New York Alcoholic Beverage Laws Changed in October: What Do Changes Mean to You?

New York Alcoholic Beverage Laws Changed in October: What Do Changes Mean to You?

Earlier this year, we reported on Governor Hochul’s Commission to Study Reform of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC Law) in an attempt to modernize the state’s liquor laws (some of which purportedly date back to the end of the Prohibition Era in 1933). In May of this year, the commission released a 192-page report containing proposed changes, but the state’s legislative session ended without any updates. That changed in mid-October when Governor Hochul signed a handful of bills.

On October 14, Governor Hochul amended six pieces of legislation that took effect immediately, including:

  • Legislation S.2854/A.7305 Expands Hours of Operation for Liquor and Wine Stores on Sundays Up until the change, liquor stores were limited to open at 12 p.m. Starting October 16th, sales are allowed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., leveling the playing field with bars and restaurants. (This is one of the 18 changes recommended by Governor Hochul’s Commission in May.)
  • Legislation S.5731/A.6941 Allows for the Retail Sale of Beer on Sundays Now, beer, mead, braggot, and cider may be sold any day of the week, including Sunday. (Previously, sales for off-premises consumption were not allowed between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Sundays.)
  • Legislation S.6443/A.6135 Lengthens the Duration of a Brewer’s License Previously, brewers were required to renew their license once a year. Now, that law has been updated to require renewal once every three years, reducing administrative burdens on brewers, while promoting equity between brewers and other alcohol producers that were only required to renew once every three years.
  • Legislation S.3364A/A.2902 Authorizes the Use of a Pressurized Mixing and Dispensing System So businesses can prepare and keep drinks that contain alcohol in pressurized dispensing machines.
  • Legislation S.3567A/A.6050A Permits the Sale or Promotional Gifting of Certain Complementary Products for Wine and Spirits As a result, retail stores can sell complementary gift and promotional items related to wine and spirit sales.
  • Legislation S.6993A/A.7688 Relates to Licensing Restrictions for On-Premises Alcohol Consumption for Manufacturers and Wholesalers of Alcoholic Beverages at Specific Locations This expands the list of premises exempt from laws restricting manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers from having a shared interest in a liquor license.

(It is important to note that some counties may have stricter rules. It is always in your best interest to consult legal counsel with questions.)

In the press release announcing the legislative changes, Governor Hochul said, “Across New York, breweries, distilleries, and other alcoholic beverage businesses are creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity. I’m proud to sign this legislation that will modernize the laws governing the sales of alcoholic beverages in New York.”

We hope your business benefits from these changes and that there will be more to come. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please remember RBT CPAs is here to help with your accounting, tax, audit, or business advisory needs. Interested in learning more? Give us a call today.


RBT CPAs is proud to say 100% of its work is prepared in America. Our company does not offshore work, so you always know who is handling your confidential financial data.

What’s Driving the Meteoric Growth of Non-Alcoholic Craft Brews?

What’s Driving the Meteoric Growth of Non-Alcoholic Craft Brews?

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than reaching for an ice-cold brew. With growing frequency, the craft brew people reach for is missing one key ingredient – ethanol a.k.a. alcohol. The non-alcoholic craft brew market has been growing at warp speed, even as beer sales decline. What is propelling this expansion and what comes next? Let’s take a look.

Non-alcoholic brews have been around for decades but never picked up much steam. There were stigmas attached, identifying its drinkers as those with or recovering from alcohol issues. Perhaps a bigger problem was the fact that they just didn’t taste good. Over the last five years, however, evolving societal norms and craft brewers have changed all of that.

Now, the “sober curious” have embarked on finding great-tasting adult beverages without the alcohol. They want the social side that comes with imbibing, minus the hangover (and potential legal risks).

Younger generations – Millennials and GEN Zers – have turned values on their head with things like not living to work but instead working to live. They also don’t readily associate drinking with being cool.

Those who make fitness and health cornerstones of their lives appear to feel better about imbibing without the buzz, even touting non-alcoholic brews’ potential restorative health powers. Some assert it’s the same as or better than sports drinks following a workout, with research pointing to benefits like less inflammation, improved immunity, and good hydration. (Reynolds, Gretchen. “Why non-alcoholic beer beats regular beer after exercise.” January 25, 2023. The Washington Post.) For fitness enthusiasts, there are other perks such as no hangover, fewer calories, natural ingredients, and, with growing frequency, great taste.

