Local Office Blogs

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August 20, 2013

Included as one of our 'Summer Days of Service' at CBIZ MHM Memphis, our community involvement committee coordinated with the Mid-South Food Bank, setting up a few hours for us to help out at their facility. You may recognize this organization as one of many food banks that CBIZ supports throughout the United States. Nationally, CBIZ helps fight the war on hunger by collecting goods for local food banks throughout all of our office locations. Locally, we support the Mid-South Food Bank with a food-drive we put on each fall. The work that this organization does in the Memphis community is essential to keeping the Mid-South hunger-free.

A group from our office provided hands-on support for the Mid-South Food Bank this past week. Our team worked in the organization's warehouse sorting bins of food and making sure all products were not ruined, dented, expired or leaking. The food was then organized and shelved onsite where various agencies come to shop for fresh produce, frozen and refrigerated foods, bread and small quantity items. Of course, it wasn't all work and no play. A few of our associates even stopped for a quick 'photo op' to highlight all the fun they were having!    

August 15, 2013

Josh Finfrock, Manager in our Transfer Pricing division, gives insight into the best providers for your license, royalty or contractual data in the final post of this 3-part blog series.

Now that you are aware of the 3 sources you have readily available for your own license, royalty or contractual data search and understand the pros and cons to each, deciding on the best approach for your own business needs will vary based on your company or industry. Your selection will depend on the technical application, frequency of analyses and available budget (i.e. the fees for data access plus the time and expertise invested in selection, analysis and documentation).

Some examples of data providers include the following:

Legal Research Companies

  • Lexis Nexis
  • Westlaw

Royalty Agreement Database Companies

  • ktMINE
  • RoyaltySource
  • Royaltystat

Proprietary Databases

  • Big 4 Accounting Firms
  • Large Law Firms

Companies operating in industries subject to rapid technological advancement or high levels of R&D investment will require more current market contracts or agreements than available within proprietary databases. Determining an effective source for gathering data will most likely be based on the consideration of whether or not to devote fee and time resources to analysis and documentation or likewise to pay a premium for public data access (i.e. available via the SEC) that can be found elsewhere for a more reasonable cost.

August 13, 2013

This month we featured the Susan G. Komen Foundation as our 'Charity of the Month.' This organization is dedicated to breast cancer education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure. Our office particularly supports our very own Karen Cassella, and this year, we raised funds for her 3rd annual 3-Day Walk to help reach her goal of $3,000.

August 5th-9th was recognized as "Think Pink" Week in the CBIZ MHM Memphis office. Each day brought along a new activity with it in an effort to raise money. On Monday, donations were accepted in the morning as associates were greeted by the community involvement committee with Panera bagels for a special breakfast. Tuesday was the office-wide bake sale where 20 associates brought in baked goods for the event. This sale was a huge hit among our staff and lasted throughout the week! A raffle was Wednesday's fun activity. A few lucky employees went home with donated items from a local giftshop. Thursday donations were collected along with an afternoon treat provided by a local restaurant. "Think Pink" Week ended with a jeans day on Friday. Associates wore jeans and their pink to show support for the cause.

Below is our "photo op" from the day (Karen Cassella is pictured holding the pink ribbon). Our office collected a grand total of over $1,700! Karen will participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day later this fall. If you would like to contribute to her cause, you can go to Karen's walk page and donate online. You can also learn more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation at www.komen.org.

August 8, 2013

Josh Finfrock, Manager in our Transfer Pricing division, gives insight into the best providers for your license, royalty or contractual data in part 2 of this 3-part blog series. 

Companies and consultants from around the world often rely on license, royalty or contract data from U.S. sources because of the readily available public company data due to filing requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As discussed in our last blog post on license, royalty and contractual data, companies, attorneys and consultants regularly seek the best source to perform searches and analysis for their own business use.

Determining the 'best' source for your own data needs can be taxing, so learning each provider's advantages and disadvantages will be key in helping your search process.

