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5 Practical Tips You Can Implement To Raise The Liquidity Ratio Of Your Business

Having a good liquidity ratio is exceptionally important for all business no matter whether they are big or small. In layman terms, liquidity indicates the company’s self sufficiency and whether it can make timely payments of bills and other expenditures incurred all round the year. As the old catch phrase goes, cash is truly kind and here are 5 ways you can improve the liquidity ratio of your business without making drastic changes in the way you run your business.

Roll Your Extra Cash into Interest Accounts

There will be times when you have a lot of extra cash on hand and there are not many expenses that you would have to pay for except for some of the fixed costs. This situation is favorable for your business because you can simply move that extra amount to an interest bearing account to make surefire profit from it without making a risky investment.

 Whenever you need the cash, you can move it into the current account as and when you need it. You will be amazed at how much extra income you have generated by just making this one smart move.

Review Overhead Costs From Time To Time

Another method you can adopt to improve the liquidity ratio of your business is to check the cost of your overheads from time to time on a regular basis. By doing so, you will actually be able to find a way to reduce the costs which will have a positive impact on the liquidity ratio inevitably. Some of the overhead expenditures that you can cut down on are advertising, professional fees, rent and indirect labor.

Say No to Unproductive Assets

One of the major reasons why some businesses tend to have bad liquidity ratios despite of having everything else in check is because they store unnecessary unproductive assets that the business is better off without. Remember that a smart businessman is one who spends money on assets that play a vital role in revenue generation for example, the office building, cars, trucks and equipment to name a few. If your business is still holding onto assets that are of no use anymore, it’s time to chuck them out and make some extra cash on the side.

Keep a Tab on the Account Receivables

In order to have an optimal liquidity ratio, the business owner must pay attention to all the aspects of running a business. One such aspect that needs to be monitored closely is the account receivables. You must make sure that timely payments are being made by all your clients and no bad debt is recorded.

Go Easy On the Drawings

In a sole proprietor business, the profit made by the businessman is ultimately his income and he may withdraw it at any time for his personal use. But in order to maintain a good liquidity ratio, it is advised that you go easy on the drawings for excessive amount of withdrawals can portray a negative impact on the liquidity ratio of your business unnecessarily. So be on the lookout when you withdraw amounts for your personal use to avoid cash drains.

If you have trouble with accounting and bookkeeping, then free yourself from your accounting responsibilities by hiring CFAs and CPAs from SK Financial CPA at highly affordable rates.

 

 

The 3 Most Effective Tax Planning Strategies for Small and Medium Scale Businesses

The prime focus of tax planning is to arrange one’s financial activities for the year in such a way so that the lowest possible amount for tax payment is incurred. Undoubtedly, the most difficult time for small and medium enterprise owners is the tax season in which they have to pay a taxable amount on all the income they’ve earned during the previous financial year.

Most business owners end up paying more than they should because they are not well aware of the legal tricks they can use to minimize their tax burden. But now, you can save up on taxes by following the three awesome tax burden reduction strategies mentioned in this blog.

Reduce Your Income

One of the key determining factors in figuring out the taxable amount is adjusted gross income also called AGI in short. Your tax rate and different tax credits also rely on AGI. Since the AGI play a vital role in the entire journey of determining and making tax payments accordingly, it is best to pick the adjusted gross income as the starting point of your tax planning process. If you are not sure what AGI exactly is, it is actually the entire income collected from all resources minus the adjustments made to the aggregate income.

Ideally, if your total income is high, your AGI will also follow the higher trend and if you make less income, your AGI for the year will decrease automatically. Therefore, the most effective method to minimize the tax load is to slash down your income. But how exactly can you reduce your income? The answer is pretty simple. Just set aside a large chunk of your income for your retirement plan by following the conventional IRA plan or 401k at work plan.

Boosting Your Tax Deductions

You can also smooth out your tax situation over all by focusing on your taxable income. Now the taxable income actually is the left over amount that is calculated once all the deductions and exemptions are cut off from AGI. Itemized deductions is what you should aim for in various categories such as interest on mortgage, charity, health care, tax planning and preparation expenses, local as well as state taxes and expenses linked to investments.

