Download Your Free LBA Haynes Strand Smartphone App

LBA Haynes Strand has developed an app to deliver real world accounting solutions to businesses and individuals alike.  Included in the app are:

  • Office Information – addresses, directions, phone numbers, office hours
  • M&A Due Diligence Checklist – Be prepared and make sure your due diligence is done!
  • Tax Questionnaire – Stay organized with this helpful tool!
  • Free Industry Guides
  • A Printable Tax Organizer
  • Subscribe To Our Newsletter
  • Read the most recent LBA Haynes Strand Blog posts
  • Keep up with Firm News
  • Document Submission – Take a photo of your document and send it to our team of CPAs!

In an effort to become the best CPA Firm for our clients and provide them with up to the minute updates, news, and service, we have developed this App with their needs in mind.

To download our app, click the links below:

Apple App Store URL:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lba-haynes-strand/id1016215236?mt=8

Google Play URL:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app_haynestrand.layout

Successful M&A: Internal Growth Must Match External Growth

Traditional entrepreneurial formulas go something like this… “If we have 10 clients, we hire 1 marketing person, adjust their salary according to client growth, and then in 4 to 5 years we could possibly see 10% business growth.”

We have news for you! A merger and acquisition process will grow your business 30% to 100% OVERNIGHT!

When you merge with another business, you are effectively doubling your business in size. That growth equals greater sustainability and greater scalability. You may think that a larger business would be more to handle, but just think about the growth process in general:

  • When your business expands in size, you have the opportunity to expand your client base.
  • The more clients your business has, the more revenue it generates.
  • With a boost in revenue, you are able to hire the appropriate staff to handle the rise in clientele.
  • With the right staff in place, your revenue and your clientele are going to continue increasing significantly.

It’s easy to get stingy about bringing more team members on board. After all, when you experience financial growth, your first reaction is to keep it growing, and hiring staff seems to do the opposite of that. Initially, you may experience a financial dip when you hire your new sales team. However, if their human capital matches your business values, you are undoubtedly going to experience financial growth in the following years.

Remember: When you grow externally, you must grow internally to achieve even more external growth!

Basically, if your clientele grows, your internal team must grow. That does mean a higher payroll, but it also means a higher ROI. You might be looking to hire a sales manager that demands a hefty salary. To ensure a good return, thoroughly analyze what this person brings to the table. Let your decision to hire involve looking back to their work history, but also looking forward to your company’s future. Always look forward! If you don’t see this person contributing to your future growth, look for someone else to fill the position.

If you are expecting rapid growth from your M&A transaction, expect to make the occasional investment. Hiring a team of experts is definitely an investment worth making. The more growth you experience, the more responsibility you gain. When you have an efficient internal team, those responsibilities are not only fulfilled, but they help you grow your bottom line a whole lot quicker.

Interested in learning more about M&A, contact us for your no-cost consultation.

Entrepreneur’s Spotlight With Yuno

LBA Haynes Strand is putting the spotlight on the entrepreneur community. Entrepreneurship plays a huge role in not just our local economy, but our global economy.  In this blog, we caught up with Andre Walters, who is the founder and owner of Yuno, Inc. Andre breaks down his thought process for creating Yuno and why he decided to take a simple idea and move it to market.

Yuno, Inc.

Have you ever recommended a product to a friend or family member? If you have, and the person bought what you recommended, what did you get for it? If you are like most people, the answer is more than likely nothing. This scenario is why I created Yuno in 2010.

Word-of-mouth marketing is now, and always has been, the most valuable form of marketing. A global study by Nielsen in 2013 revealed that 84% of people surveyed trusted word of mouth marketing above all other methods of marketing—no television ad, radio jingle or any other form of marketing is as effective, and companies have known this for quite some time. Case in point, a 2014 study by the American Marketing Association uncovered that 64% of marketing executives believe that word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing. The issue, however, is that ordinary people like you and I drive the profits of the companies we support through our own purchases and the purchases we influence others to make, yet it seems our contributions to their profits go largely ignored other than the occasional discount or “special offer.” Yuno was created to do something about this very issue. Yuno acknowledges the fact that you are valuable to your friends and family and provides a benefit to you every time your word-of-mouth marketing encourages someone else to buy a product you bought in Yuno (or an item related to something you bought in Yuno).

