Financial, Estate & Tax Planning

Financial planning

Building and preserving your personal wealth requires specialized attention. We give you one-on-one guidance and a comprehensive financial plan that helps manage risk, improve investment performance, and ensure the growth and longevity of your wealth.

We can help you…

• Save enough for a comfortable retirement by identifying your retirement needs, analyzing your assets and sources of retirement income, reviewing estimated shortfalls, and identifying the best ways to save for retirement given your financial situation and risk tolerance.

• Pay for your child’s college education by accurately estimating the amount of money you’ll need, analyzing your assets, reviewing estimated shortfalls and considering general alternatives and strategies to help address these potential shortfalls, and developing an optimal savings plan given your financial situation and risk tolerance.

• Protect your family in case of you become disabled by ensuring you have enough money in your emergency fund and analyzing your life, disability, health, home, and auto insurance coverage. We also review your will and various powers of attorney designed to take care of your affairs in the event you are incapacitated and can’t manage them yourself.

• Achieve your investment goals by identifying the steps needed to maximize your investment returns as well as the steps needed to help minimize your risk while building increased predictability of your investment returns.

• Leave a legacy for your heirs by maximizing the value of your estate by saving tax dollars, professional fees, and court costs. As well as minimizing the costs of probate, creditors, lawyers, and estate taxes, which can negatively impact the value of your estate. We also help you stay in control of your affairs by providing a road map for passing your estate on to your heirs.

A financial plan’s true value comes with its implementation. We not only can help you develop your plan but we can work with you to be sure that it is implemented properly and then follow the progress of the plan to be sure that it stays on track and identify if any adjustments need to be made as time progresses.

Estate planning

Estate planning is something that too many of us keep putting off. It seems as if there will always be time to get around to it. However, waiting can have adverse affects on both your finances and the people you care about, causing you to lose a substantial portion of your estate to taxes. If you get the right planning now, you can help soften the blow of estate taxes later. Estate planning is one of the specialties of Laydon & Company. We strive to address the following as part of our goal to help you preserve your hard earned assets as possible.

• Provide financial security for loved ones
• Prevent your assets from being transferred to unintended beneficiaries
• Protect your assets, should you become incapable of communicating your intentions
• Reduce estate taxes
• Transfer ownership of a business (or other assets) to loved ones, partners or employees with a minimum amount of transfer tax.
• Provide liquidity and ongoing cash flow for those responsible for administering the estate.
• Minimize current and future taxes and income tax.
• Provide for a favorite charity.
• Fund educational expenses for children or grandchildren.
• Provide an adequate safety net for lifetime contingencies such as disability or death of a spouse.
• Avoid probate and other administrative costs.
• Avoid legal hassles or disputes with third parties, including tax authorities.
• Maintain flexibility in the overall estate plan to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.
• Maintain control over or ensure competent management of assets.
• Minimize exposure to liabilities that could consume one’s assets.
• Ensure that assets ultimately pass to intended parties.
• Avoid disputes among family members or business owners.
• Avoid complexity in the estate plan and in the specific techniques used to implement the plan.

Consulting

Your most important tool for business success is sound financial management with a focus on overall profitability. Enterprises with great potential fail every year due to lack of a sound financial management plan.

The issue many businesses face is the time, and possibly the expertise, necessary to properly plan. Many businesses become inundated with daily operational decisions which leaves little time, if any, for planning. Putting out fires and keeping the balls in the air can consume your efforts.

Our management consulting services go beyond everyday tax and accounting work and can play a vital role in helping your businesses make better use of your resources and increasing your company’s efficiency and profitability.

The areas that Laydon and Company professionals can assist you and your business with include:

• Strategic business planning
• Financial planning and analysis
• Long-range planning
• Business and practice management
• Business valuations
• Litigation support
• Assistance in obtaining financing
• Corporate finance and capital raising
• Inventory management and control
• Cost accounting
• Operational audits
• Merger and acquisition assistance
• Capital investment
• Operations analysis
• Technology implementation
• Compliance with government regulations

Forensic Investigations

The forensic accounting experts at Laydon and Company combine their knowledge of accounting with investigative skills to both prevent and detect fraud. In addition to being certified public accountants, our professionals are also credentialed as Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE), demonstrating a specialization and focus on forensic accounting and fraud investigations.

We are committed to keeping our clients’ assets safe from fraud and abuse. However, when fraud, theft or embezzlement is suspected, our fraud detection and forensic accounting team has the investigative training to uncover subtle discrepancies that are easily overlooked by untrained eyes.

