Will You Need to Report Beneficial Ownership Information?

Your business may have to comply with new reporting requirements that took effect on January 1, 2024. Under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), enacted in 2021, certain companies will be required to provide information related to their “beneficial owners” — the individuals who ultimately own or control the company — to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Failure to do so may result in civil or criminal penalties, or both.

On November 29, 2023, FinCEN announced it was amending the beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting rules.

Understanding the CTA
The CTA is intended to reduce exposure to serious crimes, including terrorist financing, money laundering and other nefarious activities. But it could also open the door to the inspection of family offices, investment angels and other private individuals who’ve generally been shielded from scrutiny in the past.

A business that’s characterized as a “reporting company” has either 30 days or one year to comply with the new rules.

The CTA’s rules generally apply to both domestic and foreign privately held reporting companies. For these purposes, a reporting company includes any corporation, limited liability company or other legal entity created through documents filed with the appropriate state authorities. A foreign entity includes any private entity formed in a foreign country that’s properly registered to do business in the United States.

The complete list of entities that are exempt from the reporting rules is too lengthy to include here — ranging from government units to not-for-profit organizations to insurance companies and more. Notably, an exemption was created for a “large operating company” that employs more than 20 employees on a full-time basis, has more than $5 million in gross receipts or sales (not including receipts and sales from foreign sources), and physically operates in the United States. However, many of these companies already must meet other reporting requirements providing comparable information.

If an entity initially qualifies for the large operating company exemption but subsequently falls short, it must then file a BOI report. On the other hand, an entity that might not currently qualify can update its status with FinCEN if it later does and obtain an exemption.

Determining Who Is and Isn’t a Beneficial Owner
Under the CTA, a nonexempt entity must provide identifying information about its beneficial owners. A beneficial owner is defined as someone who, directly or indirectly, exercises substantial control over a reporting company, or owns or controls at least 25% of its ownership interests. An individual has substantial control of a reporting company if he or she:
• Is a senior officer of the company,
• Has authority over the senior officers or a majority of the company’s board,
• Has substantial influence over the company’s important decisions, or
• Has any other type of substantial control over the company.
This generally includes individuals who are directly related to ownership interests in the company, but indirect control may also result in classification as a beneficial owner.

Individuals who aren’t treated as beneficial owners of a reporting company under the CTA include:
• Someone acting as a nominee, intermediary, custodian or agent on behalf of a beneficial owner,
• An employee of the reporting company who has substantial control over the entity’s economic benefits because of his or her employment status (but only if the individual isn’t a senior officer of the entity),
• An individual whose only interest in a reporting company is a future interest through a right of inheritance,
• Any creditor of the reporting company (unless the creditor exercises substantial control or has a 25% ownership interest in the reporting company), or
• A minor child.
However, for minor children, the reporting company must report information about each child’s parent or legal guardian.

Defining Company Applicants
The CTA also requires reporting companies to provide identifying information about their company applicants. A company applicant is someone who is:
• Responsible for filing the documents that created the entity (for a foreign entity, this is the person who directly files the document that first registers the foreign reporting company to conduct business in a state), or
• Primarily responsible for directing or controlling filing of the relevant formation or registration document by another individual.
This rule often encompasses legal personnel acting in a business capacity.

Addressing Other CTA Reporting Requirements
The CTA’s reporting requirements are extensive. Specifically, the report to FinCEN must include the following information:
• The legal name of the entity (or any trade or doing-business-as name),
• The address of the entity,
• The jurisdiction where the entity was formed,
• The entity’s Taxpayer Identification Number, and
• The name, address, date of birth, unique identifying number information of each beneficial owner (such as a U.S. passport or state driver’s license number), and an image of the document that contains the identifying number.

FinCEN announced on November 29 that it was amending the BOI reporting rules. Initially, reporting companies had either 30 days or one year from the effective date (January 1, 2024) to comply with the reporting requirements.

Now, reporting companies will have 30 days, 90 days or one year from the January 1, 2024, effective date to comply with the reporting requirements.

The deadline to comply depends on the entity’s date of formation. Reporting companies created or registered prior to January 1, 2024, have one year to comply by filing initial reports. Those created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, but before January 1, 2025, will have 90 days upon receipt of their creation or registration documents to file their initial reports. Those created or registered on or after January 1, 2025, will have 30 days upon receipt of their creation or registration documents to file their initial reports.

Beneficial ownership information won’t be accepted by FinCEN until the effective date.

