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By Jeremy Wright

Are you looking to become a licensed construction contractor? Are you already licensed and that pesky renewal date is on the horizon?

Let’s begin by answering the question “Who needs a contractor’s license?”

A contractor’s license is required prior to bidding, contracting, offering, or negotiating projects of $25,000 or more.

Now you may be asking “What do I need to obtain a contractor’s license?”

The license application process includes an exam, financial statement, references, completion of application and payment of applicable fees, and completion of review by the Board for Licensing Contractors. The Board meets in January, March, May, July, September, and November. The application is due on the 20th of the month prior to the Board meeting.

Ok…”Can I get help with this?”

The financial statement (balance sheet) required by the Board must be from a Certified Public Accountant. Initial License applications require an audited balance sheet for those seeking a monetary limit greater than $1,500,000, and a reviewed balance sheet for a monetary limit of $1,500,000 or less. Renewal license applications require a self-prepared or compiled financial statement for limits of $1,500,000 or less, and a reviewed financial statement for a monetary limit exceeding $1,500,000.

Whether you are applying for an initial license or are simply needing to renew a current one, BCS can perform all of your accounting needs. We can assist you in determining the type of service you require, whether it is an audit, review, or compilation engagement, and we are committed to helping clients achieve their goals. We also offer several other services for contractors, which can be found here.

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By Kala Hyder
qbo
QuickBooks Online (QBO) is changing the way business owners manage their businesses. Since QBO is a cloud-based software, it eliminates the need to be in the office to keep track of your bookkeeping. QBO is accessible anywhere you have an internet connection whether on your mobile devise, tablet or computer. Intuit backs this product with bank-level security encryption to keep your information safe. QBO also features more automated functions, such as billing, reports, and downloading bank transactions. The software provides instant access for your accountants to be able to assist you with any problems or pull information to prepare various state or federal tax returns. With QBO there is no need to update the software or backup your company file since this is automatically does each time you are in the software.

Everyone in our Small Business Services Department and some people in our Tax Department are now Certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors. Amanda Bowlin, Colby Hawkins, Ben Buchanan, Ryan Bowman and Kala Hyder have obtained the Advanced QuickBooks Online Certification.

Pricing for QBO starts at $15 per month. If you are interested in testing this product, please visit this link to see how the software works for a sample company. If you would like more information on making this your new accounting software, please contact us.

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By Jenny Bowman
salestax

Yes it’s true! Sales Tax Holiday is earlier this year than it has been in the previous years.

In efforts to get school supplies purchased BEFORE kids go back to school. This year’s Sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday July 29 and ends Sunday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m.

What items qualify for the sales tax holiday?

During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:

  • Clothing with a price of $100 or less per item
  • School and school art supplies with a price of $100 or less per item
  • Computers with a price of $1,500 or less per item. Computers are defined as (CPU) Central Processing Unit along with components such as monitor, keyboard, mouse and any cables to connect the components, and preloaded software.
  • For a complete list visit this link on the TN Department of Revenue.

    If I order something via mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet during the sales tax holiday, will it be exempt?

    Qualified items sold to purchasers by mail, telephone, e-mail, or Internet will qualify for the sales tax exemption if the customer orders and pays for the item and the retailer accepts the order during the holiday period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period.

    What merchants are participating?

    Merchants selling items such as clothing, school & school art supplies, and computers MUST participate in the sales tax holiday. If you are a merchant selling to other business (purchases for a business do not qualify for the holiday) you are not required to participate.

    How do I report the sales on my tax return?

    Tax Return

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    By Oluchi Taylor

    The new requirements under the Uniform Guidance became effective for audits of fiscal years that began after December 26, 2014. The following are some of the key audit-related changes to help keep your ducks in a row:

