BMSS News

Beyond the Bottom Line July 2014

New Revenue Recognition Standard

The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board issued Revenue from Contracts with Customers in late May 2014. The new revenue recognition standard is principles-based, which is a big shift from and eliminates the industry-specific guidance under U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Principles (GAAP) we have today. The revenue standard’s core principle is built on the contract between a vendor and a customer for the provision of goods and services. It attempts to depict the exchange of rights and obligations between the parties in the pattern of revenue recognition based on the consideration to which the vendor is entitled.

To accomplish this objective, the standard requires five basic steps:
(i) identify the contract with the customer,
(ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract,
(iii) determine the transaction price,
(iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract, and
(v) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation.

Every entity’s daily accounting and the way it executes contracts with customers might be affected. Entities will generally be required to make more estimates and use more judgment than under current guidance, which will be highlighted for users through increased disclosure requirements.

What is the timeframe for implementation? Non-public entities are required to apply the revenue recognition standard for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018. Non-public entities can early adopt for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016.  Although the required implementation date for non-public entities is more than three years away, companies should start to prepare for this change soon to choose the most appropriate transition method.

Read more about the new revenue recognition standard...

Talk with your BMSS CPA about how these new standards will affect your company.

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

Alabama’s ninth annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday will be held Friday, August 1 through Sunday, August 3, 2014. Retailers in participating municipalities are not allowed charge tax on exempt items.  Tax-exempt items include:

  • clothing up to $100 per item;
  • computers, software and computer supplies up to $750 per item;
  • school supplies and textbooks up to $50 per item; and
  • other books up to $30 each.

For more detailed information about the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, visit Alabama Department of Revenue's website or contact the BMSS State & Local Tax Services Group.

Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums

The IRS provided guidance on how to determine full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) and average annual wages, how to calculate the credit and what is a “qualifying arrangement” for for the Section 45R credit of the Affordable Care Act for small employers that offer health insurance coverage

Small businesses (with 25 or fewer FTEs and whose average annual wages are less than $50,000) that make non-elective contributions on behalf of their employees for insurance premiums are eligible for a tax credit.

From 2010 to 2013, small businesses were eligible for credits of up to 35% (tax-exempt organizations were eligible for a 25% credit) of non-elective contributions. Beginning in 2014, the maximum credit increased to 50% (and 35% for tax-exempt organizations). The credit is based on a percentage of the lesser of: (1) the amount of non-elective contributions paid by the small employer on behalf of employees under a qualifying arrangement during the tax year, and (2) the amount of non-elective contributions the employer would have paid under the arrangement if each employee were enrolled in a plan that had a premium equal to the average premium for the small group market in the rating area in which the employee enrolls for coverage.

A “qualifying arrangement” is when a small employer pays a uniform percentage (not less than 50%) of the premium cost of the health insurance coverage for each employee enrolled in the employer’s health insurance coverage plan.

To calculate the credit, all employees are included in determining FTEs and average annual wages. Leased employees are included, and former employees may be included in calculating the credit as long as they are also included for purposes of the uniform percentage requirement. Seasonal workers who work less than 120 days a year are excluded from the FTE calculation and the average annual FTE wage calculation, but they may be counted in calculating the amount of the credit if the employer pays a premium on their behalf.

This credit is only available for two consecutive tax years. Employers claim the credit by filing Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, the first year of the two-consecutive-year period.

Second Quarter 2014 Tax Developments

Some new tax developments have occurred in the past three months that may affect you or your business. Below are some of the highlights, or click here for details of all new developments. Please call us for what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.

Purchase of underlying property didn't prevent deduction for lease termination payment. The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has allowed a party that exercised an option to buy property that it was leasing, to deduct a portion of the amount tendered in the transaction as a lease termination payment. In so doing, it rejected the IRS's argument that the full amount tendered had to be capitalized as part of the purchase price. The dispute centered on an obscure tax law that states where property is acquired subject to a lease, no basis is allocated to the leasehold interest. The IRS said this provision precluded a deduction, but the Sixth Circuit disagreed because the lease terminated when the taxpayer acquired the property, the property was not acquired subject to a lease and the law at issue did not apply to bar the deduction. Years earlier, the Tax Court reached the opposite result in a case with similar facts.

Employer health insurance tactic may backfire. The IRS has warned of costly consequences to an employer that doesn't establish a health insurance plan for its employees, but reimburses them for premiums they pay for health insurance (either through a qualified health plan in the Marketplace or outside the Marketplace). According to the IRS, these arrangements, which are called employer payment plans, are considered to be group health plans subject to the market reforms of the Affordable Care Act. These reforms include the prohibition on annual limits for essential health benefits and the requirement to provide certain preventive care without cost sharing. Such arrangements cannot be integrated with individual policies to satisfy the market reforms. Consequently, such an arrangement fails to satisfy the market reforms and may be subject to a $100/day excise tax per applicable employee.

Qualified retirement plans and IRAs may permit purchases of "longevity" annuities. The IRS issued regulations that allow purchases of deferred "longevity" annuities under various tax-favored retirement vehicles including 401(k) plans and IRAs. Retirees may use a limited portion of their retirement savings to purchase guaranteed income for life starting at an advanced age, such as 80 or 85, to address the risk of outliving their assets.

BMSS & Employee News

Congratulations to the following employees on their recent promotions at BMSS!  Kim Tarnakow, CPA was promoted to Senior Manager. Kim joined BMSS in 2005 and works in all areas of taxation, but specializes in mergers and acquisitions, research & development (R&D) tax credits and state and local taxes.

Promoted to Supervisor were Kate Fluker and John Schenk. Kate Fluker, CPA began at BMSS as an intern in 2009 and provides tax compliance, planning and advisory services along with business consulting and accounting services. She is involved in employee recruitment and training employees on tax practices, standards and software. John Schenk, CPA, joined BMSS in 2012 after working with an international public accounting firm for 3 years and in a property and casualty insurance internal audit department. He specializes in providing accounting and auditing solutions to credit unions and financial institutions and currently serves as the Secretary for the Birmingham Young CPAs.

Caroline Cockrell and John Haggard were promoted to Senior Accountant and Luke Arnett, Conner Jones and Jennifer Mayfield were promoted to Staff Accountant B.

Welcome new BMSS Employees! Wendy Mason joined BMSS as an administrative assistant in our estate and trust area. Meredith Payne returned to BMSS as a Senior Accountant after serving two years as an accountant for the International Missions Board. Meredith previously worked at BMSS from 2010 – 2012.  Payroll & Benefit Solutions, BMSS sister company, welcomed Jane Barnett as a Business Development Representative and James Randall as a Payroll Specialist.

BMSS is proud to have been recognized as a "Corporate Citizen of the Year" finalist from the Birmingham Business Journal. Community service nurtures character, one of our core values. Many of the programs and events we've supported help bring camaraderie amongst our people.  The spirit of giving back has become second nature at BMSS and for that we are thankful.  Our firm believes that giving back and expecting nothing in return is an invaluable reward for us both personally and professionally. 

Upcoming Seminar - Businesses in the manufacturing & distribution industries, save the date for Wednesday, August 27th at 8:15 am.

Questions about this newsletter or how BMSS can help you?           Back to top of page           More News & Alerts

BMSS Staff Promotions 2014

BMSS is proud to announce recent staff promotions in our firm!

Kim Tarnakow, CPA was promoted to Senior Manager. Kim joined BMSS in 2005 and works in all areas of taxation, but specializes in mergers and acquisitions, research & development (R&D) tax credits and state and local taxes.

Promoted to Supervisor was Kate Fluker and John Schenk. Kate Fluker, CPA began at BMSS as an intern in 2009 and provides tax compliance, planning and advisory services along with business consulting and accounting services. She is actively involved in employee recruitment and training new employees on tax practices, standards and software. John Schenk, CPA, joined BMSS in 2012 after working with an international public accounting firm for 3 years and in a property and casualty insurance internal audit department. He specializes in providing accounting and auditing solutions to credit unions and financial institutions and currently serves as the Secretary for the Birmingham Young CPAs.

Caroline Cockrell and John Haggard were promoted to Senior Accountant and Luke Arnett, Conner Jones and Jennifer Mayfield were promoted to Staff Accountant B.
 

