Building and preserving your personal wealth requires specialized attention. You get one-on-one guidance and a comprehensive financial plan that helps manage risk, improve performance, and ensure the growth and longevity of your wealth.
- Save enough for a comfortable retirement by identifying your retirement needs, analyzing your assets and sources of retirement income, reviewing estimated shortfalls, and identifying the best ways to save for retirement given your financial situation and risk tolerance.
- Pay for your child’s college education by accurately estimating the amount of money you’ll need, analyzing your assets, reviewing estimated shortfalls and considering general alternatives and strategies to help address these potential shortfalls, and developing an optimal savings plan given your financial situation and risk tolerance.
- Protect your family in case of you become disabled by ensuring you have enough money in your emergency fund and analyzing your life, disability, health, home, and auto insurance coverage.
- Achieve your investment goals by identifying the steps needed to maximize your investment returns as well as the steps needed to help minimize your risk while building increased predictability of your investment returns.
- Leave a legacy for your heirs by maximizing the value of your estate by saving tax dollars, professional fees, and court costs. As well as minimizing the costs of probate, creditors, lawyers, and estate taxes, which can negatively impact the value of your estate. We also help you stay in control of your affairs by providing a road map for passing your estate on to your heirs.
Estate planning on your own can be complicated and costly. The list is endless… state taxes, bureaucracy, probate courts, unfair appraisals, health care concerns, eligibility of heirs, life insurance, IRA’s, 401K’s, annuities, burial or cremation costs, and intent regarding death-postponing treatment to name a few. Not knowing your legal and financial rights often ends up costing you more in the end.
Thoughts of estate planning often bring more questions than answers: Could an heir be too young to inherit? Should the inheritance be given at a certain age? Is the intended beneficiary in a shaky marriage with divorce as a possibility? Are there children from a previous marriage? Should inheritance be protected from potential creditors of the heir? Are there taxes that can be avoided? Are you able to avoid the probate court rules, delays, and costs? Planning what happens to your estate when you’re gone can seem frustrating and intimidating without qualified help.
You may feel that you’re too young to care about estate planning. Or, perhaps the reminder of death makes you uncomfortable. You might be tempted to put the whole thing off, assuming that it will just take care of itself. In all cases, estate planning ends up saving your family lots of time, heartache and money.
Every estate planning situation is different. In order to help you, we want to know you, your unique situation, and the nature of your relationships. We offer discussion, recommendations and useful research tools to make your planning simple, efficient, and worry-free. We are available throughout the process for further discussion regarding questions, change of circumstances, and alternatives. At every step, we’ll help you:
- Clearly define your estate planning goals.
- Organize and create your estate planning team (experts on law, finance, and taxes) if you need one.
- Evaluate and recommend estate planning options.
- Decrease the problems and expenses associated with probate.
- Lessen taxes at time of death.
- Draft a working plan for conserving and effectively managing your estate after death.
- Transfer the assets of your estate to heirs the way you want.
- Organize fair and adequate liquidation of estate to cover taxes and other expenses.
- Amend your plan as needed.
The hassles and red tape associated with estate planning can be daunting, but you don’t need to do it alone. Our team is waiting to assist you through every step of the process.
During our lifetime we will do anything to take care of our loved ones, not because we have to, but because we want to. With the right life insurance coverage, we can be happy knowing that we can help take care of our loved ones even after we are gone. Some types of life insurance include:
- Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies provide affordable, temporary coverage. Term policies contain no cash value and are designed for death benefit protection only. The premiums may be level for the first 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, depending on the policy selected. Because the death benefit protection is for a limited period, the premium is often the lowest of all types of life insurance policies. However, after the level term period, premiums go up significantly and increase annually.
- Whole Life Insurance
Whole life is the traditional form of permanent life insurance. It provides the certainty of level premiums, a guaranteed interest rate and a guaranteed death benefit1. Whole Life provides the extra security of guaranteed protection at affordable rates, yet it includes the element of cash value accumulation.
- Universal Life Insurance
Universal life is a flexible premium, adjustable life insurance product that provides you with the flexibility of choosing the policy features that are appropriate for you and adjusting those features as your financial priorities and needs change. Policy cash value that grows on a tax-deferred basis.
- Indexed Universal Life
Indexed universal life is a version of universal life that combines death benefit protection with the opportunity to grow cash value through an account that credits interest based upon the upward movement of stock market indexes – without the risk of investing directly in the market. The Index Account features a zero percent floor which guarantees your account won’t earn less than zero percent due to poor market performance.
