September 28, 2018

What is it Like to Work at Anders?

At Anders, we invest in our staff and culture because we believe excellent client service starts with our team. Learn more about life at the firm from day one during our Discover Anders summer leadership program and internship experience. Find out what our staff love most about working at Anders, from Anders University and the Anders Young Professionals Group to work-life balance and a collaborative work environment.

Want to learn more about Anders? Check out our core values, mission and vision and current job openings.

 

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September 27, 2018

Scott Hoffmann Named Partner at Anders

Anders is proud to announce that Scott A. Hoffmann, CPA is being named a partner of the firm, effective January 1, 2019. Hoffmann leads the Outsourced Accounting Services Group at Anders and manages a team of nine. He was instrumental in starting the technology-backed approach to Outsourced Accounting and CFO Services at the firm, and the group has grown to over $1 million in revenue in a few short years.

About Scott Hoffmann

Hoffmann joined Anders in 2011 and in 2014 became the director of the Outsourced Accounting Services Group. His previous experience as a CFO and COO to both closely held and publicly traded organizations, has allowed him to be an effective financial leader for small and mid-sized clients. Through the use of the latest cloud-based technologies, Hoffmann provides financial information to his clients in real time, allowing for quick analysis of results and timely decision making. He has a broad background with experience in financial, operational and administrative management, allowing him to advise clients on improving financial performance, implementing process improvements and enhancing internal controls.

Hoffmann is an active Board Member on the AppleJack Therapy Foundation Board, an organization he started with his daughters and therapy horses. He served as a past Board Member on the Treehouse of Greater St. Louis’ Board, and on the American Chamber Chorale’s board.

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September 27, 2018

Anders Announces New Core Values, Mission and Vision Statements

To always do the right thing means knowing who you are and living out that commitment every day.

At Anders, we have a strong culture of great people who do great things for our clients and community. Recently, we’ve taken a deep dive into understanding exactly who we are, what we believe in, why we do what we do and what we aspire to become as individuals and as a firm. Because we place so much value on our staff, clients and our community, they were central to that process, and now, we are excited to share our new core values, mission and vision.

To ensure we are continually building a culture where happy people deliver outstanding results for our clients and community, we base our actions on these core values.

OUR CORE VALUES

To ensure we are continually building a culture where happy people deliver outstanding results for our clients and community, we base our actions on these core values.

Character

Doing the right thing. Always.

Transparency

Promoting an environment of trust and respect.

Collaboration

Aligning passions and expertise to focus on what matters most.

Originality

Leading with confidence to challenge the expected.

Empowerment

Inspiring people to be the best they can be.

Welcoming

Living a true spirit of family and fun.

Generosity

Giving back because we care.


OUR MISSION

To serve as a catalyst for those striving to achieve their highest potential.


OUR VISION

To challenge ourselves to always embrace our entrepreneurial spirit, spearhead change, and be the advisory firm of choice.


OUR BRAND PROMISE: ALWAYS ON.

To allow you to work more on the passions that drive you, and less on life’s financial hassles. Leave those to us.

 

As we continue to grow as a firm, we felt it was important to examine and further define the values and beliefs that drive us. Some may sound familiar with just a twist, which is great, because the beliefs that have guided us for more than 50 years are still essential to Anders. Others are new, guided by our commitment to always challenge ourselves to go above and beyond in all that we do.

 

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September 27, 2018

Jeanne Dee Named Partner at Anders

Anders is proud to announce that Jeanne M. Dee, CPA/CGMA is being named a partner of the firm, effective January 1, 2019. Dee joined Anders in 2016 as a principal in the Audit and Advisory Services Group. She brought her years of experience with serving not-for-profit organizations to the Anders Not-for-Profit Group, re-energizing the niche and connecting the firm to more not-for-profit organizations in the community.

About Jeanne Dee

Dee specializes in audits of financial statements for not-for-profit organizations, government entities, employee benefit plans and closely-held businesses. As the leader of the Anders Not-for-Profit Group, Dee enjoys working with business owners, executive directors and board members to help them better understand the financial reporting process. She is skilled in researching accounting principles and new or changing audit standards, and is a frequent author and speaker on these topics. Dee is passionate about helping not-for-profits succeed, and she shares her expertise through coordinating and speaking at the annual Anders Not-for-Profit Symposium, which is being held this year on October 18.