New Revenue Recognition Standard

The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board issued Revenue from Contracts with Customers in late May 2014. The new revenue recognition standard is principles-based, which is a big shift from and eliminates the industry-specific guidance under U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Principles (GAAP) we have today. The revenue standard’s core principle is built on the contract between a vendor and a customer for the provision of goods and services. It attempts to depict the exchange of rights and obligations between the parties in the pattern of revenue recognition based on the consideration to which the vendor is entitled.

To accomplish this objective, the standard requires five basic steps:

(i) identify the contract with the customer,
(ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract,
(iii) determine the transaction price,
(iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract, and
(v) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation.

Every entity’s daily accounting and the way it executes contracts with customers might be affected. Entities will generally be required to make more estimates and use more judgment than under current guidance, which will be highlighted for users through increased disclosure requirements.

What is the timeframe for implementation? Non-public entities are required to apply the revenue recognition standard for annual reporting periods beginning December 15, 2017, and interim periods within annual periods beginning December 15, 2018. Non-public entities can early adopt for annual reporting periods beginning December 15, 2016.

Although the required implementation date for non-public entities is more than three years away, companies should start to prepare for this change soon to choose the most appropriate transition method.

Three basic transition methods are available:

  • Full retrospective
  • Retrospective with certain practical expedients
  • Cumulative effect approach

Under the third alternative, an entity would apply the new revenue standard only to contracts that are incomplete under legacy U.S. GAAP at the date of initial application (e.g., January 1, 2017) and recognize the cumulative effect of the new standard as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings. That is, prior years would not be restated and additional disclosures would be required to enable users of the financial statements to understand the impact of adopting the new standard in the current year compared to prior years that are presented under legacy U.S. GAAP.

Each transition option has pros and cons. It might be beneficial for your business to move from U.S. GAAP to the new Financial Reporting Framework for Small & Medium-Sized Entities.

In preparation for this change, the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has established multiple industry-based task forces to develop new accounting guides containing helpful tips and illustrative examples for applying the new revenue recognition standard across various industries.

The AICPA Construction Contractors Revenue Recognition Task Force is one of the first groups to discuss the implementation issues and concerns they foresee. Here are their top 12 concerns for contractors so far:

  1. Disclosures and More Disclosures: Many new and potentially complex disclosures, such as more disaggregation of revenue, remaining performance obligations (i.e., deliverables) and contract balances, will be necessary.
  2. Accounting for Contract Modifications: Significant judgments in the accounting for change orders and claims will increase over the existing prescriptive accounting guidance.
  3. Training: The amount of training and time required to embed the new standard in every facet of the business will be significant, especially for project managers and other non-financial personnel who know GAAP as “how the system works.”
  4. Transition: Companies will face costly transitions, from determining opening balances and dual tracking for retrospective adoption, to system changes and key stakeholder education.
  5. Contract Value vs. Transaction Price: The new standard introduces the term “Transaction Price” which will need to be reconciled both conceptually and in value to the current and well understood term of “Contract Value.” Consideration will also need to be given to how variable amounts (e.g., award fees, liquidated damages, etc.) are factored into the determination of the transaction price.
  6. Systems Modifications: Significant system modifications will be needed to capture the additional information required under the new standard, including disclosures, tracking performance obligations and contract balances.
  7. Redevelopment of specific company policies: Most companies have well established and documented accounting policies under current GAAP; those policies will have to be revisited and changed based on the new guidance.
  8. Accounts Receivable: Philosophical changes may be required from the current practice of transferring amounts from “unbilled accounts receivable” to “billed accounts receivable” when an invoice is submitted to a client, to transferring amounts from “contract assets” to “accounts receivable” when a right to payment occurs, which may be unrelated to the timing of the invoice.
  9. Audit Requirements: Enhanced audit requirements will be necessary around the use of estimates in a financial statement audit and to understand and validate changes in internal controls and related processes.
  10. Key Metrics: Changes will likely be made to key financial performance metrics. Compensation, benefit arrangements, pre-qualification requirements and bonding/surety capacity may be affected.
  11. Tax Accounting: New differences between book accounting and tax accounting are likely to result from implementation of the new standard, as corresponding changes to the tax laws are not expected.
  12. Uncertainty: Since this standard affects a wide array of stakeholders, we will have to wait and see how the views of other regulatory bodies impact the application of these principles.
     

