cybersecurity protection

Cybersecurity: If not us, who?

The statistics are sobering. Sixty-one percent of businesses that were hacked last year have fewer than 1,000 employees, according to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report. One-third of small and medium businesses suffered a ransomware infection in the past year, forcing one-fourth of them to cease operations, according to a study performed by Osterman Research, “IT Security at SMBs: 2017 Benchmarking Survey.” The direct costs of a single breach are now averaging more than $36,000, according to a report in Security Magazine.

Over the past decade, multiple trends continue to expand: massive increases in the amount of data businesses store and rely upon for daily operations, increased use of multiple cloud-based vendors that house company data, and steady increases in the number of cyberattacks and data breaches perpetrated against businesses and consumers alike.

Cybersecurity should clearly be an issue getting direct attention from upper management and owners of small businesses. No longer should cybersecurity be relegated to the domain of the network administrator or outsourced IT support firm. Cybersecurity must be treated as a business risk issue, just as safety risk is in operations and competitive risk is in sales.

In this article published in WICPA’s “On Balance” magazine, Jan/Feb 2018, we will survey key elements of a successful cybersecurity program, an organized business process that is intended to protect data, thereby protecting customers and, in turn, businesses themselves.

cost segregation

Tax Planning With Cost Segregation and Bonus Depreciation

Tax Planning With Cost Segregation and Bonus Depreciation

Cost segregation studies benefit businesses and investors who own real estate. These studies apply engineering and cost accounting principles to identify costs that can be reallocated to asset classes with shorter depreciable lives. A cost segregation study can also enhance the benefits of bonus depreciation and Sec. 179 expensing. Read More >

R and D signpost

It’s Time to Revisit the Research & Development Tax Credit

Last year’s Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act made these critical changes to the Research and Development Tax Credit (R&D Tax Credit):

  • Smaller businesses (those with average gross receipts of $50 million or less over the preceding three years) can claim the credit against Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
  • Startup businesses (those in operation for less than five years with less than $5 million in gross receipts) can offset the credit against up to $250,000 in employer-paid payroll taxes.
  • The R&D tax credit is now permanent.

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chortek chess web

Managing Your IRA in a Declining Market

Whether you are still working or you are enjoying retirement, a declining market is a good time for traditional IRA owners to manage their IRA and consider tax saving strategies.  Overall income tax savings can be achieved by converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA when market conditions are favorable to do so. Read More >

cybercrime web

Cybersecurity Risk in Today’s Business Environment

Cybersecurity risk in today’s business environment prompts you to ask the question; “is it possible to run a business today in such a way that it is truly safe from cyber criminals?”  Media headlines would make one think it is impossible.  In my own practice, we have helped clients recover from many varieties of cyber attacks including direct hacking and theft, ransomware and phishing attacks.  Targeted clients run the gamut from a very small ten-employee warehouse distribution firm, to a 50 employee professional services firm, to a 700+ employee manufacturing firm. Read More >


Tax ID Theft – Fraudulently Filed Returns

Tax ID Theft

No question, tax ID theft is an increasingly common problem. If you have been unscathed so far, count yourself as lucky. Just ask around, and you will be surprised to see how many individuals have been impacted by this nasty problem. So, what do you do if you if you become a victim? Read More >


ACA Reporting Requirements – Take Action Now!

ACA Reporting Requirements

It has been a few years since ObamaCare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), was passed.  It’s probably been long enough that some employers have forgotten about the reporting requirements associated with the ACA. If you haven’t taken action to initiate the information gathering needed to comply with these requirements, immediate action may be required NOW. Read More >


Internal Controls = Good Business

In 2002, when Congress mandated publically-traded businesses pay more attention to their internal controls, many business owners believed this was not only unnecessary, it was a profound waste of money. In the intervening years, many detractors have concluded that not only is an emphasis on internal controls good business, it’s also indispensable to maximize profits.

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bonus money with ribbon

Taxing Year-end Bonuses

Most employees welcome a year-end bonus, but many are confused about how this additional income is taxed. Many times the employee will be shocked at the large amount of Federal and State income taxes withheld from the bonus check. The fact is that in most cases, the employer is mandated to withhold taxes on bonus payments at rates higher than a typical paycheck.

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