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AAFCPAs & MENTOR’s Partnership in Charting a Sustainable Future

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

AAFCPAs & MENTOR’s Partnership in Charting a Sustainable Future

How Did One Nonprofit Explore Creative Approaches to a Sustainable Model?

For nonprofits, charting the future is complex. The search for creative, strategic approaches to sustainability is continuous, and many organizations have struggled to achieve long term, mission-aligned profitability.

 

In its work with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, AAFCPAs evaluated the organization’s financial and operational position and helped illuminate avenues for growth. Their work together led to an improved outlook, an expansion of the organization’s impact, and a new chapter sparked by positive momentum.

 

Background

"For the AAFCPAs Team, it wasn't just about the numbers" - David Shapiro, Mentor IncWhen MENTOR was founded in 1990, its mission was groundbreaking: the organization built a national movement to foster relationships between at-risk children and adults. MENTOR was a pioneer in the field, providing standards, training, advocacy, and public awareness through its national network of affiliates.

 

Their programs made a significant impact, but success brought new challenges. Mentoring as a discipline became more mainstream, new programs proliferated, and MENTOR’s mission and delivery model needed to keep pace in order to thrive.

 

MENTOR brought on new leadership, CEO David Shapiro, to seek solutions. The urgency was clear: to survive long term, the organization needed to recapture its original entrepreneurial spirit and rethink its relevance in this new environment.

 

Part of Mr. Shapiro’s process was to take a forensic approach to spending control, performing a deep analysis into which investments were productive, which posed unnecessary risks, and how they might develop more reliable revenue. He and MENTOR’s Chief Finance and Administrative Officer, Beth Tallarico, turned to AAFCPAs to help provide an objective, outside perspective.

 

Obstacles & Challenges

With MENTOR’s original model in question, the organization knew it needed a change in direction. There were a number of issues to contend with:

 

·         MENTOR needed to re-assess the needs of the wider marketplace in the context of its mission. There is no doubt that the model was valuable when mentoring was a younger field, but the new climate required a different approach to stay relevant.

·         There was internal skepticism about the organization’s ability to continue to successfully fundraise under the current model. How could MENTOR be successful as an organization that made its name serving as an intermediary, when plenty of self-sufficient programs had now emerged? They needed to go back out into the world to investigate how they could be most valuable to their constituents.

·         Going one step further, MENTOR’s development efforts were falling into a common trap. They became overly reliant on financial commitments from a few dedicated Board members. This led to a concentration of fundraising that presented significant risk. As AAFCPAs noted, this trend could have led the organization to lose its nonprofit status, shifting closer to the definition of a private foundation.

·         Solutions

 

With a global objective to add value, AAFCPAs went beyond the traditional core function of an auditor, getting the full picture of challenges, vision and the evolution of the organization both historically and in real time.

 

Read more about how MENTOR explored new avenues, remained attentive to risks, and geared its model for responsible growth. Download the full Client Success Story, which also features video clips of Shapiro sharing stories of adaptability in the pursuit of long-term financial and programmatic sustainability.>>

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AAFCPAs Hosts 3-Part Tax Planning Webinar Series, Guidance on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 12, 2018

AAFCPAs Hosts 3-Part Tax Planning Webinar Series, Guidance on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Information continues to emerge as a result of the monumental Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.  For privately-held companies, the TCJA impacts your financial statements, operating model, liquidity, investments and capital, and people. For individuals, the TCJA impacts personal withholdings, charitable giving, family & education, retirement, and estate planning.

 

AAFCPAs’ timely, 3-Part Webinar Series will feature some of the most significant TCJA changes and their potential impact on tax planning. Please read below our detailed agenda for each session.

