Are the people who work for you honest? Of course – or are they? Internal controls are designed to keep your business safe. No matter how honest people are, when they get into trouble, it’s just a short step from borrowing $20 from petty cash to issuing a check to themselves (or a fake company) and signing it. Even if they’re just “borrowing” from you, it’s still theft. Every year, owners discover that the office manager they trusted has been writing checks to themselves for $1,000 to $10,000 a month for the last 10 years. The losses run from thousands
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In my years of working with entrepreneurs, small business owners and even the top sales folks in companies there is one piece of ‘head trash’ that seems to be ever-present…Fear. Some of us were raised with a fear of speaking about money. Our parents taught us that if we had money we don’t talk about it because you don’t want anyone to know. Or if you don’t have money you don’t talk about it because you don’t want anyone to know. Money is something that can cause anxiety and, at its worst, it can lead to an inability to make
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Think about what records are important to your business. Your situation is no different from any other business. Everyone has the same need for recordkeeping. You need to be able to document what your business did. It may be because your accountant wants to verify numbers before he puts your taxes together. It might be because your bank wants to do a field audit. It might be because your customer is looking for verification for a shipment they received. Documentation is the backbone of your business. If you can’t document what you’ve done, then you can’t verify that your reports
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The year is over. Your accountant did the hard part of creating the financial statements. You have the easy work of figuring out what they mean. But is that really the easy part? A quick review of your Income Statement and your Balance Sheet won’t tell you about the details of running your business, and the changes you need to make. Trend Analysis is actually an important monthly analysis. Let’s understand why Trend Analysis is so important. You know your business, and what good numbers look like. But even though you remember these numbers from last month, or even from
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strategic planning
Have you developed your Strategic Plan?  Does it achieve your Vision for your company?  Setting Goals is actually critical to reaching them.  Whether it’s reaching a particular sales level, or being able to retire, unless you set a goal, you are being reactive, not proactive, and your result is at risk. Are you just planning for next year, or are you truly being Strategic?  Just as a budget defines WHERE you want your business to be at the end of the next year, the Strategic Plan defines WHAT you want your business to be in the future.  Here are the
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emotional cash flow
What is the one thing that most business owners are afraid they’re going to run out of? Cash, right? But in spite of the stress that this can create, there is probably nothing that has as much emotion surrounding it as Payroll. Face it. There is nothing more important to you – or your employees – than payroll. Some employees check their bank account every payday to assure that they got paid. When a company runs into Cash Flow issues, you can put off paying your suppliers. You might put off some loan payments. You can even put off your
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budget planning
You didn’t write the budget yourself, and you aren’t the only person responsible for managing it.  Budgeting isn’t a one-person job, and administering it isn’t solely your responsibility either. But just as you manage your business through others, you need the help of others to manage your company’s budget.  So, how do you get them on board? Create a team – Select a team of employees to be responsible for the budget. You have ultimate responsibility for the overall results, but sharing those responsibilities helps assure that the project is completed properly and involves more of the company. Lay out
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tools for budget planning
You worked hard to create your budget for 2018.  Do you use it as a tool to help guide your business during the year?  It’s your view about how your business was going to do this year.  If everything goes according to plan, you will reach your goal. But business isn’t stagnant.  It doesn’t stay the same month after month.  Your customers face similar challenges, and as their businesses change, yours will too.  So, if you are going to actively manage your business, actively managing your budget should be part of it. Here are four approaches to managing your budget:
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trying to run away from taxes
  Nobody wants to pay more taxes than they need to. But this is a strange time of year in a strange year. The tax code is in flux, and what should you do between now and the end of the year to improve your tax situation? The conventional wisdom is that taxes aren’t going to go up for businesses next year. They might go down, or they might be the same, but they’re not going up. So, what should you do to take advantage of whatever changes might happen? The secret sauce is to reduce or defer your taxes
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mapping your inventory control
  Every company has some large assets that are critical to the strength and operation of the company. The values assigned to them are shown on the balance sheet. Accounts Receivable, Prepaid Assets, Fixed Assets, Inventory. What steps do you need to take to make sure that these critical numbers are accurate? For inventory, the issues are pretty clear. How much inventory do you have? How much do you have in stock? Knowing the answer affects whether you can do business. Your ability to accept orders, deliver to customers or build finished goods depends on it. What’s the value? The
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