After the initial filing, reporting companies have 30 days to file an updated report noting any change to information previously reported. In addition, reporting companies must correct inaccurate information in previously filed reports within 30 days after the date they become aware of the error.

Note that reports filed with FinCEN aren’t available to the general public. However, certain government agencies will have access to the information, including those involved in national security, intelligence and law enforcement, as well as the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department.

What are the penalties for failing to comply with the new reporting rules? An omission or fraudulent report could result in civil fines of $500 a day for as long as the report is missing or remains inaccurate. Failure to comply may also trigger a criminal penalty of a $10,000 fine or even a two-year jail term.

Taking the Next Steps
What should your company do now to ensure compliance? Evaluate your current situation. If you determine that your business must meet these obligations, collect the required information, update and refine internal policies for accurately reporting the data, and establish a system for monitoring the reporting processes. Please consult with your legal advisor for additional guidance as Jackson Thornton will not be able to assist you in this matter.

Jackson Thornton Names New Principals & Announces Promotions

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce several promotions throughout their five Alabama offices.

Erica Bailey joined the firm in 2012 and is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office. Bailey works with utilities throughout the Southeast providing audit and consulting services for electric, gas and water distribution clients. Her utilities consulting experience includes internal controls over financial reporting and fraud risk & deterrence studies. Bailey has also served as a speaker for the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC) Accounting and Finance conference.

Bailey is a CPA as well as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA), the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and Women in Public Finance. Bailey has completed the Montgomery Torchbearers program, the ASCPA Leadership Academy and the RSM Accelerators program. She has served on the Advisory Council of the Montgomery Chapter of the ASCPA and was named 2023 Young Alumnus of the Year in Accounting by Troy University.

She is a member of the Junior League of Montgomery. Bailey holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Troy University.

Jake S. Studdard, based in the firm’s Wetumpka office, was also named a principal. Studdard, who has been with the firm since 2013, leads Jackson Thornton’s automobile dealership industry niche in the Tax line of business along with providing accounting, tax and tax consultation services for closely-held businesses and individuals. He is a member of the Wetumpka Lions Club and the DealerCPA network. He has also served on the board of the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce and is the firm’s representative for the Main Street Wetumpka initiative.

Studdard holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. He has completed RSM’s Breakthrough Leaders Institute program as well as the RSM Accelerators program.

He obtained his undergraduate degree from Auburn University Montgomery.

In addition, several other team members were recently promoted. Mark Cooley, Katie Vega Schmidt, Hannah Spann and Melanie Weed were promoted to Senior Manager. Rachel Cochran, Summer Davis, Kaleb Hall, Ryan Shubird, Amanda Wisdom and Michael Brady Vidich were all promoted to Manager. Alli Colquett and Mary Jackson Ousley were promoted to Senior Client Accountant. Avery Lane was promoted to HR Coordinator and Jefferson Jones was promoted to IT System Administrator II. Michael Spivey was promoted to Senior Technology Consultant with Jackson Thornton Technologies.

Jackson Thornton Names New Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce that Nancy M. Brown, Sarah V. Chandler and Ashley S. Taylor have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Nancy M. Brown is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office and has more than 25 years of experience providing accounting and auditing with a concentration in employee benefit plans. In 2012, she joined Jackson Thornton Asset Management as an investment advisor to consult with retirement plan clients.

She is a Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXIX member and volunteers as a Vietnamese interpreter for the Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery county public school systems. Brown is a CPA and has earned the CEBS (Certified Employee Benefit Specialist), RPA (Retirement Plans Associate) and GBA (Group Benefits Associate) designations through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. She has also earned the PPC™ (Professional Plan Consultant) designation, having specialized knowledge of retirement plan compliance requirements, common plan services and plan administration. She also holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA), the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA) and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.

Brown received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University Montgomery.

Sarah V. Chandler is a principal in Chattanooga, Tennessee specializing in utility consulting. She joined the firm in 2011 and has provided financial forecasting, cost of service and rate design consulting projects for the firm’s utility clients for more than a decade. Chandler works with water, wastewater, electric and natural gas clients across the Southeast.

She is a member American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Water Environment Federation, Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD), the Tennessee Gas Association and the Alabama Rural Water Association. Chandler serves on the Utility Finance Committee, KY/TN Section of American Water Works Association (AWWA); the Finance, Accounting and Management Controls Committee of AWWA; and Women in Water, KY/TN and AL/MS Sections of AWWA.

Chandler is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in Corporate Finance/Investment Management.

