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Dan Vuckovich, shareholder, named the 2017 Recipient of the George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award

Dan Vuckovich, shareholder, was recently awarded the George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award.  Read on to see what this award looks for in a recipient:

George D. Anderson Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is MSCPA’s highest honor, recognizing a member who has served the profession or the public with distinction.

The purpose of the award is to recognize CPAs who have demonstrated a commitment to:

  1. enhancing the profession whether locally, nationally, or internationally and/or
  2. serving the public.

In evaluating nominations, the Montana Society Board of Directors will consider the nominee’s accomplishments in the following areas:

  • Service to the Montana Society of CPAs as an officer, Board member, committee member, legislative   spokesperson, CPE speaker, researcher, and Line Items contributor, as well as other types of activities that enhance the profession’s stature.
  • Service to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as an officer, committee member, researcher, speaker, or exam grader/contributor.
  • Service to other national organizations which contribute to the overall strength of the accounting profession, such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Institute of Management Accountants, the American Accounting Association, and other recognized organizations that directly influence the accounting profession.
  • Service to international accounting organizations such as the International Financial Accounting Committee.
  • Active participant in various community, charitable, and civic activities on a local, state, or national level.
  • Assumed responsibility for a significant civic or charitable undertaking on a local, state, or national level.
  • Service in the community, state, or nation in an outstanding manner as an appointed or elected official.
  • Presented speeches or published significant articles designed to encourage participation in, or support of community, civic, or charitable causes

​ Click here​ for more information from the MSCPA

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Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits

Plan to attend the 4th Annual Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Conference and complete the registration form below.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman, MT

Click here for the agenda topics. Check back soon for more information!

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.

Need lodging for May 23, 2017? Contact the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn at 406.587.5261.  Request group block AZ Nonprofit Conference or Group Code AZ522217.  Rooms are available for $94/night + tax.  Room block release date is April 28, 2017.

Need more information: email Claire Irwin, Administrative Professional, or call 406.442.1040

 Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Registration form below.   

Registration deadline is May 9.


 

Organization Name *

Billing Address *

City *

State *

Zip *

Phone *


Attendee 1 ($195)

Name for Badge *

Email *

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from the dropdown below:*


Attendee 2 ($150)

Name for Badge

Email

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from the dropdown below:


Attendee 3 ($150)

Name for Badge

Email

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from dropdown below:

Do you need lodging? Contact Best Western Plus GranTree Inn at 406.587.5261. Request group block AZ Nonprofit Conference or Group Code AZ522217.
Rate: $94/night + taxes.
Group block release date: April 28, 2017.


Please make check payable to Anderson ZurMuehlen and include a copy of your email confirmation when mailing your check. Mail to Anderson ZurMuehlen, Attn. Claire Irwin, P.O. Box 1040, Helena, MT 59624-1040.

Payment is due prior to event.

Select the send button for an email confirmation.

For more information contact Claire Irwin, Administrative Professional at 406.442.1040.

*indicates required information.

Anderson ZurMuehlen is Recognized as Employer of Choice

Anderson ZurMuehlen has earned the WorldatWork 2017 Seal of Distinction, for meeting a defined standard showing we provide a distinct mutually beneficial workplace experience.

The 2017 Seal of Distinction is awarded every year to companies across North America that set the standard for employee engagement that leads to business success. The overall strength of a company’s total rewards portfolio is evaluated along with the programs, policies and practices reflected in:

  • Health & wellness
  • Paid Time Off
  • Retirement
  • Bonus programs
  • Short-term incentives
  • Long-term incentives
  • Performance management
  • Recognition
  • Development opportunities
  • Caring for dependents
  • Culture initiatives & community involvement
  • Financial wellness
  • Workplace flexibility
  • Workforce experience

The award highlights the innovative steps we have taken toward future business success by investing in our talented employees with our total rewards approach.  Of particular note are our Management Advisory Committee, Employee Benefits Advisory Committee, Core Competencies, Flexible Work Arrangements, Wellness Challenges, Tax Preparation and Consulting Benefit and our Visionary Employee Recognition Program.” – John Cummings, MBA, CIC, PHR, SHRM-CP, Human Resources Director

 This year Anderson ZurMuehlen was among 160 companies from 35 states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces to be recognized with the 2017 Seal of Distinction.

All 2017 Seal of Distinction companies will be celebrated at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition, May 7-10, in Washington, D.C. To find out more about the WorldatWork Seal of Distinction, go to www.worldatwork.org/sealofdistinction.
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Anderson ZurMuehlen Voted Best Accountant in Helena

Anderson ZurMuehlen was voted Best Accountant in the Helena Independent Record’s 2017 Best of Helena. The Best of Helena survey is released yearly by the Helena Independent Record.  Categories include Best Attorney, Best Artist, Best Veterinarian just to name a few.

Thank you Helena!

Read the full article from the Helena Independent Record.

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Anderson ZurMuehlen Open House Schedule

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: Thursday, February 2, 2017, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at 1821 South Ave West, 5th Floor.

