Posts Tagged ‘Tom Sponsel’

Your Physical Presence is No Longer Required

By Courtney Morin
Senior, Tax Services

As our economic and social landscapes continually change through products purchased and consumed, so do the regulations as well as the way business is conducted. This can be demonstrated by the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., which overturned a previous 1992 decision related to sales tax. This latest ruling states that a physical presence is no longer needed, making remote sellers obligated in collecting and remitting sales tax.

Effective October 1, 2018, Indiana will begin enforcing the state’s economic nexus law, requiring remote sellers to start collecting sales tax for purchases made within Indiana. Under Indiana law, sellers not having a physical location in Indiana are required to obtain a registered retail merchant’s certificate if a seller meets either one or both of the following two conditions in either the previous calendar year or the current calendar year:

  • Has gross revenue from sales within Indiana in excess of $100,000 or
  • 200 or more separate transaction within Indiana

What does this mean to online consumers? For purchases made online, where sales tax has not yet been charged or collected, the submission of use tax may be required. In some states imposing an income tax such as Indiana, consumers can report this portion of sales taxes on a transaction, not charged by the seller on their income tax return. The applicable rules and rates may vary from state to state.

Even as Indiana has provided explanation and guidance of the modified stance on this specific sales tax issue, how are other states examining this development that could affect your business? The progress made in regard to this change — along with requirements — vary from state-to-state. If you are a remote seller to other areas outside of Indiana, your business potentially has exposure of additional tax that may be required based upon this Supreme Court case. This is where a trusted advisor is crucial in steering you through the complexities of these matters.

Sponsel CPA Group can offer assistance and consultation related to the recent sales tax changes and answer questions such as:

  • Is my business required to register as a remote seller?
  • What are the steps for registering as a remote seller?
  • What steps are required in other states related to this recent court case?
  • How should retroactive sales from my business be treated?

In addition to updated laws in multiple states, this recent change and the court case ruling add another level of complexity that business owners need to be made aware of and understand. Feel free to contact a Sponsel CPA Group professional to assist with your questions related to this topic or other financial areas at (317) 608-6699.

Do You Need to Pivot? — Adapt to the Market

By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner

Life doesn’t always go as planned, especially in the business world. But don’t be afraid of change! Use any detour or setback as a springboard toward new and exciting opportunities. As the year slowly draws to a close, you may want to ask yourself if your business needs to pivot in a different direction — which may include changes in product or services, marketplace, management, salesforce, maybe even the go forward vision for your company!

Many companies have done this with great success. Take PayPal, for instance. After operating as a subsidiary of eBay for more than a decade, it went on to thrive as an independent company. It changed its business model to attract users across multiple platforms outside of the eBay auction community. It smoothly stepped out of eBay’s shadow and formed its own identity.

Ash & Elm Cider Co., the start-up business featured in this month’s client profile, also adapted in a similar way. The founders, Aaron and Andréa Homoya, originally wanted to tap into the craft beer industry. But as they saw it crowding the market in Indianapolis, they decided to stand out by making and selling hard cider instead. (Read more about them and their company here.)

Other companies that successfully changed their business models include: Yamaha, which started as a piano company and went on to manufacture motorcycles, car engines, boats and more; Nokia, whose roots as a paper mill grew into the start of a mobile communications brand; and Abercrombie & Fitch, which detoured from sporting goods to focus on selling clothes. These are just a few of the many examples of booming businesses that have evolved for the better.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t stubbornly stick to your initial vision if your results are disappointing — a brighter opportunity may be around the corner. Strive for innovation and challenge the status quo. And most importantly, prepare for failure. But don’t think of it as a final step — it’s just part of the pathway toward success.

This advice is very true for “start–ups,” which are trying to bootstrap their way to financial stability, as well as mature companies. Do you recall that IBM (the largest mainframe computer company at the time) thought the personal computer was not going to be an acceptable product in the marketplace and left the marketplace wide open for young startups at the time — like Dell!

Be OPEN to the PIVOT: Listen to your customers and the marketplace!

If we can assist you further with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Tom Sponsel at (317) 608-6691 or email

To Be Successful, You Must Be Intentional

By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner

Some leaders seem to simply have a golden touch. But success is no accident. The best leaders don’t stumble into it — they take a specific path. Here’s how you can follow suit.

Don’t be afraid of failure. Learn from it! The best leaders treat failure as a launching pad rather than a roadblock. In other words, fail forward. Figure out what didn’t work, determine what you can do to improve and keep pushing to achieve your goals. Keep in mind that you may need to modify those goals along the way.

Be intentional. Operate in a deliberate manner. Effective leaders come to decisions through careful and extensive analysis. They always ask questions and hold themselves and their team members accountable. They keep track of goals, evaluate progress and sometimes even bring in a third party to oversee the company’s practices with a fresh set of eyes.

Maintain a healthy balance. Great leaders seamlessly juggle personal and professional responsibilities. And they never lose sight of their long-term goals in and outside of the office. They have a specific vision for their work and home lives.

Whatever kind of leader you are — manager, supervisor, CEO, etc. — and whatever sort of business you’re in, this advice applies to you. Hopefully it helps you on your path to success!

If we can assist you further with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Tom Sponsel at (317) 608-6691 or email

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.

How to Avoid Retirement Anxiety

By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner 

It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement. What’s especially important to consider is the fact that it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t have to mean a life of hanging out on the golf course or lounging in the sun. You may find yourself busier in your retirement than you were in the working world. Retirement can be whatever you want it to be!

The thought of retiring can also be overwhelming, as it marks the start of a whole new lifestyle for you and your loved ones. Don’t allow the status quo expectations of retirement at age 65 corner you into a decision that you are not ready to make. You need to not only include financial planning in your plan but also activity planning so you don’t become bored!  In order to avoid retirement anxiety, here’s a checklist of questions you should consider as you start the planning process.

  • When do you want to retire?
  • What are the major steps you need to take to prepare for retirement? (Who will take over your responsibilities in your business? Are you financially prepared? Are you mentally prepared?)
  • What are the main things you want to do with your free time? (Make a list of 5-10 activities.)
  • Do you want to move your homestead?
  • Do you want to travel?
  • What are your spouse’s needs/wants post-retirement? Are you in agreement?

If you are a business owner, you may not want to walk away entirely. Think about how active and involved you want to remain. Consider stepping down and taking on a lighter advisory role. Maybe limit your time in the office to one or two days a week.

Most importantly, don’t let retirement sneak up on you. Be proactive and intentional. Retirement anxiety comes from lack of consideration and preparation. So be sure to plan ahead of time and craft a crystal-clear vision of what you (if applicable — your spouse) want your retired life to look like. Also, be realistic. Know your limitations and be conscious of when it’s time for you to take a break from the business world. And make sure that break is exactly what you want it to be!

For further advice on preparing for retirement or assistance with your personal and business affairs, please contact Tom Sponsel at (317) 608-6691 or email

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