January 17, 2014

Anders Promotes Berger to Principal; Piglia to Senior Financial Analyst

Anders has named Robert L. Berger, CPA/CGMA, a principal and promoted Marcelle H. Piglia, CPA/CFF to Senior Financial Analyst.  The announcement was made at the Firm Meeting on Saturday January 11.

Berger is the director of the Anders Real Estate and Construction group and provides direction to clients on cost segregation analyses, energy tax credits, like-kind exchanges and other specific industry services.  He is currently leading the group in informing clients about Repair Regulations.  He also works with clients on corporate tax consulting, retirement planning and assists closely-held business owners on individual and corporate tax consulting, and QuickBooks® implementation.

In 2012, Berger was selected to participate in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Leadership Academy, which is made up of 36 young CPAs from across the country. As a result, he has been named to the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA) Gen Next Task Force. He also serves on the Young Leaders Board and is a Liaison to the Board of Directors for the Wyman Center, is the Treasurer and Golf Committee Chair of the Board for the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), and is a member of the Missouri Society of Public Accountants (MSCPA) Firm Leadership Committee. Rob started at the firm as an intern in 1999. Berger holds a B.A., Accounting from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.

Piglia is a member of the Anders Forensic and Valuation Services group (FVS), specializing in valuation, litigation and audits for closely held businesses. She provides research, analysis and reporting for litigation engagements, including economic damages and lost profits, wages and divorce. Piglia works on various forensic accounting projects, specifically involving alleged assets misappropriation and corruption frauds. She recently earned her CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) designation from the AICPA, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Anders Young Professionals Group.  She is a frequent speaker on fraud topics and most recently presented Three Common Mistakes that Open the Door to Business Fraud as part of the 2013 Anders Speaker Series, and spoke on fraud related topics at three MSCPA CFS Conferences.  She is also an author and blogger and was published in Money Talks in January with Breaking Bad: A Case Student in Accounting Fraud.  Marcelle is a member of the Professional Women’s Alliance (PWA) and the Louisiana State University Alumni Association.

Marcelle received her Masters of Accounting from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her B.S., Finance from Louisiana State University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA.

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January 13, 2014

Brian McCook Named to 40 Under 40

Anders is very proud to announce that Brian M. McCook, CPA, and Partner in our Healthcare Group has been named one of 2014’s 40 Under 40 honorees by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Brian was selected by a panel of former 40 Under 40 winners from a pool of more than 500 nominations.   A special section of the St. Louis Business Journal featuring the other honorees will be published in the February 7, 2014 edition of the newspaper. A special awards dinner will be held on Thursday, February 13 at Kemp Auto Museum in Chesterfield.

Why Brian?

Brian has been instrumental in making the healthcare niche the fastest growing practice area at the firm, averaging more than 25% growth in each of the last five years. The team specializes in helping physicians, their practices and hospitals with financial issues and consists of tax accountants, auditors and consultants.

Brian joined Anders in 2002, started the healthcare group in 2006, and in January 2012, at age 37, was named a partner at the $25 million firm. Brian is Vice President for the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), a member of the Medical Group Management Association of Greater St. Louis (MGMA) and the League of Health Experts. He is a frequent author and speaker at national, regional and local events, including leading the healthcare special interest group with the Leading Edge Alliance, the second largest international association of CPA firms.  Brian received the President’s Award from HFMA in 2011 and 2012 for dedication to the organization, and has been a featured “Partner in Health Care” in the St. Louis Business Journal.

On a civic level, for the past six years, Brian has been involved with Lafayette Industries at the board level, an organization that employs people with disabilities.

His family, his work and helping others succeed mean the world to him. His enthusiasm and passion are contagious.

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January 8, 2014

New Safe Harbor for Office in Home Deduction

The IRS recently published revised information regarding a new safe harbor method for computing an office in home deduction.  Generally, no deduction is allowed for the business use of a home that’s also used by the taxpayer as a residence during the tax year. However, if strict requirements are met, deductions are allowed for direct expenses and the business-use part of the indirect expenses relating to the business use of a residence.

The new guidance provides a safe harbor method where an individual determines the allowable deduction for the qualified business use of a home by multiplying a prescribed rate ($5) by the square footage of the part of the residence that is used for business purposes, not to exceed 300 square feet, for a maximum deduction of $1,500. The safe harbor is effective for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2013.

Taxpayers claiming a home office deduction under the safe harbor must still satisfy all the existing office in home requirements, but the safe harbor will substantially reduce the taxpayer’s recordkeeping burden.

As always, we urge you to consult with your Anders tax professional regarding this development as it is a hot button issue for the IRS.

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January 7, 2014

Should You Sell Your Company to an Outside Third Party?

We talk to business owners every day who plan to exit their companies to a third party.  They believe they will get more cash both up front and overall than if they sell to family members or employees. They also believe there is less risk selling to a third party than to company insiders. Are they correct?

As diplomatically as possible, we suggest that they just might be dead wrong. Here’s why:

  1. Sales to third parties are less risky than sales to insiders only if a business can be sold for all cash, which is unlikely.  They can also be less risky if there’s simply no time to implement a carefully designed sale to an insider.
  2. Selling to a third party requires a third party wanting to buy. In a difficult M&A market, being in an attractive market sector is more important than ever. Companies engaged in power, alternative energy, health care, medical services and healthy-living products will have an easier time finding buyers, while those engaged in construction, retail, real estate, automotive and consumer products will find it much more difficult, to attract a buyer in today’s marketplace.
  3. Waiting involves risk. We suspect that some owners hold to the belief that there’s little risk in waiting for a third party buyer because it provides one more excuse to avoid the exit planning process. While waiting, you could find a dormant M&A market, no buyers for your industry, your business and/or the economy in decline.

Instead of falling subject to these uncertainties, you could instead control of your exit by creating an exit strategy that allows you to:

  • Choose your buyer;
  • Name your sale price;
  • Control ownership until you are fully paid; and
  • Shift the burden of the company’s future performance from you to the buyers

This is the first of a two-part series on third party versus inside buyers for your business. Next week we will take a look at why selling to employees or family – people on the inside of your company – may prove to be the wiser exit planning strategy.

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