Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

How Can A Small Business Owner Keep More Money In Their Pocket?

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? It’s something I think all of us would love to have. And small business owners are in luck! Accountants throughout the state of Ohio advocated for small business owners and worked with Ohio legislators to develop the Ohio Small Business Investor Income Deduction provision. In the 2013 tax year, Rea clients eligible for this tax deduction submitted nearly $80 million in tax deductions, and realized nearly $4 million in tax savings. This provision has truly helped small business owners keep money in their pocket!

How Do You Know If You Eligible For The Ohio Small Business Income Deduction?

If you’re a taxpayer who owns a business, such as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a limited liability corporation, and you bring in $125,000 in Ohio-sourced income (that would be $250,000 if you’re married and file jointly), you’re eligible for this deduction. For the first $125,000 (or $250,000 married, filing jointly) you report, you can take up to a 50 percent tax deduction. For many business owners, that’s real, significant savings. Keep in mind that businesses themselves are not eligible for the deduction, but rather the business owner, as an individual taxpayer, is eligible.

Why This Deduction Matters  

This provision, along with others, provides a tax cut for individual taxpayers. Last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich released a broad tax reform package that was aimed at putting money back into Ohio taxpayers’ pockets. Part of this reform was the Ohio Small Business Investor Income Deduction (SBD). The Ohio SBD, along with a string of other tax cutting provisions, is aimed at cutting taxes for Ohio business owners and individuals by $2.7 billion over the next three years. The end goal: to build and accelerate economic and job growth in Ohio.

If you were eligible for this deduction in 2013, you should have realized tax savings. In looking to the future, have you considered what your 2014 tax savings could be by taking advantage of the Ohio SBD? If not, it’s something you should be looking into so you can keep more money in your business.

Ohio Tax Help

Unsure of your eligibility or need help in understanding how this deduction can apply to you? Contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax professionals can review your operating structure and help you maximize your 2014 tax savings.

Author: Don McIntosh, CPA (New Philadelphia office)

 

Interested in reading more blog post about tax savings? Check these posts out:

How Will A Tax Credits and Incentives Plan Benefit Your Business?

So Is It a Tax Credit Or a Tax Deduction?

How Do You Make Your Charitable Contributions Count?

 

Share Button

How Can Analytics Help Reduce Fraud Risk At Your Business?

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Whether it’s due to limited resources or staffing, you may find it difficult to find time to closely review the financial activity of various departments within your business. But here’s the thing: not doing detailed reviews can leave your business exposed to increased risk of error or fraud. Incorporating analytics into your review process can be an efficient way to detect errors and fraud and will allow you to identify areas of risk within your business. Analytics are frequently part of audit procedures, and compare the correlation between key statistical data and actual financial activity.

How To Use Analytics In Your Reviews

  1. Identify the information. Identify the department, segment or line item you want to review and determine a time period that will allow the most effective review. Analytics can be used to compare financial activity on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Determine what information will allow for the most effective review. For example, if you’re reviewing the revenues related to food service operations you may want to breakout the revenues by type (i.e. lunches, breakfast, a la carte, adult).
  2. Identify the primary driving factors. The most important step in an analytic is identifying the primary factors that will cause significant changes in the activity you are reviewing. Use the changes in those factors to set expectations for the amount you expect the actual financial activity to change. Continuing with the example above, if you noticed the number of lunches served increased 10 percent in the current month compared to the previous month then you would expect the revenues to correlate with that change.
  3. Review the results. Compare your expectations to what actually happened. Based on the example I’ve been using, if your actual revenues decreased by 2 percent then you will want to investigate this change further. If actual revenues increased by 9 percent then you may determine the variance is acceptable and you don’t need to investigate any further.

The Discovery Of Potential Errors

If after you’ve compared the results of the analytics and identified a few areas that didn’t meet your expectations, what do you do next?

  1. Contact the person responsible for the area you reviewed. Determine if there are additional factors that would have caused the variance from your expectations.
  2. If you have determined there are no additional factors or what was communicated to you was not reasonable, you may want to consider a more detailed review. Theoretically, if you have considered all factors in your expectations, the only plausible explanation at this point for a variance is a misstatement probably due to error or fraud.
  3. If you have identified an error, review the controls and processes in place to determine what caused the error. This is where you can identify steps to improve the control strength to prevent future errors.
  4. Inform your auditors of the results of your analytics and the areas of risk you identified. This will allow your auditors to focus on these areas and provide more value to your audit. Your auditors will more than likely ask these questions and you’ll already know the answers.

