What to Know about Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Conversions

What to Know about Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Conversions

One way Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) address living conditions in properties is via a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion. This changes how a rent subsidy is delivered to a property, while allowing owners to access additional capital. Residents have the same benefits, rights, and protections. However, the process of transitioning from traditional public housing to RAD involves several complexities that PHAs need to understand.

  1. Understanding RAD Conversions: RAD allows PHAs to access additional funding sources for the purpose of maintaining, repairing and/or replacing public housing properties. As a result, affordable housing stock can be improved and preserved. Under this program, public housing properties are converted to the Section 8 program to ensure they remain affordable on a permanent basis.
  2. Benefits of RAD Conversions: Conversion to RAD can provide several benefits. These include access to private sources of capital to make critical repairs and improvements, a stable and predictable funding source, and a reduction in the regulatory and administrative burdens of public housing.
  3. The Conversion Process: The RAD conversion process is complex and involves multiple stages. PHAs must inform residents, hold at least two resident meetings at multiple stages, apply to HUD for approval, complete a physical conditions assessment, develop a financing plan, secure commitments from private or public lenders, and then convert the units (plus temporarily relocate residents, if necessary).
  4. Role of an Accountant: An accountant can play a critical role in guiding a PHA through a RAD conversion. They can help in preparing the financial projections required for the application, reviewing the financing plan, and ensuring compliance with the financial reporting requirements of the Section 8 program.
  5. Risk Management: While RAD conversions offer numerous benefits, they also present some risks. These might include potential displacement of residents during renovations, changes in tenant rent contributions, and possible non-compliance with HUD regulations. PHAs need to carefully consider these risks and develop appropriate risk management strategies.
  6. Resident Engagement: Resident engagement is a critical aspect of RAD conversions. Before submitting a RAD application, PHAs are required to inform and consult with residents (including the Resident Advisory Board). This includes notifying residents about the proposed conversion, holding at least two meetings with residents to discuss the plan and solicit feedback, and providing regular updates on the progress of the conversion. After receiving a Commitment to enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (CHAP) contract, the PHA must have at least two additional resident meetings to share updates and get feedback.

Understanding RAD conversions can be challenging. However, with the right information and guidance, PHAs can successfully navigate this process to improve the quality and sustainability of their housing stock. It is essential for PHAs to collaborate with experienced professionals in the field, such as accountants, to ensure a smooth and compliant conversion process. To learn more, refer to the HUD RAD Resident Fact Sheet.

If you are interested in learning more or getting started with your RAD conversion, RBT CPA accounting professionals are available to help. (We can also support your tax, audit, and advisory needs). To learn more, give us a call today.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Measuring Success: A Refresher on Key Performance Indicators

Measuring Success: A Refresher on Key Performance Indicators

Do you ever look at certain companies, whether global sensations or local favorites, and wonder – what is it that makes them such strong front-runners in competitive environments? Imagine the potential impact on local businesses and local economies if we could figure that out. After all, strong local businesses build strong local economies, and that benefits everyone.

Of course, there’s a myriad of factors that contribute to accomplished businesses, from having a compelling value proposition that meets certain needs or desires to brand, strategy, customer service, employee engagement, and more. Still, one of the most fundamental but critical drivers of business success is this: setting, monitoring, and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs).

A KPI measures activity that is critical to successfully compete in the marketplace. It can show when something is working well and should continue, while pointing to potential issues and necessary course corrections to keep a business and its employees focused and on track.

A business may have three or four overall KPIs and require each business function and individual employees to set KPIs as well. This way, all efforts are aligned to drive common goals.

In addition to evaluating critical activity, a KPI must be realistic, specific, and quantifiable. It should highlight areas where increased efficiency/decrease in use of resources can be achieved, and illustrate progress over time.

Implementing and tracking KPIs provides reliable data to streamline decision-making, encourages teamwork by promoting cooperation, and offers clarity for workers in terms of performance expectations. (As an added bonus, they can also help identify seasonal trends.)

