Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP Announces New Hires

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce the hire of Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Cindy Sensenig, and Office Manager, Alycia Billy.

Get to know TEG’s new professionals!

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Cindy is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor with over 15 years of bookkeeping experience. She specializes in the construction field and job costing. Cindy, Hempfield High School and Palmer Business School alumni, has a passion for helping people. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her daughter, dog, and cat.


Alycia Billy

Office Manager, Alycia Billy, brings over 15 years of management experience to TEG. Our firm’s stout reputation within the community for providing Office Manager Square Crop.jpgexceptional service and unceasing relationships is what persuaded Alycia that TEG was the right fit for her.  Alycia embodies TEG’s core principals and is actively involved within our community.  She is Board Secretary of SPOTVB and also volunteers at Garden Spot Retirement Community. Alycia enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP Acquires Wolfe Valuation LLC

On October 20, 2017, Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP announced the acquisition of Wolfe Valuation LLC.   Wolfe Valuation LLC was formed by W. Michael Wolfe, CPA/ABV, CVA in 2015.

"We are so pleased and very fortunate to have the opportunity for Mike Wolfe to join our team,” said Todd Harington, CPA, Managing Partner.  As a highly regarded business valuation specialist and management consultant, Mike will bring expertise to the firm's clients through his knowledge of business valuation, value optimization, and fair value GAAP/IFRS reporting. Additionally, he has substantial experience with mergers and acquisitions, valuing business enterprises and closely-held securities, and intellectual property.

Mr. Wolfe has joined Trout, Ebersole & Groff as a Partner.  Prior to forming Wolfe Valuation LLC, Mike spent 13 years as a Valuation Services Partner and Practice Leader with large regional and national accounting and advisory firms in the Philadelphia market where he devoted his entire practice to business valuation and related advisory services.

Over his career, he has valued hundreds of businesses and intangible assets for a wide range of companies including early-stage enterprises to middle-market and public companies.  He has also served as an expert witness in legal proceedings relative to valuation issues.

Mr. Wolfe is a frequent speaker on business valuation, intangible asset valuation, and fair value accounting.  He currently serves as the President of the PA East Chapter of NACVA, is a member of the PICPA Business Valuation Committee, and is an Adjunct Professor of Accounting in the MBA Program at USciences in Philadelphia.  He holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Elizabethtown College, is a CPA, a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) and Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) by the American Institute of CPAs.

TEG Announces New Hire

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Michelle Greiner, CPA, has joined our team of accounting professionals. As a Senior Accountant with over 15 years of experience, Michelle will handle all aspects of tax services for both individuals and small businesses including tax return preparation, tax planning, and tax notices.

Michelle graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a minor in History. She is a member of the AICPA and PICPA and is actively involved in helping at her children’s schools and volunteering at the Water Street Mission.

In her free time, Michelle enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her husband, and three children.

TEG Voted #1 Accounting Firm 9 Years in a Row

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP would like to thank the readers of Lancaster County Magazine for voting us #1 Accounting Firm again in 2017! We are honored and humbled to have received this award since 2009.

We would also like to congratulate Partner Brian Wassell, CPA, CM&AA on being voted #1 Accountant by Lancaster County Magazine’s readers. Brian has been awarded #1 Accountant four times since 2013.

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Click HERE to see who else was voted as Best of Lancaster.

Lancaster County Magazine's "Best of Lancaster" Reader's Survey is the area's original reader's poll.  Established in 1990 featuring results determined by reader feedback, the "Best of Lancaster" Readers' Survey has become a touchstone for excellence among local businesses and organizations.

TEG Professionals Attend the AM&AA Central PA Chapter Fall Meeting

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP professionals attended the AM&AA Central PA Chapter Fall Meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.  During the event, Jim Gibson, former Chairman, President, and CEO of Integrity Bank, shared his experience and advice for selling a business.

Jim is no stranger when it comes to starting, growing, and selling a business. He served as Chairman, President, and CEO of Integrity Bank from its inception in June 2003 until it was acquired by S&T Bank in May 2015 at the second highest price of any U.S bank since 2008.

Below are TEG’s Top 3 Takeaways from Jim Gibson’s presentation.

1.  "You don’t sell your business for where you are today, but where you will be in the future through perceived value.” - Jim Gibson

By showing the prospective buyer your consistent growth for at least three years, you can help to validate your business’s future growth.

2.    "You go first, you lose!” - Jim Gibson

Just like dating, it is all about the chase! You want the buyer to have an emotional response to the sell, so it’s important to have the buyer make the first offer. Even if a buyer asks, "What will it take to buy your business?”, you should still have them make an offer in order to maximize your sale price.

