Monday, December 9, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Stress Management

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Jasmine Gao, CPA
Mangham Associates

We never live in a stress-free world. The stress to meet a deadline, to pass an exam, to get long with people, or to become the person we want to be has long existed in our life and grown up with us. Stress management is never something new and it can be very personal. I grew up in a highly competitive and demanding academic environment, where I was ranked in everything I did as a child. Even worse, I’m a natural perfectionist. You would expect the stress level to be off the charts for somebody like me. Luckily, my stress levels are never out of control.

Realizing that stress is an integral part of life is my very first step to cope with it. Thinking that stress comes from me moving closer to my goals will actually make me feel stronger. However, I have to admit that sometimes just having a positive attitude is not enough. I also have some stress relievers that I find useful and I’m highlighting a top few:

  1. It’s ok to cry
  2. Talk to family and friends
  3. Learn to say no
  4. Take a walk outside
  5. Spend time doing a hobby
  6. Listen to music
Stress is a fact of life. While it’s not something that we all happily embrace, it can be reduced to a healthy level that motivates us to become the better selves. Have faith in yourself and you can achieve more with stress being your friend.
Jasmine graduated with distinction from University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce with double concentrations in Finance and Accounting and a double major in Financial Mathematics in 2011. She is working as an investment analyst with an endowment management firm in Charlottesville. She is responsible for sourcing and evaluating investment ideas and performing market and asset class research. She passed all three levels of the CFA exam and will be eligible for the CFA Charter upon completion of the required work experience.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Guest Blogger: Make a Difference at CPA Assembly Day

By Gary Thomson, CPA
Dixon Hughes Goodman

How you can make a difference for the CPA profession in Virginia’s legislative process…..VSCPA’s CPA Assembly Day.

As CPAs we may often be hesitant to take an active role in Virginia’s annual General Assembly session.  You may be wondering, how can I take time away from the office during Busy Season to attend the VSCPA CPA Assembly day?  How can I make a difference anyway? 

The VSCPA’s CPA Assembly Day, held this year on January 21, 2014, provides you with an excellent opportunity to engage in Virginia’s legislative process, become informed on key issues affecting businesses in our Commonwealth and also increase legislators’ awareness of our profession through advocacy at the General Assembly. 

Become an active part of Virginia’s legislative process — Engage

This coming year in 2014, the General Assembly will convene for a 60 day period and enact the two-year state budget into law.  Legislators rely on citizen and professional insight as they work to develop the state’s spending priorities and vote on legislation.   To learn more about the legislative process, take a minute to go to the interactive General Assembly website.  Get to know your legislator on this site, learn more about the state budget and find answers to common questions about the GA session.  At CPA Assembly Day, you will also learn more about how to interact with legislators and take a trip to the Capitol and General Assembly Building to see all the action. 

Become informed on key business issues affecting Virginia  and the CPA profession —  Learn

At VSCPA’s CPA Assembly Day, you will hear more about hot topics affecting the CPA profession and business community. The VSCPA government affairs team will also review its 2014 legislative priorities including bills the VSCPA is watching at the GA session.  As trusted business advisors to our clients, CPA Assembly Day is an excellent way to stay informed about the latest legislation being considered in Virginia.

Become the voice of the CPA profession and increase our advocacy at the General Assembly —  Advocate

As a member of the VSCPA, your outreach and advocacy of the CPA profession before the General Assembly is crucial.  Our profession is well respected at the General Assembly and CPA Assembly Day is your opportunity to increase legislators’ awareness of financial and business related issues that affect our profession and clients.  Your strong support of the VSCPA and participation does matter! 

To learn more and RSVP for the January 21st CPA Assembly Day, click here.   I look forward to seeing you there. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Top 5 Things You Should Be Able to Discuss With Clients

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Deana Sentman, CPA
Cherry Bekaert LLP

In today’s competitive professional world it is no longer enough to be just a great technical accountant. To connect with clients we need to have a much broader understanding of the world and the environment the client operates in. To achieve this I’ve whittled it down to five key areas.

  • The first layer, world events is probably the easiest to keep up with. Spend a few minutes setting up RSS feeds and news applications which can deliver relevant information to you in summary format and keep the information overload to a minimum.
  • The second layer is the business environment, understanding global and local environments changes are important.
  • The third layer is industry. Individual industries have a rich variety of sources. Most industries have associations representing companies in the industry. These associations are a great resource for news, many of them allow you to set up and customize RSS feeds to tailor information.
  • The fourth layer is the company and their competitors. Specifics about the client’s company and their competitors’ can be found in sources such as LinkedIn or industry blogs which allow you to keep up on the opinions of industry trends, events, and companies.
  • The fifth layer is technical developments. While clients can expect a level of proficiency in accounting they will also expect that you have familiarity with new technical developments to help guide them through so we can never stop learning our craft.

We must also remember to be ourselves, discuss our hobbies, and life outside the workplace. The easiest way to learn about others is to share your life and listen to theirs. You’ll build trusting relationships if you approach them as a whole person.
Deana Sentman is a senior tax associate at Cherry Bekaert LLP in Roanoke.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Student's Perspective: An Unlikely Turn of Events

By Paul Fitzsimmons
President, Beta Alpha Psi, James Madison University

Editor's note: This is part of a series of guest posts from members of the James Madison University (JMU) chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honors fraternity for accounting students. These posts will cover topics of interest to accounting students. If you have a question you'd like a Beta Alpha Psi member to cover, please email VSCPA Communications Specialist Chip Knighton.