A paper published in the National Library of Medicine last year, entitled: “Features of Non-Alcoholic Beer on Cardiovascular Biomarkers. Can It Be a Substitute for Conventional Beer?” reviews several studies showing the potential benefits of drinking non-alcoholic brews, including decreased cardiovascular risks and mortality; positive antioxidant effects; additional benefits over water for those with non-alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver; and ischemic heart disease benefits. It does point out that current knowledge is limited, but simultaneously opens the door to continued exploration of the link between health and non-alcoholic brews. (Sancen, Marco; Leniz, Asier; Macarulla, Maria Teresa; Milton-Laskibar, Inaki; Portillo, Maria; and Estruch, Ramon. December 30, 2022)

Just as craft brewing created its own market and following, inviting fans to enjoy a myriad of recipes, processes, and tastes, the non-alcoholic craft brew market appears to be on the same track. In addition to breweries and retail stores, there are a growing number of non-alcoholic bars and restaurants featuring non-alcoholic menu selections. Recently, the first major U.S. airline signed on to offer non-alcoholic brews.

Actual financial performance shows this market has serious uphill momentum. The Brewers Association’s publication, The New Brewer’s January-February issue reports: “Craft non-alcohol beer was scarcely a category five years ago. Now it’s a hot commodity, propelling the once-moribund NA beer segment to grow 31.7%.”

CNBC reports, “With more consumers choosing non-alcoholic beers in a move towards healthier drinking alternatives and safer drinking habits, the global non-alcoholic beer market has grown to $22 billion in 2022, according to GMI Insights, which projects that could reach $40 billion by 2032. According to Nielsen, non-alcoholic beer grew 20% in the U.S. in retail dollars in the past year.”

Beverage Industry’s 2023 State of the Beverage Industry says, “Although a smaller segment in the overall U.S. beer category, non-alcohol beer increased 22.8% for the 52 weeks ending May 21 in total U.S. multi-outlets for a total of $308.7 million. Case sales also increased double digits with an 11.6% increase.” While inflationary pressures are expected to slow growth in the coming years, the market still has plenty of opportunity ahead. (Jacobsen, Jessica. “2023 State of the Beverage Industry.” July 6, 2023.

No doubt, we are still in the early chapters of this market’s story. Whether you’re considering the role your business will play in non-alcoholic brews or the impact it will have on your story, please know RBT CPAs are here to support your accounting, tax, audit, and business advisory needs. To learn more, give us a call today.


RBT CPAs do not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.

Can Your Business Benefit from the Enhanced Alcoholic Beverage Production Credit?

Can Your Business Benefit from the Enhanced Alcoholic Beverage Production Credit?

Along with a new New York State budget for fiscal year 2024 comes an expansion of certain Alcoholic Beverage Production Credits (ABPC), which can be good news for eligible distillers, wineries, and farm-based beverage producers.

Each year, New York State alcohol manufacturers pay an excise tax to the state. This can be offset by filing for an ABPC. Until recently, the credit was the same regardless of whether you manufactured beer, cider, wine, or liquor. It equaled $.14/gallon for each of the first 500,000 gallons plus $.045/gallon for each gallon above 500,000 (up to a maximum of an additional 18 million gallons for beer, cider, or wine and an additional 300,000 gallons of liquor).

For most beers and ciders, the credit equaled the excise tax. For wine and liquor, however, the credit was lower than the excise tax.

Effective immediately for tax years on or after January 1, 2023, under New York Tax Law Section 37, if the following is produced in New York, the ABPC equals:

  • Beer: $.14/gallon (no change).
  • Certain cider products: $.14/gallon (no change). Applies to cider, artificially carbonated sparkling cider, and natural sparkling cider containing more than 3.2% alcohol.
  • Certain wine products: $.30/gallon. Applies to still wine, artificially carbonated sparking wine, and natural sparking wine.
  • Certain liquors containing 2% to 24% alcohol: $2.54/gallon.
  • Certain liquors containing less than 2% alcohol: No credit.
  • All other liquors: $6.44/gallon.

You will still need to pay the excise tax and then file for the ABPC to receive what equates to a rebate. Corporations need to file Form CT-636; all others need to file Form IT-636.

