Our DNA doesn’t want us to change. Time for some genetic engineering.

We’ve spent a lot of time over the years asking how to battle change and complexity. Turns out we’ve had the answer all along. All we have to do is be ourselves. In his terrific new book You Are Now Less Dumb, David McRaney says humans are genetically hardwired “to be optimistic in the face of futility.” It keeps us from giving up when we encounter hardships. When the chips are down, McRaney says we are programmed to see the silver lining. It’s all...

Senate OKs data transparency legislation

Our dream of transparent federal spending data and government accountability is a step closer to reality. The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act. Nearly three years in the making, the legislation would standardize the ways in which federal spending information is reported and call for the creation of a searchable online database that would let all Americans see how the government is spending their money. The bill next moves to the House...

Happy birthday, Maryland CPAs!

Posted By: Tom Hood on April 10, 2014 in Accounting & Auditing&Legislative / Regulatory
"From then on, they are no longer isolated men, but a power one sees from afar, whose actions serve as an example; a power that speaks, and to which one listens." - Alexis de Tocqueville - Democracy in America  It was the beginning of a new century and Maryland was a key player in the transformation of the U.S. economy from one based on agriculture to the new industrial age. The steel, tanning, clothing, and tobacco industries were being established as new technologies like steam engines,...

No 'House of Cards,' but CPAs are fine

Posted By: Tom Hood on April 08, 2014 in Legislative / Regulatory
Last night marked the end of the 90-day session of the Maryland General Assembly. In an otherwise quiet close of the session, the only drama was the proposed film tax credit legislation designed to attract the film industry in Maryland. It was also known as the "House of Cards" bill after the wildly popular Netflix series (yes, I am a fan). In fact, one tweet at the close of the session summed it up well: "Anyone else thinking 'House of Cards' special session? Think of the headlines!" That...

If you’re sending $1 reimbursement checks, you’re not financially literate

April is Financial Literacy Month. Apparently, a lot of people didn’t get the memo. On April 4, I received two separate pieces of mail from my life insurance company. One was a reimbursement check — labeled “Return of Premium” — for the ridiculous sum of $1. The other was a notice to confirm that I had been paid the $1 refund. Let’s recap: My life insurance provider spent time, effort and money to process a $1 reimbursement check and a confirmation letter,...

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