Client Services

Nichols Cauley

A Multifaceted Services Firm


Quality, Expertise, and Trust - These are the focal points for the services we provide to you our client


Nichols Cauley has become a leader in our market place by providing the core accounting, financial and tax services you expect from your professional services firm. To meet the continually changing demands of the marketplace we continually invest time and resources to offer additional services to help you succeed.


Below we have listed services we offer to our clients along with a brief description of each service. This list is by no means all-inclusive, please feel free to inquire about a service if you do not see it listed. If it is not a service we provide, we would be happy to refer you to a qualified professional we believe will meet your needs.


Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., member FINRA/SIPC
Investment Advisory Services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc.
We have individuals registered to offer securities in the states of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. This is not an offer to sell any security in any other jurisdicion.


Accounting Services

Compilations

We understand that the financial results of your business operations need to be presented in a format which is easily understood by those who may require this information, such as lenders, suppliers and governmental agencies (e.g., licensing boards). Our team will work with you to compile your financial data in a manner which is acceptable to those who regularly review financial statements and make decisions that may affect your ability to grow your business and prosper. These compilations may be completed monthly, quarterly, or annually, and may include comparisons with prior periods.

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Audits, Reviews and Compilations

While audits, reviews and compilations may be required by third parties and are based on the preceding period financial information they do provide useful information to management if delivered timely. In our audit, review and compilation engagements we have systemized our processes to ensure you receive quality information in a timely manner. The financial statements are a useful tool in measuring your most recent results because- "What you can Measure, you can Manage".

We perform audit, review and compilation engagements for a wide array of clients including financial institutions, construction companies, physician practices, wholesale distribution companies, electrical membership cooperatives, telephone cooperatives, governmental entities, nonprofit entities as well as other businesses.

The following outlines the nature of each type of engagement and a brief synopsis of our approach on each engagement. Each engagement is designed to meet the reporting needs of your company.

Audits

Financial statement audits are normally required for compliance purposes. In most cases, an audit is required by governmental regulators, lenders, insurance companies, investors or other requesting parties. Audits provide the highest level of assurance of any engagement and are attesting to the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows for the preceding period.

To provide greater value to our clients, Nichols, Cauley and Associates, LLC has changed its approach for conducting financial statement audits from the traditional approach to a Risk Based Audit approach. The Risk Based Audit is superior to traditional audit approaches for two reasons. First, it focuses on risks, the underlying causes of financial surprises, and not just the accounting records. Second, the Risk Based Audit shifts the focus from inspecting the quality of the financial information that is recorded in the financial statements to building quality into the financial reporting process and adding value to your operations.

The Risk Based Audit, which focuses on both recorded and unrecorded risk, improves financial statement assurance and the financial statement reporting process. The Risk Based audit focuses on business risk and the processes for controlling these risks. The higher the risk area, the more audit time and client controls are required.

In order to identify your business risks, we must obtain a thorough understanding of your controls, financial condition, sources of revenue, expenditures, competition and other business risks. The first goal of the Risk Based Audit is to identify when a client has failed to consider an important risk, economic event or transaction. The second goal is to assure that our clients have focused on emerging risks that may not yet be well understood or managed.

The Risk Based Audit requires a greater understanding of the client's business and more knowledge of the client's business environment than required in a traditional audit. Whenever possible, the Risk Based Audit approach tests and relies upon the client's process for controlling risks that could affect the financial statements. In traditional audits, the auditor substantiates account balances after the fact rather than relying on a client's controls. This means that we will evaluate the effectiveness of your internal control system and will place reliance on your control system whenever possible.

By focusing on the client's control processes, we believe our Risk Based Audit approach helps us add value to you by:

  • Addressing risks affecting you and your financial reporting
  • Providing services that help you to manage your business and risks
  • Communicating to you the important issues
  • Improving identification of financial statement misstatement
  • Improving assessment of the viability of your business
  • Improving identification of fraud
  • Improving quality and timeliness of reporting

We utilize the audit as a process to provide you more than the financial statements as required by third parties - while performing the audit we gain a more in-depth look at your business and make recommendations to help you improve your operations, thereby leading to greater success.

Reviews and Compilations

For clients desiring or requiring financial statements not at the level of audits we provide review and compilation engagements. Due to the nature of the required procedures these engagements are less costly than audit engagements.

Reviews consist primarily of inquiry and analytical procedures that provide us with a reasonable basis for expressing limited assurance that there are no material modifications that should be made to the statements in order for them to be in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

A compilation is defined as presenting in the form of financial statements information that is the representation of management or the owners without undertaking to express any assurance on the statements.

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Bookkeeping/Write-Up

What you can measure, you can manage

Meaningful, well-organized financial records ensure that your business operations will run more efficiently on a daily basis and are the foundation of a successful business. Our qualified team can assist you with the day-to-day tasks associated with bookkeeping. You will also benefit from our review of the financial statements with you on a timely basis and the questions we will ask concerning your entity's performance.

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Financial Forecasts & Projections

As we can all appreciate in today’s business environment, things change. Understanding the current situation and preparing for change is critical to your long-term viability. By working with many small businesses in various industries, we are able to gather and assimilate data to help you develop financial forecasts and projections based on realistic business assumptions. Frequently, lenders and investors require these forecasts and projections in making decisions affecting your ability to meet your capital requirements. Our goal is to provide expertise to help you manage your business today and to consider actions you may take now to ensure that your business can withstand future contingencies.

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Cash Flow & Budgeting Analysis

One of the most critical aspects of a small business is cash flow—from the beginning when providing capital to start the business and then from day to day while operating the business. A small business can be profitable and still run into cash flow issues.