Your business is eligible for the ABPC if you are a registered distributor under Article 18 of the Tax Law and during the tax year produced 60 million or fewer gallons of beer or cider; 20 million or fewer gallons of wine; and 800,000 or fewer gallons of liquor. Certain recordkeeping requirements apply. For details, visit the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance website.

If you have any questions about how the ABPC change may impact your accounting and taxes, please give us a call. We’re RBT CPAs, a leading accounting firm in the Hudson Valley and beyond for over 50 years, and we believe we succeed when we help you succeed. Let’s start today!

How ASC 842 May Affect Your Decision to Lease or Buy

How ASC 842 May Affect Your Decision to Lease or Buy

With ASC 842 in full effect, your lease versus buy decisions have become more complicated and they will impact your balance sheet, income statement, financial reporting, and more.

Senior VP of Lease Management Strategy at Visual Lease (a lease accounting software company) Joe Fitzgerald summarizes the situation this way, “For the first time ever, public and private companies, as well as government entities, are required to disclose asset and liability details for anything they pay for the right to use—including real estate, equipment, fleet and land leases—on the balance sheet under the new lease accounting standards.”

He continues, “This is easier said than done as leases are complex agreements that change all the time, and they’re managed by siloed stakeholders, processes, and systems. Not to mention, lease transactions can have hundreds of permutations and calculations to capture in reports and throughout the year in order for a company to successfully achieve and sustain lease accounting compliance.” (Pelovitz, Rachel E. Lease Accounting Readiness: A Report. November 7, 2022. Construction Executive.)

Joe also notes that failing to meet and maintain lease accounting compliance can compromise the accuracy of financial reporting and result in higher audit fees, not to mention a damaged reputation., a finance and accounting application developer, summarizes key accounting impacts this way:

  • “Both leasing and purchasing recognize an asset and liability.
  • A lease will be recognized under the ROU asset and lease liability accounts, while purchasing is recognized under the fixed asset and note payable accounts.
  • The asset and liability for an operating lease would typically be smaller because the lease term would not be for a significant portion of the asset’s useful life
  • Otherwise, it would be classified as a financing lease.”

In addition, “On the income statement, an operating lease will be classified as an operating expense. This means that EBITDA and net income will be impacted. If a company were to buy an asset, the expense would be allocated to interest and depreciation expenses. These expenses are below the EBITDA line, which means that they only have an impact on net income. Because many companies are valued on multiples of EBITDA, it becomes a very important decision whether to lease or buy assets because it would have a direct impact on your valuation (sometimes a 15x swing, for better or worse).”  (Triton, Lee. Deciding to Lease or Buy an Asset: Financial Statement Implications. September 14, 2022.

When it comes specifically to fleets, workplace, and asset management software company Accruent reports,” What makes lease accounting complicated is that within a single master lease agreement for a fleet, individual items, and assets are constantly moving in and out of the lease. Previously, the financial accounting system did not have to be concerned with that, as the assets remained off the balance sheet.”It goes on to give example: a trucking manufacturer signs a 10-year master lease agreement for 50 tractors, which are ordered, delivered, and put into service. A change in business strategy 10 months later drives the need for 40 additional box trailers added to the lease, plus 10 cars for salespeople and executives.

“These bulk transactions, each with different lives (tractors 10 years, box trailers 7 years, and automobiles 5 years) need to be accounted for at the asset level. This is particularly important and challenging when one-off changes occur. Properly making those individual changes is an operational challenge. On top of that, those changes now impact the needs and functionality of the accounting software. Lease accounting now needs to occur not just on the macro level, but on the micro, or individual asset level, as well.” (Hammerslag, Mike. How Fleets Are Addressed Under the New Lease Accounting Rules.

That’s a lot to take in, but RBT CPAs is here to help. Our client advisory services team can help you understand the financial pros and cons of making a lease versus buy decision, while our accounting, tax, and audit professionals can help with financial calculations and reporting required under ASC 842. To learn more, give us a call today.

Should Predictive Maintenance Be Part of Your 2023 Strategy?

Should Predictive Maintenance Be Part of Your 2023 Strategy?

As you work on your strategic plans for 2023, is predictive maintenance on your radar? If not, perhaps it should be.

Entering another year of economic uncertainty, business leaders are coming together to define their overall strategy and goals to maximize potential and results in the next year, the next five years, and over the long-haul. At the same time, they have a keen eye on spending and investments – what’s worth it and what can wait.

