3 Ways Bad Bookkeeping Disrupts Your Business

Business owners rarely have time to eat lunch, let alone balance their books. But bookkeeping should never be left on the back burner. Here's how sub-par bookkeeping could disrupt your business.

Sean Boland Takes Part in Expert Panel of Family Business Advisors at Club Entrepreneur, Minneapolis

All businesses face problems and enjoy successes, but family-owned companies bring unique challenges, including dealing with that overlap. Sean Boland was part of an expert panel of family-owned business advisors at the Minneapolis Club hosted by Rick Brimacomb’s Club Entrepreneur (Club E) and Upsize magazine. Here is a summary of their advice and tips for a successful family business transition.

Tax Reform Likely in 2017? Strategies You Should Consider for Year-end Tax Planning

Tax reform will likely be a priority for President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 by consolidating the individual tax rates into three brackets, eliminating the 3.8% surtax on upper-earners, and potentially reducing the tax-savings impact of current deductions. With all this in mind, here are some important strategies for taxpayers to consider this year.

Machinery and Equipment Valuations for Purchase Price Allocations

Assets typically found within the fixed asset category include machinery, equipment, and leasehold improvements. There are two choices for determining the fair value to be assigned to the fixed assets: (1) Hire a third party that specializes in the valuation of fixed assets; or (2) Provide your own estimation of fair value. Which option is best depends on a number of important factors.

How Much Financial Due Diligence is Right for Buying a Business?

If you're looking to buy or acquire a business, chances are you know about due diligence. Or at least have heard it is a good idea. But there lies the challenge - how do you know that you have done enough to feel confident that a business you are buying is a good investment or will provide you the earning potential you think it will?

What is Fair Value?

Fair value, is the standard of value used in over forty Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) topics. Some of the more commonly encountered topics that rely upon fair value are: ASC 350, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other ASC 360, Property, Plant and Equipment ASC 805, Business Combinations ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging ASC 825, Financial Instruments[1] … Continued

Impairment Testing of Long-Lived Assets

This article discusses the testing of long-lived assets for impairment under ASC 360-10. It should be noted that there are significant differences between the tests required for indefinite lived assets under ASC 350-30, long-lived assets under ASC 360-10, and goodwill under ASC 350-20. Performing these tests in the proper order is critical to concluding the correct amounts of impairment (if any).

How to Value Inventory Under ASC 805

For purposes of ASC 805, items within inventory need to be stated at fair value. Fair value is often greater than their book value as book value only includes historical costs and ignores the required return accruing to inventory as it progress through the value creation process. The process of stepping up inventory to fair value often results in a greater amount of COGS in the first post transaction period and can drastically lower the expected profit of the business on a GAAP basis. Management should be aware of this and its possible effects on earn...

Should I Adopt the New Accounting Alternatives?

In 2014 the Private Company Council and FASB approved new accounting alternatives for goodwill and intangible assets that can be elected by most private companies. The accounting alternatives were designed to lower the complexity and cost associated with meeting the current standards.

The Six Inputs to a Black-Scholes Valuation

This article assumes use of the Black-Scholes formula (a closed-form model); as this is the method most private companies use.[2] We will explain where the typical inputs for each of these six factors are found and in certain cases, how they can be modified to fit the facts and circumstances of a specific situation.

Purchase Price Allocations: Can We Do This In-house?

Early in my career I was often asked to assist auditors with reviewing in-house valuations of intangible assets acquired in business combinations. I often responded to these requests with a large sigh. Having been through this process before I knew many CFOs and controllers believed they could put together an intangible valuation. After all, many CFOs … Continued

Construction Business Owners – How to Overcome Tax Return Obstacles

Small construction firm owners and contractors can find it especially difficult to comply with the strict letter of the law when it comes to filing their income tax returns. The IRS recognizes the potential problems and wants to lend a helping hand. The tax agency periodically updates several publications geared to contractors, most notably Publication 3780, … Continued

Accounting for Goodwill and Intangible Assets Just Got Easier

FASB approved new accounting alternatives for goodwill and intangible assets that can be elected by most privately held businesses. This article highlights (1) some of the changes allowed under the accounting alternatives, (2) areas in which companies may find cost savings, and (3) some of the potential issues with electing the alternatives.

How Should Your Business Be Organized?

Given the constant media attention regarding tax law changes and tax reform, it’s an important question to examine. The way your business is structured generally affects the extent to which you and any other owners of the business are personally protected from liabilities of the business as well as how your business is taxed.