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The Anderson ZurMuehlen newsroom includes current news, releases and industry updates. If you want to stay connected with us in other ways, follow our posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

Anderson ZurMuehlen Announces Promotions

Anderson ZurMuehlen announces the promotion of Robert Culpon to chief operations officer and shareholder. As COO, Culpon will work closely with Anderson ZurMuehlen shareholders and management to direct the day-to-day operations & improve operational efficiencies. Culpon brings more than 23 years of experience to his new position. He has been with the firm since 2002.

Carol Jaeger has been promoted to shareholder. She specializes in tax preparation and for-profit business consulting. Jaeger joined the firm in 2005 and is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Montana and has been with the firm since 2005.

Kellie Langer has been promoted to shareholder. Langer is a certified Professional in Human Resources, a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, and a licensed Montana Insurance Producer. She has over 20 years of experience in employee benefits. Langer’s experience includes human resources consulting, retirement plan processing, and benefit designs including alternative insurance designs, flexible benefit plans and executive benefit plans. She manages Employee Benefit Resources, Inc., a sister company of Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C., and has been with the firm since 1997.

Erin Furr, CPA, has been promoted to senior manager with Anderson ZurMuehlen. Furr joined the firm in 2011 through a merger with Hamilton Misfeldt & Co. She had worked with this firm since 2001. Furr specializes in tax consultation, including trusts, estates, nonprofits, and corporations. She has a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Accounting Option from Montana State University.

Angela Murdo, CPA, CFE, has been promoted to senior manager. She provides business consulting services and performs audits for financial institutions, nonprofits, and corporate clients. Murdo has a Masters of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Montana. She has been with the firm since 2001.

Linsay Carlson, CPA, has been promoted to senior. Her experience includes accounting, tax preparation, financial statement analysis and audit exams for nonprofits, government entities, employee benefit plans and corporations. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Communication and a Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate from Linfield College. She joined the firm in 2011.

Lyndsey Geering, CPA, has been promoted to manager. Her areas of expertise include financial statement and compliance audits for nonprofits and local governments and tax services for individuals and businesses. Geering has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Accounting Option from Montana State University and has been with firm since 2011.

Tami Hanson, CPA, was recently promoted to manager. She has experience with financial statements, audits, and tax preparation for businesses. Hanson has a Bachelor of Science with an Accounting Option from Montana State University and she has been with the firm since 2007.

Skyler Knuchel has been promoted to senior. Knuchel’s experience includes audit examinations, evaluation of internal accounting control systems, financial statement preparation and analysis. He also prepares tax returns for individuals, partnerships and corporations. Knuchel has a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems with an Accounting Option from Montana Tech of the University of Montana. He has been with the firm since 2011.

Keith Bushnell, QKA, was promoted to Manager. He provides administration services for retirement plans including 401(k)s, profit sharing, money purchase pensions and ESOPs. Bushnell joined Employee Benefit Resources, Inc., a sister company of Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., P.C., in 2004 and has an Accounting degree from the University of Montana.

Kendra Freeck, CPA, was recently promoted to manager. Freeck has experience with financial statements, audits, and QuickBooks®. She has a Master of Professional Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Accounting Option from Montana State University. Freeck has been with Anderson ZurMuehlen since 2006.

Kate Oswald, CPA, has been promoted to senior. She joined the firm in 2011 through a merger with Hamilton Misfeldt & Co. and had worked for that firm since 2010. Oswald specializes in governmental audits, and tax preparation. She works with cities, airport authorities, nonprofits, school districts and corporations. Oswald has a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Montana State University.

David Pfile, CPA, has been promoted to senior. He joined the firm in 2011 through a merger with Hamilton Misfeldt & Co. and had worked for that firm since 2010. Pfile specializes in tax planning and has audit experience with nonprofits, auto dealerships, government and credit unions. He has a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Montana.

Andrew Durkin, CPA, was promoted to supervisor. Durkin’s experience includes tax planning and preparation, audit examinations and financial statement analysis. He has a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business from Montana State University. Durkin has been with the firm since 2008.

Jill Galle, CPA, has been promoted to supervisor. Her experience includes accounting and financial statement analysis. Galle also performs audits for nonprofits, government entities, and corporations. She has a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Montana and has been with the firm since 2008.

