As your partner, we think in sync.
We work closely with you to tailor best practices for finances, strategy, and accounting. The MillerSearles approach involves tried and trusted methods as well as new ideas for new challenges and situations. Our approach is informed by the insights and lessons of decades of experience.
Take a closer look at what we can do for you. We’re thinkers.
At one time or another, most individuals and businesses will need to borrow money. It may be to start a business, to provide working capital, to expand operations, to purchase equipment or real estate, to purchase a competitor’s business, to redeem a shareholder’s or partner’s interest, to refinance or consolidate existing debt, or a host of other reasons.
While most of us go to the bank when we need to borrow money, there are other potential sources we could contact – finance companies, private loans, economic development organizations, etc.
We have years of experience dealing with all types of lenders and loan products, and can help you determine the type of loan than best suits your needs. Once identified, we can assist you in negotiating for the best possible terms – interest rate, repayment period, conditions and covenants, collateral, guarantees, and the like.
We can also work with you to develop a loan proposal, projections, or any other information a potential lender may require.
Sometimes things do not go as planned. Differences of opinion arise. Terms of agreements or contracts are disputed. You can’t get along with your business partner(s). You file legal action against someone else. Someone else files legal action against you or your company.
These are all difficult, and potentially very costly, situations. To the extent such situations involve financial considerations (settlements, losses, etc.), it may be beneficial to retain us to perform appropriate analyses and/or forensic procedures to evaluate/critique the other side’s position, assist your attorneys in developing your case, calculate damages, prepare expert reports, serve as an expert witness, and evaluate settlement proposals, among other things.
Our partners have all served as expert witnesses over the years. We are skilled at evaluating complex financial, accounting and tax issues, as well as presenting our findings in a clear, concise, and understandable manner through reports or testimony.
You own and operate a successful business. At some point, it is likely that you will want to retire to enjoy the fruits of your lifelong labor. This may mean you will sell or transfer ownership in the business to another family member, or other shareholders or partners, or employees. Or you might want to sell the business to an outside party. Or maybe you want to continue to work for your business.
Regardless of what you will eventually do, the sooner you plan for it, the more efficient the transition will be. The more efficient the transition, the less stressful it will be. Proper advanced planning should include taking steps now to maximize future value for you and your family.
Just as your business is unique, so too will your succession plan be unique. Your plan is dependent upon many factors, including the current ownership structure, your goals, your management team, and your employees. Using our vast experience helping many closely-held entities develop and implement succession plans, we are ready to do the same for you.
As any successful, business owner can attest, one of the more frustrating aspects of operating a profitable enterprise is the amount of taxes that have to be paid. No one disputes that taxes are necessary, funding many government operations, including our military, police and fire protection, schools, highways, and a variety of social services, to name a few.
While we can’t eliminate your taxes, we can design and implement tax planning strategies that focus on overall tax reduction. Everyone is familiar with the basic tenets of tax planning – defer income, accelerate expenses, purchase equipment, family employment, retirement plan funding, etc. These long-time standby strategies can certainly lower your tax bill, but most businesses already do these things on a routine basis.
There may very well be ways to lower your overall tax burden beyond your normal expectations. Are you familiar with, and are you taking advantage of, the many tax credits to which you may be eligible? Can you change the way you do things to make yourself eligible for certain tax credits? Have you explored the benefits of the recently enacted tangible property regulations? Would it make sense to conduct a cost segregation study? Does an ESOP make sense for your business? These are just a few of the ideas we consider when developing your tax planning strategy.
Other Advisory Services
Entrepreneurs don’t own businesses just to make a living. We own businesses because we want to build something – a steady and reliable income stream, a business environment that challenges you everyday, an opportunity to develop or improve a legacy for your family and your employees, and the ability to control your future.
