LBA Haynes Strand Named by SmartCEO as a Top Company Culture in Charlotte

LBA Haynes Strand is pleased to announce that we have been named by SmartCEO as a 2017 Corporate Culture Award winner. The Corporate Culture Awards celebrate 50 companies in Greater Charlotte that have successfully championed a positive, productive and performance-driven culture, and have worked with their employees to develop successful cultural practices. Winners will be profiled in SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at a high-energy awards ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 at CenterStage@NoDa.

Below you can view all 50 winners and event details.

2017 Corporate Culture Award Winners:

Alfred Williams & Company

Autobell Car Wash Inc.

AvidXchange, Inc.

Ballantyne Medical Associates

Barringer Construction

Better Car People

Bojangles’, Inc.

Burgess Insurance & Financial Services Inc.

BURKE Communications, Inc.

Carolina Connections Inc. dba Unique Background Solutions

Carolinas HealthCare System/

Continuing Care

CaroMont Health

CCS Construction Staffing

Charlotte Plastic Surgery

Command Partners

Costner Law Office, PLLC

DARTON GROUP Consulting, LLC

Davinci Jets

Girls on the Run International

Goodwill Industries of the

Southern Piedmont

Henderson Properties

Hilliard Studio Method and HSM | Core

Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region

Huber Engineered Woods, LLC

INTEC Group

InVue

Joe Gibbs Racing

LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC

Lwin Family Co. dba Hissho Sushi

Metrogreenscape, Inc.

Morris-Jenkins

Mueller Die Cut Solutions

NarmourWright Architecture

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Passport, Inc.

Rare Roots Hospitality

Red Moon Marketing

Red Ventures

ROVE

Search Solution Group

SeedSpark

Showmars Restaurants

S&ME, Inc.

SPAN Enterprises

starrdesign

Teguar Corporation

Viking Mergers & Acquisitions

Wayne Brothers, Inc.

Wooden Robot Brewery

Woolpert North Carolina, PLLC

“The 2016 Corporate Culture Award winners have realized that running a company is more than head count and the bottom line. It’s about creating a place where creativity, energy and ideas are cultivated. Through this they are able to not only enhance performance and sustain their companies’ competitive advantages but also enrich the lives of those they employ and inspire them to make a greater impact on the world,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO. “We’re honored to celebrate with the leaders of Charlotte’s top company cultures and recognize them for building true performance-driven cultures.”

The Corporate Culture Awards ceremony on Feb. 7, 2017, is an expected sell-out event where the leaders of Charlotte’s top companies will gather to mingle, celebrate and share stories about their collective successes. The event will kick off with a high-energy networking reception, complete with fun activities, including ping-pong, a putting green and a basketball shootout. Accompanying the fun is a video-packed awards ceremony that will honor the leaders of Charlotte’s top company cultures.

LBA Haynes Strand Named To 3rd Consecutive Charlotte Business Journal Fast 50 List!

The Charlotte Business Journal has released its annual Fast 50 list of the 50 fastest growing private companies in Charlotte.  This program determines winners using a formula that reflects dollar and percentage growth during a three-year period. We are excited to be included on this list for the third consecutive year.

“LBA Haynes Strand is lucky to have such an incredible team.  One of our core values is to be Growth Oriented.  This means growth at every level – the individual, the firm, and the client level,” says Co-Managing Member John Bly. “We are excited to be living this core value every day, helping our people and our clients grow, and in turn – they are helping us grow as evidenced by our recognition as a Charlotte Business Journal Fast 50 Company for the 3rd straight year!”

The rankings will be announced at an awards dinner on December 8th!  You can register for that event by clicking here.

Congrats to the 50 companies who have been honored as a 2016 Fast 50 Company:

  • AddShoppers
  • American Engineering
  • Apex Technology
  • AvidXchange
  • Barton Contracting
  • Brackett Flagship Properties
  • Bull Engineered Products
  • Cameron M. Harris & Co.
  • Carolina Office Solutions
  • Carolina Powertrain
  • CCS Construction Staffing
  • CEO Inc.
  • Command Partners
  • Computer Design & Integration Southeast
  • Costner Law Office
  • Darton Group Consulting
  • Davinci Jets
  • DC74
  • DealCloud Inc.
  • DecisionPathHR
  • DPS Construction Corp.
  • Fab Fours Inc.
  • Greenworks
  • Hissho Sushi
  • Horsepower Site Services
  • Impact Financial Systems
  • InfoSense Inc.
  • Lakeside Project Solutions
  • LBA Haynes Strand
  • MapAnything Inc.
  • McIlveen Family Law Firm
  • MetroTech Automotive
  • Passport Inc.
  • Pediatric Hair Solution
  • PrecisionLender
  • Reimels Dental Group
  • Search Solution Group
  • SeedSpark
  • SignUpGenius
  • SouthEnd Exteriors Inc.
  • SPAN Enterprises
  • Spangler
  • STS Cable Services Inc.
  • T1V
  • Torrent Consulting
  • Tresata
  • Trident Solutions
  • UNION
  • W.M. Warr & Son Inc.
  • XOOM Energy

