BPM is one of the largest accounting and business consulting firms on the West Coast. We’ve been serving California's winery, vineyard and agricultural land community for the past 30 years. With six offices located in St. Helena, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and San Jose – we bring a uniquely local expertise to your community. For vineyards and wineries, BPM provides a full spectrum of accounting and consulting services from the initial set up of accounting systems to cash flow forecasting, bank loan negotiation, business succession planning, and interim CEO services. BPM's vineyard team serves the diverse needs of wineries of all sizes from small negociants to large, fully-integrated vineyard and winery operations. We have designed our services to provide you with a strategy that is comprehensive in scope and focused on the achievement of your long term goals.
BPM has been recognized for excellence in all aspects of our business. In 2016, BPM received nearly two dozen awards, such as Best Places to Work click here, Inavero’s 2016 “Best of Accounting™ Award,”ELEVATE Break the Ceiling: Corporate Leadership Award, Best Accounting Firm in the North Bay, Top Corporate Philanthropists, Fastest Growing Companies, and 2016 Healthiest Companies of the North Bay. While our work is innately rewarding, we are always honored and gratified when respected organizations recognize our achievements.
For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
Visit for information on all our services go to: https://www.bpmcpa.com/Services
When a company is acquired, its board of directors should take an active role in overseeing the sale process — including identifying and responding to actual or potential conflicts of interest on the part of the company’s investment bankers or other financial advisors. This is one of the lessons gleaned from the influential Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in 2015, RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis (the Rural/Metro case).
Rural/Metro also offers guidelines for financial advisors. In this case, the court affirmed the Delaware Chancery Court’s $75 million verdict against a financial advisor for “aiding and abetting” breaches of fiduciary duty by the company’s directors.
The case involved the sale of Rural/Metro Corporation to a private equity firm. In 2010, after Rural/Metro had been approached by potential buyers, a special committee of independent directors was asked by the board of directors to retain an advisor to explore strategic options. These potential options included buying a subsidiary of the company’s main competitor, Emergency Medical Services Corporation (EMS).
The factual background of the case is fairly complicated, but, in a nutshell, the special committee engaged RBC as its financial advisor and quickly began to pursue a full-fledged sale, exceeding its board mandate to simply evaluate strategic alternatives. Ultimately, however, the full board ratified the committee’s actions.
At the same time, EMS was also marketing itself for sale. Despite the negative impact this had on Rural/Metro’s sale process, RBC advised the committee to proceed. One reason for this, the Chancery Court found, was that RBC hoped to use its position as sell-side advisor to Rural/Metro to secure buy-side roles with the private equity firms bidding for EMS.
In addition, RBC aggressively pursued buy-side financing opportunities with the private equity firm that purchased the company, without first consulting the board. And RBC failed to include any valuation analysis in its presentations to the board until three hours before the board voted to approve the deal. The court found that RBC had manipulated its valuation metrics to make the private equity firm’s bid appear more attractive.
All of these conflicts of interest placed RBC’s interests above those of the company and its shareholders, and none of them were disclosed to the board. And the advisor’s actions misled the board into making false disclosures in its proxy statement regarding the merger.
The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Chancery Court’s finding that the company’s directors had breached their fiduciary duties by failing to properly monitor the sale process and by including misleading disclosures in the company’s proxy statement. As a result, shareholders were damaged in the amount of just over four dollars per share.
According to the Delaware Supreme Court, the lower court properly evaluated the directors’ conduct under the Revlon v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings standard rather than the more lenient business judgment rule. Under the business judgment rule, courts generally defer to directors’ decisions. Under Revlon, however, they scrutinize directors’ decisions more closely when a sale of control is involved. The court said that this enhanced scrutiny applied as soon as the committee retained RBC and commenced the sale process, even though the board hadn’t authorized it to do so and didn’t ratify the committee’s actions until months later.
The court also found that RBC was liable for aiding and abetting the board’s breach of its duty of care, even though the directors themselves were exculpated by the company’s corporate charter. (See “Exculpatory clauses protect directors from personal liability.”) The court disagreed, however, with the Chancery Court’s suggestion that financial advisors serve as “gatekeepers” and are responsible for monitoring their clients’ boards. Advisors don’t become liable merely by failing to prevent directors from breaching their duty of care. Rather, they must induce a breach knowingly, intentionally or with reckless indifference.
Boards of directors are free to consent to certain conflicts. Nevertheless, they should actively monitor the sale process to identify and respond to any actual or potential conflicts of interest. “Because the conflicted advisor may, alone, possess information relating to a conflict,” the Rural/Metro court said, “the board should require disclosure of, on an ongoing basis, material information that might impact the board’s process.” From the financial advisor’s perspective, ongoing disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is the best way to avoid liability for the board’s failure to fulfill its fiduciary duties.
Many states have enacted laws that allow shareholders to include a clause in a corporation’s charter that protects directors (and, in some states, officers) against monetary liability for unintentional breaches of their fiduciary duty of care. Typically, these “exculpatory” clauses don’t provide protection for directors who:
Often, directors or officers are able to use exculpatory clauses to support a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against them, allowing them to avoid costly litigation. These clauses aren’t mandatory. Corporations may adopt them, however, if their shareholders believe that liability protection is necessary to attract quality directors or officers.
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BPM, one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms, has received Inavero’s 2016 “Best of Accounting™ Award,” an honor less than one percent of all accounting firms in the U.S. and Canada earned for providing exemplary client service.
“This award underscores our commitment to our clients and our associates,” said Jim Wallace, CEO of BPM.
“At BPM, our motto is ‘Because People Matter'; this statement refers to our people as well as our clients. We are determined to continuously improve and want our clients to experience premier service demonstrated by positive and proactive interactions with our team.”
The Best of Accounting Award winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients. Clients of winning firms are nearly three times more likely to be satisfied than the industry’s average accounting firm client. More than 80% of clients rated BPM as a 9 or 10 out of 10, with a Net Promoter Score of almost three times the accounting industry’s average.
To learn more about BPM and how we help clients succeed, visit us at bpmcpa.com
About Best of Accounting™
Best of Accounting recognizes accounting firms that have proven high service quality marks based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients. The award program provides statistically valid and objective service quality benchmarks for the accounting industry, revealing which firms deliver the highest quality of service to their clients.
Founded in 1986, BPM is one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms, ranked as one of the 50 largest firms in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area, we serve emerging, mid-cap, and closely-held businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals in a broad reach of industries ranging from financial services, technology, life science and consumer business to real estate, nonprofits, wine and craft beverages. Our International Tax Practice is one of the largest on the West Coast and our well-recognized SEC Practice serves approximately 35 public reporting companies. We are listed as one of the “Best Public Accounting Firms for Women,” and the San Francisco Business Times, North Bay Business Journal and Silicon Valley Business Journal all list BPM as one of the “Best Places to Work.” Accounting Today ranks us as the number one "Best Firm to Work for" in the nation, in the Large Firm Category. For more information, visit us at bpmcpa.com.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 27, 2017 – BPM, one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms, has been chosen as a “LendIt Industry Awards” finalist – an honor reserved for the biggest movers and shakers in lending and FinTech.
“Our nomination for this award speaks to the incredible dedication and work being done by our FinTech team at BPM as well as the collaborative efforts of our industry partners,” said Daniel Figueredo, Partner at BPM.
“Through our relationship with innovators like the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) – a LendIt finalist for Top Fintech Equity Investor -- we’ve gained insights into the FinTech industry and the challenges these entrepreneurs face, which translates into valuable expertise we can share with our clients. We’re thrilled to share this honor with our partners at CFSI and its FinLab company finalist, Ascend Consumer Finance.”
BPM is the first CPA firm to serve as a resource partner to CFSI’s Financial Solutions Lab, a virtual lab focused on identifying, testing and bringing to scale promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. As a FinLab partner, BPM provides mentorship and technical assistance to Lab companies.
The LendIt Industry Awards’ Top Accounting Firm is presented to an accounting firm that has demonstrated deep expertise, commitment to clients and the fostering of a deeper understanding of online lending. As a finalist, BPM joins the ranks of some of the most prestigious innovators and industry experts around the globe.
To learn more about BPM and how we help clients excel in FinTech, visit us at bpmcpa.com.
About LendIt Industry Awards
LendIt Industry Awards recognizes leaders and innovators forging a new path. The Awards process brings together more than 30 industry experts to judge and select award winners representing innovation, emerging talent and top performers. The winners amongst all finalists are announced on March 7th, at the LendIt Industry Awards in New York City.
Founded in 1986, BPM is one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms, ranked as one of the 50 largest firms in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area, including our Flagship office in San Francisco as well as offices in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, and India, we offer a diverse range of expertise and services. We serve emerging, mid-cap, and closely-held businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals in a broad reach of industries ranging from financial services, technology, life science and consumer business to real estate, nonprofits, wine and craft beverages. Our International Tax Practice is one of the largest on the West Coast and our well-recognized SEC Practice serves approximately 35 public reporting companies. We are listed as one of the “Best Public Accounting Firms for Women,” and the San Francisco Business Times, North Bay Business Journal and Silicon Valley Business Journal all list BPM as one of the “Best Places to Work.” Accounting Today ranks us as the number one "Best Firm to Work for" in the nation, in the Large Firm Category. Most recently, we received Inavero’s Best of Accounting Award, an honor less than one percent of all accounting firms in the U.S. and Canada earned, for providing exemplary client service. For more information, visit us at bpmcpa.com.
BPM’s Pension Group helps both private and public companies check their Employee Benefit Plans (EBP) offerings for compliance with the Department of Labor, ERISA, and IRS rules and regulations. The Firm’s advisors conduct EBP audits throughout the Unites State ranging from 401(k)s including profit sharing and 403(b)s to Defined Benefit Plans (DB) including cash balance and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP). Let our team make a difference for you. Contact us today or visit us at www.bpmcpa.com/Pension.
