January 2021 Newsletter




Announcing Our Newest Partners

HTB is proud to announce that Mukti J. Patel, CPA and Derek W. Foret, CPA have been elected Partners of HTB effective January 1, 2021. “These individuals make a positive impact on our clients, our people and our communities. They demonstrate a deep commitment to the development and growth of the firm,” said Managing Partner, Jay Montalbano. “We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to continued success.”

Mukti J. Patel, CPA, has over 16 years of experience providing comprehensive tax planning and compliance services to businesses and individuals. Her practice has an emphasis on construction and small businesses.  She is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). Mukti was LCPA’s 2020 Women to Watch Emerging Leader award recipient.  She holds an M.S. in Accounting from Louisiana State University.

Derek W. Foret, CPA, provides assurance and consulting services to a broad range of companies including many in the construction industry. Derek has experience serving both public and private companies including work with capital markets on public offerings and acquisitions. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants, Junior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and Associated Builders and Contractors. Derek is also a recent graduate of Baton Rouge Business Report’s 2020 Leadership Academy.  He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Louisiana State University.

Announcing Our Newest Associate Partners

Jenna E. Frederic, CPA, is an Associate Partner in our business assurance practice. Based in our Baton Rouge office, she works closely with clients to provide accounting, assurance and advisory services across a wide range of industries with a focus on employee benefit plans, construction and small business.

Jill K. Kindler, JD, CPA, CFF, is an Associate Partner in our Baton Rouge office and she focuses on litigation support, valuation services, and tax matters. She assists clients in complex litigation and disputes involving economic damages, fraud, and valuation. She performs business valuations for various business transactions, succession planning, and estate and gift tax return compliance. Jill also assists with estate planning and prepares estate, trust, and gift tax returns.

Amanda H. Moss, CPA, is an Associate Partner in our Denham Springs office that assists clients in tax preparation, tax planning and consulting services. She focuses her practice on individuals and small businesses. Amanda works with individuals and business owners to assist with financial, strategic and tax planning issues. She has diversified accounting and tax experience across a variety of industries.

Ask Our Experts – FFCRA Tax Tip

While the mandatory requirement to provide paid sick leave and family medical leave from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired on December 31, 2020, employers who chose to continue to provide paid sick leave for COVID-19 exposures and quarantines as provided in the FFCRA will continue to be eligible for tax credits on their payroll tax returns through March 31, 2021.

Do you have a question for our staff? Please submit them to Anna Schexnayder aschexnayder@htbcpa.com. 

Message From Our Managing Partner

As we enter a New Year, I would like to thank all of you for the trust that you have placed in our partners and staff. Through the years, it has been our mission to create an environment of integrity, respect and trust for our people, clients, and community. We have been accomplishing this vision through our dedication to high standards, hiring of seasoned and technical professionals, and our unwavering work ethic. These qualities are the foundation of our culture and have contributed to our success throughout the years as we have grown from our first office in downtown Baton Rouge to three offices across South Louisiana with a total staff of over 130. In 2020, HTB was once again recognized by Baton Rouge Business Report as one of the Best Places to Work and we were also recognized as one of the top 50 national construction accounting firms by Construction Executive Magazine. These are testaments to our growth and success as a firm; as well as a recognition of our passion to being a premier service provider and one of the best places to work!

Many of you have been with us since the beginning and it is with great pride and pleasure for us, as a firm, to contribute and be a part of your continuing success story. We are proud of our accomplishments and we are humbled by being able to serve you. As we enter a new decade, we are committed to being your trusted partner and advisor in all financial aspects of your business.

We have a lot of exciting news to share with you as we enter 2021.  I have been entrusted by our partners with the position of Managing Partner of HTB.  Monica Zumo, who has been our great leader for the past 9 years, has helped navigate our firm to new heights and will remain a partner at the firm as well as a trusted advisor to her clients. In addition, we are excited to announce the addition of new Partners and Associate Partners at the beginning of this year. These individuals make a positive impact on our clients, our people, and our communities. They demonstrate a deep commitment to the development and growth of the firm, and we are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their continued success.

As we enter the 2021 busy season, I look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with our clients, staff and community.

Jay A. Montalbano


Employee Spotlight

Meet our employee of the month, Taylor Harlan! Taylor graduated from Louisiana State University with her Master of Accountancy, and she is a Senior in our Tax Department. Taylor is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of Louisiana Society of CPA’s. We caught up with Taylor earlier this week for some Q&A. Check out her answers below!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Denver, CO or San Francisco. I would love to live in a walking city.

What is your favorite childhood memory? We took a vacation to the Virgin Islands. I ordered a hamburger, and right as I was bringing it to my mouth, a sea gull flew in and ate the entire middle of it. I cried while my mom got me a new one!

What do you like best about working at HTB? The people and the excitement. I love that my coworkers are hilarious, and that everyone truly enjoys being here. I am always happy to come to work.

Second Draw PPP Loans Start This Week 

The Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury announced the Paycheck Protection Program will begin accepting applications on Monday, January 11 from community development financial institutions, minority depository institutions, certified development corporations and microloan intermediaries making first-draw PPP loans. Second draw loans for all other eligible borrowers will begin on Wednesday, January 13. The program will run through March 31, 2021.

Guidance was also released that detailed how the second draw loan program will work. Eligible borrowers will be able to take another PPP loan with the same terms and conditions as the first draw of loans. The funds from the first PPP loan must be or will be spent prior to obtaining a second loan.

For the second draw, borrowers must be small businesses with less than 300 full-time equivalent employees. Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate a reduction in gross receipts of 25% in any calendar quarter of 2020 compared to the same calendar quarter of 2019. If borrowers do not have quarterly financial statements, they can provide their bank a copy of their 2019 tax return and 2020 financial statements that show an overall decline of 25% in gross receipts.

Loans will generally be provided at 2.5 times average monthly payroll, similar to the first draw loans. Borrowers can utilize the same calculation they used from their first loan. Restaurants and other hospitality borrowers are eligible for 3.5 times average monthly payroll for their second draw loans.

Additionally, 501(c)6 organizations are eligible for PPP loans in the second draw program.

These loans will again be eligible for full forgiveness if the funds are spent within a 24 week period on eligible expenses. The IRS has confirmed that the forgiveness of the loans is not taxable and the expenses will be tax deductible.

Please contact us with any questions on second draw PPP loans.

2020 Year In Review





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Disclaimer of liability: Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.