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Get to Know GJM’s Kelly Childress

Kelly Childress Gilmore Jasion MahlerKelly Childress has settled into her new role as an administrative assistant at Gilmore Jasion Mahler. While COVID-19 has made things interesting to say the least, she's gotten to know the team. Here's a chance for you to get to know her a bit better. Enjoy this Q&A.

Describe your role at GJM: I support our Consulting and Assurance team

When did you start with GJM? December 2nd 2019

Why did you choose the accounting industry? It wasn’t so much the industry I was looking to get involved in, it was more finding the right company fit. I wanted to be a part of a company with a reputation of good customer service, family values, work life balance, and community support. GJM encompasses all of this and more.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I grew up in Genoa and then moved to Downtown Toledo in 2019. I am in the suburbs now, making my way back to downtown.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? There is always something to do, there is no reason to be bored in this city.  And even though we may have road construction nonstop, the traffic is still nothing to complain about.

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? My history includes banking, nonprofit work, and IT office management. The accounting world is a whole new ballgame for me.

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? Fitness is a passion of mine. I’m certified to teach a variety of fitness classes. I also recently did my first NPC competition and am looking forward to doing another. 

How do you like to spend your free time? I love to golf, although I don’t very well. I also enjoy a good concert, festivals, and live for college football.

Favorite song or music? I enjoy all kinds but am a country girl at heart.

Favorite book or movie? I like any light hearted, feel good type of entertainment.

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? My philanthropic history includes serving on the Northwest Ohio Susan G Komen Race, including chairing the event in 2012 and 2013. I’ve also been active in Junior League of Toledo, serving as President 2017-2019. Further, I served with Harbor House for over 10 years. I’m currently looking for the next endeavor to get involved in. I think most likely it would include something with autism.

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I am a legal Baroness. It was a title gifted to me, but as any Bravo fan knows, if you have a title, you shall be referred by it.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Phil Vine Joins GJM as Assurance Manager

Phil Vine Joins Gilmore Jasion MahlerWe’re excited to share that Phil Vine has joined the GJM assurance department. We asked Phil to share a bit about himself so we all can get to know him a bit better. We hope you enjoy this Q&A. Welcome to the GJM family, Phil.

Describe your role at GJM:  It’s new, so it’s in the process of being defined.  I have a background focusing on EBP audits, M&D, and engagement quality reviews and a variety of other industries and types of projects that I hope to use to provide value on lots of different fronts.

When did you come on board with GJM?  August 10, 2020

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I initially majored in Actuarial Science, but then changed colleges. My new college didn’t offer actuarial science as a major, so like most people, I assumed that because I was good at math, I should be an accountant. Fortuitously, it ended up being a good fit.

What do you like best about accounting? Public accounting offers a great combination of intellectual challenge, entrepreneurship, and opportunities to build a diverse network of relationships with people who speak the language of business.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? Yes   

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? The Toledo area is big enough to have plenty of things to do, but not too big to still have that small-town feel.  

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience?  Of the projects that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with, my two favorites have been focused on 1) helping members of the firm who were in the process of taking the CPA exam and 2) contributing to the firm’s pursuit of advanced audit technologies and general process improvement.

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family?

  • Pets – 2 cats (Fred and Ginger)

  • Family – Wife (Lydia), 4 kids (Eva – 6, Paul – 4, Vivian and Madeline – 2)

  • Hobbies – being a dad – I do like to read, most of which is in audiobook form

How do you like to spend your free time?  What is this free time you speak of?

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Is there a particular cause you feel strongly about? If so, why?

  • Director of Children’s Ministry at Wyldewood Baptist Church

  • For about 3 years, I served on the board of a local nonprofit, Leading Families Home – The organization helps equip individuals and families who have become homeless to get back on their feet and return to permanent housing.

Favorite song or music?

It’s really a pretty broad range, but here are some.

  • Newer music – Imagine Dragons, Lewis Capaldi, Piano Guys, Ed Sheeran, Andy Grammar, One Republic

  • Older music – Aerosmith, Queen, Bon Jovi

Favorite book or movie?

Again, it’s a broad range.  Here are some favorites

  • Books – Thinking, Fast and Slow; Freakonomics; The Help; The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (books 2 and 3); Pendergast series, Cotton Malone Series, Jack Reacher Series; Indistractable; Getting Things Done; Start With Why; Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

  • Movies – The Pursuit of Happyness, Indiana Jones (original 3), Knives Out, Lord of the Rings movies, Harry Potter movies

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? My wife and I had only 6 weeks between our engagement and wedding day to plan our wedding (and I believe we made a profit on it).

Once again, Welcome to GJM!