Defined Benefit Plans
Health & Welfare Plans
Consulting & Advisory:
Advisory & Fee Analysis
Plan Structure Review
Assistance in Preparing for Audit
Assistance with Self Correction Programs
Using Eligibility Rules to Control Plan Enrollment
Plan sponsors have more flexibility than they may realize when it comes to setting eligibility rules for 401(k) plan participants. Even though ERISA sets many rules for eligibility, plan sponsors have leeway to meet the demands of the employment market. Read more.
Too Many Investment Options May Increase Litigation Risk
Giving plan participants a wide range of investment options is a good thing — but only to a point. That’s one of multiple allegations in recent class action lawsuits filed against several prominent universities. Read more.
Locating Missing Plan Participants
It’s not uncommon for previously active employed plan participants to fall off the radar screen. They include retirees and former employees that move away without informing the plan administrator. Before anyone realizes it, they become “lost” participants. Read more.
IRS Permits High-Earner Roth IRA Rollover Opportunity
As highly compensated employee (HCE) 401(k) plan participants approach retirement, a potentially useful tax-efficient IRA rollover technique may be a valuable savings tool. Read more.
Upcoming compliance deadlines:
*The original due date of December 31, 2016, falls on a Saturday. The IRS historically hasn’t extended due dates for required disclosures, contributions or distributions.
©2017 BPM. All rights reserved. This newsletter contains information intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research nor the exercise of professional judgment. Neither BPM nor any member of the BPM firm accept any responsibility for loss brought to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this newsletter. On any specific matter, reference should be made to the appropriate advisor.
BPM has been recognized as a winner of the 2016 Healthiest Companies of the North Bay, an awards program presented by the North Bay Business Journal.
The Journal noted their efforts going above and beyond in encouraging and enabling their employees to stay active and healthy at work and home. Every year more and more companies are getting more and more serious about employee wellness, putting written policies in place and even evaluating managers on meeting employee health goals,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger.
SANTA ROSA – At Burr, Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), workplace wellness celebrates employee successes and provides an avenue for staff members to get back on track in areas that need attention. The firm’s areas of emphasis include improving employee resilience, participation in the community as well as personal and family financial well-being.
“We want our people to know their health and happiness are important to us,” said Lisa DeGisi, benefits and wellness specialist. “We’ve seen a reduction in factors that lead to heart attack, diabetes, stroke and obesity. This is great news for our staff, while also keeping our medical claims down this past year. Our people-centered values include getting everyone up, out and engaged.”
BPM’s various team challenges have created an esprit de corps resulting in less turnover and higher participation. Annual, quarterly and mini-challenges reset and start anew each January in areas of fitness, finance, spiritual self-care, community and nutrition. Other physical fitness contests are held in real time, such as CEO James Wallace’s challenge to everyone to try to “outstep” him. Stepping competition winners are rewarded with a Fitbit or other wearable tracking devices, such as Nike or Garmin wristwatches, synched with I-phone apps.
Biometric competitions are also part of the program, and 80% of employees participate in the firm’s once a year health-screening assessment covering BMI, blood pressure, glucose levels and other vital measurements.
“Looking at the metrics, our overall risk factors have been decreasing, and we are planning to expand our program next year to include spouses and domestic partners.”
With 450 accountants, consultants and administrative personnel at six offices in the Bay Area, along with two others in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands, BPM locations have their own action-oriented fundraising teams. In San Francisco and Walnut Creek, for example, teams work to promote breast cancer awareness.
There are Lunch n’ Learn sessions and monthly webinars covering financial education, as well as working parent seminars and ways to handle stress. Discounted employee rates at gyms, such as 24 Hour Fitness, are also available.
A point system linked to achieving various levels of active involvement offers $20 gift certificate incentive awards for accumulating 1,500 points at level one, increasing to $250 for earning 5,500 points at level three, with money applied toward the purchase of a Fitbit. Top contenders are displayed on a leader board to encourage competition.
“It’s no accident that BPM’s motto is Because People Matter. We understand that healthy, motivated, talented and engaged employees are a successful company’s greatest asset.”
BPM provides meaningful, comprehensive financial and business counsel. We are experts in accounting, tax, and finance, and our people are distinguished by their knowledge, discipline, and unremitting commitment to the success of clients.
Founded in 1986, BPM is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, ranking in the top 50 in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area, BPM serves emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals in a broad range of industries, including financial services, technology, life science, manufacturing, food, wine and craft brewing, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. The Firm’s International Tax Practice is one of the largest on the West Coast and its well-recognized SEC practice serves approximately 35 public reporting companies, mostly in the technology industry.
BPM delivers the resources, expertise, and global capability of a Big Four accounting firm together with the responsiveness and accessibility of a local partner. We are members of the Leading Edge Alliance, a far-reaching international association of independent firms across 90 countries. Our International Tax team is one of the largest on the West Coast, routinely dealing with client concerns around the globe.
Our firm's dedicated professionals take pride in bringing the can-do, practical spirit of entrepreneurial vision to all of their activities. We've been recognized for excellence in all aspects of our business through awards such as Best Places to Work, the Excellence in Business Award, the On the Edge Innovation Award, and Top Corporate Philanthropist.
BPM's unique people-centered culture attracts the brightest and most forward-thinking accounting professionals. From taxes and assurance to business consulting and wealth management, we deliver creative, proactive services in a cost-effective manner to help our clients achieve their distinct business and financial goals.
Our mission is to wow clients with our service, depth of knowledge and intimate understanding of their business and financial challenges.
Our vision is to be an independent, nationally recognized tax, accounting and consulting firm, known for its depth and breadth of services and for connecting our clients and our people to the knowledge and resources they need to be successful in work and life.
On August 2, 2016, the Treasury Department issued new proposed regulations under IRC Section 2704 that limit valuation discounts associated with transfers of investments and businesses owned through interests in family partnerships, limited liability companies, and other family owned entities. These proposed regulations are first subject to public comment through December 1st, and will become effective 30 days after final regulations are published in the Federal Register. These regulations, if enacted as proposed, will limit the use of valuation discounts for most transfers of interests in family owned entities.
Last year, we reported that the IRS has long battled the valuation discounts associated with gifts and sales of wealth held in family limited partnerships and limited liability companies without much success, and that Congress has given the Treasury authority to write regulations in this area. Family transfers that are in process or being considered should be completed before year end to maximize benefits of the valuation discounts.
For additional information on this topic, please contact your BPM Tax Advisor, call (415) 421-5757, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BPM is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, ranking in the top 50 in the country. It has served the San Francisco Bay Area's emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net-worth individuals, since 1986. Our Private Client Services group assists high net-worth families, executives, and business owners seeking integrated tax strategies. By understanding your needs and goals, we are able to craft intelligent, personalized tax roadmaps that minimize your risks and maximize your peace of mind. For more information or to learn how we can help, contact Sandy Murray, CPA at (415) 288-6223 or Rich McDonnell, CPA at (650) 855-6880, or visit us at our website.
BPM’s Pension Group helps both private and public companies check their Employee Benefit Plans (EBP) offerings for compliance with the Department of Labor, ERISA, and IRS rules and regulations. The Firm’s advisors conduct EBP audits throughout the Unites State ranging from 401(k)s including profit sharing and 403(b)s to Defined Benefit Plans (DB) including cash balance and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP). Let our team make a difference for you. Contact us today or visit us at www.bpmcpa.com/Pension.
Defined Benefit Plans
Health & Welfare Plans
Consulting & Advisory:
Advisory & Fee Analysis
Plan Structure Review
Assistance in Preparing for Audit
Assistance with Self Correction Programs
DOL Fiduciary Rule Rocks Plan Investment Advice Landscape
When the final version of the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary standards rule for advisors to retirement plans was issued in April, the wait for the long-anticipated regulatory package was over. With the benefit of the intervening months, the implications for plan sponsors have become clearer. Read more.
Perception Isn’t Reality
EBRI Study Reviews Retirement Preparedness
The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2016 “Retirement Confidence Survey” provides helpful insights on employee behavior and benchmarking data for plan sponsors striving to help their employees attain retirement readiness. When it comes to retirement preparation, the study indicates that confidence often doesn’t correlate to the underlying facts. Read more.
Advise DB Plan Participants Carefully On Lump Sum Window Opportunities
There are sound reasons why defined benefit plan sponsors may offer participants lump sum payout windows. Principal among them: lowering the plan’s financial exposure, thereby providing greater long-term financial security to participants who elect to stay in the plan. However, the consequences of accepting a lump sum payout can be good or bad for participants. Read more.
Discriminatory Plans That Meet Statutory Requirements
The IRS issued a warning to plan sponsors whose plan designs satisfy numeric antidiscrimination tests, yet still have the effect of steering a disproportionate amount of benefits to highly compensated employees. Read more.
Upcoming compliance deadlines:
©2016 BPM. All rights reserved. This newsletter contains information intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research nor the exercise of professional judgment. Neither BPM nor any member of the BPM firm accept any responsibility for loss brought to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this newsletter. On any specific matter, reference should be made to the appropriate advisor.
In M&A transactions, buyers typically scrutinize a seller’s trademarks, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property (IP) and demand comprehensive representations and warranties regarding these assets. But when it comes to social media assets, buyers rarely exercise the same level of diligence — if they pay attention to them at all.
Social media assets may include LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and corporate pages, Twitter and Instagram accounts, blogs, YouTube channels, and other online platforms. The legal status of social media accounts, user names, screen names, posts, feeds and other content as “assets” is somewhat uncertain. After all, the platform host may have the right to cancel a user’s account or shut down the site altogether. Nevertheless, these accounts may provide significant value or liability exposure, so they should be treated like other assets.
