Services

Our partners are always involved in the services performed through direct supervision, performance and/or coordination of the services. This commitment and attention to detail ensures quality service is always achieved and allows for our clients to maintain a high degree of peace of mind.

Our associates receive extensive and rigorous training and are proficient in knowing the importance of proper internal controls, appropriate segregation of duties, detailed policies and procedures, prudent lending practices, compliance with regulations and enterprise-wide risk assessments and evaluations.

PAAST offers services to the following industries:

  • Automotive
  • Financial Institutions
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Media
  • Professional Services
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Sports & Entertainment
  • Technology
  • Wholesale

Services

We have extensive experience serving closely-held and private companies and we are familiar with the challenges they encounter. Some of the services we provide include:

  • Bookkeeping and controllership functions on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis
  • Business management and consulting
  • Income tax planning, as well as preparation of all types of business and personal tax returns.
  • Information technology support
  • Preparation of financial statements including compilations, with and without disclosures and reviews on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis
  • Bookkeeping and controllership functions on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis

Assurance services are the cornerstone of the practice of public accounting and one of the most important services provided by PAAST. As licensed CPA’s we are uniquely qualified to provide assurance services. This is an attest function, the only service requiring practitioners to be Certified Public Accountants. Our CPAs have extensive experience in providing auditing services to our clients in various industries. Types of Assurance Services:

  • Compliance Audits
  • Financial Statement Audits
  • Internal Audits
  • Report on Evaluation of Internal Control
  • SSAE16/ISAS3402 Control Testing Audits
  • Special Reports
  • Agreed Upon Procedures Reports
  • Data Validation Report
  • Due Diligence Reports

PAAST’s experienced audit professionals are committed to maintaining professional standards and quality in all audit services. We work closely with our clients to maximize our understanding of their systems and operations. During the audit process, we strive to:

PAAST can accomplish this because our audit services are carefully planned, well organized and completed on a timely basis.

  • Communicate continuously by remaining accessible and responsive to our clients throughout the engagement.
  • Develop our staff by providing them the support and training they need to generate value to our clients and their professional development.
  • Exceed your expectations by assessing risk properly and planning appropriately.
  • Maximize our efficiency by delivering our audit services on time.
  • Obtain an in-depth understanding of all aspects of our client’s business.
  • Recommend changes to better safeguard assets, improve internal controls and deter and identify potential fraud.
  • Utilize the latest technology and auditing techniques to streamline the audit process.
  • Communicate continuously by remaining accessible and responsive to our clients throughout the engagement.
  • Develop our staff by providing them the support and training they need to generate value to our clients and their professional development.

Using state-of-the-art computerized auditing and consulting techniques, PAAST provides the highest quality of professional services. We focus on key risk areas to provide management, vendors and lenders with reasonable assurance that financial statements are free from material misstatements. As a result, we are vigilant in our efforts to stay abreast of regulatory developments through continuing education, and we maintain memberships in the Private Companies Practice sections of the AICPA. This ensures that we maintain the highest ethical and professional standards by requiring our firm to be subject to peer reviews every three years. We are very proud of the fact that we have always had unqualified peer reviews since the inception of our firm.

Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Services

Bank Secrecy Act and Anti–Money Laundering (BSA/AML) and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) compliance are Federal requirements for Financial Institutions as defined by the Bank Secrecy Act, which includes among others: Banks, Thrifts, Credit Unions, Broker Dealers, Investment Bankers, Auto Dealerships, Pawn Brokers, etc. PAAST provides services to help our clients comply with their responsibilities and to detect and deter money laundering through development of an effective BSA/AML monitoring program that meets the Federal requirements including the four essential pillars; having a comprehensive risk assessment, developing and implementing an effective system of internal controls and compliance program, providing adequate training and independent testing of the BSA/AML compliance program. We have experience in providing BSA/AML services in the following areas:

Risk Assessment

We assist Financial Institutions in conducting an analysis and categorization of customers, correspondents, transactions, lines of business, products, and business locations to assess areas of vulnerability and potential BSA/AML program weaknesses to identify the best uses of financial, human, and technical resources. We assist our clients in developing detailed comprehensive enterprise wide risk assessments.

Monitoring

We assist Financial Institutions in clearly establishing and documenting the true identity of their customers and correspondents, including beneficial owners. Our expertise in Know Your Customer regulations is important when assisting our clients with customer information profiles and documenting the source of a customer’s current wealth and future deposit sources. We assist our clients in developing processes and trend analysis to monitor the anticipated activity in a customer or correspondent account. Financial Institutions must be able to monitor and detect unusual and suspicious activity. Financial Institutions may implement commercially available software, leverage existing monitoring and detection systems, or develop internal systems to comply with these requirements. The BSA/AML programs must result in an efficient and effective compliance infrastructure that is commensurate with the size and risk levels of the Financial Institution.

