Why is credit card surcharge an issue for businesses?

The credit card surcharge issue has always been a tricky one in the US. Back in 2005, this issue was the subject of an antitrust lawsuit, and the resultant judgment, which came in mid-2012 prohibited credit card surcharge in ten States. Another 12 States are in the process of implementing their laws.

Although credit card regulations have traditionally opposed surcharging; companies have been circumventing merchant rules to ensure that credit card surcharge continues to be made. Even as State laws will continue to override networks merchant rules; companies have been looking out for ways to skirt the laws.

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The credit card surcharging issue in the US

Why is credit card surcharge an issue for businesses? It is because the credit card surcharge is the last link in the payment chain and causes a business that makes use of this facility to incur expenses. In simple terms, this is the checkout fee that gets added to every consumer’s shopping bill whenever a credit card is used to make payments for the purchases made at the business. Businesses are not willing to bear this expense and like to pass it on to the consumer.

The court judgment of 2012 permitted charging of credit card surcharge for certain card transactions from January 2013. As a result, there has been a change in not only merchant processing transactions but also of credit card usage. The settlement makes it mandatory for businesses that levy the credit card surcharge to follow requirements relating to consumer disclosure and to set limits on the amounts for which the surcharge is collected.

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They should also notify Visa and their acquirer of their decision to charge credit card surcharge a month before they begin to levy the surcharge. These rules vary from State to State, and the business is free to choose which brands of its outlet it wants to keep the credit card surcharge.

Clear the confusions about the issue

A more detailed and clear understanding of this topic will be offered at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. Ray Graber, a highly experienced professional in the payment industry, who brings deep and profound understanding of the way banking and finance converge with technology, will be the speaker at this webinar.

Please register for this webinar by visiting What are the Stipulations for Compliance

Clarifying the important issues relating to credit card surcharging

Ray Graber will offer clarity on the changes in the rules and will explain who benefits from the changes, and how these changes are going to affect the retailers and customers. He will explain the perils of an uninformed reaction to surcharging by end-user organizations. He will show why it is important to first look at the big picture of credit card surcharging, since end-users should also educate suppliers about the economics of card acceptance, pointing out the savings possible and other benefits. Suppliers should not be adding a surcharge when they are reaping the rewards. Ray will explain how they might overlook the benefits of card acceptance, as well as the cost of other payment methods like checks and cash.

Being of high value and importance to every level of employee who works in the credit card industry, such as financial officers, small business owners, corporate risk officers, internal auditors, operational risk managers, credit card program administrators, CPA’s and attorneys and legal staff; this session will cover the following areas:

  • What changed in the rules?
  • Why did it change?
  • What rules apply to surcharge?
  • Survey results
  • Who may benefit?
  • Will this change anything?

An effective internal audit program is indispensable for continuous improvement

Both the ISO and the FDA require an internal audit program of an organization’s Quality Management Systems. This is a core requirement. The simplest way to understand an internal audit system is that it is a tool to assess or inspect an organization’s Quality System.

Apart from helping organizations to fulfill the requirements of auditing set out by the ISO and the FDA and other regulatory bodies, audits, be they internal or external; carry manifold advantages. These are some of them:

o  Organizations can apply best practices relevant to their industry through audits

o  Audits help organizations to identify where they need to improve

o  Audits play a stellar role in ensuring the quality of products, which leads to enhance customer satisfaction

o  They help organizations to take preventive actions with which bigger problems can be checked

Most organizations think of audits as an unpleasant duty

Although internal and external audits are considered so useful; it is a fact that most organizations carry them out only because it is thrust upon them. Most companies lack the conviction and volition for an audit, and drag their feet when it comes to this important task. The many benefits of an audit program are usually overlooked by 75% of companies.

What happens to organizations that are not diligent when it comes to carrying out audits? They are sure to receive penal actions from the FDA, which range from Warning Letters, 483’s to penalties to Consent Decree.

Learning session on ways of getting internal audits right

In order to help organizations get their internal and external audits right, Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will be organizing a webinar. The purpose of this session is to help professionals who need to carry out an internal audit for their organization, get it right.

The speaker at this seminar is Susanne Manz, Quality and Compliance Expert/Auditor for Medical Devices, Manz Consulting, Inc., who is an accomplished leader in the medical device industry with emphasis on quality, compliance, and Six Sigma. Participants that want to get a clear and total understanding of the rationale for carrying out audits and of the ways for get them right can enroll for this webinar by visiting http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501303LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

An explanation of the ins and outs of auditing

Susanne will equip participants with the knowledge needed for audit professionals in organizations to put an effective and compliant audit program in place. She will help them understand what it takes to carry out a solid and thorough quality audit program that meets regulatory requirements by first being able to identify the red flags. This is the groundwork for understanding, reducing and communicating risks associated with quality and compliance.

