• GJM Blog

    Important Industry News & Helpful Tips

Keep Company Financials Safe in the Cloud

Technology has changed the way businesses do just about everything. That includes how they’re handling their financials. Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Matt Hoverman discusses safe cloud solutions in a recent article featured on the website for the Michigan Manufacturers Association.

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.

Technology Impact on Business Valuation

Just as with so many industries, technology is transforming the accounting industry. Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Jeff Denning works with many different business owners to determine the value of their businesses. He says there’s no question technology and artificial intelligence, or AI, are changing things. The real question, he says, is whether or not those changes are a good thing when it comes to trying to figure out what your business is worth.

Jeff Denning has over three decades experience as a CPA. His expertise is business valuation and forensic accounting.

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.  

The 8 Steps of Business Succession Planning

Jeff Denning Business Valuation Gilmore Jasion MahlerIt’s one of those issues that you may feel you don’t have time for because you’re too busy actually running your business. But it’s an important question you need to ask yourself. What are your plans for the business once you’re out of the picture? It’s surprising how few business owners actually know the answer. Statistics show that almost half of family businesses have absolutely no succession plan.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler and Croghan Colonial Bank recently teamed up to present a business succession planning workshop for area business owners. They offered some valuable takeaways including 8 steps to ensure a successful transition to new leadership.

First and foremost, be realistic about how long it will take to sell your business. Croghan’s Paul Wannemacher says the average time to sell a business once it’s listed for sale on the market is 6-11 months. He says one should also factor in 2-3 months to close once an agreement is reached.

“Make sure you’re ready when that prospective buyer does come along,” says Wannemacher. “Create a descriptive listing of the business as well as an overview. Just like when selling your house, you need to think about “curb appeal”. You may need to resurface the parking lot, freshen the landscape or painting to make it look more attractive to a potential buyer.”

Once you’ve tended to that first impression of your business and informed your key management, here are the 8 steps to succession planning:

  1. Get a handle on the marketplace. What’s the climate in your industry, the local economy and the national and international economies? Are there potential buyers out there?  Maybe your family members, managers within the company, maybe competitors?
  2. Pull together a team of advisors. This team should include your CPA, lawyer, wealth advisor and commercial banker.
  3. Get your business ready for transition
  • Review metrics
  • Make sure your records are accurate and up to date

It’s smart to anticipate some challenges along the way as you get your business ready for transition. Some of those challenges could include:

  • Normalizing your income statement
  • Cash flow/debt service history and capacity
  • The condition of your balance sheet
  • Collateral

Who is in the pool of potential buyers?

  1. Get a valuation

Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Jeff Denning is an expert in business valuation. He says the first question you need to ask yourself before getting a business valuation is: what are you offering to sell?

“Are you selling all of the transferable assets of your business or a fractional interest or equity share? What about your client and customer relationships? Your contracts? What about your workforce? We’re in the midst of a critical workforce shortage,” says Denning. “Many businesses are interested in acquiring other businesses right now to acquire their workers.”

Another challenge can be landing on an asking price for your business. Denning offers these questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a CFO or controller to assist in this process?
  • Do you have an outside CPA with valuation experience?
  • Do you need a business broker to help assess market potential or handle the entire sale process?
  • Do you need a real estate appraiser?
  • Grade your business against other comparable businesses
  • Is the business transferable? Owner-operated? How much risk of retaining customers?
  • Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes- your advisors should help with this perspective
  1. Create a personal financial plan: What amount of sale proceeds do you need to be satisfied? Look at your living expenses, vacations and spending you anticipate, family and charity goals. Don’t discount the emotional toll of finally leaving a business you’ve nurtured and built over the years.
  2. Prepare your family for the transition: The sooner you can let family members in the business know your plans the better. You may consider family wealth transfers through trusts or partnerships.
  3. Work with prospective buyers: Some things to keep in mind as you consider bids: how will loyal managers and employees be treated? Will the new owners continue with the company, improve it, or close it down?

“The buyer may want you to stay for a period of time after the sale. Just be very clear what that continuing role might be and how long will it last,” adds Croghan Bank’s Chris Kelly.Succession Planning Chris Kelly Paul Wannemacher Croghan

  1. Structure and close the sale

“Once you’ve identified a buyer, be aware that the final stretch can be as difficult as all the other steps that led you to this… and maybe more frustrating,” says Croghan’s Paul Wannemacher. “Will the business organization change? Will there be a reorganization? Are non-compete agreements needed?”

And, what type of financing is available?

  • Seller financing (you take on all the risk)
  • Conventional bank financing
  • SBA 7(a)
  • Collateral enhancement
  • Equity investors
  • ESOP

From assessing the marketplace to closing the sale, these eight steps are meant to be a guideline as you contemplate the future of the business you’ve worked so hard to build. While it may seem daunting, many financial experts agree that perhaps the worst thing you can do in regard to succession planning is to do nothing. If you and your financial team can come up with a strategy, you can rest assured that your exit will leave your business and your employees well positioned for future success.

Jeffrey S. Denning, CPA ABV, CFF is a partner with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD. He has over 30 years of accounting experience, with a focus on providing services as an accredited business appraiser, forensic accountant, litigation consultant, and expert witness.

Chris Kelly is a Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at Croghan Colonial Bank. He has over 20 years of experience in commercial banking, providing small to medium sized privately held businesses, nonprofits and professional firms with financial solutions.

Paul Wannemacher, CPA, PFS, CFP is a Vice President and Trust Officer at Croghan Trust & Investment Management. He has over 25 years of experience in trust administration, portfolio management, tax & financial planning and business consulting.

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 Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance Seeks Members

Manufacturing Alliance Northwest Ohio NOMASomething very exciting is happening in the manufacturing industry in Northwest Ohio. Something that’s never happened before. Manufacturing businesses are coming together as partners to work to solve what is arguably the biggest challenge to face the industry over the last several decades: the skilled labor shortage. Talk to just about any of the thousands of manufacturing & distribution businesses across the region and they’ll say the same thing: we can’t find qualified people to hire. Businesses have tried to deal with the issue on their own for years. Now they’re working together with other businesses to find solutions.

Area manufacturers form alliance

What's hoped to be a critical turning point in the skilled labor shortage in Northwest Ohio came in recent months when a group of manufacturers came together and formed the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance (NOMA). The alliance works with many stakeholders including educators, other workforce initiatives and economic development organizations with the goal of promoting manufacturing as a career choice.

“We know there are fulfilling manufacturing careers just waiting for young people to step into these roles,” says Lisa Wojtkowiak with Betco Corporation, one of the founding members of NOMA. “They can make a very good living, often get trained by their employers, and start out their earning careers with absolutely no student loan debt.”

NOMA works in collaboration with the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA). It is one of many sector partnerships formed in recent years through the OMA, which has an online hub for workforce services, including sector partnerships. The core counties served by NOMA in Northwest Ohio include Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Williams and Wood.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler got involved in the manufacturing workforce discussion after holding a panel discussion to address the challenge in the Spring of 2017.

“Our panel discussion really opened our eyes to just how critical this issue is to our manufacturing & distribution clients,” says GJM partner Wes Beham, who leads the firm’s Manufacturing Specialist Team. “We believe its important to stay involved and informed on this issue. If there’s any way we can help our clients and other manufacturers to solve this problem, we are all for it.”

GJM has a robust online resource for manufacturers on the workforce challenge as well. The GJM web page looks at the larger picture of how we got here and potential some ways to move the needle. The resource also offers insight from some of the people in Northwest Ohio and statewide who are working hard on behalf of manufacturers on the issue. You can also watch some video clips from the GJM panel discussion on the skilled labor shortage.

NOMA goals

NOMA ‘s founders hope the alliance is key to solving the skilled labor shortage in our region. The organization has a vision and goals identified, including to:

  • Influence educators and economic development groups
  • Be the regional voice for manufacturers
  • Enhance the image of manufacturing and career opportunities with regional manufacturers
  • Create a seamless pathway from K-12 through post-secondary education to prepare communities for the everchanging skills needed in manufacturing

Founding members include: Altenloh, Brinck & Co. US, Inc., Betco, GKN Driveline, Principle Business Enterprises, Rosenboom, Sauder Woodworking Company, Spangler Candy Company and Vehtek.

“We are off to a great start, but NOMA is so new that many business owners aren’t even aware we exist,” says Kip Winzeler with Altenloh, Brinck & Co. “We need to grow our numbers. The more businesses we have on board, the stronger we’ll be.”

There are a number of different membership levels for manufacturers. To learn more about NOMA membership, manufacturers can contact:

Lisa Wojtkowiak, Betco Coproration at lwojtkowiak@betco.com

Kip Winzeler, Altenloh, Brinck & Co. at kip.winzeler@altenloh.us

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

GJM Manufacturing Roundtable: The Road Ahead

Gilmore Jasion Mahler manufacturing roundtableMajor shifts in the automotive industry are no doubt dramatically changing the car market. But here’s something you may not be considering: trends toward self-driving cars and ride sharing will impact all businesses, including yours, no matter what type of work you do.

The headlines are beginning to tell the story. In May came the announcement that Ford is slashing 7,000 white collar jobs as part of a plan to focus on autonomous driving technology and electric vehicles. GM made a similar move last fall, announcing it was closing five North American factories. Self-driving cars and the ride-sharing trend are reshaping the way we move people and the way we move goods.

Automotive needs to adapt, but so do other industries, no matter what kind of product you manufacture. What significant impacts will this automotive transformation have on the broader economy?

Lawrence Keyler RSMGilmore Jasion Mahler is pleased to feature guest presenter Lawrence Keyler, RSM Global Automotive Leader as he shares his insights and the big picture view for all manufacturers, not just automotive, at GJM’s upcoming Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable on Thursday, July 18.

Keyler is a tax partner at RSM who specializes in the manufacturing industry, with a focus on automotive. GJM is a member of the RSM US Alliance.

The sessions are open to manufacturing financial executives and there is no cost to attend. Attendees have two sessions and locations to choose from on July 18:

 

Findlay Country Club  

1500 Country Club Drive, Findlay

11:30 am - 1:00 pm 

(lunch provided)

1.5 CPE Credits

 

The Pinnacle

1772 Indian Wood Circle, Maumee

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

2 CPE Credits

 

Manufacturing financial executives can RSVP to info@gjmltd.com. Please specify which session you would like to attend.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler established the Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable series after hearing from manufacturing clients that they needed a way to come together with other manufacturers to share best practices. The firm offers the sessions three times a year. Other recent roundtable topics have included the manufacturing workforce shortage, Wayfair vs. South Dakota, manufacturing automation and active shooter preparedness.

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.