LET’S GET UP TO BUSINESS
Robert Crews of Solutions Group Accounting
Dealing with finances is never fun, and if you’re one of those business owners who has swept your financials under the table, failed to file your taxes, or are just not sure where your profits and losses stand, then you should be getting in touch with a CPA like Robert Crews.
In this episode Jordan sits down with Robert to discuss all those issues and more. Not sure if your company is profitable? Are you about the buy a company car? Do you need to hire an assistant, but don’t know if you can afford to do so? Listen now and get some of the answers you need.
You can count on personalized and detail-oriented accounting services with a small business focus. Solutions Group Accounting Firm wants to make life easier for the small business owners of Central Florida and beyond. We know the region’s entrepreneurs and small business professionals dread bookkeeping and filing their taxes—and we also know that innocent tax mistakes can prove extraordinarily expensive in the long-term. Our team is here to handle all of the details, so you can carry on with the necessary daily tasks to grow your business.
SGW believes that financial planning is more than a profession – it’s a calling. They realize finances aren’t so much about money but rather family, health, hope, and happiness. Finances are only as successful as the purpose for which they’re intended to fulfill.
Uniting years of industry experience, the team is dedicated to helping families and individuals clarify their vision and future, create financial comfort, and build a lasting legacy.
Their clients rely on the expertise of our in-house Financial Advisors and other specialists in our extended professional network, including CPAs and attorneys. By communicating and collaborating closely with these strategic partners, we are better able to identify areas of concern and create custom solutions.
That’s the sound of Sound Advice.
Episode 11: Robert Crews of Solutions Group Wealth – Full Transcript
Robert Crews 0:00
We’ve never turned down a client. And what that means is there’s not there’s not a small client us.
Picture a world where costs are down, profits are up, and customers are clamoring at your door you’re listening to, let’s get up the business from Jordan. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan law at 407-906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at Jordan law fl.com. Jordan law, we protect you and your business.
Jordan Ostroff 1:04
Hello, and welcome to Let’s get up to business with Jordan law. Joining me today is Robert crews. Very happy to have you. Thank you, sir. Thanks for inviting me. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Robert Crews 1:13
Yeah. So I’m a CPA here in Longwood, Florida. And grew up playing baseball. My entire life grew up in Florida. Born and raised in Southwest Florida. never left the state and a true fluorine.
Jordan Ostroff 1:27
There we go. You and me both, but we’re getting harder and harder to find. It’s all a transplanted New Yorkers and whatnot. Right? So along those lines, we’re going to talk obviously, today about the CPA doing tax stuff and whatnot, under small businesses, if somebody is listening, and they know they need your help, what’s the best way for them to get ahold of you?
Robert Crews 1:46
So you can find us at Solutions Group accounting. com, or you can reach us at 321-363-4982. That’s our office line. asked for Robert crews are Nate green, he’s my partner there as well.
Jordan Ostroff 1:58
So I love the solutions accounting, I think it’s such a, it’s such a great name. Because oftentimes, you know, when you’re looking for an account, you’re looking for the solution to a problem,
Robert Crews 2:06
right? Yeah. So anytime I talk to you know, anybody we’re what I like to say is we’re a source of solutions. We rebranded about a year and a half ago now. Yeah, last January 2018, we rebranded to Solutions Group accounting firm. And, you know, I’ve actually got asked the question, did you get bought out by one of these bigger CPA firms? And the answer is no, I mean, we just kind of have that, you know, big firm feel with that small firm, you know, touch.
Jordan Ostroff 2:33
That’s a that’s what we’re going forward to. So that’s what everybody wants these days, I think, yeah. So tell me more about your story, you know, what got you from, you know, not being an accountant yet through solutions, group accounting,
Robert Crews 2:45
right. So, um, so I went to,
I played baseball my entire career, it’s kind of a little bit of a story. And, and, and I actually met my wife at Stetson University, that’s where we went to college, I played baseball there, she played softball. And actually, her father owns his own CPA firm, he owns his solo practice practitioner, out of Miami. And, you know, so he kind of introduced me to accounting because I was obviously unsure of exactly what I wanted to do in college, or after college. And so I started taking some accounting courses. And you know, not that it was exciting. But I tell you, the, there’s two things, certainly life taxes and death, so I have a job in my life, at least I like to think so. But so he kind of introduced me to public accounting, and then, you know, worked my way up through various regional sized firms. And in 2015, I finally launched my own firm, I kind of branched out on my own, my kids were just born, and like to say, what makes me more hungry than to put food on the table for my kids. And so although in some people’s eyes, I may have thought that might have been the wrong thing, but I actually believe today, that’s the reason why I’m as accessible as I am, is because I had to go out there and, and, and, and trauma business basically. So I
Jordan Ostroff 4:10
always tell people, if you take a trapeze class, and there’s a safety net, you’re like, hey, if I mess up, no big deal. But if there’s no safety net, you better make dang sure that you you grab on to the next round,
Robert Crews 4:19
I didn’t have a safety net, right, I got to put food on the table for the kids and family. So anyways, and so launch my firm in 2015. And then we had a lot of mutual contacts with Nate green, and we didn’t know each other, but you know, had some center of influence mutual center of influences. And then they were both the center of influence is like, Man, you guys have got to get together and talk. And so we talk and we worked out our divorce agreement first, and then we just hit it off. And when we it’s been such a great ride since then. And when you say divorce agreement, you mean the partnership? Right, right. Exactly.
Jordan Ostroff 4:59
Like we used divorces. Gotcha.
Robert Crews 5:03
Yes. Yes, sir. And so yeah, now was a middle of 2017, I believe. And then Ever since then, man, it’s been an awesome ride. We’ve, we haven’t looked back.
Jordan Ostroff 5:13
So in that timeframe, have you done? Help, Tax wise for thousands of people? 10s of thousands of people, hundreds of people? I mean,
Robert Crews 5:22
I would say thousands of people, we handle mainly business owners. Right. And of course, what comes along with that is preparing the shareholders or partners tax returns. So we obviously have we do individual taxes as well. And I guess now’s a good segue to say that we’ve never turned down a client. And what that means is there’s not there’s not a small client, us. Actually, the beginning of this year, we had a you know, very small w two, only individual tax return wasn’t a big revenue stream for us by any means. But that client actually now became a new CFO of 100 million dollars company over Texas. And now it’s turned out that our relationship into something much bigger. So we’ve been there, yeah, we’ve never turned down anybody because it’s all about who you know, and it’s all about relationships.
Jordan Ostroff 6:11
So other than that, other than the, you know, being able to help anybody what else that solution group accounting apart.
Robert Crews 6:18
So we’re really one stops, we’re like one source, a full service firm, right. So we also own, we have a sister company called solutions, group wealth management. So you kind of look as Solutions Group as kind of the, you know, parent heading. And then we have solutions, group wealth management, and then Solutions Group accounting firm. So we can really be your one stop financial professional, taxes, accounting, payroll, etc. And then also the wealth management piece.
Jordan Ostroff 6:48
So think money, you can help I can do it.
Robert Crews 6:52
Walk, walk in looking for your, you know, a CFO of your personal finances.
Jordan Ostroff 6:58
So, what else? Tell me more about solutions, group accounting, I mean, what else makes you different than an h&r block or something along those lines? Right?
Robert Crews 7:06
I’m gonna just say, one quick story real quick, and then kind of jump into that. Anytime I get a new referral from a center of influence, or someone that is just searching for our, you know, looking for a new accountant on Google, which very rarely do we get those type of leads? But in any event, the very first question, or one of the first questions that I ask is, why are you looking for new CPA. And the to the top two reasons that I here are, I never hear from my accountant. And cost, right, of course, everyone thinks financially, which is, you know, which is understandable. And so what we’ve tried to set ourselves apart is that we, we are in the business to build relationships. And the only way to build relationships is to communicate with our clients. So we’re going to do the exact opposite of what our competition is doing. And that is, communicate with our clients, anytime they send us an email we make, we make efforts to respond within 24 hours. And then we just want to be cost effective. Right? Now, one of the reasons why most most people are looking for new accountants is, is, you know, they’ll, they’ll jump on a phone call with him, or they’ll get there, you know, they’ll get a notice in the mail. And they’ll be getting these small, different invoices and things of that sort. And so what we’ve done is we kind of come up with like a flat fee structure and say, Hey, this is what you get What to expect for this fee. And that transparency was really involved in really built our relationships with our clients.
