Nov 30

1st Global Honors Purk Advisors as a Diamond Eagle Firm for 2017

Nov. 30, 2017 (St. Louis)  — Purk Advisors, headquartered in Saint Louis, MO, was recognized for its extraordinary achievements throughout the year at the 2017 1st Global National Conference that took place from Nov. 12–14 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

“Diamond Eagle firms set themselves apart from the crowd because of their commitment to excellence, demonstrating what it takes to excel in remarkable fashion,” 1st Global Chairman and CEO Tony Batman said. “They are dedicated to the individuals, families and businesses they serve, and they create a precedent for others to follow through their passion and admirable conduct.”

The Diamond Eagle award is based on business volume across the firm and is given to those firms that have consistently demonstrated 1st Global’s purpose — to enable intentional living — and have cultivated their practices in ways that help their clients seek to live intentionally in their own lives as well.

1st Global is pleased to congratulate Purk Advisors for reaching 1 Diamond Eagle status. We deeply appreciate Purk Advisor’s devotion to serving its clients through comprehensive financial planning advice, and we commend Purk Advisors on its continued progress and accomplishments.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of 1st Global — a monumental accomplishment for any business — and the conference theme, “Celebrating Significance,” highlighted the significant milestones earned by decades of hard work and the significant relationships, friendships and partnerships created in the process.

1st Global enlisted the wisdom of a handful of key speakers to share their experiences and insights on significant trends that drive markets and the significant opportunities created by them. Speakers included Chip Heath, best-selling author and professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business; Ann Compton, legendary ABC News White House correspondent; Megan Greene, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services and Manulife Asset Management; Michelle Singletary, national syndicated personal finance columnist; Jeremy Gutsche, chief executive officer of Trendhunter; and Harley Gordon, president of CLTC.

Additionally, 1st Global President David Knoch provided a look forward into the next 25 years to provide advisors with perspective on how 1st Global will continue to help its affiliated firms thrive and take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead.

 

About 1st Global

1st Global was founded in 1992 by CPAs who believe that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. 1st Global is a research and consulting partner that provides CPA, tax and estate planning firms with the education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management. Around 400 firms have chosen to affiliate with 1st Global, making it one of the largest financial services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions.

The Diamond Eagle award is given to firms based on the criterion of the firm’s production volume across all product lines.

 

Securities are offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., which is a Member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Dr., Ste. 1200 in Dallas, Texas, 214-294-5000. Investment advisory services are offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc. Additional information about 1st Global is available at www.1stGlobal.com.

Nov 29

Purk & Associates Welcomes Brett Rugen, CPA, as New Tax Manager

November 29, 2017 (St. Louis) – Purk & Associates, the award-winning, nationally recognized accounting and management consulting firm, announced today that Brett Rugen, CPA, joined as a new Tax Manager.

In his new role, Rugen will work with a team of professionals supervising them on matters ranging from completing clients’ tax returns, and keeping team members informed of current tax legislation and new tax planning ideas, to business development and working with clients on income tax planning.

“Brett is a wonderful addition to Team Purk. He has a strong work ethic, he is curious, and he is focused on finding solutions for clients. These are the traits that stood out immediately when we first met with him,” said Bill Purk, CPA, Purk & Associates President and Founding Shareholder.

Prior to joining the firm, Rugen worked at Aegion Corporation as a Tax Manager where he prepared various components of quarterly income tax provisions for U.S., entities, and assisted with tax savings strategies and planning of federal, state and local jurisdictions. He also has more than 10 years of tax and accounting experience working for local public accounting firms.

“I’m thrilled to be the newest team member to join Purk & Associates. The firm has an incredible reputation locally and nationally as one of the best places to work in St. Louis and one of the best accounting firms to work for in the country,” said Rugen. “What drew me to the firm is the entrepreneurial culture.”

Rugen earned a Master of Accountancy and Certificate of Taxation, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he graduated cum laude.

