April 25, 2017

The Business Transition Planning Process: Preparing Personal Finances

Business transition planning is an ongoing process that requires business owners to prepare not only the company but their own finances and personal life as well. Once maximizing the value of the business is under control, it’s time to focus on how to plan for your financial future.

Transitioning When the Time is Right

Most business owners don’t know how much they need to retire and when asked, many will underestimate the amount needed. People are living longer than ever before, and the risk of running out of money in retirement is a huge concern for business owners. Understanding the needs of these owners is crucial to determining the correct time and way to transition a business. Too many financial advisors spend all their time trying to convince clients and potential clients of their ability to select the next best investment.

Evidence proves the real value of wealth management is found in the planning. Determining which investments are best for a client only happen after an extensive financial planning process. The ultimate objective of wealth management is to bring the numerous competing goals and interests into alignment so clients are able to meet their ultimate goals. Creating a portfolio that aligns with goals will de-stress the transition process.

Creating a Personalized Portfolio

During the financial planning process, the wealth manager involves many other professionals such as accountants, attorneys and insurance specialists. The team will go through retirement planning utilizing a Monte Carlo analysis, focusing on tax planning by determining asset location analysis and evaluating estate planning needs. The needs for charitable and family gift planning will be considered, college education examined, and a risk management assessment will be performed. Upon completion of the financial planning process, the portfolio is designed to meet client needs and can access when it’s appropriate to transition your business. After the plan has been implemented, there will be ongoing monitoring to ensure the plan is meeting the client’s needs.

Upon determining financial needs, business owners can decide when is the right time to transition the business to live their desired lifestyle in retirement. The final step in the business transition planning process we’ll cover in our next blog post: planning for life after transitioning out of the company. Learn more about Anders Business Transition Planning, or contact an Anders advisor to discuss how to develop your succession plan.

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April 18, 2017

Missouri Landlords Face Security Deposit Changes for Rental Property

Real estate developers, property managers and landlords may need to change the way they handle security deposits going forward.

Separate Trust Account

Missouri law now requires that landlords keep tenant security deposits in a trust account, separate from operating expenses and other accounts. Licensed Missouri real estate brokers aren’t required to keep security deposits in a trust, but must still keep the money in a separate account.

Carpet Cleaning Charges

According to the updated statute, landlords can now charge for carpet cleaning expenses and deduct the amount from the security deposit. To do so, the lease must have a special provision explaining the service. Landlords should consider revising future leases to take advantage of the new law permitting landlords to charge tenants for carpet cleaning.

If a landlord wrongfully withholds the security deposit, the tenant can recover as damages up to twice the amount wrongfully withheld.

Contact an Anders advisor with questions on how the lease changes will affect your rental property.

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April 14, 2017

Rural Health Clinics Services Sheet

Now more than ever, health care today is a balancing act. It’s about employees, technology, reimbursements, regulations, reform – and of course, patient care. Our comprehensive view of the health care industry recognizes how everything you do in your organization impacts your bottom line.

Whether you’re a physician or a CFO or a practice administrator, the team at Anders will give you the vision and direction to make sense of your finances and operations, and free you to focus on your patients.

Just as things in this industry are always changing, we’ll always be right by your side to answer your questions and help drive smart, informed decisions. You’ll have direct access to our health care leaders and our entire team of industry and advisors.

We offer extensive, multidisciplinary financial and advisory services for physicians, hospitals, medical centers, home health organizations, nursing homes and other facilities, from individual practices to multi-location health systems.

Our advisors bring a strong combination of financial, operational and strategic expertise to help you succeed.

We offer the following services for rural health clinics:

  • Annual Evaluation
  • Cost Reports
  • Mock Survey
  • Operational and Workflow Assessments
  • Revenue Cycle Acceleration
  • Feasibility Study
  • Practice Manager Training
  • Interim Management
  • Provider Compensation Modeling

How Can We Help Your Clinic Grow?

