Get Started on Those Positive Resolutions – Join TechBirmingham Before the End of 2014!

The mission of TechBirmingham is to strengthen and promote Birmingham’s technology ecosystem by highlighting tech companies in the region, helping to recruit and retain technologists and entrepreneurs, and providing technical training and education.

Get started on those resolutions now and become a member of TechBirmingham today!

Learn more about TechBirmingham…

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Birmingham, Jobs, Service Organization, Technology, Technology training | Leave a comment

Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014: Act NOW to Take Advantage of Extensions

During the late hours of Tuesday, December 16, 2014, Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. President Obama has indicated that he will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk. This bill extends through 2014 many tax incentives that expired on December 31, 2013.

Taxpayers will have to act quickly and may need to revisit year-end tax planning discussions that have already taken place.

Some of the more popular tax extenders affecting individuals and businesses are below.

Business Tax Extenders:

  • Bonus depreciation (50% bonus depreciation on qualified property)
  • Enhanced Code Section 179 expensing ($500,000 dollar limit with a $2 million overall investment limit)
  • Research Tax Credit
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit
  • 100% Exclusion for gain on qualified small business stock

Individual Tax Extenders:

  • State and local sales tax deduction
  • Higher education deduction
  • Teacher’s classroom expense deduction
  • Mortgage debt exclusion
  • Mortgage insurance premium deduction
  • Charitable distributions from IRAs

Please also see the attached Tax Briefing for a more in-depth look at this bill.

Contact me at technology@bmss.com or call (205) 982-5500 if you have any questions regarding the opportunities presented or would like a more customized analysis of steps you or your business may take to minimize taxes and maximize overall tax opportunities.

At BMSS, we also take this opportunity to provide a holistic planning/strategy session for you and your business beyond just tax planning.  The BMSS Tax Planning Professionals are able to work with you on your unique situation.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Tax issues | Leave a comment

BMSS Sponsors Venture Club Luncheon – Join Us!

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith is once again sponsoring the Birmingham Venture Club’s Annual Meeting.  The luncheon will be held on Thursday, December 11th at the Sheraton.

I invite my blog readers and friends to join us at our table.  Email me at technology@bmss.com if you would like to attend.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith, Venture Capital | Leave a comment

2014 Year-End Tax Planning

As 2014 draws to a close, year-end tax planning considerations should be starting to take shape.

We are still awaiting legislation regarding the possible renewal of fifty-seven individual and business tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. These popular tax breaks were last extended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. New legislation that would extend expired individual and business tax breaks has yet to be passed, making it more difficult to plan than in previous years. If negotiations break down between now and the end of the year, we may not have clarity until the new Congress convenes in January.

BMSS can help you navigate through the uncertainties of changing legislation and plan a year-end strategy that incorporates traditional and newer strategies to possibly help minimize your federal tax liability. We understand that the complexity of the law can make year-end tax planning overwhelming, but it is a necessity.

This letter covered some of the year-end planning opportunities and challenges for individuals and businesses regarding federal tax, but there are many more strategies that can possibly help reduce your tax liability over a period of time.  Also, state taxes should also be considered since the tax laws of many states do not follow the federal tax laws.

Based upon all that is new and all that expired in 2013, most businesses and individuals can benefit from a fresh assessment of how year-end tax planning can help reduce their overall tax liability for 2014.

Contact me at technology@bmss.com or (205) 982-5511 if you have any questions regarding the opportunities presented in this letter or would like a more customized analysis of steps you or your business may take to minimize taxes and maximize overall tax opportunities. At BMSS, we also take this opportunity to provide a holistic planning/strategy session for you and your business beyond just tax planning.

We look forward to serving you in the future and discussing your year-end planning.

Read the 2014 Year-End Tax Planning Letter...

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Planning, Tax issues | Leave a comment

FLSA, EEOC, ADA, DOL… A Federal Alphabet Soup – Are You in Compliance?

Payroll & Benefit Solutions, Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith’s sister company, is hosting a free breakfast seminar at our office next Thursday, November 20th.  We hope to see you or someone from your company here! 

Small businesses have an alphabet soup  of federal employment laws to remember.

From the FLSA to the EEOC and the ADA to the DOL and IRS, there are numerous federal alphabets requiring your compliance.

BMSS & Payroll & Benefit Solutions are here to help.

To help you make sense of the overwhelming alphabet soup of employment laws, join Payroll & Benefit Solutions for a free breakfast seminar on Thursday, November 20th.