Introducing Guidance Planning Strategies (GPS) For Wealth Management

LBA Haynes Strand is proud to introduce a new financial planning program for all of our clients. The tool is called GPS which stands for guidance, planning, strategies, and is offered through our wealth management affiliate, HK Financial Services. It allows us to work with our clients to assess their current financial situation as well as project what it could look like in the future.

GPS is a powerful program and experience because clients can keep track of their financial information while being able to see their “financial life” on a screen through images, charts, and graphs. GPS helps us highlight and discuss questions such as:

  • When might I be able to retire?
  • Will we have enough money in retirement?
  • What could my cash flow be like at retirement?

We incorporate tax and financial planning into the process to make certain our clients’ plans are on track and managed efficiently for tax purposes.

If you are interested in learning more about our GPS program and discussing your financial future, do not hesitate to contact one of our office locations today!

5 Tips For Preparing Your Annual HOA Budget

Preparing a budget for an HOA may seem daunting.  However there are 5 simple tips that can go a long way in making sure your HOA is budgeting correctly:

1.  Start by preparing a “business plan.” 

Set financial goals or objectives for the HOA to achieve.  Establishing short term and long term financial goals that are attainable and span from board-to-board, are essential to the Association when boards turnover.   This can be a simple list of goals and/or objectives for the upcoming year and future years ahead.  Use this list to plan for potential mid-year problems or anticipated major repairs.   This would be a good time to review the reserve study and anticipate those common areas that need to be replaced or repaired. 

2.  Always factor in uncollectible assessments.

Every association is going to have owners that just don’t pay their Association’s assessments.  Budgeting for uncollectible assessments is not only essential but critical to understanding the Association’s potential cash flows. Avoid the simple use of prior bad debt expense as the same amount for the current budget.  Put some ‘weight’ behind this line item in the budget.  A simple method would be to look at historical collection amounts over a five year period, as well as, factoring in any potential external impacts to homeowners.   Remember to include an evaluation of legal and collection costs when you develop an uncollectible amount.  These costs can increase significantly when collections become a significant issue.  

3.  Obtain updated contract costs on all major contracts; don’t just rely on annual renewals.

Landscaping, pool service and maintenance, and association management are typically the largest expenses to an association.  Review these contracts annually and make sure to understand the increases and possible changes.  Many of these contracts will have an automatic renewal clause.  Avoid the ‘autopilot’ approach and negotiate new rates and charges.  Remember, the Association’s income is fixed and a good approach would be to align the major expenses on a fixed basis.  Renegotiating with your major vendors doesn’t mean a full ‘request for proposal’ process.   If the Association is happy with the major vendors, then there is no need to go through the hassle of changing but locking in fees is a prudent approach for both parties.

4.  General recurring maintenance costs and utility costs are expense areas that seem to be ignored.

Utility costs are a given and increases annually should be expected, but simply relying on the prior year amounts for the current year budget can be misleading.  Research the anticipated annual increases and compare to historical trends within the Association.  General maintenance is unavoidable but these occurrences are not consistent from year-to-year.    Use the ‘business plan’ that was developed and budget for maintenance costs with a idea of the areas that need the most attention. 

5.  Review the reserve study and the Association’s current balances in reserve.

Then set the reserve contributions to ensure that you are meeting the needed reserve balances for future major repairs and replacements.   The more long term liabilities and obligations you have, the more you should be putting away.  For example, many condo associations have much larger obligations regarding upkeep, maintenance and replacement.   Failing to follow the reserve study or not budgeting for reserves at all can lead to significant financial problems.  Budgeting appropriately and consistently with the reserve study is critical to avoiding that dreaded need for a special assessment. 

To learn more and to speak with a member of the LBA Haynes Strand team. Click here for your no-cost consultation!