Growing up, I always struggled with the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I could never quite picture myself as a businessman, let alone an accountant. Actually, the only thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to be an accountant. As far as I was concerned, anything else was a possibility. My dad is a CPA, and when I was younger I’d go into work with him occasionally. I remember thinking how boring it looked to have to sit in a desk all day and crunch numbers. This stereotype of the accounting profession is one that I think is shared by a lot of people and can deter otherwise potential CPAs from pursuing the career.

I entered JMU as a Justice Studies major; I thought being in the FBI would be pretty cool. It was only until I took my first Justice class that I quickly realized the major was not the path for me. In fact, the teacher emphasized the fact that the program at JMU was designed to be completely different from traditional criminal justice tracks. I began to peruse other majors but continued running into the same tough question- what did I want to be when I grew up?

I eventually made the decision to become a business major- marketing actually. My rationalization was that if by the end of my freshman year at JMU I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, I couldn’t go wrong with getting a business degree and figuring it out later. After all, everyone I knew who was a business major had been able to find pretty good jobs. As I embarked on the string of required pre-requisite classes for the College of Business, I had my first interaction with accounting. I was kind of dreading the class to be honest, with the stereotype of the work still fresh in my head.

I performed well in both of the introductory accounting classes and realized that there was way more to the profession than I thought. I remember doing some research and learning that accountants could become fraud examiners, do forensic investigations, and even help solve crimes. I was intrigued, and saw this as an opportunity to incorporate my interest in criminal justice with the accounting skillset I’d developed. I changed my major to accounting that spring. I would have never guessed I’d wind up as an accounting major, but what I’ve slowly learned over time is that the skillset you develop through the courses we take equips you with a marketable set of analytical skills that are transferrable to nearly any profession.

I had the opportunity to intern with Baker Tilly’s Consulting practice last summer in Mclean, VA, where I worked with the Government Contract Advisory Services team. I participated closely on a project that involved litigation support for a compliance infraction facing one of our client’s. I recently received an offer to join Ernst and Young’s Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services team in Washington, DC next summer. Among the services offered by the team are fraud investigations, litigation support, and data analytics. I have been able to take the skills I’ve learned in the classroom and pair them with career opportunities that I find fulfilling and challenging. My advice to any student in a similar position is to never let a stereotype cloud your judgment and prevent you from trying something new. I would have never guessed that I would wind up in accounting; however, the skills I’ve developed as a result have allowed me to find success in incorporating my personal interests into meaningful career opportunities.
Paul Fitzsimmons is a senior accounting major at James Madison University and Co-President of the Eta Delta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi. He will return to JMU next fall to embark on his Masters of Science in Accounting before starting full time work in the fall of 2015.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Global Internship: Sightseeing in England

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

This past weekend was busy with plenty of sight-seeing in and around London.  On Saturday I decided to take a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge. I woke up early and headed to Bath. After a 2 hour bus trip, I was surrounded by the beautiful city of Bath. The bus ride did not seem as long because I was busy snapping pictures of the English countryside. The city of Bath is so beautiful because all of the buildings are made of bath stone, which is pretty similar to limestone. In Bath I explored the Roman baths which were pretty amazing. After seeing the Roman baths, I walked around the city and had lunch. I explored the city a little more after lunch, took some great pictures, and then met back up with our tour group.

On the way back to London my tour stopped at Stonehenge. Stonehenge is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it was amazing to see. It was difficult to comprehend how these huge stones were moved back in ancient times. They explained to us that it was believed that it took approximately six hundred men to move a single large stone. After taking photos, we headed back to London. Once I arrived back in London I had dinner and went home and began to prepare for my next day of sightseeing.

On Sunday I headed to Kensington Palace. On the way to the palace I came across a car show being held in Kensington Gardens. The show showcased 100 years of Aston Martins. It was really neat seeing a car for each year. They also had a special James Bond section! After seeing all of the cars, I explored Kensington Palace. I particularly enjoyed the Fashion Rules exhibit which had dresses on display from Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, and the Queen.

After seeing Kensington I boarded a train and headed toward Windsor Castle. As soon as I stepped off the train I could see the castle. I initially explored the outside of the castle and the state rooms. It was quite impressive! After leaving Windsor, I went home to rest my aching feet...I did a lot of walking this weekend!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Acing the Interview

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Alice Yeh

With the plethora of interview workshops and seminars, it’s difficult to pinpoint the key
factors in a successful interview with a 300 word limit. Everyone is fully aware of the general expectations of an interview- conservative and professional appearance, knowledge of the company and position, and a solid handshake. However, I have condensed my multitude of advice into one mindset: professional comfortability.

There are three steps in achieving this mindset. The first is appropriate preparation. It is possible to over prepare. Research is necessary but avoid memorizing a script. Your interviewer is not seeking an actor but a proficient accountant. The second is the golden silence. Don’t be afraid of taking time to think. It shows that you aren’t simply reciting what you prepared the night before that will be recycled for that next interview scheduled that afternoon. The third, last and most important is to smile. Contrary to common belief, accountants are not caged in a cubicle all day. So flaunt your personable and eager smile.

Once you have achieved professional comfortability, you will be able to stop constantly flustering about what to say next and instead focus on learning more about the company and position. A good interview is a conversation and a conversation is two sided. Interview your interviewer and get the most from your interview while leaving an impression of authenticity.

Alice Yeh is an accounting graduate student at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce. She is an associate at KPMG.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Global Internship: Living and Working in London

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

I absolutely loved living and working in London. My flat was located in Canary Wharf which was a really convenient location for walking to work and also exploring London. Canary Wharf is located on the Jubilee line which provides great access to Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and other tourist attractions. My flat was located within walking distance to our office. Every day I took a foot bridge over the Thames which was quite nice. Canary Wharf is on a peninsula so it’s surrounded by water and our balcony provides nice views all the way around Canary Wharf.

