July 31, 2018

Top Email Safety Rules Companies Should Follow

Actively protecting your company from email scams and hackers can save money and time. It’s common for unsuspecting employees to receive malicious emails that look like they’re from reputable sources, which can put sensitive business data in the wrong hands. These emails, known as phishing emails, try to bait recipients into installing malicious software or giving up sensitive information under false pretenses. When employees fall prey to phishing emails, it can result in a company-wide data breach.

Email Safety Rules

Implementing a few simple policies can help avoid a data breach disaster. Below are a few email safety tips that will help employees recognize and avoid phishing emails.

1. Never give out login information

Since no reputable source should ever ask you for usernames or passwords, do not reply to emails asking for credentials. If you click on a link or attachment in an email and a popup appears asking for login information, do not enter any information. Immediately delete the email.

2. Double check links before clicking

Anytime there is a link in an email, hover your mouse over the link without clicking on it. An address will appear that should match the link. If the address that appears does not match the link, the link could be malicious. If you know the sender, contact them outside of email to confirm that the link is legitimate. If you do not know the sender, delete the email.

3. Do not open unexpected attachments

If you receive an unexpected attachment in an email, do not open it, even if the sender is one of your contacts. If you know the sender, contact them outside of email confirm that the attachment is legitimate. If you do not know the sender, delete the email.

4. Notify IT support

If you receive what you believe may be a phishing email, contact your IT support resource to review and mitigate the situation. DO NOT forward the phishing email to anyone. If you are positive that it is a phishing email, immediately delete it and report it to the appropriate resource. If you are not sure if it is a legitimate email or a phishing email, contact the appropriate resource who can view the email in your inbox and instruct you on how to proceed.

To protect the security of your business data, it is vital that your employees recognize and properly handle phishing emails. If you are interested in providing your employees with security awareness training around phishing emails and other cyber threats, please contact an Anders advisor. If you are in need of an IT support resource, Anders also offers a variety of technology services that can be tailored to fit your unique business needs.

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July 30, 2018

A Guide to Tax Credits and Incentives for Missouri Businesses

Federal and state tax credits and incentives can help fund new business ventures and offset project expenses, saving your company time and money. Whether your company is adding jobs, investing in new technology or expanding its footprint to additional locations, there are credits designed to help fund these projects. Below we have outlined relevant tax credits your Missouri business can take advantage of.

Missouri Credits

Missouri Works Program – Employment Tax Credit

The Missouri Works Program helps businesses create jobs and expand facilities by saving on state withholding tax and/or receiving state tax credits based on a payroll percentage of the new jobs. There are five benefit zones based on the number of new jobs created and new private capital investment.

How You Can Benefit
If your company is opening another location, expanding an existing location, or is planning on adding full-time staff, you may be eligible for a state withholding tax benefit. Missouri Works Program benefits are provided after the minimum new job threshold is met and the company meets the average wage and health insurance requirements.

For-profit and non-profit Missouri businesses are eligible for the credit. Eligible wages include:

  • Gross wages
  • Bonuses
  • Deferred comp payouts
  • Overtime
  • Commissions
  • Shift premium
  • Vacation pay
  • Sick pay

Eligible “new jobs” must meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time: 35+ hours/week each year
  • The company offers/pays 50% of health insurance
  • Located at the project facility
  • Based on the increase from the “base employment” which includes either the number of full-time employees on the date of the Notice of Intent, or the average number of full-time employees for the 12 month period prior to the date of the Notice of Intent, whichever is greater.

If the company reduces jobs at another facility in Missouri with related operations, the eligible new jobs at the project facility would be reduced accordingly.

Businesses looking into expanding their internal training programs may also receive funding through the Missouri Works Training Program. Learn more about the Missouri Works Program requirements and benefits.

Missouri Low Income Housing Tax Credit

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) provides a federal and state housing tax credit to those who invest in affordable housing projects. To qualify, 40% of the total number of units must be affordable to people at 60% of the area’s median income, or 20% of total units affordable to people at 50% of the area’s median income.

How You Can Benefit
If you or your company invests in low income housing you can apply for the LIHTC each year for 10 years. Investors must take an ownership interest in the development to utilize the tax credits, therefore generating equity to construct or buy and rehabilitate the development.

For-profit and not-for-profit developers are eligible to apply for the LIHTC. Applicants must demonstrate prior, successful housing experience and engage the services of housing professionals such as architects, appraisers, attorneys, accountants, contractors, and property managers with LIHTC and housing experience. Developers must have the financial capacity to successfully complete and operate the proposed housing development.

