Home Posts tagged Meyers Brothers Kalicka P.C.
Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) announced the promotions of Christopher Soderberg, Ian Coddington, and Briana Doyle to senior associate; Daniel Eger and Brenden Cawley to tax supervisor; and Corey Jenkins, Chelsea Russell, Eric Pinsoneault, Kara Graves and Matthew Nash to senior manager.

Soderberg has been a member of the Audit department at MBK since 2018. He primarily focuses on not-for-profit, commercial, taxation, and HUD engagements. In his new role as a senior associate, he will take on a larger leadership position at the firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounts and management, as well as an MBA with a concentration in financial planning, from Elms College. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Coddington is a licensed certified public accountant in Massachusetts who has been working in the firm’s audit department since 2018. His work is predominantly focused on review and compilation, commercial, not-for-profit, employee benefit plans, and business valuation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State University and an MBA from Fitchburg State University. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Doyle started working at MBK in 2018. As a member of the firm’s Audit department, she works on employee benefit plans, not-for-profits, HUD, and commercial engagements. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting from Nichols College. She is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Eger has been with MBK since 2005, working primarily with large companies and corporations as well as high-net-worth individuals. He has more than 20 years of accounting experience, handling many of the most complicated tax-preparations in these areas, including multi-state tax preparation. He leads the tax intern program at MBK, which has resulted in numerous hires in the firm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from American International College and is member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Cawley joined MBK in 2020 after spending eight years as a tax professional at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Boston. He provided tax and consulting services for large investment companies with a focus in private equity and credit funds. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Boston College and is an enrolled agent with the Internal Revenue Service, as well as a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jenkins joined MBK in 2019 after spending five years as a public accountant in New York. She is a leader within the firm’s NFP division, working primarily on audits of not-for-profit organizations and multi-family housing entities. She received her master’s degree in accounting from the University at Albany and her bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Rose in Albany. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and New York. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Russell began her career with MBK as an intern in 2015 and has been working full-time in the Accounting and Audit department since June 2016. In her role as manager, she is a key player in the Accounting and Auditing department and primarily focuses on not-for-profit, commercial, and employee benefit-plan engagements. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University and her master’s degree in accounting from Bay Path University. She is licensed as a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She also co-leads the firm’s community-outreach program.

Pinsoneault joined MBK in 2018. Before that, he worked in public accounting in the Greater Boston area for BDO USA, LLP. He has experience providing audit and attest services for a variety of industries, including technology, manufacturing, transportation, and energy. He currently works closely with many privately held businesses in Western Mass. He received an MBA and a master’s degree in accounting from UMass Boston. He is a certified public accountant in Massachusetts and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Graves is a licensed certified public accountant in Massachusetts and has been with MBK since 2011. She holds a bachelor of accountancy degree from Roger Williams University and a master of accountancy degree from Western New England University. She is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and CPAmerica and serves on the audit committee for the United Way of Hampshire County.

Nash has been with MBK since 2011 and focuses on audit, review, and compilation engagements. He is a key leader on the commercial, not-for-profit audit, and pension engagement teams. He is presently a senior manager leading engagement teams on a day-to-day basis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and an MBA from Elms College. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and has been a certified public accountant in Massachusetts for the past three years. He is also a board member and treasurer for Springfield School Volunteers, where he also serves on the investment and finance committee, as well as a Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament committee member.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. recently welcomed Danny Krasin, Olivia Calcasola, Anthony Romei, and Samantha Calvao to the firm.

Calcasola is an associate in the firm’s Taxation department. Prior to MBK, she worked for two years as a senior corporate tax associate for a Boston-based firm. She brings a strong sense of service to MBK, noting that, “in order to achieve great customer service, I believe it is most important to understand the clients’ needs and wants inside and out.” She received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst.

Krasin joined the Accounting and Audit department at MBK. He started his career in private accounting and transitioned to public accounting in 2018. In his role as an associate, he will focus on a vast array of audit engagements, including not-for-profit, commercial, employee-benefit plans, and HUD. “My goal is to consistently exceed the customers’ expectations by listening to the customer’s problems so that I may go above and beyond to find the best way possible to efficiently solve their problems to ensure their happiness with our services,” he said. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from American International College and his master’s degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University.

