GJM Staff Share CPA Exam Tips

Studying for the CPA exam takes dedication, determination and a great deal of your time. If you're struggling to get it done, here's a fun and helpful video that offers up some suggestions from some GJM staff who've recently passed the exam. 

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 & transaction advisory, healthcare management advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.  

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GJM Announces New Partner, Several Promotions and New Team Members

Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is pleased to announce the addition of a new partner, several staff promotions, and some additional new team members in recent weeks.

Ryan Leininger, CPA, CVA recently joined the firm as a consulting and assurance partner. Ryan is a graduate of Defiance College, where he received his undergraduate degree. He obtained his master’s in accountancy from Bowling Green State University and brings to his leadership role over 16 years of experience in public accounting. His areas of specialization include construction & real estate and manufacturing & distribution. Ryan is also a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA).

Other staff promotions, effective January 1, 2022 include:

Heidi Ferguson, CPA promoted to tax senior manager, Alex Spieker, CPA promoted to assurance senior manager, Ben Lochbihler, CPA promoted to senior manager, Dana Lumbrezer, CPA promoted to assurance manager, Kim Rodriguez, CPA promoted to tax manager, Tim Merkel promoted to IT manager and Travis Reamsnyder, CPA promoted to tax supervisor.

New team members in recent weeks include Charlie Kettinger, assurance senior associate, Shelby Lashaway, administrative associate, Lindsey Stoots, administrative associate, and several tax team members including:

Matthew Alic, CPA, tax manager

Shobhana Govindarajan, senior associate

Arlena McDaniel, EA, senior associate

Dana Frost, senior associate

Robin Maas, associate   

“To those just joining the firm: Welcome to the GJM team. I’m also very pleased to see so many of our valued team members grow in their roles within the firm,” says GJM Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore.    

There are currently several opportunities at GJM for those just beginning their careers, and for more experienced professionals in tax, assurance, and risk advisory. Learn more at GJMLTD.com/careers.

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 & transaction advisory, healthcare management advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.


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GJM Launches New Website

GJM recently launched a new website to make it easier to move throughout the site and find the information you need for your business. If you frequent the firm's website, you’ve probably already noticed some of the changes, or perhaps thought something looked different, but you weren’t sure what it was. Here’s a quick look at what’s new and why.

What’s Changed

Accessing GJM services and sub-specialties is easier with a new single navigation bar at the top of the website and drop-down menu to quickly find what you need.

The GJM Blog is now housed in our new Knowledge Center, where you can also find any GJM news & events, our COVID-19 resources hub, and information on GJM newsletters.

If you’d like to learn more about one of our team members, our team can now be found on the website’s About page.

We’ve made other changes throughout the website to help you find what you need.

You’ll also notice that many of the standard features and helpful links within the website remain. For example, clients can still access GJM Connect in the top right to gain access to our client portal for their accounting needs, to share files or electronically pay a GJM bill.  

Connecting with GJM via the website is quick and easy, with access in the top navigation bar to our contact page. Accessing GJM social media channels, giving us a call, or getting our location is easy through the live links at the bottom of any page on the website.

We hope you find the changes helpful. As always, let your GJM team know if you have any questions.

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 & transaction advisory, healthcare management advisory, outsourced accounting, and risk advisory. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution, nonprofit, private equity and utilities.  

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Helpful Insights for Manufacturers Navigating Ongoing Supply Chain Troubles

Manufacturers struggling to deal with the ongoing supply chain disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic got some valuable insight into the disruption as well as, and perhaps most importantly, when they may start to get some relief.

RSM Deputy Chief Economist Kevin Depew was among the guest presenters at the final Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable event of 2021, hosted December 2 at GJM’s Maumee office, and moderated by GJM Assurance Partner Wes Beham.

Depew says the supply chain conditions right now are very stressful and data shows the landscape is similar to the stress brought on by the Great Recession of 2009. But Depew says as they survey the ports, domestic trucking and rail, and shipping container backlogs, he believes we will start to see a slow easing of supply chain issues as we get further into 2022, and toward the end of 2022.

“It’s probably going to take at least nine to twelve months to really get back to something where our supply chain looks a little bit more normalized,” Depew added.

Attorney Matt Harper, a member at Eastman & Smith LTD, offered some valuable legal perspective for manufacturers as the supply chain disruption forces them to reexamine their business contracts.

Harper says most contracts have a Force Majeure clause, which refers to something like an act of God that you can’t foresee or control. Here’s what he says a typical Force Majeure clause looks like:

“Seller shall not be responsible for its failure to perform under this Agreement if such failure results from causes beyond its reasonable control and the nonoccurrence of which was a basic assumption at the time the Agreement was made.”

Harper says these causes “beyond reasonable control” include, but are not limited to:  

  • Acts of God
  • Strikes or other labor disturbances
  • Equipment failure
  • Power failure
  • Inability to obtain suitable supplies
  • Material
  • Parts
  • War
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Epidemics (pandemics)
  • Floods
  • Fires
  • Accidents or other similar events

He says there are other legal arguments as well, when examining your business contracts, including:

Impossibility or Impracticability of Performance, which, Harper says, cites the occurrence of an unforeseeable event in rendering a contract impossible to fulfill.

Frustration of Purpose, which Harper says refers to when you can fulfill a contract, but the outcome is dramatically different that what both parties anticipated when the contract was signed.

He says as you move forward with future contracts, remember that negotiation is critical.  

GJM Assurance Partner Bob Bobek addressed some funding opportunities still available to businesses struggling with the supply chain disruption, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through the Small Business Administration and the Employee Retention Credit.

