June 28, 2017

Anders Announces 2017 Promotions

2017 promotions were announced at the Anders firm meeting on June 28th. Those promoted include Auditors Lesley Larsen, Brian Loose, Sarah Mills, Adam Werner and Kaitlin Woodshank. Tax promotions include Rachel Hartnett, Ryan Huff, Jane Maddox, Dan Schindler, Joshua Snyder, Abby Tonkin, Greg Wiszkon, Pam Ditch, Cindy Gray, Scott Brightman, Rebekah Eyre, Savannah Greatting, Miranda Huelsmann and Zach McDowell. Lindsay Suelmann, Lindsay Beauchamp and Ally Gramlich in Marketing were promoted, along with Jennifer Sides in Human Resources and Chasitity Werner of the Health Care Services group. Sheila Askren, Michele Edwards, Renee Meyer and Linda Reibold from the Administrative Staff also received promotions. Scott Iverson and Chris Bettonville of Claris Advisors, an affiliate of Anders, have also been promoted.

Chastity D. Werner, CMPE, RHIT, NCP, CRCR has been promoted to Director of Health Care Services. Chastity brings more than 20 years of experience to the Anders Health Care group, touching nearly every aspect of practice and facility management. Her unique experience in the healthcare industry has allowed her to see the full spectrum of revenue cycle and allows her to successfully identify and resolve client issues with revenue cycle improvement, EHR/PMS implementation, reporting, benchmarking and claims processing.

Scott H. Iverson, CFP, CEPA, ChFC, CEBS, CRPS has been promoted to Wealth Advisor at Claris Advisors. Scott manages the day-to-day operations of Claris and designs and implements improved processes and operational policies, and also assisting clients with portfolio management and financial planning. Scott specializes in providing comprehensive advice on retirement plans, employee benefit plans, tax-qualified investing and insurance.

Rachel Hartnett, CPA - St Louis CPARachel M. Hartnett, CPA has been promoted to Senior Manager in the Tax Services group. Rachel works with individuals and business owners on a wide range of federal and state tax issues. She specializes in helping families build and protect wealth, and serves as a key member of the firm’s Family Wealth and Estate Planning group.

Lesley Larsen, CPA - St Louis CPA

Lesley M. Larsen, CPA has been promoted to Senior Manager in the Audit and Advisory Services group. Lesley is the director of the Manufacturing and Distribution industry group, and also works with construction, real estate and non-profit clients. She plans and performs audits, reviews and compilations for closely held businesses and has experience in internal controls reviews and improvements.

Jennifer M. Sides, PHR has been promoted to Senior Human Resources Manager. Jennifer has been instrumental in building our firm’s presence on college campuses, from just one school to more than 10 today. She started the Discover Anders: A Day in the Life summer leadership program, and now oversees the planning and improvement of the program. Jennifer is actively engaged in employee development and retention, and she plays a large role in facilitating the professional growth of employees through Anders University and other development opportunities.

Lindsay Suelmann - St Louis CPA Firm

Lindsay L. Suelmann has been promoted to Senior Marketing Manager. Lindsay started the firm’s digital marketing efforts and continues to manage and enhance them. This includes expanding the Anders online presence through social media strategies, search engine marketing and search engine optimization. She also tackles more traditional marketing initiatives, including brand management, niche development, communications and advertising. Lindsay also serves as the liaison and organizer of the Anders Young Professionals Group.

Ryan Huff, CPA - St Louis CPARyan M. Huff, CPA has been promoted to Manager in the Tax Services group. Ryan focuses on tax planning and compliance for individuals and small businesses. He has experience serving clients in the Manufacturing and Distribution and Real Estate and Construction industries, and also has a background in accounting services, including payroll and bookkeeping.

Jane Conway, CPA - St Louis CPAJane M. Maddox, CPA has been promoted to Manager in the Tax Services group. Jane works with families and business owners on individual and corporate tax consulting, and consults with them on day-to-day financial management. In particular, she helps her clients learn to make the most of their QuickBooks® files. Jane is also a core member of our Real Estate and Construction group, helping companies tackle the unique challenges of those industries.

