Today's Features

John Pellitteri Takes Grassi Full Steam into the Cannabis Industry

Portrait of John Pellitteri
Pellitteri

It began with health care.

By Liz Gold
CannaBizCPA.Pro

When John Pellitteri noticed a significant increase in the cannabis-related questions in the business community, he immediately took ownership of building the consulting team that was missing to help guide those conversations into opportunity.

MORE ON CANNABIZ: Cannabis: Top Trends to Watch in 2019 | CPA Takes His Cannabis Practice on the Road | Leveraging R&D Credits and Depreciation for Cannabis Clients | 5 Challenges for Cannabusinesses | Dope CFO Levels Up Its Offerings | Cannabis Trends: What CPAs Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond | PODCAST: Drew Dearlove Talks about the Cannabis Business | Five Secrets to Launching Your Own Cannabis Accounting Firm
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Pellitteri, the Healthcare and Cannabis Practice Leader at Grassi & Co., headquartered in New York, NY, has spent close to 30 years working with hospitals, physicians and outpatient centers. At the beginning of 2016, he started fielding questions about medical cannabis.
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Lessons Learned: How the Federal Shutdown Hit Busy Season 2019

Broken system. Broken trust. Broken tax season.

Selected IRS Inventories and Levels of Service Pre-Shutdown and Post-Shutdown

By CPA Trendlines

The government shutdown of 2018-19 was a traumatic experience that CPAs and tax preparers will remember, with a shudder, for years to come.

MORE on BUSY SEASON: The IRS Mess: Taxpayer’s Roadmap is a Plumber’s NightmareFixing the IRS: Tax Professionals Speak Out |  Refunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year  | Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy Season |  IRS in Crisis: Tax Professionals Bear the Brunt  |  The Tax Season Funnies: Worst Video Game Ever  |  Taxpayer Advocate Slams Congress over Funding  |  1.6 Million Tax Clients Gone Missing?  |  BUSY SEASON: Fear, Hope & Frustration  |  Alternative Minimum Tax: What’s It Like Today? |  Clients’ Top Worry: Going Broke  |  The Latest Rules on Charitable Donations |

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It was the longest shutdown in history, and it hit precisely at crunch time for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and just as tax season was getting underway.

Look at some of the stats from the Taxpayer Advocate Service for service just before and just after (not during) the shutdown: READ MORE →

The IRS Mess: Taxpayer’s Roadmap is a Plumber’s Nightmare

Fixing the IRS: Add your comments with the Busy Season Barometer here.

By CPA Trendlines

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent agency within the Internal Revenue Service, issues a report to Congress on the 20 most serious problems taxpayers face in trying to fulfill their patriotic duty to fund their nation.

 

Today's Bonus Question: Fixing the IRS

MORE on BUSY SEASON: Fixing the IRS: Tax Professionals Speak OutRefunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year  | Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy SeasonIRS in Crisis: Tax Professionals Bear the Brunt  |  The Tax Season Funnies: Worst Video Game Ever  |  Taxpayer Advocate Slams Congress over Funding  |  1.6 Million Tax Clients Gone Missing?  |  BUSY SEASON: Fear, Hope & Frustration  |  Alternative Minimum Tax: What’s It Like Today?Clients’ Top Worry: Going Broke  |  The Latest Rules on Charitable Donations |

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Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, who just this year announced her retirement from the agency, notes that identifying the 20 problems that are most serious is not objectively possible or even desirable. Sometimes, for example, the problems are the same as those of previous years, so the legislated mandate allows for subjective decisions about what to include. READ MORE →

2019: Merger Effects Felt Long after Deals

Succession, underperforming partners also issues.

IS THIS YOUR LAST TAX SEASON?
Today's Top Trends in Mergers & Acquisitions:
Who's merging, who's not, and why:

Join the Survey. Get the Results

By Michelle Golden
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

It's been a major eye-opener for firms. Reality is hitting home about the true implications of technology advances, global standards, tax reform, and talent transition.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: 2019: Appetite for Growth Unabated | 2019: Doing More With Less | 2019: Tech Isn’t the Problem. It’s the Solution | 2019: Using M&A to Launch Consulting | 2019 Trends: Client Service Changes
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Overall, I’m impressed by the grace our profession’s leaders (across the Top 200) are showing as they embrace these huge changes as opportunities vs. threats.
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IBM Makes Watson Available on Other Clouds

IBM Watson logoBusinesses want tech that doesn't rely on a single vendor.

By Rick Richardson

For years, IBM has offered corporate customers its Watson data-crunching technology – but only if they used it on IBM’s cloud computing service. Now, to expand Watson’s reach, IBM is also making it available on competing cloud services.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: SAP’s New Blockchain Project Helps Weed Out Counterfeit Drugs | Amazon Takes More Control Over Smart Home Technology | 5G is Coming: Ford Leads the Way | RCS: What It Is and Why You Might Want It | Vaporize Invisible Smartphone Filth | 190 Universities Launch 600 Free Online Courses | Can a New Font Boost Your Memory?
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IBM said recently that it would allow businesses to use some of IBM’s Watson-related software with underlying data that is stored in rival cloud data centers such as Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services. Customers will also be able to use Watson with data stored in their own data centers.
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Fixing the IRS: Tax Professionals Speak Out

What accountants are saying, in a word cloud

"All it takes is money." Sounds easy? Except for the politics.