Compliance Infrastructure

Financial Institutions must evaluate their current BSA/AML compliance infrastructure and ensure the structure adequately addresses their needs, which inevitably may change over time. The compliance infrastructure should be commensurate with the results of the enterprise wide risk assessment.

Training

The Bank Secrecy Act requires effective training programs that address USA PATRIOT Act requirements, provide realistic case studies and scenarios, and are relevant to the roles and responsibilities of the audience. Our training can be quickly customized to your specific needs and address the entities regulated under the USA PATRIOT Act.

Our staff of professionals includes auditors, tax practitioners and other professionals with years of knowledge and experience in different industries. With our knowledge and experience we are able to provide in-depth high quality solutions and alternatives to numerous financial problems/issues and management problems/issues. We have been able to effectively resolve problems/issues and in many cases have created opportunities for our clients. Our goal in performing consulting services is to assist our clients in developing and understanding the available alternatives and developing and implementing the best solution for them

Our business consulting services include:

  • Assessment of current operations
  • Business forecasts and projections
  • Business plan assistance
  • Financial Due Diligence
  • Going–concern analysis
  • Identification of factors contributing to current or potential financial distress
  • Information technology and systems evaluation and consulting
  • Internal controls review and consulting
  • Operational efficiency assistance
  • Organizational structure review and streamlining
  •  Review and analysis of historical financial statements
  •  Tax planning and consulting

We understand the complexities of pension plan auditing and the importance of smooth interaction amongst the auditor, employer, the custodian and the plan administrator. We have experience in auditing 401 (k) plans, VEBA, and welfare benefit plans. Our Audit Partners have over 30 years of combined experience in auditing benefit plans. Our clients benefit from the personal in-depth and quality service we provide. We have experience in dealing with and resolving issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). We have extensive experience in the following areas:

  • Agreed-upon procedures
  • Auditing employee benefit plans
  • Evaluating internal controls
  • Financial statement disclosures
  • Forensic accounting and auditing
  • Fraud auditing

Since 401 (k) audits are required for the majority of retirement plans in excess of one hundred active participants at the beginning of any plan year, we are well versed in working with these plans as well as all the supplemental schedules and specific reporting required by ERISA, DOL and Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States of America (GAAP). We understand the qualification requirements and are aware of issues with prohibited transactions, deemed distributions and reporting failures:

  • Contingent Benefits
  • Hardship Distributions
  • Loans
  • Partnership Issues (CODA)
  • Prohibited Transactions
  • Section 415
  • Top-Heavy Requirements
  • Violations relating to Distributions
  • Violations relating to Testing

Since founding our firm in 1999 we have assisted numerous entrepreneurs, like ourselves, with their start-ups from traditional industries and brick and mortar companies to internet and high-tech ventures. Our personal experience and understanding of the difficulties and issues encountered in the development stages of any start-up organization. Our personal experiences with the importance of marketing, communication and cash-flow have assisted numerous entrepreneurs who have evolved to successful business ventures and remain our clients. Our goal is to assist our clients in the proper planning, evaluation and development of their business ventures. We offer the following consulting services:

  • Accounting systems evaluation and analysis to assist the client in selecting the best system for their specific needs and within their budgetary requirements
  • Back-office operation development including information infrastructure, technology and organizational structure
  • Business plan development and consulting
  • Financial forecasting and projections
  • Selection of appropriate business structure
  • Tax planning and consulting
  • Accounting systems evaluation and analysis to assist the client in selecting the best system for their specific needs and within their budgetary requirements
  • Back-office operation development including information infrastructure, technology and organizational structure
  • Business plan development and consulting
  •  Financial forecasting and projections
  • Selection of appropriate business structure
  • Tax planning and consulting

 

As entrepreneurs we are uniquely qualified to assist other entrepreneurs with their new business ventures and thrive on the eventual success of our clients.

PAAST partners carry expertise beyond that of Certified Public Accountants including other certifications such as Certified in Financial Forensics, Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Professional in Anti-Money Laundering that recognize their level of knowledge and expertise by different organizations.

We combine our audit and investigative knowledge with accounting skills to identify how fraud is perpetrated and to unravel matters that are complex quagmire. Ongoing training in fraud detection reinforces our extensive experience and helps us stay one step ahead of fraud perpetrators and ever-evolving fraud schemes. We participate in state and national litigation and fraud conferences organized by both the AICPA and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. PAAST forensic accounting services include:

