The New Role of Today’s CFO: We’re way past numbers now!

The New Role of Today’s CFO: We’re way past numbers now!

By Richard T. Balog, CPA\CFF, CIA, CGFM, DACFE, and Rob Tamburri, CPA\PFS

April 22, 2017

The CFO is the financial “partner in strategy,” along with the CEO, COO, CIO and other Senior Managers. Today’s CFO needs the ability to not only manage the financial accounting and reporting aspects of the organization, but to also focus on the multiple and often conflicting roles. Today’s CFO needs skills far different from those of a typical CPA or Corporate Controller. Today’s CFO needs to be both a strategic and tactical thinker. Their basic communication skills need to be far beyond the financial aspects of the company. Today’s CFOs have the responsibility of sharpening and further-developing their “people skills” as well as their management skills to effectively work with your CEO, line executives, shareholders, Boards of Directors, regulatory agencies, employees and the financial community; what some folks define as their “Emotional Intelligence (EI).

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some psychologists suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic. Peter Salovey is the 23rd president of Yale University, and the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology. John D. Mayer is a psychologist at the University of New Hampshire. These gentlemen coined the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ in 1990 describing it as a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.

Salovey and Mayer also initiated a research program intended to develop valid measures of emotional intelligence and to explore its significance. There is little doubt that our emotions have a direct impact on our behaviors. As such our emptions can influence people positively and negatively. The ability to manage our emotions and the emptions of others especially has become a key attribute of today’s CFO. This is especially true in times of high workplace pressure, like year-end close!

For some people, the ability to manage emotions may come naturally, but for others, not so much. However, since the CFO needs to effect change through others, it has become a critical skill set in today’s “politically correct” culture. It is something of which every CFO needs to be aware and develop.

Many “Big Box” seminar companies offer programs that promise to teach you how to “manage your emotion in the workplace”, but as the old adage goes, you can lead a horse to water….The Virtual CFO Practice at Balog + Tamburri is built on our professionals’ ability to separate their emotions from the client’s own situation. The following are some of the key attribute to our successful approach:

  1. Understand the Business: The effective CFO understands that the company does not revolve around finance! The key to any effective business is the proper combination of optimum use of corporate resources allocation and competing resources. CFOs need to fully understand the business in order to properly allocate corporate resources to effectively manage the competing demand for those finite resources. While the CFO typically moves through the “numbers side” of the business, to be effective the CFO needs to “think outside of the box”; the traditional comfort zone of financials; and actually TALK to people! They need to see the company from the eyes of Marketing, HR, IT Production and other disciplines that “don’t speak debit!” They need to actually talk with their peer group, face to face, and learn how others see the “optimum use of resources.”  They need to realize that not everyone manages in terms of financial results.  Plant managers don’t speak “debit,” they speak pounds, and gallons. They need to realize that Variance Reports don’t have to be in dollars and cents.
  1. Think Like a Salesman: This may sound like blasphemy, but it is critical! Today’s effective CFOs must be strong and effective verbal and written communicators. They must be able to give a plant tour as effectively as the Plant Manager. Internal reports need to be understandable by everyone! Be honest and accurate with the facts but also provide insight into the numbers that you have learned to make them understandable. Know the company’s marketing pitch. Be able to talk to customers as well as the external auditors. Be a true leader.
  1. Understand what drives the business: Businesses do not live in a vacuum. Talk to folks to understand the activities and events that cause the numbers to change. During a recent profitability enhancement engagement, a line factory worker asked if someone “could lose their job as a result of the changes?” when I responded “It could happen,” the worker responded by saying “Oh yea?? Well Joe smoked dope on th roof during second shift; and Paula…”  He went on to identify some twenty key issues no one knew about because nobody bothered to ask him. . Today’s effective CFO knows every aspect of the business and what drives each. Look at outside drivers as well. What is happening in the world, local events and the such all impact the business. When was the last time your accountant’s asked a line manager what information he or she needed to get their bonus? It is the non-finance questions that are not being asked: Not “What are we going to spend?” but ask “Why are we going to spend it?” “How will the investment make us more competitive?” When CFOs interact company-wide at a strategic level, they will be able to provide the necessary information that actually adds recurring value, and strengthens the relationship between the company and its decision-makers.
  1. Change the language of your internal reporting: As stated previously, not everyone speaks debit. Get over yourself. You may be comfortable with debits, most others are not. Ask your users what are the decisions they have to make that are difficult or scary. Typically the root cause of poor decision-making is the absence of competent information. Allow the users to develop the internal reporting format and language. Get the right input and the output will be truly value-added.
  1. Listen to others: The secret to any successful leader is the strength of the team of key advisers, and the leader’s willingness to LISTEN to them. Get input from non-financial professionals. Use the diversity of other perspectives to the company’s benefit. Maximize the mutual benefit of the CFO Advisory Team. Don’t just talk numbers. Capitalize on each other’s knowledge, experience and expertise. A good tem has worker bees as well as key executives. Each has a very unique perspective. And above all, get over yourself.  I refer to myself as a “lowly CPA.”  Every effective business is a result of a great team that successfully completed a very complex jigsaw puzzle. No effective CFO ever solved the puzzle alone.

