Thursday, June 25, 2015

We're Hiring - Human Resources Manager

Kessler Orlean Silver (KOS), a 50+ person firm CPA located in Deerfield, IL is looking for a Human Resources Manager. This is a newly-created position and we will consider either full or mostly-full time applicants.

Put your passion into practice! Grow a great career at KOS. Help create a community for professionals who are here for each other. Our friendly, relaxed atmosphere and open door policy will allow you to do outstanding work. We offer a flexible work environment, good benefits and competitive compensation.  

Please send resumes to
Position Responsibilities and Primary Duties:

·         Recruitment

  • Coordinate resume screening and interview process
  • Act as a liaison with college accounting professors, on campus recruiters and the State accounting society; Attend career fairs
  • Establish new hire orientation and onboarding process ensuring a smooth welcoming presence for all new employees
  • Utilize effective recruiting sources and methods to attract and select talented employees while balancing external hiring and internal promotions

 ·         Training

  • Responsible for effective development, coordination and presentation of training and development programs
  • Actively search, creatively design and implement effective methods to educate, enhance performance and recognize performance
  • Schedule training of all new hires
  • Develop and manage a Professional Development Plan for professional staff 

·         Performance Management

  • Ensure employees understand what is expected of them and how they are performing
  • Monitor the performance evaluation process and action plans when performance does not meet expectations
  • Develop feedback and appraisal training for management and staff

·         Employee Relations and Retention

  • Develop and coordinate firm mentoring program
  • Work closely with management and staff to improve relationships, culture and morale, increasing productivity and retention of talent
  • Provide partners, managers and staff with coaching in areas of career advice, conflict management and crucial conversations
  • Collaborate with all levels of management to create a positive environment of trust, teamwork development and entrepreneurship through relationships, coaching and mentoring

·         Human Resource Planning

  • Ensure that we have a pool of talented, qualified and interested staff capable of more advanced responsibility including partnership
  • Maintain knowledge in both state and federal law rules and regulations
  • Liaison with attorneys regarding personnel issues
  • Maintain personnel files

·         Compensation, Benefits and Insurance

  • Prepare payroll for all employees
  • Maintain and update Employee Handbook and firm policies
  • Monitor PTO
  • Handle Medical, Dental and Vision plan, 401(k) HSA and 125 Plan
  • Handle Worker’s Comp. issues and prepare yearly audit


  • The ideal candidate will have 5 or more years of increasingly responsible HR management experience 
  • Prior experience in a CPA firm, or professional service firm, a plus
  • A bachelor’s degree in Human Resources or another closely related field
  • PHR/SPHR preferred
  • Functional knowledge of a broad range of Human Resources disciplines, including: employment onboarding, benefits administration, employee relations, employee reviews and performance management, employee engagement initiatives, training and development and conflict resolution
  • Time management and multi-tasking ability
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to adapt to change and change processes
  • Well developed interpersonal skills; tactful, mature and flexible

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Can I deduct a loan to a friend or family member that goes bad?

This is a question that comes up in our practice from time to time. There are instances when a friend or family member is in need of money whether it is to go to school, start a business or help them in a time of need. We loan the money with the hope that the funds will be returned to us at a time and date when the friend or family member is in a better place financially.

Just like businesses, loans by their very nature carry an element of risk. What happens when that friend or family member never get to that “better place” or due to unforeseen circumstances, they choose not to repay the loan? These non-business bad debts can be deductible on your individual tax return in the year that it’s determined that there is no chance that the loan will be paid back (i.e. death, disability, written notice). 

While we would hope that loans to friends and family would be repaid as originally agreed, we’d like to provide some tips to substantiate your deduction if the need should arise:
  • Intent: If you lend money to a friend or relative without the intent to be repaid, it’s considered a gift and not a loan. Both parties need to agree that this is a loan with the intent to repay it at some future date.
  • Documentation: Loans should be documented in writing and preferably signed by both parties. The documentation should include: date of loan, amount of loan, terms of repayment and interest rate (if any).
  • Follow Up: When the term of the loan is up, there needs to be some sort of attempt to collect payment from the debtor. Documentation of phone calls, e-mails or correspondence should be kept on file along with any responses from the debtor regarding their ability or intent to repay the loan.
If you have a situation where a loan to a friend or family member may not be collectible or you receive a request, please contact your KOS tax advisor for help and tips to structure this in a way that protects your interests in case of a default.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Graduation Season - Here's How to Help Grads Handle Money

Reprint from Financial Engines
by: Jennifer Carole

With Memorial Day 2015 in the books, we are right in the middle of graduation season. While most students are focused on reading, writing and arithmetic, one thing kids may not have learned in school is how to manage money. We’ve pulled together some tips for helping your new grad, regardless of their age.

For college grads

Money magazine offers a comprehensive article for college grads to help them understand topics like budgeting, housing, credit cards, student loans (and how to repay them), working, health insurance, emergencies and last, but not least, saving. There’s something for everyone here, as it covers the basics with tips, apps, and more for setting up a solid financial future. Read the story.

For high school grads

The folks at U.S. News Money provide a list of skills that are appropriate for high school students. – High school is a great time to get grounded in the fundamentals and upon graduation, high school students should know how to do things like track spending, create and follow a budget and make sound buying decisions. Read the story.

For middle school grads (and younger)

You’re never too young to start learning about how money works. For the gaming generation, otherwise known as digital natives, Edutopia has collected a number of online tools that can help your youngster start to play with money and understand how it works. Read the stories – middle schoolers and kids of all ages.

Best of luck to you and your new grad – and congratulations!