3.    Hire a Professional

Selling your business’s product or service is not the same as selling your business! Business valuation is a complex process requiring a broad knowledge of accounting, finance, economics, taxation, and business. Additionally, expert application of generally accepted valuation methodologies and diligent adherence to professional standards is imperative.

Is your company looking to sell, acquire or merge? Trout, Ebersole & Groff’s team of experienced Business Valuation and M&A Experts are here to help! For more information, please contact Brian Wassell at or call 717-569-2900.


Chapter Sponsors

BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP- CPAs, Stellar Partners LLC, McNees, Wallace & Nurick LLC

Media Sponsor

Central Pennsylvania Business Journal

For more information about the AMAA Central PA Branch, click HERE.

Joshua Gustafson and Joshua Lytle Earn CPA Designation

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce Joshua Gustafson and Joshua Lytle have earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This prestigious certification indicates they have completed the necessary education, fulfilled the experience requirements, and have passed the uniform Certified Public Accountant examination which covers auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting, and reporting regulation.

We wish to congratulate Josh Gustafson and Joshua Lytle on their achievements and for the contributions they have made to our TEG team.


Joshua Lytle

Joshua Lytle is a Lebanon Valley College alumnus. He holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting and another in economics. He joined the TEG as an intern in 2015 and was hired full-time in August 2016.

Joshua is a member of the firm’s construction and manufacturing practice groups and is a part of our tax notice team. He works on corporate audits, reviews, and comps as well as non-profit tax and attest engagements. In addition, he also works on business and individual tax returns.

Joshua Gustafson

Joshua joined Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP in 2015 as an intern and was hired as a Staff Accountant in 2016. He works on Employee Benefit Plans (EBP), government audits as well as corporate reviews and tax.

Joshua holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Messiah College with a minor in philosophy. Joshua is also the Assistant Varsity Coach at Trinity High School for the boys’ soccer team.

Angela Martin Earns CPA Designation

Angela Martin, a Staff Accountant at Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP, has earned the designation of certified public accountant (CPA). This prestigious certification indicates Angela has completed the necessary education and experience requirements and has passed the uniform Certified Public Accountant examination. The four-part CPA examination covers auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting regulation.

Angela joined Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP in 2015 as an intern and was hired as a Staff Accountant in 2016. She specializes in Employee Benefit Plans (EBP), government audits as well as corporate reviews and tax preparation.

Angela holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Messiah College. She’s a member of the AICPA, PICPA and Lancaster Young Professionals.

We wish to congratulate Angela on this significant milestone in her professional career.

TEG Offices Will Be Closed on Labor Day 9/4/17

Our offices will be closed on Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day. We wish you and your family a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Rebecca Shirk Earns CPA Designation

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Rebecca Shirk has earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Becca is a vital part of our TEG team! She specializes in audits, tax, employee benefit plans, non-profit organizations and corporations.

We would like to congratulate Becca on this important milestone in her professional career.

TEG offers QuickBooks Desktop Classes

Whether you’re new to QuickBooks® Desktop, need a refresher, or you want to learn how to prepare your QuickBooks® file for year end, Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP has a class for you!

Classes take place from 8:30am-12:00pm at The Digital Workshop, which is conveniently located off Route 283 & Route 30 at 1630 Manheim Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. The cost is $100/class.

Tuesday, September 19th: Introduction and Beyond

Are you a brand new or beginner QuickBooks® Desktop user looking to get a better understanding of the program’s fundamentals? QuickBooks®: Introduction & Beyond class, led by CPA and QuickBooks® ProAdvisor Sharon Sacks, will teach users how to navigate through the software, record deposits and disbursements, reconcile a bank account, set up users and preferences, and work with lists and reports. Depending on the class participants' experience, interest and desired pace of learning, students will learn efficiencies, customizations and shortcuts to make the most of the program’s features. 

If you’re relatively new to QuickBooks® Desktop, this introductory class is for you! Our small group classes, with a maximum class size of 6 students, allows for a personalized class setting. Computers are provided for hands-on experience. Sign up today for just this class or take all three QuickBooks® classes for a well-rounded understanding. 

Click HERE to register!

Wednesday, September 20th: Accounts Receivable
The accounts receivable class enables users to effectively coordinate invoicing and receiving payments from customers. Students will learn how to create and customize invoices and statements, receive payments and assess finance charges. Issuing credits, sales tax, and aging reports are also reviewed.
Click HERE to register! 