Jordan Ostroff 8:46
Yeah, it’s always interesting, because for us, you know, a decent amount of our business clients are hourly, right? And you always get the like, well, how much is it? Like, we were sitting in mediation for six hours? charging for six hours, even charged for travel? Oh, yeah. Okay, that makes sense. You’ve got six hours for mediation, right? So yeah, transparency is huge for people. So
Robert Crews 9:05
um, one other piece that I haven’t talked about that may set us apart from from our competitors is we also provide forensic accounting work. We provide litigation support for Family Law Attorneys, for business attorneys that are going through partner disputes or shareholder disputes. But anything that really comes down to the financial dollar, we can handle it. And that’s really I think, what sets us apart is some some firms only handle one piece. And when it comes to a number, I think we can handle it.
Jordan Ostroff 9:38
Well, I always recall, you know, 80% of our family law clients always saying that the other party’s hiding money somewhere. I mean, like, all right, well, this is what it’s going to cost to find it. They’re like, I can’t afford that. I’m like, all right. How do you want me to find it? Like, what do you if they’re, if they’re hiding it, somebody needs to go find it? Right? Right. So all right, so then, so let’s transition a little bit away from solutions, group accounting, and in more vers small business owners, I know that’s a lot of your clientele, right, walk me through some of walk me through the process, you know, new business owner wants to come on board with you. What should they expect? How do you get them on board? How do you get that everything set up
Robert Crews 10:18
in the office, and then we set up a free initial consultation. So basically, that can either be done over the phone, or they can come into the office and and sit with us in our conference room. But at least they get one hour free initial consultation, so we can listen to their story, and then identify how we can help to make sure it’s a good fit for both of us. And that’s the most important thing is making sure for the client is this going to work for them, we don’t, we don’t want to set ourselves up to fail, right, we don’t want to put ourselves in a situation where it ain’t going to work. Because that just that, that comes back on our reputation. So from there in the event that they decided to move forward, they’ll simply get a proposal of some sort and a written proposal written agreement, assuming they want some ongoing services, and it’ll outline everything we’re going to do for them. It’ll outline all the prices, all of our pricing is all inclusive. So when we put you out that you don’t get any surprise fees for the most part. And then simply once they sign it, then they go through our onboarding process. And depending on the service, whether it’s taxes, whether it’s accounting, whether it’s payroll, all three have different onboarding processes. So they just go through the onboarding process, and then, and then they’ll hear from us constantly.
Jordan Ostroff 11:35
So just briefly, what’s the difference between the attacks the accounting and payroll services?
Robert Crews 11:40
Right, so tax services, that’s, you know, staying compliant with federal income taxes, state income tax, assuming that they’re outside of the state of Florida, sales, tax issues, and then we have our accounting department, where we do, and this is super fluid, but for the most part, we provide monthly accounting services. And essentially, what that means is we we look good, we go through your bank accounts, your online banking, and, and, and, and categorize all the transactions on our software, and put them in buckets in accordance to the Internal Revenue Code, make sure you stay IRS compliance. And then we have our payroll department. So we do anything from processing payroll for all their employees, all the way up to filing all the payroll tax returns, which is quarterly and annually. So complete source solution for small business owner.
Jordan Ostroff 12:35
Now, will you also send invoices for the business, you do everything except for that.
Robert Crews 12:38
So we won’t take care of kind of like the accounting department functions such as billing? AR, we won’t do any of that, although we do have those type of services. But for the most part, we for the average client, we do not,
Jordan Ostroff 12:55
but anything other than that, right? Okay. And so, what percentage of your clients are haven’t yet started their business and are coming to you first versus have had their business for a while?
Robert Crews 13:09
Good question. Um, so yeah, the majority of our annual revenue is from reoccurring, or established business owners. Okay. Now, do we do everything from LLC startups, meaning if someone comes to us and say, I’m looking to set up an LLC, and I need to get the Articles of Organization, with the state of Florida, getting an employer identification number gets set up with payroll with the state of Florida will handle all that. And that does come up, we will not turn those individuals down because we want to grow with them.