The best way to do this is to record all your itemized expenses incurred throughout the year in an excel spreadsheet and review it from time to time. By recording all these expenditures, you can easily compare your standard deduction with the itemized expenses incurred within the one year time frame. Remember to always consider the higher of your standard deduction or itemized deduction. When itemizing your expenses, make sure you pay more attention to three main categories; donations to charity, state taxes and interest on mortgage.

Using Tax Credits To Your Advantage

Once you have adjusted your taxable income to reduce your tax burden, the next step is to take full advantage of the tax credits. Some tax credits that can help in minimizing the taxable amount considerably are going to college, adopting a child or setting aside money for retirement.

SK Financial CPA is where you should get help from when filing for taxes by letting professional CPAs and CFAs give you advice on how to present your accounting statements for the year.

10 Most Tax-Friendly States in the U.S and 10 Least Tax-Friendly States in the U.S.

Taxes

1. Delaware

State income tax: 2.2%-6.6%
State sales tax: None
Gas taxes and fees: $0.23 per gallon (National average is $0.31)

2. Wyoming

State income tax: None
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.24 per gallon

3. Louisiana

State income tax: 2%-6%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.20 per gallon

4. Mississippi

State income tax: 3%-5%
State sales tax: 7%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.18 per gallon

5. Alabama

State income tax: 2%-5%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.21 per gallon

6. Arizona

State income tax: 2.59%-4.54%
State sales tax: 5.6%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.19 per gallon

7. Nevada

State income tax: None
State sales tax: 6.85%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.33 per gallon

8. New Mexico

State income tax: 1.7%-4.9%
State sales tax: 5.125%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.19 cents per gallon

9. South Carolina

State income tax: 3%-7%
State sales tax: 6%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.17 cents per gallon

10. West Virginia

State income tax: 3%-6.5%
State sales tax: 6%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.36 cents per gallon

10 Least Tax-Friendly States in the U.S.

1. California

State income tax: 1%-13.3%
State sales tax: 7.5%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.50 per gallon (National average is $0.31)

2. Connecticut

State income tax: 3%-6.7%
State sales tax: 6.35%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.49 per gallon

3. New Jersey

State income tax: 1.4%- 8.97%
State sales tax: 7%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.15 per gallon

4. New York

State income tax: 4%-8.82%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.48 per gallon (varies by county)

5. Hawaii

State income tax: 1.4%-11%
State sales tax: 4%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.48 per gallon (varies by county)

6. Rhode Island

State income tax: 3.75%-5.99%
State sales tax: 7%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.33 per gallon

7. Maine

State income tax: 6.5%-7.95%
State sales tax: 5.5%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.32 per gallon

8. Minnesota

State income tax: 5.35%-9.85%
State sales tax: 6.875%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.29 per gallon

9. Vermont

State income tax: 3.55%-8.95%
State sales tax: 6%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.33 per gallon

10. Illinois

State income tax: 5%
State sales tax: 6.25%
Gas taxes and fees: $0.39 per gallon

 

An Emotionally Intelligent Workforce Can Grow Your Business

Employees work for money – this is a universally known and accepted phenomenon. Many employees would not be doing the job they are doing if not for the money. This leads to them performing their duties without putting in their heart and soul. They do the minimum required to complete the job and get the salary at the end of the month. This sounds alright because as long as they are doing their job, the business is also achieving its goals.

But you will also see that regardless of the fact that they are motivated by money, you cannot get the same level of performance every month for the same salary. This is because employees are influenced by emotions.

Therefore what businesses need to realize is that if they want to progress and grow and become successful, they need an actively engaged workforce who does their job happily and willingly. An actively engaged workforce performs to their true potential and can take businesses to new heights through their superior performance. So how can you make your employees like their jobs and perform the work happily for you?

The answer is quite simple; enhance the emotional intelligence of your people. Emotional intelligence is about understanding and managing emotions at the workplace. An emotionally intelligent workforce will effectively manage relationships with:

  • Colleagues, superiors and junior staff;
  • Customers, business partners, suppliers, vendors;
  • Networks and contacts.