Proposed housing developments must:

  • Meet a demonstrated affordable housing need
  • Provide housing for low-income persons and families
  • Demonstrate local support;
  • Leverage tax credit funding with other financing and/or rental assistance;
  • Be economically feasible; and
  • Balance sources and uses of funds.

Learn more about the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

Missouri Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

The Missouri Alternative Infrastructure Tax Credit is a state tax credit available for investments in qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling properties.

How You Can Benefit
If you or your company decides to install and operate an electric car or alternative fuel charging station, you may be able to use state tax credits. Individuals can receive a credit up to $1,500, and businesses can receive up to $20,000 or 20% of eligible costs, whichever is less. Costs must be directly associated with the purchase and installation of any alternative fuel storage and dispensing equipment or any recharging equipment on any qualified property.

A qualified property is either an electric vehicle recharging property or an alternative fuel vehicle refueling property which, if constructed after August 28, 2014, was constructed with at least 51 percent of the costs being paid to qualified Missouri contractors for:

  • Fabrication of pre-manufactured equipment or process piping used in the construction of facility
  • Construction of facility
  • General maintenance during the time period the facility receives any alternative fuel infrastructure tax credit

The following costs are NOT eligible:

  • Costs associated with the purchase of land where a qualified property is placed
  • Costs associated with the purchase of an existing qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property
  • Costs for the construction or purchase of any structure

Learn more about the Missouri Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit.

Missouri Wine and Grape Production Credit

The Missouri Wine and Grape Production Credit helps vineyards and wine producers buy needed equipment and materials through state tax credits. The tax credit can be applied to income tax, excluding withholding tax.

How You Can Benefit
If you or your company owns or decides to invest in a Missouri vineyard for wine production, you can receive a state tax credit equal to 25% of the purchase price of new equipment and materials used. The new equipment and materials must be:

  • Used on land owned or leased for the purpose of producing wine or growing grapes and
  • Used directly in the production of wine or growing of grapes in the state of Missouri

Equipment and materials must be new purchases. The purchase price is defined as the selling price excluding sales tax, delivery, shipping and handling, installation and other unrelated costs.

The new equipment and materials will be considered used directly based upon:

  • Where the item in question is used
  • When the item in question is used
  • How the item in question is used to produce wine or grow grapes

Learn more about the Missouri Wine and Grape Production Credit.

Missouri Youth Opportunity Tax Credit

Youth Opportunity Tax Credits are allocated to organizations administering positive youth development or crime prevention projects.

How Your Company Can Benefit
If your company offers an internship or apprenticeship to Missouri youth, you may be eligible to receive tax credits for their wages. There are 50% tax credits for monetary contributions and wages paid to youth in an approved internship, apprenticeship or employment project, and 30% tax credits for property or equipment contributions used specifically for the project.

Eligible Projects include:

  • Degree Completion
  • Internship/Apprenticeship
  • Youth Clubs/Associations
  • Adopt-A-School
  • Mentor/Role Model
  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Violence Prevention
  • Youth Activity Centers
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Employment
  • Counseling

*Schools and faith-based organizations must meet certain criteria

Each project is limited to $250,000 in tax credits, and each contributor is limited to $200,000 in annual credits.

Learn more about the Missouri Youth Opportunities Tax Credit Program.

Federal Credits

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits

The R&D (Experimentation) Tax Credit is a general business tax credit available to companies who incur research and development (R&D) costs in the United States. The credit is generally calculated based on a percentage of qualified R&D costs incurred during the year.

How You Can Benefit
The Research & Experimentation Tax Credit (R&D) is now a permanent tax law, making it easier and more efficient for businesses to do year-end tax planning.

Businesses with less than $50 million in gross receipts have the ability to claim the R&D Tax Credit against the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Startup companies without taxable income can also benefit as the R&D tax credit can be applied against an employer’s payroll tax liability. To qualify, the startup company must be within their first five years of operations and have less than $5 million of revenue. The annual cap on the amount of payroll tax liability that can be offset is $250,000.

There are a wide variety of companies/industries that qualify for the credit. Some examples include:

  • Companies who continually manufacture/research/engineer new processes and products
  • Businesses designing and developing product alternatives and more efficient designs
  • Companies improving techniques, formulas, inventions, and software
  • Businesses that employ engineers, scientists, software programmers, etc.