Susanne will cover the following areas at this session:

o  Using a structured program to identify areas of risk leading to an effective audit strategy

o  How to develop a meaningful structure of audit, oversight, transparent communication, and escalation to management review

o  How to ensure your audit staff is well trained to proactively identify, communicate, and escalate issues

o  How a culture of quality and compliance can encourage clear and transparent communication of risk

o  How to prioritize, resource, and implement corrective actions

o  Tools for monitoring and communicating risk and improvement over time

o  How to identify residual risk

o  Monitoring and Controlling progress over time

o  Signs that your company culture is taking unnecessary compliance or quality risk

o  How to ensure management gets valuable information from your audit program

o  How to prioritize, resource, and implement corrective actions

o  Tools for monitoring and communicating risk and improvement over time.

Most common mistake is failure to prepare Form 1099-MISC

The IRS 1099-MISC form is one of the very important forms that need to be filled by a number of entities such as businesses, estates, trusts and non-profits at the end of each calendar year.

The IRS 1099-MISC is filed and filed for each person to whom a payment has been made during the year:

  • royalties or payments made to brokers for a value of at least $ 10 in place of dividends or interest that is tax-exempt;
  • payment of not less than $600 in the following categories:
  • rents
  • services carried out by a non-employee
  • awards and prizes
  • income payments from other sources
  • payments for healthcare and medical items
  • proceeds from crop insurance
  • payments made in cash to buy aquatic creatures from a person who is in that business or trade
  • payment made from a notional principal contract to either an estate, partnership or individual;
  • attorney fees
  • proceeds from a fishing boat
  • Direct sales of consumer products of a value of not less than $5,000 made to a buyer and meant for resale in any outlet that does not qualify to be a permanent, regular retail establishment.

Areas in which mistakes are made in filling up IRS 1099-MISC

The fact is that the IRS 1099-MISC form is the IRS 1099 form that comes with the maximum errors. Why is this so? What are the kinds of errors that people who file the IRS 1099-MISC are most prone to?

Among the most important areas in which people make errors most commonly in the IRS 1099-MISC form are these:

–       Mismatch between the payee’s name and the payee’s Identification Number, with confusion over the Social Security Number, or Taxpayer’s Identification Number, or Employer’s Identification Number. In many cases, the amount is seldom entered incorrectly in the provided boxes

–       Many people make errors in preparing Form 1099-MISC for payment of services of a value of over $600

–       Another major area in which errors occur in filling up IRS 1099-MISC is in the section in which to fill up the requisite amount, whether in Block 3, Block 7 Nonemployee Compensation, or Other Income.

Get to understand the proper method of preparing, filling and filing IRS 1099-MISC

It is to help overcome these fallacies that Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance will be organizing a learning session. At this webinar, which will be spread over 90 minutes, Greta Hicks, a former IRS Revenue Agent and Regional Training Coordinator, the author of IRS Examination and Appeals Procedures, and pilot tester of on-line continuing education courses for Checkpoint Learning, will be the speaker.

Want to gain insights into the workings of the IRS 1099-MISC?

Then, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501195LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

At this session, Greta will equip participants with the timeframe required for preparing to file for IRS 1099-MISC. She will state the correct methods of preparing for and filing these forms. By the time participants complete this course, they will have had a clear understanding of how to evaluate the W9 and prepare an IRS 1099-MISC with all the blocks appropriately ticked and completed, with suggestions about the content of each of these boxes. They will be able to select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC, will gain the confidence required to ensure that the Name and EIN, ID, and SSN match, and also be able to ensure that amounts are in the correct block.

To help participants get a clear idea of filing for IRS 1099-MISC, she will explain the following:

o  Review W-9 for accuracy and completeness

o  Match W-9 SSN, EIN, and TIN to IRS records

o  Entities that should send 1099 MISC

o  Entities who should receive a 1099-MISC

o  Block by block instructions of 1099-MISC.

At this webinar, Greta will cover the following areas:

o  What name and EIN/SSN goes on the 1099-MISC?

o  How do I know what amount goes in which block?

o  Example: Block 3, Other Income, versus Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation

o  Example: Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation Paid to Attorneys or Block, 14, Gross Proceeds Paid to an Attorney

o  Example: Block 6, Medical and Health Care Payments

o  Select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1099misc

Taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has guidelines and laws for the way fringe benefits have to be taxed. First, an introduction to fringe benefits: Anything that is in addition to a person’s regular salary may be termed a fringe benefit. It is usually linked to an employee’s performance. Some of the common types of fringe benefits include children’s education, vehicle for commuting to the workplace and back, health insurance, retirement benefits and many others.

The IRS taxes certain kinds of fringe benefits that come under designated categories, while some other kinds of fringe benefits are not taxed. Taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits are a major aspect of taxation laws in the US and have to be implemented in strict accordance with what is set out in the law. There is a long list of taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits.

