Posts Tagged ‘rsjcpa’

Rose, Snyder & Jacobs Renews Sponsorship with San Fernando Valley Bar Association

Encino, CA — December 20, 2016: Rose, Snyder & Jacobs, LLP (RSJ) is thrilled to announce it is renewing its sponsorship with the San Fernando Valley Bar Association through 2017.  RSJ became an official sponsor of SFVBA in January of 2016, and it has proven a mutually beneficial arrangement, with educational seminars and special events planned throughout the year for the association’s robust attorney network.  Both organizations look forward to another year of growth and success as they continue to positively affect the legal and professional communities together.

“We have found great benefit to our association with the SFVBA and their great leadership,” said Tony A. Rose, founding partner, RSJ. “The great give and take of ideas of our mutual disciplines creates huge benefits to ourselves and our clients. Our ability to see landscapes from their perspective makes us better accountants.”

Kira Masteller, SFVBA president had this to say about the partnership, “The San Fernando Valley Bar Association has attracted many new members and President’s Circle Firms this year.  We are pleased to welcome back our renewing Sponsor, Rose, Snyder Jacobs, LLP,  who are celebrating 40 years of excellent accounting services for our Bar Members and the business community.  Partnering with such reputable Firms and Sponsors keeps our Bar Members in ‘the know’ as they attend MCLE events, networking events, and our annual Judges Night and Autumn Gala.  Members attending events get to know each other and our Sponsors, and in turn become important resources to their  clients and colleagues because of their ability to make qualified professional referrals.”

For more information about the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, please click here.

Valley Lawyer Magazine, the monthly publication produced by the SFVBA, recently published an article by RSJ Founding Partner, Tony A. Rose, on the topic of estate planning.

Read Tony Rose’s article in the September issue of Valley Lawyer Magazine

About Rose, Snyder & Jacobs:

Rose, Snyder & Jacobs LLP (RSJ) is a Certified Public Accounting firm founded in 1976 and located in Encino, California. RSJ is dedicated to serving a diverse client group including closely held companies, high net worth multi-generational families, non-profit organizations, and public companies.  RSJ serves clients across many industries, in both domestic and international capacities. www.rsjcpa.com

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Contact:
Clara Mayer
Rose, Snyder & Jacobs, LLP
818-461-0600
cmayer@rsjcpa.com

At Level

At Level Evaluation Graphic

Does Praising “At Level” Employees Lead to Mediocrity?

evaluationMost of us are doing employee reviews all wrong. You’ve got an employee who does his job well, so you tell him that he is exceeding your expectations.

But aren’t employees supposed to do their jobs well? Should they really be receiving accolades for doing what they are paid to do?

I think not.

June is employee review month at Rose, Snyder & Jacobs. It is a month of reflection, recounting, and projection. One of the tasks of all managers is to evaluate the performance of each of their team members. We have a descriptive grading scale. The top end of the scale is “Outstanding” and then “Very Good.”

The middle descriptor is “At Level.”

At level is for people who are meeting the expectations for that position in all respects.

Here is where some of our managers have a hard time: They want to reward their good employees with some sort of reward. “At Level” doesn’t seem like enough.

Those of us who were in the helicopter-parenting era are used to rewarding any positive behavior and results with vocal reward. Even “mediocre” got some sort of ribbon or trophy.

As employers, though, we never hire people in hopes that they are mediocre. We pay them to do their jobs well. This is what it is expected. “At level” means that you are far, far better than mediocre.

Do you give your employees who are merely doing a good job—what is expected of them—a better review than you should? If so, here is a tip: Sleep on your evaluations and reflect. Does this person exceed the expectations you had when you hired him or her? If so, that upper scale is appropriate.

But if they are merely doing the job you paid them to do, then they are At Level.

And by the way, being At Level is a good thing! It means you are satisfied. It means that you have no problems with their performance, and that they will probably keep their jobs for their foreseeable future.

But let’s be clear with your employees. You can’t earn an “At Level” standing unless you are doing a good job. Your mediocre employees are not performing “At Level.” They are doing worse than your expectations when you hired them.

When you develop a common and mutual understanding with your team, you can begin having useful discussions about how your employees can be more productive. But if you reward what should be expected, mediocrity can become the status quo.

Please, Oh Please: Let the Air Escape!

I have always been a loud talker. The employees who sit in cubicles outside my office can attest to this.
Why, just this morning alone, they heard more than a few expletives that escaped from the walls of my office.

Many of them probably know personal details I have confessed only to a few close friends—albeit it very loudly.

In my defense, though, they also have likely benefited from a good number of jokes that I tell behind closed doors only.Silence...

If given the choice between a loud talker and a quiet talker, though, I will take the booming loud and invasive voice every single time.

Part of this preference is based on the fact that I need hearing aids (thanks to the music I blasted in the sixties), and that I refuse to wear hearing aids because the ambient noise is so disruptive.

Yet, a larger part of this preference is based on the subtext of what I believe it means to be a loud talker versus what it means to speak very quietly.

Is what you are saying important enough to make sure that people hear you? If it is, then for the sake of all of hearing-impaired mankind, speak up! If you say it in a soft, docile voice, then I assume you are simply adding ambient noise and cluttering my peace and quiet with drivel.

I was in a meeting with several colleagues recently, and I spent the entirety of the sixty-minute meeting confused about what one of my colleagues was saying. I simply could not hear him, so I kept asking for clarification. This man happens to be brilliant. He has quite a lot to say, and at each interaction, I become a better-informed employer. But if I did not know him, I would assume that he was lacking confidence about his opinions. Otherwise, why wouldn’t he want to be heard?

As I was trying to listen to him, I began wondering about the ancient Greeks. What the hell did they do before electricity? Before microphones and speakers? They had a lot of theatre back then. Could only the first two rows of audience members hear them?