This was my first time working and living in a major city and I really enjoyed the experience. It was nice to be able to walk to work and have so many shops so close to home. Underneath our building was an underground mall which was connected to the tube. I also really liked the KPMG building which is very new and modern with a lot of open space. The building had a nice large cafeteria on the fifth floor which was also very convenient.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Guest Blogger: Examining the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Examining the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
By Eric T. Johnson, J.D., LL.M.

The tax law has changed once again, but this time with greater permanency than the extensions the Congress cobbled together over the past six or seven years. Whatever the substantive merits or demerits of the legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has at least created an environment that is stable tax wise. Now to change the tax law the Congress would have to pass something affirmatively, and the financial services professionals have witnessed for themselves the difficulty that is in the current political climate.

So planning — at least planning without the hedges and contingencies or short-term horizon — is once again possible and there are a number of issues that must be considered on behalf of clients. For most taxpayers, the rules that sprung out of the tax laws passed at the beginning of the 21st century have been made permanent. But for other taxpayers — loosely described as wealthy — there are changes, which they and their advisors must take into account.

While the tax rate structure familiar to accountants over the past ten years has been retained, new after a 12-year absence is a highest 39.6-percent tax rate applicable to wealthy taxpayers as so defined. Wealthy taxpayers are those with taxable income in excess of $400,000 for single taxpayers, $425,000 for heads of household, $450,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, and $225,000 for married taxpayers filing separately. Such taxpayers also have a 20-percent maximum tax rate on long-term capital gains and qualifying dividends that would otherwise be taxed in the 39.6-percent bracket.  A marriage penalty arises because the place where this bracket begins for a married filing jointly is only 12.5 percent higher than where the bracket for an unmarried individual begins. That marriage penalty will also be felt in the case of personal exemptions and itemized deductions. The cutbacks in such items are back in force, but only apply to taxpayers whose AGI exceeds $250,000 ($275,000 for heads of household; $300,000 for married filing jointly; and $150,000 for married filing separately). 

Trusts and estates in many cases face higher taxes because their 39.6-percent rate begins at a considerably lower level of taxable income ($11,950 in 2013). Estates and trusts face a major hurdle: capital gains are ordinarily not included in distributable net income and therefore cannot be distributed out to the beneficiaries. Given the disparity as to where the NII tax kicks in for individuals (beneficiaries) and fiduciaries, the strategy of spreading investment income among multiple taxpayers — many or all of whom have a significant threshold — and away from the highly vulnerable estate or trust that has a low threshold, is thwarted in most cases. New trust instruments (and wills) must be written differently than in the past in order for the trust to avoid higher than necessary taxes on both its ordinary income and its capital gains. Planners must also inquire into various techniques that might enable a reformation of current trusts that will produce lower aggregate taxes of the entity and its beneficiaries.

In addition, and new for 2013, are two taxes, the first on excess earned income and the second on net investment income. Earned income is defined as excess if it exceeds $200,000 (unmarried taxpayer) or $250,000 for all other taxpayers ($125,000 filing separately). This tax does not depend on AGI or taxable income so the tactics taken to plan for it will differ from those of the income tax and the tax on net investment income. This latter tax imposes an additional tax on as much of the net investment income as does not exceed the taxpayer’s AGI: if taxpayer has $40,000 of net investment income but only $10,000 of excess AGI, the tax is imposed on $10,000, while if taxpayer has $30,000 of net investment income and $50,000 of excess AGI, the tax is imposed on $30,000. Planners will be focused on controlling a taxpayer’s AGI and the timing and character of income. The threshold AGI above which a taxpayer has excess AGI is the same as the limits of earned income discussed above. Because business owners are now likely to face increased capital gains tax and net investment income tax, qualified small business stock is making the C corporation more attractive and asset sales more attractive than entity sales, although there is some relief for sales of pass-through entities.

The estate and gift tax reforms enacted in 2010 nominally just for 2011 and 2012 were made permanent but at the cost of raising the highest transfer tax rate to 40 percent. The now permanent (and indexed) high exclusion amount (and applicable credit amount) has a significant impact on estate planning going forward. Planning for the use of the applicable credit amount has been at the heart of testamentary estate planning.  If a married couple does not take steps to utilize the first spouse’s applicable credit amount, it will be wasted.  As a result, estate planners would tend to advise all of their clients with estates in excess of $5,250,000 to plan to use the applicable credit amount.  However, this has become more complicated due to the permanence of portability election, which can double this basic exclusion amount. Far more important than perhaps the marital deduction is securing the basis step up at death. With many clients not likely to need to avoid the federal estate tax even with full inclusion, flexibility must be a design feature that will enable inclusion in the estate to further the income tax purpose for appreciated assets while retaining the ability to keep assets out of the estate should they depreciate in value. 

The above topics and many more are analyzed in detail in Surgent McCoy’s Best Income Tax, Estate Tax, and Financial Planning Ideas of 2013. 

Eric T. Johnson is a graduate of Princeton University (A.B.), Villanova Law School (J.D.), and New York University (L.L.M (Taxation)). He has practiced law in the tax and estate planning areas in Philadelphia and its suburbs. Eric has taught courses at Villanova School of Law Graduate Tax Program and for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and has been on the faculty of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He has developed over 80 courses at Surgent McCoy as its head writer.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Global Internship: Midnight in Paris

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case
As soon as we got out of work, we hopped on a train and headed to Paris for the weekend! As soon as our train got in around midnight, we headed straight to the Eiffel Tower (hence the title Midnight in Paris). A fellow global intern is doing a rotation in Paris, so we thought it would be a great idea to visit him and share his place for the weekend. He visited us the weekend before in London and we all had an amazing time sightseeing together and sharing stories from our first weeks as interns in different countries. We knew France would be celebrating Bastille Day, so we thought it would be a great time to head to Paris.
On Saturday we went to Versailles which was one of the most gorgeous places I have ever visited in my life. The palace itself was magnificent, but I also loved the many gardens that surrounded the palace. At first we were unsure whether or not we would have enough time to go to Versailles, but I am so glad that we decided to go there. I would highly recommend it to anyone going to France. The Hall of Mirrors was one of my favorite places in the palace. I also loved the garden outside the Grand Trianon which was filled with white lilies and gorgeous views of the palace canals. It was a great day!

