Category Archives: Education

NSAC Cooperative Learning Network – Upcoming Webinars

The National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives offers some great online learning resources from time-to-time, and in today’s e-newsletter update, a few in particular were listed that caught my attention. In particular, George Benson and Teree Castanias are excellent, knowledgeable presenters, and Don Frederick — himself a legend in the co-op tax world — does a great job introducing the concept of co-op taxation.

Book vs Tax vs Hybrid Basis of Paying Patronage
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
02:00 PM EST / 01:00 PM CST / 12:00 PM MST / 11:00 AM PST

A cooperative must return the profits of its patronage operations to the member/patrons based on the business done with the cooperative for the year. But how that income is computed (book, tax or hybrid) will create very different results. How the cooperative addresses this issue can have important financial and member relations implications.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

Fraud Risk Management for Cooperatives
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

Cooperatives face a multitude of risks every day. How that risk is managed can affect the long-term success of the organization. Fraud Risk Management for Cooperatives focuses on recognizing risks, especially related to the difficult topic of fraud, and building a simple, actionable organization wide plan to effectively manage those fraud risks.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW

Basic A&A Seminar
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

This 4-hour, 4-CPE credit course, is designed for new hires and other employe es of cooperatives and firms serving cooperatives that can benefit from training in the unique nature of cooperatives.

Introduction to Cooperatives – Donald Frederick (11:00 am – 12:00 pm
During this presentation we explain the foundation for doing business on a cooperative basis, with special emphasis on the owner-customer role of a co-op’s members. We discuss the rich history of cooperatives in America, the many types of cooperatives in our communities, and conclude with an examination of the benefits of having businesses operate as cooperatives.

Equity Management & Inter-Cooperative Investments – Phil Miller (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The course discusses the various types of Cooperative Equity and introduces the concepts of Equity Redemption. It discusses the Components of Inter-Cooperative Investments and why Co-ops so often invest in each other. It covers Balance Sheet and Income Statement Presentation, Timing and Recognition issues, Footnote Disclosures, and Impairment Questions related specifically to Inter-Cooperative Investments.

Lunch (1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
The audio portion of the CLN will be suspended during this time.

Basic Cooperative Taxation – Donald Frederick (1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
During this session we discuss the unique Federal income tax treatment of cooperatives. We focus on how tax law supports equity accumulation by cooperatives, particularly the patronage refund. We conclude by providing a set of tools to facilitate tax planning by cooperatives and their professional advisers.

Co-op GAAP – Phil Miller (2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
The course discusses how all GAAP is applicable to co-ops, but also how some GAAP applies specifically to only co-ops. We will discuss the two single pieces of GAAP that form the basis for Co-op GAAP, plus one piece of GAAP that applies to electric co-ops. We will discuss how NSAC has contributed to the body of Co-op GAAP over the years and will finish with a discussion of the new FASB Codification and how Co-op GAAP is contained within the Codification.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

Record Retention Policies and Practices: A Legal Perspective
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

What documents do you have to keep?? Can you destroy documents?? This session will answer those questions and discuss organizing, cataloguing, r etaining and routinely destroying documents to allow you to review your process at your organization.? The process of creating and enforcing a formal policy for document retention with attendant schedules will be examined, and the annual documentation that should accompany the policy will be discussed. Legal holds for documents and leading practices for routine destruction will also be reviewed

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

Advanced A&A Seminar
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

This 4-hour webinar is designed for recent hires and other employees of cooperatives and firms serving cooperatives that can benefit from training in the unique nature of cooperatives. The three modules presented in this course include Hedge Acco unting, Advanced Cooperative Taxation and Co-op Ratio Analysis.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

The full list of online webinars can be found at the NSAC Cooperative Learning Network.

Proposed Changes to QBO ProAdvisor Certification Program

Intuit just announced major changes to the annual certification and re-certification exams for QuickBooks Online. Their intent is to standardize the testing windows so that all ProAdvisors are up for renewal at the same time, and to recommend four hours of annual continuing education (recognizing that many of us already have much more stringent CE requirements due to CPA, EA or other professional designations). They also are considering switching from the requirement to re-take the same certification exam each year to opting for a shorter exam that focuses only on what’s new in QBO.