Romei joined the firm’s Accounting and Audit department. He began his career on public accounting in 2019, and will primarly focus on not-for-profits and HUD engagements. When asked about customer service, he said, “I strive to provide quality work in the most efficient manner.” He received his bachelor’s and masters degrees in accounting from Elms College.

Calvao joined the firm as a paraprofessional. She received her associate degree in accounting from Holyoke Community College and is a candidate to receive her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern New Hampshire this summer. She was also recently awarded the PwC LLP Scholarship by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) will close its offices on Monday, Aug. 2 in honor of its former managing partner, James Barrett.

“With heavy hearts, we share that our friend and colleague, Jim Barrett, lost his battle with cancer and passed away on July 23,” the firm said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and all the lives he touched. Our offices will be closed on Monday, August 2 to allow the MBK family to honor Jim’s memory and attend his service.”

Barrett had a successful career in public accounting following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England College and his master of taxation degree from Florida International College. He was licensed as a certified public accountant in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida; served on the board of directors for CPAmerica; and was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Legion, and the National Rifle Assoc. In 2008, he was appointed managing partner of MBK and served in that position until his health required him to step down in the spring of 2020.

“As our managing partner, Jim guided MBK through many transitions over the past decade,” the firm noted. “Jim was disciplined in his approach to leadership, always studying the facts and data before making decisions. He was particularly adept at helping clients work through the most complicated financial and business situations. He was an active listener, preferring to lead through the art of asking thoughtful questions, a trait that his clients and colleagues appreciated about him. When he walked into any room, people were drawn to his strong leadership, warm smile, and sense of humor. He knew how to help everyone balance the stress of our profession with a funny story, a pat on the back, or one of his famous fist bumps as he would make his rounds through our office (often with his to-do list in hand). Jim set a great example for us with his work ethic and desire to always improve MBK. His leadership contributed to MBK’s long-standing reputation as a leading professional service firm in New England. Jim was a great leader, mentor, friend, and brother to the entire MBK team. We will all miss Jim greatly, and we will work to honor his memory for years to come.”

Click here for Barrett’s obituary at MassLive. Memorial gatherings will be held at Forastiere-Smith Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 220 North Main St., East Longmeadow, on Sunday, Aug. 1 from 2 to 6 p.m., and on Monday, Aug. 2 from 9 to 10 a.m. The liturgy will follow on Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow.

Memorial contributions in Barrett’s memory may be made to Semper Fi & America’s Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 or to the Sister Caritas Cancer Center, 271 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. recently announced four promotions: Susan Stebbins, CPA to senior manager; Lisa White, CPA to senior manager; Joseph LeMay, CPA to manager; and Kara Graves, CPA to employee benefit plan niche leader.

Stebbins, who has been with MBK since 1997, focuses on taxation. In her new position, she will be preparing and reviewing returns, as well as managing several professionals within the firm’s taxation department. A CPA licensed in Massachusetts and Maryland, she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Bentley University.

With over 20 years of public accounting experience, White focuses primarily on federal and state income-tax compliance and planning within the construction and real-estate industries. In her new role as a senior tax manager, she will continue to mentor staff as well as manage the delivery of services directly to many clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University and is a member of the AICPA and the MSCPA. She is a CPA licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and in 2011 was named among the 40 Under 40: Members to Watch by the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

LeMay joined MBK in 2015 and works with organizations throughout Western Mass. in industries such as manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, and other service organizations. In his new role as a manager, he will manage a team in the firm’s Accounting and Auditing department. In addition, he leads initiatives to provide the department with tech updates, serves as a mentor in the firm’s formal mentorship program, and is the leader for the firm’s wellness program. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in accountancy from Westfield State University. He is a CPA and certified valuation analyst in the state of Massachusetts and is a member of the AICPA and the MSCPA.

Graves, who has been with MBK since 2011 and has more than 14 years of experience in accounting and auditing, specializes in employee benefit plans and commercial audits. In her new position, she will be overseeing all of the plans, scheduling teams and field work, researching changes on standards for pension audits, implementing any necessary updates, and facilitating training and annual planning for pension audits. She is a licensed CPA in Massachusetts and holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Roger Williams University and an master’s degree in accountancy from Western New England University. She is a member of the MSCPA and CPAmerica. She serves on the audit committee for the United Way of Hampshire County.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) recently welcomed Brendan Cawley and Garrett Welker to the firm.

