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New Jersey Society of CPAs Moves to New Office

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) has moved its office to another location in Roseland, at 105 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 300.

The move provides a larger and more technologically advanced educational learning center for continuing professional education classes, streaming capabilities for meetings, webinars and seminars, and a more modern facility for networking and social gatherings.

“We welcome all of our members and nonmembers alike to come visit our new location, take a class, meet some colleagues and engage with our staff,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director, NJCPA. To see photos of the new location, visit njcpa.org/move.

More news from the New Jersey Society of CPAs

New Jersey Society of CPAs Names Deloitte’s Kyle Sell President

Kyle Sell

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) has named Kyle Sell, audit and assurance partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Parsippany, N.J., president for the 2019/2020 term.

Since joining the NJCPA in 2004, Sell has served on numerous committees and interest groups. From interviewing NJCPA scholarship candidates interested in the accounting profession to teaching at his alma mater, Lafayette College, he knows first-hand how to inform the next generation about the benefits of becoming a CPA. As president, he will focus on engaging more young professionals as well as work to ensure the accounting field remains open and diverse to all.

“Taking on the role of president seems to be a natural fit for Kyle, whose dedication to the next generation and to furthering the profession are truly commendable,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, executive director at the NJCPA. He succeeds Sarah Krom, MP of SKC & Co. CPAs, in Boonton Township, N.J., who served as president for the 2018/2019 year.

More news from the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants

Krom Elected as President of New Jersey Society of CPAs

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom

Sarah Krom, MP, SKC and Co. CPAs LLC, was elected as the president of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) for the 2018-2019 term. She is the youngest to hold the office at age 35 and is the third female president.

Krom joined the NJCPA in 2003. She is also a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and previously chaired the Young CPAs Council, which is now called the Emerging Leaders Council. In 2011, she was selected by NJCPA as one of the “30 most influential CPAs under 30,” and in both 2012 and 2016 she was recognized as an NJCPA “Woman of Note.”

“Her energy and drive are welcomed at the Society and by all members alike. We are excited to have her leadership, expertise and commitment on board,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA. Krom replaced Edward Guttenplan, MP at Wilkin & Guttenplan PC.

2018-2019 NJCPA Board of Trustees

  • President: Sarah Krom — SKC and Co. CPAs LLC
  • President-Elect: Kyle Sell — Deloitte & Touche LLP
  • Secretary: Edward O’Connell — WithumSmith+Brown
  • Treasurer: Harry P. Wills III — Bowman & Company LLP
  • Immediate Past President: Edward I. Guttenplan — Wilkin & Guttenplan PC
  • CEO & Executive Director: Ralph Albert Thomas — New Jersey Society of CPAs
  • Trustees:
    • Jordan D. Amin — EisnerAmper LLP
    • Gregory A. Bedard — Prudential Financial
    • Amy Y. Both — Neral & Company PA
    • Robert J. Brown Jr. — Cowan Gunteski & Co. PA
    • Melanie A. Cobb — Abacus Financial LLC
    • Michael Coletti — Mazars USA LLP
    • Jason Lauretta — ADP
    • Kathleen Powers — Matheny Medical and Educational Center
    • Justin O’Horo — WithumSmith+Brown
    • Megan A. Sartor — Sax LLP
    • Shaune Scutellaro — CohnReznick LLP
    • June Toth — ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting LLC

New Jersey Society of CPAs Names Brasch as New President

Walter BraschWalter Brasch, partner and chief business development officer at New York-based PFK O’Connor Davies (FY15 net revenue of $123 million) began his one-year term as NJCPA president June 1.

Brasch joined the NJCPA in 1977. He has served on the NJCPA Board of Trustees as a trustee, treasurer, secretary and president-elect. He is a member of the NJCPA Finance and Retirement Savings Plan committees and is an Education Foundation and Scholarship Fund trustee. Brasch was chair of the NJ-CPA-PAC and has also served as president, vice president, secretary and director of the NJCPA Monmouth/Ocean Chapter.

In his community, Brasch served as board chair of the Raritan Bay Medical Center, alumni association president of Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) and board member of the American Cancer Society and the Boy Scouts of America, Monmouth Council. He is a recipient of the CBA Alumnus of the Year Award and currently serves on the board of CBA. He also serves as an associate member of the Audit Committee of Monmouth University and a fundraising committee member for the Raritan Bay Health Care Foundation.

Guttenplan Elected Secretary of the New Jersey Society of CPAs

Edward Guttenplan

Edward Guttenplan

Edward Guttenplan has been elected secretary of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) for a one-year term beginning June 1.

Guttenplan, managing shareholder at Wilkin & Guttenplan (FY12 net revenue of $12.3 million) of East Brunswick, N.J., joined the NJSCPA in 1981. He has served on the NJSCPA board of trustees and is a member of the NJSCPA student programs and scholarships committee.

New Jersey CPA Society Honors Genz For Distinguished Service to the Profession

John Genz

John Genz

New York-based Citrin Cooperman (FY14 net revenue of $173 million) announces that partner John Genz has received the Distinguished Service Medallion from the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA).

The medallion honors those who “exceed expectations and set the standard of excellence for others to follow.” Genz served as president of the NJCPA Monmouth Ocean Chapter for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, served on the state board of trustees from 2007-2009 and was state secretary in 2010.

Frank Boutilette, president of the NJCPA and a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, presented the medallion to Genz at the NJCPA Monmouth/Ocean Chapter Annual Tax Seminar on Jan. 9.

