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We’re Still Growing. Welcome, Alex!

GJM is growing! We’re excited to welcome Alex Francis to the team as an accounting services senior associate. Here’s a chance to get to know Alex a bit.

Describe your role at GJM: I assist with 401(k) plan administration. This is a little bit of an adjustment from my previous roles but I’m excited to learn more.

When did you start working at GJM? August 20, 2018.

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I chose by accident! I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to grow professionally and use some of my experience from my past position. I feel so fortunate to have been selected and am continuously impressed by GJM.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? My parents were both in the military so I was actually born in Germany. I have lived in Ohio the majority of my life and graduated from Perrysburg High School. I attended BGSU for undergrad (Healthcare Administration) and grad school (MBA).

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? I love that NW Ohio is close to everything and that it’s continuously growing! 

Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? I have one younger sister, Lisa (she’s the pretty lady on the right in the picture). We are exactly 15 months and 1 week apart in age. She is having her first child and I’m so excited to be a first-time aunt! I also have a sweet little pup named Lily. In my completely biased opinion, she’s the cutest dog—definitely the most spoiled too! I also love to bake and I’m slowly but surely getting better.

How do you like to spend your free time?  I love spending time with my family/friends. I’m currently on a podcast kick so I’m always looking for new ones to listen to while I’m driving. I love exploring new places so I’m always making an effort to take a trip out of NW Ohio. I recently went to D.C. and had a chance to attend the Quicken National—easily one of my most memorable trips!

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? That I was born in Germany! Sadly, I can’t remember much of my time there and have not been back since we moved. It’s definitely on my list of places to go!

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? I’ve have been fortunate enough to spend the past three years working with a variety of non-profits through a committee in my previous role. I love to volunteer whenever I have the chance.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Find Your Passion, Join a Nonprofit Board

You know in a movie when the viewer knows that fate is playing a part to bring the main character to that place they’re meant to be, but the main character just thinks it’s by chance? That’s basically how I ended up on the board of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo (DSAGT).

I’ve always felt drawn to the Down Syndrome community, ever since I was young. As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun following the stories of families who have children with Down Syndrome on social media. I also read a book last summer, The Lucky Few, which tells a story of adopting two children with Down Syndrome. I was so inspired by the story but had no idea I would be given the opportunity to join that community a few months later.

A few days before the EPIC Toledo Board Fair, I saw a LinkedIn post from one of our Gilmore Jasion Mahler partners who shared that DSAGT was looking for board members. I read the article thinking how perfect a fit that would be for me, but I assumed I wasn’t far enough along in my career yet to join a board. I also didn’t think I had the right qualifications to join a board, nor did I think a board would want someone my age (WRONG! They value a diverse board, including young board members).

A few days later I went to the board fair, primarily in support of a co-worker who was looking to join a board. I was surprised to see the DSAGT booth since they weren’t on the list, however, I went over and met the Executive Director. We immediately connected over the passion we shared. I told her a little about myself and she gave me some information about the organization. I went home, did some research, and attended their next board meeting. I was voted on to the board at that first meeting!

Joining DSAGT has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was scared and doubtful of my abilities, but in a short amount of time, I discovered that this was a community where judgement did not exist. The little bit of accounting and non-profit knowledge I could contribute to the board was helpful, but more importantly, my passion for the cause was exactly what was required to be a great board member. I was also worried about the time commitment but again, I found out that the time spent with DSAGT was well worth it. When work and life gets to be too stressful, just an hour with the Down Syndrome community brings me back to life and fills up my soul again.

Serving as a board member hasn’t just helped me personally, but it’s also helped me professionally. I’m learning about fundraising, board governance, and programming. I’m also learning how to budget, and strategize on ways to increase revenue. All of these skills help me better serve my nonprofit clients through understanding the challenges and goals they’re facing every day.

I highly recommend serving on a board for a local nonprofit. It’s a great way to learn, meet new people, and make a difference in the community. And, you might just find that the board and its members have a bigger effect on you, than you do on them. You’ll know when you’ve picked the right one. If you’re interested in joining a board, I suggest attending the EPIC Toledo Non-Profit Board Fair (Now named the Non-Profit Palooza). You can check out LinkedIn, or simply talk to leadership at your business. They have great connections and may know a board that would be a great fit for you!

Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Associate Krista Huff contributed this blog. Krista is a senior associate with over three years of public accounting experience with a specialization in the nonprofit industry. In addition to her work on the board for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Toledo, Krista is involved in many community service projects through GJM.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Welcome to The Gilmore Jasion Mahler Family, Tina!

Tina Rochowiak recently joined Gilmore Jasion Mahler as an Accounting Services Associate. Here’s a chance to get to know her a bit better.

Describe your role at GJM. My role at GJM as an Accounting Services Associate will be to perform various accounting support functions and to work on implementing an accounts payable automation capability for clients that will help GJM to further grow its outsourced accounting services. 

