5-Time Inc. 5000 Honoree

Coming in at #3267 on the list with a 120% 3 year growth rate, LBA Haynes Strand has made the Inc. 5000 list for fastest-growing private companies in America for the 5th time in a row! We are proud of our team and this great accomplishment.

List Details

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

“Making the Inc. 5000 for the fifth year in a row demonstrates the forward thinking ideas and growth strategies our firm continues to implement year after year,” says John Bly, Principal and CEO at LBA Haynes Strand.  “Our team continues to focus on our growth oriented core value and it can be seen through this accomplishment. We know how hard it is to be recognized on this list and are proud to be a 5-time honoree.”

Not only have the companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000  been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2018 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 538.2 percent, and a median rate of 171.8 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $206.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 664,095 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 on INC.

“If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it’s unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”

Methodology

The 2018 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2014 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2014. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2017. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2014 is $100,000; the minimum for 2017 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 on INC’s website.

Important Tax Alert: How The 2015 Budget Act Will Affect Medicare and Social Security

The effect of the 2015 Budget Act will impact Medicare premiums and Social Security benefits.  Based on our reading of the bill and various other articles analyzing the new law, the following is an understanding of the changes in the 2015 Budget Act impacting Social Security Benefits:

Medicare Part B Premiums for 2016

The 2016 Medicare Part B premiums were originally scheduled to increase by 52% over the 2015 monthly amount of $104.90 for single taxpayers with income of $85,000 or less and married taxpayers with income of $170,000 or less.  Taxpayers with income above those amounts paid higher premiums. 

NEW LAW: The Act limits the 2016 premiums to the 2015 amounts for most taxpayers.  Taxpayers with higher incomes will pay the 2015 premiums plus $3 per month.  For 2017 and subsequent years, the premiums for the lower income taxpayers will be increased by the lesser of $3 or the cost of living adjustments in their monthly Social Security payments.

Social Security Benefits

Individuals who are or will be age 66 before May 1, 2016:

Under prior rules, individuals who turned age 66 could file for social security benefits and immediately suspend receipt of those benefits.  Their retirement benefits would continue to grow by 8% per year until the earlier of age 70 or an election to start receiving benefits.  While  benefits are suspended, their spouse or dependent child(ren) could receive up to 50% of their normal payment amount.  When the individual later begins  drawing payments, the individual could request a lump sum payment of the accumulated suspended payments in lieu of receiving the increased monthly payments.

NEW LAW: The 2015 Budget Act provides that anyone, who has already filed for and suspended the receipt of benefits prior to passage of the Act and whose family is receiving benefits, will not be affected. 

Individuals turning age 66 before May 1, 2016 can follow the old rule that allows them to file and suspend while their future benefits increase by 8% per year until age 70.  Their dependent child(ren) will be eligible to receive benefits and their spouse aged 62 or older as of December 31, 2015 will be able to receive spousal benefits at age 66. 

Individuals that will turn age 66 before May 1, 2016 but do not file for benefits before that date may file and suspend their benefits after April 30, 2016, but their family will not be able to collect any benefits while their benefits are suspended.   In other words, if the individual turning age 66 is not receiving cash payments, spouses and dependent children may not receive payments unless the individual turned age 66 before May 1, 2016 and filed for benefits. 

Individuals who will be age 62 before December 31, 2015:

Under the old rules, an individual born in 1943 through 1954 could file for full Social Security benefits at age 66 regardless of employment status or earnings.   Generally, spouses age 62 or older and certain dependent children could also get benefits of up to 50% of the individual’s benefit amounts, even if suspended.

NEW LAW: The Act limits the spousal benefits to the greater of the spouse’s own benefits or 50% of the primary beneficiary’s benefits when the spouse reaches age 66.  Spousal benefits and dependent benefits are only paid when the primary beneficiary has filed for benefits and is receiving benefits. 

There is an exception  for a spouse who is age 62 as of December 31, 2015.  If the primary beneficiary attained full retirement age before May 1, 2016 and has either claimed Social Security benefits or has filed and suspended their benefits prior to May 1, 2016, the spouse may claim either spousal benefits or their own benefits when he or she turns 66.  This allows the spouse to collect 50% of the primary beneficiary’s full retirement amount for up to four years and their benefit will increase by 8% until age 70 when they must switch to their own retirement benefits. 

The other exception is for surviving spouses who may continue to choose their own benefits or the spousal benefits.