One of the best ways to monitor your sources and uses of cash is to establish a budget and compare that budget to actual results on a regular basis. Doing this allows you to identify problem areas and make timely adjustments to keep small fluctuations from becoming larger deficits.

Our NCA Small Business Team can help you perform detailed cash flow analysis based on history and use that to project future results. They can help you develop management reports that allow you to constantly be aware of your cash position.

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Other Services

Employee Benefit Plans

The accounting and tax issues involved with employer-provided benefit plans can be overwhelming. We can assist with the development, implementation and administration of your employee benefit plan.

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Bankruptcies

Our bankruptcy services include accounting and other issues performed for the bankrupt estate for the appropriate bankruptcy court.

For additional information email ssanders@nicholscauley.com.

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Tax Services

Tax Planning

Tax planning is an essential element of the tax preparation process. We believe tax planning is an ongoing process and seek to educate our clients on the changes in the tax laws. We further evaluate our clients to determine those that may benefit from changes in the tax laws. By making tax-planning part of your overall business strategy, you can use our experience and access to the most current new developments in the tax laws to minimize both your current and future tax liabilities.

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Tax Preparation

Our significant investment in computerized tax preparation and research software enables us to accurately and efficiently prepare returns for various types of entities including individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, estates, and not-for-profit organizations.

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IRS Representation

During our years of experience dealing with many taxing authorities, we have achieved a level of competence that can ensure our clients they are being properly represented before the various federal and state tax agencies.

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Payroll Services

One of the main costs most small businesses encounter today is the cost of doing payroll. Not only do employers need to be able to compensate employees, but they must also be able to keep record of these transactions, pay associated payroll liabilities, and remit payroll information to both the state and federal governments. Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC has been assisting clients for over 30 years with their payroll needs, and can help in each step of the payroll journey. Our experienced staff, consisting of Certified Public Accountants and QuickBooks ProAdvisors, works together to help clients set up a system for payroll and implement this system in a way that fits each client’s unique payroll needs.

Specifically, our services in this area include:

  • Company payroll preparation and processing
  • Payroll tax computation and remittance
  • QuickBooks payroll setup and implementation
  • Assistance with applying for payroll ID numbers
  • Assistance with payroll audits
  • Preparing payroll quarterly reports and transmission
  • Preparing year-end payroll reports (W-2’s, 1099’s, etc.) and transmission
  • Accounting for employee benefits
  • Remitting retirement plan benefits to financial institutions
  • Accounting for employee withholdings

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Sales Tax Services

Although computing sales tax in theory seems relatively simply, it is actually quite complex due to various constantly changing rules and laws regarding the taxability of goods and services. For over 30 years, Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC has worked with various businesses in a wide variety of industries to provide assistance in this area. Our team, consisting of Certified Public Accountants, Certified Financial Planners, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Valuation Analysts, Certified Fraud Examiners, and Certified Information Systems Auditors, stays informed of new sales tax implementations and in turn informs our clients of any changes they should be aware of.

Specifically, our services in this area include:

  • Sales tax computation
  • ST-3 Sales and use tax report preparation
  • Sales tax advisory for small businesses
  • Assistance with applying for sales and use tax number
  • Assistance with sales tax audits
  • QuickBooks sales tax setup

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Estate & Trust Tax Preparation

Effective estate and gift planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries, provides security for your surviving spouse, and can reduce or eliminate the tax due on the transfer of your business and other assets. For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential. We can guide you through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order.

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Consulting Services

Consulting Services

We gauge our worth by the personal and business successes of our clients. We can help your business identify areas negatively affecting profitability and growth and develop solutions that are practical and technically sound. In addition to acting as a sounding board for management, we provide comprehensive, flexible strategies that address the issues affecting your business. The following are just a few of the areas in which we provide consulting services:

  • Accounting software selection and implementation
  • Type of entity selection
  • Business valuations
  • Buying/selling a business
  • Information Technology (computer) systems
  • Financial & retirement decisions
  • Estate, trust & gift planning

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Accounting Software Selection & Implementation

With the number of computerized accounting software packages available for small businesses and individuals growing every day, selecting one that is right for you has become increasingly difficult. As accounting, business and financial professionals, we are exposed to most programs through trade journals and actual use. Our experienced team can help you choose and implement the system that best fits your needs.

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Business Succession Planning

If your small business is family owned or is closely held then succession planning is critical for the continuance and longevity of your business. Sooner or later, everyone wants to retire.

As a small business owner, we put so much time and effort in growing and establishing processes for our businesses to run smoothly and efficiently we sometimes don’t stop long enough to ask the question, “What’s going to happen to the business when I no longer work here?”. We need to ask this question sooner rather than later.

Grooming others to take over a small business requires much thought, time and effort. A clear succession plan helps guide a small business through normal planned progression and can prove invaluable in the case of death, disability or other sudden loss of a key individual.

Succession planning can be broken down into three main areas: management, ownership and taxes.

Identifying those who can continue to properly manage the business by fulfilling your mission and ideals, determining who you want to own the business and considering income and estate tax consequences are all critical issues.

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Business Valuations

If you own a business, want to protect your wealth, or determine how much an asset is worth, you will at some point need professional valuation services.

Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC provides valuation services for a variety of purposes, which include:

  • Gift and Estate Planning
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Closely Held Businesses
  • Financial and Tax Reporting
  • Merger and Acquisitions
  • Fairness Opinions
  • ESOP
  • Discount and Premium Studies
  • Stock Option Valuations
  • Succession Planning
  • Divorce Settlement
  • Litigation

Business Valuation is a complex process requiring broad knowledge of accounting, finance, economics, and business expert application of recognized valuation methodologies and diligent adherence to professional standards. Please call our team when expert valuations are needed.

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Buying & Selling a Business

If you are buying or selling a small business, determining an appropriate value and then structuring the purchase or sale are both critical to successfully buying or selling that business.

