With dozens of state and Federal tax changes—not to mention today's fast paced business environment—we recognize the challenge to sift through the vast amount of information that comes our way every day.  This and subsequent newsletters will incorporate commentary  from guest experts in areas such as law, marketing, risk management, finance, banking, and business development.

CPA is in the business of tax advice and helping all of our clients and potential clients with the opportunity to run more efficiently.  We are always looking to better educate and serve our clients, so we would appreciate your questions, suggestions and input by completing the "contact us" section below.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share your comments, questions, or suggestions regarding current or future topics.  If you would like to learn more about Clayton Paulk and Associates, please email us at  

It's Expensive to Be Poor

by Gary Clayton, CPA
Clayton Paulk and Associates

By not having money, you pay the highest price for everything because financing the purchase becomes more important than the price.  “Six months same as Cash” does not apply to the person with poor credit.  But if you could pay cash, you can negotiate a better deal because only the price of the item is in question. 
Outrageous interest rates are charged to people with poor credit.  The lending institution perceives greater risk, thus the interest rate is higher.  With a good credit rating, less risk is perceived resulting in a lower interest rate and thus lower payments.  This is true for cars, homes, and even credit card interest rates.
When obtaining a mortgage, putting 20% down  will avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  This is a charge of a several hundred dollars per month to protect the lender in the case of default.  By not having the sufficient down payment, you incur this charge.
Also, by paying off the mortgage over 15 years instead of 30, a savings of over $100,000 could result.  The payment will only slightly higher and once you become accustomed it, you won’t notice it on a monthly basis.  But if you are cash strapped on a monthly basis, you likely won’t take the shorter term.
True wealth is created by living below your means for an extended period of time.  Living in
thismanner, will help you become a lender instead of a borrower.  Then compound interest will work for you rather than against you.
Quote of month “But Godliness is actually a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment”. 1Timothy 6:6

About the contributor:  Gary is a partner at Clayton, Paulk  & Associates.  He holds a BS degree in accounting from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and he received his CPA designation in 1978. Gary was with Clayton, Paulk & Associates from 1978 until 1991, at which time he formed a computer network integration company.  He rejoined the firm in 2009 as a partner with direct responsibility for client development. His emphasis is on monthly accounting services and business consulting.  
Ned Lenhart, CPA

Three Costly Sales Tax Risks
And Errors.

by Ned Lenhart, CPA
Interstate Tax Strategies, P.C.

About the contributor:  Ned’s 30 years of experience in sales and use tax consulting allows him quickly help companies deal with the tax issues they face. Ned started Interstate Tax Strategies in 2003 after serving as a Director with Deloitte, Sr. Manager with Arthur Andersen in their Kansas City, MO office and also has extensive experience in tax administration having serviced as Director of Compliance, Deputy Director of Taxation, and Manager of Audits for the Missouri Department of Revenue. Ned is a frequent speaker to trade and industry groups and is active in the AICPA and GSCPA. :

31 Reasons Why Your LLC Needs an Operating Agreement

By George Fox, Fox & Mattson, P.C.

How about 31 reasons to maximize the liability shield of your Limited Liability Company? They apply to every business, professional practice, and investment entity which holds stocks, real estate and anything else in the name of an LLC.

First, though, here’s why you want to consider these 31 reasons.

There’s no protective goo which coats your assets when you (or you and your business associates) pay the $100 filing fee to the Secretary of State to form an LLC on your own. There’s no automatic, unlimited, lifetime protection.

And there’s no sealant which seeps into all the cracks and crevices surrounding company assets when you use an online service’s  Do-It-Yourself Limited Liability Company Special for $89-or-whatever. That’s true even if their package includes a fill-in-the-blanks form “Operating Agreement.”

Sure, merely forming an LLC gives you some protection. But regardless of what you’ve read about LLCs online, regardless of what you found by Googling, that’s not all the protection you can get.

You get much more protection  – and control – with a real, written Operating Agreement tailored to what you’re doing.

That’s primarily due to the 31 places in the Georgia LLC Code where this phrase appears:

Unless otherwise provided in a written operating agreement. . . [.]”   READ MORE

About the Contributor: George Fox is a respected Atlanta attorney with more than 30 years of experience in the practice of law. After graduating from Emory University Law School and gaining experience with a local firm, he founded his own firm in 1983.  George serves as Adjunct Professor in the Center for Transactional Law and Practice at the Emory Law School. He frequently presents to bankers, financial advisors, veterans, industry groups and others. He has given seminars for the Georgia Tech School of Management and at State Bar of Georgia Continuing Legal Education classes. George also works with many charitable entities regarding their IRS qualification and structure.

Ask the Expert

Looking for specific advice or an opinion without fee or obligation from a trusted expert?  We are always wanting to serve our clients as a resource for all areas of their business.  Clayton Paulk has valuable relationships with professionals who can offer feedback in many areas.  

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 Important Tax Dates  

Click on the image above to Direct to the IRS Tax Calendar 
SO YOU KNOW....Snapshot Of The Big Picture in Georgia
About Us
From the day Clayton, Paulk & Associates opened its doors in 1953, our guiding principle has been to put our clients' needs first. Our goal is to protect and grow our clients' financial futures. We achieve this through building relationships, offering personal services, as well as sound advice. Our success stems from the success of our clients. As we meet their needs, our clients refer us to the people they care about. Mutual trust, respect, and understanding grows over time. Visit to see how we can meet your needs.
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Clayton Paulk & Associates
100 Crescent Centre Parkway
Suite 300
Tucker, GA 30084