Setting a KPI is just the start – the real value comes from regularly checking in to see if progress is being made and having a clear course of action once the results of the KPI are known.

Implementing KPIs can increase your business’ efficiency and production capability. An added benefit, KPIs can generate a positive attitude among team members by letting individuals know how they contribute to a business’ success. Setting, monitoring, and measuring KPIs regularly can reenergize your team and align everyone to work together to achieve the same goals.  For information on KPIs, see our story: “Are You Using the Right KPIs for Your Brewery?”

If you are interested in learning more, RBT CPA advisory services professionals are available to help. (We can also support your tax, audit, and advisory needs). To learn how we can be Remarkably Better Together, give us a call today.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

AI, Apps & Technology: Where Do They Fit Into Your Business Strategy?

AI, Apps & Technology: Where Do They Fit Into Your Business Strategy?

From delivery drones and burger flipping robots…to AI powered drive thru service, phone answering technologies, and online reservations…to integrated inventory, ordering and point of service systems, food delivery apps and more, restaurants are being bombarded with a variety of technology solutions that they purportedly need to survive and thrive. While new and emerging technologies will no doubt play a role in the future of restaurants and how they operate, before rushing forward it may be in your best interest to take a step back by clarifying your business strategy and plans, and then considering which solutions can help you meet your goals.

What type of restaurant do you own? What are your short- and long-term growth goals and plans? Who are your customers, what are their demographics, and what do they expect when they visit or order from your establishment? What are the major brand attributes that drive your business success? How are your finances – profit margins, cash flow, cost of goods sold, inventory costs, and more? What are your biggest pain points? What are you hoping to improve? How do you measure success?

Having a clearly defined strategy puts you in a better position to protect the assets and attributes that contribute to your current-day successes, while clarifying which types of technology may make the most sense for your business going forward.

Today, there are technology solutions for virtually every aspect of running a restaurant. In truth, not all of them are a good fit for every restaurant. For example, a fine dining establishment is going to have to make a call about whether clients expect a live person answering a phone to take a reservation or a chatbot sending them a link. A casual dining establishment is going to have to determine whether adding a mobile food services platform is going to help or hurt margins. A quick serve restaurant may have to weigh the advantages of AI drive thru verses potential impact on on-site dining.

Once you have a clear strategy and goals, it’s easier to determine where AI and technology may fit and can add the most value.

When it comes to inventory, purchasing, and supply chain, AI solutions can analyze historical data on sales, customers, and more to more accurately forecast demand and supply, helping reduce waste from over-ordering and food spoilage. Some solutions can help track shipments so you can quickly respond to delays. Others can track upcoming menu promotions, ingredient levels, and expiration dates. There are also solutions that use real-time data for dynamic menu pricing that responds to price fluctuations and market conditions.

When it comes to labor, technology solutions – like drive thru AI, self-ordering kiosks, and online reservations or ordering – are available to free staff up to focus on value-added activities (i.e., customer service or food preparation). Other types of systems help managers make appropriate staffing decisions and monitor performance.

When it comes to customer service, solutions are available to immediately answer customer questions; make recommendations; handle reservations; facilitate easy, quick payments; and streamline ordering.

As for marketing, AI tools and solutions can help you analyze social media data to understand how customers feel about your restaurant, what customers are looking for so you can customize campaigns, and address concerns quickly. You can also use AI to help create content and images for a variety of channels (website, email, social media etc.).

There are also tools to help monitor, log, and automate food safety compliance-related tasks like temperature and cleanliness. And if your brand and reputation, in whole or in part, links to environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities, there are solutions that can help track and monitor your performance in priority areas so you can share this information with customers who support your establishment because of aligned values.

Taking a cue from large chains, we’re seeing AI used to monitor inventory; predict purchasing needs; forecast demand; answer customer questions and complaints; account for weather, traffic and seasonal swings; manage scheduling; stay on top of equipment maintenance; take reservations; create, adjust and personalize menus and prices; make recommendations to customers; take orders; manage the entire drive thru encounter; pay from tableside; ID trends; create and execute marketing plans; and more.