As part of the due diligence process, buyers should ask sellers to provide a list of social media accounts, together with all user names, screen names, account names and other identifiers.
Among other things, buyers should investigate whether 1) these names or any content infringe any third-party trademark or other IP rights or contain potentially defamatory statements, 2) any accounts are owned or controlled by employees or third parties, 3) the company is in compliance with all social media platform agreements, and 4) the M&A transaction will impair the company’s ability to continue using any social media accounts, names or content.
Buyers should also ask to review any internal social media policies and procedures and determine whether the company’s employees are complying with those policies.
Representations and warranties
If the due diligence process reveals that the target’s social media assets provide significant value or expose the company to potential liabilities, the buyer should request representations and warranties in the purchase agreement to address these assets.
Appropriate representations and warranties depend on the nature of the target’s business as well as the type of social media assets and how they’re being used. But in general the seller should represent and warrant that its account names and content don’t violate any third parties’ IP rights or contain defamatory language; that it complies with all social media platform agreements; that its employees are bound by a social media policy; and that the merger or acquisition won’t impair the company’s ability to continue using its social media accounts.
Minimize social media issues
If your company is planning any M&A activity, be sure to discuss social media issues with your attorneys and include appropriate provisions in the purchase agreement to preserve these assets and minimize potential liabilities.
SAN FRANCISCO — Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, marks its 30th anniversary this month.
"This anniversary is a celebration of the Firm’s success over the last 30 years,” commented CEO Jim Wallace. “We could not have done it without the trust and loyalty of our clients and associates – we recognize that our success is directly linked to theirs," he said.
From the three friends who founded the Firm in San Francisco in 1986, BPM has grown into a nationally recognized organization with more than 420 employees across the Bay Area. BPM has been recognized for various awards, including the most recent award as the number one “Best Large Firm to Work for” in the nation by Accounting Today. Many of the Firm’s partners and industry groups are included in various top national rankings.
"We are fortunate to have dedicated staff who make it possible for us to provide our clients with excellent service," said Chairman of the Board, Rich Bellucci. "Our people are distinguished by their knowledge, discipline, and unremitting commitment to the success of our clients," he added.
Whether it is working with a tech start-up to prepare for an IPO, providing a cost segregation study for a real estate developer to improve cash flow, or counseling a manufacturing company through a merger, the advisors at BPM deliver the resources, expertise and business insight that produce outstanding results for clients.
In addition to its national presence, the Firm is also known for its accessibility and responsiveness-serving clients worldwide. From its offices in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands to its tax and audit work in Europe, the Firm has the expertise to support clients anywhere in the world. Its International Tax Practice is one of the largest on the West Coast and its well-recognized SEC practice serves approximately 35 public reporting companies, mostly in the technology industry.
Founded in 1986, Burr Pilger Mayer is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, ranking in the top 50 in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area, BPM serves emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals in a broad range of industries, including financial services, technology, life science, manufacturing, food, wine and craft beverages, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. For more information, visit www.bpmcpa.com
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, has been named to the 2016 Best CPA Firms for Women list, released by the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) and American Women’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA). The firm was also included in the 2015 list.
“We are deeply committed to the advancement women in our Firm and our profession,” commented Jim Wallace, CEO of BPM. “We look at key metrics in an effort to continue to increase women partners, women in leadership roles, and convert career advocacy to business development opportunities.”
The 10 firms named to the Best CPA Firms for Women list demonstrate three key characteristics:
“Of the 41 partners at BPM, women make up 24 percent and 31 percent hold leadership positions for practice groups or offices,” added Chief People Officer, Beth Baldwin. “Through our ‘Women’s Initiative Now! (win)’ program, we provide various platforms to ensure a culture that enhances the retention and recruitment of women; personal development at different stages of women’s careers; and increases the awareness of women’s success.”
The firm was also recently featured in CCH's Public Accounting Report, “Escalating Market Expectations Transform Business Case for Advancing Women.” To read the article, click here.
To learn more about the Women of BPM or explore current career opportunities, visit bpmcpa.com
Founded in 1986, Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, ranking in the top 50 in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area, BPM serves emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high-net-worth individuals in a broad range of industries, including financial services, technology, life science, manufacturing, food, wine and craft brewing, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. The firm has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by the San Francisco Business Times, North Bay Business Journal, Silicon Valley Business Journal and most recently, as the number one "Best Firm to Work for" in the nation, in the Large Firm Category by Accounting Today.
About the American Women’s Society of Certified Public Accounts (AWSCPA)
AWSCPA is a national organization founded in 1933 dedicated to serving all women CPAs. The AWSCPA provides a supportive environment and valuable resources for members to achieve their personal and professional goals through various opportunities including leadership, networking and education. As the only resource exclusively for women CPAs and those aspiring to become certified, the society provides information as well as scholarships to those in the profession. The society is a leader in addressing concerns such as gender equity, the glass ceiling, and work and family issues. AWSCPA members— from individual practitioners to professionals in industry, academia, and government, as well as partners in all of the largest firms—work in all segments of the accounting and financial professions. Visit the AWSCPA website at www.awscpa.org or call the society’s office at 800- AWSCPA1 (800-297-2721).
About the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA)
The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance promotes the professional growth of women in accounting and finance. Members of the association benefit from opportunities to connect with colleagues, advance their careers, and become industry leaders. For 75 years, the organization has proudly upheld its mission to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full personal, professional and economic potential, and to contribute to the future development of their profession. Visit www.afwa.org for more information.
Burr Pilger Mayer
Beth Baldwin, 415-677-3300
Chief People Officer
Toni Moheng of BPM is an honoree at the upcoming North Bay Business Journal Women in Business Awards Gala.
Celebrating exceptional women in the North Bay for their success and contributions to the business community as leaders, innovators and visionaries.
Keynote speaker: Helen Russell, Co-founder, Equator Coffees & Teas. Read the Business Journal article on her being named an SBA national Small Business Person of the Year on May 2, 2016.
List of winners over the years: nbbj.news/wib
5:30 p.m. registration; 6-8:30 p.m. dinner and awards presentation
Ticket price: $85. Table of eight: $850.
Underwriter: Wells Fargo Bank. Presenting Sponsor: Anderson Ziegler, BPM, Exchange Bank, Sonoma State University
Preregistration opens May 16 and ends June 24.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, recently updated financial-reporting rules for business leases, potentially making vintners and winegrape growers heavier in assets and liabilities.
Nearly all companies use assets in their businesses, require capital to acquire those assets, and rely on leasing as a way of accessing that capital. Leasing has long been a fundamental part of operating in the wine business - commonly as an alternative way to secure a fruit source when the outlay of capital to acquire a vineyard or reliance on a grower relationship is not practical. Barrels and production equipment are also often leased, allowing companies to use available capital for other purposes and reduce the overall exposure to the risks of ownership. These lease agreements are often entered into with both the lessor and lessee desiring to have the most advantageous arrangement from a cash flow and economic standpoint.
Therefore, many companies work to structure leases in certain ways to achieve a desired financial-statement outcome. Two lease agreements, similar in nature, could be treated differently for accounting purposes. These discrepancies have led to significant changes in how companies are required to account for leases in their financial statements.
BULKING UP THE BALANCE SHEET
In February, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases. The FASB is the designated organization for establishing standards of financial accounting that govern the preparation of financial reports by public and private companies and is the source for generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. These standards are important because lender, investor and management decisions are based on credible, accurate and understandable financial information. The objective behind this change is to increase transparency and comparability among organizations as it relates to the recognition and disclosure of leasing activities in financial statements.
Under current GAAP, leases are classified and recognized by lessees as either capital or operating. If a lease is a capital lease, the asset and associated liability is recorded on the balance sheet. If a lease is an operating lease, there is no balance sheet recognition. Rather, the future commitments of that agreement would be disclosed, for example, in the footnotes to a CPA-audited or -reviewed financial statement.
Expense recognition for the two types also varies. Capital lease payments are allocated to amortization and interest expense, and operating lease payments are allocated to rent expense.
Under the new lease model, there are still two types of leases - financing leases and operating leases. But both types of leases result in recognition on the balance sheet by recognizing a right-of-use asset representing the right to use the underlying asset for the lease term and a liability to make lease payments, measured at the present value of future lease payments. When measuring assets and liabilities arising from a lease, the lessee should include payments in renewal-option periods and purchase options, if it is reasonably certain to exercise the renewal or purchase option.
This is a major change! Companies that lease vineyards and production equipment under existing operating leases will have more assets and liabilities on their balance sheets. That changes the way investors and other stakeholders view their overall financial position and has a substantial impact on decision-making.
RECOGNITION REMAINS THE SAME
What hasn't changed significantly is the recognition, measurement and presentation of expenses and cash flows. For financing leases, a lessee will recognize interest on the lease liability separately from amortization of the asset. Payments on the principal portion of the lease liability are classified within financing activities and payments on the interest portion are classified within operating activities on the cash flow statement. For operating leases, a lessee will recognize a single lease cost, calculated by allocating the total lease cost over the lease term on a generally straight-line basis, and cash payments are classified within operating activities on the cash flow statement. However, disclosure requirements are enhanced and require both qualitative and quantitative disclosures about the timing and uncertainty of cash flows.
The accounting by the lessor is largely unchanged although there are some minor differences that better align the accounting treatment by lessors with other areas within GAAP.
THREE PREP TIPS FOR THE CHANGE
The new guidance affects all companies that lease assets and applies to all leases with terms longer than 12 months. For most companies - nonpublic companies - this will be effective for their 2020 fiscal year, but the new rules can be applied early.
While there are still several years to comply, there are some things to consider starting now:
Evaluate existing resources. Companies may incur additional costs implementing this guidance through employee training, system evaluations, and updated processes and internal controls that align with the new rules. Consult internally with the management team and externally with professional advisers.
