News

The Anderson ZurMuehlen newsroom includes current news, releases and industry updates. If you want to stay connected with us in other ways, follow our posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

2018 Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits

Plan to attend the 5th Annual Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Conference and complete the registration form below.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Location: Gran Tree Hotel, Bozeman, MT

Agenda Topics:

  • Accounting Update
  • Financial Statement Presentation – What You Need to Know
  • Benchmarking for Your Organization
  • 990 Update
  • Breakout Sessions: HR 101 / Board Governance / Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Practical Approach to Security & Technology for Your Organization

Who should attend: CPAs, CFOs, Controllers, and others who record and report financial transactions

Cost: $195 for first participant from your organization, $150 for each additional attendee. CPE credit is available.

 

Click here to register!

 Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Registration form below.   

Registration deadline is May 12.


 

Anderson ZurMuehlen Selected for Governor’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force Award

Pictured from left: Krystal Stewart, shareholder,  Don Laine, CEO, Governor Steve Bullock, Cindy Utterback, shareholder, Suzanne Severin, shareholder, Amber Dushin, manager

Anderson ZurMuehlen is pleased to announce that it has been selected for the Governor’s inaugural Equal Pay Task Force Award.  This award is based on our firm, early on, taking a pledge to comply with Executive Order No. 12-2016.  In essence, our firm pledged to be transparent in our compensation practices by posting salary ranges in employment listings; certifying that we will not ask about wage history in employee interviews; and certifying that the firm will not retaliate or discriminate against employees who discuss or disclose their wages in the workplace.

The full press release issued by the Governor’s office is below: 

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On Equal Pay Day, Governor Bullock Renews Calls to Close Montana’s Wage Gap

Bullock signs new Executive Order, honors a Montana business

MONTANA – Five years after launching the Equal Pay for Equal Work Taskforce, Governor Steve Bullock on National Equal Pay Day renewed his charge to close Montana’s gender wage gap. Bullock unveiled a new Executive Order promoting equal pay while speaking at a Montana business that prioritizes workplace transparency.

“Every single hard-working family in Montana has a stake in ensuring women and men are paid a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” Governor Bullock said. “Over the last five years Montana’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force has taken steps to narrow the wage gap, and businesses have stepped up to revise their own workplace policies with equity in mind.”

 When the task force started its work in 2013, women were earning 66.7 percent of the median earnings of their male co-workers. Today, that gap has narrowed to 68.3 percent. Each of the 263,000 women who benefited from this change has earned more than they would have if the gap had not closed. In total, closing the gap by this percentage translates to roughly $128 million additional wages in Montana’s economy.

When comparing the earnings of full-time, year-round workers, Montana women earned 72.9 percent of men’s earnings in 2013. Today, that gap has narrowed to 73.6 percent. This progress has happened in-part by the task force leading a grassroots effort to encourage equity at Main Street businesses across Montana.

Bullock recognized Anderson Zurmuehlen, a Montana CPA firm, for its work in developing workplace policies that support families. The company signed Montana’s Equal Pay for Equal Work pledge and has implemented flexible scheduling, updated its maternity/paternity leave policy, and created a transparent process that allows staff to progress into shareholder roles. Sixty-three percent of Anderson Zurmuehlen’s shareholders are women.

Still, legislative efforts to close the wage gap in Montana failed during the 2017 session. Republicans tabled a bill that would have created increased wage transparency.

“More Montanans are in the workforce and wages are rising, we need to make sure they’re rising for men and women,” Bullock said. “Now is the time to put our foot on the gas pedal and accelerate the pace of progress.”  

For more information about Governor Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force, visit www.equalpay.mt.gov.

The award was presented by Governor Bullock April 10, 2018.

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George Anderson Named into the Accounting Hall of Fame

Anderson ZurMuehlen is proud to announce that founding partner, George Anderson (1922-2001) was recently named into The Accounting Hall of Fame and will be formerly inducted by the American Accounting Association (AAA) in August 2018 during the organization’s Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD. Other 2018 inductees include Mary E. Barth, Olivia F. Kirtley and Kenneth W. Stringer. The Hall of Fame, which originated at The Ohio State University in 1950, honors accountants who have made or are making, significant contributions to the advancement of accounting. Evidence of such service includes contributions to accounting research and literature, significant service to professional accounting organizations, wide recognition as an authority in some field of accounting, advancement of accounting education, and public service. Since its establishment in 1950, 93 leading accountants have been elected to the Hall of Fame. In 2017 the operations of the Accounting Hall of Fame were assumed by the AAA. The nomination process engages members of the Hall of Fame, the AAA and other professional accounting organizations.

