How profitable are your customers?

| Business Briefs

“We love our customers!” Every business owner says it. But all customers aren’t created equal, and it’s in your strategic interest to know which customers are really strengthening your bottom line and by how much. Sorting out the data If your business systems track individual customer purchases, and your accounting system has good cost accounting or decision support capabilities, determining individual customer profitability will be simple. If you have cost data for individual products, Read more [...]

Find the right path forward with KPIs

| Business Briefs

From the baseball field to the boardroom, statistical analysis has changed various industries nationwide. With proper preparation and guidance, business owners can have at their fingertips a wealth of stats-based insight into how their companies are performing — far beyond the bottom line on an income statement.   The metrics in question are commonly referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs). These formula-based measurements reveal the trends underlying a company’s operations. And seeing Read more [...]

Ensuring a peaceful succession with a buy-sell agreement

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous, News

A buy-sell agreement is a critical component of succession planning for many businesses. It sets the terms and conditions under which an owner’s business interest can be sold to another owner (or owners) should an unexpected tragedy or turn of events occurs. It also establishes the method for determining the price of the interest.   This may sound cut and dried. And a properly conceived, well-written buy-sell agreement should be — it is, after all, a legal document. But there’s a human side Read more [...]

Rev up retirement offerings with an NQDC plan

| Business Briefs

Many business owners and executives would like to save more money for retirement than they’re allowed to sock away in their 401(k) plan. For 2017, the annual elective deferral contribution limit for a 401(k) is just $18,000, or $24,000 if you’re 50 years of age or older. This represents a significantly lower percentage of the typical owner-employee’s or executive’s salary than the percentage of the average employee’s salary. Therefore, it can be difficult for these highly compensated Read more [...]

4 tough questions to ask before expanding to a new location

| Business Briefs

Is business going so well that you’re thinking about adding another location? If this is the case, congratulations! But before you start planning the ribbon-cutting ceremony, take a step back and ask yourself some tough questions about whether a new location will grow your company — or stretch it too thin. Here are four to get you started: What’s driving your interest in another location? It’s important to articulate specifically how the new location will help your business move toward Read more [...]

Is outsourced accounting right for your NFP?

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel     As your nonprofit strives to use its resources as effectively as possible, at some point, you might consider outsourcing the functions that fall under your accounting and financial umbrella. Nonprofits often outsource areas that require specialized knowledge or a significant number of hours, such as payroll processing and payroll tax preparation. Outsourcing accounting functions also can provide benefits – if it matches up with your organization’s needs and budget. Before Read more [...]

Does your business have too much cash?

| Business Briefs

From the time a business opens its doors, the owner is told “cash is king.” It may seem to follow that having a very large amount of cash could never be a bad thing. But, the truth is, a company that’s hoarding excessive cash may be doing itself more harm than good.   Liquidity overload   What’s the harm in stockpiling cash? Granted, an extra cushion helps weather downturns or fund unexpected repairs and maintenance. But cash has a carrying cost — the difference between the return Read more [...]

Make sure your company is prepared for any disaster

| Business Briefs

What could stop your company from operating for a day, a month or a year? A flood or fire? Perhaps a key supplier shuts down temporarily or permanently. Or maybe a hacker or technical problem crashes your website or you suddenly lose power. Whatever the potential cause might be, every business needs a disaster recovery plan. Distinctive threats Get started by brainstorming as many scenarios as possible that could devastate your business. The operative word there is “your.” Every company Read more [...]

Seasonal business? Optimize your operating cycle

| Business Briefs

Every business has some degree of ups and downs during the year. But cash flow fluctuations are much more intense for seasonal businesses. So, if your company defines itself as such, it’s important to optimize your operating cycle to anticipate and minimize shortfalls. A high-growth example To illustrate: Consider a manufacturer and distributor of lawn-and-garden products such as topsoil, potting soil and ground cover. Its customers are lawn-and-garden retailers, hardware stores and mass Read more [...]

Why business owners should regularly upgrade their accounting software

| Business Briefs

Many business owners buy accounting software and, even if the installation goes well, eventually grow frustrated when they don’t get the return on investment they’d expected. There’s a simple reason for this: Stuff changes. Technological improvements are occurring at a breakneck speed. So yesterday’s cutting-edge system can quickly become today’s sluggishly performing albatross. And this isn’t the only reason to regularly upgrade your accounting software. Here are two more to consider. 1. Read more [...]