Inc. 5000 Three Peat for LBA Haynes Strand!

LBA Haynes Strand has been named to its third consecutive Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies!  Coming in at #1783 place on the list with a 209% 3 year growth rate, LBA Haynes Strand is ranked as the 14th fastest growing company in the Charlotte, NC area.

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small businesses. Companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees of the Inc. 5000.

“LBA Haynes Strand is amazed by the support of our team, clients, and community that continue to help the growth of our firm,” says LBA Haynes Strand Co-Managing Member, John Bly. “We know how hard it is to be named to the Inc. 5000 list, and we are fortunate enough to make it for our 3rd straight year!  It is a true accomplishment that we are proud of.  We consult with our clients on all matters of growth and this recognition shows that we practice what we preach, as one of our core values is the growth of the firm and the team.”

The 2016 Inc. 5000, unveiled online at Inc.com and with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc. (available on newsstands August 23) is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 433%. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $200 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 640,000 jobs over the past three years, or about 8% of all jobs created in the entire economy during that period. 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 Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a founder or a team of them. No one makes the Inc. 5000 without building something great – usually from scratch. That’s one of the hardest things to do in business, as every company founder knows. But without it, free enterprise fails.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring all the companies on the list will be held from October 18 through 20, in San Antonio, TX. Speakers include some of the greatest entrepreneurs of this and past generations, such as best-selling author and strategist Tony Robbins, SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, Cornerstone OnDemand founder, president and CEO Adam Miller, Marvell Technology Group director and co-founder Weili Dai, and New Belgium Brewing co-founder and executive chair Kim Jordan.

Methodology

The 2016 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2012 to 2015. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2012. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2015. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2012 is $100,000; the minimum for 2015 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/inc5000.

Individual North Carolina Tax Law Changes – This May Affect You!

Tax laws are constantly evolving. Below you can find the most recent tax law change that will affect individual taxpayers in North Carolina:

The North Carolina 2016 Appropriations Act (H1030) was signed into law by the governor on July 14, 2016. While the majority of the Act is the state budget for the year there was one provision included that may affect your 2016 and 2017 individual tax returns.  The standard deduction amounts for 2016 and 2017 were increased by $1,000 for married individuals filing joint returns, $500 for single individuals and married individuals filling separate returns, and $800 for individuals filing as head of household.  So, if the standard deduction of $16,500 for married joint, $13,200 for head of household, or $8,250 for single and married separate is more than your itemized deductions consisting of medical expenses, real estate taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions in 2016 your tax may be reduced.

If you have questions, contact the LBA Haynes Strand team today for a no-cost consultation!

5 Key Internal Control Principles Manufacturing Companies Must Consider!

If large manufacturing companies want to stay competitive in today’s business environment they need to continually work on improving production efficiencies, product quality and cost reduction.

Apart from the competitive business environment, large companies need to comply with a load of rules and regulations.  The Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws.  These include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977e Occupational Safety and Health Act and many more.

In addition, publicly listed companies have to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.   The intent was to drive improvements in companies’ internal controls.  To comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act many firms adopted a recognized control framework.

The most common control framework that companies chose is known as the COSO framework.  The COSO framework was issued in 1992 by the committee of sponsoring organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).  Their Internal Control – Integrated Framework was referred to as “COSO”, but on May 2013 COSO issued an updated Internal Control – Integrated Framework (the 2013 Framework) to incorporate the changes and technology advances that have taken place and effected the business world.

The 2013 Framework provides more guidance to large companies to effectively put in place a robust system of internal controls.  It adds 17 principles that are necessary for effective internal controls, but also introduces 81 focus points that are typically important to establish an effective system of internal controls for large companies.

Large manufacturing companies now have the opportunity to implement some of these “best practice” principles and focus points at the operations level to improve on their efficiencies and effectiveness of internal controls.

The following 2013 COSO principles and focus points are more relevant to large manufacturing companies:

1.    The organization selects and develops general control activities over technology to support the achievement of objectives. (COSO Principle 11)

With today’s advances in technology, management needs to consider which technology solutions fit their business models best.  It is important to understand the risks associated with the different technology solutions available. Assessing and documenting controls over technology would greatly assist manufacturing companies to make the best decisions regarding technology.

2.    The organization identifies and assesses changes that could significantly impact the system of internal control.  (COSO Principle 9)

Manufacturing companies are faced with more changes today than in the past that could affect the system of internal control.  These can be grouped into three categories:

  • Changes in the external environment, such as availability of raw materials, new laws and regulations.
  • Changes in the business model, such as better technology solutions and higher quality standards.
  • Changes in leadership.

