Kathleen Alexander, a principal with the Clifton-based accounting firm Sax, Macy, Fromm & Co., encounters many family-owned businesses struggling to prepare for health insurance reform.
She said the main problem boils down to resources: Many such businesses often have family members managing various departments and are forced to seek outside help in navigating the complexities of the Affordable Care Act. That's unlike large corporations that have sizable human resources and legal departments to advise them on such matters.
"They aren't as well equipped to do that," Alexander said of family-owned businesses.
"Our businesses need to increase revenue. I'd like them to be able spend more time doing that and less time on becoming health care providers and negotiators."
Alexander said Sax Macy tries to steer such businesses to health insurance brokers that can address their specific circumstances.
"There is not a one-size fits all policy," Alexander said. "Everyone has different needs. Each client needs a different solution. There is no cookie cutter."
Alexander said small and family-owned businesses also need to understand whether they are affected by the law's new taxes. Increases in payroll and investment taxes to pay for health care reform took effect Jan. 1, 2013.
The tax increases could hit many family-owned and small businesses, and Alexander said business owners must check their liability to minimize confusion when preparing next year's returns.
"Taxes are all going to hit us in the first quarter of 2014," Alexander said. "What we want all our clients to say is, 'We were prepared. I'm glad we did all the planning in 2013.'"
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