While equipment and machine maintenance may seem too tactical for an overall business plan, it does fall under a few key strategies that are shaping the future of manufacturing and setting the stage to distinguish between those operations that will survive versus thrive – namely, digitalization and operational excellence – both of which are at the heart of predictive maintenance.

According to BusinessNewsDaily, “Predictive maintenance is the practice of monitoring equipment via sensors, software and data feedback to prioritize equipment for proactive maintenance. It takes preventive maintenance one step further by streamlining the process of identifying which equipment (or even which components) is showing signs of needing attention.”

To put it another way, you use technology and data to more accurately learn when equipment or machinery isn’t performing up to par and needs to be fixed or replaced – before it causes issues or, even worse, a shutdown. It sounds like current preventive maintenance strategies. The difference? With predictive maintenance, you know something is not performing on par and needs to be addressed. With preventive maintenance, you’re investing time, resources, and money in something that may or may not be needed.

Predictive maintenance uses Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors to collect data – like vibrations, temperature, and lubrication — from equipment.

The data is fed to a central place where algorithms are used to help machines learn to identify if maintenance is needed or a breakdown is coming. That way, maintenance work can be prioritized and resources dispatched where and when they can make the biggest impact.

According to, “Research shows that the average manufacturer deals with 800 hours of downtime per year – or more than 15 hours per week – and the costs can be outrageous. Just for perspective, consider that the average automotive manufacturer loses $22,000 per minute of downtime. While your costs likely don’t come anywhere close to this, even losing a few hundred dollars per hour can have a significant impact on your bottom line.” 

There’s a lot of potential to use maintenance for a strategic and competitive advantage. notes, “81 percent of manufacturers are aware of the potential for machine learning to enhance maintenance, but only 17 percent have implemented programs to put those principles into action.”

The impact is far-reaching. It can help increase productivity, increase the longevity of machines and equipment, and decrease shutdowns and resulting impacts on customer relations. Still, it’s hard to justify investing in a new approach to maintenance given current economic uncertainties; on the other hand, can you afford not to?

Look at your current maintenance, supply chain (for equipment and parts), and talent challenges and costs.

Are they increasing? Will designating more money solve the issues at hand or is there a more balanced way to manage these issues in the short-term while setting the stage for a more successful long term?

For example, we know the global talent shortage is not going away. In fact, it’s only going to get worse. As reported in, “Korn Ferry estimates the global human talent shortage will reach 85 million people by 2030. Private organizations and governments will be challenged like never before to help find ways to accelerate their development processes and build expanded talent acquisition capabilities.”

While increasing pay rates, enhancing benefits packages, and investing in retention can help, they still don’t address the long-term issue.

There are not going to be enough people to do all the work required. The solution? Change how work gets done through digital solutions, like predictive maintenance.

Although we can’t tell you which predictive maintenance solutions to use – we’re accountants, tax experts, and auditors, we can help you understand the financial benefits, opportunities, and impact of investing in predictive maintenance as part of your organization’s digitalization strategy in 2023 and beyond. Interested? Contact RBT CPAs today.

Comments on NY’s Aggregate Hauling Prevailing Wage Proposed Rule Being Accepted Now

Comments on NY’s Aggregate Hauling Prevailing Wage Proposed Rule Being Accepted Now

While different industry groups have had mixed reaction to the Inflation Reduction Act’s prevailing wage provisions, on September 14 the New York State Department of Labor issued a proposed rule for prevailing wage for aggregate hauling. Public comments are being accepted until 60 days from the notice’s publication.

First, some background. As stated on the NYS Department of Labor website, “Under New York State Labor Law, contractors and subcontractors must pay the prevailing rate of wage and supplements (fringe benefits) to all workers under a public work contract. Employers must pay the prevailing wage rate set for the locality where the work is performed. Prevailing wage is the pay rate set by law for work on public work projects. This applies to all laborers, workers or mechanics employed under a public work contract.” (You can find the schedule of prevailing wages from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 here.)

On December 31, 2021, Section 220(3-a) of the Labor Law was enacted regarding prevailing wage for aggregate hauling. As noted in the September 14, 2022 NYS Register Rule Making Activities, “The Governor’s Approval Memorandum to Senate Bill 255-B stated: ‘I have reached an agreement with the Legislature to clarify that prevailing wage will be paid only at the worksite itself and for travel between the worksite and a designated central stockpile where aggregate supply construction materials are delivered. Prevailing wage will not apply to out of jurisdiction deliveries of aggregate supply materials to the designated central stockpile.’”

