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Returning Value Blog

Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA

Recent Posts

Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Mergers?

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Jul 06, 2020

Businesses are emerging from various pauses and lockdowns, some in better shape than others. Many businesses continue to grow and prosper, and many likely are doing so through a merger or acquisition. Others are looking to merge into or be acquired by other businesses.

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Posted in Business Advisory

Family Wealth Planning in a Time of Uncertainty

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Jun 12, 2020

The full impact of COVID-19 is unknown. While we wait for questions to be answered, many are asking what can we do right now? What's next for our families? What's next for family businesses and the people who work for them? Planning for our future generations is the greatest gift we can give, particularly during times of uncertainty.

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Posted in Business Advisory

Benchmarking: Why Normalizing Adjustments Are Essential

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on May 22, 2020

Financial statements aren’t particularly meaningful without a relevant basis of comparison. There are two types of “benchmarks” that a company’s financials can be compared to — its own historical performance and the performance of other comparable businesses.

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Posted in Business Advisory

CARES Act Relaxes Qualified Plan and Employee Benefit Rules to Improve Cash Flow for Employer and Employees

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Apr 07, 2020

As the number of employers and employees impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) grows each day, employers with workplace retirement plans may find that employees may be looking to those plans now more than ever to help cover financial hardships they are experiencing. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (H.R. 748) includes several relief provisions for tax-qualified retirement plans, expands health care flexible spending accounts so funds can be used for over-the-counter items, clarifies some health insurance plan questions, and, through year-end, allows employers to reimburse employees for student loan payments tax-free. This alert explains those items. Further guidance will be needed from the IRS and DOL to answer many open questions about how these relief provisions are intended to work.

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Posted in Business Advisory

Lease or Buy? Changes to Accounting Rules May Change Your Mind.

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Mar 09, 2020

The rules for reporting leasing transactions are changing. Though these changes have been delayed until 2021 for private companies (and nonprofits), it’s important to know the possible effects on your financial statements as you renew leases or enter into new lease contracts. In some cases, you might decide to modify lease terms to avoid having to report leasing liabilities on your balance sheet. Or you might opt to buy (rather than lease) property to sidestep being subject to the complex disclosure requirements.

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Posted in Business Advisory

Do You Want to Go Into Business for Yourself?

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Feb 12, 2020

Many people who launch small businesses start out as sole proprietors. Here are nine tax rules and considerations involved in operating as that entity.

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Posted in Business Advisory

New Rules Will Soon Require Employers to Annually Disclose Retirement Income to Employees

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Jan 20, 2020

As you’ve probably heard, a new law was recently passed with a wide range of retirement plan changes for employers and individuals. One of the provisions of the SECURE Act involves a new requirement for employers that sponsor tax-favored defined contribution retirement plans that are subject to ERISA.

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Posted in Business Advisory

The Art and Science of Goodwill Impairment Testing

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Dec 06, 2019

Goodwill shows up on a company’s balance sheet when the company has been acquired in a business combination. It represents what’s left over after the purchase price in a merger or acquisition is allocated to the company’s tangible assets, identifiable intangible assets and liabilities. Periodically, companies must test goodwill for “impairment” — that is, whether the carrying value on the balance sheet has fallen below its fair value. This assessment can be complicated.

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Posted in Business Valuation

Close-Up on Pushdown Accounting for M&As

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Nov 19, 2019

Change-in-control events — like merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions — don’t happen every day. If you’re currently in the market to merge with or buy a business, you might not be aware of updated financial reporting guidance that took effect in November 2014. The changes provide greater flexibility to post-M&A accounting.

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Posted in Business Advisory

Accelerate Depreciation Deductions with a Cost Segregation Study

Posted by Michael D. Machen, CPA, CVA on Oct 21, 2019

Is your business depreciating over a 30-year period the entire cost of constructing the building that houses your operation? If so, you should consider a cost segregation study. It may allow you to accelerate depreciation deductions on certain items, thereby reducing taxes and boosting cash flow. And under current law, the potential benefits of a cost segregation study are now even greater than they were a few years ago due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related tax breaks.

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Posted in Taxation

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