Spotlight on: William Burns, Tax Office Managing Partner, BDO

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019 — Accountants and financial professionals play an important role in the global economy and business model, taking on an array of roles within organizations in all industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Accountants can bring a significant perspective of the economy and industries growth. Our ‘Spotlight on’ for this week brings a perspective of what are the industries looking for in regards to advisory and how the local accounting companies impact the labor pool.

BDO offers a wide range of services including advisory, audit/assurance and tax services. Which are most in demand in Philadelphia?  

The core services that we provide in Philadelphia are audit and tax, which is where we are seeing the most demand. Our recent acquisition of AC Lordi will allow us to bolster what we can do regarding advisory and scale us up to the next level. We have seen an increase in demand for our services from healthcare, life sciences, and manufacturing and distribution. In addition, we have seen an influx of people reaching out for advice regarding maximizing the benefits of tax reform. We expect to see an increased demand for advisory services related to tax reform, especially surrounding Opportunity Zones.

What are BDO’s efforts to recruit talent from the local pool?

Six years ago, BDO merged a select group of geographically close practices, retiring a number of partners and ushering in a new class. We now find ourselves in a position where we can grow exponentially in one of the largest markets in the country. Our focus on targeted growth means we are constantly adding talent as we look to expanding our tax specialties.

There is always a hunt for qualified talent. To combat that, we try to over-hire at the entry level. Turnover in our industry is relatively high and by attracting more students at the front end we have more opportunity to offer them higher positions when people decide to leave. We have partnerships with local universities and we recruit on a regional and national level. We also have a program to identify and attract students to the region from all over the nation.

What Impact does technology have on the accounting and financial sectors?

Technology has a huge impact on how we operate, since most of what we do is software driven. Data analytics is making us more efficient and many firms are using it as a tool within their audit and tax practices. Those firms that aren’t focused on using and developing technology are going to lag behind.

To learn more about our interviewee, visit: 

Orlando Businesses Are Benefiting from Tax Reform Changes

By staff writer

March 2019

As the 2019 tax season approaches its end, tax filers will see the effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) for the first time. While some say it has had a mixed effect, most of the experts who spoke with our team at Invest: Orlando affirm that the legislation has been overwhelmingly positive for businesses in the Greater Orlando area.

The TCJA changed deductions, depreciation, expensing, tax credits and other tax items that affect businesses. This has been the most significant federal tax reform enacted in the United States in decades. The TJCA had four goals: tax relief for middle-income families, simplification for individuals, economic growth and repatriation of overseas income.

“The 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made people consider the type of entity they want to be,” Jed Grennan, founding partner of Grennan Fender CPA & Advisors, told Invest:. “Pass-through entities like S-corporations and partnerships in many cases now enjoy a 20 percent business income deduction.”

There has also been a reduction in overall tax liabilities across the firm’s client base, and most individuals and businesses are benefiting from the lower tax rates, the higher standard deduction and the higher child credit. “A lot of people don’t know how the new law benefits them until they sit down with us,” Gennan said. “In most cases, it is well received, and I think it has been a boost in the economy.”

Although one of the objectives of the TJCA was simplification, most people are not finding the changes to be simple. “On the business side, the big thing is the new qualified business income (QBI) tax deduction,” Charles Marcussen, managing partner of Newman, Seland & Oppenheimer, LLC, told Invest:. “There are other open-ended questions because they’re still writing the regulations on how that will be implemented. There are certain segments, like the service industry, that are still awaiting final regulations.”

The new tax law also includes complex provisions related to the QBI deduction, like limitations for special service organizations that will affect professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants. Dalia Cantor, CEO of CPA Solutions, explained that the tax reform — particularly where it concerns changes in business taxation — will benefit the majority of organizations.

“C-corporations will see a decrease in income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and pass-through entities such as S-corporations and partnerships will be able to take advantage of the 20 percent QBI deduction,” Cantor told Invest:.

On the other side, some firms such as Holland & Knight saw strong demand in mergers and acquisitions transactions in 2018, which Glenn Adams, the firm’s executive partner in Orlando, believes is a result of the tax reform. “It was a good time for organizations that had been on the sidelines in earlier years with respect to M&A activity to make investments in target companies,” Adams said.

As a result of these changes in tax legislation, Cantor told Invest: that tax planning will have to be proactive and more precise to make sure every business optimizes tax savings to its maximum potential. As this year’s tax season comes to a close, Invest: Orlando will be keeping an eye on the impact of these new tax regulations for local corporations and small businesses.

For more information on our interviewees, visit their websites:

Grennan Fender & CPA Advisors:

Newman, Seland & Oppenheimer, LLC:

CPA Solutions:

Holland & Knight: