PJCo in the News

Peisner Johnson & Company to Participate in Sleeter Regional Workshop

Andrew Johnson, CPA, will join Doug Sleeter for a roundtable panel discussion
PLANO – The Sleeter Group and Bill.com will host Deep Dive into Bill.com with featured speaker and panel discussion moderator Doug Sleeter.

The session is for accounting professionals who want to learn how to set up Bill.com for their clients and make the most of this fantastic resource. Bill.com works with QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, Intacct, NetSuite, Sage 50, and Xero. There will be free internet and an electrical power strip at each table, so attendees can bring laptops or tablets and get started right away.

You will learn:

  • Basic features
  • Setting up an initial client console
  • Fundamentals of Accounts Payable with Bill.com software
  • How to sync your Bill.com account with the most popular accounting software
  • A/P workflow structure with Bill.com

The round table discussion with these live practitioners will teach you how they have successfully integrated Bill.com into their firm along with other cloud-based applications that are relevant to their business niche.

  • Doug Sleeter – Moderator
  • Libby King – Libby King & Associates, LLC
  • Stephen King – Growthforce
  • Andy Johnson – Peisner Johnson & Co

Mr. Johnson is a regular presenter of state and local taxation topics. He’s been invited to speak to international accounting organizations, radio programs, the AICPA, and continuing professional education programs.

Sleeter Regional Workshops are held quarterly in various metro areas. This session will take place on the Intuit campus in Plano, Texas, on Thursday, December 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CST. Two CPE credits are available.

Peisner Johnson & Company to Present at AccountingWEB Live 2013

Expand Your Value to Clients via Sales Tax Advisory Services
Ray Bigley, Vice President Business and Corporate Development, Avalara, and Andrew Johnson, CPA, Cofounder, Peisner Johnson & Company, LLP, are going to take you on tour of the world of sales tax. With state budgets getting tighter and federal legislation pending, sales tax has moved to center stage and is a hot topic for firms and their clients. Learn how one firm has turned the practice of solving state and local tax issues into a profitable service!

The session takes place December 6, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Don’t miss AccountingWEB Live 2013! The groundbreaking virtual conference that gives you the experience of attending a major national conference without having to travel or leave your office. The 12-hour event takes place December 6, 2013, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Register: www.accountingweb.com/live2013

There is no cost to attend. A minimal fee of $20 per session is required if you would like CPE credit.

Peisner Johnson & Company to Address CPA2BIZ User Conference

Partner will present Emerging Area: Expanding Your Value via State and Local Taxation Advisory Services.

Plano, TX, November 19, 2013 –(PR.com)– In conjunction with Avalara, Peisner Johnson & Company partner Andrew Johnson, CPA, will present at the annual Digital CPA conference on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The conference is designed to educate CPA firms about rapid changes occurring in the profession and the role of a “Digital CPA” to encourage a mindset that embraces technology and innovation in all aspects of firm operations. Mr. Johnson’s presentation is a part of the conference’s practice development learning track, and will focus on expanding services CPAs can offer clients to build their practices and protect clients while providing increased value.

“Since 1992, PJCo has focused our practice exclusively on state and local taxation services. In our experience, states are becoming increasingly more aggressive in tax assessments, which means clients will eventually have questions about state taxes. We work with other CPA firms to help them answer those questions confidently and continue to be a valuable resource to their clients,” said Mr. Johnson. “We know that CPAs who attend the Digital CPA Conference are at the forefront of leveraging technology to deliver best-in-class client services, and we’re excited to participate and educate.”

Ray Bigley, Vice President, Business and Corporate Development of Avalara, said, “There were $225.5 billion in online sales in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And according to estimates from the National Conference of State Legislators, states lost out on a combined $23 billion in uncollected sales tax revenue. With state budgets getting tighter and federal legislation being discussed in Washington, D.C., the formerly boring and mundane issue of sales tax collection and remittance has moved front and center and is a hot topic for firms and their clients.” Mr. Bigley continued: “This session will cover not only the general background and problems, but also review the plethora of technology tools that are being used to meet this emerging challenge.”

CPAs attend the conference “To become a genuine trusted business advisor and to deliver the highest level of client service,” said Erik Asgeirsson, CEO & President of CPA2Biz. “This is what our Digital CPA Conference is all about.”

