Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Is Your Accounting Department Dysfunctional?

By Mike Bedel, CPA, CGMA, MBA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. That’s why the cornerstone of any company is an efficient accounting department and financial reporting system that promptly measures and reports the results of your operations.

Financial statements should be prepared on a regular, systemic basis, around the 15th of the month. Timely, accurate information is essential to your management team. Consistency of practice is crucial.

Is your accounting department meeting these demands? Failure to pay invoices on time or deliver accurate, comprehensive reports can severely harm your company’s reputation and result in late payment fees, decreased credit worthiness, issues with your suppliers, etc. Lack of consistency, planning, transparency and oversight can also quickly lead to untimely financial reporting and poor management information systems. The risk of fraud is also increased in an undisciplined accounting environment.

As a business owner, it’s vital that you determine the people, processes and discipline necessary to make your accounting function run as smoothly as possible. Your management team should be reviewing your financial statements and key performance metrics on a regular, MONTHLY basis! A business that is not doing this on a regular basis is setting itself up for a less than successful result!

If you’re experiencing accounting issues in your company, it’s time to step back and determine the source of the problem. And if you need a fresh set of eyes on your accounting function, Sponsel can help!  Is it your people? Is it your systems, or lack thereof? Or do you simply not know? Whether you’re seeking consultation or thinking about outsourcing your bookkeeping needs, we can offer support.

If we can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

Who is the Monkey on Your Back?

By Eric Woodruff, CPA
Manager, Audit & Assurance Services
ewoodruff@sponselcpagroup.com

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you look at your workload and feel like you have too much on your plate? It’s time to step back and dig to the root of the problem.

Business owners and CEOs can often be their own worst enemies. Their extreme work ethic and type-A personalities can push them to pick up other people’s slack and take on too many projects. Many times those projects are the direct responsibilities of other managers!

This is a pattern of unhealthy behavior that needs to stop. The point of operating a business is to collaborate with others toward a common goal — not to conquer everything on your own.

How do you get the monkey of stress off your back? Maybe start by identifying the non-performing members of the staff and determining the areas in which they would be more effective and efficient. Maybe they’re just not working on tasks that best suit their skill set or they weren’t given proper instruction. Ineffective delegation and lack of training are usually the causes of poor workflow. But rather than simply taking over tasks yourself when this happens, work with your employees toward improvement. Two heads are better than one!

A large part of being a business owner is about holding people accountable. If you constantly take on other employees’ workloads or make up for others’ mistakes, your team will never grow. Remember, there’s no “I” in team! Don’t be your own worst enemy or let the monkeys keep piling up on your back. Start spreading the workload around and joining forces with your staff. Work smarter, not harder. Hold your staff accountable!

If Sponsel CPA Group can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Eric Woodruff at (317) 613-7850 or email ewoodruff@sponselcpagroup.com.

Client Profile: ProSource Wholesale

When Dave Grande took over as the owner of ProSource Wholesale of Indianapolis, he had no experience in the commercial and residential renovation industry. But he hit the ground running and helped the franchise business continue to grow as one of North America’s largest trade-only wholesale suppliers for commercial and home improvement projects.

Established in 1991, ProSource boasts more than 140 showrooms across the U.S. and Canada. Grande owns the franchise rights to the entire metro Indianapolis area, overseeing three showrooms that offer flooring, kitchen and bath products for builders, remodelers, real estate agents and other trade professionals.

After 28 years as a manufacturer’s representative in the machining industry, Dave took a risk and jumped onboard the ProSource team, buying the first north Indianapolis location from his wife’s former neighbor in the spring of 2005.

Tom Sponsel immediately sprung to Grande’s mind when he was in the process of financially positioning himself to purchase the location.

“Tom and I go way back,” Grande said. “We went to Cathedral High School together. He was the first guy I called, and I’m so glad I did. Sponsel CPA Group was extremely instrumental in helping us acquire the business. Their relationship with the local banks persuaded people to take a chance and give us the loans we needed to start.”