Using analytics within your business will allow you to properly allocate more of your time and resources to the areas with the most risk. You will be able to efficiently identify the riskier areas and make the necessary improvements in processes and controls to address the risk.  This can prevent possible audit findings, adjustments and can even help prevent fraud.

Analytics and Financial Review Help

If you are looking to step up your game as it relates to financial reviews within your company, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio government auditors can help you incorporate analytics into your reviews so you can get a better picture of how funds are being used throughout your organization.

Authors: Chad Gorfido, CPA (Medina office), and Annie Yoder, CPA, CFE, CFF (New Philadelphia office)

 

Looking for more information on how to reduce fraud risk within your business? Check these articles out:

Have You Assessed Your Fraud Risk?

Do You Subscribe to a Fraud Hotline?

 

Share Button

How Can Heartbleed Affect You and Your Business’s Online Identity?

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The Internet is a powerful tool – something that can make our lives (and businesses) easier. But it also can be our worst nightmare at times. If you keep up on the news, you may recall within the past few days hearing something about “Heartbleed.” No, this isn’t the name of a new rock-n-roll band. It’s the latest threat to your security on the Internet. News sites started reporting on this newest Internet threat earlier this week. But as more and more has become known about this Internet defect, it’s becoming clear that everyone with an online identity needs to be concerned about it.

Heartbleed is an exploit that basically allows malicious users to run a tool that will gain them access to a Web server and provide them with usernames and password from that server. What can this defect potentially affect? Every website on the Internet. Bank websites, social media sites, online merchant sites … the list goes on.

Within the past couple days, a Heartbleed defect was discovered that allows hackers to access chunks of a server’s memory that could contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Sites that integrate a Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) encryption certificate are now at risk of this new defect.

Steps For Protecting Your Online Identity

So what should you do to protect you and your business from this risk? Follow these steps:

  1. Take inventory of all of your online accounts and make a list of your accounts.
  2. Before changing your online passwords, contact the businesses of any accounts that may have SSL certificates to ensure that the company has issued new certificates. To check the “grade” of an SSL-secured site, you can visit Qualys SSL Labs website and input the URL of the site you’re checking. Sites are graded (A through F) on how secure they actual are.
  3. Change your passwords for each of your online accounts.
  4. Clear your Web browsers’ cache, cookies and history. Check out this ZDNet article for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
  5. Closely monitor your bank and credit card statements to make sure there’s no unusual or suspect activity.
  6. If you receive emails or other online communication that promises a solution to your Heartbleed woes, don’t buy it. These communications are more than likely spam connected to dangerous malware or pointing you to malware. Heartbleed is a very complex online security threat, and there’s not a simple, quick fix for it.

Need Advice On Protecting Your Online Identity?

Following the steps outlined above will hopefully help lessen your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud. If you have questions or need additional guidance on how to protect your business, contact our IT audit professionals at Rea & Associates.

Author: Brian Garland, CPA (Dublin office)

 

Looking for other blog posts about protecting your business’s online identity? Check these posts out:

Do You Know Who Has Access To Your IT Network?

How Can I Protect My Business From A Data Security Breach?

How Can You Prepare For The Retirement of Microsoft Windows XP?

 

Share Button

Do You Know Who Has Access To Your IT Network?

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

You may find that your business relies heavily on the technical support provided by third-party hardware and software providers. But have you ever considered whether your vendors have direct access to your business’s internal IT network without having to gain permission from someone within your business? If you’re not positive about how to answer, then it’s probably time to do some digging to see if that’s the case or not. It’s possible that your vendor(s) has access to your business’s sensitive data and devices.  (more…)

Share Button

How Can My Statement of Cash Flows Transform My Business?

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Do you realize that your business’s financial statements are a valuable management tool for decision making? You may be thinking, “Well, I just get them done because the bank needs them for my loan file,” or, “I think I have a copy in a drawer somewhere.” But if you take the time to understand your financial statements, you’ll be surprised to find that they can give you information on the condition of your company and allow you to make better business decisions.  (more…)

Share Button

When Should You Start Thinking About Succession Planning?