 

Register for one, two, or all three sessions. Learn more and register at: https://info.aafcpa.com/webinar-tcja

 

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Privately-Held Companies

Part 1: October 17th, 9-10am

 

AAFCPAs will provide guidance on:

·         How the decrease in tax rate impacts choice of entity

·         The impact of new regulations, including:

o   Meals & entertainment

o   Limited interest deduction

o   Depreciation changes

o   Uniform Capitalization (UNICAP)

o   Accounting method change procedures, and Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method

o   Taxability of qualified fringe benefits

o   Changes in cash basis limits

o   And more…

·         Repatriation tax on foreign earnings, or Sec. 965

·         Q&A

 

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Privately-Held Companies

Part 2: October 23rd, 9-10am

 

AAFCPAs will provide guidance on:

·         The impact of the TCJA on the new Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income, also known as the “flow through deduction”

·         The U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair Decision, and how it impacts state and local tax strategies

·         Succession planning considerations, including: how the TCJA may impact your buy/sell agreement

·         Q&A

 

2018 Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals & Families

October 25th, 9-10am

 

AAFCPAs will provide guidance on:

·         The impact of new regulations, including:

o   The new withholding tables

o   The Child Tax Credit

o   Standard and itemized deductions

o   State tax exemptions, and caps

o   Watching out for AMT triggers

o   The cap on state taxes

o   The Sec. 199A deduction for qualified business income, also known as the “flow through deduction”

·         The impact on Personal Financial Planning, including:

o   Estate planning

o   Charitable planning

·         Q&A

 

We will provide ample time at the end of each session to allow attendees to ask AAFCPAs’ Tax Advisors & Wealth Strategists any burning questions.

 

AAFCPAs takes great pride in the role we play serving as an educational resource for our clients. We are committed to providing insight, and keeping our clients up-to-date on the complexities of the TCJA. We are well versed in the full range of tax-reduction strategies for businesses and individuals, and can provide the advice you need, based on our deep knowledge of tax law, and our years of experience advising clients like you.

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Treasurer's Club Invites FEI members and partners to Fashion Event

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Attention Female Members!  Let’s have some fun with Fashion!

 

We would like to invite you to a fun TCB joint event for TCB and FEI Women. Please join us for an evening of fellowship, fashion and festivities including appetizers and drinks at a local premiere fashion retailer.   If you have female colleagues who might qualify as a member, please feel free to bring them to this networking event.  Please register them online as your guest with title and contact information.

 

Image consultant Ginger Burr will highlight fall fashion trends and tips & tricks to go from office to evening.  Attendees will receive a generous Friends & Family discount pass offering 30% on almost all items and 15% on cosmetics, special goodie bag, and a chance to win a door prize.

 

 

Where:                 Lord & Taylor, Burlington Mall, Burlington, MA 

 

When:                  Thursday, October 18, 2018

5:30 p.m.:            Sign in and Refreshments

6:00 p.m.:            Fashion Presentation by Stylist Ginger Burr

7:00 p.m.:            Refreshments and Networking

 

To Register:       Please email: maeve@simeralco.com

 

Come join us with fellow female financial colleagues to have some fun with fashion!

 

We are also looking for a few fashionistas to model!  Please let us know if you would be interested.

 

Please register for this great opportunity to have some fun with your colleagues.

 

This event will be sponsored by:

 

Kellie D. Jacques, CFP®, First Vice President – Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors.

 

 

Hosted by:

Treasurers' Club Of Boston

 

   Sponsored by:                                                     Held at:                                Demonstration by:

Wells Fargo Advisors                                            Lord & Taylor             Total Image Consultants

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Women in Great Places: Getting to the Top and Helping Other Women Succeed

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 19, 2018

AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

Women in Great Places: Getting to the Top and Helping Other Women Succeed

HiKaren,

AAFCPA_Event_04AAFCPAs’ Co-Managing Partner Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA has been asked to serve on a women’s leadership panel presentation organized by the Women’s Bar Association, scheduled for Monday, September 24th, 2018 in Boston.

