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July 11, 2013

Are you trying to sift through countless articles about the employer mandate delay? Save yourself some time by reading this short Q & A with Steve Dunavant, Senior Managing Director of CBIZ MHM - Memphis. Steve weighs in on the large employer mandate delay and answers the questions employers and employees alike want answered.

1. What has been delayed and what has been excluded?

The employer shared responsibility penalty requiring companies with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance to workers as well as an employer and plan reporting requirement have been delayed one year. For employer planning purposes, employers should know that all systems are "go," at least at the moment, for other requirements of the law. You can view our CBIZ Health Reform Bulletin for more detail.

2. Does the extension suggest that employers delay their own implementation efforts as it relates to the ACA's large employer provisions?

Employers were clearly struggling to digest the law and its guidance ahead of the former effective date. Similarly, the Government was experiencing its own difficulty in implementing the provisions as well and cited the information reporting requirements for large employers, insurers and self-insured health plans as the reason for the extension of the effective date. The additional time is clearly needed, and accordingly, employers should continue to evaluate and plan for implementation of the ACA provisions so that they are properly prepared in advance of the new effective dates.

3. Does this delay affect employees?

The delay of the employer mandate until 2015 does not change the effective date for the individual mandate. It is important to note that tax credits are available to individuals to assist with the purchase of health coverage. Those credits are only available to employed individuals who are either not offered health coverage by their employers or are offered coverage that is not affordable (i.e. costs more than 9.5 percent of employees income) or does not provide a minimum value (provides coverage for 60 percent of health care costs). Absent the employer reporting provisions, it is questionable how the Government will verify claims by employed individuals that coverage is not available, unaffordable or inadequate.

4. Does this delay affect employer planning?

Possibly, fewer employers may cut employee hours to below 30 hours/week (so as to classify them as part-time) because they will avoid being charged a penalty this year (see §4980H). Additionally small employers concerned about exceeding the 50 FTE threshold will have additional time to consider the impact triggering the ACA large employer provisions.

5. Will there be future delays for individuals?

Though there has been speculation about the Obama administration delaying further provisions of the Affordable Care Act, there has been no official correspondence about such delays. A recent GAO Report released this past June notes that "much remains to be accomplished in a relatively short period of time," and that significant implementation challenges remain.

July 9, 2013

The Memphis Business Journal has published the 25 names of the 2013 Super Women in Business. These women are honored as the city's most influential in business spanning different industries and holding key decision-making positions. They have achieved success through leadership in the workplace and community contribution.

To view the full list of 2013 Super Women in Business click here.

This group of Super Women is the second class selected by the Memphis Business Journal and will be honored at a luncheon August 29th at the Hilton of Memphis. We are proud to be a sponsor of these awards and congratulate the 25 women selected.

July 2, 2013

The Memphis office of CBIZ MHM kicked off its 'Summer Days of Service' by participating in the "Meals on Wheels" program through the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) for its first volunteer day. Our community involvement committee coordinated the event and has planned several similar volunteer days throughout the summer for our employees. A group of 8 volunteers from our office helped deliver meals this past Friday.

Before heading out on three seperate driving routes for deliveries, the group attended an information session on MIFA's vison, values and mission. The association has grown tremendously since its founding in 1968. Several organizations have grown from within its walls, such as the Mid-South Food Bank, and expanded to other locations.  The MIFA "Meals on Wheels" program, with the help of up to 100 volunteers, provides 1,800 hot, nutritious lunches for homebound elderly and seniors at 22 congregate sites each weekday. This program is the organization's largest, and has been awarded the highest possible accreditation conferred by the Meals on Wheels Association of America.

For more information on our community involvement committee, click here. Further information about MIFA can be found at their website: www.mifa.org/.

June 20, 2013

In accordance with the regulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)*, if you are an applicable employer you must provide each of your employees with a notice of the Health Insurance Marketplace coverage options as well as the employment-based health coverage offered through your company or organization.

The time to inform your employees is now.The Department of Labor website offers two versions of a model notice for employers regarding the new changes in health care coverage:

  • Model Notice for employers who offer a health plan to some or all employees
  • Model Notice for employers who do not offer a health plan

Both notices provide basic information about the Marketplace and employment-based health coverage, including whether an employee can save money on their health insurance premiums and if employer health coverage affects an employee's eligibility for Premium Savings through the Marketplace. Employees are also directed to www.HealthCare.gov if they need more information, or if they would like to shop the Marketplace.