Ultimately, if the AI and technology solutions you choose to invest in align with your brand and support your goals, your business can benefit. Staff can be freed up to focus on value-added activities. Managers can make more informed decisions about staffing, menus, pricing, and inventory. The customer experience can be enhanced and productivity increased, while waste and mistakes are minimized.

Moving forward requires an unwavering commitment on your part to protect client’s data, train staff, re-engineer processes, and ensure your technology investment enhance the key reasons customers visit or purchase from your establishment in the first place.

As you consider which technology solutions best support and align with your goals, brand, and business, we want you to know you can count on RBT CPAs for your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. We’ve been proudly serving municipalities, businesses, non-profits, and individuals in the Hudson Valley for over 55 years. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Understanding Estate Freezes: A Wealth Preservation Strategy

Understanding Estate Freezes: A Wealth Preservation Strategy

An estate freeze is a sophisticated tool often employed in the realm of estate planning and wealth management, especially within family-run businesses. When executed correctly, it can help reduce taxes owed on your estate upon your death and help transition your business to the next generation in a smooth, tax-effective manner.

So, what is an estate freeze exactly?

Essentially, it’s a tax planning strategy that allows the owner of an appreciating asset (like a business) to ‘freeze’ its value at a certain point in time based on an up-to-date valuation. The future growth of the business is then transferred by gifting to others, frequently children. However, when structured correctly, the owner still retains control over the management of the business.

There are numerous benefits associated with an estate freeze. The most significant of these is the ability to reduce the tax burden upon death. Since the value of the gift is ‘frozen,’ any future increase in the value of the assets will not be included in the estate of the original owner, thus reducing the amount of estate tax payable.

Additionally, estate freezes are an effective way of transitioning wealth to the next generation. They allow the future growth of the business or asset to accumulate in the hands of beneficiaries, providing the next generation with a head start in their wealth accumulation journey. Plus, they won’t owe taxes on the transferred assets, until they die or sell the assets.

It’s important to note that while estate freezes can offer significant tax advantages, they also have potential downsides impacted by variables like business structure and succession plans. For example, if not structured correctly, they may trigger unwanted tax liabilities. Additionally, if the value of an asset decreases post freeze, the original owner could end up paying more in taxes than they would have without the freeze.

Before deciding on an estate freeze technique, individuals should consider their long-term financial goals and the needs of their beneficiaries. To get started consulting a tax professional specializing in estate planning is vital.

RBT CPAs professionals in our Trust, Estate and Gift Practice can provide valuable advice on the suitability of an estate freeze for your specific situation, refer you to an attorney and review legal documentation for accuracy, guide you through tax implications, and help you evaluate potential benefits versus risks.

If you’re interested in learning more, getting started, or reviewing plans you may already have in place, please don’t hesitate to email irahilly@rbtcpas.com or mtorchia@rbtcpas.com.

What’s more, our affiliate, Advent Valuation Advisors, is available to provide the up-to-date business valuation you will need as part of the estate freeze process.

Your RBT CPA client manager is also available to help start the discussion, in addition to handling your accounting, tax, audit, and business advisory needs. Give us a call today and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Touching Base on the SLFRF: Are You Up to Date?

Touching Base on the SLFRF: Are You Up to Date?

In the blink of an eye, key State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) deadlines are approaching. SLFRF recipients have until December 2024 to obligate SLFRF allocations and until December 2026 (September 30, 2026 for Surface Transportation and Title 1 projects) to spend them. In the meantime, the annual reporting deadline of April 30 is approaching. With an Obligation Interim Final Rule; updated FAQs;  Compliance and Reporting Guidance; and a Project and Expenditure Report User Guide introduced in recent months, following is a quick review of some important highlights.