Our approach at Yuno is really simple. We’ve established relationships with several hundred well-known brands like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, Footlocker and many others and added over 70 million products to our database as a result. Our team of content curators monitors the latest trends and looks for the best products from our partners to present to our users on Yuno. Yuno gives its users cashback on every product they buy. Additionally, Yuno provides that user with cashback every time someone following them in Yuno sees what they bought and decides to buy the same or a related item. Ultimately, if enough people decide to buy, a user can potentially get their entire purchase price repaid to them through cashback. As our name suggests, “Yuno” is all about helping you benefit not from what you know, but rather, who you know.

For many, 2010 was a difficult time period financially as our nation continued to try and recover from a devastating recession. I personally observed many people that needed a little boost financially, and I created Yuno in large part to give them that boost. The fact of the matter is we are all valuable in the world of commerce because of our impact through word of mouth marketing. If that value is recognized in our everyday transactions by the companies we support, then we believe Yuno will provide a way to spread the wealth in our economy, help people save naturally on everything they buy, and maybe even help our country avoid a similar recession.

Visit Yuno, by clicking here!

Be Prepared for the September 15th Tax Deadline!

There is a misconception among that there is only one busy season when it comes to tax and accounting firms in the United States. However, there are many deadlines to be met throughout the year, making for multiple busy seasons. With the September 15th tax deadline fast approaching, we want to alert our clients of what is due.

What is due by September 15th?
  • 3rd Quarter estimated tax payments for the 2015 tax year
  • Final deadline to file corporate tax returns for the year 2014 if an extension was requested. (Forms 1120, 1120A, 1120S)
  • Final deadline to file trust income tax returns for the year 2014 if an extension was requested. (Form 1041)
  • Final deadline to file partnership tax returns for the year 2014 if an extension was requested. (Form 1065)
What are the penalties if the September 15th Deadline is ignored?
  • C Corporations – The IRS can assess a penalty of 5% of the next tax due for each month or part of a month the return is filed late, up to a maximum penalty of 25%.
  • S Corporations – The IRS can assess a penalty equal to $195 per shareholder for each month the return is filed late (maximum of 12 months). Therefore, the maximum penalty per shareholder is $2,340.
  • Partnerships, including multi-member LLCs – The IRS has the ability to assess a penalty equal to $195 per partner/LLC member for each month the return is filed late (maximum of 12 months).

If you are unsure if you are adequately prepared to meet these deadlines, contact us for a no cost consultation. We are able to provide on the spot tax preparation advice and will begin your tax planning for next year, so that deadlines no longer sneak up on you.

LBA Haynes Strand Makes Inc. 5000 List…AGAIN!

LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC Ranks No. 1695 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 239%

We are pleased and excited to announce that Inc. magazine has ranked LBA Haynes Strand NO. 1695 on its 34th annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This ranking makes for LBA Haynes Strand’s second straight year on the Inc. 5000, as we were ranked NO. 3762 in 2014. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

“We are honored as a firm to be included on this list of the fastest growing companies,” says John Bly, Co-Managing Member of LBA Haynes Strand. “This ranking is a testament to the hardwork and dedication of the Principal Members and all the employees at LBA Haynes Strand.  Our team is second to none, and we are very excited for what the future holds and the direction the firm is headed in.”

The 2015 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 18 to September 22) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 490%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The story of this year’s Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don’t achieve that kind of success by accident.”

Methodology

The 2015 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2011 to 2014. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2011. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent–not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies–as of December 31, 2014. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2011 is $100,000; the minimum for 2014 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/5000.   

Accounting For Growing Companies: What To Consider

Do you know the old adage of “it takes one to know one?” We believe this to be a characteristic of LBA Haynes Strand, that just isn’t available at other CPA Firms. We of course are talking about a growing company. Growing companies face all kinds of challenges: accounting, hr, marketing, operations, etc, etc. There are two areas that we see growing companies needing the most assistance in: Cash Management and Internal Controls.