How an Emotionally Intelligent Workforce Enhances Business Growth Potential

An emotionally intelligent workforce is:

  • Highly motivated thus highly productive;
  • Happy and efficient;
  • Committed to their work and success of the business;
  • More confident thus more effective and efficient;
  • More likeable, friendly, mature and professional thus working successfully as leaders and as team members.

A business operates and grows due to efforts of the people working in favor of its success. When these people work in harmony, through management of their emotions, there will be:

  • Lesser workplace conflicts
  • More openness towards diverse opinions giving room to creativity and innovation
  • More openness to technology and change
  • Better leaders who understand their workforce
  • Better ability amongst workers to receive critical feedback positively.

Develop Emotional Intelligence in Your Workplace

If you also want your people to work with synergy so that your business can grow, follow these four steps:

  • Assess the current level of emotional intelligence at your workplace and communicate the results to your people. Prepare them by communicating to them the requirement for enhancing emotional intelligence in your business;
  • Train people through formal and informal means and show them how they can increase their own emotional intelligence and practice emotionally intelligent behaviors in the workplace and their personal lives as well;
  • Encourage people to practice emotionally intelligent behaviors at the workplace by recognizing their behaviors and rewarding them accordingly;
  • Evaluate the progress of your business, transfer the benefits to your employees and show people how being emotionally intelligent has helped the business grow and has also helped their careers.

Remember, an emotionally intelligent workforce is an actively engaged workforce that works to their true potential, thus raising output levels to a stage where the business achieves success and growth.

HR Audit – Paving Way for Your Business’s Success

Businesses today are realizing the important role an HR department can play in determining a business’s success through deployment of a top class workforce. This realization has led HR to emerge as a strategic business partner as compared to being only a support function as it was in the old times.

A business is dependent not only on the quality of its products, but also on the quality of its people, especially if it is involved in providing services. Regardless of how proficient your processes are, if the people working for you are not performing for your business, your success will be limited.

The rule for success is quite simple, an engaged workforce can lead your business to success. The rules and regulations of the system that your HR has defined, determine how engaged your workforce is and whether that engaged workforce is doing the right things at the right time in the right way to achieve the right results.

So how would you know whether your HR is doing their job correctly or not? Just like you evaluate the performance of other departments in your business, you need to evaluate your HR department through an HR audit.

The HR Audit

HR audit allows businesses to evaluate how well the HR department is operating within the business. It makes visible the strengths and weaknesses of your HR function and allow you to identify areas for improvement. It allows you to determine whether your HR department is:

  • Effectively utilizing the available human resources with the business
  • Following the set policies, rules and regulations concerning human resources
  • Streamlining business goals with the goals of the human resources

By doing an HR audit, you are able to identify exactly where your HR department is currently standing. Divide the existing issues with the HR department into different categories including:

  • Whether the issue is critical and has a substantive impact on your business’s success or is a minor procedural issue that can be easily resolved without having much impact on existing processes;
  • Whether the issue is strategic in nature or more relevant to day-to-day operations of your business.

Once you have divided the identified issues, you can conduct the following analysis:

  • Those HR issues that are strategic in nature and also have a substantive impact on your business’s success are policy issues and thus require you to redesign your HR policies;
  • Those HR issues that are minor procedural issues but are strategic in nature require you to redefine your business’s culture because the culture is a strategic element that is inculcated in all your procedures;
  • Those HR issues that are inherent in the day-to-day operations of your business and are substantive in nature are efficiency issues and have a direct impact on how efficient your business is in the long term;
  • Those HR issues that are inherent in the day-to-day operations of your business but are minor can be fixed by improving the climatic or the working environment of your business.

Resolving issues identified during the HR audit can lead to creation of user friend HR systems that automatically help in engaging the workforce towards taking your business on the road to success!

The 14 Determinants of Management That Will Help You Manage Your Business Effectively

Management is an effective part of any business. It is also a process, which is crucial within an organization at every level of the hierarchy. Are you facing greater employee turnover, low employee motivation levels, a tensed office environment, confusion amongst your employees or any other thing, which is not going the way it should be? The answer to all these issues is proper management.