Revenue Cycle Acceleration and Technology Utilization

  • Revenue Cycle Assessment and Process Improvements
  • Value-Based Payment Transition Assistance
  • Policy Development and Implementation
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Fee Schedule Analysis and Development
  • Managed Care Contracting
  • Contract Renegotiations
  • Benchmarking and Financial Analysis
  • Billing Service Oversight
  • Interim and Long-Term Revenue Cycle Management

Credentialing and Enrollment

  • Medicare PECOS and CAQH
  • Hospital Affiliations
  • Provider Portal Repository Software
  • Payer Enrollments
  • Insurance Revalidation

Technology Optimization

  • EHR/PMS Assessment, Purchase, & Implementation
  • System Optimization
  • NextGen Certified Training
  • Software Hosting
  • Infrastructure Architecture & Ongoing Maintenance
  • CIO Strategic Services
  • HIPAA Security Risk Analysis Compliance and Patient-Centered Care
  • Customer Service Training
  • Patient Experience Enhancement
  • Workflow Assessments and Redesign
  • HIPAA Compliance
  • OSHA Compliance
  • HR Policies and Procedures

Strategic Positioning

  • Rightsizing Strategy & Implementation
  • Sustainable Compensation Models that Incentivize
  • Service Line Development
  • Start-up of Medical Practices and other Entrepreneurial Ventures
  • Buy-Sell-Merge-Expand Decision Propositions
  • Practice Valuation
  • Interim Management

Physician-Hospital Relations

  • Employment Arrangement Strategies
  • Compensation Model Development
  • Fair Market Value Compensation Opinions
  • Clinical Care Coordination

Comprehensive Accounting

  • QuickBooks® Consulting
  • Accounting System Consultation, Implementation and Training
  • Financial Statement Analysis and Preparation
  • Payroll Preparation and Tax Reporting
  • Sales and Use Tax-Related Consulting
  • Employee Benefit Plan Administration
  • Business Plan Development

Tax Planning and Compliance

  • Strategic Tax Forecasts
  • Comprehensive Business-Personal Services
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Managed Care Contracting to Optimize Opportunities

To learn more about our Health Care Group or arrange a meeting with our team, please contact: Brian M. McCook, CPA, 314-655-5564, bmccook@anderscpa.com

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April 14, 2017

Steps to Take if Your FAFSA was Hacked

A recent student aid application data breach has lead to the filing of thousands of fraudulent tax returns. According to the IRS, personal data of up to 100,000 taxpayers may have been hacked and used to file the fraudulent returns. Through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool used to upload information to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), hackers posed as students to automatically populate applications with tax information.

Who was Affected by the Breach?

Around 8,000 fraudulent federal income tax returns were filed and have resulted in refunds issued. Another 66,000 were filed but caught before refunds were issued. The IRS shut down the Tool at the height of financial aid application season; however, they expect the Tool to be secure and operational by late October.

Was My FAFSA Hacked?

If the IRS is suspicious that your account has been hacked or possibly used to file a fraudulent return, they will notify you by letter.  If you receive a letter, it’s important to complete the steps below:

  1. File a local police report in case the hackers take further action with your private information
  2. Alert one of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian or Transunion, and they will notify the other two.
  3. Check and monitor your credit score to make sure that the problem is limited to tax information theft
  4. Consider ordering a tax transcript and consult with a tax advisor to determine if tax filings for this year and previous years appear correct
  5. Ensure safeguards on your credit and debit card accounts such as 2-factor identification and balance alerts
  6. Notify your bank and see what additional safeguards are available to protect your cash accounts

If your personal information has been hacked, following the steps above will minimize damage and protect you in the future. Contact an Anders advisor with any questions.

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April 11, 2017

Protecting Elderly Parents from Financial Scams

Financial fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse, but it often goes unreported and can be difficult to prosecute. Many elder victims are afraid, confused or embarrassed to report a financial scam. Many states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws, but you can protect loved ones from financial abuse by becoming familiar with the most common scams.

Scammers target elders because they are perceived to be vulnerable and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Many elders live alone, are physically or mentally disabled, unable to handle their own finances, or have recently lost a spouse. Severely impaired individuals are also less likely to take action against their abusers as a result of illness or embarrassment.