  • Attorney’s trust account investigation and defense
  • Civil case consulting and court testimony on such subjects as marital matters and stockholder lawsuits
  • Damage calculations preparation and rebuttal
  • Evaluation of internal controls to detect fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of funds
  • Examination of abuses by corporate officers or employees to detect hidden or undervalued assets, diverted or unreported income, and inappropriate expense allocations
  • Evaluation of loan lending and underwriting for possible improprieties and/or fraud
  • Attorney’s trust account investigation and defense
  • Civil case consulting and court testimony on such subjects as marital matters and stockholder lawsuits
  • Damage calculations preparation and rebuttal
  • Evaluation of internal controls to detect fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of funds
  • Examination of abuses by corporate officers or employees to detect hidden or undervalued assets, diverted or unreported income, and inappropriate expense allocations
  • Evaluation of loan lending and underwriting for possible improprieties and/or fraud

We work with our clients to test internal control policies and procedures and identify potential weaknesses within business processes and information technology environments. Our information technology assurance services are geared to identify and assess technology networks, internal control policies, and procedures taking our client’s technology department, internal processes and controls and operating environment into consideration. These services may be provided as part of an internal audit of financial statements or as individual projects. These services may be necessary as a result of major organizational changes, implementation of new technologies or reliance on third-party service providers. Our affiliate, Genesis Systems Consulting, assists us in providing our information technology assurance services. The following are some of the information technology assurance services that PAAST provides:

  • Data model validation and analysis of various systems
  • IT Audits
  • IT Consulting services
  • Vulnerability Assessments & Penetration Testing
  • Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement (SSAE) 16 Audit
  • Information Security Risk Assessments

PAAST has unique expertise and highly qualified individuals in providing litigation support services. We have partners that in addition to being Certified Public Accountants have other certifications (such as Certified in Financial Forensics, Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Professional in Anti-Money Laundering) that recognize their level of knowledge and expertise.

We have significant experience and resources in assisting clients with legal disputes. We assist attorneys and their clients with comprehensive analyses that are thoroughly documented and supported in conjunction with expert witness testimony.

PAAST’s litigation support team includes Certified Public Accountants and Certified Forensic Accountants. PAAST has experience assisting attorneys and providing expert witness testimony in a variety of industries and cases.

The following is partial list of our litigation support experience:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business interruption
  • Damage assessment
  • Eminent domain
  • Forensic accounting
  • Fraud investigations
  • Lost profits
  • Malpractice
  • Shareholder disputes

Some of our litigation support services include:

  • Analysis of weaknesses in opposing expert opinions
  • Computation of damages
  • Discovery assistance
  • Development of strategy
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Review and analysis of opposing reports

Tax Services (Domestic)

PAAST is proactive in formulating beneficial tax strategies for our clients. Tax laws and rates are continuously changing and complex. As Certified Public Accountants we are uniquely qualified to assist our clients with tax consulting, compliance and preparation. Our tax professionals provide confidential personal tax planning and consulting to our clients and are proactive in minimizing the taxes paid by individuals, businesses and other entities.

We have extensive experience with federal and state tax issues regarding the taxation of individuals, corporations, S corporations, partnerships, LLC’s and other entities.

PAAST offers comprehensive tax counseling to comply with federal and state tax laws and regulations and to assist in minimizing taxes. Our goal is to work closely with our clients to ensure that they are taking advantage of many tax planning strategies available. We also want to ensure that our clients are in compliance with income tax laws and assist in preparing all necessary tax returns. Our professionals are Certified Public Accountants and continually stay abreast of the most recent changes in tax laws through involvement in various associations and obtaining relevant training. In addition to our human capital, we also have access to other resources and online research services to ensure that we are in current with the latest industry news and developments. The following are some of the tax services that PAAST provides:

  • Analysis of prior year’s federal and state income tax returns
  • Assistance with correspondence from federal and state tax authorities
  • Consulting for personal and business tax issues with a focus on minimizing taxes
  • Consulting on acquisition-related tax issues and tax returns
  • Identification of opportunities to minimize or defer income, estate and gift taxes
  • Timely completion of tax returns and compliance with reporting requirements

Tax Services (International)

PAAST has the experience it takes to devise global tax solutions with the ultimate goal to minimize your worldwide tax liability. Our bilingual international tax professionals can help you with all of your corporate and individual compliance needs, while providing value-added tax structuring and planning services. As an independent member of PrimeGlobal we have independent affiliates throughout the world that can assist us with local laws and support.

