The Growth Advisor Podcast

The Growth Advisor Podcast

With Anna Ortiz

Episode 14: Discussing Cybersecurity with Pawel

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 14: Discussing Cybersecurity with Pawel
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Today we are talking with Pawel Wilczynski, who is a cybersecurity manager at Baker Newman Noyes.

Clients turn to Pawel for help conducting cyber assessments, readiness assessments for major frameworks and things cyber.

He works with a variety of clients – both public and private – with a particular focus on financial and insurance institutions and the technology industry. His clients include financial institution services bureaus, regional banks, and software-as-a-service providers.

According to the Verizon data breach investigations report, 82% of all cyberattacks have a human element, and so we talk about the best practices in cybersecurity hygiene-the foundational concepts which will help keep you safe, regardless of level of technology you employ.

We also touch upon a very important subject of vendor risk management because vendor networks is another vulnerability that cyber criminals love to exploit.

Finally, we talk about a variety of services IT and cybersecurity professionals like Pawel can perform in order to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks.

Schedule the meeting today!

Episode 13: Discussing Tax Myths with Amber Gray-Fenner

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 13: Discussing Tax Myths with Amber Gray-Fenner
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Today we are speaking with Amber Gray-Fenner about tax myths!

Amber is the owner of Tax Therapy, LLC in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She inherited her tax practice in 2010 and considers herself a tax “general practitioner.” Amber is an Enrolled Agent and a non-attorney member of the bar of the U.S. Tax Court. In 2019 Amber completed the 72 hours of specialized training necessary to become a Fellow of the National Tax Practice Institute.

Amber has been a member of the EA Journal editorial board and is a contributing tax writer for Forbes.com and ThinkOutsideTheTaxBox.com. In 2020 and 2021 Amber was selected as one of the Top 100 Must Follow Tax Twitter Accounts by Kelly Phillips Erb, “The Tax Girl.”

Amber was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has a Bachelor of Arts in English from UNLV. When she’s not doing “the work thing” Amber knits, crochets, and makes her own yarn. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and reading. In other words, when she’s not working in her home office, you can usually find her working at home.

Amber doesn’t do accounting!

While there is a litany of tax myths out there, we touch upon the ones that most grind our gears, amongst which are employing your kids, auto and mileage deductions, bookkeeping mistakes that may cost you at tax time, and letting the tax tail wag the dog.

Let it be known that social media in general has made the IRS’ “dirty dozen” list of scams. While one may think it’s ok to rely on Tik Tok for tax advice, we know that social media doesn’t lend itself well to tax advice, because it’s nuanced and also, the person on social media platforms bears no responsibility for what they tell you, while your trusted tax professional does!

Schedule the meeting today!

Episode 12: Discussing Legal Issues with Lisa Sigman

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 12: Discussing Legal Issues with Lisa Sigman
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In this episode we have a discussion with Lisa Sigman of Lisa Sigman Law about legal issues or matters that can arise from not doing your due diligence when forming a business.

Lisa calls herself a primary care attorney for your business and has been practicing law for nearly 16 years. We met in one of the networking online groups and quickly found that not only did we have a lot in common but also had a similar client base which we serve, so since then, we have collaborated on a webinar last December (linked below) and hopefully this podcast guest appearance is also just one more thing in the long line of our joint efforts to educate business owners.

We discuss my own nightmare scenario of forming an LLC back in late 2020 which really highlighted what not to do, we also dive into what it really means to be an LLC in order to preserve legal protections it affords and go over what is and isn’t ok to DIY when it comes to legal documents.

This discussion really highlights some of the legal concepts and issues that most new business owners don’t think about or know about, but which are absolutely vital.

Legal and Tax Implications for Small Businesses Webinar

Schedule the meeting today!

Episode 11: Discussing Tax Resolution Issues with Morgan Anderson

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 11: Discussing Tax Resolution Issues with Morgan Anderson
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In this episode we are talking with Morgan Anderson, Enrolled Agent and the NTPI (National Tax Practice Institute) Fellow and CEO of Golden Lion Tax Solutions, which specializes in tax debt resolution, who is a 20 plus veteran working in the tax resolution industry.

