Year End Tax Announcements and Updates

Now that fall has officially begun, it’s time to begin your tax planning for 2015 and tie up any loose ends that you may have from 2014.  The IRS recently sent out the following reminders and helpful federal income tax-saving opportunities for individuals and businesses:

October 15th Extension Reminder

About a quarter of the 13 million taxpayers who requested an automatic six-month extension for their 2014 tax returns have YET to file.  The IRS recently urged individuals whose tax-filing extension runs out on October 15 to double check their returns for often overlooked tax benefits, such as deductions for job hunting costs or moving expenses and credits for education or child care.

If you filed for an extension, you should file your return by October 15, even if you can’t pay the full amount due. By doing so, you can avoid the late-filing penalty, which is normally 5% per month, that would otherwise apply to any unpaid balance after October 15. However, interest (currently at the rate of 3% per year compounded daily) and late-payment penalties (normally 0.5% per month) will continue to accrue on any unpaid tax bills.

If you need to file an extension for your personal tax return, don’t forget to check the new box on Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040-EZ that indicates whether you had health coverage for 2014. If you plan to claim the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) for 2014, you must first file an original 2014 tax return without claiming the HCTC, even if you have no other filing requirement. Then you can file an amended return when the IRS issues further HCTC guidance.

Guidance for Filing an Amended Personal Return

Many taxpayers need to file an amended federal tax return for 2014, whether it’s to correct an error or to claim a missing credit or deduction, such as the HCTC when the final guidance is published. (See above.) Don’t panic if you need to correct your filing status, the number of dependents you claimed or your total income. The IRS allows individuals to amend a previously filed federal income tax return using Form 1040X.

But this form has specific requirements. For example, it currently can’t be filed electronically. Instead, you’ll need to file it on paper and mail it to the IRS. In addition, a separate form must be filed for each tax year that you’re amending.

In some cases, the IRS will correct math errors on your behalf. If that happens, you generally don’t need to file an amended return. Likewise, the IRS may just send you a notice for failing to attach a required form or schedule and simply request additional documentation. Such a notice generally doesn’t necessitate an amended return either.

If you expect a refund but need to amend your original return, it’s OK to cash your original refund check from the IRS. It generally takes the IRS a few months to process amended returns and issue additional refund checks. However, if you’ll owe additional income taxes, send a check as soon as possible. Doing so will limit interest and penalty charges.

To claim a refund, file Form 1040X no more than three years from the date you filed your original tax return. You can also file it no more than two years from the date you paid the tax if that date is later than the three-year rule.

Affordable Care Act Reporting For Individuals

About 800,000 taxpayers who purchased health insurance from the federally facilitated Marketplace during 2014 received an erroneous Form 1095-A, “Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.” The IRS recently reminded those taxpayers who filed a federal tax return based on their original Form 1095-A that they’re not required to file an amended return based on a corrected Form 1095-A. This is true even if you would owe additional taxes based on the new information.

However, you may voluntarily choose to file an amended return based on the corrected form if it would result in an additional refund or lower the amount of taxes you owe. You may also want to file an amended return if you filed a federal tax return based on the original form and 1) incorrectly claimed a premium tax credit or 2) failed to file Form 8962, “Premium Tax Credit,” to reconcile your advance payments of the premium tax credit.

Retroactive Extension of Bonus Depreciation and Section 179 Expense Elections

The IRS recently issued guidance on changes made by the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA) to provisions dealing with bonus depreciation options in 2014. The guidance is effective September 15, 2015.

In 2013, taxpayers were allowed to deduct 50% first-year bonus depreciation on qualifying new equipment and purchased software that was placed in service before year end. At the end of 2014, TIPA retroactively extended through 2014 the bonus depreciation provisions that expired at the end of 2013. But the extension was passed after some taxpayers had already filed their 2014 tax returns.