Thursday, September 21st: Accounts Payable The Accounts Payable class, led by ProAdvisor Krista Gagliardo, gives users the tools needed to manage accounts payable and banking transactions through QuickBooks®. Accounts payable topics will cover entering and paying bills, reviewing aging reports, sales tax, and 1099s. Banking transactions covered include recording checks and deposits, transferring funds, credit card purchases, and bank reconciliations.

Click HERE to register!

Thursday, November 30th: Preparing for Year End
Save time and money this year by learning how to prepare your QuickBooks file for year-end and tax preparation before you submit it to your accountant. During the class, we’ll review bank reconciliations, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. We’ll also cover how to clean-up these areas, if necessary. In addition, we will discuss 1099 & W2 set up and printing (in-house payroll only) and go over information you should gather for your accountant.
Whether this is your first year preparing for year-end or fifth year, this class will alleviate the stress of getting your QuickBooks file closed and ready for the new year! Our small group classes, with a maximum class size of 6 students, allows for a personalized class setting. Computers are provided for hands-on experience.

Click HERE to register!

*Please note that this class is taught using QuickBooks desktop version also called Pro, Premier, or Enterprise. It will not use either the QuickBooks Mac or QuickBooks Online version applications. Please contact us if you have questions about the version.
Ask us about our Group, Custom, Non-Profit & Veteran rates!

TEG Welcomes New Hires

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to welcome Korin Martin, Hannah Baumer, and Josiah Schendel to our team of accounting professionals.

Get to know TEG’s new professionals!

Korin Martin

Korin is a Lancaster County native. After graduating from Manheim Central High School, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Messiah College.

Korin decided to become an accountant after taking an accounting class in high school.  "I enjoyed how logical accounting was and the continuous learning that would be necessary to stay up-to-date with the latest business and tax laws and trends,” said Korin.

Hannah M. Baumer

Messiah College alumni, Hannah Baumer, developed a love for accounting in high school.

"I took my first accounting class in high school, and all of the material clicked.  I loved the class! It became something I could see myself enjoying as a profession,” recalls Hannah.

Hannah also enjoys hiking, playing volleyball, and cooking.

 Josiah Schendel

Josiah graduated in May of 2017 from Lebanon Valley College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Josiah is not only passionate about accounting but enjoys being physically active and exploring Lancaster City.  His favorite part about being an accountant is building relationships with his clients and helping their business to succeed.

TEG Wins 2nd Place at the Harrisburg Mile

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP had 20 professionals participate in this year's Harrisburg Mile Corporate Challenge. The 1 mile race benefitted the East Shore YMCA to help support its programs and scholarships.

We'd like to congratulate TEG's Team 1 for winning 2nd Place in the Corporate Challenge and TEG Intern, Tom Fitzgerald, for earning 2nd Place Overall with a run time of 4:46.51! Great job to everyone who participated in the race, despite the rain.

2017 Race Results

TEG Announces Employee Promotions

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is very pleased to announce the promotions of the following employees.


  • Megan Senkowski
  • Randall Weaver


  • Tiffany Bender

Senior Accountant 1

  • Corey Eshelman
  • Jensen Appleman
  • Thomas Young
  • Chris Stetler

TEG would like to congratulate these employees and wish them continued success in their new roles!

TEG Ranked in the top Three for Best Accounting Firm

The results for Central Penn Business Journal’s Reader Rankings are out!  Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP would like to thank you for voting us in the top three Best Accounting Firms for CPBJ’s first ever Reader Rankings!

Central Penn Business Journal’s "Reader Rankings" is a survey which allows consumers to vote for the businesses which they believe are the best in Central Pennsylvania. At Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP, our professionals strive to provide the highest level of quality service to each client. Thank you for trusting your financial & business strategy needs to TEG. 

Independence Day Holiday Hours

In honor of Independence Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, July 3rd  & Tuesday, July 4th. We will reopen on Wednesday, July 5th.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Matthew E. Burkhart Earns CPA Designation

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce Matthew E. Burkhart has earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA).This prestigious certification indicates Matt has completed the necessary education and experience requirements and has passed the uniform CPA examination. We wish to congratulate Matt on this significant milestone in his professional career.

Sean Post, CPA Graduates From Leadership Lancaster's Core Class!

Lancaster Leadership's Core Class is not in a school or for the standard student! This nine month program is geared towards advancing participants' knowledge of Lancaster County and to improving their leadership skills with the intent to better help serve the volunteer community. 