We discuss always being prepared for a potential audit in your business, as well as best practices if you do get audited, and safeguards you can implement throughout the life of your business.

How do you prepare for something may or may not occur and what can you do in your business?

Being organized, keeping your records and taking responsibility for everything that goes on in your business is a central point of our conversation.

We also discuss partnering with professionals you can and should turn to, in case an audit happens.

Best advice is-don’t panic!

Morgan really breaks it down and takes the mystery and fear out of this often unpleasant topic.

Schedule the meeting today!

Episode 10: Determining Reasonable Compensation

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 10: Determining Reasonable Compensation
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Today’s episode focuses on the concept of reasonable compensation for S-Corp and C-Corp business owners.

Reasonable compensation is often misunderstood, but it is crucial for tax planning and compliance.

The episode highlights the importance of understanding reasonable compensation and provides insights into how to determine it accurately.

Determining Reasonable Compensation:

The cost approach or “many hats” approach is commonly used.

This approach involves evaluating all tasks performed by the shareholder employee based on a 40-hour workweek or 2,080 hours per year.

Labor statistics for the geographic area are considered to determine compensation for each task.

The total compensation is the sum of various activities performed in the business.

Relationship Between Reasonable Compensation and Distributions:

For S-Corp owners, a reasonable salary must be paid, but additional distributions can be taken if there is sufficient basis or equity in the business.

Distributions taken without paying a reasonable salary can be reclassified as payroll, leading to penalties, interest, and payroll taxes.

Keeping the salary too high or too low can have implications, including potential IRS scrutiny.

Retirement and Social Security Considerations:

Paying oneself a reasonable salary affects social security benefits and retirement planning.

Minimizing profits by paying a very low salary can result in reduced social security benefits in the future.

Reasonable compensation serves as retirement and social security funds, ensuring a secure financial future.

Actions to Ensure Reasonable Compensation Compliance:

  • Seek professional help to conduct a reasonable compensation study if unsure about the adequacy of compensation.
  • If discrepancies are identified, distributions can be recategorized as reasonable compensation to align with IRS requirements.
  • It is recommended to maintain accurate payroll records and consult payroll services to ensure compliance.
  • Regularly review and reconcile reasonable compensation based on changing business dynamics, labor market rates, and job roles.

If you require assistance with determining reasonable compensation for your S Corp, we offer reasonable compensation studies.

Schedule the meeting today!

Episode 09: Optimizing Collections and Minimizing Outstanding Balances

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 09: Optimizing Collections and Minimizing Outstanding Balances
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In today’s episode, I’ll be discussing the optimization of payment collections and how it can significantly impact your business’s cash flow.

As a business owner myself, I understand the importance of timely payments and minimizing outstanding balances. In the two years of running my own business, I’ve faced challenges in this area and made operational changes to ensure smooth payment collection and improved cash flow.

Main Discussion Points:

The twofold goal for collections: Optimizing collections and minimizing outstanding balances.

Background and Credit History Checks:

I recommend conducting background checks and credit history checks on clients to ensure you’re working with reliable individuals or businesses.

Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or unsure about the process. It can be as simple as doing basic due diligence by checking their online presence, such as a website or active social media profiles.

I suggest utilizing reputable and reasonably priced resources like Sterling and ClearStar for conducting background checks on employees, contractors, and business partners.

Making Payment Easy for Clients:

It’s crucial to make the payment process accessible and timely for your clients.

While I understand concerns about payment processing charges, receiving payments through checks is inefficient in today’s environment.

Subscription services or businesses selling software as a service can benefit from using third-party payment processors like Square, Stripe, or PayPal to streamline billing systems and improve payment collection speed.

For regular payments or long-standing relationships, setting up automatic withdrawals with clients can minimize processing fees and ensure seamless transactions through bank ACH payments.