Carla will share her personal experiences and insights on how she continues to reinvent “leaning in” with her strategic initiatives for the future of women leaders at AAFCPAs. Carla will join other distinguished executive panelists: Geeta Aiyer, CFA, President and Founder of Boston Common Asset Management, and Diane McDermott, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP. The panel will be moderated by Meredith Ainbinder, Deputy General Counsel, Emerson College.

When:

Monday, September 24th, 2018, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Where:

Holland & Knight, 10 St. James Ave, #1200, Boston, MA

This is a free event hosted by the Women’s Bar Association in collaboration with the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Learn more. >>

Carla is recognized often in Boston’s financial community, most recently, in theBoston Business Journal Woman UPfeature, by theMSCPA’s Woman to Watch Awards, and with the2016 ATHENA Award. Throughout her career, Carla has positively influenced women leaders in business. She is fully committed to women’s issues and balancing work and family to improve the quality of life for all involved. She founded AAFCPAs’ “Women’s Opportunity Network” (AAFCPAs’ WON) to serve as a platform to discuss challenges for women in the workplace, educate and bring awareness to issues. The collaboration at AAFCPAs is working, as overall female leadership is currently at 47%, up from 25% in 2011.

Carla has made it her goal to recruit – and more importantly, retain women in public accounting, which has traditionally been a male dominated environment. She continuously seeks new ways to enhance the effectiveness of women leadership programs. She encourages millennial females to explore the flexibility offered in public accounting, make personal drivers and passions a part of their professional success, and to ask for what they want. She also encourages young female professionals to build a network of strong leaders and mentors who can help them envision a bigger and better path for themselves. Most recently, Carla volunteered her time, and shared advice as a professional Mentor for the Boston Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Monday, February 12th at the Boston Park Plaza, Boston, MA.

We invite you to attend this Women’s Bar Association event, or share with others who may be interested, as Carla and others continue to champion a dialogue and actions which help women in business, drive mentorship programs, promote investment in women, and empower young girls!


About AAFCPAs

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, business process, and IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, our sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAFCPAs donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc., the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. These resources provide our clients with seamless national and global reach. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.

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AAFCPAs Wealth Management Announces Transition of Leadership

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 10, 2018

AAFCPAs Wealth Management Announces Transition of Leadership

 

AAFCPAs Wealth Management is pleased to announce a transition in leadership, naming Carmen Grinkis, PhD, CLTC, CFP® and Andrew Hammond, CFP® as Co-Directors. Grinkis and Hammond are both Senior Wealth Advisors at AAFCPAs and have been poised to take over the leadership from Founder and Wealth Advisor Joel Aronson, CPA, MBA, PFS since joining the firm in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

 

“I have the utmost respect for my colleagues Carmen and Andy, both personally and professionally,” says Aronson. “They are sharp, energetic leaders committed to maintaining AAFCPAs’ unique culture, values, and service to our clients, and maintaining the objective of true independence. They are both people of character who are proven advisors and will take our wealth management practice to the next level with custom financial plans that incorporate tax planning, investment management, insurance evaluation and planning, business consultation, and estate planning.” Read more. >>

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You're Invited: Are You Wayfair Ready?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Discussion on the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair

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Janice O’Reilly, Tracy LeMaire Honored as Women to Watch

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 13, 2018

AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

Janice O’Reilly, Tracy LeMaire Honored as Women to Watch

AAFCPAs is excited to announce Janice O’Reilly, CPA, CGMA and Tracy LeMaire, CPA, MBA will be honored as recipients of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs’ (MSCPA) 10th Annual Women to Watch Awards. These prestigious awards honor women who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession, their organizations, community, and in the development of women as leaders.

Janice O’Reilly, Partner

Janice O'ReillyJanice will be recognized in the Experienced Leader category. As a partner in AAFCPAs’ consulting division and head of the Managed Accounting Solutions (MAS) practice, Janice’s enthusiastic leadership has enabled the MAS practice to thrive. She is a charismatic leader and collaborative senior finance and business executive with an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving, and extensive global operating experience.

