California A.G. files complaint against a charity for overvaluation of donated medicine. That charity agrees to dissolve itself. Three other charities issued cease-and-desist order.

March 14, 2018, 8:51 am

(update: headline modified)

The conflict over donated pharmaceuticals has heated up again.

The California Attorney General has filed cease and desist orders against three large charities who received between 89% and 98% of their revenue from medical GIK.

Update:  Those percentages appear to include all GIK, not just medicines. For example, in 2015 Food for the Poor had $1,159M total income with $1,033M of donated goods, according to their audited financial statements. According to their 990 for 2015, of the total GIK $818.7M was drugs and medical supplies, $110.8M was clothing and household goods, with $103M of other GIK. For 2015 donated drugs and medical supplies are 70.6% of total support and revenue.

Update: For MAP in 2015, total drugs and medical supplies from Schedule M of the 990 ties to the donated inventory on the audited financial statements. The only other GIK listed on Schedule M are securities, which amount ties to the financial statements. For 2015, donated drugs and medical supplies are 97.8% of total revenue and support.  Likewise for CMMB, the drugs and medical supplies listed on Schedule M ties to the line donated pharmaceuticals, equipment and supplies on the audited financial statements. For 2015, donated drugs and medical supplies are 90% of total support and revenue.

A complaint was filed against another charity, National Cancer Coalition, for overvaluation of GIK. The charity conceded the state’s claims and agreed to terminate the charity’s existence.

The three large charities are Food for the Poor, MAP International, and Catholic Medical Mission Board.

The cease and desist orders can be found at the AG’s web site:

Actions regarding the charity closing its doors:

This post will describe the complaint against NCC and the stipulated judgment.

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Free update on new and recent accounting rules from CCH

January 29, 2018, 7:30 am

For a summary of the accounting rules released in 2017 and the most significant new rules from 2016, 2015, and 2014, check out A Closer Look: Discussion and Analysis of Current Accounting and Audit Issues.

CCH made this update available for free to people on their mailing list. I received permission from my editor at CCH to make it available on my blog.

Click here to download the 54 page newsletter. CCH does not  have a separate landing page for the document, so that link automatically downloads the newsletter. UPDATE:  If link didn’t work for you, please try again. I reloaded the link and it is working now.


For each of the accounting rules covered, the newsletter provides:

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Reduced staffing and funding for the Exempt Organization division of the IRS

December 20, 2017, 8:22 am

Staffing and funding for the IRS division that oversees tax exempt organizations has fallen dramatically in the last six years or so.

According to a behind-the-paywall article at the Washington Post, the budget for the Exempt Organization division has dropped from $102M to $82M between 2011 and FY 2017. That is a $20M decline, or 19.6%.

For the same years, staffing has declined from 889 to 642, according to the article. That is a decline of 247 positions, or 27.8%.

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Standard mileage rates for 2018

December 18, 2017, 9:47 am

Mileage” by Anthony Albright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The IRS has posted the standard mileage rates for 2018. New rate for transportation and reimbursements is 54.5 cents. That is up a penny from 53.5 cents in 2017.

According to IRS comments in Notice 2018-03:

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Who picked up the bill for our freedom?

November 11, 2017, 11:38 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For our freedom, I offer up a humble thank you to all who have gone before standing endless watch, slogging through the jungle mud, freezing in a foxhole, shooting Nazis with a machine gun at 30,000 feet, doing yet another round of dreary maintenance, brought home a life-long injury, or paying the ultimate price fighting to defeat the Confederacy.

Because of millions who did what had to be done, I can say what I wish without fear of being thrown in jail.

It seems so insufficient, but I’ll say it anyway – – Thanks.


“It is the soldier, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.


It is the soldier, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.


It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.


It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag,

who allows the protester to burn the flag.”

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr.


Estimate of the price tag for the first New Testament ever printed in German

October 24, 2017, 9:18 am

Bible includes the Old and New testament. The 1522 edition included only the New Testament. “Luther Bible” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In 1522, Martin Luther published his translation of the New Testament from Latin into German. Bound copies of the first and second printings were sold for 1 Gulden.

What would that be in terms of today’s money?

I infer a price tag of about $900.

After running out of 5,000 copies in the first and second printings, bound copies from the third printing went for 3 Guldens. I’ll guess that is roughly equivalent to about $2,700 now.

If you want to see more details, sourcing, and my calculations, check out the post at my other blog, Ancient Finances:


Various thoughts from continuing education classes this year, part 3. Not so good news on audit and peer review quality.

October 5, 2017, 9:35 am

The road we CPAs need to be on, but not all of us are…
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I have reread my notes from several continuing education classes this year. Thought I would share a variety of stray ideas.

Probably need to note again that I have not gone back and read the original pronouncements supporting each idea and therefore I do not have a specific citation for you. (Reading three of the documents is the next step for  my writing project.)

I should probably throw in a disclaimer. All of the comments I’m mentioning were the opinion of the presenter, not the agency from whom the person was drawing a paycheck. That is why I’m not mentioning the names of the presenters, or even the CPE event. In addition, the rephrasing of their comments is my interpretation, not their words.

Here are some tidbits you might enjoy:

More interest in Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (FRF-SME)?

The FRF-SME framework is a non-GAAP alternative to GAAP. It is dramatically less complicated with the promise it will not be revised more often every three years.

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