Dissatisfied Company Engages WFY to Correct Tax and Accounting Issues

Background
  • Company is headquartered in southern California, and operates primarily in the environmental controls industry.
  • Organization has been in business for over 20 years, generates between $5M and $15M in annual revenue, and employs between 25-50 people across all locations.
  • The Company was experiencing delayed and inaccurate financial reporting due to tax records and accounting books not being properly maintained and managed.
  • The Company felt that their former CPA firm was underserving them by not providing helpful guidance and support to improve the process.
  • Company has been a WFY client for over 10 years.
Approach
  • The Company’s financial books needed significant cleaning up. They received limited tax and accounting service from prior CPA.
  • Wright Ford Young & Co. (WFY) was initially engaged by the Company to improve their tax compliance and clean-up their accounting record keeping.
  • WFY was also engaged to assist with shareholder buyout and exit planning, annual tax compliance and tax savings strategy planning, involved in Company owner meetings, and financial statement compilation and review
Results
  • Wright Ford Young & Co. identified significant tax savings in excess of $1.2M since the relationship began. These tax savings were primarily for WFY identifying eligible Research & Development tax credits and green building tax incentives for the Company.
  • The early efforts of WFY to file amended tax returns and restate financial statements to correct prior deficiencies allowed the Company to benefit from WFY’s proactive annual guidance and strategic planning to maximize productivity, reduce operational expenses, and improve profitability.

Lower Fees Does Not Equal Higher Quality

Background
  • Company is headquartered in southern California, and operates primarily in the amusement and recreational services sector.
  • Organization has been in business for over 25 years, generates between $75M-$100M in annual revenue, and employs between 200-250 people across all locations.
  • The Company was searching and evaluating qualified accounting firms to serve their need as an auditor of the 401(k) Plan.
  • Company initially decided to engage another accounting firm (due to lower fees) to perform the employee benefit plan audit.
  • The Company experienced a delayed 401(k) audit report from the prior accounting firm, causing the Company to be delayed in their Form 5500 filing deadline with the DOL and IRS, subjecting the Company to possible penalties and late filing fees.
  • The Company could not reach their prior audit team to get answers to their delayed audit report. Furthermore, the prior accounting firm billed the Company for an amount over the engagement letter amount.
  • The Company requested a justification of the hours billed by the prior accounting firm, and the audit partner misled on work incurred and people involved to inaccurately justify the billed amount.
  • After one year, the Company was so dissatisfied with their selected provider and decided to engage Wright Ford Young & Co. (WFY).
Approach
  • WFY was engaged to perform the annual 401(k) audit as required by the Department of Labor and IRS.
  • WFY’s standard practice is to offer a fixed fee on our 401(k) audit engagements, thus assuring the transparency of our billing practice and maintaining budget accuracy for the Company.
  • WFY has provided the Company with the same core audit team staff every year to improve year over year process efficiency and consistency, and to minimize the need for costly retraining and delays of new staff.
Results
  • Although Wright Ford Young & Co.’s annual fixed fee was higher than the prior accounting firm, the Company has been thrilled with our professional service, transparency, responsiveness, timeliness, and quality guidance in return for the fees paid.
  • WFY has helped the Company understand the DOL audit expectations in order to help the fiduciaries of the Company remain in compliance with the IRS and DOL regulations, thus reducing audit failure risk. 
  • WFY has successfully delivered on the Company’s 401(k) audit report on time and on budget since 2017.

Underserved Company Becomes a Fully Satisfied Client

Background
  • Company is headquartered in southern California, and operates in the civil engineering industry.
  • Organization has been operating for over 40 years, generates between $25M and $50M in annual revenue, and employees up to 400 people in all locations.
  • Company had a long standing relationship with their accounting firm, but began to feel underserved. The accounting firm was small with limited depth, and the Company outgrew them and desired a larger firm to support their growing needs.
  • Company has been a WFY full service client for over 20 years.
Approach
  • Wright Ford Young & Co. (WFY) was initially engaged to perform an annual review of their financial statements, annual tax compliance, and a proactive annual strategic tax savings plan.
  • WFY was later engaged to assist with several partner successions and exit planning, and WFY partners were invited to attend board meetings as strategic advisors.
  • WFY was recently engaged to assist the Company in evaluating the benefits of exit planning through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) as a possible consideration.
Results
  • Wright Ford Young & Co. has consistently delivered on the annual tax savings expected as planned from the annual strategy. WFY has assured that the Company captured all qualified and eligible tax incentives and deductions.
  • The quality and reliability of WFY’s ESOP assessment proved to deliver enough valid information for Company management to rule it out as a realistic investment option to make.
  • This value added deliverable demonstrated WFY’s goodwill, commitment to exceptional client service, and reliability of trusted guidance.

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