Daniel Schindler, CPA - St Louis CPA FirmDaniel K. Schindler, CPA has been promoted to Manager in the Tax Services group. Dan assists individuals, businesses and professional service firms with tax planning and compliance, tax consulting for family businesses, and works closely with clients in the manufacturing and distribution industries, including craft breweries. He is a part of the Anders Family Wealth and Estate Planning group and Sports, Arts & Entertainment group.

St Louis Outsourced AccountingPam E. Ditch, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Tax Services group. She has specific experience serving clients in the hospitality industry and those with small businesses. Pam likes to help her small business clients maneuver income and payroll taxes, and has experience preparing quarterly and year-end payroll tax returns. She also works with startup companies on financial processes such as preparing financial statements, accounting systems setup and training, and QuickBooks® consulting.

Cindy Gray, CPA - St Louis CPACindy M. Gray, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Tax Services group. Cindy works with clients in a wide range of industries, helping businesses and individuals with their tax planning needs. She has experience with QuickBooks®, and works with clients on monthly accounting services.

Brian Loose, CPA - St Louis CPABrian C. Loose, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Audit and Advisory Services group. Brian enjoys consulting with clients on budget forecasting, and helping them improve their processes with new efficiencies and recommendations through their year-end audit. He prepares reviews and financial statement audits for clients in the manufacturing industry as well as governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. Brian is also a past member of the AICPA Leadership Academy.

Sarah A. Mills, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Audit and Advisory Services group. Sarah plans and performs audits for a range of not-for-profit organizations and manufacturing clients. She also works with governmental entities and financial institutions, utilizing her several years experience in public accounting to identify and provide solutions for stronger internal controls.

Josh Snyder, CPA - St Louis CPA FirmJoshua L. Snyder, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Tax Services group. Within his years at Anders, Josh has experienced a wide variety of tax and family wealth planning and compliance-related engagements. Josh actively works in the firm’s Startup and Sports, Arts & Entertainment groups.

Abby Tonkin, CPA - St Louis CPA FirmAbby J. Tonkin, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Tax Services group. Abby works in a variety of industries, primarily working with closely-held businesses, partnerships and S-corporations. She keeps the tax group abreast of all state and local tax law changes, and is a core member of the Family Wealth and Estate Planning group.

Gregory Wiszkon, CPA - St Louis CPAGregory V. Wiszkon, CPA has been promoted to Supervisor in the Tax Services group. Greg has experience with tax planning and compliance for individuals and corporate clients in a wide variety of industries. He is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Construction Group and enjoys keeping up with industry news and sharing his knowledge through blog contributions and presenting tax updates within the community.

Lindsay Beauchamp - St Louis CPA FirmLindsay M. Beauchamp has been promoted to Senior Marketing Coordinator. Lindsay maintains all marketing materials including advertisements, brochures, and collateral while supporting the day-to-day operations of the marketing team. Her attention to detail is a great asset as she coordinates and organizes all Anders events. She also assists in planning Anders University and enjoys learning new ways to grow the Anders brand.

Chris P. Bettonville has been promoted to Portfolio Advisor with Claris Advisors. Chris assists in day-to-day operations for Claris. He joined Claris in 2015 to help serve growing client needs by creating new accounts, on-boarding new clients and transaction ledgers. Chris is Series 65 licensed, and is also assisting in portfolio analysis and Monte Carlo report preparation.

Scott Brightman - St Louis CPA FirmScott D. Brightman, CPA, MBA has been promoted to Senior in the Tax Services group. Scott’s history with Anders goes back to 2013 when he attended our summer recruiting program, Discover Anders and then returned in the summer of 2014 as the first summer intern in the Tax Services Group. Scott now works with individuals on their tax planning and compliance needs. He is also a member of the firm’s Startup and Sports, Arts, and Entertainment groups.

Rebekah Eyre - St Louis CPA FirmRebekah J. Eyre, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Tax Services group. Rebekah attended Discover Anders in 2014 before starting as a busy season intern and then a full-time associate in 2015. She works with clients on individual tax and trust returns. She utilizes her minor in Applied Communication Studies to provide a personal experience for her clients, so they know the person behind the return.

