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We’re hearing from more and more firms that staffing continues to be a top issue – and not just in Massachusetts. According to the AICPA, finding qualified staff was the number one issue for every firm size except sole practitioners last year. To help firms connect with high potential, entry-level candidates and interns, the MSCPA is publishing the 2018-19 MSCPA Firm Guide , which will be distributed to approximately 2,500 college students and career centers across New England this fall.  I strongly encourage firms to consider joining the Guide as a way to attract talent outside of your normal recruiting efforts. We consistently hear from students ...
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IRS Updates

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Many members are asking when the IRS will issue guidance on the new Internal Revenue Code section 199A. It’s one of the most-asked about topics at our events this spring. According to IRS Commissioner David Kautter, guidance is coming in the next few weeks. Kautter also said the IRS is trying to hit the key points with the proposed regulations (implying they will not address many of the less-urgent points in the initial guidance). He noted that the proposed regulations will likely include general rules, aggregation rules, anti-abuse rules and the definition of specified services.    The AICPA has offered suggestions on guidance to the IRS, including identifying ...
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We’re knee-deep in the Society’s “busy season,” and I’ve loved seeing so many of you at our events and conferences ! I’m constantly reminded of how outstanding our members are, and we want to recognize your accomplishments. With that in mind, I’d like to remind you that nominations are open for the 10 th Annual Women to Watch Awards ! We’re looking to celebrate women at all levels in their careers, for both public accounting and industry. If you know someone we should honor, please submit a nomination by Monday, July 2. We are looking for women who are:  ​​​​ Role models/mentors; Distinguished leaders in her firm/company; Committed ...
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One of the most important things we do at the Society is to help fuel the pipeline to the accounting profession with high potential, diverse and enthusiastic young people. Many of these aspiring accountants have much to overcome on their way to a successful career. Some need to believe that accounting could be right for them, others need support to study and sit for the Exam, and many need financial assistance to ease their path through college. I’m thrilled to announce that as of this year, we’ve awarded over $1 million in scholarships to worthy accounting students since 2006! Thank you to the firms, companies and individuals who donated to our Educational ...
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Important Notices for You

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What a week it’s been! Earlier this week I traveled to (a very hot and sunny) Tucson for the AICPA’s Spring Council Meeting. The themes and the message were clear: robotics, AI and Blockchain are no longer on the horizon; they are here and already having major impacts on everything from college curricula to firm business models. The audit of the future is also on its way with changes required to technology, methodology, standards and skills. I just had an article published in the BBJ on these changes impacting our profession, and I will keep you informed on new developments and what they mean to you.  Another topic of discussion at Council was the new General ...
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Things are changing quickly in our profession and we are always looking for ways to support our members through these complex times. One way we do this is by visiting firms to talk about trends in the profession, what’s new on the hill and how members can take advantage of our offerings to be better equipped to succeed, both in their careers and the profession. The agenda for each visit is tailored to the unique needs of the firm, and they last an hour and are eligible for one CPE credit. In the last year, we’ve been all over the state, and I’d love to visit your firm this spring. To schedule your visit, please contact me at apitter@mscpaonline.org
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It’s a busy time at the MSCPA! We kicked off the new membership year last week at our Annual Meeting & Networking Reception, which took place at the New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theatre. It was a celebratory evening complete with networking, welcoming new board members and Chairman Mark Nichols, CPA, MBA, MST, recognizing new CPAs and a presentation from the vice president and CTO of the Boston Celtics. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the event a success! To view the photo gallery, click here (to download photos, use password: annual18).  With the new membership year officially underway, it’s also time to renew your dues. Second dues ...
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If your CPA license is up for renewal this year, then you should be aware that the Board of Public Accountancy is going paperless. Beginning in June, you will be required to renew or apply for a CPA license online via the new Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) ePLACE portal. The notice that you receive includes a 10-digit authorization code that links your license to your ePLACE account. For more information on ePLACE and instructions on how to create your account, visit  mscpaonline.org/eplaceportal . For MSCPA members, reporting your CPE credits to the Board is easy. The ePLACE renewal application will prompt you to confirm your 80 hours and provide ...
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Networking with the MSCPA

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At the MSCPA, we strive to provide the best networking and peer-to-peer learning for our members. This week, we hosted two After Tax Season Bash parties – one at Hopsters in the Seaport for young professionals  ( click here  to view the photo gallery and use password  yptax  to download) and one at Lattitude in West Springfield for Western Mass. members  ( click here   to view the photo gallery and use password  western  to download). I’m also thrilled to announce that in May we will begin a series of roundtables – one for small firms and one for those who work for or specialize in nonprofits. To view the list of Small Firms Roundtables,  click here ...
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Your MSCPA Membership

