Building a Strong Relationship and a Strong Business


Chris Giarla and his wife owned several McDonald’s restaurants, but they felt they weren’t getting the help they needed from their accounting firm to address their business needs and to help guide them through some complex issues they were facing at the time. “We weren’t happy,” says Chris. “We had five restaurants at the time and they weren’t equipped to provide the service we needed as we were growing.” The Giarlas were referred to Sparkmon & Associates, CPAs, about 15 years ago. The firm’s reputation and vast experience working with McDonald’s owner/operators convinced the couple to work with the team at Sparkmon & Associates. “The references we received for Sparkmon & Associates were very good and we could tell they would be a great fit to help us out,” Chris says. “Because they did a good amount of McDonald’s work and had experience in our industry’s unique situations, we knew working with Sparkmon & Associates would be the right choice.”


The team at Sparkmon & Associates stepped in and helped the Giarlas with their ownership transfer issues as well as assisted with their day-to-day accounting and planning for the long-term. “They provide monthly financial statements and work with my wife, who is in charge of our bookkeeping and payroll, helping make her workday and more efficient,” explains Chris. The couple also meets with the Sparkmon & Associates team a few times a year to work on succession planning, tax planning and restaurant purchase evaluations. “Those areas have really shown their expertise,” Chris says. In addition, Sparkmon & Associates monitors the Giarlas’ “big picture” and helps the couple make the best decisions for their business as it evolves. Chris reports, “We’ve made some adjustments to our corporate structure to address some of the tax benefits we weren’t aware we could qualify for. As tax laws and our situation change, we know Sparkmon & Associates will reexamine the situation and look at different scenarios to minimize our taxes.”


Chris and his wife have been very pleased with the service Sparkmon & Associates has delivered, pointing out that team members are well-organized and easy to approach. “They’ve always been outstanding,” Chris says. “The firm is very experienced with our industry and has an understanding of it that others can’t match.” The Giarlas also value the relationship they’ve built with the Sparkmon & Associates team over the years. “As an owner/operator I’m in the grind every day, working with staff, serving customers and spending money,” Chris says. “I’ve always appreciate my conversations with Emmitt White, as he gets me to step back and look at things from a broader perspective. He helps me realize that we’re growing a business and helps me remember why we got into it in the first place. When you are in it so deep you can lose sight of that. The people at Sparkmon & Associates have been great partners and friends that we have recommended to others many times.”


“The nice thing is that they not only have the professional knowledge to help you succeed, they also treat you like a friend and a partner. We have a real rapport and they never lose sight of the importance of that relationship.”

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Succession & Transition Strategies

Creating a successful succession plan is about protecting the future of a business and/or brand and ensuring there is a strategy in place to ensure your business continues to thrive.

After years of investing time, money and other resources, it’s imperative to prepare for this next stage in business and life. Poor planning can increase risks for stakeholders and tarnish legacies. Let’s make sure the next generation is well-equipped and ready to take your life’s work and family legacy to an even greater level of success.

Each situation is unique because the needs of each one involved are unique. We carefully review each opportunity to determine how best to structure a transition while meeting your goals, complying with any brand licensing polices and minimizing the tax implications of the transfer.

  • Next generation succession planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Wealth management

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Technology Services

Antares Group’s technology team provides convenient hardware and software support, along with comprehensive cloud accounting services with 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information exactly the way you want it, on any connected device, with a customizable dashboard interface. We use best-in class cloud accounting platforms and software including Sage Intacct, and robot process automation (RPA) with integration capabilities with some of the leading point-of-sale, payroll, and business operations management software programs.

Cloud accounting is just the beginning; Antares Group’s experienced technology team also performs system evaluations and makes recommendations for products and services that will help your business run more efficiently, as well as protecting your information and infrastructure with robust security options. Using the right technology for automation will simplify your life and keep your valuable data safe..

  • Technology and security optimization
  • Complete cloud accounting services
  • Computer troubleshooting assistance with remote and onsite repair

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Business Planning & Valuation

An accurate understanding of your company’s current value and financial viability is vital for achieving business success and the launch pad to boundless possibilities in the years to come. Realistic valuations are essential for long-term strategic plans, business successions and expansions, gift and estate planning, and a lucrative retirement package. Planning for where you want to go in the future is what our business and tax advisors do best. Whatever your goals, we are here to provide you with the right plan and insightful guidance to achieve it.

  • Trend reporting and analysis and business valuation
  • General business and start-up consulting
  • Major reinvestment planning
  • Cash flow projections

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Back Office Solutions

In such a fast-moving business environment, business owners need every advantage to succeed. Improving efficiency should be an ongoing part of your strategy for financial success, empowering you to make continuous improvements.

Whether your business is a single location seeking to grow effectively and sustainably, an established franchise brand adding new locations, or something in between, Antares Group provides a suite of back office services and the financial expertise to help business owners and managers achieve their operational and financial goals. In the process of supporting your essential back office operations with practical solutions, we analyze the function and effectiveness, looking for inefficiencies and potential liabilities, offering valuable insights for owners and managers.

  • Daily deposit verification and online banking monitoring
  • Process invoices and code general ledger accounts
  • Process vendor payments and file 1099s
  • Prepare and file sales and use tax returns
  • Reconcile bank, credit card and cashless sales accounts

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Tax Advisory

Minimizing your tax burden is a year-round strategy; planning for and preparing complex business and individual tax returns is where Antares Group excels. Beyond simply helping you fulfill basic tax obligations, you can rely on our tax advisory team to keep you informed of ever-changing regulations and keep you in compliance. We conduct regular reviews to make sure all methods of reducing your tax liabilities are being used. We routinely assess your personal income tax situation and cash flow to guard against the unexpected. This ongoing strategic analysis empowers you to maximize tax savings and capitalize on new opportunities.

In addition, we provide advisory services for new business startups, acquisitions, and dispositions. Through careful analysis, we help clients determine the best structure and make the process as seamless as possible.

  • Business and individual year-end tax returns
  • Personal property, gift, and trust income tax returns
  • Fixed asset setup and maintenance
  • Annual tax planning and preparation

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Cloud Accounting

Whether you run a small closely held business or a large franchise operation, maintaining a firm grasp of accounting and bookkeeping can be challenging. Between managing staff and overseeing daily operations, there is not enough time to dig into the books and make sense of the financials. You need to know the facts and the implications. – having precise, up-to-date information at hand means you always know your financial position so you can make informed decisions that keep your business moving forward.

The financial experts at Antares can create a custom menu of accounting and tax services perfectly catered to your business needs, including accurate and timely financial statements and reports, so you are always prepared to respond quickly to changing and challenging circumstances. Along the way, we provide clear feedback and financial guidance to help you predict trends and recognize issues, then make the necessary adjustments to sustain cash flow throughout the year.

  • Timely preparation of financial statements based on your particular needs
  • Complete preparation of sales, payroll, inventory, accrual, and prepaid journal entries
  • Meticulous monthly bank and credit card reconciliations

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