News & Tech Tips

A winning combination: QuickBooks + your marketing platform

QuickBooks® is a popular business accounting software program. There are also a number of marketing platforms that businesses can use to stay in touch with customers. Using these tools in tandem may allow your organization to synchronize customer data and bridge the gap between the finance and marketing departments. This gives insight into customer purchasing habits that may help drive subsequent marketing campaigns.

Here’s an overview of the benefits of using QuickBooks with marketing platforms:

Consolidated view of the customer. Integrating sales figures into marketing allows your company to develop data-driven marketing campaigns. For example, if a customer’s purchasing activity increases, a targeted marketing campaign that offers volume discounts could lead to additional revenue. Likewise, this combination could help your business track analytics, such as return on investment and click-through rates, from marketing programs.

More timely, targeted messaging. A marketing platform can help segment your customer base. This can allow your business to deliver strategically timed messages that target a specific audience. For example, you could send new customers promotional emails based on recent purchases. Or you could offer discounts to reengage with existing customers who haven’t made a purchase in the last 90 days.

Enhanced engagement monitoring. A centralized view of a customer’s transactions and interactions with marketing emails can provide a window into their connection with your organization. This can identify satisfied customers and those who may take their business elsewhere. For example, if a customer opens every email and clicks on the links, that shows a high level of engagement. If a customer deletes emails without opening them, it may be cause for concern.

Refined marketing campaigns. Analyzing financial and marketing data together allows your business to monitor the impact of its marketing campaigns in real-time. For example, if the first email of a marketing campaign fails to generate revenue, you can pause the process and revisit your messaging. Conversely, if an email generates significant revenue, that information could justify investing more in subsequent emails with similar messaging.

Using QuickBooks with your marketing platform may provide your business with new perspectives and insight into your customers’ buying patterns, unmet needs and connection to your brand. It can also provide actionable intelligence to facilitate deeper, mutually beneficial relationships with new and existing customers. Contact us for help getting the most out of data from these tools at your organization.

© 2023

FASB approves updated rules for disclosing income taxes

On August 30, 2023, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) unanimously voted to finalize its proposed improvements to the disclosure rules for income taxes. Here’s what’s changing and when those changes are effective.

Rate reconciliation

Under the updated guidance, companies will be required to provide a breakout of amounts paid for taxes between federal, state, and foreign taxing jurisdictions, rather than a lump sum amount. Additionally, the rate reconciliation will require disaggregation into the following eight categories:

  1. State and local income tax, net of federal (national) income tax effect,
  2. Foreign tax effects,
  3. Enactment of new tax laws,
  4. Effect of cross-border tax laws,
  5. Tax credits,
  6. Valuation allowances,
  7. Nontaxable or non-deductible items, and
  8. Changes in unrecognized tax benefits.

These categories will be further disaggregated by jurisdiction and for amounts exceeding 5% of the amount computed by multiplying the income (or loss) from continuing operations before tax by the applicable statutory federal (national) income tax rate. The rate reconciliation table will need to disclose both dollar amounts and percentages. Currently, companies can disclose either the dollar amounts or the percentages.

However, the FASB clarified that the updated guidance won’t require country-by-country disclosures. This was a key misunderstanding that FASB members discussed when reviewing public comments on the proposal.

The FASB contends that the enhancements to the current rate reconciliation table will enable investors to better assess a company’s worldwide operations, related tax risks, tax planning, and operational opportunities, all of which affect its tax rate and prospects for future cash flows.

Time for change

For public companies, the changes will go into effect for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2024. Interim reporting will be required for the following fiscal years (starting the first quarter of 2026). The standard will go into effect a year later for privately held companies. Early adoption is permitted.

Contact us for help understanding the changes to the disclosure rules for income taxes and how they’ll affect your company. We can help you implement changes to your procedures and systems to gather the appropriate data to comply with the new rules.

© 2023

FASB finalizes new crypto standard in record time

On September 6, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) unanimously voted to finalize new accounting rules on cryptocurrency assets — less than five months after the proposed standard was issued for public comment. Here’s what companies that hold these assets should know.