Participants attend twelve full day sessions and one evening session. During their training, they learn about

  • public education
  • public policy
  • economic development
  • law & justice
  • arts community
  • health and human services

Upon graduation, participants have learned skills such as negotiation, collaboration and team building, trusteeship, visioning, conflict mediation and resolution, facilitation, personal evaluation, problem solving and decision making to develop them into Lancaster County community leaders.

Leadership Lancaster was an incredible experience that provided insight into so many different aspects of Lancaster County.  I gained knowledge and resources that will help me be successful in my servant leadership roles." - Sean Post, CPA

For more information about Leadership Lancaster's Core Class, clickHERE.

TEG Partner Brian Wassell Attends AICPA's G400 Community Meeting in Chicago

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP was represented by partner and CPA Brian Wassell at the (AICPA) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' G400 Community Meeting in Chicago. This unique event provided an opportunity to network and share best practices with other top CPA firms. Brian was able to learn more about cyber security, growth strategies, leadership strategies, among other current accounting topics.

Memorial Day Hours

In honor of Memorial Day, our offices will be closed on Friday, May 26th through Monday, May 29th. We will reopen on Tuesday, May 30th.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!

Megan Senkowski, Nicole Cradic & Krista Showers Present at PICPA Employee Benefit Plan Conference

Megan Senkowski, Nicole Cradic, and Krista Showers, all CPAs at Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP, attended the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Employee Benefit Plan Conference on May 18th in Lancaster.  Megan, Nicole, and Krista spoke on "Beyond 401(k) Plans – A&A Considerations for Other Employee Benefit Plans.”

The PICPA Employee Benefit Conference offers essentials to auditors of employee benefit plans and covers the latest technical standards, compliance rules and regulatory issues related to such audits.

PICPA is the premier statewide resource for top-class continuing professional education programs, professional networking, business-friendly advocacy, thought leadership, and a full range of services for accounting professionals.  PICPA’s programs and services are a springboard for growing camaraderie, confidence, and commitment in the world of accounting.

Krista serves on the PICPA Employee Benefits Plan Committee including the conference planning and technical subcommittees.

Krista Showers Presents at Annual PAFPC Conference in Seven Springs

Krista Showers, CPA, CEBS, and partner at Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP, gave two presentations at the 48th Annual Pennsylvania Association of Federal Program Coordinators (PAFPC) Conference in Seven Springs, PA.

On Monday, May 8th, Krista spoke on "Proper Use & Fiscal Accountability for Title I Funds to Meet Student and Teacher Needs” and "Top 10 Audit Findings – Things That Will Cost Your School Money & Negatively Impact Achievement.”  These sessions were part of the Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Program.  PIL is a statewide, standards-based continuing education program for school and system leaders.  This comprehensive, cohort-based program is focused on developing the capacity of leaders to improve student achievement.

The purpose of the PAFPC is:

  • To promote an exchange of knowledge, experience, and ideas concerning federal programs in order to enable the members to serve educational entities with greater effectiveness and efficiency.

  • To disseminate information concerning resources available from the federal government so that greater use can be made of these resources.

  • To supplement and assist the flow of information and constructive comment from the offices of the Pennsylvania Department of Education that are responsible for the administration of federally supported educational programs.

  • To provide advice and counsel regarding federal programs to any member and/or organization seeking to serve the educational needs of the community, the state or the union.

  • To provide training institutes or workshops in the area of federal program.

Tax Amnesty Notices

On April 21, 2017, Pennsylvania began a 60 day tax penalty and interest amnesty program.  As a result, some taxpayers have received a tax notice with the headline "Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program”.   Most of the tax notices relate to "unfiled” tax returns (income, sales, use, etc.), with some going back 40 years.  Many of these returns have been incorrectly flagged in the PA system as "unfiled”. 

If you’ve received one of these notices, please don’t ignore it.  Simply forward the notice to your TEG contact.  We’ve established a system to resolve these notices effectively and efficiently.  We do not recommend attempting to resolve these notices on your own; the call center phone numbers provided on the notice will not provide resolution guidance unless there is actual tax owed.

For additional information or assistance, please contact Michael Carr at for business notices or Gail Mowery at for individual notices.

Thank you for your continued business!

Summer Hours

Our offices will be closing at noon on Fridays starting Friday May 5th, 2017 through September 1st, 2017.

Normal hours will resume the week of September 4th.

Linda Bell Appointed to AMA's Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team

Linda Bell was appointed to American Heart Association’s Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team.  Linda is the Director of Business Development with Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP.  She previously served as the Co-Chair for the Lancaster Heart Ball and served as a Member of the Lancaster Heart Ball Sponsorship Committee.