A subsequent amendment to Section 220(3-a)(f) introduced new terms – including “worksites,” “aggregate supply of construction materials” and “central stockpile – leaving questions about the law’s application.

The proposed rule sets out to define these terms as follows: “(a) Worksite means the area in which the improvements associated with a specific project, as defined in the construction contract, and any surrounding areas supporting that specific project. (b) Central stockpile means a location of centrally stockpiled materials solely dedicated for use on a public work project that is not part of a worksite but intended to support the worksite. (c) Aggregate supply construction materials” means sand, gravel, stone, crushed stone, dirt, soil, millings, and fill.”

The proposed application is as follows: “For the purposes of Section 220 of the Labor Law: (a) Prevailing wage shall be paid for work performed at a worksite involving the delivery of aggregate supply construction materials to such worksite. (b) Prevailing wage shall be paid for work performed involving the hauling of aggregate supply construction materials from a worksite to a central stockpile, as well as any return hauls, empty or loaded, time spent loading or unloading at a worksite, and time spent loading or unloading at a central stockpile related to hauls from or to a worksite. (c) Prevailing wage shall be paid for work performed within a 50-mile radius of a worksite involving the delivery of aggregate supply construction materials from a vendor of aggregate supply construction materials, such as a plant or quarry, to a worksite, except prevailing wage shall not be paid to direct employees of a supplier of aggregate supply construction materials, when making a single delivery in a given day.”

To obtain text of the proposed rule, as well as required statements and analysis, or to comment on the rule, write to Jill Archambault, Department of Labor, Building 12, State Office Campus, Room 509, Albany, NY, (518) 485-2191 or email:

While RBT CPAs is not an expert in labor law – you’ll have to consult your legal counsel for that – we do know accounting, audits, bookkeeping, and taxes. If you need some extra time to stay up to speed on all the laws and changes governing wages, you can depend on RBT CPAs to handle your accounting and related needs with the highest levels of professionalism and ethics. We’re proud to have served businesses and municipalities in the Hudson Valley and beyond for over 50 years. To learn what we can do for you, give us a call.

Recession-Proof Your Company, Just In Case

Recession-Proof Your Company, Just In Case

Will there be a recession? Are we already in one? How will construction be impacted? While the debates rage on, it’s prudent to prepare your business, just in case.

Starting with some basics, Investopedia says, “A recession is a significant, widespread, and prolonged downturn in economic activity.” While construction is not typically a recession-proof industry, there are steps construction companies can take now to strengthen their ability to withstand economic uncertainties.

Construction Dive’s recent article “What a Recession Would Look Like for Construction” (Obando, Sebastian. August 16, 2022) says preserving cash, building backlog, and going after Federal contracts is a winning game plan according to a few sources.  In addition, we’ve identified seven tips repeatedly mentioned by a variety of sources to help construction companies prepare for and ride out a recession. Here they are:

  1. Stick to what you know, what you do really well, and what’s profitable, and then focus on that.
  2. Keep a close watch on your business’ finances and have a financial plan. Focus on managing projects to promote profitability and do what you can to ensure contracts protect your interests. Know your costs and look for opportunities to reduce expenses. Hold off on large purchases. Preserve cash (see our prior post on “Tips to Help You Manage Cash Flow During Volatile Times.”) Build emergency funds to help cover expenses for at least three to six months. Pay down debt while you have the money so you can also build credit worthiness should you need to tap into additional resources in the future. Also, be smart about financing and loans – make sure you know what’s available through the Small Business Administration, the state, and the Federal government.
  3. Do not rely on backlog. Have a strategy for consistently drumming up new business over the next six to 18 months and focus on a long sales cycle.
  4. Keep your best workers. While downsizing is a typical reaction to a recession, the construction industry is in a unique situation because of the labor shortage plaguing the industry. If possible, hold onto your best employees – and even look for new ones – to adequately staff jobs and be in a better position after the downturn.
  5. Look for Federally funded and local municipalities’ projects – there are plenty of them (including new opportunities from the Inflation Reduction Act) and they can serve as a lifeline.
  6. Stay close to customers. Build and maintain open communication and strong relationships. By keeping the conversation going and seeing what you can do to support your customers, you build positive relations and garner information to help you strategize.
  7. Do some scenario planning. Gather your top people around a table to speculate about what may happen. Then, proactively develop a plan for how you’ll respond, so you can act quickly.