Eligible R&D expenses:

Wages of labor performed in qualified services such as:

  • Concept development
  • Prototype development and testing
  • Manufacturing equipment design and development

Supplies used in qualified research activities such as:

  • Internal and external prototype costs
  • Lab supplies used during testing
  • Prototype equipment sold to customers

Contract research paid or incurred to non-employees for qualified activities such as:

  • Independent contractors
  • Engineering consultants
  • Design firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Programming services

Learn more about the R&D Tax Credit.

Historic Preservation/Rehabilitation Tax Credit

The Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a federal credit that applies to costs incurred for rehabilitation and reconstruction of buildings placed in service before 1936 and certified historic buildings. Missouri has a state Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program providing historic tax credits (HTC) for eligible buildings.

The tax credit can be applied to income tax (excluding withholding tax), bank tax, insurance premium tax or other financial institution tax. The credit can carry back 3 years, carry forward 10 years, and is sellable and transferable.

How You Can Benefit
If you or your company is looking at buying and redeveloping a historic property, you may be eligible for federal and state historic tax credits. Missouri’s program provides state tax credits equal to 25% of eligible costs. The rehab costs and expenses must exceed 50% of the total acquisition cost.

An eligible property must be:

  • Listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Certified by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as contributing to the historical significance of a certified historic district listed on the National Register, or
  • Of a local historic district that has been certified by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

There is a program cap of $140 million for projects receiving tax credits over $275,000. Owner occupied residential has a project cap of $250,000 and projects receiving less than $275,000 do not fall under the program cap.

Learn more about the Missouri Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.

Healthcare Premium Credit

The healthcare premium tax credit (PTC) is a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families cover the premiums for their health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

How You Can Benefit
The PTC can help individuals who are not offered an employer-sponsored plan offset high insurance premium costs. This credit may be helpful for part-time employees not eligible for employer-sponsored health care plans. To claim the premium tax credit, individuals must file a federal income tax return and attach Form 8962 Premium Tax Credit to the return.

To be eligible for the credit, you must:

  • Have household income of at least 100%, but no more than 400% of the federal poverty line for you family size
  • Not file as Married Filing Separately
  • Not be claimed as a dependent by another person

Additionally, in the same month, you or a family member must:

  • Have health insurance coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Not be able to get affordable coverage through an eligible employer-sponsored plan that provides minimum value
  • Not be eligible for coverage through a government program, like Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP or TRICARE
  • Pay the share of premiums not covered by advance credit payments

Learn more about the PTC qualifications and claiming requirements.

New Market Tax Credit

New Market Tax Credits provide a credit against federal income taxes for investors that make Qualified Equity Investments (QEI) in low-income and blighted areas and communities.

How You Can Benefit
If your company is building, moving or expanding to a low-income area, you may be able to take advantage of the New Market Tax Credit.

The New Market Tax Credit gives businesses access to flexible and affordable financing. Most investments into businesses involve more favorable conditions and terms than typically offered including lower interest rates.

Eligible properties in low-income communities may include:

  • Commercial offices and retail services/products
  • Mixed-use (commercial/residential) properties
  • Factories and industrial facilities
  • Community centers
  • Educational facilities
  • Entertainment/cultural facilities
  • Health-related facilities
  • Hotels and hospitality properties
  • Businesses that buy, develop, build, rehabilitate or sell residential property
  • Small business loan funds

The credit is taken over a 7-year period, with 5% of the original investment amount in each of the first three years and 6% in each of the four final years.

Missouri offers a variety of miscellaneous tax credits in addition to those listed above. View a list of the DOR’s miscellaneous MO tax credits. We can help determine which tax credits and deductions your business is eligible for and for other tax saving opportunities. Contact an Anders advisor to learn how your business can take advantage of state and federal tax credits.

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July 24, 2018

Tax Reform for Individuals: Residential Energy Tax Credits

Making energy efficient upgrades to your home is a great way to save on energy costs, and could now be less expensive. With the passing of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), residential energy tax credits that were set to expire have been reinstated through 2021. To claim these credits, a taxpayer must have made energy saving improvements to their home in the United States.

Types of Qualifying Residential Energy Property

Individuals who meet the qualifications may be able to take a credit of 30% of their costs of qualifying residential energy property. Below we discuss each type of qualifying property.

Qualified Solar Electric Property

Property that uses solar energy to generate electricity for use in your home.

Qualified Solar Water Heating Property

Property that heats water for use in your home, if at least half of the energy used by the solar water heating property is derived from the sun. To qualify, the property must be certified by the nonprofit Solar Rating Certification Corporation or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.

Qualified Small Wind Energy Property

Property that uses a wind turbine to generate electricity for use in connection with your home.

