Uncategorized

Aug. 19 – 25, take advantage of Connecticut’s Sales Tax Free Week!

Posted on August 17, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

For those of you sending kids back to school or looking for some new fall wardrobe staples, don’t forget…Sales Tax Free Week is upon us!

From August 19 to August 25, clothing and footwear purchases costing less than $300 are exempt from the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax. According to the Department of Revenue Services’ news release, tax free purchases are expected to save consumers as much as $7.5 million statewide.

Read more about the exclusions.

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Setting Standards for Summer Storms

Posted on August 13, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Are you worried about the possibility of losing power for a week because of a summer storm? At this time last year, thousands of Connecticut residents suffered through that experience because of Tropical Storm Irene. Then the freak Halloween snow storm arrived in late October and plunged many of us into darkness again.

Government officials pledged to take action to ensure that power companies will be better prepared for future emergencies. After months of debate, two weeks ago, Governor Malloy signed An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response into law.

Does the law establish strict new standards for utility companies? Or find funding sources to pay for projects that move overhead wires underground? Or create new teams that can help clear our roads after weather emergencies?

Well … not exactly. Although Section 3 of the Act does require the “Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (to) initiate a docket to establish industry specific standards for acceptable performance,” it does not actually establish any standards. Nor does it explicitly identify any sources of funds to finance new teams or other response capabilities.

Instead, the Act appears to call on our existing government officials to work with our existing utility company executives to modify our existing plans and standards. Will this result in any improvement to the status quo? We can certainly hope so … but we might also wish to replenish our supplies of candles and bottled water, just to be safe!

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp. http://aqpq.org

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

What does Connecticut’s future look like?

Posted on July 27, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Within the next few years, a fairly large number of Connecticut’s CPAs in that baby boomer generation will retire. The question then becomes… now what? What does the future hold? Will it unfold in Connecticut, or in a warmer climate or tax-friendlier region?

Earlier this month, we asked you just those questions. Will you stay? Have you already begun to put down roots elsewhere? And how do you really feel about Connecticut’s fiscal health?

Check out the results below.

What does Connecticut’s future hold for you?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Op-Ed: “Connecticut Must Face True Pension Liabilities”

Posted on July 10, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

CTCPA Past President Marcia Marien led the charge to “fix our future” here in Connecticut a few years ago – so she was understandably delighted last month when the GASB approved two new, game-changing standards last month. The new standards will require state and local governments to report significant pension-related liabilities on their balance sheets.

Today’s Hartford Courant features an op-ed by Marcia on those standards and Connecticut’s fiscal health. It’s a great read for CPAs, politicians, legislators – and all Connecticut residents.

You can read the article in its entirety at http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-marien-connecticut-must-count-all-liabilitie-20120709,0,2755520.story.

Bravo, Marcia!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Sanitary Connecticut?

Posted on July 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Have you seen the new state-financed Revolutionary Connecticut advertising campaign yet? We reported on its launch two weeks ago; the slogan is now appearing on billboards, in magazines, and on television screens across the region.

Considering last week’s news from the shoreline, though, it’s fortunate that the marketing mavens didn’t choose the slogan Sanitary Connecticut instead! According to the National Resources Defense Council, of the 30 states with beaches on the coasts or Great Lakes, the Nutmeg State only ranked 26th in water quality.

So how does the advertising campaign address the issue of water quality? Interestingly, although the campaign’s half-minute video entitled Connecticut Coast (which is available for viewing on YouTube) opens and closes with “action shots” of children running along the sandy shore, none of the adorable tykes actually dares to venture into the water.

Purely a coincidence? Perhaps so, but when Leah Schmalz, director of legislative and legal affairs for Save the Sound (a program of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment), tells the Connecticut Post that beach waters after heavy storms contain “debris, chemicals and other materials (that) becomes a toxic stew,” it is difficult to avoid noticing the discordancy between the marketing image of the shoreline and the occasional reality of bacterial contamination.

As we reported last month, the State has invested $27 million in the advertising campaign. Would it be wise for our government leaders to invest a few more dollars in the health of the shoreline environment as well?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp. http://aqpq.org

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Exciting news from the GASB!

Posted on June 27, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

On June 25, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted to approve two new standards that will have huge ramifications for state and local governments.

The big news: for the first time, state and local governments will be required to report significant pension-related liabilities on their balance sheets!

These new standards are certainly a step in the right direction for those of us concerned with the longterm fiscal health of our governmental entities.