Assess current contracts. Take inventory of existing leases and other contracts and evaluate how they will be impacted by this change. Understand these rules before negotiating new financing.
Start the discussion. Be transparent with lenders and other stakeholders. Consider the effect on debt covenants and whether changes are warranted. Many financial statement users may already be making adjustments for off-balance sheet obligations.
By Michelle Ausburn, CPA, is a partner of Burr Pilger Mayer (bpmcpa.com) in Santa Rosa.
“A core value of Burr Pilger Mayer is to actively support local communities by having offices where our clients and employees are located,” said Carol O’Hara, North Bay managing partner. “This allows our employees to have a more flexible work–life schedule and to truly invest in the community.”
Employee participation in community organizations is actively encouraged. BPM staffers can volunteer in any organization they feel passionate about and the company supports their commitment with time off to volunteer during work and with financial contributions.
“We don’t just write checks to get our name on events,” O’Hara said. “We require a true employee commitment of head, heart and hands.”
Nearly all the company’s 45 North Bay employees are involved in local organizations. That includes Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and its regional Young Professionals Network, Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute, Active 20-30 Club Redwood Empire chapter No. 1029, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, the California Wine Museum, Chop’s Teen Club, Catholic Charities Santa Rosa, North Bay Leadership Council, Santa Rosa Symphony, West Santa Rosa Rotary Club, Sonoma County Alliance and Women for WineSense.
Some employees also volunteer with Sonoma County Justice Center; Redwood Empire Planning Council; Kid Street Learning Center, to mentor and read with students; Harvest Christian School; Cardinal Newman High School; and Cloverdale Seventh-day Adventist School.
“Every year our offices close for a day so that all of our 400 employees can join together in teams for the community service event known as BPM Day,” said Beth Baldwin, director of human resources. “Each office chooses two or three local nonprofits where employees deliver a day of volunteer service.”
On BPM Days, employees have volunteered with Becoming Independent, Hanna Boys Center, Canine Companions, Sunrise Horse Rescue, Catholic Charities, Crossing the Jordan and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Projects encompass a broad selection of philanthropic activity from restoring local wildlife habitat, to building sets for a community theater, as well as to painting and cleaning a homeless shelter.
Through the years, the firm has contributed more than 100,000 hours of volunteer labor to 75-plus nonprofits.
In addition, every BPM office has adopted a local school to support. Each month, a team of “BPMers” and SSU accounting students volunteer to pack food at Redwood Empire Food Bank.
“Investing in the community is not a one-time, check-the-box activity for BPM,” Baldwin said. “It is a living, breathing part of our everyday life, a part of our culture and what makes us who we are as people and professionals. For us, BPM also stands for ‘because people matter.’”
Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, is proud to be recognized as one of the Healthiest Companies in the North Bay, for the fourth year in a row.
The firm will be honored at North Bay Business Journal’s 2015 Health Care Conference, Friday, Nov. 20th at Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa. After reviewing nominations, company survey responses and extensive reviews, North Bay Business Journal selected BPM as one of the 20 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay, covering Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties.
“We are proud that our firm’s commitment to a culture of wellness empowers employees to make healthy choices, and that our focus on health is being recognized for a fourth year in a row,” said Carol O’Hara, managing partner of BPM’s North Bay Practice. “Promoting wellness initiatives provides a more positive work environment and healthier employees. Simply put, healthier employees are more passionate and focused on delivering a superior level of client service.”
BPM’s focus on health and wellbeing takes many forms. Healthy snacks and drinks are available in all offices. BPM makes free flu shots and biometric testing available to employees in addition to a comprehensive health plan. Employees are encouraged to exercise at 24Hour Fitness, at BPM’s discounted rate. Many, encouraged by BPM’s cultural emphasis on health, orchestrate activities such as bike rides with coworkers. Good mental health is also encouraged—BPM events designed to promote bonding and release stress occur regularly, particularly after big deadlines.
“Supporting the overall health of our employees is a crucial component of BPM’s culture” said Beth Baldwin, BPM’s Director of Human Resources. “Due to the nature of public accounting, it is challenging for our employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Our goal is to provide support in the way of resources and financial incentives. Being healthy is good for all.”
BPM also boasts a Wellness Program—an application that challenges employees with health reminders, provides one-on-one health coaches, and offers points in exchange for complete challenges. Challenges include taking advantage of flu shots, 30 minutes of walking, recycling, or charitable donations. Points can be redeemed for a myriad of prizes, such as gift certificates or, at yearend, a cost reduction on health benefits in the coming year.
BPM was recently recognized as one of the North Bay’s Best Places to Work by the North Bay Business Journal. BPM is one of only eight companies in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties to have won Best Places to Work – 10 years in a row – and the only full service CPA firm.
About Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM)
BPM is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, serving the Bay Area's emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM provides full-service assurance, tax and business consulting services, with industry sector specializations including food & beverage manufacturing, wineries & vineyard land, high-technology, life science, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one of the largest on the West Coast. BPM has been named one of the "Best Accounting Firm in the North Bay" by readers of NorthBay biz Magazine and a "Top Wine Industry Accounting Firm" by Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine. BPM was also listed as one of the Bay Area's Best Places to Work by the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal - the only public accounting firm to be included in the top 10 large company category for 2015.
SAN FRANCISCO--November 30, 2015 -- Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), is pleased to announce the acceptance of three senior managers and two directors into the Firm’s Partnership: Michelle Ausburn, Mark Leverette, Yung Ling, Edward Webb and Dan Winter. The new partners span the Firm’s Bay Area offices and practices across Assurance, Tax and Consulting.
Michelle Ausburn, CPA is a member of the Firm’s Assurance Practice with a focus on GAAP-compliant financial accounting and reporting for companies, both public and private, in the winery and vineyard, natural and organic food, craft beverage, and agriculture industries. Michelle has 15 years of experience and is a past recipient of the North Bay Business Journal’s “Forty under 40” and “Women in Business” awards and is recognized professionally for her contributions to the CalCPA, SSU Wine Business Program, and local wine community.
Mark Leverette, CPA is a member of the Firm’s Assurance Practice Group with a focus on the real estate and technology industries. He has 13 years of expertise advising entrepreneurial companies, real estate developers, REITs and software retailers on matters related to revenue recognition accounting and accounting on complex equity transactions. He serves as President of SF|Rex and mentor at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Yung Ling, CPA is a member of the Firm’s Corporate Tax Practice Group with a focus on the technology and life sciences industries. He has over 15 years of experience serving clients on international and corporate tax issues including global tax compliance, complex tax provision calculation and FIN 48 issues. He has also assisted numerous clients with their S-1 filings. His passion for the public accounting profession and his excellence at providing client service in the area of corporate tax services has led to the successful expansion of BPM’s Tax Practice for pre-IPO and public companies, US subsidiaries of foreign public companies and multinational corporations. He is an active member of CalCPA and AICPA.
Edward Webb leads the Firm’s Consulting Practice Group and has over 25 years of consulting experience, including leading teams of turnaround specialists, bankruptcy and reorganization professionals and corporate finance executives. Edward has also managed talent acquisition teams and provided leadership advisory consulting to business owners and directors. He is on the faculty at San Jose State University where he teaches Corporate Finance and Accounting and currently sits on the Board of Directors at the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
Dan Winter, CPA is a member of the Firm’s Assurance Practice and Vice Chair of its Technology Industry Group. He has more than 10 years of experience serving a variety of technology clients across sectors including software, internet media and SaaS, telecommunications, intellectual property, semiconductor and life science. Dan has extensive experience with public and private offerings, revenue recognition and SEC reporting and compliance. He is also the Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.
“We are proud and excited to welcome these accomplished and outstanding professionals to the Partnership,” said Curtis Burr, CEO and Founder of BPM. “Each of these individuals has demonstrated excellence in the areas of technical expertise, firm leadership, financial performance, staff development, teamwork, personal effectiveness, client relationship management, business development and community leadership.”
Ausburn, Leverette, Ling, Webb and Winter will become partners effective January 1, 2016.
About Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM)
BPM is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, ranking in the top 50 in the country. It has served the San Francisco Bay Area's emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high-net-worth individuals, since 1986 in a broad range of industries including financial services, technology, life science, manufacturing, food, wine and craft brewing, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. The Firm’s International Tax Practice is one of the largest on the West Coast and its well-recognized SEC practice serves approximately 35 public reporting companies, mostly in the technology industry. BPM was recently included in the 2015 Best Public Accounting Firms for Women List, by the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) and American Women’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA). The Firm is also recognized as one of the Bay Area's Best Places to Work by Accounting Today, the North Bay Business Journal, the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
SAN FRANCISCO—December 10, 2015 -- Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, is proud to be listed as the number one "Best Firm to Work for" in the nation, in the Large Firm Category by Accounting Today. The firm initially received recognition when it made the broader "Best Accounting Firms to Work for" list earlier this year.
SANTA ROSA / ST. HELENA, Calif., January 27, 2014 – Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, is pleased to announce that, effective immediately Thomas (Tom) Garigliano, former Partner-In-Charge of KPMG’s San Francisco Tax Practice, has joined the firm as a Partner to lead the North Bay Corporate Tax Practice. Serving public and private clients, Garigliano brings more than 30 years of C-Corp, S-Corp. and partnership taxation experience, including mergers and reorganizations of these types of entities. By leading the North Bay Corporate Tax Practice, Garigliano will be responsible for ensuring exceptional client service, delivering corporate tax expertise and expanding BPM’s North Bay client base. Based in San Francisco, BPM has offices in six Greater Bay Area locations, including Santa Rosa, St. Helena, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto and San Jose.