George David Anderson a Montana native, Stanford graduate and World War II veteran, founded Anderson ZurMuehlen in October 1957 along with Carl ZurMuehlen in Helena, MT. He served as president of Anderson ZurMuehlen until 1984 and as chairman of the board from 1984 to 1987 when he retired. Additionally, he served as President of the Montana Society of CPAs in 1960, and as Chairman of the Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from 1981- 82. He led the AICPA’s special committee on standards of professional conduct responding to developments brought about by high profile bank failures and corporate bankruptcies. This initiative secured changes to the governance and continuing review of CPA qualifications which are recognized as one of the seminal events in the history of the CPA profession. In addition to his professional affiliations and accomplishments, George was an active member of the business community in the City of Helena and the State of Montana serving on numerous boards and committees throughout his lifetime.

You can learn about the Accounting Hall of Fame here.

 

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Butte Celebrates 40 Years!

On January 17, 2018, Anderson ZurMuehlen’s Butte office celebrated their 40th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, they are celebrating throughout the year with their clients. Cheers to Butte!

 

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2018 Visionary Award Level I Winners Announced

Lyndsey Geering, Billings, Attest

Lyndsey implemented a new process for CCH Engagement Fund Trial Balance to improve the effectiveness of the software firm-wide. She worked with other attest staff to help them apply the process to government audits. It was Lyndsey’s ingenuity to take online training to learn more about the software and find a way to make the firm more efficient.  Quite simply, Lyndsey worked on a new process to improve efficiency, client service and realization that can be used for multiple engagements across the firm.

 

Sandy Bechard, Great Falls, Operations

Sandy saw a problem and found a way to make the engagement letter process more efficient. She created macros for all offices and two tutorial videos to provide step-by-step instructions to share with the Admin staff firm-wide. This new process allows Admin staff to use the most updated information in Practice Management when creating letters and removed the need to update both a spreadsheet and Practice Management. Sandy’s initiative to do more than her regular duties demonstrates what it means to be visionary.

 

To learn more about our Visionary Award, click here.

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Team Spotlight: Jan Schweitzer

Team Spotlight! In a recent testimonial from a happy client, Shareholder, Jan Schweitzer [Missoula] was applauded for her expertise, professionalism and overall client service. Jan truly lives the mission and values of Anderson ZurMuehlen – kudos Jan! 
 “I’m taking this opportunity to send Kudos and Accolades to AZ and especially to Jan Schweitzer. Our firm recently worked with Jan on both an Agreed Upon Procedures report and subsequently a Forensic Audit.  My practice has spanned now over three decades, for many years with a large regional firm, and most recently with my current small firm.  My practice in large part involves complex commercial litigation issues.  I have accordingly had the opportunity to work with any number of highly qualified accountants, auditors and business valuation experts.  I knew upon my initial review that Jan’s audit was superb in every way. I firmly believe in overtly recognizing exceptional talent – Jan has that.  I extend my Kudos and Accolades, first to Jan, and also to AZ for its standards of excellence demonstrated by people like Jan.”
– Anderson ZurMuehlen client

 

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Missoula Recruitment Open House

Are you a positive energetic person looking for an opportunity to grow professionally? We’re hosting a recruiting open house for college accounting/business/computer science majors. Students will tour the office and learn more about public accounting.

Missoula Office: Wednesday, February 1, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 1821 South Ave West, 5th Floor.

Please RSVP to Jill Galle by email or 406.721.7800.

 

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Free Webinar: Preparing for Tax Reform

Anderson ZurMuehlen logo

Please join us for a free webinar

Preparing for Tax Reform:

 impacts to businesses and major impacts to individuals

Join CPAs Cindy Utterback, Mike Combo, Anna Horne and Pam Guschausky as they discuss  the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its impact to both businesses and individuals.

This free webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 30, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. (MST)

RSVP below to reserve your spot today!


Meet the Professionals

 

Cindy Utterback, CPA, shareholder and Director of Tax, provides consulting and compliance services for corporations, partnershipsindividualstrusts and estates. Her service concentrations are professional service businesses, real estate and construction, manufacturing, and preservation of family wealth.

 

 

 

 

Mike Combo, CPA, shareholder, provides tax services for corporations, partnerships, and individuals.  His service concentrations are construction, healthcare, hospitality, wholesale, and retail trade.

