10 North Bay accounting leaders you need to meet

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Learn more about some of the top North Bay accountants and the changes coming to business finance.

Donna J. Beels, CPA, M.T.

Partner
Beels Soper LLP
155 First St., Petaluma
707-763-3888
www.beels-soper.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

We recently moved our office into larger space to accommodate our growing staff.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

Section 199A creates a totally uncomplicated 20 percent tax deduction for you on your qualified business income if you operate a proprietorship, partnership, or S corporation and you are married and file a joint tax return with less than $315,000 in taxable income, or are single and file your tax return with less than $157,500 of taxable income.

Example: You operate a proprietorship, file as a single taxpayer with $135,000 of taxable income, and have qualified business income of $120,000. Your new 20 percent tax deduction is $24,000 ($120,000 x 20 percent). Once your taxable income exceeds the threshold amounts above, there are additional aspects to be considered. The second element is the new net operating loss (NOL) rules. You can no longer carry back the NOL (except for certain qualified farming losses) and your NOL carry forward can offset only up to 80 percent of your taxable income in a tax year.

This change comes more into play due to the increase in bonus depreciation. The new law increases the bonus depreciation percentage from 50 percent to 100 percent for qualified property acquired and placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2023. The definition of property eligible for 100 percent bonus depreciation is fairly broad. So, if you have significant new property additions, a business could easily be creating a NOL.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

The deadline pressure is significant. It would be great to have more staggered tax deadlines so our work could be spread out more during the year.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

My favorite number is 33 after Larry Bird, one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

My most challenging accounting experience was leaving a full-time managerial position in an accounting firm and starting our current firm with a handful of clients and no employees. We have since grown our revenue well over 10+ times and have 7 employees.

Kerri Berry

CPA
Linkenheimer, LLP
187 Concourse Blvd, Santa Rosa 707-546-0272
www.linkcpa.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

I think the firm’s focus on team work, culture and community has really boosted our growth over the years. Clients see us trying to make a difference in the community and they realize they are working with a CPA firm that cares about more than just numbers, but the people.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

The Section 199A deduction will allowing up to 20 percent of their qualified business income to be deducted at the owner level for eligible taxpayers. Additionally, new provisions allowing bonus depreciation on new and used property for immediate deduction as well as increased section 179 limits will greatly increase the present deduction on capital purchases. Both of these provisions will have major impacts for small business clients.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

The perception that accountants are all stuffy and boring, that is the complete opposite of most CPA’s I know!

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

8 - just a good round number.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

I’m always inspired when I feel a good connection with a client, when the client goes out of their way to say thanks. Those bits of recognition really push me to think outside of the box to recreate that feeling.

Kelley P. Bollinger

Partner
Bollinger, Glenn, Guattery, Gunn & McAravy, LLP
111 Santa Rosa Ave., Suite 400 Santa Rosa 707-526-2624
www.santarosacpa.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

The new tax law has piqued a lot of interest in our business clients to restructure their businesses to take full advantage of the new tax benefits.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

The most important element is the business exclusion of 10 to 20 percent of many small businesses because of the opportunity to lower income taxes.

The other element is the loss or limitation of certain deductions. Miscellaneous deductions are also eliminated and state and local taxes are limited to $10,000. However, the standard deduction has been increased which can offset the effects of these changes for many taxpayers.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

As a profession, we need to be better communicators and listeners.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

97 because it’s the largest prime number under 100.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

I will never forget when I went to a client’s new warehouse to deliver a tax return and tour the new premises. They had their 15-month-old toddler there with them. I held the child to say “hello” and went back to complete the business at hand.

Within minutes, an employee rushed in yelling “Call 911, call 911!” In the astonishment of the moment, we came to know that the employee had run over the toddler. He has somehow gotten out and had walked behind a truck. He was dead at the scene.

All of us there were in various stages of shock. I stayed there to help the family. I gave information to the police and coroner and subsequently closed up the warehouse for the clients.

The following morning, the firm mobilized to prepare to assist the client in any day-to-day operations that they may need during this period of mourning.

Jamie Emerson-Heery

CPA, Senior Manager, Assurance
BPM
110 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa
707-544-4078
www.bpmcpa.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

We recently announced a merger with another CPA firm in Southern California. We have been looking for the perfect fit with our culture, and Kramer & Olsen Accountancy was it! We’re excited to expand our footprint now into Southern California and welcome all the new BPM-ers and clients from Kramer & Olsen to the BPM Family.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

Bonus depreciation for new and used asset additions – businesses can take 100 percent depreciation in the first year for assets acquired after September, 2017. 2018 will be the first full calendar year this is in effect under the new tax laws.