Dee sits on the Humane Society of Missouri’s Board, is a Member of the Board of Examiners for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and is a past Board Member and Secretary for the Missouri  State Board of Accountancy. Dee was named a Women to Watch Award Recipient in 2010 by the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA).

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September 27, 2018

Dave Finklang Named Partner at Anders

Anders is proud to announce that Dave M. Finklang, CPA/CGMA, MBA is being named a partner of the firm, effective January 1, 2019. Finklang joined Anders in 2013 as a supervisor in Tax Services, and quickly established a growing Startup and Entrepreneurial Services practice at Anders. His business development skills, leadership ability and professional and civic involvement have helped him rapidly progress through the ranks to become a partner of the firm.

About Dave Finklang

Finklang has wide-ranging, specialized experience in tax planning and compliance, startup services and consulting, and accounting services. As the leader of the Anders Startup and Entrepreneurial Services Group, Finklang particularly enjoys working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies by helping them raise capital, structure their businesses, implement accounting systems, and minimize their tax burdens. He also advises individuals, family and closely-held businesses, as well as their owners, on tax-saving strategies and tax planning. Finklang works with technology and software companies, manufacturers, distributors, and commercial real estate companies. Before joining the CPA profession, Dave was a commercial airline pilot. This experience helped him build a professional skillset that has allowed him to better serve his clients and his community.

In the community, he is a co-founder of the St. Louis Startup Ambassadors and currently serves as the board president, a past-president of Friends of Arch Grants, serves on the board of the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer, serves as director for the Testicular Cancer Society, is a cancer mentor angel for Imerman Angels, and a board member on the University of Central Missouri School of Accountancy Advisory Board. Professionally, in the St. Louis Chapter of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA), he has acted as Chair for the Taxation and Other Emerging Issues and Professional Learning and Networking Task Forces, Chapter Chair-Elect, and most recently as Chapter Chair. He is also involved at the state level on the Legislative and Government Advocacy Committee and Other Qualified Professionals Task Force for the MOCPA. Finklang recently joined the faculty at St. Louis University as an adjunct professor in their MBA program teaching a course on determining the feasibility of new ventures. His startup expertise also landed him a spot as a finalist judge for the Fall 2018 Stadia Ventures investment cohort and the 2018 Arch Grants competition.

Finklang was named the youngest 2016 40 Under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal, and named by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as one of the Top 100 St. Louisans to Know to Succeed in Business as well as a Top Accountant in St. Louis. He was also named the 2013 Young Professional of the Year by the MOCPA and accepted into the 2013 AICPA Leadership Academy Class. A participant in the 2016-2018 Rainmaker Academy, Finklang was voted by his peers as the Master Rainmaker and received the Storm-Maker Award for developing the most business.

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September 26, 2018

Dee, Finklang and Hoffmann to be Named Anders Partners

Anders is proud to announce that Jeanne M. Dee, CPA/CGMA, Dave M. Finklang, CPA/CGMA, MBA and Scott A. Hoffmann, CPA are being named partners of the firm, effective January 2019.

About Jeanne Dee

Dee specializes in audits of financial statements for not-for-profit organizations, government entities, employee benefit plans and closely-held businesses. She leads the Anders Not-for-Profit Team and enjoys working with business owners, executive directors and board members to help them better understand the financial reporting process. Dee is skilled in researching accounting principles and new or changing audit standards, and is a frequent author and speaker on these topics. Dee is passionate about helping not-for-profits succeed, and she shares her expertise through coordinating and speaking at the annual Anders Not-for-Profit Symposium.

Dee sits on the Human Society of Missouri’s Board, is a Member of the Board of Examiners for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and is a past Board Member and Secretary for the Missouri  State Board of Accountancy. Dee was named a Women to Watch Award Recipient in 2010 by the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA).

About Dave Finklang

Finklang has wide-ranging, specialized experience in tax planning and compliance, startup services and consulting, and accounting services.  As the leader of the Anders Startup and Entrepreneurial Services Group, he particularly enjoys working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies by helping them raise capital, structure their businesses,  implement accounting systems, and minimize their tax burdens. Finklang also advises individuals, family and closely-held businesses, as well as their owners, on tax-saving strategies and tax planning. Finklang works with technology and software companies,  manufacturers, distributors, and commercial real estate companies.

