2013-09 Newsletter
WAA Update September 2013
In This Issue


From the President
Education
Membership Committee
Member Services
Leadership
NSA Update
Chapter News

Education

Below is the list of programming.  Click on the event link for details on registration pricing as well as the link to the online registration form.
Around the State

Chapter Events

We have four active chapters around the state.  These chapter officers have been diligently working to bring relevant education to the chapter members and with creating a quality collaborative peer meeting environment. 
 
Go to www.waa.org/chapters to find out what is happening in your chapter.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Chapters

Committees

Chapter Listservs

All WAA members have been subscribed to their chapter listserv based on the chapter listed in their profile.  Download these listserv instructions to learn how to subscribe if you do not currently have a chapter affiliation listed on your profile, to unsubscribe, or to change the email address you want subscribed to the listserv.

Membership Dues

The non-deductible portion of WAA membership dues for Active and Associate members is 26% for this fiscal year. This amount is attributable to lobbying activities.

In Memorandum

If you are aware of a WAA member who has passed on please contact editorial@waa.org.

Job Board

Looking for Work or a New Employee? Check Out Our WAA Job Board!

Click here to learn more and see current jobs and resumes.


Editorial Content

The principal aims of this publication are the advancement of the accounting profession and communication among our members. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual writers and not necessarily those of WAA or the Editor. Please submit articles and comments to editorial@waa.org.

The deadline for submissions is the 15th of the month preceding publication.


The mission of the Washington Association of Accountants is to promote and protect the right of every member to practice accounting and taxation; to provide the services and professional education necessary to maintain and improve professional competence.

From the President

by Jerry Gintz

Who Cares About Right-To-Practice Issues!:

As we, CPAs/EA’s/accredited practitioners of the same ilk or any other small practitioner (flying solo or with small staffing), head to our offices each day, how many give serious thought or concern about their right to even do so?  Look, we take so much for granted in this country and in our American lives, it’s not unreasonable to suggest WE take our right to practice for granted as well.

We all have structure in our offices that are intended to support what we do, so things don’t fall through the cracks.  We understand procedures.  We understand checklists.  We understand look-back and comparing one year to the next.  We understand the forward look at things; projecting the outcome for next year.  We understand that our clients need to be kept from being impacted by tax rules and regulations that can impede their business or personal lives and that they need us to inform them of adjustments that can be made to avoid those outplays.  

Structures are useful, important………….yes, necessary in an organized world.  Order is maintained through them.  Progress is planned and achieved through them.   Evaluation of process and progress is vital.  Monitoring the dangers, be they competition, technology lag, fee lag or staffing misfits, is essential to maintaining a viable opportunity.  These are the things we think about mostly, as small practitioners.  

Understanding structure in this way, it is not a stretch to comprehend the need for some sort of structure that works in tandem with our practices to protect our right to be in business at all.  

We are a diverse group of practitioners (WAA members).  We are CPAs, EAs, CFPs, ATAs, ATPs, CBs, non-licensed and non-credentialed.   But we all need to practice in order to earn a living and move forward.  

WAA and its parent affiliated organization, the National Society of Accountants (NSA), provide a vital structure when it comes to monitoring the dangers that can affect anyone of these credentials’ ability, or right, to practice their profession.  For example:  The WSBOA is proposing a change to the Safe Harbor language to be used by non-CPA preparers of financial statements.  (Current LanguageProposed Language).

WAA, along with support from NSA, is engaged in this process of language change and the outcome will soon be announced.   We are expecting a favorable outcome.  
So, why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?  If you are NOT a WAA member or NSA member, I’ll leave that answer with you.   I am convinced that my membership in WAA is an insurance policy that protects my Right-to-Practice by maintaining a monitoring “structure” to do so.

Education


by Education Committee

The seminar season is here and WAA has plenty of education options to satisfy your CPE requirements.  There are three major tax update seminars to attend this fall; Individual 1040 Update 16-Hours (with 3 locations to choose from), Business Entities Update 16-Hours, and Federal Tax Update 8-Hours.  In addition to the live Gear Up seminars, there is the IRS Working Together Symposium, and a great menu of online options that offer a variety of topics.

Could this be the MOST important Seminar Season of our careers?  We think so.  The Affordable Care Act is the most comprehensive piece of legislation to be enacted in our country’s history.  It will affect more people than any other legislation to date.  And, the IRS is the agency chosen to implement the reporting requirements of this huge piece of legislation.  If we don’t see opportunity all over this, we are not looking at it correctly, like it for what it is, or not.  

WAA has a full array of CPE/Educational opportunities to help you prepare for the onslaught of questions we will all be facing soon, if they have not already begun for you.  The legislation is still not completely written, even as you read this.  If we think we have experienced disruptive, late arriving IRS rules over the past few years, this may be an epic season……..

Please see below for the upcoming vital education that your practice can’t do without. Or go to our website www.waa.org.

Don’t be late signing up for the live events; this could be an overflow season, due to a compelling need to know.

