Julie Ayers Honored as a 2016 Most Influential Woman by The Mecklenburg Times

Principal Member Julie Ayers, CPA has been named as one of the honorees for The Mecklenburg Times’ 2016 50 Most Influential Women.  Julie’s leadership and professionalism made her stand out among scores of nominees.

At LBA Haynes Strand, Julie has helped lead the firm through a number of mergers and acquisitions, that have turned LBA Haynes Strand into one of the fastest growing privately held businesses in the Charlotte region.  In addition, Julie is head of the tax and charter school accounting departments at the Firm.

“To be mentioned as one of The 50 Most Influential Women is an enormous achievement for me,” says Ayers. “I am proud of the work I have done at LBA Haynes Strand, proud of the work the team has done at LBA Haynes Strand, and proud of my involvement with the women business community over the past 8 years – where I have learned so much and made such amazing connections.”

The 50 Most Influential Women will be honored during an awards reception on Friday, May 20th at the Hilton Charlotte Center City.  Also during the event, the Woman of the Year honoree will be announced.  This special award will be kept top secret until the announcement and will be selected from the 2016 class of honorees.

Non-Profit Tax Guide: Getting To Know The Form 990

The Form 990 is a tax document that tax-exempt nonprofit organizations are required to file each year with the IRS. The 990 discloses potential conflicts of interest, regulatory details, governance, compensation of board members and staff, and other details that relate to financial accountability. Filing the 990 correctly and in a timely matter, allows your nonprofit organization to maintain its tax exempt status. Once the 990 is filed, it is posted for the public to see. Websites such as Guidestar.com allow anyone to look at any organization’s Form 990, in order to get a better understanding of the structure and success of the nonprofit organization.

What’s the purpose of the Form 990?
  • Increased transparency and to provide a realistic view of the organization for the IRS and the public
  • Promote tax compliance by accurately reflecting the organization’s operations
  • Allow efficiency in the assessment of risk of noncompliance

The Form 990 has caused dramatic increases in the cost of compliance for nonprofits. At first, this only impacted the larger nonprofits. However, the smaller nonprofits are now feeling the increased cost of the 990.

Who is required to file a Form 990?

Tax-exempt organizations that have gross receipts totaling at least $200,000 or assets worth at least $500,000 must file the Form 990 on an annual basis.

When is the Form 990 Due?

You must file your organization’s 990 by the 15th day of the 5th month after your accounting period ends. For example, say your fiscal year ends on December 31st, then the 990 is due on May 15th the following year.

What are the penalties for not filing a Form 990?

There are many penalties for failing to file the Form 990 properly.  The list of penalties below can help you be prepared in order to avoid them.

  • The Penalty for not filing is: $20 per day, up to a maximum of $10,000 or 5% of revenue.
  • If revenue is greater than $1 million the penalty for not filing is: $100 per day with a maximum fine of $50,000
  • For failure to include information concerning liquidation, dissolution, termination, or substantial contraction: $10 per day, with maximum of $5,000.
  • Your “tax-exempt” status will be revoked if you don’t file for 3 years.
  • Once you receive an IRS notice and don’t respond: $10 per day on the responsible individual, up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Failure to comply with public disclosure requirements: $20 per day in penalties, up to a maximum of $10,000.
  • There is no maximum penalty for failure to disclose the organization’s exemption application.
How to be prepared for the Form 990?

Being prepared is the best way to handle any tax situation.  Being proactive and having a tax plan minimizes the risk of any last minute tax surprises and allows you to be a little more stress-free when it comes time to file your Form 990 on an annual basis.  Below is a list of suggestions to help you be prepared when filing your Form 990.

  • Make sure you document as much as possible throughout the year for internal purposes.
  • Track as much information as possible from contributors, including amount, name, location, how they contributed, etc.
  • Track the revenue and expense by each event or by function.
  • Tip: Unrelated business tax income is a big issue!  If it’s not part of the core function, it is probably taxable.
  • Consult your CPA for specifics to your organization.  Every nonprofit organization is different and has different issues.

LBA Haynes Strand has handled the Form 990 for many North Carolina based nonprofit organizations, and our team is well versed in the nonprofit industry. Our nonprofit accounting team is ready to help your organization maintain its tax-exempt status and provide the accounting advice you need throughout the year to run a successful nonprofit. Contact us today!

Preparation: The Key to March Madness and Tax Season Success

The NCAA college basketball tournament is always an exciting and often maddening time for all of us.  While these teams are looking to play the part of bracket buster, your accountants are working hard to see to it that tax season is not a maddening time of year for you.  CPAs thrive on this time of year, and leave it all on the court..I mean…office, to make sure that their clients receive the best possible results.

Last second shots and unexpected upsets may be common in the NCAA tournament but are not common in our world.  Tax planning is the reason for this.  Tax season isn’t something that is done over the period of a couple months time, this is something that is worked on continuously throughout the year.  Accountants and clients alike must be equally prepared come tax season.  The quote of basketball coaching legend John Wooden sums it up best, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So let’s take a look at some steps that you can take to prepare yourself against the stressful affects of the April tax deadline:

Don’t Procrastinate … Be Proactive

Tax planning is not one single task, designated to one single month. Usually, when people finish their taxes, they breathe a big sigh of relief. Whew, glad that’s over. But it’s not over, in fact, tax planning for the next year should begin shortly after your taxes are filed for this year.

See what do we mean by adopting a proactive mindset? If you’re thinking ahead, and keeping your finances in order through the entire year (and not waiting for March to prepare them all) you’re avoiding unnecessary stress during tax season.

