Posted by Matt Register

Ward & Crystal Molen of Molen and Associates visit us to discuss how they help fix tax headaches for companies, individuals and families.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.

Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio, is the website, 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call-in line. That’s a 24 hour line, guys, get your calls in. I don’t care if it’s now. I don’t care if it’s three o’clock in the morning. We’re going to get the experts in here to get those questions answered. We can also take questions from the website, or #TBR on Twitter. Get them in. I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry ditched us for this segment. He’s going to join us here in a little bit.
But we’re going to talk a little bit about taxes. I know that sounds exciting. You guys own companies. It’s something you’d better pay attention to. Molen & Associates is here in the studio. Crystal Molen, Ward Molen, owners of Molen & Associates. Tax gurus. Welcome to the show, guys.

Ward Molen: Good to be here.

Crystal Molen: Good to be here. Thank you.

Matt Register: So tell me a little bit about Molen & Associates. What do you do? Who do you do it to?

Crystal Molen: We are a tax accounting and financial planning firm and we fix tax headaches and build relationships that last generations. [crosstalk]

Matt Register: Well, tax headaches certainly are big headaches, right?

Crystal Molen: Tax headaches … And especially this time of year, they are crazy.

Matt Register: Talk to me about your clients. Because we were talking a little bit during a break. These are guys that have grown their company, grown from maybe a sole proprietorship, now they have a company and now they’re dealing with tax issues that they never have dealt with before. How can you help those guys?

Crystal Molen: So, whatever their company is, they are expert at or they wouldn’t be having a company.

Matt Register: Sure.

Crystal Molen: The problem is that to have a business, you need to know your numbers, you need to be able to understand how those numbers are going to affect your business. It’s more than just what’s in your bank account. And that’s what we can help you with. We can help you look at your numbers from top to bottom, look at where your cash is coming from, all the different aspects of the financial end. You need a financial guru to help you to expand your business and provide for whoever you’re providing for. For employees, for your family, for your legacy, whatever it is that you’re looking to do, we want to help you to see how those numbers are going to help you to do that.
And unfortunately, your wife or your neighbor or somebody is taking care of those numbers for you while you’re out doing your technician place, and that’s how businesses get in trouble. And we’ve helped lots of businesses to get out of that rut. You need someone who’s in your court to know your business and help you with those numbers part of the business.

Matt Register: Well, at some point you outgrow that, right?

Ward Molen: Right.

Matt Register: That’s absolutely the right thing to do when you’re starting out.

Crystal Molen: Exactly.

Matt Register: And you’re small. But at some point you outgrow that. How does a company know that they have outgrown their current accounting system and accounting personnel.

Crystal Molen: Yeah.

Ward Molen: One of the challenges in that area is recognizing that you don’t know what you don’t know.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ward Molen: And that’s one of the biggest problems for most people, is they believe that they’re very good at what they do, and they probably are, but there’s a whole nother side to that called the business side beyond the technician side. And so if he can’t read your PNLs, you don’t know where you are financially, you don’t have any idea where you are tax-wise, that’s the time when you really need to get some help at that point.

Matt Register: Well, nine times out of 10 this is an afterthought. This is something that they’re going to put together after the fact. They’re gonna make keep the bank quiet. They’re gonna do it to pay their taxes. This is not something that they look, at the numbers generated out of their business as a tool to steer their business, they look at it as an annoyance after the fact. Correct?

Ward Molen: Correct. Right.

Crystal Molen: And that is so true, because they don’t want to worry about the numbers. They want to worry about am I making it? And so many times we’ll have businesses come in and say, no, that can’t be the case because I’ve got X amount in my bank account. So that can’t be. What happened? Well, what you find out is that there’s something that’s not being accounted for right, or they’re … And so some of that can get uncovered when you do your taxes, if the person is not just doing your taxes. If the person is looking at this and saying, okay, let’s talk about this a minute, and here’s what this is looking like, but that doesn’t … You need to have an expert who knows those numbers, who can see numbers. Ward is one of those amazing gurus that can look at numbers and go, no, wait a second. That’s not fitting right.

Matt Register: Yeah. That doesn’t make sense. Something is not being accounted for here, right?

