Spotlight On: Timothy Devlin, Co-Managing Partner, Daszkal Bolton LLP

Spotlight On: Timothy Devlin, Co-Managing Partner, Daszkal Bolton LLP

Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read May 2021 — Timothy Devlin speaks to Invest: about the professional services landscape in South Florida through the pandemic. On the whole, it was a very productive year for Daszkal Bolton. With many companies moving to South Florida, there is a challenge in recruiting and retaining talent, he said.

With so many people relocating to Florida, what should people know tax-wise?

We have a state and local tax group at Daszkal Bolton. Having that function has really allowed us to consult for individuals and companies seeking relocation. Certainly, there are significant considerations people must make related to a move. Each company’s situation is different. For instance, we have a company that is New York-based, is thinking of going public in New York, and its executives are living here in South Florida and will continue doing so. How, then, will they structure this move? There are a number of other situations like these that we’ve had. The other aspect of this that we’ve seen is hedge funds from New York, New Jersey and Chicago moving to our area, a trend that we don’t see stopping in the near term. One of the things that I say is that, with the increase in tax rates — when you start coupling state and federal income taxes and the aggregate amount exceeds 50% — people start getting very interested in thinking of ways they can restructure their business.

How would you characterize the tax and accounting effects of PPP stimulus loans?

I will say that we’ve seen most companies take advantage of the available stimulus. Our client base is made up of quality companies. We’ve generally not seen or been involved in any companies that  have used the funds inappropriately. What we have seen is the stimulus working the way that it was intended. For example, I’m a trustee of the South Palm Beach County YMCA. They were able to avail themselves of the PPP loans. The first thing that they did when they  received the money was bring back the employees that they had furloughed and those individuals started receiving a paycheck again. They could have put it in their bank account and saved it for a rainy day but they actually sent that money out to their employees. This was the intention of the program. Rather than take the government money and not use it the way it was intended, most companies used it as a way to maintain their workforce even if they did not have the billings or revenues under normal circumstances to keep them going. 

What challenges are your companies experiencing at the moment?

The pandemic affected the South Florida market depending on your industry. For instance, the hospitality and restaurant industries were massively affected but we don’t have a ton of  these clients. On the other side of the coin, we had a lot of clients in distribution, FINTECH  and professional services that did well, at least after the initial hiccup. For instance, we have a client that was originally in the credit card processing business. That business is off, as you can imagine, because retail and restaurants are not processing credit cards. But they were also in the process of building out their kiosk business for fast-food restaurants. That side of their business is blowing up. So, just as some doors close, others do open. 

Is there a labor crunch in the accounting and professional services sector? 

It’s interesting. We recruit at  FAU and they’re graduating folks every semester whom we take as interns and grow them up through the firm. So, we have a great pipeline of young folks. From that standpoint,  our hiring has continued through the pandemic. What we’ve seen with so many companies moving to South Florida is that accounting and other such functions are going to move down here as well. Therefore, you’re going to need talent. We have the benefit of companies coming to our market but, obviously, there’s going to be more of a competition for CPAs with the influx. Are we going to embrace remote workers from other states? That’s something that we’re balancing right now to supplement our local team members

What are your expectations for the next 12 to 18 months?

We’re very bullish on the recovery locally. We’re continuing to double down on operating our business, taking care of our employees and ensuring that they are happy with the firm. We pride ourselves on this work-life balance and have allowed our team members to have a life both at home and at work. We want to continue emphasizing that they can have a life at our firm and build a career here.

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