Our Certified Valuation Analysts can help you be sure that your purchase or sales price is fair and equitable to all parties. Our tax experts can help you structure the acquisition or disposition so that you are able to keep as much as possible of the sales proceeds or deduct as much as possible for your purchase price.

Our team of professionals stands ready to assist you in this next big step of your business life.

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Estate Planning

Effective estate planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries, provides security for your surviving family, and can reduce or eliminate the tax due on the transfer of your business and other assets. For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential. We can guide you through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order.

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Financial Planning

A properly structured financial plan enables you to face any financial challenge that may present itself at each stage of your life. Through the financial planning process, we can help you assess your financial needs and develop strategies that will enable you to achieve your goals and strengthen your financial security.

Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., member FINRA/SIPC
Investment Advisory Services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc.
We have individuals registered to offer securities in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. This is not an offer to sell any security in any other jurisdiction.

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Retirement Planning

Successful implementation and periodic review of your financial plan will ensure financial independence during your working years and through your retirement years.

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Management Advisory Services

Even the most qualified managers can benefit from competent, objective feedback. We can help your company's management team develop long-term objectives and specific strategies to facilitate your business' future growth and success.

We can also assist you in developing both financial and nonfinancial key performance indicators that are applicable to your business that will help you in the overall evaluation of whether your business is achieving the desires and outcomes that you deem important.

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Business Consulting

We utilize a comprehensive analysis of your business and of the goals of the owners to develop written action plans for you and your business to use to achieve your goals. Benchmarking is an important part of this process.

We can help your business identify areas negatively effecting profitability and growth and develop solutions that are practical and technically sound. In addition to acting as a sounding board for management, we provide comprehensive, flexible strategies that address the issues affecting your business.

We facilitate management and owner retreats, develop stratigic plans, develop business plans, etc.

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Pension & Profit Sharing Plans

Qualified retirement plans (e.g. defined-contribution or defined benefit plans, Keoghs, SEPs…) can provide significant tax advantages for closely held businesses and self-employed individuals. Our qualified team including Certified Financial Planners™ can assist you in evaluating the type of pension plan that will best serve the retirement needs of you and your employees.

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Investment Review

As you develop your investment strategy, we will act as your sounding board. We can help you build an investment portfolio that takes into consideration the impact of taxes and produces a favorable after-tax return.

Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., member FINRA/SIPC
Investment Advisory Services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc.
We have individuals registered to offer securities in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Oregon. This is not an offer to sell any security in any other jurisdicion.

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Debt & Financing Services

SBA, Owner Financing, Conventional Financing, Refinancing, Equipment Loans, Bond Issuance - Which is best for You?

Debt management and the evaluation of financing options are issues that our experienced professionals deal with every day. Let us use our experience to assist you in securing financing for your personal or business needs or consolidating your current debt to a more manageable level.

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Business Entity Selection

Choosing the form of entity of your business (e.g. "S" corporation, sole proprietor, limited liability company…) is a crucial decision that can have longstanding tax implications, positive or negative. We can assist you in evaluating the pros and cons of each entity type to help you determine the most advantageous form of business for your entity.

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Miscellaneous

Business Risk Solutions

Every organization faces a complex variety of risks, which management is charged with identifying and controlling. The difference embraced by many organizations is their response to managing such risk. Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC has extensive experience in assisting organizations in the identification of risks, documentation of and assessment of such risks, design of appropriate internal controls, and the development of an effective control monitoring and testing process.

At Nichols, Cauley and Associates, LLC, our Business Risk Solutions include the following services:

ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Identifying, mitigating and managing risk is a high priority for business organizations. The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC can assist your organization in developing a comprehensive process for enterprise risk management and internal control. Our experienced team members have the knowledge and expertise to understand your strategic, operational, financial reporting and compliance objectives, and to assist you in developing an effective process to:

  • Identify risks to and within an organization
  • Align an organization risk appetite with its strategy
  • Develop a process to monitor risks across an organization
  • Establish controls to mitigate risks
  • Establish controls to identify risks existing outside of established parameters
  • Utilize information obtained throughout the process to better manage the business

While all organizations involve enterprise risk, the identification of the components of such risk, and the process of managing this risk, can provide for a control environment where risks are a manageable part of your business operations. Our proven risk management process can provide you with a framework for effective enterprise risk management.

INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICES

A key aspect of risk management is an effective internal audit process. Many organizations are required to establish an internal audit process, and some organizations choose to establish such a process. We can help your organization develop or establish an effective internal audit process that brings value to your organization. Our proven internal audit process goes beyond evaluating accounting records and focuses on the identification of control objectives, and the processes and procedures established at your organization to ensure that the identified control objectives are effectively met. Our process includes:

  • Risk identification
  • Control objective identification
  • Process documentation
  • Identify key controls
  • Test effectiveness of key controls

The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC have significant experience providing internal audit services. Our process is tailored to fit the needs of your organization, to ensure that the internal audit process fits the needs of your organization. We can provide a full range of internal audit services, from project assistance to outsourced engagements.

CORPORATE GOVERANCE AND SARBANES-OXLEY COMPLIANCE SERVICES

Whether you are a public or private company, corporate governance and financial reporting accuracy are important to your organization and its stakeholders. At Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC, we have well-qualified, multi-designation team members ready to assist your organization develop and implement a risk based approach to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and corporate governance solutions. We believe that compliance with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley for public companies and strong corporate governance for public and non-public companies is a collaborative effort between the top levels of your organization, as well as your external auditors, internal auditors and consultants. Our process is designed to help you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together in an efficient and effective manner.

