Business Owners and the Importance of Trusted Advisors

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.

Business owners tend be pulled in various directions. They have to make important financial decisions on an almost daily basis. And oftentimes, those decisions are in areas outside of their expertise. For that reason, it’s important that business owners have advisors - subject matter experts who can be trusted to provide insight and direction into financial matters that business owners are unfamiliar with. Specifically, there are four main people business owners need to be able to have transparent conversations with regarding finances: an attorney, a CPA, an insurance agent and a banker.

Estimated Tax Payments… Who Are They Good For?

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.

The great Yogi Berra has a famous saying: “It's like déjà vu all over again.”

On April 15th (Tuesday April 18th in 2017) the IRS is going to want the money that taxpayers owe them for 2016 taxes. In addition, they would like taxpayers to send their first installment of their 2017 taxes. This double whammy can leave taxpayers feeling like they are a weather man in a small Pennsylvania town in February.

Topics: Taxes

Is Investing in Tesla a Good Idea?

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.

Recently, Tesla, the electric car company, set another record. However, instead of a speed record it was a financial one as investors bid Tesla’s stock above $310 per share. In the process, this valued the entire company at $51 billion—more than either GM or Ford. At a minimum, the growth of its stock price has been impressive—especially for a company that did not exist 15 years ago.

Topics: Investing

Benchmarking: It’s All About Improving Profitability and Cash Flow

by Philip Campbell

Consultant, Author

Philip Campbell is a CPA, consultant, and author of the book Never Run Out of Cash: The 10 Cash Flow Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore. The book is an easy-to-understand, 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.


The purpose of benchmarking your financial performance is to find opportunities to improve your profitability and cash flow. The process of benchmarking is to compare your results on certain key performance measures against your past results and/or the results of other companies like yours so you can identify opportunities for improvement.

Topics: benchmarking

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How Recent Provision Changes Affect Your Social Security Benefits

by Dave Zander

Back Nine Financial

After spending the first 25 years of his career on what he calls the “front nine” (the accumulation phase), Dave has dedicated the last 16 years to the “back nine” (the income phase). He ran both Aetna’s and Lincoln National’s income divisions before starting Back Nine Financial in 2005. Back Nine is strictly an educational, consulting and speaking firm. He primarily works with CPAs, corporations and individuals to help them understand and maximize Social Security benefits. Dave has conducted Social Security Workshop across the country for a variety of audiences, including the Texas CPA Tax Institute and the CPA societies in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin for each of the last 3 years. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 66 every day for the next 17 years, Dave feels it is incumbent upon financial advisors, CPAs, HR departments and other professionals to make sure their clients, employees and the American public best understand not only how to take Social Security, but to also understand and integrate that claiming decision with their other assets.
 Dave is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a BBA, majoring in marketing with a minor in accounting. He left EF Hutton and gave up Wisconsin winters in 1983, moving to Houston where he met Diane. They been married 30 years and have been blessed with 2 children, Macy and Miles, who have now graduated from college and are on their own. Dave & Diane live outside of Boerne, TX.

 

In November of 2015, Congress and the President -  through the Bipartisan Budget Act - changed two spousal claiming options regarding Social Security. The first change was the elimination of the “File and Suspend” provision, which allows one spouse to file for benefits at age 66 and then immediately suspend those benefits and wait until age 70 to claim them (thus earning an 8% delayed credit for each year between 66–70).

How Not to Use an Index Fund

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.

Rarely a day goes by without someone endorsing the wisdom of investing in index funds. And the more this mantra is repeated, the more we see misapplication and frustration from investors attempting to follow this advice. Although index funds are easy to understand conceptually, successfully building portfolios with them can be complex. And while they can be an efficient tool, index funds are no cure for cancer.

Topics: Investing

Liquidity ratios all business owners should know

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.

Weve written several articles about the importance of regular financial benchmarking (both internal and external) for the health of a business. Of all the financial benchmark ratios a business owner could use to measure the financial health of their business, liquidity ratios may be the most important.

Topics: Featured, Management, Blog Posts, Strategic Planning, The Corner Office, Accounting & Finance

A Guide to Cash Management for Business Executives

by Dwayne Kolly

Business Bank of Texas

Dwayne Kolly brings a wealth of financial management and operations experience to Business Bank of Texas. Kolly has served community banks in south and central Texas for nearly 30 years, and is the bank’s Chief Financial Officer. He is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU (1993).

As a business executive, cash management is a vital skill. Cash is one of the top five financial variables by which business are evaluated for potential investment, commercial loan approval and the sale of the business. It is the fuel that drives growth, and managing cash incorrectly can have a negative impact on the success of your business.

Topics: Featured, Blog Posts, Accounting & Finance

Texas Franchise Taxes 2017

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.

Topics: Legal, Taxes, Business Bank of Texas News

Tips for Surviving the Open Office Space

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.

Open office spaces, lacking walls and cubicles, are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, a study by the International Facility Management Association found that approximately 70 percent of companies have an open seating plan. But for some workers, open office spaces can be difficult to navigate.

For some, concentrating and staying on task can prove to be difficult without walls to block distractions. Those distractions can include coworkers’ phone calls, loud meetings, or office gossip sessions. Here are a few tips employees can use to navigating an open office space and avoid actions that might rub coworkers the wrong way.

Topics: Human Resources

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