Services

When forming a business there are several entity choices, including corporation, partnership and limited liability company. Each different type of entity will have a different effect on how a business is operated on a day-to-day basis from a taxation standpoint, and will create significantly different tax implications when it comes time to exit the business. We spend the necessary time up front in considering the type of business, its operational requirements, its funding needs, and the founders’ exit strategy to help our clients make the right choices for their particular situations. Once the entity is chosen, we coordinate the formation process with our clients and their legal counsel and monitor the process to ensure that all the necessary steps have been taken.
Year-end planning is inevitably tax driven, but we make sure that the drive for tax efficiency does not come at the expense of economic reality – such as a business’s ability to borrow funds or position itself for acquisition or public offering. We take the time to consider what is beneficial to the entity, the owners, and the key employees, while at the same time keeping the need for tax efficiency firmly in mind.
Large financial transactions require intelligent planning and foresight. Whether our clients are leasing equipment, raising capital or buying out a co-owner, we help ensure that they analyze the tax and economic consequences before they structure the deal.
We provide a full range of income tax services for corporations, partnerships, LLCs and sole proprietorships, and also assist with sales, payroll, and business and property tax filings. We provide audit support in the event of governmental examinations by IRS, state or local government agencies.
We regularly consult with our clients about real estate matters such as purchases, sales, leases and tax-free exchanges. Because of our frequent dealings with real estate issues, we stay in touch with the latest market conditions and therefore can make informed recommendations. We also have extensive experience with contractors and banks, and often assist our clients with rehabilitations, tenant improvements and new construction.
Because of our collective background in tax and business, we have a high degree of expertise in assisting clients in either buying or selling a business. We work alongside our clients to evaluate a business’s worth, identify the best tax structure for the transaction, conduct due diligence, and coordinate contract reviews with legal counsel. In many cases we take part in direct negotiations with the seller or buyer.
Closely held businesses often find that in order to survive, they need to grow. Growth generally necessitates establishing a relationship with a bank that understands and supports the business’s goals. For our clients with these needs, we assemble an accurate financial package, recommend the appropriate financing arrangements, present the package to the right people at the right bank, review the financing documents and help to coordinate the continuing banking relationship.
Our accounting and auditing services include audits, reviews, and compilations, along with forecasts and projections, business plan designs, and accounting transaction analysis. We also offer accounting systems services (initial design of accounting systems and subsequent maintenance, system analysis and selection).
Our service partnership approach to serving clients, combined with our many years of experience in serving a very diverse client base, has provided us with an insider’s perspective on all aspects of operating a closely held business. From analyzing the overall business structure, to creating employee compensation and incentive plans, to planning for and managing facility relocations, our experience and professional contacts make us a valuable resource to our clients.
Retirement plans for the owners and employees of closely held businesses have enormous tax and estate planning implications. We are knowledgeable in structuring qualified and non-qualified plans to obtain the desired results for the company, its owners, and employees. We work closely with a broad network of professionals to assist our clients in putting together the right plan for their business.
We view each client’s business as a very important asset in their family’s overall financial portfolio. As such, we believe that it is critical for our clients to plan to maximize the value of this asset within the context of their succession plan, or to protect the value of this asset from estate and gift taxes if the plan is to transfer it to their children. The sooner in the life cycle of the business that this planning process begins, the sooner the groundwork can be laid to carry out the plan. And because the short and long-term strategies for succession planning differ greatly depending on which exit strategy is contemplated (i.e. acquisition, initial public offering, internal buyout, transfer to children, etc.), we believe that business succession planning cannot begin early enough.

Why Bregante?

 

Bregante + Company LLP is solidly grounded in the fundamentals of traditional tax and accounting services, and we provide these services as a matter of course. However, we believe that our clients especially value our service partnership approach to advising them, and in particular our creative approach to helping protect their interests during certain critical transactions that call for skills outside their expertise. At Bregante, we consider and are able to consult with our clients during the entire life cycle of their businesses; from entity selection and formation to retirement and business succession planning, and everything in between. Whether a client has one small business or multiple entities involved in diverse business operations, we find that helping our clients to focus on long-term considerations and goals results in the most opportunity for success.

