Do I Need an Accountant for a Succession Plan?

Do you need a succession plan?

a.  Yes
b.  No
c.  Maybe, probably, who knows
d.  Meh, don’t bother me, I’m busy

Should an accountant have a role in your succession plan if you decide to implement one?

a.  Yes
b.  No
c.  Maybe, probably, who knows
d.  Meh, what does an accountant have to do with who succeeds me

Simply put, succession planning is preparing your company for changes. It’s usually thought of as training individuals to fill leadership roles, but it also includes transferring ownership of your business. It’s a process with both long-term and short-term facets.

Change Happens

You can probably name more than one company that’s no longer in existence because it didn’t adapt to change. Big companies must evolve just as much as small companies do. Markets change. Key employees leave. Regulatory agencies always have new or different rules. Your business goals aren't the same as when you began.

Unless you have a crystal ball, you can’t know precisely what impending changes, if any, will affect your company. You might see changes coming, but you can't predict their impact. Part of your succession planning involves calculating the probabilities of certain occurrences and how to survive them.

Know When to Quit the Business as an Owner

      If at first you don't succeed, give up and try something else.”
- Homer Simpson

It may seem counterintuitive to joke about throwing in the towel, but the truth is that not every business was meant to succeed. So many of us are given the advice that if we just try hard enough, work smarter, or are resilient, that success is there for the taking.

While it's true that you want to give any endeavor your best shot, you also don't want to lose everything or quit too soon. Many business owners seem to wear their own set of blinders that don't allow them to see when it's time to draw a line and give up.

But businesses do fail and with shocking regularity. If you wait too long, you could lose much more than if you had taken action just a bit sooner. Here are some eye-opening figures about business failures and a list of key indicators that it might be time to shut down your business.

How Tax Reform Changed Accounting Methods for Small Businesses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – better known simply as tax reform – allows more small business taxpayers to use the cash method of accounting. Tax reform now defines a small business taxpayer as a taxpayer that has average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less for the three prior tax years and is not a tax shelter.

New Business Tax Credit for Employers Providing Paid Family & Medical Leave

Eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees during tax years 2018 and 2019 might qualify for a new business tax credit.

This new employer credit for family and medical leave is part of tax reform legislation passed in December 2017.

The intent of the business tax credit is to encourage companies to offer paid time to their employees for family responsibilities, offer relief of some financial pressure. Under the guidelines, employers can get a tax credit equivalent to a percentage of the wages normally paid to employees during any period for up to 12 weeks, who are on family or medical leave.

Employers setting up or updating a leave policy may also be eligible for retroactive credit.

Is It Better to Use a Bookkeeper, CPA or Enrolled Agent to File Your Taxes?

During tax season the same question always resurfaces among executives, business owners, and independent contractors – who should prepare my taxes?

While this question depends on each circumstance, the primary benefits of using a tax professional will always be time savings and improved accuracy. Individuals with more complicated tax needs will obviously benefit more from hiring someone to do their taxes, but everyone will benefit to some extent.  

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