And, GJM Tax Partner Charlie Heid offered a summary to attendees on where the Biden administration’s tax and spending plan, the Build Back Better Act (HR 5376) stands, including some of the key provisions that may impact businesses, should it be signed into law as is. They include:

  • Expansion of NIIT (Net Investment Income Tax)
  • Surcharge on high wealth individuals - $10M or more
  • Individual excess business losses - permanent limitation
  • International tax provisions
  • Increase in state and local income tax deduction from $10k to $80k

The Build Back Better Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives shortly before Thanksgiving, now moves on to the U.S. Senate for consideration. Senators may dramatically change the legislation, removing certain elements and adding others. Heid says with every passing day and no movement on the legislation, it seems less and less likely that the U.S. Senate will pass anything in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2022, RSM’s Kevin Depew says, yes, we’re still dealing with many economic challenges, including the tight labor market, inflation, and a disrupted supply chain. But, he says, on an optimistic note headed into 2022, this is a stronger economy than one might expect.

“We saved money differently after the Great Recession… we learned our lesson… we saved more. We entered the COVID-19 recession in an extraordinarily strong state, except for those bottom two quintiles of earners that had not seen their wages rise at any point over the last twenty years. That’s kinda changed too.”

GJM’s Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable events are held three times a year and feature guest presenters and panel discussions on topics directly impacting middle market manufacturers and distributors. The sessions are only open to financial decision makers within private businesses, offering a way to share challenges and best practices with each other. If your business is interested in learning more about the events, and receiving future invitations, please email 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 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.

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Considering a TPA? Here’s What to Look For in a Provider

How to choose a TPAThe owner of any business that offers a retirement plan understands there’s a great deal of work associated with proper administration of the plan. Rather than trying to manage the plan internally, many businesses turn to a third-party administrator (or TPA). The number one job of a TPA is to ensure the accuracy and continued compliance of your retirement plan. The U.S. Department of Labor regulations can be confusing and mandatory compliance testing can quickly become complicated. If not performed correctly, lack of proper compliance could cost the plan a great deal of money in penalties. A TPA’s role is to review plan documents and confirm the plan is following and meeting those critical required government compliance standards. Perhaps most importantly, the right TPA in place can remove these concerns from the business owner or manager and offer the reassurance of ongoing compliance.

Considering a TPA?  

If your business is considering bringing on a TPA, be sure you clearly understand your needs before selecting a service provider. Making the right choice will save your business potential headaches down the road. In this article we’ll offer three helpful suggestions for finding the right TPA for your unique business needs.

Choose someone who understands your industry. Each industry is different, from industrywide regulations to practices very specific to your business. You will benefit from working with a TPA who understands your area of specialization.

GJM Benefit Plan Services Specialist Molly Wolf agrees that industry knowledge is invaluable. She services benefit plans across many industries, including healthcare.

“I happen to do quite a bit of work for healthcare entities: physician practices, dental practices and other health facilities. The more work you do in a specialized industry,” she says, “the more knowledge you gain, and clearer understanding you have of industry specific compliance standards. That knowledge has served me very well as I service my healthcare clients.”

Make sure you work well together. Communication is everything. Think of your TPA as a member of your extended team and keep the communication lines open. Regulations can change. Your needs can change. Be sure you’re on the same page. If you’re communicating with your TPA and not seeing the type of responsiveness you need, it may be time to consider another provider. Consider establishing a point person within your business to work directly with your TPA. Typically, that will be your Human Resources Director.

Understand the value of experience. Your TPA should have solid experience and knowledge. Make sure the provider is familiar with the different types of retirement plans, clearly understands product offerings and can help you select the best benefit plan for your needs and the needs of your employees. The ideal TPA is also engaged with continuing education to stay abreast of changes in compliance requirements.

Our Expertise

Retirement Plan Services at GJM include:

  • Benefit plan audits
  • Retirement consulting
  • Preparation and filing of related retirement tax forms
  • Retirement Plan Third Party Administration (TPA)
    • Required compliance testing
    • Preparation of plan documents, restatement, and amendments
    • Reconciliation of each individual participant account
    • Preparation of annual and quarterly notices

GJM’s benefit plan administration specialist team works with businesses with varying needs. Here’s just some of what you can expect:

  • Lower administrative burden
  • Ability to make recommendations and provide practical solutions
  • Assistance with plan corrections
  • Intimate knowledge of your plan and business
  • Ability to work with your current providers including advisors/brokers, investment companies, record-keepers, and payroll services
  • New plan start-up
  • Assist with determining participant eligibility
  • Compliance testing
  • Employer contribution projections
  • Annual and quarterly notices
  • Processing and reconciliation of participant loans
  • Processing of distributions
  • Preparation of Form 1099-R and 945
  • Vesting
  • Preparation and filing of Form 5500 and Form 8955-SSA

If you think your business could benefit from GJM’s specialized Benefit Plan Administration Services, reach out to your GJM team to start the discussion.

Molly Wolf Gilmore Jasion MahlerMolly Wolf is an accounting services manager with over 15 years of experience specializing in employee benefit plans. The first 9 years of her career were spent as a dedicated employee benefit plan auditor. Her expertise also includes consulting for third-party plan administration and benefit plan design, compliance testing, payroll integration and reconciliation. Since joining Gilmore Jasion Mahler in September of 2019, Molly has continued to provide third-party administration services, prepares related tax forms, consults on plan design, and prepares plan documents. She is a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with accounting specialization.

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.

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