Understanding, documenting and communicating these changes to management will assist the organization to better manage these changes and control the desired outcomes.

3.    The organization specifies objectives with sufficient clarity to enable the identification and assessment of risks relating to objectives. (COSO Principle 6)

For manufacturing companies to achieve their manufacturing goals, sufficient clarity and understanding of the risks associated with these is essential.  Once the risks are properly identified and ranked, management can implement actions to mitigate these risks.

Specific focus areas such as tolerance of risk and the required level of precision in performance measurements could greatly improve the effectiveness of risk mitigating actions.

4.    The organization obtains or generates and uses relevant, quality information to support the functioning of internal control. (COSO Principle 13)

Control systems need to provide accurate, relevant and timely information to enable management to have a more pro-active than a re-active approach towards internal changes in the business.

5.    The organization selects, develops, and performs ongoing and/or separate evaluations to ascertain whether the components of internal control are present and functioning. (COSO Principle 16)

As manufacturing processes and systems evolve and change over time, so should the internal controls and monitoring systems to stay current and relevant.   Regular evaluations and updating of internal controls are essential to ensure that internal controls are present and functioning.

Focusing on these key areas will enable large manufacturing companies to use their resources more effectively and help them to better define their operational goals and objectives to ultimately become more competitive and successful!

At LBA Haynes Strand we have a group of qualified and experienced professionals with internal controls and manufacturing experience to assist your manufacturing company to implement an effective and efficient internal controls framework. Click the button below for your no-cost consultation today!

Julie Ayers Named A Charlotte SmartCEO Inaugural Brava Award Winner!

Charlotte SmartCEO has announced the winners of its inaugural Brava Awards program. We are excited to announce that Julie Ayers, Principal Member of LBA Haynes Strand, has been named a winner! The Brava Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 40 high-impact business leaders across the Greater Charlotte area. Brava award winners combine their entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community. The winners are exemplary leaders of both their companies and their communities. Julie Ayers is among an inaugural class who collectively generate more than $24.69 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 53,800 individuals.

“Brava winners possess the hallmark qualities of successful leaders – vision, passion, compassion, dedication, perseverance. Each winner in this inaugural class exhibits these qualities in all facets of her life, from running her business to tending to her family and donating time and resources to philanthropic initiatives,: says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, president of SmartCEO. “We are honored to recognize a group of Charlotte women who are truly making a difference in the world.”

In addition, our team congratulates the other 39 women recognized for the Charlotte Brava Awards. To celebrate this tremendous award with Julie Ayers, join us on September 13th at the Charlotte Brava Award Ceremony!  You can find more information, by clicking HERE.

3 Keys To Staying Relevant With Your Clients

Staying relevant with your clients is the key to success. This applies to not only retaining your clients, but to also getting referrals from your clients. So, how exactly do you do that? What does staying relevant or becoming more relevant mean?

You talk to your client, you master the industry the client is in, and you provide timely advice and tips that lead to productive results for your client. Ultimately you are building a relationship with your client. One that is built on mutual trust and knowledge share. In North Carolina, especially in the Charlotte and Triad regions, there are dozens of CPA firms that can handle a client’s tax or accounting needs, however client service is where LBA Haynes Strand stands out from the rest. We create strong mutually beneficial relationships with clients. We stay relevant with our clients, and we do that by focusing on three main client service aspects:

1. Industry Acumen

Staying up to date on a client’s industry, including threats and opportunities is key. This includes making your client aware of any changes or updates that they need to be aware of relating to their industry. We pride ourselves in having a diverse team that is able to handle client needs in a number of industries. Most specifically: Charter Schools, Construction, Manufacturing, HOA, Non-Profit, and Entrepreneurs. Our team attends regular seminars, conferences, and other events in all of these fields to stay up to date.

2. Client Collaboration

We cannot stress this enough… work with your client! Your client should feel comfortable to come to you regarding any problem or issue they have and before important decisions are made! Something we have found helpful with our clients is to hold regular planning sessions. These can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or just annually – whatever the client feels is necessary. When you sit at the table on the same team with your client, then you are much more likely to provide real value to your client.

3. Client Insight

Focus on the client! Focus on the client’s vision, short-term and long-term goals, and strategic initiatives to meet those goals. You must understand your client in order to provide great service! This can greatly help you, especially when it comes time to offer useful advice to the client. You cannot fully help your client if you don’t understand them.  We highly recommend to take this last step seriously and really get to know your client.

