Beyond the portfolio:

Thomas Doll offers clients more with business accounts>

October 16, 2023

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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Key takeaways
  • Thomas Doll manages $1.6B in assets, specializing in clients who own dental and medical practices. The firm provides financial planning and tax planning services that are critical to the success of their clients’ businesses and a financially secure future
  • Thomas Doll identified their clients’ need for a solution for their business reserves with more FDIC coverage than a typical checking account, in addition to helping business owners with extremely limited time earn a higher rate on their cash
  • Thomas Doll has supported its business-owning clients with access to Flourish Cash, resulting in:||
    • $67M+ on the platform
    • $2.3M+ in interest earned by their clients
    • Up to $4M in FDIC insurance coverage for each business account through our Program BanksΩ
    • Better financial and tax planning through proactive management of client cash
  • In addition to providing a cash management solution for businesses reserves, Thomas Doll has helped increase clients’ personal cash reserves through Flourish Cash – critically important for small business owners and entrepreneurs, where planning needs around cash often stretch across both personal and business reserves
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Thomas Doll is a California-based firm that specializes in working with physicians and dentists who run their own practices. These clients are responsible for serving their patients while also running a business, and rely on the advisors at Thomas Doll for navigating all aspects of their complex financial lives, from investments and financial planning to income taxes and business accounting. Flourish Cash offers Thomas Doll an essential tool to ensure clients’ businesses have a profitable, safe place to hold reserve cash for payroll, operating expenses, taxes, and more, in addition to helping business owners with extremely limited time earn a competitive rate on their cash. Through Flourish Cash, Thomas Doll has been able to help clients enhance their confidence by increasing personal and business reserves through interest earned and ensuring the security of business assets that is crucial to maintaining business longevity.

The Approach_desktop
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Taxes are a complex, regularly-recurring financial event that often can be disconnected from the rest of a client’s financial life. As a fiduciary, results-driven firm, Thomas Doll supports clients through the various phases of the financial journey of a small business owner by bringing together financial planning and tax planning under one roof.

“We're always looking for the best, most advantageous investments for our clients and finding the intersection between taxes and finance,” explained Todd Rouleau, a Portfolio Advisor at Thomas Doll. “We’re there almost from the beginning of the life cycle of the client, from coming out of college and starting to save, to buying a practice and getting set up for retirement.”

Clients who own a business require a different approach to financial planning throughout these stages, one that’s more closely integrated with tax planning. Thomas Doll often starts working with clients immediately after completing medical school, balancing student loans with saving for retirement. When a client decides to become an entrepreneur and business owner, Thomas Doll is there throughout the process of buying or starting a practice. Advisors are involved in the financial journey as clients start their practice and then work to stabilize its cash flow, using retirement accounts to optimize client tax plans. “We help clients minimize their taxes, maximize their wealth, set them up for retirement, and feel confident that they're on target for a financially secure future,” said Barry Oliver, a partner at Thomas Doll who works as a wealth advisor and CPA. This approach is essential to setting a client up for success as a business owner. 

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Clients’ lack of knowledge, interest, or time
Thomas Doll provides financial and tax planning so that their business-owning clients can keep their focus on patients and daily operations of the practice. Brett LeMmon, a CPA and wealth advisor at Thomas Doll, describes how this approach complements the work of their clients. “Their focus at dental or medical school is clinical – not business education. Our clients rely heavily on us to help close the gap, whether it's tax planning, reviewing the overhead of their businesses, or getting a sound financial plan in place.” 

Cash reserves necessary for the business
Thomas Doll knew that managing cash reserves was a critical component of both a financially-sound business and personal financial confidence for their entrepreneurial clients, but realized that there was a lack of solutions specifically for business owners. “Clients often ask where they should put their extra money that may be earmarked for near-term purposes or that they need to keep liquid for an emergency fund? When clients aren’t ready to invest their reserves, we need to help them find a solution,” explained Rouleau. Because cash flow for a small business can be volatile, business owners recognize that reserve funds are a safety net for times of uncertainty and unexpected expenses, and Thomas Doll needed a solution that helped them better support their clients. 

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Lack of business-focused solutions with FDIC coverage for higher balances
“Historically, there aren’t as many options for small business banking,” said Rouleau. “And a few of the popular places are no longer in business.” The limited options for business accounts resulted in clients keeping more than the recommended cash on hand. LeMmon explained, “When we're reviewing the books of our clients, we're seeing that they have three or maybe even six months' worth of operating expenses on hand in a checking account. Time and time again, we're finding that clients have excess cash that's just sitting in a non-interest bearing account.” Not only was the reserve cash earning little to no yield, but the balances often exceeded the standard $250,000 FDIC insurance coverage of a typical business checking account. Some of Thomas Doll’s clients banked with well-known banks that failed in the spring, heightening awareness of FDIC insurance coverage needs. 