The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Matt Burkhart Appointed Board Treasurer for LCGA

Matthew E. Burkhart has been appointed Board Treasurer for the Lancaster County Golf Association.  Matt is a Senior accountant with Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP.  He graduated from Messiah College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.

The Lancaster County Golf Association serves the best interest of all golfers residing n Lancaster County: Amateurs (men, women and juniors) and Professionals.

Megan Senkowski Elected as Treasurer for Lancaster Early Education Center

Megan Senkowski, CPA was elected as Treasurer for the Lancaster Early Education Center. Megan is an Audit & Attest Supervisor with Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP. She graduated from Villanova University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She received the designation of Certified Public Accountant in 2001.

The Lancaster Early Education Center is a non-profit charitable organization committed to providing affordable, high quality early care and education to children from low-income working families.

Sandy Nonnenmocher Appointed to Workforce Development Board

Sandra L. Nonnenmocher, CPA, MST has been appointed to the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board as a private sector business representative. Sandy is a Tax Manager with Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP. She graduated from Albright College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She received her Master of Science degree in Taxation from Philadelphia University in 2011.

The Lancaster County Workforce Development Board icoordinates, develops and maintains a system of workforce development programs and services that integrates the needs of employers and residents.

Krista Showers Appointed to LCCF Board

Krista A. Showers, CPA, MBA, CEBS, has been appointed to the Board of the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Krista has been a Partner with Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP for over 14 years. She previously served and continues to serve the Lancaster County Community Foundation as a member of their finance committee.

The Lancaster County Community Foundation helps people who love Lancaster County invest in the future of our community. Since 1924 they have been helping people establish permanent funds for the causes they care about and making grant investments to organizations that create a stronger and more vibrant quality of life for all of us.

Today LCCF holds nearly $95 million dollars in community assets that help support Lancaster every year. These resources are unique because they mean that this year, and every year, the Community Foundation will invest a portion of this money back into community benefit organizations and the emerging needs of Lancaster County.

Krista Showers Recognized for CEBS CPE-Compliance

Krista A. Showers, CPA, MBA, CEBS, Partner, Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP has been recognized for attaining continuing professional education (CPE) compliance in the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist program for a two-year period. She is a graduate of the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) program, co-sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Krista earned the CPE-compliance distinction by attesting to completing 30 hours of required continuing professional education over the last two years. All graduates of the CEBS program are subject to this requirement.

One of the most widely recognized and respected professional credentials, the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist program is a unique, university-developed curriculum covering all aspects of the total compensation body of knowledge. Krista earned her CEBS designation in 2002.

QuickBooks® Desktop Classes Presented by TEG

Looking for training on QuickBooks®?  Let us help you.  We’re offering three Desktop classes in April including Introduction & Beyond, Accounts Receivable, and Accounts Payable.

Classes will be taught by our QuickBooks® ProAdvisors.

All classes will be held at The Digital Workshop located at 1630 Manheim Pike, Suite7, Lancaster, PA.

Class Schedule:

All classes will be held from 8:30am to 12:00pm.

Cost: $100 for each class

Register Today: Seating is limited

Jensen Appleman Earns CPA Designation

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Jensen Appleman has earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This certification indicates that Jensen has completed the necessary education and experience requirements and has passed the uniform CPA examination. We wish to congratulate Jensen on this important milestone in her professional career.

Travis Oot YPN's Spotlight of the Month

Travis Oot, CPA and senior accountant at Trout, Ebersole & Groff, is a member of the Lancaster Chamber's Young Professional Network (YPN). Travis was featured in the YPN Spotlight for February.

The Young Professional Network (YPN) provides Lancaster Chamber member young professionals (YPs) (suggested age 40 years and under) with a setting to build relationships and develop professionally. The program also helps to cultivate these future leaders and provide them with opportunities for making connections and developing their careers so that they can help shape the future of Lancaster County.

Click here to check out the YPN Spotlight.

Tax Season Hours

Today kicks off our tax season hours! Our doors will be open from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays until April 15th. Start gathering your tax documents - we are waiting to see you!

Krista Showers Serves as Preliminary Judge for PA FBLA Event

Krista Showers, CPA, CEBS, partner at Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP, served as preliminary judge of the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Partnership with Business event for the 2017 State Leadership Conference.  As such, she was one of three judges that reviewed all financial business plans.

The FBLA helps students develop leadership abilities, and prepare for entry into, and advancement within, a business or business-related occupation. Members learn how to engage in business enterprise, how to direct the affairs of a group, and how to compete honorably in competitive events. These activities help prepare students to be better employees and better citizens.

