We offer so much more than typical business accounting consulting. Because our experienced professionals are experts in business continuity planning, they can help you make sure that your business thrives.
The eight categories of consulting services are as follows:
- Part-Time CFO
- Bank Financing
- Business Valuations
- Strategic Business Planning
- Succession Planning
- New Business Formation
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Internal Controls
Part-Time CFO Services
If you’re like many of our clients, you’re growing and your sales are between $100 K and $10 M. You probably have a bookkeeper or accounting manager, or maybe even a controller, but not a CFO. However, there are times when you need a higher level of expertise than your own staff can provide. T hat’s when we can help. Whether you’re working on a special project, or would like periodic reviews of you financial performance, or coaching for ongoing improvement, we’re prepared to meet your specific needs.
Our Part-Time CFO service gives you a professional financial manager who works with you to help guide your business to success.
The cost of hiring a full-time CFO can range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year plus bonuses and benefits. Our Part-Time CFO services provides you with experienced support at a small fraction of that cost.
Here’s what you get with our Part-Time CFO services…
- More time to focus on new services, new customers and other core business issue.
- Better understanding of the financial side of your business. So you have less surprises and more control over the money.
- Improved decision-making capabilities from clearly seeing the hard and true numbers of your business.
- A readily available sounding board to help you with those tough business decisions and help you clarify your business plans.
- The comfort from knowing that a professional is overseeing, protecting and constantly improving the financial side of your business.
- A professional who establishes strong financial controls in your business to reduce employee theft and increase profits.
- Training, managing and even help in hiring your accounting staff.
- Improved quality and timeliness of financial information.
- Budget preparation and monitoring.
- Profitability analysis by service or product line.
- Tax saving strategies.
- Trend analysis.
- Assistance in defining long-range plans and the quantification of goals.
- Cash management.
- Liaison with bankers, attorneys, vendors, insurance agents, etc.
- Assistance in obtaining financing from banks, including assistance with negotiations.
- Review/negotiation of insurance policies.
- Development of company accounting procedure manuals.
- Analysis of equipment purchases, expansions, etc.
- Mergers and acquisitions assistance.
- Custom designed collection policies and procedures.
Need money to grow your business?
Requesting a business loan without adequate preparation sends a clear message to the lender: High Risk! Therefore, it pays to be prepared and organized in your approach for financing.
Put your best foot forward by allowing us to prepare a winning loan proposal for you. Our proposals have a high likelihood of success because they’re created from the lender’s perspective.
You get the money you need because we know exactly what banks want to see. Even more importantly, we know how to prove to them that you’ll be able to pay them back.
Our winning loan proposals come complete with…
- Executive Summary: Where we concisely state the purpose of the loan, the exact amount of money required, an explanation of what the loan will be used for and why it’s needed.
- Pro-forma Cash Budgets and Financial Statements: We use your data and underlying assumptions to prepare information that your banker can easily read and buy in to.
- Owners Personal Financial Statements: We make copies of the last 3 years of personal tax returns for the bank as well as identify the collateral being pledged as security for the loan.
- Representation: We help substantiate your financial needs/position to your banker in person.
Few things are more important to business owners than the value of their business. The valuation you get for your business can make or break a proposition.
Whether you’re negotiating a merger, considering new shareholders, attempting to resolve disputes associated with liability, shareholder equity, estate planning or marital dissolution, objective valuation can make the difference between loss or gain, success or failure.
Business valuation is not an exact science. It’s based on judgment, experience and relevant information. So, you need professionals who are well qualified, with significant experience in evaluating all types of organizations.
Our approach is to intimately know your business in order to understand what constitutes its value. We work closely with you to analyze your operations and historical financial data. Our in-depth knowledge of your business enables us to provide a well-reasoned, fully documented and defensible valuation opinion.
We provide a full range of business valuation services for the following needs:
- Purchase or sale of closely held business or business interests.
- Management buyouts.
- Leveraged buyout transactions.
- Bank financing.
- Financial restructuring and recapitalization.
- Employee stock ownership plans (ESOP’s).
- Analysis and advice concerning pending offers to purchase.