Jordan Ostroff 13:46
And that’s not going to be your normal client, that’s not going to be our normal client. See, I’m convinced there’s a garage somewhere with like, hundreds of people just starting a business without talking to anybody else before they do it. Because we always come back to this, you know, I always tell people, my ideal client is sitting down with somebody before they’ve started the business. Yep, to walk through potential legal issues to make sure they’ve got everything in place, accounting wise and whatnot, to get set up, but it seems like everybody I talked to, they’re dealing with business owners, usually, even at the three to five year mark, like for the first three years, they’re just kind of flying by the seat of their pants, right? Something was that similar for you?
Robert Crews 14:17
Yeah, so um, I call them the three S’s, right, we have the startup phase, where they are just just starting a new business, then we have the survival mode, where they’re literally just looking at the cash count, and making sure they have cash to pay the next bill. And then we have successful business owners, and the majority of our business owners are in that successful stage. What
Jordan Ostroff 14:44
do your clients are? This is for a while? Is it? You know, is it is? Is this a mass? Am I doing everything right? Or is it Hey, this is what I’m doing so far. How can you help me get to the next step? And what’s most
Robert Crews 14:56
of them? I would say 5050. Okay, actually, 50% of new clients would be as a, hey, I haven’t filed tax returns in years. I don’t have any accounting records for years, I need help, please get me to work up to speed, we get a lot of that, which is okay, at least they recognize that they need to help. And that’s the first step. And we certainly can handle that. And we have and we will. And then the other half is okay. I’ve been successful for many years. Now. How do I take this to the next step? And we can certainly help with that doing projections forecasting, doing goals based decisions, etc.
Jordan Ostroff 15:31
Alright, so let’s start with the people that are the mass and then we’ll move on to the successful I guess, masses the wrong were the people that know that they are, they need to help. Yeah, there we go. That’s a very much better way to put it. So obviously, a lot of these people are coming to you, I haven’t done anything. So that’s going to be a big problem that they’ve done nothing, right. But for those that have done something, what problems are you seeing most commonly show up at that stage?
Robert Crews 16:01
I would say just not being compliant with the Internal Revenue Service, right. So they have, you know, I picked up a client the other day, just to give you an example, real quick, I picked up a client, she has a great accounting process, got the QuickBooks setup, she actually got someone in there handling all the accounting functions, she hasn’t filed a tax return in four years. It’s like, you have all the records, all you had to do is just reach out to, you know, a third party CPA to get it done. And so that’s kind of what that would look like, for the most part, and or they’re starting to get IRS tax notices. And then and then obviously, they don’t want to be in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. And so we start getting, you know, that’s when we start getting the calls is, Hey, I just got this notice says I owe $25,000, please help.
Jordan Ostroff 16:47
They had a Charlotte Erdman who was I think our first or second episode is a tax attorney had a thing on that she posted at tax time where it’s like, oh, and then Turbo Tax is an interesting term. Interesting turn, how many years prison? Are you willing to take after filing these taxes? You know, 0211 to two? And I just thought it was it was a great question for them to pop out there.
Robert Crews 17:08
I didn’t see that. That’s awesome.
Jordan Ostroff 17:10
So but I mean, the person that has all the records, they’re ready to go has kept them and just hasn’t filed. That’s got to be the exception. Right?
Robert Crews 17:19
Yeah. So I mean, well, except, what do you mean by the exception?
Jordan Ostroff 17:24
I’m assuming most people are like, I haven’t tracked anything, please go back and fix this?
Robert Crews 17:28
Well, you’re about it the whole story about someone bringing a shoe box of receipts? Sure, we get those. Have I turned down those clients? I absolutely have, because some of those clients.
I’ve actually referred them out to other accounting firms.
They may typically,
or they’re not willing to take on the cost to get them where they need to go. Okay. Right. And so they’re not willing to put in the effort to help them get compliant. And, and so we’ve had definitely had those issues. But yeah, you’re right, you’re absolutely right. I mean, someone has absolutely come into an office, I’ve got nothing I haven’t filed in four or five years. And here’s all my bank statements from their online banking. And absolutely, were able to, were able to take all that information and get them compliant.
Jordan Ostroff 18:27
And at least I guess that makes it easier that there is the online banking records for these days something percent right transactions, right. Any other issues that you commonly see for those people that are just not in compliance, totally need you to help them start from scratch.