Ally Gramlich - St Louis CPAAlly L. Gramlich has been promoted to Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator. Ally aids in the planning, creation, and scheduling of web and social media content for the firm and separate industry groups. She implements and analyzes the firm’s digital strategy, including search engine optimization, website copy, blog content and social media.

Savannah Connaway - St Louis CPA FirmSavannah L. Greatting, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Tax Services group. Savannah started her journey at Discover Anders in 2014, and returned that year as a busy season tax intern before transitioning to a full-time associate. Savannah enjoys learning as much as possible about ways to minimize her clients’ tax burden.

Miranda Huelsmann - St Louis CPA FirmMiranda E. Huelsmann, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Tax Services group. Miranda interned during two busy seasons at Anders before transitioning to full-time. She works with individuals and corporate clients specifically on their yearly tax planning needs.

 

Zacharay McDowell - St Louis CPAZach M. McDowell, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Tax Services group. Zach started his journey at Anders in 2013 at Discover Anders, continued as an intern the next spring before transitioning to a full-time tax associate. He works on the planning and preparation of individual and business tax returns. Zach also holds active positions in the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA).

Adam Werner - St Louis CPA FirmAdam J. Werner, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Audit and Advisory Services group. Adam has experience performing year-end audits for clients in the manufacturing and distribution industry and not-for-profit organizations. Before joining Anders full-time, Adam attended Discover Anders in 2014 and interned during the 2015 busy season. Adam is a member of the Anders Young Professionals Steering Committee.

St Louis Tax PlanningKaitlin M. Woodshank, CPA has been promoted to Senior in the Audit and Advisory Services group. Kaitlin has experience working with not-for-profit organizations receiving federal funding and clients in the manufacturing and distribution industries, performing financial statement reviews and compilations. Kaitlin enjoys meeting clients and seeing how they carry out their day-to-day operations and processes.

Michelle Edwards, Renee Meyer and Linda Reibold were promoted to Executive Assistant and Sheila Askren was promoted to Administrative Assistant.

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June 28, 2017

Top Questions to Ask Before Moving Your Business to the Cloud

The cloud certainly has people talking, and while many companies have moved or are in the process of moving to the cloud for applications, backups, and infrastructure, many are still unsure of what the cloud is exactly or how it could help their business.

The Anders Technology Services Team understands moving your technology to the cloud is a big decision. We help companies navigate the decision to move, the migration process, as well as provide on-going services to manage your technology in the cloud. If you are undecided, you are not alone.  Businesses ask us “why” every day.  Here are some of the answers to your biggest cloud questions.

What is the cloud?

Chances are you spend time in the cloud every day.  If you use any form of social media or online data drive such as DropBox, you are using the cloud. Think about the cloud as opposite of your current hardware, software and servers that take up space. It is not a physical thing. At its simplest, a move to the cloud means that instead of storing data and installing software applications on your firm’s own physical hard drive in your office, you store your data and access applications remotely via the internet. You can’t see or touch them, but they are there. The cloud is a network of servers that can be scaled for as much or as little as you need depending on your business.

Why should I move my business to the cloud?

The big appeal of moving to the cloud is that by storing files virtually rather than in a physical place, they can be accessed by anyone on your team, from anywhere – on the other side of the office or across the globe. Employees in different locations can collaborate on the same master document, which makes flexible working possible.

You don’t have to move everything over at once. Under the managed cloud services at Anders, we can migrate all of your technology to the cloud at one time or a little at a time, depending on what works for you.

Which cloud is right for my business?

There are actually three cloud options: public, private and hybrid.  Each have different levels of functionality and security. With the public cloud, all you need is an internet connection and a web browser – your facilities, equipment and software are all provided by the cloud. In a private cloud, you own all or a portion of the dedicated equipment, allowing you to build your cloud-like environment. The hybrid cloud is a combination, offering a customized integration of on-site, private and public cloud alternatives.

Is the cloud secure?

The cloud is a safe alternative; but no one can guarantee 100% safety in the cloud or in more traditional technology environments. Public cloud providers have to maintain security and compliance for their customers, so they are investing heavily in securing their environment.   With that said, security has to be a multiple layer approach, which involves good password policies and employee awareness.

