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!

NC Charter Schools Accounting: ISIS Rebranded as LINQ

We received word that North Carolina Charter Schools will no longer be using an accounting software called “ISIS”.  The group in charge of the accounting software has unveiled a re-brand that will change the name to “LINQ”.  The official switch over will happen on January 29th – including new logos (already unveiled here!), branding, and a new website: www.thinklinq.com.

Curious to learn more about LINQ?

Charter Schools in North Carolina use an accounting software that will now be known as LINQ.  LINQ is designed and supported by a North Carolina company out of Wilmington called, Education Management Systems, Inc.  The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) actually supplies the software to the Charter School and the Charter School is then responsible for paying the quarterly support payment of $745.00.

The LINQ software accounting program is the Charter School’s primary method of communicating  financial information to DPI.  DPI requires month end reporting of all financial transactions and payroll within the first two business days following month end.  The LINQ software will create the following formatted files for DPI reporting: financial reporting, payroll files, orbit reporting files, and employer reports for Staff ID.

LBA Haynes Strand has a team that excels in using this software.  The functions will all be the same – and the transition from ISIS to LINQ will be seamless among our Charter School clients.  Keep an eye on www.thinklinq.com on Friday, January 29th for the big unveil!

Breaking: Businesses Are Partnering With CPA Firms To Run Accounting Departments

The hiring of CPA firms as the accounting function of companies is growing. Once thought to be contained to smaller businesses, the use of a CPA firm as an accounting department is spreading to mid-sized companies.  Whether it is going to be called an “epidemic”, a “pandemic”, or an “outbreak” is yet to be seen.  The good news is business owners now have options on how to run their business.  In fact they have more options than at any point in history.

What does this mean?

Mid-Sized companies are facing many of the same issues that smaller businesses are going through.  They are wanting to run leaner businesses with less overhead, and are wanting to do so more efficiently.  This means that companies are continuing to look outside their own company for help.  Sure accounting firms have been offering accounting services to companies for decades – but what is new is that we are now offering accounting solutions to business owners.

Business owners are now asking, “Why would I pay a lone individual to handle my company’s accounting duties, when I can instead hire an entire team of professional accountants at a CPA firm to handle my accounting at a fraction of the cost?”

Good question – and one that every business owner needs to ask his or herself.  Hiring a CPA firm with an accounting solutions department is the here and the now, but also the future.

Accounting Solutions: What You Need To Know

There are many benefits to hiring an accounting solutions team.  The list of accounting solutions offered include: AP management, AR management, budget development, credit card processing, financial statement preparation and analysis, payroll management, QuickBooks support, and much more!  Companies aren’t just looking to maintain the status quo anymore, they are looking to better themselves and find competitive advantages over their competitors.  Companies are demanding efficiency and experience out of their accounting departments – when these demands are going unmet – you need solutions.

If hiring a CPA firm to be your accounting team is something that you are considering, be sure to consult with a number of CPA Firms and choose the one that best fits your company and your vision.  Make sure that they have the right staff in place to handle your needs, make sure you are not going to be charged by the hour, and make sure you choose a firm that you feel comfortable with.  You want to be able to call your CPA at any time throughout the year with questions, so make sure you feel comfortable with your accountant.  This person is going to effectively become a member of your team, so finding a CPA that meshes well with your personality and can fit into your office culture is an important part of the process.

Remember – you are running your organization.  When you use an independent accounting firm, you are in a better position to do so.  Let your CPA handle your daily accounting functions and you can better focus on the core competencies of your business!

Ready to learn more about the Accounting Solutions team at LBA Haynes Strand? Contact us for your free consultation!

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!

Be Prepared: Fraud Is On The Rise During Tax Season

Did you know that ALREADY the IRS is warning that is has seen a 400% surge in phishing and malware compared to the last tax year?  Unfortunately tax season now coincides with “fraud season”.

Last week the IRS warned of the dramatic increase in official-looking text and email messages that taxpayers have received.  Phishing messages have been received asking for a wide variety of sensitive information, including filing status, personal information confirmations, PIN verifications, and more.  The messages have been created to look official as if they have been sent from the IRS or a tax software company and are being received in every corner of the United States.

Next time you open up that email that is asking for important personal information, take notice of who the sender is and the link that they are trying to make you click on.  Chances are that the link is hyperlinked to a fraudulent website, in hopes that you enter in your information there.  A trick is to “hover” your mouse above the link and then see where you are really being re-directed, if the link looks odd (which it probably will), then delete the email.  If you are unsure, you can always send the email to your CPA, and he or she can then advise on the validity of the email.

Remember: The IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text, or social media, or phone calls for that matter. So if you receive a message, be suspicious!

Some subject lines that the IRS has seen in phishing scams, include:

  • Confirm your personal information
  • Get my IP PIN
  • Get my E-file PIN
  • Order a transcript
  • Complete you tax return information
  • Variations about people’s tax refunds
  • Update your filing details, which can include references to W-2

To report a phishing scam to the IRS, email phishing@irs.gov.

This blog was created for your protection, please be aware of these circumstances and alert your CPA if you are ever unsure.  We have experience in dealing with the IRS and can quickly let you know if something is or isn’t a fraudulent message.