Robert Crews 18:42
Um, you know, those those those people typically make decisions before they contact me, okay. tax implications is not on their mind. And typically, they’ll make decisions throughout the year, I’ll talk to them during tax season. And there’s Oh, by the way, I did this, I said, Oh, boy, well, this is this is what’s going to happen. And so our better clients call us throughout the year, they’re not going to get a bill for a 10 minute conversation. But our clients that think proactively enjoy our relationship that much more, just because it’s so much more open, so much more transparent. And those are a clients and
Jordan Ostroff 19:28
I’ll throw myself under the bus here. I, my wife, you know, we found out we had the kid we bought a Jeep Cherokee. Had I have talked to my account beforehand, I would have bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee, because that would have been enough of a way to take full deduction, and I caught myself like 60 $500 6000 pounds. The larger car, yeah, which would have actually saved me money in the long run, even if I’d spend more in the car in the short term. So I’m, I’m slowly making my way from the former client to the latter type type of client
Robert Crews 19:57
will get you there.
Jordan Ostroff 19:58
All right. Alright, so let’s move over those to those clients that have stuff in place that are looking to go from, you know, X to looking to get to the next step. What does that client usually look like?
Robert Crews 20:10
Well, I had a client had a client meeting last Wednesday. They’re a consulting firm. They’re an international client. And this is just an example of, of those type of clients. We, we, they have four locations outside of the US, they have two in Sweden, two in Brazil. And they’ve, they have an accounting department, they have a controller, they have a finance major, they have all those major pieces in place of what a typical, very successful established business would have. Something, you know, they do 50 to 60 million in revenue. And so the next conversation, those conversations we were having on Wednesdays, okay, what’s next? What is it going to look like for the next 2345 years? One of those one of those points on that on the long term goal was, okay, well, we want to start doing an annual audit for at least two years, and then maybe do an initial public offering over in the Sweden Stock Exchange.
Jordan Ostroff 21:12
So an internal audit,
Robert Crews 21:13
Jordan Ostroff 21:15
You don’t know anything about the Sweden Stock Exchange? Is that a
Robert Crews 21:17
whale? I mean, it’s, I know very little as well. Yeah, I do know that they also have the initial public offering exact same process. Okay, place. But, but that’s kind of like the next level, talking points that we can help with. And that right now, we’re actually implementing something where an ongoing consulting agreement of some sort with this firm, and not only that, do the annual audit, and then at some point, two, three years, maybe even look into, like I said, getting them on the stock exchange.
Jordan Ostroff 21:49
How did they end up in America, Sweden and Brazil? That seems like such a interesting mix.
Robert Crews 21:54
So the president of the company is from Sweden. Okay. And he moved here many years ago.
And is a great opportunity in Brazil, and in Sweden, for this particular company.
Jordan Ostroff 22:15
Interesting. Yeah. I just like I can’t think of anything that Brazil and Sweden have in common. So, all right, so you’ve got this client, and I’m assuming that international client like that, that’s going to be a above average normal client for you. That’s correct. So when they come to you for that next step? I mean, what are the things that what are the major things you’re looking at to help make sure they’ve got the right foundation? And to help get them to that next step?
Robert Crews 22:46
Well, anything from making sure all of their accounting processes and procedures are put in place. Ok. Ok. Internal financial reporting for management use reports, which could potentially mean cash flow, reports, projections, forecasts, honestly, the more involved we are,
the more stable and
established the accounting department is going to be obviously. Okay. So
we, we work with,
just lost my train of thought, what was the question again?
Jordan Ostroff 23:28
I don’t know. You know, so when you’ve got these clients coming in trying to take the next step, you know, what are what are the what foundational things are you looking for that they’re ready to take that next step, and then we’ll talk about what Okay,
Robert Crews 23:40
processes to get that next step, right. So make sure they have the right employees in place. So when they’re wanting to take that next step, they’re definitely going to incur cost. So normally, they’re used to handling all of the finance, all the finances right there used to handling the QuickBooks, maybe hand handling the billing, handling the AR, etc, etc. Well, that next step may be bringing in an employee for the accounting department to offload, maybe the HR functions, maybe the AP functions.
and so they can, one of the things that I tell most of the business owners is listen, yes, you’re going to take one step back when hiring this employee from a financial perspective, right, you know, from a cash flow perspective. But the end goal is to take two steps forward. And so the more the more they’re able to leverage and bring on additional police, and then have us come in and put in those processes and procedures for these employees help train them, how to help get them to where they need to be to help grow this business, is really that next talking point, from being success from being a survival type business, you know, going back to the three S’s, that middle tier to being a very successful business.