The recent IRS guidance provides options to amend returns to 1) claim missed bonus depreciation for assets brought into service in 2014, revoke an election, or file a change in method of accounting for the current year to claim missed bonus depreciation and 2) carry over to 2014 any disallowed Section 179 deduction for qualified real property placed in service during 2010 through 2013.

Important note: The deadline for making such an amendment is generally December 4, 2015. In some cases, the deadline may be later. Regardless, time is of the essence.

As the year winds down, it’s important to (once again) watch for legislation on these and other expired tax provisions. For 2015, bonus depreciation is currently unavailable and the current maximum Section 179 deduction is only $25,000 (compared to $500,000 for tax years beginning in 2010 through 2014). But it’s possible that Congress might extend these tax-saving opportunities again for fiscal tax year 2015.

If that happens, business owners should be prepared to act fast to lower taxable income for 2015. Remember that assets must be placed in service by no later than the end of your business’s tax year to qualify for these deductions.

Don’t miss out on any tax saving opportunities for the 2015 tax season. Contact your CPA today and schedule your no-cost consultation.

When to Hire a CFO

As your company grows, both in size and revenue, it becomes necessary to have a leader who can manage and think strategically about financial decisions. While CPAs are critical to the success of the organization, they may not have the time to dive in and focus on the financial future of the company. When you hire a CFO you have the opportunity to add value through a variety of resources and collaboration.

Here are a few indicators that it is time for you to hire a CFO:
  • CEO is working more “in” instead of “on” the business
  • Complexity of the business begins to erodes profits
  • Business decisions are hindered by lack of timely financial data
  • An early warning system would have prepared the business for significant up or downturn
  • Lack of planning unexpectedly interrupted cash flow
  • Lead bank is concerned over quality and timeliness of financial reporting
  • The business growth plans include an acquisition strategy
  • Company experiences higher than expected tax liabilities due to lack of tax strategy

The resources the CFO provides can add value to and enhance the strategic direction of the company.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to hire a CFO, contact us today!

What’s New At LBA Haynes Strand? Introducing The Accounting Solutions Group

LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC has decided to fill a need in the business marketplace and offer our clients with not just accounting services, but to offer legitimate accounting solutions. Our firm has announced the creation of an “Accounting Solutions Group” that will focus on offering flexible, scalable accounting and bookkeeping solutions for businesses and institutions of every size.

Principal Member David D. Fraser, CPA will lead a highly trained, qualified staff offering a streamlined accounting support and infrastructure that local businesses and organizations desperately need. Fraser had this to say about the group, “We have seen an increasing need in the marketplace for a third party accounting function in businesses. While we do look to provide services to these businesses, we are more focused on providing real world accounting solutions to the business community.  We are excited about this offering and look forward to helping start-ups and established companies grow.”

The Accounting Solutions Group at LBA Haynes Strand will offer the following menu of solutions:
  • AP management
  • AR management
  • Budget development
  • Business plans and forecasting support
  • Chart of accounts clean-up
  • Consulting services
  • Credit card processing
  • Deposit management
  • Expense reimbursements
  • Financial statement preparation & analysis
  • General ledger review
  • Monthly or Quarterly meetings to review
  • Payroll management
  • QuickBooks support
  • Sales and use tax reporting
  • Year End 1099s

Business owners will now have a third party to go to that supplies them with a full team of accountants and professionals that have the accounting knowledge of an entire accounting department at a fraction of the cost. The firm looks forward to taking the accounting off of stressed business owners hands and allowing those business owners to re-focus on leading and running their businesses.

To learn more about the Accounting Solutions Group, contact us for your no-cost consultation!

What’s In a CPA Firm Name?

Accounting firm names are usually long names… lots of names… lots of letters! Why are our firm names made up of all these names and letters? Accounting firms, like other professional service firms, face many challenges in naming their company – including state regulations that require the use of the the name or initials of any partner or shareholder in the firm name. A CPA firm may also use the name or initials of a retired or deceased partner or shareholder in the firm name as long as the name is not deceptive. It is up to the CPA firm to decide the order of the names and come up with the brand that will best serve the firm going forward.