Scam artists portray themselves to be trustworthy people. They can be strangers, friends, family members, paid or volunteer caregivers, lawyers, doctors or accountants. Many of them have paperwork or documents that appear to give them legal authority to act. Some scam artists may work at a bank or other financial institution and have ways of hiding their tracks by manipulating electronic records.

Most Common Financial Scams

Keep an eye out for these common scams:

  • Medicare/health insurance scams – Perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them personal information
  • Lottery & sweepstakes scams – Mail or email scams such as “You’ve already won! Just send $2,000 to cover your taxes”
  • Charity scams – Soliciting funds for good causes such as natural disasters
  • Charging excessive amounts of money – Smooth talking scammers first convince the elders that they need some goods or services, then overcharge them by hiding high costs in interest charges or installment payments
  • Identity theft – Credit cards opened fraudulently
  • Investment/securities schemes – Pyramid schemes, unrealistic returns promised and dealers not licensed
  • Annuity sales – Using equity realized from a reverse mortgage to buy an expensive annuity, which may not mature until the person is well into their 90’s or over 100
  • Telemarketing or mail fraud – Scammers use the phone to conduct investment and credit card fraud, lottery scams, and identity theft
  • Using fraudulent legal documents – Many scammers hide their actions in legal authority, persuading a power of attorney or will giving them access to the senior’s property
  • Doing unsolicited home repair work – Scammers scour neighborhoods with a high concentration of older residents, then appear on their doorsteps claiming to spot something that needs to be fixed – a hole in the roof or clogged drainpipe

Warning Signs of Financial Abuse

Look out for certain factors that may indicate that a loved one is a likely target of financial abuse.

  • Unusual or large withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts
  • Large credit card charges that the person can’t explain
  • Missing checks
  • A person who quickly forms a close relationship with the older person, getting easy access to their home, money, or property. New “best friends.”
  • Newly executed documents, such as a will or power of attorney
  • Changes in account beneficiaries or authorized signers
  • A large number of unpaid bills
  • Missing property or personal belongings
  • A caregiver expresses excessive interest in the amount of money being spent on the older person

Taking Action

If you suspect senior abuse is occurring, there are several options for taking action.

Notify bank personal or alert law enforcement. You may also contact Adult Protective Services, a government-affiliated agency in charge of investigation reports of elder financial abuse. Contact an Anders advisor to learn more.

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April 11, 2017

Anders Introduces First Community Impact Report

Anders is dedicated to supporting local charitable, civic, community and trade organizations. Giving back is part of our social responsibility and corporate culture at Anders. The Anders Community Impact Report takes an in-depth look at our professionals and staff’s commitment, connections and involvement in the community in the past year.

In 2016, Anders employees gave back to the community by:

  • Volunteering 2,151 hours
  • Sitting on 81 not-for-profit boards
  • Being active members in 140 local organizations
  • Participating in 89 charitable sponsorships
  • Donating $180,000 

Read more in the Anders Community Impact Report.

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April 4, 2017

The Business Transition Planning Process: Maximizing the Value of the Business

Business transition planning is usually thought of as a standalone event, but to be effective at transitioning a business, it requires an ongoing process. Creating a master plan and structuring all goals, tasks, and objectives around this single strategy will ensure a successful transition. The plan can be broken down into three equally weighted categories:

  1. Maximize the value of the business
  2. Ensure the owner is personally and financially prepared
  3. Ensure the owner has planned for the third act of their life

Think of these categories as a three-legged stool. If you spend all your time devoted to maximizing the value of the business and ignore the other two categories, your stool will fall over. Each of these “legs” must be equal in length or value.

Part one of a three-part blog series will dive into the first category: how to maximize the value of your business.

Management Mindset

One of the first steps in maximizing the value of the business is changing the mindset of the management style. Most business owners fall under the “Lifestyle” management design, where the business is built to support their personal lifestyle and family. As long as the business continues to meet their lifestyle and family needs, they are satisfied with keeping everything the same. Lifestyle managers will argue this promotes family stability and allows them to focus on their life, health, and ultimately what makes them happy. While these are definitely benefits, changing this mindset to a “Value Creation” management style will ensure owners are ready for unplanned emergency situations while protecting management and company continuity, ultimately providing better cash flow for the company. A value creation management style promotes family stability and allows owners to focus on their own life as well.

