Helpful Articles

Buy vs. Lease: Business Equipment Edition

Life presents us with many choices: paper or plastic, chocolate or vanilla, regular or decaf. For businesses, a common conundrum is buy or lease. You’ve probably faced this decision when considering office space or a location for your company’s production facilities. But the buy vs. lease quandary also comes into play with equipment.

Pride of ownership

Some business owners approach buying equipment like purchasing a car: “It’s mine; I’m committed to it and I’m going to do everything I can to familiarize myself with this asset and keep it in tip-top shape.” Yes, pride of ownership is still a thing.

If this is your philosophy, work to pass along that pride to employees. When you get staff members to buy in to the idea that this is your equipment and the success of the company depends on using and maintaining each asset properly, the business can obtain a great deal of long-term value from assets that are bought and paid for.

Of course, no “buy vs. lease” discussion is complete without mentioning taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act dramatically enhanced Section 179 expensing and first-year bonus depreciation for asset purchases. In fact, many businesses may be able to write off the full cost of most equipment in the year it’s purchased. On the downside, you’ll take a cash flow hit when buying an asset, and the tax benefits may be mitigated somewhat if you finance.

Fine things about flexibility

Many businesses lease their equipment for one simple reason: flexibility. From a cash flow perspective, you’re not laying down a major purchase amount or even a substantial down payment in most cases. And you’re not committed to an asset for an indefinite period — if you don’t like it, at least there’s an end date in sight.

Leasing also may be the better option if your company uses technologically advanced equipment that will get outdated relatively quickly. Think about the future of your business, too. If you’re planning to explore an expansion, merger or business transformation, you may be better off leasing equipment so you’ll have the flexibility to adapt it to your changing circumstances.

Last, leasing does have some tax breaks. Lease payments generally are tax deductible as “ordinary and necessary” business expenses, though annual deduction limits may apply.

Pros and cons

On a parting note, if you do lease assets this year and your company follows Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), new accounting rules for leases take effect in 2020 for calendar-year private companies. Contact us for further information, as well as for any assistance you might need in weighing the pros and cons of buying vs. leasing business equipment.

© 2019

Henderson, KY Henderson, TN Jackson, TN Martin, TN Memphis, TN Milan, TN Murray, KY Nashville, TN Owensboro, KY Paris, TN Tupelo, MS Union City, TN

National Small Business Week

As part of National Small Business Week (May 5-11), the IRS issued a reminder about a change in backup withholding. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the backup withholding tax rate dropped from 28% to 24%. Backup withholding applies in various situations, including when a taxpayer fails to supply a correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) to a payer. Usually, a TIN is a Social Security number, but in some cases, it can be an employer identification number, individual taxpayer identification number or adoption taxpayer identification number. Backup withholding also applies when a taxpayer under-reported interest or dividend income on a federal tax return.

Press Releases

Creative agency, Sodium Halogen, has merged with CPA firm, Alexander Thompson Arnold

Contact: William Donnell, Founder Sodium Halogen



May 1, 2019




Creative agency, Sodium Halogen, has merged with CPA firm, Alexander Thompson Arnold
Sodium Halogen has merged with ATA to become the firm’s digital consulting arm. This new relationship will provide ATA’s clients with additional resources including marketing consulting, app development, and other creative services to further enhance their businesses. The combination of ATA and Sodium Halogen creates a full-stack consulting service to amplify businesses.
“Think of it as left brain meets right brain,” said Stephen Eldridge, ATA partner. “ATA’s analytical thinking is joining with Sodium Halogen’s creative mindset, which means a more diverse business strategy.”
“We’ve been very pleased with what Sodium Halogen has done for ATA,” said partner, John Whybrew.  “They’ve rebuilt our brand and website, improved our marketing, and created software to increase efficiency. It seemed natural to offer the same great products to our clients.”
Sodium Halogen has worked with more than 300 businesses ranging from startups to national corporations, including Chick-Fil-A, MARS petcare, GE Capital and Vanderbilt University. Their recent merger with Nashville-based C4 solutions, added partners Barrett Gay and Quincy Jones, further expanding their expertise to include virtual reality, robotics and app development.