Ashley S. Taylor is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office and has provided litigation support and business valuation services through the firm’s Business Valuation and Litigation Consulting group (BVLC) for almost 15 years. In 2022, she assumed responsibility for Jackson Thornton’s Refunding Verification and Arbitrage Rebate practice. Taylor also serves as Director of Campus Recruiting for the firm.

She holds professional membership in the AIPCA, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and the ASCPA. Taylor is a graduate of the Emerge Montgomery Torchbearers Leadership Class IV and the Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXVII. She served on the inaugural Junior Executive Board for Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center, is a past president of Jackson Thornton Young Professionals, and a past president of Emerge Montgomery. She currently serves on the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Council, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Recruitment Initiative Committee, and the board of directors of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery. Taylor was named as Emerge Montgomery’s 2015 Young Professional of the Year and Auburn University Montgomery’s College of Business 2017 Outstanding Young Alumni.

Taylor received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Auburn University Montgomery.

Jackson Thornton Asset Management Named to CNBC’S Top 100 Financial Advisors List

Jackson Thornton Asset Management (JTAM), a wealth management firm with offices in Montgomery, Dothan, and Opelika, AL, is pleased to announce that it has been named to CNBC’s 2022 Top 100 Financial Advisors list.

From an initial list of more than 39,000 firms considered, JTAM was ranked 88th of the Top 100 firms across the US. “We are honored to be included in CNBC’s Top 100,” said Thomas Bedsole, President of JTAM. “Our purpose every day is help clients reach their financial and retirement goals. Recognition like this serves to increase the confidence of those clients in JTAM and our team.”

The methodology for the 2022 edition of CNBC’s annual FA 100 ranking of registered investment advisors (RIAs) was prepared in partnership with data provider AccuPoint Solutions. A variety of core data points from AccuPoint Solutions’ database of RIAs were analyzed, ranging from the firm’s compliance record and years in business to total accounts and assets under management.

About Jackson Thornton Asset Management
With more than $1.6 billion million in assets under management, JTAM (a subsidiary of Jackson Thornton CPAs & Consultants) has been providing wealth management services to clients throughout the country since 1999. The firm offers wealth management, retirement planning, and consulting services in addition to collaborative tax and estate planning.

Taylor Receives MAFF Credential

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce that Ashley Taylor has successfully completed the rigorous certification process with the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts® (NACVA®) to earn the Master Analyst in Financial Forensics® (MAFF®) credential.

Taylor, a senior manager and Director of Recruiting, has worked in the firm’s Business Valuation and Litigation Consulting group since 2009. “The Master Analyst in Financial Forensics credential is designed to provide assurance to the business and legal communities – the primary users of financial forensic consulting services – that the designee possesses a level of experience and knowledge deemed acceptable by the Association to provide competent and professional financial litigation support services,” stated NACVA’s Chief Executive Officer, Parnell Black, MBA, CPA, CVA. “The designation is an indication to the professional community that Taylor has met the Association’s rigorous standards of professionalism, expertise, objectivity, and integrity in the financial litigation consulting disciplines.”

Taylor received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Auburn University Montgomery. She is a graduate of the Emerge Montgomery Torchbearers Leadership Class IV and the Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXVII. She served on the inaugural Junior Executive Board for Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center, is a past president of Jackson Thornton Young Professionals, and a past president of Emerge Montgomery. She currently serves on the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Council, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Recruitment Initiative Committee, and board of directors of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery. Taylor was named as Emerge Montgomery’s 2015 Young Professional of the Year and Auburn University Montgomery’s College of Business 2017 Outstanding Young Alumni.

Jackson Thornton’s CIO Davis Honored

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce that its Chief Information Officer (CIO), Brian C. Davis, has received the 2022 Bridging the Gap Outstanding Technology Leadership Award.

The award, presented by Boomer Consulting, Inc., honors individuals within the accounting profession who excel in aligning technology and firm management. Boomer Consulting provides consulting services to hundreds of the highest performing CPA firms throughout the nation.

In his role as CIO, Davis oversees all information systems and functions within the firm including management of the internal IT team. He has been with the firm since 2003 and holds numerous certifications including Microsoft MCSA and VMware Certified Professional. Davis is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery with a BA in Management Information Systems. He serves on the Boomer Technology Circle Advisory Board and serves as a deacon at Landmark Church of Christ.

Jackson Thornton Announces New Team Members

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce the addition of Justin K. Clark and Susan S. Barnes to the firm.

