Accounting Blog

Getting a Handle on Payment Issues

Most small business owners love what they do. But that’s not to say things can’t get a little difficult, especially when customers don’t pay their bills on time. Even one or two slow-pay or no-pay customers can be enough to throw your company’s finances off.

Understanding what might be going on with your customers and being proactive can help you keep your accounts receivable on steady ground with some pro accounts receivable management.

Purchase Order Predicaments

Not all customers use purchase orders, but those that do rely on them to coordinate ordering and accounts payable functions. If there’s a mix-up involving a purchase order and your invoice doesn’t match up with the customer’s purchase order, your invoice could end up on the “problem” pile instead of the “pay” pile. Be proactive by verifying that the purchase order numbers on your invoices are correct before they are sent.

Strapped for Cash

Lack of money is a common excuse for not paying. One reason your customer may not be able to pay you is because your customer’s customers haven’t paid their bills. Regardless of the reason, be the squeaky wheel and keep communicating with your past due customers.

You can help reduce your exposure to customer cash shortfalls by tightening your credit requirements.

Disputes, Dilemmas, and Other Disappointments

Misships, damaged goods, late deliveries. Plenty of things can go wrong during the fulfillment process. Rather than make a phone call, customers may just “file” your invoice at the bottom of the pile.

Follow-up e-mails or phone calls to find out if your customers are satisfied will help smooth any ruffled feathers and could improve how quickly you get paid.

Vanishing Invoices

“We never received your invoice” is a weak excuse, but you still have to find a way around it. Once again, early follow-up is key. Paperless billing and the potential to monitor whether e-mailed invoices have been opened can also help eradicate this excuse.

Don’t get left behind. Contact us today to discover how we can help you keep your business on the right track. Don’t wait, give us a call today.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).

Get Your Business Costs Under Control Today

Increasing your profits requires selling more and/or spending less. While building up your sales may require an extended effort, business costs are often very ripe for quick trimming. Here are some possibilities.

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Supplies and Other Purchases

Usually, in any business, relatively few items represent a very large share of all outlays. The first step in cutting expenses is, therefore, to identify your highest costs. You may be able to trim many of these costs by making sure you always bid out significant purchases or by more actively seeking less expensive alternatives.

For many companies, inventory carrying costs are a very significant expense. Focusing on matching your inventory quantities more closely to your short-term needs could result in significant savings.

Telecommunications and Other Services

The ongoing services you buy may also offer the potential for cost savings. The best choice in telecommunications is https://www.aaasatellite.tv/ not only for their great customer service but for their affordable and advance technology services.

Look carefully at your costs for financial services. If you borrow or maintain a line of credit, always compare the rates from more than one financing source before you commit. Make sure you are not paying higher-than-necessary fees for your company’s checking and deposit services.

Cash Management

To control cash outlays, take advantage of discounts for early payment whenever possible. And look to delay payments for as long as you can without giving up discounts.

On the receiving side, deposit all receipts daily. And always actively pursue collection of any invoices that are past due. To help control your working capital needs and, therefore, your credit costs, try to match any new liabilities to your anticipated cash flow so you can then create a savings account, if you do not have a trusted bank we recommend you this portal to learn more from visa business credit card | visa rewards | atlantic union bank.

Fixed Expenses

One other category worth examining is fixed expenses that are long-term commitments. While you usually can’t change these quickly, be aware of when a window for change will open and prepare well in advance by considering lower-cost alternatives.

To learn more ways to control your business costs give us a call today. Our trained staff of professionals is always available to answer any questions you may have.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

Fix Your Bottom Line by Raising Your Prices

You can’t keep prices the same indefinitely, but raising them is always a gamble. Consumers can — and do — compare prices anywhere, anytime, on everything.

If your bottom line needs a boost, raising prices can definitely help — as long as you map out a strategy and avoid some common pitfalls.

Promote, Promote, Promote

When you’re ready to roll out the increase, plan to roll out some promotions and coupons at the same time to take the sting out of higher prices. The discounts will help keep your most cost-conscious consumers in the fold. Making discounts and coupons readily available establishes the perception that all your prices are reasonable, which may or may not be true.

