The Next Tax Deadline for Your Corporation Could be Tomorrow

by Mark Puzdrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.

Whether you are finishing up your 2017 federal and state tax returns, or trying to figure out how the new tax laws apply to your business, the next tax deadline could be as soon as tomorrow. Tomorrow is the day that you could finalize your 2017 taxes, start the process of educating yourself on the new tax laws, or make an appointment to review your current 2018 tax situation with your trusted advisor. No matter where you are in the process, setting a deadline is helpful to achieve your goals.

How to Get a Cool Dashboard Up and Running Fast

by Philip Campbell

Consultant, Author

Philip Campbell is a CPA, consultant, and author of the book A Quick Start Guide to Financial Forecasting: Discover the Secret to Driving Growth, Profitability, and Cash Flow Higher. This new book provides a straightforward, easy-to-understand guide to one of the most powerful financial tools in business: a reliable financial forecast. He is also the author of the book Never Run Out of Cash: The 10 Cash Flow Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore. The book is a step-by-step guide for business owners and managers who want to better understand and manage their cash flow. Since 1990, Philip has served as a financial officer in a number of growing companies with revenues ranging from $5,000,000 million to over $1,000,000,000. He has been involved in the acquisition or sale of 33 companies (and counting) as well as an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Philip loves helping entrepreneurs and business owners think strategically about the financial side of their business. His consulting work is focused on providing the financial insights that leaders need to increase profits, improve cash flow, and enjoy the fruits of financial success in business. What really sets Philip apart from the average financial person you meet is his passion and excitement about helping entrepreneurs and CEOs take control of their cash flow. In fact, early on in his career, he focused and “preached” so much about the importance of cash flow that people now call him CASH. Philip is the founder of Financial Rhythm, a website devoted to people who are serious about creating financial health, wealth, and freedom in their business. If you're an entrepreneur or business owner, Financial Rhythm is a place to get simple, actionable strategies for creating a financial future that is bigger and brighter than your past. Philip lives in Austin, Texas. You can email Philip at pcampbell@pdq.net.

One of the things I love about Microsoft’s Power BI tool is how easy it makes it to create a cool dashboard and get it up and running fast.

Anytime you are learning something new, it is super-helpful to get a quick win under your belt. With Power BI, once you prove to yourself that you can create your first dashboard quickly, you can then choose to dive into the more powerful features of the tool and discover the almost endless ways to visualize your data and turn it into shareable insights.

5 Tips to Increase Summer Productivity in the Workplace

by Kay Oder

Insperity

Kay Oder has owned six companies, has been a resource to thousands to businesses and brought solutions to help business owners minimize risk, improve business performance and navigate today’s highly regulated and complex “business of being an employer”.

Today, Kay uses the insights gained throughout her career as a speaker, business owner and business advisor. Audiences enjoy her candid, informed perspective on HR related topics as well as her razor-sharp southern wit.

Kay is also a Certified Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, the $2.6 billion business performance solutions provider she has called home since 1993. Kay has consistently been among the company’s top producers during her 20 plus years with the organization, earning Insperity’s highest honors, including the Top Volume, Circle of Excellence and the Chairman’s Club awards.

Prior to Insperity, Kay was the President and Co-founder of Texas Valve Specialists, a supplier in the oil and gas industry. She has also owned companies in the construction, demolition, machining and promotional apparel arenas. She spent four years as a client of Insperity and upon selling her last venture, joined the Insperity team.

From an early age Kay demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, beginning at age six when she sold cantaloupes from her parents’ front yard, which she offered three for fifty-cents, with a free puppy.

Kay and her husband, Dale, relocated to Austin from the Houston area in 1996 when a theft occurred in their family: their granddaughter was born and stole their hearts, so they had to follow.

Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 30 years, provides an array of human resources and business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity® Business Performance Advisors offer the most comprehensive suite of products and services available in the marketplace. Insperity delivers administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity through its premier Workforce Optimization® solution. Additional company offerings include Human Capital Management, Payroll Services, Time and Attendance, Performance Management, Organizational Planning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Financial Services, Expense Management, Retirement Services and Insurance Services. Insperity business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees. With 2016 revenues of $2.9 billion, Insperity operates in 61 offices throughout the United States. For more information, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.

For many U.S. workers, the summer months often consist of some half days at the office, long weekends and family vacations. While an employee’s personal life may flourish, without proper planning, summer time can quickly become one of the least productive times of year in the workplace.

Office attendance is often lower in June, July and August due to the number of employees taking time off. The quieter workspace can sometimes result in disengaged employees, creating the need for employers to motivate staff to remain focused during this season, while also maintaining employee morale.