Mr. Johnson is a regular presenter of state and local taxation topics. He’s been invited to speak to international accounting organizations, radio programs, the AICPA, and continuing professional education programs.

About Avalara: Avalara makes sales tax compliance simple and automatic for thousands of customers every day. Its SaaS-based, sales tax and compliance automation software solutions span the compliance spectrum; each year these solutions process billions of financial transactions, manage millions of exemption certificates, file hundreds of thousands of sales tax returns, and remit billions of tax dollars to states nationwide. Recognized as one of America’s fastest growing technology companies, Avalara is integrated with leading ERP and E-commerce software systems that serve millions of small to medium sized businesses. Founded in 2004 and privately-held, Avalara’s venture capital investors include Battery Ventures, Sageview Capital and other institutional and individual investors. Avalara employs more than 500 people at its headquarters on Bainbridge Island, WA and in offices across the U.S. and in Pune, India. More information at: www.avalara.com

About Peisner Johnson & Company: Peisner Johnson & Company is a CPA firm with a clear mission: Solve clients’ state tax problems. Because we focus exclusively on state and local taxes, we have developed a deep understanding of state tax issues. Our staff includes former state tax auditors and tax professionals from across the country, and our clients benefit from our extensive knowledge and experience and our client-first mentality. We have consulted with thousands of companies of all sizes, doing business in countless industries across the United States and Canada. More information at: www.PeisnerJohnson.com.

BKR International Worldwide Bulletin

Volume 35, No. 5 September/October 2013

View the bulletin

Andy Johnson, a principal with Peisner Johnson & Company (a SALT-only practice located in Dallas), presented a webinar on July 29 on the Texas Franchise Tax Audit Hot Spots, that qualified for one hour of CPE. Andy will be back again on October 28 with another webinar on combined nexus, including what creates sales tax and income tax [nexus], and the differences between the two. All members involved with SALT issues are invited!

Marriott Magazine, Summer 2013

Class of 1988

Andrew Johnson, CPA, state and local tax consultant, BYU class of 1988

View article on Marriott Magazine’s archive site

Andrew Johnson’s career is a perfect mix of taxes and beef—just how he dreamed it would be. After graduating with his MAcc in 1988, Johnson went to work for Arthur Andersen. A few years later he and a colleague formed Peisner Johnson & Company, a firm that has become a leader in state and local tax compliance. Johnson was recently recognized by CPA Practice Advisor magazine as a top expert in state and local taxes.

When he’s not at the office, Johnson and his family live on and operate the 700-acre Johnson Ranch, selling products online at steakburger.com. Their family farm houses up to 150 head of cattle, is a profitable business, and provides learning opportunities for the entire family.

Johnson and his wife, Diane, have eight children and live in Milford, Texas. Johnson is very involved in the community, working with the Boy Scouts of America and serving as president of the local high school booster club.

CPA Practice Advisor, February 2013

All My Nexus Live in Texas



View article on CPA Practice Advisor’s site

Few professionals know state and local taxes (SALT) as well as Andrew Johnson. Not the 17th President of the United States, of course, but the Texas CPA who specializes in helping business clients stay compliant with state and local taxes throughout the country. Did I mention that he’s also a rancher?

Andrew and fellow CPA Jerry Peisner founded Dallas-based Peisner Johnson & Company, LLP (www.PeisnerJohnson.com) in 1992. Both had worked in the SALT subpractice at Arthur Anderson, which Jerry led. What some may see as uncommon, the firm doesn’t offer individual or business income tax preparation, planning, write-up, financial audits or other traditional accounting services. Instead, they focus exclusively on sales and use tax issues for businesses of all sizes.

Although others at Arthur Anderson at the time considered state and local tax somewhat of a step backward in terms of their careers, Andrew says that he and Jerry saw a broad need for the specialty, especially as more and more businesses were facing multi-state taxation issues.

The rapid development of e-commerce a few years later further added to the number of businesses who have to deal with increasingly complex and varying tax laws, as well as determining where they have a sales, use or property tax obligation, or nexus.

