C E A Scholtes and Associates were recommended to me by an accounting firm when I asked them to recommend a firm that could do an audit for a nonprofit that I was part of. The Board of the nonproft felt the need for an audit -- we had not had one in several years -- and asked me to find a firm to do it. I contacted Chris and we met and he described the process for what they would do for an audit. They began by collecting the data for the audit. This in itself was a challenge since complete and organized records had not been kept for the time to be audited. They took the challenge professionally and gradually reconstructed the data that was needed. I was impressed with how carefully and thoroughly they did this work. After completing the audit, Chris met with the Board of Directors to present their findings and discuss the recommendations that they had. These recommendations were very helpful as the Board moved on with the organization. I was very happy with the work that C E A Scholtes did for the nonprofit and would not hesitate to recommend their services.-- Brother Frank ODonnell, SM 443-904-0508 (C)

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Services


Accounting Services | Technology Services | Rates


Month End Close and Financial Reporting

Accounting Services
 • Month End Close and Financial Reporting
 • Financial Statement Audit Preparation
 • CFO for Hire
 • Accounting Records Clean-Up
 • Accounting Software Implementation and Set Up
 • Back Office Remote Bookkeeping
 • Internal Audit
 • Business Plans
 • Cash Flow Analysis, Budgets, Forecasts, Projections
 • Attest Services: Financial Statement Audits, Reviews and Compilations
 • New Accounting Pronouncement Implementations
 • Internal Control Reviews
 • Fixed Asset Inventories
 • Accounting Manuals
 • Physical Inventories of Merchandise

We will help you close your books each month. This involves the following:

  • Recording various month-end transactions (i.e. payroll, investment activity, accrued liabilities, depreciation, amortization, etc.) as necessary.
  • Reviewing monthly transactions in the general ledger to make sure that all material transactions are accounted for in accordance with Accounting Principles Generally Accepted in the United States.
  • Analyze accounting estimates for reasonableness.
  • Review revenue recognition policies.
  • Review financial statements for compliance with Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 5 Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises.
  • Review fluctuations in accounts between actual balances and prior year balances, budgeted balances, etc.
  • Preparation of complex transactions including options, warrants, convertible securities, lease transactions, sophisticated debt service arrangements, notes payable, etc.
  • Review of accounting reserves (i.e. allowance for doubtful accounts receivable, reserve for obsolete inventory, etc.)
  • Review material transactions for proper coding to general ledger accounts.
  • Prepare monthly financial statements (balance sheet, income statement and other schedules important to management).
  • Discuss the financial statements and overall financial health of the company with owners or management. We will also pose recommendations for strengthening internal controls.

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Financial Statement Audit Preparation

We assist companies with the preparation of schedules requested by auditors and used by them to conduct their audit. Oftentimes companies or CPA firms will hire us to get their books ready for an audit. This entails reviewing all balance sheet accounts to determine that they can be adequately supported by applicable documents and that their balances reconcile to those documents. This process brings their books into an auditable position for the auditors. At the close of our audit prep engagement we will furnish a binder to the auditors which includes a trial balance and supporting schedules for all material balance sheet accounts as well as a fluctuation analysis of the income statement accounts. We find that this process greatly reduces the time auditors spend asking questions of company personnel. We know what auditors look for and in many cases have already answered the questions they might have. This helps makes the auditor and auditee both more productive.

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CFO for Hire

Oftentimes small companies can't afford a $100,000 a year CFO. Nevertheless, they need high-level financial and accounting management. We provide some smaller companies and nonprofit organizations CFO level services for 2 to 4 days per month. This entails, among other things:

  • Review of financial statements for accuracy
  • Providing financing analysis and options (lease vs. buy, etc.)
  • Follow up collection assistance on delinquent accounts receivable
  • Presentations to boards
  • Financial analysis (cash flows, budgeting, forecasting)

This limited, but effective service, makes it affordable for our clients and gives them piece of mind that their company's finances and accounting are overseen by an experienced accountant.

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Accounting Records Clean-Up

Many smaller companies typically have a hard time keeping up with their accounting records. It is not unusual for small companies to not have performed bank reconciliations for several months. We will come into your company and perform what we call a "mini-audit" and tie out/reconcile all balance sheet account balances to supporting documentation. We will propose and record any necessary adjustments based on our findings. This process will ensure that your company has gotten back on track with its accounting records. This is a hugely worthwhile endeavor as your financial statements serve as your primary tool for making business decisions. Relying on inaccurate financial statements can be disastrous.

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Accounting Software Implementation and Set Up

We have experience with the following accounting software:

  • QuickBooks
  • Peachtree
  • Great Plains
  • Financial Edge
  • AccPac
  • Quicken
  • RFMS
  • Reflections
  • FAS (Fixed Asset Software)
  • T-Value (Amortization software)

Alternatively, we can perform all of your bookkeeping functions for you (see "Back Office Remote Bookkeeping").

We can implement these and other accounting packages, set up your chart of accounts and train your in-house bookkeeper on how to use the software. Some of our employees are currently in the process of becoming Certified Professional QuickBooks Advisors.

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Back Office Remote Bookkeeping

Many companies and non-profit organizations are looking for ways to reduce their overhead without compromising the quality of their infrastructure. One way to achieve this is through outsourcing your accounting function. This is quite common among non-profits in Baltimore City and Washington DC. We have a sophisticated server/network system that allows our team to handle the accounting function remotely from our offices. This results in an immediate reduction in salaries and benefits (and bonuses - if given), employer contribution expense to employee benefit plans, etc. Although we will manage your accounting data remotely, your organization's financial information will remain at your fingertips. Obviously, this service also frees up some physical space at the client's place of business.