Legal Research Companies

Pros - Low cost of access - Ability to access the full text & originally filed license, royalty or contractual agreement

Cons - Must be proficient in search mechanisms & "boolean" logic to effectively narrow down your search - Significant amount of time must be invested with no guarantee of finding relevant data

Royalty Agreement Database Companies

Pros - More manageable & relevant pool of data to review

Cons - May or may not generate relevant data or full contract detail - Fees often charged prior to user's ability to fully review an agreement or contract's terms - Fee charged merely provides access to a narrowed field of data - Potential limitations on time access or limitations on data pulls

Proprietary Databases

Pros - One-stop shop for data access, technical analysis and documentation of the analysis

Cons - Cost of analysis varies significantly from firm to firm - At a larger firm, data offered may be unavailable to the public however may not be as 'current'

Which source provides the best approach for your company or industry? Find out in our next blog post on how to select the best provider for your license royalty or contractual data.  

August 6, 2013

We held our bi-annual office-wide meeting this past Thursday, August 1st. The two hour event featured an opening presentation from Senior Managing Director, Steve Dunavant, who spoke on Q1, Q2 and projected local office numbers for the next six months. He also introduced new Managing Director, Eustis Corrigan, who was attending his first office-wide meeting since his start in May. Corrigan noted the talent and potential for the Memphis office to expand its reach in the Greater Memphis Area and surrounding markets. Other speakers included representatives from the tax, audit and marketing departments, as well as more light-hearted presentations from the social and community involvement committees. Moira House, Director of Human Resources, spoke on the new renovations and updates made to the Memphis office facilities. Construction began on the 29th and 30th floors of Clark Tower earlier this summer. New office space, technology upgrades and additional conference rooms will be the end result of an almost two-month long project.

The office-wide event concluded with an address by Gordon Thompson, Managing Director and founding partner of Thompson Dunavant PLC. He commented, "I think the services, growth and opportunity we have seen in the past two years shows that we made the right move by joining CBIZ. The presentations and leadership we've seen today are a testament to your hard work."

Indeed, the overall consensus is that CBIZ MHM Memphis is on track for a great 2013 and an even greater next few years.

August 1, 2013
Happy birthday to the Memphis office of CBIZ MHM! On August 1, 2011 Thompson Dunavant PLC was acquired by CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. Today we celebrate turning 2 with the national firm, and only expect this year to be better than the last! As a special treat to our office employees, we are having an office birthday celebration this evening. Stay tuned for a follow-up story & pictures from the party...      

July 30, 2013

Josh Finfrock, Manager in our Transfer Pricing division, gives insight into the best providers for your license, royalty or contractual data in part 1 of this 3-part blog series.

Companies, attorneys and consultants regularly seek the best source for performing searches and analysis involving license, royalty or other contractual arrangements. This data is key to making business decisions, helping benchmark, value or document royalty rates, fees or certain terms involved in these agreements. If companies, attorneys or consultants lack internal contracts they perform searches to identify external agreements between unrelated market participants for their own application. Usually these "examples" are applied in various business planning, transfer pricing, valuation or litigation support analyses. In the U.S., many providers are available to provide various levels of data access and/or analysis for varying fees.

The following three sources may be considered for identifying relevant license, royalty or contractual data:

1.   Legal Research Companies

These sources offer screening tools, typically based on "boolean" search logic, to search through available public company filings for exhibits, annexes or appendices that may contain relevant license, royalty or contractual agreements.

2.   Royalty Agreement Database Companies

Offering various levels of pre-screened and summarized content sourced from public filings or journal articles, Royalty Agreement Database Companies sell varying scopes of data access to summaries of publicly available data.

3.   Proprietary Databases

Developed by CPA, Law or Valuation firms, proprietary databases leverage collections of contracts and agreements assimilated from prior analyses. They are not accessible for a fixed fee as they are typically tied with professional service fees for analysis and/or documentation.

Trying to decipher between sources? Learn about the advantages and disadvantages to all 3 in our next blog post on license, royalty and contract searches.

July 26, 2013

Anna Howell, State and Local Tax (SALT) expert and segment leader in the Memphis office of CBIZ MHM, weighs in on the highly anticipated Marketplace Fairness Act and what it means for online shoppers. 

A significant piece to the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act, or S. 743, is Section 2(c) also known as the 'Small Seller Exception.' As we discussed in our last blog post on the topic, "Marketplace Fairness Act Gains Momentum - Part 1," the legislation requires all “remote sellers” (including online stores) earning $1 million in revenue or more to collect taxes for every state and jurisdiction where they have customers. Moreover, the Small Seller Exception exempts remote sellers who earn less than $1 million in out-of-state sales. This rule may be just a small note included in one of the six sections of the act, however it arguably has created the most discussion among small to mid-size business owners. 

