Director Featured on Popular Podcast

September 15, 2016

Greg Papineau, Director at BiggsKofford, was featured on the popular Green Apple Podcast. To listen to their interview, click here!

John Garrett, self-proclaimed Recovering CPA and creator of the Green Apple Podcast, interviewed Greg and captioned the following about their discussion:

Greg serves others to create stronger client relationships

Greg Papineau takes service to a whole new level, especially now that he’s a Deacon in the Catholic Church. He was first called to this in 2000 as a chaperone on his son’s World Youth Day visit to the Vatican. Since then, he’s been ordained and in his words, can “marry, bury and baptize”. And, oh yeah, he also happens to be the 1989 Colorado State Champion Cyclist.

In this episode, we talk about how the word “Deacon” is derived from a Greek word meaning “servant”. Greg is always thinking how he can be even more service oriented and also develop a personal interest in clients and coworkers. This leads to a cycling group that meets in the warmer months and team meetings starting where the new staff members tell everyone a little bit about their life outside of work.

Greg Papineau works as the Director of Audit & Assurance for BiggsKofford, PC. He’s also the lead for the Firm’s Physician Group Services and Non-profit Services. Prior to joining BiggsKofford, he was a Controller in the banking industry after spending a few years at a different public accounting firm.

He has a Bachelor of Science, Accounting from Central Washington University.”

 

To hear their podcast, click here!

Share

BiggsKofford Promotes and Grows to Eight Directors

May 01, 2016

hammond_smallBiggsKofford, one of the leading certified public accounting and business consulting firms in Colorado, announced today the promotion of Braden Hammond, CPA/ABV to Director. Hammond joins the firm’s team of seven directors: Chris Blees, Kurt Kofford, Greg Gandy, Greg Papineau, Michael McDevitt, Deborah Helton, and Austin Buckett.

Hammond joined BiggsKofford in 2001 and has a passion for the technical aspects of auditing and accounting. He understands that, rather than merely providing a historical report, an audit can help a move a company to its next level of success. In 2006, he was promoted to Manager and has continued to dedicate his hard work and leadership skills to the firm.

“Braden is an extremely valuable member of the BiggsKofford team,” said Chris Blees, Managing Partner. “He has the entrepreneurial spirit that all BiggsKofford Directors have.”

Founded in 1982, Colorado Springs-based BiggsKofford currently employs more than 25 professionals. BiggsKofford offers integrated business solutions, including tax, accounting, merger and acquisitions consulting, business valuation and litigation support.

BiggsKofford has expanded its services to meet the changing needs of over 500 business owners and entrepreneurs in Colorado’s Front Range.

Media, contact Jenn Watton at (719) 579-9090 for more information.

Share

BiggsKofford Continues to Expand with Internal Promotions

July 03, 2015

051_6757BiggsKofford, P.C., announces the promotion of Josephus Le Roux, to Audit  Manager of the firm. He joined the BiggsKofford team in January 2005.

Le Roux completed his undergraduate degree with a triple major in accounting, business administration and economics from Western State Colorado University located in Gunnison. Prior to being hired at BiggsKofford, he obtained a diversified background working for a credit union and another firm where he gained prior audit experience.

“Josephus consistently looks for ways to add value to our clients,” said Chris Blees, Managing Partner of BiggsKofford. “He has a work ethic and spirit that we believe to be essential in helping to supervise the firm.”

Founded in 1982, Colorado Springs-based BiggsKofford currently employs more than 25 people. BiggsKofford offers integrated business solutions, including tax, accounting, merger and acquisitions consulting, business valuation and litigation support. BiggsKofford has expanded its services to meet the changing needs of over 500 business owners and entrepreneurs in Colorado’s Front Range.

Media, contact Jenn Watton at (719) 579-9090 for more information.

Share

Your Financial Statement Audit: Less Stress, More Success

February 17, 2014

Take a deep breath. While your financial statement audit may be a requirement, being prepared for your audit is a guaranteed stress-reducer and will help to ease pressure and tension during the process. Take note of the following five tips for a hassle-free audit experience:

Be Prepared and Proactive

Be in contact with your auditor before your assessment. If a list of required pieces isn’t provided to you automatically by your auditor, ask them for a list of items they’ll need during your audit. If you have any questions about any of the items listed, let your auditor know and immediately communicate if you won’t be ready by your agreed- upon dates.