You ask yourself or others about what is management and you get an answer instantaneously like “Management is to control an organization”. However, it is not as unpretentious as it sounds. Many entrepreneurs who own a small dream, struggle with managing a business. It is not about treating people like your slaves because this will do you no good. The key is to act as one of them and communicate on their level, get to know their demands on which you act later to create a positive vibe in the environment, united to work towards a common goal.

To manage your business, acting on proper guidelines is vital. Working on the 14 principles of management presented by Henri Fayol, who was the father of modern management theory, has helped us steer our business in the right direction adapting the right work culture.

The 14 Principles of Management:

  1. Division of Work

Assigning tasks to employees in whom they excel brings out their true desire and passion to work for the business. It also helps them become more efficient and skilled in their tasks.

  1. Authority

The manager must have proper authority to give orders and should be responsible in giving them because every employee is working under him/her.

  1. Discipline

It is necessary in an organization to provide the employees with a base attitude and behavior to adopt while on work.

  1. Unity of Command

Having different controlling personnel is confusing. Supervision from a single person can help bring unity in work and a powerful command over employees.

  1. Unity of Direction

Having a manager to make the employees work in the same direction towards achieving a single plan is known as unity of direction.

  1. Relegation of Separate Interests to The General Interests

Interests of a single employee should not be the priority of action even if the manager’s personal interests are at stake.

  1. Remuneration

It is the most important factor upon which rests the satisfaction level of employees.

  1. Centralization

Balance of involvement of employees in the decision making process should be the aim for a more passionate workforce.

  1. Scalar Chain

Proper chain of command and hierarchy level must be known to all employees to make their working and reporting more specific and effective.

  1. Order

Everything at work must be clean and arranged in order.

  1. Equity

Managers must be kind, disciplined and handle their responsibility with care when communicating with staff.

  1. Stability of Tenure of Personnel

This refers to the management of employee turnover. Planning is the key to resolve this issue.

  1. Initiative

Staffs should be given the opportunity to think and carry out plans.

  1. Espirit De Corps

It is a combination of the above 13 principles. Promoting unity and team spirit brings about harmony in work and helps achieve this principle.

SK Financial is your destination for proper guidelines to management of your start-up business.

Sticking To Principles from One Accounting Body Can Help Your Business Flourish in Global Markets

All businesses work on some principles to drive their organization on a pre-planned track that will deem effective in the end. Whether we talk about human resource, management, taxation, finance, accounting or any other function of the business, working with some principles provides for a clear direction and support in achieving the business goals.

Are you a booming business? But you are not clear about the accounting body you want to follow when preparing your financial statements? Then this article will be your guideline towards making an informed choice.

Two major accounting standards are followed in the United States.

US GAAP

The accounting standards used commonly in the US are known as US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) formulated by the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) for governing of the financial reports of non-governmental organizations. There is also the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) who is responsible for developing the standards used in auditing private company’s financial statements.

US GAAP outlines the principles for maintaining the records of inventory valuation, short and long-term investments, taxation and every other component of financial reporting. The guidelines issued by GAAP educate on how to record accounting information properly, in a consistent and fair manner.

Although no company is required to follow these guidelines but large companies, do follow these to provide consistency when comparing organizational statements. Even investors look for proper financial statements that will give them the fair picture of the organization that can be trusted upon, is consistent, reliable, comparable, and relevant in disclosing the right information.

IFRS

This abbreviation refers to International Financial Reporting Standards by the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board). Previously these standards were also known as the IAS (International Accounting Standards) issued by the IASC (International Accounting Standards Committee). People still know the standards as IAS rather than IFRS but the principles are same.

IFRS’s are designed for the goal of communicating with the world through a common language of accounts in business that is comprehensible and comparable. IFRS’s have greatly benefited the international trade and overseas shareholding practices. These accounting standards are making progress across boundaries and becoming increasingly successful in replacing the national accounting standards.

Some general features of IFRS are:

  • Fair Presentation & Compliance

This refers to the faithful representation of transactions considering several events, conditions and respective definitions of components of financial statements.

