Blockchain may soon drive business worldwide

“Blockchain” may sound like something that goes on a vehicle’s tires in icy weather or that perhaps is part of that vehicle’s engine. Indeed it is a type of technology that may help drive business worldwide at some point soon — but digitally, not physically. No matter what your industry, now’s a good time to start learning about blockchain.

Secure structure

Blockchain is sometimes also called “distributed ledger technology.” It was introduced in 2009 to support digital “cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin. Entries in each digital ledger are stored in blocks, with each block containing a timestamp and providing a link to the previous block.

Typically, a blockchain is managed on a secure peer-to-peer network with protocols for validating blocks. Once data is recorded, no one can change it without altering all other blocks — which requires approval by most network participants. Blockchain proponents argue that this process essentially authenticates all information entered.

Various uses

The financial industry led the way in recognizing blockchain’s potential, foreseeing that users could execute transactions without relying on banks and other third parties. Another potential application is in the M&A sphere. Buyers and sellers could shift due diligence documentation to blockchain, so financial and legal advisors wouldn’t have to spend as much time poring over so many different and disparate records. The M&A process could thereby be completed more quickly.

There are also many industries that could employ blockchain technology to conduct quicker and more secure transactions or simply track data more efficiently.

Take manufacturers, as well as virtually any supply chain business: Blockchain could provide safeguards against errors, fraud or tampering. This functionality could bolster trust among supply chain partners. Over the long run, blockchain may even eliminate the need for third-party payment processors.

Another example: the health care industry. Blockchain could be used to better secure electronic health information, improve billing and claims processing, and enhance the integrity of the prescription drug supply chain. All of this could positively impact the health care insurance market for every employer.

Ahead of the curve

Most business owners don’t need to scramble to incorporate blockchain-related technology right this minute. But you might want to get ahead of the curve by learning more about it now and pondering some ways that blockchain could affect your company. Let us know if you need further information or other ideas on the future of business.

© 2018

2018 Q3 tax calendar: Key deadlines for businesses and other employers


Here are some of the key tax-related deadlines affecting businesses and other employers during the third quarter of 2018. Keep in mind that this list isn’t all-inclusive, so there may be additional deadlines that apply to you. Contact us to ensure you’re meeting all applicable deadlines and to learn more about the filing requirements.

July 31

• Report income tax withholding and FICA taxes for second quarter 2018 (Form 941), and pay any tax due. (See the exception below, under “August 10.”)

• File a 2017 calendar-year retirement plan report (Form 5500 or Form 5500-EZ) or request an extension.

August 10

• Report income tax withholding and FICA taxes for second quarter 2018 (Form 941), if you deposited on time and in full all of the associated taxes due.

September 17

• If a calendar-year C corporation, pay the third installment of 2018 estimated income taxes.

• If a calendar-year S corporation or partnership that filed an automatic six-month extension:

• File a 2017 income tax return (Form 1120S, Form 1065 or Form 1065-B) and pay any tax, interest and penalties due.

• Make contributions for 2017 to certain employer-sponsored retirement plans.

© 2018

How materiality is established in an audit or a review

When accountants conduct an audit or review, they can’t test every transaction. Instead, they set a “materiality” threshold. Several definitions of materiality exist. But the universal premise is that a financial misstatement is material if it could influence the decisions of financial statement users. To establish the right level of materiality, auditors rely on rules of thumb, apply professional judgment, and consider the amount and type of misstatement. Contact us for more information on what’s considered material for your business.

Surviving Divorce: Eight Steps to Starting Over

No one ever expects to get to this point.  The anger, deception, frustration and fear have taken over your normally rational mind and you are not thinking clearly.  Your friends, family and work place associates are all experts at telling you what to do, yet they have not been through it themselves and only have few facts relevant to your situation.  The situation creates it’s own momentum and you are confused and unsure of what to do next.  Following are suggestions for getting on track and moving forward.

Continue reading “Surviving Divorce: Eight Steps to Starting Over”