Cawley is a senior associate in the firm’s Taxation department. Prior to MBK, he worked on a variety of clients and industries as a manager at one of the Big Four national firms. He brings to MBK nearly 10 years of public accounting experience and a strong commitment to helping clients. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Boston College and is an enrolled agent with the Internal Revenue Service.

“I am dedicated to providing a high-quality work product with as little hassle to the client as possible,” Cawley said. “I strive to stay well-informed on changes to the tax code and share that information with my clients.”

Welker is an associate in the Assurance department. He served for seven years in the U.S. Air Force and went on to become a finance manager at a privately held business in Western Mass. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in accounting from Westfield State University.

As an associate, Welker attributes his ability to bring fresh perspective, integrity, and attention to detail to his diverse background. “My approach to customer service is to always be positive and professional. My goal is to always go above and beyond my customers’ expectations and make the experience as enjoyable as possible.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) announced a new website this week. The primary goal during the redesign process was to create a more user-friendly and valuable resource for clients and community alike. More specifically, the firm wanted users to easily locate information about accounting services, industries it serves, the firm’s story and team members, career opportunities, and community support.

MBK’s recent rebrand extends beyond a new style guide, logo, and aesthetic to include key concepts the website reflects upon: depth, drive, and experience. As the company notes, “we have the depth to provide a quality team to every client. We have the drive to deliver an excellent work product, every time. And we have the experience to solve our clients’ accounting and financial goals.”

Partner James Krupienski, CPA, noted that, “over the past few years, MBK has undertaken a significant transformation with a brand-new mission and vision statement. One of the ways that we are building on our tradition of excellence is by becoming a better online resource and authority for our clients and community. By updating our website, increasing our blog activity, and having a consistent presence on social media, we are making ourselves and our knowledge more accessible to others.”

MBK’s new website features an active blog with articles about taxation, accounting, advisory, news, and community. Additionally, the firm offers free newsletters centered around taxation, business, not-for-profits, and healthcare. These newsletters help readers stay informed on recent provisions and guidance, access articles, get invitations to special webinars or podcasts, and gain industry knowledge. You can subscribe to any or all of these newsletters for free by adding your e-mail address into the ‘subscribe’ feature located in the footer of the new website.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Amid COVID-19, the need for organizations such as Open Pantry Community Services has grown. Matt Ogrodowicz of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. led a charge to collect food and donations at MBK over a two-week period. He shared Open Pantry’s mission as well as its high-demand items, including cereal, pasta, canned goods, peanut butter, and spaghetti sauce.

Staff at MBK donated food and/or money, which Ogrodowicz used to shop for additional items on the high-demand list. With the combined efforts, MBK was able to donate 279 pounds of food to Open Pantry.



Coronavirus Sections Special Coverage

Strong Medicine

As COVID-19 continues to upend nearly every aspect of life in the U.S., Congress has been working to relieve suffering Americans. Having passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18 in an effort to limit the spread of the pandemic and support relief efforts, Congress turned to stabilizing the economy. After days of furious negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill and Trump administration officials, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. With a $2.2 trillion price tag, the act is the most expensive piece of legislation ever passed.

The act passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote late on March 25 and was passed in the House of Representatives on March 27. The President signed the bill into law later that day.

The CARES Act looks to make a significant impact on the economy by providing loan forgiveness, supporting small businesses, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing federal loans to industries severely impacted by the pandemic. In addition, it provides tax relief and tax incentives for individuals and businesses alike. The majority of the tax relief is designed to increase liquidity in the economy, largely through the relaxation of limitations on business deductions and the deferral of taxes, but also with the introduction of recovery rebates for individuals.

In this article, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., in conjunction with its affiliation with CPAmerica, presents some of the key elements of the CARES Act and how they will impact individuals and businesses.


Recovery Rebates

The most well-publicized provision is the $1,200 recovery rebates for individual taxpayers. The rebate amounts are advance refunds of credits against 2020 taxes, and equal to $1,200 for individuals, or $2,400 for joint filers, with a $500 credit for each child. The amount of each rebate is phased out by $5 for every $100 in excess of a threshold amount. This threshold amount is based upon 2018 adjusted gross income (unless a 2019 return has already been filed), and the phaseout begins at $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of households, and $150,000 for joint filers. Thus, the rebates are completely phased out for single filers with 2018 (or 2019, if applicable) adjusted gross income over $99,000, heads of household with $136,500 (or higher, depending upon whether status is established because of children), and joint filers with $198,000.

