RBF News                      Q1 2018

RBF has a new look! We shortened our name, created a new logo, and instituted a fresh, clean design to all our materials. Read more about the changes  here. Then drop us a line at  info@rbfpc.com and let us know what you think.

Economic Snapshot
Despite this week's stock market downdraft, the U.S. economy entered 2018 with strong momentum, according to numerous indicators. 

Consumer spending climbed 0.4% in December, capping off the biggest increase in household buying since 2011. Incomes rose 0.4% in December and advanced 3.1% for the full year.
Employers added 200,000 jobs in January, beating expectations for an increase of 180,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1%, the lowest rate in more than 17 years.
Meanwhile, a survey of accounting professionals by Right Networks showed growing optimism among their small- to medium-sized business clients in 2018. Over 70 percent of SMBs indicated they were either "very confident" or "moderately confident" in their business prospects for the upcoming year.
But as the U.S. economy heads into 2018 on firm footing, the Federal Reserve may be pressed to increase interest rates more frequently. In a note to clients, Goldman Sachs said it expects that a tight U.S. labor market and more normal inflation picture will lead the Fed to hike interest rates four times this year.
Taxes and Tax Planning
Tax reform isn't over: here come the states -  Simmering just beneath the headline federal tax reform plan, state governments are busy hatching their own tax reform measures that will soon make the tax landscape even more complex to navigate for businesses.
IRS won't accept returns this tax season without health coverage  - For the first time, the IRS will require taxpayers filing returns in 2018 to indicate if they had health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, as part of what the IRS says is its "obligation to administer the health care law." 
Updated 2018 withholding tables now available -  The IRS has released new income tax withholding tables for 2018 that reflect changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted in December.Taxpayers could see changes to their paycheck starting this month.
Reminders about W-2 identity theft scam  - The IRS continues to remind employers to educate their payroll personnel about a form W-2 phishing scam that could make the rounds again in 2018, as well as reminding all taxpayers to be diligent with safeguarding their data.
Managing Your Business
Business man analysed report of profit finance data graph document in his office
Flow of information can make or break the CFO - It's one of the toughest jobs in business - interpreting financial data about the enterprise. If the CFO doesn't make accurate forecasts, then strategy suffers. And with corporate capital finite, the impact of a wrong bet can be big, writes business writer Russ Banham in Forbes.
Preventing business credit card abuse - Corporate credit cards are a tool - not a benefit - provided to employees. And most would never think about using the card for a personal gain. But the non-compliant renegade who "pushes the envelope" forces diligent companies to remain on the alert, according to the Ohio Society of CPAs.
Want to be a self-made millionaire? Add these 9 habits to your routine - Life is short. Consistency will get you far. Follow these nine simple habits to see your success skyrocket. By sticking to them, says Inc.com contributor  Ari Zoldan, you'll have the fastest chance of becoming a self-made millionaire.
Around the Office

It's official - Rucci Bardaro & Falzone, P.C. is now RBF! Our new brand name continues what most people have come to know us by over the years. And with a new logo, a new website, a new tagline and a new look to our materials, we can't wait to move ahead with helping our clients achieve continued success. Read more about our re-branding here, or watch this short (5-second) video as our logo morphs from old to new.

 RBF partners Jack Malley and Vinny Botta and CFO consultant Ambuj Jain have been on the road enlightening local banks and trade organizations about coming changes to revenue recognition and lease accounting rules. The team has met with Eastern Bank, Enterprise Bank, Salem Five and the Associated Subcontractors of Mass (ASM). Presentations to several more organizations are scheduled in the coming months.


In November, managing partner Bill Rucci talked about the importance of year-end tax planning as part of the "Meet the Expert" speaker series sponsored by the Boston chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. The event was held at the Marriott Residence Inn in Needham. Bill also spoke at a seminar for business owners sponsored by Marsh & McLennan titled, "Does the Future of Your Business Keep You Up at Night" in Worcester.


Also in November, partner Paul Bardaro was a guest speaker at a seminar about business liquidity and exit strategies sponsored by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Paul was one of four experts discussing transaction-related considerations for closely-held businesses.


Senior accountant David Leroux has been busy with extracurricular activities lately. David has joined the government affairs committee of Associated Builders & Contractors, and is serving on the young professionals committee of Associated Subcontractors of Mass. He is also pursuing a master's degree in accounting at Umass Lowell.


The exclusive Parioli district in Rome, Italy was the location for Russell Bedford's 34th Annual Conference held in October (RBF is Russell Bedford's New England area affiliate, and Bill Rucci is its chairman). The conference saw record numbers of attendees - including several members of RBF's leadership team - gather for the most important event of the network's year.

Then in January, Bill Rucci, Sal Falzone and Jack Malley attended Russell Bedford's Americas Conference in Houston. The gathering was attended by representatives of RBI member firms from the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and South America.
In other Russell Bedford news, Vinny Botto has been chosen to serve on the board of the North American region of RBI, and Lenny Smith has been tapped to serve on the organization's Tax Board.

In the publishing arena, Bill Rucci was interviewed for an article about the tax consequences of house-flipping by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The full article can be found here.

Also, in a recent story on PYMNTS.com, Vinny Botta was quoted about tax mistakes often made by construction companies. The original source of his comments was an article he wrote that was published last year on the website ForConstructionPros.com. See the recent story here
And the latest edition of the Russell Bedford Business World magazine is available online here.  The magazine delivers views and analysis of current business topics written by members of the RBI network of experts, as well as guest authors from various other organizations around the world. 

In client news, Molly Pidgeon, principal of RBF client Ironwood Design Build & House of Dietrich, was one of 20 women and 20 men under 40 years old to be chosen as a Boston Business Journal "40 Under 40" honoree. Now in its 20th year, the annual list celebrates young leaders across the Bay State who are making a difference in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. Congratulations, Molly!

In other client news, RBF client Jeanette Clough was honored at an event sponsored by The Commonwealth Institute, in partnership with The Boston Globe Magazine, honoring representatives of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. Jeanette is president and CEO of Mount Auburn Hospital. The full list of winners can be found hereIn attendance were RBF Women's Initiative members Beatrice Casseus, Irma Dishnica, Kathy Hempel and Dianne Camara, who hosted other RBF women clients for the event.
 Success, Measured

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Phone 781.321.6065     Fax 781.321.7747

RBF is the  New England-area affiliate of Russell Bedford International, a leading global network of independent accounting and business consulting firms.