Although surprise is a required element in any audit, you’ll also need to produce some information on the spot. This information could include program reports, expense reports, or journal entry support. Although surprise is necessary, you can still prepare by creating files throughout the year to have all the required information in one, easy to access place.

Have realistic expectations

Expectations for your audit should reflect your contract with your auditing firm. Your contract will outline what the audit will accomplish and your responsibilities. Auditors used to perform “clean-up” accounting work for their clients during the audit—including the preparation of year-end journal entries, fixed asset schedules, and various liability analyses. This is not the case today. These days, professional standards draw a clear line between accounting and auditing services, so your auditor must remain independent of your accounting procedures.

If there are certain tasks you do not understand or cannot do due to a lack of knowledge or expertise, consider hiring a different firm to handle them. If you are fully capable to handle your own processes, then engage your audit firm to assist with certain analyses and adjustment information outside of your audit.

Reduce your risks

Draw up and review your accounting processes guidebook.  Self-assessing inherent internal control weaknesses and determining the necessary internal controls to mitigate such weaknesses is a powerful tool. From there, periodically check to verify that your organization’s policies and procedures are being followed.

If your operations have changed, discuss these developments with your auditor during the year and update your policies and procedure accordingly. Do not wait until the fieldwork begins or there could be a potential delay in your audit process.

Be ready to handle control deficiencies  

Your auditor will apply risk standards during your audit. Auditing standards define and identify deficiencies in internal control, other material weaknesses, and significant shortages. For example, the auditor will look to see if there is more than one person handling cash receipts and reviewing and approving cash disbursements and payroll, a second person authorizing contracts and their payment, and adequate oversight of your checks and balances system.

Keep communications open

Don’t let your annual audit be the only time you talk to your auditor. If you save up all your questions, it’s likely to extend the length of the audit and create more work for you and your auditor. Ask if there are new accounting announcements or changes for the year so you aren’t surprised after year-end. Be proactive in understanding the new guidance and its impact on your next audit and future financial reporting.

Although your audit requires some work, the paybacks are abundant. The audit not only assesses your overall financial condition, but can also identify complications with financial management and financial reporting, which can help to identify ways to reduce risk and strengthen internal controls.

 

For additional information, contact BiggsKofford at 719-579-9090 or info@biggskofford.com.

Share

IRS Audits Target Income of $1 Million or More

February 04, 2014

The number of audits performed this year by the Internal Revenue Service continued to decline in 2013 as it did in the previous year. Although revenue for the IRS has increased by a reported 6.3 percent, annual funding and staffing have decreased tremendously. According to data released in January, the agency, which has lost $1 billion in annual funding and 8,000 employees, over the last three years, collected $53 billion in revenue last year. The reduced audits resulted in $9.83 billion in revenue generated, which is the lowest figure since 2003.

In 2013, most income groups declined in the number of audits.  Less than one percent of taxpayers with incomes up to $1 million were audited last year; however, nearly 11 percent of taxpayers with incomes exceeding $1 million were reviewed, which is more than double the rate of audits done in 2006. This trend is proving to be very consistent for taxpayers who have surpassed the $1 million threshold.

Even though taxpayers are having difficulty reaching an IRS employee –only about 60 percent of toll-free callers were able to speak with a representative—the IRS is facing more potential budget cuts. With a proposed $1.8 billion cut by House Republicans, the agency may have additional internal losses. The 2014 financial budget is due to be set over the next two weeks.

If you have questions about how this may affect your business, call BiggsKofford at (719) 579-9090.

Share

The Wrong Way to Choose a Small Business Accountant

December 02, 2010
Michael McDevitt

Michael McDevitt

Director

Send Email
View Full Bio

To the outside world, accountants can seem like a strange breed. Spending most of our days buried under forms, spreadsheets and receipts, we can help make or break your business – not to mention your payroll and Schedule C.

Choosing the right accountant for your small business isn’t always as easy as it should be. There are a lot of us out there, and the right professional for one company can be a poor fit for another. With that in mind, here are the three worst ways to choose a small business accountant:

Waiting until the last minute.

It’s amazing how many people will show up at an accountant’s office with a stack of receipts in late March or early April and hope to get some top-shelf tax advice. It’s not that we can’t or won’t help them, but they’re making it difficult for us to do our jobs properly.

