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Julie Ayers: Enterprising Women of the Year Award Honoree

Enterprising Women magazine has announced the winners for the 2019 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards. LBA Haynes Strand is excited to announce that Julie Ayers, Principal Member of LBA Haynes Strand, has been named an award honoree! The Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners.

“The recipients of the 2019 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards represent an amazing group of women entrepreneurs from across the United States and as far away as India and South Africa,” said Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women. “We are so proud to recognize their accomplishments as CEOs of fast-growth companies, community leaders, and role models and mentors to other women and girls. We look forward to shining the spotlight on them at our 17th annual awards event in March.”

There are seven categories of award winners, based on annual sales. To see the complete list, click here.

In addition, Julie Ayers and LBA Haynes Strand want to congratulate the other women across the globe who were recognized for the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards. You can find more information or register to attend the awards celebration by clicking here.

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.

Julie Ayers: The 2016 NAWBO Woman Business Owner of The Year!

Julie Ayers has been named the 2016 winner of NAWBO’s Woman Business Owner of the Year Award!  This award recognizes the NAWBO member who has most demonstrated strong leadership skills in growing and managing a successful business that is more than five years old.  Julie accepted the award at NAWBO’s 31st Annual Awards Gala on Tuesday May 17th.  Other finalists for the award included: Jennifer Maier, President & CEO of WDS, Inc. and Suzy Johnson, President and Owner of Employee Benefit Advisors of the Carolinas, LLC. 

Julie who is the Immediate Past President of the NAWBO Charlotte Board was blown away by the award and had this to say, “I am so honored and grateful to have received this award. In my time with NAWBO, I have learned and grown so much – from becoming a member, to being named Treasurer and then President, and now winning this award.  I think this speaks volumes for how important NAWBO has been to me and the way that I look at business now.  I have met so many great friends and developed such amazing relationships with other Charlotte women business owners, and I thank them for always being a resource to me and for helping me grow into what I have become today.  I also need to thank my fellow Members and my team at LBA Haynes Strand – we have developed a special Firm and one that holds a very exciting future.”

This marks Julie’s second exciting announcement this year, as she was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in the Greater Charlotte area by The Mecklenburg Times in March.

What is NAWBO?

NAWBO stands for The National Association of Women Business Owners.  Since 1975, NAWBO has helped women grow their businesses by sharing resources and providing a single voice to shape economic and public policy.  NAWBO is the only dues-based national organization representing the interests of women entrepreneurs across all industries.

In 1999, the Charlotte-based women’s organization WBO joined the National Association of Women Business Owners to become NAWBO Charlotte.  There are chapters of NAWBO in almost every Metropolitan area, and NAWBO is represented in 33 countries across the world through its affiliation with Les Femmes Chefs d’ Enterprises Mondiales (World Association of Women Entrepreneurs).

Today, NAWBO Charlotte is the only organization specially designed to serve, support, and strengthen the 42,000 women-owned businesses in the greater Charlotte, NC metropolitan area.  To learn more visit www.NAWBOCharlotte.org.

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.

3 Tips For Successful Tax Planning

Tax planning can be the single most important thing you do for your financial stability when entering into a new year. The tax planning process is an intricate one that involves gathering information, organizing numbers and data, creating a comprehensive financial picture and charting the best course forward.

With tax season almost among us, take a look at the tips below. Use these tips as a guideline to help protect your financial interests and ensure a smooth, successful tax year.

Tip #1: Know The Basics

Before you begin your tax planning process, there are a few things to keep in mind. These may seem like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who sometimes overlook the obvious!

  • Your income – a key determinant of the tax rate you are facing
  • Your location – tax laws and guidelines differ from state to state
  • Your expenditures – how much are you spending and where?
  • Keeping a budget can help tremendously with this!
Tip #2: Work Closely With a CPA Firm

Maintaining a close relationship with your CPA is vital! Your CPA is there to help find approaches that work best for YOU. Some techniques are better suited for businesses, while others align better with educational institutions or nonprofits. Your accountant can help you identify specific financial areas that incur higher tax rates and form preventative strategies to avoid possible tax increases. With a professional accounting service, you lower the risk of making mistakes. Remember to communicate with your firm all year long, not just right before tax season.

Quarterly financial updates – Think about sending your CPA firm financial updates on a quarterly basis. When they evaluate your numbers regularly, your firm develops more accurate tax saving estimates.

Best practices – Inform your firm of all business decisions you’ve made throughout the year. If your CPA firm has all the correct information, they are able to provide you with the very best advice for the upcoming year.

Regulation changes – Tax laws change every year, sometimes several times within a year. Tax laws shouldn’t be a huge concern when filling out your tax forms, but they should be one of the first things you research before starting a new tax year. Your CPA can help keep you up-to-date with all regulation changes in order to better your financial plan.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget Retirement Plans

Everyone loves a tax decrease, but most folks overlook the fact that a retirement plan can be used as a tax-savings vehicle. Although your income is reduced when you contribute to your retirement plan, your taxes are reduced as well. Working with your CPA and wealth management advisor is a key factor in ensuring that you have the best plan in place. Don’t have a wealth management advisor? Don’t worry – your CPA can point you in the right direction.

Depending on your current standing with these factors, there are several tax planning strategies you and your CPA Firm might want to consider.

Standard and itemized deductions – You may want to consider itemizing your deductions if you pay a significantly high mortgage on an owned home.

Contribute funds to your retirement plan – The more money you make, the more taxes you pay. And the less money you make, the less taxes you pay. One of the best ways to lower your taxes is to decrease your income by contributing to your retirement plan. Your contribution reduces your income, which lowers your tax bill.

Want to learn more about securing tax-planning success? Contact us to start the conversation about your financial future with our firm – accountants who truly care about becoming a partner in your success.