Collaborate With Your CPA

Most people attempt to prepare their taxes on their own. And most people miss out on golden financial gains. The average taxpayer does not have the expansive financial knowledge and insight of a professional accountant, nor should they, but that’s what makes do-it-yourself tax planning such a risky idea – you’re gambling with possible financial gains.

When you contact a CPA firm, not only do you receive the professional guidance needed to navigate complicated tax territory, you receive financial consultation catered specifically towards your company’s future.

Consider Wealth Management

Part of tax planning is considering your investment options. Most people shy away from investments because they strongly dislike the idea of possibly losing money. Investing is not a gamble, it is a calculated risk when consulting with a wealth management advisor.  The advisor takes in to account whether you are risk adverse and builds a plan that fits your needs and your desires. A wealth management service, along with your CPA and financial advisor, guide you in making the right decisions for building a sustainable financial future.

Discussion Before Decision

Even after you’ve learned a thing or two from your CPA firm, it’s still always a good idea to consult with them on significant financial circumstances. For example, if you’re thinking about selling your business, a CPA firm can give you the tax logistics, implications, and benefits behind all your possible options.

There are a number of financial factors that go into tax planning, and cramming them all into a one-month timeframe creates a chaotic mess of last-minute desperation. Being pro-active in your tax planning and consulting with professionals will help you avoid the stress and headache that are often associated with the April tax filing deadline.

Click the button below to begin your conversation with a coach..err…certified public accountant with LBA Haynes Strand and begin seeing the results of being prepared.

Condominium Association Audit Guide

We understand that condominium association board members are volunteers who often do not have time to devote to a lengthy audit engagement process. In addition, they do not want to be constantly concerned about the “meter-running” or the resulting financial surprise of billable hours beyond their initial quote. LBA Haynes Strand offers a streamlined process to reduce time and create efficiencies for board members and their respective management company.

Condo Association By-Laws often require an annual Audit, Review or Compilation by an independent Certified Public Accountant. When complying with these by-laws, Board members fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to the Association.

What is the difference between an Audit, a Review, and a Compilation?
Audit

A Condo Association audit provides the highest level of assurance from an independent certified public accountant. Selecting an independent CPA that specializes in Condo Associations allows the Board and management to work with a professional that is in tune with the intricacies of their Association. An audit is much more in-depth in terms of scope than a compilation or a review type of engagement. The independent CPA is going to opine on the financials, that are the responsibility of the Association, provided to the independent auditor by either the Board or the management company.

Review

A financial review is less in scope than an independent audit, but more involved than a compilation. It provides you with limited assurances from the independent CPA over the financial statements as a whole. Review procedures involve inquiry and analytical procedures to determine if there is a material modification.

Compilation

In comparison, a compilation is far less in scope than a review. It provides no assurance or opinion on the financial statements.

Which of the three levels of service is right for my Condo Association?

Some Condo Associations require an audit while others require a review or a compilation, and in most cases, this is spelled out in the by-laws.

How much do these services cost?

The fees of each engagement are dependent on the controls and the processes of each management company. To receive an accurate and fair quote from LBA Haynes Strand, contact us for a no-cost consultation. Our team is happy to discuss your condominium association audit needs.

LBA Haynes Strand Named a 2016 Charlotte Future 50 Award Winner

LBA Haynes Strand is pleased to announce that we have been named a 2016 Future 50 Award winner by SmartCEO. The program recognizes Charlotte’s 50 fastest-growing mid-sized companies that have experienced outsized growth based on a combined three-year average of revenue and employee growth.  These companies will be honored on April 27, 2016 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City.

“I’m honored for the Firm to be included in the Future 50 Awards this year.  It recognizes current and future CEO’s that are having an impact not only on their businesses, but on the city of Charlotte,” says John Bly, Co-Managing Member of LBA Haynes Strand, “To be included with this tremendous group of companies is a great honor for everyone here at LBA Haynes Strand.”

“Ask any CEO and they’ll tell you that leading a fast growing company is one of the most challenging and fun things an entrepreneur can do.  Whether they’re just starting out or rapidly trying to scale an established operation, this year’s Future 50 winners have executed their growth visions year after year, created job opportunities and made our region a better place to work and live,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO Events.

Full List of Winners:

  • Alan Simonini Homes LLC
  • Anointed Flooring, Inc.
  • Armstrong Transport Group
  • Artisan Signs and Graphics
  • Avant Garde Technologies
  • Barton Contracting Corporation
  • Boxman Studios, LLC
  • Carolina’s Home Medical Equipment, Inc.
  • CCS Construction Staffing
  • CDI Southeast
  • Command Partners
  • Costner Law Office, PLLC
  • ettain group, Inc.
  • Fab Fours, Inc.
  • The Greene Group
  • ImagineSoftware
  • In-Flight Crew Connections
  • Independent Advisor Alliance
  • InfoSense, Inc.
  • InnerVision Inc.
  • Intelligent Buildings, LLC
  • Jackrabbit Technologies, Inc.
  • Lakeside Project Solutions
  • LandDesign, Inc.
  • LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC
  • LogoNation, Inc.
  • Lwin Family Co.
  • modPALEO
  • Movement Mortgage
  • NoDa Brewing Company
  • OrthoCarolina
  • Party Reflections
  • Peak 10, Inc.
  • Red Moon Marketing
  • Remi
  • Rhythm Systems
  • Search Solution Group
  • Seedspark
  • SMD
  • Something Classic Catering & Cafes
  • SPAN Enterprises
  • Spangler Restoration
  • Strategic Power Systems, Inc.
  • T1V
  • TalentBridge
  • Tattoo Projects
  • Teguar
  • Titan Electric
  • Verigent, LLC
  • WDS, Inc.