In November of 2023, the Treasury Department issued the “Obligation Interim Final Rule,” providing  clarifications and flexibilities related to the Treasury’s 2022 Final Rule. The Final Rule defined obligation as an “order placed for property and services and entry into contracts, subawards and similar transactions that require payment.” While the original definition stands, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Obligation Interim Final Rule Webinar provided this summary of the Obligation IFR clarifications:

  • Revision to the definition of “obligation” at 31 CFR 35.3
    – The definition if obligation is unchanged but a recipient is also considered to have incurred an obligation by December 31, 2024, when the recipient incurs costs related to the legal and administrative requirements of SLFRF award funds.
    – Recipient appropriation, budget or allocation processes do not provide a standard that could be applied consistently to the definition of obligation.
    – Recipients can continue charging indirect cost rates to the SLFRF throughout the period of performance.
  • Application of the obligation deadline (December 31, 2024) to subrecipients. Subrecipients aren’t subject to the obligation deadline; it only applies to SLFRF recipients.
  • Amending or replacing contracts and subawards after the obligation deadline. Generally, recipients cannot re-obligate funds or obligate additional funds after the obligation deadline. As noted on the Federal Register: “After December 31, a contract or subrecipient can only be replaced if it defaults; goes out of business or can’t carry out award terms; the SLFRF recipient and subrecipient agree to terminate the contract; or the if the initial reward was improperly made.”

(The webinar provides a lot of details and includes case studies. If you haven’t watched it, now may be a good time.)

While the big focus is on the December 31 obligation deadline, there’s an earlier one to keep in mind. If a recipient plans on using funds beyond December 31, 2024 for reporting and compliance; single audit costs; record retention and internal control requirements; property standards; environmental compliance requirements; or civil rights and nondiscrimination requirements, it must submit a report to the Treasury by April 30, 2024.

As noted on the Federal Register: “To take advantage of this additional flexibility, recipients must (1) determine the amount of SLFRF funds the recipient estimates it will use to cover such expenditures, (2) document a reasonable justification for this estimate, (3) report that amount to Treasury by April 30, 2024, with an explanation of how the amount was determined, and (4) report at award closeout the final amount expended for these costs.”

RBT CPAs’ Audit professionals can provide estimates for audits and internal control requirements to help you meet the April 30th reporting requirement.

Remember, funds not obligated by December 31, 2024 and any estimated amount not expended by December 31, 2026 must be returned to Treasury. No doubt, there’s more information to come.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for SLFRF information, refer to the U.S. Department of Treasury SLFRF website. For compliance and reporting information, visit the US Department of Treasury Compliance and Reporting Responsibilities webpage. Information specific to NEUs can be found here. Finally, the NYS Open Budget Website provides an overview of the SLFRF in New York.

Also, if you need estimates for the single audit and reporting control requirement expenses for the April 30 report, email smannese@rbtcpas.com for more information.

RBT CPAs is also available to meet all of your accounting, tax, audit, or advisory needs. We’ve been proudly serving municipalities, businesses, non-profits, and individuals in the Hudson Valley for over 50 years. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Note: RBT CPAs is not a law firm. For legal advice, contact your legal counsel.

Act Now to Protect Your Estate from Tax Changes

Act Now to Protect Your Estate from Tax Changes

There are some big changes coming to gift and estate tax laws that can significantly increase estate taxes and decrease your financial legacy. As you work so hard to take care of animals, their owners, and your employees, make sure you’re also taking steps to protect the wealth you’ve built by making gift and estate tax planning a priority this year.

Without legislative action, the valuable Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s (TCJA’s) gift and estate tax exemption is set to revert to pre-2018 levels starting in 2026. This will significantly increase the amount of an estate subject to Federal taxes. Add to that New York’s estate tax rules and taking the time to create and/or update your estate plan will make a big difference in how much of your estate goes to the people and causes you care about, and how much goes toward taxes.