By CPA Trendlines

Wow! We asked for it, and we got it: an avalanche of advice on how to fix the IRS.

CPA Trendlines has always received smart, candid, and often outspoken responses to our Busy Season survey—  thousands of tax preparers from sea to shining sea telling us what’s happening in their offices.

Click here to open survey

MORE on BUSY SEASONRefunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year  | Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy SeasonIRS in Crisis: Tax Professionals Bear the Brunt  |  The Tax Season Funnies: Worst Video Game Ever  |  Taxpayer Advocate Slams Congress over Funding  |  1.6 Million Tax Clients Gone Missing?  |  BUSY SEASON: Fear, Hope & Frustration  |  Alternative Minimum Tax: What’s It Like Today?Clients’ Top Worry: Going Broke  |  The Latest Rules on Charitable Donations  |  BUSY SEASON: Accountants Worry for U.S. Economy  |  Tax Shops Bulk Up for Big Busy Season  |  BUSY SEASON: The Busiest Ever?More real-time Busy Season coverage here

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But this year, halfway through the season, we asked a loaded question: How would you fix the IRS? The professionals in the trenches of tax prep know what the problems are and what to do about them. They also seemed a bit miffed (to put it mildly) that the solutions seem so obvious, yet the problems keep compounding. READ MORE →

How Hidden Bias Taints Results

Statue of scales of justiceDon't make your job harder.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

It is very hard to avoid injecting bias in investigatory forensic work, but essential if you want to be successful. I had a great experience to illustrate this.

MORE: You Must Push the Pencil | My Boss Hated the Client | Fired from My First Job | Staffers Need to Speak Up with Clients | Bored by CPE? You’re Missing Out! | Clients Buy Solutions, Not Hours | Roger Is My Only Client
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First, very few people do things that are completely unbiased. Most everyone starts with some sort of preconceived idea and, whether consciously or subconsciously, they lean toward that. Maybe I should have said unconsciously. So many people do things without a clue, but that is a different story.
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The Seven Leadership Essentials for Accounting Firms

Businesswoman sitting on table while talking with four coworkersManaging partners must learn when to say when.

By August J. Aquila

While everyone learns by doing, we can certainly learn from others, especially those who have faced the same problem we are now facing.

MORE: Gross Profit in a Professional Services Firm: Opening a Dialogue | Client Centricity Leads to Profitability | 6 Steps to Making Your New Pricing Happen | Preparing to Change Pricing Philosophy
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Do it sooner than later. This is perhaps the most often heard bit of advice that I hear from firm partners. Too often we wait too long to address an issue. We know what the solution needs to be, but we are either afraid to decide or are hopeful that the problem will resolve itself. READ MORE →

Refunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year

Blanton

But filing remains sluggish and tax pro market share loses 1.5 million filers.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER
Today's Bonus Question: How to fix the IRS?
Join the survey. Get the results.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Four weeks into tax filing season, we're seeing some positives.

MORE: Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy Season | Tax Pro eFiling Drops 12.5% after Shutdown  | Tax Shops Bulk Up for Big Busy Season | 16 Big Questions for Tax Season
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Is it a misleading positive because we're just now seeing refunds that include the EITC and child tax credit? Mmm, maybe. But after a gloomy first few weeks, we might be willing to take whatever good news we can get.

"We're definitely off to a slower start this year.," CPA and financial planner Brian Blanton in Carmel, Ind., tells the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer. "Clients are behind in sending in tax information compared to last year."
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Cannabis: Top Trends to Watch in 2019

4 experts offer their insights.

By Liz Gold
CannaBizCPA.Pro

There’s no denying it – cannabis is hot and more people (CPAs included) are jumping in to be part of the Green Rush.

MORE ON CANNABIZ: CPA Takes His Cannabis Practice on the Road | Moving Beyond 280E: Dean Guske on the Cannabusiness | Cannabis Lights Up Midterm Ballots | Squar Milner Takes on Cannabis in California and Beyond | 4 Best Things About Being a ‘Dope’ Accountant | 5 Biggest Mistakes Cannabis CEOS Make | Five Secrets to Launching Your Own Cannabis Accounting Firm
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November’s midterm elections proved that people across the country are in support of legalizing cannabis – in some fashion – bringing that number up to 33 states that have some measure of access to cannabis. According to NORML, so far in 2019, there are nine states with pending legislation to legalize adult use cannabis – including Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington, D.C. Legalization for medical use is also under way for four states – South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana and Texas.
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