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Enhancing Agency Budget Transparency, Opportunities to Study Science and Environmental Protections

Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2021 (S 272) – This bill mandates that federal agencies must make budget justification materials publicly available online. The Office of Management and Budget will be required to publish details regarding the agencies that submit budget justification materials to Congress and dates the materials are posted online, along with links to the materials. The bill was introduced by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) on Feb. 8, passed in the Senate and the House on Aug. 23 and is awaiting enactment by the president. National Science Foundation for the Future Act (HR 2225) – Introduced by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-TX) on March 26, the bill authorizes… Read More

Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing Business Accounting Technology

Choosing to implement new technology for your accounting needs is a big step toward improving your business. Accounting technology helps streamline the accounting system, thereby offering various benefits. However, poor implementation can impact your business negatively. To make your implementation a success, there are several mistakes that you must avoid. Importance of New Accounting Technology  Before looking at the potential mistakes, it is important to understand why businesses implement new technologies. Technology advancement has played a great role in various life and business aspects. In businesses accounting, technology such as computerized systems help easily track and record financial transactions.  Various types of technologies have impacted business accounting, such as cloud-based systems,… Read More

7 Ways to Save for a Home Down Payment

So you want to save for a down payment for your dream house, but you aren’t sure how to get there. It might even feel overwhelming. But take heart, here are some tried and true methods that you can start today that will help you save sooner than you think. Save a Fixed Amount Monthly This is super easy, but first you need to figure out how much of a down payment you want to make. Remember, the higher your down payment, the lower your loan and monthly mortgage payment will be. With that said, put this amount on auto draft and deposit it into your savings account. Once you… Read More

Strategies for Paying Off Student Loans

Today, 70 percent of college students graduate with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt. The average payment is nearly $400 a month and will take about 20 years to pay off. On an individual level, paying off high debt can delay hopes of saving to buy a house, start a family, launch a business or invest for retirement. On a broader level, the national burden of student debt could impact America’s economic future. When young adults are unable to afford home ownership, that reduces spending on all types of consumer products that accompany home buying. It also reduces property taxes used to support local resources and reduces the… Read More

Does the Fed’s Beige Book Forecast Negative Market Headwinds?

According to the Sept. 8, 2021, release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, the U.S. economy is facing many headwinds. The report found that restaurants and the travel sector saw a drop in activity. Home and auto sales were low because of fewer available houses on the market and a challenging supply of computer chips for auto makers. The same report found that although more people have found work, the level of newly created employment was mixed, despite a continuing need for more workers. Due to people quitting their jobs, people retiring, and those unable to find means of suitable childcare, the employment situation remains uncertain. With continued stressors on… Read More

How Businesses Can Help Employees Improve their Skills

Based upon a recent McKinsey Global Survey, nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of management and above level respondents affirmed they are currently, or within the upcoming five years, dealing with the skill gap among their employees. With the vast majority of businesses experiencing or forecasting a skills-gap, how can they close or reduce this challenge? Due to the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” as the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains, the best scenario it sees is 54 percent of workers requiring “reskilling and upskilling by 2022.” However, the WEF points out that 3 in 10 workers susceptible to occupation disruption due to advancements in applied science obtained additional training in… Read More

New Proposed Tax Laws

The House recently released a nearly 900-page proposed bill that would make major changes to current tax laws. The bill is intended in large part to help pay for both the Biden Administration’s budget and infrastructure stimulus bill. It’s important to keep in mind that the provisions and changes outlined below are by no means settled. Changes can (and likely will) still be made as the Senate ratifies the bill; however, the remainder of this article should give readers a good idea of the most significant provisions. Income Tax Rates are Rising The increase in the top income tax rate is probably the most talked about proposed change in the… Read More

Fiscal Year Funding Plus Legislative Support for Health Care Professionals and Physical Activity for All Americans

A bill to provide for the publication by the Secretary of Health and Human Services of physical activity recommendations for Americans (S 1301) – This bill authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish guidelines of recommended physical activity for Americans. The bill was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on April 22, passed in the Senate on July 30 and is under consideration in the House. Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act (S 610) – This bill was introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on March 4. The purpose of this legislation is to establish grants and require activities designed to improve mental and behavioral… Read More

Is Your Business Ready to Outsource Accounting?

Accurate and timely accounting is critical for any business’ survival. At the same time, it’s important for entrepreneurs to pour their energy into core business activities and not waste time on day-to-day bookkeeping. Unfortunately, the cost of setting up a full-time accounting department is prohibitive for small and mid-sized businesses. Thankfully, there is an option to outsource functions such as bookkeeping, payroll, tax services, financing, budgeting, chief finance officer services, and more to a third party. In this article, we discuss how to know if you are ready to outsource, the benefits, and how to choose the right professional. How to Know if You Should Outsource Here is how to… Read More

How to Catch Up on Your Retirement

If you’re 40 or 50 and aren’t where you’d like to be in terms of saving for retirement, don’t despair. You can remedy this situation. And since people are living well into their 80s and 90s, it’s never too late to start. Here are a few things you can do. Max Out Your 401(k) This could be a game-changer. Stuart Ritter, a certified financial planner with T. Rowe Price, recommends that you save at least 15 percent of your income for retirement, including the amount your employer matches. If your company is contributing 3 percent, then you should save 12 percent. If you can’t go this high, then increase the… Read More