Online Coming Events

 Jennings Education - Webinars
Tax Aspects of the Health Care Bill

Oct 2 11am EST 8 hrs CPE $177.65
Nov 13 9am EST 8 hrs CPE $177.65
Nov 25 11am EST 8 hrs CPE $177.65
Dec 4 11am EST 8 hrs CPE $177.65
Dec 31 9am EST 8 hrs CPE $177.5

Guide to 2013 Tax Changes from 2010 Health Care

Oct 22 9am EST 3.5 hrs CPE $58.65
Nov 19 1pm EST 3.5 hrs CPE $58.65
Dec 3 1pm EST 3.5 hrs CPE $58.65
 


Bob Jennings offers regularly scheduled webinars on a variety of topics. Can't make it to the live presentation time? No problem. You can tune in at your convenience to an On-Demand webcast. They are awesome!

Implementing Obamacare:
The 3.8% Medicare Tax on Investment Income
Self-Study or Webcast
       
Implementing Obamacare:
The Individual Mandate
Self-Study or Webcast
       
Implementing Obamacare:
State & Federal Insurance Exchanges  
Self-Study or Webcast
       
Implementing Obamacare:
The Employer Mandate
Self-Study or Webcast




Hot Topics in Health Care Accounting and Auditing
(Available online, textbook or video)

You can also get the latest updates featured in their bi-weekly tax webcasts.



For a Full Menu of All Available Education Visit Us at www.waa.org.


Membership Committee


by Sonia Smith


Live seminar season is fast approaching and what a better time to join or renew to receive discounts for your education and more!

WAA has local chapter meetings, live educational seminars, discounts on publications/products, and networking with others in the accounting profession, just to name a few. WAA offers more on your behalf than you may realize.

We are striving to serve our members in any aspect that will help them grow and prosper.  If you are not a member and even if you are, I encourage you to go to our website www.waa.org and click though all the tabs. Hover on the tabs to see the entire additional drop down items. You may be surprised at all the information that is available to you. I am proud to say that I am a member of WAA.  

Joining is easy.  Click here to “Become a Member”.  


Member Services


by Melanie Levno

Last week one of my clients stopped by my office to drop off some additional paperwork.  As we were standing at the counter, his cell phone rang and he looked at me with one of those “this will just take a moment” looks and answered his phone.  After greeting the caller, he said, “Hey, can I call you back?  I’m at my CPA’s office, but I can call you in about an hour”. He concluded his conversation, put his phone away and then finished his business with me.

Now this client is very aware that I am not a CPA, we’ve had more than one discussion about it.  In fact it was a bit of sticking point when he was first referred to my office.  He had owned a successful business in California for 25 years and had just sold it and moved to the Pacific Northwest.  During his 25 years of running a business, he had only ever worked with large CPA firms; he had some hesitation coming to my smaller office and in coming to me as an enrolled agent.  So in our initial meeting we discussed my designation at length and he agreed to “give me a shot at it” that first year.   I’m guessing he must be satisfied because I have been working with him ever since.

So why, when he knew I was not a CPA, did he still insist on referring to me as one last week?

>>Read more


Leadership


Do You Want to…


• Develop Your Personal and Leadership Skills?
• Be Prepared to Better Serve Your Professional Association?
• Gain a Good Working Knowledge of WAA; The Structure, Functions, and Operations?
• Be a Candidate to Serve as a Volunteer Leader at the WAA Chapter and/or State Level?
• Receive a Certificate of Completion which Demonstrates Your Commitment and Dedication to Leadership Development?

WAA Leadership Development Program

The purpose of this one-year program is to encourage and develop our future leaders at the chapter and state levels; to help our professional members reach their potential and beyond, through enhancement of leadership skills and abilities; to keep our organizations strong and thriving.

Please click here to apply or to get more information.

NSA Update



by Astrid Arola

Great News! Our very own Kathy Hettick, Past President of WAA, was elected 2nd Vice President of NSA.  She is the first person to be elected from Washington. Congratulations Kathy!
__

Reminder:
If you are a WAA member, you can now get a Free Trial Membership to NSA!! (new NSA members only)

Members who take advantage of this special offer will receive a host of NSA benefits including:
• Access to the online CCH Tax Center
• Subscription to NSA Tax Talk
• Access to the Resource Library with sample letters and the Income and Fee Survey data
• Subscriptions to NSAlert, NSA MemberLink, Main Street Practitioner and NSA Practice Advisor

Click here to join or to get more information: http://connect.nsacct.org/unlocknsa. NSA free trial membership only lasts until December 31, 2013. So make the most of it by joining now!
__

Do you know anyone that is going to school for accounting?  NSA offers scholarships from $500 to $1,500.  If you have someone you’d like to nominate, please stay tuned. The application will be available in the next couple of months & will be posted in my article.

Chapter News

 
Greater Seattle Chapter

by Jeremy Saladino

Hi Everyone, Hope you’ve all survived / enjoyed the summer.  And now we are all getting back to the grindstone, some of us never left.  Seattle Chapter started September with an Excel class instead of our regular chapter meeting. Michael Girvin, from Highline Community College and his YouTube channel “Excel is Fun”, gave us a 4 hour class on advanced Excel, including Pivot Tables.  Some learned a lot, a few were reminded of things that we had forgotten, but everyone got something out of it and had a great time.  We also have the Washington State Biz Fair at Renton Technical College at the end of the month.  Please stop by the WAA table on Saturday Sept 28th from 8am -3pm. Also join us at our October Meeting; where Any Landis from Social Security will be making a presentation. If you missed his presentation at Puget Sound Chapter, have questions about Social Security or have clients with questions, this information will make you a better asset to your clients.