“Tom Garigliano’s track record as a premier corporate tax partner with KPMG handling complex matters for virtually all types and sizes of businesses complements our existing strengths and adds further depth to our North Bay team,” stated BPM Founder and CEO, Curtis Burr. “We are thrilled to welcome Tom to the BPM team.”
“Big firm sophistication and small firm high-touch client service differentiates BPM in the marketplace, and Tom is a perfect fit for our delivery model,” said Carol O’Hara, Managing Partner of BPM’s North Bay Region. “We’re delighted that Tom is bringing his passion for client service to BPM.”
Garigliano was with KPMG, a global professional services firm providing audit, tax and advisory services, for 30 years until he retired in 2013. In addition to his role as Partner-In-Charge of KPMG’s San Francisco Tax Practice, his experience includes serving as KPMG’s Tax Lead Partner for Software and Electronics, and Financial Services, and Global Tax Outsourcing Practice, responsible for the management of tax accounting and tax compliance services for the subsidiaries of both domestic and foreign multi-national companies. In these roles, he has delivered corporate tax counsel to clients across a broad spectrum of sizes and industries including manufacturing, automobile, high-technology, and financial services.
“I’m joining BPM because of its people, its reputation in the marketplace and its exceptional roster of clients,” said Garigliano. “The firm’s commitment to providing client service in a responsive and relationship-centric way is impressive. I look forward to providing value to our existing clients and referral sources throughout the region.”
Garigliano earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Business Economics with an Accounting emphasis (with honors) from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a member of the AICPA and CalCPA Society.
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)
Burr Pilger Mayer is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, serving the Bay Area's emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM has extensive experience in a broad range of industries including technology, life science, manufacturing, food and wine, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one of the largest on the West Coast. BPM has been named one of the “Best Accounting Firms in the North Bay” for a third year in a row by readers of NorthBay biz (magazine), "2013 - Top Wine Industry Accounting Firm" by Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine and selected one of the “Best Places to Work” for a record eight consecutive years by the North Bay Business Journal. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
SANTA ROSA, Calif., November 11, 2013 – Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, will open an office in St. Helena on November 11. The new office enhances the firm’s ability to serve its growing client base in Napa Valley by providing convenient access to trusted assurance, tax and business consulting expertise. BPM is in a unique position to offer Napa Valley clients the best of both worlds, combining the resources and sophistication of a big firm, with the agility, personal service and community engagement of a small firm. Based in San Francisco, BPM now has offices in six Greater Bay Area locations, including Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto and San Jose.
“Our Napa Valley relationships run very deep, and we are absolutely thrilled to be opening a physical location in the heart of Wine Country,” stated BPM Founder and CEO, Curtis Burr. “The exponential growth of the BPM Winery & Vineyard Land Group is directly related to our relationship driven approach to client and community service. The St. Helena office increases our accessibility to clients, business partners and all the Napa Valley communities we serve.” The office will be located at 1432 Main St. in St. Helena.
BPM has been serving California’s winery and vineyard communities for nearly 30 years. The firm provides a full-spectrum of accounting and consulting services from assurance, tax, initial set-up of accounting systems to cash-flow forecasting, bank loan negotiation, business succession planning, and interim CFO services. The firm serves the diverse needs of wineries of all sizes from negociants to large, fully-integrated vineyard and winery operations.
“Big firm sophistication and small firm high-touch client service differentiates BPM in the marketplace,” said Carol O’Hara, Managing Partner of BPM’s North Bay Region and Leader of the firm’s Winery and Vineyard Industry Group. “We’ve always made a strong commitment to providing personal, accessible service, and having an office in the center of the region really helps us further demonstrate our commitment. The St. Helena office will work closely with the BPM office in Santa Rosa to serve our firm’s long-established clientele throughout the North Bay region.”
BPM’s Wine Industry Group professionals are active and hold leadership positions in numerous associations including Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Wine Industry Financial Symposium (Napa), Sonoma County Vintners, Russian River Valley Winegrowers, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance to name a few
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)
Burr Pilger Mayer is one of the largest California-based accounting and consulting firms, serving the Bay Area's emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM has extensive experience in a broad range of industries including technology, life science, manufacturing, food and wine, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one of the largest on the West Coast. BPM has been named one of the “Best Accounting Firm in the North Bay” for a third year in a row by readers of NorthBay biz (magazine), "2013 - Top Wine Industry Accounting Firm" by Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine and selected one of the “Best Places to Work” for a record eight consecutive years by the North Bay Business Journal.
For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
SANTA ROSA, California - October 3, 2013 - Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm, released the results of it's 2013 Software Survey. Named by readers of Vineyard & Winery Management (magazine) as the "Top Wine Industry Accounting Firm," BPM's Software Survey had more than 220 total responses from industry owners and management from throughout the West Coast Wine Region. The BPM Wine Survey Series has been created as a service to answer the long-standing desire of the industry to have better, faster and more detailed industry data. Follow BPM Wine on Twitter: @BPMWine or visit our website: www.bpmcpa.com/wine
For complete survey results, go to: http://bpmwine.blogspot.com
To find out more about industry software trends, questions, feedback or ideas for future survey topics, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Steve Jannicelli, CPA, MBA
Business Advisory Services
BPM's Winery & Vineyard Services Team of CPAs offers a full suite of tax, accounting and consulting services from start-up to succession and everything in between. We stand-at-the-ready to be of service to you.
SANTA ROSA, March 4, 2013– Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that readers of Vineyard & Winery Management have named BPM “Best Financial Services Provider” in the publication’s first Best Wine Industry Suppliers survey published in the March-April 2013 issue. Nearly 700 wine and grape industry professionals voted, which focused on 13 major categories including, Barrels, Corks, Bottles, Alternative Closures, Label, Printing, Software, Financial Services, Banks/Lenders, Legal Services, Nurseries, Tanks, Lab Services and Winemaking Supplies.
“Our team is absolutely thrilled to be selected by the greater wine industry community as the top accounting firm,” said Carol O’Hara, Managing Partner of BPM’s North Bay Office and Leader of the firm’s Winery and Vineyard Industry Group. “The growth and depth of our wine industry client base stretches far and wide from Napa Valley to the Central Coast and throughout Sonoma County. This recognition confirms that our relationship driven, full-service model is being valued and seen as a true differentiator in the marketplace. We are honored to receive this prestigious award and we are grateful to the wine community for nominating BPM.”
BPM has been serving California’s winery and vineyard communities for the past 27 years. The firm provides a full spectrum of accounting and consulting services from initial set-up of accounting systems to cash flow forecasting, bank loan negotiation, business succession planning, and interim CFO services. BPM’s Wine Team serves the diverse needs of wineries of all sizes from negociants to large, fully-integrated vineyard and winery operations. BPM’s delivery model is designed to provide clients with a strategy that is comprehensive in scope and focused on the achievement of their long term goals.
BPM’s Wine Industry Group professionals are active and hold leadership positions in numerous associations including Sonoma County Vintners, Wine Industry Financial Symposium (Napa), Russian River Valley Winegrowers, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance to name a few.
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)
Burr Pilger Mayer is the largest California-based CPA firm, serving the Bay Area’s emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM has extensive experience in a broad range of industries including technology, life science, manufacturing, food and wine, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one on the largest on the West Coast and its SEC practice is the 12th largest in the nation. BPM has been named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for by Accounting Today. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
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Firm Positioned for Continued Growth and Execution of Strategic Plan
SAN FRANCISCO, January 21, 2013– Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM), one of the largest accounting and business consulting firms on the West Coast, announced today that Curtis Burr has been appointed Chief Executive Officer in a planned transition that supports the firm’s focus on continued growth. Selected by BPM’s Board of Directors and ratified by the firm’s shareholders, Mr. Burr assumed his new role immediately.
“After a process of careful deliberation, we are pleased to have selected Curtis as BPM’s new CEO,” said Rich Bellucci, Chairman of the Governance Committee of BPM’s Board of Directors. “Curtis’s professionalism, integrity and dedication are a true inspiration to his colleagues, making him uniquely qualified to lead BPM’s transition to the next generation.”
Since co-founding BPM in 1986, Mr. Burr has been one of the key architects of the firm’s 27 years of consecutive successful growth. As CEO, Mr. Burr will lead BPM’s approximately 400 personnel serving clients’ assurance, tax and business consulting needs from its five offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Walnut Creek and Santa Rosa.
“I am more excited than ever about the opportunities that lie ahead for BPM and honored to be leading the firm as we begin to implement our new strategic plan,” Mr. Burr said. “As a founding partner of BPM, I am proud of our legacy and fully committed to a future of continued growth. With our reputation for world-class service to our clients, and an ongoing commitment to our employees and the communities where we live and work, BPM has a tremendous foundation on which to build.”
Mr. Burr, who has served as co-leader of the firm’s litigation and business valuation practice, is Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors. He is a past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Golden Gate University and the San Francisco Rotary Foundation and has held numerous other leadership roles in business and community organizations throughout the Bay Area. He is a Certified Valuation Analyst, Accredited in Business Valuation and Certified in Financial Forensics by the AICPA and holds a Certification in Distress Business Valuation from the Association of Insolvency Restructuring Advisors. He earned an MBA in Taxation, a BA in Accountancy and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Golden Gate University.
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)
Burr Pilger Mayer is one of the largest accounting and consulting firms based on the West Coast, serving the Bay Area’s emerging and mid-cap businesses, as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM has extensive experience in industries such as technology, life science, manufacturing, food and wine, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one on the largest on the West Coast and its SEC practice is the 12th largest in the nation. BPM has been named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for by Accounting Today. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
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The North Bay Business Journal announced that Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) - North Bay has, once again, been named one of the "Best Places to Work" for a record SEVEN years in a row. With an average score of 4.5 out of 5 on all survey questions and over 100 companies submitting nominations...this is quite an honor!
