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 [...]

Business owners: Put your successor in a position to succeed

| Business Briefs

When it comes time to transition your role as business owner to someone else, you’ll face many changes. One of them is becoming a mentor. As such, you’ll have to communicate clearly, show some patience and have a clear conception of what you want to accomplish before stepping down. Here are some tips on putting your successor in a position to succeed. Key information Find ways to continuously pass on your knowledge. Too often, vital business knowledge is lost when leadership or ownership Read more [...]

Could stronger governance benefit your business?

| Business Briefs

Every company has at least one owner. And, in many cases, there exists other leadership through the organizational chart. But not every business has strong governance. In a nutshell, governance is the set of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. Strengthening it can help ensure productivity, reduce legal risks and, when the time comes, ease ownership transitions. Looking at business structure Good governance starts with the initial organization (or Read more [...]

Looking for concentration risks in your supply chain

| Business Briefs

Concentration risks are a threat to your supply chain. These occur when a company relies on a customer or supplier for 10% or more of its revenue or materials, or on several customers or suppliers located in the same geographic region. If a key customer or supplier experiences turmoil, the repercussions travel up or down the supply chain and can quickly and negatively impact your business To protect yourself, it’s important to look for concentration risks as you monitor your financials and engage Read more [...]

Want younger board members: Consider a second board

| Business Briefs, Business Miscellaneous

By Chris Mennel & Natalie Hopkins     If you have been around nonprofits for very long, you have discovered that recruiting new board members is an ongoing challenge. Finding the best mix of talent to fill their needs (finance, development, etc) within the right age demographic can be a struggle. Add to this mix the search for younger board members so the nonprofits can effectively plan their futures, and the challenge grows. To overcome this obstacle, an increasing number of organizations Read more [...]

3 hot spots to look for your successor

| Business Briefs, News

Picking someone to lead your company after you step down is probably among the hardest aspects of retiring (or otherwise moving on). Sure, there are some business owners who have a ready-made successor waiting in the wings at a moment’s notice. But many have a few viable candidates to consider — others have too few. When looking for a successor, for best results, keep an open mind. Don’t assume you have to pick any one person — look everywhere. Here are three hot spots to consider. 1.    Read more [...]