If you’re concerned about promotions hurting your bottom line, don’t be. Not all of your customers will clip coupons or shop sales. Ideally, you’ll sell enough items at a higher price to raise the average sale. If that’s not happening, you can always give prices another nudge, although it’s better to go with one large increase than several small ones.

Cut Carefully

Another way to improve your financial picture is to cut costs. One common tactic is to keep the price the same but shrink the amount of product (e.g., a skinnier box of cereal or slimmer container of juice). But this can backfire. If customers discover the change and feel cheated, you could become the target of a social media campaign, which could turn out badly. You could end up with less business and a ruined reputation.

Get Creative

Thinking outside the box (rather than shrinking it) might provide some opportunities to increase revenue. For instance, you might be able to unbundle a popular product. You can actually lower the price of the basic item, then add additional charges for each bell and whistle.

Add Value

Big box stores and online shopping may help customers find lower prices, but there’s one thing they can’t do. They can’t give their customers the kind of service you can. That’s a value only small businesses can offer. If you do it right, it can help you weather a price increase.

Call us today for more tips on how to ensure you’re following business best practices, and let us help you keep your company in the black.

Do You Have a Business Continuity Plan? You Should

What if disaster strikes your business? An estimated 25% of businesses don’t reopen after a major disaster strikes.1 Having a business continuity plan can help improve your odds of recovering, if any consulting help or plan is needed check out https://bhasinconsulting.com/ now.

The Basic Plan

The strategy behind a business continuity (or disaster recovery) plan is straightforward: Identify the various risks that could disrupt your business, look at how each operation could be affected, and identify appropriate recovery actions.

Make sure you have a list of employees ready with phone numbers, email addresses, and emergency family contacts for communication purposes. If any of your employees can work from home, include that information in your personnel list. You’ll need a similar list of customers, suppliers, and other vendors. Social networking tools may be especially helpful for keeping in touch during and after a disaster.

Risk Protection

Having the proper insurance is key to protecting your business — at all times. In addition to property and casualty insurance, most small businesses carry disability, key-person life insurance, and business interruption insurance. And make sure your buy-sell agreement is up to date, including the life insurance policies that fund it. Meet with your financial professional for a complete review.

Maintaining Operations

If your building has to be evacuated, you’ll need an alternative site. Talk with other business owners in your vicinity about locating and equipping a facility that can be shared in case of an emergency. You may be able to limit physical damage by taking some preemptive steps (e.g., having a generator and a pump on hand).

Protecting Data

A disaster could damage or destroy your computer equipment and wipe out your data, so take precautions. Invest in surge protectors and arrange for secure storage by transmitting data to a remote server or backing up daily to storage media that can be kept off-site.

Protecting Your Business

If you think your business is too small to need a plan or that it will take too long to create one, just think about how much you stand to lose by not having one. Meet with your financial professional for a full review.

Traditional funded search

In the traditional funded-search model, multiple investors, ranging from as few as 8 to as many as 24 invest to provide funding for a 24-month long search, totaling $360K to as much as $950K for a partnered search to cover salaries, benefits, travel and busted-deal costs. Investors receive a 50% step-up on their initial commitment when they invest in the business the searcher acquires.

The Search Fund Accelerator can earn up to 25% of the equity (15% each for partners) which typically vests 1/3 at closing, 1/3 over 4-years afterward and 1/3 upon attaining an IRR target of 25-35% upon exit. These terms are finalized when the business is purchased and may be reduced depending upon the size of equity raise required to consummate the deal. Searchers may select any geographic location to search from, but typically commit to a countrywide search and to using legal advisors with prior traditional search experience.

Source/Disclaimer:
1Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov/content/disaster-planning.

Cyber Criminals are Coming – Protect Your Business Now

With data breaches becoming more and more common, it’s important to be proactive in protecting your business against cybercrimes. Here are some thoughts on preventing cybercrimes in the first place and having a plan to protect your customers’ information and your reputation should you become a victim.