Individuals under age 62 at December 31, 2015:

NEW LAW: Anyone who turns 62 after December 31, 2015 will lose the right to claim spousal benefits.  If they are entitled to both their own retirement benefit and a spousal benefit, they will only receive the higher amount.  The only exception is for surviving spouses.  A surviving spouse may choose the spousal benefit first while his or her benefit continues to increase by 8% per year until age 70 at which time the surviving spouse can claim his or her own benefit.

Due to the complexity of the rules for electing Social Security Benefits, we encourage you to consult your tax advisor.  The tax professionals at LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC are available to assist you in understanding this process, and making the best possible decision.  Click the button below if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your Social Security Benefits, or other important tax planning for your retirement years.

5 Important Cybersecurity Tips

As your team of trusted advisors, one of our main objectives is to provide you with the knowledge and resources to help you achieve your goals. In today’s digital world, we understand that you are susceptible to cybercrime and identity theft daily.

We have compiled a few cybersecurity tips to help protect you against these threats:
  1. Understand that you are a target. It is a mistake to assume that you will not be targeted by a hacker or cyber-criminal. If you let your guard down, you put your personal and financial well-being at risk.
  2. Update your devices and their software. It is important to keep your computer and any additional internet-connected devices such as your smart phone or tablet updated. These updates are sent out because vulnerabilities have been found.
  3. Keep your passwords strong and do not reuse them across multiple sites. Ensure that the passwords you are using are unique and would not be easily identified.
  4. Think before you click (or open). Be careful when clicking links or opening attachments within an email. If something seems suspicious, it probably is. In order to check, hover your cursor over a link before clicking. When doing this, you are able to preview the link allows to ensure you will be directed to a safe site.
  5. Physically protect your devices. Take every precaution to prevent your computer from being used or stolen by unauthorized individuals. Laptops are easy targets for theft so it is important to store them in a secure and locked location when not in use.

As your team of trusted advisors, we want to encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect you and your business against cybercrime. To begin protecting yourself, be proactive and have a complete understanding of the cybersecurity tips in this post.

LBA Haynes Strand aims to alert the public on any scam or fraudulent attempt to steal identities or gain access to important financial information. To automatically receive updates like these, subscribe to our newsletter.

How Well Do You Know Your CPA Firm?

How well do you know your CPA Firm? Can you honestly say that your CPA is a partner in your success and that of your business? These two questions should produce the same answer: “Well enough to be confident in our collaborative success.” If this is not your answer, you may want to think about rekindling the flame between you and your CPA firm.

The relationship you have with your accounting firm should exceed standard service. Strategic planning, a strong partnership, and prolonged efforts toward ensuring future financial success should be at the forefront of your relationship with your CPA. If a close relationship with your accountant has diminished, or was never established in the first place, perhaps it is time to start rethinking things. Mutual understanding and a shared work ethic between you and your CPA firm are necessary to achieving financial growth for your organization.

Below are the primary components of a healthy CPA-to-business relationship, as well as the level of familiarity required for each element to be effective.

Ongoing Strategic Planning

What type of employee benefits do you offer? How about retirement plans? Your responsibility is to maintain a healthy, positive work environment. Part of the responsibility of your CPA is to factor your employees into the strategic layout of your current and future business endeavors.

Value Service Agreement

A strong CPA firm demonstrates the desire to cultivate close client relationships. You want your conversations with your CPA to be just that – conversations. How much value are you getting out of a consultation if you’re constantly monitoring the clock, keeping a closer eye on your bill than on the pertinent financial data laid out in front of you? Ensure that the value service agreement offered by your CPA is agreeable to your budget and beneficial to your finances. Work closely with your accountant to determine the plan that works best for YOU.

Growth Conversations

Are you and your CPA overdue for a growth conversation? You and your accountant should work together to create a strategic growth plan based on the specific goals you’d like to achieve in the future. Would you like to expand your business, or are you trying to downsize? Are you going to leave your business for future generations? Perhaps you are looking to sell your company. Whatever your plans may be, it is vital to converse with your CPA to determine the best formula for reaching those goals and to ensure financial security. You need an accounting team that is just as dedicated to fulfilling those plans as you are.

Long-Term Vision

What are your longstanding goals in terms of business development? Is your CPA familiar with them? Whether you’ve omitted this important information, or your CPA has neglected to ask, these objectives are vital in creating a strong and stable plan for your financial future.

Constant Connection

Your financial consulting needs will fluctuate from month to month, year to year, and so on. Regardless, contact with your CPA should not slip through the cracks during periods of lesser urgency. Both you and your CPA firm need to maintain a close relationship throughout the year. Communication is key!

