News & Tech Tips

InvestOhio – What You Need to Know


What is InvestOhio?

  • New tool from the Ohio Department of Development for helping Ohio small businesses obtain private equity capital to expand their businesses
  • $1B of new private equity investment in Ohio will generate $100M in non-refundable personal Ohio income tax credits
  • Program runs through June 30, 2013 or until all tax credits have been used
  • As of June 2012, $45M of the $100M in tax credits have been used

Who is eligible?

  • S-Corporations, Partnerships, Sole Proprietors
  • C-Corporations are not eligible
  • Businesses must be located in Ohio
  • More than 50% of your employees must work in Ohio
  • Businesses must have less than $50M in assets OR less than $10M in annual sales

How To Make a Qualifying Investment?

  • The business owner must register through the Ohio Business Gateway
  • The business owner needs to apply for the InvestOhio credit and the cash needs to be injected into the operating entity within 30 days of the application being completed
    • Applications can be completed after the cash injection has already been made as long as there are still tax credits remaining in the InvestOhio program
  • The business owner can take personal cash and invest it in their operating entity
  • The business owner can take out a personal loan (such as borrowing against their home) and invest the proceeds in their operating entity
  • The operating entity must provide evidence to the Department of Development within 30 days of completing the expenditures or within 7 months of receiving the cash investment, whichever occurs first

Eligible Expenditures

  • The operating entity is required to reinvest the infusion of cash within six months of its receipt.
  • The operating entity must reinvest the cash into the following categories:
    • Tangible Personal Property
    • Vehicles (must be primarily used for business)
    • Real Property
    • Intangibles
    • Compensation
  • The operating entity must hold the reinvestment property for a minimum holding period of two years

What Types of Expenditures Qualify?

  • Tangible Personal Property such as Equipment
  • Vehicles– must be purchased in Ohio and titled in Ohio
  • Real Property
    • Land Improvements
    • Building Improvements
  • Intangibles
    • Franchise License
    • Patent Purchase
  • Compensation
    • Hiring additional employees for newly created positions

What Types of Expenditures Do Not Qualify?

  • Goodwill resulting from acquisitions
  • New vehicle for the business owner
  • Bonuses or wage increases for the business owner
  • Reinvestments in businesses not located in Ohio

Greatness is a Choice

courtesy of

At a recent Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) conference in Atlanta I had the opportunity to attend a seminar led by Jim Collins, titled “Great by Choice.”  The information I left with would be valuable to any and all business owners.  Below is an outline of what I learned, including links to even more in-depth information.

Greatness is a choice.  You can choose to be good, or just good enough, or truly great.  Truly great leaders have drive and confidence, but also the humility to put the needs of the company, clients and employees ahead of their own.

So what distinguishes the greatest leaders from the rest?

It’s all about having fanatic discipline – sticking to your goals no matter what.  Discipline is not a natural trait that some people are born with and others are not.  Rather, discipline is an art form to be learned.  It takes practice and dedication to be disciplined.

Another trait is what Collins referred to as empirical creativity.  This involves taking our natural creativity and adding discipline to it for maximum effectiveness.  By empirically testing our creative ideas first, before throwing a lot of time and resources at them, we are able to find out what works and move ahead in the right direction.  We test our ideas by trying them out on a small scale and verifying their effectiveness before drastically moving forward.

And finally, great leaders employ productive paranoia – being prepared for the situations that could put your company’s future at risk.  One key is having the cash reserves and buffers to protect your business from any economic catastrophe.  It is important to understand what would be disastrous to your company, and then prepare for it.  The second key is not putting your business in jeopardy by taking big risks.

Luck happens to everyone, both good and bad.  What separates the great leaders from the rest is the ability to maximize the return on luck.  Start thinking of luck as an event, rather than just some indefinable aura that follows some people around and not others.  Then, when luck happens, make the most of it.  Back it with your drive and discipline to get the highest return on your luck possible.  And remember that a single good luck event will not make your business, but one catastrophic bad luck event could break it – so always be prepared and have your business protected.

Understanding Your Multi-Generational Workforce

Laura Wojciechowski, CPA, EA, PFS is a partner and serves as the firm’s president.

My fellow partners and I recently attended a symposium conducted by Enterprise Worldwide. The organization is an alliance of independent accounting and advisory firms working together to provide the best possible service to clients on a worldwide basis. Belonging to Enterprise makes available to our firm a pool of knowledge and experience to address the international and other specialized business needs of our clients whenever needed.

Professional development programs are another benefit of our Enterprise membership, and the symposium offered topics of general business interest and those geared to CPA firms. One of the sessions I attended was on the challenge for business owners to manage four different generations of workers in their organizations. The presenter was Guy Gage of PartnersCoach.

Gage explained that 20th Century generations include Builders (born between 1930 and 1945), Baby Boomers ((born between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Generation Y (born between 1981 and 1995).

Each group has its own distinct characteristics, values, and attitudes toward work, based on its generation’s life experiences. Parenting style, education philosophy and defining moments are major influencers. 