Talk with your BMSS CPA about how these new standards will affect your company.

 

Welcome New BMSS Employees

Welcome!

Wendy Mason joined BMSS as an administrative assistant in our estate and trust area.

Meredith Payne returned to BMSS as a Senior Accountant after serving two years as an accountant for the International Missions Board. Meredith previously worked at BMSS from 2010 – 2012. 

Payroll & Benefit Solutions, BMSS sister company, welcomed Jane Barnett as a Business Development Representative and James Randall as a Payroll Specialist.

Your Midyear Financial Tune Up

Did you start the beginning of the year by making smart resolutions to get your finances in order in the coming months? Now that the year is half over, it’s a good time to check in and see how you’re doing. The Alabama Society of CPAs offers the following advice on how to best size up your financial situation and make needed corrections.

Do Away with Debt
The average U.S. household credit card debt is just over $7,000, according to a Federal Reserve analysis. That’s a sobering figure, especially when you consider the amount of interest households must pay each month on their outstanding balances. Have you succeeded at lowering your credit card and other debt so far this year? If you aren’t completely satisfied with your progress, now’s a good time to move this goal to the top of your agenda.

If you’re only paying the minimum balance, your first step should be to make the largest payments you can so that you can erase your balance sooner, and free yourself from costly monthly interest charges. Make sure to target the account with the highest interest first. Here’s some added incentive: Lowering your outstanding debt can help raise your credit score, which means you may reduce the interest rate you’re charged on future borrowings.

Think About the Future
Saving for retirement is a common consumer goal, but it’s also one that’s easy to put off. But don’t wait until it’s too late. The earlier you begin saving for the future, the more your money can grow over time. Many employers help out by offering automatic retirement savings plans that deduct an amount you determine from each of your paychecks. If your employer also matches your contributions, then make it a high priority to set aside as much as possible to take advantage of the full match. If you don’t, you’re leaving retirement money on the table.

Get Back on Budget
Are you on track with your budget? Or did you resolve to begin better budgeting in January, but never quite got started? It’s not too late to get back on track this year! Your budget should track how much you make and how you spend your money. It’s easy to do and it provides valuable information on how you use your hard-earned dollars.

If you’re surprised at how much you spend on takeout, entertainment, or some other category, you may want to rein in spending in that area. Your budget should also include a set amount for savings. Even if it’s only a small amount at first, it’s smart to work on building an emergency fund or a nest egg for a future home purchase or other long-term goal. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll get there.

Update Your Will
Speaking of emergencies, a midyear financial review is a good time to update or create your will. This is especially important if you have kids, since you’ll want to name an executor and a preferred guardian who can ensure their needs are met in case of your death. Take a look at your life, health and disability insurance, as well, to confirm that they are up to date and reflect your current situation and needs.

Get Your Just Rewards
Most people know to look for a credit card with the lowest possible interest rate, but some fail to seek out cards that also offer valuable rewards programs, or to take advantage of the rewards they earn. If you’ve been using the same cards for years, this may be a good time to shop around for cheaper options with better rewards.

Turn to Your CPA
Midyear is also a good time to check in with your CPA to make sure you are doing the right tax planning and taking other smart financial steps. Contact your BMSS CPA for answers to your financial questions.
 

BMSS Named a Corporate Citizen of the Year

BMSS is proud to have been recognized as a "Corporate Citizen of the Year" from the Birmingham Business Journal

Community service nurtures character, one of our core values.

Many opportunities to be involved present themselves to us and it just seems right to give back.  Many of the programs and events we've supported help bring camaraderie amongst our people.  The spirit of giving back has become second nature at BMSS and for that we are thankful.  Our firm believes that giving back and expecting nothing in return is an invaluable reward for us both personally and professionally.

We would like to take this opportunity to bring awareness to some of the organizations we are involved with - either as firm service projects, employee volunteer efforts or employees serving on their boards. 

Please take a moment to learn more about these organizations and their needs:

 

BMSS Named a Best Place to Work

BMSS was named a "Best Place to Work" for 2014 by the Birmingham Business Journal. We ranked #3 in the Medium Size Company category.  

The award was based on feedback from confidential employee surveys. Read the full article at the Birmingham Business Journal.

