On Friday, February 15, 2019, I resigned my teaching position at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School. My resignation was accepted by the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Without going into details, I will say that this was not a decision that I took lightly. I will miss working with my amazing students and colleagues. I plan on teaching accounting and financial crimes at another school in the not too-distant future. For those trying to access my teacher page, it has been disabled by the administrators. I have migrated some of the information from my teacher page to this website.
I am updating the Financial Crimes survey course, and I am also trying to offer a new course called “Retail and Restaurant Loss Prevention.” As I have recently resigned my teaching position at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, I am looking for another school where I can domicile my Financial Crimes courses.
There is also more information for the Financial Crimes Survey course here:
Yesterday, I received a telephone call from a 305 area code (Miami). After listening to the message, I called them back. They claimed to be from the Internal Revenue Service and that I had owed a past due amount and that they were going to pursue criminal charges against me. Today, a client called me and informed me that she had received a similar call.
In both cases, these were phishing scams and not the Internal Revenue Service! I refused to give them any information, and when I informed them that they were not the IRS they hung up on me.
DO NOT give these people any information! The IRS does not call you if you owe them money. When you owe the IRS money, you will be sent numerous notices via USPS First Class Mail. It is very rare for the IRS to call a taxpayer! They nearly always use USPS First Class Mail to contact taxpayers, especially if this is an initial contact!
When in doubt, ask for their name, badge number, and a number where your accountant or attorney can call them back. Then hang up. Do not give them any personal information whatsoever over the phone–do not confirm any personal information! When in doubt about any collection proceedings from any tax authority, contact your tax professional.
Also, note that it is extremely rare (never to the best of my knowledge) for the IRS to use email when dealing with tax payers.
Google is presently working on an artificial intelligence drone project. The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) has sent an open letter to Google urging them to withdraw from Project Maven and to commit to not weaponizing it’s technology.
Last week, we had an ethics discussion in my Accounting II class about the rise of technology. While the discussion was primarily focused on MotoBot as representing the threat of the rise of robots and artificial intelligence that is designed to exceed human performance, we also discussed micro-chipping people and what incentives could be used, or misused, to encourage people to be micro-chipped. Aside from Christian religious arguments (Revelations 13) against micro-chipping people, there are numerous ethical obstacles that anyone contemplating this procedure should consider.
A recent study from John Hopkins University suggests that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. The only two things that cause more deaths per year in the United States are heart disease and all cancers combined. What this means is that 9.5 percent of all deaths in the United States are caused by medical errors.
Consider the implications… Nearly one out of ten people in the United States who died, died because their medical professionals made an error. Why is this acceptable? Why is the cost of medical care so high, if the quality is often so low? What is being done to improve the medical system? How can consumers protect themselves?
In the SoundCloud podcast, one of the authors, Martin Makary, professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discusses how settlements often include gag orders that prohibit discussion of the details of the case. Professor Makary notes that in aviation when there is an airplane crash, the crash is investigated, and the analysis is published so that pilots can learn from the mistakes of others. He goes on to note that this is not the case in medicine, and the same mistakes are made over and over again.
Captain Schmutzler will be one of the guest speakers for my Financial Crimes class at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School this coming Fall Semester. He will be speaking primarily on counterfeiting, identity theft, and the crimes that have been occurring since the legalization of cannabis because of the large amounts of cash involved.
On a personal note, I would like to recognize Captain Schmutzler for his frank and open dialogue when it comes to local police issues, as well as his forward-thinking and progressive approach to proactive community policing. Captain Schmutzler is considerate of alternative viewpoints, and he is very much willing to “think outside of the box.” Captain Schmutzler sets a very high standard at the Vacaville Police Department.
Home Economics is an interdisciplinary field of study that covers various subjects such as: family studies, food/nutrition, clothing/textiles, and consumer economics/personal finance. In recent years the field of study that was once referred to as Home Economics has been re-branded to Family and Consumer Sciences.
Most high schools, adult schools, colleges, and universities offer some or many of the courses that one would find in a Family and Consumer Sciences program. In the local area the Greater San Francisco Bay Area / Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area, there has been significant changes in the course and degree offerings at the college and university levels.
This article is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of the colleges and universities in the area that offer courses and majors in Family and Consumer Science, but rather to demonstrate the trend in Home Economics / Family and Consumer Science in education. For those who are interested in Family and Consumer Sciences, there are various professional groups and organizations dedicated to Family and Consumer Sciences. Among these are:
Understanding the Accounting Equation (ALE) and the Expanded Accounting Equation (ALICE) is critical to your success in accounting. The image below is downloadable as a PDF (see link at bottom of post).
