November 2018
A Matter of Intent: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations
While we may deal with taxes, audits and accounting here at Mathieson, Moyski, Austin & Co., we also are here to help our clients with overall tax and financial planning. Our in-house financial services advisor, John Vires, CFP ® , CFA ®, recently shared a topic at our monthly staff meeting that we thought could benefit colleagues and clients alike: the status of a beneficiary designation.
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Whether or not you have a will or trust, you have probably filled out forms that ask you to designate who you want to be the beneficiary of your account upon death. Maybe the form is for a bank account, an individual retirement account (IRA) or for your life insurance or annuity. According to John, it’s important to review those documents from time to time, especially if you’ve had a big change in your life—a birth, marriage, divorce or death of a family member.
“People often forget that the beneficiary designation of a financial account like a bank account or IRA supersedes any wishes that may be expressed in a will or a trust,” said John. “We think it’s important to review your beneficiary designations every five years or so or when your life situation changes, like a marriage or a growing family.

“So much of financial planning is about intent,” John said, “and it’s critical to align those intentions in a manner that reflects your wishes.”
Our team is at the ready to consult with you to assure that your intentions can be executed in a tax-efficient manner. We can also help you find resources for completing a will or a trust, something that some 60% of Americans neglect to do, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). “In the absence of a will or a trust, you’re leaving it to the state to manage your last wishes,” said John, “and that may differ significantly from how you want to share your legacy with the next generation.”

If you have questions or would like a complimentary consultation with John, please contact us and let us know how we can be of service to you and those you love. 
Our People Make a Difference

For the second year in a row our team visited the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) to contribute time and talent to this very worthy organization. On Thursday, November 1, we headed to the food bank and together we packed 1,890 bags that will result in 238 gallons of gravy! The holiday packets complement 5,950 meals for hungry neighbors in Northern Illinois.

We were privileged to volunteer for NIFB which provides food for 71,500 people each week through a network of 800 partner feeding programs. We also had fun working side by side on a project that didn't include taxes, accounting or audits!
Celebrating with colleagues and friends from the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Bachara, CPA (and CS Chamber treasurer), Laura O'Malley, our "Ambassador of First Impressions," and Kim Scroggs, CPA, attended the chamber's "We Are Thankful For YOU" Holiday Social on Nov. 15 at the Holiday Inn & Suites.

Talented virtuosos from the 7th grade string section orchestras of the Jay Stream and Stratford Middle Schools played as the attendees raised money for the Carol Stream Chamber Foundation. A portion of the proceeds will benefit graduating seniors from Carol Stream with 2019 scholarships.
Welcome to Paul Wilkin, CPA, MST
This month we welcome Paul Wilkin, CPA, MST, to our staff. Paul comes to MMA & Co. with many years of public accounting experience, including time spent as an entrepreneur. His business savvy and expertise will be key in his new role as a tax manager for the firm. Paul will work with individuals and business owners from a variety of industries. 

What drew Paul to the world of public accounting? “I like to help people—especially business owners—save money on their taxes,” Paul said, adding that as a former entrepreneur, he has a keen understanding of the challenges of running a business. He said he’s looking forward to using that experience to help our clients.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Paul has a bachelor of science degree in accountancy and a master of science in taxation from DePaul University.

Paul and his wife Ingrid live in Bolingbrook and their son attends and plays soccer for Baldwin Wallace University. After relishing their role as the parents of a budding soccer star, Paul and Ingrid now volunteer as soccer referees for various youth soccer leagues in their community.
Get Your Antlers On: The Reindeer Run is Coming
This week Team MMA & Co. will once again take to the streets of Wheaton for the annual Wheaton Lions Club Reindeer Run 5K. We have sponsored this event, held in partnership with the Wheaton Park District, since it began. Here are some facts about the run which demonstrate why this is a project we love to support:
  • The 7th Annual Lions Club Reindeer Run is a Holiday Run/Walk 5K open for all ages.
  • This race benefits the Wheaton Lions Club Charities which serves the visual and hearing impaired and also supports other local social service agencies. A portion of the proceeds from this year's Reindeer Run will be donated to such causes as the DuPage County Historical Museum.
  • The route begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, on Main Street just south of Seminary Avenue and north of Wesley, and will finish on 100 E. Wesley, just east of Main Street. Click here to see the race map.
  • The race is "rain or shine," and we've had some really cold years! If you're coming to walk, run or cheer us on, make sure you dress for the weather.

Post-race activities include refreshments at the finish line in Adams Park. Our friends at Ivy Restaurant, located at 120 N. Hale Street, will host a post-race party with food and drink specials.

"Team MMA & Co. will be joined by family and friends," said Ron Austin, CPA, partner in the firm and a proud member of the Wheaton Lions Club along with John Vires. Ron's mom, Lucille, is our team captain this year and we're cheering her on to win in her age group (she's done it before!). Stay tuned for race results and we hope to see you there.
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The Sound of Progress
The sound of hammers and saws is winding down as our fourth floor renovation project moves toward completion. We're excited about the move, bringing the "north-" and "south-siders" together into one full floor of office space. Our new space was designed for growth, collaboration and communication with our clients--and with each other. As soon as the move is complete and the dust is settled, we look forward to welcoming you, our colleagues, clients and friends.
Ron Austin, CPA
Brian Eisenmenger, CPA
Brian Hagene, CPA
Brett Mathieson, CPA
Mike Moyski, CPA
John Straus, CPA