A few examples of nontaxable fringe benefits

Stock options, employee discounts, savings that are made for retirement planning and other related benefits are part of nontaxable fringe benefits. Also, certain types of De Minimis benefits, depending on their value, need not be accounted for and filed under W-2.

A few examples of taxable fringe benefits

Other fringe benefits like accident benefit, vehicle that is provided from an employer and is for personal use, expenses incurred on vacation, and many other types of benefits are taxable and have to be accounted for and filed.

When declaring and filing these, the right method has to be followed. Filing for the said taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits has to be done under the appropriate head, following the right procedures. The right knowledge has to go into understanding what to consider as taxable fringe benefits and what to classify as nontaxable fringe benefits. Claiming the fair market value of taxable fringe benefits is of the essence in making the declaration of taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits.

Get to understand how to follow the right procedures for taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits

To gain a complete understanding of these aspects of the IRS, please enroll for a valuable webinar from Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. This session will give a complete understanding of how to classify taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits.

At this important webinar, Greta Hicks, who is a former IRS Revenue Agent and Regional Training Coordinator, will be the speaker. She will take participants through all the important aspects of taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits that will help them understand how to get this right. To gain insights into how to get taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits right, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501196LIVE?Linkedin-SEO

Learn about the taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits to avoid penalties

This webinar is highly useful for those who have some confusion about taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits. Since there are many items that are classified under both taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits; clarity on each of these will go a long way in helping to understand the correct method of filing.

The learning from this webinar is important also because not only are the wrong expenses may disallowed by the IRS; filing under the wrong classification could result in penalties, too. Greta will offer complete clarity on benefits that can be hid in Sections 274, 162, 119, 132, 127, and 82. She will also give an understanding of numerous Announcements, Notices and Regulations, all of which have to be assiduously adhered to.

In addition, she discuss a few areas of taxable and nontaxable fringe benefits that offer scope for ambiguity, such as:

o  What are taxable and non-taxable as wages?

o  Are meal allowances nontaxable?

o  Are travel allowances nontaxable?

o  What other benefits are nontaxable wages?

o  What meals are 100% deductible and nontaxable to employees?

o  What meals are 80% deductible and nontaxable to employees?

o  What meals and entertainment are 50% deductible and nontaxable to employees?

At this session, Greta will cover the following areas:

o      Which benefits go on the w-2?

o      Do any benefits go on a 1099?

o      Fringe benefits you might be missing

o      Accountable employee reimbursement plan

o      What employee benefits are non-taxable to employees?

o      What/when expenditures are wages to employees?

Fringe Benefit Examples and How They Relate to W2 and 1099 preparation:

o      Accountable vs non-Accountable Expense Reimbursement Plans

o      Record keeping requirements of Sec. 274 & Accountable Plans

o      50%, 80%, and 100% Deductible Meals

o      De Minimis fringe benefits

o      No added cost benefits

o      Cash payments

o      Auto allowances

o      Company vehicles

o      Prizes, awards, gifts

https://www.hr360.com/Employee-Benefits/Fringe-Benefits/Introduction-to-Fringe-Benefits.aspx

https://www.paychex.com/articles/finance/taxable-vs-nontaxable-fringe-benefits

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/list-nontaxable-fringe-benefits-21172.html

http://www.moneycrashers.com/taxable-fringe-benefits-income/

https://justworks.com/blog/ins-outs-fringe-benefits-non-taxable

Understanding and handling payment issues

A financial organization, or an organization involved in any business for that matter, faces the prospect of receiving duplicate, fraudulent or late payments. These are the typical payment issues an organization is likely to face at some point of time in its business.

Payment issues are something almost no organization is likely to be free from. Duplicate invoice payments, just one of the payment issues an organization is likely to face, account for losses of something like $100 million over a three-year period just for medium sized organizations. The amount is likely to be several times higher for large companies and those in the public sector, which most likely deal with billions of dollars in transactions.

Payment issues have their implications

The consequence of payment issues, be they duplicate, fraudulent or late payments, is whopping. It is likely to lead to business losses, because late payments, for instance, hinder investment into other productive activities by businesses. Although there are a number of sources at which payment issues can happen; it usually takes an organization quite a while to detect any payment issue, which could be duplicate, fraudulent or late payments. It also takes herculean efforts at times to get to the bottom of the payment issues.

Payment issues can happen due to a number of reasons

There is any number of reasons for which payment issues could arise. Manual data entry and processing, possible overlooking of characters while entering Accounts Payable (AP) or by Automated Clearinghouses (ACH) processors, oversights by manual checks and overlapping or duplication of payments while making payments from varied sources are just some of the reasons for which payment issues can occur with businesses.

