8221 Brecksville Rd, STE 205 Brecksville, OH 44141
Wiser or Just Older? Y es, I turned 45 a couple of weeks ago. I’m officially middle-aged. The question is, am I getting wiser with age or just getting older? Am I more knowledgeable andmore confident, or am I just 13 Things I’ve Learned
clinging on to the past and not seeing the upside of aging?
I’ve been learning things since birth, and maybe now it’s time for me to impart all this knowledge and wisdom to others. I’ve been trying to do that with my kids for the last decade and with my clients the last nine years.
Here are 13 things I learned so far that come tomy mind:
1. Play the long-termgame. Life is way longer than you think when you’re 18. 2. I often fear failure, but fear of regret is far worse. Most things I do that are out of my comfort zone, I do thembecause I don’t want to wake up one day and say,“I shoulda, I woulda, I coulda, but I didn’t.” 3. Having the opportunity to learn the basics of running and growing a business was the best thing that happened tome. It literally changedmy life. 4. Don’t complain; it doesn’t do any good. Instead, find a way to turn the situation around. 5. Being kind and humble will definitely take you further than the opposite. 6. A lovingmarriage and a stable family life are the biggest blessings in life. 7. If, after 13 years of marriage, you still don’t have kids, don’t give up hope. Youmight end up with four cute little monsters after all! 8. Never forget where you came from and the people who helped you become who you are. (If you’re honest with yourself, you’re still that 12-year-old kid inside.)
9. You gotta have a vision for your life. If you don’t, others will have one for you. Don’t let that happen because you’re not going to like it. 10. Most mistakes happen because of a lack of adequate sleep. So sleepmore! 11. There is no way you can get everything done alone, so treasure your support system. They are indispensable! 12. Grabbing every opportunity to learn a new skill, tomeet new people, and to broaden your horizon are the best things you can do to get ahead in life. At whatever cost. 13. Above all, be thankful and grateful for everything you have, especially when it comes to the people you love. Betty Friedan, American writer and activist, said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” God willing, that’s how I want to live my next 45 years.
–Borbala Banto, CPA
1 (440) 340-1030
NEW! Join our FACEBOOK LIVE this month on FRIDAYS at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Search for us at @ConciergeCPAs. BORBALA’S SCHEDULE Weekly Live Roundtable Calls Events We Go to or Host
March 4: The InspiredTreehouse, Board Meeting March 5, 12, 19: Jumpstart, Inc – half-day seminars March 7: Entrepreneur Organization Accelerator, Accountability Meeting March 8: Lunch with the Executives of the Chinese Chambers and the Parma Area Chambers of Commerce March 19: “Taxes for Business”Seminar at theWBC March 26: Mentor Meeting by TomHileman @Hileman Group The Inspired Treehouse, LLC •April 15
•March 1 •March 8 •March 29 •April 4 Client Advising and Coaching Days March 6–7, 9, 13–14, 16, 20–21, 23, 27–28, 30 April 3–4, 6, 10–11, 24 •March 15 •March 22 To schedule a time, go to: Borbala.AcuityScheduling.com Prospective client inquiries: Borbala@ConciergeCPAs.com
Clients of the Month
A: This journey has been amazing, and every day has been a learning opportunity. We have remained true to our original vision despite many opportunities to sway in a direction that could potentially make more money or grow an audience. Those directions just didn’t feel right for howwe wanted to represent who we are and what we do. We have also learned that it just takes a whole lot of hard work and dedication tomake things happen, but when it’s something you’re passionate about and you have a partner with the same drive, the process is a lot more fun! Q: Youmade a decision to give back and founded a nonprofit. Why was this important to you? A: We have always had the dream to have a brick andmortar location, mainly so that we could work in the same space instead of over text messages and voicemails. The best advice we were ever given was to start the blog to harness our ideas in one place and thereby develop a business plan of sorts. The decision to become a nonprofit and offer free to low-cost developmental playgroups for kids was fueled by our knowledge of the decline in the skills of children in school and the fact that we had the skills and ideas to do something to help. Q: Where can our readers find your blog and learnmore about the nonprofit? A: Our blog, The InspiredTreehouse can be found at TheInspiredTreehouse.com. Here, readers will have access to hundreds of developmental activities for kids that work on fine, gross, and sensory motor skills. Additionally, we have articles, handouts, and educational resources for parents, teachers, and therapists. More information about our nonprofit, The Treehouse, can be found at TheTreehouseBedford.org.
I have the privilege of introducing you to the two smart, funny, and overall wonderful owners of The InspiredTreehouse blog: Lauren Drobnjak and Claire Heffron.
Lauren is a pediatric physical therapist who currently practices in the educational environment, and Claire is a pediatric occupational therapist in a preschool/primary school setting. Their drive tomake a difference in children’s lives has led their entrepreneurial spirit in the direction of creating opportunities for play-based wellness and development. Their blog is full of helpful ideas and tips for activities that parents, therapists, and teachers can use to promote all kinds of developmental skills for kids. Q: Youwrite blog posts, host webinars, provide resources, and recently published a book. Both of you have other jobs and three kids each.When do you find the time for all that?What’s your secret to efficiency? A: Every time we see all of that written on paper, we think we must be crazy! We are a great team, and that has been the key to our success. We have learned a great balance over the years, and we are really good about reading each other’s needs so that we can step in and help or step away and focus on another area as needed. We also have extremely supportive spouses that have taken on a lot, so that we can successfully run our business and nonprofit while still working in our respective professions. Q: You’ve built a successful business that continues to grow. What are some things you learned on your entrepreneurial journey that you can share with our readers?