Justin Clark is a principal in the firm’s Auburn/Opelika office and joins Jackson Thornton Asset Management (JTAM) as a financial advisor. Prior to joining JTAM, Clark was a partner in an Auburn-based real estate development company providing consulting services to a variety of clients, ranging from commercial single tenant properties to multi-family properties. Clark also has a CPA firm background where he provided accounting and assurance, transaction advisory, and consulting services to a wide range of industries including real estate and construction, financial services, and manufacturing.

Clark is a Leadership Montgomery graduate and former treasurer, served as treasurer of Bridge Builders of Alabama, was active in the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, and served as a board member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA). He holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Troy University. Clark also holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the ASCPA.

Susan Barnes is a Senior Manager in the firm’s Montgomery office and provides Outsourced Controller/CFO services to clients. She has a CPA firm background and consulted with clients to develop processes and procedures to better utilize their current accounting software. Barnes also assisted clients in the implementation of new accounting software systems. Prior to that, she served as Chief Financial Officer of Anchor Mortgage for 18 years and helped develop their accounting systems and compensation programs when the company was founded in 1988.

Barnes is a graduate of Auburn University. She holds professional membership in the AICPA and ASCPA. Barnes is a member of Christchurch Anglican where she serves on the finance committee.

“We’re excited to welcome Justin and Susan to the team,” said John Fendley, Jackson Thornton’s President & CEO. “Their depth of experience and backgrounds working for a large CPA firm position them to be valuable resources for the firm and our clients.”

Jackson Thornton Names New Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce that Allison H. Guice and Daniel K. Tew have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Allison H. Guice is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office and has more than 15 years of experience providing business valuation and tax consulting/estate planning services to clients throughout the Southeast. In 2019, Guice joined Jackson Thornton Asset Management.

She currently serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (ASCPA), the Montgomery Estate Planning Council, Alabama Christian Academy, and Aid to Inmate Mothers. Guice is a past president of the Jackson Thornton Young Professionals group, a graduate of Leadership Montgomery Legacy Class XXXIV, and a founding member of the Child Protect Junior Executive Board. Guice was selected as the 2014 AICPA/ASCPA Women to Watch – Emerging Leader. Guice holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the ASCPA, and the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. In addition to being a CPA, she holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) designations.

She is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery where she received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Daniel K. Tew is a principal in the firm’s Dothan office and provided tax and consulting services to owners of small businesses and high net worth individuals for more than 10 years. In 2020, Tew joined Jackson Thornton Asset Management and advises clients on wealth management strategies and planning. In addition to being a CPA, Tew also holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designations.

He holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he is past president of the Dothan chapter. He also currently serves as an associate member of the state board of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) as well as vice chairman of the AGC – Dothan section. Tew is a past chair of the board of the Dothan Area Young Professionals as well as having served as treasurer for the Alfred Saliba Family Services Center and chairman and treasurer of the Geneva County Board of Wiregrass United Way. He is also a former board of trustee member of Wiregrass United Way and a current member of the Dothan Rotary Club. Tew is a graduate of the 2016 class of Leadership Dothan and was recently selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Commercial Construction by the Alabama AGC and Business Alabama.

Tew received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his MBA from Troy University.

Jackson Thornton Asset Management Named to CNBC’S Top 100 Financial Advisors List

Jackson Thornton Asset Management (JTAM), a wealth management firm with offices in Montgomery and Dothan, AL, is pleased to announce that it has been named to CNBC’s 2021 Top 100 Financial Advisors list.

From an initial list of more than 38,000 firms considered, JTAM was ranked 79th of the Top 100 firms across the US. “We are honored to be included in CNBC’s Top 100,” said Thomas Bedsole, President of JTAM. “Our purpose every day is help clients reach their financial and retirement goals. Recognition like this serves to increase the confidence of those clients in JTAM and our team.”

The methodology for the 2021 edition of CNBC’s annual FA 100 ranking of registered investment advisors (RIAs) was prepared in partnership with data provider AccuPoint Solutions. A variety of core data points from AccuPoint Solutions’ database of RIAs were analyzed, ranging from the firm’s compliance record and years in business to total accounts and assets under management.

Jackson Thornton’s Alexander Named Chair of CPA Firm Management Association

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce that Alan Alexander has been named Chair of the CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA).