Founded in 2009 with headquarters in St. Louis, Purk & Associates, P.C., is a nationally recognized and award winning, independently owned accounting and management advisory firm that delivers a full range of tax, accounting, audit and consulting services. At Purk & Associates, our focus is to help our clients achieve more financial and business success. To learn more, please visit http://purkpc.com.

Nov 27

FYNDUS Launches Money-Saving Smartphone Application in the USA for Black Friday

Fyndus IconNovember 24, 2017 (St. Louis) – FYNDUS, an international geolocation discount and e-Commerce application, introduces the iOS and Android application in the USA, to coincide with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  This app will give the user the ability to find local deals and savings for goods, services, and at restaurants.

The application uses the smartphone’s GPS sensor, to provide the user with local deals, while also providing the opportunity to purchase a wide range of items directly from the app. The FYNDUS app has been extremely successful internationally, with over 200,000 registered users in the United States, Canada,  India, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Dubai; there are buyers from China, Vietnam, and Thailand

“We are very excited to introduce the FYNDUS smartphone application and website to the USA, beginning in St. Louis, Missouri”, says Affan Waheed, Founder and CEO of FYNDUS. “We already have over 200,000 users and 4,000 merchants in Southeast Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Now we are ready to change the way people shop in the United States. There is nothing else like FYNDUS available to smartphone users.”

In addition, Waheed states, “After the initial roll out of the discounts for local products and services in St. Louis, we intend to add eCommerce to the platform. FYNDUS the first-and-only Manufacturer-to-Consumer (M2C) eCommerce app in the world, and will give users the power to order products directly from the manufacturer, at a significant savings, because it eliminates the middleman.”

FYNDUS combines the best features of Groupon, Wish, Alibaba, and Amazon, while also benefitting the merchant, because advertising on the app is free  FYNDUS receives revenue when a coupon or product is purchased through the app.

The FYNDUS LLC headquarters is located at 15332 Manchester Rd., Suite 203 in Ellisville, Missouri. To learn more about the platform, please visit https://fyndus.com.

Oct 17

Neighborhood Spotlight: Maryland Heights, Missouri

Maryland Heights, Missouri, The Perfect Example of a Suburb Embracing Business

St. Louis County is home to a plethora of suburbs. From Sunset Hills to Florissant, there are over one million residents living in the county. Though many of these St. Louis suburbs are very much like each other, each town features something unique and different. Whether it’s a historic district, an upscale shopping mall, great restaurants, or something outdoors, there’s plenty to do and see in St. Louis County. However, there’s one overlooked municipality in St. Louis County. Home to over 27,000 residents, boasting indoor and outdoor attractions, and featuring the headquarters of a massive multi-national corporation, Maryland Heights, Missouri in West St. Louis County is often overlooked. Though the suburb has embraced business unlike other municipalities, it doesn’t get the credit it deserves.


Suburban Business

Typically, suburbs aren’t the places in which you find massive multi-national corporations. Historically, residents of suburbs commute to larger urban areas or business districts to go to work. This is a trend that continues today. However, Maryland Heights is one exception. Maryland Heights is home to the offices of multiple massive corporations. Additionally, one multi-national tech company even has its headquarters in the city.

World Wide Technology, founded by David Steward, is headquartered in Maryland Heights in Westport Plaza. WWT reported $9.3 billion in revenue in 2016. WWT employs over 550 workers at its Maryland Heights location. Additionally, Edward Jones and Monsanto have offices in Maryland Heights, employing over 2,500 workers combined. These are just three of the dozen or some massive corporations with offices in the Maryland Heights area.

World Wide Technology (Image: WWT.com)

World Wide Technology (Image: WWT.com)

However, as previously noted, business isn’t the only thing that counts when it comes to a city. Food, drink, nightlife, quality of school districts, housing, and culture are just a few other benchmarks we use to gauge a city. Luckily for Maryland Heights, the city does well in all of those categories.