“Janice is a passionate individual who brings years of proven business experience to our fortunate clients who benefit from her pragmatism, judgement, and high energy,” said Carla McCall, AAFCPAs’ Co-Managing Partner. Read more about Janice’s contributions. >>

 

 

 

Tracy LeMaire, Manager

Tracy LeMaireTracy will be recognized in the Emerging Leaders category. After graduation from UNH in 2010, Tracy quickly developed into a confident business professional with a true passion for advising AAFCPAs’ clients. She was promoted to Manager in December of 2015. Tracy’s example of leadership, character, and pursuit of excellence has benefited many in our growing CPA and consulting firm.

“Tracy receives praise from all levels of professionals at AAFCPAs,” said McCall. “Tracy is a natural leader and has a special skill for building lasting relationships with clients. Her AAFCPAs peers and juniors frequently look to her for direction and consider her feedback to be most helpful. As businesses grow in complexity, Tracy’s value to our clients continues to soar. She epitomizes our firm’s motto: great minds | great hearts.” Read more about Tracy’s contributions. >>

This year’s winners were selected by a panel of past award recipients and MSCPA leadership, and will be recognized at the Women’s Leadership Summit on October 25 at the Westin Waterfront, Boston. AAFCPAs will host tables at the event and our proud team will lead the standing ovations!

Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA was honored in 2013 in the Experienced Leader category. Katie Belanger, CPA was honored in 2014 and Jeanie Gorlovsky-Schepp, CPA in 2016 in the Emerging Leaders category.


About AAFCPAs

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, business process, and IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, our sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAFCPAs donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc., the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. These resources provide our clients with seamless national and global reach. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.

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Make Giving Your Strong Suit!

Posted By Admin, Monday, July 23, 2018

Make Giving Your Strong Suit!

 

Help low-income job seekers prepare for career success by donating to Robert Half’s 16h annual Suit Drive! From August 6 through August 17, the Robert Half Boston office will be supporting Dress for Success Boston and other nonprofit organizations that provide disadvantaged job seekers with interview-appropriate attire.

 

Since its inception in 2002, close to 320,000 items of business clothing have been collected through the Robert Half Suit Drive. Robert Half is a specialized staffing firm our company works with in Boston.

 

Donations should be new or nearly new women’s suits (pants and skirts), blouses, shoes and accessories, including handbags and jewelry. All donations must be appropriate to wear to work, as well as clean, stylish and in good condition. Please provide all garments on hangers, as they will be made available immediately to job seekers.

 

Donations can be brought to our Boston office, located at 125 High Street, 17th Floor, Oliver Street Tower, Boston, MA 02110.  The final day to donate is Friday, August 17.

 

For more information on the drive, please contact Kelly Ryan, Taylor Rothbauer or

Daniel McGinnis at 617-951-4000.

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AAFCPAs Partners Dunk It Out, and Issue a Challenge to Other Companies

Posted By Admin, Monday, July 16, 2018

AAFCPAs Partners Dunk It Out, and Issue a Challenge to Other Companies

At this year’s Summer Outing, my partners and I cooled off as we got dunked by eager team members lined up with their $1s for a shot at striking the target. Our good-natured, yet slightly sinister Dunk Tank was a fun way to provide entertainment for our team, while making a difference at the same time by raising money for a not-for-profit organization in need.

 

Proceeds Donated to Help SAVE Young Adult Lives

Money raised by our participants will contribute to the mission to help prevent suicide among high-school and college age student populations. Read more.>>

 

Dave and I challenge you to a #dunktankchallenge! Or, for the faint of heart, combine your team building with another charitable activity. Raise and donate even more money than @AAFCPAs! Tell your Story! This is #MyGivingStory #dunkforsuicideprevention Read more.>>

 

Sincerely,

Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, Co-Managing Partner, AAFCPAs

 

  

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The Future Is Now: How to Help Your Team Navigate Digital Disruption

Posted By Admin, Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Future Is Now: How to Help Your Team Navigate Digital Disruption

Accounting and finance teams sometimes resist change. It’s understandable. After all, accuracy is essential in this field, and major changes to processes and the introduction of new ways of working could create additional stress and lead to costly mistakes.