*Note: Open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013. Section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act creates a new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) section 18B requiring a notice to employees of coverage options available through the Marketplace.

June 18, 2013

In April we published a story highlighting our selection as a finalist in the Mid-South's Healthiest Employers Awards hosted by the Memphis Business Journal. We attended the awards breakfast hosted at the Hilton Memphis along with other finalists throughout the Greater Memphis Area.Occurring during our busiest time of the year, our selection was recognized, but not fully celebrated. This week, we honor CBIZ and its Great Health Program, our Memphis office and its efforts to provide healthy wellness solutions throughout the year and most importantly, our employees who work so hard to maintain a balanced lifestyle both at work and at home.

With the help of our corporate CBIZ team, we showed our appreciation for all who contributed to our final finish in the awards with a special breakfast treat. One of our favorite local catering companies, Panini Catering, hosted a tasty omelette and cappuccino bar for the entire Memphis office on Monday morning. As one employee tweets, "Fantastic way to start the day. No #caseoftheMondays here. @CBIZMemphis does it right once again!" [Follow us on Twitter @CBIZMemphis for real time tweets such as this one].

June 13, 2013

In April we published a story on the basics of ACA Health Insurance Exchanges, highlighting the responsibility of each state to either run their own exchange or hand it over to the federal government, as well as the role that these programs will play in the marketplace. Whether you are well versed in the details of the Affordable Care Act or are still finding the new law challenging to fully grasp, there are 10 things that all health insurance exchanges must do.

Health Insurance Exchanges (fully operational by January 1, 2014) must do the following:

1. Certify, recertify and decertify Qualified Health Plans (QHPs)

2. Assign a rating to each exchange plan using the Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum levels

3. Offer a toll-free hotline for consumers

4. Maintain a website to compare plans

5. Standardize the format in which their exchange plan options will be presented

6. Inform individuals of eligibility requirements for Medicaid, CHIP or any other state or local program

7. Enroll individuals if through the screening process the exchange determines they are eligible for one of those programs [Applications will start being accepted October 1, 2013]

8. Provide for a calculator to determine the actual cost of coverage to individuals after taking into account any premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies [139-400% of the federal poverty level]

9. Certify whether individuals are exempt from the individual mandate excise tax and transfer the list of such individuals to the Treasury Secretary

10. Provide the name of the employees who dropped the employer's coverage and received premium tax credits to the employer because his or her plan was unaffordable or did not provide the required minimum actuarial value

Before you determine how much the Affordable Care Act will cost you, have a discussion with someone who understands the details surrounding the reform. The Memphis office of CBIZ MHM has a specialized team of individuals trained in all facets of healthcare reform. Schedule a meeting with one of our experts by contacting Megan Murdock, 901.685.5575.

June 11, 2013

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) responsible for developing and maintaining the payment card security standards has announced the start of the PCI Special Interest Group (SIG) proposal period for 2014 projects. During this time, beginning June 1st and running through July 25th, participating organizations can submit ideas and voice concerns to the Council through their website. Results in the past have shown this collaboration is key in addressing challenges and making significant changes in the PCI industry.

"The real value in Special Interest Groups is that they are driven by the community at large. The ideas come from those who are living and breathing payment card security every day, representing a variety of industries and job functions," said Bob Russo, General Manager of the PCI Security Standards Council, earlier this month in a release.

The PCI community will have the opportunity to vote in the SIG election in November, selecting up to three projects they would like the Council to pursue over the coming year. For the full PCI Security Standards Council press release click here.

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

June 6, 2013

We are excited to announce the addition of J. Eustis Corrigan, Jr. to our tax services division as a Managing Director. Eustis has more than 25 years of comprehensive tax, accounting, and strategic business consulting experience. Eustis joins us with extensive experience advising publicly-traded and privately-held companies regarding complex tax and financial issues.

His major areas of expertise include federal and state corporate taxation, entity planning and structuring, mergers & acquisitions, and accounting methods. He has served clients in a variety of industries including financial services, energy, manufacturing, mortgage banking, telecommunications, distribution, transportation and real estate. Eustis' role within CBIZ will be in the coordination and delivery of high-quality services to corporate clients via a focused multi-disciplinary approach. He will serve in a client service role as well as a subject matter expert in certain areas ofcorporate taxation.

