With the most extensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than three decades having now been passed by both Houses of Congress, and officially signed by President Trump to enact it into law, tax reform is here. These changes will require businesses and individuals to re-evaluate their long-term tax strategies starting in the 2018 tax year, but also means taking immediate year-end tax planning strategies for the final days of 2017 into consideration.
Our team would like to wish you and your family Happy Holidays! We’re thankful for each of our clients and are happy you choose to work with the Lawhorn CPA Group team.
2017 was a great year for Lawhorn! In late January, we added a fourth location in Augusta, Georgia, and we are thrilled to welcome the Lawhorn-Baird team to our family. All our locations-Knoxville and Jefferson City, TN, Jackson Hole, WY, and Augusta, GA-are offering our tax and accounting, virtual financial office, and cloud integration services. The Lawhorn and Lawhorn-Baird union enabled us to also gain a great partner company by means of The Baird Audit Group, a firm that specializes and focuses solely on financial audits. The Lawhorn Enterprise Group continues to offer effective marketing services with Smarketing and has revamped its cost-effective payment processing services provided by CPA Merchant Connect. As we and our partner companies continue to grow, Lawhorn CPA Group is excited about the opportunities the Enterprise can introduce to our existing and new clients!
Looking forward to 2018, tax season here we come! We offer a wide range of business and individual services that cover all your tax, accounting, consulting, and business needs. Visit us today at one our locations or fill out our ONLINE FORM to learn how we can help you in the new year.
A while back I held a Lunch & Learn presentation at our office in Knoxville, relating to controlling accounting costs. I know…I bet you didn’t know that was possible! Well, this is the 21st century, and it is definitely possible.
A Brief History of Traditional Professional Service Billing Practices
For many years, financial professionals have billed by the hour. Someone might charge $200 per hour for however long it takes to get it done. But, what does this method of billing lack? It certainly lacks any incentive to be efficient or effective in achieving the result. If you’re going to pay me $200 per hour, then what is my incentive to get to the end result quickly and without sacrificing quality for preparing, let’s say, a tax return? Not much. The only risk I run if I take my sweet time to prepare the tax return is that you are unhappy with a high bill. Your risk in being billed in this manner is that I could be inefficient and cause your accounting fees to rise as a result of my inefficiency or lack of urgency, either of which is or should be unacceptable. Acceptable use for this method of billing would include when you are being represented by a professional in front of a government body (think IRS) or for face-to-face meeting time. There are other similar services, but these are the two most common examples of a service that cannot readily be quantified and would be billed by the hour.
It’s officially summer!
Fun for time on the beach and fun making mid-year tax moves.
With five months left in the tax year, it’s the perfect time to make some tax moves that could reduce your 2017 tax bill. Here are five easy ones to take care of in July.
A couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of heading down to the Farmer’s Market on Market Square in downtown Knoxville. It’s been awhile since I’ve been and it really seemed much larger than I remembered. There are definitely more stands of all kinds to visit and now there are FOOD TRUCKS!
When I had my first child, I had been in my position with Lawhorn CPA Group, Inc. for about two years. I was inclined to stay at home with my daughter, but didn’t really want to quit work all together. After all, I love what I do.
I was given permission to work from home three days a week. I loved it! I could throw a load of laundry in or sometimes finish my day early, leaving time to spend with my husband and daughter. I had those three days a week with minimal interruptions. When I say minimal, I mean minimal. The only time my precious baby cried out was when it was feeding time. I loved spending those first months at home with her, and feeling complete in my career at the same time. I saved time and money because I didn’t have any kind of commute. I had an office set up in our home, complete with a desktop computer and my cell phone. That is all it took. Since we work in a virtual environment, I was able to log in just as I would if I was here at the office.
Time. It’s the one universal thing we all share, no one person gets anymore or any less. Every night at midnight we are given 24 hours, how we treat them is what makes us diverse.
You know the saying “Time is on my side” well for me time is never on my side. I never have enough of it and I usually try to steal it, let me explain. I always set my clocks 10 minutes ahead, same with my alarms. I say alarms because I set one for just about everything. Picking up kids…alarm is set 10 minutes before it should be so I can be extra ready, waking up…same thing, alarm is set with a 10 minute “cushion”. Heck the ring tone for my alarm is the theme song for the 80’s classic Back to the Future, “Back in Time”, by Huey Lewis and the News.
A few years ago, I attended the Winning is Everything conference put on by the Advisory Board in Las Vegas, NV. A fitting place for a conference about winning! There are so many topics to consider when choosing a conference, and I end up attending several a year to stay up with professional trends, pronouncements and the latest in technology for my profession: Accounting, of course. Though truth be told, I don’t consider myself much of an accountant in the traditional sense. Not to worry, I’m not having a crisis of identity. I just believe that there is a better description out there for what I do and what we do as a firm.
We’re going back in time with this one, I’m looking at Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013 between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks came out on top with a whooping 43-8 score. I’m not generally a big sports fan. I don’t keep stats or play on fantasy leagues. But I DO come from a college town–Knoxville, home of the Tennessee Volunteers, and most of Knoxville loves to follow Peyton Manning. I am no exception. When he is on his game, whether you love or hate him, he is unstoppable. There is no denying it. The night of Super Bowl XLVIII he and most of his team were not on their game, or they were thrown off their game, or, even worse, they threw themselves off of their own game.
I’m going to take the middle-of-the-road approach here and say it was a combination of all three. What was interesting to watch, as long as I could bear to watch, was just how quickly the morale and energy left the Broncos. They were so low even Life Alert couldn’t pick them up.
Being from the valley we don’t get much snow each year. The East TN Valley that is… So when we do get some snow, you know like a 1/4 of an inch, just enough to cover the roads everything shuts down. School is out and getting out of the house in inconceivable (think Princess Bride here). We went to the store along with all the rest of Knoxville to get bread, eggs, milk, dog food, and maybe some vanilla flavoring should the snow be big enough and the consistency to make snow cream. Oh, and marshmallow fluff. So there is absolutely no reason to venture out in any kind of motorized vehicle unless it is fun to ride in the snow… For me that’s a sled.