Living in Maryland Heights, MO

Maryland Heights is home to over 27,000 residents. Those 27,000 residents have easy access to multiple major roads and interstates meaning Maryland Heights is within minutes of St. Charles, the Central Corridor, and Downtown St. Louis. Maryland Heights features a wide array of restaurants and bars. Notable restaurants include Sushi Ai, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, and Charlie Gitto’s. If you’re looking for nightlife, visit the Westport Social, Hollywood Casino, or Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Maryland Heights, MO (Image: Google Maps)

Maryland Heights, MO (Image: Google Maps)

The average household income in Maryland Heights is over $55,000 a year. Residents in Maryland Heights have access to both Parkway and Pattonville school districts, both districts are well-known and respected throughout the state of Missouri.

Residents of Maryland Heights are within reach of numerous outdoor attractions including Creve Coeur Park featuring a lake with kayak rentals. Additionally, Maryland Heights features St. Louis’ best ziplining experience at GoApe. A short drive can also get you to Forest Park, home to the St. Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, and St. Louis Zoo.

Both booming business and a fantastic living experience are just part of what markets Maryland Heights such a fantastic suburb in the St. Louis Metro Area.

Oct 09

T.J. Hoeferlin, CPA, Purk & Associates Voted Small Business Monthly’s “2017 Best Accountants”

T.J. Hoeferlin, Director of Assurance for Purk & Associates, P.C.

T.J. Hoeferlin, Director of Assurance for Purk & Associates, P.C., the leading St. Louis-based independently owned accounting and management consulting firm, was selected as one of Small Business Monthly’s “2017 Best Accountants.”

Hoeferlin joined Purk & Associates in 2016. He is responsible for all assurance related services including audits, reviews, compilations, and agreed upon procedures. Hoeferlin oversees and manages areas ranging from engagement management and client service to research and implementation of new accounting and auditing standards.

“We are thrilled to have T.J. as a member of the Purk & Associates team. He leads by example. T.J.’s enthusiasm, client focus and leadership have made a positive impact on our team and for our clients,” said Bill Purk, CPA, Purk & Associates president and founding shareholder.

Prior to joining Purk & Associates, Hoeferlin worked for a subsidiary of Emerson Electric as Global Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis for Emerson Process Management Remote Automation Solutions based in Houston where he was responsible for management over all financial reporting and accounting matters. While at Emerson Electric during his 10-year career, Hoeferlin held management positions in the corporate finance and audit departments. He also worked at a St. Louis-based accounting firm for more than 10 years.

Hoeferlin earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Truman State University located in Kirksville, MO, and received a Master of Business Administration from Washington University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. Hoeferlin is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

To see the list of Small Business Monthly’s “2017 Best Accountants,” please visit the following link, http://www.sbmon.com/Awards/Article/1211/Best-Accountants-2017.

Founded in 2009 with headquarters in St. Louis, Purk & Associates, P.C., is a nationally recognized and award winning, independently owned accounting and management advisory firm that delivers a full range of tax, accounting, audit and consulting services. At Purk & Associates, our focus is to help our clients achieve more financial and business success. To learn more, please visit http://purkpc.com.

Sep 25

Walbrandt Technologies Hires Craig Gulley, Audio and Technology Industry Expert, as Vice President of Sales

Craig Gulley, Vice President of Sales at Walbrandt Technologies

Craig Gulley, Vice President of Sales at Walbrandt Technologies

St. Louis (September 25, 2017) – Walbrandt Technologies, the Midwestern leader for high-end residential and commercial audio, lighting, entertainment and smart technology solutions, announced today that Craig Gulley joined as Vice President of Sales.

Gulley, a nationally known, industry expert for residential and commercial integration and automation technology, brings more than 35 years of experience in sales and manufacturing. As the Vice President of Sales, Gulley will oversee new business development and management of the sales team. He will also be involved with identifying and introducing new products and services.

“We are thrilled to have Craig join Walbrandt Technologies. He brings an incredible amount of experience and expertise to our team, and will help our clients select the best solutions for their homes and offices,” said Aaron Walbrandt, Walbrandt Technologies president and founder.

Prior to joining the Company, Gulley worked at Crestron Electronics holding senior level management positions as Director of Sales for the Midwest, and as a top producing sales representative. He also owned Music for Pleasure, a St. Louis company that provided high-end audio systems.