 

 

 

 

Anna Horne, CPA, manager, offers consultation and tax compliance for corporations, partnerships and individuals. She works closely with the agricultural community and related supporting industries. She also provides consultation for family business succession planning.

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Guschausky, CPA, shareholder, provides financial reporting and tax services for corporations, partnerships, and individuals. Her service concentrations include expertise with trust companies, estates, professional service firmsand nonprofits.

 

 

Click here to register for this free webinar!

 

 

Krystal Stewart is MSCPA’s Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipient for 2018!

Krystal Stewart, CPA, shareholder has been award the MSCPA’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2018!  We are very proud of Krystal and her dedication and passion to improve the lives of her clients, coworkers and communities.  Way to go Krystal!
“The MSCPA Board met yesterday and selected Krystal Stewart as one of our Outstanding Volunteer Award winners for 2018. We all appreciate her work on the state tax and governmental affairs committees and felt she would be a very deserving winner for this award.”
-Allen Lloyd, CAE | Executive Director of MSCPA​​

 

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Tax Reform Details for Individuals

On December 20, Congress completed passage of the largest federal tax reform law in more than 30 years. Commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), the new law means substantial changes for individual taxpayers.

The following is a brief overview of some of the most significant provisions. Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

  • Drops of individual income tax rates ranging from 0 to 4 percentage points (depending on the bracket) to 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%.  While most taxpayers will pay less, some taxpayers will pay slightly more under the new law.  Every situation is unique but taxpayers most likely to be impacted with slightly higher taxes are upper-middle class individuals with a marginal tax rate of 35%, up from 33%.
  • Near doubling of the standard deduction to $24,000 (married couples filing jointly), $18,000 (heads of households), and $12,000 (singles and married couples filing separately)
  • Elimination of personal exemptions
  • Doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000 and other modifications intended to help more taxpayers benefit from the credit, such as the ability to claim a new $500 nonrefundable credit for dependents who do not qualify for the child tax credit (for children who are too old for the child tax credit, as well as other non-child dependents).
  • Elimination of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act requiring taxpayers not covered by a qualifying health plan to pay a penalty — effective for months beginning after December 31, 2018, and permanent
  • Reduction of the adjusted gross income (AGI) threshold for the medical expense deduction to 7.5% for regular and AMT purposes — for 2017 and 2018.  In 2019, the threshold will increase to 10%.
  • New $10,000 limit on the deduction for state and local taxes (on a combined basis for property and income taxes; $5,000 for separate filers)
  • Reduction of the mortgage debt limit for the home mortgage interest deduction to $750,000 ($375,000 for separate filers) for new mortgages taken out after December 14, 2017.  Taxpayers with a mortgage taken out before December 15, 2017 can continue to claim home mortgage interest on up to $1 million ($500,000 if MFS) going forward.  The $1 million limit continues to apply to a refinanced mortgage incurred before December 15, 2017.
  • Elimination of the deduction for interest on home equity debt
  • Elimination of the personal casualty and theft loss deduction (with an exception for federally declared disasters)
  • Elimination of miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor (such as certain investment expenses, professional fees and unreimbursed employee business expenses)
  • The deduction for charitable contributions is expanded so that taxpayers may contribute up to 60% of adjusted gross income, rather than 50%.
  • Elimination of the AGI-based reduction of certain itemized deductions
  • Most of the changes to itemized deductions remain in place until 2025 and then itemized deductions will generally follow the rules in place before the TCJA.
  • Elimination of the moving expense deduction (with an exception for members of the military in certain circumstances)
  • Alimony payments made under court orders executed after December 31, 2018 will no longer be deductible.  Alimony income under similar orders will not be includable in income.  Payments made under existing orders are grandfathered and should be reported using the pre-TCJA rules.
  • Self-employed taxpayers may be able to deduct up to 20% of qualified business income from a sole proprietorship, partnership or S corporation.  Limitations apply to the deductions.
  • Expansion of tax-free Section 529 plan distributions to include those used to pay qualifying elementary and secondary school expenses, up to $10,000 per student per tax year — permanent
  • AMT exemption increase, to $109,400 for joint filers, $70,300 for singles and heads of households, and $54,700 for separate filers
  • Doubling of the gift and estate tax exemptions, to $10 million (expected to be $11.2 million for 2018 with inflation indexing)

 

Be aware that additional rules and limits apply. Also, there are many more changes in the TCJA that will impact individuals. If you have questions or would like to discuss how you might be affected, please contact us.

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