There are several factors that contribute to your long-term financial success, but none of them are effective unless a sturdy foundation is established between you and your CPA firm. If you don’t feel as though a real closeness exists, all subsequent interactions are going to be out of sync with your future financial plans. To set and satisfy all of your financial goals, contact a professional CPA firm or work on strengthening the relationship with your current one.

Ready to get more out of your accounting services? Contact us to begin to understand the value of working with an accounting firm that provides much more than surface-level, mechanical tax preparation.

How To Find A Company To Buy

Our firm receives many questions on M&A, but by far the most common question is: “How do I find a company to buy?” The answer is a simple one… start with Google and search for companies that are currently for sale. The search will most likely lead you to brokers. Within each industry, there lies a group of brokers who focus on mergers and acquisitions.

One very popular business broker firm in the Charlotte area is Viking Mergers and Acquisitions. On Viking’s website, there is a section for people looking to buy a business and another for people looking to sell their business. Under the “Buying A Business” tab, there is a business listing of all their clients who are looking to sell their business. There you go – you have your answer. It’s that simple!

What else can you do besides searching online?

I recommend trying a direct mail piece. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  You may never know that a company is interested in selling if you don’t ask them! Do some market research and look for companies that can add value to your business. 

What else should you look for in a business to buy?
  • Location – Do you want to enter a certain city or geographical area?
  • Lack of a Succession Plan – This one is hard to tell unless you have a dialogue with the owners.
  • Specialized Service/Product – Do you want to offer a new service or a product?
  • Culture – A similar work culture will help the merger or acquisition succeed.

Find a list of companies that fit the profile you are looking for and send them a letter or a postcard. This mailing should address your intentions, show off your background, gauge the interest of the business owner to sell, and be short and to the point. After that, it is up  to you to either follow up or foster the relationship. If you hear back from a business owner, you can fine tune your approach and learn what worked in your mailing or what you should change in order to make it more effective the next time around. You also might learn more about what kind of business owners are interested in selling and you can target similar business owners with your next correspondence.

Interested in learning more about how to find a company to buy?  We will release more blogs on this topic in the near future so stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the team at LBA Haynes Strand for your no cost consultation!

How Much Should You Save For Retirement?

It’s never too early to save for retirement! While it may sound a bit cliche, it’s true! No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, determining a retirement plan and regularly reviewing your strategies is of vital importance.

Deciding how much you should be saving for retirement each month can be confusing. Check out the savings plan below for a helpful guide on how much to set aside for retirement. Keep in mind that your plan should offer immediate tax benefits as well.

How Much Should You Save?

Number Of Years Until RetirementEstimated Monthly Savings Needed Per $1,000 Desired (assumes 10% return)
15$ 239.23
16$ 210.97
17$ 186.22
18$ 165.02
19$ 146.63
20$ 130.55
21$ 116.41
22$ 104.06
23$   98.11
24$   83.33
25$   74.74
26$   67.07
27$   60.28
28$   54.17
29$   48.73
30$   43.88
31$   39.51
32$   35.61
33$   32.10
34$   28.95
35$   26.12

The sheer number of retirement plans that are available can be overwhelming. How do you select a plan that will best provide for you at the time when you need it most? Is a combination of plans more suitable?

Are you ready to save for retirement? The partners and staff at LBA Haynes Strand are eager to help you choose the retirement plan that makes sense for you. Our team can also advise you on how changing tax laws will impact your current plans. Ready to discuss your future? Call or email us today for a FREE consultation!

How Do I Value My Company?

There are two main ways for business owners to value their company. One is through a business valuation and the other is through a calculation engagement. In a business valuation engagement, the answer is expressed as a conclusion of value. While in a calculation engagement, the answer is expressed as calculated value. For this blog we will focus on the calculation engagement.

This service does not provide a full conclusion of value, but rather a reduced calculation of the value of a company. In addition, the calculation engagement does not provide the same level of assurance as a valuation. However, it is a viable and less costly option. However, there are certainly situations where a calculation engagement is beneficial and we will list those below.

As stated in the NACVA Professional Standards, “A Calculation Engagement occurs when the client and member agree to specific valuation approaches, methods, and the extent of selected procedures and results in a Calculated Value.” The resulting calculated value should not be used for any other purpose or by any other party for any purpose.

Situations Where a Calculation Engagement Is Beneficial
  • Buying out an internal partner
  • Buy or sell insurance needs
  • To fulfill bank needs
  • To get a rough estimate of the fair market value of your company, should you be in the process of deciding to sell
What Is Delivered

This service provides the client with a 15-30 page report on the things that are driving the value of the company. It can be used as a strategic way to look at your value today and make changes over a period of time in order to drive the value higher.