“My goal at Walbrandt Technologies is to combine my love of truly good, reproduced music, and create an experience with entertainment and automation solutions that allow our clients to enjoy and appreciate the time they spend in their homes with family and friends,” said Gulley.

Founded in 2010, Walbrandt Technologies delivers life enhancing technologies with uncompromising award-winning service. Aaron Walbrandt, company founder and president, and the Walbrandt Technologies team have a single-focus and passion to help residential and commercial clients find solutions for home theater and entertainment, high-end music systems, lighting, shade and drapery, and smart home technology. To learn more, visit http://walbrandt.com.

Sep 19

Thomson Printing, Creative & Graphics Moves to Larger Downtown St. Louis Office

John Meilink, CEO of Thomson Printing, Creative & Graphics

John Meilink, CEO of Thomson Printing, Creative & Graphics

September 19, 2017 (St. Louis, MO) – Thomson Printing, Creative & Graphics (TPC&G), a St. Charles, MO-based, fourth-generation family owned business, announced today that eight employees from its website design and app development teams moved to a larger St. Louis City office located at 449 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO, 63108.

TPC&G had an office in the Cortex Innovation Community since early 2016 where the app development team was located. The Company’s headquarters and printing facility remains in St. Charles, MO, located at 601 Kingshighway.

“We are excited about our new location and expanded presence in the downtown business community,” said John Meilink, TPC&G CEO. “We’ve experienced significant growth the past several years and found that being in the City provided us with a more central location to meet with clients throughout the region.”

TPC&G experienced milestones this year, which include:

  • Named one of Small Business Monthly’s Top 2017 Family Owned Businesses and voted by the publication’s readers as one of “Best in Reliability St. Louis Companies in 2017.”
  • Launched new website with time-saving, efficient and secure features for current and prospective clients.
  • Rolled out “$0 to 60,” which provides business owners a free 60-minute consultation with an experienced web developer who will provide a review, diagnosis and offer solutions for a small business’ current website.

Founded in 1905, Thomson Printing, Creative & Graphics (TPC&G), a St. Charles, Mo.-based, fourth-generation family owned business, is one of the leading Midwestern printing, web design, app development, and digital marketing development firms serving clients nationwide. To learn more, visit TPC&G’s website.

Sep 18

Looking For A Home in St. Louis? Consider These Options

3 St. Louis Home Loan Options for Homebuyers

Are you looking for a home in the St. Louis area?  You’re not alone.  Though Downtown St. Louis and St. Louis City proper has seen shrinking demand and fewer home buyers, neighborhoods just outside of city limits have seen increased demand.  From Kirkwood to St. Charles, the St. Louis area is a hotbed for new home development and housing options on the market.  In West St. Louis County, due to increased demand in properties, housing values have increased significantly and are expected to continue to increase.  Homes in Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Ballwin, and Ladue have increased in value and homes don’t remain on the market for long.  It’s important to act fast when buying a home in hot neighborhoods, however, acting fast is often limited by scarce monetary resources.  Here are three St. Louis home loan options to consider when buying a home.


St. Louis Military Loans

St. Louis Military Loans or VA Loans are available to a wide range of St. Louisans and Missourians who are connected to the US Military.  Unfortunately, as the name would suggest, you must have ties to the US Military.  Civilians who don’t meet the criteria listed later in this post are not eligible for military or VA loans.  To determine eligibility, take a look at the criteria below to see if any of the characteristics fit you or a loved one.

  • Active Duty US Military
  • Active Reservist Us Military
  • US Military Veterans
  • Spouses of Active Duty US Military
  • Spouses of US Military Veterans
  • Spouses of Deceased US Military that haven’t remarried

If you fit one or more of those descriptions, you’re probably eligible for a Military/VA home loan.  That’s fantastic as these loans can be very significant.  However, Military/VA loans are more restricted than conventional home loans.  Here are the following criteria that come with applying for or taking out a Military/VA loan.