Though not a strict Accounting or Business ethical dilemma, an unconscious patient was brought into the emergency room with "Do Not Resuscitate" and his signature tattooed across his chest. What is the ethical thing to do? What would you do? How is this related to business and accounting? Risk management, mostly.
Hello everyone! As many of you know I am in Mobile, Alabama for litigation. I am staying at the Malaga Inn on Church Street in the historic district of downtown Mobile. The Malaga Inn was built in 1861-1862, and is supposedly haunted. Here are some photos of the Malaga Inn and downtown Mobile…
The Miniature Earth is a project that presents population statistics of the Earth by simplifying the world’s population into a community of 100 people. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to view the video.
Constitution Day 2017 was on Sunday, September 17, 2017, but many schools, businesses, and others celebrate Constitution Day today, Monday, September 18, 2017. To learn more about the US Constitution, visit this link. To view the US Constitution as a PDF, view US CONSTITUTION. To view the Amendments to the US Constitution as a PDF, view AMENDMENTS TO THE US CONSTITUTION.
I urge everyone to stand up to censorship!
Celebrate your First Amendment right and the right to read!
When a government or society or any other group censors something, whether it is art, literature, music, news, or anything else because they find it “offensive” or “vulgar” or “controversial,” it creates a slippery slope that is both arbitrary and dangerous to our freedoms. Whether or not something is offensive, vulgar, or controversial is most often subjective because what is offensive, vulgar, or controversial to one person may not be to another and vice versa. The US Constitution, via the First Amendment protects, among other things, the freedom of speech, including symbolic speech. Americans are uniquely positioned in that the US Constitution places limits on the government over the governed. Americans must embrace their rights and oppose censorship at all levels. Freedom of speech is far more important than someone finding something offensive–freedom of speech is the cornerstone of our liberties.
Taken from www.bannedbooksweek.org:
“According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) – which tracks reports of book challenges and bans and compiles an annual Top Ten Challenged Books List – there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.” http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/node/12963
What: Know Your Rights and DACA Presentation
When: Monday, September 18, 2017 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Where: Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, Multi-Purpose Room
Address: 900 Travis Blvd., Fairfield, CA 94533
With “my Social Security” you can set up an online account with the Social Security Administration to handle several tasks online. According to the Social Security Administration website, your “my Social Security” account can be used for the following:
The Internal Revenue Service recently revamped the website, www.irs.gov, in response to user feedback. The new look is designed to facilitate users in locating information and improving access by various devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktops.
Personally, I have used four of these tax software packages, having used three of them for a significant amount of time. These are: 1) Lacerte, 2) CCH Prosystem fx, 3) Drake, and 4) ProSeries. My experience with ProSeries is very limited, so I have little to say about it. Between Lacerte, CCH Prosystem fx, and Drake, each has its’ benefits and drawbacks.
Lacerte is very robust (there are only a handful of tax forms it does not handle), fairly easy to use, good customer support, and has many options that tax practitioners may find useful (such as printing out all of the input data in all of the input fields–something not found on all tax software). The downside to Lacerte, and why I quit using it was the price.
CCH Prosystem fx is slightly more robust than Lacerte (it handles more of the international tax forms than Lacerte), has good customer support, and it comes in a cloud-based version, CCH Global Prosystem fx. The cloud-based version allows multiple users to access from anywhere in the world where there is a high-speed Internet connection. The downside of CCH Prosystem fx is that it is cumbersome, glitchy, not very intuitive, and expensive. Having worked with CCH Global Prosystem fx and CCH Prosystem fx for several years, I would not recommend it.
Drake is easy to use, inexpensive, and has great customer support. There are drawbacks; it is not as robust as Lacerte or CCH Prosystem fx, and data input cannot be printed out the way it can be in Lacerte. I switched to Drake from Lacerte for Windham Solutions in 2013, and I have no plans on going back to Lacerte.
Yaowapha Ritdet, a restaurant owner from Ukiah, California, was sentenced on April 26, 2017 to 24 months in prison for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Code and harboring illegal aliens for profit.
The IRS recently lost a class action lawsuit on how they manage and charge for the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) program. The IRS PTIN program was updated to include an annual renewal and annual renewal fees several years ago. This was ostensibly to combat tax preparer fraud, yet the IRS was never quite able to articulate how it combated fraud and how much fraud it prevented. The 2014 Loving case is a related case in which the IRS lost the ability to regulate tax preparers.
Admittedly, this post has nothing to do directly with business and accounting. I am posting this because I have had clients, friends, and students who have loved ones who are affected by autism spectrum disorder. The link below was published in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
No drug is yet approved to treat the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Low-dose suramin was effective in the maternal immune activation and Fragile X mouse models of ASD. The Suramin Autism Treatment-1 (SAT-1) trial was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, translational pilot study to examine the safety and activity of low-dose suramin in children with ASD.