Please RSVP to Jill Galle by email or 406.721.7800.

Great Falls office: Thursday, February 9, 2017, 4:00-5:30 p.m. at 21 10th Street South.

Please RSVP to Sandy Bechard by email or 406.727.0888.

 

Anderson ZurMuehlen careers

Watch “Why We Work for Anderson ZurMuehlen’

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Rick Reisig Appointed to Financial Accounting Foundation’s Private Company Council

Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits

Plan to attend the 3rd Annual Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Conference and complete the registration form below.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel

For full agenda, click here

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.

Need lodging for May 23, 2017? Contact the Great Northern Hotel by email or at 406.457.5500, and ask for the Anderson ZurMuehlen Nonprofit Conference. Rooms are available for $130/night + tax. Room block release date is April 28, 2017.

Need more information: email Claire Irwin, Administrative Professional, or call 406.442.1040

 Advanced Accounting Issues for Nonprofits Registration form below.   

Registration deadline is April 29.


 

Organization Name *

Billing Address *

City *

State *

Zip *

Phone *


Attendee 1 ($195)

Name for Badge *

Email *

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from the dropdown below:*


Attendee 2 ($150)

Name for Badge

Email

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from the dropdown below:


Attendee 3 ($150)

Name for Badge

Email

Special Food Allergies?

Do you need CPE for attending?
YesNo

Which afternoon breakout session does this attendee plan on attending? Please select from dropdown below:

Do you need lodging? Contact Best Western Plus GranTree Inn at 406.587.5261. Request group block AZ Nonprofit Conference or Group Code AZ522217.
Rate: $94/night + taxes.
Group block release date: April 28, 2017.


Please make check payable to Anderson ZurMuehlen and include a copy of your email confirmation when mailing your check. Mail to Anderson ZurMuehlen, Attn. Claire Irwin, P.O. Box 1040, Helena, MT 59624-1040.

Payment is due prior to event.

Select the send button for an email confirmation.

For more information contact Claire Irwin, Administrative Professional at 406.442.1040.

*indicates required information.

Anderson ZurMuehlen Employee Featured in Great Falls News

Johanna Mellinger, a seasonal tax employee for Anderson ZurMuehlen, just donated platelets for the 400th time.

Johanna has been donating her platelets since 1995.  Her motto is, be “good for nothing.”

Read the Great Falls Tribune article about Johanna’s dedication to donating her platelets.

Pictured above: Johanna Mellinger, middle, participates in many races around the state with her children Patrick and Jacque.

Watch the KRTV story about Johanna.

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IRS Extends Deadline to Provide 2016 ACA Forms to Recipients

The IRS announced that it is extending one of the deadlines for providing 2016 Affordable Care Act (ACA) information statements to recipients.
Specifically, the due date for furnishing to individuals the 2016 Form 1095-B (Health Coverage) and the 2016 Form 1095-C, (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) is extended from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.

Q&As about the Process and Extended Due Date

What about filing these statements with the IRS? Is there an extension? No. The deadline for filing the forms with the IRS is not being extended. The IRS has determined that there’s no similar need for additional time for employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file 2016 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. The filing deadline for these returns remains February 28, 2017, if not filing electronically, or March 31, 2017, if filing electronically.

However, the extension in IRS Notice 2016-70 doesn’t affect the provisions regarding automatic and additional extensions of time for filing information returns, which remain available under the normal rules by submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns.

Who must furnish these statements? Health insurance issuers, sponsors of self-insured health plans, government agencies that administer government-sponsored health insurance programs, and other providers of “minimum essential coverage” must generally file annual returns reporting information for each individual for whom such coverage is provided. An entity filing an information return reporting minimum essential coverage to the IRS must also furnish a written statement to each individual listed on the return that shows the information that must be reported to IRS for that individual.

The ACA also requires applicable large employers (generally, employers with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees in the previous year) to provide the individuals with Form 1095-C.

Why are these statements provided to employees? The purpose of this reporting is to allow taxpayers to establish, and for the IRS to verify, that the taxpayers were covered by minimum essential coverage and their months of enrollment during a calendar year.

Why is the deadline being extended? The IRS decided to extend the deadline following consultation with stakeholders and the Department of the Treasury, as a substantial number of employers, insurers and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time. The extension is automatic.

Do businesses and others need to do anything to take advantage of the extension? No. The extension is automatic. No documentation needs to be submitted to receive the extension from the IRS.

Penalty Relief

The IRS is also providing the same penalty relief that it provided with respect to 2015 returns. IRS Notice 2016-70 extends the good-faith penalty relief from penalties for failure to timely furnish and file the information returns from the 2015 tax year to the 2016 tax year. In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to the IRS and furnishing it to employees and covered individuals.

Examples of good faith include gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS, or testing the ability to transmit information to the IRS. In addition, the IRS will take into account the extent to which an employer or other coverage provider is taking steps to ensure that it will be able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2017.