Qualified Geothermal Heat Pump Property

Any equipment that uses the ground or ground water as a thermal energy source to heat your home or as a thermal energy sink to cool your home. To qualify, the property must meet the requirements of the Energy Star program that are in effect at the time of purchase.

Qualified Fuel Cell Property

An integrated system comprised of a fuel cell stack assembly and associated balance of plant components that converts a fuel into electricity using electrochemical means.

If you think you may qualify or would like to find out how to qualify for these residential energy credits, please contact an Anders advisor.

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July 18, 2018

Deferring Gains on Real Estate Sales with a Delaware Statutory Trust

The real estate markets are continuing to have positive trends. With that in mind, many taxpayers are looking for ways to defer gains from real estate sales for income tax purposes through IRC §1031 like-kind exchanges (LKE).

Finding the right property within the allotted timeframe of a LKE can pose barriers to using this tax savings strategy. For those that find themselves in this situation, there may be a solution with the Delaware Statutory Trusts (DST).

What is a Delaware Statutory Trust?

A Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) is a separate legal entity created as a trust under the laws of Delaware in which each owner has a “beneficial interest” in the DST for Federal income tax purposes and is treated as owning an undivided fractional interest in the property. In 2004, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 2004-86 which allows the use of a DST to acquire real estate where the beneficial interests in the trust will be treated as direct interests in replacement property for purposes of IRC §1031.

This is an important distinction because the IRC §1031 tax-deferred exchange code does not allow partnerships, such as an LLC or LLP, to hold interest in real property. In the DST, the real estate is owned by the trust, and the investors own their pro-rata shares of the trust. This makes the funds used to acquire the shares eligible for IRC §1031 tax-deferred treatment.

Advantages of a DST

  • Investors may either deposit their IRC §1031 exchange proceeds into the DST or investors may purchase an interest in the DST directly
  • Lower minimum investment from each investor – Most DST investments are assets that your small- to mid-sized accredited investors could not otherwise afford. By pooling money with other investors, they can acquire this type of asset
  • No IRS imposed limitation on how many investors can participate in one DST
  • Investors are not required to form single member LLC’s
  • Limited personal liability – If the trust fails, creditors would be limited to the assets of the trust, and unable to reach the personal assets of the investors
  • Because the trust is the borrower for any financing, financing is easier and less costly as each investor in the DST does not need to be qualified
  • Investors do not have to be involved with the operational or management control over the property
  • Generally structured and sold as securities and purchased through securities representative

Disadvantages of a DST

  • Once the offering is closed, there can be no future contributions to the DST by either current or new beneficiaries so the investment properties held within the DST must be able to support their own capital improvements and cash flow
  • Investments held by the DST are typically long-term investments – typically 2–10 year period and illiquid to investors
  • There are no voting rights nor is any operational or management control over the property allowed
  • The trustee cannot
    • Enter into new leases or renegotiate the current leases, unless there is a need due to a tenant bankruptcy or insolvency
    • Renegotiate the terms of the existing loans and cannot borrow any new funds from any party unless a loan default exists as a result of a tenant bankruptcy or insolvency
    • Reinvest the proceeds from the sale of its real estate
  • The trustee is limited to making capital expenditures with respect to the property for normal repair and maintenance, minor non-structural capital improvements, and those required by law

Though Delaware Statutory Trusts are not new, current tax laws have made them a potential solution for passive IRC §1031 exchange investors and direct (non- IRC §1031) investors alike.  If you are considering investing in a DST, contact an Anders advisor to assist you with identifying the advantages and disadvantages.

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July 17, 2018

Buying vs. Leasing Considerations for Manufacturing Equipment

Whether you are an established manufacturer or just starting out in the industry, the decision to buy or lease needed equipment frequently comes into question. To decide which is right for your business, start with a cash flow analysis to estimate and budget the amount of cash you’ll need to cover the costs of both options and financing considerations. Once your budget is determined, consider the pros and cons below to help make your decision.