Our involvement in your process can include the following services:

  • Assessment of internal controls over financial reporting
  • Assistance with evaluation of your corporate governance practices and best practices implementation
  • Assistance with the design and/or implementation of key internal controls
  • Documentation of your internal processes and key controls
  • Evaluation of the design and/or effectiveness of key controls, including IT controls
  • Assistance in designing corrective action to remediate control deficiencies
  • Overall Sarbanes-Oxley compliance risk management assistance
  • Assistance with internal control reporting.

Our services are designed to be specifically tailored to each client’s needs. We can provide your business with a complete solution to your Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, or assistance with individual components of your existing corporate governance and financial reporting process.

We utilize a risk based approach when assisting your organization with management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting. This approach is essential to providing our clients with an effective process, while minimizing the time and costs associated with compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Over the previous years, Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC has developed a proven process we believe offers our clients a multi-disciplinary approach which draws on our experience in these projects.

Our services to you are provided by team members who are experienced in providing Sarbanes-Oxley and Corporate Governance services. Our commitment does not end with the experience, but extends to the manner in which we provide the services to you. Our goal is to always provide effective, cost efficient services designed to meet your specific needs in a professional manner, and to add value to your business during the process.

BUSINESS PROCESS CONSULTING

The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC can assist your organization in reviewing and evaluating process that are key to your business, whether from the operational or financial side of your business. Our experienced team members have the knowledge and expertise to understand your business objectives and processes, and to assist you in evaluating the effectiveness of your current processes or developing an effective new process. Our team of Certified Public Accountants, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Information System Auditors, Certified Valuation Analysts and Certified Fraud Examiners can help you develop the solutions that are the right fit for your business objectives.

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Accounting and Write-up Services

The Nichols, Cauley bookkeeping and write-up team will assist you in maintaining an accurate accounting of your business transactions in a timely manner. The IRS requires all businesses to maintain an adequate system of accounting to support the income and deductions on annually filed tax returns. However, more importantly to you, and especially with today’s economic situation, it is as vital as ever to maintain current and accurate accounting information that will allow you to manage your business effectively and successfully.

We will tailor these services to meet your needs for:

  • data entry
  • bank reconciliation
  • payroll preparation
  • adjusting journal entries
  • account review
  • “clean-up”
  • quarterly and annual payroll tax reporting and W-2 preparation
  • 1099 filings
  • sales tax reporting
  • financial statement presentation

In addition to these scheduled services, we will be available to provide, on an as needed basis, accounting guidance, QuickBooks setup, training and consulting, budget preparation, budget and prior year comparison analyses, key performance indicators, and any other small business consulting and accounting services you may need.

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Small Business Entrepreneurial Support Group

Our commitment to our small business entrepreneurs is to assist them in growing their businesses and maximizing their profits so as to provide the entrepreneurs the quality of life they desire.

Small Business is the lifeblood of this country.

Although the failure rate of small businesses is dramatically greater than the success rate, our 30+ years of experience with a vast variety of small businesses will greatly increase your chances of success.

Nichols, Cauley believes strongly that there are 4 cornerstones that must be established to ensure your success and we work closely with you to establish those.

  • WE BELIEVE OWNERS SHOULD BE WORKING ON THEIR BUSINESSES AND NOT IN THEIR BUSINESS. Simply said, the things that are done to successfully run an accounting business are different things that an accountant does to provide services to clients. They are primarily leadership skills that involve visioning and strategic planning.
  • Businesses must establish systems and strategies that promote the four ways that all businesses grow:
    • Increase the number of customers of the type you want
    • Increase the transactions frequency
    • Increase the average value of each sale
    • Increase the effectiveness of each business process
  • These systems and processes must be IMPLEMENTED and constantly measured to ensure consistency and effectiveness. Our mantra is “What you can measure you can manage.”
  • CHANGE. The vision and the systems and strategies must constantly be improved to face new challenges and new environments.

The team at Nichols Cauley is ready to work with you to implement these cornerstones.

Some of the processes and systems that we will assist you with are as follows:

Physician Practice Services

Nichols Cauley is keenly aware that physician income is being reduced due to reduced reimbursements and ever increasing regulations. We have worked closely with physicians for over 30 years helping them to adjust to a constantly changing playing field. With four different locations, we have had the opportunity to work with physicians in almost every specialty. The fact that our team consists of Certified Valuation Analysts, Certified Financial Planners, Certified Public Accountants, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Fraud Examiners and Certified Information Systems Auditors makes us uniquely qualified to consult on any issue your practice faces. Specifically, our services include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Entity selection
  • Tax preparation to include income, payroll, personal property, etc.
  • Practice management
  • Accounting and office management, including assistance with software selection
  • Revenue enhancement
  • Assistance with admission of new partners or retiring partners
  • Estate planning
  • Practice valuation
  • Wealth accumulation and preservation
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Retirement plan design
  • Cash flow and budgeting

Nichols Cauley recognizes the needs of our clients in the tax arena are varied and run the gamete from simple issues such as the first time homebuyer credit to complex issues in the international arena. Our firm has over 30 years experience in representing taxpayers at all levels. With our team of approximately 80 individuals located in five diverse areas of Georgia, we have seen most every issue imaginable. We invest heavily in the most technological enhancements in the tax research, planning and preparation areas. We utilize our skills as Certified Financial Planners, Certified Valuation Analysts and Certified Public Accountants to ensure our clients keep more of what they make. We work closely with our clients with tax analysis and planning, benefit consulting, state, local and international tax consulting, transaction consulting, estate and gift tax planning, and representation before taxing authorities.

Specifically, our services include:

Strategic Planning

Dr. Stephen Covey has convinced us of the importance of “beginning with the end in mind.” And, that is why strategic planning is crucial to the success of your business. While it is about where you business is now, more importantly, it is about where your business is going in the future.

