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May 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce Karen Gondan will be joining our team in the Memphis offices of CBIZ MHM, LLC as a Managing Director at CBIZ and Shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. (MHM). Karen has relocated to Memphis from the Gulf Coast area.

"Karen's strong technical skills coupled with her dedication to client service, staff development and firm management will complement our own drive for success in these areas," said Eustis Corrigan, Senior Managing Director, CBIZ MHM Memphis.

Karen joins CBIZ and MHM with more than 30 years of experience in public accounting. She has worked with a variety of clients in different industries, specializing in the not-for-profit and governmental sectors. Karen is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is the former Treasurer and board member of the Adams County Children’s Advocacy Center and the former President and board member for the SouthWestern High School Dollars for Scholars.

We are fortunate to have Karen join our Memphis office, which will continue to grow throughout this year.




May 13, 2014

In a February 24, 2014 Federal Register Notice, Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) announced its plan to survey 1200 organizations – 800 covered entities and 400 business associates – as the first step in selecting organizations for the next round of OCR HIPAA audits.  OCR auditors will use an updated protocol that includes the omnibus rules.  Any covered entity and business associate of a covered entity are subject to the audits.

The next round of HIPAA audits is expected to focus on OCR hot buttons including timely and thorough security risk assessments, effective and ongoing risk mitigation plans, breach notification procedures, encryption, training, and policies and procedures. Covered entities and business associates will have two weeks to respond to initial data requests, which will be less time to respond than those audited during the first round of OCR audits.

OCR has indicated that auditors will not seek clarification or additional data, and only data submitted on time will be considered. OCR Director, Leon Rodriguez, provided insight during a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Privacy and Security Forum last December in Boston on the structure that the permanent HIPAA audit program would take:

The other thing is we’re going to look at how we make our audit program permanent. I’ve mentioned before how patients only see a small part of the overall compliance picture. The audit program is critical to seeing the entire picture. We did our audit pilot this year and have an evaluation contract that’s going to go for the next 6-8 months. The idea after that is to have a permanent program, part of which will need to be funded by the proceeds of enforcement. I saw these articles out there that said “More audits are coming” and “Are you ready for audits?” and that’s a smart question because that is really what’s ahead for us. (via healthitsecurity.com)

Failure to comply with HIPAA can result in criminal and civil penalties, with covered entities and business associates liable for penalties ranging up to $1.5 million per violation.OCR found that smaller healthcare providers, i.e., community pharmacies and practices with revenues of less than $50 million per year, were generally vulnerable and non-compliant in all three-audit areas -- privacy, security and breach notification. Healthcare providers that fell into this category accounted for 65% of all policy violations.

If you have further questions concerning HIPPA audits or compliance, contact Brenda Brigman at bbrigman@cbiz.com or (901) 685.5575.  




May 8, 2014

CBIZ MHM Memphis celebrated the end of busy season with a private event hosted at Wiseacre Brewery. 

Staff from both tax and audit came together to join in an Office Night Out. Food included tacos and grilled cheeses provided by Fuel Food Truck. Though it was a particularly cold April day, the weather didn't stop us from hanging out on the outdoor patio. We loved having the new space to ourselves, and the venue easily accomodated our large group. Here are a few pictures from the event:

Outside 2 Group 2Social CommitteeFood Truck 2




May 7, 2014

As a result of the significant role that mergers and acquisitions play in corporate growth strategy, the function of the CFO has greatly expanded. This dynamic environment demands that the CFO play a strategic role in providing forward-looking financial perspective, building partnerships, and working closely with chief executives and board members. In the context of the CFO's perspective and role in the process, our CFO/Controller Conference will cover:

  • Updates on capital markets
  • Factors that influence valuation
  • The diligence process on the buy-side
  • The preparedness aspects on the sell-side
  • Tax structuring and considerations

The half-day program will close with a panel of local CFOs who have played a strategic role in the mergers and acquisitions process at their respective companies and throughout their career. Click here to view further event details, including a list of speakers and topics to be covered.




May 6, 2014

National Take Your Child to Work Day fell on April 24, 2014. Seven lil' CBIZZERS visited the office for a day full of learning about different occupations.

The event started with a catered breakfast and a tour of the CBIZ MHM Memphis office. Of particular interest to the small bunch were the large TV monitors throughout the office.  After the grand tour, several of our staff gave short presentations on their job responsibilities. Many presenters included activities and games within their presentation to make it more interactive for the kids. Those careers included were HR, Marketing, Employee Benefits, Tax and Audit.

Parents were able to take their children out to a group lunch before heading back to the office for a few more activities and some group pictures. Each child was sent home with a goodie bag and a few take-aways from their day at the office. One CBIZ employee noted his son's enthusiasm about "spending a day at the office with Dad."

We view our first time participating in Take Your Child To Work Day as a success and hope to continue the tradition in coming years.




April 30, 2014

Super Women in Business nominations are now open for Memphis Business Journal's third annual event.