Jordan Ostroff 25:08
And it’s like you talked about training the employees, because you would not believe the issues that we’ve had, where we get all, you know, the handbooks in place, the partnership agreements in place everything and then they’re like, don’t tell the employees about it, and they don’t follow the things they have to do to make sure it sticks and this person is in breach and that person is in breach in the non compete doesn’t kick in. And so yes, business owners, if you’re listening, training your employees to make sure they follow the stuff that you’ve paid to have in place to protect you, legally and financially is definitely key is very important. So then let’s talk about taking that next step. So you know, we mentioned hiring new employees and whatnot to set that up. But for most businesses, I mean, how do you? How do you help the business owner determine what that next step looks like?
Robert Crews 25:52
I’m sitting down and talking with them say, listen, what is your goal? What are you trying to get from it? flow and we can do projections, we can do forecasts. But what’s what’s the end goal here? If you read the book, Extreme Ownership by these two navy seals,
Jordan Ostroff 26:13
you know, I have not but it’s on my list.
Robert Crews 26:15
Yes, please, a great read. And they basically talk talk about how they take their, all their training from from seal school, and how they applied it to actual combat, and then how that applies to being an owner of a business. And at the end of the day, what it is, is looking yourself in the mirror, okay, it’s a long book, but in a nutshell, it’s, you know, taking ownership, taking leadership, and looking yourself in the mirror and say, What could I have done better, if something failed, somewhere along the lines, I did not put the process and procedures in place to help whomever was doing it at that time to be successful. And the
bad too. If my patients with business owners, one of the things they talk about is,
you know, any one person cannot manage more than five people. And what that means is delegation, always trying to delegate and putting processes and procedures in place to, to delegate. And if you manage more than five people, if you have more than five people coming to you at any given time, you might be spread too thin. And so what it teaches you to do is to always delegate put those processes and procedures in place. And that’s what we’ve really tried to implement for business owners.
Jordan Ostroff 27:47
So I hope my employees are listening to this, because we’ve got nine employees and I all I talked about is dangerous and getting them in place. Right. So I’m glad, I’m glad it’s not just me. So I guess obviously, it’s going to be different for each individual company for the next step. But I mean, that next step, are we talking, you know, I want to make a million dollars this year, I want to have five locations I want like, what are some of the other goals that you’re helping people find?
Robert Crews 28:15
Yeah, I mean, the range of those conversations, you’re right is specific to the specific business owner, and they range from, I want to, I want to establish two new locations this year, I want to grow by 40%. And I want to actually grow out of state of Florida, what are some other state state compliance issues that have to worry about with maybe going into Georgia, or South Carolina, or something along those lines? Those conversations also range from I’m looking to merge with another, another company, you know, help me look, help me go through this due diligence process, and identify, you know, by looking at the financials are the potential business that I’m going to purchase? What are some of the questions I need to be looking at? You know, so those questions vary from from from meeting to meeting? And it really is, like you said, specific to the business owner? And I think you’d be surprised by the different ranges of those conversations.
Jordan Ostroff 29:13
How frequently are you talking the business owner out of an idea?
Robert Crews 29:20
So I am devil’s advocate. And I am the guy that is going to say, Listen, if you thought about this, these are the potential risks. And actually, probably 25 30% of the time, I’m saying this is not a good idea.
Jordan Ostroff 29:36
Okay, that’s not bad.
Robert Crews 29:38
You know, one for one and three. Right? Right. Exactly. And, and, you know, it’s a more often than not, um, I would say another one in for one out of three, I’m saying, I think you should really do this. And then the other times, I’m like, have you considered this? Have you considered this? Have you considered this? And I’m kind of, you know, but it either way?
Jordan Ostroff 30:01
Well, I imagine a lot of it is you’re similar. For a lot of those in betweens connecting them with somebody who can really push them over the edge to do it or not do Right,
Robert Crews 30:11
Jordan Ostroff 30:12
At least a lot of our clients are our business broker contacts are the best person that we can introduce them to when they’re trying to acquire a business when they’re trying to expand and grow right to see, you know, what else is out there? And what what will the market bear for size costs? Whatever? Exactly. So what are some of the most common mistakes that you are seeing business owners make that prevent them from achieving that next step from continuing that success from you know, getting to those goals? Asking for help?
