Steven Bankler welcomes all inquiries concerning his niche areas of accounting services. If his answers to the following questions do not address your particular concern, or you want to learn more or schedule an appointment, please Contact Us.
ARE YOU A "FULL-SERVICE" CPA FIRM?
No. Our firm serves a particular market. Most of our services are geared toward closely held and/or family-owned businesses. We provide these clients with planning and compliance services. We do offer some limited financial statement services restricted to review and compilation statements. We also provide consultation services including litigation support to large, including publicly held, corporations and other entities such as government, nonprofits, and others.
HOW CAN STEVEN BANKLER ASSIST IN TAX PREPARATION AND PLANNING?
My job is to minimize the tax effects of a transaction you’re considering. For example, if you want to go from Point A to Point B, and other tax advisors tell you either the tax will be an unsatisfactory amount or that you cannot get from Point A to Point B, I am more likely to find a way when others cannot. I analyze the transaction to see if there is another approach. Using what other clients are calling “out-of-the-box” creative skills and way of thinking, I may discover we can go from Point A to Point B by going through Point C, while maximizing your savings.
WHAT IS ANOTHER PROFIT CENTER® AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Another Profit Center® is Steven Bankler’s signature branch of accounting services. For clients whose businesses are profitable, it is our job to find tax and other cost savings that will pay for both annual accounting and tax fees and uncover leftover funds for the business owner. Compared to traditional CPA firms, we take the pure cost center (of outside accountants) and try to make it a profit center for our clients.
WHAT IS ASSET PROTECTION AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
Asset protection is a process by which a business tries to isolate assets from the potential claims of creditors. Over the years, our society has evolved from a caveat emptor (buyer beware) model to a fiduciary (“it’s not my fault”) model. We have become very litigious, which leaves many businesses vulnerable. For example, a few years ago, a fast-food customer ordered coffee at a drive-through window and then spilled coffee on herself and was burned. She sued and was awarded approximately $2 million in damages. McDonald’s could afford the damages, but if something like this happened to your business, would you be able to survive? In short, we try to protect business assets from creditor claims.
HOW DO YOU ASSIST IN EXIT PLANNING?
We first analyze your existing business structure and then explain various exit-planning strategies available for your particular situation. Whether you plan to sell your business to an outsider, to employees or to your children and/or other relatives, the time to begin this crucial planning is many years before the sale takes place. The optimum—and easiest and least-expensive—time to plan is while still in the earliest stages of formation.
CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES OF YOUR "CREATIVE THINKING" OR "OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING" FOR LIKE-KIND REAL ESTATE EXCHANGE?
Suppose a client wants to sell business real estate and replace it with business property. He or she already owns raw land on which he or she wants to construct the replacement property. IRS rules and regulations state that exchanging real estate for improvements does not qualify. However, using qualified intermediaries as well as sale and leaseback provisions, the client can transfer the raw land, have the improvements built, and then receive the completed project back in a like-kind exchange on the “sale” of the original business property.
WHY IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL STAFF COMPOSED EXCLUSIVELY OF CPAS?
I believe only professionally educated and experienced accounting professionals should handle our clients’ transactions. We don’t use any paraprofessionals, bookkeepers or other staff when working on client’s books and records. The only nonprofessional staff we employ is an administrative assistant who answers the phone and refers callers to the appropriate CPA, maintains all our files, sets appointments, and generally does a phenomenal job of keeping our organization running smoothly administratively.
WHAT IF I LIVE AND WORK OUTSIDE OF SAN ANTONIO OR TEXAS? CAN YOU STILL HELP ME?
Yes. We currently have business clients in Arizona and New York. In addition, we have individual tax clients in Germany, Alaska, New York, California, Colorado and elsewhere. As a member of the International Association of Practicing Accountants (IAPA), we have access to accountants throughout the United States and in more than 45 countries worldwide. Recently, our firm assisted a prospective client who was moving from Japan back to the United States who required both a United States and Japanese tax return. With the help of our Japanese affiliate, we were able to offer a complete solution to this client.
WHY DOES IT TAKE LONGER TO GET BUSINESS TAX RETURNS COMPLETED AS COMPARED TO INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURNS?
There are several reasons. First, tax season is by nature a high-demand period. For that reason, we prepare business returns on a first-in basis. Excluding tax season, we are able to assist our clients expediently; but during tax season, all our clients need our services in a compressed time so we serve many at once. Second, we prepare related business returns including for the owners, related partners and others all at the same time. We do this to minimize cost to our clients. For example, one client, before coming to us, hired an accounting firm that did an excellent job of planning but failed to prepare all the related returns concurrently. As a result, $30,000 in expenses went unused, which increased the business’s taxes overall by approximately $10,000.
ARE ALL CPA FIRMS ALIKE?
No. We are a niche firm dealing with closely held and/or family-owned businesses. Our goal with these businesses is to become “Another Profit Center” where the tax savings would not only pay for our services but also put additional funds into the client’s pockets.
WHAT WOULD I GAIN FROM HIRING A CPA AS AN EXPERT WITNESS IN A LAWSUIT?
If you deal with business or tax issues, CPA’s are qualified by training and experience to assist you in analyzing and discussing findings with a court or jury.
I'M STARTING A NEW BUSINESS. I CAN'T AFFORD AN EXPERIENCED CPA, CAN I?
It depends on many factors, including the size of a business, your industry, and the range and complexity of business issues you may encounter. Some of these matters include bonding, preparing financial statements, or complicated tax challenges related to construction, inventory or manufacturing.
We Solve Problems®