- Variable Universal Life
Variable universal life insurance is designed to provide solid death benefit protection and the potential for cash accumulation. The combination of flexibility, attractive tax features, and Separate Account investment portfolios create life insurance products that you can tailor to your insurance needs, risk orientation and long-term objectives.
Not many things in life are guaranteed but with the security of a fixed annuity as part of your retirement plan, you benefit from the safety of knowing your funds will be there. Some benefits include:
- Tax-Deferred growth with life time income options
Tax-deferred growth allows your money to grow faster because you earn interest on dollars that would otherwise be paid as taxes. Your principal earns interest, the interest compounds within the contract, and the money you would have paid in taxes earns interest. A guaranteed income stream can be assured with the purchase of a tax-deferred annuity.
- May Avoid Probate
Annuities offer the ability to name a beneficiary, which may minimize the expense, delays, and publicity that comes with probate. Your named beneficiary may receive death proceeds as either a lump sum or monthly income.
If you own a family business, retirement isn’t simply a matter of deciding not to go into the office anymore. You’ve got some critical questions to answer like: “What happens to the business when you’re no longer running it?” and “Will you have enough money to retire?”
The family dynamic complicates the whole transition because of the relationships and emotions involved. Most people are not comfortable discussing topics such as aging, death, and financial affairs. Comfortable or not, succession planning should be a priority for any family business considering that more than seven out of ten family-owned businesses fail to survive the transition from founder to second generation, typically falling prey either to estate taxes or family discord – or both. Developing and implementing a well-designed succession plan is essential to the survival of a family business from one generation to the next.
We can help you with these key issues:
- Keeping it in the family.
Are you going to pass the business on to your family or sell it to a third party? We help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.
- Who’s going to run the business when you’re gone?
Management and ownership are not one and the same. You may decide to transfer management of your business to just one of your children but transfer equal shares of business ownership to all your children, whether they’re actively involved in the business or not.
- Minimizing the tax bite.
The tax burden when transitioning a family business can be significant. The challenge is that a family business is not generally a liquid asset, but taxes are typically due when ownership is transferred.
- Making it fair.
Transferring family ownership often adds a tremendous amount of stress to individual family members. We talk with each of the family members to ensure that they feel they a getting an equitable and fair share of the pie.
Once we understand how you feel about the key issues above, we begin constructing your succession plan focusing on these 5 issues…
- Business Valuation
- Business Restructuring
- Tax Consequences
- Retirement Projections
- Tax Projections
Thinking of owning your own business? Opening your own business is exciting and thrilling. It’s everything that comes after the excitement and thrill has worn off that dictates whether a small business will make it or not. It’s up to you to maintain and stretch out the “thrill and excitement” period forever.
A methodical plan of action is needed to fulfill your dream or goal of being your own boss and running a successful business. Success lies in the approach you choose to take. We help you avoid the common pitfalls that many new small business owners make when starting their new venture.
We can help you:
- Prepare an initial business plan to clarify your marketing, management, and financial plans.
- Determine your start-up capital needs.
- Identify sources of start-up capital and backup sources if needed.
- Evaluate and quantify your borrowing power so you know how much money you can get your hands on if needed.
- Select a business structure that best fits your needs by evaluating tax advantages, legal exposure, ease of operation and portability should you need to relocate.
- Select the right accounting software by evaluating your budget, needs and hardware.
- Prepare a Cash Flow Budget so you know exactly how much money you need to keep the business alive each month for the first few years. Unplanned cash requirements are always emotionally painful.
- Establish billing and collection procedures to maximize your cash flow.
- Establish procedures to monitor and control costs.
- Setup a home office so you can maximize your tax deductions.
- Prepare and file all required state and local licenses and permits.
- Prepare and file your application for your Federal Employer Identification Number.
- Provide payroll and payroll tax filing when you bring on your first employee.
- Comply with employment laws so you don’t get hit with fines and unhappy employees.
- Identify your business insurance needs.
- Develop a solid Partnership Agreement. This is an extremely important document for all new partnerships and will help prevent a tremendous amount of financial and emotional problems down the road.
Internal controls can be thought of as checks and balances to prevent errors and losses in various areas of a business. Effective controls reduce the risk of asset loss and help ensure that information is complete and accurate, financial statements are reliable, and that you are in compliance with laws and regulations.
Another important benefit of internal controls is that it improves the reliability of accounting information, including management reports. Confidence matters in the financial area. Investors and bankers appreciate internal controls, which can build up a firm’s reputation and dependability.
We can help you develop internal controls for your business.
Business budgets may be one of the most important accounting tools of company may use in their business. Running a business often requires owners to carefully plan and review their finances. Budgets are like a roadmap for businesses – they help you make good business decisions and plan for future growth and expansion. We can help create a budget for your business.