Alexander, who serves as Jackson Thornton’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), was recently installed as Chair at the CPAFMA’s annual meeting. Founded in 1984, the Association was created to enable accounting firm managers to communicate with one another as well as serve as one representative voice of the profession. Alexander came to Jackson Thornton from RSM US where he was a Strategic Project Director/Senior Manager. He had served as the COO for Sellers, Richardson, Holman & West prior to their acquisition by RSM US. Alexander is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama Birmingham and holds a Master of Accounting with a tax concentration. In addition to the CPAFMA, he maintains professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

“I am humbled and honored to become the Chair of the CPAFMA Board, said Alexander. “CPAFMA is an organization I am passionate about and I look forward to working with the board and all of our members to promote the mission and vison of the Association in the accounting industry.”

 

Jackson Thornton Announces Promotions

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce several recent promotions.

Lindsey Goddard was promoted to Senior Manager. Goddard joined the firm in 2017 and specializes in family-owned businesses with interrelated entities. She has also been instrumental in developing tax processes and managing the various software used by Jackson Thornton’s tax line of business. Goddard serves as an ambassador for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and completed RSM’s 2020 Breakthrough Leaders Institute program. She holds her BS and MBA in Accounting from Mississippi College.

Frankie Wilbourne, CPA, was also promoted to Senior Manager. Wilbourne joined the firm in 2015 and specializes in the construction industry for the firm’s tax line of business. He has also been instrumental in developing tax processes and providing technical tax training to the firm. Wilbourne is a member of Auburn Young Professionals and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity. He is currently serving as president of the JT Allies program and vice president of Jackson Thornton Young Professionals (JTYP) and is also participating in RSM’s 2021 Breakthrough Leaders Institute. Wilbourne completed both his BS and Masters in Accounting at Auburn University.

Jackson Thornton also promoted Amy Pugh, CPA to Manager, along with Ryan Shubird, CPA and Lauren Nickerson to Supervisor.

Jackson Thornton Named an Auburn University 2021 Top Tiger

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce it has been named a “Top Tiger” by Auburn University and the Harbert College of Business.

This year, the Top Tiger program honored 58 businesses for exceptional growth, revenue and entrepreneurial spirit. Honorees are among fast-growing companies either founded, led or owned by Auburn alumni. The program is in its seventh year. The compounded annual growth rates for nominees were measured over a three-year period and ranked according to total revenue and operations in a manner consistent with the Auburn Creed. At Jackson Thornton, the Firm’s current President & CEO, all previous Managing Principals and the Firm’s Chief Operating Officer are all graduates of Auburn University in addition to 62 principals, professional and support staff.

“It was an honor just to be nominated as a 2021 Top Tiger and we were delighted to be named to the Large Revenue Companies list of winners,” said John Fendley, President & CEO, Jackson Thornton. “There is a lot of love and respect not only for Auburn University but for the Harbert College of Business within our firm. We’re certainly appreciative of this honor – War Eagle!”

 

Jackson Thornton Named to Forbes Best Tax & Accounting Firms List

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce that, for the second year, we were named as one of America’s Best Tax & Accounting Firms by Forbes.

Only 278 firms nationwide were selected and only ten in Alabama. Jackson Thornton was selected as being a top recommendation in both the tax and accounting areas. Forbes and market research company Statista partnered to create the list, which considered thousands of survey responses from CPAs, enrolled agents, tax lawyers, accountants, CFOs, and other clients.

Click here for the complete list, published by Forbes on December 3, 2020.

 

 

Jackson Thornton Names New Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Tuan P. Blank and Richard B. Compton have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Tuan P. Blank is a principal in the firm’s Franklin, TN office. Blank, a Certified Public Accountant since 2005, specializes in audit and accounting services for clients in the utilities industry. She is a graduate of the University of West Florida, where she obtained both her undergraduate and Master of Accountancy degrees. Blank holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves as treasurer of the East Williamson Athletic Association.

Richard B. Compton is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery, AL office. Compton, a Certified Public Accountant since 1998, specializes in audit, accounting and consulting services for clients in the utilities industry. He also oversees cost consulting and regulatory compliance for the firm’s telecommunications clients. Compton earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his MBA from Auburn University Montgomery. He holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Society of Depreciation Professionals. Compton is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery, serves as a board member and Team Captain for the Greater Montgomery YMCA’s Hitchcock Committee, and is current treasurer of the Associate Committee of The Telecommunications Association of the Southeast (TELSE).

Jackson Thornton Names New President & CEO

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce the election of John S. Fendley as the firm’s President & CEO, effective January 1, 2021. Fendley will succeed Ned F. Sheffield, who has held the position since 2009.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed leading the firm these last 12 years,” said Sheffield. There have been great days and some challenging days and it has been my privilege to lead our firm through both. John will do a great job and I’m excited about where he will take Jackson Thornton.”