“Nexus can be an unknown factor for many business owners and managers, and state and local laws are rigorous enough that failing to comply with those laws can easily bankrupt a business,” he said. “Businesses often have nexus in more places than they think, and the biggest tragedy is when they later face an audit for failing to collect and remit the taxes they should have collected from customers. That’s money that the customers probably would have willingly paid, but now the business owner may be faced with it coming out of their own pockets, with additional penalties.”

Businesses and their management can also face more severe penalties. As Andrew wrote in a recent blog post, as states look to collect failing revenue, more and more of them are cracking down with criminal penalties. One Florida restaurant owner even faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the felonies he has been charged with.

That’s why the firm’s core offerings include getting companies registered where they’re required to do so, helping them set up a system to collect the necessary sales taxes, and providing sales tax return compliance. The practice also represents clients during audits.

The firm started with a pretty big first client, doing sales tax work for Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc, before it was acquired by later parent companies. Since then , the practice has grown to serve hundreds of business clients, and has a staff of nearly 25. This makes Peisner Johnshon the largest CPA practice that limits their client services to state and local taxes. They process thousands of returns every month and have clients in a broad range of industries, including contracting, healthcare, manufacturing, property management, entertainment, transportation and others.

Over the past 20 years, both of the firm’s partners have recognized the integral role that technology plays in both the success of their practice, and in that of their clients. As a result, the firm scored a 375 on CPA Practice Advisor’s Productivity Survey (www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/productivity). The survey is a free online tool that helps professional tax and accounting firms measure how effective their workflow practices and technologies are, and benchmark them to similar practices.

Andrew notes that another issue that often affects even small businesses is that they often don’t understand what they have to pay taxes on and collect on. As an example, he cited a former client who was a pool contractor and had failed to pay taxes on many of the supplies their service sold to its customers. Service-based businesses also frequently fall into trouble when they don’t realize that some jurisdictions tax those services similarly to a product transaction.

Since his practice doesn’t compete on tax and accounting work, one of Andrew’s growing specialties is consulting to other accounting firms to help them further develop their knowledge of the issues. They also partner with firms to provide SALT compliance and state audit defense for their clients, and Andrew speaks at numerous conferences and webinars.

He says he always knew that he wanted to run his own business. “I never would have guessed it would be this, because I didn’t know about it. Still, it’s what I love, and 10 yrs from now I know I’ll still be providing services to other businesses. I may not know exactly what those services will be right now, but I’ll figure out what clients need and I’ll provide it.”

Originally from Somerville, New Jersey, Andrew’s interest in business and accounting started when he met a consultant who helped a friend reduce taxes on their farm. He decided then, that some day he’d live on a farm and be a tax consultant. So, when he attended BYU, he made accounting his major and followed it up with a Masters in Tax.

“I remember thinking that helping businesses legally reduce their taxes was interesting and I could see myself doing it. Unfortunately, colleges don’t really spend time teaching sales and local tax, mostly only federal. So, it really is an area that you learn once you are in practice.”

Most of the staff are hired during or shortly after college, such as Jason Parr, who is now a principal after being with the firm for 18 years. The firm may be a family tradition in the making. Recent hires include Jerry Peisner’s son; Dan, and Andrew’s oldest son will also be joining the practice after graduation next May.

A CPA with a Side of Beef

After college, Andrew and his wife Diane moved to the Dallas area to start their family. Twenty-something years later, and with eight children aged 10 to 26 years old and two grandchildren, their family has been just as successful as his career in accounting.

“Not one to just watch the grass,” Andrew and his family run the Johnson Ranch (www.SteakBurger.com). The 700 acre commercial cattle ranch in Milford, Texas, has had as many as 150 head (they currently have 35) of grass-fed Black Angus-Hereford mix.

The ranch, which was also licensed as a dairy for awhile, is very much a business venture – not a “hobby”. Andrew says, however, that it’s also valuable from an educational perspective. “Ranching is a lifestyle and it keeps the whole family busy, from building fences and learning about business, and the facts of life are very evident.” The family is also involved with their church, the Boy Scouts and the local school district’s booster club.

It’s pretty clear that between managing the firm and the ranch, and with a large family, that Andrew and Diane have their hands full. They wouldn’t want it any other way.

RadioFree QuickBooks, October 17, 2013

Avalara Tax Segment

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