In order to be eligible for a recovery rebate, the individual must not be: (1) a non-resident alien, (2) able to be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return, or (3) an estate or trust, and must have included a Social Security number for both the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, and eligible children (or an adoption taxpayer identification number, where appropriate). The act includes additional rules for the application of the credit.

The Secretary of the Treasury has been directed to provide the rebate as rapidly as possible.

Retirement Plans

The CARES Act also waives the 10% penalty on early withdrawals up to $100,000 from qualified retirement plans for coronavirus-related distributions. For purposes of the penalty waiver, a coronavirus-related distribution is one made during the 2020 calendar year to an individual (or the spouse of an individual) diagnosed with COVID-19 with a CDC-approved test, or to an individual who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of quarantine, business closure, layoff, or reduced hours due to the virus. Any income attributable to an early withdrawal is subject to tax over a three-year period, and taxpayers may recontribute the withdrawn amounts to a qualified retirement plan without regard to annual caps on contributions if made within three years.

This relief is commonly granted by Congress in the wake of major disaster declarations, such as those made after a major hurricane.

The act also waives all required minimum distributions for 2020, regardless of whether the taxpayer has been impacted by the pandemic.

Charitable Contributions

The CARES Act enhances tax incentives for making charitable contributions for the 2020 tax year. First, it allows an above-the-line deduction of up to $300 for charitable contributions made by individuals. This allows an individual to claim a deduction for a charitable contribution, even if the individual does not itemize deductions.

Additionally, the percent-of-adjusted-gross-income (AGI) limitations are increased for all taxpayers as well as for specific types of contributions. For the 2020 tax year, individuals can claim an unlimited itemized deduction for a charitable contribution, which is normally limited to 50% of AGI. In the case of corporations, the usual 10%-of-AGI limitation is increased to 25% for the 2020 tax year. Finally, the contribution of food inventory, the deduction for which is normally limited to 15% of AGI, is increased to 25% for the 2020 tax year.

Student Loans Paid by Employers

The act provides for an exclusion of up to $5,250 from income for payments of an employee’s education loans. In order for the exclusion to apply, the loan must have been incurred by the employee for the education of the employee (so, for example, the loan must not have been incurred to pay for the education of the employee’s child). The payment can be made to the employee or directly to the lender. The exclusion only applies for payments made by an employer after the date of enactment and before Jan. 1, 2021.

The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student-loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employee.


Employee Retention Credit

The CARES Act grants eligible employers a credit against employment taxes equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees who are not working due to the employer’s full or partial cessation of business or a significant decline in gross receipts. The credit is available to be claimed on a quarterly basis, but the amount of wages, including health benefits, for which the credit can be claimed is limited to $10,000 in aggregate per employee for all quarters. The provision contains several requirements defining qualified wages, qualified employees, and qualified employers. The credit applies to wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before Jan. 1, 2021.

This is very similar to the paid leave credits granted to employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law on March 18, with some changes to the requirements. Most significantly, neither the employee nor the employer have to be directly impacted by infection.

This is also similar to the employee retention credits Congress provides after major disasters, but with different requirements and limitations.

Payroll Tax Deferral

In order to free up employers’ cash flow and retain employees during times of quarantine or shutdown, the CARES Act defers the payment of payroll taxes. Payroll taxes due from the period beginning on the date the CARES Act is signed into law and ending on Dec. 31, 2020, are deferred. The 6.2% OASID portion of payroll taxes incurred by employers, and 50% of the equivalent payroll taxes incurred by self-employed persons, qualify for the deferral. Half of the deferred payroll taxes are due on Dec. 31, 2021, with the remainder due on Dec. 31, 2022.

Net Operating Losses

The act allows for a five-year carry-back of net operating losses (NOLs) arising in 2018, 2019, or 2020 by a business. Businesses will be able to amend or modify tax returns for tax years dating back to 2013 in order to take advantage of the carry-back. Under current law, only farming NOLs are allowed to be carried back, and the carry-back is limited to two years.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated the carry-back of NOLs for tax years ending after 2017 and allowed for the indefinite carry-forward for NOLs. Prior to the TCJA, an NOL could be carried back two years, with longer carry-back periods for NOLs arising from a casualty or declared disaster or farming losses.