On Sunday I spent the day exploring the city of Paris. I decided to go to the Louvre and Notre Dame, but I also managed to take a river tour on the Seine which was really nice.  Touring on the river provides an entirely different view and I managed to snap some great pictures. After a day of sightseeing, I headed down to the Eiffel Tower and saw some fireworks and enjoyed some great food for Bastille Day. Our trip to Paris was a great experience and I definitely crossed many items off of my bucket list!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guest Blogger: IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages

By Edward Zollars, CPA

The IRS issued its eagerly awaited guidance of how the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision would be applied overall in federal taxes in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (

The ruling specifically looked to answer three questions that were not necessarily clear under the IRC following the Windsor decision:
  • Would the IRS use, to borrow Justice Scalia’s terms from his dissent, the state of current domicile, state of celebration or state of domicile at the time the marriage is entered into to determine marital status for federal tax purposes?
  • Would there be a difference in dealing with IRC provisions that refer specifically to “husband,” “wife,” or “husband and wife” as opposed to those that refer only to “spouse” or similar gender-neutral terms?
  • Does the treatment as married extend to couples in relationships defined by state law that are not denominated as marriage (such as registered domestic partners or civil unions) but may grant rights “as if” the couple were married?
To answer the first question (which state’s laws control) the IRS turned initially to its analysis of common-law marriage issues found in Revenue Ruling 58-66.  Under that ruling if a couple established a common-law marriage in a jurisdiction that recognizes the same, a later relocation to a state that refuses to recognize a marriage unless the couple has a formal marriage ceremony does not change their status as married for federal tax purposes.
The IRS notes, first, that this “once married, always married even if the couple relocates” has been used successfully for common-law marriages for over 50 years.  The IRS also finds that a uniform rule gives a simpler tax administration than would be true under alternative treatments, including changes in “related party” status under various IRC provisions (for instance, IRC §318) for a couple merely by relocating to a state that did not recognize the marriage and complications for employers that operate in more than one state, greatly complicating administration of employee benefit plans.
Thus, the IRS has amplified Revenue Ruling 58-66 (the common-law marriage ruling) to cover same-sex marriages as well.  So long as the marriage is valid in the state in which it is entered into, it will be recognized for federal tax purposes.  A footnote to the ruling clarifies that the same rule would apply if the marriage were celebrated in a foreign jurisdiction that recognized the marriage.
The IRS also decided that it would not attempt to differentiate those provisions that contain a gender specific reference to parties in a marriage (that is “husband” and/or “wife”) and rather treat all such references in a gender neutral form.  Effectively this means that where such words are found, the adviser should simply read “spouse” or “spouses” instead of the gender specific wording.
Finally, the IRS also ruled that if a state establishes a status that is not deemed married under state law (such as a registered domestic partnership or a civil union) the parties will not be treated as married for federal tax purposes.  This holding is contrary to an information letter issued back in 2011 by the IRS regarding Illinois civil unions involving opposite sex couples issued to a national tax preparation firm.
Finally there arises the question about what do about returns already filed or 2012 returns on extension and either not yet filed, or filed after the issuance of the Windsor decision.  And, unfortunately, the ruling leaves some of these questions open.
The ruling clearly allows a taxpayer to rely on this ruling to file original returns, amended returns or claims for refund for any return for which the statute of limitations remains open.  The ruling notes that if a taxpayer does file such a claim for refund, the return must consistently treat the couple as married for all purposes—so the taxpayer cannot “cherry pick” to exclude the value of medical insurance paid for a same-sex spouse from income but ignore dealing with negative consequences that arise due to being required to use a rate schedule of either married filing joint or married filing separately.
Since a “marriage penalty” occurs in most (but not all) cases for income tax purposes, some taxpayers may now be facing a filing deadline one month earlier than they believed would apply.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Starting Off Strong

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Theresa Lee, CPA
AOL Inc.

After graduation and a well-earned vacation, it is the time of year when recent accounting graduates join the workforce and public accounting firms have classes of their newest associates starting.  Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to help you have a successful start to your career:  

Do: Ask questions. Learn from your peers, the staff who are one year above you, your seniors, managers and partners. Try to ask questions to the appropriate level and think through your questions before you ask them. You will learn a lot by thinking through how you would approach an issue and then having your supervisor explain how their resolution is different.  
Don’t: Complain. Every accounting role comes with long hours depending on the time of month or year. Keep a good attitude. Trust me, not one of your supervisors wants to be at work at 10pm. And absolutely no one wants to be at work at 10 p.m. with a team member who complains about working late. You are all in this together and keeping a good attitude keeps the team moving with less distraction.

Do: Select the correct method of communication to get your message and the tone across. Learn how your company uses in-person meetings, phone calls, e-mail, and IM for various purposes.  Also consider your audience when communicating.  

Don’t: Take offense when you receive review comments. You are new and have a lot to learn from on-the-job experience. The person who gave you those comments can do the work themselves much faster but choose to take the time to leave review comments, wait for you to clear the comments and bring up questions, and then check that the comments were cleared properly. Review comments are a teaching method. Should you really complain about your supervisor investing time and effort in your professional development?

