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May 12, 2016

On Thursday May 12th, the Kansas City Construction Practice kicked off their summer breakfast event series with a discussion focused on Key Employee Incentive and Retention Plans – Creating a Motivated Management Team.

Key employees can be hard to find and even harder to keep. High-caliber employees drive the generation of profit and enterprise value, and can be a vital piece in a successful ownership transition. As a business owner, identifying these employees, understanding what motivates them to remain loyal, and encouraging them to stay the course, is critical to your company’s future, your financial independence and your personal legacy.

 While higher pay seems like the best answer, it doesn’t stop competitors from offering even higher pay or better opportunities, it doesn’t encourage the leadership mentality and it doesn’t invoke loyalty – in many cases an incentive or retention plan may be the best solution.  It is important to first understand what motivates your high-caliber employees and then design an effective plan that will benefit both the employer and employee. During our discussion today, Joyce Farris outlined a variety of different plan options and decisions to weigh as you go down this path.  To summarize, no matter what type of plan you institute, the plan should: 

  • Motivate key employees to attains goals and as they do, the company value should increase;
  • “Handcuff” the key employee to the company;  
  • Outline meaningful and realistic objectives that are well-communicated;
  • Provide substantial benefits and should be a win for both the employer and employee; and 
  • Provide specific guidelines on how to achieve the benefit (s).

To receive a copy of today’s presentation, for questions on this topic or for additional information, please contact Joyce Farris at 816.945.5121 or jfarris@cbiz.com

Save the Date for Part II in the Construction Breakfast Series: Employee Stock option Plans (ESOPs) in the Construction Industry, July 12th.




May 3, 2016

CBIZ MHM, LLC Kansas City will launch a three part breakfast series focused on key issues affecting the Construction Industry.

Key employees can be hard to find and even hard to keep. They drive the generation of profit and enterprise value, and can be a vital piece in a successful ownership transition. As an Owner, understanding what motivates key employees to remain loyal, is critical to your company’s future, your financial independence and your personal legacy. Join us on May 12th for the first discussion of this three part series, Exploring Key Employee Incentive/Retention Plans.

Date and Time: Thursday, May 12 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (continental breakfast will be available and discussion will start at 8:00AM).
Cost to attend: FREE
CPE: Eligible for 1 credit
Register: https://incentiveandretention.eventbrite.com

SAVE THE DATE
Tuesday July 12th – Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPs) in the Construction Industry
Tuesday, August 30th – Leases
Thursday, November 3rd: Joint ½ day seminar featuring a variety of topics surrounding Millennials in the workforce




October 8, 2015

Together, with Spencer Fane, CBIZ MHM proudly sponsored the 2nd Annual Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry seminar on October 1st. This year the half day seminar was focused on Transition and Next Generation Planning and concluded with legal trends in the industry. The A/E/C industry is important to CBIZ MHM and we are very pleased to have had several clients and guests attend the event to learn more about the challenges faced and available options when transition planning. The following is a brief summary of the seminar. As an additional resource, the slide deck from this presentation can also be downloaded here

KEY TAKE AWAY: Whether you’re planning for ownership transition of the business during life or planning for the ownership transition of the business upon death, it is imperative that you have a transition plan in place now. 

Joyce Farris, Managing Director at CBIZ MHM, LLC and David Seitter, Partner at Spencer Fane LLP, co-presented the main portion of this half day seminar. During this time, Farris and Seitter focused on the aspects of the transition planning process, available options, the steps you need to consider when formulating a long term action plan and how to ensure you have aligned all of the key aspects which fall within the plan. The presentation slides provide more information on the important steps you should consider when putting a plan in place, and your next steps to ensure you and your business are covered for the future.

David Schatz, Partner at Spencer Fane LLP, concluded the day with legal trends in the construction industry. This section is also reflected in our slide deck and includes important 2015 industry trends and how they may affect your bottom line.