The Solution_desktop
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Flourish Cash has helped Thomas Doll advisors provide a new path for the 600+ clients they’ve invited to create an account. “We recommend that clients have enough in a business checking account to cover payroll and a month's worth of operating expenses. For any additional cash, we advise them to put it into Flourish Cash to earn more and have more FDIC protection,” said LeMmon. He explained that more yield – up to 5.00% APY in the top tier§ – gives clients more confidence, and more FDIC insurance coverage through underlying Program Banks – up to $4M – gives more peace of mind. 

Now, Flourish Cash is the go-to solution whenever a Thomas Doll advisor finds a client holding more than the recommended amount, whether for business holdings or for personal reserves. “Anytime we find someone holding over $50,000, for example, it's just a click away with Flourish,” said Rouleau. “It typically goes over really well, and the opening process is seamless enough that they're off and running, and end up consolidating a lot of accounts.” 

Advisor involvement and increased visibility were essential to Thomas Doll. “When I fill out an application for a client and then send an invitation, we're seeing action happening,” described LeMmon. “We're able to see progress rather than just telling a client to check out options at their bank or other institutions.”

Visibility has led to further conversations about their financial situation beyond the business. “Then, of course, the conversation opens up. ‘What's in your personal bank account, by the way? What are your reserves?’ Then it's leading into cash management on the personal side as well, but we're starting with the business in many of these conversations.” In addition to a Flourish Cash Business account, clients can open individual and joint accounts for their personal cash, which can be critically important for entrepreneurial physicians and dentists, where personal wealth and business reserves are often intertwined. 

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As Thomas Doll’s advisors have been able to offer their clients even more financial security both on a personal and professional level through Flourish Cash, they’ve seen the benefits positively impact both the firm and their clients. 

FDIC
Business owners tend to hold a higher amount of cash on hand, which creates a need for higher FDIC coverage than the standard $250K offered with the average checking or savings account. “When several banks went under earlier this year, most of our clients who weren’t using Flourish Cash at that time were proactive in splitting up their cash,” said LeMmon. “I have one client who had about a million dollars in an account, and he went and put it in four different banks in the spring after the collapse of several banks. At his mid-year meeting, we reminded him that he didn’t have to split it up, that it could have all been in Flourish Cash. He funded his Flourish account the next day.” Now, Thomas Doll is able to offer clients’ businesses up to $4M FDIC coverage through the Flourish Cash Program Banks. 

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Yield
The other main driver is the increased yield that business owners can earn with a Flourish Cash Business account compared to other options. With Flourish Cash Business accounts currently earning up to 5.00% APY in the top tier, the yield can be substantial. With an average Flourish Cash Business account balance of about $196,700 for Thomas Doll clients,1 each business would earn $9,835 in annual interest at the current top rate. “Flourish puts us in a position to offer our clients a very competitive rate and has been excellent from a customer service perspective,” said Rouleau.

Client value add
Thomas Doll’s clients view access to Flourish as an add-on they receive for being a client of the firm and have been pleased with the service. “Most people have found it to be convenient in terms of linking to their bank account, have good ease of use, and appreciate the ability to be able to put the account in the name of a trust,” said Oliver.

It has also eased the burden on advisors who now have easy access to the information they need for financial planning and tax filing. “On the accounting side of things, we can look at the client’s financials and build that into their monthly and quarterly financial reports without having to knock on their door to get the information,” said Rouleau. “It's been a great bridge to the information we need for our firm.” 

Brand impact
The benefits clients receive from Flourish has increased the brand value for the firm. “When we talk to clients about it, we say, ‘We don't charge on the account.’ And I don't know what kind of goodwill that buys, but they like it and it has created a stronger tie,” explained Oliver. “We were an early adopter and, even though we don't get paid for it, Flourish has been a good cash management program that allowed us to brand our name on it.” 

Flourish Cash has increased their clients' sense of security and confidence in Thomas Doll. “Clients feel that we're looking out for them more,” said LeMmon. “Flourish has helped support overall planning and facilitate conversations about clients goals, what they want to do and what we're trying to achieve together.”

 

About Flourish
Flourish builds technology that empowers financial advisors, improves financial lives and retirement outcomes, and delivers new and innovative investment options to advisors. Today, the Flourish platform is used by more than 700 wealth management firms representing more than $1.5 trillion in assets under management. Flourish is wholly-owned by MassMutual. For more information, visit www.flourish.com.

