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September 24, 2009    
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Publisher's Note
Timing is everything. Oakland, California recently passed a tax on medical marijuana. The projected annual revenue? A paltry $294,000. Is that small amount really worth the public relations backlash?

Timing is everything. Jerry Koosman’s time in jail will give him plenty of time to think about his dilemma.

Timing is everything. While wearing a costume to work on Halloween is acceptable to many employers, it will raise quite the eyebrow if you do it in February. If you try it, please let us know.

Going to ask your boss for a raise today? Timing is everything.

Rob Nance
Top News
October tax deadline putting a crimp in your autumn?
It happens every year. Some clients put off the pain of tax return filing as long as they possibly can, and that means your firm might be experiencing an October crunch. Are those clients procrastinators, disorganized or… suffering from tax-related mental illness? Or maybe a combination of all three?
Three years of skipping taxes sends former Mets pitcher Koosman to jail
"A serious blemish on an otherwise outstanding life.” That’s what U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb said recently when she sentenced former Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman, age 66, to prison for tax evasion. Her comments are not surprising when you consider that, unlike most celebrities who get caught not paying their fair share, Koosman not only pleaded guilty and apologized as well.
IRS extends amnesty deadline to October 15
The Internal Revenue Service has announced a one-time extension of the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with unreported income from hidden offshore accounts. These taxpayers now have until October 15, 2009.
AICPA: CPAs should be exempt from pending consumer financial protection legislation
On Wednesday, September 23, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants told a U.S. House panel that certified public accountants should be exempt from pending legislation to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency because CPAs are already highly regulated. The House Small Business Committee conducted a hearing on the impact of financial regulatory restructuring on small business and community lenders.
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Featured Articles
Mother Nature offers tips for nurturing NextGen staff members
As a lover of horticulture, I see many parallels between the lessons I learn in my garden and those I learn in life. We are not so many generations away from our agrarian roots that many of these “lessons” still linger in our business nomenclature. In business, we often refer to the parity between nurturing employees and harvesting profits. We have come to accept the parity of pruning dead wood to stimulate new growth.
Fortifying client relationships
Client retention is an essential ingredient for a solid marketing plan. Oftentimes, accounting firms get bogged down looking for new clients and miss important opportunities to serve their current client base. Further, firms leave their most precious client relationships open for competitors to target when they don’t use effective client retention strategies.
Choosing a valuable domain name
OK, so you’re going to purchase a domain name for your firm, whether it be for a Website presence, professional e-mail, or both. This seems like a simple task that most people breeze over, but the reality is that it could be one of the most valuable choices you make regarding your firm’s online presence.
FREE Benchmarking Tool Kit
Using the 2009 Rosenberg MAP Survey is an excellent way to benchmark your firm’s key financial metrics against your peers and uncover profit-boosting potential.

Access the free Benchmarking Tool Kit for critical and timely information and practice aids so you can apply benchmarking as a way to weather the recession.
Firm/State/People News
Vrakas/Blum sponsors new business building at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) recently announced the opening of Timothy J. Hyland Hall, home to the university’s College of Business and Economics. The construction of Hyland Hall was co-sponsored by the local CPA firm of Vrakas/Blum.
Carol Scott named AICPA vice president of business, industry and government
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has named Carol S. Scott as its new vice president – business, industry, and government. Scott, 50, will set strategic direction and develop and execute programs on behalf of chief executive officers, chief financial officers, controllers, and other CPAs working in business, industry and government, a vital group that comprises 45 percent of the Institute’s membership.
RSM McGladrey opens new office in Atlanta
In a move designed to provide companies in the southeastern United States with greater access to its national resources and industry talent, RSM McGladrey has entered the Atlanta market by opening an office in midtown.
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Come to the Sleeter Group's Next Generation Accounting Solutions Conference to learn best practices, network with colleagues, and learn new technologies in accounting software and IT consulting, integration of add-on software and hardware, and business process consulting to small business.

Wyndham Orlando Resort - Orlando, Florida
November 9-12, 2009.
What do you have to say today?
Risk Tolerance
Determining your tolerance and your appetite for risk are essential steps in managing risk. This is following up to my last post which introduced the ERM framework, its objectives, and components.
No Pain, No Sale, Mr. President
One of the amazing discoveries of researching and then applying the concepts of The I-Hate-Selling Book was the "power of pain" concept. This means not wasting time or resources pursuing people who don't have pain or enough of it.
California: New Registration & Reporting Requirements (Use Tax)
California has released a Special Notice alerting taxpayers to the new registration and reporting requirements for "qualified purchasers" to report and pay use tax directly to the Board of Equalization (BOE).
1.4 Million Families Have Filed for First-Time Homebuyer Credit
Whew! Have we done that many amended returns already? It certainly seems that way. Earlier this year, we started working with a developer to help him sell houses. Their sales have gone crazy. We've done hundreds of 2008 amended returns to claim the credit right now, instead of next year.
Questions & Advice
Software implementation
I have been reading SOP 98-1 and it discusses capitalizing internal payroll for those employees working on certain phases of a software implementation. We plan to pay bonuses to employees after each phase of the implementation. Can these bonuses be capitalized if the base salary is being capitalized? I don't see any clear guidance on this.
Add your input!
Minimize or defer income taxes
I have a client that received a very large one time severance payment and payout of an unqualified long-term incentive plan upon termination of employment. Any suggestions on how to best minimize income taxes in 2009 or at least some deferral.
Share your suggestions!
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