This is the seventh year in a row we are named a Best Place to Work. In 2010, we ranked #1! Read past award articles from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Best Places to Work

Video: The History of BMSS

BMSS employees tell the story of how and why BMSS was founded and what it is like to work here.

 

 

Video lyrics:
(1991...The Pre-BMSS Era)
Been spending most my life
Wishing for a corporate 9 to 5
Come busy season time
Candles burn at both ends every night

Been spending most our years
Wishing we had picked diff-rent careers
It's not the job that brings the tears
It's the work that piles up to our ears

(Motivation for Formation)
Occupation
Oh Frustration
Gotta get out
You can use my Basement
First things first you can ask my wife
Gotta get back to less work more life
Shank says Barfield
Let's get Murphy
Sick of family life being such a worry
Escape the rat race of the hurry scurry
Something's gotta improve
Let's make a move
We'll do audits
And tax Projects
In a basement office
Baby, Let's make the move

(The BMSS WAY)
Alright stop,
Evaluate our mission
Family life with a lot less tension
Business - is picking up nicely
Enough to keep us busy daily and nightly
Will it ever stop yo, I don't know
It's 5 o'clock though, so let's go
To the extreme I run a tape, like a real boss
Family at home, more important than the gain or loss
Work Life Balance

(Taxes Up, Taxes In?)
Taxes Up Taxes In
Once we began
So much tax work
That we felt it's a sin
We needed some backup
other guys don't stack up
They called up Steve Smith
So the whole firm could rack up
He's taking it down
We're king of this town
Come join the best
Cause work abounds

(Ain't Nothin' but the Benefits)
1, 2, 3, and to the 4
Our reputation's more than just the name that's on the door
Ready to make an entrance and step it on up
Cause you know we're bout to change work up
Give me the chance to show you all that our standards aren't double
Working with some balance, now you know that ain't subtle
Ain't nothing but some benefits baby
To keep our CPA firm from going crazy
BMSS is the firm that pays me
Unbeatable with benefits for days, Ha!

(Baby Got Bingo)
I bill my time and I cannot lie
Most of the time it would make me cry
But when I bill for a bingo and 250 worth of singles
I get a big smile on my face
I get paid

(The Real Keith Barfield)
Ya'll act like ya'll ain't never seen a bald person before
jaws drop to the floor
cause you see my name on the door
Rocking a mustache (like you've never seen) before
Lookin like the guy from Austria that started a war
What's going on? oh wait, no wait you gotta be kidding he didn't just say what I think he did, did he?
And what I'm gonna do? Nothin my buddies, i find it funny and I think those staches are money
We just want to be like Keith, but one thing you should know, you can try to imitate but you will never duplicate cuz...
I'm Keith Barfield
Yes I'm the
real Barfield
All you other Keith Barfields are just imitating
So won't the real Keith....

(Concierge)
I'm gonna call our valet, they can get my dry cleanin',
they'll make bouquets, for my other half.....
they're the greatest concierge that's why they get paid,
No more errands left to run, now I got it made
And if it's downtown baby, I need to be dropped off
It's "yes" not "maybe", my cup is overflowin
It gives me the peace of mind, to know that I'm OK
No stress when it is mother's day my gifts on layaway

(Volunteer Days)
Habitat house, let us work it
put the frame up backwards let's reverse it
got 3 volunteering days left
got 3 volunteering days left
Got a soup kitchen, let me work it
Cut the carrots up, season it and stir it
got 2 volunteering days left
got 2 volunteering days left
Animal Shelter, let me work it
Clean the kitty litter, kennels, make it perfect
got 1 volunteering day left
got 1 volunteering day left
Got a bare wall, let me paint it
If it's wood panel, you know i can stain it
Got no volunteering days left
got no volunteering days left

(You can find me in Paris)
Go Vacay and still get paid yea
Cuz after ten years you can have a hay day
For a whole month PTO'n with your baybay
If you go to Florida, tell my gramps I say hey
You'll find me in Paris (par-eee)
With my family
I'm gonna take a month
Sabbatical for me
At the Eifel tower
Takin' a selfie
European holiday -- ten year anniversary

New Employees & Employee News February 2014

BMSS welcomes Laurie Holt in the newly created position of Guest Services Specialist!  Dianne Nance joined BMSS as a Bookkeeper.

