Acumatica Hackathon 2020

Acumatica Hackathon 2020

The Acumatica Hackathon welcomes developers and non-developers (partners, customers, Acumatica employees, etc). Acumatica is a company committed to working with and investing in their developer community. The Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform, with its open and flexible architecture, gives developers the freedom to customize it as they desire. They don’t believe in one-size-fits-all.

The first step is registering for Acumatica Summit 2020, coming January 26-31, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The Acumatica Hackathon itself starts on Saturday, January 25 at 2 pm. The second step is understanding why Acumatica feels so strongly about developers participating in the Hackathon. Read more about that here.

W-4 Form Changes Effective January 1, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has made substantial changes to the tax code that will impact the 2020 payroll tax year. The IRS has released a new W-4 form as a result of these changes. For more detailed information please see the IRS FAQs regarding the new W-4 form.

As you prepare for the next payroll tax year be aware of some important changes:

  • Any new employee starting January 1, 2020 or later must use the new W-4 Employee Withholding Certificate form.
  • Effective January 1, 2020 any employee that needs to make changes to their withholdings must use the new W-4 Employee Withholding Certificate form.

Open APIs Are Critical to Today’s Connected Business

Open APIs Are Critical to Today’s Connected Business

There are two kinds of cloud ERP vendors; closed – where the vendors intentionally close their APIs, usually those in vertical apps, believing it gives them a lock in their market and open – vendors that provide open interfaces to ensure seamless cloud-to-cloud integrations. Acumatica falls within the open category. They support an open world and eliminating the separations of automation. To quote Acumatica’s Ajoy Krishnamoorthy, VP of Platform Strategy, “We don’t think that data should live and die within the boundaries of ERP.” He says this in his post, The Connected Cloud: How Acumatica’s API Supports a Multicloud World, which he wrote in 2017. In it, he explains how their flexible, customizable cloud xRP platform was developed. He also details Acumatica’s API journey. Acumatica believes that “APIs form the connecting glue between modern applications. Nearly every application uses APIs to connect with corporate data sources, third party data services or other applications. Creating an open description format for API services that is vendor neutral, portable, and open is critical to accelerating the vision of a truly connected world.” Read more here.

2020 Illinois Unemployment Rate Determination Will Arrive Soon!!!

Thank you Carol Gabrielsen from Unemployment Consultants, Inc. for your article.

The Illinois Department Of Employment Security (IDES) will be mailing the 2020 Rate Determination on or about December 1, 2019.  It is important that each Employer verifies the rate as assigned with the 15 day protest time limit.

The Employer can also go to their account with IDES at mytax.illinois.gov and get the Rate Determination from that portal.

Errors to look for on the Rate Determination:

  • Most of the errors will be found when reviewing the BEN 118, Statement of Benefits Charges, for the period listed on the Rate Determination.
  • Benefits paid to an Employee when the Employee was denied benefits.
  • Benefits charged to the Employer when the Employer is not the chargeable employer.
  • Benefits charged to the Employer when the benefit charges are to be a pooled cost.
  • Benefits paid for more than 26 weeks or benefits equal more than 26 times the weekly benefit amount.
  • Benefits were allowed at one level of protest and then denied on appeal and the credit was not applied.
  • No claim was received on the Individual listed on the BEN 118, Statement of Benefit Charges.
  • No response to the protest of the BEN 118, Statement of Benefit Charges.
  • No BEN 118, Statement of Benefit Charges was received for a quarter where benefit charges are listed.

 

Any questions please call Unemployment Consultants, Inc. at 847 670 0590.

WAC Customer Connects Registration

WAC Customer Connect

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New Tax Law For Illinois Manufacturers

JFB – Tax Consulting LLC

Effective July 1st, manufacturers in Illinois no longer have to pay sales tax on most of the supplies and consumables used in a manufacturing facility. The Department of Revenue published Informational Bulletin FY 2019-28 which covers the general rules prior to their updating the appropriate regulation.

The law recites the following as production related tangible personal property that is used or consumed in a manufacturing process: property that is purchased for incorporation into real property within a manufacturing facility, supplies and consumables used in a manufacturing facility including fuels, coolants, solvents, oils, lubricants, and adhesives, hand tools, protective apparel, and fire and safety equipment.

This addition to the law is in the same statute granting sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment used in manufacturing. While it appears to read that these new items would also be exempt if used in the production of graphic arts, clarification will have to be  provided by the Department of Revenue.