Monday, February 10th, 2014

You’re busy serving customers. Managing employees. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of your business. Stepping down as the head of your company may not be on your radar, but sooner or later you’ll need to think about what will happen to your business once you’re out of the picture. We recommend that business owners start thinking about their business succession plan at least five years before planning to implement it.  (more…)

Share Button

What’s The Relationship Between Side-Businesses And Tax Deductions?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Do you or someone you know enjoy knitting or jewelry-making? Or perhaps you do résumé writing or other professional consulting work? If you do any of these as a side business and make a profit, did you know that you can deduct expenses that are ordinary and necessary to your business? If your side business expenses exceed the income for your business, then the loss can be deducted against other income. However, if your loss is from a business that’s not making a profit, then you’re not allowed to deduct your loss against other income.  (more…)

Share Button

How Can You Prepare For The Retirement of Microsoft Windows XP?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

You’ve probably heard by now about the Target data breach, but just this week other retailer data breaches during the 2013 holiday season have become known. In light of these broad, major data breaches, this is a great time to ask yourself: When was the last time you evaluated your business’s IT network? If this has been an area of your business that you’ve let slide, then let it slide no more!  (more…)

Share Button

What Should You Know About 2014 Standard Mileage Rates?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Do you use your personal vehicle for business purposes when you’re on the clock? Or do you use your vehicle medical, moving or charitable purposes? If so, did you know that you can claim a tax deduction on the mileage you rack up?  (more…)

Share Button

What Are 5 Things You Should Do Financially Now?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

As a small business owner, you probably find the end of the year a busy time. Before you know it, you find yourself into January trying to determine what the New Year will bring. One of the keys to being a successful business owner is taking a break from the day-to-day routine and spending some time doing valuable planning. This is sometimes referred to as working on your business, not just working in your business. To help you with this process, here are five things you should consider doing as a small business owner as you start the New Year.  (more…)

Share Button

What Are 6 Things You Can Do To Improve The Health Of Your Business in 2014?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Are you out of breath from the impact the economy had on your business during the last several years? Is it time to develop some New Year’s resolutions that will make a difference in your business? Adopting a new diet, jumping on the treadmill or committing to run a half marathon are common items on the “personal” resolution menu. However, is it time to add energy and resources to your resolutions in order to improve the health of your business?  (more…)

Share Button

Where Can I Find Easy-To-Use Tools For Calculating Complex Data?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The holidays are upon us, and right now you’re probably looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Your finances may be one of the furthest things from your mind, but once Jan. 1 hits, the holidays are over and we all go back to our “regular” lives. If you’re an individual who sets goals or resolutions for the New Year, you may find yourself hoping to get into better physical shape or get better organized. But in the craze of the holidays and in the midst of your New Year’s resolutions, have you considered your finances?  (more…)

Share Button

Will There Be Changes To The Small Business Health Care Credit?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Has your business enjoyed the small business health care credit for the last few years? Well, get ready because changes are coming in 2014.  (more…)

Share Button

What Are The Top 10 Signs Your Business’s Internal Controls Aren’t Strong?

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Internal controls are procedures that companies develop to safeguard their assets and to produce accurate, reliable financial statements. When a company doesn’t have strong internal control procedures, fraud can occur much easier. Other issues that can arise include inaccurate financial statements, the inability to find certain documents such as invoices or purchase orders, or a higher than usual number of customer complaints.  (more…)

Share Button

Does Your Company Have Solid Internal Controls?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Let’s admit it… we all want to be able to trust other people. And we generally do…until we’re proven wrong. Owners of small, family-owned businesses are no different, and must put their trust in someone to handle their revenue, disbursements, payroll and inventory, among other financial functions.  (more…)

Share Button

Why Is A Budget Important To The Success Of My Business?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching. Before you know it, Jan. 1, 2014, will be here and another business year is at hand. So… have you started planning and budgeting for your 2014 business year? If you haven’t, don’t wait any longer. The sooner you get your budget in place, the better idea you’ll have of what you can do in the year ahead.  (more…)

Share Button

What Is The Difference Between Fixed Asset Expensing And Capitalization?

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

If you’re about to acquire, produce or improve real or tangible personal property, and then turn around and use the property in a trade of business for income, stop right there. Under the Internal Revenue Code, you’re required to capitalize certain amounts of money you invested into the property.  (more…)

Share Button

What Are The Top 5 Challenges Business Owners Face in Today’s Economy?