How did LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC come to be?

In 2014, when LB&A, Certified Public Accountants merged with Haynes Strand and Company, PLLC, we knew one certainty of the name… the “PLLC” would remain.  PLLC stands for Professional Limited Liability Company, which both firms were operating as already. We checked that part off the list and then moved towards the task of combining the names to retain market share and the brand in our established markets. With LB&A serving the Charlotte market, we saw this as an important must in the name. We removed the “&” to make it a more streamlined LBA. What does the LBA stand for you might ask? Firm Members last names: LaLone, Bly, Ayers. Now that we simplified one of the firm names, we moved to preserving the market share that Haynes Strand and Company had created in Mount Airy, Greensboro, and the rest of the Triad.  Haynes Strand had a large presence in the Triad, so we focused on honoring the history and the brand that had been created. We simplified and agreed to use  “Haynes Strand” from the previous firm name. “Haynes” in remembrance of John B. Haynes, who was a founder of the firm in Mount Airy and “Strand” in remembrance of Austin Strand who was also a founder of the firm and led the firm’s efforts in Greensboro.

So now we knew we were going to use “LBA”, “Haynes Strand”, and “PLLC” in the name…but the order was unclear.  We did extensive research and asked peers which name sounded best.  Our options were basically “LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC” or “Haynes Strand LBA, PLLC” – both choices properly honored our firm founders, and both created a memorable name.  During the great name debate, one of our principal members pointed out that, “Haynes Strand LBA, PLLC looks like alphabet soup!”  At that point we decided to move forward as LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC.  We honored the history and tradition of Haynes Strand and Company who had served the Triad since 1987, and we honored the culture of growth and forward thinking that LB&A had created as a firm in Charlotte.

So what’s in a name? History. Tradition. Excellence. Culture.

At this point if we have not been properly introduced, we welcome you to LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC.  We are a CPA firm that is proactively growing our practice to offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their accounting needs. With 3 full-service offices in Charlotte/Matthews, Greensboro, and Mount Airy, we are centrally located in the state of North Carolina and are looking to cement our firm as the go-to Accounting Firm for middle market companies. To learn more contact us for a no-cost consultation.

What Industries Are Growing Through M&A?

In recent years, mergers and acquisitions have seen a rise in popularity as a way to grow a business. Why is this? Much of this can be attributed to the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. Baby Boomer business owners are looking to retire or to cash in on the businesses that they have built. They are looking for opportunities to sell and the marketplace is very aware of this. As Generation X and Y continue to develop and build on their entrepreneurial backgrounds, there are many opportunities to buy businesses and grow businesses exponentially through M&A.

Mergers and acquisitions are not prevalent in every industry. However, there are some industries that are considered very active. These are the industries focused on growth through M&A:

  1. IT/Technology Companies
  2. Construction Companies
  3. Property Management Companies
  4. CPA Firms
IT/ Technology
Why M&A?

Technology companies want to gain access to intellectual property and talent, enhance new product lines (through acquisitions), acquire innovative product lines/technologies, and finally technology companies want to enter new markets. In addition, technology companies realize that these achieving these objectives through in-house operations would be very expensive and time-consuming. M&A gives these companies instant solutions and results.

Trends Driving M&A In The Technology Industry:
  • Cloud Computing
  • Mobile Technology
  • Data Analytics
Construction Companies
Why M&A?

Construction companies want to gain access to an expanded geographical footprint with new markets, a larger workforce, increased financial flexibility, and additional service offerings. Acquisitions have been increasingly popular among construction companies as larger companies are looking to add a specialty service offering. For example, lets say you hire a contractor to come in and install new siding on your house. They do a great job and you are pleased with your decision to use their services. If you find out they just added custom garage door installation to their list of services, you will probably use them again. The increase in service offerings through mergers and acquisitions gives construction companies the ability to sell multiple times to the same client which increases revenue.