We have developed a systematic approach to assist you with your strategic planning. It consists of a 6 to 8 hour planning day with you and your key people. Prior to the planning day, we will review your financial statements and budgets, conduct surveys of your team members, perform assessments of selected individuals, review your market place, and perform other analysis to ensure we all understand the current status of your business. We will use that analysis as a springboard for discussions during our planning day. Our objectives will be to take the big picture, establish a vision for the future, and develop an action plan of specific events to accomplish that vision. We will then periodically follow-up with you as an external disciplinarian to ensure the implementation of your plan.

We have found these planning days to be fundamental in establishing your strategic plan.

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Technology Organizations

Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC has been providing accounting, risk management and financial services to entrepreneurial and technology organizations for over 30 years. Technology organizations, service providers to technology organizations, and technology driven organizations, are experiencing a pace of business and strategic change as never before. We embrace this change with our clients, and utilize our experience and insight to help our clients achieve their objectives. From start-up, incubator companies, to large-scale organizations, our professionals can guide your company through the maze of complex issues and opportunities facing you. Our services are focused on your needs, and tailored to the specifics of your organization. Our professionals are focused on providing you:

  • entrepreneurial and technology industry specific experience
  • insight regarding financial and reporting matters effecting technology organizations
  • services tailored to entrepreneurial and technology organizations

As your business advisor, we can assist your organization in addressing a broad manner of taxation, finance and risk areas, including:

Assurance services

  • annual external financial statement audit
  • public offering and capital investment reporting
  • Securities and Exchange Commission reporting
  • Section 404 Sarbanes-Oxley reporting, and internal preparation and testing

Taxation services

  • income tax reporting – domestic and international
  • multi-state tax reporting and planning

Risk management

  • internal audit outsourcing
  • risk assessment analysis and documentation
  • internal control documentation and testing

Business services

  • cash flow and budget analysis
  • financing packages
  • capital/ funding analysis
  • business planning and strategic planning development
  • business intelligence development and analysis

Our Business Services expertise is often focused on the start-up organization or the smaller entrepreneurial organization that needs the expertise of an experienced accounting firm. In addition, a number of our personnel have specific training and designations for the use of small business accounting software. We can help your company set up and maintain an effective accounting and reporting system.

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BankAudit.net - Financial Institution Services

EXPERTISE

At Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC, we have been actively involved in providing services to financial institution clients for over 30 years. Today, we serve over 80 publicly traded or privately held financial institutions. Through our multi-disciplined approach, we can provide you with a targeted, responsive solution to a wide variety of issues. Our experience assisting clients, ranging from the de novo stage to the multi-billion institutions, gives us an in-depth understanding of financial institutions and the challenges they face.

Many of our team members hold multiple certifications in order to better meet the needs of our clients. Certified Public Accountants, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Valuation Analysts, Certified Fraud Examiners and Certified Information Systems Auditors all work together to provide a vast array of knowledge and experience to our clients. Whether you need assistance with internal controls, information technology reviews, regulatory compliance, external audit, specialized tax areas, mergers and acquisitions, loans reviews or strategic consulting, our team has the expertise.

Additionally, we focus on making sure our team members receive industry specific training to ensure they meet any challenge you may have in regards to the financial services industry.

SERVICES

The Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC Financial Institutions Practice Group delivers a wide range of services to our clients. We work hard to ensure our service offerings meet the ever changing needs of our clients. We realize our clients need more than just audit and tax services, so we offer advisory services designed to meet the needs of our clients, including:

External Audit Regulatory Compliance Consulting De novo Consulting
Internal Control/Risk Management Services SEC Reporting and Compliance Services Loan Review
Sarbanes-Oxley Act Consulting Information Technology Consulting Strategic Planning
Tax Consulting and Preparation Internal Control Evaluations Valuation Services
Merger & Acquisition Assistance

COMMITMENT

We believe that quality service is the key to developing long-term relationships with our clients. Our services to you are provided by team members who are experienced in industry specific financial and regulatory requirements. Our commitment does not end with the experience, but extends to the manner in which we provide the services to you. Our goal is to always provide effective, cost efficient services designed to meet your specific needs in a professional manner. We strive to provide exceptional quality services that add value to your business.

ASSURANCE SERVICES


External Audit Services

Nichols, Cauley and Associates, LLC believes the audit of your financial statements is an opportunity to gain a detailed insight into your business and your operations, as well as your financial position. Through this insight we are able to provide you an independent look at your system of internal control and financial operations. This in-depth audit process and methodology, resulting in effective, cost efficient and insightful audit services are what we offer each of our assurance services clients.

We conduct our financial statement audits using a risk-based approach. This approach focuses on significant financial statement risks affecting your organization, identifying the related internal controls and focusing audit procedures on areas of material risk. We believe this approach enables us to assist you in identifying and managing financial and any potential operational risk, including new accounting and disclosure requirements.

We believe that client access to those with decision making ability on their engagement is essential to client satisfaction and value. Our engagement management team members and partners are involved in serving your organization throughout the audit process to ensure the quality of service, and the attention to service is exceeding your expectations.

Our risk-based approach is a four-phase approach. These phases are:

  • Pre-engagement Risk Analysis, General Risk Analysis and Planning
  • Specific Risk Analysis and Detailed Planning
  • Responding to Risk Assessments and procedural testing, and
  • Reporting

We believe that effective communication with client personnel and throughout our engagement team is critical during all four of these phases. Engagement management team members and partners involvement in all phases allows for risks to be appropriately addressed, with an effective, efficient audit process.