Don’t: Be “that” guy or girl at the company happy hour. Participate in company and department events, especially charitable events and sports teams, but do not be the person who has one too many.  Try ordering a drink you don’t like so you can maintain the appearance of participating in happy hour while remaining in control.

Do: Admit when you make a mistake. Bring it to the attention of your supervisor immediately and in a professional manner. This means laying out the facts, the impact of the mistake, and proposing a plan to fix it. Everyone makes mistakes. Strong performers know how to communicate their mistakes and address them before they become problems.  

Don’t: Get overwhelmed with work, put your head down, and try to work through the night to finish your growing to-do list. Ask your supervisor or mentor for help prioritizing your work. If something takes you significantly longer than you think it should, you are probably spinning your wheels. Stop and ask for help.  

Do: Volunteer to help out, even if you have no idea how to do the work or it is a mundane task. This is a great way to learn something new and show your initiative. Mundane work has to get done and you will stand out for your good attitude and willingness to help the team. You might even get picked to work on the next exciting project. Hard work does pay off.

Theresa Lee, CPA, is a certified public accountant and a lead accountant in AOL’s Advertising Revenue department.  She has an master's in business administration in finance from The George Washington University and a bachelor's in business administration in Accounting from James Madison University. She has six years of experience in public accounting performing audits of technology, government contracting, and private equity clients and two years of experience in internal audit prior to joining AOL. She lives in Reston with her husband.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Global Internship: My First Week as a KPMG Global Intern

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

My first week as a KPMG global intern was challenging but also very rewarding. I had the opportunity to work directly under a partner which, while somewhat intimidating, offered me excellent experience and immediate exposure. The team here in London has been great about giving us work that is challenging and rewarding. It feels great knowing that my work is helping the firm to meet important client deadlines. My managers have been very helpful in explaining the work they need done and have provided us the resources to accomplish the tasks set before us.

After work we still have plenty of time to go out and explore London. It is such a great city with rich culture that offers an abundance of entertaining things to do. It is interesting to see how many Americans have moved here and now live and work in London. It is a great place to gain international experience without dealing with the challenges of speaking another language. Thinking back after this week, I am so grateful that I have had the chance to come to this amazing city and learn so much both at work and while sightseeing. I truly believe that travelling and experiences such as this internship help you grow not only professionally but also as an individual.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Global Internship: Introduction

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

I knew early on in the recruiting process that I wanted to work for KPMG, but what I didn’t know was that in a few months they would be sending me on the trip of a lifetime!  I first met KPMG when I attended a “Meet the Firms” event at Virginia Commonwealth University.  I realized early on that I connected well with the firm and that it would be a great place to work.  After only speaking with Pete Bartok, KPMG’s recruiter, for a few minutes, I felt as if I had known him much longer and by the end of our conversation, I was really excited about the thought of working for KPMG since I knew I’d fit in well there.

After securing a domestic internship in the Richmond office, I received an email regarding KPMG’s Global Internship Program (GIP).  I recalled Pete mentioning this, and I thought it sounded like an incredible experience. I decided to apply for the GIP even though I knew the competition would be tough and honestly didn’t expect to be chosen. After completing the necessary requirements, which included an application and a written essay, I vividly remember screaming out loud when I found out that I was a finalist in the process. The next phase of the process consisted of a phone interview, which was pleasant and went very well.  A few days later, I received a call that I would be heading to London for four weeks as a global intern! I will spend half of my internship in the Richmond, VA office and the other half in London.  I am so looking forward to this amazing opportunity!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Frugality Comes Into Fashion

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Clare Levison, CPA
Alliant Techsystems, Inc.

I believe that as CPAs we are uniquely qualified to guide people who need help with their finances.  CPAs are distinguished by rigorous educational requirements, high professional standards, and a commitment to serving the public interest.

I’m very passionate about personal finance.  My recently published book on the subject is entitled Frugal Isn’t Cheap:  Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better.  The following is an excerpt from the book:

When I was growing up, I can remember complaining to my dad about it being cold in the house. Truth be told, it was probably plenty warm for most people, but I’ve always been cold natured. “Go put a sweater on,” he would tell me. Dad’s always been a frugal man.

But today’s society has become obsessed with excess. Frugal people are seen as dull and boring. Big spenders seem flashy and exciting. However, I think the tide is finally beginning to turn on these perceptions. And that’s a good thing. It’s just not fashionable to own 20 pairs of shoes that you’ve only worn once. It’s not cool to have 30 gadgets that you never use. And if you’re spending all your money on designer clothes, you’re not stylish; you’re silly. Now more than ever, frugality is coming into fashion, and it’s hip to be thrifty. It turns out Dad was frugal before frugal was cool.

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from FRUGAL ISN'T CHEAP © 2013 Clare K. Levison, CPA. Published by Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.

A large number of Americans are re-examining their finances.  They want to learn more about personal finance and how it impacts them and their future.  When each person makes responsible decisions with their money, we all benefit.  As a CPA, what are you doing to promote financial literacy?

Clare K. Levison is a certi­fied public accountant and national financial literacy spokesperson for the Amer­ican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She has appeared on major radio and television net­works across the country and has served as a member of the Vir­ginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) Board of Directors. Levison was named one of the 2010 Top Five CPAs Under 35 by the VSCPA. She has more than a decade of corporate accounting experience and is also an active volunteer, serving as PTA president, Girl Scout leader, and Sun­day school teacher. Levison lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her husband and two daughters.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tennessee's 'Jock Tax'

For sports-loving CPAs, here's an interesting article from Grantland on Tennessee's "jock tax" and how it affects players who play for or against the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and the NHL's Nashville Predators.

NFL players are exempt despite the presence of the Tennessee Titans. (To add to the confusion, the "poster boy" for the fight against the tax is former Grizzlies guard Chris Johnson, not to be confused with his Titans counterpart.)