To assist you in achieving your goals and objectives, some of the other advisory services we can offer to you include:
- Preparing business valuations. Often, your business is one of your most valuable assets. Knowing how much your business is worth influences many decisions, such as succession planning, shareholder disputes, divorce settlements, and estate planning, to name a few. Understanding the value of your business today is crucial to developing a strategy to maximize its potential and tomorrow’s value in an efficient and effective manner.
- For potential mergers and acquisitions, evaluating the merits of merging with another business, or buying or selling a business. Understanding your motivation and expectations is an important first step in this process. Other considerations include due diligence, valuation, complex accounting and income tax considerations, and maximizing value, to name a few. Together with your attorneys, bankers, and other professional advisors, we can develop and execute a strategy that will lead to a successful transaction.
- Developing budgets, which will allow you to track your progress throughout the current year, compare your operating results for the current year to prior periods, anticipate future cash flow issues and borrowing needs, plan for property and equipment acquisitions, etc.
- Preparing prospective financial statements, such as forecasts or projections. You might use these as part of a loan package to be presented to a bank to secure financing, or you may be asked to provide such statements to a potential buyer of, or investor in, your business.
- Offering CFO/Controllership support in situations where you may not have the necessary expertise at your disposal. The services provided in this regard would depend on your specific issues and concerns.
- Developing incentive compensation plans which tie compensation to achieving specified results as established by you.
- Planning for retirement to make sure you have sufficient assets and income sources to maintain your desired lifestyle. Time is your ally; so the sooner you start to develop your plan, the better. There are many facets to developing a comprehensive retirement plan, including your current financial condition, your age, your anticipated retirement age, your projected retirement income, etc.
- New business startup services, which include selecting the appropriate type of entity for your business, preparing all required registrations and license applications, designing your accounting system, assisting you with securing bank financing, etc.
From the moment you start your business, it is imperative that you have the ability to evaluate your progress. The foundation for doing so is a properly designed accounting system that accurately collects, records, and summarizes all pertinent financial activity. No two accounting systems are alike. Your accounting system is designed to meet the unique needs of your business.
The same can be said for financial statements – no two are alike. There are several types of financial statements, primarily compilations, reviews, and audits. We can also prepare personal financial statements and prospective financial statements, such as forecasts or projections.
Some financial statements include disclosures, while others do not. Not every business wants to include a statement of cash flows in their financial statements. Many businesses like to present additional, or supplementary, information in their financial statements. And other businesses may want their financial statements to be prepared using the income tax basis of accounting instead of using generally accepted accounting principles.
The point is that we tailor your financial statements to meet your needs and expectations, along with those of the readers of your financial statements, while always adhering to all applicable accounting standards.
Our services don’t end with the preparation of your financial statements. The benefits of working with us goes far beyond that – the real value is when we review your financial statements with you, and show you how to use your financial statements to evaluate your performance, to make decisions, and to plan for the your future.
The mere mention of the word “tax” makes most of us cringe. We all feel like we pay too much in taxes – income taxes (federal, state, local), social security taxes, Medicare taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, gift taxes, real estate taxes, sales and use taxes – the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, taxes are a way of life, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.
Of course, most of us don’t have a choice in the matter – we are required by law to file tax returns and pay the tax. But we are not required to pay more in taxes than those to which we are legally obligated.
At MillerSearles, we have two responsibilities to our clients when it comes to taxes:
- To make sure that you and your business are fully apprised of all filing requirements and federal, state, and local regulations.
- Make sure you take advantage of all legal means to keep your taxes as low as possible.
Sure, we will prepare those tax returns you request. However, our primary focus, and our real value to you, is to take a proactive approach in projecting your tax obligations before they become reality. Based on those projections, we make recommendations to reduce, defer, or eliminate your tax obligations by taking advantage of the provisions available to you under tax laws that are in effect at the time of our discussion. This is true for any taxes you may be subject to.
There are a number of other tax services we provide that could benefit you at some point. In addition to the aforementioned compliance and planning services, we can help businesses operating in other states or jurisdictions (tax “Nexus”), conduct tax research, identify potential tax credits, and represent clients undergoing audits, to name a few.