Need for change

The updated guidance is the first explicit accounting standard on crypto assets in U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). It’s designed to help companies more accurately reflect the economics of such assets. The standard comes at a time of heightened regulatory scrutiny following a series of scandals and bankruptcies in the crypto sector. Volatility in the trillion-dollar crypto sector has caused practitioners to press the FASB to develop accounting rules.

Under current practice, cryptocurrency tokens are accounted for as intangible assets and reported on the balance sheet at historical cost. Those assets are deemed to be impaired when the price falls below historical cost. Impairment is based on the lowest observable value within a given reporting period, causing organizations to continuously monitor the value of these assets. If an asset’s price subsequently recovers, however, impairment losses can never be recovered.

Limited scope

The new standard will apply to well-known crypto assets that trade in active markets, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It will also be used for other types of crypto assets that don’t trade nearly as frequently (or perhaps at all). The guidance covers crypto assets that:

  • Are fungible,
  • Are deemed to be intangible (which excludes securities and fiat currencies),
  • Don’t provide the asset holder with enforceable rights to, or claims on, underlying goods, services or other assets,
  • Are created or reside on a distributed ledger based on technology that’s similar to blockchain technology,
  • Are secured through cryptography, and
  • Aren’t created or issued by the reporting entity or its related parties.

The term “fungible” is typically used for commodities or currencies. It refers to an item that can be freely traded or replaced with something of equal value. This condition is specifically designed to exclude non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from the scope of the new rules. In general, financial statement users have told the FASB that they don’t observe companies and nonprofit entities holding material amounts of NFTs, which may come in the form of art, music, in-game items, video clips and more.

Key requirements

The new rules will require crypto assets within the scope of the standard to be measured at fair value at the end of the reporting period. In addition, changes in value recognized in each reporting period will be reported as gains or losses in comprehensive income. Fair value represents the price that will be received if the company were to sell the crypto asset in an orderly transaction to a willing and knowledgeable buyer.

Under the guidance, companies will present crypto assets separately from other intangible assets on the balance sheet because they have different measurement requirements. Crypto assets will be more prominently displayed, providing investors with clear and transparent information about their fair value.

The guidance also calls for detailed disclosures on crypto holdings. For example, disclosures for Bitcoin will include the number of tokens held, the fair value and the cost basis. Organizations also must disclose information about restrictions in crypto holdings, what it would take to lift any restrictions and changes in those holdings.

Coming soon

The final standard will be published in the fourth quarter of 2023. It will go into effect for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2024, including interim periods within those years, for all entities. Early adoption is permitted. Contact us to help understand how this guidance applies to your organization.

© 2023

The Wealth Gap and How CEPAs Can Help You Close It

Business owners have about 80% of their net worth locked up in the business; therefore, only 20% is liquid (Snider, 2023). Owners expect the stockpile of wealth to be unlocked in the future when the business transitions. However, experts tell us that 80% of businesses on the market fail to sell. All that wealth is useless if the company is not transferable! Sadder still is the owner’s dependence on that wealth to live well in their next act. Such owners have come face-to-face with their wealth gap. They must retire with less to live on, which is likely why 75% of business owners “profoundly regret” selling their business 12 months later (Snider, 2023).

What is a Wealth Gap?

A wealth gap is the difference between expectation and reality (Goodbread, 2023). It happens when owners assume a business value that never materializes. It results from adding the owner’s actual assets to a “guess” of their business’s value. Below is an example to consider.

Suppose you have actual assets of $2M. These assets are in your house, cars, IRAs, and other tangibles. The value of the business is not considered at this point because you do not know the actual value you will reap. Suppose also you wanted to have $400K per year in retirement. To live on $400,000 per year for 25 years, you would need $10M.

$400,000/year X 25 years=$10,000,000 


Since you currently have $2M, you are $8M short of your goal. In this example, $8M is your wealth gap.

Now is the point at which you begin to factor in the value of the business. In our example, the owner would need the net proceeds from the sale to be $8M to close their wealth gap. If realizing net proceeds of that magnitude is impossible, then the owner cannot close the wealth gap, and lifestyle adjustments are necessary.