Other Assurance Services

In addition to financial statement audit services, Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC also offers the following services:

  • Compilation - A compilation of your financial statements from the information you provide, which can be a limited disclosure or full disclosure compilation, depending on the needs of your organization.
  • Review – In a review of your financial statements we perform inquiry and limited analytical procedures, in order to express limited assurance that we have identified no material modifications which are needed for the financials to conform to generally accepted accounting principles.

No matter which assurance service we provide to you, we will provide quality service in an outstanding manner. Our services to you are provided by team members who are experienced in your industry. Our commitment does not end with the experience, but extends to the manner in which we provide the services to you. Our goal is to always provide effective, cost efficient services designed to meet your specific needs in a professional manner. We strive to provide exceptional quality services that add value to your business.

INTERNAL CONTROL/RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Every financial services organization faces a complex variety of risks, which management is charged with identifying and controlling. The difference embraced by many financial services organizations is their response to managing such risk. Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC has extensive experience in assisting financial services organizations in the identification of enterprise risks, the documentation of and assessment of such risks, the design of appropriate internal controls and the development of an effective control monitoring and testing process.

Internal Control/Enterprise Risk Management Services

Identifying, mitigating and managing risk is a high priority for a financial services organization. The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC can assist your organization in developing a comprehensive process for enterprise risk management and internal control. Our experienced team members have the knowledge and expertise to understand your financial objectives and to assist you in developing an effective process to:

  • Identify enterprise risk
  • Develop a process to monitor the risk
  • Establish controls to mitigate the risk
  • Establish controls to identify risk existing outside of established parameters

While all financial organizations involve enterprise risk the identification of the components of such risk, and the process of managing this risk, can provide for a control environment where risks are a manageable part of your business operations. Our proven risk management process can provide you with a framework for effective enterprise risk management.

Internal Audit Services

A key aspect of risk management is an effective internal audit process. Most financial services organizations are required by regulatory agencies to establish an internal audit process. We can help your financial organization develop or establish an effective internal audit process that brings value to your organization. Our proven financial services internal audit process goes beyond evaluating accounting records and focuses on the identification of control objectives and the processes and procedures established at your organization to ensure that the identified control objectives are effectively met. Our process includes:

  • Risk identification
  • Control objective identification
  • Process documentation
  • Key controls identification
  • Effectiveness testing of key controls

The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC have significant experience providing internal audit services to financial organizations. Our process is tailored to fit the needs of your organization and to ensure that the internal audit process fits the needs of your organization. We can provide a full range of internal audit services, from project assistance to outsourced engagements.

CORPORATE GOVERANCE AND SARBANES-OXLEY COMPLIANCE SERVICES

Whether you are a public or private company, corporate governance and financial reporting accuracy are important to your organization and its stakeholders. At Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC, we have well-qualified, multi-designation team members ready to assist your organization develop and implement a risk-based approach to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and corporate governance solutions. We believe that compliance with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley for public companies and strong corporate governance for public and non-public companies is a collaborative effort between the top levels of your organization, as well as your external auditors, internal auditors and consultants. Our process is designed to help you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together in an efficient and effective manner.

Our involvement in your process can include the following services:

  • Assessment of internal controls over financial reporting
  • Assistance with evaluation of your corporate governance practices and best practices implementation
  • Assistance with the design and/or implementation of key internal controls
  • Documentation of your internal processes and key controls
  • Evaluation of the design and/or effectiveness of key controls, including IT controls
  • Assistance in designing corrective action to remediate control deficiencies
  • Overall Sarbanes-Oxley compliance risk management assistance
  • Assistance with internal control reporting.

Our services are designed to be specifically tailored to each client’s needs. We can provide your business with a complete solution to your Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, or assistance with individual components of your existing corporate governance and financial reporting process.

We utilize a risk based approach when assisting your organization with management’s assessment of internal control over financial reporting. This approach is essential to providing our clients with an effective process, while minimizing the time and costs associated with compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Over the previous years, Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC has developed a proven process we believe offers our clients a multi-disciplinary approach which draws on our experience in these projects.

Our services to you are provided by team members who are experienced in providing Sarbanes-Oxley and Corporate Governance services. Our commitment does not end with the experience, but extends to the manner in which we provide the services to you. Our goal is to always provide effective, cost efficient services designed to meet your specific needs in a professional manner, and to add value to your business during the process.

TAX SERVICES

Compliance

Understanding the spectrum of taxation can be a daunting task for any financial services organization. The team members of Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC can assist you in navigating the complexities of taxation. Our taxation professionals have significant experience in preparing taxation compliance forms and in taxation reporting. Our firm professionals can assist you with the compliance and reporting requirements of:

  • Payroll tax
  • Employee benefits
  • Sales tax
  • Federal and state income tax
  • Multi-state reporting
  • SFAS 109 and deferred income taxes

Specialized Services

In addition, our professionals have significant experience assisting clients with complex specialized taxation projects. These services are focused on evaluating with client management a situation or transaction and determining the most tax-advantageous strategy. Such situations or transactions may include:

  • Deferred compensation arrangements
  • Executive compensation
  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Asset purchases or dispositions
  • International transactions
  • Lease arrangements
  • Investment transactions
  • Revenue recognition
  • Like-kind exchange

Our team members are focused on understanding your specific situation and bringing value to your organization through experience and tailored taxation services.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE SERVICES

Nichols, Cauley and Associates, LLC believes our compliance services should complement the work of your internal compliance team. By working together we can provide your organization with a greater quality of service and act as a independent sounding board to improve your processes and their effectiveness.