Past Performance is No Guarantee

by Dave Sather

Sather Financial Group

Dave Sather is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and President of the Sather Financial Group, Inc. Sather Financial Group is a $400 million “fee-only” wealth management firm based in Victoria. Sather Financial is ranked as one of the top independent wealth management firms in the country according to Financial Advisor Magazine. Dave was raised in El Paso, received his B.A. in Business Management from Texas Lutheran University and received his M.B.A. from Texas A&M University. He has spent the past twenty years in the financial analysis, investment and banking industries. Dave is an adjunct professor in the business program at Texas Lutheran University. Additionally, Dave is a director of Business Bank of Texas as well as the Chairman of the Finance and Investments Committee for the Brownson Children’s Home and is a member of the Executive Advisory Council at Texas Lutheran University. He resides in Victoria, Texas.

The desire to chase a hot manager is so hard to resist—even for professionals. The news media loves to tout a manager after a huge home-run performance. They discuss their success as if they are clairvoyant savants with supernatural abilities.

Consider three examples:

  • Between 2004 and 2016, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Fund increased by 500%. As a result, Ackman received tremendous recognition and was a regular on CNBC.
  • John Paulson, a hedge fund heavyweight, successfully bet on the collapse of the housing market, netting him nearly $15 billion.
  • During the “lost decade” of 2000 to 2009, Bruce Berkowitz led the Fairholme Fund to total gains of 245%, or 18% per year. Over the same time, the S&P 500 went nowhere. This earned Berkowitz “fund manager of the decade” honors.
It is hard not to want a piece of the action. It ranks right up there with trying to hit the winning lottery ticket. The allure of quick money releases all sorts of endorphins, causing a variety of emotional decisions.
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Insights about the Future of Manufacturing in Central Texas

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is founder, president and chief executive officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. and serves as chairman on the company’s Board of Directors. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

Earlier this year, McKinsey published a manufacturing study describing the future of American manufacturing. They predicted increased opportunities due to an uptick in demand, new technology, and value chain optimization. Though many news headlines forecast the ongoing decline of U.S. manufacturing due to globalization and technology, the years ahead may hold potential for manufacturing revitalization.

With shorter product life-cycles and more demand for choice and customization, there’s greater complexity for manufacturers to navigate than there was in the past. To address what this means for manufacturing in Central Texas, we looked at the first two main points of the study for deeper examination.

Top 4 technology challenges for businesses: Cybersecurity

by Mark Johnson

President of Xtrii, and Global Technology Advisor

Mark Johnson is a global technology advisor with more than 30 years of successful business results. His experience includes roles as a global Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and innovative, business leader for organizations ranging from $15 Billion+ and 100,000+ employees, to small, fast-paced, rapid-growth companies. Mark currently serves as President of Xtrii (www.Xtrii.com), an executive-level, technology consulting firm that works with C-level executives to provide proven technology leaders that help them address their most pressing technology challenges and risks. He has worked with companies to achieve extraordinary success that is globally recognized for technology excellence, such as the 4-time repeat winner of the national award for the best Information Technology organization, the national “Innovator of the Year” award, and Microsoft’s “Global Technology Innovation” award. Mark has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Computerworld Magazine, CIO Magazine, and many other national publications. He is a frequent keynote speaker and technology advisor on how companies can best leverage technology for optimal business outcomes.

In an increasingly interconnected digital world, technology plays a key role in all businesses today. That’s why I’ll be sharing a series of articles that will examine the top four technology challenges that businesses are facing in 2018 and provide practical solutions for each of them. In this first article, let’s take a look at one of the most pressing issues facing business owners today: cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity must be top of mind for every business owner, as well as every member of a Board of Directors. With so much on the line in terms of financial and intellectual property, business leaders can’t afford to ignore this risk or leave it up to chance.

What you need to know before changing your business name

by Kathy Tremmel

Tremmel Law

Kathy Tremmel has significant experience both as a business attorney and corporate executive. Her career spans both legal practice and business management and she opened her own solo law practice in January 2010. In additional to running her own practice, she also is of Counsel with Selman, Munser & Lerner, which is a business transaction law firm in Austin, Texas. Ms. Tremmel has more than 10 years’ experience as a business attorney, providing transactional legal services to a diverse client base, from start-up ventures to well established companies. She helps companies with all their contracts, including customer agreements, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, buy-sell agreements, loans, and leases, helps people set up new businesses, and represents buyers and sellers of businesses. In addition, Ms. Tremmel has 10 years of management experience working with start-up companies. As VP of Operations at Tusker Group, an international litigation support company, Ms. Tremmel led international teams, managed production and quality issues, handled price negotiations, worked closely with clients to determine the scope of their projects, provided project management services, and developed, implemented and documented best practices for processing and training. Ms. Tremmel earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Colorado School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College. She is a Texas licensed attorney and a certified Project Management Professional.

