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Accountants with Data Analytics Skills Are Difficult to Find

Finance leaders are dealing with a significant shortage of accounting and finance professionals who possess the technical and nontechnical skills required for data analytics initiatives. Advertisement This is the key finding in a joint report, Building a Team to Capitalize on the Promise of Big Data, released earlier this month by Robert Half and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). When building their accounting and finance teams, managers most commonly seek business analytics skills in financial analysis (87 percent), followed by budgeting, planning, and forecasting (85 percent), operational analysis (82 percent), and cost management (81 percent). But finding accounting and finance professionals who have these skills has proved to be difficult, making it challenging for department leaders to recruit, develop, and retain people who possess these attributes, the report states.

Tax Breaks for Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren

More and more individuals who thought their child-rearing days were over are now raising their grandchildren. Grandparents in that challenging situation and those who think they might be in that situation someday should be aware that a variety of tax breaks may be available to ease the financial burden of becoming primary caregivers for grandchildren. Advertisement These tax breaks include: Head of household filing status Exemption for the child Earned income credit Child tax credit Credit for child and dependent care expenses Credits or deductions for qualified education expenses Deductions for medical and dental expenses Adoption expenses Employer benefits State tax breaks This article explains the key details of these tax breaks. All dollar amounts are those applicable to 2017.

Why Tax Season is Never Really Over

It’s May, which means it is summer blockbuster season, people are getting ready for summer vacations, and many CPAs are wrapping up their tax files as another filing season goes in the books. Advertisement But like zombies in a horror movie, this one may be down but there is another one rising soon. Now is the time to identify what is coming next and how you can prepare to protect your clients. There is one specific item that jumps out at me as I look forward: President Donald Trump’s potential tax reform. This is going to be at the front of our clients’ minds! I know many CPAs who feel they are doing their clients a favor by not wasting their time discussing potential law changes. But it is important to remember that we are here for our clients, and we need to bring the possibilities to the table and let them make an informed decision on what is and is not important to them. When we assume what our client’s want, we may unintentionally hurt them, their business, and our profession.

How to Play All the Right Tax Angles for Hobbies

Millions of people enjoy hobbies that also provide a source of income. From catering to cupcake baking, crafting homemade jewelry to glass blowing – no matter what your passion is, there will likely be tax repercussions. Advertisement Some taxpayers are surprised to learn that they must report income earned from hobbies on their tax return. The exact rules for reporting income, as well as deducting expenses, depend on whether the activity is a hobby or a business. In fact, you may bump up against obstacles in this area. Accordingly, the IRS has focused on the following points for hobby enthusiasts to consider: