Services For Businesses
Our Accounting Services for Businesses
Whether you’re deciding if you should purchase a new business, need help in establishing a results-driven business strategy, or just want to ensure that no funds are being unnecessarily lost, Steven Lissner & Company is here to assist your business through every step of the financial growth process.
Professional Tax Services
Financial complications can arise unexpectedly for business owners. We make sure that liabilities are minimized and opportunities are maximized, Steven Lissner & Company ensures you that your businesses’ needs are being met. We bring decades of expertise to the table, and are up-to-date on the newest tax laws and regulations.
Our team stays on top of industry trends and regulations so that you stay ahead of the curve, increase your available resources, and remain fully compliant.
Customized Services For Your Needs
Every business is a long-term investment that takes strategic, guided, planning in order to achieve short and long-term goals efficiently. We help you establish a stable financial future through decisive tactics and effective strategies.
Furthermore, our expertise has come from years of training and experience in multiple industries. When it comes to complex tax problems, we are versed in regulations and laws and able to find innovative, effective, solutions. Some of the industries that we are known for include:
- Service Industry
- Medical Professionals
- Independent Contractors
Let us help you develop the strategies you need to sustain growth and long-term financial stability. Explore how we assist business further by reading more below.
Small Business Accounting
As a small business owner you have more important things to do than to keep your own books. We take care of your books for you, so you can get back to the job of running your business and generating profits.
Each month or quarter we’ll do the following things for you…
- Reconcile your bank account
- Generate an income statement
- Generate a balance sheet
- Clean up your general ledger
- Provide unlimited consultations
- These tasks form the solid foundation of your small business accounting system. You can customize the package of services you receive by adding payroll, tax planning, tax preparation, or any of our other services.
When it comes to paying employees, laws and the IRS have made the payroll function a time-consuming nightmare for the small business owner. Small business owners spend an average of eight hours a month performing payroll functions. That’s 12 full days a year that could be spent generating sales, prospecting new business opportunities, improving products or services, or servicing customers. We offer payroll solutions that meet your business’s needs and enable you to spend time doing what you do best–running your company.
Audits – Reviews – Compilations
An audit provides the highest level of assurance. An audit is a methodical review and objective examination of the financial statements, including the verification of specific information as determined by the auditor or as established by general practice. Our work includes a review of internal controls, testing of selected transactions, and communication with third parties. Based on our findings, we issue a report on whether the financial statements are fairly stated and free of material misstatements.
An audit allows you to…
- Satisfy stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers and pressure groups, as well as the investing community, as to the credibility of published information.
- Facilitate the payment of corporate tax, goods and services tax, and other taxes on-time and accurately, thereby avoiding interest, penalties, and investigations.
- Comply with banking covenants.
- Help deter and detect material fraud and error.
- Facilitate the purchase and sale of businesses.
Here’s what you get:
- Your customers, to check outstanding receivable balances,
- Your banks, to confirm cash or debt balances and terms,
- Your vendors, to verify outstanding payable balances, and
- Your attorneys, for information on pending or threatened legal action.
We also perform physical inspections by observing your inventory counting methods and perform test counts. We document and test each operating cycle, including sales and cash receipts, expenses and cash disbursements, and payroll. Our audit papers include a detailed work program to document the examinations and testing performed, as well as the client’s supporting work papers.
Audits Not Just for Public Entities
All public companies are required to have an annual audit, but some nonpublic entities must undergo an annual audit as well. These include local governments, not-for-profit agencies and other organizations receiving government grants.
Moreover, some financial institutions require audits of nonpublic companies based on the financing amount and/or the bank’s assessment of the company’s risk. Also, companies with absentee ownership (such as those owned by investment firms, or individuals who no longer run the business) may order audits as checks of their management teams.
Review – Limited Assurance
Less extensive than an audit, but more involved than a compilation, a review engagement consists primarily of analytical procedures we apply to the financial statements, and various inquiries we make of your company’s management team. If the financial statements or supporting information appear inconsistent or otherwise questionable, we may need to perform additional procedures.
A review doesn’t require us to study and evaluate your company’s internal controls or verify data with third parties or physically inspect assets. Rather, a review report expresses limited assurance in the form of the statement: “We are not aware of any material modifications” for the financial statements to be in conformity with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Reviewed financial statements must include all required footnotes and other disclosures.
Why might a business request a review engagement? It can be a good middle ground, providing the advantages of a CPA’s technical expertise without the work and expense of an audit.
Compilation – Lowest Level of Assurance
In compiling financial statements for a client, we present information that is the “representation of management” and expresses no opinion or assurance on the statements. Compilations don’t require inquiries of management or analytical procedures. Instead, we rely on our knowledge of accounting principles and a general understanding of your business.
Banks often require compilations from an independent CPA as part of their lending covenants.
Which Report Should You Use?
Each type of financial statement report may suit specific circumstances, depending on requirements from your client’s bank or other parties, as well as meet budgetary needs.
Understanding each report’s unique strengths and weaknesses can help you choose the most appropriate one. Please call if you have questions about which type of report is right for you.
Part-Time CFO Services
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 provide 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.
- A better understanding of the financial side of your business. So you have fewer 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
Do you need to analyze your financial data to uncover potential misconduct?
Are you investigating an entity for possible acquisition and need to ensure the absence of financial irregularities? Maybe you’re involved in litigation and require an expert witness to testify on your behalf?
If any of these situations apply, you need our Forensic Accounting services.
Who Needs Forensic Accounting?
Forensic accounting – also called financial forensics or forensic auditing – is an area of accounting that investigates actual or anticipated disputes.
Disputes can range from business-related litigation to marital dissolution. We handle both litigation support and investigative accounting.
This area covers accounting assistance for current or pending litigation.
For a litigation assignment, we…
- assist in obtaining the necessary documentation to support or refute a claim;
- examine the relevant documentation to form an assessment of the case;
- review the damages report by the opposing expert;
- assist with settlement discussions and negotiations; and
- attend trial to hear the testimony of the opposing expert and provide assistance with cross-examination.
Here’s what you get:
Occasionally, you may need to explore whether fraud or misconduct has occurred, such as employee theft of property or inventory, misappropriation of funds by employees, kickbacks to employees from outside businesses, securities fraud, and insurance fraud.
With our investigative accounting services, we bring to bear our accounting knowledge and experience in the field to give you a clear understanding of the situation. When you retain our expertise, we skillfully…
- review the situation and offer suggestions for possible courses of action;
- assist with the protection and recovery of assets;
- coordinate with other experts, including private investigators, forensic document examiners, and consulting engineers; and
- assist with any necessary civil action or criminal prosecution.
Forensic Investigations Take a Variety of Forms
The services of a forensic accountant are required for a range of investigations across many different industries.
Here are the most common assignments in forensic accounting:
Disputes Among Shareholders or Partners. The compensation and benefits given to each of the shareholders or partners are one of the more common issues in these cases.
Personal Injury Claims / Motor Vehicle Accidents. When economic losses from a personal injury or vehicular accident are in question, a forensic accountant is brought in.
Insurance Claims. Because insurance policies vary greatly in their terms and conditions, such engagements require a thorough policy review to determine the appropriate method of figuring the loss. A forensic accountant can assist from either the insured or the insurer’s standpoint.
Business/Employee Fraud Investigations. The investigation of employee fraud often requires a determination of the extent of the fraud. It may or may not include the identification of a perpetrator. Many times, such assignments necessitate interviews of staff who had access to the funds.
Matrimonial Disputes. Usually, when a dispute of this nature arises, forensic accountants must locate and evaluate the disputed assets, be they businesses, property, or fiduciary.
Business Economic Losses. These kinds of engagements include contract disputes, construction claims, expropriations, product liability claims, trademark and patent infringements, and losses stemming from an alleged breach of a non-compete agreement.
Cash Flow Management
A wise business owner once said, “Happiness is positive cash flow.” As a business owner, I’m sure you agree. Everything is better when your cash-in exceeds your cash-out.
A cash crisis can be emotionally devastating and it can even kill your business. If you’ve ever had to beg, borrow and steal to cover tomorrows payroll you know what I mean.
Our cash management service allows you to…
- know when, where, and how your cash needs will occur.
- know what the best sources are for meeting your additional cash needs.
- be prepared to meet these needs when they occur, by keeping good relationships with bankers and other creditors.
The starting point for avoiding a cash crisis is allowing us to develop a cash flow projection for you. We can help you develop both short-term (weekly, monthly) cash flow projections to help you manage daily cash, and long-term (annual, 3-5 year) cash flow projections to help you develop the necessary capital strategy to meet your business needs.