Kiely Sampson, CPA, was promoted to supervisor. She has audit and accounting experience related to financial statements, audits, and tax return preparation. Sampson has a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Montana. She joined the firm in 2007 and recently relocated from the Missoula office.

Callie Blanton, CPA, has been promoted to senior. Blanton specializes in financial statements, audits and accounting for nonprofit, government and corporations. She has a Master of Professional Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business with an Accounting option from Montana State University. Blanton has been with the firm since 2010.

JulieAnn Culpon, SPHR, has been promoted to human resources manager. She manages benefits, recruitment and staff development. Culpon has served as the communications director for the Society of Human Resource Managers Helena board of directors since 2011. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Magdalen College and has been with the firm since 2007.

Randy Parmer, MCP, has been promoted to help desk supervisor for information system services which provides support for end users on all areas of Information Technology. Parmer conducts needs assessments, evaluates assistance currently being offered and develops approaches to enhance firm capabilities for user support. Parmer has an Applied Science in Computer Technology/Network Administration from The University of Montana-Helena College of Technology and has been with the firm since 2007.

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Anderson ZurMuehlen Supports Florence Crittenton’s Fundraiser by Creating a Designer Bra

Independent Record-Aja Rail, an administrative professional at Anderson ZurMuehlen, puts the finishing touches on the office’s elaborate bra entitled, $weet and $a$$y, for Florence Crittenton’s third annual Support Our Girls event being held Thursday, Aug. 22, at Green Meadow Country Club from 6-9:30 p.m.‘It’s such an honor for us at Anderson ZurMuehlen to get the opportunity to be a part of such a great cause,’ said Rail. ‘Working together as a team with such amazing women for a group of even more amazing women. It’s such a treat.’Florence Crittenton provides support through community-based and residential services to young parents, their children and families to help promote health, strong families and positive life outcomes. The event brings ‘bra-tists’ from around the community to make creative pieces of art based around the brassiere. The art will be auctioned off in a summer setting with entertainment from local artists and personalities to raise money for the nonprofit. The art piece from Anderson ZurMuehlen will be accompanied by a basket of goodies donated by Boxwoods and Cobblestone Clothing. Tickets are available online at www.supportourgirls.com or by phone at 442-6950 ext. 204 and are $45, which includes a complimentary cocktail and hors d’oeuvres.

Photo credit: Eliza Wiley, Independent Record

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Veronica Bergin, Karina Ragan and Courtney Wendland, Join Anderson ZurMuehlen

Anderson ZurMuehlen announces the hiring of three staff at their Great Falls office. Courtney Wendland, staff consultant, does accounting and audit work including financial statement preparation. Her client groups include nonprofits, school districts and businesses. She has a master’s degree in professional accountancy and a bachelor’s degree in business from Montana State University.

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Anderson ZurMuehlen named Bozeman’s top employer

The Bozeman office was recently recognized for our commitment to providing a family-friendly work environment.

Bozeman Business and Professional Women named Anderson ZurMuehlen the Employer of the Year for 2013. The award was presented at an event on March 20, 2013 held at the Bozeman Library. See the news story on KTVM-TV.

Anderson ZurMuehlen was chosen based on the following criteria:

1. Commitment to the development and advancement of women in the workplace.

2. Implementation of family-friendly policies and activities that support working women.

3. Creation of a workplace that is guided by established core values.

4. Involvement and support of nonprofit organizations in the community.

Learn more about Anderson ZurMuehlen’s career opportunities.

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Anderson ZurMuehlen Highlighted in Accounting Today Magazine

Anderson ZurMuehlen Named Top Helena Employer

The Helena Job Service Employers Committee honored Anderson ZurMuehlen as the best Helena Employer. Cindy Utterback, office vice-president and Don Laine, chief executive officer accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

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Service Organization Control Reporting: We Can Assess Your Risks

Service organizations receive requests from customers for assurance on systems’ controls over financial reporting. In addition, they get requests for reports that help customers understand the measures that are in place to protect the privacy and confidentially of user data, as well as the security, availability and processing integrity of systems. Service Organization Control (SOC) engagements have become a standard approach to examining, assessing and reporting on these controls.

This white paper focuses on the different control reporting options available and provides guidance to help organizations determine which report is appropriate for their needs.