John Shank, one of the founders of BMSS, was elected to serve as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) council representative for Alabama.

BMSS Announces Three New Members

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith is proud to announce that Scott Stevens and Patrick Bowman became Members on January 1, 2014. 

Scott Stevens, his wife, Shelley, and their son, Owen, enjoy travelling and spending time outdoors. Scott is a member at Haven Field Community Church, where he serves as Treasurer. 

Scott began his career in public accounting in 1997 and joined BMSS in 2000. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accountancy. He is part of the firm’s Accounting & Auditing quality control team, is actively involved in the firm’s employee recruiting, serves on UAB’s Accounting Advisory Board and participates with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.

Scott provides audit and consulting services for clients in the financial services industry, including credit unions, community banks and insurance companies, as well as manufacturers and businesses in the health care industry. Scott has taught training courses on credit union accounting and auditing including topics such as board literacy, NCUA regulations, and mergers and acquisitions. He also regularly meets with management and boards to discuss audit results and opportunities for improvement.

Patrick Bowman and his wife, Bennett, have two sons - Sam and Jack. Patrick lives in Hoover and enjoys fishing and traveling to the beach. His family is a member of Bluff Park United Methodist Church.

Patrick has worked in public accounting since 1999 and joined BMSS in 2001. He holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Accounting from Troy University. Patrick provides audit, review and compilation services as well as internal control reviews to clients primarily in the construction, manufacturing, governmental and not-for-profit industries. He has assisted clients during mergers and acquisitions, debt restructuring, strategic planning and has consulted clients regarding financial and operational issues and regularly presents financial statements and other reports to business owners and boards of directors.

Patrick is responsible for overseeing continuing education efforts for our governmental and not-for-profit auditors and monitoring updates in audit techniques and pronouncements. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits and is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association of Alabama.

Additionally, Henry Denbo joined Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith as a Member.  Henry previously owned his own practice which he founded in 1986. He will provide accounting and auditing services to clients in the construction, manufacturing, distribution and not-for-profit industries. Henry is a licensed CPA in Alabama and California.
 

New BMSS Employees January 2014

BMSS welcomes new employees to our firm!  Henry Denbo joined as a Member.  Alison Swindle, Senior Accountant, Jeff Moore, Staff Accountant and Randy Looney, Facilities & Maintenance Technician are our newest employees, plus Amber Lockwood, Abby Missildine and Auston Sullivan joined BMSS as interns for 2014.

New Electronic Process for Client Engagement Letters

BMSS Clients,

We are implementing new software that will allow you to electronically review, sign and return your annual engagement letter via the Internet using an Electronic Signature (E-Signature) application.

Here is how the process will work (you can also watch a step-by-step video tutorial):

  • In the near future, you will receive an email from Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith with an email address of echosign@echosign.com.
  • Please click the designated link to access your Engagement Letter that will be named <YourEmailAddress>.doc.
  • Simply follow the onscreen instructions to review and E-Sign your Engagement Letter. The green arrows will take you directly to the areas that need your attention.
  • After signing is completed, you will receive another email from donotreply@cpasafesign.com. Click the link in this email to download a final signed copy of your Engagement Letter.
  • If you do not wish to sign your engagement letter using E-sign, you may print the letter, sign it and mail or fax it to our office as you have done in the past.

IMPORTANT:
To ensure you receive all email notifications, please be sure to add the following email addresses to your safe senders list so they are not treated as junk email or spam.

  • echosign@echosign.com
  • donotreply@cpasafesign.com
  • marketing@bmss.com

We hope you will enjoy this new E-Signature process and we look forward to your feedback. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your BMSS CPA or our office at any time by calling (205) 982-5500.

***Watch a step-by-step video on this new process...

BMSS Named a Best Accounting Firm To Work For in the US

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith was named as one of the “2013 Best Accounting Firms to Work For” in the United States by Accounting Today magazine. 

The “Best Accounting Firms” list was created by Accounting Today and Best Companies Group and honors the top 100 best places of employment in the accounting industry in the United States.

BMSS was the only firm in Alabama to make this list.