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If you just completed tax season– congratulations! We hope that you can enjoy some downtime. At the MSCPA, our “busy season” just started, as a new membership year is upon us! Earlier this week, you were invoiced for dues for the fiscal year, beginning May 1. You can renew your membership here .   In addition to information, networking opportunities, career support and resources, MSCPA members also get exclusive CPE discounts. This spring, we’re offering a robust lineup of seminars, conferences and webinars – check them out on our website and watch for our CPE calendar, which will be mailed to you next week.   As always, we are constantly working ...
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Guest Post: The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act By Andrew P. Botti, Esq. The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act goes into effect on July 1, 2018 . It calls for all Massachusetts employers, irrespective of size, to pay men and women the same for comparable work. The law imposes strict liability, i.e., even if one believes in good faith that they are compliant but are not, one is liable for damages under the bill as enacted. Multiple damages, costs and attorneys’ fees are recoverable by the employee, and the employee can sue in state Superior Court to recover these damages. The definition of pay is broad based and includes all forms of incentive pay, commissions, bonuses, ...
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The Impacts of Tax Reform

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I know most of you are still heads down, trying to get through this tax season before we start diving into understanding all of the impacts of tax reform. But when you are ready, the Society has loads of CPE training and other resources to support you. There is, however, one impact of tax reform that can’t wait until after busy season: your individual clients’ withholdings may have already been automatically adjusted, and may not reflect their expected tax bill for 2018 . Given that we’re one-third into 2018, some taxpayers may be on their way to a nasty surprise come next April. The IRS developed a calculator where taxpayers are asked relevant ...
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It may not look like it now, but busy season will soon be over and spring will be here! At the MSCPA, we’re kicking off the new season with our Annual Meeting and Networking Reception , and I’m thrilled to announce that our speaker will be Jay Wessland, the CTO and VP of the Boston Celtics! Jay will share his thoughts on how technology has changed the sports industry, and its impact on the Celtics’ business strategy and operations. I’m also delighted to announce that we recently hired a new member engagement manager, Jill Foley. In her new role, Jill will oversee our committee process, plan networking roundtables and overall, enhance your member experience. ...
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Earlier this week I attended the AICPA’s regional council meeting in New York with leaders from our Board, AICPA members and council members and CEOs from other state societies. We spent the day talking about changes in the profession and how we can help members adapt to those changes. The majority of our discussion centered on two major topics: the future of audit and tax reform.   For the future of audit, we discussed the new skills that CPAs will need to adapt to sweeping changes in technology (AI, blockchain, etc.). AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon discussed modifying both college curriculum and the CPA Exam to prepare future CPAs to enter this new, ...
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Members approaching their health insurance plan renewal date should be aware that health insurers are implementing so-called restricted networks for their HMO plans. These plans limit the doctors and hospitals anyone insured by them can use; in some cases, your existing primary care physician and specialists may not participate in the restricted network, and you would be required to get new doctors. Services provided by doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers that are not in the network would generally not be covered. Prior to allowing your plan to auto-renew or selecting a new plan, you should be certain that your existing healthcare providers are ...
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In the middle of tax season and back-to-back snowstorms, here’s something to look forward to: our Party on the Pier! I’m thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the  2018 MSCPA Annual Meeting and Networking Reception: Party on the Pier , which will be held at the stunning New England Aquarium’s IMAX Theatre on May 3.   This event will bring together over 200 CPAs and accounting professionals from across the state for an evening of networking, cocktails and fun. Our Party on the Pier also kicks off our new membership year by recognizing newly-certified CPAs, welcoming our new Board of Directors, acknowledging outgoing Board ...
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The IRS is warning taxpayers and CPAs to watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. These phishing schemes are on the rise, and scam artists are becoming more skilled in their attempts to target not only taxpayers, but also tax professionals, payroll professionals, human resources personnel and schools.    Criminals go to great lengths to create websites and emails that appear legitimate, so even the most cautious person could fall victim to these attempts. Phishing emails are most common, with criminals posing as a person or organization the taxpayer trusts and recognizes. Taxpayers should be advised to avoid clicking on web ...
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On this stormy day, I’m happy to share some good news: Two academic researchers, Jay C. Thibodeau, Ph.D., CPA, Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accountancy at Bentley University and Annie L. Witte, Ph.D. a student at Bentley University, were selected to receive support for their audit quality research by the AICPA’s Assurance Research Advisory Group (ARAG). ARAG provides funding, access to personnel and/or anonymized firm data to research projects addressing private company assurance quality.   The project, “Non-Global Network Firms’ Use of Technology-Based Audit Tools and Implications for Audit Quality” was one of three proposals selected by ARAG through ...
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With tax season in full swing, I want to let you know about some helpful resources that are available – and will hopefully provide some relief – to you during busy season.    The AICPA developed a Tax Practitioner’s Marketing Toolkit to help firms of all sizes educate and engage existing clients, develop new relationships and boost your position as your clients’ most trusted adviser. Please note that you must be an AICPA member to download the materials within the toolkit. During busy season, you are also likely to get questions from clients about how the new tax laws will affect them next year. Here are two presentations that highlight the impact to ...
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Plans for the Year Ahead

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Our annual staff retreat was held on Tuesday at Boston’s UMass Club. The day was a healthy mix of goal setting for the upcoming membership year, discussions of our internal processes and team building. Diversity and inclusion was a focus at the retreat, and as February is Black History Month , I wanted to share with you some of our plans for the year ahead. Increasing diversity within the accounting profession is a major focus at the Society, and on Tuesday we brainstormed ideas for how we can do more to support the profession and our firms in this area. In addition to continuing with our scholarship campaign , this year we want to help firms improve their ...
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