Leasing Equipment


  • In the short term, leasing conserves cash due to the lower initial upfront costs compared to purchasing
  • Lease payments are often 100% tax deductible as an operational expense under Section 179
  • Predictable monthly payments allow you to budget accordingly for upcoming years


  • No equity, return on investment, or ending cash flow at expiration of the equipment’s lease
  • Product selection could be of lower quality due to limited availability of equipment for leasing
  • Lease payments include interest so overtime, costs are greater than an up-front equipment purchase

Buying Equipment


  • Long-term savings due to not paying a premium on leased equipment
  • Opportunity for additional cash flow from selling the equipment at the end of use
  • Ownership and application of the equipment on your own terms
  • Section 179 of IRS Tax Code allow for larger first year deductions


  • Requires a higher initial upfront capital cost as opposed to lower monthly lease payments
  • As the owner, you are responsible for all maintenance and repair costs
  • If technology becomes outdated quickly, you have to decide whether to continue use with outdated technology, update the technology, or sell the equipment at a potentially lower value

Consider the New Lease Accounting Standards

For companies reporting under an accrual basis of accounting, the new leasing accounting standards also may affect your decision. The standard becomes effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and requires all leased assets to be reported on the balance sheet as an asset and related liability which can affect any debt covenants with other financing arrangements the company has.

If you have questions about buying versus leasing or how the new lease accounting standards will affect you, contact an Anders advisor.

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July 10, 2018

Tax Reform for Real Estate Owners: Like-Kind Exchanges

Real estate owners seeking to realize their gains and not recognize them for tax purposes are in luck as a key section of the U.S. tax code remains in place following the latest tax reform.  Lawmakers debated significant changes to like-kind exchanges under IRC §1031, but the House and Senate agreed to keep this means for tax deferral intact, with some minor changes to removing like-kind exchanges for personal property.

What is an IRC §1031 Like-Kind Exchange?

An exchange of property, like a sale, generally is a taxable event. However, under IRC §1031 no gain or loss is recognized if property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment was exchanged for property of a “like-kind”, which is to be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment. The IRC §1031 like-kind exchange method has been advantageous for real estate investors looking to maximize their investments by deferring taxes derived from the gains on sale. To do so, the proceeds from the sale must be rolled into the purchase of another like-kind property. Investors utilizing the IRC §1031 structure have only 45 days to identify potential replacement properties and must close within 180 days — tight deadlines in a hot market like this. The transaction must also go through an independent, qualified intermediary who handles funds from sale through exchange.

Previous Law

For exchanges completed prior to December 31, 2017, real property and personal property both qualify as exchange properties under IRC §1031. In personal property exchanges, the rules pertaining to what qualifies as like-kind are more restrictive than the rules pertaining to real property.

New Law

For exchanges completed after December 31, 2017, the benefits of the IRC §1031 like-kind exchange non-recognition of gain provisions are limited to real property, provided the real property is not held primarily for sale. Thus, exchanges of tangible and intangible personal property will no longer qualify for non-recognition treatment. Despite the change in rules, an exception is provided for any exchange if the property disposed of by the taxpayer in the exchange is disposed of on or before December 31, 2017 or, in the case of a reverse exchange, the replacement property is acquired by the taxpayer on or before December 31, 2017.

Impact on Individuals and Businesses

Investors in real estate are still able to defer the tax gains from the sale of real estate used in a business or held for investment and reinvest the proceeds into another property through an IRC §1031 like-kind exchange.  However, personal property, such as equipment, airplanes, art, collectibles and intangibles, no longer qualify under the new tax law.

If an investor cannot find a suitable replacement property, there are other options. Investors can buy into a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST), securing a pro rata beneficial interest in the trust. Similar to real estate investment trusts, DSTs own a portfolio of investment properties that produce a steady stream of income and still qualifies as a mechanism to defer capital gains tax through the IRC §1031 like-kind exchange structure.

Contact an Anders advisor with questions on how these tax law changes will affect you, or learn more about tax reform changes in our Tax Reform Resource Center.

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July 3, 2018

Accounting 101 for Startups: Accrual vs. Cash Basis Method of Accounting for Income and Expenses

With limited staff and resources, it’s important that startups understand basic accounting functions to keep their company in a good place financially. Knowing the two methods of accounting that can be used to record transactions is a great place to start. The main difference between the cash basis and accrual basis method of accounting is the timing of the transactions being recorded and when revenue and expenses are recognized. Below, we’ll walk through a list of common questions to help understand this method of accounting and how it works for startups.

When are income and expenses recognized?

Cash Basis- At the time cash is received or expended. It’s important to note that “cash” includes all cash equivalents including checks, credit card payments, etc

Accrual basis- Recognized at the time revenue and expenses are incurred. The accrual method keeps track of all amounts due in a payables account, and all incoming money owed by customers in a receivable account.

When are income and expenses “incurred” for the accrual basis?

Income– Recorded when the goods or services have been provided.