The CARES Act also eliminates loss-limitation rules applicable to sole proprietors and pass-through entities to allow them to take advantage of the NOL carryback. Additionally, the act allows for NOLs arising before Jan. 1, 2021 to fully offset income. Under current law, NOLs are limited to 80% of taxable income.

Minimum Tax Credits

The TCJA eliminated the alternative minimum tax for corporations for tax years after 2017, but allowed corporations to claim a refundable portion of any unused minimum tax credits through 2021. The amount of the refundable credit is limited to 50% of any excess minimum tax in 2018 through 2020, before being fully refundable in 2021. The act accelerates the year for which a fully refundable credit can be claimed to 2019, and allows corporations to elect to claim the fully refundable minimum tax credits in 2018.

Business Interest Expense Limitation

The TCJA limited the amount of allowable deductions for business interest (regardless of the type of entity) for tax years beginning after 2017. The limitation is generally the amount of business interest income for the year plus 30% of the taxpayer’s adjusted taxable income for the year. The limitation does not apply to taxpayers with average annual gross receipts for the prior three year below an inflation-adjusted amount. For 2020, this amount is $26 million or less.

The act increases the limitation amount to 50% of the taxpayer’s adjusted taxable income for 2019 and 2020 (with a special allocation election required for partnerships for 2019). In calculating the limitation for 2020, the taxpayer may elect to use adjusted taxable income for 2019.

The option to use 2019 adjusted taxable income in calculating the limitation is meant to counteract the likelihood that incomes will not be higher in 2020 because of the economic environment, whereas 2019 was generally a very high revenue year for businesses.

Qualified Improvement Property

When Congress drafted the TCJA, it allowed for 100% bonus-depreciation rules to apply to all MACRS property with a recovery period of 20 years or less. Before the TCJA, qualified improvement property was depreciated as 39-year residential real property, unless it separately qualified as 15-year qualified leasehold improvement property, 15-year retail improvement property, or 15-year restaurant property. Congress eliminated the three separate categories of 15-year improvement properties with the intention of making all qualified improvement property 15-year property. However, it failed to do so, and as a result, qualified improvement property is depreciated as 39-year property and not qualified for bonus depreciation.

This is known in tax circles as the ‘retail glitch.’ A technical amendment has long been promised and had been included in early drafts of several pieces of legislation since the TCJA became law in December 2017. However, it never made it into the final version of any piece of significant legislation voted on by either chamber of Congress.

The CARES Act corrects this congressional oversight by defining qualified improvement property as 15-year property, thus allowing 100% of improvements to be deducted in the year incurred. The change is made as if included in the TCJA and, thus, is effective for property acquired and placed in service after Sept. 27, 2017.

The closures and quarantines related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been especially hard on small businesses, which include restaurants and local retail stores. This technical correction allows any expenses incurred by owners to make improvements to the physical premises related to these businesses to be accelerated into the 2017 or 2018 tax year on an amended return, or the 2019 tax year on a return due July 15, 2020.

Excise Tax Relief

The act also provides a temporary exception from alcohol excise taxes for alcohol for use in or contained in hand sanitizer produced or directed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration related to the pandemic. The act also suspends excise taxes on aviation and kerosene used in aviation fuel. The exception and suspensions are applicable to 2020 only.


The CARES Act is a massive act, the majority of which does not have a tax impact. However, some smaller, but no less significant, provisions impacting federal tax are sprinkled outside of the tax-related division of the act. These provisions include:

• The exclusion from tax of any forgiven small-business loans, mortgage obligations, or other loan obligations forgiven by the lender during the applicable period;

• A safe harbor from the definition of a high-deductible health plan permitting telehealth services to be included, even though such services do not carry a deductible;

• The inclusion of over-the-counter menstrual products as qualified medical expenses for purposes of distributions from health savings accounts and health flexible spending arrangements;

• Pension funding relief for failures to meet contribution requirements to defined benefit plans during 2020; and

• Allowing certain charitable employers whose primary exempt purpose is providing services to mothers and children to use small employer charity pension plan rules.

COVID-19 Daily News

HOLYOKE — As the outbreak of COVID-19 has escalated and caused unprecedented reactions such as school closings, cancelling professional sports, social distancing, and government-issued stay-at-home orders, many people understandably have growing concerns for the financial health of their organizations, people, and families.