Who qualifies for the 'Small Seller Exception'? 

According to Section 2(c), remote sellers that have less than $1 million in gross annual receipts from remote sales will qualify under the 'Small Seller Exception.' Independent vendors who use third-party sites, such as Etsy or Amazon, may view the cut-off of $1 million negatively because in order to use these sites they must pay transaction fees. Right now these fees are not being incorporated in the annual calculation.

How does a state choose their 'certified' software provider and do businesses have any say in the matter? 

Every state will be required to provide remote sellers with free software that calculates all taxes due. Under the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), adopted by a total of 24 states, only 5 software providers are 'certified' to provide such a program. Those states that choose not to join the SSUTA will be provided an alternative process within the act. This option will contain five mandates which must be followed and implemented into the state's tax plan. One issue is that the software each state chooses will not be subject to a list of requirements, therefore creating multiple forms of software that collect tax. The lack of uniformity could become a logistical problem for small businesses if each state differs in their process of collection. 

If the law is passed, how much time separates enactment and enforcement?

If the bill is passed by the House and later becomes law, each state under the SSUTA will have to let their citizens know that it is going to begin enforcing this collection process. The state then must wait 180 days and start collection on the first day of the financial quarter. If a state is not listed under the SSUTA, it must provide legislation which meets all five mandate requirements under the second option of the act and begin enforcing this act after the 180 day period on the first day of the financial quarter. 

What are some of the revisions being discussed? 

Several lawmakers and companies have publicly voiced their opinion on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Some discussions around the act include making revisions to the current law before any further action is taken. One major concern is the administrative burden this tax would place on small businesses. Opponents to this rule, including eBay, argue that the exemption level is too low and propose $10 million should be the cut-off.

July 23, 2013

The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) is proposing to hold merchants accountable for data security breaches. The banking group recommends Congress create national standards for retailers and processors to uphold when they collect and process payment card data. The legislation would create uniform security practices for the protection of all financial information.  The NAFCU has been actively working to gain support for this issue.

Fred Becker Jr., President & CEO of the NAFCU,  described in a recent letter to Congressional leaders the organization's Five-Point Plan for Regulatory Relief. He notes:

"Our nation's credit unions are struggling under an ever-increasing regulatory burden that must be immediately addressed. A survey of NAFCU members late last year found that 94% have seen their regulatory burden increase....Credit unions, many of which have very small compliance departments, and in some cases only one compliance officer, must comply with the same rules and regulations as our nation's largest financial institutions that employ armies of lawyers."

The 5 points outlined in the plan include the following:

  • Administrative Improvements to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • Capital Reforms
  • Structural Improvements
  • Operational Improvements
  • Data Security Reforms

For more information on the NAFCU's Five-Point Plan for Regulatory Relief click here.

Visit www.cbiz.com/pci for more information regarding CBIZ Security & Advisory Services, LLC and contact Karen Cassella (kcassella@cbiz.com), Executive Vice President, CBIZ SAS at (901) 685-5575 or email the CBIZ SAS team at pci@cbiz.com.

July 18, 2013

Anna Howell, State and Local Tax (SALT) expert and segment leader in the Memphis office of CBIZ MHM, weighs in on the highly anticipated Marketplace Fairness Act and what it means for online shoppers.

The tax man cometh, and he is heading for the Internet.

As we await a final decision from the House on the Marketplace Fairness Act, it is important to understand its significance for employers as well as individuals. The Marketplace Fairness Act, or S. 743, is a piece of legislation which passed the Senate in early May and is currently under consideration in the House of Representatives. It requires all "remote sellers" (including online stores) earning $1 million in revenue or more to collect taxes for every state and jurisdiction where they have customers.

Its movement to law will mean thousands of dollars in new revenue for each state, collecting sales tax from Internet shoppers who once avoided the additional fee by ordering online. As expected, the law is facing more opposition at this level and more discussion surrounding its contents has become prevalent not only to the lawmakers themselves, but also to the general public.

The bill would force shoppers to pay sales tax for the state to which they are having their items shipped. Currently, most online shoppers are subject to a self-reported Use Tax, which is typically the same rate of tax. As Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "It’s not a new tax; it’s a tax that is owed right now but that people aren’t paying.”

So, what does the Marketplace Fairness Act mean for you? Stay tuned as there is much more to come on this significant piece of legislation.


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