that hold CPAs back from teaching college-level accounting courses . Myth ...
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Staffing continues to be a concern for the CPA profession. Numerous articles have been written about the war for talent. As an educator, the start of a new academic year always leads me to look for ways to inspire the best and brightest student to consider a career in accounting. Because most colleges and universities require all business majors and many non-business majors to take an introductory account course, we have the opportunity to identify and hopefully influence the students we want to attract. These students have a wide variety of academic and career options. Learning about debits, credits, and journal entries will not motivate these elite students ...
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With all the advances in technology, most employers provide for employees to work remotely from home. HR experts often cite this as a benefit of great importance to millennials and younger professionals when evaluating a prospective employer. That said, I often hear many employers and managers in my age bracket cite this practice as detrimental to client service and productivity. We all know there are “pros” and “cons” to everything, so I thought it might be worthwhile to take a closer look at the topic of telecommuting. According to a February 2017 article in the Harvard Business Review , many of the most-valued benefits for employees were ones that provided ...
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Breaking News: In businesses of all shapes and sizes, resources are limited. The degree to which resource limitations exist may vary depending on size and industry, but even the largest companies in the most prosperous industries have resource constraints. It is the task of management to determine how to allocate those resources to achieve the highest level of success in a given business. As CPAs, we are often consulted to assist in the allocation of these limited resources. Whether we are called upon to do this in a client’s business or in our own, the goal remains the same. However, simply because a business has limited resources does not mean that business ...
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