Minimizing Outstanding Balances:

Even with upfront payments and automated processes, outstanding balances are inevitable. To manage them effectively:

Clearly state the terms and consequences of late payments in your contracts and invoices.

You can charge interest on outstanding balances, but ensure it aligns with acceptable industry practices and clearly communicates it in your contract.

Utilize the automation features provided by billing software to send timely reminders and follow-ups. Customize the frequency based on your payment terms and preferences.

Establish a systematic process for follow-ups, such as sending reminders three days after the payment is due, followed by emails and phone calls if necessary.

Optimizing payment collections is crucial for business success and maintaining a healthy cash flow.

By vetting clients, providing convenient payment options, and automating follow-up procedures, you can improve your chances of receiving timely payments and reducing outstanding balances.

Episode 08: Retirement Account Options for Small Business Owners – Guest: Sarrah Samraoi

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 08: Retirement Account Options for Small Business Owners - Guest: Sarrah Samraoi
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Are you a small business owner who’s been thinking about retirement lately? Well, you’re in luck because today, we’re going to be discussing retirement account options specifically tailored for small business owners.

We’ll cover the types of retirement accounts available, talk about the pros and cons of each type of account, the contribution limits, and eligibility requirements.

Joining me is Sarrah Samraoi. Sarrah is a Vice President at Eastern Bank Wealth Management where she manages client portfolios and provides investment, fiduciary, trust, and financial planning guidance. She has an extensive background in retirement planning and is a Certified IRA Services Professional. Sarrah has over a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

Whether you’re a sole proprietor, a partnership, or have a small team, this episode will help you understand the retirement account options that are available to you. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the world of retirement accounts!

 

 

Resources:

Sarrah Samraoi

SEP IRA

SIMPLE IRA

Solo 401k

Profit Sharing

North Shore Accounting

Episode 07: Vendor Management & 1099s for Small Businesses

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 07: Vendor Management & 1099s for Small Businesses
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As a small business owner, you know that managing your vendors can be a daunting task. But, it’s essential to have a process in place to ensure that you’re keeping track of your vendors and issuing the right forms to them.

 

Now, you might be thinking “why do I need to worry about this?” But trust us, it’s important. Failing to properly manage your vendors and issue 1099s when necessary can result in penalties from the IRS and nobody wants that!

 

So, in this episode, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about vendor management and 1099s. We’ll cover things like:

–  What is a contractor vs an employee

–  How to gather the necessary information from your vendors

–  The timeline for issuing 1099s and filing them with the IRS

–  And much more!

 

So whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this episode is packed with valuable information that can help you stay on top of your vendor management and 1099s. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in!

 

 

Resources:

Track 1099

How to Create Internal Controls for Your Business

IRS – Information Return Penalties

IRS – About Form 1099-NEC

North Shore Accounting

Episode 06: Record Keeping

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 06: Record Keeping
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We all know that record keeping might not be the most exciting topic in the world, but trust me, it’s a crucial part of running any kind of organization.

 

From small businesses to personal finances, accurate record keeping is essential for staying organized and making informed decisions. Plus come tax time, you’ll have all the information you need!

 

In this episode, I’ll be discussing why record keeping is so important, the different types of records you should be keeping, and some practical tips for staying on top of your record keeping game.

 

So if you’re ready to level up your organizational skills and take control of your records, then tune in and join the conversation!

 

 

Resources:

7 Common Business Expense Write-Offs Small Business Owners Forget

Best Record-Keeping Tips For Your Business

North Shore Accounting

Episode 05: Why Is Financial Reporting Important for Small Businesses?

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 05: Why Is Financial Reporting Important for Small Businesses?
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Financial reporting is an essential tool that helps small businesses like yours keep track of their financial health and make informed decisions about their future. But they’re not one size fits all.

 

In this episode, I explore the importance of financial reporting for small businesses and the basics of financial reporting, including the different financial statements that are important to know.