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

You may find that being your own boss is extremely rewarding. Starting a business from the ground up takes a lot of hard work, and you’ve been seeing the fruits of your labor. But your success doesn’t come without challenges. Business owners are facing some tough challenges these days, and you yourself may be experiencing some of these growing pains. Here’s a list of the top 5 challenges I’m seeing business owners like yourself facing in today’s economy. Do any of these resonate with you?

(more…)

Share Button

What are the Consequences of Having Misclassified Workers?

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

My co-worker, Maribeth Wright, recently wrote a blog post titled, “Are You Properly Classifying Your Workers?”. The post explained how to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The article mentioned that this is a hot button issue with the IRS, as well as other government agencies.  In fact, according to The Kiplinger Tax Letter, the IRS is currently in the process of conducting 6,000 random audits, which are focusing on several payroll and fringe benefit issues – one of which is worker misclassification. (more…)

Share Button

So Is It a Tax Credit Or a Tax Deduction?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

As you can probably guess if you have seen any courtroom dramas lately, semantics is very important when it comes to the law. One word can totally change the meaning of something, and hence change the thinking or behavior of someone.  Or in the case of tax law, one word can be a “gotcha!” or really change just how useful a provision might be to your business.  Let’s take a look at the small business tax break that is part of the recently passed Ohio budget as an example.  (more…)

Share Button

How Will ACA Federal Exchange Premiums Affect Ohio Small Businesses and Consumers?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

By now, you’ve been hearing a ton about the Affordable Care Act (yes, even from us), and you may be getting tired of all this news. However, it’s critical for you and your business to stay up-to-date on what is changing and what is being decided as it relates to the ACA. The Ohio Department of Insurance (DOI) recently announced in a press release that if you’re an individual consumer who chooses to buy health insurance through the federal government’s insurance exchange, you’ll be paying approximately 41 percent more than what you paid in 2013. And if you’re a business owner, you’ll see somewhere in the ballpark of an 18 percent increase.  (more…)

Share Button

Why Is A Relationship With Your Banker Important To Your Business?

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

You have a bank. But do you have a relationship with your bank? A relationship with your bank is important to the success of your business. A banker can be a great source of information and a valuable part of your team. Too often it seems that the banker is only contacted when money is tight or there is an immediate need for cash flow. A business then spends several weeks obtaining information for the banker and attempting to communicate the importance of the current need. If the business had an on-going relationship with the bank, then this process is much easier to handle for the banker and the business.  (more…)

Share Button

Did You Know That Treating Your Business like an Investment Can Lead to Wealth?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

If you’re a business owner, did you know that you can significantly increase your net wealth by simply changing the way you look at your business? (more…)

Share Button

Does Your Business Have Cracks in its Foundation?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

During the recession, the fiscal cliff and the so-called recovery, did your business develop cracks in its foundation? If you answered “yes,” you are not alone. Many businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries are still trying to rebuild cash flow strategies and bottom line results. (more…)

Share Button

How Much Will Health Care Reform Cost Your Business?

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

If you’re like most business owners, health care reform has you running scared. You’re worried about how much it will cost you – and if your business can survive the burden.

You’ve heard about the employer mandate and the potential fines for not complying with it. But, that’s all in the abstract. No one has told you what it will cost your business – and what you can do to mitigate that cost. (more…)

Share Button

How Do You Motivate Your Employees in 2013?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Many analysts say that 2013 is the year for jobs – meaning that hiring businesses are going to be going after your employees. Are you sure that you’re doing everything you can to hang onto your talent? How do you plan to motivate your team?

Money is a motivator and you should offer competitive compensation, yes, but compensation is consistently not in the top three when employees list what’s most important to them in their job. Instead, focus on these items to help take care of and hold on to your employees this year. (more…)

Share Button

Is It Time to Upgrade Your QuickBooks to a Current Version?

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Intuit recently released the 2013 version of QuickBooks.  If you are a registered user of QuickBooks, you will certainly have received notice of this release, and have been encouraged by them to consider upgrading.  But, do you need to?

For those of you who don’t know, QuickBooks is an accounting software package that was designed for smaller businesses.  It is a very good package, is simple to use, and is very affordable.

