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Tax Season is Like Childbirth?

Amy Merkel Gilmore Jasion MahlerAnother tax season has ended….another baby born. Well, not actually, thank goodness, or I would have 26 children now! After tax season number 21 came to an end, when I was exhausted, relieved, and emphatic I was NOT going to put myself through this again, the childbirth analogy was born.

Before inception, there is the planning and discussions. The attempt to get as much done before the pregnancy as possible. We start out energized and on top of the task at hand with our lists of what needs to get done and a plan in place. Soon though, our schedule falls apart and as the due date creeps closer and closer, we start to get overwhelmed, even sick with anxiety of the enormity of our situation. For those long months, we are totally consumed by the pregnancy. Little else matters as there is just not time or space for anything else in our lives. Then as the due date nears, we are completely exhausted and not sure we can make it but thankfully adrenaline kicks in. We push hard to the end and are so proud of what we accomplished.

Many family and friends come alongside of us tax professionals to witness each tax season and wonder how we can keep putting ourselves through those grueling months each year. And they inevitably ask why?!  My response…tax season is like childbirth. It is exhausting and all consuming. And during the final push, you wonder if you’re able to put yourself through this again. But then it is over – “the baby is born” - and you celebrate with your family and colleagues all of the hard work and the huge accomplishment. Then as we enjoy the “baby,” the downtime in summer, we quickly forget about how painful it was, until we do it again…

Gilmore Jasion Mahler Tax Manager Amy Merkel, sense of humor intact after all those tax seasons, contributed this blog.

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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities

Toledo Engineering Company Builds Solutions for Manufacturing Workforce Shortage

Tom Ballay, Autotec EngineeringAutotec Engineering President Tom Ballay will tell you he is a problem solver. He’s staring down perhaps the biggest problem to face the manufacturing sector for decades: the workforce shortage. Manufacturers across the region and around the country say they can’t find qualified, reliable people to fill open positions. The answer for some manufacturers may be waiting right inside Tom’s giant facility on Brent Drive in Toledo.

Autotec Engineering designs and builds automated systems to replace the workers that many manufacturers can’t find or can’t keep. Ballay says it isn’t about worker reduction.

“It’s about replacing jobs for workers they can’t find or jobs that have a heavy work component and huge workers comp claims.”

He says food packaging and agricultural technology are big areas of opportunity for Autotec Engineering: labor intensive businesses, many struggling to fill low level labor jobs, due to immigration labor issues and other challenges.

He cites a California chicken producer as an example. Tom says the business has people manually loading boxes of frozen chickens: 30 or 40 people tied up in boxing chickens. He says they consistently have 40 to 50 open positions for labor. Exposure to medical claims from these physically strenuous jobs is another risk.

Autotec designs and builds automated systems to do the work instead of people, taking product and wrapping, boxing and palletizing it with no humans involved. In other words, an elaborate automated system consisting of robots and conveyors would step in and do the work instead of people.

Ballay says e-commerce is another expanding opportunity: material handling that involves unpacking pallets, storing material and goods individually, then finding and shipping those materials and goods out again. He says think of the Amazons of the world. As the marketplace shifts, Tom says the two biggest trends he sees are automation of labor and e-commerce. He’s watching future trends as well.

“The next frontier in agricultural in terms of automating what’s now manual could be picking in the fields. One day elaborate automated systems could replace people in the fields.”

Autotec is growing in this dynamic and rapidly changing climate, he says. The business employs people of many skill levels: skilled programmers, controls engineers, tool makers and others. Tom says the company has 45 employees, compared to 17 only two years ago.

He says their focus has shifted as technology has transformed industry. Tom has clear objectives for where he wants to take the business.

“I want us to be an extension of other businesses and I want that from my vendors as well. GJM’s Bob Bobek is an in house advisor on financial planning. Any decision I make regarding commitment to capital or hiring, Bob’s been a part of.”

Tom says when Autotec lost its controller, Bob stepped in and acted as controller, reviewing work in progress and he still reviews that work. Tom says Bob’s been there for 25 years as a sounding board for ideas, people and key decisions.

“Tom is a visionary, always thinking down the road,” says Bobek. “That’s the way it should be.”

Tom thinks of Autotec as solution providers for their customers. He says he strives for quality by asking questions of himself and his team when it comes to meeting a customer’s needs.

  • Did we correctly identify the issues and provide a solution?
  • Does the solution enhance the business?
  • Is there exceptional execution?