  • Builders. Builders are considered among the most loyal workers and “work to live.” They are planners, tend to be cautious, but hopeful, and have great respect for authority. They value hard work, duty before fun and adherence to the rules. 
  • Baby Boomers. Boomers are the first generation to actively declare a higher priority for work over personal life. They value collaboration and teamwork. They are more optimistic and open to change than the prior generation, but they are also responsible for the “Me Generation” with its pursuit of personal gratification. Their generation’s motto would be “Just do it.” 
  • Generation Xers. Generation Xers are often considered the “slacker” generation. They naturally question authority figures and are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept. They are self-reliant and tend to be more pessimistic than other generations. They need to be appreciated and like direct and immediate communication.
  • Generation Ys. This group has an appreciation for diversity and social contributions. Because of significant gains in technology and an increase in educational programming during the 1990s, Generation Ys are also the most educated generation of workers today and they like to work with other bright, creative people. They want to have challenging work or they will move on. They have high expectations, may seem overconfident and seek recognition of their talent. At times, they can appear impatient.

Gage said that to successfully integrate these diverse generations into the workplace, companies need to create a culture that actively demonstrates respect and inclusion for its multigenerational work force and to embrace major changes in recruitment and benefits.

Learning how to communicate with the different generations can eliminate many major confrontations and misunderstandings in an organization and lead to a more productive and effective workplace.

If you would like more information about this presentation, contact Laura Wojciechowski.

Workplace Fraud Threatens All Businesses

If you think that fraud won’t occur at your workplace, you’re probably not being realistic. Fraud can occur anywhere, and the instances and level of sophistication of fraud are a growing concern of business owners and managers.

Chrissie Powers, co-owner of P.D. Eye Forensics, advised Whalen clients and banking executives about ways to deter fraud and how to minimize exposure to it at a special workshop held by the firm on June 5. Her presentation also covered the warning signs of workplace fraud and how to respond to suspicions of fraud.

Whalen & Company recently began partnering with P.D. Eye Forensics to offer specialized forensic and valuation services to the firm’s business and individual clients. The firm has expertise in fraud detection and deterrence, business valuations, damages and lost profits, bankruptcy services, marital relations and litigation support.

“Although the economy is improving slightly, the economic downturn will continue to have its effect on fraud in the workplace,” she told workshop participants. “It’s really been a perfect storm for fraud.”

According to Powers, as businesses have reduced the number of their employees or cut hours, there is often a reduction in internal controls and fewer proactive fraud prevention measures in place. In addition, the increased financial strain on employees during the economic hardship contributes to the likelihood of fraud.

Finally, bombardments of bad financial news cause mounting feelings of helplessness, pessimism and isolation, which allows employees to rationalize previously unthinkable acts. “Given enough financial pressure, someone in your organization is going to commit fraud,” Powers warned. “The pressure of financial strain is so strong that they don’t think there are other options.”

Research shows that 66 percent of employees will steal if they see others do so without consequence; 21 percent of employees are honest and will never steal from employer, and 13 percent of employees will steal regardless.

“Business owners need to ensure that proper fraud prevention procedures are in place,” Powers emphasized. “You can’t stop it, but you can slow it down and make it harder for fraudsters.” See box for ways to deter fraud.

Small businesses often don’t have enough employees to put segregation of duties in place or have sufficient internal controls. “Just because you have an audit doesn’t mean that you’re protected,” she said. “If it is immaterial to a financial statement, an auditor is not likely to catch it. An auditor’s job is not to find fraud.”

Asset misappropriation, involving payroll fraud, fraudulent invoicing or billing, or skimming revenues, is the most frequent fraud method, accounting for about 87 percent of the incidents. About one-third of the occurrences are due to corruption, where an individual uses his or her influence to obtain a benefit or kickback.

Fraudulent statements are the least frequent, but generally result in more loss to a company.

If you believe fraud has been committed, Powers recommends not confronting the suspect initially or calling the police. “You don’t want to give the employee time to destroy evidence, and the police don’t have enough time to investigate,” she explained.

She advises business owners to contact their lawyer, accountant and insurance agent. Generally, this will lead to a competent investigator.

To review Powers’ complete fraud presentation, click here, or visit the firm’s website at

Partnership with P.D. Eye Forensics Benefits Clients

Whalen & Company, CPAs is partnering with P.D. Eye Forensics, LLC to offer specialized forensic and valuation services to the firm’s business and individual clients.

P.D. Eye is a Columbus-based forensic accounting firm owned by Chrissie Powers and Heather Deskins, who have more than 20 years of combined experience in the accounting field.

Their firm has expertise in fraud detection and deterrence, business valuations, damages and lost profits, bankruptcy services, marital relations and litigation support.

Both Powers and Deskins are Certified Public Accountants with specialized credentials as Certified Fraud Examiners, Certified in Financial Forensics and Certified Valuation Analysts. In addition, Deskins holds the Accredited in Business Valuation credential.

“This initiative is part of our firm’s ongoing efforts to bring additional service offerings to clients and add value to our relationship,” said Whalen Partner Richard Crabtree. “We believe this new development is good for our clients and for both firms.”