  • Going Concern

Financial statements should be prepared to show the organization is in operation and should not be produced if management intends to liquidate.

  • Accrual Basis of Accounting

Assets, expenses, income, liabilities and equity should satisfy recognition criteria present in the IFRS framework.

  • Materiality & Aggregation

Every distinct item should be read separately unless immaterial. Similar items should be shown as one.

  • Offsetting

Although forbidden, some standards require this when explicit conditions are fulfilled.

Frequency of Reporting

IFRS guides to prepare financial statements at least annually although listed companies are required to publish provisional financial statements.

  • Comparative Information

As IFRS’s are globally adopted, information should be relevant, narrative, descriptive and comparable with the preceding periods.

  • Consistency of Presentation

Classification of financial statement items should be consistent from one period to next, to make it understandable and easily reviewable.

SK Financial is a Tampa based company that can help you with preparing your financial statements by adopting the accounting principles you reckon necessary for your business.

Ten steps on how we save you money

Save_Money1

Ten steps on how we save you money:

1. We save you money by automating your accounting department. By doing so, you save on direct/indirect payroll, overhead costs as well as technology costs. Your data is saved on our dedicated secure server in an SAS70 certified data center. You will have absolutely no computer or software costs. We also eliminate your hiring and training headaches. Our skilled, experienced professionals handle your daily accounting and bookkeeping. We will help you develop standardized and consistent policies and procedures to streamline the accounting process for you.

2. We save you money by implementing numerous tax strategies. You save on taxes with our proactive accounting and tax advice and guidance. We have more than 100 tax planning strategies, which we will gradually implement as we monitor the progress of your business. You will be amazed to see how the implementation of just one, sound tax strategy can help you save way more money than our fees for the entire year.

3. We save you money by not allowing you to pay any penalties to the IRS or state authorities. You are guaranteed never to pay any penalties due to our strict adherence to deadlines. We will handle all your required filings in the most efficient and timely manner. If we don’t file any forms or make a tax deposit on time, then we will pay any tax penalties on your behalf.

4. We save you money by valuing your time. Your phone calls and emails will be returned within 24 hours. We will finish any tasks requested by you within 48 hours. We are easily accessible through phone, email, chat, Skype and other social media. We will complete your bookkeeping by the end of every month, or you will not be charged for that month.

5. We save you money with our audit protection plan. If you get audited or receive a notice from the IRS, all you have to do is just forward it to us, and we will take care of the rest. We will represent you and correspond with the IRS on your behalf. You will not have to pay any fees for our additional work.

6. You save money by automating your payroll and HR process. We process your payroll online with direct deposit, make tax payments electronically, prepare quarterly payroll tax returns, 1099s and sales tax returns and submit them electronically. We will also automate your time sheets, vacation benefits, expense reimbursements and HR functions through our Human Resource Information System (HRIS).

7. You save money by having a CPA firm by your side throughout the year. We provide unlimited consultation regarding accounting, tax, marketing and business matters throughout the year.  You also have access to our resource library and your own online portal.

8. You save money with our marketing consultation. We meet with hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout the year, and will share with you the many outstanding marketing strategies that are being implemented by other successful businesses.

9.We save you money by automating your A/P and A/R departments. All you have to do is to scan, fax, or email your paperwork to us, your capable accountants, and your hassles are no more. For A/P (bills) we keep track of all your due dates, set an approval process and automatically pay on the scheduled date. For A/R (invoices), we email or post your invoices, so you have no more hassle with printing, postage and mailing.

10. Your savings will be significantly higher with our accounting packages than with any other accounting firm. You will know what your fees will be well in advance, so there will be no unpleasant surprises. On average, our fees are far less than our competitors’. So you receive superior quality of work for a low, fixed monthly fee.

Sitting Down with a Tampa CPA and Preparing for Next Year

 

Tax time can be a stress filled time of the year for everyone. For both business owners and individuals alike, the race is on to file on time and accurately, to maximize deductions and to minimize penalties. The slightest mistake on tax forms can cause a company to lose out on valuable deductions, and being late by a week can add up in interest. Whether it is business taxes, personal taxes, or both, between January and April, everyone is pressed for time, trying to get all their paperwork in order to meet that April 15th deadline. After everything is filed, all that needs to be done is to wait and see if everything goes through as planned. By the time September rolls around, often the last thing on peoples’ minds is sitting down with their Tampa CPA and reviewing their tax plan for next year.