Was some seventy-year-old sitting in the back row turning to his neighbors and asking, “What? What did he just say?”

No. They used the power of their thoracic diaphragms so that even the hearing-impaired folks like me could hear them.

So I beg of you: Let the damn air escape from your mouth, and say it!

On the Passing of My Son

My son was taken from us on July 27, 2015. He was just one month and one day shy of his twenty-ninth birthday. The loss was extreme and shocking for everyone who knew him—for his mother and his little sister, for his many friends and his girlfriend, and for me.

Before Jonny was born, my wife, Chris, and I were happy. Then Jonny turned us into parents, and in doing so, he conceived a warmer, richer blanket of love than we had ever known. If you are a parent, you know.

Today, twenty-nine years later, it is hard to imagine that there was once a world in which Jonny had never existed. It was an honor to be Jonathan Thomas Rose’s father, and I am, at times, petrified of this new world in which he once again no longer exists.

A few nights ago, Chris and I sat on the porch with our daughter, Katie, discussing all of the people whose lives have been touched by Jonny. On the front of Katie’s mind was one of his childhood friends. Katie shared a series of text messages she exchanged with this friend, who had reached out to Katie for comfort.

The text messages Katie sent to Jonny’s friend said things like:

• “You’re never going to be ready [to accept this and move forward]. There isn’t going to be an exact moment when know you’re ready. It’s a gradual process day in and day out. Every day will just get a little easier.”

• “Take it as a point as reflection: Do you want to be in pain every day or do you want to love life and have life love you back?”

• “Some days may be harder than others but somewhere along the line we’ll find internal peace. We will feel Jonny in the things that connected us to Jonny and know he is with us.”

Sitting on that porch, I was in awe at the depth of Katie’s interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. It is an honor to be Katie’s father, too.

I considered what I could learn about constructive grieving from my 23-year-old daughter’s words. This is what I came up with …

It is easy to choose happiness when the sun is smiling down on you—when your healthy newborn son’s eyes are locked onto yours, when he smiles at you from the rink after winning his first hockey tournament twelve years later, or when he tells you he has fallen in love.

It’s harder to choose happiness when this too-young man dies.

Yet in a time of extreme grief, this is when the choice becomes so much more important.

No matter what the loss—whether it is the loss of a loved one, or something less shocking like the failure of a business—our mettle is tested by whether we choose to surrender to despair or rise from it.

Plenty of bad days have won, and I am certain I will succumb to others. I will lament the unfairness of a father losing his son—of a child dying before the parent he created.

But day in and day out, I will choose to return to this…

There was once a world in which Jonathan Thomas Rose had never existed, but for 28 years, 10 months, and 30 days, I was given a gift of knowing an extraordinary young man.

I will speak of him fondly and often. I will speak of him with love, and I will speak of him with much, much happiness.

New Business Tax Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act

At RSJ, we pride ourselves on staying on top of newly implemented regulations and requirements. As part of its primary purpose to facilitate healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes key tax provisions that affect businesses, and so we felt it is important to share the following reminders with our clients and colleagues.

While many businesses and employers waited to fully implement these provisions until the Supreme Court determined the fate of the health care reform law, the time has come for businesses to prepare to comply with the rules under ACA. Below are some reminders of the tax provisions relating to businesses. Note that the starting date of the reporting requirements, as well as the employer mandate itself, was pushed back from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015.

Shared responsibility payment imposed on certain larger employers

For purposes of the employer shared responsibility payment and reporting requirement, an applicable large employer is an employer that on average employed 100 or more full-time equivalent employees for 2015 and 50 for 2016. The employer mandate specifies that an assessable payment will be imposed on an applicable large employer that:

1. Fails to offer to its full-time employees (and their dependents) the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan; and
2. The employer-sponsored plan is unaffordable relative to an employee’s household income

New reporting requirements

The Affordable Care Act also requires applicable large employers to file information returns with the IRS and provide statements to their full-time employees about the health insurance coverage the employee offered. In general, each applicable large employer may satisfy the information reporting requirement by filing Forms 1094-C and 1095-C beginning in 2016 to report information about its offers of health coverage to its full-time employees for calendar year 2015.

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)

The IRS has provided guidance on the effect the provisions of the ACA have on health reimbursement arrangements where employers reimburse employees for some or all premium expenses incurred. In general, account-based health reimbursement plans that cover more than one employee are considered “group health plans” and are subject to requirements of the ACA. The penalty for maintaining a non-qualifying health reimbursement arrangement is $100 per day. Health reimbursement transition relief is available for small employers (less than 50 full- time equivalent employees) and provides that no penalty will be assessed through June 30, 2015. It is not certain whether the IRS will extend this date to allow additional time for compliance. We recommend addressing any issues as soon as possible.

Employers who wish to help their employees purchase health insurance can either:

1. Establish an ACA- compliant plan; or
2. Increase taxable salaries to help employees purchase individual coverage

Small employer health insurance credit

An enhanced version of the small-employer healthcare credit took effect as of January 1, 2014. A small employer may be eligible for a business credit of up to 50% of premium amounts paid as long as:

1. It has 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
2. The average annual wages of these employees are between $25,000-$50,000
3. Coverage is purchased from the SHOP exchange (this is the small business section of the “ObamaCare” health insurance exchange)

Note that excluded employees are sole proprietors, partners in partnerships, shareholders owning more than 2% of an S corporation, and family members of these owners and partners.

We can help

The majority of businesses fall below the threshold that makes them subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions. However, for some, 2015 is a significant year in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. If you have additional questions related to identifying full-time employees, whether or not you are eligible for a credit, or any other details, please call our office at (818) 461-0600. We will happily assist you.