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

New Stimulus Proposal, Existing Loan Programs & A Business Checklist

COVID-19 Stimulus Proposal, Loan Programs, Business ChecklistThe US Senate has proposed a new $1 trillion stimulus package to bring more help to struggling Americans and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act announced July 27, 2020 proposes through a series of bills to bring more help to individuals, businesses and schools, including:

  • A second round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals
  • Liability protection for businesses from COVID-19 related lawsuits
  • Capping federal unemployment benefits at 70% of wages
  • Extension of the Paycheck Protection Program allowing certain businesses to get a second PPP loan
  • Over $100 billion for schools
  • $25 billion for COVID testing

The package is in response to a stimulus package proposed by the US House of Representatives in May (The HEROES Act). Negotiations now begin to reach a final compromise before the Senate summer recess begins August 7.  

Help for Businesses

As of now, there are several options for businesses to get help, including the recently launched Main Street Lending Program, now available and accepting applications. Which businesses and organizations can apply for this program? And what’s the status of the other existing loan programs? What else should you be doing to protect your business in these unprecedented times?

GJM’s Bob Bobek, CPA offers this easy reference status report on loan programs out there and an important checklist for businesses.

COVID-19 Business Loan Programs Status Report

Paycheck Protection Program:  

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established through the CARES Act and is run through the Small Business Administration (SBA). PPP loans are forgivable for those borrowers who prove they meet requirements for forgiveness. The loan program is intended to help businesses keep workers on the job during the pandemic. Loans must be $10,000,000 or less. Those businesses with loans under $2 million will be deemed to have met the economic uncertainty requirements for the loan. Some other details on the PPP:

  • Money must fund payroll and specific nonpayroll costs (like rent, utilities)
  • Loans received before June 5: maximum 2-year maturity
  • Loans received after June 5: maximum 5-year maturity
  • Loans are issued through approved lenders
  • Interest rate: 1%
  • File forgiveness application with your bank
  • Application deadline extended to August 8, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program status: Second round of funding is now available, and applications are being accepted. As of July 24, 2020 the SBA reports there are over $130 billion dollars left in funding for the PPP. You can access the PPP loan application here.

Main Street Lending Program  

The Main Street Lending Program was established as part of the CARES Act, offering $75 billion to those businesses and organizations that meet requirements. Designed for: small/medium-sized businesses in good shape prior to the pandemic that didn’t qualify for the PPP or need more help in addition to their PPP loans. Other information:

  • Standard loan, not forgivable
  • Accessible to nonprofits
  • Loans issued through approved lenders
  • No more than 15-thousand employees or 2019 annual revenues no more than $5 billion
  • Minimum loan $250,000
  • Principal payments defer 2 years
  • Interest payments defer 1 year
  • Maturity of 5 years. 15% in years 3 and 4. Year 5: 70% balloon payment

Main Street Lending Program status: Now open for applications through September 30, 2020. Businesses must work with an eligible lender.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)  

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are designed to help businesses and nonprofits in response to a disaster like a hurricane or flood. Administered by the SBA, they provide liquidity in a time of need and have been made available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.    

Some details:

  • Capped at $150,000 per company
  • Very low interest rate: 3.75% for businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits
  • Not forgivable
  • You get 30 years to pay back the loan
  • Can defer first payment for a year
  • Can get both PPP and EIDL, just don’t use the money to pay the same expenses funded by your PPP loan

EIDL status: accepting applications. You can access the EIDL application here.

Your Checklist:

So, you have a high-level view of the loan programs out there to help businesses respond to COVID-19. What now? GJM Partner Bob Bobek has counseled many of his clients and other businesses through COVID response to secure a loan that will work for their business and help them to get through this difficult time with more liquidity. If your business has decided to pass on applying for a loan, he cautions that could be a big mistake.  

“These loan programs have been designed with one goal in mind: to infuse cash into American businesses,” he says. “The government has made available billions and billions of dollars for these programs. It won’t be reallocated. When it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Here’s Bob’s checklist for businesses not sure how to proceed:

  1. Talk to your banker. He or she can assist you in deciding which loan program is the right fit for your business. Bob says most banks are willing to defer loan payments to help you keep more liquidity.
  2. Talk to your landlord. Most landlords are open to deferring payments or restructuring your lease.
  3. Talk to your insurance agent. If your sales volume is down or equipment is idle you may be eligible for a reduction in your insurance cost.
  4. Look at the Paycheck Protection Program. If your business decided not to pursue a PPP loan, Bob says you need to look at this again.
  5. Defer FICA taxes. The CARES Act allows businesses to delay payment of the FICA Match portion of your payroll taxes through December 31, 2020, with half due by December 31, 2021 and the rest due December 31, 2022.
  6. Review other government loan programs such as the EIDL and Main Street Lending Program. While they are loans, they have favorable payment terms. They will help give you that extra liquidity in case you get hit hard by the downturn and find your business in a position where its more difficult to secure a loan.
  7. Talk to your accountant. In addition to the loan programs outlined here, your business could qualify for tax credits as part of the CARES Act.

Bobek says be sure you look into all options that can help you get through this worldwide public health emergency, including any new opportunities that may result from the HEALS Act. You want to be sure that the business you worked so hard to build can survive and even thrive through the pandemic and into the future.