On January 1, 2018, the TCJA took effect. Certain provisions increased the amount of assets individuals and married couples may gift annually and over a lifetime (as well as leave as part of an estate), with no federal taxes owed. Each year, exemption amounts are adjusted for inflation. For 2024:

  • The annual gift exclusion limit is $18,000 (or $36,000 for a married couple) per person. You do not pay taxes on gifts up to the limit. What’s more, amounts up to the annual limit do not count toward the gift and estate tax lifetime exemption. So, let’s say you are married and have two children. You and your spouse may each gift $18,000 to each child, for a total combined gift of $36,000/child in 2024. You won’t have to pay taxes on the gift and the gift won’t apply toward your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. (There is an exception: if you are married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen, you can gift an unlimited amount to your spouse tax-free. If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, there is an annually adjusted limit on tax-free gifts. For 2024, that amount is $185,000.) To qualify for the annual gift exclusion, the gift must be a present interest gift.
  • The gift and estate tax lifetime exemption is $13.61 million (or $27.22 million/married couple). Amounts above the lifetime exemption are taxable. Even though the exemption is scheduled to decrease starting January 1, 2026, any exemptions for 2018 through 2025 will be honored at the higher exemption amounts in effect at the time. The Federal tax law has a portability provision that provides for the unused exemption of the first spouse to die to be available to the surviving spouse if an estate tax return is filed when the first spouse passes away and the surviving spouse is a U.S. citizen.

Both the annual limit and lifetime exemption will be adjusted for inflation again at the start of 2025. Then, on January 1, 2026, the gift and estate lifetime exemption goes back to its pre-2018 level of $5 million, adjusted for inflation (so it’s expected to be in the $7 million to $8 million range). This will significantly reduce the amount of assets that can be gifted over a lifetime and passed on as part of an estate tax-free. In New York, it’s a bit more complicated.

New York does not have a gift tax; however, it does have different rules for estate taxes. Key differences include:

  • An estate tax exclusion is tied to federal tax laws from 2014 and gradually indexed for inflation. For 2024, the New York estate tax exclusion amount is $6,940,000.
  • However, there is a “cliff” built into the calculation. If a decedent’s taxable estate is between 100% and 105% of the exclusion amount as of the date of death, exclusion benefits phase out. There is no exclusion benefit if a taxable estate is more than 105% of the exclusion amount as of the date of death. This means New York State estate taxes are due starting with the first dollar of assets.
  • Gifts made within three years of death are not excluded and are “clawed back” to be included in the calculation of New York estate taxes.
  • New York does not have a portability provision and, thus, does not allow an unused exclusion amount to transfer to a surviving spouse.

There are actions New Yorkers can take to stay within the state’s exclusion amount while avoiding the “cliff” and maximizing opportunities under Federal estate tax laws. To learn more about your options, contact RBT CPA Trust, Estate and Gift Practice professionals by emailing Ita Rahilly, CPA, at irahilly@rbtcpas.com. Your RBT CPA client manager is also available to help start the discussion, in addition to handling your accounting, tax, audit, and business advisory needs. Give us a call today.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Are You Classifying Employees and Contractors Correctly? DOL Final Rule Took Effect March 11

Are You Classifying Employees and Contractors Correctly? DOL Final Rule Took Effect March 11

This past Monday, the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) final rule on how to analyze whether a worker is classified as an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) took effect.

Considering the growth of the gig economy, the number of people operating as independent contractors or freelance workers has skyrocketed. While this has opened opportunities to “be your own boss,” there has been growing concern about businesses misclassifying workers as contractors to gain an unfair competitive advantage and avoid the higher costs associated with actual employees (i.e., minimum wage, overtime pay, benefits, and other employment protections). The DOL final rule on classifying employees seeks to rectify the situation. It is more consistent with judicial precedent and more clearly delineates when a worker qualifies as an employee versus a contractor under the FLSA. Here are the highlights…

Who is subject to the rule?

Employers subject to the FLSA are impacted by this rule. So, it applies to private sector employers, as well as federal, state, and local government employers.

What does it entail?