With no deadlines looming, September is the perfect time to do a financial performance review with your Tampa CPA.  With the details from last year’s returns, including any missed opportunities and prior losses, fresh in mind, it can be beneficial for everyone to start thinking now about what they want for next year’s taxes. For both business owners and individuals, starting the tax planning process in the fall works greatly to their advantage in the spring.

Having regular quarterly consultations with your Tampa CPA can benefit any business.  From planning for any potential tax issues that may come up, to doing a financial check up and ensuring your business is on the right track, to doing tax research on your behalf, so that you and your business can maximize your after-tax income. A consultation ahead of time can help you plot your course for next year.

And even if the taxes that need to be planned are strictly personal taxes, a consultation with a Tampa CPA months ahead of time, can yield great results. From income splitting to maximizing family and household deductions, being proactive with tax planning can pay off for individuals.  CPA’s can help structure your cash flow to help you pay for things such as vacation homes, education, and discovering which investments are best for you.

And, if you are in the market for a new Tampa CPA, now is the best time to look. As many offer free consultations, you can shop around and see which one meets your business, personal, or family’s needs, without the rush or pressure that comes from looking at tax time. You will have the opportunity to review their credentials ahead of time and ask around and determine which CPA you chose to hire. The right CPA is as crucial to your financial health as a doctor is to your physical wellbeing.

Tax time doesn’t need to be stressful. Sitting down with a Tampa CPA now, in September, rather than waiting until March or April, can benefit anyone. With no deadlines looming and no pressure to file on time, individuals and business owners alike can take the time to make the right decisions for their specific needs.

SK Financial CPA Letter explains recent developments that may affect a client’s tax situation

Dear Client:The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past three months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information about any of these developments and what steps you should implement to take advantage of favorable developments and to minimize the impact of those that are unfavorable.Social security taxes going up next year. All employees and self-employed persons will face higher social security taxes next year due to an expiring tax break. Higher earners may also face increased tax because the Social Security wage base is increasing to $113,700 from $110,100 and a higher Medicare tax applies to higher earners.The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) imposes two taxes on employers, employees, and self-employed workers—one for Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI; commonly known as the Social Security tax), and the other for Hospital Insurance (HI; commonly known as the Medicare tax).For 2013, the FICA tax rate for employers is 7.65% each6.2% for OASDI and 1.45% for HI. For 2013, an employee pays:

(a) 6.2% Social Security tax on the first $113,700 of wages (maximum tax is $7,049.40 [6.20% of $113,700]), plus
(b) 1.45% Medicare tax on the first $200,000 of wages ($250,000 for joint returns; $125,000 for married taxpayers filing a separate return), plus
(c) 2.35% Medicare tax (regular 1.45% Medicare tax + 0.9% additional Medicare tax) on all wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for joint returns; $125,000 for married taxpayers filing a separate return).

By contrast, for 2012, the OASDI rate for employees is 4.2%; the OASDI rate for employers is 6.2% and the HI rate for both employers and employees is 1.45%.

For 2013, the self-employment tax imposed on self-employed people is:

  • 12.4% OASDI on the first $113,700 of self-employment income, for a maximum tax of $14,098.80 (12.40% of $113,700); plus
  • 2.90% Medicare tax on the first $200,000 of self-employment income ($250,000 of combined self-employment income on a joint return, $125,000 on a separate return), , plus
  • 3.8% (2.90% regular Medicare tax + 0.9% additional Medicare tax) on all self-employment income in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 of combined self-employment income on a joint return, $125,000 for married taxpayers filing a separate return).

By contrast, for 2012, the self-employment tax rate is 13.3%: 10.4% for OASDI, reflecting the two percentage point drop in the OASDI rate for employees, plus 2.9% for HI.

By contacting us, we can tailor a particular plan that will work best for you.

Very truly yours,

Shams Khan, CPA, CFP