Bob Bobek CPA Gilmore Jasion Mahler Bob Bobek, CPA has presented frequently on the Paycheck Protection Program and other loan programs designed to help businesses during the pandemic. He’s helped many business owners determine which loan program is right for their business and assisted with loan and forgiveness applications.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

How to Earn a Six Sigma Certification

Lean Six Sigma Certification GJMYou have learned about Six Sigma methodology and the ways in which it can benefit your business by reducing defects and increasing efficiency, morale, and productivity. Now you want to learn how to earn Six Sigma certification and apply its principles to your organization’s processes to positively influence the future of your company.

The final part in our Lean Six Sigma series will explain certification levels and show how certification can benefit your business and your employees.

The skill levels of Six Sigma demonstrate various degrees of proficiency and experience in improving business processes and increasing efficiency. There are five certification levels, which accreditation bodies such as the American Society for Quality recognize.

These accredited programs offer training classes on Six Sigma. Skill levels include:

  • White Belt. This basic training involves the Six Sigma basic concepts and supporting change management. White belts develop teams that solve problems in company projects.
  • Yellow Belt. A yellow belt has a basic comprehension of Six Sigma and supports the efforts of green belts and black belts.
  • Green Belt. Six Sigma green belts collect data and work together with black belts. Their responsibilities generally extend beyond the Six Sigma project.
  • Black Belt. Six Sigma black belts are fully engaged in the project and oversee it full time. They are project managers who train and call the shots for green, yellow, and white belts.
  • Master Black Belt. This is the highest level of Six Sigma training. The master black belts act as coaches, consultants, and experts that lower level Six Sigma professionals turn to when problems arise. They develop key metrics, strategize, and solve difficult issues.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s six green belts have shared Six Sigma goals with our entire firm and helped all staff to embrace these new ways of thinking and new processes. Many of the internal process changes in recent years are directly attributable to Lean Six Sigma.

GJM staff certified in Six Sigma have also been able to share best practices with clients.

“This is knowledge that can help any business to streamline, be more efficient and save time & money,” says GJM Partner Mike Brough who is a member of the firm’s Manufacturing Specialist Team. “I’ve had the opportunity to share some ideas with manufacturing clients that they can take back to their staff and implement.”

Having Six Sigma certification has benefits from a professional development standpoint as well. For example, certification noted on a resume could help you land a rewarding and lucrative job. Employers know that certification for higher level belts involves years of work and studies. As a business owner, Six Sigma certification within your organization increases productivity, reduces defects, and brings in more revenue. To get certified start by finding an accredited training program in your area or you can pursue online and virtual training options. Enroll yourself and interested employees in the program, then be prepared to study. It’s a rigorous and challenging program. The exams are serious accomplishments. The yellow belt test takes around two hours, the green belt exam takes roughly three hours, and for the black belt, four hours of exam time is normal. Lastly, complete your written exam and projects to earn your belt. Then take your knowledge back to your team and you’re on your way.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities

Home Healthcare Crystal Ball for 2021: More Virtual Care & Bigger Reimbursements from CMS

CMS New Proposed Rule HHA The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is out with a new proposed rule when it comes to payment and reimbursement. The proposed rule brings some positive changes for home healthcare providers. It also makes permanent a change implemented to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telemedicine

CMS proposes allowing home health agencies (HHAs) to continue to use telemedicine to provide care to Medicare recipients, even after the COVID-19 public health emergency is over. But, video appointments wouldn’t take the place of the in-person home care that’s part of the patient’s plan of care. CMS does note that telehealth visits could change the number of in-person visits as part of the plan of care. Home health providers still would not receive payment for telehealth care. The proposed rule does however allow HHAs to still report costs associated with telemedicine technology as part of their administrative costs on their cost reports, even after the COVID-19 public health emergency.

GJM’s Jamie Dixon works with many HHAs on their cost reports. 

“These front-line workers need all the tools they can get,” he says. “Being able to monitor and be present with their clients is efficient, safe and could be lifesaving.”

Reimbursements Boost

Also included in the proposed rule is an increase in reimbursements for home health agencies. CMS has estimated that Medicare payments to HHAs in the 2021 calendar year (CY) will increase by 2.6% (about $540 million) compared to the current calendar year. Last year’s predicted bump in reimbursements called for half that, a 1.3% increase from CY 2019 to CY 2020.

Home Infusion Therapy

The proposed rule also calls for new policies for Medicare enrollment for home infusion therapy providers and updates the payment rates for such services. The new payment rates would follow the CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule.

“COVID has hit the entire healthcare industry extremely hard. Home Health Agencies always rise to the crisis. The additional tools and resources outlined in this proposed rule will assist them in what they do best.”

CMS announced the proposed rule on June 25 and has compiled a fact sheet with more information. 

Jamie Dixon Gilmore Jasion MahlerJamie Dixon, CPA is a member of the Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) Healthcare Specialist Team, with an expertise in long-term care, home healthcare and hospice. A member of the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice, he has been a member of the organization’s Financial related committees for close to 20 years. Jamie also serves as GJM firm administrator.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.