Local Office Blogs

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May 29, 2014

Momentum has definitely picked up with two tax proposals surfacing in recent weeks. President Obama’s 2015 budget and the House Finance Committee Chair Dave Camp's “Tax Reform Act of 2014” both contain provisions that would change the current taxation of “carried interests.”  The thrust is directed at the taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers, and both proposals contain concepts designed to “carve-out” the ordinary income component, thus resulting in a combination of capital gain and ordinary income.  Both reforms would also significantly increase the complexity of partnership filings.  Below is a summarized look at the President’s Proposal, effective December 31, 2014, if enacted, and Representative Dave Camp’s proposal will be covered in an upcoming blog post.

Though it is unlikely we will see anything significant develop until after elections, it is apparent that tax change is coming. The President’s Proposal would tax as ordinary income a partner’s share of income on an “investment services partnership interest” (ISPI) in an investment partnership, notwithstanding of the character of the income allocated from the partnership. This income would not be eligible for long-term capital gain rates, and the partner would also be required to pay self-employment taxes.

  • An investment partnership is a partnership where substantially all of its assets consist of investment-type assets.  An ISPI is “carried” or “profits” interest that is issued as compensation for performing services for the partnership.
Similarly, the portion of any gain recognized on the sale of an ISPI that is attributable to the invested capital would be treated as capital gain.
  • Invested capital excludes contributed capital that is attributable to loan proceeds or other advances made or guaranteed by any other partner or the partnership.

The proposal also contains anti-abuse rules designed to prevent the avoidance of the proposal through the use of compensatory arrangements other than partnership interests.

If you have questions regarding any of the above tax terms, anticipated changes, or this proposed reform, please contact Steve Dunavant, Senior Managing Director, at sdunavant@cbiz.com or 901.685.5575.

May 22, 2014

When you hear the term “bedside manner,” you probably think about the medical profession. The term refers to how doctors and other medical professionals interact and communicate with their patients.  Reflected in the attitude of any doctor is the time crunch they now feel as a result of more patients needed to be seen in the effort to meet financial goals.

Read any article on bedside manner, and you will immediately see connections to other professional services industries.  The public accounting industry is no different. We need to exude patience and empathy while offering exceptional client service in an environment of ever changing regulations and compliance issues. For purposes of this post, the focus will be on the manager-staff relationship.  A manager with a poor bedside manner may actually cause staff to be less engaged and less inclined to develop a solid career.  

It is critical for managers to embrace the personnel development side of their responsibilities. Managers who do not listen, or are abrupt, arrogant or dismissive with their staff will result in staff missing out on critical information and learning opportunities. This type of behavior only leads to a team unresponsive and unwilling to listen to your needs. 

Positive interactions create an environment where engagement is fostered.  Thus, in addition to developing solid technical skills in our young CPAs, we must also focus on displaying and developing strong soft skills. Poor relationship management today will lead to a generation of poor bedside manner in the future. So, where do we begin to end this vicious cycle? 

At CBIZ, we offer two distinct programs (Associate Professional Development and Senior Professional Development) to help smooth the transition of associates from school to the professional world, and from there, we ensure they have an understanding of the expectations of their role. Recognition of the core values and competencies expected and rewarded within a workplace helps the associate gain knowledge of the potential career opportunities available. Employee engagement and career development are arguably more important in the overall production and retention of staff than the understanding of regulations and compliance. Moving forward, technical skills will take a backseat to these soft skills, and management must recognize this distinction in order to thrive in their careers as well as help staff flourish in their own.

Moira House is the Director of Human Resources for the Memphis office of CBIZ MHM. She manages all aspects of HR including strategic planning, compliance, employee relations, performance management, recruiting and day-to-day administration. Contact her by email at mhouse@cbiz.com or by phone at (901) 685-5575.

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.


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