Fendley has more than 30 years of experience providing accounting and tax services to both individuals and business clients. He has lead the firm’s Prattville office since 1997. Fendley is a member of the Prattville Kiwanis Club, the Prattville Chamber of Commerce and is an alumnus of Leadership Autauga County. One of his passions is youth sports programs, having served on local YMCA boards for over 15 years and coached more than 100 youth soccer, basketball and baseball teams. Fendley is a graduate of Auburn University and holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

“Jackson Thornton celebrated 100 years in 2019 and I look forward to leading the firm into our second century,” Fendley remarked. “I’m honored that my partners have selected me for this role. The firm’s legacy in the communities we serve is strong and I intend to honor that legacy in all we do.”

Jackson Thornton Announces Promotions

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, is pleased to announce several recent promotions across Alabama.

Kelly McGhee, CPA was promoted to Senior Manager. McGhee has served as the firm’s Controller since 2017. Prior to rejoining the firm, she had been with Jackson Thornton for 10 years previously as an auditor in the audit and accounting line of business. McGhee has served as treasurer of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and secretary/treasurer of the Alabama Dance Theatre. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Family Guidance Center. McGhee received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University Montgomery.

Jake Studdard, CPA was promoted to Senior Manager. Studdard, who started with the firm in 2013, helps lead Jackson Thornton’s automobile dealership industry niche in the tax line of business. He is a member of the Wetumpka Lions Club and serves on the board of directors of the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the DealerCPA network. Studdard obtained his undergraduate degree from Auburn University Montgomery.

Austin Gaines, CPA was also promoted to Senior Manager. Gaines joined the firm in 2014 and specializes in tax planning and consulting for closely-held small businesses. He is a past president of Emerge Montgomery and served as president of Jackson Thornton Young Professionals (JTYP). Gaines serves on the Montgomery Mayoral Young Professional Council, is vice chair of the YMCA Boys Work Committee, is on the Junior Executive Board for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and on the board of ClefWorks. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Jimmy Hitchcock Committee and serves as a Finance Committee member for the River Region United Way. Gaines holds an undergraduate degree in accounting from Auburn University.

Jackson Thornton also promoted Logan Remson, CPA; Candace Lawton, CPA; Frankie Wilbourne, CPA; and Mark Cooley, CPA to Manager.

JT Donates 250 Meals to Healthcare Professionals

Jackson Thornton was proud to be a part of a recent community effort to donate meals to healthcare professionals throughout the River Region. The firm was able to provide 250 meals to staff at Prattville Baptist Hospital and Baptist Hospital South.

“Right now, those in healthcare are the front line in the fight against COVID-19. We’re so grateful to them for their hard work and sacrifice. This was a small way for JT to show our appreciation,” said Cindy Scott, Chief Marketing Officer. “It was truly our pleasure to help.”

The meals project was started by Mary Causey, wife of Jackson Thornton Asset Management advisor Adam Causey, and has provided more than 5,000 meals to healthcare professionals since early April.

Updated Info: Jackson Thornton Offices

To Our Clients and Friends:

As we noted in our communication to you on Friday, March 13, our biggest priority during this uncertain time is the health and well-being of our team and their families as well as that of our clients and their families. And our goal, as always, is to work to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of client service as well as provide you with uninterrupted service.

Given our ability to work remotely, we have made the decision to temporarily close our six physical offices and transition to a remote work arrangement for our employees. During this period, we will be available to you via phone and email. Please feel free to reach out to any of our principals or senior managers through their contact information listed on our website. Should you need to provide documents to us, we will make sure you can do so through our secure Client Portal.

We will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and provide you with updates. Many thanks for your patience and understanding during this very challenging time.

Sincerely,

Ned

Ned Sheffield, CPA, CGMA
President & Managing Principal

COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan

To Our Clients and Friends:

With the continued spread of COVID-19 in the US, I wanted to reach out to you. Please know that we are monitoring the outbreak of the virus closely in all of our geographies across Alabama and Tennessee.