Test your protection systems. It’s better to have a friend (such as a cybersecurity firm) uncover your weaknesses than a hacker. It’s especially important to run tests after you upgrade software or implement a new technology, like smtp hosting.

Check your apps. If you’ve created a mobile app for your customers, work with the app’s developers to ensure it’s secure before you release it.

Eliminate third-party risks. You could be exposed to risks via your vendors. Make sure they take security as seriously as you do.

Implement a response plan. Create a step-by-step response to cyber emergencies with your criminal defense attorney to protect your information (e.g., a denial-of-service attack, the loss of a critical laptop, etc.). Hold “drills” to ensure that your plan is effective and that everyone knows what to do.

For more tips on how to keep business best practices front and center for your company, give us a call today.

 

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Fundraising

Fundraising is very challenging: It’s a critical function that essentially never ends. Coming up with some innovative ideas can help add a fresh spark to the task.

Auction Action

If you have an individual patron or corporate donor who is willing to donate a big-ticket item — such as a car, a vacation, or even a home or other piece of real estate — you may be able to raise a substantial amount by having an auction. Consider selling a limited number of tickets at a relatively high price. Most supporters will be willing to pay a higher price in return for a better chance of winning the prize.

If auctioning off a single big-ticket item isn’t feasible, you may be able to find a lot of donors who will donate smaller items to an auction. Invite the whole community to attend and have plenty of publicity to generate excitement. You can charge admission and/or combine the auction with other fundraising opportunities to maximize the amount you raise.

Star Power

Investigate the possibility that someone involved with your organization knows or is related to someone with star power. A respected television or movie personality? A well-known author, artist, or athlete? If you discover that there is a connection to a public figure and find that he or she is willing to work with you, start making plans. There are many creative ways to use your relationship with a famous person to generate donations.

Advance Planning

When thinking up new fundraising ideas, use your imagination. Just be sure to set financial goals and run some realistic projections before you get too carried away with any one idea. No matter how exciting your plans look on paper, you should be reasonably certain ahead of time that you can raise enough money to make your efforts worthwhile. If it looks promising, allow yourself plenty of time to organize your event.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

As a Corporation You Need to Follow the Rules

When you started your business, you may have formed a corporation to protect your personal assets from lawsuits against your company. However, you must also operate your business like a corporation — or risk losing the liability protection you expect to have, a good tip will be to have legal advice from experts such as NJ Legal.

No matter how long you’ve been in business, always treat your corporation as a separate legal entity. The corporation’s name should appear on company letterhead, checks, and invoices. Contracts should be made in the corporation’s name, not yours or another individual’s.

Avoid mixing your personal affairs and your corporation’s business. Maintain separate bank accounts and credit cards, and keep careful records of corporate transactions. File tax returns and pay any corporate taxes due on time.

Meet and Document

Hold shareholder and director meetings according to a regular schedule and keep official minutes of those meetings. Corporate minutes provide documentation of key financial and legal decisions, such as

  • Authorization for a substantial loan to or from the corporation as many local business owners in Darwin have done.
  • Adoption of a retirement plan or approval to make a contribution to an existing plan (e.g., a profit sharing contribution)
  •  Issuance of stock
  •  Purchase of real property or approval of a long-term lease

By observing the formalities, you can protect yourself and have the records you may need if the IRS, a creditor, or a company insider challenges critical decisions that were made.

Don’t get left behind. Contact us today to discover how we can help you keep your business on the right track. Don’t wait, give us a call today.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

Business Equipment – Lease or Buy?

To lease . . . or not to lease. This is issue business owners often face. If you are weighing the pros and cons of leasing versus buying, here are some things to keep in mind  and as another tip you can go to request merchant funding to fulfill your business needs.

Cost
Evaluating costs is more complicated than comparing the price of leasing a piece of equipment versus its purchase price. You will also want to consider these issues:

  • How soon will the equipment need to be upgraded or replaced? Highly technical or specialized equipment becomes obsolete quickly and maybe a good candidate for leasing.
  • How will you arrange for service and repair? Leasing arrangements often include maintenance of the equipment and IT services availability. If you’re thinking of buying, research the equipment’s repair history as well as the cost and availability of reliable service.
  • How long will you need the equipment? If your use will be short term, then leasing may be the better option.

