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value in your brand

There is Value in Your Brand

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

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

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

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

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

Courtney Ageon

Courtney Ageon: Promoted To Principal

LBA Haynes Strand is pleased to announce that effective January 1st, 2019, Courtney Ageon has been promoted to Principal. As a result, Courtney joins the principal leadership team. Courtney will remain focused on serving the tax, accounting, and audit needs of our clients across the southeast.

Dave Recchion, Greensboro Office Managing Partner, states, “Courtney is a natural leader and doesn’t need permission to lead. She has broken an extremely male dominated leadership barrier and proven that a woman is able to successfully achieve a healthy work-life balance. Consistently doing the right thing for the Firm and our clients, she effortlessly leads our team to success. LBA Haynes Strand would not be the same without her talent.”

After 20 years of service, this promotion is a result of Courtney’s hard work, loyalty to the Firm, commitment to our team, and dedication to providing quality tax services to her clients. She transitioned from an intern to a full-time staff member while attending graduate school and studying for the CPA exam. This was a true test of her time management skills. When LBAHS made the transition to paperless, Courtney lead the team with the development of internal best practices and training procedures.

Please join us in congratulating Courtney Ageon on this exciting promotion! Connect with Courtney on LinkedIn.

NCACPA Day of Service 2018

LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC participated in the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA) Annual CPA Day of Service on September 21, 2018. Our employees volunteered their time with various organizations throughout North Carolina and focused on giving back to our local communities.

Our Mount Airy office focused on collecting canned food in order to support Yokefellow Ministry. Yokefellow assists others in need during times of crisis. One way they provide assistance is with food. There were collection boxes set up in the Mount Airy office for collections throughout the week and our team collected additional donations at Lowes Foods on Friday, September 21st.

The Matthews office of LBA Haynes Strand held a collection drive for pet food and supplies to donate to the Humane Society of Charlotte. Our team set up a table at Lucky Dog Bark & Brew on September 21st to collect remaining donations from those who were not able to stop by our office during the week. We had great participation from both our internal staff, clients, and members of the local community.

Our Greensboro office volunteered their time at BackPack Beginnings on September 21st by packing bookbags. BackPack Beginnings’ mission is to deliver child-centric services to feed, comfort, and clothe children in need.

Not only did some of our Greensboro team volunteer at Backpack Beginnings on Friday September 21st. We also had a few of our employees give back at the Out of the Garden Project the day before. You can read more about their efforts on the NCACPA blog!

The NCACPA Day of Service is one of the many ways our team gives back throughout the year. We have an annual LBAHS Day of Service and are always looking for new ways to become more involved in the community.

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.

LBAHS Day 2018: Out of the Garden Project

“I firmly believe the greatest responsibility we have as a firm is to serve our clients, our people and our community. Working with the Out of the Garden Project is one of the most fulfilling efforts in our year.”- Dave Recchion, Office Managing Partner, LBAHS Greensboro Office.

This year, LBA Haynes Strand got the amazing opportunity to go back to the Out of the Garden Project (OOTGP) to help out for a second year. Our LBAHS Day is an annual community service day where we close our office doors and focus on giving back.

Why Out of the Garden?

The Greensboro and High Point area is ranked #9 in the nation for food insecurity. Over 48,000 students in this area receive reduced price or free breakfast and lunches at school. Many do not know where their next meal is coming from after school and on the weekends. This is how founders, Kristy and Don Milholin, got the idea to start the Out of the Garden Project. They noticed children experiencing food insecurity at their children’s elementary school and felt called to make a difference.

OOTGP started as a small weekend initiative supplying 10 bags to families in the Piedmont Triad area. It has grown into a program now supplying over 1250 bags of food each weekend and operating 22 mobile food pantries.

The LBAHS staff jumped right in – cleaning the warehouse, sorting donated food, and packing bags for families. The atmosphere was filled with love and support as each team member realized the impact they were making in this community.

We are fortunate to have played a small part in this company’s great mission, “to provide tangible signs of love so that no child goes to bed hungry.”- OOTGP

To learn more about Out of The Garden Project and how you can help, CLICK HERE! We were featured in News & Record– “Day of service project helps food program

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. Tax Implications

On Thursday June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated opinion in the landmark case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., fundamentally changing the sales tax landscape in the United States.

The Case

South Dakota enacted a law requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax as if the seller had a physical presence in the state. The law only applied to sellers who, on an annual basis, delivered more than $100,000 of goods or services into the state or engaged in more than 200 separate transactions for the delivery of goods or services into the state.

South Dakota sought to enforce the law against Wayfair, Inc. and other online retailers who exceeded the limits of the law. Each of the retailers had no employees in the state and owned no real estate in the state.