Converting to a new software program can be stressful and time consuming. Your accounting software is the foundation for your financial reporting. Setting thing up properly from the start is essential. We can help analyze your business needs ensuring that things are set up properly.
We have experience with many accounting software systems such as QuickBooks, PeachTree, Microsoft Dynamics, and MIP Fund Accounting.
We can help you setup and maintain your non-profit organization’s tax-exempt status by handling all the IRS reporting for you. Each year the IRS requires most tax-exempt organizations to submit the Form 990 and its relations, which includes the following items.
- Income Statement with very specific revenue and expense categories like donations, salaries, postage, rent.
- Balance Sheet with specific categories like cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable.
- Functional Expense Statement with all the expenses allocated to either program services, fundraising, or operations.
- Individual Program Expense Statement that reports all of the expenses for each program or service like seminar programs or educational mailings.
- Revenue Support Schedules that detail the organization’s sources of income in specific categories like charitable donations, membership fees, investment income.
The IRS uses these very specific revenue and expense classifications to determine if your organization will retain its tax-exempt status. So it’s imperative that you build your accounting system around these revenue and expense classifications.
We can help you:
- Review and compile your financial statements
- Design, install, and maintain your Accounting System
- Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payroll preparation
- Payroll Tax Preparation and Deposits
- Provide training for your accounting personnel
- Complete and file your non-profit status application
- Provide training for your board on non-profit financial statement usage and effective budgeting practices
- Prepare and file the 990 and 990T tax forms
- Prepare your initial start-up documentation, including incorporation, federal employee identification number (FEIN), and payroll setup with federal and state agencies.
If you’re starting a new not-for-profit organization we can help you prepare your organization’s 501 (c)(3) application for tax-exempt status.
Here’s what is needed:
- Articles of Incorporation containing the Exempt Purpose Statement as described in IRS Code section 501(c)(3) and defined in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph d and the Dissolution Statement described in Treasury Regulation 1.501(c)(3)-1 Paragraph b subparagraph 4 (“Organizational Test”).
- Employer Identification Number
- By-laws of the Organization
- Minutes of Board Meetings
- Names, Addresses, and Resumes of Board Members
- Names and addresses of all Active Members
- Inventory of Assets like cash, furniture, equipment, property, pledges…
- Inventory of Liabilities like mortgages, accounts payable, loans…
- Rent/Lease Agreements and Contracts
- Revenue and Expense Statements for the last four years or as far back as possible if your organization has been in existence for less than four years.
- Written Reason for Formation and History of the organization.
- Organization Mission Statement or Statement of Faith or Beliefs for Churches and other Religious Organizations.
- Organization Activities, Operations and Programs Documentation including your statement of purpose & operations, food programs, fundraisers, flyers/brochures/pamphlets…
- Financial Support Documentation including all sources of revenue like contributions, tithes, offerings, fundraisers…
- Fund Raising Program Descriptions
- IRS Processing/Filing Fee
Growing businesses often reach a point where they need professional financial advice, but can’t afford a full-time CFO or controller. If you’re fortunate enough to be in this position then we have the perfect solution for you. Our Part-Time CFO service gives you a professional financial manager who works with you to help guide your business to success.
The cost of hiring a full-time CFO can range from $60,000 to over $100,000 per year plus bonuses and benefits. Our Part-Time CFO services provides you with experienced support at a small fraction of that cost.
Here’s what you get with our Part-Time CFO services:
- More time to focus on new services, new customers and other core business issues.
- Better understanding of the financial side of your business. So you have less surprises and more control over the money.
- Improved decision-making capabilities from clearly seeing the hard and true numbers of your business.
- A readily available sounding board to help you with those tough business decisions and help you clarify your business plans.
- The comfort from knowing that a professional is overseeing, protecting and constantly improving the financial side of your business.
- A professional who establishes strong financial controls in your business to reduce employee theft and increase profits.
- Training and managing your accounting staff.
- Improved quality and timeliness of financial information.
- Budget preparation and monitoring.
- Profitability analysis by service or product line.
- Tax saving strategies.
- Trend analysis.
- Assistance in defining long-range plans and the quantification of goals.
- Cash management.
- Liaison with bankers, attorneys, vendors, insurance agents, etc.
- Assistance in obtaining financing from banks, including assistance with negotiations.
- Review/negotiation of insurance policies.
- Development of company accounting procedure manuals.
- Analysis of equipment purchases, expansions, etc.
- Mergers and acquisitions assistance
- Custom designed collection policies and procedures