Russ: This is PKF Texas – The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m here with Scott Clemons, Partner and Chief Investment Strategist of Brown Brothers Harriman. Scott, welcome to The Playbook.

Scott: Good morning, Russ. Thank you for having me.

Russ: You bet. Tell us about your firm.

Scott: Brown Brothers Harriman & Company is a rather old firm. We were founded in 1818 as a private partnership, which, in 1818, every bank on Wall Street was a private partnership. What’s unique about us today is that we’ve never changed that ownership structure. Over the past 200 years, one by one, firms have gone public; they’ve limited their liability in some way. We’ve retained that unlimited liability structure. There are 31 people who own the firm outright – no outside capital, no debt on the balance sheet. And those 31 people, all of whom operate the business, carry joint and several unlimited liability for the activities of the business.

Russ: So, that includes you.

Scott: That includes me. It tends to focus the mind. It makes risk management a core competence. What we really like about it is it really does align the interests of the owner operators with those of our clients. Every firm has that alignment, but for us it’s embedded within the DNA of the ownership structure for the business itself. That’s rather special to us.

Russ: My goodness. So, 1818, so this is like a birthday year.

Scott: We had a big party—we had a series of big parties last year. We had big cakes and celebrated the history of the firm and also the future of the firm. One of our events in New York, we had a guest speaker, George W. Bush, former President Bush. We had him because his grandfather, Prescott Bush, H.W.’s father—Houston connection here, was a partner of the firm back in the 1930s and the early 1940s. So, we celebrate that history, and the challenge, of course, is to be informed and influenced by the history and the legacy without having that legacy dictate what you do. We have to weave into our business a certain amount of entrepreneurship for our third century, which we’ve embarked on in 2019.

Continue Reading The Economic Cycle: Where it’s Been and Where it’s Going

What’s in a name? The PKF Texas Cubester® group has noticed a trend among young professionals – an emphasis of job titles and chasing them in order to advance careers and life. Of course, other factors influence these young professionals to move jobs – benefits, “perks,” life changes and more – but recently there seems to be an added emphasis on an elevated title.

It’s a topic which has inspired in depth discussions driven by personal experiences, so some of our cubesters wrote an article published on the Houston Business Journal website. They offer insight – their own and other sources – and analyze this trend from various perspectives:

  • Young professional employees
  • Job recruiters
  • Employers

Motivations vary across the board, but it’s an interesting conversation piece trying to understand the mindset and priorities of young professionals (or “millennials”), as well as providing insight for employers who can maintain retention.

For the full article, visit the Houston Business Journal website.

If you think that, once your not-for-profit receives its official tax-exempt status from the IRS, you don’t have to revisit it, think again. Whether your organization is a Section 501(c)(3), Sec. 501(c)(7) or other type, be careful.

The activities you conduct, the ways you generate revenue and how you use that revenue could potentially threaten your exempt status. It’s worth reviewing the IRS’s exempt-status rules to make sure your organization is operating within them.

Continue Reading Keeping Your Not-for-Profit Tax-Exempt Status

Did you make large gifts to your children, grandchildren or other heirs last year? If so, it’s important to determine whether you’re required to file a 2018 gift tax return — or whether filing one would be beneficial even if it isn’t required.

Filing Requirements
Generally, you must file a gift tax return for 2018 if, during the tax year, you made gifts: Continue Reading Upcoming Deadline: 2018 Gift Tax Return

Russ: This is PKF Texas – Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m with Del Walker, Tax Practice Leader at PKF Texas, and founding organizer of the forum. Del, great to have you.

Del: Russ, it’s always a pleasure, my friend. Always a pleasure.

Russ: We’ve completed now, your fourth, and this is my fourth interview with you after the completion.

Del: I know, and we are still so young, aren’t we?

Russ: That’s true, absolutely. But share your perspective from this 2019 version.

Del: We tried some things differently this year, a little bit. We’re always asking for feedback from our participants, and we’ve got some thoughts that were a little different than we’ve done in the past.

Continue Reading Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum 2019 Overview

In our continuing effort to help co-create solutions for business’ future, we offer the following ideas, insights and perspectives in the latest edition of the Leading Edge Digital Magazine. These thought leadership pieces are ready to be accessed any time, anywhere at LeadingEdgeMag.com/PKFTexas.

If you have topics you would like us to cover, contact us. As always, we enjoy receiving comments and feedback from our clients and the friends of our firm.

Continue Reading Winter 2019 Leading Edge Magazine is Now Live

In recent years watchdog groups, the media and others have increased their scrutiny of how much not-for-profits spend on programs vs. administration and fundraising. Your organization likely feels pressure to prove that it dedicates most of its resources to programming. However, accounting rules require that you record the full cost of any activity with a fundraising component as a fundraising expense.

How then can you maintain an appealing fundraising ratio? That’s where allocating joint costs comes in.

Continue Reading Do You Know How Joint Cost Allocating Works?

We are excited to announce the official launch of a new video series, featuring the many faces of PKF Texas – Desk Buddies.

What is Desk Buddies about? The basic premise: we paired team members together from each department who sit and work together, and we tested how well they know each other. This first episode stars Bryant, Ali, Celise, Diana, Khoa and Brittain.

How did they do? Check out the video to find out and enjoy the fun, the laughs and the friendships created at PKF Texas!

Stay tuned for more episodes to come!

It’s not just businesses that can deduct vehicle-related expenses. Individuals also can deduct them in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) might reduce your deduction compared to what you claimed on your 2017 return.

For 2017, miles driven for business, moving, medical and charitable purposes were potentially deductible. For 2018 through 2025, business and moving miles are deductible only in much more limited circumstances. TCJA changes could also affect your tax benefit from medical and charitable miles.

Continue Reading What Individual Taxpayers Need to Know About Vehicle-Expense Deductions

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, and I’m back again with Kimberly Wood, an Audit Senior Manager and one of the faces of PKF Texas’ Transaction Advisory Services Team. Kimberly, welcome back to The Playbook.

Kimberly: Thanks for having me.

Jen: We’ve talked a little bit about transactions. To prevent the delay of a transaction, what should a seller do?

Continue Reading Transaction Tips: Prevent the Delay of a Sale