  • Primary House Only (as compared to primary, secondary, or investment property)
  • No Down Payment (as compared to a down payment that varies by creditworthiness and bank)
  • Fixed VA/Government fees and monthly premiums (as compared to fees that vary by bank)
  • No Insurance Required (as compared to up to 20% of loan amount)
  • FICO Score of 620 or Higher (similar to FICO requirement of conventional home loan)

St. Louis Military Loans can sometimes, cover the entire cost of a home.  With no down payments, generous loan amounts, generous rates, and low fees, if you’re eligible or believe you could be eligible for a Military/VA loan, apply as soon as possible.  These loans are a great way to honor those who are serving or have served their country.  With a flourishing military community in St. Louis, these loans are sure to be a popular option.

St. Louis USDA Loans

St. Louis USDA Loans are housing loans offered by the US Department of Agriculture.  Again, these loans are restricted to certain applicants and geographical areas.  USDA loans were launched to stimulate rural (and occasionally suburban) growth and home ownership.  These loans encourage younger individuals and middle-income individuals or families to move to developing rural regions of the country.

In the St. Louis region, areas including Troy, MO, parts of Edwardsville, IL, Hillsboro, MO, and Pacific, MO, among others, are eligible for USDA loans.  The USDA has provided a detailed map outlining eligible and ineligible regions.  In addition to the USDA loans being restricted by location, the loan is also income restricted.  Again, income eligibility is determined by the area in which you plan to live and of course, income.  In some areas, the maximum income is $50,000 a year while others, the maximum income can be as much as $75,000 a year.

(Image: USDA)

(Image: USDA)

Again, the USDA loan has more restrictions than a conventional housing loan.  Below are the criteria for a USDA loan and how the loan differs compared to a conventional housing loan.

  • Primary House Only (as compared to primary, secondary, or investment property)
  • No Down Payment (as compared to a down payment that varies by creditworthiness and bank)
  • $100 Fee per $100K Borrowed. monthly premium (as compared to fees that vary by bank)
  • Insurance Required, amount varies but can be financed into loan (as compared to up to 20% of the loan amount)
  • FICO Score of 640 or Higher (similar to FICO requirement of conventional home loan)

St. Louis USDA loans are very generous, however, highly restricted.  If you believe you’re eligible for a USDA home loan, you should apply, however, there will be fees to access and submit the USDA home loan application.

St. Louis Conventional Home Loans

St. Louis conventional home loans are offered by a variety of financial institutions.  The amount of money accessible to an individual varies with income, assets, and creditworthiness.  If you’ve spent your young adult life building a credit score and have sufficient income, conventional home loans will probably be accessible.  Interest rates and fees will, of course, vary by financial institution and one’s creditworthiness.

If you’re considering a conventional home loan, it’s smart to consult a mortgage broker and explore as many financial institutions as possible.

Sep 13

ACT Season Is Here in St. Louis

Get Ready Parents, It’s ACT Season

It’s that time of the year again.  High schoolers are back in class and that means homework, tests, exams, and papers.  For many, the academic year also means the return of college entrance exams.  Across the United States, high schoolers everywhere will be taking the ACT or SAT.  In some cases, students will take both tests.  In St. Louis and throughout Missouri, the ACT is the preferred test which means students are rushing around during these next few months to prepare for the test and get ahead of their peers.  The importance of the ACT test cannot be stressed enough.  If a student suffers from a low GPA or underwhelming high school resume, high ACT scores can play a major role in college acceptance.  Even if a student has a 4.0 and was the president of the student body, competitive colleges will look closely at a student’s test scores.  Given the importance of the ACT test, ACT prep and ACT tutors are not just recommended, they’ve become almost essential to success.  Here’s a breakdown of all things ACT.


All You Need to Know About the ACT Test

The ACT test was first offered in 1959 and aimed at becoming a competitor of the popular SAT test.  For much of the ACT test’s existence, the test played second fiddle to the more popular and widely accepted SAT test.  However, in recent years, the ACT has grown in popularity surpassing the SAT in the number of test takers in 2011.  Today, the ACT closely resembles the SAT featuring a Math, Science, Reading, English, and optional Writing section.  The test is scored from 1 to 36 with 36 being the best possible score.