A good CPA will take an in depth look through your company’s finances, finding out where it’s healthy and which areas could use some improvement. Based on that info, we can not only help you run your small business more smoothly, but also make sure you’re getting every tax credit and deduction that’s coming to you.

The less time we have to do this, however, the more likely we are to miss something that could help, so try to see an accountant before it becomes an urgent issue.

Picking the first name out of the phone book.

There are hundreds of accountants in your local directory for a reason – some are better than others, and most of us have certain specialties and areas of expertise where we can be particularly helpful. Trusting part of your financial future to the first person who answers their phone isn’t likely to help you find the professional you’re looking for.

A better strategy is to narrow it down to two or three candidates based on their respective backgrounds. Ideally, you’ll want an accountant who is familiar with the kind of work you do, and has been recommended by a couple of your more successful peers. But speaking of recommendations…

Following referrals blindly.

It’s great that you’re golfing buddy has a good accountant that he or she trusts, but does that mean you should use them, too? Unless you’re in the same business (and maybe not even then), the answer could be a strong “no”.

Why? Because, even though it’s a good sign that someone you know and trust is recommending them, you don’t know enough about their background and skills to tell whether they’re a good fit for your business.

So how should you find an accountant? Visiting sites like this one is a good first step. Take a look through some similar articles and notice which professionals have clients with businesses like yours. Once you’ve identified a few that look like a good fit, schedule a meeting and find out more.

It might be tempting to take one of the quick ways to find an accountant, but you’ll only be shorting your own business in the long run.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about BiggsKofford and if we could be the right firm to serve you and your business.

Share

Auditing the Auditors

June 15, 2010
Kurt Kofford

Kurt Kofford

Director

Send Email
View Full Bio

    Consider these scenarios:

    1. You just received a regulatory notice in the mail from the government agency that regulates your company or organization, informing you that the audit of your company didn’t meet the required standards. The notice uses threatening language to spell out the negative consequences of not complying. What went wrong?
    2. You just received your company’s audit report in the mail and you realize that you have had very little interaction with your auditors. Instead of reaping the side benefits of insights and recommendations from the auditors outside perspective developed while auditing your organization, all you got were the pieces of paper you are required to give to the bank. What went wrong? Could this situation have been changed by taking different steps when choosing a CPA firm?

    Aren’t all financial statements audits created equally?

    The answer is a definite no! Audits are not a commodity in which one gallon of gas is just like the next. Yes, there is a large body of professional standards to guide all auditors in the performance of an audit and reporting on financial statements, but there is a wide variance in actual practice as to how those standards are followed.
    The professional auditing and reporting standards are broad enough and flexible enough to allow for the uniqueness of different companies and organizations and the different approaches of CPA firms performing the audits. This is as it should be, because no two organizations are alike and professional judgment is still the most important element of an audit.

    When an audit is not an audit

    Unfortunately, in my 26 years as a CPA and an auditor, and my experience over the last four years on the Colorado State Board of Accountancy, I have learned that some audits are better than others, and a few are downright bad. There are many factors that go into creating a superior audit, including the approach, skills, knowledge and time allocated to the audit. Most of these are factors in arriving at the cost of an audit, yet many organizations and companies select their auditors on the basis of cost alone as if the audit by one CPA firm is the same as the next.

    How big is the problem?

    No one knows for sure how many sub-standard audits there are, but recent studies in certain sectors have revealed concerning deficiencies. Substandard audits have become enough of a concern for the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that they are considering a proposal to require any auditor performing an audit to be submitted to them to be from an approved list, which would allow them to exclude auditors who have not been performing audits up to the required standards.

    What to Do? Our Recommendations

    The first thing to consider is the competence and longevity of the firm or accountant that you are engaging to audit your company. How long have they been in business? What is the firm’s professional standing and experience in your industry? Do they list references in their proposal for similar work and similar industries that they have done work for in the past? Check the Web site for the Colorado State Board of Accountancy to see if they have had any complaints filed against them. Not only should you find out if the CPA firm is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), but you should inquire how they have used their membership to improve their audit quality. For example, the AICPA has Audit Quality Centers for specialized areas such as employee benefit plan audits, where members can join to access resources to improve the quality of their audits. Also, check to see if they are in good standing with the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA). Both organizations require audit firms to conduct tri-annual peer reviews (an audit of the auditors).