    • The threshold for determining whether a Single Audit is required has increased from $500,000 to $750,000.
    • $750,000 is also the minimum threshold for determining Type A programs. Any program with total federal expenditures less than $750,000 is a Type B program.
    • Auditors are required to perform risk assessments only on Type B programs that exceed 25% of the Type A threshold.
    • The percentage of coverage requirements is 40% for non-low-risk auditees and 20% for low-risk auditees.
    • Previously, the threshold for reporting known questioned costs was $10,000. The threshold is now $25,000.
    • The criteria for determining low-risk Type A programs were revised. For a Type A program to be considered low-risk, all of the following criteria must be met:
    • The program must have been audited as a major program in one of the two most recent audit periods;
    • In the most recent audit period, it did not have (a) internal control deficiencies identified as material weaknesses in the auditors’ report on internal control for major programs; (b) a modified opinion on the program in the auditors’ report on major programs; or (c) known or likely questioned costs exceeding 5% of the total federal awards expended for the program.
    • Inherent risk is no longer used when determining whether a Type A program has a significantly increased risk.
    • The criteria for determining low-risk auditee status have changed. A requirement was added that, for each of the two preceding audit periods, the auditor did not report substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. In addition, both the auditors’ opinions on whether the financial statements were prepared in accordance with GAAP and the in-relation-to opinion on the schedule of expenditures of federal awards must have been unmodified in each of the two preceding years.
    • Both known and likely fraud affecting the federal awards must be reported.
    • Each finding must include a reference number in the format required for data collection submission.
    • Federal agencies cannot grant extensions of the due date for submitting reports.
    • Both the auditee and the auditor must ensure that their respective parts of the reporting package do not include protected personally identifiable information.
    • The use of must in the Uniform Guidance indicates a requirement. However, should is used throughout the Uniform Guidance to indicate a best practice or recommended approach, not a presumptively mandatory requirement.

    The most current version of the Uniform Guidance can be accessed here.

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    By Andy Clark
    SOCLogoCPAs
    Internal control is key within any organization. The controls set in place aid the organization in being able to produce reliable financial information and reporting. Internal controls are meant to be safeguards to detect and deter errors and fraud. Organizations often have good internal control structures for their main office or business site but lack controls in remote office sites. It is important that the same system of internal controls are in place system-wide or, at a minimum, controls are in place at each location to achieve the organization’s objectives. Additionally, some organizations outsource financial functions and therefore are reliant on that service organization’s internal controls. For those organizations that outsource functions, it is important to obtain a service organization control report (commonly referred to SOC 1, SOC 2, or SOC 3 reports) from the service organization. This report will provide management with the necessary information about the service organization’s controls to assess the risk associated with the outside service. These reports are to be utilized in addition to the user’s controls in order for the internal controls to function appropriately. Common functions to be outsourced are payroll, collections and billing.

    For state and local governments, there are new TCA requirements that require those entities and other governmental entities in the State of Tennessee to adopt a written internal control policy by June 30, 2016. The basic premise is that there should be a written internal control policy in place that addresses the five components of internal control: (1) control environment, (2) risk assessment, (3) control activities, (4) information and communication, and (5) monitoring. The State of Tennessee Comptroller’s office has released an internal control manual to aid state and local governments in writing their internal control policy.

    Please visit the Internal Control Manual here.

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    Final Ruling on FLSA Overtime Changes

    May 26, 2016
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    By MeLissa Crockett The new ruling requires employers to pay exempt executive, administrative and some professional employees no less than $913 per week equivalent to $47,476 annually. This ruling goes into effect on December 1, 2016. Employers will be forced to choose between reclassifying an employee as nonexempt (eligible for overtime) or increasing an employee’s […]

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    Spring Cleaning Your Financial Records

    May 3, 2016
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    Before you decide to permanently destroy any of your financial records, please read this article on the IRS website about keeping tax returns and supporting information. Keep in mind this article focuses on retaining records for tax purposes, but you may need to keep them longer for bank or insurance purposes. Our Record Retention Guidelines […]

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    Proposed Overtime Changes for 2016

    April 28, 2016
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    By MeLissa Crockett The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted proposed changes to the current exemption salary threshold of $23,660 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its final review and approval to increase the threshold to $50,440. The salary level for highly compensated employees currently at $100,000 would increase to $122,148 per […]

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    Why Get an Audit?

    April 18, 2016
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    By David Babb It’s that time of the year again – no, not tax season; it’s “no, I don’t do taxes season.” I find myself being asked at least once per week, usually by a parishioner at church I’ve known for years, or even family members, “how’s tax season going?!” My immediate, and canned, answer […]

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    Why Get an Audit?

    April 18, 2016
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    By David Babb It’s that time of the year again – no, not tax season; it’s “no, I don’t do taxes season.” I find myself being asked at least once per week, usually by a parishioner at church I’ve known for years, or even family members, “how’s tax season going?!” My immediate, and canned, answer […]

    Read the full article →