With over 30 Years of Experience
In various industries, our firm is well positioned to assist with all of your business and personal accounting needs. MN Blum offers a full range of tax, assurance, accounting and advisory services in the following industries:
- Real estate developers
- Property management and low-income housing
- Home builders
- Construction contractors
- Private equity
- Employee benefit plans
- High net worth individuals and related businesses
Assurance and Accounting Services
MN Blum offers a full range of assurance and attestation services. We focus on delivering high quality assurance and attestation services, which enable clients to provide reliable and accurate financial reporting to their investors and lenders. We also serve as your business advisors and communicate regularly throughout the year to discuss your business needs and assist you in adapting to an ever-changing environment.
We conduct regular meetings throughout the year to ensure our engagements are more efficient as we focus our approach on the risks related to your company. This also enables us to provide proactive advice to assist clients with potential impacts of new tax and accounting rules and regulations, as well as provide a deeper insight into the company’s operations.
MN Blum is registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and conducts audits under the PCOAB’s standards. The Firm is also registered with the AICPA’s Governmental Audit Quality Center and Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center.
Tax and Advisory Services
MN Blum will help you navigate an ever-changing tax landscape through a proactive tax partnership. Our advisors stay one step ahead to make sure your company can avoid pitfalls at the federal and state tax levels. Insightful planning throughout the life cycle of your business provides strategic value that improves bottom line growth and enhances your ability to operate your business with certainty.
With an ever-increasing flow of foreign investment into the United States, you need a tax advisor that understand the intricacies of US Taxation of Foreign Investors. MN Blum is able to leverage its foreign tax knowledge as a member of Europefides, a cooperative international organization of accounting firms, to ensure compliance with the many complex rules governing foreign investment in the United States.
Moving beyond your business to your personal plans, MN Blum can help maximize the benefits of owning your own company at the personal level through development of long-term, reasoned approach to estate and tax planning so that all of your personal goals can be realized in addition to your professional goals.
MN Blum provides the following tax services to businesses and high net worth individuals:
- US Income tax return preparation and compliance
- Income Tax planning
- Estate and business succession planning
- US Taxation of Foreign Investors
MN Blum provides the following services in its assurance and accounting practice:
- Audits, reviews and compilations
- Agreed-upon procedures engagements
- Construction Cost certifications
- Acquisition due diligence
- Internal control and operation reviews
- Outsourced services
Businesses frequently default to audits because that is the service most people are familiar with; however, accountants provide other levels of financial statement services which can also meet some clients’ needs. Compilations and reviews are more cost-efficient alternatives to audits that many businesses fail to consider. Understanding the various levels of services can help businesses select the best match of services for their needs and the needs of their financial statement users.
We’ll assist you with determining the right level of services for your needs. Talking to your bank is the first step, as they are the most likely user of your financial statements. Consider negotiating with the bank to a lower level of service that will be less costly. Other considerations, such as investor needs, must also be considered when determining the level of service to obtain. It can be difficult to strike the appropriate balance between various users but taking the time to discuss the matter with them, as well as your accountant, can help in making the decision about the right level of service for your business.
A compilation is one of the lowest level financial statement services an accountant can provide. A compilation involves taking the client’s information and presenting that information in financial statement format. There is no assurance being provided by the accountant nor does the accountant perform inquiry, analytical or other procedures. Generally, accountants will still obtain support for significant numbers, such as bank statements, detail schedules of accounts, and aging schedules. The accountant will also request documents such as leases, operating agreements and loan agreements in order to draft the footnotes to the financial statements. The compilation report specifically states that no assurance is being provided. An accountant does not need to be independent to perform a compilation engagement. The report will state whether the accountant is independent. Compilations are usually the least expensive financial statement service and are most often used for personal financial statements. Compilations are most frequently acceptable to local banks, however, most larger banks will not accept a compilation engagement.
Reviews provide a limited level of assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the financial statements. Reviews consist primarily of inquiry and analytical review of a client’s financial information. A review does not require the accountant to verify information with supporting documents. Procedures in a review typically consist of comparing current year results with the prior year, comparing results to other similar companies through ratio analysis as well as comparing key non-financial items such as unit sales over similar time periods. The accountant establishes expectations based on the knowledge of the client and industry, and when the results differ from those expectations, inquiries are made to the client to ascertain the reason for the differences. If the accountant does not get a satisfactory explanation, then often supporting documents are obtained for evidence of the change. Similar to the compilation engagement, many accountants obtain bank statements, detail schedules and aging schedules as additional support. In addition, any legal documents required to draft the financial statements are also obtained. Reviews are most often used for small to medium sized companies and are most widely accepted by regional banks. Some national banks will accept reviews on a customer by customer basis. Reviews are more costly than compilations but are still significantly lower than the cost of an audit.
An audit is the highest level of assurance accountants provide. An audit consists of obtaining reasonable assurance that the financial statements of a company are reasonably stated. Reasonable assurance is considered a high level of assurance. Audit procedures consist of obtaining an understanding of internal controls, assessing risks of the company and developing an audit plan to address those identified risks. Audits require the auditor to obtain evidence to support the numbers through an examination of source documents. The auditor is required to obtain and document an understanding of the client’s business processes and verify that documentation is accurate. In addition, auditors will ask for a significant number of schedules and supporting documents, such as bank statements and reconciliations, aging schedules, revenue details and many others. These schedules are then tested through various procedures such as confirmation, examining subsequent cash receipts or disbursements and tracing them to bank statements, confirmations with third parties, or testing of controls. Audits are the most generally accepted by lenders of all sizes. Audits are the most expensive assurance service because of the scope of detailed items that are examined in order to issue an opinion.