Company's workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics were evaluated along with an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

What does this mean our clients?  BMSS has a high level of employee satisfaction, low turnover and the ability to recruit topnotch professionals. We utilize our low turnover to minimize staff changes. Staff consistency allows us to reduce costs to clients and ensure long-term relationships.

New BMSS Employees Sept 2013

WELCOME NEW EMPLOYEES! Jenny Gray has joined BMSS as a supervisor and will provide accounting and auditing services to clients primarily in the not-for-profit and governmental industries. Jennifer Mayfield and Conner Jones joined as Staff Accountants.

BMSS Named to IPA 200 List

BMSS was designated as an INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) 200 firm. The IPA 200 lists the largest accounting firms in the U.S.  This is the second year in a row that BMSS was named to this list.

 

Payroll & Benefit Solutions Ranks as a Top Payroll Provider in Birmingham

BMSS sister company, Payroll & Benefit Solutions, ranks as the 4th largest payroll service provider in Birmingham area per the Birmingham Business Journal. Payroll & Benefit Solutions provides you with LOCAL customer service, relationships and rates!

BMSS Professionals Present at Industry Conferences

BMSS professionals are recognized as thought leaders and regularly provide insight and information when speaking to trade associations, conferences and civic groups.

Jack Knight, CPA, CVA presented a session entitled “Focus on Fraud” at the League of Southeastern Credit Unions Supervisory Committee Conference in Destin, Florida. Jack informed supervisory committee members at credit unions how and why fraud occurs and practical techniques for fraud prevention and detection. The League of Southeastern Credit Unions is the trade association for almost 300 credit unions in Alabama and Florida. The Credit Union Practice Group at Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith currently provides accounting, auditing and tax solutions to over 40 credit unions throughout the Southeast.

Myra Roberts, CPA, CVA, AEP spoke at the Dallas Private Forum on “Preserving Your Private Practice and Personal Wealth”. Myra provided guidance on asset protection and estate and succession planning to the private practice physicians attending the conference in Dallas, Texas.  At Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith, Myra provides estate planning and estate administration services and business valuation services for succession planning, mergers, acquisitions and estate and gift issues.

Do you need a speaker for your group?  BMSS professionals are prepared to talk with you about various accounting, auditing and tax topics.  Contact marketing@bmss.com for more info.

BMSS Employee Promotions July 2013

BMSS is proud to announce recent employee promotions within our firm.

Promoted to Senior Manager was Cherion Sibley, CPA. Cherion has over eighteen years of accounting experience with a focus in estates and trusts, financial institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Cherion has extensive experience in taxation enabling her to provide comprehensive tax planning and compliance, research and consultation to individuals, not-for-profits and businesses. She serves on the Board of Directors of Childcare Resources and is a member of the Estate Planning Council and the Birmingham Tax Forum.

Promoted to Supervisor was Lauren Byrd, Ashley Caldwell, Marlene Cox and Mark Underhill.

Additionally, Tyler Crawford, Dan Post, AJ VanderWoude and Graham Travers were promoted to Senior Accountant and Caroline Cockrell and John Haggard were promoted to Staff Accountant B.
 

Congrats!

BMSS Named Regional Leader in Accounting Today's 2013 Top Firms List

Accounting Today named Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith a "Regional Leader" in the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi) as part of their 2013 Top Firms list.   BMSS also made this list in 2012.

The report ranks accounting firms based on revenue and growth.

Abacus IT Solutions Provides Telephone Systems to Regions Tradition Golf Tournament

For the 6th year in a row, Abacus IT Solutions – BMSS sister company, will provide the telephone systems for the Bruno Event Team to use during the Regions Tradition Golf Tournament.

Abacus IT Solutions provides cable for voice and data connectivity and installs a telephone system enabling the Bruno Event Team to communicate with their corporate headquarters, as well as players, vendors and volunteers onsite during the tournament.

Let Abacus IT Solutions do a review of your business’ current IT infrastructure and telephone system. They can report on your current operating systems and applications, determine possible threats, formulate a hardware replacement timeline, and determine if there are ways you can save money. Abacus IT Solutions can integrate a telephone system using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), paging and intercom systems, call center management, call recording and logging and enterprise messaging solutions.

Contact your BMSS CPA or Abacus IT Solutions at 443-5900.