The final rule rescinds the 2021 independent contractor rule and restores the multifactor analysis previously used by courts to determine an employee’s classification based on their relationship with an employer. The six factors include:

  • Any opportunity for profit or loss a worker might have;
  • The financial stake and nature of any resources a worker has invested in the work;
  • The degree of permanence of the work relationship;
  • The degree of control an employer has over the person’s work;
  • Whether the work the person does is essential to the employer’s business;
  • The worker’s skill and initiative.

No factor is weighted higher than another – the total circumstances of the employment relationship is considered. For more details about the six factors, as well as examples and FAQs, the DOL’s Small Entity Compliance Guide is a terrific resource. Access it by clicking here.

When does the final rule take effect?

March 11, 2024.

Where can I learn more?

  • Click here for the Final Rule.
  • Click here for DOL FAQs.
  • Call the Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation at (202) 693-0406 if you have questions about the final rule.
  • Contact your local WHD District Office with questions about employment classification of a work/group of workers.

Why should employers ensure compliance?

Failure to comply can result in having to pay unpaid wages owed to an employee, liquidated damages, civil penalties, and lawyers’ fees. In addition, fines may be levied by federal and state governments if misclassification occurs.

If you have questions or need assistance with employee classifications and Final Rule compliance, Visions Human Resource Services – an RBT CPAs affiliate – is available to help. Contact a client manager at info@VisionsHR.com or call 845-567-3978.

And, as always, if your organization needs any accounting, audit, tax, or advisory services, you can continue to count on RBT CPAs to do the job professionally, ethically, on-time and within budget. Give us a call to learn more.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Securing the Future: Effective Succession Strategies for Your Manufacturing Business

Securing the Future: Effective Succession Strategies for Your Manufacturing Business

In an ever-evolving business landscape, the importance of succession planning, particularly in manufacturing businesses, cannot be overstated. An unexpected or unplanned for departure of a key employee can be devastating to a company’s productivity, reputation, and business. Proactively protect what you’ve built by making succession planning an ongoing part of doing business.

Succession planning is a strategic process that ensures business continuity by identifying and developing potential successors for key positions, thereby mitigating the risks associated with unexpected absences, departures, or retirements.

In the realm of manufacturing, the stakes are even higher as these businesses are often highly specialized, with unique operational nuances and specific skill requirements. This sector thrives on stability and predictability, and unexpected leadership gaps can have a disruptive impact on production, client relationships, and overall business performance.

Succession planning involves forecasting the future needs of the business, identifying the competencies and skills required for key roles, and developing existing employees to take on these roles when the need arises. It is a proactive approach, focusing on the development of a talent pipeline that can step up when an executive or key staff member leaves.

There are several steps to effective succession planning. First, recognize critical roles that are vital to the organization’s operations and performance. These positions often have a high degree of responsibility and require specific skill sets.

Next, identify high-potential employees who demonstrate the aptitude and ambition to rise to these roles. Utilize performance appraisals, leadership assessments, and feedback from supervisors to pinpoint these individuals. Remember, potential does not only refer to performance. It also includes the ability to learn, adapt, and grow, which are crucial in a manufacturing environment.

Once potential successors are identified, invest in their professional growth. Tailored development plans can help them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. This could involve on-the-job training, mentoring, job rotations, or even further education.

Communication is also a key aspect of succession planning. Be transparent about the process, the identified successors, and their development plans. This can help manage expectations and ensure everyone is on board with the plan.

Periodic review of the succession plan is crucial. As the business changes, so too may the requirements for key roles, and the identified successors. Regular reviews allow for adjustments and ensure the plan remains aligned with the business’s strategic direction.

However, the succession planning process does not end with the appointment of a successor. There should be a structured handover process to facilitate a smooth transition. This includes knowledge transfer, introduction to key stakeholders, and gradual assumption of the role’s responsibilities.

Succession planning is an indispensable strategic process for manufacturing businesses. It fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, ensures leadership continuity, and minimizes disruption during transitions.

By identifying and nurturing potential successors, manufacturing businesses can ensure their long-term sustainability and success. Remember, the future can be unpredictable, but with a robust succession plan, your business can be prepared for whatever comes its way.