10 Audit Tips For Non-Profit Organizations

When that time of year comes around for your annual audit, you need to make sure you are ready.  Being prepared is the key when it comes to handling any audit.  You want to be sure that your policies and procedures are being adhered to, internal controls are operating effectively and your financial statements are in line with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  Prepping for an audit can be a grueling process, but it’s a necessary one.  Go over these 10 non-profit audit tips to ensure your next external audit is quick and painless.

1. Have A Plan

As with any complicated process, it is always better to have a plan in place ahead of time. When we say ahead of time, we mean three to four months ahead of time. Audit season occurs traditionally within 3 to 8 weeks following the close of the fiscal year, so your plan should begin to form well in advance. This might sound like a stretch, but there is no such thing as being too prepared when it’s your organization’s financial well being on the line.

2. Monthly Reconciliation

Reconciliation should be a regular practice within your non-profit organization. As long as your organization is running, it means you’re spending and making money. It is your job to account for that money. If you let your records pile up, two things are going to happen:

You are going to have a huge pile of records to deal with in a short amount of time

You are going to be scrambling to reconcile those records before your auditors arrive, leaving plenty of room for unintentional and careless errors and/or omissions

This is why a MONTHLY reconciliation process is absolutely necessary if you expect to be approved by your auditors.

3. Go Over The List

Most auditors give organizations a list prior to the audit, so they know what is expected. This list indicates everything that your organization should have ready when the auditors arrive. Make copies of this list and pass it around to all personnel, honing in on your finance department. Make sure all members of the organization are thoroughly prepared.

4. Create A Calendar

Once you’ve got that list, go ahead and put it in calendar form with the help of your audit team and personnel. You want to make sure you’re including all deadlines for all deliverables on this calendar, so everyone is attuned to what is going to be required from them.

5. “Pro-Forma”

Pro-forma documents are projected financial statements. Be sure to discuss with your audit team any and all information that you know is excluded from your Pro-forma or may be in the near future, like reconstruction of the non-profit.

6. Book Adjustments

This is simply another precaution to ensure your organization is in line with GAAP. Any and all adjustments should be booked before finalizing the trial balance. Entries have every chance to slip through the cracks in a yearly financial statement view.

7. Ledger Changes

Make sure your auditors are aware of any new accounts in your general ledger. It’s not the worst thing to surprise an auditor with a new account, but your goal should be to keep them in the loop with every single aspect of your organization’s records.

8. Financial Contingencies

This should go without saying, but your audit teams need FULL disclosure on all financial conditions that may be considered liabilities. For example, you may not want to explain a nasty lawsuit from the previous year, but your auditors need to know this kind of information. They are not there to judge your organization. Their responsibility is to ensure YOUR financials adhere to GAAP and are not misleading to its readers.

9. Old Assets/Uncollectable Receivables

Write off old assets/uncollectable receivables and write them off immediately. Having an auditor determine assets/receivables are uncollectable will most likely mean the most conservative answer. Your management team is more attune to the records and are responsible for developing these estimates. Keeping this analysis in house will result in a better approach to dealing with these assets and allows the auditor to simply review management’s estimate.

10. Prior Year

With each annual audit, your organization should become more familiar with the procedure. You know the auditors are going to review and record adjustments from the prior year, so why not get a head start and have them booked before the auditors arrive? If nothing else, your auditor is going to be incredibly grateful for the saved time.

Bonus Tip:

Analyze your final results compared to your budgeted results and be prepared to explain the differences.  Things that don’t add up are going to draw the auditor’s attention and could incur additional un-budgeted time, so make sure you have a reason for any variations in your budgets.

If you remember one thing about this blog post – remember “Be Prepared.”  We can’t stress that enough.  Make review part of your weekly schedule.  When you’re on top of your records and keep everything up to date – you will have no reason to dread those annual audits!  Want to learn more – click the button below:

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

5 Tips To Protect Your Financial Future

With the ever-changing tax laws, our principal members and staff work diligently to stay up-to-date and keep you informed of strategies that can help save and protect your financial future. As you’re gathering your tax documents, consider some of the tips below that can significantly help in protecting your future!

1. Determine which type of IRA is best for you.

If you’re fairly young, expect to be in a similar tax bracket when you retire, or are concerned about cash flow during retirement, the Roth IRA might be best for you. If you’re older and expect to be in a lower tax bracket, you may be a candidate for a deductible IRA.

For a side-by-side comparison of Traditional and Roth IRAs, click here.

2. Think about the best ways to gradually transfer your estate tax-free.

Consider establishing a gifting program under which you and your spouse can transfer a combined $28,000 each year to any number of recipients.

3. Contribute the maximum amount allowable to a tax-deferred retirement plan.

This includes “catch-up” contributions if you are 50 or older.

4. Create a business succession plan.

On average, only one in three closely held businesses successfully passes on to the next generation.

Click here for succession planning ideas and ways that you can help protect your company’s future.

5. Set up a trust to meet your long-term financial goals.

To get started, view these commonly used trusts.

For other tips and ways to protect your financial future, contact us today for your no-cost consultation!