I’d like to start off this article by addressing a few of the conditions we as employees, owners, and citizens are experiencing in our daily lives and our employment situations, and how that relates to this article and the article published in our last newsletter. As I review my last article which was published on February 14, 2020, I note that within the conclusion I was to have delivered this article the following month. Moreover, as we now know, worlds can change in such a short period, and one month has now turned into three months as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. What traditionally would have been the conclusion of our busy tax season and our well-earned vacation time or time to recharge our batteries has morphed into the undertaking of unusual assignments from our clients, and not just any clients but many of our more financially secure clients and those within the medical industry.
As professionals, when our clients ask us this question as it relates to helping them design a “Compensation Plan” for their businesses, we recognize the sensitivity of the topic and before we can answer them, we understand there is a fact-finding mission that must be undertaken. During this assignment, we know that the measurement of quantitative metrics will come into play, but we are also keenly aware of the fact that qualitative inputs fit into the equation and those inputs can’t be measured in a traditional manner, similar to the quantitative efforts of employees. Thus, as we go through our consulting engagement, we always have to keep in mind and be cognizant of the human emotions that may ultimately be encountered when helping to formulate this Plan. In the following sections, I would like to outline how we would go about discussing this topic with our clients, and how it can be boiled into a bonus payment plan within a professional business environment.
Recently, Francis C. Thomas, CPA, PFS published an article on Medicare Planning in the Journal of Accountancy, published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. We are happy to share the link to that article with you here.
In this article, Frank shares an overview of the different plans available, as well as how taxes are assessed, premiums, surcharges, and some smart Medicare planning strategies.
For over a decade, private equity groups have been investing capital in dental practices. Many national dentistry groups have expanded or evolved from some of the largest investments of private equity funds. Often there are a series of such investments and, because there does not yet appear to be market saturation, these types of transactions with dental practices are expected to continue for some time.
Long-term, well trusted employees are an employer’s dream. In the event that an employee is dishonest, good internal controls can keep that dream from becoming a nightmare.
For medical offices, there is a significant risk that employee dishonesty will lead to the diversion of collections with a corresponding record-keeping cover up. To mitigate this risk, the person who opens the mail or collects funds should not have the ability to credit a patient’s account. Additionally deposits should be made daily and collections should be posted to patient accounts based on the date received. This allows an owner to reconcile patient funds received to deposits. Of course, an owner must regularly perform this check, and it’s never a bad idea for the employees to know that this is done.
Regular online account statement review by the owner and the owner’s monthly review of statement transactions and cancelled checks may be an especially important internal control in a small practice where there aren’t enough employees for an adequate segregation of duties. An alternative to online statement review would be for the owner to receive the unopened bank and credit card statements and review the hard copies for suspicious activity. Another effective and important control is for the owner to perform regular reviews and approval of write-offs.
If you would like assistance in establishing or reviewing the effectiveness of your internal controls, please contact us. In our next issue we will help you identify signs of potential problems resulting from employee dishonesty and suggest more ways to help you avoid them.
Article contributed by Terri Marakos, CPA
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
In an effort to stabilize the individual health insurance marketplace, New Jersey lawmakers enacted legislation that became effective January 1, 2019. The new legislation did not change any of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but reaffirmed the aspects of the Act that have been questioned or altered on the Federal level.
Beginning on October 29, 2018 employees in New Jersey may earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. A benefit year can be defined by the employer and cannot be changed without the approval of the Department of Labor. All New Jersey employers, except governments, are subject to this law. Employers who already have policies in place should confirm that they are in compliance with the new law.
New Jersey Health Insurance Mandate to be effective in 2019: In response to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal health insurance mandate that will become effective in 2019, legislation was signed on May 30, 2018 by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy whereby New Jersey will impose a similar mandate effective in taxable years beginning January 1, 2019. The New Jersey law requires all state residents to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty will be calculated based upon the current federal formula, which is 2.5% of income or $695 per adult taxpayer and $347 per child, whichever is greater. A family’s maximum penalty is $2,085. The penalty is designed to increase each year that someone is not covered, but cannot exceed the price of a lower-cost bronze-level plan on New Jersey’s ACA marketplace. The cost of such a plan averaged just under $3,300 in 2017.
New Jersey is the second state to enact a health insurance mandate. In 2006, Massachusetts was the first state to adopt an individual mandate. Other states are currently developing similar legislation.
By Terri L. Marakos, CPA