The IRS is encouraging employers and other coverage providers that don’t meet the relevant due dates to still furnish and file. The IRS will take such furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.

The Future

IRS Notice 2016-70 states the tax agency doesn’t anticipate extending this transition relief — either with respect to the due dates or with respect to good faith penalty relief — to reporting for 2017. However, as indicated in presidential election campaign promises, there could be major changes to the ACA under the Trump administration.

If you have questions about your ACA responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, contact your tax, payroll or employee benefits advisor.

 

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What Lies Ahead & Next Steps for Employers Given the Overtime Injunction

Many employers have been wrestling with plans to comply with new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) overtime rules since last May. That’s when the rules were finalized, with a December 1 compliance deadline. Those new rules included raising the minimum salary overtime exemption to $913 per week from $455. A little more than a week before the deadline for the rules was to take effect, a federal court has issued an injunction, at least temporarily blocking implementation of the changes. 

In its decision, the court stated it believes the DOL exceeded its authority in promulgating the rule. In addition, the court said the DOL failed to follow Congress’s intent, which was to reexamine the duties test of the overtime rules, and not to focus solely on the salary level, as the final rules do.

The DOL’s initial response was to state that it “strongly disagrees” with the ruling, and is “currently considering all of our legal options.” A couple of short-term legal scenarios remain possible: The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which issued the ruling, could drop its temporary injunction.

Alternatively, the ruling could be kicked up to the local U.S. Court of Appeals, which could overrule or uphold the injunction. But the chances of the appeals court rendering a decision on the issue before December 1 are slim.

What Lies Ahead?

december1circled150In the longer term, the outlook is also unclear. It seems unlikely that the Labor Department under the Trump Administration would fight the ruling, though other parties might. Initial analysis of the district court’s decision by Judge Amos L. Mazzant suggests that holes could be poked into the logic that led to his conclusion. At issue is the fact that the National Labor Relations Act, which laid the groundwork for overtime pay, failed to address the need to periodically adjust the salary threshold. However, a provision for adjusting the threshold was incorporated into regulations way back in 1940.

Also, while Judge Mazzant took exception to the idea of periodic salary threshold adjustments in the context of exempt status, he didn’t declare that it was invalid with regard to all DOL rules.

In any case, employers have several issues to deal with immediately. Those issues vary according to what actions they’ve already taken. Employers that were waiting until December 1 to roll out their plans are in a better position simply to hold tight and act as if the regulations were never issued.

Disruption Issue

The benefits of a wait-and-see approach are that there’s no disruption to the status quo and, in most cases, there will be no spike in payroll costs. However, that approach may also bring risks, including having to scramble to make adjustments if the regulations ultimately are upheld. That scrambling might involve paying extra wages due to affected employees retroactive to December 1.

Another hazard is that employees who have kept abreast of the issue (independently of any statements made by their employers) who were expecting raises or eligibility for overtime pay could be angered that this benefit was snatched away from them.

Employers faced with this dilemma will need to weigh their appetite for regulatory risk, the level of financial pain that compliance with the overtime regulations would inflict, and the employee relations considerations.

Some employers have already made their implementation strategy clear to employees. For employers that have announced plans to reclassify some employees from exempt to nonexempt, options include:

  • Giving those employees the choice of whether to become hourly, or remain in salaried status, while cautioning them that they might need to be moved to hourly status in the future, depending on the outcome of the legal battle,
  • Move forward with their conversion to hourly status to avoid possible future disruption if the regulations are upheld, or
  • Drop the plan to switch them to hourly status.

Morale Considerations

If salaried employees had been promised raises to bring them up to the minimum salary threshold (in lieu of moving them to hourly status), dropping plans for those raises could give rise to problems, such as damaged employee morale. Legal issues could also arise, especially if the promised raises have already been granted. For example, employers could run afoul of notice requirements under state or local laws, and possibly violate common law doctrines governing implied contracts.

A compromise approach with respect to planned salary increases could be to phase in the increases instead of raising them immediately to the regulations’ threshold level.

If employees have already been moved to hourly wage status to comply with the regulations, before switching them back to salaried status, take a fresh look at the “job duties” test for exempt status. This test has always been in place and was not affected by the federal court’s temporary injunction. Businesses could find themselves in trouble regardless of the outcome of this legal battle if salaried employees have been misclassified for reasons other than failing to meet the minimum wage threshold.

How the issue will ultimately shake out is uncertain, at best. But observers in Washington, D.C., point out that although many members of Congress opposed the regulations as written, they agreed in principle that some increase in the overtime salary threshold was in order. That is, they didn’t reject the DOL’s legal authority to adjust the threshold, as it has done multiple times since the early days of the underlying statute.

Whatever actions, or non-actions employers take with regard to the rule, it’s essential to communicate as clearly as possible with employees about the issue. One basic message that would be reasonable would be for employers to explain that they are waiting for more clarity on the legal front before making any big decisions.

Employment attorneys are monitoring the issue carefully, and are an essential resource to take advantage of before taking any irreversible action.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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