In the fifth installment of our leadership Q&A series, let’s get to know Debra Ange, Manager of Outsourced Accounting Services. At RDHB, she is instrumental in helping our small business clients with their bookkeeping and tax needs—but what keeps her busy outside of the office?

Name: Debra Ange
Title: Manager
Time at RDHB: Almost 2 years

What three words would you use to describe RDHB?
Family-oriented. Flexible. Friendly.

What do you like most about working at RDHB?
Everyone works together and as a team. The culture is amazing with how everyone works hard, yet has fun doing it.

Why did you choose a career in accounting? What led you to RDHB?
I loved my accounting teacher in high school. I knew John [Rizzo] from a previous employer and ran into him at Starbucks. We talked about me working at RDHB and I switched firms!

How would you describe your job to a child?
I work with clients and numbers.

Where is your hometown?
Webster

Tell us about your family.
I have a 13-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. I am also engaged, and he has two children as well.

What is your favorite hobby?
Working out

How do you spend the majority of your time outside of work?
I spend most of my time with my family

It’s a Sunday at 2:00pm. What are you most likely doing?
Yardwork or something outside

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Passing the CPA exam

You work in accounting, so it must be asked: What is your favorite/lucky number, and why?
2. I’m not sure why, I have always liked that number.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester area? What is your favorite thing to do here?
I love the fall season in Rochester.

Favorite TV show to binge-watch?
Younger

You can eat only one food for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
Salad. I love all different ones.

Where is your most favorite place you have ever visited?
Jamaica

If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would you switch with?
I can’t think of anyone. I am truly happy with who I am.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what famous actor or actress would play you?
Jennifer Garner

What is something you wish you could do, but can’t?
Sky dive. I have always wanted to but feel like I am too old now!

Name one thing that is on your “bucket list.”
Compete in a fitness show

 

As partners, we are only as strong as the team we build around us. Our directors and managers are often the ones in the so-called trenches with our clients, learning their businesses inside and out, and helping them take their businesses to the next level. That’s why we want you to know them—not only for their accounting skills, but for who they are outside of RDHB. We all live by the mantra “work hard, play hard” and we expect our team to do the same.

Last week, we announced that Kelly Taylor has been promoted to Director of Outsourced Accounting Services, the division that serves our small business clients. Kelly is featured in this week’s Q&A, and we hope you’ll read on to learn more about her.

Name: Kelly Taylor
Title: Director of Outsourced Accounting Services
Time at RDHB: 2+ years

How do you spend your days at RDHB?
Multitasking! Working with clients, teaching / mentoring staff – at the end of each day, I hope I helped someone with an accounting issue or question, to make a business decision, or provided an RDHB bookkeeping resource.

What three words would you use to describe RDHB?
Family. Fresh. Fun.

What do you like most about working at RDHB?
The people—both our “RDHB Family” and our clients.

Why did you choose a career in accounting?
I loved math and loved numbers.

What led you to RDHB?
The young, hard-working, driven, motivated, inspiring group of partners.

Where is your hometown?
Webster – where life is worth living!

Tell us about your family.
Loving husband and two teenage boys!

What is your favorite hobby?
With two teenage boys, there is not much time for a hobby, but if I have free time, I love to paint—old furniture, estate sale finds, or even my nails!

How do you spend the majority of your time outside of work?
Running around my boys. Watching them play baseball, basketball, football, and the tuba!

Name one thing that people would be surprised to know about you.
I am superstitious.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
The two young men that I am raising—working hard to show them how I will always be there for them, while being successful as a leader and mentor both at work and in the community.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester area? What is your favorite thing to do here?
The summer! Anything to enjoy the outdoors, the water, and the fresh air!

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Exercise – and a to-do list!

What is your favorite line from a movie?
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.”

You can eat only one food for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
Honeycrisp apples.

If you could switch places with anyone in the world for one day, who would you switch with?
A doctor – I’d like to be able to save a life.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what famous actor or actress would play you?
Jennifer Aniston

If you could witness any historical event, what would you most want to see?
William & Kate’s Royal Wedding

What is something you wish you could do, but can’t?
Be the lead singer in a rock band.

Name one thing that is on your “bucket list.”
An African safari.

 

RDHB CPAs announced today that it has promoted Kelly Taylor, CPA to Director of Outsourced Accounting Services. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the accounting services provided to the firm’s small business clients, including bookkeeping, sales tax filings, 1099 preparation, and QuickBooks training and support.

Taylor was previously Manager of Outsourced Accounting Services, a role she held since joining RDHB in 2015. She has more than 20 years of public accounting, internal audit management, and consulting experience.

“In her relatively short time at RDHB, Kelly has built valuable relationships with our small business clients, who now rely on her not only for accounting services, but to help them forge a path to meet their business goals,” said Whitney Baniewicz, partner, RDHB CPAs. “Kelly’s approach to client service is exceptional, and the Outsourced Accounting Services team will benefit significantly from her leadership.”