He is currently on the board and a past-president of Friends of Arch Grants, serves as director for the Testicular Cancer Society, is a cancer mentor angel for Imerman Angels, and a board member on the University of Central Missouri School of Accountancy Advisory Board. In the St. Louis Chapter of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA), he has acted as Co-Chair for the Taxation and Other Emerging Issues and Professional Learning and Networking Task Forces, Chair-Elect, and currently serves as Chair of the chapter. He is also involved at the state-level on the Legislative and Government Advocacy Committee and Other Qualified Professionals Task Force for the MOCPA. Nationally, he is active in the AICPA as a Legacy Scholars Coach.

Finklang was named the youngest 2016 40 Under 40 by the St. Louis Business Journal 40, and named by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as one of the Top 100 St. Louisans to Know to Success in Business. He was also named a 2013 Young Professional of the Year by the MOCPA and accepted into the 2013 AICPA Leadership Academy Class.

About Scott Hoffmann

Hoffmann is the director of the Outsourced Accounting Services Group. His previous experience as a CFO and COO to both closely held and publicly traded organizations, has allowed him to be an effective financial leader for small and mid-sized clients. Through the use of the latest cloud-based technologies, Hoffmann provides financial information to his clients in real time, allowing for quick analysis of results and timely decision making. He has a broad background with experience in financial, operational and administrative management, allowing him to advise clients on improving financial performance, implementing process improvements and enhancing internal controls.

Hoffmann is an active Board Member on the AppleJack Therapy Foundation Board, an organization he started with his daughters and therapy horse. He served as a past Board Member on the Treehouse of Greater St. Louis’ Board, and on the American Chamber Chorale’s board. Hoffmann is also a member of the Missouri Venture Forum and Financial Executive Institute.

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September 26, 2018

Adulting 203: Choosing the Health Insurance Plan That is Right for You

Open enrollment is the set timeframe each year that an employer allows employees to change their benefits package. One of the biggest decisions of the whole process is choosing your health insurance plan.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

There are four main types of health insurance plans that employers offer in today’s market. Every person should consider their own circumstances when it comes time to choose which plan to select for the upcoming year. Employers may offer multiple options, a couple, or just one. Within each plan there are several things to consider, including:

1) What are your normal healthcare costs in a given year?

  • Are you generally a healthy person who rarely goes to the doctor?
  • Do you have a pre-existing condition that requires a monthly prescription or visit to a specialist?

2) What are the health components of each plan offered by your employer?

3) Are your current physicians and specialists considered in-network on the plans offered?

  • If not, are there other comparable options available in your area?

HSAs, FSAs and HRAs

Many employers now also offer Health Saving Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) as tools that can be used alongside your health plan.

For many that are healthy and rarely visit the doctor, choosing a High Deductible Health Plan with an HSA is a great option. HSAs allow you to save tax-free dollars into a plan for future medical costs and many employers will also contribute money to employees’ plans. You will save on premiums each month with a higher deductible while being able to save for future medical costs such as having a baby, major surgery or even medical expenses in retirement.

If you do visit the doctor frequently or have a pre-existing condition, choosing a plan with a lower deductible and an FSA might make more sense. FSAs allow you to save tax-free dollars like an HSA but you must use the money within the year saved. You cannot accumulate savings year-over-year like an HSA. This makes an FSA a great option if you have recurring expenses every month or year that you can plan and save up for.

HRAs are plans that reimburse a portion of your deductible and can be used with any type of deductible plan. If you have a deductible of $3,000 with an HRA of $1,000, your “true” deductible is only $2,000.

Each person should weigh the cost of premiums of a plan with potential health care expenses to determine which plan is best for their situation. Although no one likes paying more than is necessary for insurance, having proper and adequate health insurance will save you thousands of dollars in the event of a catastrophe – which is the whole reason behind insurance: to protect us financially in the event of an emergency.

Learn more in our health insurance blog series:
Adulting 200: Understanding Your Health Insurance Coverage
Adulting 201: Understanding Your Healthcare Provider and Plan Options
Adulting 202: Understanding Your EOB and Medical Bill

This post is part of our Adulting blog series. Contact your employer for questions specific to your health insurance coverage.

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September 26, 2018

Luke Luckett Named MOCPA Outstanding Young Professional

Lucas A. Luckett, CPA/PFS, CEPA has been named the 2018 Outstanding Young Professional by the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA). The annual award honors one CPA under the age of 35 who is viewed as an emerging leader within the profession and is active in the community as well as professional organizations.