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) has assembled a toolbox of resources to help clients and the community during this unprecedented time. These include MBK operations, tax resources, financial resources, and business-planning resources. The firm will continue to keep this page (www.mbkcpa.com/covid-19-updates-and-toolkit) updated daily as new information and resources become available. 


Survival Mode

As the outbreak of COVID-19 has escalated and caused unprecedented reactions such as closing schools for weeks, cancelling professional sports, limiting restaurants and bars to takeout only, and social distancing and prohibiting the gathering of groups of more than 25 people, business leaders have growing concerns for the financial health of their organizations, people, and customers.

COVID-19 presents an exceptional level of uncertainty, making it difficult to implement any single contingency plan. However, crisis management can be made easier with preparation and by staying current on resources that are available. To that end, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. offers the following tips and best practices for financially surviving this pandemic.

• Evaluate telecommuting options. Begin by first evaluating your organization’s daily operations. How many of your employees can effectively perform their jobs while working from home? How many essential personnel must be present in order to perform their responsibilities? What will your policy be for employees in each category? Do you have the proper technology and security to even offer a work-from-home option?

Once you have decided who can telecommute and who will simply not have that option, it is important to communicate your policy clearly. What steps should employees without a telecommuting option follow if they need time off?

For employees that do not typically work from home, it can be beneficial to share best practices and expectations, such as to work during normal business hours; be available via phone, e-mail, and company messenger during normal business hours; attend a daily virtual check-in with managers to discuss progress, outstanding tasks, etc.; set up call forwarding for your business line; and maintain access to necessary equipment and materials to perform the job.

• Communicate clearly with your employees and customers. As your business braces for untreaded waters, it is vital that you communicate clearly and in a timely manner to both your customers and employees. Don’t allow misinformation or confusion to spread faster than the virus. Your employees, clients, customers, and stakeholders will be looking to you for reassurance and up-to-date information.

Customers, clients, and stakeholders want to know: will deadlines be affected? Have your in-person policies been temporarily changed? Will you be offering a virtual service in the interim? Let them know that you are actively monitoring the situation and how you are making temporary adjustments to your business so that they know what to expect. This can also mitigate fears and concerns that your customers may be feeling. Communicate these and other relevant information via e-mail, phone, social media, and/or any other normal communication channels.

Your employees want to know: in addition to any telecommuting options that may be temporarily available, what is being done to protect their health and safety? Have you increased cleaning around your place of business? Have you taken any action to limit exposure for employees? Have you encouraged any at-risk or sick employees to stay home? Have you cancelled in-person meetings or business travel to limit exposure? Again, a large part of crisis management is dispelling fear; therefore, a well-thought-out and communicated plan will go a long way for your business.

• Assess your inventory. Whether you are talking about actual inventory that you sell or supplies that your business needs to operate, do you have a clear idea of how this is affected by the virus? Who are your suppliers? Will they be able to replenish your stock, or are they potentially unable to do so because of isolation? Do you have a secondary option for suppliers, or will you have to cease selling certain products or services until these products become available? If so, will you take back orders?

On the contrary, could you end up with a surplus of inventory? For example, did you order perishable supplies that could potentially expire? Are there creative solutions you can take here, such as freezing products? Saving products for a future event or for when you re-open? Increasing the marketing for take-out? Or perhaps even donating products which would become a writeoff and have a positive public-relations benefit? How will you communicate these supply-chain issues to your organization and customers

• Identify scenarios, points of failure, and other risks. Currently, businesses are scrambling to get off defense. In order to get back on the offense, you need to have a good playbook with a variety of plays for any given situation. What are your worst- and best-case scenarios? What is the game plan for the short term and the long term? How would a longer impact affect your business? Will your business see a rise in demand or suffer loss of business — and how will you cope? Do you have the right teams in place to perform critical duties as needed? Do they have the right skills, equipment, technology, and security to perform those duties if they need to work from home for a period? How would staggered shifts affect your business? Are there critical duties that must be performed on site for your organization to function? What adjustments will you make if those duties cannot be performed?

As with any crisis, most plans will need to be adjusted day by day as new information becomes available. If you have planned for a variety of scenarios, then the adjustments will be more manageable. In some cases, it may even be the key to a company’s survival. It is simply critical that businesses and organizations remain proactive, informed, and agile.