Based on prior precedents (National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753, and Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 29), the lower courts ruled that the law was not enforceable due to the lack of substantial nexus* with the state under the “Physical Presence” test outlined in these cases.  That test allowed states to require retailers to collect and remit sales tax if the retailer had a physical presence (e.g., employees or operating an office) in that state. The mere shipment of goods into the state did not satisfy the physical presence test.

The Result

In a 5-4 verdict, the Supreme Court explicitly overruled the prior cases and held that, while physical presence provided substantial nexus, such nexus also included a certain level of business (delivery of goods or services) conducted within the state.

The Court found that, in this case, the nexus is clearly sufficient based on both the economic and virtual contacts the retailers have with South Dakota. The state law applies only to sellers that deliver more than $100,000 of goods or services into South Dakota or engage in 200 or more separate transactions for the delivery of goods and services into the state on an annual basis.  This quantity of business could not have occurred unless the seller availed itself of the substantial privilege of carrying on business in South Dakota.  The retailers are large, national companies that undoubtedly maintain an extensive virtual presence.  Thus, the substantial nexus requirement is satisfied.

The Implications

Will you now be required to collect and remit sales taxes in states to which you deliver goods or services?

South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. allows all states to enact laws requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales taxes on sales to customers in that state provided the law applies a safe harbor to those who transact only limited business in the state.  While South Dakota chose an annual $100,000/200 transaction limit that the Court found sufficient, the Court created a level of uncertainty by leaving it up to the states to decide what safe harbors might be sufficient.  We expect we will see a great deal of activity as various states make their statutes consistent with the court’s ruling so nexus can be asserted.  For states that already have similar statutes in place, it is unclear whether they will set a future date for enforcement or take the position that the statute has been enforceable since it was put in place.

*Nexus – When referring to sales tax, means that a company is connected to a state and because of that connection, a company must collect tax, fill out a tax return, and send the collected tax to a state.

Given that sales tax laws are established on a state-by-state basis, all businesses making sales of goods or services to customers in multiple states should evaluate the impact of the Court’s holding. 

This ruling is just the beginning of the process and over the coming months we will be monitoring which states are adopting these types of nexus rules and when they will become effective. If you would like more information on how this may impact your business, contact us today.

LBA Haynes Strand Volunteers To Fight Hunger in Our Community

Every year LBA Haynes Strand closes it’s doors for one day while the entire firm goes out into the community to help with a worthy cause. This year we were fortunate enough to team with Out of The Garden Project in Greensboro, NC. Out of The Garden Project is a food assistance program for families primarily in Guilford County.  Their mission is to partner with parents, teachers, friends, and organizations to provide food and hope for every child!  They supply a bag of food, including two meals, for a family of four (6-7 lbs) each Friday at 60+ schools in Guilford County, one school in Forsyth County and one school in Alamance County.  Overall they reach 1,750 families each week!  In addition, Out of The Garden Project provides 700 bookbags each week for the United Way of High Point.

Did You Know: Out of Guilford County Schools’ 73,000 students, 67% receive free or reduced price lunches and breakfasts?

This is one of the highest rates in the nation.  Greensboro and High Point were ranked #1 for food insecurity in the United States until July of 2016.  The area is currently ranked #9 in the nation for food insecurity.  Studies have shown that when students don’t eat on the weekend, it can take up to Wednesday of the next week after students have eaten for two days at school to begin to learn at the same rate as their peers who had access to nutrition during the weekend.

Out of The Garden Project – LBAHS Day 2017 on Biteable.

Our team had a great time packing meal bags, sorting food, cleaning the warehouse and handling many other tasks for Out of The Garden Project.  Dave Recchion, Principal in our Greensboro office had this to say, “It was a tremendous honor to work hand in hand with our team today in making a difference in our community.  We can all feel good about the impact that was made.  We take a lot for granted, and it is in moments like this where we can feel the pain of the less fortunate.  Every box, bag, and can that we touched will ensure that some people will get a meal for a day.  Thank you to Out of The Garden Project for allowing us to volunteer and make a real difference.”

To learn more about Out of The Garden Project and how you can help, CLICK HERE!

Register Now: Greensboro Workshop For Trucking & Logistic Companies

Summary of Workshop:

This workshop will explore areas of risk for business executives and owners which will include interactive discussions about the challenges facing the trucking industry.  This session will create an awareness of Risk Management that should encourage every executive to assess their own business.

