Alert: Protect Yourself from Email and Phone Fraud
Mar 18,2019
Your personal information is a sought-after commodity by professional criminals, and especially this time of year, when people are most engaged with state and federal taxing authorities. The two primary ways in which criminals seek to steal your information, how to identify fraudulent communications and steps to take are included below. Phone calls: The IRS has issued a new warning about phone scams, having discovered that criminals “alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS employee titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.” Sometimes, they are ‘robo-calls’ that request a call back. These calls can be aggressive and threatening. Please remember that the IRS will never: Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method. Threaten to immediately bring...
Tax Reform’s Impact on the Technology Industry
Jan 12,2018
On December 22, just a few weeks following the passage of the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the conference version of the bill was signed into law, marking it the largest change to U.S. tax policy in decades.What Changes are Coming for Technology Organizations?To help organizations navigate the issues most impactful and urgent to the technology industry, we’ve provided a detailed anaylsis of the key provisions and their industry implications based on the signed legislation. What Should You Do Now?Here are five steps technology companies should take now to tackle tax reform: 1.  Assess impact. Tax professionals will likely need to review the bill text manually and measure their organization’s specific circumstances against it to assess the impact of each provision and their holistic effect on their bottom line.2.  Assemble a team. While the heaviest burden may fall on accountants, companies and their finance teams will have an important role to play in gathering all the necessary...
Global Cyberattack Known as Petya Marks Second Attack Reported to Use ‘Shadow Brokers’ Toolkit
Jul 07,2017
We shouldn’t have been surprised: WannaCry signaled more attacks were coming.On June 27, a little more than a month after WannaCry became the first program to use purportedly leaked NSA hacking tools to launch ransomware attacks across the globe, another attack using malware followed its lead.Many organizations hit were vulnerable because of the same exploit that allowed WannaCry to propagate.Initial reports say the attack—launched using a potentially new strain of the Petya virus—infected more than 12,500 machines and spread to at least 64 countries, beginning in the Ukraine the night before its independence holiday. While organizations in countries including the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, India, Australia and the U.S. were also targets, the Ukraine bore a large proportion of the attack, and on June 28, cyber experts began questioning whether the attack’s motive was indeed profit or in fact destruction.On the day of the attack, the actors behind Petya demanded...
Technology’s Post-Election Future Under a Trump Administration
Mar 10,2017
SummaryThe technology industry is no stranger to Washington D.C. In 2015, the five biggest U.S. tech companies spent $49 million on lobbyists, outspending the five largest banks by more than $29 million, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. A New York Times article, appropriately titled, “Obama Brought Silicon Valley to Washington,” describes the legacy of former President Obama as one which championed technology “as an engine to improve lives and accelerate society more quickly than any government body could.”But that was then, and this is now. With a new president recently installed in the White House, Silicon Valley’s relationship with Washington has hit the reset button.To quote former Yahoo CFO Sue Decker, “Silicon Valley and D.C. need each other.” In other words, tech leaders have come to realize that maintaining an open line of communication with the White House is critical to their long-term success.DetailsTax Reform:While...
Programmatic Marketing Software and R&D Tax Credits
Mar 07,2017
The Future of Digital MarketingThe programmatic marketing software industry is evolving and expanding at record rates, disrupting traditional marketing by putting unprecedented amounts of consumer information to use and enabling advertisers to place a higher value on behavior and demographics than previously feasible. According to research from eMarketer, U.S. programmatic digital display ad spending will reach $22.1 billion by the end of this year, up nearly 40 percent over 2015 and representing two‑thirds of total digital display ad spending in the United States. And Gartner predicts CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017.“Programmatic marketing” software uses advanced technology to disrupt the traditional media planning and buying model, automating bidding on audience-targeted digital ad space. Google and Facebook have historically been the largest players in the automated marketing tech space, but the ecosystem is expanding to include media and data providers, in addition to traditional advertising agencies.Funding Marketing...
Build Consensus Before You Buy Business Software
Dec 22,2016
Business owners get to make executive decisions. It’s one of the perks of the job. But acting unilaterally when buying business software can be a risky move. Because new technology affects the entire team, the entire team (or at least key members) should have input on the choice. And while it may be impossible to please everyone, it’s possible to come close.Management feedbackCertain kinds of new business software (or upgrades) may appear no-brainers. But you’d be surprised. Managers may see a lot of bells and whistles in a just-released product, but few useful features. You also have to consider the software’s compatibility with your company’s other applications.So begin by gathering feedback from your management team. In particular, note which features are “must haves” and which ones are “just wants.” Then work with your IT and financial departments (or advisors) to target the right software within a specific budgetary range.Employee inputEven...
How Can Your Business Make the Most of the Cloud?
Oct 14,2016
Like many companies, yours probably stores at least some of its business files, documents and information in “the cloud.” This is the widely used term referring to the seemingly infinite data storage capacity of the Internet. Using the cloud generally means lower IT costs, because you don’t have to deploy a lot of expensive hardware and software on-site and it’s scalable — in other words, you can easily expand or diminish your data storage capabilities as necessary. Most cloud services also feature automatic backups and updates. But these inherently great features don’t guarantee you’ll get a good return on investment. To make the most of the cloud, you’ll need to identify and follow some best practices. Here are two to consider. A carefully vetted provider Moving from on-premises, server-based data storage to cloud-based data storage requires a different mindset. You’ll be unable to physically look at and touch a server...
Six Easy Ways to Protect Your New Computer
Feb 09,2016
Perhaps you’re thinking of purchasing a new computer with your tax refund? This can be an exciting purchase, but it can also go very poorly if you don’t take the right precautionary steps to ensure your computer’s safety. Before you rip open the box and boot up your new machine, there are a few steps you can take to prevent against your computer acting up. Read our six tips to make sure your computer can live it’s happiest and healthiest life. 1. Create an Image (or Snapshot)Most computers do not come equipped with a large host of features right out of the box. They usually have a base platform that allows the computer to operate in the way that you desire, but there isn’t much else there. This is the perfect time to create a backup image of your virus-free computer.Creating an image allows you to preserve your computer in its...
The Latest Developments on Equity Crowdfunding
Feb 09,2016
On October 30, 2015, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued final rules under Title III of the JOBS Act of 2012. These new rules, effective on May 16, 2016, will continue to help develop equity crowdfunding. The rules will cover all parties involved in the transaction process, including issuers, investors and intermediaries (i.e., funding portals). Key rules you need to know are as follows:Issuers:Must be a private company in the U.S.Allowed to raise up to $1 million in a 12-month periodDocumentation required may vary based on the issuer’s fundraising goal. If the fundraising goal is:< $100,000: The issuer may need to provide tax return data and/or financial statements certified by the issuer’s principal executive officer$100,000 to $1 million: The issuer may need to provide financial statements that have been reviewed by a CPA firm> $500,000, raised more than once: The issuer may need to provide financial statements audited by a...
5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying New Technology
Nov 06,2015
The decision to purchase technology can be rather difficult, especially if you don’t have the technical expertise. It’s often hard to tell whether your company really needs the latest tech tool or you’re just trying to keep up with the Joneses. Before you invest in anything, ask five questions:1. Where are we missing? Survey your managers and employees about what they need to do their jobs better. Also question industry colleagues about their favorite upgrades.2. What must the solution do for us? Once you have a general idea of your needs, get specific. List the “must-have” features of a necessary upgrade.3. What’s the total cost of ownership? Consider all associated expenses, not just the purchase price. Installation, maintenance (including updates and patches), support and repair expenses will all inflate the cost of ownership.4. Can we actually use this technology? Typically, new technology means employee training. Can someone on staff lead...

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