RBT CPAs business advisory services professionals are available to assist you with creating, monitoring and updating succession plans. We are also prepared to handle all of your accounting, tax, and audit needs. Interested in learning more? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

The State of the Unions: A Revival

The State of the Unions: A Revival

Over the last few decades (and the last few years, in particular), the pace of change in the workplace has accelerated and, in many ways, it feels like we are in a constant state of transition – the pause button has been deleted. From new digital technologies and five generations of diverse workers with different priorities to remote work, the gig economy, and a renewed focus on middle-class America, there’s a lot in motion and amidst it all is a revival in the value and role of unions.

2023 was a banner year for unions, which showed that while so much about work and life is changing quickly, the need to protect workers’ financial interests, health, and safety remains. After enjoying decades of being in the power seat, employers found the tides had changed. The labor shortage, low unemployment, and the Great Resignation following the COVID outbreak empowered employees – and unions – to step back in the spotlight and reap powerful results for nurses, autoworkers, teachers, casino drivers, package delivery drivers, writers, and actors, and more. The concept of unionizing also piqued the interest of employees in a number of previously non-union environments (i.e., Amazon, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks, as well as tech companies).

A report issued by the U.S. Treasury Department last August states: “Over the last half-century, middle-class households have experienced stagnating wages, rising income volatility, and reduced intergenerational mobility, even as the economy as a whole has prospered. Unions can improve the well-being of middle-class workers in ways that directly combat these negative trends. Pro-union policy can make a real difference to middle-class households by raising their incomes, improving their work environments, and boosting their job satisfaction. In doing so, unions can help to make the economy more equitable and robust.” (Feiveson, Laura. Labor Unions and the U.S. Economy. August 28, 2023.)

The report goes on to note that as union membership decreased over the last century, income disparity increased. Since 1970, markers of middle-class stability have decreased, with volatile income, fewer vacations, and middle-class America being less prepared for retirement.

The report concludes: “Increased unionization has the potential to contribute to the reversal of the stark increase in inequality seen over the last half-century. In turn, increased financial stability to those in the middle or bottom of the income distribution could alleviate borrowing constraints, allowing workers to start businesses, build human capital, and exploit investment opportunities. Reducing inequality can also promote economic resilience by reducing the financial fragility of the bottom 95 percent of the income distribution, making these Americans less sensitive to negative income shocks and thus lessening economic volatility. In short, unions can promote economy-wide growth and resilience.”

The 2023 Annual Report of the Office of Labor-Management Standards issued in January of this year echoes many of the same sentiments: “Labor unions advance the economic aspirations of their members, those in the middle class, and those aspiring to reach the middle class. They create equity among diverse communities by closing wage gaps that divide the nation by race, gender, and ethnicity. We have seen labor unions in the forefront of the movement for social justice, promoting benefits for their members – the forty-hour week and overtime pay, retirement security and health insurance, to name just a few – long before these benefits were embodied in national and state law. They continue to lead the way by advancing benefits such as paid family and sick leave for their members, even as those concepts remain elusive as a matter of federal policy. In 2023, the labor movement remains strong, with unions organizing workers at employers and in industries previously not unionized and through historic advancements in wages, benefits and working conditions for workers who have long been represented by unions.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics joined the discussion in January of this year with a press release on union membership in 2023. Among its findings:

  • New York is one of two states with union membership rates over 20% (Hawaii is the other).
  • Nearly 29% of the 14.4 million union members live in two states (California at 2.5 million and New York at 1.7 million).
  • Union membership in the public sector (32.5%) continues to be more than five times higher than the rate of private-sector workers (6%). However, the number of private sector union workers increased by 191,000 to 7.4 million in 2023.
  • Men have a higher union membership rate (10.5%) than women (9.5%).
  • Black workers are more likely to be union members than White, Asian, or Hispanic workers.
  • Nonunion workers’ median weekly earnings are 86% of union members’ ($1,090 versus $1,263).