Taylor is a licensed New York State Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She is also a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Taylor earned her bachelor’s in business administration / accounting from St. Bonaventure University. She currently resides in Webster.

 

RDHB’s directors and managers provide invaluable counsel, fresh ideas, and keep things running smoothly for our clients. Our leadership Q&A series is meant to give you a peek into who they are—both inside and outside of the office.

So far, we have learned that Chris Harris doesn’t believe in luck, and Krystal Zawodzinski could eat tacos for every meal until her dying day… and so much more.

In installment #3, we’ll get to know the man behind RDHB’s client services, Dan Matteo. Let’s get started.

Name: Dan Matteo
Title: Director of Client Services
Time at RDHB: 2 years

How do you spend your days at RDHB?
Slaving at my desk – Just kidding. :) I typically field client questions about all aspects of their accounts, from tax to audit to bookkeeping to strategy to billing. I work on special client projects like cash flow management, budgeting, strategic initiatives, buying and selling businesses, or anything outside the normal “tax and audit.” I also handle a few internal firm initiatives like technology, human resources, and some facilities work.

What three words would you use to describe RDHB?
Driven. Fit. Fun.

What do you like most about working at RDHB?
The fast-paced atmosphere, transparency and willingness of the partner group to make necessary changes for the greater good of the firm.

Why did you choose a career in accounting? What led you to RDHB?
I started a business when I was 9 years old mowing lawns. That eventually turned into a full-service landscaping business, and I tried a number of different entrepreneurial businesses as I got older. Then it was time to go to college. I still had no idea what I wanted to do, so my father (a local CPA) recommended I learn “the language of business” and study accounting. From there, I was able to see the difference between successful and unsuccessful business, business owners and ideas, but I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in running a firm. I love what I do and therefore want to stay in the profession, continuing to help others navigate through the ups and downs.

I chose RDHB because the whole firm’s culture is centered around this drive; they know accounting but they also know how to run a business, and everyone loves what they do.  We’re transparent and treat each other like family.

Where is your hometown?
Batavia, N.Y.

Tell us about your family.
I have the best family you could ask for. They mean the world to me and are the main reason for my success.

What is your favorite hobby?
I have a lot (probably too many). I like to spend time in the woods cutting down trees and digging ponds; wake boarding and spending time on the lake; working out and playing tennis; cars; politics; and working on projects around the house.

How do you spend the majority of your time outside of work?
With family and friends. All of my hobbies are centered around spending time with the people who keep me motivated and understanding differing perspectives.

Name one thing that people would be surprised to know about you.
I’ll probably retire by working for a construction company, digging holes on big machines.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
I don’t really have any big accomplishments – just small victories along the way.

You work in accounting, so it must be asked: What is your favorite/lucky number, and why?
23. It’s the day I was born and the number worn by a few great athletes.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester area? What is your favorite thing to do here?
My favorite thing is to be active. You can run, bike, swim, boat, ski, enjoy the arts, eat, etc. Within a couple of hours, you can do just about anything.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Our dog – she rolls on her back and whines until you get up and feed her.  I’d rather work late than get up early.

Favorite TV show to binge-watch?
Right now, Billions.

You can eat only one food for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
Beef bourgandy (a German dish made by my Oma).

Where is your most favorite place you have ever visited?
NYC or any of the Finger Lakes.

What is something you wish you could do, but can’t?
Remember anything.  I have the worst memory in the world.

Name one thing that is on your “bucket list.”
Skydiving.

 

At RDHB CPAs, giving back to the community is a significant part of the culture. Since the firm’s inception in 2005, the partners and staff have volunteered time and donated funds to countless local non-profits. As RDHB has grown, so has its charitable giving. To focus the team’s efforts and enable the firm to reach even more deserving organizations, RDHB announced today the development of the RDHB Foundation.

Fundraising events and programs organized by RDHB team members will rely on the generosity of employees, clients, and other like-minded businesses. Funds raised through the RDHB Foundation will be donated to various local non-profit organizations, primarily those dedicated to helping children and families in need. RDHB’s partners will also match a percentage of donations made to the RDHB Foundation. While half of the funds raised will be allocated to these organizations on an annual basis, the other half will be invested in the Foundation’s legacy fund, which will continuously grow over the next 10 to 15 years, at which time a large donation will be made to make an extraordinary impact for one local non-profit and the people it serves.

“A company is only as strong as the community in which it operates,” said Brian DiGiacco, partner, RDHB CPAs, who is responsible for overseeing the RDHB Foundation. “Everyone at RDHB has local causes that are near and dear to their hearts, and we are fortunate to have always had colleagues and clients who have been beyond generous in supporting those causes. With the RDHB Foundation, we hope to take these efforts to the next level, inviting everyone to rise together to collectively give back to our community in ways that can have a more substantial and lasting effect.”