How you value your company is up to you. We recommend considering a Calculation Engagement by a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA).  Contact the CVA professionals at LBA Haynes Strand for your no-cost consultation!

Why Should You Hire a Dental Specific CPA?

Whether you are a new dentist entering the market, an established dentist, or considering transitioning out of your Practice, having a dental specific CPA in your corner is the key to success. We live in a world of specialization. While a general accountant may be easy to find and work with, having a CPA with deep industry expertise on your side is vital to the success of your Practice. Our dental team is uniquely qualified and ready to support your Practice regardless of what stage you are in.

A few key solutions we provide are:

Specialized Tax Planning

As you become successful and grow your Practice, your tax situation becomes more complex. Dental specific CPAs are able to share techniques to lower your tax rate while increasing your tax savings.

Trends & Benchmarking

Our expertise extends beyond traditional tax planning and compliance. Our team is fully immersed in the dental industry which provides us with tangible insight on current trends and common issues to help you make educated business decisions.

Complete Lifecycle Support

From start-up to exiting your Practice, our team serves as strategic business advisors who are there with you every step of the way. For future Practice owners, we develop a business plan to help obtain business financing needed to take the next steps and launching your Practice confidently. When purchasing an established Practice, our team works with you to find and review purchase options through our Practice Scorecard Analysis and due diligence process. When it comes time to sell your Practice and retire, our team is able to provide sell side representation and focus on finding the right buyer who is able to provide you with the right offer.

Owning and managing a dental Practice can be quite challenging. Allow us take the dental accounting and tax preparation tasks off your hands so you can focus on providing high quality service to your patients. To learn more about how a dental specific CPA can support your Practice, contact us!

If you are interested in starting or acquiring a dental practice, check out our dental lifecycle blog series!

Here We Grow Again! LBA Haynes Strand Adds Charlotte based CPA Firm McArthur, McKeiver, & Vaughan, PLLC to The Firm

The 2017 year is here and LBA Haynes Strand has rang the proverbial growth bell again!  For the past 4 months, LBA Haynes Strand has been working to complete a deal with, Ballantyne based CPA Firm, McArthur, McKeiver and Vaughan, PLLC to unite as one combined firm.  The combination will add three Principals to the LBA Haynes Strand team with the additions of Brad McKeiver, Steve Vaughan, and Patrick Coleman.   This will increase the total of Principals to 13 and number of employees to 80 across the three North Carolina offices of the Firm.  The Firm will continue to operate under the LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC name, where the three incoming principals and the incoming staff members from McArthur, McKeiver, & Vaughan will join the Firm in the Matthews, NC office of LBA Haynes Strand.

McArthur, McKeiver, & Vaughan has been a part of the Charlotte community for over three decades, since its inception in 1978.  The mission of the firm was always to deliver pro-active and client-centered services to its clients aimed at adding value and helping their clients reach their goals.  These same ideals of being proactive and client-centric are pillars of LBA Haynes Strand, thus creating a unified Firm culture.  The addition of McArthur, McKeiver, & Vaughan will add not only a strong culture piece to the LBA Haynes Strand Firm, but also a strong dental accounting and consulting practice,  a forensic accounting offering,  and a profitability consulting service offering.

John Bly, Principal, CEO of LBA Haynes Strand had this to say regarding the combination, “We are thrilled to be able to add such a strong team of talented and driven Principals to LBA Haynes Strand.  The additions of Brad, Patrick, and Steve to our Matthews office is a natural fit for us as we seek to grow our Firm and grow the service offerings that we can offer our clients.  We strive to become a one stop shop for all middle market business owners’ accounting and financial needs in North Carolina and the Southeastern US.  The ability to ring in the New Year with such an exciting announcement can be attributed to both Firm’s hard work and dedication to a unified vision of what a modern accounting firm should be.”

In addition, LBA Haynes Strand recently announced the acquisition of Dave Recchion and SeeRisk Management Advisors out of High Point, NC.  Dave Recchion joined the Greensboro office as a Principal on December 1, 2016.

Greensboro Named A Best Place To Live

According to Livability.com, Greensboro is one of the best places to live in the United States. Greensboro came in at #91 on the list, just ahead of Charleston, SC! Reasons for the ranking included Greensboro’s high quality of health care and education and a continuously improving downtown area. 

As far as education goes, Greensboro is home to the third largest North Carolina Community College institution in the state, Guilford Technical Community College. The city is also the home of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Guilford College. In addition to college education, the Guilford County Public School District is highly respected in the area. The plethora of quality educational institutions makes for a great place to raise a family.

