The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced finalized guidance regarding business interest expense limitations. In a helpful article from the Journal of Accountancy, author Sally Schreiber offers an overview of the new rules.
The business interest expense limitation was created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 and subsequently modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) of 2020. The TCJA established that for tax years 2018 and beyond, deductions for business interest expenses are limited to the total of three items:
Business interest income
30% of adjusted taxable income (ATI)
The interest expense of the taxpayer‚Äôs floor plan financing
The CARES Act made two changes: it adjusted item number two to 50% for tax years 2019 and 2020 (special rules exist for partnerships for 2019) and made it allowable for taxpayers to calculate their 2020 limit using their 2019 ATI.¬†
New IRS Regulations
The recently released IRS regulations offer instructions in four areas:
Determining the interest expense limitation
The definition of interest, for the purposes of the limitation
Who is subject to the limitation
How the limitation applies in various special cases
The guidance will go into effect 60 days from the date of its publication in the Federal Register, which has yet to be announced.
Additional Proposed Regulations
In addition to the new final guidance, the IRS published additional proposed regulations regarding business interest expense deduction limitation issues, including how to allocate interest expense for passthrough entities and more. The release of this proposed guidance opens up a 60-day period for written and electronic comment submission, as well as requests for a public hearing regarding the guidance.
Main Street Lending Program Provides Working Capital for Small Businesses
The Main Street Lending Program is designed to help credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, but now need loans to help maintain their operations until they have recovered from, or adapted to, the impacts of the pandemic. Loans originated under the program have several features that will help businesses and nonprofits facing challenges, and loan sizes start at $250,000 and range up to $300 million for some loan types. The link provides a detailed overview of the program by the Federal Reserve.
Generally, when people consider skills in fields like accounting, they think primarily of technical prowess. And while hard skills are certainly very important, the need for soft skills in the accounting sector should not be written off. Today we examine various types of soft skills and offer some advice for developing and improving in this area.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are personal attributes, character traits, and other non-technical proficiencies that enable a person to interact effectively with those around them. They are harder to define and measure than technical skills, but they are very important in the workplace. Here are some examples of soft skills:
Ability to perform under pressure
You can probably see why soft skills can be helpful in the workplace. Professionals who have cultivated and developed their soft skills find it easier to create relationships and advance in their careers. When you work in an environment where soft skills are abundant, it can have a big positive impact on company culture.
Resources for Developing Soft Skills
So how can you cultivate soft skills? We suggest you start off by doing some self-reflection and self-assessment. Consider which soft skills you have an aptitude for already and which ones do not come easily to you. Once you have a better understanding of your own soft skills, pick a few that you would like to work on.
When it comes to developing your soft skills, there are a variety of options available. Consider trying out on or more of the following:
Ask for feedback from a peer ‚Äì While self-evaluation is helpful, it is also beneficial to get an outsider‚Äôs perspective of your soft skills set. Consider reaching out to someone you work closely and frequently with for some feedback. Make sure to choose someone who will be honest and open with you, particularly about the areas in which you are weakest. And make sure that you prepare yourself mentally beforehand to accept their feedback with getting angry or hurt.
Join a networking group or professional organization ‚Äì Practice makes perfect‚Äîor progress, at least. Groups such as these offer myriad opportunities for practicing your soft skills. You will certainly have the chance to network and likely gain access to opportunities for public speaking, leadership, and more.
Sign up for an online class ‚Äì There are many online resources for learning about and polishing your soft skills. Here are some websites to get you started:
edx.org ‚Äì ‚ÄúLearn effective soft skills with free online courses in leadership, communication, management and more. Build the soft skills you need to stand out and take your career to the next level.‚Äù
Udemy ‚Äì Check out their bestselling class, ‚ÄúSoft Skills: The 11 Essential Career Soft Skills‚Äù
Lynda.com ‚Äì The LinkedIn Learning website offers a wide variety of video courses, including a learning path for mastering professional soft skills.
Form a practice group ‚Äì Consider reaching out to a few of your peers, either at work or within your circle of professional contacts, to establish some regular soft skills practice. Try meeting weekly or monthly, with each meeting focused on improving a different soft skill.
Hire a skills coach ‚Äì As an alternative to forming a practice group, consider hiring a soft skills trainer to help you out. The Image Consulting Business Institute is a great resource for getting linked up with a professional trainer.
