Authors contributing to the January 2014 issue

Buckle Up for Tax Season page 28
Paul Bonner is a senior editor for tax-related articles and items for the JofA and The Tax Adviser.

Engagement Letters for the Individual Tax Practitioner page 32
John F. Raspante, CPA, MST, CDFA, is a senior vice president and director of risk management at North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency (NAPLIA) in Framingham, Mass., and previously for nine years with CAMICO Mutual Insurance Co. He has written previously for the JofA (with Joseph A. Tarasco) “Traps for the Unwary in CPA Firm Mergers and Acquisitions,” Aug. 2011, page 36; (with Arthur Garcia) “Checklist: Divorce Settlement Issues,” Jan. 2011, page 20; and “An Ethics Quiz,” Aug. 2002, page 41.

Stephen Vono is vice president–CFO and a founding owner of NAPLIA. He has worked in professional liability for 15 years and has advocated for and advised accounting firms on risk management issues. He is responsible for NAPLIA’s sales and marketing efforts on a national level.

Are Courts Ready to Protect More Accountant-Client Communications? page 36
Stuart J. Bassin, J.D., is a partner in the Washington office of law firm BakerHostetler and leads the firm’s Tax Litigation Practice. His practice focuses on representing corporations and individuals in tax litigation in federal court. He also represents taxpayers in audit and other administrative disputes with the IRS.

William DeVinney, J.D., counsel in the Washington office of BakerHostetler, has broad experience in complex litigation. He has represented clients in antitrust, intellectual property, securities, international trade, white-collar crime, and general commercial matters. He has argued before appellate courts, administrative law judges, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Alternative Deal Structures for Succession page 42
Joel Sinkin is president of Transition Advisors LLC in New York City. The firm exclusively consults on ownership transition for public accounting firms, providing advice on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and partnership agreement issues. He has been involved with and consulted on hundreds of successful closings of accounting firm mergers and acquisitions over the past 20 years, has taught CPE courses for state and national accounting associations around the country, and has published books and articles nationally, including the new book CPA Firm Mergers and Acquisitions with co-author Terrence Putney. He also is an editorial adviser to the AICPA newsletter Small Firm Solutions.

Terrence Putney, CPA, is CEO of Transition Advisors LLC. In that role, he has been involved with and consulted on hundreds of accounting firm mergers and acquisitions and also has consulted on succession planning strategies for partners of firms. He has more than 30 years of experience in the CPA profession, including as a managing director of mergers and acquisitions for one of the largest national accounting firms and managing partner of a midsize Midwest CPA firm. He is co-author, with Joel Sinkin, of the new book CPA Firm Mergers and Acquisitions and has been frequently published in the JofA in addition to many other accounting profession trade publications. He also is a member of The CPA Consultants’ Alliance.

Unstructured Data: How to Implement an Early Warning System for Hidden Risks page 46
Christopher S. Beach, CPA/CFF, CGMA, is managing director of Beach Analytics LLC in Woodlands, Texas. He has more than 30 years of experience in providing support to counsel and companies in fact-finding and quantitative analysis on claims, disputes, litigation, and investigations. He began using electronic data analytics and artificial intelligence more than a decade ago on dispute investigative work.

William R. Schiefelbein, J.D., is managing director of consulting and chief strategy officer for TechLaw Solutions Inc. in Chantilly, Va. He has 25 years of experience in law, technology, and electronic discovery, as a chief information officer and consulting practice leader. He has implemented unstructured data solutions and analytics for more than 20 years.


Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.


What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.