Objectives:

At the completion of this session, you will be able to:

  1. Identify risks
  2. Quantify the risks
  3. Mitigate the risks
  4. Evaluate your businesses on a regular basis
  5. Establish a good controls environment
  6. Identify business process and improvement opportunities
  7. Plan your exit strategy

Who Should Attend: Presidents, Owners, and Business Executives

Cost:  $75.00 for NCTA Members and $125.00 for Non-Members  

When:  May 24, 2017

Time: 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Location: SelecTrucks of Greensboro, 6383 Burnt Poplar Rd, Greensboro, NC 27409

Speaker: 

Dave Recchion is a Principal and leader in the Greensboro office of LBA Haynes Strand. Dave is a client serving Principal and heads up our firm’s Risk Advisory and Internal Audit practice where he is able to leverage extensive industry knowledge, relationship skills, and experience in risk based consulting within Fortune 500 environments. Dave brings 30 years of professional experience to our Firm, including 13 years with Ernst & Young where he served as Global Coordinating Services Partner. Most recently, Dave founded a highly profitable Risk Management Firm in High Point, NC known as SeeRisk Management Advisors, LLC for the past 4 years

Register Now!

LBA Haynes Strand Has Acquired SeeRisk Management Advisors, LLC

LBA Haynes Strand is excited to announce the acquisition and combination of SeeRisk Management Advisors, LLC to our family. Effective December 1, 2016, Dave Recchion, President of SeeRisk Management Advisors, LLC, has joined the LBA Haynes Strand team as a Principal and leader in our Greensboro office. Dave brings 30 years of professional experience to our Firm. After working as a Partner with Ernst & Young for 13 years, he founded and ran a highly profitable Risk Management Firm in High Point known as SeeRisk Management Advisors, LLC for the past 4 years. Dave will join Johnny Wood as the Principals of the Firm leading our Greensboro Office.

The combination with SeeRisk Advisors will greatly expand our client service offerings to include: Risk Assessments, Internal Audit outsourcing, Internal Controls, Sarbanes Oxley, Process Improvement, and a specialization in Risk Management Strategy. In addition, Dave brings a unique service offering for family and privately owned businesses called, “Exit By Design”.  LBA Haynes Strand clients will have immediate access to this offering which includes a design session and strategy development for a successful transition for clients ready to exit their businesses. Many business owners struggle with the decisions related to selling, merging, and handing down their family and privately owned businesses. The “Exit By Design” offering helps clients identify and build the greatest value for their business, while designing the best exit strategy from their business.   

Prior to founding SeeRisk Advisors, Dave was a Partner with Ernst & Young, where he held a key leadership role in their national advisory practice. In his role as Advisory Markets Leader for the Americas he managed strategic client relationships on a national and global level, where he developed and executed the firm strategy surrounding Risk Advisory Services. 

John Bly, CEO of LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC, while expressing his excitement for the combination and addition of Dave was quoted as saying, “Process improvement and Risk Strategy methodology will enable us to dig deeper into the challenges that face our clients and help identify and mitigate their strategic, financial, compliance, operations, and reputation risks before they impact the business. The addition of Dave to our leadership team demonstrates our commitment to provide a complete and holistic view into the needs of our clients”. 

Please join us in welcoming Dave Recchion to the LBA Haynes Strand family! 

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!

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.

Johnny Wood Receives Prestigious Board Position

Principal Member Johnny Wood, CPA has been named Chairman of the Board for the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. His experience, leadership skills, and outstanding moral character make him the perfect candidate for the job.

The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship

The Nussbaum Center, founded in 1987, is a private non-profit corporation whose mission is to attract, advise, and house start-up and early stage growth entrepreneurs. In just under 30 years, the Center has graduated over 290 businesses with an 80% success rate, compared to a National rate of 44%. Johnny has served on the Board of Directors at the Center for nearly 10 years.

As one of the founding members of LBA Haynes Strand, Johnny is a key leader of our accounting, auditing, and consulting departments. In addition to traditional accounting services, he assists a variety of closely held companies and their owners in tax planning and compliance matters. Johnny is also very passionate about serving the Greensboro community. He is currently active in several community organizations and will now serve as the Nussbaum Center Chairman of the Board, a group that he cares deeply about.

“I am honored by this nomination,” says Johnny. “I truly believe in what the Center stands for, and for some reason the other board members think I am suitable to be the Chairman. This Center is all about helping young entrepreneurs succeed. It gives them countless networking opportunities with tons of folks who have the same desires to make it in the business world, and we help make that happen. If you’re trying to make it on your own, it’s tough, really tough. We help to ease that process and we have tons of success stories. That’s what I enjoy the most. It’s just fun – stressful at times of course, but lots of fun.”

To schedule a meeting with Johnny Wood, contact us today!