These awards honor the most influential women in business from various industries who have achieved success through leadership in business and community contribution. Success will also be judged by a nominee's level of community reinvestment in terms of involvement in nonprofit and community organizations.

A total of 25 women will be selected as finalists for the 2014 Super Women in Business Awards. These finalists will be honored at a luncheon held Friday, August 29, 2014 at the Hilton of Memphis. Individual tickets and group packages are available. To nominate a Super Woman click here. Click here to view a recap from last year's event. See a list of the 2013 Super Women in business here.




April 29, 2014

The 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report has been finalized and released to the public. Nine basic patterns were identified that describe 94% of the confirmed data breaches in 2013. The same nine patterns describe 95% of breaches over the last three years.  Point of Sale (POS) intrusions, web application attacks, cyber-espionage and card skimmers makeup the top concerns related to data disclosure. No surprise here.

However, particularly interesting is the correlation between incident patterns and industries. Readers can use associations provided in the report to draw conclusions and recognize which patterns apply to their own organization.  Figure 19, illustrated on page 15 of the report, allows a reader to identify the frequency of each pattern according to their industry type.  Another graph, Figure 70, maps critical security controls to incident patterns and prioritizes the controls by industry. This figure is especially useful because the control references are linked to the source of defense. These defined controls show which security measures to take in order to better protect data from a breach in specified environments.

Click here to view the report in its entirety. Don’t miss the “Recommendations for Consumers” in Appendix B, page 54. Didn't catch last year's report? View our blog post, "An Overview: Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigation Report" here.

If you have further questions concerning the payment card industry, data security standards, and/or PCI compliance, contact me at bbrigman@cbiz.com or (901) 685.5575.




April 25, 2014

If you accept Payment Card Information (PCI) on your website, an attacker using the Heartbleed Open Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Bug can capture this information directly.  Additionally, SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN) attackers can use this bug to obtain information sent over the VPN connection.

Tips for Responding:

  • Almost all vulnerability scanners have updated their plugins to check for this issue. Scan all your public facing IP addresses that expose an HTTPS service (websites, SSL VPNs, remote logins, etc.) using your currently updated vulnerability scanner.
  • Patch your systems immediately.  All vendors are releasing patches. Contact your load balancer, VPN, network device, or server vendor for the fix.
  • If a third-party manages your servers, require them to confirm what actions they have taken.
  • Affected users should upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.1g.
  • All Web Application Firewalls and Intrusion Prevention Systems have released signatures for this issue. Update your signatures immediately and ensure they are in Block mode. Expect a performance impact to blocking the heartbeat requests of TLS, but you may be willing to accept the impact given the exposure that exists until you apply the patch.

The vulnerability leaves no trace of exploitation, so if you even suspect that you may have been compromised take the following steps to recover your security:

1.   Patch your systems immediately

2.   Change your SSL certificate

3.   Issue a warning to all customers and ask them to change their passwords immediately

4.   Change all system passwords on the affected server (The vulnerability also compromises in-memory passwords)

If you have any further questions concerning the Heartbleed Open SSL Bug, PCI Data Security Standards, or  CBIZ Security and Advisory Services, contact Brenda Brigman at bbrigman@cbiz.com or (901) 685.5575.




April 24, 2014

Another busy season has -- almost -- come and gone. April 15th is the infamous deadline for federal tax filings, but our full-service financial services office also has an April 30th deadline approaching for our audit department. Our Glimpse Into Busy Season blog post from last year was a hit, so we have decided to do a follow-up post to recap the fun happenings of the past few months. A few things have remained the same, but we have added some new items to our list of busy season perks.

We embrace the concept of keeping the accountants fed to keep them happy. Therefore, we make sure to supply ample amounts of food for our CBIZ crew. We kick-off each week with a Monday morning breakfast, which mostly includes carb-loading in the form of bagels, donuts, or Chick-fil-a. We do encourage our staff to take advantage of our bi-weekly fruit deliveries, and try to include healthy options for dinner. A balanced diet is important to maintaining alertness throughout the day.

Weekly activities, such as guessing how much candy is in a jar or trivia games, provide our staff with a much needed break in the middle of the week. Winners receive giftcards to some of our favorite places around Memphis.

Our most well-received change this busy season was something intangible. At the suggestion of one of our employees, The Positive Pledge written by Jon Gordon, is now a permanent fixture on our TV screen monitors throughout the office. The scrolling words of encouragement have transformed attitudes during stressful times these past few months. To view the pledge click here.

Our office will be celebrating the end of both tax and audit busy seasons with an Office Night Out at the new Wiseacre Brewery. Catered by Fuel Food Truck, the event will be a time for our group to relax and enjoy a fun night out away from the office.




April 23, 2014

Last week, we published a short recap of Bizwomen Mentoring Monday held at Memphis Botanic Gardens on April 7, 2014. As promised, we put together a short video of the event, including footage of Megan Murdock, Practice Development Manager, speaking on behalf of CBIZ.




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