- Valuation of subsidiaries, divisions and joint ventures for spin-off to shareholders and/or sale.
- Physician buy-in to medical practices.
- Court appointed valuations in disputes.
- Minority shareholder disputes and litigation.
- Divorce (equitable distribution).
- Business damage assessment and determination.
- Solvency analysis and fraudulent conveyance.
- Reasonable officer compensation determination in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.
- Binding arbitration.
- Litigation consulting services provided to trial counsel in preparing to depose and cross-examine valuation experts.
Strategic Business Planning
A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all you plans and ideas locked up inside your head… preparing a strategic plan helps you clarify your company’s direction, ensures your key leaders are all “on the same page”, and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.
A Strategic Plan is often needed when…
- Starting a new venture, product or service.
- Expanding a current organization, product or service.
- Buying a new business, product or service.
- Turning around a declining business.
The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.
The plan allows you to…
- Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
- Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
- Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
- Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
- Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
- Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.
Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company’s success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
- Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
- Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.
Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
If you own a family business, retirement isn’t simply a matter of deciding not to go into the office anymore. You’ve got some critical questions to answer like…
“What happens to the business when you’re no longer running it?” and
“Will you have enough money to retire?”
The family dynamic complicates the whole transition because of the relationships and emotions involved. Most people are not comfortable discussing topics such as aging, death, and financial affairs.
Comfortable or not, succession planning should be a priority for any family business considering that more than seven out of ten family-owned businesses fail to survive the transition from founder to second generation, typically falling prey either to estate taxes or family discord – or both.
Developing and implementing a well-designed succession plan is essential to the survival of a family business from one generation to the next.
We help you with these key issues:
Keeping it in the family. Are you going to pass the business on to your family or sell it to a third party? We help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.
Who’s going to run the business when you’re gone? Management and ownership are not one and the same. You may decide to transfer management of your business to just one of your children but transfer equal shares of business ownership to all your children, whether they’re actively involved in the business or not.
Minimizing the tax bite. The tax burden when transitioning a family business can be significant. The challenge is that a family business is not generally a liquid asset, but taxes are typically due when ownership is transferred.
Making it fair. Transferring family ownership often adds a tremendous amount of stress to individual family members. We talk with each of the family members to ensure that they feel they a getting an equitable and fair share of the pie.
What we do for you…
Once we understand how you feel about the key issues above, we begin constructing your succession plan focusing on these 5 issues…
- Business Valuation
- Business Restructuring
- Tax Consequences
- Retirement Projections
- Tax Projections
New Business Formation
Thinking of owning your own business?
Opening your own business is exciting and thrilling. It’s everything that comes after the excitement and thrill has worn off that dictates whether a small business will make it or not. It’s up to you to maintain and stretch out the “thrill and excitement” period forever.
A methodical plan of action is needed to fulfill your dream or goal of being your own boss and running a successful business. Success lies in the approach you choose to take. We help you avoid the common pitfalls that many new small business owners make when starting their new venture.
We help you…
- Prepare an initial business plan to clarify your marketing, management, and financial plans.
- Determine your start-up capital needs.
- Identify sources of start-up capital and backup sources if needed.
- Evaluate and quantify your borrowing power so you know how much money you can get your hands on if needed.
- Select a business structure that best fits your needs by evaluating tax advantages, legal exposure, ease of operation and portability should you need to relocate.
- Select the right accounting software by evaluating your budget, needs and hardware.
- Prepare a Cash Flow Budget so you know exactly how much money you need to keep the business alive each month for the first few years. Unplanned cash requirements are always emotionally painful.
- Establish billing and collection procedures to maximize your cash flow.
- Establish procedures to monitor and control costs.
- Setup a home office so you can maximize your tax deductions.
- Prepare and file all required state and local licenses and permits.
- Prepare and file your application for your Federal Employer Identification Number.
- Provide payroll and payroll tax filing when you bring on your first employee.
- Comply with employment laws so you don’t get hit with fines and unhappy employees.
- Identify your business insurance needs.
- Develop a solid Partnership Agreement. This is an extremely important document for all new partnerships and will help prevent a tremendous amount of financial and emotional problems down the road.