A 36 is what all students strive for but few achieve this score.  Students are allowed to take the test up to 12 times and can choose to take the test once per academic year or up to six times in a year.  The test is typically administered on Saturdays usually at large high schools, community colleges, and local community centers.  This year, 2017-2018, tests are offered on the following dates: September 9th, October 28th, December 9th, February 10th, April 14th, June 9th, and July 14th.  The September test has come and gone, however, the rest of the dates are still open for registration.  Here’s how to ensure a student can score as close to a 36 as they possibly can.

(Image: ACT)

(Image: ACT)

ACT Test Prep in St. Louis, What to Do?

With a strong base of private high schools and great school districts, the ACT test scene in St. Louis is competitive.  Having a lot of ACT test takers, all of whom want to do well, is both a pro and con.  The downside of this means there are a large amount of well educated high school graduates with solid ACT scores applying to colleges.  The upside to the popularity of the ACT test in St. Louis means there’s no shortage of test prep resources.

Group Study

The first and often least expensive ACT prep resource is a study group.  Study groups can be as casual or as formal as the student or parent would like.  Formal study groups will often be facilitated by a teacher, a local college student, or tutor.  Formal study groups can also be a great way to obtain ACT test resources.  Casual study groups might be beneficial, however, teenagers aren’t the best moderators when placed in groups of their peers.

ACT Classes and Courses

Private high schools in the St. Louis Area do a fantastic job of offering ACT test prep classes that are usually offered to any high school student.  These courses can cost upwards of $200 or even $300 but are usually taught by experienced instructors.  These classes also allow students to obtain a wide array of ACT test prep materials and resources.  Some public schools might offer ACT classes as well though, will likely feature a larger more packed classroom with fewer resources.

The ACT Test Prep Book (Image: ACT)

The ACT Test Prep Book (Image: ACT)

ACT Tutors

The best and most rewarding option is to hire a St. Louis ACT tutor.  One-on-one tutoring facilitated by professional tutors, often formal teachers or professors gives a student uninterrupted and unparalleled access to ACT test prep resources.  Students who at first, take the ACT test without a tutor and then later consult a tutor for later test dates, see the largest jump in scores.  Unfortunately, the best option is also the most expensive option.

Learn more about the ACT Test here.

Sep 07

Purk & Associates Selected as one of Small Business Monthly’s “2017 Future 50” Recipients

September 6, 2017 (St. Louis) – Purk & Associates, P.C., the leading St. Louis-based independently owned accounting and management consulting firm, was selected as one of Small Business Monthly’s “2017 Future 50” companies, an award to recognize the privately held companies that are key economic indicators of regional business growth.

“This is an honor to be recognized as one of the Future 50 award recipients. We understand the small business community of St. Louis because most of our clients are small business owners. The local entrepreneurial community is growing and thriving, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Bill Purk, CPA, Purk & Associates president and founding co-shareholder.

Since its founding in June 2009, Purk & Associates has achieved significant financial growth, attracted and retained leading talent, and has been recognized by business groups and industry organizations for company awards and recognition of individual employees.

Purk & Associates has doubled the number of full-time positions since 2009 to more than 25 professionals with less than a 10 percent turnover of talent. The firm’s team members collectively have contributed hundreds of hours of accounting and other professional services to a variety of non-profits throughout the St. Louis region.

Within the past five years, the firm has been recognized by the business community and accounting industry as one of the country’s leading accounting firms. Purk & Associates has been named to the prestigious Inc. Magazine’s 500 | 5000 list in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and has been voted one of the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For in the Country” by Accounting Today from 2014-2017. 

For more information about Small Business Monthly’s “Future 50” 2017 recipients, please click here.

Founded in 2009 with headquarters in St. Louis, Purk & Associates, P.C., is a nationally recognized and award winning, independently owned accounting and management advisory firm that delivers a full range of tax, accounting, audit and consulting services. At Purk & Associates, our focus is to help our clients achieve more financial and business success. To learn more, please visit http://purkpc.com.