These three steps can greatly increase your relevance with your clients. Thus, creating an excellent client experience and one that will be mutually beneficial for years to come. We know because this is how we handle our clients. If you would like to discuss your tax or accounting needs with a member of the LBA Haynes Strand team, contact us for your no-cost consultation!

June 15th Lunch-n-Learn: Information Security Threats

Small businesses (SMB’s) are subjected to a daily onslaught of Information Security threats. These threats come in many forms including technical, human, and software vulnerabilities. How does a SMB that is already restricted by personnel, budget, and productivity constraints effectively combat these threats?

There is always more…

More hardware, more software, more people, more procedures.

Just more stuff.

More is not always the answer. Often times other more practical methods or improved configuration/utilization of existing resources are the solution

Corporate Information Technologies (CIT) is a 19 year old information technology firm that are subject matter experts in the areas of Technology Infrastructure, Data Storage and Backup, and Information Security. CIT is privileged to have the opportunity to perform both defensive (Blue) and offensive (Red) team Information Security (InfoSec) assessments for many of their clients. These organizations, many the leaders in their respective industry, have substantial IT infrastructure and Information assets to secure. More often than not these assessments reveal substantial ways to better secure these organizations using their existing systems and investments. Many times training and communication is the only component missing from their InfoSec arsenal.

Understanding the methods and techniques used by attackers is one of the most effective ways to combat attackers. Using this understanding to better craft defenses and detection methods against ever evolving attacks is one of the most effective preventative measures an organization can take.

Humans remain one of the largest weaknesses while simultaneously being one of the greatest assets to any organization’s InfoSec policy. Training and equipping them for battle should be on the forefront of every SMB’s InfoSec plan. Plan, train, rehearse, test. It is often the simplest things that make the greatest differences in the battle to secure an organization against attackers.

On June 15th Corporate Information Technologies (CIT) is hosting a Lunch-n-Learn to share the top 5 ways small businesses are hacked and effective ways to combat them. This talk will be presented by a member of CIT’s offensive security team (Red Team). As ethical hackers, they are involved intimately with the techniques used by their nefarious black-hat counterparts. Come learn how to better secure, detect, and deter hackers from making your organization their next victim.

This event is an informal small-group setting with a member of CIT’s offensive security group discussing this vitally important topic. CIT will provide a non-technical presentation that is intended for both a semi-technical and completely non-technical audience.

2016 LBAHS DAY: The Team Volunteers at LIFESPAN

On June 2nd, 2016, the team celebrated our annual LBAHS DAY. LBAHS DAY is an annual community service day, where the team chooses a non-profit and goes and spends the day assisting in whatever needs to be done. This year the team traveled to Greensboro and volunteered with LIFESPAN. The LIFESPAN Creative Campus programs capture the many wonderful and exciting opportunities that are provided to individuals with developmental disabilities. LIFESPAN’s mission is to empower adults with disabilities by providing education, employment, and enrichment opportunities to live, work, and play in their communities.

LIFESPAN Creative Campus locations host an array of engaging and enriching services including art, drama, horticulture, culinary arts, pottery, recreation and health and wellness.  The curriculum is based upon interests of the individuals that are supported and this allows for an ever changing environment. To learn more, visit: http://www.lifespanservices.org/.

The LBAHS Team rolled up their sleeves after arriving bright and early and got to work in the Andreve Teaching Garden on the LIFESPAN Creative Campus.

LBA Haynes Strand Wins Top Wealth Management Excellence Award

North Carolina CPA firm, LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC has been awarded the 2015 Top Wealth Management Excellence award from HK Financial Services (HKFS). LBA Haynes Strand earned this award by helping clients with strategic wealth management planning.

LBA Haynes Strand was founded on the belief that personal attention, trusted advice, and quality services are key elements to helping clients succeed. In order to further clients’ success, the Firm decided to designate HKFS as their preferred service provider of wealth management services.

This strategic partnership with HKFS provides independent and objective financial services to all clients. HK Financial Services is a Registered Investment Advisor, managing over $1.7 Billion for the clients of its 65+ CPA firms, while providing insurance, brokerage, and retirement planning for its CPA affiliate clients. LBA Haynes Strand is proud to be a part of this partnership.

To learn more, visit our Wealth Management page or contact any of our three office locations!