 

Every business client that is served by Bregante has a partner, a manager, and a staff person dedicated to their account year in and year out. We believe that there is distinct value in this continuity in that it enhances our ability to provide technically excellent and comprehensive compliance work and provides greater opportunity for us to “partner” with our clients in the operation of their businesses. This consistent and close working relationship with our clients enables us to help anticipate the opportunities and challenges of the financial operation of their businesses. Our clients spend more time focusing on what they love to do, and less time worrying about tax and accounting matters.
Significant opportunities for tax savings exist with skillful planning of the timing of income and deductions. We apply our extensive experience in evaluating the tax saving possibilities of investments and structuring family financial affairs to minimize the tax burden. For some clients, the objective is to defer payment as long as possible while avoiding penalties. For others, the tax amounts are large enough that predictability and liquidity of financing will be the primary issues. We develop an understanding of the overall financial situation and personal management philosophy of our clients so that we can help them anticipate and plan effectively.
We regularly consult with our clients about real estate matters such as purchases, sales, leases and tax-deferred exchanges. Because of our frequent involvement with real estate issues, we stay in touch with the latest market conditions and therefore can make informed recommendations. For the high net worth individual, we find that a portion of real estate financing is often not a necessity, but an investment choice among many alternatives. We outline and explain the choices in an understandable manner, so that our clients can make the choice that is best suited to their individual situation and concerns.
Many employers offer compensation packages that provide the opportunity to defer a portion of the total compensation being offered. We assist our clients in evaluating these plans and determining whether or not participation is right for them.
Fiduciary responsibility often accompanies family wealth. We provide assistance in meeting the legal and family obligations for periodic reports on operations of funds held in trust. We assist clients in setting up and maintaining financial records of funds held in trust, and can prepare accounting reports for court filings.
Stock options present an individual with a wide range of financial and personal issues. We counsel our clients on the variety of option plans, how options are taxed, option exercise strategies, and how to invest the proceeds. We also personally refer our clients to Bay Area professionals in investment advising and estate planning.
Retirement accounts often represent a client’s major asset. Opportunities available in Roth IRA conversions can enhance both estate planning and retirement income planning. When required distributions begin, we help clients calculate and plan timing of the distributions and related tax payments.
Some of our clients are continuing a family tradition of strong charitable giving; others possess newly acquired wealth. Both situations offer opportunities for support of worthy causes with gifts of cash, appreciated stock and real property, as well as family foundations, donor-advised funds, and charitable trusts. We help our clients find the right vehicle for achieving charitable objectives and evaluate the tax savings that will result. We often consult with our client’s legal advisor and charity staff to assist in the development of a plan for charitable support.
We provide a full range of individual, fiduciary, and estate and gift tax services, including research and tax planning. We provide audit support in the event of governmental examinations by IRS, state or local government agencies.
In the area of estate planning, we take a big picture approach that takes an individual’s complete financial situation into account, minimizes taxes and preserves assets for the family. We bring an understanding of individual and family needs, and advise our clients on the administration, benefits, and taxation of charitable giving and trusts. Additionally, we recommend legal counsel and guide our clients through the challenging process of estate administration and probate.
We take great satisfaction in our long-term relationships with family groups. Our role can be as basic as accountant and tax preparer, but we often take a personal interest in the overall financial situation of family members, their life experiences, personal goals and emotional issues. We provide educational sessions for younger family members on tax and finance, and long-term life planning for retirement, disability, divorce and business succession.
The death of a family member is a significant event, personally and oftentimes financially. Often a spouse or child assumes responsibility for a financial structure of which they had only limited knowledge. They may also find themselves in the midst of a challenging family dynamic. Each situation has its own unique mix of issues, family history, and personalities. We handle the necessary tax filings and financial restructuring, and assist the legal and other professionals in providing family counsel. We also serve families in the ongoing tax planning and compliance for trusts and beneficiaries.

Why Bregante?

 

Bregante + Company LLP is solidly grounded in the fundamentals of traditional tax and accounting services, and we provide these services as a matter of course. However, we believe that our high net worth clients especially value our service partnership approach to advising them, and in particular our creative approach to helping protect their interests during certain critical situations that call for skills outside their expertise. At Bregante, we consider and are able to consult with our clients on many aspects of their financial lives, from recurring tax planning matters to estate planning and administration, and everything in between. We join or help build the team of legal and financial advisors that will support a family as it traverses an ever-changing tax and financial landscape.

 

