GREAT IDEAS FOR ENTREPRENEURS FROM THE THOUGHT LEADERS AT CASEY NEILON
I began my career in public accounting 55 years ago. Over that period of time, I’ve served thousands of clients, many of whom are entrepreneurs. As I reflect on the last 50+ years, I have begun to crystalize, in my own mind, what the entrepreneur of the future will need from their CPA. When I look ahead to the next 50 years, based on how much things have changed over my career, I believe entrepreneurs should look for these five traits from their CPA.
Entrepreneurs know that the US economy goes through cycles. Things have been steadily improving since early 2010. Are we entering a down-cycle? I cannot predict the future and don’t believe that anyone can. But after many years of working with and for entrepreneurs, I have come to believe that you can survive a downturn and potentially even thrive through it or rebound quickly after it ends. Here are 5 key strategies to help you do this.
Recently I’ve been working with growth-oriented entrepreneurs who are trying to make an important decision. They are grappling with the need to grow, but are unsure whether to buy a business or to invest in their current business. This decision could be make-or-break for them so it’s important to get it right.
The new tax laws have produced both excitement and anxiety. Entrepreneurs in particular have the opportunity to benefit from a reduced tax burden, but this introduces another challenge. What do you do with the money you save on taxes? It’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem.
I believe that to thrive in the new economy you have to give yourself space to anticipate and act with boldness. I think of this as anticipatory resilience. This is about avoiding the blow, not recovering from it. After working with dozens of entrepreneurs and helping them navigate their ups and downs, here are my lessons learned about how to thrive through disruption.
For most businesses, it’s nearly impossible to scale the company and achieve meaningful growth without also scaling human resources. Many of our clients face this challenge. Human capital can be the single biggest factor holding them back from achieving their growth goals. For the last 20 years, I’ve tackled this problem day after day and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what works. I’d like to share them with you.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the great privilege of working with successful entrepreneurs. I’ve also watched people launch businesses and then struggle. Starting a new business is a risky venture. Sometimes it can feel as if there are secrets successful entrepreneurs know that the rest of us don’t know. That can be frustrating. After serving hundreds of entrepreneurs, I’ve come to recognize five key areas that tend to accelerate early-stage success. Here are my lessons learned.
The new tax law was recently passed to great fanfare. It has been billed as the biggest tax break Americans have seen in decades. While this may be true, especially for people with ownership interests in one or more businesses, discovering how to realize these tax breaks is a whole new ballgame.
In December 2017, Congress passed the most significant tax reform bill in thirty years. Some of the provisions were designed to simplify tax reporting, but some of the provisions have made tax reporting significantly more complicated. One of the more complex areas is the new deduction for “qualified business income” – often referred to as QBI. This new provision should provide a substantial tax benefit to individuals with qualified business income from a partnership, S corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship. But it may not be as straight-forward as it seems at first glance.
Congress has passed the biggest tax reform bill in thirty years. These new tax laws will make fundamental changes in the way you, your family and your business calculate your federal income tax bill. They will also likely change the amount of federal tax you will pay.
Most entrepreneurs I work with are busy people who are confronted with more decisions than they have time or the desire to research. The implications of making the wrong decision or of not fully executing on the right decision can be severe.
Investors who play the markets are often torn between fear and greed. When stocks go up, they buy, sometimes taking on more risk than is wise. When stocks go down, they sell, usually out of concern for losing it all. Typically these investors follow trends because they fear they are missing out on opportunities. Fear and greed. These two shape the mindset and behavior of a certain type of investor.
My uncle is a successful construction industry entrepreneur who today owns 5 businesses. Nothing in his early life suggested that he would accomplish so much. He came from a challenging childhood environment; his family was not wealthy; he did not grow up in a family business; and he did not complete high school.
When most people think of CPAs, they probably picture a technician who is very good with numbers. CPAs are often thought of as being left-brained dominant. They are analytical, good with numbers and “just-the-hard-facts” kind of people. Right-brained people are thought of as creative. They are good at language, art, abstract ideas – you know – the softer mushier stuff of life.
I’d like to address a common concern I hear when talking to people about CPAs. While they like their CPA and believe they’re competent, they wish their CPA was more proactive. Usually what they mean is that they want a CPA who is looking out for them and their business interests. They either feel that not enough time was spent getting to know their issues or that an issue came up during a conversation or meeting that should have been addressed long ago.