Fraud Examination

The motivation for a fraud examination varies from client to client. Some clients request an examination to identify internal controls needed to prevent fraud. Others enlist us to gather evidence for a specific purpose to:

• Determine if fraud is occurring
• Support a criminal or civil action
• Terminate a dishonest employee or defend an accused individual
• Support an insurance claim
• Determine if assets or income were hidden by a party to a legal proceeding

Fraud Detection

Evidence of fraud is often hidden in procedural and operations records. Our process starts with a detailed review of an organization’s books, electronic and print files and bank records. It also includes personnel interviews, assessment of internal controls and careful observation of practices, procedures and behaviors that can signal unlawful action.

Our practical, in-depth analysis has a wide variety of applications, including:

• Criminal and civil investigations
• Shareholder and partnership disputes
• Business interruption, property loss and employee dishonesty insurance claims
• Business or employee fraud investigations
• Marital disputes, often focusing on tracing and evaluating assets
• Business economic losses linked to contract disputes, construction claims, expropriations, product liability claims, trademark and patent infringements or breach of non-compete agreements
• Professional negligence investigations
• Mediation and arbitration

Fraud Prevention

Our fraud prevention team assesses the efficiency of existing internal controls – the most important deterrent to most types of occupational fraud. We look for controls that are missing or can be overridden, then make recommendations for improvement. Our list of fraud controls is always changing to reflect the latest advances in technology and information access. It covers a wide range of financial, human resource and management practices, including:

• Limiting access to company mail to prevent unauthorized appropriation of cash receipts
• Limiting access to account receivable records
• Limiting access to payroll systems and records
• Ensuring that electronic or printed bank statements are viewed only by the owner/manager
• Limiting access to inventory, counting it regularly and monitoring gross profit
• Periodically reviewing the vendor list to verify account payables
• Limiting the number of check signers and reviewing supporting documentation
• Accounting for sequences in checks, invoices and other pre-numbered items
• Requiring supporting documentation before approving general journal entries
• Monitoring exception reports of unprocessed transactions
• Monitoring budgets monthly
• Establishing reasonable performance targets
• Performing background checks on all new employees
• Requiring uninterrupted employee vacations and rotating employee responsibilities
• Noting sudden changes in employees’ attitudes, behaviors or lifestyles
• Providing employees with a way to report fraud or abuse anonymously
• Being clear with employees about behavioral expectations
• Taking strong action against individuals who commit fraud
• Conducting business at a high ethical standard
• Obtaining reasonable fidelity bond coverage

Litigation Support

Individuals and businesses face a rising wave of costly lawsuits and complex business disputes. In this increasingly hostile environment, Laydon and Company’s highly experienced professionals work with attorneys, delivering high-level, comprehensive and timely litigation support services.

As part of the legal team, our professionals contribute insights and clarity to counsel. We work with attorneys to help them more fully understand the financial data gathered in a case, determine what additional data needs to be collected, and then analyzing the data collected. Attorneys have relied on Laydon and Company for our expertise and honest evaluation of the financial merits of a case.

We assist in theory development, discovery, assessments of risk and damages exposure. We analyze complex financial, accounting and tax issues and deliver results in a clear manner easily understood by the courts and judiciary. Our analyses also help counsel assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing party’s positions.

We provide expert witness testimony, assist in developing questions and answers for interrogatories and depositions of witnesses, and evaluate settlement proposals and potential judge or jury verdicts.

Our professionals work both as consulting experts and expert witnesses. As consulting experts, we work “behind the scenes” for an attorney. Our work becomes part of the attorneys work and is subject to the attorney-client privilege. In this role we act as consultants to an attorney. As expert witnesses, we work to develop opinions based upon the facts of a case and offer those opinions in written reports and expert witness testimony. As expert an expert witness, our work product is generally subject to discovery by opposing attorneys.

Laydon and Company provides litigation support services in various types of litigation including:

Family Law

Shareholder Disputes

Economic Damages / Lost Profit Claims

Tax Compliance

Navigating today’s business and personal tax environment requires professionals who can help you comply with increasingly complex regulations while also minimizing their impact. Constantly changing rules means having a team who knows you, your business and the tax implications. Our professionals meet your needs, helping you manage tax risk, control costs and reap maximum benefit.

We take a proactive vs. reactive approach to tax services. By keeping current on new tax laws and legislation, we are in a position to identify key tax planning opportunities that minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. We provide our individual and business clients with the taxation expertise and knowledge that they deserve throughout the year.

Laydon and Company tax professionals prepare federal, state and local tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations (C and S), estates, and trusts. Among the various industries we serve, we have particular concentrations in private clubs and professional practices such as architectural, engineering, legal, medical and dental.