Our compliance audit services include assistance with:

  • Regulation B – Equal Credit Opportunity
  • Regulation C – Home Mortgage Disclosure
  • Regulation D – Interest on Deposits
  • Regulation E – Electronic Fund Transfers
  • Regulation H – Flood Insurance
  • Regulation X – Real Estate Settlement Procedures
  • Regulation Z – Truth in Lending
  • Regulation AA – Unfair and Deceptive Practices
  • Regulation BB – Community Reinvestment (technical compliance only)
  • Regulation CC – Expedited Funds Availability
  • Regulation DD – Truth in Savings
  • Privacy of Consumer Financial Information
  • Fair Credit Reporting
  • Bank Sales of Insurance
  • Advertising
  • Homeownership Counseling

Additionally we offer Independent Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Testing as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Our procedures are tailored to assist you in evaluating the bank’s compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA); Subpart B of Part 326 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Rules and Regulation. Our testing will involve the following areas:

  • Planning
  • Internal Compliance Programs and Procedures
  • Internal Controls
  • Anti-Money Laundering Program
  • Customer Identification Program
  • Education
  • Customer Due Diligence
  • Suspicious Activity Reporting
  • Currency Transaction Reporting
  • Exemptions
  • Sale/Purchase of Monetary Instruments
  • Wire (Funds) Transfer
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control
  • Money Service Business
  • Brokered Deposit

These procedures can be tailored according to your bank’s risk assessment, and the timing and extent of the procedures will be based on your risk assessment. Often clients request we include the compliance audit testing with other procedures we provide to eliminate duplication of efforts. We have experienced increased cost-effectiveness by as much as fifteen percent by doing this.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

Certain Nichols Cauley team members have been awarded the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. The CISA designation is the globally accepted standard of achievement among information system audit, control and security professionals. CISA is recognized worldwide by all industries as the preferred designation for information system audit, control and security.

Utilizing this expertise as a backbone for our Information Technology (IT) services, we offer the following services:

  • Evaluation and implementation of IT general controls over data processing activities
  • Evaluation of risk control activities over audit, management and policy functions
  • Implementation and evaluation of controls over vendor management
  • Consultation and independent evaluations regarding developmental acquisitions
  • Control evaluation and implementation over support and delivery
  • Control evaluation over data and physical security
  • Consultation regarding disaster recovery/business continuity
  • Consultation and procedures regarding information security policy testing
  • Social engineering testing and training
  • Data extraction
  • Financial Industry specific procedures regarding:
    • E-banking
    • Telephone banking
    • Wire transfers
    • ACH
    • Remote deposit capture
    • Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC) regulations
    • GLBA
    • And other financial institution specific applications

Our above expertise in conjunction with our many Certified Internal Auditors provide a level of industry expertise and control evaluation in which we not only understand the IT system, but also relate and understand the core business applications and controls necessary in today’s challenging and competitive world. The speed of information is critical to a company’s success, and we at Nichols Cauley understand the controls and structure needed to effictively compete in today’s market place.

SEC REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE SERVICES

Nichols, Cauley & Associates LLC is registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Additionally, we are a member of the AICPA Center for Public Company Audit Firms. We realize the challenges and opportunities companies face when they choose to become a public company. Through the experience we have gained over the years, we developed a group of services for public companies designed to meet their specific challenges and needs.

We offer the following range of services:

  • Audit & Filing Compliance
  • Financial Statement Audits
  • Preparation of SEC filings, including 10-Q and 10-K

Tax Preparation and Consulting

  • Tax Compliance
  • FAS 109 assistance
  • FIN 48 assistance

Sarbanes-Oxley Services

  • SOX 404 internal control documentation and testing

Consulting Services

  • Public Offerings
  • Board Training and Consulting
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Consulting
  • Operational

Your challenges are unique when you access the public market for capital. Our services are provided by team members who are experienced in the public company arena. However, our commitment does not end with their experience, but extends to the manner in which we provide the services to you. Our goal is to always provide effective, cost-efficient services designed to meet your specific needs in a professional manner and to add value to your business during the process.

CONSULTING SERVICES

The Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC team of professionals provides general and risk advisory services to financial services organization from De Novo institutions to multi-billion dollar institutions. The services we offer includes:

  • Merger and Acquisition Analysis and Advice including:
    • Core-deposit intangible valuation
    • Implementation of SFAS 141R
    • Due diligence assistance
    • Projections and synergy benefit analysis
    • Tax analysis
  • Strategic Planning Initiative including:
    • Independent SWOT analysis with Board and Senior Management
    • Meeting facilitations between Board and Senior Management
    • Development of detailed action plans
    • Follow-up meetings with the Board and/or Senior Management about meeting plan objectives
  • Regulatory Advisory Services including:
    • Assistance with response to enforcement action
    • Liquidity/cash flow monitoring systems
    • Assessment of capital needs
  • Performance Improvement and Benchmarking including:
    • Analysis and identification based on measurement of benchmarks as identified in peers
    • Evaluation of opportunities for improvement
    • Consultation and modeling of potential improvement efforts

  • Management Compensation and Succession Plans and Analysis

  • Risk Management Consulting including:
    • Evaluation of processes and identification of specific risks to your organization
    • Developing the risk response plans
    • Matching specific risks in your plan to specific risk mitigation procedures
    • Evaluation of policies and procedures for risks identified
    • Development of an internal audit plan which is responsive to your identified risk and provides a cost-beneficial and effective approach to risk mitigation
  • Other Consulting including:
    • Lease versus buy analysis
    • Branch strategy – open or close
    • Budget analysis

With the experience and knowledge of our team members, we are able to offer these consulting services to our financial services organization clients in a cost-effective manner. With the depth of knowledge of our partners and team members and our operational style, we can respond to your needs quickly. We also recognize the areas in which we have significant strengths and can perform the engagement internally. Additionally, we also have resources which expand beyond the walls of our firm which we call upon as necessary.