“John has proven his dedication to the accounting profession through his various leadership roles in the NJCPA, such as Monmouth/Ocean Chapter president, NJCPA board of trustees secretary and chair of numerous tax committees,” says Boutilette.  “As each of his terms ended, John eagerly looked for new ways to volunteer and advance the profession. Recently, he gave an excellent summary of the new tax regulations at a NJCPA all-day tax seminar.”

“I was pleasantly surprised and deeply honored by this recognition,” says Genz. “The society has given me so much, it would be difficult to repay, and I’m proud to continue working with Frank and the NJCPA for the good of the industry and its members.”

New Jersey CPAs Agree U.S. Student Loan Debt is Financial Crisis

More than 80% of 623 CPAs polled in June by the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) said they either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that student loan debt at $1.6 trillion in the United States is a financial crisis.

More than 75% of respondents considered student loan debt in New Jersey to be a “major problem.”

Poll respondents said their clients have put off major life decisions and purchases due to their high student loan debt. Of the nearly 270 respondents who said they knew someone who delayed this kind of decision or purchase, 80% said they put off buying a home and an almost equal number said they chose not to save for retirement. More than 65% put off saving for emergencies, while 42% put off getting married and 39% delayed having children.

Suggested solutions:

  • Federal and state governments limit public college price increases – Schools, for example, should have to publicly report the amount of funds on hand and used for infrastructure each year as excess funds should be used to lower tuition. Respondents also recommended limiting tuition percentage annual increases for any institution for which students use student loans to attend.
  • Companies help reduce student loan debt – Companies can offer employees bonuses to pay their student loan obligations. The federal government could also give a tax deduction to an employer who offers to pay off part of an employee’s student loan debt up to a limit of their 401(k).

“The poll is a telling sign that student loan debt is a major problem in the United States. New Jersey’s legislature needs to recognize this and welcome programs and initiatives to shrink student loan debt, particularly if they want young professionals to remain in the state,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at NJCPA.

More news from the New Jersey CPAs

New Jersey CPAs Say Minimum Wage Should Be Raised, But Not to $15

More than 55% of the 1,204 New Jersey CPAs surveyed earlier this month by the New Jersey Society of CPAs support raising the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.60 per hour, or $8.85 starting Jan. 1.

However, if the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour – even over a period of years – 63% of those surveyed said it would hurt the state’s economy.

The majority of those surveyed supported a minimum wage hike even without exemptions for seasonal or teenage workers. Nearly 50% of survey respondents said such exemptions would not affect their opinion. Yet, 32% said they would be more likely to support a gradual minimum wage hike to $15 with the exemptions included.

Gov. Phil Murphy is in favor of having a $15 minimum wage in the state without any exemptions, but opponents and others have supported the exemptions to get more widespread acceptance of the full hike. New Jersey’s current minimum wage also excludes employees who are tipped, student workers and other exempt occupations.

Raising the minimum wage will have an inflationary impact, causing ripple effects which will impact consumers, and ultimately drive businesses out of New Jersey, say respondents, according to NJCPA. As one commented, raising the minimum wage is “nothing more than a short-term stop gap…It’s a false front for the politicians, not a true economic creator or benefit.”

Any wage hike should also be indexed to reflect the difference in cost of living in various New Jersey communities, according to respondents. Several cited the need for the wages to remain below $15, though increased from its current level, as it is a minimum wage designed for entry-level workers and not a living wage to support a family.

Many Paid More in Federal Taxes This Tax Season: NJCPA Survey

In a New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (NJCPA) survey of more than 500 CPAs taken after tax season in April, an average of 36% of their clients paid more in federal taxes in 2018.

The NJCPA conducted the survey to determine the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on individual and family clients’ federal tax liability this tax season. Nearly 60% of respondents said that the TCJA either “definitely” or “somewhat” increased the number of clients that they would advise to leave the state. The TCJA’s cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions has led many taxpayers to consider selling property or leaving the state.

More than 75% of respondents noted that this tax season was worse than prior years, with 34% noting that it was the “worst tax season ever.” Additionally, nearly 30% of the CPAs surveyed said they counseled “most” of their clients to adjust their withholdings in 2019 based on their 2018 tax returns, while 24% said they counseled “almost all” of their clients to adjust.

“Surveys like these show the value that CPAs bring to the table and the importance of tax consequences on individuals and corporations,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director of the NJCPA. “New Jersey is high-tax state, and our residents did not benefit nearly as much from the tax reform package as many other states. We need to work together on both the federal and state levels to improve the tax inequities so that individuals and companies will stay in New Jersey and thrive.”

N.J. CPA Poll: Almost 70% Have Outstanding Student Loans

Robert Albert

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) says that nearly 70% of the 109 respondents in a member survey last month carry student loan debt. Of those who provided data, close to 75% cited more than $20,000 in debt.

About half of the respondents are between the ages of 26 and 30, with 21% between age 31 and 35. The majority of survey participants (67%) said they expect to pay off their student loan debt within 10 years, while 19% said it will take more than 15 years to pay off their debt.

Because of the debt, more than 80% of the respondents said they are equally considering either moving to where the cost of living is less (43%) or taking a second job (43%). More than 25% said they would consider borrowing money from family or friends to pay down debt.

“Student loan debt is so pervasive today that young professionals in a variety of careers, including accounting, face considerable challenges,” says Ralph Albert Thomas, executive director of NJCPA. “The survey should enlighten accounting firms and other corporations who employ these professionals as to how much debt they have and see if they can help to alleviate that burden.”