Trends Driving M&A In The Construction Industry:
  • Favorable capital market conditions
  • The shale revolution
  • Labor shortages
  • Aging and retiring population of owners
Property Management Companies
Why M&A?

Property Management Companies are using M&A in order to gain: size, proximity to new locations, economies of scale, and additional management offerings. In some cases, especially the Charlotte area, management companies are looking to grow across state lines. Rather than a Charlotte management company opening a new location in South Carolina, they will often times acquire an established management company in South Carolina. This can be seen in the state of North Carolina, when management companies based in Charlotte use this tactic to gain access into new cities, such as Raleigh, Greensboro, etc.

Trends Driving M&A In The Property Management Industry:
  • Real Estate brokers wanting out
  • Lack of succession planning
  • Competition: National players coming to Charlotte
CPA Firms
Why M&A?

Growth through M&A has steadily increased for CPA firms. Firms want to gain access to talent, new marketplaces, and new service offerings. A CPA Firm may lack the time and the talent to grow a certain niche or service offering that they see an opportunity in. The best way to achieve instant entry into the marketplace is often times through a merger or an acquisition of a smaller firm that specializes in that service/nice and has the talent in place to achieve results. These can lead to an INSTANT increase in revenue and a larger footprint.

Trends Driving M&A In The CPA Industry:
  • Aging and retiring population of owners
  • New service offerings
  • Lack or decrease of talent
  • Increase in competition

Growth through M&A is our specialty. If you are in one of these four industries and are interested in exploring how M&A can grow your business, contact us for a no-cost consultation.

What Changes Are Coming To Your Social Security and Retirement Plans in 2018?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released cost of living (COLA) changes for 2018.  From 401(k) plans to individual retirement accounts to Social Security, the federal government has been busy in recent weeks adjusting numbers for 2018. Whether you’re an employee or business owner, senior management or nonexempt staff, these changes may affect how you approach retirement in the coming months and years.

401(k) elective deferrals:

Employees who participate in 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s and certain 457 plans can electively defer up to $18,500 of compensation in 2018, up from $18,000 in 2017.

Individual Retirement accounts:

Eligible individuals will be able to contribute up to $5,500 to their IRA in 2018, unchanged from 2017.  The deduction phase out at certain AGI levels for individuals covered by employer plans will increase as well as AGI levels for allowable Roth contributions, depending on filing status.

Catch-up contributions:

Eligible individuals age 50 and above may continue to make contributions to IRA’s, 401(k)’s and other savings arrangements in 2018.  The amounts of $1,000 for IRA’s and $6,000 for 401(k)’s, SEP’s, 457’s, and 403(b)’s remain unchanged for 2018.

Annual compensation limits:

The maximum annual compensation counted for an eligible employee participating in 401(k)’s, SEP and certain other qualified plans will increase to $275,000 in 2018, up from $270,000 in 2017.  The total amount that can be contributed will increase from $54,000 to $55,000.

Social security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive a 2% increase in their benefits in 2018 based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for the year ending September 30, 2017.  However, beneficiaries having the Medicare Part B premiums deducted from their benefits may see an increase in the amount of monthly premiums by the lesser of $3.00 or their COLA increase in monthly Social Security benefit.

Other Social Security related changes for employees and employers:

The maximum taxable earnings for Social Security taxes will increase to $128,700 in 2018, up from $127,200 for 2017.  The Social Security withholdings will continue at 6.2% on the maximum earnings and the Medicare tax withholding will continue at 1.45% on all compensation.

In 2018 individuals under full retirement age who have filed for Social Security benefits can earn $17,040 per year or $1,420 per month before $1 in benefit will be withheld for every $2 of earnings above these limits.  In the year the individual reaches full retirement age, they may earn $3,780 per month during the months prior to attaining full retirement age

Please contact us if you have any questions on these changes or the new phase out levels.