Let us help you succeed by getting your new business off to a good strong start.
We can help you setup and maintain your non-profit organization’s tax-exempt status by handling all the IRS reporting for you.
Each year the IRS requires most tax-exempt organizations to submit the Form 990 and its relations, which includes the following items.
- Income Statement with very specific revenue and expense categories like donations, salaries, postage, rent…
- Balance Sheet with specific categories like cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable…
- Functional Expense Statement with all the expenses allocated to either program services, fundraising, or operations.
- Individual Program Expense Statement that reports all of the expenses for each program or service like seminar programs or educational mailings.
- Revenue Support Schedules that detail the organization’s sources of income in specific categories like charitable donations, membership fees, investment income.
The IRS uses these very specific revenue and expense classifications to determine if your organization will retain its tax-exempt status. So it’s imperative that you build your accounting system around these revenue and expense classifications.
Here’s what we do for you…
- Review and compile your financial statements.
- Design, install, and maintain your Accounting System.
- Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payroll preparation.
- Payroll Tax Preparation and Deposits.
- Provide training for your accounting personnel.
- Complete and file your non-profit status application.
- Provide training for your board on non-profit financial statement usage and effective budgeting practices.
- Prepare and file the 990 and 990T tax forms.
- Prepare your initial start-up documentation, including incorporation, federal employee identification number (FEIN), and payroll setup with federal and state agencies.
- Churches: We prepare the pastoral housing allowance and other required benefit documentation to meet the complex dual status of ministers.
If you’re starting a new not-for-profit organization we can help you prepare your organization’s 501 (c)(3) application for tax-exempt status.
Here’s what’s needed…
- Articles of Incorporation containing the Exempt Purpose Statement as described in IRS Code section 501(c)(3) and defined in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph d and the Dissolution Statement described in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph b subparagraph 4 (“Organizational Test”).
- Employer Identification Number.
- By-laws of the Organization.
- Minutes of Board Meetings.
- Names, Addresses, and Resumes of Board Members.
- Names and addresses of all Active Members.
- Inventory of Assets like cash, furniture, equipment, property, pledges…
- Inventory of Liabilities like mortgages, accounts payable, loans…
- Rent/Lease Agreements and Contracts.
- Revenue and Expense Statements for the last four years or as far back as possible if your organization has been in existence for less than four years.
- Written Reason for Formation and History of the organization.
- Organization Mission Statement or Statement of Faith or Beliefs for Churches and other Religious Organizations.
- Organization Activities, Operations and Programs Documentation including your statement of purpose & operations, food programs, fundraisers, flyers/brochures/pamphlets…
- Financial Support Documentation including all sources of revenue like contributions, tithes, offerings, fundraisers…
- Fund Raising Program Descriptions.
- IRS Processing/Filing Fee.
We are happy to prepare any of these items if you need help.
At times you may need a trained outside professional to evaluate your company’s operations to determine if the appropriate controls are in place to ensure proper handling of resources and to protect yourself from employee theft.
We assess your internal control systems to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your operating procedures. Then we make recommendations that help your company become stronger and more profitable by correcting any inefficient or ineffective operating procedures we find.
What we do for you…
- Implement segregation of duties so that duties are divided, or segregated, among different people to reduce risk of error or inappropriate actions. No one person has control over all aspects of any financial transaction.
- Make sure transactions are authorized by a person delegated approval authority when the transactions are consistent with policy and funds are available.
- Ensure records are routinely reviewed and reconciled, by someone other than the preparer or transactor, to determine that transactions have been properly processed.
- Make certain that equipment, inventories, cash and other property are secured physically, counted periodically, and compared with item descriptions shown on control records.
- Provide employees with appropriate training and guidance to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to carry out their job duties, are provided with an appropriate level of direction and supervision, and are aware of the proper channels for reporting suspected improprieties.
- Document policies and procedures and making them accessible to employees. The documented policies and procedures provide day-to-day guidance to your staff and continuation of duties in the event of prolonged employee absences or turnover.
- Review operations to ascertain whether results are consistent with established objectives and goals and whether the operations are being carried out as planned.