About Luke

Lucas (Luke) Luckett is the youngest Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) in the U.S., and one of only 500 people in the entire country. He is one of five CEPA’s at Anders; making the firm the largest concentration of these business strategy experts in any CPA firm. With CPA/PFS and CEPA behind his name, Luke is also vying for the most designations by a young professional at Anders. Luke’s commitment to his career, community and the accounting profession has earned him the title of a St. Louis Business Journal 30 Under 30 honoree, and a spot in the 2017 AICPA Leadership Academy.

As a CPA and PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) in the Anders Family Wealth and Estate Planning Group, Luke enjoys helping clients plan for life after transitioning their business by maximizing the value of their company and creating personal financial plans. He also brings a wide variety of tax and family wealth experience to his clients, specializing in individual and corporate tax planning, estate planning, business transition planning and stock option planning.

Bridging the gap between the youngest staff members and upper management is one of Luke’s specialties. He is consistently rated as a favorite coach and mentor of interns and associates for his technical expertise and calm, collected work ethic – a great asset during tax season. As a mentor and coach for younger members of the firm, Luke encourages his mentees to set and reach their professional goals, including taking and passing the CPA exam.

Outside of Anders, Luke is the immediate past Chair of the St. Louis Chapter of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA), and is an active member of the Professional Learning & Networking Task Force, Professional Outreach Task Force and Community Outreach Task Force.  He is also a member of the Estate Planning Council of St. Louis and a Board Member of the Society of Financial Services Professionals – St. Louis Chapter.

Luke will be recognized at the MOCPA Awards Celebration on November 15. Learn more about Luke in the November 2018 issue of the MOCPA Asset Magazine.

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September 26, 2018

The Best Way to Pitch Your Startup

At some point, every startup company needs to pitch their company. The pitch might be to win a local competition, to attract new investors, or to overall just market and sell the company’s product or service. No matter what the reason for the pitch is, there are a few key components that can be helpful to include with your pitch in order to improve your chances of success.

Below are some of the areas we have seen over the years that have made for successful pitches.  Not all are relevant for all settings.  For example, a potential customer may not be as interest in your company’s Exit or ROI strategy.  As such, be ready with multiple pitch decks or be ready to swap these areas around between pitches.

1) Define the Problem

State the problem and then explain how your company is going to fix this problem. Make sure you give specific real-life examples on how the problem will be fixed. For this, you do not want to be too generic.

2) Showcase Your Company

Explain what you expect your company to do and how successful you can be at fixing the above problem. Make sure to include any case studies you can get to support your solution.

3) Explain the Revenue Model

Where are your sources of revenue going to come from? If you have more than one source of revenue, make sure you highlight all of them.

4) Showcase Current Customers

Who are you currently selling your product or service to? Explain your success you have seen with these customers. This is always great to do because it helps your audience see who you are currently working with in the market and it gives you some credibility. One important thing to remember: make sure you get permission from your current customers to discuss them while pitching your own company.

5) Talk About Your Pipeline

If applicable, discuss some of the potential customers you are hoping to work with. This will help to explain your goals and where you see the company going.

6) Key Metrics

What key factors make your company stand out from your competition? Within this area, explain both the stats on your company and how those compare to your competition.

7) Discuss Your Competitors

Coming right off the stats from the key metrics, you should then discuss your competitive advantage over these competitors. Differentiation is key!

8) Highlight Milestones

For example: when you started, when you picked up your first client, when you created any partnerships with a company, if you won any awards, etc. This is your time to brag about your successes and achievements so far.

9) The Future

Start with where you are now, and then where you see your company in 2-5 years. Explain how you plan to get there.

10) The Team

Many times, your audience is just as interested in your team as they are your product or service.  Particularly, the founding team, the management team and the advisory team.  On the fundraising circuit, you may hear the old expression, “Bet on the jockey (the founder), not the horse (the idea).” Clients and customers are often time just as interested in the team as investors are.

11) Financial Projections

Make sure you have the most accurate financial projection of revenue and expenses that you can. List and explain any assumptions you are using to come up with those financial projections. It is also a good idea to project out at least 5-10 years to showcase your company.

