RBF News                       Q4 2018

Welcome to RBF News - our quarterly summary of the important tax, business, and financial news and opinion to help you see the bigger picture... and make more informed decisions.

Economic Snapshot
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As experts sifted through midterm election results for hints about the future direction of the U.S. economy, consumers and businesses continued to benefit from the 2017 tax overhaul, as well as the longest economic expansion in recent memory.

Solid third quarter GDP growth of 3.5% marked the best two-quarter stretch in four years, while inflation cooled in the quarter.

But global economic confidence declined in the quarter among accountants, reaching its lowest level since early 2016, according to a survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants. 

At the local level, fears about the effects of U.S. trade policies and concerns about rising interest rates came through in a monthly survey of businesses by Associated Industries of Mass. It showed that employers continue to lose confidence in business conditions in the Bay State, with confidence levels dropping to their lowest levels since May 2017.
Taxes and Tax Planning
Tax-saving opportunity for 'opportunity zone' investors - An amendment to last year's tax reform bill created Qualified Opportunity Zones, designed to spur investment in low-income communities. But the new regulations also offer a potential tax-saving bonanza to investors looking to defer or abate their capital gains. 
You can still deduct a client's meal on a night out, IRS says - The Internal Revenue Service is giving businesses a tax break they thought they had lost in the tax overhaul last year... write-offs for wining and dining clients.
Retirement account limits up for 2019  - If saving more is one of your resolutions for 2019, there's good news: You can put away more money toward your retirement accounts next year.
Managing Your Business
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How to become a business development superstar - Whatever business you're in, success often depends on your relationship-building skills, especially those that lead to new business opportunities. Guest author Heather Kunz of our Russell Bedford network affiliate in Atlanta, GA reviews five important techniques to learn, practice, say and do to help you improve those relationship skills. 
Why you shouldn't confuse hustle with leadership - Being busy doesn't make you a good leader. Rather than focusing on the long-term strategic direction of the business, Inc.com guest author Dave McKeown sees far too many leaders lost in the minutiae. Here are three things that happen when you confuse hustle with leadership. 

4 analytics concepts every manager should understand - Data analytics is ultimately about making good decisions. It doesn't matter what business you are in or what your role is at your company, we all want to make smart, informed, evidence-based decisions. Amy Gallo of Harvard Business Review shares four analytics concepts to be familiar with.
Around the Office

Several RBF partners attended the Russell Bedford International annual conference held October 17-21 in New York City. Joining the record-breaking number of attendees in celebration of the network's 35th anniversary were Bill Rucci (who serves as RBI's chairman), Paul Bardaro, Sal Falzone, Ron Baptista and Jack Malley. RBF is the New England area affiliate of this leading global network of accounting and business advisory firms.


Members of the RBF Women's Initiative attended a late-October reception celebrating the 2018 Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. Every year, the Commonwealth Institute and the Globe Magazine partner to name the most noteworthy companies and nonprofits helmed by women. A complete list of honorees can be found here.


Also in late October, Bill Rucci presented a noontime webinar about the recent Tax Cut and Jobs Act to members of the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston. The presentation, titled "What Tax Reform Means to You and Your Business," focused on the financial and reporting impact of new tax provisions on construction-related companies.

RBF partner Paul Bardaro was a guest panelist at a Morgan Stanley-sponsored panel discussion for business owners held November 13 at Brae Burn Country Club in Newton, MA.  Paul spoke on the topics of business valuations and tax considerations around various business buy-out strategies. 


In RBF client news, congratulations to RBF client Gotham Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing drugs targeting RNA-modifying proteins, for securing a $54 million Series A round of financing. Gotham is part of New York's growing biopharma community. Congratulations also to RBF client Archipelago Strategies Group for its role in helping their client Ayanna Pressley become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives.


In the spirit of giving, RBF partner Vincenzo "Vinny" Botta has been volunteering in several community service capacities. He is currently working as a coach with the Reading Youth Hockey League, and in December will volunteer with Christmas in the City helping to distribute gifts to the children of homeless families during the holiday season.


In personnel news, we welcome the following recent additions to the RBF team:

Brian Boyce, CFO Consultant; Kathleen Brittan, Executive Assistant; Nicolette DelVecchio, Semi Senior Tax Accountant; Robert Knight, Staff Accountant; Donnie McQuaid, Senior Staff Accountant Consultant; Jennifer Mutunga, Semi Senior Accountant; Colin O'Shea, Semi Senior Tax Accountant; Chris Schuster, CFO Consultant; Cori Smith, Audit Manager; Cuthbert "Cutty" Thomas, Controller Consultant; and Melanie Ward, Administrative Assistant.
 Success, Measured

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