  • Example for goods: If a company enters into an agreement to supply a customer with 100 t-shirts, the income from this transaction won’t be recorded until all 100 of those t-shirts are provided to the customer.
  • Example for services: After services have been completed, the company would prepare an invoice to the customer. Once the invoice is created, income is recorded, see below for the journal entries, regardless of when the customer actually pays the invoice.

Expenses– Recorded when goods have been received or services have been completed.

  • Example for goods: When a company purchases office supplies, they will record the office supplies expense when those supplies are received.
  • Example for services: A company who pays for work to be done on their office space won’t record the expense for those services until all of the work is complete.

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on Deferred Income and Expenses to see how to record transactions where cash has been exchanged, but the income or expense is not ready to be recognized because the goods or services have not been provided.

What are the journal entries for recording income and expenses under the cash method?

Journal entry for income:

Debit: Cash
Credit: Revenue Account

Journal entry for expenses:

Debit: Expense Account
Credit: Cash

What are the journal entries for recording income and expenses under the accrual method?

Income: Journal entry to record an invoice to a customer after the goods or services are complete:

Debit: Accounts Receivable
Credit: Revenue Account

When the customer pays the invoice and the cash is received they would then make the following journal entry:

Debit: Cash
Credit: Accounts Receivable

Expenses: Journal entry for when goods have been received or services have been completed:

Debit: Expense Account
Credit: Accounts Payable

When cash is used to pay for the goods or services received on credit, the following journal entry would then be made:

Debit: Accounts Payable
Credit: Cash

Which accounting method is better?

One is not necessarily better than the other, it depends on the business.  A tax or accounting professional can help you find the best fit for your specific business.

As demonstrated, the cash basis method depends solely on when cash is received or expended. Whereas the accrual basis method depends on when the revenue and expenses are incurred, regardless of the timing of the cash flows. This often makes the cash basis method simpler to implement and gives the company a better look at their cash flows; however, the accrual basis method generally gives the company a better understanding of their company’s financial position and how well they’re actually performing.

For more accounting how-to’s, check out our other Accounting 101 blog posts on Chart of Accounts and Double Entry Accounting. If you have any questions about which accounting method you should use, please contact an Anders Advisor.

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July 3, 2018

Anders Startup Client Spotlight on Final Thoughts

Each month, we offer our startup clients the opportunity to share their story and showcase their business in our Startup Newsletter. This month’s featured emerging company is memory sharing platform, Final Thoughts.

Name and company

Matthew Hansard of Final Thoughts

When did you start your business?

December of 2016

What inspired you to start your business?

I was listening to an NPR episode of This American Life and they were discussing people who are firm believers in the rapture and the subsequent ascension of the righteous.  I thought to myself “people who believe this would surely have things to say to those of us left behind” I thought of the idea of engaging organizations that have these members and creating a process for these members to give me the thoughts for the ones left behind and I would send these out.  Messages would be like “I was right all of these years…you should have listened to me” or “It’s never too late, salvation can still be had” I jokingly said to a friend…”I will have to promise to live just the very most debaucheries life to ensure that I will still be here to send these messages…and I will live that life…that’s how committed to my users I am.”  All and all that idea is a bit too snarky to work, but in those thoughts were the first glimmers of Final Thoughts.

What city are you based in?

St. Louis

What is your product or service?

Final Thoughts connects loved ones during and after life.  We encourage our users to become the curators and autobiographers of their lives. We have created a simple solution for sharing future memories and safeguarding your legacy. Using the dashboard, you can add documents, images, and videos; assign those memories to an individual or group, and at a future date be assured those messages will be delivered. Use our collaborative and secure lock box for sharing important documents with your trusted beneficiaries.

What sets your product or service apart from the competition?

While many of our competitors offer timed message delivery, vault, or advanced directives.  None offer all.  As we continuously see the systemic issue of the tech industry; they believe their tech can stand on its own two feet.  At Final Thoughts, we are a sales company with a tech idea and know we need to be at every conference, pitch off, and accelerator to create a valuation for this company.


What is the best business advice you ever received?

Don’t be afraid to show your ugly baby.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your business?

Imagine how you would feel to discover a message left just for you. Imagine creating a birthday message or a wedding congratulation for your child and having that delivered to them on their special day. Imagine sharing a story with a loved one and telling them how much they mean to you. Every day our users are creating content, not for today, but for the future…saying the things and sharing moments they will not be here to say for themselves.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?

I’m a big fan of mountain biking, long boarding, and spending time with friends and family.

If people want to learn more about your startup, where should they go?


Final Thoughts | Anders CPA Startup Client

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