    Ask them for their most recent peer review report and discuss the finding of their peer review with them to determine what suggestions for improvement were made.

    And of course, it’s important to take a detailed look at the proposal. Are they proposing in writing that your company’s needs will be met and to the proper regulations? When looking at proposals to decide on a CPA firm, many companies put together an audit committee to come to a decision as a group.

    In my position with the State Board of Accountancy, I’ve seen situations where businesses or organizations have made bad decisions in choosing CPAs when it came to their audit. These situations haven’t made headlines, but bad situations happen more than what I would like to see.

    The Bottom Line

    Selecting an auditor based only on cost is not a good idea. Often the old axiom applies “You get what you pay for”, so make sure you are reaping the benefits that an audit should bring to an organization.

    Share

    Using Financial Statements to Grow Your Business

    June 01, 2010
    Braden Hammond

    Braden Hammond

    Sr. Manager

    Send Email
    View Full Bio

    I have had people tell me that, while they understand why financial statements are necessary, they believe using them to run their business is like driving a car by looking into the rearview mirror. It’s true that historical financial statements have limited usefulness for decision-making. However, forward-looking or forecasted financial statements can be a powerful tool to help you grow your business.

    To get the most out of your forecasted financial statements you should (1) start with your long-term goals, (2) go beyond the income statement, (3) identify milestones and incentivize employees to achieve them, and (4) monitor your progress.

    Start with your long-term goals

    Hopefully it’s apparent that the financial statements I’m referring to are not the stereotypical budget you hastily prepare, by adding x% to last year’s revenues and expenses, and then stick in a drawer until next year. Instead, these financial statements should be based on your long-term goals.

    For example, assume your goal is to sell your business in five years for $10 million. You know that businesses in your industry typically sell for five times net income, so you need net income of $2.5 million five years from now to achieve your goal. You can work your way up the income statement to determine the revenues that you need to generate that specific net income and then fill in the rest of the details. Finally, you can forecast income statements for years one through four to get from where you are today to where you want to be in five years.

    Go beyond the income statement

    No one ever bought a vacation home with net income. To do that, you need cash flows. So, while forecasting the income statement is a great first step, you also need to forecast the balance sheet.

    Growing a company generally requires upfront cash investments in advertising, inventory, equipment, personnel, etc. To be successful, you need to be able to predict when you will need that cash and where it will come from. How much extra cash do you need? Can it be generated internally? Will you need additional debt or equity financing? The only way to answer these questions is to forecast the balance sheet.

    As an ancillary benefit, simply going through this process can help keep you focused on managing the balance sheet. For example, an active focus on reducing the time it takes to collect accounts receivable can accelerate your cash flows and reduce bad debts. Both will reduce the amount of external financing needed to fund your growth.

    Identify milestones and incentivize employees to achieve them

    One of the primary benefits of creating forecasted financial statements is to create expectations for employees in carrying out their job functions that lead towards your long-term goals. By soliciting feedback from key managers and employees in the forecasting process you can create buy-in for the overall objective.

    An important element of any growth initiative is incentivizing your key managers and employees to align their goals with your goals for the company. Ideally, the milestones on which you base incentives should be a challenge to achieve, but also attainable, objectively measurable and based on things which your employees can affect.

    The costs of these incentives should be included in your forecasted financial statements.

    Monitor your progress

    I recommend rolling financial statements for each of the next 12 months and then yearly financial statements from that point as far into the future as is practical. Each month you should compare your actual results with the forecasted financial statements to ensure the long-term goal is realistic and that you’re on target. If you’re not on target, or if circumstances have changed, you should update the financial statements to reflect your revised expectations.

    Reviewing your progress monthly you will renew your focus on your long-term goals and improve your chances of success.

    If you follow these recommendations you will find that your financial statements become less like a rearview mirror and more like a roadmap for growing your business. Clearly identifying your goals and monitoring your progress will give you peace of mind and the process will provide you with deeper insights into your business.

    Share
Our Location

Our Location

BiggsKofford
630 Southpointe Ct, #200
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

P: (719) 579-9090 | F: (719) 576-0126
info@biggskofford.com

Read More