Calculating the wealth gap shows how far away the goal is from reality. If the owner in our scenario is retiring, suffering from health problems, or facing other life obstacles and discovers the gap at the time of exit, the expected $400K per year reduces to $80K per year, based on the actual wealth they possess. It would be devastating to realize too late that your retirement budget is five times lower than expected!

This example should reinforce that exit planning is a good business strategy, not something that occurs when the owner is ready to sell. It should also motivate all business owners to examine their wealth status closely now. Fortunately, owners motivated to close the wealth gap can begin a journey to improve the value of their business, which in turn can help make their goals a reality.

To help you design an achievable plan, consult a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA). CEPAs help owners think about the state of their business throughout the company’s life. They can help owners improve the value of their company by using de-risking strategies like improving operations, guiding compliance, and helping develop written policies and procedures (structural capital), all things that impact the value of a business. De-risking helps owners protect what they have and paves the way for future growth.

Once de-risking is complete, CEPAs can guide owners into improving the profits and value of their business. Owners address their company’s human (people), customer, and social (culture) capitals. Since these intangibles make up 80% of the value of a business, it is easy to see that these improvements can significantly increase the sale price. Through a carefully constructed individualized plan, owners can take control of their companies and gradually implement changes that directly influence their business’s selling price.

Whalen CPAs has two CEPAs who are ready to assist you. Imagine the peace of mind that comes from acknowledging your wealth gap and devising a plan to close it.

Contact Whalen today!


Goodbread, J. (2023, August 21). Financial planning for business owners [Presentation]. CEPA: 2023 August,  Online.

Snider, C. M. (2023). Walking to destiny (2nd ed.). Think Tank Publishing House.

How to Recognize and Avoid IRS Scams

The IRS is a major target for scammers, who use a variety of methods to trick taxpayers into giving up their personal and financial information. Here are some tips to help you recognize and avoid IRS scams:

  • Phone call scams: The IRS will never call you out of the blue to demand payment. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up immediately. Do not give them any personal or financial information.
  • Email phishing scams: Phishing emails often look like they’re from the IRS, but they’re actually from scammers. These emails may contain links or attachments that can infect your computer with malware. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
  • Protect your personal information: Identity theft is a major concern, so it’s important to protect your personal information. Don’t give out your Social Security number or other sensitive information unless you know who you’re giving it to.
  • Choose a trustworthy tax preparer: Tax preparer fraud is another way scammers can steal your money. Choose a tax preparer who is reputable and takes the security of their clients’ information seriously.
  • Beware of social media scams: Scammers may impersonate IRS agents or tax professionals on social media. Be careful about who you interact with on social media, and never give out personal or financial information.
  • Avoid ghost tax preparers: Ghost tax preparers do not sign the tax returns they prepare, which can lead to errors or fraud. Make sure your tax preparer signs your return and includes their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
  • Verify IRS letters: Scammers may send fake IRS letters through the mail. If you receive a letter from the IRS, verify its authenticity by contacting the IRS directly.
  • Stay cautious of robocalls: Robocalls impersonating the IRS are becoming more common. The IRS does not initiate contact through pre-recorded calls. If you receive a robocall from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up and do not give them any personal or financial information.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from IRS scams. If you think you may have been a victim of an IRS scam, contact the IRS immediately.
Here are some additional tips to help you stay safe from IRS scams:

  • Only use official IRS websites and contact information.
  • Be suspicious of any communication that demands immediate payment or personal information.
  • Never give out your Social Security number or other sensitive information over the phone or through email.
  • Be careful about what information you share on social media.
  • Keep your computer and software up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Use a strong password and change it regularly.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from IRS scams and keep your financial information safe.

At Whalen CPAs, we are committed to safeguarding your financial well-being. It’s essential to stay informed and vigilant when it comes to IRS scams. If you ever encounter a suspicious communication or require assistance with any tax-related matter, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts. Your financial security is our top priority.