Valuation Services

The Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC valuation team has significant experience in the valuation issues unique to Financial Institutions. Our valuation services include:

  • Valuation of minority interest for plans of reorganizations, such as reverse stock splits, to determine appropriate offering amounts
  • Fairness opinions in regards to mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions
  • Allocation of purchase price under SAFS 141 to determine value of core deposits, goodwill and other intangibles
  • Valuation of goodwill and other intangible assets to ascertain impairment under SAFS 142
  • Valuation of stock options and other noncash, stock basis compensation
  • Employee stock option plans of financial institutions
  • Valuation of minority and majority stockholdings for estate, gift and succession planning
  • Valuations required for litigation support

Business Valuation is a complex process requiring broad knowledge of accounting, finance, economics and business expert application of recognized valuation methodologies and diligent adherence to professional standards. Please call our team when expert valuations are needed.

BANKAUDIT.NET

With more than 30 years of financial services organization audit and consulting experience, Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC recognized the need for timely information affecting an organization's financial, regulatory and compliance regulatory requirements

Out of this need recognition BankAudit.Net was developed.

BankAudit.net was designed and is hosted by Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC to provide financial services organizations with a comprehensive resource for audit and consulting related questions, links and issues.

Please visit us at www.bankaudit.net

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Quickbooks Consulting

Our firm has discovered that many small businesses use QuickBooks accounting software. As a result, many of our small business team members have focused their education and training efforts on QuickBooks. In particular, how to properly set up the software, use the power of the software to accurately maintain and effectively use the financial information available at the click of button and how to train others in performing these functions.

Our firm has over twenty Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisors and four ProAdvisors with Advanced Certifications. In addition to these certifications we also have team members in each office with certifications in QuickBooks Point of Sale software (Intuit’s retail sales software and hardware) and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (Intuit’s mid level accounting software).

If your business is presently using or considering using QuickBooks to account for their business activity, we encourage you to contact one of our Certified ProAdvisors. You can use the following web site to search for a ProAdvisor in your area at http://proadvisor.intuit.com/referral/.

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Governmental Services

Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC is a leading provider of external and internal audit, financial management, and consulting services for state and local governments. We bring a proven track record of more than 30 years of experience to every engagement, focusing on high quality service and value for all of our governmental clients. Governments represent an important industry focus of our firm. We have invested, and continue to invest heavily, in training and development of the professionals who serve the governmental sector. Team members stay on the leading edge of the rapidly changing governmental environment by remaining actively engaged with new government regulations and the standards that govern our profession and set professional standards. While many of our services add value to all types of governmental entities, regardless of size or structure, our firm has a special focus on the needs of state and local governments. The services we provide include:

Assurance Services

  • Financial audits, including publicly owned utilities
  • Attestation engagements
  • Agreed upon procedures
  • Internal control reviews and risk assessments
  • Information systems reviews and risk assessments
  • Compliance audits
  • Program audits
  • Budget reviews and preparation
  • Arbitrage procedures

Data Analysis
Using computer-assisted audit tools and techniques, we can analyze large volumes of data to discover facts, events or trends. We can also locate and recover hidden, "deleted" or elusive documents and data on all storage media and network configurations. Services include-
  • Process focused analysis
  • Customized data analysis

Public Management Consulting
Building on a team of professionals in strategically placed offices in the State of Georgia experienced in accounting, audit, tax, and financial consulting services, Nichols, Cauley & Associates, LLC takes a proactive approach to general management consulting support for government organizations. Serving government entities at the state, and local level, and many of the nonprofit, community-based organizations that work with them, we offer a range of capabilities designed to help public sector clients improve organizational performance.

Management Accountability
  • Business continuity planning
  • Internal controls review
  • Internal Audits
  • Enterprise Risk Assessments
  • Development of policies and procedures
  • Operational consulting

Productivity Planning
  • Business process mapping, review and re-engineering
  • Performance planning and measurement
  • Strategic management planning and evaluation

Organizational Change
  • Diversity planning and management
  • Organization development and team building
  • Consulting services relative to transitions
  • Employee assessments

Cost Allocation Plans
  • Development & implementation
    • Reviews
    • Updates

Bond and other debt services
  • Arbitrage compliance
  • Cost benefit studies
  • System development for debt compliance and reporting

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Managing Your Accounting Function

Growing businesses often need help managing their accounting function. They often need additional accounting personnel but not necessarily on a full time basis. NCA can help.

We have professionals that can help with the following functions that might normally be performed by a clerical/administrative person, a degreed accountant or a controller:

  • Accounts payable data entry, payment and balance maintenance;
  • Accounts receivable data entry of payments and balance maintenance;
  • Review transaction postings to the general ledger and reconciliations of general ledger accounts;
  • Preparation of monthly financial statements and various tax compliance reports;
  • Supervision of accounting personnel and the accounting process; and,
  • Generation of management reports and summary of critical operation and/or financial information necessary to properly manage your business and your profitability.

These functions can be performed at your business location or our firm offices with the proper planning and appropriate technology. Please contact one of our offices for more information.

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Physician Practice Services

Physicians practice in an ever changing and demanding environment. We have joined with Medical Education Services, LLC to develop a comprehensive approach to enable our physician clients to maximize their practice, financial and personal resources.These services include:

  • Practice management
  • Revenue enhancement
  • Accounting & office management
  • Wealth accumulation and preservation

For complete details on these services please visit our website www.doctorsbiz.com.

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Internal Audit Services

Our team, that includes Certified Internal Auditors, can independently evaluate the adequacy, effectiveness, and efficiency of your systems of internal control. Our team can meet with your Audit Committee or other responsible individuals to help plan the internal audit program. Additionally, after conducting the internal audit, our team will communicate the results to your Audit Committee or other responsible individuals on a systematic and timely basis. We can conduct internal audits for small businesses as well as large publicly traded businesses with locations and branches in or near our market areas.

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