Cash Management

The truth of the matter is, it takes a LOT of cash to grow a business. Think about it – when a company grows their receivables grow, their work in progress grows, they have to hire new employees, they may need more inventory to sell, different technology needs, etc. All this costs money, but it is essential to creating a business structure that is capable of handling the business growth. If you are a business owner and you are looking to grow your company, you need to be aware of this.

It is a common story in the business world that businesses grow quickly, but then fail quickly, because the business was not properly prepared to handle the growth.  Business growth does not always equal success. When you grow you must look at all sides of your business and make sure that each function is strong and able to handle the increasing workload. Cash is going to be spent quickly to do these things, but the business owners must realize that this is necessary! The trick is not running out of money and working with your CPA can help you accomplish that.

Internal Controls

We see it often that a company comes to us asking for assistance because their company’s growth is outpacing their business structure. Sometimes these companies have little to no accounting function, because they just haven’t had the time to put the right systems in place, the right internal controls in place, or put the right people in place. This is a big area of concern for us.

Internal controls are often pretty logical measures that can make the difference between the success or the failure of your business. Implementing strong internal controls early on in the growth process can save the company a lot of time and money in the long run. This will also ensure the company that they will have efficient and effective business functions, reliable financial reporting, compliance with laws pertaining to the businesses activities, and the company’s assets are properly protected. So how do you know what internal controls you need to strengthen? This is where a certified public accounting firm with a team of internal auditors comes in handy. The internal audit team will come in and learn your business, conduct testing of your internal controls, create solutions for any issues they find, and then make recommendations to the management team.

If you are a growing company and have questions about your internal controls and your accounting function, contact LBA Haynes Strand today. As a two-year Inc. 5000 fastest growing company, we understand growing companies. What better advisors to your growing company than ones who knows how to handle it themselves!  Contact us today for your no cost-consultation!

Criminals Stole Data From 330,000 Taxpayers Off IRS Website

This week, the IRS reported that the initial data breach on taxpayer data was much worse than initially stated… 3 times worse. Back in May, we reported that the breach had compromised 100,000 accounts, based on initial reports from the IRS. After conducting an extensive review covering the 2015 filing season, the IRS realized that the number of accounts that had been breached was actually more like 330,000. However, we are sure this number will rise in the coming months.

The cyber group that remains unnamed, attacked the IRS through the “Get Transcript” tool. This group then duped “Get Transcript” by using previously acquired stolen information and downloading millions of people’s tax documents. “Get Transcript” has since been disabled to prevent any more fraud.

How Do You Know If You Are A Victim?

The IRS will be sending letters to each taxpayer whose information has been breached that warns them of potential identity theft. It is very important that if you receive this letter, you contact your CPA or you follow the steps that the IRS recommends to protect you from future issues. This includes an extra PIN number to protect your future tax filings and free credit protection.

Are You Safe Now?

The answer unfortunately is no. Off of tax forms, these criminals had access to salary, family information, property and investment values. In addition to identity theft, these criminals are able to claim bogus tax refunds and are also able to open lines of credit in your name. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure anyones information in the digital age.

Remember: The IRS will not call, email or send you letters for your personal information in response. Scammers and thieves see this as an open opportunity. These thieves will try emailing malicious links to alleged receipt of funds or calling taxpayers and posing as the IRS to receive funds. If you have a situation occur and you receive an email or a phone call from the IRS, contact your CPA. Your CPA will be able to tell you if it is a scam or not. Contact LBA Haynes Strand regarding a scam attempt – click here – and our team will get back to you ASAP!

Finding The Right CPA For Your Construction Firm

Often times the relationship between accountants and their clients can be misunderstood as one that just produces a tax return or one time advice.  If this describes your current relationship with your CPA, you might want to re-think your CPA Firm.  An accountant is supposed to act as a trusted advisor, one that you can count on to answer all your accounting questions on a year-round basis and someone you will never hesitate to call with a question.

So, how do you maximize your relationship with your accountant?

It starts with hiring the right accountant.  You need to find the professional CPA firm that has experience handling similarly sized construction companies, someone who understands the nuances of construction accounting.  They should also show a general interest in your company.  Your accountant should be able to ask relevant questions about your company/industry and should be able to provide advice that is specific to the construction industry.  For example if your CPA firm is REALLY knowledgeable about the construction industry, the CPA firm will be able to provide you with strategic planning, smart growth and expansion consulting, sound internal controls, tax and cash flow planning, and finally budgeting and forecasting.