And perhaps we’re a bit biased but one other thing you can do is partner with RBT CPAs for all of your accounting, tax, and audit needs. For over 50 years, we’ve worked with businesses across the Hudson Valley and beyond to deliver professional, quality, and ethical services that deliver peace of mind. That way, our clients can focus on what they do best. To learn more, give us a call.

Four Ways to Address the Labor Shortage

Four Ways to Address the Labor Shortage

Isn’t it ironic? Just when prospects for record-setting spending in construction lay on the horizon thanks to the infrastructure law, you’re likely short on workers due to a labor shortage that is hitting the construction industry harder than most. What can you do?

While construction has been facing labor shortages for decades, the number of construction workers ages 25-54 decreased 8% in the last ten years alone. With an average retirement age of 61 and nearly 20% of current construction workers over age 55, the gap between the number of jobs and workers available is likely to widen.

According to a model created by the Associated Builders and Contractors, this year the construction industry will need to attract almost 650,000 new workers – that’s in addition to regular hiring demands.  Shortages are reported to cause project delays, quality issues, worker safety concerns, productivity decreases, and higher payrolls. Even though spending on construction is currently sluggish, the talent shortage remains the industry’s top challenge.

As reported by McKinsey & Company, construction companies must proactively address the labor challenge on three fronts: productivity; talent attraction and retention; and senior leadership engagement.


Focus on new ways to approach project planning and delivery, with an eye towards reducing labor required by rethinking project design and reinventing how work gets done.

  • Off-site and modular construction offers numerous benefits.
  • Digital technologies and analytics can help identify the best way to work and keep projects moving.
  • Adopting lean construction practices can shrink waste while driving sustainable improvements.

Talent Attraction and Retention

Every step in the talent attraction, acquisition, and retention process presents opportunities to improve.

  • Know where to find talent, with targeted job sites like;; and
  • Accelerate recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding by reducing timelines, cutting out extra steps, and automating with technology (the longer the process takes, the more likely you’ll be ghosted – a.k.a. blown off – especially by the younger generation).
  • Strengthen retention by finding out what your employees want beyond competitive pay – there’s growing interest in autonomy, flexibility, support, and upward mobility. Focus groups and surveys can help you gain insights into what matters most.
  • Build a talent pipeline with programs that support and promote skill development. Build relationships with high schools, trade schools, and colleges to create pathways to careers. Mentoring and apprenticeships are growing in popularity.
  • Consider non-traditional talent pools like veterans or formerly incarcerated individuals or returnships for people looking to return to the workforce after retiring. Diversify with more women and under-represented groups.

Senior Leadership Engagement

Protecting income and profits is a senior leader priority so getting them involved in supporting talent acquisition and retention shouldn’t be hard because of the direct link between the two.

  • Invite a senior leader to sponsor talent acquisition and retention as a strategic priority.
  • Work with leaders to establish Key Performance Indices (KPIs) to track and measure progress specifically related to talent and addressing labor costs across the value chaing.
  • Work with leaders to create a culture employees want to be part of and contribute to.
  • Invite leaders to celebrate and recognize talent.

What About the Fourth Way?

That’s only three ways – the title says four. We know, we’re accountants. We’re taking liberty to add the fourth category: technology. While it’s inherent in the first three, it bears having its own discussion, because beyond solutions that can help drive productivity, streamline recruiting and retention, and track KPIs, there’s big perception value around having state-of-the-art technology.

Up-and-coming workers don’t know a world without it. They understand how to use it better than anyone else to streamline communications, processes, intelligence gathering and sharing, project management, and more. If you want to show new workforce entrants that your company is a place where they can leverage higher skillsets and continually develop knowledge, the latest in technology is like food, water, and air to them – they can’t live without it.


While focusing on your staffing challenges, why not partner with RBT CPAs to handle all of your accounting and tax challenges? We’re the largest CPA firm in the Hudson Valley and recognized as a Great Place to Work. You can trust that we’ll do everything right the first time, so you can focus on other priorities – like labor. Find out what we can do for you — give us a call.

Measuring Success

Measuring Success

After decades of working with leaders across many industries, one best practice that stands out from all others in driving business success: setting, monitoring and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs).