Read more here.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Connecticut Tourism: A $27 Million Investment

Posted on June 20, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

If you had the ability to direct the expenditure of $27 million of state funds, where would you apply the money?

To the repair of our crumbling bridges and roads, perhaps? Or to our underfunded systems of public education and health?

If you’d rather spend the cash on a flashy advertising campaign, you’re in luck! Our State Office of Tourism has just launched a campaign that features five videos, all of which are now available for viewing on YouTube.

The tag line? Still Revolutionary, a phrase that purportedly refers to the state’s “revolutionary spirit that still remains today.”

Oddly enough, the videos do not appear to mention Nathan Hale, Connecticut’s most illustrious revolutionary.

Hale, a Yale alumnus and Connecticut’s official State Hero, was executed by the British for spying during the American Revolution.

According to legend, when given the choice of betraying his fellow patriots or surrendering his life, Hale retorted “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The British Army proceeded accordingly.

Nevertheless, neither Hale’s homestead in Coventry, Connecticut, nor his famous statue on Yale University’s historic Old Campus, appear in the videos at all.

The advertisements do, however, feature baby boomers who sip wine in vineyards and adorable tykes who gaze at a beluga whale through an aquarium tank.

These images, though hardly “revolutionary,” are quite striking. Nevertheless, is the State prepared to measure whether this $27 million expenditure will achieve a satisfactory return on the taxpayer’s investment?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp. http://aqpq.org

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Minority Non-CPA Firm Ownership Now Law in Connecticut

Posted on June 15, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Great news!

On June 15, Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed HB 5025, “An Act Concerning the Ownership of Public Accounting Firms” into law as Public Act 12-194, “An Act Concerning the Ownership of Public Accounting Firms and the Use of the Title ‘Certified Public Accountant.’” The law shall take effect on July 1, 2012.

The law allows minority equity ownership of CPA firms by non-CPA individuals who are actively engaged in the servicing of clients or the administration of the firm, up to a maximum total of 49 percent. Connecticut became the 49th jurisdiction to provide for minority non-CPA ownership of firms.

HB 5025 was supported by both the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy and the Connecticut Society of CPAs, and was included in a package of legislature submitted to the General Assembly by the Office of the Secretary of the State.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

‘Minority Non-CPA Ownership’ Bill Going to Governor for Signature

Posted on May 10, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Great news from the last few minutes of the legislative session!

At 11:58 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, HB 5025, “An Act Concerning the Ownership of Public Accounting Firms,” passed the state Senate after having passed in the House of Representatives about five hours earlier. The bill will now go to Governor Dannel Malloy for signature.

The bill allows minority equity ownership of CPA firms by non-CPA individuals who are actively engaged in the servicing of clients or the administration of the firm, up to a maximum total of 49 percent. If signed into law, the bill will make Connecticut the 49th jurisdiction to provide for minority non-CPA ownership of firms.

HB 5025 is supported by both the Connecticut State Board of Accountancy and the Connecticut Society of CPAs, and was included in a package of legislature submitted to the General Assembly by the Office of the Secretary of the State.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

It Costs Nothing To Adopt GAAP

Posted on May 7, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Have you heard about the recent brouhaha regarding our state’s ability to “make good” on Governor Malloy’s Executive Order #1 to adopt Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)? Our political leaders are now balking at the characterized $1.7 billion “cost” of adopting GAAP.

As Certified Public Accountants, of course, we have a responsibility to correct any mischaracterizations regarding GAAP. So here is a very simple declaration for our leaders: it costs nothing to adopt GAAP.

At the present time, because the State is not employing GAAP, many costs and expenses are not recorded until they are paid. As a result, when they are incurred, the State simply defers payment into future year(s) in an unmeasured and unmanaged fashion.

Because the State is nominally required to balance its budget each year, the timely recording of these costs and expenses would force our leaders to fund these commitments in a transparent manner. Indeed, it might even encourage them to act prudently by avoiding such commitments if the resources are not available to finance them.

GAAP is simply a set of measurement principles. If our costs appear to be higher under GAAP accounting than under an alternative method of accounting, we can’t blame GAAP for the additional costs. If we do, then we’d only be “blaming the messenger” (or, in this case, the “measurer”) for our own profligacy.

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp. http://aqpq.org

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

« Previous Entries
  • Numbers are a language. CPAs can translate.

    Welcome to the official legislative blog of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.

    These are the thoughts of Connecticut's CPAs.

  • Who's reading?

    • 6,726 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 37 other followers

  • Like us on Facebook

  • Archives

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...