Glenn M. Gelman has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting, during which he has worked with companies in the realms of construction, real estate development, litigation support, manufacturing and other professional services. As managing director of Glenn M. Gelman & Associates, he manages its overall operations among numerous other responsibilities.
Q. In a struggling economy, how can a business get the most from its relationship with an accountant?
The key is to involve the accountant in all long-term planning and to allow the accountant the opportunity to be involved from the start of any major transaction, so that the tax considerations are all taken into effect long before the transaction is consummated. Sophisticated tax planning generally requires lead time. If we aren’t given that lead time, we can’t be nearly as creative, and when the transaction is done, we’ve lost almost all opportunity to be creative.
Q. What information should a company share with its accountant?
They should share the internal financial statements every month. If an accountant is truly a business partner, as our firm tries to be to our clients, we don’t charge for monthly meetings. If a client feels like, ‘Well, we’re not going to call him, because every time we call him, it costs us money,’ then the client won’t call and we are not as effective as we want to be. If we’re not informed, our hands are tied.
Q. How can an accountant save money for a company?
There are all new types of credits. We have to make sure the client takes advantage of those credits, even in a downturn, because, generally, those credits carry forward. The typical client says, ‘Oh, I’m losing money; the last thing I want to do is provide more work for my CPA,’ and that really is being shortsighted. They should be meeting with us to make sure there isn’t something more we can do for them. We can lower their estimated tax payments, if they’re losing money, or eliminate them. And if they’ve made estimated tax payments, there are refunds that we can obtain for them.