The newer versions of QuickBooks certainly contain some nice enhancements, and those enhancements are helpful, not only to you the user, but also to your accountant.  (more…)

Share Button

How Do You Prepare to Sell Your Business?

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Do you plan to sell your business someday? Although you may not think of your business as a traditional retirement plan, it may be the largest asset you have to “cash in” upon retirement. There are many issues to consider when thinking about selling your business.

Timing of Business Sales

One of the first things a potential buyer is going to ask for is historical financial statements. If your most recent financial statements show healthy profits, you are more likely to be able to justify a larger selling price than trying to sell your business after several less profitable years.

Current developments in your industry may also impact the timing of when you want to sell your business. Do you anticipate new government regulations that could impact your business? Or is there a trend of consolidations in your industry? If so, this may increase the value of your business.

(more…)

Share Button

Do You Have Any QuickBooks Tips for Managing Cash Flow?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Cash flow management is a struggle for many small businesses.  Unlike revenue, cash flow isn’t easy to quantify or pin down.  It’s up and down and moves around.  But, most small businesses that fail do so because of a lack of cash flow… not revenue or profits. (more…)

Share Button

How Do You Get a Handle on Your Inventory?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Inventory management can have a very direct impact not only on your profit but also the cash flow of your business. Inaccurate inventory will directly affect your business profit. If the inventory is too high, you may be paying tax on higher profits than you actually have. If it is too low, you run the risk of understating taxable income and, if audited, the IRS can hit you with back taxes and penalties. (more…)

Share Button

How do you increase cash flow?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Contrary to popular opinion, profits are not the pulse of business. You can’t spend profits. Most companies go out of business because they lack quality cash flow — not because they lack profits or assets. (more…)

Share Button

Do You Have a Business Pre-nup?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

No one enters a relationship wanting to get jilted. It’s true whether you’re entering a business together or a marriage together – and the consequences can be even more painful if you’re doing both at the same time. (more…)

Share Button

Are You Ready for the InvestOhio Tax Credit? Register for Tax Credit This Week

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Ohio taxpayers who invest in a qualifying Ohio small business can qualify for a 10 percent credit against their Ohio income tax if they meet certain requirements  – and they can now apply for the credit. (more…)

Share Button

Starting a Business? Tips to Managing Your Credit

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Developing a credit record for your business that is separate from your personal credit record is important as your business grows. It can lead to lower rates on loans and leases as well as protect your personal credit record. The Better Business Bureau offers these tips to establishing business credit. (more…)

Share Button

Investing in a Small Business? Get InvestOhio Tax Credit

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Ohio taxpayers and pass-through entities can now receive a non-refundable income tax credit for qualifying investments to acquire an equity interest in a small business through a program called InvestOhio. Investors may claim up to $1 million ($2 million for married taxpayers filing jointly) through the new tax credit every two years. Any unused portion of the credit can be carried forward seven years. (more…)

Share Button

Balloon Mortgage Payment Coming Due for Your Business? Consider SBA Commercial Mortgage Refi

Friday, June 17th, 2011

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is accepting currently accepting applications for a commercial mortgage refinancing program that was created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act. (more…)

Share Button

Have Questions About Ohio Use Tax? See Our Resource Center

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

As we’ve been telling you over the past few weeks, the state of Ohio is about to step up its efforts to enforce its use tax law. To help businesses better understand and comply with Ohio’s use tax law, Rea & Associates recently created the Ohio Use Tax Resource Center, an online resource center. As far as we know, it’s the only resource center of its kind available to Ohio businesses.

Note: Ohio has established a tax amnesty program since this post was originally created.

(more…)

Share Button

Why Should I Enter An Ohio Use Tax VDA Now?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

If your company doesn’t currently pay Ohio use tax, you will soon.

The Ohio Department of Taxation is stepping up its use tax enforcement. The department is conducting a use tax education program (UTEP) and will begin notifying businesses about their use tax liability this summer.

Note: Ohio has established a tax amnesty program since this post was originally created.

