I recently read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. The article was titled “Oil’s Drop Puts Spotlight on Saudi Arabia.” The article provides insight about Saudi Arabia’s current role in the world of oil markets.

I found the increase in their budgetary shortfall particularly interesting. Saudi Arabia has gone from three to 20% of their domestic Gross Domestic Product. This makes one wonder how long will they produce at these levels, especially if they continue to eat into their sovereign wealth fund at such an escalating pace.

It appears they are placing a rather large bet to try and permanently take world market share. We need to continue to watch how this plays out. This will be interesting and very impactful for the Gulf Coast economy.

Russ: Hi, I’m Russ Capper with The BusinessMakers Show and we’re here to talk about the 13th Annual Houston CPA Society Energy Conference and I’m here with Brian Baumler, Audit Director and head of the Energy Practice at PKF Texas and also Chairman of the conference; Brian, welcome.

Brian: Thank you Russ, appreciate it very much.

Russ: You bet, and I’m also here with David Butler, Manager of the Energy Valuations at HSSK and Vice Chairman of the conference; David, good to see you too.

David: Good to be here Russ.

Russ: Okay, tell us what the conference is all about.

Brian: Really appreciate that Russ. Well it’s the 13th annual conference, I’m very excited about it. It’s in the rows of coming together and being organized. It’s really intended to be an opportunity for putting the industry together but also to talk about trends and techniques and where things are going in the industry in both the upstream, midstream, and downstream space. It’s also intended to bring together a lot of thought provoking thought leaders in the organizations of which they represent to talk about what’s going on in the industry.

Russ: Okay, so who should attend and why should they attend?

David: Well I think if you’re involved in the energy space and accounting, finance, investment banking, operations this probably will be a good conference for you. You know one of the things that we pride ourselves on is that this is a conference for grownups; we’re not going to tell you that everything’s going to be okay. We’re not going to give you a crystal ball with rosy predictions, we’re going to tell you where things are; we’re going to tell you how companies in the entire energy spectrum space are adjusting. And hopefully people will walk away with some ideas they can take back to their organizations on a daily basis.

Russ: Okay, when is it and where is it?

Brian: Well it’s actually going to be on August 25th, 2015 it’s held at the Norris Conference Center. We’ve had it there now for the last 3 years, it’s a great venue; it holds about 350, almost 400 people. Comes with 9 ½ hours of CPE which is great for the accountants that’ll be attending and also you’re going to get an opportunity to mix and mingle with your peers and also professionals in the industry.

Russ: Okay, that’s Norris Conference Center, out at City Centre, right?

Brian: Yes it is.

Russ: Okay and how do you register?

Brian: Well I think you can register by a couple of ways; one, you can go to the Houston chapter’s website at HoustonCPA.org and you can register online. Or you can download and print the form and you can mail that in. Registration fees are $250.00 for members of the chapter, $300.00 for non-members; really anyone and attend. Also we’re providing some group discounts in case you want to send a small group of 4 or more from you organization.

Russ: Okay, really cool. That’s August what?

Brian: August 25th, 2015.

Russ: August 25th, all right, the 13th annual Houston CPA Society Energy Conference.



Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Handbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host. I’m here once again with Kenneth Guidry, President of PKF Texas; welcome back to the Playbook Kenneth.

Kenneth: Always good to be here Russ.

Russ: You bet. So last time I was here I heard stories about this a couple of times, real exciting, the new JVSA which stands for what?

Kenneth: Joint Venture Strategic Advisors.

Russ: Okay, but weren’t you doing joint venture advising and auditing before this?

Kenneth: Yeah, we’ve had a long history of service to the energy industry and this service has a long standing history in that industry in particular. We’ve seen an increase in the opportunities that are coming our way, hearing about the level of activity – the level of investment in the drilling and exploration programs that we started to see more opportunities come our way. JVSA was really purposefully founded by ourselves, by Catalyst, our PKF North America affiliate firm in Calgary in the principles of JVMI that has a 20 year history of targeted services for this purpose, joint venture, auditing joint venture management; really an opportunity for us to add some great talent to our mix and approach the market in a much more targeted way.

Russ: Cool, I guess you sort of have your foot in Calgary too, I mean that was probably happening anyway.

Kenneth: We’ve got a great relationship, again a long standing history through our PKF International relationship to service cross border operations; the opportunity to work reference from Calgary is bringing together two of the premier energy markets in North America.

Russ: Great. To learn more about JVSA visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Kenneth Guidry, President of PKF Texas. Kenneth, welcome to your playbook.

Kenneth: Good to be here Russ.

Russ: You bet. So I recently had the opportunity to interview you for The BusinessMakers Show and we talked about JVSA; tell us about that, what is JVSA?

Kenneth: Well JVSA stands for Joint Venture Strategic Advisors and it is a newly formed entity, collaboration and affiliation with our PKF North America affiliated firm located in Calgary – the firm’s name is Catalyst – along with one of their long-standing relationships – JBMI – and its principals and specialists, focused don services to the energy industry, specifically around joint venture auditing and management.

Russ: Oh, wow, okay so that’s probably a hot item these days I would assume.

Kenneth: There’s been an unprecedented amount of spending in drilling programs over the last several years. That’s been the target of this entity – of the historical services of JBMI – we intend to continue that tradition with this team of specialists and experts but also expand on that to other industries. Kind of agnostic in that respect as long as they have multiple parties to an agreement around a joint venture relationship that it is an opportunity for us.

Russ: Okay, really cool; appreciate you sharing that with us.

Kenneth: My pleasure, thank you.