A National Labor Relations Board report issued towards the end of 2023 says, “The labor movement is in the midst of a resurgence. Unions have seen near record-high favorability in recent years, with the most recent polls showing that 67% of Americans approve of unions. Recent polling also shows that a majority of workers in the U.S. across all sectors—59%—support unionization in their own workplace. Similarly, Americans’ desire for unions to have more influence in the country has increased from a record-low 25% in 2009 to 43% today. This marks a new high in the desire for union empowerment, exceeding the prior high of 39% in 2017 and 2018.”

As your union focuses on how to maximize these tailwinds to drive progress in 2024, an important consideration should be your accounting systems and financial controls. With the right infrastructure and processes, you’ll be in a stronger position to support growth and your members. To learn more, reach out to your local RBT CPAs professionals. We can handle all of your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can be Remarkably Better Together.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

Local CPA Firm Celebrates 55 Years of Being Remarkably Better Together

Local CPA Firm Celebrates 55 Years of Being Remarkably Better Together


It was March 1, 1969. Joe Vanacore, CPA, did the unthinkable at the time. He left the security and reputation of a large accounting firm during tax season to start his own business. With one client, a local restaurant – The Ship Lantern Inn, Vanacore put a stake in the ground to create a different kind of accounting firm based out of a small office in Newburgh, New York. Today, that company – RBT CPAs – celebrates the 55th anniversary of when it first opened its doors for business.

Now, over 150 team members work out of RBT’s five locations throughout the Hudson Valley and in New York City. It has been recognized as a best place to work; a People’s Choice winner for tax preparation, financial planning, workplace innovation, and best overall employer; an Inside Public Accounting Top 200 Firm; and an Accounting Today top 100 firm to work for and top tax firm.

RBT Managing Partner Mike Tuturro attributes the company’s success to three factors: clients, colleagues, and community. He explains, “We value the trust clients place in us to deliver an exceptional experience marked by professionalism and integrity. We never take that for granted and I believe that’s why most people, businesses, and other organizations that become our clients stay our clients.”

In fact, the company’s very first client – The Ship Lantern Inn (multi-year winner of Best of the Hudson Valley and Ulster County Best Restaurant) – is still a client today. Third-generation owner Mike Foglia says, “I was 12 or 13 working in the restaurant when Joe would come by to review our books. He and my grandfather hit it off right away. My grandfather became a mentor to Joe and in turn Joe became a mentor to me. Next year, The Ship Lantern Inn celebrates its 100th anniversary and I can honestly say one of the reasons we’re reaching that milestone is the support and guidance we got from RBT CPAs.  They are accountants who demand accountability. They are always straightforward and honest and stress the importance of doing things the right way. When you have the best, there’s no reason to change.”

Today’s leadership at RBT CPAs demands the same from today’s team members. Mike Tuturro explains, “When it comes to colleagues, we really look for a particular type of person to join our team. They have to be smart go getters who will always go above and beyond to deliver exceptional value and results. They have to be willing to learn from the generation before them and then pass on that knowledge and opportunity to the up-and-coming generation. And they have to have the drive to give back and make a difference in the communities where we live and operate. Have no doubt – it is our people who have made us what we are today and who will carry on our legacy well into the future.”

Mike also notes that many of its team members were born, raised, and educated in surrounding communities and have a vested interest in giving back. Out of respect for its Hudson Valley roots, the company has a firm policy to never send work outside the U.S.A. – a tactic used by many firms today to drive profit margins.

Mike says, “We want our clients to be 100% confident that local RBT CPAs team is doing the work and handling their financial information, from start to finish. Plus, we believe hiring local people and keeping jobs in the communities where we operate is simply the right thing to do.”

Over the years, the firm’s name changed a number of times to reflect new partners resulting from acquisitions and internal promotions. Eventually, when the list of names became too much of a mouthful, they landed on RBT CPAs, stemming from the belief that the firm, clients, colleagues, and local communities are Remarkably Better Together.