Knowledge and Insights: Newsletters

The U.S. Ranks Number Nine in Financial Literacy

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released the statistics on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which surveyed students in 18 countries on their knowledge and skills in dealing with financial issues. The OECD reports, “PISA included an assessment of students’ financial literacy – the first international survey of its kind.…

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Data Analytics: A Valuable Investigative Tool

“Time is money” is an age-old expression deeply rooted in the lexicon of most individuals and businesses, especially those that derive their income by providing a service to others. In forensic and litigation support engagements, some of the most daunting tasks involve the procurement and analysis of large, disparate datasets. The ability to efficiently combine…

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Tracking Data Theft By Thumb Drive

The theft of electronic information is rampant in today’s business world. It can be done by a disgruntled employee, a hacker looking to steal identities, or business partners looking to leave and start anew. USB devices are a convenient way to transfer files among colleagues, but they also serve as the primary means of data…

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Reverse Mortgages: A Holistic Approach

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), aka reverse mortgage, is an extraordinary tool when utilized in the proper manner at the proper time for the proper individual.

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File & Suspend: A Social Security Strategy

The file and suspend Social Security strategy received media attention after the 2015 fiscal budget was released by the White House earlier this year. The Obama administration, in their budget narrative “proposes to eliminate aggressive Social Security claiming strategies, which allow upper-income beneficiaries to manipulate the timing of collection of Social Security benefits to maximize delayed…

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The New VUCA Paradigm

Mercadien’s Nonprofit Co-Services leader, Lisa Thouin, and I attended the AICPA’s Not-For-Profit (NFP) Industry Conference, a three-day event in Washington, D.C., where we learned about industry trends, developments on the accounting and reporting fronts, and current product and service offerings. While we had refreshers on nonprofit accounting, advanced 990 issues, accounting for contributions, as well…

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5 Steps to Achieve Your Financial Goals

What are your financial aspirations for the coming year? Would you like to pay off some high-interest debt? Step up your retirement savings? Set aside enough for an exciting vacation? Below are several wise steps to turn your financial objectives into realistic goals: 1. Create a Budget It will be difficult to lower your debt…

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Taxpayer Bill Of Rights Recently Adopted By IRS

At the urging of the taxpayer advocate for the past seven years, the IRS recently adopted the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. While the rights are not new, this is the first time that the IRS has taken the rights previously scattered throughout the tax code and legislation and put them in one place. The IRS…

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8 Ways to Save on Summer Vacation

Summer is supposed to be a chance to get away, add a little color to that sun-sheltered skin, enjoy the hot sun at the barbecue, and get some much needed rest and relaxation. Instead, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reports that most Americans equate summer with financial anxiety. According to the AICPA…

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Are Personal Finance Education Mandates Working?

Math has always been taught in school, but the kind of math you’re probably thinking of isn’t always practical. You’ll never need to use de Moivre’s Theorem to file your taxes, and you’ll never have to work with the polar representation of a complex number at the grocery store. Unless kids are brought up in…

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