Congratulations and thanks to all who participated. A gala reception to honor 2012 Best Places to Work winners will be held on Tuesday, September 11, at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa at 4:30pm. Profiles of the recipients will appear in a special publication in the September 24 issue of the North Bay Business Journal.
WINE INDUSTRY BUSINESS JOURNAL
By Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter
Monday, March 12, 2012, 6:06 am
Sales of California fine wine ended 2011 on the upswing, and vintner margins are improving, according to a recent industry survey and new data on California shipments.
Estimates by Woodside-based industry consulting firm Gomberg Fredrikson & Associates of California table wine shipments revealed about 8 percent volume growth last year both in the $7- to $14-a-bottle mass-market segment and in the over-$14 segment.
Sales in the premium and superpremium price tiers were driven by hot-selling red wine blends and sweeter wines, particularly made from moscato grapes and a continued shifts in consumer demographics toward drinking wine, according to Jon Fredrikson.
For ultrapremium wines, largely retailing $14 to $25 a bottle, sales growth comes after more than a year of heavy discounting to bring back sales lost in 2008 through most of 2010 when trade buyers stopped buying and fine dining revenues were weak, he said. For example, grocer Safeway has been running a 30 percent wine sale with another 10 percent off when buying six standard-sized bottles, and alcoholic beverage chain BevMo offers basically a two-for-one wine deal.
“People can buy great wines at discounts, and that’s certainly spurring sales,” Mr. Fredrikson said. “In spite of tough times, enough people are drinking wine.”
And ultrapremium vintners have been moving a lot of wine via cyberselling, he said. In addition to offering their email subscribers price and shipping discounts, wineries are increasingly turning to the ever-growing list of flash-sale websites, such as newly launched Last Bottle of Napa.
In the smaller market for wines retailing for more than $25, discounting that encouraged a big uptick in purchases in 2011 gradually reduced toward year-end, according to Mr. Fredrikson.
“These are people who have been pretty much unaffected by the downturn and were playing along with the general idea of not being ostentatious,” he said. “There’s still plenty of dealing going on.”
The new Gomberg Fredrikson figures dovetail with results from a recent survey of 207 wine industry professionals by accounting firm Burr Pilger Mayer. Almost all survey respondents were from California, and 57 percent were from Sonoma and Napa counties. Seventy-one percent were grower-vintners, and 63 percent produced fewer than 10,000 cases a year.
Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said fourth-quarter sales dollars increased, and 67 percent sale case sales grew in that period.
Eighty-eight percent of respondents said their fourth-quarter gross margins were the same or better than those of a year before. Fifty-five percent said margins improved, and 30 percent of that group said they increased by more than 10 percent. Five percent said margins fell more than 10 percent.
“We were pleasantly surprised by how positive the results were in the fourth quarter, and the outlook in the next three years is very positive in sales and gross margins,” said Steve Jannicelli, Burr Pilger Mayer senior manager manager for private company services and a business adviser in the firm’s Winery & Vineyard Industry Group.
Eighty-six percent expected case sales growth in the next three years, 55 percent projected growth will exceed 10 percent and 9 percent expected no change. Gross margins will increase through 2015, according to 73 percent, but 22 percent foresaw no change.
The survey also found a direct correlation between financial planning and financial performance, he said. All the respondents who have been in the wine business for less than three years have crafted fiscal forecasts, but only 45 percent of those who have been in the business longer have.
“We’re starting to see links between how long they have been in the industry to how well they’re doing,” Mr. Jannicelli said.
Another finding of the BPM survey was that a quarter of the respondents were planning to sell their wineries, 69 percent in more than 10 years, 20 percent in five to 10 years and 11 percent in less time.
Forty-three percent plan an internal transfer the business to a family member, 27 percent don’t know how they’ll get out, 23 percent anticipate selling to an outside party, 4 percent expect to close down and walk away and 3 percent foresee an internal transfer to someone not in the family.
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Burr Pilger Mayer's (BPM) Survey #2 Results (Now Available) – BPM's Winery and Vineyard team of CPAs has created the BPM Wine Survey series as a service to answer the long-standing desire of the industry to have better, faster and more detailed industry data. The second edition of our survey garnered over 200 responses!
The general results are found below. Survey respondents will get an additional report with more detailed results emailed to them at the end of the week. Please visit http://bpmcpa.com/wine/ for a printable version of the results.
There were several questions that we set out to answer in this edition of the survey. First, we wanted to find out how Q4 sales were, and how they compared to last year. With Harvest and Holiday sales behind us, we also wanted to get a sense for the industry's outlook for the next couple of years. Finally, a topic that has re-emerged recently over many conversations in many different arenas is that of exit strategy planning and execution. How do owners plan to exit their business? How soon? Have they started really working towards that exit?
The results below answer these questions, and more. You will see that Q4 results are generally very strong, as are respondents' projections for the next 3 years. You will also see that nearly 1 in 3 winery owners plan to exit in the next 10 years, and that a great number of them are hoping for an external transaction as their strategy.
The expanded results sent to the respondents will also seek to find correlations among the various categories and answers.
We hope you find these results as interesting as we did. We always welcome your feedback, and ideas for future surveys. See our profile page to contact us directly.
- The BPM Wine Team
The following charts show a summary of who responded to the survey.
These respondents represent a really strong cross-section of the industry in the categories of Region, Size and Price Point, as shown below:
A key economic indicator for the industry is holiday sales. The following charts show the comparative results for Q4 (Oct, Nov, Dec) Sales in 2011 relative to the same months in 2010.
Sales results are clearly positive. Nearly 70% of respondents experienced an increase in Cases Sold in Q4 2011 compared to Q4 2010:
A very similar trend in the Sales Dollars metric suggests that prices are staying firm while cases sales are increasing - a positive sign.
With the contrast of a difficult 2011 Harvest but very positive 2011 Holiday Sales, we asked respondents to project the next 3 years. Almost 90% of respondents project an increase in case sales over the next 3 years, including 55% who anticipate case sales growth of over 10%.
In addition to just an increase in case sales, over 70% of respondents anticipate an increase in Gross Margins over the next 3 years.
As Gross Margins can be affected by multiple drivers, we asked which factor would have the greatest influence on respondent's projection of the Gross Margin increases over the next 3 years. Nearly half of the respondents anticipate price increases over the next 3 years as the main driver to the increase in Gross Margin.
One of the most interesting statistics from this survey was that only 60% of respondents said that they had financial targets and projections when they started the business.
It does appear that the general level of planning has increased substantially, with almost 80% of respondents showing that they have created or updated projections in the last 12 months. However, the other side of this statistic is that 1 in 5 respondents are not actively creating or updating projections at all.
Nearly half of the respondents plan to transfer ownership internally, primarily to family members.
Almost 1 in 4 plan to sell their winery to outside buyers as their method of exit.
Survey respondents are generally quite confident in their exit strategy.
Thank you again for your interest and participation in this survey.We will be conducting surveys throughout the year. As we are providing this service for the benefit of the industry, we would really appreciate hearing from you about how we can make the survey better, and with ideas for future topics and questions. Please do not hesitate to contact us:
Burr Pilger Mayer Vineyard/Wine Services Team released the results of their 2011 Harvest Survey Monday.
Respondents, largely made up of Napa, Sonoma, and Central Coast wineries and growers, indicated a notable expanse between the percentage of grapes sold in 2011 under contract and those which were left to the variable spot market. This all or nothing statistic is indicative of growers rebounding from the previous two recessionary years and wineries sluggish to respond to growing domestic wine sales and weak international currencies which had previously allowed the glut of off shore juice to flood the market.
In October the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service projected that just 3.3 million tons of wine grapes were harvested in the 2011, a 9 percent drop from the previous year. As a result, wineries forecasting sales growth potential and at the same time recognizing the shortage in fruit and juice are more than likely to begin contracting early in 2012.
Pointing yet again to the issue of financial sustainability and break even costs of farming in the North Coast is BPM's survey question which asked, "What were your grape prices of your main varietal for the 2011 harvest ($/Ton)?" A surprising 50 percent responded less than $3,000 which means a general decrease in overall revenues for the respondents due to the cost of additional inputs given the abnormal seasonal weather conditions.
Also related to the abnormal seasonal weather conditions experienced in 2011, an astounding 32 percent of respondents indicated they have no contractual quality obligations which could be related to one of two survey constraints 1) 82 percent of those surveyed are integrated wineries dependent on their own fruit, in whatever condition it may be and 2) the high percentage of fruit available and sold on the spot market in 2011 which may have fallen to the handshake deal "contract" obligations. i.e. there are no obligations in writing. Of the respondents, just 3 percent said they did not meet quality obligations, but did meet volumes which speaks to the overall decrease in crop volume - again, foreshadowing the coming short market.
To view the survey in its entirety visit BMP Wine Survey Results: 2011 Harvest
Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM), the largest California based accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Michelle M. Ausburn has joined the firm’s Santa Rosa office as a Senior Manager in the Assurance Services Practice Group, effective January 1, 2012. Ausburn joins BPM with more than eleven years of experience in public accounting, most recently as a leader within Moss Adams’ Wine Industry Group. Her practice focuses on performing audits and reviews for wineries, vineyards, real estate entities, négociants, custom crush facilities, and wine and spirits distribution companies. Including a recently announced merger with Southern California based CPA firm Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corporation, BPM has more than 550 professionals in eleven California cities, including Bay Area offices in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek and Santa Rosa.
“We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to the BPM team,” said Carol O’Hara, managing partner of BPM’s North Bay region and wine industry group leader. “She is well-known and respected amongst her peers and throughout the wine industry, and we are very fortunate she selected BPM. The firm continues to experience significant growth in the North Bay. In particular, we have been fortunate to add a number of premier winery and vineyard leaders to our client base. By adding depth to our existing bench of assurance, tax and consulting experts, we have clearly established an all-star team of professionals poised to serve our clients at a very high level.”