When did you join the firm? My employment with GJM started on August 28, 2018.

Why did you choose the accounting industry? I chose the accounting industry because of the variety of tasks and levels it consists of, making the opportunities wide open to keep learning.

What do you like best about accounting? What can I say, I like numbers, so accounting has always been a perfect fit! Since there are never two instances that are the same, accounting can be challenging at times and always changing.

Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? Yes, I was born and raised in Toledo and currently reside in Point Place.

What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? What I like most about living in Northwest Ohio is that it is very family oriented with a lot of hometown and regional spirit. It also has the best accesses to many waterways that include Lake Erie and the Maumee River as well as many Metro Parks to choose from. 

Anything you’d like to share about your past professional experience? For the last 23 years I have worked in the accounting department of a steel company working in varying levels of accounting practicing many as a Billing/Claims Specialist, Accounts Receivable and Payable entry, as well as General Ledger and Fixed Asset input. I currently hold a Bachelor’s in Business Management and am always looking for more education to keep me updated on current trends and look forward to being able to do just that with GJM.

How do you like to spend your free time? My free time is usually spent being outside somewhere either around water, going for walks, or just doing yard work. Also, since I am such a huge supporter of downtown Toledo I love spending time there attending games, going to restaurants, or concerts in the parks.   

Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? I have participated in the Mobile Meals Chili Cook-off for the last 7 years. This day-long event showcases many chili enthusiasts’ recipes in a team capacity with all donations collected by each team before and on the day of the event going directly to Mobile Meals. Each team is recognized for their participation on different criteria and my team consistently holds 2nd place for judges choice award in overall taste and 2nd place for highest dollars in donations collected since we started participating, but, of course, every year we strive to be 1st place and we always say, next year we will!

What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I just graduated from the Engage Toledo Ambassador Academy with the City of Toledo. It was a 10-week class of 22 participants with each week being introduced to a different city department reviewing how they are run, how they budget the city dollars allocated to them, the rules and regulations of each department, and most importantly how citizens interact with them in regard to issues needing to be addressed. The end result upon graduation is for each graduate to promote Engage Toledo and be a voice to inform the citizens of Toledo.

Anything else you’d like to add? I am excited about my new employment with GJM and eager to expand my knowledge that is going to benefit both GJM and myself.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

South Dakota Vs. Wayfair and Your Business

Dozens of manufacturing financial executives heard a pretty clear message this week at Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s (GJM) Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable events: don’t assume you’re unaffected by the recent South Dakota vs. Wayfair ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you haven’t heard about the Wayfair case, or aren’t sure what it’s all about, here’s a quick explainer.

South Dakota vs. Wayfair

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that states can charge sales tax on purchases from out of state companies regardless of whether those companies have a physical location in the taxing state. The ruling upended a case from 1992 (Quill Corp. v. North Dakota) that said a seller had to have a physical presence in the state to be subject to state sales tax. The court cited the significant increase in online purchases over the last 25-plus years in its decision.

Many manufacturers are still trying to wrap their head around what sort of impact the ruling could have on their businesses.

This week, a pretty clear message from GJM roundtable guest presenter Bill Vohsing. He is a state and local tax expert from the Columbus office of RSM US LLP. GJM is a member of the RSM US Alliance. Vohsing says all businesses need to pause, ask themselves some questions, and consider some actions:

  1. Do a nexus analysis. Determine where you should be paying tax.
  2. What’s your sales footprint? Where do you do business? Make sure you understand sales thresholds.
  3. Know your products/services. What’s taxable in one state may be exempt in another.

Vohsing’s to do list for businesses includes some urgent items and some things to keep in mind.

Immediate actions include:

  • Consider ASC 450 – examine any previous noncompliance with sales tax nexus regulations
  • Look into automation: should you automate your tax compliance? Make sure you are using the right technology tools

Recommended actions include:

  • Stay on top of state legislative activity post-Wayfair. New sales tax laws are likely on the way
  • Re-evaluate how you handle sales tax collection. Some businesses may want to move to nationwide collection as a proactive move
  • Re-evaluate current strategies in place to avoid sales and use tax obligations and perhaps hit the pause button until there’s more clarity from the Supreme Court

Other things to think about:

  • Do you have a sales team? Do you know what they do and where they travel?
  • What kind of mobile assets do you have?
  • Evaluate your exemption certificates. Do you need to expand the way you track and manage?

Vohsing also says be aware more states will follow South Dakota in the attempt to collect sales tax. Some are already taking action, and while many other state legislatures are adjourned for the year, he says you can expect them to address the issue when they reconvene.

For further guidance on how to proceed post-Wayfair, and address the specifics related to your business, we encourage you to reach out to your GJM team to start the discussion.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Don’t Overlook This Tax Credit

Mary Jo Pitzen is a senior manager in the Gilmore Jasion Mahler tax department. She works with clients across many industries, but has a focus on the construction industry. Mary Jo is also a board member for the Toledo chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting services and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.