Corporate International Tax Services provided:

  • Comprehensive tax planning relating to branch profits tax, branch level interest tax, controlled foreign corporations, cross-border transactions, classification, foreign entities, foreign tax credits, holding companies, income tax treaties and withholding requirements.
  • Coordination and preparation of U.S. federal, state and local income tax returns for U.S. business entities with foreign owners, as well as foreign business entities operating in the United States, which includes information returns with regards to cross-border withholding, transactions with foreign related parties, foreign bank accounts, and U.S. ownership of foreign corporations and partnerships
  • Due diligence and planning for mergers and acquisitions.
  • Structuring of foreign investment in the United States and U.S. investments abroad.
  • Transfer pricing

Individual International Tax Services provided:

  • Comprehensive tax planning, including the analysis of foreign tax credits, income tax treaties, foreign earned income exclusion, expatriation, residency elections and dual residency filing
  • Coordination and preparation of U.S. federal, state and local income tax returns for both inpatriates and expatriates
  • Compensation planning to minimize U.S. income, payroll and Estate taxes
  • Foreign Trusts
  • Pre and post residency planning

Tax Services for the Financial Industry

PAAST’s bilingual financial services tax professionals have a vast amount of experience with tax issues relating to domestic, mortgage and foreign banks. We know the importance of industry training and are members of several industry and professional organizations, which allows us to stay abreast of current tax issues facing financial institutions. Our team is well respected as a tax advisor in the South Florida market with regards to the taxation of international bank agencies, branches and Edge Act banks. PAAST Tax Services include:

  • Accounting for income taxes
  • Coordination and preparation of U.S. federal, state and local income tax returns for U.S. business entities with foreign owners, as well as foreign business entities operating in the United States, which includes information returns with regards to cross-border withholding, transactions with foreign related parties, foreign bank accounts, and U.S. ownership of foreign corporations and partnerships
  • Due diligence and planning for mergers and acquisitions
  • Executive compensation planning
  • Information reporting
  • Litigation support
  • Representation in front of federal and state tax authorities
  • Sales and use tax planning
  • Subchapter S conversions
  • Tax compliance
  • Valuation and cost segregation services

Tax Planning and Compliance for Individuals and Closely Held Entities

Tax planning and compliance for individuals, family owned businesses and closely held entities is one of the core services provided by our tax professionals. We understand that everyone has a unique individual tax situation. In the evolving world of tax compliance, our services exceed the basic tax planning and preparation of federal and state tax returns.

Our tax services include a complete range of tax planning, compliance and consulting services customized to deliver a level of service exceeding all expectations. Our professionals work closely with each of our clients to identify opportunities and optimize tax strategies to expand their businesses and minimize taxes. By understanding the tax perspective of business owners, we are able to develop an advanced plan for structuring business transactions to capitalize on personal situations.  Our tax compliance and consulting services include:

  • Business succession planning
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Entity selection
  • Federal, state and local tax return preparation and planning
  • Monitor on a regular-basis the accounting and compliance matters for family owned businesses
  • Planning and compliance for closely held businesses
  • Representation before taxing authorities
  • Retirement planning

Trusts and Estate

  • Comprehensive tax planning, including succession planning for family owned businesses
  • Planning and compliance for U.S. and foreign trusts
  • Consulting for estate and gift tax matters with a focus on minimizing the estate and gift taxes

Banks and financial institutions are required to comply with Bank Secrecy Act and Anti Money Laundering regulations annually as part of internal Compliance programs.  Compliance with BSA / AML regulations requires institutions to meet the “five pillars” including capable officers, internal controls, adequate training, an independent audit, and enhanced customer due diligence procedures.

 PAAST has been engaged to perform the independent audit of several Bank’s BSA/AML compliance program in accordance with Section 352 of the USA PATRIOT Act.  Our procedures are performed in accordance with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) /Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Examination Manual that was most recently issued in December 2014. 

 PAAST has worked with Banks supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and Federal Reserve oversight offices in Atlanta and New York.  Internationally, PAAST has also worked with Financial Institutions in Puerto Rico who are overseen by the Oficina del Comisionado de Instituciones Financieras (“OCIF”).  Our scopes in previous engagements has included, but is not limited to:

  • BSA reporting requirements, such as CTRs and SARs
  • OFAC Compliance
  • Compliance with exemption rules and requirements
  • High-risk activities, customers, and areas
  •  Customer Identification Program (CIP)
  •  Customer due diligence
  • Identifying and reporting suspicious activities
  • Correspondent Banking activities and associated monitoring controls
  • BSA record-keeping requirements for deposits, loans, funds transfers, and sales of monetary instruments
  • Compliance with information sharing requirements (Title III, Section 314, USA PATRIOT Act)
  • Funds transfer operations
  • Ongoing training of appropriate personnel

Technology provides almost limitless capabilities for managing various aspects of our organizations.  Some of those aspects include the use of models (both quantitative and qualitative) for making key decisions in your organization’s operations.  However, when it is not implemented correctly it could yield disastrous results that management may be relying upon needlessly.  This can set a company back years and create significant costs if regulations aren’t met or the technology creates inefficiencies and needless labor.

At PAAST, we can provide management with an assessment and validation of models used for decision making including assessment of those key systems relied upon to implement the model.  We will review the inputs, outputs, and environmental variables necessary to meet the model’s overall objectives. We can provide guidance on where improvements can be made or identify weaknesses or risks in either the data, processes, or the model itself that is being relied upon by the company.