Travis Oot Receives CPA Designation

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Travis Oot has earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This certification indicates that Travis has completed the necessary education and experience requirements and has passed the uniform CPA examination. We wish to congratulate Travis on this important milestone in his professional career.

2017 IRS Mileage Rates

The IRS has released the 2017 optional standard mileage rates that employees, self-employed individuals, and other taxpayers can use to compute deductible costs of operating automobiles (including vans, pickups and panel trucks) for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes.

The 2017 standard mileage rate has decreased to 53.5 cents per mile for business uses and 17 cents per mile for medical and moving uses. It remains at 14 cents per mile for charitable uses. For purposes of computing the allowance under an FAVR plan, the standard automobile cost may not exceed $27,900 ($31,300 for trucks and vans).

The updated rates are effective for deductible transportation expenses paid or incurred on or after January 1, 2017, and for mileage allowances or reimbursements paid to, or transportation expenses paid or incurred by, an employee or a charitable volunteer on or after January 1, 2017.

Holiday Hours

Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season!

Our offices will be closed on Monday, December 26th and Monday, January 2nd.

Share the Warmth

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP shared the warmth this holiday season with a scarf, hat, mitten, and glove drive. Over 325 items were donated to the CAP of Lancaster’s Domestic Violence Shelter (DVS). DVS provides a safe, temporary shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Thanks to all our staff, clients and friends who donated items for this year’s drive! 

New Law Gives Relief To $100/Day ACA Penalty By Creating Small Employer HRAs

On December 13, the president signed a new law permitting small employers to reimburse medical expenses tax-free without offering group health coverage. This is potentially a huge win for many businesses and their employees but comes with some restrictions.

Employers that did not offer health insurance had been prohibited from reimbursing employees for their health expenses and insurance premiums. These reimbursement arrangements were considered non-compliant group health plans under the Affordable Care Act and were subject to excise taxes of $100 per person per day.

Under the new law, starting January 1, 2017, small employers that do not offer health benefits can provide reimbursement through a Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), without being subject to the excise tax. To qualify, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The employer is not an Applicable Large Employer required to offer coverage to full-time employees under ACA. 
  2. The employer does not currently offer health care coverage to any employees.
  3. The HRA is funded by the employer only, with no employee contributions.
  4. The HRA reimburses eligible medical expenses (including individual market premiums) for the employee and dependents. 
  5. The maximum employer contribution is $4,950 and $10,000 for individual and family coverages, respectively. 

The law also grants retroactive transition relief to small employers who have previously reimbursed employees' medical expenses.

 In addition to the requirements above, a business deciding to implement a QSEHRA must do the following:

  • Provide no later than 90 days before the beginning of the year a written notice to each eligible employee which includes:
  • A statement of the amount of the employee's permitted benefit under the arrangement for the year;
  • A statement that the eligible employee should provide the plan information to any health insurance exchange to which the employee applies for advance payment of the premium assistance tax credit;
  • A statement that if the employee is not covered under minimum essential coverage for any month, the employee may be subject to tax under the ACA individual mandate for such month, and reimbursements under the arrangement may be includible in gross income.
  • Provide coverage under a QSERA on the same terms to all eligible employees.
  • Benefit variations based on insurance policy pricing differences due to age or coverage tiers are allowed.
  • Employers can exclude those who have not completed 90 days of service, reached age 25, or are part-time/seasonal employees from eligible employees.
  • Require proof of coverage from employee before reimbursing expenses.

TEG Names Karen R. Shenk to Partnership

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Karen R. Shenk, CPA, CVA, CFE was admitted to the firm’s partnership effective December 1, 2016.

"We are pleased to welcome Karen to the Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP partnership,” said Todd Harrington, Managing Partner. "Karen has quickly emerged as a leader in our firm, through her dedication to building relationships and helping our clients achieve success,” said Harrington.

Karen manages all aspects of financial reporting. She also engages in business consulting and advisory services, and performs quality control reviews for many of the firm’s clients.

Karen is a member of the firms Manufacturing, Construction, Not-for-Profit, and Forensics Practice Groups. She is also a member of the firm’s Business Development, Client Service and Quality Control Committees, and chairs the firm’s Attest Services Committee.

Karen is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Lancaster, a board member of Lancaster Early Education Center, and serves on the Finance Committee for the Power Packs Project.

2016 Annual Payroll & Business Seminar Materials

Thank you for attending Trout, Ebersole & Groff's 2016 Annual Payroll & Business Seminar on December 7th. Please see below links for additional information.