Agreed upon procedures engagements generally involve the use of specific procedures performed on items known as the subject matter. These engagements are used to provide comfort that contractual terms were complied with by testing specific items to attributes determined by the users of the agreed-upon procedures report. These types of engagements are used frequently in relation to development and construction contracts to provide insight into the types and amounts of costs. The accountant applies the procedures and reports the results of the procedures but does not provide an opinion or conclusion on the results regarding the compliance of the subject matter with the terms of the contract.
Department of Housing and Community Development (HUD) and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects require cost certifications to ensure the expended funds are in compliance with the terms of the program and tax credit agreements. Cost certifications involve reviewing supporting documents for all the development costs of the projects and ensuring the costs are properly classified and includable as approved development costs.
When looking to acquire another company, one of the most important areas to review is the company’s underlying record keeping and accounting policies to ensure the financial reporting is reflective of the results of the target company’s operations. Testing rent rolls, reviewing lease agreements, contracts and loan documents,, reviewing significant estimates, such as warranties or loss accruals, are all important in determining not only the price to pay for the target company but also whether or not to acquire the target company at all. Developing the right procedures is just as important as the execution of those procedures. Due diligence engagements can be done as agreed upon procedures reports or consulting engagements depending on the needs of the user.
Internal control reviews
Companies often outgrow their internal accounting departments. This can cause a breakdown in processes and procedures. Having a review of the internal control processes that includes documenting the full procedures in a procedures manual, along with providing suggested improvements to strengthen processes, can help increase the efficiency of operations and ensure reliable, consistent financial reporting.
Personnel leave which can lead to temporary vacancies that may take some time to fill. It is important the financial reporting functions continue to flow seamlessly to allow for smooth operation of the business’s decision-making processes. Our firm can assist with providing personnel to fill the gaps at any level of the financial reporting hierarchy as well as assist in helping find a permanent replacement for the open position.
Compliance and preparation
Having a thorough understanding of the nuances of the tax code is vital to ensuring compliance and preparing the most efficacious tax returns to the benefit of clients. Preparing a tax return is not just for the current tax year, but for future years as part of a long-term plan. Given the increasing governmental revenue strains, penalties are more prevalent than ever at both the federal and state level. Avoiding penalties through correct preparation and paying the correct amount of tax in timely fashion are often overlooked but essential principles that can save a lot of aggravation and money.
Income Tax Planning
Tax planning is the most important tax service we can provide. Planning is simply not minimizing tax liabilities today. It’s is about maximizing tax benefits and minimizing taxes in a way that fits with your business objectives and long-term strategy. Tax planning is one of the main drivers of your company’s strategic planning. We leverage our expertise and years of experience to help you achieve the greatest after-tax benefit for your Company. Whether that is consulting on the most efficacious way to dispose of or acquire an asset or business, planning to obtain capital gain versus ordinary tax treatment of an income stream, choosing the right method of accounting, or accelerating deductions in high tax years to reduce the tax burden, MN Blum provides thoughtful, measured advice to assist with your company’s strategic plans. We help you decide the best course of action to take as well as the timing of that action so that it is most beneficial to your company.
Estate and Business Succession Planning
Keeping the earnings from a lifetime of hard work is more difficult than ever as the laws and regulations governing trusts and estates have become increasingly complex. Having experienced advisors who can provide practical guidance will help to reduce the impact of estate and gift taxes. We’ll assist you with designing a strategy that meets your needs, while continually updating that strategy to best navigate the constant changing of tax laws. We’ll assist you in determining the best ways to transfer your wealth with the least amount of tax and all in accordance with your wishes to ensure your vision is realized. Passing your business on to the next generation isn’t done simply by retiring. Transitioning to the next generation can be complicated due to some of the uncomfortable topics that must be addressed, such as aging and financial matters. Family discord and improper planning have ruined many family businesses due to a lack of planning or unsuccessful implantation of a succession plan. We can assist you with weighing the pros and cons of passing your business on to family versus selling to a third party, as well as using non-owner management to continue running the company after retirement. We’ll help you understand the impact on your family members and assist in providing liquidity strategies so that taxes upon transfer of the business don’t force a liquidation. Talking through all of these issues to determine your wishes will enable us to develop a transition plan to help ensure the continued success of your legacy in your heir’s hands.
US Taxation of Foreign Investors
One of the most difficult areas for middle market companies to deal with are US taxes on their foreign investors. With multiple forms and filings potentially required to be filed, any misstep can result in significant penalties if not timely and properly filed. Plus there are different tax treaties between the United States and other countries, each potentially having substantially different terms. Having a team that understands these complexities is vital for proper structuring. Structuring transactions to minimize the impact on foreign investors is just one of the many services we provide. We have a multi-lingual team that can communicate with many investors in their native language to help work through the best ways for them to invest in your company.
MN Blum offers a full range of tax and accounting services in the following areas:
Our work is applied in settlement and damage analysis related to shareholder disputes, family law, commercial/contract litigation, class action securities, intellectual property, and subrogation matters. We determine what drives real value in all of our valuation engagements. In addition, we use our investigative accounting skills to establish cause and effect in litigation matters. We also verify the accuracy and reliability of the underlying financial data.
In situations of litigation support engagements, we have a team of experts in the field of forensic technology. Our professionals can provide electronic discovery, or disclosure (and analysis) that brings value to the negotiating table, or the courtroom.
Industries we serve:
- Commercial real estate
- Residential real estate
- Financial services
- High net worth individuals