Ausburn’s area of expertise is GAAP compliant financial accounting and reporting for privately-held, middle market businesses. While Michelle’s primary focus has been in the wine industry, she has also served a wide range of companies in the food processing, agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, health care, and nonprofit industries. She has deep experience with business combination accounting, sale-leaseback transactions, inventory valuation, stock-based compensation, and has also assisted clients with evaluation of internal control, software selection and conversion, and inventory costing.
“I’m excited to join BPM,” said Ausburn. “BPM has a tremendous reputation as a “Best Places to Work,” “Best Accounting Firm in the North Bay” and one of the fastest growing accounting practices in California. I was attracted by the quality of BPM’s professionals, the firm’s dedication to excellence, and commitment to giving back to our community.”
Ausburn is a past speaker at the Wine Industry Technology Symposium and Sonoma State University Extended Education Program. She sits on the planning committee for the CalCPA Society Central Coast Wine Industry Conference and is Treasurer for the Napa/Sonoma Chapter of Women for WineSense. In January 2011, she authored a Wine Business Monthly article on software solutions in the wine industry.
Ausburn is a 2010 recipient of North Bay Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. and is a member of the AICPA and CalCPA Society.
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)Burr Pilger Mayer is one of the largest accounting and consulting firms based on the West Coast, serving the Bay Area’s emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high net worth individuals since 1986. BPM has extensive experience in industries such as technology, life science, manufacturing, food and wine, automotive, nonprofits, real estate and construction. Its international tax practice is one on the largest on the West Coast and its SEC practice is the 12th largest in the nation. BPM has been named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for by Accounting Today. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
As part of a longer term strategy to strengthen our service offering and competitive position, BPM is expanding into Southern California. We are pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2012, Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corporation (Windes), a premiere Southern California firm, will become part of BPM. Using the name BPM Windes in Southern California, they will continue operating out of their offices in Long Beach, Irvine, Torrance, and Los Angeles. We will continue to use Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) everywhere else.
Over its 85 year history, Windes & McClaughry has provided a wide range of assurance, tax, and consulting services to privately-held and publicly-traded companies, nonprofit organizations, and high net worth families.
This is an exciting step for us as it will expand our firm across California, deepening our resources and providing our clients with greater expertise in key areas and industries such as SEC services, transportation, estates and trusts, nonprofit organizations, and real estate. We also look forward to providing our employees with many more opportunities for growth and leadership in the combined firm.
We will be merging in 18 new shareholders as well as nearly 150 new employees. The combined firm will have approximately 550 new employees and 10 offices throughout California as well as one in Hong Kong. We will be the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm and one of the largest headquartered on the West Coast.
Though we are growing, we have never forgotten our simple beginnings. Despite our increase in size, BPM will maintain our high standard of client service as we continue to be as responsive and accessible as the local firm down the street. BPM Windes also possesses a firm culture that is as commited to the communities where they "work, live, and play," just like BPM.
We are proud of the continued growth and success our firm has experienced over the past 25 years. We thank you for your continued support. For more details, please read the press release. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to call one of us.
We are excited about the opportunities this provides to all of us - clients, employees, and friends of BPM - and we hope you are too.
Very truly yours,
President & CEO
The federal tax relief act approved in December had a number of changes for businesses including a change to bonus depreciation and Section 179.
Much of the act simply modified and extended prior laws.
“The biggest impact for business owners is bonus depreciation and Section 179,” said Joni Fritsche, tax director with Burr Pilger Mayer in Santa Rosa.
For bonus depreciation from Jan. 1, 2010, through Sept. 8, 2010, 50 percent of certain purchases of equipment, machinery, qualified leasehold improvements and other assets could be deducted. From Sept. 9, 2010, to the end of 2011, 100 percent can be deducted. In 2012, it goes back to 50 percent.
This is used by all types and sizes of businesses, though there are certain stipulations.
“What Congress is doing in this area is economic planning and economic stimulus for a period of years on a moving forward basis,” she said.
When a business owner buys a new asset they can depreciate the item over the life of the equipment, but now it is being depreciated 100 percent in the same year as the purchase is made.
In a memo to clients, accounting services firm Moss Adams said that considering the 100 percent bonus depreciation is retroactive to September of last year, many companies may have overpaid their estimated taxes because they were under the impression that it was 50 percent depreciation. Companies that have done this can rectify this by filling out IRS form 4466.
Some used equipment and restaurant and retail improvements do not qualify for bonus depreciation, but they do qualify Section 179 expensing.
Regular depreciation for these qualified leasehold restaurant and retail improvements placed in service before Jan. 1, 2011, have a 15-year recovery period instead of the standard 39-year period.
A leasehold improvement is treated as qualifying property if it falls under the following requirements: it is to an interior portion of a building, the building is nonresidential real property, the improvement is made in accordance with the current lease and the improvement is placed in service more than three years after the date the building was first placed in service by any person.
It does not include any cost of expanding the building, any elevator or escalator, any structural component benefiting a common area or the internal structural framework of the building.
Another way Congress has tried to encourage spending is increasing Section 179 first year expensing.
For tax years 2010 and 2011, Section 179 deduction and investment limits are $500,000 and $2 million, respectively.
For tax year 2012, the act provides for a $125,000 deduction limit and a $500,000 investment limit. All of these dollar amounts are indexed for inflation.
“What bonus depreciation and 179 is doing is letting us deduct cost immediately so we have more money to spend and we are incentivized to go out and make these capital improvements,” Ms. Fritsche said. “You don’t see Congress coming out with the five-year plan, you see them putting more money in the business owner’s pockets to currently stimulate the economy.”
She also noted that Section 179 can be applied to used assets and qualified leasehold restaurant and retail improvements.
The research and development credit was once again reinstated for 2010 and 2011.
“Congress didn’t make this permanent even though the Obama administration asked them to,” said Ms. Fritsche. Since the credit was introduced in 1981 it has been brought up every year, and every year Congress has reinstated it.
Work opportunity credit gives employers a credit of 40 percent of up to $6,000 of wages for hiring people in what are called targeted groups. This year unemployed veterans and some youth were added to the group.
There is also an adoption assistance exclusion creating an opportunity for employees to exclude from their gross income qualified adoption expenses paid for by the employer during 2010 of up to $13,170 of costs and for up to $13,360 in 2011 subject to adjusted gross income limits.
Guest Contributor Joe Kitts: Washington tax debate throws new questions into planning
By Joe Kitts
Obama’s two-year tax proposal sets a 35 percent estate and gift tax rate and a $5 million estate tax exemption for 2011 and 2012. If there are no retroactive proposals for 2010, and if Congress adopts Obama’s deal in some form this week, estate planning before the New Year can commence with some certainty, i.e., the estate tax and generation skipping tax (GST) was repealed for 2010, and there has been great uncertainty related to the current and future estate and gift tax laws.
Even though there is no estate tax and GST for 2010, the gift tax remains with a 35 percent rate and a $1 million exemption per person as shown in the chart below. If Congress does not pass Obama’s tax deal, the 2011 estate tax reverts back to the 2001 exemption of $1 million with a tax rate up to 55 percent.
This year’s estate planning opportunities are high given the low interest rates, possible depressed asset values, a lower gift tax rate of 35 percent, no estate tax and GST, and the potential restrictions on planning with discounts or grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) looming in the future. Now is the time to discuss your estate planning with your accountant, attorney and financial adviser to determine what opportunities have been created through Congressional action on the Obama tax deal this week.
How do I begin planning for my estate?
First, you will need to carefully consider your personal and financial goals so that you can clearly define them with your advisers. With a list of your assets and liabilities, you and your advisers can lay out your current estate plan as provided in your will and trust agreement and identify planning opportunities that fit your situation. Note that in 2010, particular attention must be given to the trust funding formulas and other dispositive provisions in your will and trust agreement to assure that they direct your assets to the desired beneficiaries. Also be aware that some states (but not California) do have an estate or inheritance tax, so assets owned in other states should be evaluated for potential tax.
If the 2010 rules remain unchanged, although there is no estate tax or GST, the step-up in basis allowed at death is only $1.3 million to non-spouse beneficiaries with an additional $3 million for spouses. You should consider how a death in 2010 will impact the basis step-up among the beneficiaries as those decisions will likely affect their capital gains tax when they sell the inherited assets. Also consider adding a trust provision granting the trustee authority to allocate tax basis to avoid potential beneficiary conflicts.
What planning opportunities are available?
Truly the most powerful estate planning tool is to transfer assets to children and grandchildren early and often, and when this is done you remove the future appreciation on these transferred assets from your estate and all of the related estate tax and/or GST as well. Target those assets with the greatest potential for future appreciation to maximize your transfer benefits. Each person may make gifts up to $13,000 a year to an unlimited number of people without any further gift or estate tax consequences, a powerful planning tool when implemented over many years.
Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are the business entities most often used to hold and efficiently transfer family business and investment interests. Most closely held and family businesses are well suited to FLPs and LLCs, and the current low interest rates and depressed asset values add incentives to establish these entities and complete ownership transfers as soon as possible.
Irrevocable trusts offer a variety of planning opportunities that help transfer assets. Some irrevocable trusts include gifts made for the benefit of your children and grandchildren. Other trusts may allow you to retain some interest in the assets being transferred to younger generations, such as the grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs), the qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) and charitable remainder trusts (CRTs). You should discuss using such trusts with your advisers to determine which may be suitable for your situation.