Robert Crews 30:39
Okay. I mean, that’s first and foremost, right? recognizing that, hey, I may not know all the answers. Let me reach out to a professional and and get their advice. And that ranges from contacting a business attorney like yourself, or contacting a tax professional, how this is going to impact coming from a tax perspective. And so that’s probably the number one mistake is I get calls after the fact all the time. I had a guy that wanted to go through the 1031 exchange process, why kind of changed, you know, tax differ, right? defer taxes. And he actually contacted me after he sold the property after he constructively received all the funds, while in 1031. Exchange, once you constructively receive funds, you can no longer go through a 1031 exchange where you have to have an intermediary. Yes. So that is the number one thing that I find that I wish, a lot of different individuals would just reach out, not just me, just anybody.
Jordan Ostroff 31:45
Yeah, it’s the an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure type thing, right. Any other common mistakes you’re seeing? Obviously, obviously, the making sure your ducks lined up beforehand is key.
Robert Crews 31:57
Right? Right. Um, another thing is, I see a lot of business owners that run their business by looking at their checking account. Really don’t have anything, any bearing on what’s coming in the next 30 days. So really, what’s coming
Jordan Ostroff 32:16
in what’s going out? Both either or? Okay,
Robert Crews 32:18
right, you know, what bills they have to do in the next 30 days, and or, you know, what money they have coming in the next 30 days, assuming everyone pays,
but just right, my fingers crossed.
Right. And so just recognizing that, hey, you know, simply looking at a checking account, and your credit card isn’t enough to get to that next level.
Jordan Ostroff 32:42
Yeah, it’s always interesting to me the, you know, when I talked to a lot of people that run, I don’t wanna say, real businesses, because we’re not a fake business, but running non service industries, and then talking about bills and subcontractors and everything else that has to go out. I’m sitting here like, Well, you know, I got that one bill for that demo last month, and I got this for the quarter reporter. And now that we’ve paid those, like three bills, you know, we’re covering for the next 30 days, Bill wise, say, it’s a totally different mindset. We’re got a lot of these other business owners with, you know, making widgets or whatnot, between everything else. Right. All right, so let’s transition a little bit into more positive stuff. I know, we talked briefly about the 6000 pound car issue, what are some other, you know, common tips that you’ve got out there that will apply to a wide range of audience that will help them from a tax standpoint?
Robert Crews 33:28
Right, the biggest thing I find is,
you know, the way they are structured from a tax perspective, okay, more frequently not. I get, I get clients that, you know, they’ll be taxed one way, and I’m just like, why are we still doing this? Let’s get to that next level, let’s make elections to do this. And that, you know, maybe maybe elect to become an S corp, if that’s in the cards, but really, communicating? And let’s see what what else there’s also okay, also maybe implementing small retirement plans for the small business owners. Okay, let’s just say they do. They are very successful. They’ve been successful for many years, and they are established. Now, let’s talk about deferring taxes. And maybe that is another small retirement plan. You know, and that may be a sapphire a solo 401k is simple IRA. It just various other things, for example, might be, you know, running your health insurance, if you’re if you’re a small business owner running your health insurance to the business, there’s a small owners, self employed health and
which ends are high deductible these days, all of them
are good, unless you’re a government employee for the for the state of Florida, not just the county. Right, right. Maybe establishing health savings account, that’s a tax deduction, you know, reducing taxable income. You know, there’s, I can go on and on and on. And that’s actually that brings up a good point, you know, November’s our tax projection tax planning month, for a lot of our clients that want to kind of know, what is it going to look like during tax season, and be the month of our clients will reach out, and they’ll say, Hey, here’s my yesterday financials for October, I want you to kind of give me an idea of what I’m going to Oh, and April, and then let’s talk about, let’s give me some talking points, or some tips I can do to mitigate taxes before the end of the year, maybe that is buying a car, you know, it’s more than 6000 pounds, or maybe it’s establishing Health Savings Account. Or maybe it’s opening up a solo 401k. On and on and on, it just depends,
Jordan Ostroff 35:44
or having the firm Christmas party at the person’s house and then renting it out. Right. The other one I wanted to talk about because I don’t really understand this, but it’s fascinating to me is somebody was telling me that if you own you the property that your business operates on creating a second company, to rent out the property to your own business, and then you get like a 25% deduction, for rentals or something.