About Jackson Thornton’s Business Continuity Plan
Jackson Thornton has had a business continuity plan in place for many years; we review it annually and make adjustments as needed. We have certainly reviewed it in light of this evolving situation and wanted to share some key points with you.
We have a culture of flexibility and technology that allows for remote work. Our lines of business (tax, audit, and consulting) have been given guidance for remote work in the event that we have any office closures. We have also been communicating regularly with our team about hygiene practices that will help limit the spread of illness-carrying germs and increasing our efforts to sanitize each office. And we’ve made it clear that anyone who is not feeling well may work from home. Our goal, as always, is to work to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of client service as well as provide you with uninterrupted service.

We have encouraged our team members to be in close contact with you to discuss any scheduled on-site visits (either at your location or ours). Our biggest priority during this challenging time is the health and well-being of our team and their families as well as that of our clients and their families.

About Your Business Continuity Plan
We realize that, like us, your priority is protecting your employees and handling potential business disruptions. We are here to help you talk through short term solutions – whether they be financing cash-flow disruptions or inventory/supply chain issues. In addition, please click here* for a recent article written by a labor attorney that is aimed at business clients and questions around top COVID-19 issues. Finally, here is a link to updated COVID-19 information from the US Department of Labor: Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus.

Overcoming this public health crisis depends on each one of us showing a debt of responsibility to one another. Using common sense and precautionary measures will go a long way towards keeping workplaces as healthy as possible.

For more than 100 years, Jackson Thornton has been deeply committed to helping our clients and our people Set the Bar Higher in good times and in challenging times like these. We will continue to keep you updated on any developments that we feel will impact you or your business.

Take good care,

Ned

Ned Sheffield, CPA, CGMA
President & Managing Principal

* Article written by Margaret Loveman of Butler Snow for Business Alabama magazine, March 11, 2020

Jackson Thornton Named to Forbes Top Accounting Firms List

Jackson Thornton is pleased to announce it was recently named as one of America’s Top Recommended Tax & Accounting Firms by Forbes Magazine.

Only 227 firms nationwide were selected and only seven in Alabama. Jackson Thornton was selected as being a top recommendation in both the tax and accounting areas.

Forbes and market research company Statista partnered to create the list, which considered 1,800 survey responses from CPAs, enrolled agents, tax lawyers, accountants, and CFOs. The firms that received the most recommendations were included on the list.

Cook, Sheffield & Thornton Named Newest Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Christine Cook, William Sheffield, and Eden Thornton have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Christine Cook is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office. Cook, a Certified Public Accountant since 1993, specializes in taxation of exempt organizations in addition to tax compliance and consulting services for closely held businesses and individuals. She is a graduate of Birmingham Southern College, where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Accounting. Cook holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the board of directors of the River Region United Way as the chair of the audit committee and is the treasurer for Mary Ellen’s Hearth. Cook is also a member of the Montgomery Estate Planning Council, the Alabama Council of Association Executives and the Junior League of Montgomery.

William Sheffield is a principal in the firm’s Opelika office. Sheffield, a Certified Public Accountant since 2006, specializes in tax planning and consulting for individuals and closely held businesses. He earned his undergraduate and Master of Accountancy degrees from Auburn University. Sheffield holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is the current president of the Montgomery Auburn Club and has served on the junior executive board of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the YMCA Boys Work Committee.

Eden Thornton is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office. Thornton, a Certified Public Accountant since 1993, specializes in tax planning and consulting services for closely held businesses and individuals. In addition, she leads the Montgomery office’s Client Accounting practice. Thornton is a graduate of Troy University and earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration/Accounting. She holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. Thornton is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery Class XXXV and is a member of the Prattville Rotary Club. She also serves on the boards of the Family Sunshine Center and the Mercy House.

JT Honored with Frank Plummer Award

Jackson Thornton was honored by the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts (MABCA) with the Frank Plummer Memorial Arts Award. This award recognizes consistent excellence by a business in support of the arts community. It’s named after one of the founders of the MABCA, which was established more than 40 years ago by Plummer, Red Blount, and Bobby Weil, Sr.

The firm considers this honor one of the highest we can receive and we thank everyone at JT who has volunteered their time and resources to work with arts organizations throughout our history.

Jackson Thornton Announces Promotions

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, is pleased to announce several recent promotions across Alabama.

Erica Bailey, CPA, CFE to Senior Manager. Bailey, who joined the firm in 2012, specializes in audit and assurance work in the utilities industry. She is a member of the Montgomery Chapter Advisory Council for the Alabama Society of CPAs (ASCPA) and the Junior League of Montgomery. Bailey is also a graduate of Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers program and the ASCPA’s Leadership Academy. She received her undergraduate degree and her MBA from Troy University.