Virtually every major financial decision is also a personal decision. There is a context, a personal and family history, hopes and fears, risks and rewards, and near-term and future considerations. This context may vary dramatically from one client to another, and even within a family. We strive to understand this context, because in understanding it we are able to tailor our tax and financial advice to help each unique client make the decisions that best suit their situation and philosophy. We often become an intermediary in communicating financial decisions among family members, particularly between generations. Our experience in understanding a variety of contexts enables us to serve as interpreters, and often makes a positive contribution to family relationships.
Our accounting and auditing services include audits, governmental audits (A-133), reviews, compilations, and special reports. We also offer accounting systems services (initial design of accounting systems and subsequent maintenance, system analysis and selection).
In addition to year-end financial and tax reporting, we have the broad-based capability to provide guidance and advice with respect to day-to-day operations. Our engagement teams schedule regular meetings with our clients to help them anticipate new opportunities and challenges. We are available year-round to help our clients meet donor restrictions on funds; consider new funding sources; clarify reporting differences between unrestricted, temporarily restricted and permanently restricted net assets; provide donor advice and deferred giving planning; assist with developing plans and budgets to assure adequate funding for major expenditures; analyze facility or equipment leases; and assist with special projects. With a network of professional contacts in the Bay Area and beyond, we’re able to personally refer organizations to appropriate advisors such as attorneys, insurance agents, banks, grantors and retirement plan specialists.
We provide federal and state tax compliance for nonprofit organizations (forms 990 and 199, unrelated business income, reporting to the “Registry of Charitable Trusts”, “Guidestar” reporting, and personal property taxes). We also assist with applications for nonprofit status, and provide support in the event of governmental examinations by IRS, state or local government agencies.
Strategic and long-range planning is critical to a nonprofit organization’s ability to fulfill its mission. From analyzing current resources and the need to enhance current programs or initiate new programs, to evaluating current and future capacity, we can assist in an organization’s planning process. Implementing new program services may require expanding current facilities or acquiring new facilities and/or equipment. We work closely with our nonprofit clients to evaluate and plan for adequate long-term reserves, Board designations on unrestricted funds and obtaining financing for long-term projects.
Smart financial planning lays the foundation for a nonprofit organization’s future; budgeting and funding go hand in hand. As an independent advisor, we often review our clients’ budgets and assist them in establishing funding goals. In addition, we also often review an organization’s budgeting methods and processes and advise on obtaining or building emergency funds.
At Bregante, we speak “accounting” in common, everyday language. We provide creative suggestions and solutions that take into consideration the size of an organization, the complexity of its transactions, and the qualifications of its personnel. From assisting our clients in their efforts to accurately quantify, report, and analyze the funds expended toward their program objectives, to consulting on accounting system selection and implementation, we have the experience and expertise to add significant value to many areas of the internal accounting and reporting process.
Strong resource management is critical to accomplishing an organization’s mission. We make suggestions to help manage excess resources on a short-term basis, analyze and project short-term and long-term cash flow needs and monitor FDIC and SIPC coverage to evaluate risk of exposure to loss with respect to cash deposits and investment accounts. In addition, we can design a fixed asset system that provides sufficient information for management without overwhelming the accounting staff. We can also evaluate the adequacy of an organization’s current insurance coverage to protect the organization’s assets and its Board of Directors, and refer insurance agents knowledgeable about nonprofit insurance needs.
The ability to seize opportunities for growth, initiate program expansion and manage new sources of funds is dependent upon adequate staffing with competent people. We help our nonprofit clients evaluate personnel qualifications and consider growth potential at current staffing levels. An organization’s efforts to recruit and retain competent staff are greatly enhanced if the organization offers a solid compensation, benefit and retirement plan package. We work closely with a broad network of professionals to assist our nonprofit clients in structuring compensation packages that obtain the desired results for the organization and its employees.
Strong internal controls are a prerequisite for all nonprofit organizations. The safeguarding of assets and a concentrated focus on deterring the misappropriation of funds are paramount to an organization’s survival. We routinely assist our clients in evaluating their organization’s internal control structures and suggest effective yet efficient internal control procedures to provide for adequate segregation of duties.

Why Bregante?

 

In an environment of changing regulations and heightened competition for funding resources, nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from a CPA firm with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit accounting and reporting have become increasingly intricate, therefore careful attention to compliance issues and procedures is an absolute necessity. Bregante + Company LLP understands these unique issues. We view each client individually and offer specifically tailored suggestions and solutions. We serve as a bridge between the complexities of nonprofit accounting and reporting, and our clients’ varied levels of understanding and needs.

 

Bregante provides high partner-level involvement and a focused effort to provide staff continuity for each engagement. In addition, we meet with our clients several times during the year, not just at year-end. We communicate new nonprofit rules and regulations to our clients, proactively plan for year-end financial and tax reporting, and advise on unique needs such as streamlining the bookkeeping process or selecting accounting software.

 

Bregante is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and adheres to the Institute’s Quality Control Standards. We undergo Peer Reviews of our auditing and accounting practice, which involves hiring another CPA firm to assess our compliance with those standards and evaluate the quality of the audit, review, and compilation financial statement engagements that we have performed. Additionally, all of our staff members meet or exceed the continuing education requirements for financial accounting and governmental auditing. All of this is meant to provide our clients with the assurance that we are as current on financial compliance and reporting issues as possible.