In the meantime, while they evaluate the best way to implement these changes, they have paused all requirements for certification, with the following statement:

If you completed the QuickBooks Online Certification on or after October 21, 2016, your Certification status will not expire until after we release the new Certification exam. If you completed the exam before October 21, 2016, you can complete the exam currently available in your ProAdvisor Center to maintain or reinstate your Certification benefits.

Source: New QuickBooks Online Certification – Coming in 2018 – QuickBooks Learn & Support

October is National Women’s Small Business Month

The SBA (@SBAgov) will be hosting a Twitter chat on women-owned small businesses on Thursday, October 26, at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT. They’ll be sharing tips and resources to help women start, grow and succeed in business. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAchat.

Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, starts this article off by saying, “Seems hard to believe today, but thirty years ago, some state laws prevented women from getting a business loan without having a male relative co-sign for it.”

I had to admit, even I was shocked by that. Accounting is a field that’s not overrun by males, thankfully, and I’ve had no problem holding my own when confronted with discrimination, harassment, and condescension — though it’s happened all-too-often, especially with male lawyers, consultants, and financial advisers. (There was one time in particular when I was taken so off-guard that I didn’t stand up for myself, and actually had to sit at a side table while a male co-presenter stood at the lectern and took credit for a lecture that I wrote. I’ll never let that happen again.)

At this point, women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing sector of the economy, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. And October is National Women’s Small Business Month, in honor of the creation on October 25, 1988 of the National Women’s Business Council.

Today, 9.9 million businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, they employ more than 8 million workers, provide more than $264 billion in wages and salaries to employees, and contribute $1.4 trillion in sales to our national economy. The SBA’s Office of Advocacy describes them as an “economic powerhouse”.

But we’re far from done with the work it takes to right so many years of wrongs — so much inequity, as well as cultural mores that leave us all affected with subconscious sexism. Let’s take a moment each day this month to pause and check our actions and reactions; and maybe it will last us at least part-way into November.

The SBA (@SBAgov) will be hosting a Twitter chat on women-owned small businesses on Thursday, October 26, at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT. They’ll be sharing tips and resources to help women start, grow and succeed in business. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAchat.

Source: Supporting Women in Business | The U.S. Small Business Administration | SBA.gov

IRS Webinar: Understanding Tax Relief for Victims of Disasters

In today’s IRS e-News for Tax Professionals, the IRS announced a 2-hour webinar — held twice, once on Oct 18 and again on Oct 19 — geared toward helping taxpayers and their preparers understand various tax relief provisions in the code and administrative rulings.

Following the recent natural disasters in various parts of the U.S., this timely web conference will discuss:

  • Statutory Tax Relief for Casualty Victims (Both Individual & Business)
  • Special Rules for Federally Declared Disaster Areas
  • IRS Disaster Assistance Administrative Relief
  • Calculating and Reporting Disaster Area Losses
  • Involuntary Conversions resulting from Disaster Losses
  • Disaster Related Tax Issues: Harvey, Irma & Maria

A live question and answer session will round out the webinar.

Register and Attend:

Oct. 18 – 11:00 a.m. Eastern

Oct. 19 – 11:00 a.m. Eastern

Closed captioning is offered for the Oct. 19 web conference only.

Source: Understanding Tax Relief for Victims of Disasters

NSAC Cooperative Learning Network – Upcoming Webinars

The National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives offers some great online learning resources from time-to-time, and in today’s e-newsletter update, a few in particular were listed that caught my attention. In particular, George Benson and Teree Castanias are excellent, knowledgeable presenters, and Don Frederick — himself a legend in the co-op tax world — does a great job introducing the concept of co-op taxation.

