February 2019
Records Retention: What to Save and What to Shred
As you prepare your tax documents for review, you may be wondering, “What should I toss and what should I keep?” We want to help you stay organized and offer the following suggestions for what documents to keep for…

Less than a year: Store ATM, bank-deposit, and credit card receipts until they are reconciled with your monthly statements. Shred the documents or securely trash electronic files unless you need them to support your tax return. Always keep your insurance policies and investment statements until new ones arrive. 

A year or longer: Keep any loan documents until you’ve paid off the loan. Hold onto car titles until the car is sold. Purchase confirmations for investments (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) establish your cost basis and holding period—keep these until sold.

Seven years: Keep all tax records (tax returns and supporting documentation) for at least seven years.

Forever: Tax returns, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.
For business owners

Maintaining company records is more complex. According to a checklist compiled by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), here are just some things business owners need to save…

Permanently: Audit reports, journals, minutes from director, stockholder, bylaws and charter meetings, general/private ledgers, year-end trial balances, insurance policies, trademark registrations and copyrights, financial statements, retirement and pension records, tax returns, deeds, mortgages and bills of sale.

Seven years: Accounts payable and accounts receivable ledgers and schedules, canceled checks (unless for important payments like taxes, purchases of property and special contracts, which need to be saved permanently), inventories of products, materials and supplies, invoices to customers and from vendors and payroll records and summaries.

Three years: Bank statements, internal reports, petty cash vouchers and sales commission reports.

If you’d like a comprehensive list for your own business, or you have questions about your documents and would like some guidance, we are here to assist. Call us at 630-653-1616 or email us at info@mmaadvisors.com.
Smart Phones, Smart Clients
For those of you who are smart-phone savvy, you may want to use your phone to access your client portal. Here are some tips from Cindy Gunderson, our office manager, for using the NetClient CS Mobile application (or “app”):

If you have an Apple device: Download the NetClient CS mobile app from the App Store.
If you have an Android device: Download the NetClient CS mobile app from Google Play.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll have access to view your documents and invoices on your phone. However, please know that we will still need the signed e-file forms returned to us. You can use the phone to see the forms and print them out.

For more information, give us a call or send an e-mail… we are here to help.
Our People Make a Difference
This month we braved the bitter cold to visit Northern Illinois University's Accountancy Career Fair on Feb. 7. Pictured here are (L to R) Alice Berardi, CPA, and NIU alum, John Straus, CPA, partner, and Brian Eisenmenger, CPA, partner and a part-time professor at NIU as well as an alum himself.

We were delighted to meet the students who visited our booth, sharing about their interests in the field of accounting. Like many firms, we are committed to contributing to the new crop of talent from our local universities, whether that's through career fairs, internships for students or visiting the campuses to speak.
NIU Meet and Greet

Another way we reached out to NIU students this month was through a "Meet and Greet." Alice Berardi and Dan Bauers welcomed students at Barsema Hall at the College of Business on Feb. 21, offering one-on-one conversations (and sandwiches!) to students. We look forward to building our relationship with NIU and other universities as a way to give back and build our team.
Supporting Student Excellence

The Student Excellence Foundation hosted the third annual "Swing Fore Student Excellence" fund-raising event on Feb. 9 at Top Golf in Naperville and MMA & Co. leaders and spouses were there to support the event. All proceeds raised this year go toward coding initiatives throughout Community Unit School District 200 in 13 elementary schools, four middles schools and two high schools.

In seeking to fund this initiative, Faith Dahlquist, assistant superintendent for educational services in District 200, notes in a Daily Herald story that this project "seeks to inject opportunities for students to build coding skills that produce actions in the physical world, to foster creative and innovative thinking and to engage in problem solving, design prototyping and computational thinking." Coding, or computer programming, is a skill of the future and this initiative will provide kits to help students learn how to code.

We're proud to be part of this "fore-ward" thinking project, combining two things we dearly love at MMA & Co.--supporting our community and golf!

Pictured, (L to R), Betsy Mathieson, Brett Mathieson, Ron Austin, Kim Austin, Brian Hagene, Holli Hagene (photo credit: Student Excellence Foundation)
Can Spring Be Far Behind?
We hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day and you're getting out the green for St. Patrick's Day. The Polar Vortex has come and gone, leaving us with rain, ice and some gray days. But we know spring is just around the corner--spring and April's tax deadline. Here at MMA & Co. it's all hands on deck to help our clients. Please let us know how we can be of assistance to you as we get closer to April 15.
Ron Austin, CPA
Brian Eisenmenger, CPA
Brian Hagene, CPA
Brett Mathieson, CPA
Mike Moyski, CPA
John Straus, CPA