Qualified Business Income Deduction for pass through entities in Section 199A. Subject to various limitations, this is an individual deduction related to ownership of a pass-through entity (Limited Liability Corporations or S Corporations for example).

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

Accountants tend to get a bad rap for being nerdy and boring. I feel we all have a pretty good sense of humor and like to have a good time with our clients too!

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

As an accountant, I don’t like playing favorites with numbers, but if I had to choose, it would be 13. This number typically has a bad connotation to it, but good things have always seemed to happen with me around the number 13 (it was also my old jersey number when I scored 7 goals in a soccer game).

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

People always get worked up over certain controversial accounting issues. This makes me laugh. At the end of the day, we’re trying to help our clients report transactions based on the facts using accounting guidelines and best practices. We aren’t doctors performing a critical operation on their patient that could mean life or death. I like to make sure we work collaboratively with our clients to come to the most logical answer. There’s no need to get overly excited about an accounting issue; there’s always an answer!

Greta Hoversten

Partner, CPA
Ghirardo CPA
7200 Redwood blvd., Suite 403 Novato 415-599-4915
www.Ghirardocpa.Com


Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

Our business continues to expand due to the referrals we get from other professionals and existing clients. With our highly qualified team of consultants, we pride ourselves on providing excellent service and building long-term relationships with our clients. We have also expanded our service offerings for one-stop shopping with our “concierge services.” In addition to accounting support, tax filings, and tax planning, we handle the banking and overall finances for some of our larger clients.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

Two important elements are 1) The new provision, also known as Section 199A, which allows a deduction of up to 20 percent of qualified business income. The formula and calculations for the ultimate deduction are complicated but it is worth investing time and effort to maximize the potential tax savings. 2) A non-corporate taxpayer’s “excess business loss” can be limited.

This will impact the decisions a pass-through business makes with respect to the liberalized depreciation rules (i.e. Sec 179 expense, bonus expense) and should be considered before the pass-through return is completed, not after. If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be? Reduce the amount of stress coming from deadlines. We always live with an upcoming deadline.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

16 – Assuming the tax deadline falls on the 15th of the month!

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

Once I was asked by the client if they could deduct the cost of the chair in their bedroom where they sit and complete their tax organizer. This is a case when you congratulate the client on their creativity, smile and say “No”.

Tamara Hull

CPA
Delahunty Jannisse Hull CPAs
1500 Grant Avenue Suite 200, Novato 415-898-5300
www.delahuntycpa.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

• 2018 tax projections based on the recent tax law changes.

• Assisting cannabis businesses with accounting, tax and compliance issues

• Accepting new clients (after many years of not) due to change in philosophy of new owners

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

1. Section 199A, Section 199A, Section 199A

1a. Section 199A’s impact on leases

2. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s elimination of deduction for entertainment expenses, and tighter rules on deductions for business meals

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

I would change the public’s lack of appreciation for the work we do and the amount of knowledge we have. We have to pass a very tough exam and continue our education every year to keep our CPA licenses. We love what we do but it’s a lot of work.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

My favorite number is 99 because of Agent 99 in the TV show, “Get Smart.” She was the smartest person in the room. My race car number is always 99.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

Answering this question challenged me!

I was inspired by my high school accounting teacher to go into accounting. I have been inspired every time I’ve been able to make a difference to a client in reducing their taxes. I have been challenged by clients who don’t keep their records and then get audited by the IRS. I laughed when the new draft of the 2018 tax form 1040 was released because it is NOT simpler!

Jeff Mallan

CPA,CFF, CFE
Mallan & Associates, Inc.
1400 N. Dutton Avenue, Suite 21, Santa Rosa
707-542-1400
www.mallanassociates.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

Recent increase in fraud cases in the news has increased awareness in companies of fraudulent activity. This has increased calls to my business for forensic accounting services.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

My company provides forensic accounting consulting services, not tax consulting services.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

In accordance with the California Board of Accountancy Regulations, a CPA or CPA firm cannot concurrently engage in the practice of public accountancy and in any other business or occupation which impairs your independence, objectivity, or creates a conflict of interest in rendering professional services.

This regulation primarily relates to audit and assurance services and litigation support services where there is an opinion issued on financial statements. I would tighten this regulation by explicitly expanding the regulation to all accounting related services, including tax services.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

Finding information is always a fun challenge.

Some of the most challenging research is tracking down forgotten passwords. During one of my embezzlement cases, I was challenged in figuring out the password to the accounting system of the victim company. When the embezzler left the victim company, the embezzler took the company computer and several financial files.

