Quality of earnings report vs. an audit report

What is the difference between a financial statement audit and a financial due diligence (aka quality of earnings report)?  In general terms, a financial statement audit provides assurance to the public that a company’s financial statements are not materially misstated while a financial due diligence performs analytical procedures to gain a deeper understanding of the …

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Gifting as part of your succession plan

You have built your small business on your hard work and sweat. You may even have your son/daughter/niece/nephew or other family members working with you in the company. Now you are ready to move on, or at least slow down. Often times a small business owner thinks how natural and easy it would be to …

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Tax implications of stock vs. asset sale

As professional tax advisers we are often asked to comment on the tax implications our clients will face if their business is sold. From an income tax perspective, the buyer and seller are typically faced with structuring the deal as a stock sale versus an asset sale. These two strategies can result in significant tax …

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What if I never knew about my spouse’s fraudulent tax return?

In my family divorce work, I sometimes encounter situations where one party in a divorce intentionally prepared a  tax return with a significant amount of taxable income not reported. In these instances the fraud[1] was not known by the other spouse. The IRS allows the spouse (“innocent spouse” in this instance) who had no knowledge …

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Have you thought about your succession plan and the options you have?

No matter how long you avoid the succession planning discussion, you will exit the company one way or another. The worst-case scenario. The company ends up in probate court as a part of your estate. Best-case scenario. You contemplate all your options and decide what works best for you and your family so the next …

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Should a beneficiary blindly trust the trustee?

In a word – NO. But let’s look a little bit at the role of a trustee and the rights of a beneficiary. A trust is a legal agreement between two parties, a settlor (or grantor) and a trustee. Trusts are used to manage and protect the assets of the settlor. Trusts are used to …

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Buy-Sell agreement horror stories

When business entities are formed, they often execute agreements between the shareholders, partners or members that defines the price (or formula/methodology to determine the value) at which an owner is paid for his/her interest in the business in the event of death, disability, mental incapacity, divorce, bankruptcy, resignation or termination of employment and other triggering …

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Determining income in divorce proceedings

When couples get divorced in Maricopa County Arizona, each spouse is required to submit to the court a document called an Affidavit of Financial Information [“AFI”]. The document, which can be prepared by the parties or their legal representatives, is also known as Form DROSC13f-010119. The AFI is used to assist the court in creating …

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Your banker says you need a QoE, now what?

Sometimes, before your bank will finance an acquisition, they require a quality of earnings (“QoE”) report. You might be saying, what is a QoE report? A QoE report analyzes the earnings power of a business to determine how sustainable and accurate the business’ earnings are. Specifically, a QoE report digs into the seller’s financial information …

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ESOP case update

Last year I wrote an article that outlined several cases involving the Department of Labor and ESOP trustees. There have been some recent updates to these cases which again do not favor the trustees. Brundle v. Wilmington Trust In this case, Wilmington Trust (WT) was hired as an independent third-party trustee for a potential purchase …

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