We also prepare historical cash flow statements to help you gain an understanding about where all the money went.
Creating an accurate cash flow projection is just one of the many cash management services we provide. You also get…
- Help obtaining an appropriate line of credit
- Cash collection acceleration techniques
- Proven effective collection policies
- Proven effective payment policies
- Help obtaining the maximum rate of return on your idle cash
Need money to grow your business?
Requesting a business loan without adequate preparation sends a clear message to the lender: High Risk! Therefore, it pays to be prepared and organized in your approach for financing.
Put your best foot forward by allowing us to prepare a winning loan proposal for you. Our proposals have a high likelihood of success because they’re created from the lender’s perspective.
You get the money you need because we know exactly what banks want to see. Even more importantly, we know how to prove to them that you’ll be able to pay them back.
Our winning loan proposals come complete with…
- Executive Summary: Where we concisely state the purpose of the loan, the exact amount of money required, an explanation of what the loan will be used for and why it’s needed.
- Pro-forma Cash Budgets and Financial Statements: We use your data and underlying assumptions to prepare information that your banker can easily read and buy in to.
- Owners Personal Financial Statements: We make copies of the last 3 years of personal tax returns for the bank as well as identify the collateral being pledged as security for the loan.
- Representation: We help substantiate your financial needs/position to your banker in person.
Few things are more important to business owners than the value of their business. The valuation you get for your business can make or break a proposition.
Whether you’re negotiating a merger, considering new shareholders, attempting to resolve disputes associated with liability, shareholder equity, estate planning or marital dissolution, objective valuation can make the difference between loss or gain, success or failure.
Business valuation is not an exact science. It’s based on judgment, experience and relevant information. So, you need professionals who are well qualified, with significant experience in evaluating all types of organizations.
Our approach is to intimately know your business in order to understand what constitutes its value. We work closely with you to analyze your operations and historical financial data. Our in-depth knowledge of your business enables us to provide a well-reasoned, fully documented and defensible valuation opinion.
We provide a full range of business valuation services for the following needs:
- Business Disputes
- Estate Planning
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Other Business Valuation Scenarios
Strategic Business Planning
A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all your plans and ideas locked up inside your head, preparing a strategic plan can help you clarify your company’s direction. It can ensure that your key leaders are all on the same page, and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.
A Strategic Plan is often needed when…
- Starting a new venture, product or service
- Expanding a current organization, product or service
- Buying a new business, product or service
- Turning around a declining business
The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.
The plan allows you to…
- Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
- Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
- Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
- Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
- Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
- Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.
Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company’s success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
- Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
- Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.
Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
New Business Formation
Thinking of owning your own business?
Opening your own business is exciting and thrilling. It’s everything that comes after the excitement and thrill have 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 ventures.
We 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.
- Set up 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.
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 the 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 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.
What we do for you…
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
We can help you set up 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 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.
Here’s what we do for 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.
- Churches: We prepare the pastoral housing allowance and other required benefit documentation to meet the complex dual status of ministers.
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’s 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
We are happy to prepare any of these items if you need help.
At times you may need a trained outside professional to evaluate your company’s operations to determine if the appropriate controls are in place to ensure proper handling of resources and to protect yourself from employee theft.
We assess your internal control systems to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of your operating procedures. Then we make recommendations that help your company become stronger and more profitable by correcting any inefficient or ineffective operating procedures we find.
What we do for you…
- Implement segregation of duties so that duties are divided, or segregated, among different people to reduce risk of error or inappropriate actions. No one person has control over all aspects of any financial transaction.
- Make sure transactions are authorized by a person delegated approval authority when the transactions are consistent with policy and funds are available.
- Ensure records are routinely reviewed and reconciled, by someone other than the preparer or transactor, to determine that transactions have been properly processed.
- Make certain that equipment, inventories, cash and other property are secured physically, counted periodically, and compared with item descriptions shown on control records.
- Provide employees with appropriate training and guidance to ensure they have the knowledge necessary to carry out their job duties, are provided with an appropriate level of direction and supervision, and are aware of the proper channels for reporting suspected improprieties.
- Document policies and procedures and making them accessible to employees. The documented policies and procedures provide day-to-day guidance to your staff and continuation of duties in the event of prolonged employee absences or turnover.
- Review operations to ascertain whether results are consistent with established objectives and goals and whether the operations are being carried out as planned.