IDOR form ST-587 is the exemption certificate that the manufacturer should provide to its vendor in order to document the exemption. Since this form is not yet set up to permit a “blanket” exemption for all future purchases, the manufacturer is required to provide the form for each purchase order.

I goods were delivered after June 30th, you should contact your vendor, provide a ST-587 and ask for a refund of sales tax paid (or short pay open  invoices).

Joseph F. Bigane III

 

Happy Holiday Scam – son (Season)

Unfortunately, scammers to do not take off for the holiday season.  In fact, it appears the scams increase!  Last week a scam surfaced around the country.  A number of bomb scares were reported requesting a bit coin payment.  Since none of the “bomb” were detonated, this appears to have been just a scam.

Bomb scares are not the only scams during the season.  Just in the last few days I received a phone call from someone that reported they were receiving information about my business computer having problems.  I was too busy to play with them, so I did the right thing and just hung up.  Other companies that you have no relationship with are not getting information about your computer.

Also, with tax season being just around the corner, the IRS does not notify you of any tax problems with a phone call.  They ALWAYS send a letter in the US mail.

The only institutions that may call, email or text you are your bank and credit card companies.  Normally you will only receive these notifications if you sign up for them.  Just to be extra cautious, do not reply to the notification, but call your bank or credit card company via the number on your statement or their website.  If it is a legitimate concern, they will forward you to the correct person to resolve your issue.

Again, if you get an unsolicited phone call about any computer issues, just hang up.  The same goes for tax issues.  If you get a strange pop up on your computer, shut it down immediately.  If it will not let up shut down your computer, unplug it! and contact your IT department or a computer professional.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is a busy time for scammers.  Don’t let the business of the season allow you to let down your guard.  Happy Holidays and be careful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Your Software Up To Date

Most software companies will support old versions of their software for a limited amount of time.  Sage, our main vendor, only supports two prior versions of their software for Sage 300.  A new version of Sage 300 comes out just about every year.  This is not uncommon as most software vendors have a similar policy.  Therefore, when Sage releases the 2019 version they will soon thereafter discontinue support for the 2016 version.  Old unsupported versions will most likely still work fine in the short term, but they come with a risk.

Recently one of our clients was hit by a virus.  Fortunately they have good backups and were able to mitigate the damage.  They decided to update their server and all of their workstations.  Support for their accounting software had stopped a few years back due to changes by Microsoft.  When they installed all the new hardware they encountered a number of issues with the old software.  They now are facing an unplanned upgrade.   They were perfectly happy with the old software, but there is always the risk that it will not run properly with new hardware.

Now we do not recommend that you always have to upgrade to the latest version and we continue to support old software even when it no longer supported by the vendor, but we are limited in what we can do.  Technology changes quickly and we do not want to hold a company back from using newer, faster and easier computer equipment and software, because they have an old accounting or ERP system.  If you are currently using unsupported software we recommend replacing it as soon as possible.  Definitely within the next year or two.

What you will find out when purchasing a new system is that many software companies are moving to a selling on a subscription basis.  This will significantly reduce the first year cost of the software, but future years many have a larger cost.  This is the way that Sage now sells most of its products and it is the way they sell Sage 300.  Interestingly, the future yearly subscription price is about the same as the old annual maintenance fee.  There is an activation fee in the first year and of course the cost of setting up the software, moving data and training users. We have not found a client that would pay more under the new pricing plan than if they were to purchase the software under the old method and keep paying for their annual maintenance.

The moral of the story is you can either plan to upgrade your software or wait for a disaster and be forced to upgrade.  We prefer working planned updates.  It is less stressful for you and easier too!

SALES TAX AFTER THE SUPREME COURT WAYFAIR CASE

I want to thank Joseph F Bigane, III, CPA, MST for the following article on the resent supreme court rules on sales taxes.   Joe is one of the most knowledgeable person on this topic and he wrote this article for particularly for small businesses.

SALES TAX AFTER THE SUPREME COURT WAYFAIR CASE

On June 21, 2018 the world of collecting sales tax in jurisdictions all over the United States changed forever.  The US Supreme Court held that it was no longer required that a seller must have a physical presence in a jurisdiction in order for that state (or subdivision thereof) to impose an obligation on sellers to collect the jurisdiction’s sales tax.  The dust has not yet settled and many jurisdictions are still determining how and when they will impose this duty.  Further, different states have different taxes, which for this article will all be referred to as “sales tax.”  Finally, the rules of South Dakota, the state in the Wayfair case, established a floor of $100,000 or more than 199 transactions in the prior year as the minimum activity in the state in order for the duty to collect to be imposed.  Other states may have different minimums but it is anticipated that they will not be smaller.