However, resisting change is futile in an age of continuous and rapid digital disruption. Research conducted for Benchmarking Accounting and Finance Functions: 2018, a special report from Robert Half and Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), suggests that the pace of technological change in accounting and finance organizations is accelerating. Many functions are expanding their use of automation and cloud computing — a move often motivated not only by a desire to increase efficiency but also to keep pace with broader digital transformation initiatives underway at the company.

According to the Benchmarking report, accounting and finance functions are most commonly automating processes such as invoicing, data collection, financial report generation, and documentation storage and compliance. Some also see an opportunity to automate more complex processes such as financial planning and forecasting, especially as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies continue to mature and become more widely used in businesses.

What can you do as a manager to help your staff successfully navigate and embrace digital disruption — and perhaps, even assist in driving it? Try applying the following four strategies:

1. Explain the impact of the change

Get your team thinking about technological change not as a series of occasional disruptions, but a constant state. Also, instill the idea that this type of disruption can be a positive force rather than something to fear. For example, when adopting a new system or application, make clear how that technology will allow teams to work more efficiently. Further, explain how it will help them find more time to focus on higher-value projects they may find more challenging and interesting.

Paint a picture of how the department will operate post-change. Provide an overview of an average day, and explain what will be different, what will stay the same, and whether and how some job descriptions will evolve. When you help your employees understand how a change in technology will specifically impact their work and daily routine — especially for the better — they will be more likely to adapt to the change faster and with more enthusiasm.

2. Listen thoughtfully to employees’ concerns

Listening to employee feedback is one pillar of successful change management. People on the ground often have the best understanding of how well a certain process is working and what the real impact of a change in technology might be. A good manager will take their staff members’ comments and recommendations into full consideration.

You also need to know how to manage employees' objections to change decisively but gracefully. Some complaints you hear will be valid, while others will be rooted in unnecessary worry or misunderstanding. For instance, your accountants may feel that a manual reconciliation process is the only way to be confident everything is done correctly. However, systems have improved and doing everything by hand is not the best use of your employees’ time, especially as the company grows.

To help counter the fear of change, in this case, you could discuss how automated reporting would work and what plans are in place to ensure accuracy. Then, you could list all the positives, such as leaving more time for analysis and strategy.

3. Encourage staff to maintain relevant skills

Every wave of digital change has an impact on the relevancy of your workers’ current skill sets. So, what technical and nontechnical skills are most important for accounting and finance professionals to possess as their organizations undergo digital transformation? According to the Benchmarking report, strong communication skills, experience with data analytics, and experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems all top the list.

Keep in mind that, for workers, a common fear of technological change is job loss. However, most companies surveyed for the Benchmarking report said digital transformation efforts are not having a significant impact on their staffing levels. Few organizations plan cutbacks, and firms are more likely to expand their teams. Encouraging your employees to maintain in-demand skills will help ensure they keep adding value to your organization as it evolves. And if the business must reduce headcount down the road, the professionals who leave likely will be more marketable to other employers.

4. Provide support after the change

Change management failures are still a possibility after you implement a new system or process. Keep up communication with your employees during this critical time, and ensure they have what they need to succeed. For example, you may find that you need to offer training to some or all team members. Or, you may need to engage extra support, such as consultants with specialized skills and expertise.

Remember, change management is ultimately about people. Your ability to affect change in your business requires the support and involvement of your workers. So, when team members step up to help you and their colleagues through the transition, be quick to acknowledge their efforts. And with each milestone achieved, take time to share and celebrate that success collectively. These are good practices not only for change management but staff management.

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog.  

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