Professional referrals

Following is a slightly updated list of professional firms I keep on hand for those occasions when I am asked for a referral.

Previously posted on April 1, 2013. Updated with two new legal firms on April 1, 2024.

I frequently get requests from colleagues for names of other professionals who could assist with particular client needs.

As a public service to the wider CPA community, I thought it would be helpful to publish a list of the firms I mention most often.


Federal mileage rates for 2024.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The IRS has issued mileage rates for 2024.

Starting January 1, 2024, the standard mileage rates will be:

  • 67.0 cents per mile for business use, which is up from 65.5 cents for 2023.  The business mileage rate was 58.5 cents in 2022.
  • 21 cents per mile for medical and moving, which is down 1 cent from 2023..
  • 14 cents per mile for services provided to charitable organizations, which rate was set by Congress in legislation.

Rates were published in Notice 2024-08, 2024 Standard Mileage Rates[JU1] .


9/11: Never Forget

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For my remembrance of the 9/11 attacks during which 2,996 Americans were slaughtered by 19 terrorists, my family watched 9/11: The Filmmakers’ Commemorative Edition.

The movie started as a documentary following one rookie New York firefighter through training and his nine months of probation.  In doing so, the two filmmakers were following an engine company on a call when the first hijacked airplane hit. The strike was on camera.

Declaration of Independence

The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original. Courtesy of the National Archives.

The Declaration of Independence with a candle holder, glasses and a quill pen. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Headline from 2017 which is relevant again today: Credit Suisse under investigation. Again. For money laundering. Again.

With Credit Suisse expected to get swallowed up into UBS today and thus disappear as an independent entity, I thought it would be a fine time to reprint this article which describes the bank’s legacy.

Pay particular attention to comments at then of the post – – Credit Suisse has a subsidiary whose sole purpose in life is to launder money for clients. They have been laundering money since 1910. Yes, 1910.

Previously posted on 2/24/17:

A different type of money laundering. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.
A different type of money laundering. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Looks like Credit Suisse is in trouble again. The feds and NYDFS have opened another money laundering investigation.

Check out the report on 2/23/17 at Wall Street Journal – Credit Suisse Probe Opens Old Wounds for the following info.

A retired professor invested $500K in a startup back in 2000. When the company went public in 2008, his shares were worth $80M.

Cool!  Good for him!

He didn’t want to share a lot of that with Uncle Sam, so he got some help from the Israel branch of Credit Suisse to cut his tax bill.

By 2013 he had $200M parked in his accounts in Switzerland.

Well, somehow the revenuers caught up with him.

He cooperated extensively, including wearing a wire to some meetings.

Current status for him is he was sentenced to seven months in a federal penitentiary.  The Bureau of Prisons is expecting him (inmate 90504-083), but he is not in custody. (Check for yourself here.) That means he will be moving into federal  housing soon. Unstated implication is that means he is now a felon.

Current status for Credit Suisse is another probe with possible additional prosecution and additional fines. Several bankers have been fired.

The rules have changed

A few notes on the banking crisis. Trying to keep track of the evolving story.

Whether considering assets, net income, market capitalization, or liquidity, some variation of above graph could be used when discussing Credit Suisse. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

To keep track of the spreading banking crisis, I’m going to staring making notes here on the blog.  This will not be full coverage. Instead, this will highlight some parts of the story as it emerges.  This will help me track of developments.

Previous discussions:

Update to late Sunday afternoon, 3/19/23 (yeah, it is necessary to time stamp blog posts that closely):

3/16/23 – Wall Street Journal –Eleven Banks Deposit $30 Billion in First Republic Bank – $30 billion of uninsured deposits went into First Republic Bank. Five billion each from J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. 2.5 billion from Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Five others deposited 1 billion each. Purpose is to shore up liquidity.

Article indicates a large portion, if not most, of the funds are from money that regional banks have moved into the super big banks. They are recycling some of it back to the regional banks. These are uninsured deposits…well…conceptually they are uninsured, but after the bailout that wasn’t a bailout of Silicon Valley Bank, those are essentially insured.

The shoring-up started about four days earlier with money from Morgan.

3/16/23 – Wall Street Journal –Credit Suisse Will Borrow Up to $53.7 Billion For several days there have been rumors Credit Suisse has been teetering on the edge of collapse. They announced borrowing $50 billion Swiss francs, which is US$53.7 billion, from Swiss National Bank, the nation’s central bank.

Rap video explaining artificially low interest rates lead to turmoil and recession.

Rap video from a few years ago showing the failed arguments for Keynesian economics and the consequences of messing around with the money supply and artificially forcing interest rates low.

Pushing down interest rates leads to mal-investment in projects that are not really good plans. When interest rates eventually rise, lots of plans need to be abandoned.

The results? “Bailouts, payouts, and machinations.”

The ‘cheap credit dog’ will come back to bite hard.

When the economy is flooded with trillions of dollars during COVID, the fully expected inflation forces the Fed to raise interest rates, in turn dropping vaue of bonds and then in turn tanking the value of the securities portfolio of every bank in the country. No wonder the FDIC and FRB think Silicon Valley is just the first bank to go.

We saw it in 2008. We are seeing it again today.

Full bailout for huge bank, rich bankers, and filthy rich depositors.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Despite everyone on the planet knowing FDIC insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor per bank, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Treasury Department decided over the weekend to increase the coverage at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to $1,000,000,000 per depositor. Yeah, up from quarter of a million to a billion.

Don’t know how this will develop over the next few days or weeks, but at the moment it looks like yet another bailout for the ultra-rich and ultra-connected. Oh, and a second massive bailout over the weekend.