Tennessee's law requires any NBA or NHL player who is on a team's roster during a game in Tennessee to pay a flat tax of $2,500 per game, with a maximum of three games. Johnson could be the point man for repeal efforts because of his relatively low pay — he earned $54,000 for two 10-day contracts and paid $7,500 for the tax.

As Grantland's Zach Lowe points out, the money doesn't go to the state, but rather to the operators of the arenas in Memphis and Nashville. In the Grizzlies' case, that's the owners of the team. Lowe also points out that the NHL has agreed to reimburse players for the money they pay for the Tennessee tax, which amounts to about $2 million per season.

New York State Society of CPAs member Daniel Mazzola, CPA, has written a more in-depth primer on the topic. He refers to the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act, which the VSCPA has supported.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Connect!

By Laura Cobb
VSCPA Member Relations Specialist

Connect, the VSCPA’s interactive members-only online community, recently hit its first birthday! Thanks to the more than 3,800 people who have logged in and 1,017 people who have created profiles for your help in making Connect a home for the Virginia CPA community. Your smiling faces (and your insightful posts in our communities) are what keep VSCPA members coming back for more information and discussion.

As part of the anniversary celebration, we’re looking at how we can make Connect an even better experience for our members. Click here to complete a short survey on your Connect experience.

Not a Connect user? Wondering what the fuss is about? Click here to learn how to set up your profile. Be sure to include a picture!

Thanks for all you’ve done to make Connect a success!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

TAX Posts Webinar, Q&A on Sales and Use Tax Changes

The Virginia Department of Taxation (TAX) has posted a recording (MP4) and summary (PDF) of its June 7 webinar on recent changes to the Virginia Sales and Use Tax. The webinar provided a detailed overview of changes included in HB 2313, including statewide and regional rate increases, changes to returns and schedules, sourcing rules for transactions, transitional problems and more.

TAX notes that the webinar recording contains references to the counties of Gloucester and Surry as part of the Hampton Roads Region. Those counties are, in fact, not part of that region and therefore not subject to the additional sales and use tax rate increase of 0.7 percent.

Friday, July 5, 2013

PPACA Employer Mandate Postponed: What You Need to Know

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that it was postponing the employer responsibility payment and insurance reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until January 2015.

At that point, employers with 50 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent in full- and part-time employees) will be required to offer quality affordable health insurance to employees or face a fine of $2,000 for each employee who receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage from one of the upcoming health insurance exchanges.

We'll be compiling resources on what this means for workers and employers. If you see any good resources, pass them along! Here's what we have now:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Credential Overload?

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By David Peters, CPA Insurance Agency

CLU, CFP, PFS, CTP, CPCU…..  In the financial services world, it seems like there is a credential for just about everything.  However, is earning those extra few letters behind your name really worth it?  Before you break out those study books, here are some pros and cons of earning another credential:
Can Jump Start Your Career – If you are fresh out of school, your resume probably doesn’t look that different from any of your peers.  An extra credential can help set you apart.  More letters behind your name is a great remedy for a plateauing career as well.

New Networking Opportunities – Once you have earned your credential, you will probably have the opportunity to meet with other people who also have that designation.  Professional societies often have luncheons, volunteer opportunities, and other functions, where you can meet other people in your field.

Credential May Not Be Recognized – While there are many credentials out there in the world, very few are actually recognized by the public – especially if they are industry specific.  For example, how many people outside the insurance industry know that ARM means Associate in Risk Management, instead of just being the word for the appendage coming from your shoulder?
Your Credential Can Be Expensive – Once you have your credential, you may have to join the membership society (costs money).  Every year, you may have to renew your credential (MORE money).  You may have to take CPE too (STILL MORE MONEY).   Whoever would have thought that those extra few letters could be so expensive?

In short, you just want to make sure that what you put into those extra letters is worth what you get out of them.  If it is, another credential can put you at the top of your industry.
David Peters is the Head of Legal, Admin, Finance, and MIS at in Glen Allen and a Ph.D. student at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.  His areas of expertise include insurance accounting, tax, and financial planning.  He is a VSCPA member, and, yes, he is a CPCU.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tax Implications of the Supreme Court's DOMA Ruling

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, two major victories for supporters of same-sex marriage. The rulings have major tax implications for same-sex couples.

The DOMA ruling came in U.S. v. Windsor and invalidated Section 3 of the law, which defined "marriage" as a union between one man and one woman and "spouse" as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. The case was brought by Edith Windsor, who married Thea Speyer in Canada in 2007. When Speyer died in 2009, New York, where the couple lived, recognized same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions.

Because Windsor was not covered by the federal spousal deduction, she owed more than $363,000 in federal estate tax on Speyer's estate. With the benefit of that deduction, she would not have owed any estate tax.

Daily Finance has an overview of the other tax and financial implications of the ruling. Changes for same-sex couples include:
  • The ability to file federal income taxes jointly
  • Exemption from the gift tax when transferring assets to each other
  • Spousal benefits and tax breaks (in some cases) on health insurance
  • The same federal tax treatment and Social Security benefits as opposite-sex couples upon one spouse's death
We'll add more resources as we come across them.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NACE: Internships, Co-ops Important for 2013 Seniors

According to a new survey of students from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), nearly two-thirds (63.2 percent) of graduating seniors from the Class of 2013 took part in an internship or cooperative education assignment during their time spent pursuing a bachelor's degree, the highest percentage since NACE began surveying the subject in 2007.