12) Exit and ROI Opportunities

This area is particularly important to investors. They are investing in your company to obtain a return on their investment (ROI). Be ready to prove to them just how you will utilize their capital in order to grow their investment. Many times that involves an exit or partial exit, so showing industry examples of other companies in your industry that have provided a significant ROI or significant exit event can be a big selling feature of your pitch.

13) The Pitch Deck Says it All

While the content above is the meat of your pitch, the pitch deck that contains the information is very important as well. The more polished and clean your pitch deck, the easier it will be for your audience to follow and should lead to more questions and follow-up.

14) Practice, Practice, Practice

Another key factor other than to include the above content is to make sure you practice, practice, and then practice some more, on delivering your pitch. Delivery is just as important as content, so you want to make sure the pitch is as seamless as possible.

While there may be a few other factors that could be added to the mix, we have seen these areas prove very beneficial for many startup companies. We have seen hundreds if not thousands of pitches over the years, and we here to help out with this process.  Contact an Anders advisor for further guidance.

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September 25, 2018

Tax Reform Provisions Impacting Trusts and Estates

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made several sweeping changes to different areas of the tax law. As trusts and estates are subject to substantially the same tax rules as individuals, many of the changes that impact individuals will also impact trusts.

Keep in mind that the new planned tax off-sets, such as increased standard deduction and child tax credits, put in place for individuals will not benefit trusts in the same manner. Below we outline tax reform changes that will directly impact trusts and estates.

Rate Reduction

The tax rate brackets for trusts have historically been extremely compressed compared to the individual tax brackets. This remains true, but the new tax law combines the 25% and 28% tax brackets into one 24% tax bracket, bringing the total amount of brackets from five to four.  Below is the comparison of the 2017 and 2018 ordinary trust tax rates:

2018 Trust Tax Rates

 

Alternative Minimum Tax

The tax law did not change the AMT exemption and phase-out thresholds for trusts.  The exemption remains at $24,600 with a phase-out threshold of $82,050, subject to adjustments for inflation.

State Tax Deduction

Similar to the individual tax changes, the aggregate of state real property and income tax expenses deductions will be capped at a maximum of $10,000.

Miscellaneous 2% Deductions

Under the previous tax code, trusts were allowed miscellaneous deductions that exceeded 2% of AGI which included investment advisory fees. Under the new law, these deductions are repealed. It will be more important to consider which fees are incremental costs of administering a trust as these deductions are still allowed under the new tax law.

Accounting, Legal and Trustee Fees

These deductions have been scrutinized as they were not specifically mentioned in the new tax law. It is believed that these deductions will still be fully deductible to the extent that the expense “would not have been incurred if the property were not held in such trust or estate.”

Section 199A Deduction

If a trust or estate owns a business held as a sole proprietorship or as a pass-through entity, such as a partnership or S-corporation, including ESBT income, then the trust may qualify for the new 20% deduction on domestic qualified business income with additional limitations. The thresholds to determine the potential deduction are the same the thresholds for single taxpayers. This calculation can be complex, and it is advised to speak with a tax professional to determine deductibility.

Simple Trusts – Income Distribution Deduction

Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not specifically change the rules to determine the Income Distribution Deduction (IDD), simple trusts may find an increase in trust level tax as a result of the limited deductions increasing Distributable Net Income (DNI) without a similar increase in Fiduciary Accounting Income (FAI) since the IDD is limited based on the smaller of DNI or FAI.

Electing Small Business Trusts

The new tax law also makes two specific changes for Electing Small Business Trusts (ESBTs) relating to beneficiaries and charitable contributions. ESBTs are now allowed to have nonresident alien individuals as beneficiaries. ESBTs must now follow the same rules as individuals to determine the deductible charitable contributions and excess contributions can be carried forward for use in future tax years. Previously, ESBTs were allowed a 100% deduction made from the gross income of the S-Corporation, but now limitations based on AGI of the ESBT income apply.

Estates and Gift Tax

The new tax law did not repeal the estate and gift tax, but it did increase the exemption for an individual from $5.49 million to $11.18 million. The step-up in basis for property passing to heirs at death also remains in place.

The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made several changes that will impact trusts and estates and many of these changes are complex. We will continue to monitor and communicate changes and their impacts on individuals, trusts, estates and businesses in our Tax Reform Resource Center. Contact an Anders advisor with questions specific to your tax situation.

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