Russ: You bet, you bet. And to learn more about the JVSA visit JVSA.com. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I am Russ Capper, this week’s guest host and I’m here once again with Scott Soles, a Director in PKF Texas’ Energy Practice. Scott, welcome back to the Playbook.

Scott: Thank you very much for having me again.

Russ: You bet. So last time we were talking about these energy companies that might be under pressure these days and they call and you go out and step one, I think you said it’s a holistic approach, which sounded real interesting, but give us detail about that holistic approach.

Scott: It starts with a conversation. We have to get in front of the client, sit down with them, understand what they’re thinking today about their business, what their concerns might be and just take that conversation deeper and deeper until we get to where the rubber meets the road. Eventually at some point we’re talking about evaluating their business; the technology, the people, the processes, other infrastructure, investments, assets on their books, costs. So it’s very in depth and essentially what that ends up coming back to in this conversation is we just think it’s time for the clients and for us to revisit the state of oil and gas today.

Russ: Oh, interesting, state of oil and gas today. Now you’ve written a piece called State of Oil and Gas today, right?

Scott: I have.

Russ: How could one find that?

Scott: Find State of Oil and Gas, click on it and you’ve got it.

Russ: Great. Well Scott, thank you so much for visiting with us again on the Playbook.

Scott: Thank you for having me once again.

Russ: You bet, you bet. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

The manufacturers’ deduction, also called the “Section 199” or “domestic production activities” deduction, is 9% of the lesser of qualified production activities income or taxable income. The deduction is also limited to 50% of W-2 wages paid by the taxpayer that are allocatable to domestic production gross receipts.

Yes, the deduction is available to traditional manufacturers. But businesses engaged in activities such as construction, engineering, architecture, computer software production and agricultural processing also may be eligible.

The deduction isn’t allowed in determining net self-employment earnings and generally can’t reduce net income below zero. But it can be used against the alternative minimum tax.

Contact us to learn whether this potentially powerful deduction could reduce your business’s tax liability when you file your 2014 return.


Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Scott Soles, a director in the PKF Texas Energy Practice. Scott, welcome to the Playbook.

Scott: Thank you. Good to be here.

Russ: You bet. I bet at Energy Practice these days you’re getting maybe more calls than normal and focus maybe on help.

Scott: Well, I’m not getting more calls. I have a lot of communication with my clients, and I think the other directors do as well. It’s just that the conversations are different. Topics that come up are a little bit different. There is a little bit more concern out there about the marketplace today, for sure.

Russ: Okay. Well, I can certainly relate to the concern because, my goodness, when oil was selling for $80.00, $90.00, $100.00 a barrel it was probably fun and profitable, but now down around $50.00, plus or minus. There could be some people that are clearly underwater. What can you help them with if that’s the case?

Scott: Well, what I tell my clients, and they all laugh at this, but this is kind of my way of putting it is, we just take them to the leather couch or we keep them from jumping off a bridge. We have a logical business conversation about many of the things that are going on in the market. Some are real; some are imagined. And we try to get to the bottom of what is really happening with their business and what’s going on in the world for them.

Russ: Okay, so it’s kind of a holistic view of how their business operates.

Scott: Entirely holistic. It has to be.

Russ: Okay. And you’re looking for, and there sometimes you can find areas, that you could cut cost. Is that right?

Scott: We always find areas. Even in good times.

Russ: Okay, cool. Well, Scott, I really appreciate you being here with us today.

Scott: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Russ: You bet. All right. This has been another Thought Leader production, brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

In the past few weeks, there have been two excellent articles in the Wall Street Journal about how Texas and Houston’s growth friendly attitudes and regulatory environments have played a role in attracting talent and companies from other states.

Success and the City” focuses on Houston and what sets it apart from other major metropolitan areas. The article states, “Houston’s growth is more than oil-industry luck; it reflects a unique policy environment. The city and its unincorporated areas have no formal zoning, so land use is flexible and can readily meet demand.”

A Texas Guide to the Economy” compares the economic policies in Texas to those in other states, notably California. The author says, “If states are truly laboratories of democracy, Texas’ pro-growth policies serve as an example of the way forward in a slow recovery for…California and the country as a whole.”

We’ve seen these pro-growth trends in action with our clients at PKF Texas. Many are in growth mode and are the benefiting from our strong economy.

Karen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneurs’ Playbook. I’m Karen Love, the host and co-founder. Today I am here with Jeff Applegate, president of Blackwell Plastics and the chairman of the Greater Houston Manufacturers Association. Welcome back to the playbook Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you, Karen.

Karen: Fantastic. Now I know with the GHMA that you are at the forefront of a lot of the industry trends. Can you share what some of those are that you’re seeing?

Jeff: Sure. It’s really exciting to see the trends of just a resurgence of the interest of manufacturing in the United States and Houston is the number one manufacturing city in the United States and a number of projects, manufacturing and industrial projects that are going on in Houston is staggering. The port of Houston has $28.9 billion in projects between 2010 and 2015. That’s billions of dollars of projects.

Karen: That’s amazing. That’s with a B. Billion.

Jeff: Yeah. Big big projects. So yeah, they’re – and those are going to create, they’re creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and one of the other trends that we’re seeing is a shortage of middle skill jobs in the area. The energy business is booming and as a result of the energy business booming the machinists, the welders, the pipe fitters, the middle skill jobs are in real short supply so we’re really working t try to address those issues.

Karen: Fantastic. Well I know Houston’s glad to have the Manufacturing Association thinking about those things.

Jeff: Well thank you.

Karen: So thank you for joining us today. I appreciate it.

Jeff: Sure.

Karen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneurs’ Playbook so tune in next week for another chapter.