Tax services we offer include but are not limited to:

Income Tax Planning and Preparation

Income tax planning and preparation form a winning combination for our successful individual and business clients. Whether you are an individual or a multi-tiered partnership, our experienced staff can develop tax strategies that take advantage of new tax laws and legislation. Tax planning is an essential element of the tax preparation process. By making tax planning part of your overall business strategy, you can use our experience and access to the most current new developments in the tax laws to minimize both your current and future tax liabilities. Our significant investment in computerized tax preparation and research software enables us to accurately and efficiently prepare returns for various types of entities including individuals, corporations, partnerships, LLCs/LLPs, and not-for-profit organizations.

Estate and Trust Taxes

Effective estate and gift planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries, provides security for your surviving spouse, and can reduce or eliminate the tax due on the transfer of your business and other assets. For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential. We can guide you through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order.

State and Local Income Taxes

Businesses and individuals may be located or reside in one state and locality, but do business in or derive income from other states and localities under the concepts of state nexus and source income tax laws. We advise businesses and individuals on procedures to follow to ensure that state and local nexus issues are identified and applied in situations where multi-state and/or local jurisdiction tax compliance may exist.

Sales Tax

Businesses are often responsible for collecting and submitting sales taxes in many different localities. We can assist your company in the compilation of information and preparation of sales tax returns in an efficient and timely manner.

International Taxation

Our experience with the taxation of U.S residents working abroad and foreign citizens working in the U.S. has provided us with an extensive base of knowledge in the area of international taxation.

Representation Before IRS and Other Tax Authorities

During our years of experience dealing with many taxing authorities, we have achieved a level of competence that can ensure our clients they are being properly represented before the various federal and state tax agencies. We can advise and represent businesses and individuals on a variety of matters from basic tax notices and inquiries, to representation during audits, to the negotiation of settlements of tax liabilities through offers in compromise, deferred payment plans or other arrangements.

Accounting & Assurance

At Laydon and Company, LLC, our team has established a strong tradition and reputation for having the accounting and audit expertise to serve our clients’ unique business needs. We stay current as financial reporting and the regulatory landscape evolve, assuring that your business meets all compliance requirements and takes advantage of emerging opportunities. We provide accounting and assurance services for businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries.

We view our role in accounting and assurance services engagements as an opportunity to provide your company with constructive solutions for maximizing profitability and efficiency.

Assurance Services

We offer several levels of assurance services to financial statements.

Audit of Financial Statements

An audit provides the highest level of assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatement, and includes an intensive examination of the financial statements and supporting documentation, uses confirmation with external sources, and requires an understanding of the company’s accounting policies and procedures and internal controls.

Review of Financial Statements

A review provides limited assurance obtained through the use of analytical procedures and inquiries of management, and an assessment of the accounting principles used and the overall financial statement presentation.

Compilation of Financial Statements

A compilation provides no assurance on the financial statements and is based upon information provided by management.

Agreed-Upon Procedures

Our extensive accounting and attestation skills are utilized in applying procedures to subject matter specified by the user, usually a lender, investor, or prospective buyer or seller. Agreed-upon procedures engagements have various useful applications. Most commonly, these engagements provide the user with a better understanding of the composition or operational aspects of specific accounts, or the effectiveness of processes or procedures used in internal controls and financial reporting, or other matters. As a result of the engagement, a report is prepared on the results or findings of procedures applied, but no opinion is rendered.

Accounting Services

Providing financial information to our clients in a timely and accurate manner is a commitment that we feel cannot be compromised. Meaningful, well-organized financial records ensure that your business operations will run more efficiently on a daily basis. Our firm provides a full range of cost effective accounting services including the following:

Financial Statement Preparation

We can assist you in the preparation of your financial statements in accordance with professional standards, but express no opinion or any other form of assurance on the underlying information included in them. The financial statements produced can be a useful tool for management for making financial decisions.

Bookkeeping/Write-Up Services

Meaningful, well-organized financial records ensure that your business operations will run more efficiently on a daily basis and are the foundation of a successful business. Our qualified staff can assist you with the day-to-day tasks associated with bookkeeping.

Payroll Services

As a business grows, it must hire more employees, which can result in increased payroll administration. We can assist you in implementing the controls necessary to ensure a reliable, efficient, and effective in-house payroll system. Our firm can also help you develop a payroll system and prepare all necessary payroll tax returns in a timely manner. We can also assist you with contracting a third party payroll service provider and advise you as complex payroll compliance and reporting issues arise.