Jay Newsome, CPA to Senior Manager. Newsome joined the firm in 2017 and specializes in the financial institution audit and assurance work. He is a member of the Dothan Area Young Professionals, has served as Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of the Southeast Chapter of the ASCPA, and is a graduate of the Alabama Bankers Association Banking School. Newsome received his undergraduate degree and his MBA from Troy University.

Jackson Thornton also promoted Michael Bird, CPA; Austin Gaines, CPA; Lindsey Goddard, Enrolled Agent; and Jake Studdard, CPA to Manager.

Tew and Newsome Honored

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm headquartered in Montgomery, AL, is pleased to announce two recent recognitions of team members based in the firm’s Dothan office.

Daniel Tew, a Senior Manager and CPA, was selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Commercial Construction by the Alabama Associated General Contractors (AGC) and Business Alabama Magazine for demonstrating a high level of leadership, professional excellence and commitment to the construction industry.

Jay Newsome, a Manager and CPA, recently graduated from the Alabama Banking School, a two-year program. Sponsored by the Alabama Bankers Association, the school is administered by a 26-member faculty comprised of bankers and industry professionals. During the final session, students form teams and participate in a bank simulation program called BankExec. Newsome’s team won first place in the simulation.

“We’re proud of both Daniel and Jay,” said, Ned Sheffield, President and Managing Principal of Jackson Thornton. It’s very gratifying when two of our rising stars are recognized by the industries in which they specialize.”

Jackson Thornton Celebrates 100 Years with 100 Acts of Service + New Branding

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is celebrating two big milestones in 2019: its 100th birthday and the roll-out of a new corporate brand identity and tagline across all its entities.

Jackson Thornton was founded in 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, which remains the location of the firm’s corporate headquarters. Through the years, the firm has expanded into seven offices in three states: Alabama, Tennessee and Kansas. In honor of its centennial, Jackson Thornton’s staff will celebrate with a special year of giving back in each of the communities it serves.

“As we begin our second century, we wanted a way to show our appreciation to the communities who have been so welcoming of us,” said Ned Sheffield, President and Managing Principal of Jackson Thornton. “We thought what better way to say thank you than to donate our time, talents and gifts to worthy organizations across our service areas.” Jackson Thornton’s 200+ person team kicked off its “100 Years | 100 Acts of Service” by packing more than 34,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. The firm is evaluating additional large-scale opportunities in its service areas with many smaller service projects already completed.

Also in honor of its 100th birthday, the firm introduced new branding, a new corporate website, and an ad campaign focused on generations of client stories. The firm’s new tagline, “Set the bar higher,” is a call for both employees and clients to raise their expectations of Jackson Thornton even higher in the coming century. “As we turn 100, we wanted our brand to even better reflect our passion for client service,” commented Sheffield. “We continue to evolve and improve to help clients achieve their goals; we wanted our brand identity to evolve as well.”

Jackson Thornton Names COO

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that the firm has hired Alan Alexander as its Chief Operating Officer.

Alexander comes to Jackson Thornton from RSM US where he was a Strategic Project Director/Senior Manager. He had served as the Chief Operating Officer for Sellers, Richardson, Holman & West prior to their acquisition by RSM US. Alexander is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama Birmingham and holds a Master of Accounting with a tax concentration. He maintains professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. Alexander is also a national board member of the CPA Firm Management Association.

“We’re excited to have someone with Alan’s experience and vision join the firm,” said Ned Sheffield, Jackson Thornton President and Managing Principal. “As we continue to grow, Alan’s perspective will be valuable in positioning us to operate even more efficiently and effectively.”

Will Jones and Pat Cooper Named as Principals

Jackson Thornton, a certified public accounting and consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Will Jones and Pat Cooper have been selected as the firm’s newest principals.

Will Jones is a principal in the firm’s Opelika office and has been with Jackson Thornton for 11 years. Jones, a Certified Public Accountant, specializes in tax planning and consulting for individuals and closely-held businesses. He is a graduate of Auburn University where he obtained his undergraduate and Master of Accountancy degrees. Jones holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants and is active in the Auburn Young Professionals program.

Pat Cooper is a principal in the firm’s Montgomery office, where he has worked for 20 years. Cooper, a Certified Public Accountant, specializes in tax compliance and tax consulting services for utility clients across the US. He is a graduate of Auburn University where he obtained his undergraduate and Master of Accountancy degrees. Cooper holds professional membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants and is affiliated with numerous utility-specific associations. He also serves on the Board of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives – Electric Coop Chapter.