Later, my client had discovered a couple of flash drives in the office. I examined the flash drives which contained backups to the company’s QuickBooks accounting system. When I restored the accounting system, I found that the accounting system was password protected. I asked my client for the password. They did not know the password, except for a password clue.

After further research, I obtained permission from my client to hire a private investigator. I instructed the private investigator to locate a court document containing the clue information of the embezzler.

Two days passed, and the private investigator emailed me a Dissolution of Marriage document which contained the information related to the clue. I entered that information as the password into the accounting system, and I was in!

Joshua R. Moore

Partner, CPA
Pisenti & Brinker LLP
3562 Round Barn Circle #300 Santa Rosa 707-542-3343
www.pbllp.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

We’ve been fortunate to see growth through client referrals and our ability to provide a wider range of services to existing and new clients. Tax planning is more important than ever and we’re spending a lot of time with our clients trying to maximize each unique situation and tax reform.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

The 199A or passthrough deduction is of course a hot topic that will benefit a significant amount of businesses. Proposed regulations were recently released that provided clarity on some of the nuances of the deduction and we’re able to come up with a stronger road map for 2018 and forward. That said, you have to be careful to look at the entire picture and all the moving parts before assuming you are positioned to benefit from the maximum deduction (20 percent). Expanded ability to use the cash method of accounting and additional inventory methods are another area we’re paying close attention to. We’re looking forward to clarification and guidance regarding inventory accounting methods that could have significant impact for 2018.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

The concept of tax code simplification is appealing to me - for the benefit of taxpayers and the profession, but we’re a long ways away from that.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

Let’s go with 42. My current age, Pat Tillman’s number at ASU, Ronnie Lott 49ers.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

Unfortunately many of our clients lost homes in the fires and there are of course tax implications related to that. I’ve been inspired by how well people are coping with the process of losing everything, moving, rebuilding, and adjusting. The way the community as a whole has responded – individuals, public safety, businesses, non-profits – we have a remarkable community and great neighbors.

Jon Dal Poggetto

Partner, CPA
Dal Poggetto & Company LLP
149 Stony Circle, First Floor, Santa Rosa 707-545-3311
www.dalpoggetto.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

The new tax law has provided a significant boost as we review the provisions of it with clients.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

Corporate tax rate reduction/Qualified Business Income deduction; Enhanced Bonus Depreciation/Section 179 expensing of fixed assets. Both of these categories of items can produce dramatic tax savings.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

Seasonality of due dates for tax work.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why.

75, the year I graduated from Cal and went to work for Touche Ross & Co. in Santa Rosa.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

I have been inspired, challenged and have found something to laugh about almost every day of my career.

Debbie Warren, CPA

Principal, Chief Operating Officer, CPA
Mengali Accountancy
205 Foss Creek Circle, Healdsburg 707-431-0600
www.mengali.com

Tell us some recent news at your company that boosted revenue.

We were recognized as a Best Places to Work by the NBBJ for the fourth year in a row which contributed to us finding more great talented accountants to join our fabulous team and boost revenues.

What two elements of the new tax law should businesses be aware of and why?

There are many new elements that businesses should be aware of with the new tax law, but if I had to only pick two I would choose Section 163(f) addressing business interest deduction limitations and Section 199A addressing the deduction for qualified business income.

We specialize in the real estate industry and these two elements are impacting our clients greatly. Relating to Section 163(f) it is important for businesses to evaluate their gross receipts for the preceding three years and determine ADS depreciation versus the 30 percent interest deduction limitation impact. Relating to Section 199A the qualified business income deduction, it is important for businesses to evaluate the payroll and qualified property limitations along with determining if they are defined as a specified service trade or business.

If you could change one thing about the accounting profession, what would it be?

That we had better political lobbyist that would have gotten us excluded from the list of specified service trade or businesses.

Tell us your favorite number between 1 and 99 and why?

My favorite number is 27 because that is the day of the month that both my daughter and myself were born on, 2x7=14 reminds me of Valentine’s Day and Love and my husband, and 2+7=9 because my daughter was born in 2009. I like 27 a lot and all of the different results of the two numbers that make up 27.

What accounting experience either inspired you, challenged you or made you laugh?

Working with my exceptional business partner Renee Mengali inspires me each and every day! I love the accounting experience I live each and every day at Mengali Accountancy.

Our complex work and savvy clients challenge me every day and that combined with laughing with my remarkable colleagues in our positive inspiring office environment makes working at Mengali Accountancy the best accounting experience ever!

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