After overcoming the economic downturn of the housing industry in the mid-2000s, Grande went on to open two more Indianapolis locations, one of which is currently managed by his son.

Sponsel CPA Group is proud to play a role in helping Grande run this growing family business.

Click here for more information about ProSource Wholesale.

Employee Spotlight: Jo-Ann Lewandowski

Jo-Ann Lewandowski has been serving Sponsel CPA Group since the early days of its inception. A Manager in Employee Benefit Services, she focuses on serving clients in managing their benefits packages, retirement plans and related compliance issues.

With a bachelor’s degree in financing from Millikin University and several years of work experience under her belt, she has a great deal of familiarity with DOL and IRS compliance requirements, including creating plan documents and preparing appropriate government filings, as well as processing participants’ loans and distributions.

Jo-Ann and her husband, Roy, have four grown children, and over the past three years they’ve welcomed two grandchildren into the family. They adore little Aubrie and Adie.

Outside of work, Jo-Ann cherishes time with her family, especially time spent out in the great outdoors and cruising along Lake Monroe on their beautiful boat.

New Tax Law Brings Changes to 529 Plans

By Liz Belcher, CPA
Manager, Tax Services
lbelcher@sponselcpagroup.com

The new tax law signed by the president at the end of last year included some significant changes to 529 plans that taxpayers need to know.

As most are aware, a 529 plan distribution is tax-free if it is used to pay for “qualified higher education expenses” of the beneficiary. Before the recent tax legislation was passed, tuition for elementary or secondary schools was not considered a “qualified higher education expense” for 529 plan distribution purposes.

Federal 529 Plan Changes

The new tax law provides that qualified higher education expenses now include expenses for tuition in connection with an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school (i.e. K-12 tuition). Thus, tax-free distributions from 529 plans can now be received by beneficiaries who pay these expenses, effective for distributions from 529 plans after 2017.

It’s important to be aware that there is a limit to how much of a distribution can be taken from a 529 plan for elementary and secondary tuition expenses. The amount of cash distributions from all 529 plans per single beneficiary during any tax year can’t, when combined, include more than $10,000 for elementary school and secondary school tuition incurred during the tax year.

Indiana 529 Plan Changes

In addition to the federal tax law, Indiana also made changes to its 529 plan program that taxpayers need to keep in mind, especially those claiming an Indiana tax credit for 529 plan contributions.

In May 2018, Indiana amended its code to create a tax credit for those saving tuition expenses in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school located in Indiana (K-12 tuition).

For the tax year beginning January 1, 2018, Indiana taxpayers may receive a 10% state income tax credit against their adjusted gross income tax liability. This credit cannot exceed $500 for contributions to an account that will be used to pay for Indiana K-12 tuition. When combined with the state income tax credit taken for qualified higher education expenses (i.e. post-secondary expenses), the maximum annual income tax credit cannot exceed $1,000.

Effective January 1, 2019, the income tax credit for contributions made to an account being used to pay Indiana K-12 tuition increases to 20% — up to a maximum of $1,000 when combined with any Indiana income tax credit taken for qualified higher education expenses. Also at the time a contribution is made to an Account, the contributor must designate whether the contribution is made for (I) Qualified Expenses that are not Indiana K-12 Tuition; or (II) Indiana K-12 Tuition. Likewise, at the time of withdrawal from an account, the account owner must designate whether the withdrawal will be used for (I) Qualified Expenses that are not Indiana K-12 Tuition; or (II) Indiana K-12 Tuition. It’s important for taxpayers to understand the Indiana rules for which a credit is claimed as a non-qualified distribution will result in the repayment of a previously claimed Indiana credit.

If you have any questions about how the new 529 plan changes will impact you, please call Liz Belcher at (317) 613-7846 or e-mail lbelcher@sponselcpagroup.com.

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