OUR NEWEST EMPLOYEE
Our company is constantly growing, and we couldn’t be happier to introduce you to our newest experienced hire, Lora Lyden. She is a staff accountant, and even though she started only a couple of weeks ago, she’s been showing nothing but great technical and communication skills, maturity, and professionalism. We sat down with Lora so our readers and clients can get to know her better. Q : Lora, tell us a little about your background. A: I amoriginally fromYoungstown, Ohio, andmoved here to the
property management, and transportation/ logistics industries. Q: What types of clients do you serve at Concierge CPAs ? A: I amdefinitely enjoyingmy newfound role as a staff accountant for Concierge CPAs because each of the separate client businesses that we serve has a unique story. Thus far, I have had the pleasure of working with law firms that specialize in areas such as elder law, disability, and, yes, even divorce. I also work with a client that operates a gardening blog; a Grammy Award winner for production in classical music; a couple of landscaping companies; construction and roofing companies; a hair salon; a lobbying firm; daycare providers; and even some nonprofit organizations.
Cleveland area about three years ago withmy husband, Tom, andmy 6-year-old daughter, Lauren. I attendedYoungstown State University, where I changedmy major a few times before landingmyself in the wonderful world of business administration, andmore specifically, accounting. From a young age, I always loved numbers and have definitely enjoyed the many facets of accounting. Q: Where did youwork before? A: I have worked in local government as a staff accountant/tax collector and as an accountant for small businesses in the mortgage, Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus A delicious and healthy take on the classic Levantine spread, this hummus will brighten up your March Madness snack spread.
Q: Any hobbies and interests outside of work? A: My passions include cooking and sharingmy original, healthy, low-carb recipes withmy family and friends. At least once a month, I treat myself to a shopping trip tomy favorite stores to hunt for the perfect new pair of shoes or jacket that I can’t live without. I also enjoy traveling, especially to tropical beaches and venturing out on island excursions to take in the local culture. To relax and unwind, I enjoy a good glass of wine and a movie at home withmy family.
1 garlic clove, grated
1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
• • •
Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth. 4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.
3 (440) 340-1030
INSIDE Wiser or Just Older? Page 1 Borbala’s Schedule Page 2
The Inspired Treehouse Page 2 Our Newest Employee Page 3 Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus Page 3
8221 Brecksville Rd, STE 205 Brecksville, OH 44141 (440) 340-1030 ConciergeCPAs.com Borbala@ConciergeCPAs.com Our Clients in the News Congratulations to a great client and dear friend, Erica Brenner , on
a W2 from a Sizzling Platter restaurant where he worked in Utah reporting $1,399 in income and zero withholding. And somehow, he had a W2 from a Tampa nursing home showing $17,098 in wages and a million dollars in withholding. But where you or I might have thought, “Hmm, something looks off ,” Blanchett smelled opportunity — and he chose not to look his gift horse in the mouth. So Blanchett chose to file his return with a straight face, based on those W2s. In due time, the IRS sent him a check for $980,000. He took that check and deposited in Sun Trust Bank. Sun Trust suspected fraud (ya think?), froze the funds, and eventually sent the money back to him. So Blanchett took that check and deposited it into a credit union, as one does, falsely stating that the funds were from the estate of his deceased father. By that time, the IRS had realized maybe there was a problem with a guy getting back 53 times his income in a refund. Last month, they seized $919,251 that was left in his bank accounts. Prosecutors haven’t filed charges against Blanchett, at least not yet . But it’s a fair bet this story won’t end well for him. There’s no real lesson in today’s story, other than don’t be a bonehead. But there’s a great way to give yourself a nice refund, and you won’t risk the IRS showing up with a tow truck and making off with your wheels. That answer, of course, is planning . So call us when you’re ready to save, and enjoy the ride! Also, congratulations are in order to Dr. Richard Thompson and his wife, Regina. Their son-in-law Derek Rivers , who is a Patriots football player , is now the proud owner of a Super Bowl ring. Dr. and Mrs. Thompson were at the game in Atlanta with other family members and shared many exciting stories with us about the trip. They are also expecting their first grandchild. Their daughter, Lauren, and Derek are expecting their first baby later this spring. Congratulations to all! winning a Grammy Award last month for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Erica produced the album titled “Songs of Orpheus.” Here is a picture of Erica (left) and director Jennette Sorrell (right) in L.A. with the Grammy in the background. Keep up the good work, Erica! We couldn’t be prouder of you!
W ould anyone in their right mind sit down and develop the tax withholding system we have today from scratch? The IRS publishes tables telling employers how much to take out of everyone’s paycheck, depending on their income, their filing status, and the amount they guesstimate they’ll be claiming in deductions and credits. Then, at the end of the year, employees file their actual returns and hope it’s the IRS coming out on the short end. Don’t Worry No One Will Notice
In 2018, the average refund amounted to $2,782, which is enough to cover some bills or take a nice weekend trip. But one enterprising 29-year-old named Christopher Blanchett found himself in a position to snag a refund worth writing home about.
Two years ago, Blanchett sat down to file his return. He had
–Liao Xiong Staff Accountant, Concierge CPAs, Inc
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