Changing your company’s business name is a difficult task. Some common reasons why you may want to change your business name include:

  • You may decide it is necessary to rebrand your business to better help customers identify with your company.  
  • You used your name in the company’s name and now want to change the business name to reflect a larger, more corporate brand.
  • Someone else has a trademarked name and you have been notified that you must cease using your current name. 

If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you need to do:

Everything You Need to Know about Protesting Your Commercial Property Taxes in Texas

by Mark Puzdrak

CPA

Mark Puzdrak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 13 years of professional experience helping small to medium-sized businesses with their tax and accounting needs including individual, corporate, and partnership income tax returns along with business and individual tax planning. Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas and Pennsylvania. He earned both of his bachelor of arts degrees in accounting and finance from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Mark is committed to delivering tax and planning services that meet each client's unique objectives with a focus on services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as clients in the Real Estate, Manufacturing, Entertainment, and Professional Services industries. Mark lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Kelly. He enjoys reading biographies, visiting small Texas towns, and the occasional scotch and cigar.

With the federal tax deadline behind us, you might be thinking you’re done with tax deadlines for a while. But if you own commercial property, you’re not quite in the clear. You’ve likely already received your notice of appraised value from your county, but have you filed your commercial property tax protest yet? The deadline to file a protest is fast approaching, and with so many different tax deadlines to keep up with, it’s easy to forget one.

Business Intelligence (BI) for Everyone

by Philip Campbell

Consultant, Author

Philip Campbell is a CPA, consultant, and author of the book A Quick Start Guide to Financial Forecasting: Discover the Secret to Driving Growth, Profitability, and Cash Flow Higher. This new book provides a straightforward, easy-to-understand guide to one of the most powerful financial tools in business: a reliable financial forecast. He is also the author of the book Never Run Out of Cash: The 10 Cash Flow Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore. The book is a step-by-step guide for business owners and managers who want to better understand and manage their cash flow. Since 1990, Philip has served as a financial officer in a number of growing companies with revenues ranging from $5,000,000 million to over $1,000,000,000. He has been involved in the acquisition or sale of 33 companies (and counting) as well as an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Philip loves helping entrepreneurs and business owners think strategically about the financial side of their business. His consulting work is focused on providing the financial insights that leaders need to increase profits, improve cash flow, and enjoy the fruits of financial success in business. What really sets Philip apart from the average financial person you meet is his passion and excitement about helping entrepreneurs and CEOs take control of their cash flow. In fact, early on in his career, he focused and “preached” so much about the importance of cash flow that people now call him CASH. Philip is the founder of Financial Rhythm, a website devoted to people who are serious about creating financial health, wealth, and freedom in their business. If you're an entrepreneur or business owner, Financial Rhythm is a place to get simple, actionable strategies for creating a financial future that is bigger and brighter than your past. Philip lives in Austin, Texas. You can email Philip at pcampbell@pdq.net.

In my last article, we talked about how a new breed of Business Intelligence software is making it possible to create powerful dashboards without designing and maintaining a sophisticated data warehouse.

The changes going on in the Business Intelligence (BI) world are making it easier than ever before to create some fun dashboards and visual representations of data that get people’s attention and help them make better business decisions.

How to choose the right bank for your business

by Ed Lette

Business Bank of Texas

Ed Lette is founder, president and chief executive officer of Business Bank of Texas, N.A. and serves as chairman on the company’s Board of Directors. Serving as a licensed CPA since 1983, Ed’s extensive experience in the banking industry has led him to become the founding president of four national bank charters including Business Bank of Texas, N.A., and the chief financial officer of five national banks during his 45 year career. Ed serves as director of the Texas Bankers Association District 4, chairman of the Executive Advisory Council to the School of Business at Texas Lutheran University, and is a life member of the Texas Association of Business.

Choosing the right bank to support your growing business can be a challenge. From small community banks with one location all the way up to large national banks with an ATM on every corner, there’s no shortage of options available. It can be difficult to know which bank will offer the convenience and access to credit you need without sacrificing the level of service you want.

Let’s take a look at how community banks and national banks stack up on a few criteria: ease of credit, technological convenience, and customer service.

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