Wealth Transfer: What You Should Be Considering…

Wealth transfer is one of the most personal topics within the financial field. Issues like estate tax and gift planning go far beyond numbers and financial records. While there is a strategic side to wealth transfer, there is also an extremely emotional one, which needs to be handled with the utmost delicacy. If you’re looking to solidify the best course of action for your wealth, you should work with a CPA firm that understands not only the financial aspects of wealth transfer, but also the emotional and psychological ones.

Before entering into the wealth planning process, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these two very distinct sides of wealth transfer – emotional and strategic – and understand that each must be taken into consideration before any concrete plans are established.

Wealth Transfer: The Emotional Side

Wealth transfer processes delve into the innermost dynamics of your personal and familial history: They may reopen old wounds, unravel intricate family histories and bring to light issues you might have preferred remain buried.

So, before a CPA firm jumps into any structural planning, it must navigate the personal side of your plans for your wealth. Dedicated solely to the safety and wellbeing of your wealth, a CPA offers you a more objective opinion – one that isn’t influenced by family history. How you transfer your wealth is ultimately your own decision, but a CPA helps to compartmentalize your thoughts, see things rationally and consider future consequences.

Wealth Transfer: The Strategic Side

Once a client’s personal matters are carefully sorted through, a CPA begins developing the best course of action for the client’s wealth. When it comes to this more strategic, tactical component of wealth transfer, a CPA typically provides three options:

Wills

A will is a legal declaration containing your instructions and wishes for your property and assets to be distributed after your passing. It is one of the most uniform options for wealth transfer and remains the most basic estate plan. The downside to a will is that estates typically fall into probate and are thus subject to estate taxes.

Gift Planning

A gift or asset transfer to children or other beneficiaries may help reduce your taxable estate. You may gift, tax free, up to $14,000 per recipient per year – or $28,000 per recipient for married couples if you combine gifts. Additional gifts require the filing of a gift tax return.

Medical Or Education Gifting

If you pay someone’s medical or education expenses directly to the service provider, you make this payment as an extra gift. For example, if you write a check for tuition directly to a grandchild’s school, you can still gift that grandchild the annual per-recipient amount.

529 College Plans Gifting

You can contribute to a child or grandchild’s 529 college savings plan as your annual gift. In fact, with college gifting, you have the option of contributing up to five years’ worth of annual gifts in one year ($70,000 per person or $140,000 per couple) to one person.

Trusts

A trust may enable you to better meet your estate planning goals. There are several types of trusts:

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts

Trusts help transfer wealth, but they also keep a portion of your estate out of the probate, therefore minimizing your estate taxes.

Wealth transfer is a process that must navigate strategic as well as emotional realms to be successful. You want to partner with a CPA firm that not only is knowledgeable about the financial side of wealth transfer, but also acknowledges the emotional aspect – and takes the time to work through the two together, always with your best interest at heart.

LBA Haynes Strand provides personalized service that reflects the high standards we demand of ourselves. Our caring, competent and client-focused staff are eager to assist you and start planning your financial future. Contact us for a no-cost consultation today!

Wealth Transfer: Be Rational and Be Strategic!

Wealth transfer is one of the most personal topics within the financial field. Issues like estate tax and gift planning go far beyond numbers and financial records. While there is a strategic side to wealth transfer, there is also an extremely emotional one, which needs to be handled with the utmost delicacy. If you’re looking to solidify the best course of action for your wealth, you should work with a CPA firm that understands not only the financial aspects of wealth transfer, but also the emotional and psychological ones.

Before entering into the wealth planning process, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these two very distinct sides of wealth transfer – emotional and strategic – and understand that each must be taken into consideration before any concrete plans are established.