  1. Annual Reconciliation Worksheet
  2. Group-Term Life Insurance with Examples
  3. Personal Use of Auto - Annual Lease Valuation Method
  4. Third Party Sick Pay - Example & Form 8922
  5. Form W2 Box 13 - Retirement Plan Checkbox Decision Chart
  6. Guidelines for Taxability with Example
  7. 1099 Correction Instructions
  8. Qualified Moving Expenses
  9. Prizes & Awards
  10. Per Diem & Mileage Allowances
  11. Education Assistance
  12. Compensatory Time Off
  13. Cafeteria Plan - Additional Election Changes
  14. 1099-Misc Information
  15. Form W9 with Instructions
  16. Employer or Independent Contractor
  17. Guide to Information Returns
  18. Form 941-X with Instructions
  19. W2 Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
  20. SSA-131 Employer Report of Special Wage Payments
  21. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) & Child Labor Family Medical Leave Act
  22. PA Minimum Wage Law Summary
  23. Form I9 employment Eligibility Verification & Instructions
  24. PA New Hire Reporting & Child Support
  25. 2016 Form 940
  26. REV-1667R - PA W2 Transmittal
  27. LST Employee Withholding Exemption Certificate & Refund Application
  28. Certificate of Residence
  29. Check Your Withholding
  30. 2017 W4 (not yet released)
  31. Tips for the Upcoming Tax Season
  32. Tables for Amounts Exempt from Levy on Wages
  33. 2017 PA Employer Withholding Due Dates
  34. Notice 1036 - Early Release Copies of the 2017 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding

Tax Planning for a Trump Presidency

With the year-end rapidly approaching, you may have questions regarding how a Donald Trump presidential administration paired with a Republican-dominated Congress might impact your taxes for 2016 and beyond. Tax situations are different for everyone but a common thought process for the near future is to defer ordinary income to 2017 and accelerate deductions to 2016 when feasible and practical.  In a very broad summary, here are some of the tax change proposals by either President-elect Trump and/or the GOP:

 Individuals may expect these changes:

  • Lower and consolidated tax rates
  • Increased standard deductions but elimination of personal exemptions
  • Limitation on the maximum amount allowable for itemized deductions
  • Repeal of the estate tax (with a possible limit on the amount permitted to be "stepped up at death” for purposes of computing gain or loss for income tax purposes)
  • Elimination of the alternative minimum tax
  • Repeal of the net investment income tax

Business may expect these changes:

  • Lower corporate business tax rate
  • Elimination of the alternative minimum tax
  • Increased expensing of tangible assets
  • Immediate deductions for manufacturing investments (in lieu of interest expense deductions)
  • Immediate expensing of intangible assets
  • Revision of the net operating loss carryback and carryover regulations
  • Fixed tax rates for income and distributions for S corporations and partnerships

Although we expect some changes to the tax laws, nothing is for certain.  As we become aware of significant tax law changes, we will be sure to communicate those changes with our clients.

Based on the information available to us now and to the extent it is possible, deferring ordinary income to 2017 and accelerating deductions to 2016 appears to be an appropriate approach.  For example, if there are charitable intentions you are considering for 2017 or an outstanding charitable pledge, it might make sense to fulfill that obligation in 2016.  Because everyone’s tax situation is unique, if you are interested in doing any tax planning or would like more detail regarding President-elect Trump and/or the GOP’s positions on tax reform, please contact our office to discuss your specific tax planning needs and objectives.

TEG Announces New Managing Partner

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Todd Harrington, CPA, CVA, CGMA, Partner has been appointed as the new Managing Partner of the firm effective immediately. He succeeds Donald F. Johnson, Jr., CPA who had management responsibility from 2010 to 2016.

Under Don's leadership, the firm grew from 65 employees to over 100 professionals with offices in both Lancaster and the Capital Region. In addition to his responsibilities for overall operation of the firm, he also served as the chair of the firm’s Management Committee. Don actively participated in the firm’s Construction, Governmental, and Not-for-Profit Practices Groups and served on the Quality Control Committee.

Todd joined the firm in 1996 and was admitted as a Partner in 2007. He was the recipient of Central Penn Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award in 2010, and a 2012 graduate of Leadership Lancaster.

Todd serves a wide array of clients in manufacturing, construction, real estate, and professional services. His areas of specialization include audit and attest services, mergers and acquisitions, tax planning and preparation, and business consulting and valuations. He currently chairs the firm’s Quality Control Committee and Manufacturing Practice Group. He is also an active participant in the firm’s Construction Practice Group.