“We believe creating great digital products starts with the customer,” said William Donnell, founder of Sodium Halogen. “Our method focuses on solving your customers’ problems while accomplishing your business goals. We are thrilled to offer this service not only to ATA, but the communities they serve.”

Sodium Halogen’s digital experience starts with their “Designtific Method” that involves research, strategy, idea generation and design. After goals are established, Sodium Halogen will recommend which digital products are best suited for that company. Goals could include (but are limited to) saving time and money, growing revenue, closing more leads or brand awareness.

ATA clients can take advantage of this partnership immediately by contacting their local ATA office.


About ATA

ATA is the premier source of accounting and advisory services helping clients achieve their goals. ATA has twenty-six partners, sixteen offices, and over 250 staff that encompass the teams across Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Indiana. ATA has been recognized by INSIDE Public Accounting as a national top 200 accounting firm. They were also recognized by IPA 200 as the fastest-growing all growth firm. Learn more about ATA at


About Sodium Halogen

Sodium Halogen’s multi-disciplinary team spent the last 18 years experimenting and refining their process of turning great ideas into solid strategy and great digital products. Sodium Halogen specializes in the design and development of software/application, brands, websites, interaction design (UX/UI) and virtual reality. Sodium Halogen is based out of Jackson, Tenn. and Nashville, Tenn., but serves clients around the world. Learn more about Sodium Halogen at



General Helpful Articles

3 Ways to get more for your marketing dollars

A strong economy leads some company owners to cut back on marketing. Why spend the money if business is so good? Others see it differently — a robust economy means more sales opportunities, so pouring dollars into marketing is the way to go.

The right approach for your company depends on many factors, but one thing is for sure: Few businesses can afford to cut back drastically on marketing or stop altogether, no matter how well the economy is doing. Yet spending recklessly may be dangerous as well. Here are three ways to creatively get more from your marketing dollars so you can cut back or ramp up as prudent:

    1. Do more digitally. There are good reasons to remind yourself of digital marketing’s potential value: the affordable cost, the ability to communicate with customers directly, faster results and better tracking capabilities. Consider or re-evaluate strategies such as:
      • Regularly updating your search engine optimization approaches so your website ranks higher in online searches and more prospective customers can find you,
      • Refining your use of email, text message and social media to communicate with customers (for instance, using more dynamic messages to introduce new products or announce special offers), and
      • Offering “flash sales” and Internet-only deals to test and tweak offers before making them via more expansive (and expensive) media.
    2. Search for media deals. During boom times, you may feel at the mercy of high advertising rates. The good news is that there are many more marketing/advertising channels than there used to be and, therefore, much more competition among them. Finding a better deal is often a matter of knowing where to look.

Track your marketing efforts carefully and dedicate time to exploring new options. For example, podcasts remain enormously popular. Could a marketing initiative that exploits their reach pay dividends? Another possibility is shifting to smaller, less expensive ads posted in a wider variety of outlets over one massive campaign.

    1. Don’t forget public relations (PR). These days, business owners tend to fear the news. When a company makes headlines, it’s all too often because of an accident, scandal or oversight. But you can turn this scenario on its head by using PR to your advantage.

Specifically, ask your marketing department to craft clear, concise but exciting press releases regarding your newest products or services. Then distribute these press releases via both traditional and online channels to complement your marketing efforts. In this manner, you can make the news, get information out to more people and even improve your search engine rankings — all typically at only the cost of your marketing team’s time.

These are just a few ideas to help ensure your marketing dollars play a winning role in your company’s investment in itself. We can provide further assistance in evaluating your spending in this area, as well as in developing a feasible budget for next year.

© 2018