Wealth Transfer: The Emotional Side

Wealth transfer processes delve into the innermost dynamics of your personal and familial history: They may reopen old wounds, unravel intricate family histories and bring to light issues you might have preferred remain buried.

So, before a CPA firm jumps into any structural planning, it must navigate the personal side of your plans for your wealth. Dedicated solely to the safety and wellbeing of your wealth, a CPA offers you a more objective opinion – one that isn’t influenced by family history. How you transfer your wealth is ultimately your own decision, but a CPA helps to compartmentalize your thoughts, see things rationally and consider future consequences.

Wealth Transfer: The Strategic Side

Once a client’s personal matters are carefully sorted through, a CPA begins developing the best course of action for the client’s wealth. When it comes to this more strategic, tactical component of wealth transfer, a CPA typically provides three options:

Wills

A will is a legal declaration containing your instructions and wishes for your property and assets to be distributed after your passing. It is one of the most uniform options for wealth transfer and remains the most basic estate plan. The downside to a will is that estates typically fall into probate and are thus subject to estate taxes.

Gift Planning

A gift or asset transfer to children or other beneficiaries may help reduce your taxable estate. You may gift, tax free, up to $14,000 per recipient per year – or $28,000 per recipient for married couples if you combine gifts. Additional gifts require the filing of a gift tax return.

Medical Or Education Gifting

If you pay someone’s medical or education expenses directly to the service provider, you make this payment as an extra gift. For example, if you write a check for tuition directly to a grandchild’s school, you can still gift that grandchild the annual per-recipient amount.

529 College Plans Gifting

You can contribute to a child or grandchild’s 529 college savings plan as your annual gift. In fact, with college gifting, you have the option of contributing up to five years’ worth of annual gifts in one year ($70,000 per person or $140,000 per couple) to one person.

Trusts

A trust may enable you to better meet your estate planning goals. There are several types of trusts:

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts

Trusts help transfer wealth, but they also keep a portion of your estate out of the probate, therefore minimizing your estate taxes.

Wealth transfer is a process that must navigate strategic as well as emotional realms to be successful. You want to partner with a CPA firm that not only is knowledgeable about the financial side of wealth transfer, but also acknowledges the emotional aspect – and takes the time to work through the two together, always with your best interest at heart.

LBA Haynes Strand provides personalized service that reflects the high standards we demand of ourselves. Our caring, competent and client-focused staff are eager to assist you and start planning your financial future. Contact us for a no-cost consultation today!

The Impact of Increased Take Home Pay on Your Tax Return

What could increased take-home pay mean for your 2018 tax return?

The recent tax reform has instituted a variety of changes in both individual taxes and business taxes starting in 2018. Many Americans can expect a decrease in tax, and with the new federal withholding tables released earlier this year, an increase in take home pay. Less tax and more pay, what’s not to like?

The goal of this change in federal withholding tables was to adjust for the new changes that will impact individual taxpayers. Some of the major changes include a decrease in tax rates, an increase in the standard deduction, and a repeal of personal exemptions.

However, we have found that the change in withholding may not be enough to cover tax liability in many cases. In the past, many relied on Form W-4 without much extra thought to get them close to the amount needed to pay their tax. This year, we suggest analyzing it a little further. Taxpayers may get less of a refund than they are used to or even owe tax in April 2019, even though their tax rate is lower.

Example: Vince is single, has no dependents, and earns $50,000 in wages in 2017. He is paid on a bi-weekly basis. The result is $296 in federal income tax being withheld from each paycheck or $7,707 withheld for the year. Vince’s actual tax liability, including the 2017 standard deduction of $6,350 and exemption of $4,050, is $5,645. This gives Vince a refund of $2,062.

Under the new tax law, assuming the same income, the 2018 standard deduction of $12,000 and no personal exemption, Vince’s tax liability will be $4,370. Due to the withholding changes implemented in February, Vince’s federal income tax being withheld for the year will be $6,247 (The above $296 for two pay periods and the new rate of $236 for twenty-four pay periods). This gives Vince a refund of $1,877.