(more…)

Share Button

Where does everyone stand in your business succession plan?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

When you own a family business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities. And it can be easy to put off having those important, strategic discussions with your family about the future of your business. However, communication between you and your family becomes an essential ingredient of a successful business transition. (more…)

Share Button

How can you help your employees save for retirement?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Although a higher percent of American workers are participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans, retirees may still not be saving enough for their retirement and may risk outliving their retirement assets. More individuals are also withdrawing retirement savings before they actually retire. Those are the findings in a report recently released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). (more…)

Share Button

Are you ready for a year-end financial check-up for your business?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

As the year comes to an end, now is the perfect time to bring all of your business advisors together for a year-end financial check up. Make it a point to set up a meeting with your accounting, legal, estate planning, investment and retirement planning advisors at the end of each year to get a check up of your business and personal financial health. If you have partners in the business, they should also be included in this meeting. (more…)

Share Button

Succession Planning: Do You Know Your Options?

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Are you actively planning a transition for the business you worked so hard to build? The majority of North American businesses are family-owned, yet just about 30 percent make it to the second generation. Even fewer reach the third generation. As more and more business owners prepare to retire, more and more businesses will face the issue of succession – whether they are prepared or not. This article discusses the third in a series of tips to help family-owned businesses begin the succession planning process. (more…)

Share Button

Can the IRS now audit my QuickBooks files?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

In your next IRS audit, don’t be surprised if the agent requests a copy of your QuickBooks files instead of your printed general ledger. The agency has purchased 1,100 user license agreements for the software program and recently completed training its agents on the software. The IRS can also accept Peachtree accounting software files. (more…)

Share Button

How does the Small Business Jobs Bill Impact 401(k) Plans?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Small Business Jobs Bill, which was recently signed into law by President Obama, includes a provision that will add some additional planning opportunities for participants of 401(k) plans with Roth provisions.  Roth IRA accounts are after-tax monies that grow tax-free.  Distributions from the accounts can be made without any tax consequence.  This provides additional flexibility to taxpayers when planning for retirement or death transfers.  One of the main estate planning benefits of Roth IRA accounts is that the minimum required distribution provisions do not apply to them. (more…)

Share Button

how do you evaluate and price a product line for sale?

Friday, October 29th, 2010

The price paid for a product line (or a business) is typically determined by a return on investment (ROI) calculation. The buyer estimates the future benefit stream from the product line and then determines the required rate of return that is needed to entice them to purchase it. The required rate of return is a function of how risky the future benefit stream is.  If the future benefit is in doubt or risky, the required rate of return will be higher. There is an inverse relationship between the required rate of return and the value of a product line. Our job as business valuators is to determine what the future benefit stream will be and what is the proper rate of return required for that benefit stream.

Whenever you are considering selling a business or a product line it’s important to get a true value by using a professional business evaluation. Usually the seller does not have any experience selling a product line or a business, and not knowing all the facts could cost tens of thousands of dollars. The buyer may be very sophisticated. There are many complex issues in addition to negotiating a price in a transaction that should be considered, such as the terms of a deal and the purchase price allocation. 

The terms include whether the price will be paid in cash or by a note or stock. If there is a note, the question becomes “Will this note be secured?” “Are there conditions required to be met by the seller to be paid?” and “How long will it take to pay back?” Purchase price allocation is critical to any deal. It can be the difference between paying a 15 percent tax rate on your gain or 40 percent tax rate.  

As you can see, there are many considerations to selling a product line or business. Don’t attempt to navigate the complex area of business transactions alone.

Share Button

What are the long-term changes in the healthcare legislation?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Looking into the Future: A Summary of Healthcare Law Changes for 2013 and Beyond

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (which are collectively referred to as the healthcare legislation) were signed into law in March. The new laws contain a large number of tax changes. Some have nothing to do with healthcare, some won’t kick in for several years, some are effective right now, and some are even retroactively effective. (more…)

Share Button

What lending programs will result from Small Business Lending Funding Act?

Friday, October 15th, 2010

When President Obama signed into law last week the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, the new law created a $30 billion lending fund that will allow the U.S. Department of Treasury to invest in small to medium-sized financial institutions that will be encouraged to increase small business lending. Here is a breakdown of the four lending initiatives established by the law. (more…)

Share Button

How ready are you to transition your business?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Step 1 – Making the Decision

How will you transition your business to the next generation when it’s time to leave? If you are like more than 70 percent of family business owners, you’ve put off making this important decision. And without preparation, most family-owned businesses are not successful in making the ownership change when the time comes. This post is the first of six tips we will provide to help family-owned businesses begin the succession planning process. (more…)

Share Button

How will the Small Business Lending Act impact my business?