What will it cost?

Using the cloud can be more economical than buying hardware, software and traditional infrastructure because you only pay for what you use. Instead of depreciating a capital investment over a number of years you pay for what you need now, and you can add or remove services as required. This typically saves companies money. Plus, you can save on facility, power, storage and training costs.

Do I need an IT department?

Your organization will still need IT resources, but it will change. IT departments no longer have to worry about optimizing the use of technology, maintaining IT infrastructure and all other day to day work that is part of the job.  They can add more value to an organization by focusing on the business and will have more time to be innovative in terms of how they use IT to help your organization grow.  You will still require technology and support to connect to the cloud, and work must be done to integrate different cloud structures. You may choose to keep this all in-house or outsource all or a portion of your cloud applications.

What type of applications do most companies move to the cloud?

Most companies start with moving their email and office productivity to the cloud.  Email has been integrated with businesses for so many years, that it can be very costly to maintain in house.  Cloud providers can easily integrate other email add-ons such as spam-filtering, archiving, and e-discovery components at a fraction of the cost of implementing yourself.

There are also opportunities to host core business applications such as Human Resource Information Management System (HRIS) software or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems available to you.  Many small to medium size business find that the hosted systems have tighter security practices and meet compliance standards.

To decide what to move to the cloud, the first step is to take a thorough inventory of your apps and information and their criticality to your business. Decide if the applications have heightened security or compliance requirements, then compare if it is best in the cloud or local. Our team of technology advisors can help through the process.

What are other reasons I should move?

Cloud computing increases efficiencies, helps improve cash flow, and is quickly becoming the new normal.  Here are our Top 5 reasons to move:

  1. Flexibility – you can easily scale applications up or down
  2. Disaster Recovery – cost effective solution to keep your business safe
  3. Automatic Software Updates – you always have the most up-to-date version
  4. Document Control – the more employees collaborate, the greater the need
  5. Competition – your competitors have already moved

How do I get started?

Pick the best cloud partner and get expert advice. To determine whether your business will be a good fit for the cloud, ask a trusted advisor who can perform a cloud readiness assessment to identify what makes the most sense for your technical needs. The assessment can help you benchmark cloud solutions being used in your line of business and set forth a plan to transition to the cloud. Anders Technology Services has resources and staff dedicated to moving businesses to the cloud. Contact Anders to find out how the cloud can benefit your company.

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June 28, 2017

Created Sales Dashboard to Track and Set Sales Goals in Real-Time

Built a real-time dashboard for a sales team to easily read, track and compare sales history. Using an interactive database the company is now able to set goals and alter best practices based on real-time sales data.

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June 28, 2017

Implemented Office 365 for Not-for-Profit to Collaborate and Standardize IT

Moved a small not-for-profit organization to Office 365 using a large vendor discount. Employees can now utilize email and collaboration tools and easily access and share documents at a fraction of the cost.

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June 27, 2017

IRS Drawing Attention to Building Placed In Service Dates

Purchasing a building or entering into a new lease space for your business may require renovations or some type of improvement before it’s ready to use. Depending on factors such as the size of your project, location and industry, the time of completion may vary. Even if construction is complete and an occupancy permit has been issued, does that mean the new asset is ready to be placed in service for tax purposes?

Bonus Depreciation Phase Out

The PATH Act of 2015 extended bonus depreciation for most assets acquired and placed in service before 2020. For tax purposes, placing your asset in service by 12/31/17 will generate the greatest depreciation deduction of 50% of the qualified property’s depreciable basis. The percentages allowed will decrease from 50% to 40% in 2018 and to 30% in 2019. Bonus depreciation is not available for most assets placed in service in 2020.

Determining Placed in Service Dates

The phase-out of accelerated depreciation may tempt many to take a position that the new asset is placed in service, when in reality, it isn’t. Be careful, as the most recent IRS Action on Decision 2017-02 describes one must be able to support the asset is placed in service when it is in a state of readiness and available to function as the intended use for which it was built or constructed. A certificate of occupancy does not always mean a building is ready and available for the specifically assigned function. In particular, buildings that are placed in service near year end in the next few years may be subject to IRS scrutiny and could possibly be disallowed accelerated deductions.