As you can see above, although Vince’s tax liability decreased $1,275 from 2017 to 2018, he receives less of a refund. This example does not take into account any extraneous circumstances such as investment income, itemized deductions or dependents that many taxpayers have. If Vince has other sources of income and got a smaller refund for 2017, he could owe tax for 2018.

Luckily, the IRS has released a tax calculator to help check how much you should be withholding in 2018. If you are not familiar with how to use the calculator, this video will demonstrate how.

If you identify a needed change in your withholding, please contact your employer to fill out a new Form W-4. LBA Haynes Strand can also provide additional analysis and answer any other questions you might have about this subject.

value in your brand

There is Value in Your Brand

Every year, Forbes releases a list of the world’s most valuable brands for the year. Included companies in this list are: Apple, Disney, Coca-Cola, and others. This list contains the most polished brands, the ones that consumers believe to be the best and have the greatest brand value. Yes, these are large companies but small and middle market companies can learn a lot from these.

First, take a look at the perception of these larger companies. Consider what you immediately think of when you read the company name or see the logo. Does your company have a positive perception in the marketplace? If the answer is no, you need to find a way to change that. Not only is perception a huge factor to your customers and potential customers, but also to businesses that look to make deals with yours and for people who may be interested in purchasing your business. Always remember the impact of your reputation in the marketplace. Are you respected in the community? Do you have great relationships with your client base? Do your clients trust you? Each of these factor into the overall value of your business.

The companies on Forbes’ list are creative and innovative in their respected marketplace. They found a way to differentiate their company from their competitors to stand out. This is another way to boost the value of your company. When buyers are looking for potential target companies for purchase, they are looking for that extra marketable piece that adds value to the transaction. For instance, let’s say a buyer owns a successful website building company and is looking to buy a social media company. Many social media consultants and companies boast the same basic services. However, if one excels at providing SEO services or CRM services – that particular company made itself more valuable then its competitors and is more appealing to buyers.

Are you are looking to exit your business but just now beginning to think about these things? You may have some work to do to create a polished business that will interest sellers. If you are a new business owner looking to retire in 10-20 years, now is the perfect time for you! You should be thinking about the overall value and focus on creating a business that is attractive to potential buyers from day one. It is never too early to start thinking about an exit plan – it will pay off in the long run.

Our team can help you prepare your business for a sale. Reach out for a no-cost consultation with our LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors team.

Top Ways To Spend The 4th of July in Charlotte

If you are new to Charlotte or just simply want to find an exciting new way to spend your 4th of July, the events listed below are some of the top ways to spend your holiday! Since the holiday falls on a weekend this year, you will find great events on both Friday, July 3rd and on Saturday, July 4th.

Friday, July 3rd

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Celebrate America

Where: Symphony Park at Southpark

Time: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Description: Enjoy a picnic with your friends and family, listen to the Charlotte Orchestra play patriotic favorites, and top it all off with a top notch firework show following the concert! Buy Tickets Now

Saturday, July 4th

US National Whitewater 4th of July Festival

Where: US National Whitewater Center

Time: All Day Event

Description: Enjoy the outdoor adventure and ambiance of the US Whitewater Center, while enjoying live music followed by a spectacular firework display!  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets as seating is limited! View Details Here

SkyShow 2015 July 4th Spectacular

Where: BB&T Ballpark

Time: Gates Open at 5pm

Description: Watch as Team USA takes on Team Cuba at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte.  There will be pregame festivities including live music, food, and games that are fun for the whole family.  After the game you will be treated to one of the very best firework shows in the Carolinas.  Buy Tickets Now

These are some of the most popular events in the Charlotte area.  However, there are other events that are highly recommended as well, including:

Matthews, NC: July 4th – People’s Parade and Concert from 5pm – 9pm

Mint Hill, NC: July 3rd – Queen City Brass Band Concert – starts at 7pm

Waxhaw, NC: Waxhaw’s July 4th Celebration – Festivities begin at 10am and finish with fireworks at 9:15

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend with your family and friends and remember to stay safe!  If you are handling fireworks, click here for important safety tips!

