Blog Archives: 2015

Preparing for the Tacoma Paid Leave Ordinance

Do you have employees who work within the City of Tacoma? Effective February 1, 2016, Tacoma’s Paid Leave Ordinance becomes effective for all employees who work over 80 hours in a calendar year within the Tacoma city limits.

Employers under this ordinance will be required to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked by an employee in the City of Tacoma. Employees can begin using their accrued paid leave 180 days after their hire date. Under the Paid Leave Ordinance, employees can use paid leave for their needs or the care of a family member for medical reasons,

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Calling all Microsoft Vendors – What You Need to Know About PII Compliance

Nearly a decade ago, Microsoft introduced a vendor compliance program – the Supplier Security and Privacy Assurance Program (SSPA) – to keep tabs on vendors that handle “personally identifiable information” of their employees or customers. PII, as it is known, would represent credit card numbers, social security numbers, and the like. In the age of cyber security attacks, it is comforting to know programs like this exist.

The compliance effort required by qualifying vendors is to establish internal controls for how this information is collected, used, retained, transmitted, destroyed, or disclosed, and to make sure those controls are functioning properly. Microsoft essentially established a bar for what they consider to be reasonable protection standards (the program’s foundation is based on Generally Accepted Privacy Principles promulgated by the AICPA and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants).

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Accounting Update: Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory

Recently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update 2015-11 on simplifying the measurement of inventory. The purpose of the update was to:

  • Reduce cost and complexity
  • Provide users of financial statements more comparable information
  • Increase convergence to IFRS.

What’s changed, and what hasn’t

The primary provision of the amendment is to change the subsequent measurement guidance from the lower of cost or market, to lower of cost and net realizable value (NRV). This change eliminates the need to determine replacement cost and evaluate whether it is above the ceiling (NRV) or below the floor (NRV less a normal profit margin).

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Forensic Super-Geek Powers – ACTIVATE!

Benford’s Law and Forensic Data Analysis

This is somewhat of an indulgent post, but I have always been fascinated about the consistency of a forensic accounting investigative concept known as Benford’s Law.

Named after Frank Benford, an American electrical engineer and physicist, it is a phenomenological law about the frequency distribution of leading digits in many (but not all) real-life sets of numerical data. Also known as the First-Digit Law, Benford’s Law states that, in a naturally occurring set of numbers, the leading digit will appear in a very predictable distribution. More specifically, the leading digit is most likely to be a 1 and then the likelihood decreases as you move to 2 and then to 3 and so on,

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Three Common Myths About Saving Money

With recent news articles about the Euro, downturns in the Chinese stock market and potential inflation, many clients are nervous about their portfolios. Now is a great time to take an objective look at some common myths about saving money.

Myth #1 – Cash is safe

Reality check:  Money market, savings accounts, T-bills, and cash under the mattress are all considered cash equivalents. These are great vehicles for short-term investments or emergency accounts but they are not the best vehicles for long-term investments. Why? It’s because inflation is working against you, and you may have negative returns after taxes and inflation. Also,

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