Todd is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Accounting and Auditing Procedures Committee, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He is also a member and active participant in Vistage. Todd currently serves on the Board and Finance committee for Water Street Ministries.

Todd lives in Lancaster County with his wife and three children.

Thanksgiving Office Hours

Wishing you a Thanksgiving overflowing with peace, love and laughter.

Our offices will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th.

Proposed Regulations Related Internal Revenue Code Section 2704 Could Eliminate Certain Valuation Discounts Related to Family Controlled Entities

On August 2, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department released proposed regulations under section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed regulations are designed to reduce the availability of valuation discounts used in valuing transfers of interests in family controlled entities among related parties.

For decades, appraisers have applied certain valuation discounts to account for the lack of control and lack of marketability present in minority shares of closely-held securities. Empirical studies show that the market places great value on voting control and ready liquidity. Conversely, the lack of these attributes should indicate a lower (discounted) value. The effect of valuation discounts is to lower the estimate of value of the underlying transferred security and thereby potentially lowering the overall transfer (estate, gift, generation skipping) tax paid. Appraisers and estate planning professionals argue that such discounts commonly applied in family wealth transfers are prudent, legitimate and market-based. The Internal Revenue Service has argued such discounts applied in the transfer of family controlled entities are designed solely to limit transfer taxes.

The proposed regulations are currently in a 90 day public comment period. There is no question that there will be disagreement with the proposal regulations from the estate planning community during this comment period. A public hearing has been scheduled for December 1, 2016. Any final regulations may be substantially different from the proposed regulations. While it is too early to know exactly what the final regulations will include, it is never too early to begin planning. If adopted, the regulations will not be effective until the date of publication (or later) of a Treasury decision adopting the proposed regulations as final. Most planners close to the situation indicate that the earliest such regulations would become effective would be in January 2017. As such, the fourth quarter of 2016 is a critical planning period for estate, gift and family business transfer transactions.

The proposed regulations are complex. A detailed discussion of the proposals is outside the scope of this article. The following points represent major categories of changes in the proposed regulations, none of which are beneficial to family business transfers.

  • Limitations on "deathbed” transfers
  • Expanding the concept of "control” of certain entities
  • Modification of the concept of "applicable restrictions”
  • The addition of a new category of "disregarded restrictions”
  • A new definition of "family control”

As with most financial planning matters, each situation is unique. We strongly advise you to seek counsel from your trusted legal, estate and financial advisors regarding how these proposed regulations may impact your overall estate planning situation. A proactive approach to planning is always prudent, regardless of the outcome of any pending regulations.

Trout, Ebersole & Groff’s estate, tax and business valuation experts are ready to assist you with your unique situation and offer proactive advice and assistance as you navigate the ever increasing complexity of government regulation and taxation.

TEG Visits Mission Central

A group of professionals from the Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP Capital Region office visited with the executive director of Mission Central in Mechanicsburg for a tour of the facility and to discuss their mission.

Mission Central is the mission warehouse of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. Since it’s beginning in 2002, Mission Central has had 3 points of focus: Disaster Response, Mission Outreach and Mission Education.

TEG Voted #1 by the Readers of Lancaster County Magazine

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP would like to thank the readers of Lancaster County Magazine for voting our firm as the "Best of Lancaster" in the Professional Services category again in 2016!

#1 Accounting Firm
Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP

#1 Accountant
Brian D. Wassell, CPA, CM&AA

Click here to see who else was voted as "Best of Lancaster".

Lancaster County Magazine's "Best of Lancaster" Reader's Survey is the area's original reader's poll. Established in 1990 featuring results determined by reader feedback, the "Best of Lancaster" Readers' Survey has become a touchstone for excellence among local businesses and organizations.

Tiffany Bender Appointed to Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Board

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is pleased to announce that Tiffany Bender, CPA has been appointed Board Treasurer for the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra. Tiffany is a Senior Accountant with the firm. In it's 70th season, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra provides live musical performances to enrich, entertain and educate the south central PA community.

TEG Exhibits at Lancaster Chamber Business Expo

On Friday, October 21st, Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP participated in the Lancaster Chamber’s 2016 Business Expo.  The event was held at Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim.  The Expo gave TEG professionals the opportunity to network with vendors, prospects, clients and other local business professionals. The event featured educational workshops as well as exhibits. TEG's booth featured a new exhibit.  TEG professionals also participated in the "Launch Party" which was held on Thursday evening from 5-7pm.