He has experience with detailed aspects of state and local tax compliance and planning matters. Eustis' client experience includes the following:

  • Developing and implementing proactive tax planning for corporations
  • Assisting companies with ASC 740 (formerly FAS 109) & ASC 740-10 (formerly FIN 48)
  • Tax accounting methods
  • Tax controversy
  • Executive compensation
  • Due diligence
  • Mergers & acquisitions

“Eustis’ extensive tax and industry experience will continue to add to the depth of tax and consulting services we already offer,” said Steve Dunavant, Senior Managing Director.  “His addition showcases our commitment to delivering superior tax and consulting services to the Greater Memphis market.”

Eustis is a graduate of Louisiana State University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He also is a Certified Public Accountant, a past Editorial Advisory Board Member of the Journal of Accountancy, a tax section member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and a member of both the Mississippi and the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants. Outside of work Eustis enjoys cooking, reading, running, college sports, and spending time with his family.

May 30, 2013

For years HR professionals have been measuring employee satisfaction as a tool for gaining insight into the workforce and determining what actions need to be taken in order to maintain a positive and productive environment. Job satisfaction has remained a constant concern in employee surveys, a subject all too familiar to those in the human relations industry.

However, focus has shifted from the metric of employee satisfaction to the level of employee engagement within organizations and knowing why could be the difference in retaining your employees and losing them to your competition. According to ADP Research Institute's White Paper Report the two terms are defined as the following:

  • Employee Satisfaction: A measurement of an employee's "happiness" with current job and conditions; it does not measure how much effort the employee is willing to expend
  • Employee Engagement: A measurement of an employee's emotional commitment to an organization; it takes into account the amount of discretionary effort an employee expends on behalf of the organization

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2012 Employee Satisfaction and Engagement Report shows a unique difference in the contributing factors to both measurements. Similar to the definitions above, what employees need to feel engaged is on a deeper level an "emotional commitment" rather than a feeling of "happiness," and includes personal contribution to a company, aside from just being content. The SHRM report has only been measuring employee engagement for two years, but 4 of the 5 top contributing aspects to this metric have remained the same and all have been rated highly by 70% or above of the employees surveyed:

- I am determined to accomplish my work goals and confident I can meet them - Relationship with co-workers - Opportunities to use skills/abilities - Contribution of work to organization's business goals - Relationship with immediate supervisor

What employees need to feel engaged comes in the form of personal relationships and playing a role in larger business decisions.  In short, the vision of your leadership team and an opportunity to contribute to that vision is important to your employees. Workers have the opportunity for advancement through becoming more engaged in their work, and in return will help the overall success of your company. The benefits of engagement show an increase in workforce productivity and retention, results invaluable to your business. Living in a fluctuating economy that sometimes does not allow for advancement of employees, community involvement and corporate philanthropy remain a positive and effective way for employees to feel engaged and contribute to a larger cause.

This blog post was written by Moira House, Director of HR for our Memphis office. Contact her by phone: (901) 685.5575 or email, mhouse@cbiz.com. Moira manages all aspects of HR including strategic planning, compliance, employee relations, performance management, recruiting and day-to-day administration.

May 28, 2013

New tangible property regulations were issued in late December 2011 by the IRS to guide taxpayers on how to account for amounts paid to acquire, produce or improve tangible property. Originally scheduled to be effective for tax years beginning on, or after, January 1, 2012, mandatory compliance with the new regulations has been delayed to tax years beginning on, or after, January 1, 2014.

The new tangible property regulations are designed to change the way each taxpayer treats capital assets. The regulations are also intended to provide guidance for taxpayers when deciding to expense versus capitalize an item. Some of the more likely changes in the way taxpayers do business relate to:

  • Repairs & Maintenance/De Minimus Rule
  • Materials & Supplies
  • Depreciation/Unit of Property
  • General Asset Accounts

Here are 5 questions to determine whether early adoption is right for your company:

1. Own a building?

2. Have any recently completed renovation or expansion projects to your buildings?

3. Acquire many small dollar fixed assets on an annual basis?

4. Accumulate large expenditures to maintain equipment?

5. Incur a large annual cost for materials and supplies?

If you would like more information regarding the Tangible Property Regulations contact Mark Baricos: 
(901) 685.5575 | mbaricos@cbiz.com

Mark has more than 10 years of public accounting experience. He specializes in tax engagements for large privately-held and publicly-held companies. These engagements include planning tax strategies, accounting for income taxes (ASC 740), supervising the preparation of federal and state income tax returns and coordinating federal and state examinations. His industry experience includes distribution, manufacturing and service companies.


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