You must understand that your CPA is a resource to your company. If you are only sending over your financial information and waiting for your accountant to send over a completed tax return – then you are missing an opportunity to better your company. Your accountant should be utilized as a financial resource.  Accountants can develop corporate strategies, financial plans, can make recommendations to how to lower taxes and increase profits, and can open up doors to new relationships with lawyers and bankers for example.

In today’s economy many general contractors have attempted to do more work with less resources.  This often times puts more of a burden on employees and on the contractor or owner of the company.  This has led to some aspects of the overall financial plan being ignored or not maintained.  If you are a contractor, wouldn’t it be nice to receive monthly reports and analysis of your spending, cash flow, and other financial data?  Utilizing your accountant to do this, can help you stick to a financial plan that increases your financial health and can help identify problems before they turn into significant issues.  When hiring the right accountant, ask them if they are able to provide monthly analysis and reporting, if they say, “no”, then move on and find an accountant who can.

What else should you be looking for in an accounting firm for construction companies?
  • Accountants with industry knowledge.  Look for the “CCIFP” designation!
  • Look for accountants who won’t charge for phone calls and will never put you on the “clock.”
  • Look for CPAs who are in Construction related groups.  CFMA for example.
  • Find your trusted advisor – someone you can envision developing a relationship with and contacting on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Someone who can provide insight into the construction industry.
  • During your first meeting, ask the accountant a specific tax question about the construction industry.  If they truly are a “specialist” in construction accounting, this will help you learn that.

Construction accounting is a specialty. That’s why you need an accounting firm that has keen insight into the challenges faced by general contractors and specialty contractors. LBA Haynes Strand’s in depth understanding of construction accounting is the result of providing services to more than 150 clients in the construction industry. For more information on construction accounting, download our free guide, “Profitable Construction: A Guide To Outsourcing Tax Preparation And Accounting.”

LBA Haynes Strand Launches Capital Advisors Group

We are excited to announce a new division at our firm – LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors.

John Bly, Co-Managing Member of LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC, had this to say about the announcement: “Since the firm was established, LBA Haynes Strand has been an active participant in the M&A marketplace. Our firm itself has successfully merged or acquired 11 CPA Firms in 11 years, which has created many new and exciting opportunities for the firm.  Over the past few years our clients have been hiring us to advise on mergers and acquisitions, performing due diligence work and providing advice on the structure of the deal. With our history and given the tidal wave of M&A activity coming over the next 10 years, we felt that this was the perfect time to launch our own Capital Advisors group.”

The new entity will be known as LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors, LLC and will be led by Saeed Moghadam. Saeed brings over 17 years of banking experience to the group, as he has enjoyed a successful career working with some of the largest banks in the Charlotte area. Our clients will now benefit from being able to leverage both the CPA knowledge and the Banker knowledge under one roof. LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors will offer professional advisory with in house due diligence, providing a seamless experience to our clients. 

New Service Lines under LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors include:
  • Capital Raise
  • Buy Side Searches
  • Sell Side Representation
  • Debt Refinance
  • Exit Planning
  • Valuation
  • M&A Advisory

To learn more about our Capital Advisors team and how we can help your business, contact us for your no-cost consultation.

Results of the Contractor Payment Survey

A CPA Firm should not just strive to be your accountant, but strive to be an industry resource to you. Your CPA Firm should be active in local trade organizations and in local chambers, to keep you up to speed with recent changes that may affect your business. As a firm that includes a large number of construction related clients, we are members of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). We do this to be active in the local construction community as well as to represent our clients.

As a member, we receive valuable information, in many different forms, that we can in turn communicate to our clients. At the bottom of this blog, you can find the results of a survey titled, “Contractor Payment Survey.” This survey was put together by the Institute of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professionals. On August 10th, the survey was mailed to 925 CCIFPs and was also posted on the CFMA Cafe website that reached approximately 7000 members. The survey was then closed on August 17th with 142 respondents. 