We will discuss the numerous federal agencies and the rules and regulations facing small businesses.  You will come away with steps to review your company’s policies and procedures to ensure you are up to date and in compliance with the alphabet soup of employment laws.

Thursday, November 20th
8:30 – 10:00 am

Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith
1121 Riverchase Office Road
Birmingham, AL 35244

FREE – Breakfast provided.
Submitted for CPE approval.

RSVP required to pbs@pbspay.com

Note: This seminar is only for businesses with less than 25 employees.  We will repeat for medium and large businesses at a future TBD date.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Payroll | Leave a comment

High Activity in Birmingham Entrepreneurial Community

EntreprenuerThis last month was a great time for entrepreneurs in Birmingham. For starters, the Alabama Launchpad event was a big success.  Five finalists received over $250,000 in start-up funding. The conference was an amazing event.  The banquet on Thursday night was well attended and we should be proud of the companies competing in the event because they represent the best of innovation occurring in the State of Alabama.  Friday morning was equally impressive with the Launchpad conference attracting the keynote speaker Peter Diamandis.  If you are not familiar with Mr. Diamandis, you should be. He founded the X PRIZE Foundation which offered a $10 million inventive competition to inspire a new generation of private passenger carrying spaceships. Since then, Peter has written the New York best seller Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. I was inspired by this book and can see how technology is exponentially providing a better future for our world.  His keynote speech at the Launchpad conference was a personal highlight for me. Continue reading

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Barfield Murphy Shank & Smith, Innovation Depot, Start-ups, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The Internet is part of everyone’s life, every day. We use the Internet at work, home, for enjoyment, and to connect with those close to us.

However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country’s most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play—cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

BMSS sister company Abacus IT Solutions can help you.  Whether you are in need of secure servers, an outsourced Chief Information Officer to oversee your security policy, a cloud solution, firewalls, or a network analysis, Abacus IT Solutions is here to serve your cybersecurity needs.

Contact Abacus IT Solutions at (205) 443-5900 today to discuss the cybersecurity needs of your business.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Abacus IT Solutions | Leave a comment

Birmingham Innovation Week

How exciting to have this in Birmingham!  Hope to see you there.

Birmingham Innovation Week (September 22 – 26) is an annual celebration of innovation in Birmingham and the inventors, investors, entrepreneurs, supporters and catalysts that drive it. It is an open platform to showcase the numerous organizations and initiatives that support the Birmingham Innovation ecosystem and the rich human capital foundation that drives it.

The inaugural 2014 Innovation Week Birmingham will be an exciting rollercoaster of thought leadership, networking, pitching, and celebrating; everyone is encouraged to pick and choose from the event roster to fit your interests!

http://www.innovationweekbirmingham.com/

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Start-ups, startup tips, Venture Capital | Leave a comment

Startupland Documentary Series

The Birmingham Venture Club and Birmingham Entrepreneur are proud to present Startupland! Startupland is a new documentary series that follows five startups from idea stage to seed fund. This program was named Inc. Magazine’s #1 “Must-Watch Documentary for Entrepreneurs” and features the founders of AOL, Reddit, Eventbrite, Blackboard, Mapquest, Evernote, Living Social, and more. Startupland aims to educate and empower entrepreneurs by bringing the accelerator experience to the screen.

With regional exclusivity, this three part series will be a one-of-a-kind experience for Birmingham startups.

Series 1- Screening of Episodes 1 + 2 with virtual Q & A Session with Startupland directors and entrepreneurs.

Part of Birmingham Innovation Week!

Monday, September 22, 2014, 4:45 pm – drinks & appetizers

Burr Forman, LLP

420 North 20th Street, 34th Floor, 35203

Tickets are $7.00 per person, per series. Click here to register until Noon on Monday, September 22. Free drink and appetizers until 5:15pm! Show begins at 5:30pm.

Click here to check out the trailer.

Series 2- Screening of Episodes  3 + 4- TBD

Series 3 – Screening of Episodes 4 + 5- TBD

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Start-ups, startup tips, Venture Capital | Leave a comment

ASCPA Magazine Article on The Gartner Group’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

The Gartner Group released their Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 – a list of the top technology trends that have the potential to affect individuals, businesses and IT organizations during the next three years.

The Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) asked me to provide my thoughts on the most meaningful and immediate technologies on their list that we are considering at Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith.

I discussed 7 of their items and gave pros and cons for each option. What do you think about my list?

Read my article  (page 5) in the ASCPA magazine…

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Posted in Cloud technology, Mobile Technology, Technology | Leave a comment