Autotec has been in its current location for only about a year. Tom sees growth on the horizon. He says he hopes to double the size of their shop. He’s thought ahead, purchasing six acres and leaving them room to grow.

There’s no question that robotics and automation have transformed the way we produce and move materials and goods. Those transformational changes will surely continue, and Tom sees Autotec as an important contributor. He says it’s pretty simple: he wants to be known for good engineering.

“If they said nothing else on our tombstones but that we’re good engineers, that would be great.”

Autotec Engineering will be a featured presenter at Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s spring Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtables on automation in manufacturing. The events are scheduled for May 24 in Findlay and Maumee. The Findlay presentation is from 11:30 am-1 pm at Findlay Country Club and the Maumee presentation will be from 3-5 pm at Brandywine Country Club. The sessions are open to chief financial officers and other key financial decision makers within area manufacturing & distribution businesses. Those individuals can RSVP to info@gjmltd.com.

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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Business Valuation: What is the Process?

As a business owner there are many reasons why you may need to know how much your business is worth. Perhaps you're considering selling, or maybe the valuation is required by the IRS or a court of law. Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) Partner Jeff Denning specializes in business valuation and explains the process in this short video.

Learn more about Jeff's expertise in business valuation and forensics, and don't forget to sign up for GJM's free quarterly newsletter The Expert. It offers timely and helpful articles with a focus on business valuation and litigation support. Just click here for quick and easy sign up.

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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm's professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

GJM Newsletters Help CFOs Stay Informed

ship sailing into the fogAs chief financial decision maker within a business, the role for many CFOs looks different today than it has in the past. It can often be a journey into uncharted waters. In 2018 this critical c-suite role involves not only company financials, but a broader vison, strategic thinking, trend watching and keeping up on developments with potential impact on the business, including:

  • Sweeping tax reform
  • The skilled labor shortage
  • Safety regulations
  • Changes in revenue recognition
  • Blockchain & other technology
  • Fraud and cyber threats

When you subscribe to accounting firm Gilmore Jasion Maher’s (GJM) industry-specific newsletters you’ll gain access to articles offering solutions and solving problems. You’ll receive insight from GJM experts and additional articles on accounting issues and topics that impact your bottom line.

  • Personal and business tax strategy
  • Best practices and trends
  • Clarification and insight on federal tax changes
  • Technology/cybersecurity content
  • Information on cost control and tax credits

Here’s a look at some recent articles you missed if you weren’t subscribed:

  • “Gilmore Jasion Mahler Experts Explain New Tax Law
  • “Tax Reform and Pass-through Entities”
  • “Construction Accounting Update: New Revenue Recognition Rules to “Go Live” Soon”
  • “The Contractor’s Corner-How Helpful are Digital Documents and E-signatures?”
  • “Quality vs. Volume-How Should Physician Compensation be Determined?
  • “Surviving and Thriving in a Changing Practice Landscape”
  • “Beware of Procurement Fraud”
  • “Economic Damages 101: Learn the ABCs of Calculating Lost Profits and Diminished Value”
  • “Are Your Prices Too High, Too Low or Just Right?” 
  • “Smart Factories and Blockchain: How to Stay on the Cutting Edge of Technology”
  • “Understanding “Nexus” – Know the Risks and Rewards of Operating Across State Lines”

GJM’s five quarterly newsletters include:

  1. Focus: A quarterly publication dedicated to covering such topics as strategic business planning, estate planning, employee issues, customer relations issues, personal tax planning, and other aspects of business management and personal finance.
  2. The Expert: The quarterly newsletter offers timely notifications on valuation and litigation support developments that may have an immediate impact on you and your business.
  3. Practice Management Advisor: A quarterly newsletter providing accounting, tax and practice management insights for the health care industry.
  4. On-Site: A quarterly newsletter providing accounting, tax and business insights for construction and real estate focused organizations.
  5. Manufacturer: Offers tax tips, news and information pertinent to the manufacturing and distribution industries. A quarterly publication, Manufacturer addresses the daily challenges facing manufacturers and distributors as well as strategic and long-term planning initiatives.

Signing up is simple. Just click here and start having timely accounting information delivered right into your inbox. You can also sign up by clicking the big blue "subscribe now" button at the top of the sidebar to the right of this blog article. To be sure you continue to receive GJM newsletter content, we recommend the following:

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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 services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.