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September 28, 2016

What does one give a woman that has exceled in both her personal and professional endeavors and become a role model for other businesswomen in Memphis? A pink Super Woman cape of course.

On Friday, September 9th, the Memphis Business Journal hosted the 5th annual Super Women in Business awards luncheon at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn. CBIZ MHM Memphis is proud to have been a sponsor of the awards since their inception.

The nearly 400 attendees in the audience watched as each 2016 Super Woman Award recipient received their pink cape, plaque, and said a few words about the people in their life that inspire them. Each woman was given the task of saying 5 people who inspired them. If they said more than 5, they were asked to donate an article of clothing for each following person named. The clothing was then donated to DeNeuville Learning Center, which provides educational programs and support to adult female students with limited resources.

This year's awards program also included a new aspect to the program: 5 Women to Watch selected by the Memphis Business Journal Editorial Board. The 2016 Women to Watch are:

  • Jen Andrews, Shelby Farms Conservancy Park
  • Elizabeth Cawein, Signal Flow PR
  • Brit Fitzpatrick, MentorMe and Geeked Memphis
  • Tami Sawyer, Teach for America
  • Holly Whitfield, I love Memphis/MCVB

CBIZ MHM Memphis would like to congratulate the 2016 Class of Super Women in Business and the 5 Women to Watch on their incredible achievements in the Memphis professional community.

If you would like further information regarding the involvement of CBIZ Women's Advantage in Memphis, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901.685.5575.

 




September 2, 2016

The Memphis Office of CBIZ MHM hosted a lunch roundtable on "The Impact of the Final DOL Fiduciary Rule." The overall goal was to inform employers on how this new rule might affect their firm, and teach the ins and outs in order to help firms stay ahead of the change.

Co-presenters for the seminar included Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director for the Memphis office, Jennifer Kiesewetter, Attorney and Managing Partner of Kiesewetter Law Firm, PLLC, and Jonathan Lyons, Financial Advisor and Founder of the Lyons Group of Raymond James.

Jennifer kicked off the roundtable and outlined the history of the DOL fiduciary rule. She helped to explain what the new rule means and how it is going to affect people and their companies on a day to day basis.

Jonathan took over for the second half of the conversation and helped to explain who qualifies as a fiduciary. He also discussed what the significance of a fiduciary is and all of the different responsibilities that they hold.

Linda was able to moderate questions and contribute throughout the presentation.

For more information on  recent DOL activity and how it impacts your company and benefit plans, contact Linda Lauer at 901.685.5575 or llauer@cbiz.com




August 30, 2016

Linda Lauer, Lead Managing Director and Co-Attest Practice Leader in the Memphis office, contributed to a recent article published by Employee Benefit News about retirement plan audits.

A report released in May 2015 showed the low quality of most plan audits. According to the Willis Towers Watson survey, only one in three employers had their plans audited by the federal government in the past two years.

Linda explained that there is a trigger for which companies end up being audited. "Every retirement plan that has more than 100 eligible employees must attach an independent audit report to its Form 5500 tax filing," she said. The companies who aren't attaching that form are the ones that have the greatest chance of being audited.

One of the issues lies in the fact that companies are not necessarily hiring the most qualified CPA firm to do their benefit plan audit. Employee benefit plans are much different than corporate audits and require someone skilled in that specific area. Linda explained that the CPA must understand the ins and outs of the plan before they can properly audit the plan.

"In reality, they should be paying more attention to it and be more willing to pay more money for a quality audit to make sure the plan is in compliance," she said.

To learn more about making decisions for retirement plan audits, contact Linda Lauer at 901.685.5575 or llauer@cbiz.com. To read the entire article, click here.




August 17, 2016

The Memphis Business Journal announced the finalists for the 2016 Super Women in Business Awards. CBIZ MHM Memphis is honored to have sponsored these awards since their inception. The 25 finalists will be honored at the 2016 Super Women in Business Awards luncheon on September 9th at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis.

The program honors influential women in the city of Memphis in different industries who have displayed a great amount of leadership and who continuously strive for success in both business endeavors and community involvement.

The 25 Finalists include the following:

  • Melanie Berry- Vice President of Special Events, Varsity Spirit LLC
  • Toni Boland- NIKE
  • Emily Brackstone- Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
  • Roquita Coleman Williams= Manager, Canadian National (CN) Railway
  • Rebecca Conrad- Partner, ANF Architects
  • Sheila Jordan Cunningham- Executive Director, Blight Authority of Memphis
  • Angela Hall- Vice President, Radians, Inc.
  • Sue Harpole- ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Susan Hunsberger- Chief Human Resources Officer, ServiceMaster
  • Cindy Klatt- Vice President, Strategic Client Relations, Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group
  • Susan Lattimore- Senior Manager, The Marston Group, PLC
  • Sherry McAlpin- Owner/President, Transportation Resources Inc.
  • Daphene McFerren- Director, The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis
  • Susan Mealer- Owner/CEO, Answering Advantage, LLC.
  • Kate Oliver- Vice President, Customer Care and Administration, TruGreen
  • Kathryn Perry- Vice President, Raymond James
  • Jennie N. Robbins= Senior Director, Finance and Performance, Church Health Center
  • Jennifer Sims- CEO, Power & Telephone Supply Company
  • Annette Smith- Head of School, Hutchison School
  • Brenda Solomito=Basar- Solomito Land Planning
  • Susan Springfield- First Horizon National Corporation
  • Gretchen Stroud= Vice President, Global Learning & Talent
  • Dotty Summerfield- Owner, Summerfield Associates, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Tate- Chairman/CEO, Signet, Inc.
  • Karen Weddle-West, PhD- Provost, Chief Academic Officer, University of Memphis

If you would like further information regarding the involvement of CBIZ Women's Advantage in Memphis, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901.685.5575




August 12, 2016

Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. (MHM) recently announced the appointment of Linda Lauer as Midwest Region Employee Benefit Plan Audit Leader.