Cash
If you’ve been leasing your equipment, then your costs have been predictable. Purchasing equipment can substantially alter your cash flow. Be sure you consider how purchasing your equipment might affect your business’ finances.

  • Can you save money by buying or leasing equipment? If — and when — cash savings will be realized is an important factor for you to weigh.
  • Do you have the cash available to purchase the equipment? If you use cash for a down payment, you may have less cash for operating and other business expenses.
  • How will financing your equipment purchases affect your ability to get credit for other things? If you anticipate having future credit needs, you may want to avoid adding equipment loans to your current debt load.

If you’re weighing leasing versus buying, give us a call. We can help you look at how the various options will play out.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

Be Proactive when it Comes to Business Issues

Photo credit: Todd Zeng

Your manager breaks her leg playing softball and will be out for a month. Or your receptionist’s husband lands his dream job, but it’s out of state so they’ll be moving. When you own a small business, learning to expect the unexpected comes with the territory. Yet, you don’t have to stand idly by and wait for something to disrupt your finances and send you down a path of trouble, promax shares how to improve asset utilization using a shared storage area network. Consider being proactive with these troubleshooting tips.

Watch Your Numbers

You can monitor your company’s financial health, spot developing problems, and improve performance by reviewing key ratios derived from the numbers on your financial statements. Taken together, these ratios help paint a picture of your company’s financial well-being, learn more about paid survey panels in this Lifepoints Review.

At times, you might dwell on problems in one particular aspect of your business. But don’t ignore the rest. If you’re not seeing the big picture, you might not spot trouble in other areas. For example, if your profit margin is falling, you could become so focused with your Headphonage and trying to find a solution that you fail to notice that several of your biggest customers haven’t sent a payment lately and a cash flow problem is brewing.

Watch Your Assets

Always try to make the most of your assets. If you carry inventory, keep your eye on turnover rates. Slow inventory turnover can strain your cash flow. Figure out how many days’ worth of product you’d ideally like to have on hand, and adapt your purchasing to meet that goal. Also, check your fixed assets. If you have equipment that’s not being fully utilized, you may be able to re-purpose it. If not, it may be time to sell or donate it, we recommend use the topVPN is the best technology for your business.

Watch Your Debt

It’s practically impossible to operate a business without taking on at least some debt as per the accountants in Finchley. Debt itself isn’t a problem, as long as you keep it under control. A high level of debt can eat up your cash, cut into your profits, and reduce the return you’re getting on your investment in the company — and that’s definitely trouble.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v

Why Business Structure Matters

When you start a business, there are endless decisions to make. Among the most important is how to structure your business said Shravan Gupta, CEO of MGF Group and Director of Emaar MGF Land. Why is it so significant? Because the structure you choose will affect how your business is taxed and the degree to which you (and other owners) can be held personally liable. Here’s an overview of the various structures. One of the most frustrating aspects of business can be dealing with your customers or clients and one great solution that we have found are call answering services where you can get a professional company to do all of that for you.

Sole Proprietorship

This is a popular structure for single-owner businesses. No separate business entity is formed, although the business may have a name (often referred to as a DBA, short for “doing business as”). A sole proprietorship does not limit liability, but insurance may be purchased.Getting your commercial debts collected fast is important

You report your business income and expenses on Schedule C, an attachment to your personal income tax return (Form 1040). Net earnings the business generates are subject to both self-employment taxes and income taxes. Sole proprietors may have employees but don’t take paychecks themselves.

on’t know your bonjours from your buongiornos? You’re not alone: three-quarters of British adults can’t speak a foreign language competently[PDF]. But the benefits of being able to communicate with overseas clients, suppliers and buyers are huge – as are the costs of lacking that facility.