We have been very successful in effecting meaningful change in our clients’ profitability through the use of these skills. Our robust practice has grown and our clients are able to spend more time enjoying the fruits of their business. We believe that our approach to service as our clients’ Virtual CFO has made the difference in their businesses success. Our Firm offers a to-day program entitled The CFO Workshop: Vision, Skills and Focus for the New CFO, that provides training for today’s newly appointed CFO or those veterans who would like to see their role in a new and different light.


For more information contact Rick Balog, Managing Partner, at, or call me directly at 904-945-1220.

Avoid the Tax Scammers

Avoid the Tax Scammers

The Five Top Tax Scams

Late filers can be particularly suseptable to the Bad Boy Tax Scammers out there.  It’s late and your on your 12th coffee.  The scammers prey on late filers and the folks using “Free” tax software.  They are after your refund!  The IRS an approximate 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents, and our clients report these to us as well in ever increasing numbers.Avoid Tax Scammers

Here are the Tips we give our clients to fight the 5 top scams:

Number 1: The Phishing Expedition – BOLO for emails that look like they are from the IRS.  Here’s the secret – The IRS will never email you to collect taxes or to give you a refund!  NEVER!  Never click on any email claiming to fro the IRS.  Most of them are trying to get your SSN and bank info. Call your CPA!

Number 2: – The Threating Phone Call – AGAIN – the IRS will NEVER call you. NEVER!  Any phone call from someone claiming to ne from the IRS is a SCAM. These criminals often threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. The IRS may not be your friend, but they never threaten over the phone.  You also need to watch out for identity theft especially around tax time Get their name if possible and a phone number. Phish them for info, then report them to the IRS – you may be eligible for a reward!! Use IRS Form 211!

Number 3 – The Bogus Charity – It is so sad, but these low-lifes actually pretend they represent a charitable organization that does not exist.  BOLO of charities with names just one word away from a well-known charity. To be safe, never donate over the phone.  Get a website and check them out first.  Never use your credit card.  Use snail mail and write a check. has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations. The link is

Number Four – the Fake Tax Preparer:  This one is particularly bad. BOLO for tax return preparers who will give you a “DEAL.”  Let you in on a secret – Tax Software is VERY EXPENSIVE. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service. There are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.  Be aware of the “cheap” return!  You may lose your house.

Number Five: The Tax Resolution Scam – There are many great and reputable organizations that can lead you out of the Valley of Darkness when you owe a ton to the IRS. Others, not so great.  Be aware of fantastic claims “I owed $300,000 and only paid $200!!  Never Happens!  Get references, check them out first – here is a great link

Preventative Measures You Can Take – To avoid the scammers this  tax season, you need to know what is and isn’t normal. We tend to get nervous when The Man shows up!  We want to do anything they say to make the problem go away. (Remember the feeling with the blue lights are in the mirror???)

The IRS will never:

  1. Call and demand you make an immediate payment to avoid arrest.
  2. Demand you use a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
  3. State that the Feds are on the way to arrest you – the say “But we can make a deal!”.
  4. Demand that you pay taxes now without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  5. Ask for banking information or credit card numbers over the phone.

It is CRITICAL that you only share financial information with a licensed and registered CPA or Financial Planner. You can verify a CPA license with your state department of Licensing and Regulation. Check them out first!  Many tax preparers are not licensed.  The Big Box tax services have “tax professionals” who were hair dressers yesterday, and will be again on April 19th!  CPA’s are personally liable if they cross the line! They are licensed registered and must go through at least 40 hours of training each year.

Pay very close attention to email addresses, and never share financial information through email.

You have the right to be informed, and also the right to appeal any IRS decisions in an independent forum. Have other questions about your rights as a taxpayer? Call us at 904-945-1220 or visit Tax Scammers


How to Get Rich by Reporting Tax Cheats!