Questions included in the survey are:
  • On average, how long does it take to collect payments?
  • How does your current collection time compare to last year?
  • How does your current collection time compare to three years ago?
  • Of all payment transactions you received during the last year, what percent were checks, ACH/wire, or credit card?
  • When considering your total revenue for the last year, what percent was received from checks, ACH/wire, and/or credit card?
  • What is your gross annual revenue?
  • What is your total number of employees?

Results of Contractor Payment Survey: CLICK HERE

Delegation

Business Owners: Delegation Is The Key To Sustainable Value

Business Owners need to learn how to properly delegate roles in order to create a sustainable business. We have seen instances where business owners, who have worked as an “army of 1”, leave their business or retire and the value of the business leaves as well. If you really want  to make a difference in your employees lives and you want to create a lasting business long after you leave, you must learn the art of delegation!

Delegation is tough for some business owners. It is about empowering others to step up and make decisions on behalf of YOUR business and it is about you TRUSTING those employees to do so. Let me ask you a simple question:  Why did you start your business? Look back to when you were a wide eyed, optimistic entrepreneur. You started your business probably because you had a passion and wanted to make a difference in some kind of capacity. You have now created a successful business, one that has value and one that employs actual people! It has been successful, however you still feel the need to make every decision on your own.

What is your company going to do when you retire? Is it going to continue to run successfully or is it going to run like a ship without a captain?

If you want it to run successfully when you are gone, you must master delegation. Stop wearing every hat in the business and find people who are capable and willing to help your business grow. Find people you can trust to make the right decisions, that work within your value system and your business’ objectives. If you fail at this your business will likely fail soon after you leave.

To learn more, contact our team at LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors for your no-cost consultation!

Attention Business Owners: Don’t Just Survive….Thrive!

Are you helping your business thrive or are you helping it survive? If you are a business owner you may be spending too much time focusing on how to keep the ship afloat and not focusing enough on the opportunity to shift your time and attention to helping your business thrive.  One option to assist you is outsourcing business functions to professionals.  Look outside your company for consultants, for example a CPA firm that provides bookkeeping or outsourced accounting services.  This can save you time and money, as the fee will likely be less than hiring a full time accountant on your staff.

The moral of the story: Don’t try to wear all the hats!

Business owners that try to wear all the hats simply don’t have time to focus on their business.  They are too busy focused on the mundane activities such as accounting, marketing, hr, etc. As the leader of your business, you should be spending 0% of your time crunching numbers of everyday finances, and 100% of your time finding ways to increase the overall value of your business.

Let’s examine how outsourcing your accounting function can give you a tighter grip on managing your business in its entirety:

Outsourcing Saves Time

Your accounting department shouldn’t require a babysitter. You might think it’s your duty to manage work flow, 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.  

Outsourced accounting allows you to do this by taking all accounting issues off your hands. With an outside accounting firm, you are relieved of 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, more important, business issues.

Outsourcing Gives You An Organized System

When you ask your bookkeeper for a specific document, they should be able to retrieve it immediately. There shouldn’t be massive amounts of time spent digging through files and searching through desktops.

If you’re like most successful business owners, disorganization conflicts with your strategically structured approach to running a business. When you have a CPA firm on your team, your files are classified by revenue, or expense or location – however YOU want them to be classified. Which brings us to your next point…

Outsourcing Puts You In Control

You obviously have control over your business if you own it, but are things being managed according to your guidelines? Are the financial policies and procedures your company requires being put into place? You may not have tremendous accounting knowledge, but you have ideas on how you’d like to see your reports compiled and presented.

A good CPA firm abides by these ideas, taking your business plans and reporting preferences and arranging them in an easy-to-read, comprehensible format. For example, if you’re not 100% in tune with 100% of your expenditures, a CPA firm might recommend a weekly, monthly or quarterly cash flow analysis, depending on your needs.

The fact that you are not an accounting expert shouldn’t prevent you from creating policies around your finances.

Leading your business means bringing about a brighter future, looking at the overall picture, and 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. Outsourced accounting services ensure this effectiveness, and give you the time and tools you need to lead your business.

Want to learn more about the benefits outsourced accounting provides for your business?  Click here to start the conversation about your financial future with LBA Haynes Strand or click the button below to download your free whitepaper on the subject!