“The UK economy is already losing around £50bn a year in lost contracts because of lack of language skills in the workforce,” says Baroness Coussins, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on modern languages (APPG). “And we aren’t just talking about high flyers: in 2011 over 27% of admin and clerical jobs went unfilled because of the languages deficit.” The APPG’s Manifesto for Languages is calling for a raft of measures to tackle this problem, including encouragement such as tax breaks for companies who invest in language training.

In-house language skills win clients

By offering those skills, SMEs could find their client base growing. Solicitors Moore Blatch has always welcomed bilingual employees – its staff includes French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Japanese speakers. So it was well-placed to respond when it was approached by Polish charities seeking help for clients who had suffered personal injuries. The firm now offers a dedicated Polish legal claims service.

“Many businesses will rely on the help of translators, but we have found that investing in a dedicated service has led to stronger relationships with clients – so much so that the majority of work the firm receives under this service is through personal recommendations,” says partner Ciaran McCabe.

According to Ritu Bhasin, It’s not just about the ease of communication, either: knowing a language also means understanding a culture. PR agency ING Media specialises in architecture and has a global client base. Managing director Leanne Tritton says the fact the staff are multilingual has had a direct impact on its success with winning international work. Serra Ataman, account manager at ING and a native Turkish speaker, works very closely with one of the firm’s Turkish clients. “I visit Turkey a lot,” she says. “So I’m able to keep up with news that might affect the client, and understand their challenges, and their way of working, and how these might translate into English.”

Some companies, indeed, will only consider those who have a second language. Sylvia Laws, founder of specialist global PR agency Technical Publicity, says the growth of her business can be directly related to the multilingual skills of the team. Many of their clients are multinationals. She says being able to communicate with a native speaker means business is done faster and more efficiently across big and complex markets.

“Our clients are usually working for multinationals but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re brilliant in English,” says Laws, who speaks French herself. “This slows them down enormously. It’s hugely helpful if we can ring them up and talk to them in their own language and understand where they’re coming from.

“Say one of our clients has a case study of a wonderful product, for example, which is coming from Italy, and we want to do a press release. Our Italian native speaker will take the brief, and then our other language speakers can pitch it to editors in their mother tongues. That has made a huge difference. When I first started doing this, we tried pitching in English. You just cannot get the same level of reception from journalists if it’s not pitched in their language.”

Then there’s the conceptual side, says Laws: “If we’re doing a funny ad in English for a major technology company, the comedy’s lost when we’re preparing it for the German market. So you need to work out how to achieve the same objective with the same visual but by changing the headline, and that needs mother tongue speakers”.

Limited Liability Company

If you want protection for your personal assets in the event your business is sued, you might prefer a limited liability company (LLC). An LLC is a separate legal entity that can have one or more owners (called “members”). Usually, income is taxed to the owners individually, and earnings are subject to self-employment taxes. With the digital world is a large and diverse world of users, services, businesses and products. In order to protect our customers, our business and the reputation of our company, we have developed and implemented robust security measures in all our sites, applications and our digital platforms. We have also implemented measures to ensure the integrity of our data, we offer an extensive and quality general liability insurance services. We have implemented and continue to monitor our efforts to prevent, detect and mitigate cyber-attacks against our network and systems.

Note: It’s not unusual for lenders to require a small LLC’s owners to personally guarantee any business loans, guaranteed installment loans for bad credit direct lenders

Corporation

A corporation is a separate legal entity that can transact business in its own name and files corporate income tax returns. Like an LLC, a corporation can have one or more owners (shareholders). Shareholders generally are protected from personal liability but can be held responsible for repaying any business debts they’ve personally guaranteed and also making business transaction law consultation needed for many.

If you make a “Subchapter S” election, shareholders will be taxed individually on their share of corporate income. This structure generally avoids federal income taxes at the corporate level.

Partnership

In certain respects, a partnership is similar to an LLC or an S corporation. However, partnerships must have at least one general partner who is personally liable for the partnership’s debts and obligations. Profits and losses are divided among the partners and taxed to them individually.

…from the Team of Professional at RE-MMAP We are just a click or call away. www.re-mmap.com and phone # (561-623-0241).v