How to Get Rich by Reporting Tax Cheats!

Do you ever feel robbed when you see someone cheating on their taxes? Now you can get rich by simply filing an IRS Whistleblower Form 211! And do it On-Line!

The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on people or businesses who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If you provide sufficient information the IRS can use to catch the crook, you can receive up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.

The IRS Whistleblower Office

The Whistleblower Office provides a step-by Step set of instructions for folks who see or suspect someone committing tax fraud. The links is: “”

The IRS will pay forensic whistleblowers who provide specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer. However, you can’t just suspect they are crooks, you need to be able to provide sound and solid information, not speculation. So don’t expect the IRS to help you solve personal problems, go after your Ex, or get even with a business you don’t like.


What are the rules for getting the reward?

There are two types of awards:

  1. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, the reward can be between 15% to 30% of the amount collected.
    1. If the case deals with an individual tax cheat, the perp’s annual gross income must be over $200,000.
  2. If the total amount is less than $2 million, the maximum award is15%.

But remember, the awards are discretionary and the informant cannot dispute the outcome of the claim in Tax Court. The rules for these cases are found at Internal Revenue Code Section 7623(a) – Informant Claims Program. If you decide to submit information and seek an award for doing so, use IRS Form 211. The same form is used for both award programs.

Take advantage of these tax breaks while you can!

Take advantage of these tax breaks while you can!

About Balog+Tamburri CPAs
Rick Balog & Rob Tamburri

At Balog + Tamburri, CPA’s we are constantly scanning the interne for key bits of information for our clients. We just ran across these. Grab these tax breaks before they disappear

The 115th Congress convenes for the first time in 2017, when it’s expected to consider major tax reform. Some tax deductions and credits may be traded for lower overall rates in the reform plans of the Trump administration and the Republican congressional leadership, so tax preparers may want to make sure their clients make the most of them now,

Go to this link for an exhaustive list:

If you would like a no-cost consultation to discuss your personal business tax or accounting challenges, please call Rick Balog at 904-945-1220 in Florida, or Rob Tamburri at 770-804-6403 in Georgia.  to explore our tax planning and preparation services, please click on the following link:

New Intuit Phishing Scam

New Intuit Phishing Scam

Balog + Tamburri  is sounding the “Lookout” alarm for all you users of Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software involving a new email phishing scam targeting. If you receive an email in your inbox with the subject line, “QuickBooks Support: Change Request.”—DON’T OPEN IT!!

This FAKE email claims to be a confirmation from Intuit that you have changed your business name and contains a hyperlink for you to click to cancel the request. If you do, the click unleashes a vicious virus that takes you to a site that downloads malware to their device.  The malware then allows the cyber-criminals to capture passwords and other personal information from your device.

We advise you not to click on this links. We advise that you check the reply email address in such messages by “hovering” over the suspicious-looking link to see where it leads before clicking to make sure it’s going to a Web domain you recognize and trust and not one with a similar-sounding name. You should also consider how Intuit normally contacts you to determine if this is a bogus request.

We are all too familiar with phishing scams. They have become all too commonplace today and not unique to Intuit.  Other Phishing emails can be skillfully constructed to impersonate a company, including using the actual corporate logo. Businesses should ensure that they have structured processes in place to make sure your employees can recognize a Phishing Scam and that they don’t even open emails from unknown senders, and that they know what to do and who to ask before they click.

Tax practitioners have also fallen victims to phishing schemes, and the Internal Revenue Service has periodically sent out warnings about the latest variations on the scams. Fraudsters sometimes purport to be emailing from the IRS or tax software companies to lure victims into divulging passwords or sensitive financial information.

At Balog + Tamburri, CPA’s, we take internet security very seriously.  We constantly advise our clients to ensure that their vital business records and sfe, protected, and proper back-up files are maintained. about-us-pic-revIf you have any questions, or would like to discuss how to enhance your internet and email security, please contact either Rick Balog or Rob Tamburri, at, or call Rick Balog, CPA/CFF, Managing Partner, at 904-945-1220.

Business Gifts and the IRS

Business Gifts and the IRS

Deducting Business Gifts and the IRS Regulations

Giving gifts to clients and customers is often an effective and rewarding activity for marketing your business and for establishing long-lasting and very strong client relations. However, it seems that our friends at the IRS may not support this view. Maybe it is because nobody every gives the IRS gifts!!

All business owners need to be sure that your CPA is maintaining clear and accurate financial and operational information to avoid having your gift become non-deductible on your tax return, or worse yet, having you penalized and face tax penalties and owing interest for improperly deducting gift expenses on your tax return incorrectly.