 

By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of why financial reporting is important for small businesses and how it can help you grow and make better decisions for your business. So, whether you’re a small business owner or just interested in finance, tune in to this episode to learn more!

 

 

Some Housekeeping:

  • Correction: Some “nonfinancial” KPIs I mentioned are in fact financial i.e. revenue per client, etc.
  • I never mentioned what accrual accounting really is which is recording your revenue when it is constructively received (i.e. when you issue an invoice) and recording your expense when you buy something not necessarily when you pay for it. So recording your expenses when you receive vendor bills, not when cash comes out.

 

 

Resources:

North Shore Accounting

Episode 04: Taking Advantage of Your Accountant for Strategic Planning – Guest: Ed Grant from The Alternative Board

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 04: Taking Advantage of Your Accountant for Strategic Planning - Guest: Ed Grant from The Alternative Board
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When it comes to building a successful business, strategic partnerships can be a key component of growth and success.

 

That’s exactly what the theme for this episode is all about, the importance of partnering with others to grow your business.

 

Joining me, I have our first guest, Ed Grant. Ed is the President and Owner of The Alternative Board Nashoba Valley, a business owner advisory board that helps small businesses achieve their financial and strategic goals. He shares his insights and accumulated knowledge of guiding business owners toward reaching their personal and professional goals.

 

Hint-it’s not done in a vacuum!

 

 

Resources:

Ed Grant – The Alternative Board Nashoba Valley

North Shore Accounting

Episode 03: Tax Elections for Business Owners: LLC vs. S-Corp

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 03: Tax Elections for Business Owners: LLC vs. S-Corp
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Have you seen the many social media posts and blogs claiming that your small business can save a fortune by “becoming an S Corp”? I hate to break it to you, but depending on a lot of factors, that might not be the case for your small business. 

 

The S Corp tax election is one of the most misunderstood tax topics for business owners. 

 

In this episode, I examine the differences between the two most common forms of business entity for business owners: Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and S-Corporations (S-Corps). I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of entity, the tax implications of each, and the process of making the election.

 

Join me as I break down the basics of LLCs and S-Corps and the importance of making the right tax election for your business.

 

 

Resources:

The Tax Guide for Self-Employed Entrepreneurs Article

North Shore Accounting

Episode 02: The Payment Approval Workflow

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 02: The Payment Approval Workflow
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Running a business isn’t easy, and accounts receivable and accounts payable can be a huge source of stress. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed but it’s also so important. You should set up your small business to run like the big business you want it to be in 5 years. That includes your accounts payable and accounts receivables.

In this episode, I talk all about the payment approval workflow. Why it’s important, what it involves, and how you can make sure it’s running smoothly.

Don’t limit your company’s growth with poor policies and procedures! So if you’re looking for ways to make your payment approval process more efficient, don’t miss this episode!

 

 

Resources:

Great Payment Approval Process Flowchart Example

North Shore Accounting

Episode 01: Welcome to the Growth Advisor Podcast

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Episode 01: Welcome to the Growth Advisor Podcast
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Welcome to The Growth Advisor Podcast!

I’m so excited to kick off this series and help business owners take their companies to the next level.

I’m Anna Ortiz, owner and principal at North Shore Accounting Services. I’m a licensed CPA with over 20 years of accounting experience and I’ll be your host as we talk about all things growth. Think of me as your partner in business.

On this podcast, we will discuss everything from understanding your financials and utilizing them to map your business strategy, to retirement savings techniques, to getting paid quicker and guarding against fraud.

Let knowledge empower your growth, let’s get started!

 

North Shore Accounting

Trailer

The Growth Advisor Podcast
The Growth Advisor Podcast
Trailer
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Welcome to The Growth Advisor Podcast!

Join host Anna Ortiz, a licensed CPA with over 20 years of accounting experience, as she guides you through the often complex world of business growth and finances.

We will discuss everything from retirement savings to protecting against fraud, giving you the knowledge to empower your growth. Listen now for helpful advice on all things finance.

Let knowledge empower your growth, let’s get started!

 

North Shore Accounting