Contact an Anders Advisor to learn how your business can take advantage of these accelerated saving opportunities.

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June 27, 2017

Saved Wealth Management Firm Over $40,000 Annually with Managed IT Services

Offered comprehensive IT support to wealth management firm resulting in an annual savings of over $40,000. By acting as the firm’s IT support staff, a personalized, secure technology environment was established to meet compliance needs.

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June 26, 2017

Built Database for Multiple Hotels to Access Business History Data

Automated a manual process of generating business history reports for an organization that owned several hotels. Hotel controllers and executives can now pull real-time reports with a full comparison of all locations and history.

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June 26, 2017

Designed a Cloud-Based IT Infrastructure without Capital Expenditures for a Global Private Equity Firm

Designed and implemented a migration plan to move a global private equity firm’s IT infrastructure into the cloud. Within six weeks, firm employees were safely collaborating in a cloud infrastructure with no capital expenditures.

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June 23, 2017

Anders Named Top Midsize Workplace by St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Anders CPAs + Advisors has been ranked #1 on the Midsize Employers category for the 2017 Top Workplaces list by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Anders has been on the Top Workplaces list several times, and in 2016, was ranked at the top of the Midsize Employer Category for the first time. The Top Workplaces lists are based on results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few. 1400 companies submitted entries for the 2017 Top Workplaces list.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest. And oftentimes, people assume it’s all about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “But to be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”

Among the attributes that make Anders a top workplace include the open, collaborative work space reflecting the culture of the firm, a generous PTO and benefits package, flexibility and extensive technical and professional training programs. Anders supports and encourages their employees to get involved in organizations they’re passionate about, and provides development dollars to help them do so.

The complete list of Top Workplaces can be found in the June 26 issue of the Post-Dispatch. Meet the top Midsize workplaces of 2017 and find out what Anders employees say sets Anders apart.

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June 22, 2017

Staying Ahead with Cloud Technology

Moving technology to the cloud can help businesses of all sizes utilize IT more effectively. Whether you want to access reports in real-time, allow your team to work remotely, or if you’re looking for a higher level of security, cloud technology aligns with your business goals. Minimizing capital expense, increasing security and productivity and simplifying IT management are a few of the ways your business can benefit from converting to the cloud.

Minimize: Capital Expense

Cloud technology is an approach which should be viewed as a predictable operational expense as opposed to one capital expense. When creating a business plan and meeting with the Cap Ex committee, this method will prove to be more cost-effective. As your business grows, you will see there is no longer a need for additional IT capital expenditures. This allows companies to keep more money in their pockets or spend in other areas of the business. The cloud provides the flexibility of adding or reducing services as your company grows, so you only pay for the capacity you use. The cloud gives you enterprise IT systems on a budget any business can afford.

Fortify: Security and Compliance

When implementing a Microsoft Cloud solution, a business can rest assured that the data stored within Microsoft environment is protected with Enterprise level security. Additional layers of security ensure organizations are secure and compliant within their own environment.  The Microsoft Cloud offers IT systems that can help with compliance and regulatory requirements.

Optimize: Productivity

When implementing a suite of cloud products, such as Office 365, the applications are meant to work together, which increases employee productivity. The cloud offers collaboration opportunities for employees to store, organize and share data. The applications are designed to help you achieve more. Connect all of your data from different systems through the cloud for one view of your business.

Decision makers now have access to immediate data at their fingertips to make educated business decisions.

Simplify: IT Management

In the cloud, running an IT environment becomes much more manageable and less of a risk. Almost immediately you will notice the solution begins to free up the resources on your team and allow them to focus on the core competencies of their occupation and less on secondary roles. This becomes possible as the risk of infrastructure malfunctions and disruptions are removed and any risks and responsibilities are transferred to Microsoft.

Cloud technology solutions can help an organization stay ahead of the competition by increasing performance and productivity while remaining secure and managing costs. Anders Technology Services can help transition your technology into the cloud seamlessly. Contact Anders for more information on reaping the benefits of cloud technology.

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