To kick off the RDHB Foundation, the team has planned two September fundraising events:

  • Party in the Parking Lot. RDHB will host its first “Party in the Parking Lot” offering complimentary wine and beer, local vendors, raffle prizes, live music, and food trucks. There is no entry fee. A portion of the vendors’ profits from the event will be donated to the RDHB Foundation, as will proceeds from the raffles and any outright donations. The event takes place on Thursday, September 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., in the parking lot at RDHB’s offices at 69B Monroe Avenue in Pittsford. Vendors include LuLaRoe, Pure Bliss Salon, health and fitness coach Lindsay Chiarenza, Avon, LipSense, essential oils, Touchstone Crystal, J & S Fried Dough, and Chef’s Food Truck.
  • Rochester Marathon Relay. RDHB Partner Whitney Baniewicz will join forces with Kelly Taylor, RDHB’s director of outsourced accounting services, to run the Rochester Marathon Relay on Sunday, September 17. The duo is asking for $25 donations to be made to the RDHB Foundation in support of their race. Checks made payable to RDHB Foundation (with “Marathon” in the memo) can be mailed to RDHB at 69B Monroe Avenue, Pittsford, N.Y. 14534.

RDHB has and will continue to support a number of non-profit organizations through the RDHB Foundation, including organizations such as The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester and IACK (It’s All About Caring for Kids).

 

Although “RDHB” was born of our four partners—Rizzo, DiGiacco, Hern, and Baniewicz—there are many more faces behind the name. Every day, these professionals work closely with our clients, playing critical roles in the growth of their businesses, and the success of our firm.

As we continue to add some of Rochester’s brightest accounting talent to our team, we want you to get to know them like we do. We’re not talking about their work histories or the degrees they earned in college, but some of the fun details that make them who they are.

In the coming weeks, we will share with you a series of Q&A sessions featuring our directors and managers. Then, the next time you see them, you’ll be armed with a few facts that are sure to be conversation-starters.

First up, let’s meet Chris Harris!

Name: Christopher Harris
Title: Non-Profit Team Director
Time at RDHB: Almost 6 years

What three words would you use to describe RDHB?
Knowledgeable. Personable. Committed.

What do you like most about working at RDHB?
The people and the M&Ms.

Why did you choose a career in accounting? What led you to RDHB?
I chose accounting because I “understood it” and it offered better employment opportunities than geology (my initial major). I was drawn to RDHB because I’ve known the people for years and I think that this firm best allows me to provide the kind of services I want to provide.

How would you describe your job to a child?
A business sells things, and they need to keep track of all the activity and tell other people about it; I make sure the activity and story are true.

Where is your hometown?
Hamden, CT until I was 6, then Auburn, NY

Tell us about your family.
Wife Courtney, daughter Abby, son Jack. We live in Victor.

It’s a Sunday at 2:00pm. What are you most likely doing?
Is there snow? If yes, then skiing. If not, then likely thinking about skiing while doing something else. If summer, playing outside with the kids, hiking, or mountain biking.

You work in accounting, so it must be asked: What is your favorite/lucky number, and why?
I don’t believe in luck, young Grasshopper.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester area? What is your favorite thing to do here?
I love Rochester. The balanced seasons, the lack of crazy traffic, just enough arts to keep me occupied, great schools, and lots of nature to play in. Favorite thing? I guess summer festivals with the kids.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A compound movement involving my legs and abs

Favorite TV show to binge-watch?
The Blacklist

You can eat only one food for the rest of your life. What do you choose?
My mom’s eggplant parm

Where is your most favorite place you have ever visited?
London

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what famous actor or actress would play you?
Ben Affleck

What is something you wish you could do, but can’t?
Give birth

Name one thing that is on your “bucket list.”
Learn to play the piano

 

Have you thought about buying a new car recently? If yes, there are significant tax incentives and rebates available for New York residents on new plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). The vehicle must be capable of being recharged from an external source of electricity to be considered an EV.

A vehicle is generally considered new if the taxpayer is the first person to claim title. You may be able to check if the car has been titled before with your insurance company or by running an online car check.

New York State Drive Clean Rebate and New Electric Vehicle Recharging Property Credit

New York State recently announced a Drive Clean Rebate for the purchase of a plug-in hybrid or full electric vehicle. The rebate ranges from $500-$2,000 based upon the max electric driving range. Electric cars with a MSRP greater than $60,000 have a maximum rebate of $500.

New York set up a fund of $55,000,000 available on a first come, first serve basis to supply the rebate.

New York State residents and businesses registered to do business in New York State are eligible for this rebate. The rebate requires a purchaser or lessee to own or lease the vehicle for a minimum of 36 months and agree to keep the vehicle in original condition, registered, and insured for the time period.