The highest previous rate was 57 percent, reported for the Class of 2008. Pay categories for the 2013 survey split nearly down the middle, with 52.2 percent reporting paid internships and 47.8 reporting unpaid internships.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Latest From the IRS Film Studio: 'Mad Men'

Earlier this year, we brought you news of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) video parodies of Star Trek and Gilligan's Island. Turns out the employees who planned the video have watched some more recent TV shows as well.

The IRS also filmed a Mad Men-themed CPE video — and you can watch this one. Actor Michael Davis, who played the Don Draper-esque main character in the video, uploaded it to his YouTube channel. Watch it below (assuming it's still up when you read this).

The video appears to have been edited to showcase Davis, who introduces the director of IRS Field Assistance. The director does not appear in this version of the video.

Newly appointed IRS acting commissioner Danny Werfel (not the Heisman Trophy winner) has promised not to spend agency money on producing such videos in the future.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Student's Perspective: Tax, Audit...or Other?

By Samantha Burch
Social Coordinator, Beta Alpha Psi, James Madison University

Editor's note: This is part of a series of guest posts from members of the James Madison University (JMU) chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honors fraternity for accounting students. These posts will cover topics of interest to accounting students. If you have a question you'd like a Beta Alpha Psi member to cover, please email VSCPA Communications Specialist Chip Knighton.

“Oh, you’re an Accounting major? Are you interested in tax or audit?”

This question is one that every accounting student has encountered multiple times during his or her time in college.  During the first two or three years of school, the answer is likely, “I’m not sure yet”, but by the time senior year rolls around, most of us have discovered which sector of accounting we fit into.  Taking classes, participating in externships and internships, and talking with professionals in various lines of service provide valuable exposure to the sectors and can help you make the decision.  However, an easy mistake for students to make is to believe that they are limited in choosing between audit and tax because these are usually the two most highlighted sectors.  Students are presented with two general stereotypes:  Tax professionals travel less, have less client interaction and have an intense busy season from January to April while audit professionals travel more frequently and have more extensive client interaction. Most people can easily identify with one of those descriptions over the other; but what happens if you are like me, and unable to imagine yourself in either line of service?  What happens if you do not “fit”?

When someone asks me that question, I smile and reply, “Neither”.  I will not yet say for certain what I am interested in, but I feel that neither tax nor audit is the right field for me.  At first, this was concerning, and I wondered if I had chosen the right major at all. But with some research and the help of mentors, I discovered that there are a multitude of other opportunities to pursue, such as forensic accounting, accounting outsourcing, and consulting.

Fellow students, if you find yourself feeling less than enthusiastic about tax and audit, do not be discouraged. There are several steps you can take to conduct your own research and find your own perfect fit.

  • Talk to your professors. They are knowledgeable about different careers that you can access with an accounting degree. They also have contacts that can give you more information about areas that interest you.
  • Know what concentrations or upper level classes universities offer before you choose which to attend for a graduate degree.  Look for a place that offers a variety of courses unrelated to tax or audit so that you can sample them before you decide.
  • Research accounting firms in your area that have service lines other than tax and audit. Apply for an externship program if they have one; chances are they will spend a portion of that time introducing you to the service lines you may not be familiar with.  I recently participated in such an externship, where I discovered that accounting outsourcing greatly appeals to me.
  • Look for firms that do rotational internships.  This means that you will get to work in each of their lines of service during your internship.  Real world experience is the best way for you to know whether you enjoy something or not because you will be doing it all day long, five days per week. Even if you do not fall in love with any particular service line, you may be able to rule one out.

These steps may take a bit of extra effort, and additional time to explore everything that the accounting world has to offer. You may even feel downright maverick when someone asks you the dreaded audit/tax question. But it will have been worth it when you find your own personal niche.

Samantha Burch is a rising senior at JMU seeking a master's degree in forensic accounting. She is the social coordinator of the Eta Delta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, as well as a student member of the VSCPA and a 2012 Leaders' Institute attendee. She works in JMU's financial reporting department and is currently interning with Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Work-Life Balance and My Experience as a Working Mother

By Marian Millikan, CPA
Senior Tax Accountant, Cherry Bekaert LLP

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

At the start of my public accountant career, I remember learning in an orientation class how important a “work-life balance” was in allowing an individual to experience perfect harmony between their work and home lives. This lasting impression left me eager to figure out the secret formula so I could obtain the perfect balance of happiness.

Two years later, I was happy with my job and home life, but moments that I felt completely balanced were rare. I had considered giving up on my search for the secret formula, but then I realized how you interpret “balance” is essential. There doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split all the time. Sometimes work can take priority (tax season comes to mind), and other times, like vacations, family and friends should be your main focus. The perfect work-life formula is never constant, and will almost never be balanced 50/50.

Although balance can be different for each individual, the key to my work-life “balance” formula is two things: organization and prioritization. For instance, I need a calendar to track my work projects, social events, family appointments, and everything else. Once everything is on the calendar, I prioritize conflicting tasks to determine which is most important and must be accomplished at the expense of the other. Proactively making this choice helps me avoid making last-minute decisions that cause tons of stress, regardless of whether or not the “correct” choice was made. Any working parent can relate to a time when they found out about a party at their child’s school (or God forbid an early release from school) the day before, and had already scheduled an important client meeting for that afternoon. Whenever double bookings occur, it always seems Murphy’s Law is in full effect, and your spouse is out of town or the babysitter is sick. It only took a few instances for me to learn to put my child’s monthly “schedule of events” on the calendar as soon as I got it. Prioritizing these events has saved countless hours of guilt and apologies.

If you have a smartphone, a great resource is using a calendar app that allows you to share calendar updates with family members the instant they’re added. I can see all of my husband’s events, and he can see mine. This has proven to be a great tool for my family, as everyone knows when events are planned, when critical personnel are out of town, and who has been assigned to pick up which kid at what time.  I use Cozi (, but there other great tools out there, too.