We have scoured the IRS regulations and developed these Balog + Tamburri ProfitPlus Tax Tips for you.  They include the following:

  1. KNOW WHO QUALIFIES AS A “BUSINESS ASSOCIATE:” In order to deduct the expense as a Business Gift, the recipient of the gift must be a bona fide “Business Associate,” which means there must be a demonstrable business relationship. Allowable recipients can include the following:
  • Clients and/or customers – However gifts given to a customer’s child can be deducted, but it is still considered a gift to the business associate. So your CPA should be careful not to count the same person twice in calculating deductions
  • co-workers
  • suppliers and sub-contractors
  • Service providers (delivery folks, janitorial staff, shared receptionists, etc.}
  1. KEEP PROPER RECORDS: You will need to record the date, name of the recipient and their business relationship, the cost of the gift, and any incidental expenses. NOTE: it is always a good practice to record the business purpose (maintain a customer; maintain relationship with a key supplier, etc.)
  1. KEEP RECEIPTS: When the IRS comes knocking, you must show a receipt to receive a deduction. The IRS does now accept electronic copies, so invest in a scanner. The NEAT scanners work very well.
  1. DEDUCTION LIMITATIONS: Be aware that there are limits to how much you can deduct. Regardless of the actual cost of the business gift, the deduction is limited to only $25 per business gift recipient per year. NOTE:  Business Gift Recipient per year. This means that you can give each person in the client’s company a gift and deduct $25 of the cost – so you will need a listing of their names and exactly what you gave each person.
  1. REMEMBER THE INCIDENTAL COSTS: While only $25 is deductible for business gifts, remember that any incidental expense related to the gift also may be deductible. This could include anything that does not add significantly to the value of the item, such as shipping or engraving costs.
  1. ENTERTAINMENT TICKETS: There is a special twist if you gift a client with entertainment tickets, such as tickets to a football game. If you don’t attend the event with the client, you have the option of treating the tickets as a gift or as an entertainment expense. Gifts of up to $25 are 100 percent deductible, while entertainment expenses are only 50 percent deductible. So, with tickets that cost less than $50, you get a bigger deduction if you treat them as a gift. If they cost more, treat them as an entertainment expense.
  1. NOT BUSINESS GIFTS: There are exceptions:
  • Promotional Items: Any items given as part of a general distribution, having a cost of not more than $4 and on which the giver’s name is clearly and permanently imprinted, and signs, display racks, or other promotional items given to a customer for use on his business premises, are not gifts. Since no amount transferred by or for an employer to or for the benefit of an employee is excludable as a gift no such amount is deductible as a gift for an employee, though it may be deductible under other rules—i.e. as compensation.
  • Anonymous Gifts: Businesses can only deduct the cost of advertising and promotions when these expenses are ordinary and necessary. This means that advertising and promotional expenses are only deductible when they have a clear relationship to the business and its ability to reach customers, manage its brand image or provide information about its products. Efforts such as anonymous sponsorships or donations are not promotional because they fail to represent the business to the consumer, making them ineligible for deductions.
  • Employee Holiday Gifts: If, as a means of promoting goodwill, an employer makes a general distribution to employees of food or other merchandise of nominal value at Christmas or a comparable holiday, the value of the gift isn’t included in the employees’ income.
  • Employee “Cash” Gifts: If you give cash, gift certificates or similar items of readily convertible cash value, the value of the gift is additional wages or salary, regardless of the value. These MUST be included in the employee’s W-2.

If you have any tax questions, you can email me at

Rick Balog Managing Partner Balog + Tamburri, CPA's
Rick Balog
Managing Partner
Balog + Tamburri, CPA’s

Richard T. Balog, CPA is the Managing Partner of Balog + Tamburri, CPA’s with offices in Atlanta, GA, Jacksonville, FL and St. Augustine, FL. His contact information is lited below.


New Pay Data Reporting Requirements Will Cause Employers More Headaches

New Pay Data Reporting Requirements Will Cause Employers More Headaches

Rick Balog Managing Partner Balog + Tamburri, CPA's
Rick Balog
Managing Partner
Balog + Tamburri, CPA’s

New Data Requirements

Beginning in March 2018, the EEOC will require employers to spend even more money to simply report payroll. The new requirements will mandate that employers collect summary employee pay data. The new data will be used to bolster investigations of possible pay discrimination, which drives more employers to dump employees. Can you say higher unemployment?