Having to collect a State’s sales tax is referred to as having “nexus.”  This is not a new term.  Before the Wayfair decision, nexus was achieved by having some form of physical presence in the State.  Wayfair did not change that; it merely expanded it to include the concept of economic nexus – doing enough business in the state over the internet or by other, non-physical means to exceed a determined floor.  If the business had physical presence nexus before this decision then it has been exposed to the obligation to collect sales tax for a time period predating Wayfair.  Such a situation should be discussed with a professional that can help you “get squared away.”

Remote sellers who now have nexus in states outside their home states are going to have to consider the following issues:

  1. determine how much sales dollars was earned in each state in your last fiscal year and

your current fiscal year

  • sales are made to the location to which physical goods are shipped, not

to where they are billed

  • sales of services have special rules, but generally will be sourced to where

they are received or, if point of receipt unknown, where they are billed

  • revenue subject to sales tax will vary by state. It may or may not include:
  1. freight and shipping
  2. installation
  • training
  1. warranties
  2. determine if each state taxes your particular goods and/or services are the

goods/services that you sell exempt by state law

  • are the goods/services that you sell exempt to some or all of your buyers
  • if your buyers are exempt, you will need to obtain from them the appropriate

state exemption certificate

  1. do you sell by drop shipment
  • these sales will now be counted to determine if you exceed a state’s

floor and either tax or an exemption certificate will need to be collected

 

Unfortunately, the states do not at this time have a common set of laws stating what is and what is not taxable or exempt.  So, sales into one state may be taxed while sales into a different state may not.  Some states tax most services (SD, NM) while other states have a list of “enumerated services” which they tax.  Here, too, there may be wide differences in the definition of what a service does or does not entail.  If you sell or license software you will need to determine if the state considers it canned or custom or both.

 

While there is no fifty state determination at this point, nor is there any serious indication that the federal Congress will intervene to provide a national solution, there are many states which are setting up their rules to be applicable as of October 1, 2018 or January 1, 2019.  So, you do not have the luxury of putting this issue off.  Collecting sales tax is an administrative burden but the money is collected from your customer and does not come out of your bottom line.  If you fail to properly collect and remit taxes, and the state(s) ultimately find and audit you, then the money (tax, penalties and interest) will come out of your bottom line.

 

So now is the time to talk to your professionals and determine in what states you will have to register as a tax collector and how you will determine the amount of tax you will need to collect for each transaction.  While a certain number of states are members of the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement and can provide a simplified method for registering and filing, it may still be necessary for you to invest in sales tax software to determine the correct amount to charge for each transaction.

 

Measuring Success…What do you Measure?

 

Every so often I decide that I need to get my diet under control.  The first thing I do is start recording what I eat in a food diary.  Why?  Because our goals are more achievable when we measure the steps that get us there.  Over the next month or so let’s look at some ways we can measure our HR and Payroll performance.

One standard measurement in Human Resources is TURNOVER.  This is where you divide the number of terminating employees for the period by the total number of employees in the organization.  But this number alone might not tell the whole story.  Here are some additional ways to look at turnover:

EARLY TURNOVER:  This looks at the number of recruits leaving in their first year divided by the number of recruits hired in the period.

REGRETTED LOSS:  Regrettable turnover is when an employee’s departure from a company has a negative impact on the team or organization.  The measurement is the number of employees who left the company but who the company had planned to retain divided by the total number of terminations.

NON-REGRETTABLE TERMINATION RATE:  Employees who left the company, but their leaving had no appreciable effect on the company.

CONTROLLABLE SEPARATION RATE:  Employees who left for a reason that the company might have been able to address if they had been aware of it.

UNCONTROLLABLE SEPARATION RATE:  Employees who left for a reason that the company could not possibly control, even if they had been aware.  This measurement would include death, military service, plant closure, etc.

Some of these statistics are readily available.  Others may require you to review the way you currently classify the terminations in your HR System.  Once you start tracking them, however, you will be able to see where you need to focus your attention.

 

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