Linda will continue to be Co-Attest Practice Leader of the Memphis Office. She also serves on the MHM Board of Directors and CBIZ Women’s Advantage National Executive Board. Linda will now be able to use her skills, expertise, and leadership to serve in her new national role.

Linda’s background includes more than 25 years with local and international accounting firms, including plan administration for Fortune 500 companies. She is also a co-author of CCH’s publication, Knowledge-Based Audits of Employee Benefit Plans.

“I am very excited with this role as Midwest Region Employee Benefit Plan Leader. This will allow me to utilize and share my experiences that I have encountered over my career, as well as learn more from other offices within MHM to create best practices for the firm,” Linda said.

To reach Linda about her new role or how she can help your company with their employee benefit plan audit, contact her at llauer@cbiz.com or 901.685.5575.




March 2, 2016

As a sponsor for this event since its inception, CBIZ MHM’s Linda Lauer welcomed the group sharing the value of women in our workplace.  Linda also noted the national firm’s development of business women through our Women’s Advantage program.

Carolyn Hardy of Chism Hardy Investments and Henderson Worldwide Investments headlined as the keynote. Working among ‘the good old boys’, she quickly realized the importance of using her relationships to her advantage. During her address, Carolyn spoke about how women should utilize their connections and “human collateral” to advance in their business endeavors, noting that “you will never make a sale if you call the receptionist.”

Overall, the group discussion was very empowering.  Many panelists discussed how women in business should lift each other up by partnering with one another rather than competing among the few women already in the room.

Other panelists included Sara Burnett from LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, Stacy McCall of ServicesMaster by Stratos, and Sarah Petschonek of Volunteer Odyssey.

A crowd of 200 gathered for the #BIZWomen event at the Brooks Museum. To read further coverage, view the Memphis Daily News article.

For more information about CBIZ Women's Advantage, click here.


(picture courtesy of Memphis Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)




February 25, 2016
CBIZ MHM Memphis hosted an Employee Benefit Plan seminar last week called Retirement Plan New Year’s Resolution: Is Your Plan Ready for 2016?  This session covered understanding of fiduciary duties and responsibilities, financial planning for 2016, and the DOL’s audit quality study.

With a room full of plan sponsors and administrators eager to start their 2016 planning right, Jennifer Kiesewetter, ERISA, ACA, & Executive Compensation Attorney at Kiesewetter Law Firm, began discussing the various fiduciary duties and responsibilities that are overlooked or unknown.  Furthermore, Jenny educated attendees on consequences of breach of fiduciary duty as well as ways to limit fiduciary liability.

Jeff Barnes, Senior Consultant at Gavion, LLC, shared with the group how to determine goals and best practices for Plans in 2016.  He also covered various plan considerations and proposed many questions sponsors and administrators should be answering during their planning processes.

In closing, Linda Lauer, Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, reviewed key findings and conclusions that were found in the recent DOL Audit Quality Study.  The statistics in the study confirmed that the more plans audited by a firm, the less deficiencies performed.  Linda concluded the presentation with the DOL enforcement, regulatory, and outreach recommendations.

To attend one of our future seminars, join our mailing list by clicking here.  For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company’s benefit plans, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.





February 10, 2016

The Memphis office is focusing on different specialties and services by featuring a Q & A with one of our local experts each month.

Linda Lauer serves as Lead Managing Director and Co-Attest Practice Leader and leads the employee benefit plan (EBP) audit practice in Memphis.  With more than 25 years of experience in accounting and employee benefit administration, Linda has become a well-known source of EBP knowledge in the Memphis area.

Not only does this series allow you to get to know Linda on a more personal level, but Linda also answers important questions like “What should you ask your benefit plan auditor?”  The conversation continues with Linda discussing the uniqueness of EBP audits, common issues found during EBP audits, and how companies should comply with ERISA.

More resources featured on Linda’s Conversation page include previously featured articles, an EBP audit whitepaper, and information on the audit quality study that was just released by the Department of Labor.

Read the full conversation by clicking here.




January 20, 2016
Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, was recently featured in a Q & A article with the Memphis Business Journal.  In the article, Linda provides valuable insight in regards to the recent employee benefit audit study performed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

Linda covers what companies should expect with these new findings, how employee benefit plan audits differ than typical financial audits, and what could happen if your firm is not in compliance.

"While it seems simple, the number-one thing companies should look for in their CPA firm is the experience the auditor has specifically with benefit plans,” Lauer stated. “The DOL study clearly substantiates that the more plans a firm audits, the fewer deficiencies are found.”

For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.  To view the full Q & A with Linda, click the button below.





December 3, 2015
Linda Lauer, Co-Attest Practice Leader and Lead Managing Director for the Memphis Office, published an article, Audit Quality Study Signals Changes Ahead for Employee Benefit Plans, in the November 2015 issue of HR Professionals Magazine.  In the article, Linda provides valuable insight in regards to the recent employee benefit audit study performed by the Department of Labor (DOL).

"Nearly 4 in 10 employee benefit audits in the 2011 plan filing year failed to meet regulatory standards,” Linda shared. Her article touches on the study’s findings, including areas of noncompliance, deficiency rates, a response from the regulators, and implications for plan sponsors.

“The 2014 Study has ramifications for everyone involved with benefit plan financial statements...Staying on top of these changes will be critical for future benefit plan compliance,” Linda concludes.

For questions regarding the study and/or the impact on your company, please contact Linda Lauer at llauer@cbiz.com or 901-685-5575.  To view the full HR Professionals Magazine article, click the button below.




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