Specifically, the summary pay data will be added to the annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) that is coordinated with the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). That office collects data from federal contractors and subcontractors.

“Collecting data is a critical step in delivering on the promise of equal pay,” noted the Obama appointee to the office of U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Better data will not only help enforcement agencies do their work, but it helps employers to evaluate their own pay practices to prevent pay discrimination in their workplaces.” this translates to “You can only hire people the government says is OK.”

The EEOC intends to provide support to employers as they transition to the additional reporting. The first deadline for 2017 reports is March 31, 2018, giving employers about a year-and-a-half to prepare.

Who Must Report?

Private employers, including federal contractors and subcontractors with 100 or more employees, must submit the additional data. These employers are prohibited from reporting individual compensation or any personal information, such as Social Security numbers.

Federal contractors and subcontractors with 50 to 99 employees won’t be required to meet the requirement, but they must still report employees by job category as well as by sex, ethnicity and race. Employers with 99 or fewer employees and federal contractors and subcontractors with 49 or fewer employees still won’t have to provide the additional information.

Be aware that the EEOC doesn’t disclose any EEO-1 data for a specific employer. It only publishes large-scale aggregated data in a way that fully protects employer confidentiality and employee privacy. The OFCCP holds  EEO-1 data for federal contractors and subcontractors confidential as dictated by the Freedom of Information Act and Trade Secrets Act.

This is another step the Progressives are using to infuse the socialistic mandates into the lives of business owners. In essence, you can no longer hire the best person for the job, but you must hire the right person to meet an EEOC standard.Employer Information Report

Preparing for The New Impairment Requirements: Practitioner’s View

Preparing for The New Impairment Requirements: Practitioner’s View

Preparing for The New Impairment Requirements: Practitioner’s View BY CHRISTIAN HENKEL AND EMIL LOPEZ Overview An appropriate allowance for loan and lease losses (“ALLL”) covers estimated credit losses inherent in an institution’s loan and lease portfolio. The ALLL represents management’s best estimate of likely net charge-offs that are to be realized for a loan or group of loans, given facts and circumstances as of the evaluation date.1 On April 27, 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) voted to move forward with a new credit impairment model, known as the Current Expected Credit Loss model (CECL), for the recognition and measurement of credit losses for loans and debt securities. The final standard is to expected be released in June 2016 with implementation beginning in 2018. This new standard is far more than an exercise in financial accounting and bank regulation. It will replace the current incurred loss model with an expected loss model, one of the most significant changes in the history of bank accounting.New Impairment Requirements



No delays anticipated in 2017 tax filing season, IRS commissioner says

No delays anticipated in 2017 tax filing season, IRS commissioner says

The IRS will likely begin accepting income tax returns in the upcoming filing season with “no significant delays,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the AICPA National Tax Conference in Washington on Tuesday.Return filing can begin “certainly before the end of January,” Koskinen said, although he did not announce an exact date.The IRS’s ability to start tax season on time partly reflects that the current run-up to tax season, unlike previous ones, is not hampered by uncertainty surrounding the fate of the retroactive extension of expired tax provisions, thanks to the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 (part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, P.L. 114-113).However, for some taxpayers, Koskinen said, the PATH Act will mean delays in receiving refunds. Due to a change to Sec. 6402(m), starting in 2017, refunds for returns claiming an earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit cannot be issued before Feb. 15. Despite this statutorily mandated delay, Koskinen urged return preparers to submit returns as they usually do, and not hold them until after Feb. 15, because that will only put the returns further back in the queue.

Source: No delays anticipated in 2017 tax filing season, IRS commissioner says

Richard T. Balog

Richard T. Balog

CPA/CFF, Managing Partner

Richard T. Balog, CPA/CFF, CIA, CGFM, DACFE is the Managing Partner for the Certified Public Accounting Firm of Balog + Tamburri, LLC. He has been a CPA since 1972.

Mr. Balog manages the conduct of the Firms audit and financial consulting engagements. He specializes in Audit, Accounting, Virtual CFO, Start-Up and Forensic Accounting services. He also has extensive experience in performing “Distressed-Business” Recovery Activities, Internal and Operational Audits, Activity-Based Cost Management and Audit consulting.

Mr. Balog is an internationally-recognized seminar leader in providing audit, accounting, finance and business management professional development for over 30 years. He has won awards from The Institute of Internal Auditors and is currently a “Top 50 Small Business Influencer” in the Jacksonville area.

Read more about Mr. Balog on our Partners and Principals page >>