Businesses may additionally benefit with a special New York State credit up to the lesser of $5,000 or 50% of the cost of installing Electric Vehicle Recharging Property. This credit expires for tax years beginning after January 1, 2018 (i.e. for calendar year taxpayers, the credit expires after 2019).

Federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (IRC 30D)

The Federal tax credit for EVs is up to $7,500 and based upon battery pack capacity. To qualify for the credit you must be the original owner of the EV and use the vehicle predominantly in the United States.

The Federal credit does not apply to lessees because the leasing company is the ‘original owner’.

The credit is claimed on your Federal income tax return. It is not refundable and does not carry-over to the next year. Taxpayers must have at least $7,500 in regular Federal tax to utilize the max credit. Taxpayers may consider converting traditional IRAs to ROTH accounts to increase tax for the credit.

The tax credit begins a phase-out once manufacturers sell 200,000 EVs. The first manufacturer expected to reach this number is General Motors sometime in 2018 followed by Tesla.

Additional Resources

RDHB CPAs provides its clients with personalized tax, business planning, accounting, auditing, and wealth management services. For more information on motor vehicle tax incentives and rebates, please contact RDHB’s resident car guy, David Feor, CPA at dfeor@rdhbcpa.com or visit the links below:

New York State Drive Clean Rebate

New York Electric Vehicle Charging Property Credit

Federal Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit

 

The IRS continues to receive a large number of complaints regarding fake IRS “robocalls”.

The scammers frequently call with aggressive statements and threats of police arrest, deportation, loss of driver’s licenses, and numerous other scare tactics. We remind our clients to be vigilant against all sorts of targeted and mass phishing attacks.

The U.S Federal Communications Commission recently voted on new rules to protect consumers from robocalls. The process has been described as “exceptionally complicated” by the current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai.

New schemes are being reported with phone numbers that appear to be a local number or a number similar to your own in a process called “spoofing”. These calls are frequently scammers who may use fake IRS titles to appear legitimate. They may also use the victim’s name and personal information to make it sound more official.

RDHB would like to alert our clients to the following items which are tell-tale signs of scam IRS calls:

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

RDHB is well respected in Western New York. The firm was named one of Rochester Business Journal’s Top 100 Companies in 2016, and three of its partners have been awarded the “40 Under 40” distinction. All of the firm’s partners are active in giving back to the community, including serving on the boards of several local non-profit organizations. If you have questions on IRS correspondence or would like more information about RDHB’s tax accounting services, contact David Feor at dfeor@rdhbcpa.com.

 

To provide more comprehensive service and convenience to new and existing clients, RDHB CPAshas added a financial planning division—RDHB Wealth Management.

The firm is partnering with Andy Roberts, a private wealth advisor with more than 15 years of experience in the field, to offer a multitude of expanded services: retirement planning; investments; estate planning; life, accident, and health insurance; long-term care insurance, and college planning.

“CPA services and financial planning services complement each other in a significant way,” said John Rizzo, managing partner, RDHB CPAs. “All investments have tax implications, so tax professionals and financial advisors collaborate every day regarding mutual clients. When that collaboration can happen under the same roof, it is ideal for everyone involved—the CPA, the financial advisor, and most importantly, the beneficiary.”

RDHB’s business clients benefit from the new services as well. When reviewing a company’s retirement plan offerings, the tax and wealth management teams can quickly and easily collaborate to determine if the client has the best possible plan for its situation.

“Now, we can literally walk clients down the hall to ensure everything is set up and working together as it should be,” Rizzo said. “Financial planning services add another layer to our boutique, personalized approach to serving our clients.”

Prior to leading RDHB Wealth Management, Roberts held financial planning and compliance management roles with other financial services firms in the Rochester region. He holds five securities licenses as well as a life, accident, and health insurance license with a certification in long-term care planning. He is a 10-year member of the Financial Services Institute, which acts as an advocate for independent financial services firms. Roberts has also completed the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board-registered education program, and is currently preparing for the cumulative exam to obtain the CFP certification—the most prestigious certification in financial planning. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in finance from SUNY College at Brockport.

“To help clients plan and realize their financial goals, it is essential to develop comprehensive, cohesive financial strategies that are unique to everyone’s needs,” said Roberts. “Over the years, I have found that nothing ensures financial success as much as a solid, trusted partnership with my clients. I look forward to building those partnerships at RDHB.”

RDHB CPAs is a Pittsford-based, boutique accounting firm that provides its clients with personalized tax, business planning, accounting, auditing, and financial services. For more information, visit www.rdhbcpa.com.

 

Andy Roberts, Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC.  Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investments Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Adviser. RDHB Wealth Management and Cambridge are separate entities, independently owned and operated. RDHB Wealth Management, RDHB CPAs and Cambridge are separate entities.