COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 2nd 2020

After months of only bad news about the spread of COVID-19, recent announcements of successful trials of three different vaccines bring a sense of optimism that the return to “normal” is on the way. Pfizer was first, and chartered flights bringing the vaccine to the U.S. from Belgium began on November 27. By mid-December, people may begin receiving that vaccine. A vaccine by Moderna has also completed trials and that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 25th 2020 & Wishing You a Safe Happy Thanksgiving

One of the positive side effects of the pandemic has been reduced traffic on interstate highways. A group of amateur race car drivers decided to take advantage of the empty roads to revive the “Cannonball Run,” a highly illegal endurance race from Manhattan to Los Angeles. The object of this race is to make the run faster than anyone else. Teams plan for months, fine-tuning routes to consider traffic light…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 18th 2020

A common criticism of the various safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is that none of them is 100% perfect. But, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains, maybe a “Swiss cheese model” made up of various imperfect layers will be enough to keep us safe. Even the best vaccines aren’t perfect, and it may be as long as a year before one is widely available…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 11th 2020 – Remembering Our Veterans!

To all veterans of all branches, we thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. In short, thank you for your service! To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve… Happy Veterans Day! Veterans Day Nov 2020 The pandemic hasn’t hit everyone equally economically, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains. Manufacturing has largely recovered, but occupations that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 4th 2020

When the novel coronavirus hit last winter, doctors were unsure of the most effective treatments. But as the pandemic has continued, doctors are learning, as the fatality rate continues to drop, the best way to survive COVID-19 seems to be to delay catching it, as this article in The Atlantic describes. According to a study cited in the article, the fatality rate in New York City was 25.6% back in…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 28th 2020

All around the world, pandemic fatigue is setting in, as the need for social contact outweighs the commitment to following restrictive rules. Unfortunately, this is coinciding with a surge in infection rates in the U.S. and Europe. Asian countries, on the other hand, are managing to return to mostly normal. New infections in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, combined, have been around 1,000 per day, while here…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 21st 2020

Lately, economists have been talking about a “K-shaped” recovery from the current recession. As this article in The Conversation explains, this kind of recovery happens when different parts of the economy recover at different rates. White-collar workers who can more easily work remotely may have an easier and faster path to recovery than blue-collar and service workers who must be physically present to do their jobs. Moving forward is the…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 14th 2020

Prior to COVID-19, models of what could happen during a pandemic overstated the possible global death toll, but understated the potential hit to GDP. But as a series in The Economist explains, our current pandemic may have lasting impact. The impacts of shutting down schools for months at a time may persist for decades. Governments around the world are issuing debt at levels never before seen to finance support for…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 7th 2020

Fall is here, and with it, the beautiful colors of the season. Hikes and drives to see the colors are still something we can do, despite COVID-19, as this guide in the New York Times reminds us, with pictures and suggestions across the country. The Berkshires in Massachusetts, Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, West Virginia’s Spruce Knob, Maine’s Grafton Notch, Percy Warner Park and Radnor Lake near Nashville, and Guanella…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 30th 2020

With our normal routines turned upside down, people have found as many ways to cope with the pandemic as there are neighborhoods. I love the section of the New York Times showing a series of postcard vignettes of neighbors coming together to connect and help each other, check it out. In Los Angeles, a family picks citrus fruit from trees in their neighborhood, sharing the bounty with the owners of the trees…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 23rd 2020

Sleep is as close to a panacea as we are likely to get in our lifetimes: it helps us recover from injuries and illness, plays a vital role in memory formation, and helps keep us healthy. Disrupting our sleep has an adverse impact on nearly every system in our bodies. So it’s perhaps not surprising that a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unemployment disrupts…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 16th 2020

As the world becomes more tech-centric, our behaviors have changed in ways that Emily Post could not have envisioned when she first compiled her guidance on etiquette. Fortunately for my firm we have been using video-chat software for years and have a system in place for two of our staff members NOW THREE to work remotely without skipping a beat.  Elizabeth Spradley is now a “southern girl” having relocated to…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 9th 2020

After a solid week of number-crunching, a supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee analyzed the genetics of the COVID-19 virus to understand why it impacts so many different systems of the body. Analysis of the data resulted in a new theory about how the virus operates and why it causes so much havoc. Unlike many viruses that target just one or two systems in the body, the researchers…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 2nd 2020

Shutting down economies around the world to fight the coronavirus has been a blunt and costly instrument, as this piece in the Wall Street Journal describes. Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong demonstrated that it was possible to reduce infection rates by widespread testing, contact tracing, cutting off travel with China and adopting masks. Such stringent controls were not possible in most states in the U.S., so instead we resorted…  Read more

We Are Running Out of Time, or Payroll Tax Deferral Without Guidance is…

It’s been almost 3 weeks and we accountants, employers and employees have been waiting for answers so that we can make an informed decision.  When I first read the memo I was concerned about the unforeseen consequences.  Please click through to my blog post of August 10th, for the full details and concerns as next week starts the clock and I am still concerned. So are many who have been…  Read more

10 Cyber Security Tips Your Business Needs Now and “The Morning” from the NYT…

Security has always been important to me as my firm started using: cloud based accounting software more technology solutions for transferring data between my clients, the tax authorities and my staff more technology solutions for client business efficiencies communicating between remote staff and clients As read through my on-line newsletters this morning I was reminded that although I have been writing and talking about the importance of protecting client data…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 26th 2020

In the past, automation and technological advances created more jobs than it disrupted, and innovation has greatly improved our lives. However, as this article in the Wall Street Journal reports, economists caution that the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the changes that have already been happening for the last several decades which may be creating a divide between skilled and low-skilled workers. “For many professionals, technology has been a lifeline…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 19th 2020

Until scientists develop an effective and safe vaccine, and that vaccine is administered to millions of people, our best means of protection from COVID-19 is herd immunity. Recent models hint that the protective effects of a population that has already been infected by the COVID-19 virus may exist at much lower percentages than previously thought. Instead of requiring that 70 to 80 percent of a population be immune, that threshold…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 12th 2020

Even though unemployment still remains high, and the US economy took a nosedive during the second quarter of 2020, US households managed to decrease their overall debt for the first time in six years. Even in the face of unemployment, credit card debt dropped by $76 billion during the second quarter as households cut back on non-essential spending. In the first six months of 2020, consumers reduced their credit card…  Read more

White House Memorandum; To Defer or Not to Defer Payroll Taxes….

Presidential Memoranda – Budget & Spending Issued on: August 8, 2020 Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster I knew it was too good to be true that this weekend I would not be studying yet another new tax act, policy, rev.proc. or similar! This weekend the White House has issued a Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster. Here…  Read more

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