Another valuable lesson I learned about prioritizing work and life tasks happened in my first few months as a working mother. I had just committed to completing a tax research and analysis project by the week’s end when I got the dreaded call from daycare: my daughter had a fever. Not only did she need to come home immediately, but my daughter wasn’t allowed back at school for a minimum of 24 hours! Even though this meant two work days turned into two unexpected days out of the office, I was determined to complete that project as promised. I worked through the night and every second she napped. Despite feeling exhausted, I turned the project in on Friday, and was proud of myself for doing it all! I felt like super woman, super employee, and super mom all wrapped up into one. When I gloated about my time management skills to my manager and how I accomplished this herculean task despite the odds. He looked at me a little puzzled and simply replied that I could have had another week to complete the project without a problem. Apparently, all I had to do was ask. So I learned another important work-life balance lesson: if you feel overwhelmed with either work or family, get yourself out of the “I can do it all” mindset and ask for help. More often than not, work and life can be flexible!

There will be times where you have to increase your effort towards family, and there are times that extra effort goes towards your job. It isn’t sacrificing one for the other, but managing the priorities of everything simultaneously. This approach makes me happy, fulfilled, and most importantly, keeps me sane. I feel like a better employee, coworker, wife, and mom. Work-life balance can’t get any better than that.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Economics of Ice and Fire

Any CPAs out there who are also fans of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" will want to read a recent series from Slate financial reporter Matt Yglesias. In a pair of blog posts, he posits that due to its natural resources, House Tyrell is, in fact, richer than House Lannister, the generally accepted richest house in Westeros.

* Now that I've started the name-dropping, I'll go ahead and get this out of the way to encapsulate what a lot of our readers must be thinking:

Yglesias also makes the point that much of a good bit of House Lannister's wealth comes in the form of debts incurred by the Iron Throne. The point is that House Tyrell is much more liquid than House Lannister, although the Joffrey-Margaery wedding may render that point moot.

What do you think? Should Tyrion, the master of coin in King's Landing, be worried about his family's financial stability? Let's keep things spoiler-free, people.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Student's Perspective: Landing the All-Important Internship

By Michael Gears
Vice President of Communications, Beta Alpha Psi, James Madison University

Editor's note: This is part of a series of guest posts from members of the James Madison University (JMU) chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honors fraternity for accounting students. These posts will cover topics of interest to accounting students. If you have a question you'd like a Beta Alpha Psi member to cover, please email VSCPA Communications Specialist Chip Knighton.

Graduating college is scary. Not only are my friends and I about to finish their college career with
huge amounts of student loans, but half of them are unable to find a job to start earning income and paying it back. Luckily for us future CPAs, we often find ourselves deciding between job offers, instead of hoping to receive one.  However, the recruiting process for accounting students still takes a lot of effort, and I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Many firms will host informational and casual meetings at a local restaurant the night before they come for interviews. It’s very important that candidates getting interviewed go to these. The most important thing at these is that you make an effort to meet both the recruiter, and the person who will be conducting the interview. If you are able to chat with them for a short while, they will usually have a positive impression of you before you even sit down for the interview. It will also separate you from other candidates who didn’t show up, by proving that you are dedicated to the application process and truly do want the position. Other key points for these events are to not overstay your welcome, don’t bring up controversial topics, and don’t just go with a friend and stick with them the whole time. This event is about meeting the office employees on a personal level, so keep the conversation casual, but keep in mind that this is still a very important part of the interview process, and you will be judged on how you handle yourself.
Externships were a real eye-opening experience for my recruiting process. These are short programs with firms that educate the candidate more about the firm they might be interested in. I got a much better feeling for the firms by doing these and seeing the working environment I would be in. The recruiter describing the firm to you only can do so until you see the actual office. Another benefit of these externships too is that you will often get interviewed for internships with the firms, before any other applicants do. The key on these externships is to really try and get a sense of the culture of the firm, talk to as many employees as you’re able to meet. Just like you had to picture yourself in the colleges you were applying for, you have to see yourself fitting into the culture of the office. Externships are the best place to do this.
If you’re lucky, your school might have mock interviews. These are where actual recruiters will come in and interview you as if you were applying for a job. The great benefit here though is they will critique you afterwards and tell you where you need improvements, and review and edit your resume that you bring in. Mock interview are great for sophomores to get out some of the first interview jitters, or juniors and seniors to perhaps knock some rust off. Professors and advisors can be great to get advice from, but the ability to be critiqued by a recruiter actually in the current field provides a whole different benefit.
As students, we are reinforced with the same tips constantly for recruiting; introduce yourself, make sure to smile, a firm handshake. However, there are a few pieces of original advice that I’ve learned along the way through the recruiting process:
  • When wearing a name tag, make sure to wear it high on the right side of your chest. When you’re shaking somebody’s hand, it will be easier for them to maintain eye contact.
  • If you choose to eat appetizers while meeting with firm personnel, always keep your shaking hand free. Keep a napkin under the plate you’re eating on to make cleaning your hands before shaking easier.
  • Ask a few quality questions at the end of an interview. Some of my favorites are, why did you choose to work at this firm. What would be expected of me on my first year of working?
  • The easiest and safest small talk conversations are usually over sports, family, hobbies, college experiences, and certainly the firm itself.
Don’t be afraid of what lies ahead. You chose a very employable major and just need to polish yourself up a bit before hitting the recruiting field. Follow these tips, get those A’s and you’ll be starting your internship before you know it. 

Michael Gears is an accounting graduate student, concentrating in tax, at James Madison University. He is the Vice President of Communications of the Eta Delta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and a student member of the VSCPA. He will be interning at Veris Consulting this summer in Reston, VA.