Current Cooperative Tax Developments
Thursday, October 19, 2017
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

George Benson, Attorney, McDermott Will & Emery, LLP
The program will include a review of Section 199 developments, including pending Court cases. If there is anything definite to discuss with respect to tax reform, it will address the potential impact on cooperatives and their members. In addition, the program will review areas where historically there has been controversy between the IRS and cooperatives and discuss their current status.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

Book vs Tax vs Hybrid Basis of Paying Patronage
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
02:00 PM EST / 01:00 PM CST / 12:00 PM MST / 11:00 AM PST

Teresa (Teree) Castanias, CPA
A cooperative must return the profits of its patronage operation s to the member/patrons based on the business done with the cooperative for the year. But how that income is computed (book, tax or hybrid) will create very different results. How the cooperative addresses this issue can have important financial and member relations implications.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

Basic Accounting & Auditing for Co-ops Seminar
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
11:00 AM EST / 10:00 AM CST / 09:00 AM MST / 08:00 AM PST

This 4-hour, 4-CPE credit course, is designed for new hires and other employees of cooperatives and firms serving cooperatives that can benefit from training in the unique nature of cooperatives.

Introduction to Cooperatives – Donald Frederick (11:00 am – 12:00 pm
During this presentation we explain the foundation for doing business on a cooperative basis, with special emphasis on the owner-customer role of a co-op’s members. We discuss the rich history of cooperatives in America, the many types of cooperatives in our communities, and conclude with an examination of the benefits of having businesses operate as cooperatives.

Equity Management & Inter-Cooperative Investments – Phil Miller (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
The course discusses the various types of Cooperative Equity and introduces the concepts of Equity Redemption. It discusses the Components of Inter-Cooperative Investments and why Co-ops so often invest in each other. It covers Balance Sheet and Income Statement Presentation, Timing and Recognition issues, Footnote Disclosures, and Impairment Questions related specifically to Inter-Cooperative Investments.

Lunch (1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
The audio portion of the CLN will be suspended during this time.

Basic Cooperative Taxation – Donald Frederick (1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
During this session we discuss the unique Federal income tax treatment of cooperatives. We focus on how tax law supports equity accumulation by cooperatives, particularly the patronage refund. We conclude by providing a set of tools to facilitate tax planning by cooperatives and their professional advisers.

Co-op GAAP – Phil Miller (2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
The course discusses how all GAAP is applicable to co-ops, but also how some GAAP applies specifically to only co-ops. We will discuss the two single pieces of GAAP that form the basis for Co-op GAAP, plus one piece of GAAP that applies to electric co-ops. We will discuss how NSAC has contributed to the body of Co-op GAAP over the years and will finish with a discussion of the new FASB Codification and how Co-op GAAP is contained within the Codification.

MORE INFO    REGISTER NOW 

The full list of online webinars can be found at the NSAC Cooperative Learning Network.

NCBA Co-Op Professionals Conference, Oct 5-6 2017

For the past three years I’ve been honored to participate in planning the NCBA Co-op Professionals Conference — a get-together for attorneys, accountants, developers and other professionals that work with cooperatives. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn, network, and connect.

Please join us in examining “The Regulated Cooperative” at the 2017 Cooperative Professionals conference, October 5-6, 2017, in Alexandria, Virginia. The first day’s professional development program is devoted to the many ways in which federal regulation affects and controls cooperative enterprise, including regulation of financing, immigration, tax and labor. All four sessions have continuing professional education credit for CPAs and attorneys — the schedule is here (scroll down to Thursday & Friday — Wednesday is IMPACT- and Purchasing-only).

We are especially excited to present our luncheon speaker, Nathan Schneider, a thought leader in the new realm of Platform Cooperativism. He is Co-editor of the new book, Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet, which explores how the cooperative model can thrive in the Internet economy and inquires into the effects of antitrust enforcement, or its absence, in that highly consolidated landscape.

In the evening we will join the NCBA plenary session with mayors and city leaders who are taking different approaches to supporting the co-op ecosystem so that people can use cooperatives to create economic opportunity and address challenges within their cities.

On the second morning, we will be considering and framing a formal organization for this to-date informal grouping, a Cooperative Professionals Guild. After four years of successful conferences, is it time to create a permanent organizational home for planning the conference and other year-round professional development activities? In the spirit of cooperation, the ad hoc CPC planning committee invites you to participate in this effort.