About Thomas Doll
Thomas Doll provides peace of mind for physicians and dentists and their families by seeking to minimize their taxes and realize their full wealth potential. Addressing the intersection of tax and finance, Thomas Doll provides integrated wealth management, tax reduction planning strategies, practice accounting, payroll, and retirement planning services. Full circle planning. Learn more at thomasdoll.com.

 

Thomas Doll and Flourish are separate and unaffiliated firms. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity. This feedback may not be representative of the experience of other customers, and is not a guarantee of future performance or success. 

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personalized investment advice. It should not be construed as a solicitation to offer personal securities transactions or provide personalized investment advice. The information provided does not constitute any legal, tax or accounting advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney and accountant.

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Flourish is an online platform through which investors can access financial services and products. The services and products offered through Flourish are provided by different entities and are subject to different terms, investor protections and risks. Flourish Cash is offered by Flourish Financial LLC, a registered broker-dealer and FINRA member. Flourish Financial LLC is not a bank. Check the background of Flourish Financial LLC and its personnel on FINRA's BrokerCheck. Please review the Legal section of our website for further information. If you were introduced or invited to Flourish by a third-party investment adviser or other third party, whose name or logo may be shown above, please be aware that, unless otherwise disclosed to you, they are not affiliated with any Flourish entity. The role of the investment adviser or other firm that invited you to Flourish may vary between different Flourish services and products, as further described in the terms for each service or product. © 2023 Flourish. All rights reserved.

† A Flourish Cash account is a brokerage account offered by Flourish Financial LLC, a registered broker-dealer and FINRA member. Flourish Financial LLC is not a bank. Check the background of Flourish Financial LLC and its personnel on FINRA's BrokerCheck. The cash balance in a Flourish Cash account will be swept from the brokerage account to deposit account(s) at one or more third-party Program Banks that have agreed to accept deposits from customers of Flourish Financial LLC. The accounts at Program Banks will pay a variable rate of interest. 

|| Source: Flourish Financial LLC; data as of 10/03/2023.

Ω The cash balance in a Flourish Cash account that is swept to one or more Program Banks is eligible for FDIC insurance, subject to FDIC rules, including aggregate insurance coverage limits. FDIC insurance will not be provided until funds arrive at the Program Bank. There are currently at least 16 Program Banks available to accept deposits for business Flourish Cash accounts and personal Flourish Cash accounts, and we are not obligated to allocate customer funds across more than this number of Program Banks if there is a greater number of banks in the program. Customers are generally eligible for FDIC insurance coverage of $250,000 per customer, per Program Bank, for each account ownership category. Thus, business customers are eligible for up to $4,000,000 of FDIC insurance and personal customers are eligible for (i) up to $4,000,000 of FDIC insurance for an individual account or revocable living trust account and (ii) up to $8,000,000 of FDIC insurance for a joint account with two owners or joint revocable living trust(s). The total FDIC coverage for a two-person household is calculated assuming that each household member has an individual account and that both household members share a joint account. If the number of Program Banks decreases for a customer (for instance, because a customer chooses to exclude Program Banks from receiving their deposits), the amount of FDIC insurance through Flourish Cash could be lower. Typically, all of a customer’s deposits at a Program Bank in the same ownership category (including deposits held outside Flourish Cash or held through multiple Flourish Cash accounts with the same ownership category) count toward the FDIC insurance limit for deposits at that Program Bank. Customers are responsible for monitoring whether they maintain deposits at a Program Bank outside of Flourish Cash and should consider choosing to exclude that Program Bank from receiving their deposits to avoid exceeding FDIC insurance limits. Although Flourish Cash is offered through a brokerage account and cash held in brokerage accounts often has the benefit of SIPC protection, until such time as we offer securities products, customers likely will not have the benefit of SIPC protection. SIPC protection is not available for cash held at the Program Banks. Our current Program Banks can be found here. For additional information regarding FDIC coverage, visit https://fdic.gov/

§ Flourish Cash currently has a tiered interest rate structure, as set forth in the rate tier summary. We deposit your cash with one or more of the Program Banks, subject to any Program Bank(s) you have excluded. You will earn the highest rate offered by Flourish up to the maximum deposit amount for each tier. Each annual percentage yield (APY) displayed here is effective as of 09/07/2023 and may change at any time. The Flourish Cash interest rate(s) could be lower than the rate that could be earned by opening a deposit account directly with a Program Bank. 

1 Source: Flourish Financial LLC; data as of 10/12/2023, average balances calculated with respect to each business’ non-zero Flourish account balances across all accounts.