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Tax Update: American Taxpayer Relief Act

Combo Mike 2007 Suit

With no time to spare, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” (the Act). The Act prevents many of the tax hikes that were scheduled to go into effect in 2013 and retains many favorable tax breaks that were scheduled to expire. However, it also increases income taxes for some high-income individuals and slightly increases transfer tax rates. This letter summarizes the Act’s key provisions.

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Mike Combo, CPA, Shareholder

 

Tax Update: Payment from private sales will count as income

By Mike Combo, CPA

Beginning in 2012, the IRS will analyze payments/income received from merchant cards including VISA and MasterCard or third party networks such as Paypal and Google Checkout. This income may apply to items you have sold through Craigslist, Ebay or other sources. You should receive Form 1099-K showing the payment amount. The 1099-K must be furnished to you by January 31st. Please provide all Form 1099-Ks you receive to your tax advisor so we can prepare your return accurately.

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Year-end Tax Planning for Construction Companies

It’s time for the snow to fly in Montana, which also means it’s a good time to proactively review year-end income and deductions for your construction company and do some planning before the New Year arrives. Owning your own construction business provides the opportunity for numerous deductions, but you also need to make sure you don’t become a target of the IRS.

Construction company owners face a myriad of challenges in today’s marketplace. Like many small business owners, you must deal with self-employment taxes and income taxes. Using an assumed federal income tax rate of 15%, a state income tax rate of 5%, and the actual self-employment tax rate of 13.3% yields a combined rate of 33.3%. Personal exemptions, standard deductions, and credits may help, but many small business owners also need to plan and save for taxes. In most cases, they must also pay quarterly estimated taxes. A good rule of thumb is to save at least one out of every four dollars for taxes. Work with your CPA or tax preparer throughout the year to plan for your current tax bill. And if you’re extending your line of credit, make sure your bank has budgeted for taxes.

As a best practice, consider reviewing your year-end tax rates and projecting what your tax rate may be next year. In some cases, it may be worth accelerating your income to capture a lower tax rate. This may be especially true with capital gains, as many taxpayers believe rates could be headed higher in the coming years.

Although the deduction for expensing equipment has been significantly reduced this year, it’s still worth considering. The 179 deduction for equipment purchases in 2012 is $139,000, which is down considerably from $500,000 in 2011. Watch for year-end changes in the law, as Congress may be willing to increase the 179 limit to stimulate the economy. Bonus depreciation for brand new equipment is 50% of the cost. While there are further limits on cars and trucks, making a purchase before year-end can still make sense, especially a truck or other SUV that is used in the business and has a GVW over 6,000 pounds. While equipment purchases can significantly reduce your current year tax burden, be careful not to spend your money just to avoid a tax bill. Only invest in equipment if it’s truly needed for your construction business.

One of your best purchases may be a new computer and software. The size of your business will largely determine the hardware and software needed. QuickBooks® for Construction Companies is an excellent software package if your business is small to medium-sized. Consider computerizing your bookkeeping system and using computerized checks. There are some interesting applications available that have been specifically developed to assist with your record keeping on the fly. If your construction business is larger, there are other excellent software packages to choose from, such as ComputerEase and Timberline.

Another excellent tax deduction is planning for an SEP-IRA or other retirement contribution. This is one way to soften the bite from your income tax bill; be aware, however, that it does not lower your self-employment tax.

As a construction contractor, review your independent contractor status. To avoid paying payroll taxes, some companies make the mistake of hiring “independent contractors” who technically qualify as employees. While many individuals work in the construction industry as independent contractors, you need to ensure the person qualifies for this status. While no two situations are alike, the amount of control, level of expertise, and other important facts will determine whether you have an employee or an independent contractor. Your CPA can offer guidance on how to determine whether someone qualifies as an independent contractor.

Finally, some thoughts on the type of business entity you should have. Currently, many attorneys are recommending LLCs or LLPs. However, don’t overlook a C Corporation as the next step from operating as a sole proprietor. I like C Corporations for net value up to $250,000. C Corporations offer ways to legitimately limit payroll taxes, and they have deductions other operating entities can’t offer. The big drawback of the C Corporation is that earnings may be double-taxed upon liquidation. If you have questions, consulting with your CPA or tax professional is a must.

Learn more about Anderson ZurMuehlen’s Construction Industry services.

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