Internal Audit

Internal audits normally take the form of what's called an "Agreed Upon Procedures" engagement. This means that management has developed a set of internal control assertions over their accounting system. (An example would be if a client asserts that they have all checks greater then $5,000 signed by two individuals.) We develop with the client a list of tests to perform over those assertions. We judgmentally and/or randomly select transactions from the client's general ledger to test those assertions. We then develop a report to present to management and the board notifying them of the procedures we performed, assertions tested and results/findings of those tests. We also go well beyond simply reporting results of testing. While reviewing the internal controls in place, we develop our own set of recommendations for the client that help in strengthening their internal controls. This has proven to be a very successful engagement for the Firm and value added service for the client

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Business Plans

We have a number of small start-up clients that request business plans to secure financing or to help them establish an internal road map for their short and long-term business goals. We will draft your business plan which will include such key information as the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Mission Statement, Core Values, Slogan
  • Keys to Success
  • Ownership/Equity Structure
  • Start-Up Summary
  • Location and Facilities
  • Services to be Provided
  • Regulations of the Industry
  • Market Analysis (alternatives and options, demographics, competition)
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Management Summary
  • Financial Plan (includes budget for future years, usually 5 years)

We will also assist you in drafting business information text for your web site.

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Cash Flow Analysis, Budgets, Forecasts, Projections

We have experience preparing these prospective statements/schedules in concert with strategic plans, business plans, etc. Nonprofit entities typically need to have budgets performed so that they can appropriately manage expenses and react to drops in contributions, funding, etc. should they experience such shortfalls. We have extensive experience in working with nonprofits establishing their budgets. We also have experience in providing income statement projections and forecasts. We analyze historical trends, consider future plans/expectations and then generate your prospective financial statements. Let us help you understand what your future results of operations might be. Having this information about the future may cause you to manage differently now.

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Attest Services: Financial Statement Audits, Reviews and Compilations

Our employees have 36 combined years of audit experience performing audits for some of the largest and most complex publicly and privately held companies in the State of Maryland. Our specialty is in providing audits to small and mid-sized companies and nonprofit organizations. We pride ourselves in providing two-week turnaround on financial statement drafts. We also take an interest in presenting financial statements to boards and management so that they understand the results, how transactions flow, trends to watch for, etc. We also strive to provide relevant management letter recommendations at no extra charge on each audit that we perform. The management letter explains areas for improvement and ideas for strengthening internal controls based on our observations during the engagement. Reviews and compilations are attest services that do not test balances. However, reviews and compilations will satisfy some bankers and so these less expensive attest services may be preferable.

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New Accounting Pronouncement Implementations

We have significant experience in this area. Due to our technical accounting background we were recently selected by a national accounting search firm to implement Statement of Accounting Standards No. 143 Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations for a large publicly-traded company headquartered in Maryland. We will help you implement any accounting pronouncement with which you are currently struggling. It is better to get the implementation done right the first time rather then struggle with it for months churning up company time and money.

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Internal Control Reviews

Oftentimes a high quality system of internal control can be difficult to achieve in a small office. We provide advice on how to best segregate duties in the accounting function, how to handle bank statements, bank reconciliations, controls of check stock, signatures of checks, adding dual signatures to checks over a specific dollar amount, segregating the handling of all liquid assets and the accounting function, etc. We will review your control environment thoroughly and pose formal suggestions in a written report to company management. We will also assist in the implementation of the recommendations should that be desired.

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Fixed Asset Inventories

Most companies can print out their balance sheet to see what their furniture and fixtures, computers, leasehold improvements, and equipment balances are. However, many companies can't easily provide a listing of assets that go into making up those balances. Sometimes companies discard assets without deleting them in the general ledger. Other times fixed assets are miscoded to the repairs and maintenance expense account or the technology expense account. We can perform a fixed asset inventory to tell you exactly which fixed assets are on hand. We use a tagging system to track the assets and then use the results of our inventory to prepare a customized spreadsheet listing the assets on hand. This list is compared with existing records to determine the appropriate adjustments to the fixed asset accounts. We will relieve you of the guesswork as to what your fixed assets are and what their carrying values are. Finally, we will assist you in selecting and implementing your capitalization and depreciation policies.

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Accounting Manuals

Accounting manuals are critical resources to a well functioning accounting department. When an employee is sick, on vacation, or terminated, the manual will serve as a training guide for the replacement employee. This ensures transactions and reporting continue accurately and in a relatively uninterrupted way. An accounting manual also facilitates cross training (a facet of strong internal control). Accounting manuals typically have the following information:

  • organizational chart
  • accounting department job descriptions
  • accounting information flows
  • internal controls
  • detailed accounting for various key accounts
  • accounting policies and estimates
  • required monthly reports

Let us strengthen your accounting and finance department by drafting your accounting manual.

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Physical Inventories of Merchandise

Manufacturing, distribution, retailers and other companies with inventory will likely be required by their auditors to have a physical inventory performed on an annual basis. Alternatively, companies may perform regular, recurring "cycle counts" to avoid a large, complex and time consuming inventory at year-end. We help companies prepare for the annual physical inventory by designing a plan to conduct it efficiently and effectively. We will then direct and coordinate the performance of the physical inventory. Our employees have a combined 36 years of performing physical inventories for clients all over the United States.

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