Read a book on the topic ‚Äì There are a ton of books available to help you learn more about soft skills and develop your aptitude. Here are a few best sellers to consider:
The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They‚Äôd Learned Sooner by Peggy Klaus
10 Things Employers Expect Their Employees to Know: A Soft Skills Training Workbook by Frederick Wentz
How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles Pellerin
This article discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the way businesses operate on a day-to-day basis. One major difference the pandemic has resulted in is the increase in telecommuting. This article outlines some of the best practices for remote work.¬†These practices include getting a clearer picture of which roles are better suited for remote work, clarifying expectations, addressing specific needs, utilizing video calls, and thinking beyond technology. ¬†Putting these practices into place will go a long way in making your remote staff succeed.
Whether the impact is on a global, national, or individual industry level, this pandemic is already changing the way businesses are operating on a day-to-day basis. As we venture past the peak of the pandemic, businesses are going to have to adapt to the new world in which they reside in order to survive. Specifically, within the business industry and as a business owner, it is crucial, now more than ever, to be familiar with the ins and outs of your business. This article discusses the benefits of collaboration during this difficult time.
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC Announces New Promotions
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC (RBG) is pleased to announce the recent promotions of Daniel Johnson, CPA, Logan Dopson, CPA, and Thames Kennedy, CPA.¬†
Johnson steps into the role of audit senior manager. He previously served as an audit manager and has been with RBG since 2012. Dopson has been with the firm since 2019. With this promotion, he moves from audit staff to audit senior. A member of the firm since 2017, Kennedy moves from tax staff to tax senior with this promotion.¬†
A graduate of the University of Memphis, Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2012 and a Master of Science in Accounting in 2013. He is currently affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA). Johnson currently resides in his hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, with his wife, Adrian, and their two children.¬†
Dopson attended the University of Louisiana ‚Äì Monroe, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. He currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee.¬†
An alumna of Mississippi State University, Kennedy earned a Bachelor of Accountancy with a Minor in Finance in 2017 and a Master of Professional Accountancy in 2018. She is currently a member of the AICPA and the TSCPA. Raised in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Kennedy currently resides in Memphis, Tennessee.¬†
‚ÄúWe are very proud to have these three young professionals as part of the RBG team,‚Äù said Skeet Haag, CPA, managing partner of RBG. ‚ÄúAll three of these promotions are very well deserved.‚Äù
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC Announces New Audit Staff Accountant
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC (RBG) is pleased to announce the addition of Taylor Barnes to their professional team.¬†
A recent college graduate, Barnes joins the firm as a staff accountant in the RBG Audit Department. She brings with her valuable experience earned at two summer internships with a national firm.¬†
Barnes graduated magna cum laude from the University of Memphis in 2019, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance. She went on to study at Georgetown University, graduating in 2020 with a master‚Äôs degree in Sports Industry Management. Born in Port Gibson, Mississippi, Barnes moved to Memphis while in the 7th grade. She currently lives in Cordova, TN.¬†
‚ÄúI would like to extend a warm welcome to Taylor as she joins the RBG team,‚Äù said Skeet Haag, CPA, managing partner of RBG. ‚ÄúShe comes to us with an impressive academic record and valuable internship experience. I think that she will be a fantastic fit for the firm.‚Äù¬†
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC Announces New Audit Interns
Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck (RBG) is pleased to announce the addition of Abby Eubank, Alexis Lowe, Nicholas Morris, and Janae Westbrook to their professional team.¬†
The four young professionals join the RBG team as audit interns. Their primary focus will be on assisting with audit engagements and gaining experience working as part of a team of audit professionals.¬†
‚ÄúI am thrilled to welcome Abby, Alexis, Nick and Janae to the RBG team,‚Äù said Skeet Haag, CPA, managing partner of RBG. ‚ÄúInternships are such an integral part of the career for young professionals in the accounting field. I look forward to watching these four students gain valuable audit experience and establish helpful professional connections.‚Äù¬†
Eubank is currently studying at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She expects to graduate in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. She is named on the Chancellor‚Äôs Honor Roll with highest honors and is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Eubank currently lives in her hometown, Greenfield, Tennessee.¬†
Currently enrolled at the University of Mississippi, Lowe is affiliated with Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Mu. She is an officer and the Vice President of Programming for Beta Alpha Psi. Lowe lives in Brandon, Mississippi.¬†
Morris attends the University of Memphis and expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in December 2020. He is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and appears on the school‚Äôs Dean‚Äôs List. Professionally, Morris is currently affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA). He currently lives in Memphis, his hometown.¬†
A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Westbrook holds a Bachelor of Accountancy. She is currently in pursuit of a Master of Science in Accounting, Taxation from the University of Memphis. She is a member of the AICPA. Raised in Oxford, Mississippi, Westbrook currently lives in Memphis.¬†