For more information or any questions regarding the presentation or slide deck, please contact Joyce Farris, David Seitter or David Schatz.

Did you miss the seminar, but want to make sure you are added to future invitation lists? Contact aelliott@cbiz.com




August 31, 2015




June 4, 2015

In 1997 Joyce Farris, Managing Director and current leader of our Kansas City Construction Industry group authored an article which appeared in the May - June edition of The Builders Association publication, Modern Builder. Her article contains helpful information for those considering starting their own construction company, then and 18 years later. Following is her original article – “A Few Basics for the Start-Up Company”.
So, you’re thinking about starting your own construction company. You have lots of great ideas and the technical capabilities, but what now? To some it may sound as easy as hanging out a sign and opening the office doors, but unfortunately, there are a few more behind the scenes items for you to think about.

Develop A Cash Flow Plan:
Developing a cash flow plan should be your first objective when considering a new company. Cash flow is merely cash coming in to the business and cash going out of the business. There never seems to be a problem with figuring out how to spend cash in a start-up company – the need for supplies, hiring of personnel, leasing office space, phone lines, utility deposits, etc. The problem is where to get the funds to start with. A decision should be made on how much of your personal savings you will need to invest in the company and whether you will also seek outside financing.

Before you can seek outside financing you will need to develop a business plan or a cash flow projection. A projection is a tool for mapping out when you will be required to expend cash in relation to when you will receive cash for the work performed. As you estimate cash inflows, consider seasonality of your work, sales history of similar businesses, and the overall economy. In determining the cash inflows and outflows, remember that you may have to spend the money to do the job before you can bill anyone and expect to receive payment. The major issue in developing a projection is to be realistic.

There are several sources for outside financing from friends, family, banks to the Small Business Association. Regardless of whom you reach out to, you will need to demonstrate that you have a sound business plan. Know “how much” you will need, “how long” until you would be able to start repaying the borrowed funds and “for what” the borrowed funds will be foremost on any lender’s mind.

Seek Advice From Your Accounting and Legal Advisors:
Now that you’ve developed your business plan it is time to consider what type of legal and tax entity would best fit your needs: an S-corporation, C-corporation, Partnership, LLC or Sole Proprietorship? The differences in the entities mainly involve the method for reporting and payment of tax and the business liability that you as the business owner are willing to accept. A discussion with both your accounting and legal advisor will provide you with the best options for your situation.

Once the entity type is decided, your advisors will draft and file articles of incorporation for the company, if necessary, and file for federal and state I.D. numbers. The I.D. numbers are a company’s equivalent to an individual’s social security number. The I.D. numbers will be required for  opening bank accounts, filing payroll and sales tax returns, and filing federal and state income tax returns.

Develop a Financial Information System:
Financial information lets you track the profitability of the company and the cash flow requirements. Accurate financial information is essential for you to make management decisions and is imperative if you intend to continue to borrow money or bond jobs.

At first, you may wish to have outside accounting company prepare the payroll and payroll tax returns or to perform all of the accounting functions. This type of arrangement is termed “outsourcing”. Outsourcing is well suited for start-up companies as it allows for accurate and efficient accounting records to be maintained while allowing the company to hire limited accounting and administrative personnel.

However, if you prefer to hire the administrative personnel and prepare the financial information in-house, then you will need to select an accounting system to fit your needs. As you select a system, leave room to grow and consider any special information tracking you require (i.e. job costs). In addition, you will need to consider the information that you will need to supply to the users of your statements – bankers, bonding companies, investors.

Develop Relationships With Other Professional Advisors:
Throughout the stages of your company, you will have a need for insurance or bonding and a good insurance advisor can help you determine how much coverage you need, when you need it and how to pay for it.

Other advisors, such as marketing consultants, may be needed at some time during the life of your business. In choosing any professional advisor, consider someone who understands your industry and who understands your needs as a start-up company.

Now that you have administrative basics out of the way, it’s time to open the doors.




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