Although the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Act has put in a number of checks and balances into the payment aspect of corporations; there are still a good number of loopholes that need to be e plugged if payment issues have to be addressed. How do organizations, especially those in finance, mitigate payment issues? What steps do they need to take to understand the regulations set out by the SOX Act, or take their own measures to prevent payment issues arising out of duplicate, fraudulent or late payments?

Learn the aspects of payment issues at a learning session

All these will be addressed at a very valuable learning session on this topic. The webinar, being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will have Ray Graber as speaker.

Ray is a senior BFSI professional who brings a deep and thorough understanding of banking, technology, and finance. To hear from him on how to understand and address payment issues such as duplicate, fraudulent or late payments; just register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501138?Wordpress-SEO

Insights for understanding payment issues

At this webinar, Ray will help participants understand how to foresee payments issues and strategize solutions. He will offer suggestions about how to put risk management plans in place to do this. The suggestions Ray will offer at this webinar will help participants from banks and corporations to get a clearer understanding of each other’s concerns and constraints, and ways of addressing them.

This session will arm them with the tools necessary for accurately auditing their existent processes and limit the potential for fraud. He will teach them how to understand the settlement process, which is part of the banking business. In other words, attending this session will equip participants with the insight needed for understanding payment issues and tackle them in relation to duplicate, fraudulent or late payments.

At this session, Ray will cover the following areas:

o  Payment System Risk Policy

o  FFIEC Action Summary for Retail Payments

o  Areas of Risk

o  Risk Assessment Activities

o  People, Processes, and Products

o  Is there an optimal organizational structure/for managing payments strategy?

o  Are there best practices that apply to my institution?

o  What are the hurdles in establishing an organization focused on the payments business?

o  Are there common pitfalls?

http://www.infor.com/content/whitepapers/detecting-prev-dup-invoice.pdf/

Analyzing financial statements is an indispensable insight for managers

Financial statements are the ultimate indicator of a company’s financial health. Number crunching is a very important exercise that all executives at all levels of an organization need to be familiar with. Yet, given the heavy jargon that goes into financial statements and the complexity most of them have; many managers feel put off and don’t generally like to pore over financial statements.

The company’s financial statement is intended to provide insights into the most important aspect of the business –the financial one –to managers and executives at all levels and in all disciplines. Marketing, finance, HR, customer service, and sales need financial statements to get a grasp of and gain perspective of the financial health of the organization.

Financial statements are critical for helping understand the business

Despite financial statements being the surest indicator of the most important aspect of any business organization –Finance –most managers lack the perceptiveness needed to understand and analyze the meaning of numbers. It is often that they devote some much time to running their business that the priority that needs to be accorded to understanding financial statements gets buried and takes a backseat.

A perceptive analysis of financial statements is the foundation to getting the business in order. Wading through the numbers helps the organization to dig into the market trends, understand where they are getting it right or wrong, and then use financial statements to draw proper conclusions and take appropriate action. It is important to understand financial statements for another critical reason: The competition should not understand our financial statements faster and better than we do!

Trend and ration analysis of financial statements

But how does one make sense of heaps and heaps of seemingly unintelligible numbers? Numbers in themselves, without the necessary nous to decipher them, make little sense to any executive. A few techniques do exist to help understand the meaning of numbers. An effective model for assessing the financial condition and results of operations of any business is that of using trend and ratio analysis. Getting a grasp of this model will empower financial and other executive teams to derive the maximum benefit that accrues from a crystal clear understanding of financial statements.

Imparting this understanding is the intent of a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all areas of regulatory compliance. Miles Hutchinson, an experienced CGMA and business adviser, will be the speaker at this session.

In easily comprehensible terms, he will explain how participants can imbibe the sagacity needed to quickly and thoroughly analyze the financial condition and results of operations of any publicly traded company. All that is needed to gain this highly useful understanding of financial statements is to register for this webinar by logging on to

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501197LIVE?wordpress-SEO

Attending this highly useful session on financial statements gives Financial Executives, HR Managers, Accounting Managers, Department Managers, and Business Unit Managers the ability to discern numbers and help understand where these numbers lead the organization to.

These are the areas this webinar on financial statements will cover:

o  Review the components of the annual report of a prominent publicly traded company and learn how to use this wealth of information

o  Use the annual report to perform a fundamental financial analysis

o  Learn the various types of financial analysis and their purpose

o  Learn the key ratios to evaluate a company’s liquidity, leverage and operating performance

o  Identify the key benchmarks to help determine whether a company’s ratios are in line with competitors

o  Understand horizontal and vertical analysis and how they can be used to identify key trends

o  Bonus: receive our advanced excel hosted financial model complete with all ratios, horizontal and vertical analysis

o  Use our model to perform financial analysis on other company financial statements, including yours

o  Receive benchmark information to use in determining the quality of your analyses

Learn about resources available to perform comparative studies between companies in the same economic sector – even private companies.