This year’s conference is held in conjunction with Cooperative IMPACT convened by NCBA on October 4-6. We look forward to seeing you there!

Linda Phillips
Nancy McClelland
Thomas Beckett
Therese Tuttle
Sushil Jacob
Camille Kerr
Roland Hall
Elizabeth Van Der Wiede
Jason Wiener
Sara Stephens

Free Socially Responsible Investing Seminar 9/23

A colleague of mine, Khloe Karova of Modern Capital Concepts, is offering a free seminar on Socially Responsible Investing this Saturday, September 23 at 10 am, at the Logan Square Chicago Public Library — details at the facebook event page here: Socially Responsible Investing.

She stays after each seminar to answer questions from attendees on financial planning, identity theft, and related topics.

Ultimate Annual vCon Sept 21-22, 2017

For QuickBooks bookkeepers and accountants interested in growing their businesses, the upcoming 2-day virtual conference put on by Michelle Long and Sandi Smith Leyva — two of the QB world’s thought leaders and trainers — is a great opportunity for learning and networking.

Intuitive Accountant made a good point a few years back about the value of this v-conference: for the price ($199), the content (educational sessions) and exposure to potential vendors (networking with reps) can’t be beat, not to mention the fact that it’s all accessible from your computer, wherever you and the internet are found.

The theme this year is “Accelerate Your Success”, and is much more oriented toward marketing/ pricing/ business development topics than usual, including:

  • How to price both old and new services
  • How to find new revenue stream ideas
  • How to get clients
  • How to learn how to introduce clients to new technologies
  • How to transition clients to new technologies without losing your revenue

The schedule is here, the vendor list is here, and registration is here.

Source: Join us for the Ultimate Annual vCon next week – Long for Success, LLC

IRS Webinar – Electronic FBAR Reporting

The dreaded Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Reporting — a mystery to so many! Well, the IRS is offering a webinar to help:

August 30, 2017
2 p.m. Eastern Time
1 p.m. Central Time
12 p.m. Mountain Time
11 a.m. Pacific Time

This webinar features the latest information on how to properly report foreign financial accounts on the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly called the FBAR. You’ll learn:

  1. Who must file the FBAR
  2. What accounts must be reported on the FBAR
  3. When the FBAR must be filed
  4. How to file the FBAR

Plus, it’s eligible for CPE credit in Federal Tax. Check it out: Internal Revenue Service Webinar Registration Page

Advice: Connect with Other Freelancers

For those of you out there who run their own business, as I do — whether you’re a fellow accountant, bookkeeper, tax preparer… or you freelance (as many of my clients do) in a particular field such as photography, architecture, psychology, acupuncture, consulting, etc. — this advice is for you. Your colleagues are not your competition (even when they technically are).

Networking and building real relationships with people who are in the same field as you is essential — invaluable for so many reasons. You can learn from each other, refer business to each other, and get together to vent so that you don’t feel so alone (as we often do when working on our own).

I have four main work-related facebook groups that I participate in: one for tax preparers, two for QuickBooks ProAdvisors, and one general QuickBooks group. It’s been easy to see which of the other regular contributors fit my style and knowledge level, and when I (or a client of mine) need assistance, I feel comfortable reaching out, knowing they’d do the same for me. A local bookkeeping group has an annual retreat that I recently attended, and I met many others who have the same work ethic as I do. We have overlap in our abilities, but there are some areas where I can see that they’re clearly the resident expert — I can reach out to them or connect a client with them directly if there’s a need I can’t fulfill. It’s been a lifesaver. And lastly, I have three colleagues I meet with in-person a few times a year, just to rehash tax season, vent about new local laws, and enjoy each other’s company. When you don’t work in the office, these types of get-togethers are a wonderful substitute for the camaraderie and connections we would otherwise build on a daily basis.

This article inspired me to write this post, and they make many of the same points I did, but with a slightly different angle and some helpful links. A recommended short read: Hustle&Co – The blog for freelancers, entrepreneurs and other hustlers – Forget Freelance Sites: Connect with Other Freelancers to Find New Jobs