You also cannot overlook the health care in Greensboro. According to the survey results, Greensboro ranks 14th in North Carolina out of 100 counties in terms of longevity and quality of life. There are 30 hospitals located within 60 miles of Greensboro and nearly 2,200 doctors within the city limits.

Furthermore, downtown Greensboro has been transformed into a vibrant and lively area that serves as the main center for the area’s commerce and culture. The area is boasting with shoppingdiningentertainment, offices, and neighborhoods – the feel of downtown can best be described as “cool.” In a recent interview Greensboro’s Mayor, John Perkins, was asked to describe his city. He had this to say, “We’re trying to make the town cool.  We have 47,000 college students at seven colleges and universities that are here. We want to leverage off that and keep some of that talent here after they graduate. And the best way to do that is to make your city cool.”

Other Accolades:

This is hardly the first time Greensboro has shown up on a “Best” List. Earlier this year Greensboro made appearances on a number of Forbes lists, including:

Slowly but surely Greensboro has grown to become a very important city in North Carolina. As the 3rd largest city in terms of population in North Carolina, expect great things from “The Gate City”. This nickname comes from the fact that In 1891 the city would see the arrival and departure of 60 trains per day. It became an important transportation hub for manufacturers and people alike.

If you are a business owner in the Triad region and would like a no-cost consultation with an established certified public accounting firm in Greensboro, contact us.  Our team is ready to work with your team and provide you with the  services and benefits you expect.

Buy a business

It’s a Great Time to Buy a Business

As you look to purchase a business make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  Don’t just say, “I want to get rich.”  That way of thinking probably won’t cut it, unfortunately. You need to make sure you have wisdom, passion, and a solid plan for your new business. Do your due diligence!

There are a number of factors that make this the best time in history to buy:

  • Supply and Demand
  • Capital Availability
  • Larger Companies Are Worth More
  • Strategic Savings

Supply and Demand

As baby boomers exit their companies, there are more sellers and less buyers which makes the selection of businesses to buy better than it has been in the past. Many Capital Advisors that provide buy side searches or sell side representation have access to websites that list companies for sale. This access makes it easy to find the appropriate demographic, niche, and value that buyers are looking for. When a business owner comes to a Capital Advisor for guidance, they receive information on numerous companies interested in selling and have more choices than they would have had in the past.

Capital Availability

Private equity groups, private investors, and banks have more money they want to put to use in the marketplace than ever before. Additionally, interest rates are at historic lows so borrowing capital to buy a business can be done efficiently.

Larger Companies Are Worth More

Acquiring 1 to 3 competitors and building your current company may change the multiple you get on an exit from 4x to 6x of EBITDA. Consider buying a smaller business for 3x the earnings. Later as you combine it with your business and resell the larger business in the future, you may be able to get a rate arbitrage on your purchase. Thus, the same business you bought for more than 3x. Some call this the buy-then-sell strategy.

Strategic Savings

If you own a company and acquire another one in the same industry, you could save 5 to 25 percent on expenses for the combined company. This means you could add more profit and cash flow than the prior owner. There are many expense categories that overlap. When the two companies are combined, you will not have to pay twice.

LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors can help you sucessfully buy a business. Contact us for a no-cost consultation!

podcast

Fueling Deals Podcast: Acquisitions

John Bly, CEO of LBA Haynes Strand, is on Corey Kupfer’s Fueling Deals Podcast today sharing his deal-making strategy. “It wasn’t until my fifth acquisition that I ran into trouble. I enjoyed sharing my story and the importance of research with Corey,” describes John. Listen to the full podcast episode by clicking this link!

The Fueling Deals podcast showcases interviews of entrepreneurs and experts who have great stories about deals they have done or failed to do. Corey strives to have guests who are open, honest and authentic. Topics include negotiating, structuring, finding, valuing, closing and integrating deals. In addition, they discuss all the related issues, opportunities, benefits, pitfalls and lessons learned during the process.

John is a dynamic international business consulting speaker. In addition, he is the author of Cracking the Code: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Business Through Mergers and Acquisitions for Pennies on the Dollar. When you’re facing a complex business decision, John helps you determine the best possible outcome. He focuses on developing a strategic plan and works with you to take advantage of opportunities, overcome obstacles, and deliver the best results possible. John’s emphasis on being a proactive business partner empowers him to deliver insightful information and practical advice to circumvent challenges before they arise.

If you want more information on how John can support and guide you through a merger or acquisition, contact us today!