Ten male subjects with ASD, ages 5–14 years, were matched by age, IQ, and autism severity into five pairs, then randomized to receive a single, intravenous infusion of suramin (20 mg/kg) or saline. The primary outcomes were ADOS-2 comparison scores and Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test (EOWPVT). Secondary outcomes were the aberrant behavior checklist, autism treatment evaluation checklist, repetitive behavior questionnaire, and clinical global impression questionnaire.
Blood levels of suramin were 12 ± 1.5 μmol/L (mean ± SD) at 2 days and 1.5 ± 0.5 μmol/L after 6 weeks. The terminal half-life was 14.7 ± 0.7 days. A self-limited, asymptomatic rash was seen, but there were no serious adverse events. ADOS-2 comparison scores improved by −1.6 ± 0.55 points (n = 5; 95% CI = −2.3 to −0.9; Cohen’s d = 2.9; P = 0.0028) in the suramin group and did not change in the placebo group. EOWPVT scores did not change. Secondary outcomes also showed improvements in language, social interaction, and decreased restricted or repetitive behaviors.
The safety and activity of low-dose suramin showed promise as a novel approach to treatment of ASD in this small study.
As of January 01, 2017, the California Board of Accountancy implemented additional educational requirements to sit for the California CPA exam. The California Board of Accountancy now requires:
1) A baccaleaureate degreefrom an accredited college or university (any subject),
2) 150 semester hours of total college/university study,
3) 24 semester units of accounting study,
4) 24 semester units of business-related subjects study,
5) 20 semester units of accounting study,
6) 10 semester units of ethics study, to include one 3 unit semester (or 4 unit quarter) course in accounting ethics or accountant’s professional responsibility.
The above-listed educational requirements are in addition to verified work experience where the CPA exam applicant must have documented work experience under a licensed CPA. See the California CPA Applicant Licensing Handbook for more information about the experience requirement.
Today (Saturday, March 25, 2017) was my last day of classroom studies for my Career Technical Education teaching credential. Neither CSU Sacramento, nor the Sacramento County Office of Education offer this credential program any longer. As such, I enrolled in the Ventura County Office of EducationCareer Technical Education teaching credential program. They offered a Santa Cruz cohort class that I was able to enroll in; thereby decreasing my commute from Ventura to Santa Cruz. This was my third and final trip to the Santa Cruz training facility.
While my Adult Education teaching credential covers the same subject matter as my Career Technical Education teaching credential, I feel that the additional training and insights I have received will help make me a better educator and that in turn should result in a better educational experience for my students. My credential should be clear by this summer!
The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility lost a court case against disbarred attorney, James Sexton, Jr. that tried to regulate Sexton’s preparation of tax returns and offering services of written advice. The court issed a declatory judgment, rejecting the IRS Office of Professional Repsonsibility motion for summary judgment. Furthermore, the court issued a permanent injunction against the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility from pursing further enforcement against Sexton in this matter. Sexton successfully argued that the Loving case applied to his situation because, as a disbarred attorney, the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility did not have jurisdiction over him. He was not representing clients before the IRS because, as the Loving case determined some years earlier, preparing tax returns does not constitute practice before the IRS and the IRS cannot regulate those who do not practice before the IRS.
Did you know that you can receive college credit for working at your job?
Solano College and many other colleges offer work experience programs that will give students college credit for their work experience. Keep in mind that there will be coursework to complete in addition to working at your job. I have spoken with Professor Debra Berrett who is the Solano College Work Experience Coordinator, and she will be giving a presentation to one of my classes at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School. The date has yet to be determined, but I would like to invite all interested Fairfield-Suisun Adult School students to attend.
FEDERAL TAX DEADLINE FOR FILING 2016 INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURNS HAS BEEN MOVED TO
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017
April 15, 2017 falls on a Saturday which would normally push the IRS federal tax filing due date to Monday, April 17, 2017; however, because Monday, April 17, 2017 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, the IRS federal tax filing deadline has been moved to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
In today’s increasingly complex and interconnected world, education and credentials are becoming more important and relevant for business and accounting professionals. While many credentials require both verified experience and education, some only require one or the other. Take some time to explore different credential options that are within your reach. Remember that while you may have knowledge of a particular subject, credentials often set you apart from the competition.
In addition to business and accounting courses here at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, we also offer a tax preparation course for the California Tax Education Council registration. We are also in the process of offering Microsoft Office certification training. Please see our catalog for more information on these courses.