Fighting Foreign Terrorism on Homeland Soil, Increased Protections for Clean Water and Low-Income Veterans, and New Appropriations for FY2020

Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act of 2019 (HR 1590) – This bill promotes the identification and determent of terrorist activity from reaching the homeland, and enhances the United States government’s ability to respond to terrorism, including emerging threats. Specifically, the legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop and conduct exercises related to foreign terrorism, including the National Incident Management System, National Response Plan, and other related plans and strategies. The legislation was introduced on March 7 by Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS). The president signed the bill [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:07-08:00November 1st, 2019|

How to Stay Safe with Business Email Compromise on the Rise

According to a report by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released in July, financial institutions have incurred more than $9 billion in losses due to Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes since 2016. With such staggering losses, businesses and even individuals can’t afford to ignore BEC attacks.What is BEC?BEC fraud involves cyber thieves posing as company executives or a business contact with the intention to commit wire transfer fraud or obtain sensitive information. The main targets are businesses working with foreign suppliers or a business that carries out regular wire-transfer [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:06-08:00November 1st, 2019|

5 Ways to Save on Holiday Gifting

Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. And try as you might, overspending is real – whether you plan ahead or wait until the last minute. With this in mind, here are a few ways to get a handle on spending and save money on gifting.Set Limits. Decide how much you’re going to spend overall on holiday gifts and how many people you’re buying for. Then do the math. For instance, you might want to spend $250 for 10 people. That’s $25 per person. However, there [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:05-08:00November 1st, 2019|

What to Expect and How to Prepare for a Recession

Economists generally determine that the country has fallen into a recession after two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Since 1967, the United States has experienced seven recessions.The thing is, predicting a recession is a little like predicting a tornado. Experts are never exactly sure if or when one will occur, but they can cite when conditions a ripe for one based past experience. The good news for predictors is that the economy follows a similar pattern of indicators in the months leading up to a recession.The [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:04-08:00November 1st, 2019|

How Will Ongoing China Trade Tensions Tensions Impact Consumer Spending?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau, retail sales came in at a negative 0.3 percent for September, even though it's still 4.1 percent more than September 2018's report. The same report followed up on August 2019’s numbers, with a revision by the agency to 0.6 percent, up from 0.4 percent. With the ongoing U.S.-China trade war and tariff uncertainty, how will consumer spending be impacted?Current State of Trade and TariffsWith phase one agreed to, at least in principle, at the end of the meeting [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:03-08:00November 1st, 2019|

LIFO Versus FIFO and How Each Method Values Inventory

As the name implies, First-In, First-Out (FIFO) is a way for companies to value their inventory. The first items put into inventory or produced by the company are accordingly the first taken out of inventory or transferred to customers and therefore expensed. When it comes to accounting for acquisition and/or production costs, initial and earlier costs are the first to be expensed, with more recent costs staying on the balance sheet to be expensed later.Assume a company already has 200 widgets costing $4/widget. From there, the company increased its inventory [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:02-08:00November 1st, 2019|

Tax Changes 2019

With the start of the fourth quarter of 2019 underway, it's time to see what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will expect of filers for their 2019 taxes. The following are a list of major changes that filers need to be aware of:1. Removal of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Individual Mandate PenaltyWith the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), filers and households who failed to carry adequate health insurance according to the ACA's minimum coverage requirements will no longer have to pay the penalty on their [...]

2019-11-01T12:00:01-08:00November 1st, 2019|

Debt Relief for Military Service Members, Veterans, Family Farmers and Small Business Owners

Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (HR 3311) – Scheduled to take effect starting in February 2020, this new law offers small businesses more agreeable terms when filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy status. The bill gives owners:More time (90 days) to file a reorganization plan with easier rules for extensionThe ability to retain ownership of the company even if debts are not paid in fullA new formula for debt payments based on projected disposable income over three to five yearsReduced red tape through the appointment of a “standing trustee” (instead [...]

2019-10-01T12:00:07-08:00October 1st, 2019|

What is VPN and Why Do You Need It?

The rise in the number of data breaches reported every other day has become a major concern – even to the ordinary internet user. As a result, we have all become aware of the need to maintain privacy while online. One of the measures promising to keep you safe on the internet is the use of a virtual private network (VPN). But before rushing to install one of the many VPNs available, it’s important to understand what a VPN is, why you need it, if it is foolproof and other [...]

2019-10-01T12:00:06-08:00October 1st, 2019|

How Parents Can Save Money for College-Bound Kids

No matter how old your children are, it’s always a good idea to start saving for college as soon as possible. (Yes, even when they’re still in diapers.) This might sound overwhelming, especially if you haven’t started, but take heart, it’s never too late. Here are a few things to do before you start saving, as well as smart ways to gather the resources you’ll need.Figure Out How Much College Will CostIs your child interested in a state school? A small private university? Or a trade school? Create a list [...]

2019-10-01T12:00:05-08:00October 1st, 2019|