Robert Crews 36:09
Right? So you’re 20% 20% English you’re referring to is this new law, from the tax cuts and jobs act called the qualified business income deduction. And so basically, there’s a 20% deduction for if you’re an active participation in real estate, you know, so at the end of the day, what you’re doing is you’re creating an expense for the operating business, creating a the same same model number creating a rental income, right for the new holding company for the real estate, and then you’re able to create a 20% deduction on that other company as well.
Jordan Ostroff 36:52
Okay, yep. Because I know, we’ve talked to people from a legal standpoint, you know, from protecting yourself for slip and falls or injuries or what, right, that can be very helpful, because a lot of service businesses, you know, that you’re building is really the only asset you have. Right. But also, it’s interesting that there’s all there’s a tax, potential tax savings there potential, right. And obviously, I guess the 20% has to outweigh the cost of having another business and finances and whatnot.
Robert Crews 37:15
Right? I mean, when we’re talking about commercial rain, depending on the size of the business, yeah, you’re right, you got kind of waiting, you know,
Jordan Ostroff 37:26
any any other big tips? I know, really, it’s a lot of it’s going to be that sit down with the person to walk through their stuff. But
Robert Crews 37:32
yeah, um, you know,
since we’re talking about qualified business, income deduction, just one of these things that I come across, and I’m just kind of going off of most recent conversations with business owners, I had a business owner
was considering onboarding up a shareholder, right was going to bring in somebody on. And when we’re referring to the qualified business income to double, it’s actually limited to service based entities, like yourself turns or financial advisors. And there’s, in this particular instance, this guy was a financial advisor. And he was innocent asserts become limited at $315,000 in taxable income. And so this guy was well above that. And I said, well, y’all have a great problem to have. And, and so one of the things I advised him on, I said, Hey, if you’re wanting to do this, do this before the end of the year, and maybe even make this retroactive a little bit, because this could potentially get you down below the $315,000 of taxable income from Pastor income perspective, and then that would generate a 20% qualified business income deduction. And it actually worked out very well and probably saved him $50,000 in taxes. Wow. Yeah. Just another another. And that’s, that’s I just can’t come up with that. It’s kind of like, you know, I brainstorm I sit down, have these conversations with business owners. And those are just some of the different things that I’ve come up with. When we’re in a meeting.
Jordan Ostroff 39:00
It’s the benefit of actually spending time with clients, right? You get so many of these places where it’s a, you know, they mill everybody through and you’re based upon how quickly you can get through people, whereas our businesses were so much built more on the relationship. Right, right. Alright, so now having had somebody listen to this podcast for about the last, you know, 4050 minutes now they’re convinced they definitely need your help. Can you give us the contact info again?
Robert Crews 39:24
Yes, Solutions Group accounting firm, Our phone number is 321-363-4982. And our offices located at 1404, North ronald reagan Boulevard in Longwood, Florida. And, you know, quite frequently, I do go off and meet clients at their own location. So if you know you’re in downtown Orlando Cassini area, I have clients down in Miami that I visit once a year, so I do travel and go visit our clients.
Jordan Ostroff 39:53
Very cool. All right, before we wrap up here, anything else you want our listeners to know?
Robert Crews 40:01
If you’re looking for for someone for a source of solutions, give us a call. All right.
Jordan Ostroff 40:11
If you need to think about the question, go for it. Okay. If somebody listened to this, they take nothing else away, except what we’re about to say now, what is the one piece of advice that you want to give to every business owner?
Robert Crews 40:26
Robert Crews 40:33
build your business around relationships, and don’t worry too much about the financial dollar. And you will be better off
Jordan Ostroff 40:40
all right. I like it, you know, especially the the longer I go, the more I agree with you.
Robert Crews 40:46
You know, on day one, and sometimes it’s hard to do that. But on day, you know, 1500 or whatever it is, it’s a lot easier. It’s funny, you mentioned that because you’re exactly right. When I started in 2015, yes, I build, right. I still have those clients today, luckily. But I can tell you, if you contacted those same clients today, they would say our relationship is much stronger today than what it was that good. That’s great. Yep.
Jordan Ostroff 41:12
All right. Thanks again for joining us today. Now. Thank you for having me.
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