De-Risking

After an evaluation has been done on the company, the next action item is de-risking the company. This can be as simple as adopting a written contingency plan to document how core business function will be performed if key personnel are absent. De-risking should focus on numerous value factors related to personal motivation, business operations, industry and market conditions, and financial/economic conditions. There are multiple rounds of de-risking in different target areas.

Driving the Direction

After de-risking, focus moves to governance and team building. Having the owner focus their work energy on the business, not in the business. Building a core management team to effectively run and manage the business is essential for the owner to be able to step away from the company and everything continue to run smoothly.

Focusing on the business requires analyzing current efficiency and system improvements and using this data to drive a growth strategy. With an idea of current performance and a future growth strategy in place, you can focus on creating the business culture that will help drive the focus and direction of the company.

Remember, business transition planning is an entire process which takes place over several months, or even years. It is not a one-time event. A business transition plan is essentially a business strategy, and creating a master plan that focuses on each category of the business owner’s life is the key. A team approach will help focus on enterprise value and de-risk the company, creating peace of mind and ultimately driving positive outcomes for everyone.

Read part two of the Business Transition Planning Process: Preparing Personal Finances. Learn more about Anders Business Transition Planning, or contact an Anders advisor to discuss how to develop your succession plan.

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April 4, 2017

Grace Hupp Wins 30th Annual Hoops for Hope Tournament

After an intense NCAA tournament this year, Grace Hupp crafted the winning bracket in the 30th annual Anders Hoops for Hope pool!

We proudly surpassed this year’s goal of 600 participants, with a total of 703 brackets completed! All donations go to support the 2017 Anders Charity of Choice, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children – St. Louis. The top 22 players will receive prizes ranging from an Apple Watch to Cardinals tickets and gift cards to local restaurants such as Llywelyn’s, Basso and 360, among others. There is also a special prize for the player that came in last place, a year’s supply of What-A-Ya Nuts?!

Watch our newsletters, website and blog for more information on exactly how much was raised for the 2017 Charity of Choice. Last year, Stray Rescue of St. Louis received a check for $9,500.

Check out the Top 22 Prize Winners:

  1. Grace Hupp
  2. Taylor Evans
  3. Paul Heimann
  4. Brad Rippelmeyer
  5. Clark Thomas
  6. Becky Widman
  7. Bob Haddenhorst
  8. David Miyazaki
  9. Dillon Saffle
  10. Mike Caldwell
  11. Joe Thieman
  12. Johnny Lawson
  13. Alison Cooke
  14. Laura Long
  15. Pauline Cella
  16. Dan Ring
  17. Jennifer McClure
  18. Meredith Perkins
  19. Shantel Roberts
  20. Joel Uthe
  21. Dave Woodshank
  22. Donald Shafer

Last place and winner of a year’s supply of What-A-Ya Nuts?! is Brent McClure!

A special thanks to this year’s tournament sponsors:

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April 3, 2017

Last Minute Tax Email Scam Targeting Businesses

A dangerous email tax scam is targeting employers across the country, including businesses, school districts and not-for-profit organizations. Scammers are using information from employee Forms W-2 to file fraudulent tax returns.

This particular scam is harder to spot, because they are not impersonating an IRS official asking for sensitive information. To obtain confidential employee information such as W-2’s and social security numbers, scammers disguise themselves as internal executives of the organization. They send email requests to payroll and human resource departments, often including a personal salutation to seem credible. The scammers then use employee information to file fraudulent returns in their names.

Reporting Tax Scams

If your organization has fallen victim to a tax scam, it’s important to report it quickly. Employers and payroll service providers can report any data losses related to the W-2 scam. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent employees from identity theft. Learn how to report a data loss to the IRS.

Ramping up protection from tax scams for yourself and your organization is vital during tax time. Contact an Anders advisor to discuss how you can prevent falling victim to tax scams.

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