Qualified Small Business Stock (QSBS) is one of the investments your FLPs, LLCs or trusts should consider purchasing this year. If held for more than five years, sale of this stock escapes all regular and AMT taxes, with the exclusion limited to the greater of 10 times your income tax basis in the shares or $10 million. There are many restrictions; QSBS purchases only include originally issued shares purchased from the company after 9/27/10 and before 1/1/11, in certain C corporations with active businesses, but not including companies in personal services, brokerage, banking, farming, oil and gas, lodging, restaurants and similar businesses. The assets of the company may not exceed $50 million.
There is no GST in 2010, unless Congress reinstates it retroactively, so consider making large direct gifts to grandchildren 18 years or older potentially free of GST (bearing in mind that gift tax could still be due). If you are the trustee of a GST trust not exempt from the GST tax, consider larger trust distributions in 2010 when there is no GST. Note that gifts to minors (under age 18) or to trusts for grandchildren create additional considerations that need to be discussed with your tax advisers.
There is much to consider in light of the Obama tax deal and the above opportunities, and the planning window for 2010 is about to close.
Joe Kitts, CPA, is a corporate tax partner in the Santa Rosa office of Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM). He can be reached at 707-524-6514 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Click Here to read this article on the NorthBay Business Journal
If you want to retire – ever – you need to plan for it … now.
Since 2008 many business owners have seen profits diminish, cash flows and net income shrink and credit that was always available from community banks mostly disappear. Some have focused primarily on sales, while others have slashed costs, all trying to satisfy lender requirements. Many of these actions were meant to “stop the bleeding,” and they may have just worked – for now. Meanwhile, the value of many small to mid-sized companies has dropped significantly without an imminent recovery.
Many business owners have deferred their retirement over the past two years. Today’s economic environment demands a complete rethinking of an exit strategy for a small business owner. Events such as the recent recession have brought to light many more risks that a small business cannot control. So how does a small business owner manage these risks and at the same time maintain business value and retire gracefully … and profitably?
By applying proven principles of other areas of business strategy and analysis, owners can both identify a path to success and begin to walk along that path.
1. Retirement planning principle: Know your number
In retirement planning, the initial goal is to determine what you need at the end of your career. While this may fluctuate over time, it provides a goal toward which other plans point. Applying this principal here, we want to start our process with the end in mind. Where do you want to be when you retire? How long will it take for you to get there? Setting that target gives focus and allows you to start measuring progress, not just historical results.
2. Valuation principle: Trend analysis and industry comparisons
It is important to assess your company objectively, as an outsider would. For example, analyze the trends in your financial results and compare them to those of other companies in your industry. This provides context and starts to paint the picture of what your company is worth.
This may be where the trouble starts. Things are moving in the wrong direction. Perhaps sales continue to decrease, margins are tightening, cash flow is suffering and there is hesitancy to borrow more money even if you could. Every sale is more difficult and costly. Simply put, there is nothing “usual” about business anymore.
Many businesses have hoped that a quick recovery in the economy would solve their management and financial problems, which in some cases already existed before the recession became a reality. The recession has magnified these issues, and companies are facing increasingly harder choices in order to stay alive. Ultimately, it seems evident now that the hopes of a quick recovery are giving way to the reality that this is going to be a “slow crawl out.” For that, we need a plan.
3. Turnaround management principle: Create and follow a recovery plan
Turnaround strategies play a critical part in a company’s ability to retrench, maintain revenues and rebuild business values. Similar to the retirement planning principle, a key benefit to the application of a turnaround management process is the creation of a plan – starting with a 13-week cash-flow plan in certain cases, and certainly resulting in monthly operating and financial plans. The following factors are considered in this plan:
Implementing business management changes and thought processes using a turnaround management philosophy will have the effect of a leaner, meaner, more efficient operating environment. Additionally, the business owners will more critically evaluate future operating and investment decisions. The emphasis on consistent cash flow from business operations by both investors and lenders has never been greater than now. It will not change in the near term, and business owners need to embrace this reality, now and into the future.
Final thought – Hurry up, and be patient
Step 1 should be done this week – determine where you are and where you want to be. Then, create the plan to get there. This provides the yardstick upon which future progress is measured. This will take patient, methodical management and execution. Rebuilding a business’ cash flow will take time as the country crawls out of this recession. Concentrating on running the business and operating carefully using some of the recommendations above will help to restore cash flow and build value.
To read the original article click here...
Ken Dansie, CPA, is a shareholder and Steve Jannicelli is a manager in the Santa Rosa office of Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM). Both are skilled strategists in providing guidance for ownership transition, strategic planning, growth, capital strategy and financial advisory services for privately-held and family controlled businesses. Ken and Steve can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The great American Dream: Being in business for yourself. Is it a dream, or is it a nightmare?
Over the last 30 years I have consulted with hundreds of business owners about either buying or starting their own business and selling or unloading the business they are already in. There are numerous considerations that need to be addressed when considering either purchasing an existing business or venturing out on your own and starting a new business from scratch.
Let’s begin with the perceptions that go along with the desire to start or purchase a business:
Now let’s address the perceptions of the American Dream, what is real and what is fiction:
After reading the above comments, many of you are asking yourself “Who would ever want to own their own business?” The point that I am trying to make, however, is that it takes a special personality to be a business owner, a courageous person who can analyze and accept risk and then be willing to live with the results. I have a few tips for helping to make the American dream a reality:
Hopefully the above recommendations will be a good starting point when making the right decision regarding business opportunities. Just try to make the “American Dream” a dream come true and not a nightmare.
To read the original article click here...
Jim Andersen, CPA/ABV/CFF/ASA and founding partner of Andersen & Company, is now a partner in the consulting-business valuation and litigation practices of Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) in Santa Rosa. For more than 20 years, Jim has been taking North Bay businesses through the business valuation and succession planning process. You can reach him at 707- 524-6530 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM), the largest California based CPA firm, is pleased to announce that Steve Jannicelli has joined the firm’s Santa Rosa office as a Senior Manager in the Consulting Group, effective immediately. Jannicelli joins BPM with more than 15 years of experience in both private industry and public accounting, most recently leading Moss Adams’ Northern California Business Consulting Practice. His practice focuses on ownership transition, management succession, strategic planning, growth and capital strategy, and financial advisory services for privately-owned and family-controlled businesses. BPM has 400 professionals in six Bay Area locations including San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, Novato and Santa Rosa.
“Our Consulting Group is well known throughout Northern California for its unique grasp on the business challenges being faced by companies in today’s economic environment,” said Stephen D. Mayer, managing partner of BPM. “Steve’s rich experience, and his ability to see issues from the client’s perspective make him an ideal complement to our team – and, more important, a valuable asset to our clients’ teams.”
Jannicelli’s diverse experience includes strategic roles with Deloitte & Touche, The Gap, PeopleSoft and Macromedia. His industry track record has allowed him to gain hands-on expertise in such areas as budgeting, forecasting, P&L reporting and analysis, real estate proformas, portfolio management, brand and product management and marketing, industry and competitive analysis, compensation analysis, M&A impact analysis, and sales operations management.
While at Moss Adams, Jannicelli focused on CFO services, including cash-flow forecast modeling, financial management and planning, operational assessments and profitability improvements, strategic planning, industry benchmark analysis, as well as analysis such as life insurance scenarios and inventory sensitivity analysis. He has served a wide range of companies in industries including wineries and vineyards, food processing and manufacturing, not-for-profit, apparel, waste management, distribution, lumber, construction, real estate, professional services and technology.
“I’m excited to join Burr Pilger Mayer as the unique structure of the firm gives me the opportunity to expand my service platform and increase my personal attention to clients,” said Jannicelli. “Working with this highly respected Consulting Group will allow me to be part of a close-knit team of tremendously business-oriented and resourceful professionals.”
A frequent business writer and speaker, Jannicelli has spoken at variety of high profile venues including North Bay Business Journal’s Leadership Forum and two “Impact Marin” events, Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrape Growers membership, North Bay Growth and Innovation Forum, the Small Business Development Center’s “NxLevel” Entrepreneur class, Sonoma State University’s extended education program, the Institute of Family Business, Nixon Peabody’s Beverage / Alcohol summit, Manex-sponsored manufacturing economic summits in Solano and Sonoma counties, the Wine Industry Financial Symposium and CalCPA’s Central Coast wine industry conference.
Jannicelli is a 2010 recipient of the North Bay Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” award. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Marketing from Santa Clara University and his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics with a concentration in Accounting from Saint Mary’s College.
ABOUT BURR PILGER MAYER, INC. (BPM)
Burr Pilger Mayer is the largest California-based CPA firm. We’ve been serving the Bay Area’s emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high net worth individuals for over two decades. BPM provides a full range of services, from Assurance and Tax to Business Consulting and Wealth Management. We possess extensive experience in industries such as technology, life science, financial services, real estate, nonprofit, retail and wine. Our SEC practice is the 12th largest in the nation and half our partners have substantial Big Four experience. The firm has been recognized for excellence in all aspects of our business. In 2009, BPM received nearly two dozen awards, such as Best Places to Work, Top Corporate Philanthropists, Fastest Growing Companies and the Excellence in Business Ebbie. In 2010, the firm converted to a corporation and established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making BPM the first full service accounting firm in the nation to adopt a benefits plan of this kind. For more information, please visit www.bpmcpa.com.
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|Wine Industry Group Leader / Assurance||Carol O'Haraemail@example.com||707-524-6512|
|Corporate Tax & Business Consulting||Tom Gariglianofirstname.lastname@example.org||707-524-6535|
|Assurance (Audit, Review, Compilation)||Michelle Ausburnemail@example.com||707-524-6588|
|Tax & Business Consulting||Toni Mohengfirstname.lastname@example.org||707-524-6552|
|Tax & Business Consulting||Michelle Crosbieemail@example.com||707-524-6562|
|Financial Advisory & Business Consulting||Ken Dansiefirstname.lastname@example.org||707-524-6545|