Hope to see you all soon!


Northwest Chapter

by Ronnie Wright

We have had an exciting summer in the Northwest Chapter.  The weather has been wonderful and our guest speakers have been informational and engaging in their presentations.  The Northwest Chapter would like to thank all of our speakers for their time, knowledge and contributions in making our summer such a success.

The Northwest Board has been busy planning the agenda for the upcoming mini-seminar, scheduled for November 20, 2013.  The topic will be, “Balance Sheet Basics and Beyond”.  This seminar will deliver real life scenarios about accounting and how it intersects with the tax return.  This mini-seminar will work through practical exercises in identifying balance sheet errors; how to fix them.  As well as, how the balance sheet ties to the Schedule L (on forms 1120, 1120S and 1065).  This workshop will prove to be a great refresher, as well as provide you with resources in working through the preparation of a balance sheet in the upcoming tax season.

Next month’s meeting, to be held on Thursday, October 3, 2013 – will be taught by Becky Raney, COO of Print & Copy Factory of Bellingham, WA.  The topic of discussion, “Why Marketing Doesn’t Work”.  This will be a very informative discussion on what needs to be done to insure your marketing dollars are well spent.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meeting!


Puget Sound/Tacoma Chapter

by Shawn Gagnon

September always reminds me of “back to school”.   For me, “back to school” has always meant a trip to the mall and shopping for a new fall/winter wardrobe.  For most people in the tax and accounting business, it might mean expanding your education.

WAA is your partner for educational opportunities. The Puget Sound/Tacoma Chapter hosted a 4-hour mini-seminar on Wednesday, September 25th at the La Quinta Inn and Suites in Tacoma.  I hope you didn’t miss “Mastering the Mysteries of Social Security and Medicare” presented by Andy Landis.

Our Chapter monthly meetings also offer hot topics for education, such as Form 1040NR, Estate and Probate Issues, SBA Loans, Filing Status Issues, Practice Management Tips and Tools,  and How to Sell Your Practice.

Join, participate and benefit!  We hope to see you soon at our next Puget Sound/Tacoma Chapter meeting!


Spokane Chapter

by Hazel Flynn-Parkison

It was a beautiful summer in Spokane.  Fall is fast approaching and 2013 is nearly history.  We will continue to have excellent educational meetings to wrap up the 2013 year.

We did not have a meeting in August.  Our speaker at the September meeting was Cindy Polley, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP and a WAA Northwest Chapter Member. Cindy presented on the IRS Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return.  Cindy’s practice is Birch Bay Accounting located in Blaine, WA.  She provided valuable information about who must file the Form 1040NR, determining residency, dual status year and many examples, i.e., if an individual has a green card and has not lived or worked in the U.S., they are still considered a resident.

Please Note: Corrected Meeting Date, Time AND location for Spokane's October Chapter Meeting

Our Monthly Meeting was originally set for Tuesday, October 8th has been changed to Tuesday, Octboer 22, 2013, we will be hosting a 3 hour Idaho Income Tax Update in it's place.

The Idaho State Tax Commission has been working hard to accommodate our schedules so that we can present their 3 hour Idaho tax update seminar in Spokane. We're happy to announce that we've secured a great location and time to provide the cross-border tax update:

CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point Park

2426 N Discovery Place
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Tuesday, October 22nd
Class: 9am - 12pm (check-in starting at 8:30)
The Spokane Chapter of Washington Assocaition of Accountants will be providing coffee and a continental breakfast.
Cost: WAA Members: $17 | Non-Members: $20


Mark your calendar - WAA and the WSCPA will be hosting a Legislators meeting on
October 22nd.  We will be inviting Representatives and Senators from the 3rd District, 4th District, 6th District and 7th District. We will also be inviting Rep Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Senator Cantwell and Senator Murray.  Stay tuned for more details on times and location.



Other Upcoming Events:

1040 Individual Tax Update & Professional Ethics for Enrolled Agents
Presented By Gear Up and the Washington Association of Accountants
December 9-10, 2013 at the Mirabeau Park Hotel, Spokane Valley, WA
CPE Credit:  16 Hours

We will give you the essential planning tips and tools to navigate through the changes as well as provide a comprehensive review of the complexities of Form 1040. Updated for tax rebate legislation, along with many important topics that impact your clients (e.g., foreclosures, repossessions, and bankruptcy).
 
Professional Ethics for EA's:
Date: December 9

CPE Credit:  2 Hours


View Monthly Meetings, Mini-Seminars and Register for Education Events on our website WAA.org under
Education > Calendar of Events
.


Washington Association of Accountants l 2150 N 107th St #205 Seattle WA 98133 l 800-733-6286 l office@waa.org l www.waa.org