A KPI measures activity that is critical to successfully compete in the marketplace. A company may have its own KPIs and require business functions, departments, and individual employees to set KPIs as well. This way, all efforts are aligned to drive common goals.

A company may have three or four KPIs; the same holds true for departments and employees. In addition to evaluating critical activity, a KPI must:

  • Be realistic – a KPI to eliminate downtime is not realistic. An effective KPI would be “to reduce downtime by 5% through scheduled maintenance days.”
  • Be specific to meet goals: “delivered on time” is not specific. A better KPI is “to complete delivery within three days of receiving the customer’s order.”
  • Be quantifiable, such as tracking the rate of returned product.
  • Highlight areas where increased efficiency/decrease in use of resources can be achieved.
  • Illustrate the progress toward attaining a goal by presenting data in a chart or graph.

Implementing and tracking KPIs provides management with reliable data to streamline decision-making, encourages teamwork by promoting inter-departmental cooperation, and offers clarity for workers in terms of performance expectations. (As an added bonus, they can also help identify seasonal trends.)

Setting a KPI is just the start – the real value comes from regularly checking in to see if progress is being made and having a clear course of action once the results of the KPI are known.

So, lets say a company has a goal to provide superior customer service through quick delivery. Here’s what a related KPI and measurement may look like:

KPI: Lead time (the length of time it takes from the beginning of the manufacturing process to the time the final product is delivered to the customer).

How it will be measured: Tracking the customer waiting time, which is the length of time between when a customer places an order and the customer receives the product.

Target: To reduce lead time by 2 percent.

Implementing KPIs can increase the entire organization’s efficiency and production capability. An added benefit, KPIs can generate a positive attitude among team members by letting individuals know how they contribute to a company’s overall success. Setting, monitoring and measuring KPIs regularly can reenergize your team and ensure all departments are synchronized in their daily, monthly, and quarterly objectives.

Get Ready to Bond: Prepare Financial Statements for the Building Boom

Get Ready to Bond: Prepare Financial Statements for the Building Boom

While waiting for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) projects to get underway, it’s a good time to consider whether your construction company can and should get bonded for upcoming projects and, if so, to get your financial statements in order.

The construction industry is facing one of the most challenging and exciting eras in its history. It’s challenging as a result of supply chain issues, material shortages, increased cost of materials, project delays, and the tight labor market. It’s exciting because of the coming building boom thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). (Even firms not interested in IIJA jobs will no doubt benefit from the sheer volume of jobs competing for limited construction resources.)

Construction companies interested in bidding for federal and state projects (per the Miller Act/Little Miller Act of NY) – and even a growing number of private jobs – should be getting their financial statements ready to secure the bonds that can help them be eligible to apply for and win new work.

Construction bonds are issued per project and protect the project owners from financial losses (whereas insurance protects the construction company). Typically, the cost of securing the bond is passed on from construction companies to project owners, and can add an estimated 1% to 3% to final bills. Although a construction company may feel like this makes it less competitive, bonding actually provides project owners with added peace of mind that work will be completed and comply with federal, state and municipal regulations, while mitigating risks.

What kinds of risks? There are a variety that can impact a job, from companies walking off a project or going out of business to not paying vendors so timing and supplies are delayed, or not having enough funding to complete a project.

When your company applies for a bond from a surety company, that company is going to do rigorous prequalification checks on licenses, past work, current workload, and finances to ensure your company can deliver what it promises and is a good risk. Because of this screening, project owners get an added level of confidence that they have the right contractor for the job. (Not being bonded can be inadvertently construed as a sign of weak finances, an inability to complete jobs, poor performance, and more.)

There are different types of bonds, with two main ones being for performance (delivering what was promised on time and in budget) and payment (ensuring suppliers, laborers and subcontractors get paid). Others include bid, maintenance, public works, site improvement, and more. The premium for a bond is typically 1% to 5% of the total value of the bond, but can be as high as 20% if a construction company has bad credit.

So, what do you need to have in hand to apply for a surety bond? A bonding company will typically look for your annual financial statement for each of the last three years, including balance sheet, income statement, and cash-flow statement. They’re interested in factors like profitability, net worth, cash flow, billing, debt, and more.

If you need help getting your financial documents ready to secure a bond, give RBT CPAs a call. We are a leading accounting and tax firm in the Hudson Valley and have extensive experience supporting businesses in the construction industry. Plus, we like to bond with our clients, and help them grow.