It also looks like these bailouts will likely increase panic. It absolutely will increase of moral hazard, in other words, running a bank poorly knowing the feds will bail you out and investing in banks without due diligence because you will get bailed out.

SVB was taken over on Friday after a bank run drained massive amounts of cash. On an depressing tangent, the run is reported to have been fueled by venture capital investors calling their investees and clients, telling them to pull money as fast as they could. Essentially, we saw word-of-mouth spreading via social media at the speed of electricity. Thus a run appeared out of nowhere that collapsed a huge bank in a couple days.

Treasury Department says these are nationalizations, not bailouts

Regulators also took over Signature Bank on Sunday: WSJ, 3/12/23, SVB, Signature Bank Depositors to Get All Their Money as Fed Moves to Stem Crisis.

That is the third largest bank failure in the history of the US. The feds guaranteed all uninsured deposits, bailing out another set of ultra-rich depositors. SVB was the second largest.

Oh, excuse me. This is not a bailout.

I will quote the WSJ article so you don’t think I’m making this up:

Federal mileage rates for 2023.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The IRS has issued mileage rates for 2023.

Starting January 1, 2023, the standard mileage rates will be:

  • 65.5 cents per mile for business use, which is up from 62.5 cents for the second half of 2022 and 58.5 cents for the first half of 2022. The business mileage rate was 56 cents in 2021.
  • 22 cents per mile for medical and moving, which is the same as the second half of 2020 compared to 18 cents for the first half of 2022.
  • 14 cents per mile for services provided to charitable organizations, which rate was set by Congress in legislation.

Rates were published in Notice 2022- 234 – Optional Standard Mileage Rates.

IR2022-234 also states:

“These rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

“The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

“It is important to note that under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, taxpayers cannot claim a miscellaneous itemized deduction for unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Taxpayers also cannot claim a deduction for moving expenses, unless they are members of the Armed Forces on active duty moving under orders to a permanent change of station. For more details see Moving Expenses for Members of the Armed Forces.

“Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.”

Another multi-billion fine for Wells Fargo – $3.7 billion this time.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Been a while since I tuned into the shenanigans at Wells Fargo. A mere 100 million here and another 100 million there just doesn’t break into the headlines. Well this time is 3.7 billion. Yeah, billion with a B.

12/20/22 – Wall Street Journal Wells Fargo to Pay Record CFPB Fine to Settle Allegations It Harmed Customers – Wells was able to combine a variety of violations into one big settlement. They closed out a number of investigations with this multibillion settlement.

Range of issues includes “illegally assessed” fees and interest on car loans and home loans. Overdraft fees were improperly applied. Some vehicles were repossessed as a result of the shenanigans. Overdraft fees replied even though there is enough money to cover the transactions.

Settlement consists of $2 billion restitution and a $1.7 billion fine from CFPB, which is a record for the agency.

Relocation to North Dakota.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In June of this year, I moved my accounting firm to Williston, North Dakota. 

My wife and I have been wanting to be near our son and his family. So the simple reason for the move is “chasing the grandkids.” It is also good to be out of California, with increasing congestion, skyrocketing cost of living, and deteriorating economy.

With the wonders of technology, I will be able to serve my clients just as easily from Williston, North Dakota as from Alta Loma, California. Only visible change on the website will be the mailing address.

Revised federal mileage rates for last half of 2022.

The IRS has changed the mileage rates for the last half of 2022.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Starting July 1, 2022, the standard mileage rates will be:

  • 62.5 cents per mile for business use, which is up from 58.5 cents for the first half of 2022 and up from 56 cents for 2021.
  • 22 cents per mile for medical and moving, which is up from 18 cents for the first half of 2022 an dup from 16 cents for 2021.
  • 14 cents per mile for services provided to charitable organizations, which rate was set by Congress in legislation.

Rates were published in Notice 2022-13 – Optional Standard Mileage Rates.

15% increase in 8 months. Another entry for the Same-Meal-at-the-Same-Restaurant price index.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The size of a bite which inflation is taking out of every meal is accelerating for those of us who are not living at the top of an ivory tower fortress inside the D.C. Beltway.

Got lunch from Jimmy John’s yesterday. They fix up yummy sandwiches. 

I had turkey on French bread with provolone cheese. Split a large sandwich with my dining partner.  ‘Twas delish’.

Price was $14.99.  Yeah fifteen bucks for just the sandwich, to go, so nothing for the greedy state tax machine.

Last August the exact same sandwich was $12.99. Up an even $2.00.

“I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Last line of this classic hymn of the faith is:

Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives,

“I know that my Redeemer lives.”

To sooth your heart, listen to the lyrics. Ponder anew the wonderful comfort of knowing your Redeemer is alive.

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Another rendition, with pipe organ and brass:

King of Glory Lutheran Church, ELCA – Dallas, Texas – Sanctuary Choir and Brass

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Today we celebrate the most important day in the history of the world.


We remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

On the preceding Friday, he was brutally executed by the Roman government at the insistence of the religious leaders. His sacrifice on the cross paid the penalty for sins which we earned and fully deserve.

Was that sacrifice on our behalf accepted by God the Father? Are we pardoned from our sins?

The Sunday morning resurrection proves that yes, the sacrifice by the Messiah was accepted by God the Father as payment in full for your sins and my sins.

As a result, those who have faith in His atoning death are declared free of sin (crazy as that seems, it is true). We will be welcomed into heaven to spend eternity in glory.

Praise be to God!

More ways to enjoy this glorious day:

From Steve Gibb:

Another rendition of this hymn, from Presbyterian Church of Novato with Katy Hatfield (organ), Walter Burge (vocals), & Siri Louie (vocals) on April 4, 2021.

Thanks be to God!