3 Benefits of Hiring a CPA Firm for Your Accounting Needs

A CPA Firm can offer flexible, scalable, bookkeeping solutions to businesses and institutions of every size. Growing your business and sustaining the success of your organization is likely your overall goal. In order to achieve this, business owners must make sure that they have a strong, reliable accounting function in place.

As the leader, you should spend your time finding ways to increase the overall value of your business. If you find yourself crunching the numbers of everyday finances, a CPA firm’s accounting services could be invaluable to getting both you and your business back on the right path to success.

What are the benefits to hiring a CPA Firm for your accounting?
1. The Offering Of A Full Suite of Accounting Services

One benefit to hiring a CPA firm for your accounting function is the full suite of fully customizable services to fit your needs. You may have people in your accounting department, but what happens when they have limited knowledge or experience?  Hiring a CPA Firm gives you access to a full team of accountants and professionals that have that knowledge and experience.

What services are included?
  • AP management
  • AR management
  • Budget development
  • Business plans and forecasting support
  • Chart of accounts clean-up
  • Consulting services
  • Credit card processing
  • Deposit management
  • Expense reimbursements
  • Financial Statement preparation and analysis
  • General ledger review
  • Monthly or Quarterly meetings to review
  • Payroll management
  • QuickBooks support
  • Sales and use tax reporting
  • Year end 1099s
2. Hiring a CPA Firm For Your Accounting Saves You Time and Money

Your accounting department shouldn’t require a babysitter. You might think it’s your duty as the business owner, to manage workflow, or you might just be intent on keeping a close eye on your company’s finances. Is this really the best use of your time as the leader of your business? What you should be doing is checking in to each of your departments, ensuring smooth sailing, and then getting back to running your business as a whole. Hiring a CPA Firm allows you to do this by taking all accounting issues off your hands. You will be relieved from the day-to-day oversight of your company’s finances. Your available time increases, and you feel confident in taking that time to tackle other business issues.

Look at the budget and resources you currently have allocated towards your in-house accounting department and compare it against the investment of hiring an independent CPA firm. When examining these costs, remember to factor in all the extra costs of other salary factors, including employee benefits and payroll taxes. We are confident that you will be surprised at the price difference and the overall cost savings that hiring an independent CPA firm will provide your business.

3. Hiring A CPA Firm For Your Accounting Puts You In Control

If you are a business owner, there is no doubt that you have control over your business – but are things being managed according to your guidelines and vision? Are the financial policies and procedures your company requires being put into place? You may not have a tremendous amount of accounting knowledge, but you certainly have ideas on how you would like to see reports compiled and presented.

A good CPA firm will abide by these ideas. A good CPA firm will take your business plans and reporting preferences and arrange them into an easy to read, comprehensive format. For example, if you are not 100% in tune with 100% of your expenditures, a CPA firm might recommend a weekly, monthly, or quarterly cash flow analysis based on your needs.

The fact that you may not be an accounting expert should not prevent you from creating policies around your finances and a CPA firm can help you put those policies in act and strengthen them.

Leading your business means guiding the business to a brighter future. You should be focused on the overall picture, not busying yourself with daily duties throughout your departments. Even if your accounting department is performing adequately, as a leader, it is your responsibility to turn “adequate” into “effective” if you want to achieve sustainable business success. A CPA Firm’s accounting services ensure this effectiveness, and give you the time and tools you need to lead your business forward.

Want to learn more about the benefits that a CPA Firm’s accounting service can provide for your business? Contact us today to begin your conversation about your financial future with an experienced accountant at LBA Haynes Strand.