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Small Business Lending Funding Act Establishes Four Lending Programs

When President Obama signed into law last week the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, the new law created a $30 billion lending fund that will allow the U.S. Department of Treasury to invest in small to medium-sized financial institutions that will in turn be encouraged to increase small business lending. Here is a breakdown of the four lending initiatives established by the law.

Small Business Lending Fund. Administered by the U.S. Treasury, the Small Business Lending Fund will award a capital investment to eligible banks with assets under $10 billion. The banks can receive up to a small percentage of their risk-weighted assets, and receive essentially an incentive loan that must be repaid within 10 years. The banks must lend additional funds to small businesses as well as appropriate advertising. The fund also includes a pilot program that will allow non-profit intermediaries to make loans to small businesses at 1 percent interest over a 20-year term. The non-profit intermediaries can loan up to $200,000 per small business through the pilot program.

State Small Business Credit Initiative. A seven-year State Small Business Credit Initiative will be administered by the U.S. Treasury. Treasury will allocate federal funds to participating states with capital access programs. States can qualify for the funds by demonstrating that their capital access programs meet performance and eligibility requirements, including access to capital for businesses with less than 500 employees, minority-owned businesses and those in underserved communities. New programs can also qualify for the federal funds.

Small Business Early Stage Investment Program. The new law amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to establish an early-stage investment program to provide equity investment financing for early-stage small businesses. The program will be managed by the administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Small Business Borrower Assistance Program. Also as part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, the Small Business Administration is directed to implement an assistance program that provides payments to lenders of principle and interest on qualifying guaranteed business loans of up to $300,000. Every borrower receiving a qualifying small business loan will be automatically enrolled in the program unless the borrower opts out. The SBA’s administrator is required to commit an amount to each borrower equal to 6 percent of the principle disbursed amount of the borrower’s qualifying loan.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 also contains roughly $12 million in tax breaks and incentives. We will be reporting on the various tax implications of the new law in the weeks to come.

Share Button

How can accounting standards be improved for privately held businesses?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

At Rea & Associates, we believe some elements of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, create an excessive burden for closely held businesses and the accounting firms that serve them. Although GAAP principles work well for publicly-traded businesses, financial reporting requirements as a result of some of the principles take a great deal of time to prepare and result in additional accounting expenses for our clients – without providing any benefit to the businesses or those who use the financial information. (more…)

Share Button

How will new 1099 reporting impact my business?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Businesses could see significant changes in how they report transactions on 1099 forms, thanks to a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (more…)

Share Button

Should I worry about Red Flag Rules?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

On June 1, the Federal Trade Commission begins enforcing “Red Flag” rules, which require businesses to implement anti-identity theft policies. Created through Fair and Accurate Credit Act of 2003, the regulations require businesses that extend credit to consumers to develop a written policy that identifies warning signs and suspicious activities (i.e., red flags) of possible identity theft, and tactics to address and prevent it. If your business defers payment for goods or services, you must follow the Red Flag rules. (more…)

Share Button

Why should I treat my business as an investment?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

To answer this question, think about the stocks and bonds you may have invested in. Everyone wants to maximize the value and annual return on their investments. But many owners of closely-held businesses don’t place the same attention and care to determine the value of their businesses or work to improve their return on their largest investment.

Just like your stock portfolio, your business requires tending to help it create greater wealth. And just as you pay a fee of about one percent of your portfolio to an investment advisor to track and value your assets, you should plan the same to invest in the valuation and management of your business value. Typically 50-70 percent of your net work is tied up in your business. If you could double its value, wouldn’t you do it? Other businesses have seen this type of return and you can too. (more…)

Share Button

How Important Are Financial Statements?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Although they’re not required for a closely-held business, financial statements can provide a crucial roadmap that helps management determine the financial health of the business and the steps to improve the return on investment for the owners – not to mention the fact that several entities outside your business may also request them.

There are four basic financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and statement of shareholders equity. Do you know the difference? (more…)

Share Button

What are the Ingredients for Business Success?

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Have you ever wondered why some business people are more successful than others? It doesn’t seem to make a difference what product or service they are selling either – certain individuals just have a natural ability to make a business progresses. Our founder, Richard Rea, identified 11 common ingredients found in all successful business people. If these ingredients are included in a business, it’s hard to see how it could fail. See how you rate against them! (more…)

Share Button