• Finally, stay informed about resources for your business and employees. Here are a few financial-assistance and business-planning resources that may be useful to you:

The SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans to Small Businesses affected by COVID-19

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan

U.S. Chamber: 5 Resources to Help your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus

IRS Tax Relief

Treasury Secretary Announces 90-day Delay in Tax Payments

CDC Business Planning Checklist for a Pandemic

CDC Pandemic Preparedness for U.S. Businesses with Overseas Operations

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

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SPRINGFIELD — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., (MBK) recently made a $10,000 donation to the Mental Health Assoc. Inc. (MHA) to fund non-violent crisis-intervention training for MHA’s direct-care staff.

“To train in non-violent crisis intervention is an important professional-development opportunity for MHA staff,” said Cheryl Fasano, president and CEO of MHA Inc. “MHA does not use physical restraint in any form, so our staff members need skills to safely de-escalate and manage challenging behaviors in a non-violent manner. Our training curriculum from the Crisis Prevention Institute goes further by also helping better equip our staff to prevent difficult situations from escalating. That’s good for the safety of our staff and the benefit of the people we care for. This kind of specialized training is not covered under the state contracts that fund the operation of our programs. Generous gifts like the one from Meyers Brothers Kalicka make these professional-development opportunities possible.”

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to contribute to the training and programing at the Mental Health Association,” said Rudy D’Agostino, partner at Holyoke-based MBK. “We applaud the challenging work that the professionals at MHA take on every day and understand that non-violent crisis intervention is an important tool for those professionals. Seeking resolutions through de-escalation and helping individuals find the care and treatment they need to heal and grow is an important mission. We’re proud to partner with MHA.”

The Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) is an international training organization committed to best practices and safe behavior-management methods that focus on prevention. Since 1980, more than 10 million professionals around the world have participated in CPI training programs.

Jason MacLeod, director of Training for MHA, oversees the organization and delivery of CPI training for MHA staff. “We kicked off our training in the summer of 2019 using CPI’s train-the-trainer model,” he noted. “Three staff members and I took part in a four-day session led by experienced CPI facilitators. Since then, the four of us have been training MHA’s direct-care staff and supervisors who work with residents of our programs every day. About 150 staff members have been certified to date, and we are working to have everyone certified by the end of 2020. In addition, all new direct-care staff members are trained in CPI’s methods as part of their onboarding. Demand for the training is high as the agency continues to grow, and MHA’s leadership team is considering whether other members of staff should be trained as well.”

MacLeod pointed to the need for greater space to accommodate CPI training. “There’s a lot of physical skill building, role playing and practice going on,” he explained. “Staff training is a full eight-hour day with one or two trainers, depending on the size of the trainee class. Trainers and the staff they train all need to recertify every two years. Staff are finishing our training with vocal, enthusiastic comments about how it improves their ability to do their job. That was a goal going in, so we’re excited.”

Added Fasano, “during a crisis, we have to call for emergency services, which can often lead to the temporary removal of the person to another setting and potentially the use of additional medications. This can be disruptive or even traumatic for that person, as well as for any family members involved. The CPI non-violent crisis intervention training helps our staff to recognize individual triggers and signs of each person in our care who is at risk for having a crisis event, and to help prevent people from reaching that point. The training also helps our staff to more effectively de-escalate a situation if a person does enter a crisis state. This will help create a safer, more stable living and working environment for everyone in our residential and visiting support programs.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) recently promoted Brittany Bird and welcomed Sarah Rose Stack to the firm.

Bird was promoted to senior associate. She holds an associate degree in business administration and management from Holyoke Community College, where she was one of the school’s valedictorians, and a bachelor of business administration degree with a major in accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

During her time at the firm, she earned the MBK Thought Leader 2019 Award for published articles on behalf of the firm. Prior to working at MBK, she worked in the customer-service industry.

Stack is the firm’s new Marketing & Recruiting manager. MBK recently embarked on a rebrand, which included a new logo, interior design, and mission and vision statement. Stack will help bring this new mission to maturity and will implement a variety of new strategies and connections to actualize the firm’s vision. With 15 years of digital marketing, design, and communications experience, she will bring a fresh perspective to the firm’s social-media strategy, revamped digital presence, community involvement, thought leadership, and more.

Stack studied music education at UMass Amherst, and has worked in website development and marketing on myriad products and services since 2005. She is a member of the Assoc. for Accountant Marketing.

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