Crystal Molen: Something is not making sense here. And this takes someone who does know numbers to get into it. So it can be anywhere from a bookkeeper that’s not accounting for something correctly. It can be that you’re not seeing that your … Say it’s inventory, you know? And you’re not seeing how much that inventory is taking and that you need to down that inventory, and you could do it in a way that would be beneficial to your business.

Matt Register: Sure.

Crystal Molen: So, it’s all this forward-looking. You can take the back to be able to look forward. And too often, everything gets segmented. Okay, I’ve just got to get these taxes done and get them paid and now I’ve got to go back to doing business.

Matt Register: Yeah. Get that over with and ignore it again until the next time it’s due, right?

Ward Molen: Right.

Crystal Molen: Exactly. And then I got to go back and do business. And that’s not what we want to do. We want to help businesses to be able to expand and grow, and not just have their compliance. Compliance is one thing, but getting businesses to understand that there’s so much more than compliance.

Matt Register: Well, there’s cost accounting, there’s other things. There’s a whole nother level to it that can now guide you in your business. How many of your customers do you think have segments of their business that are unprofitable and they have no idea until you guys start digging into it?

Ward Molen: There’s a sizeable amount. Even, they don’t understand their pricing.

Matt Register: Right.

Ward Molen: They have had the same price for 10 years. They don’t recognize the value of what they do is … The value of what they do is much greater than what they’re charging somebody.

Matt Register: Right. And nor do they generally understand how to come up with that price.

Ward Molen: Right.

Crystal Molen: How to come up with a price. Yes.

Ward Molen: I mean, the formula they use to come up with that pricing is not the formula they should be using, correct?

Crystal Molen: Correct. And that’s where looking at those numbers and understanding your numbers can get you to that better understanding of your own business and what you should be charging and what you should be … What dollars should be going into marketing, you know, I mean, it comes to so many segments of your business.

Matt Register: Well, and you guys help with all of that. Now, you guys been doing this for a couple of years, I would guess, right?

Ward Molen: Yeah, about 35.

Crystal Molen: Thirty-five. And we have our own building on our own land. We’re not going anywhere. It’s not like we’re here today, gone tomorrow. In fact, one of our mottos is “We build relations that last generations.”

Matt Register: Sure.

Crystal Molen: And we do business and taxes, individual taxes for parents and grandparents and their children. We’re now doing them for their children. And we’re friendly. We’re not down … We have that downtown expertise and we’re not in a downtown location.

Matt Register: That above the 30th floor, granite conference table kind of place.

Crystal Molen: Right.

Matt Register: I well understand. Right?

Crystal Molen: Yeah.

Matt Register: Technology has enabled smaller and smaller companies to get the big company level of expertise.

Ward Molen: Absolutely.

Matt Register: And how in the last 35 … Hell, how in the last 10 years, five years, has technology changed the way you guys operate and the level of service you’re able to offer a customer?

Ward Molen: There’s tremendous amount of software out there that can give people excellent reporting on what they’re doing, what they should be doing, how they’ve done, where they need to go, but they’ve got to understand where to go to get it. They’ve got to understand how to put it all together. As one of our strengths, we have excellent technicians in doing that, as well as the analysts to help them understand where they are and where they can be.

Matt Register: But it starts with enough self awareness to know you need some help, right?

Ward Molen: Absolutely.

Crystal Molen: And that’s a really difficult step for some business owners, because they don’t think that they’re big enough, and they don’t want to put one more penny out. You know, again, my wife is doing my books for me, and what they really don’t understand is that the ROI that they’re going to get on putting that out to someone who has that financial acumen, who’s going to talk to them at a level that’s not at this level … That it will apply to their business. Well, they will get so much more back from any money that they would put out.

Matt Register: Well, and at some point they have outgrown the system they had when they started, and it was the right thing to do when they started. Unfortunately, we’re completely out of time. Ward and Crystal Molen, Molen & Associates. Website quickly.

Crystal Molen:

Matt Register: We’re going to have a link right there from if you’re driving-

Crystal Molen: Thank you.

Matt Register: And can’t take notes. Thank you very much for joining us, but we got to go pay some of our own bills.

Crystal Molen: That’s right.

Matt Register: We’ll be back right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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