3 Cost-Control Ideas for Small Business. Fernando Gomez, CPA Jackson Heights, N.Y. fgomezcpa.com. 1. A business should have appropriate insurance coverage. Consider increasing the insurance deductible, where permitted, on all types of business insurance in order to reduce the premiums paid. 2. If the business has employees then it must maintain workers’ compensation insurance. Consider paying such insurance on a monthly basis throughout the year based upon actual payroll figures instead of paying based upon payroll estimates, which can be higher. 3. Consider the “Installment method” when selling a small business. Reporting the sale using this method can save significant amount of taxes, and can provide flexibility for both the seller and buyer.
Topic: growth strategy
15 Practical Ways for Small Business Owners to Cut and Contain Their Costs… …And 1 thing to NEVER compromise on. Alyssa Lebovic, CPA Partner Keller & Lebovic CPAs Fair Lawn, N.J. 1. Look over all your expenses with a fresh eye. Don’t accept “that’s just what it costs.” If costs in any area have been climbing or if something is a major expense, consider shopping around for less expensive, but reliable vendors. 2. Consider buying supplies or merchandise in greater quantities if prices are discounted and you’ll use it up in a reasonable period of time. 3. Consider joining forces with other businesses to buy in quantity for a discount.
And what should CPAs be doing about them? Sound Off: Take the poll. See the answers. by Rick Telberg/At Large Accountants are all too familiar with the succession issues faced by accounting firms. But accounting firms aren’t the only ones with succession issues. In fact, closely-held and family-owned businesses across the nation are facing a succession crisis of their own. CPAs are well aware of the problems their business clients face and are devising strategies to help.
First Economic Downturn for Law Firms since 1998 In its first downbeat client advisory in 10 years, law marketer Larry Bodine (left) says Hildebrandt researchers expect new kind of economic downturn for law firms — one without the usual surges in litigation, bankruptcy or reorganization. Bodine cites: The precipitous drop off in structured finance work triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. A decline in M&A and transaction work. A drop-off in litigation, particularly in Texas and California, based on new federal court case filings in many areas of law. Work once thought to be complex, like project finance, is now viewed as routine and is priced accordingly. Corporate procurement departments are getting involved in hiring law firms, and demanding rate [...]
.. are you? New data from small-business researchers Warrillow & Co. suggest that 45% of small business is now web-centric. They call it “The Facebook Factor.” Warrillow defines a web-centric small business as having an owner who considers their “Internet presence” (i.e., web site, eBay store, social network profile.) to be “important for driving business results.”The dramatic growth of the web-centric segment is being fuelled by a number of products that have come of age in the small business market over the past three years. So add these words to your client service vocabulary (almost half of your clients have)… Facebook Google Adwords Yahoo! Search Marketing LinkedIn Constant Contact eBay PayPal
Retirement planning takes on new urgency. Are Baby Boomers ready for retirement? Join the survey; get the answers. November 5, 2007 by Rick Telberg/At Large Americans excel at many things, from lawn care to rocket science, but perhaps our most common accomplishment is accumulation. If you don’t believe it, go look in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, well, you have a place somewhere — a certain closet, perhaps, or a kitchen drawer — that I’ll bet is almost too full to shut. The same goes for investments. For most Americans, accumulation includes a lot of home equity, an array of mutual funds, maybe some annuities, a stash of stocks and bonds, a pension fund or two, some [...]
When all else fails… just tell them you’re moving to Yemen Clients are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, your firm simply doesn’t exist. On the other hand, some clients are so bad that your business, not to mention your personal sanity, is better off without them. So what do you do when you have a client that pushes you to the brink? You fire them! Here’s how to give 10 of the worst offenders the pink slip without burning bridges. 1. The bargain shopper: As a general rule, the client who pays the least will expect the most. The words “I need this done cheap” should strike fear in your heart, not because of profit margins, but because [...]
Sure you send out cards. But do you have a plan? Law firm marketing consultant Larry Bodine is a big believer in maintaining year-round contact with clients and prospects. The holiday season is a perfect time to make another positive impression. Bodine reccommends charitycards.com, which send 10% of its revenue to a charity of your choice. It’s a win-win. Typical firms buy anywhere from 25 to 25,000 cards each season. There are five major techniques common to all firms that run a successful and timely greeting card program. These techniques â€“ plus valuable tips â€“ will increase your efficiency throughout the process. One of the keys is to treat this task as a project with all the planning, marketing timelines [...]
Step 1: Donâ€™t delay. CPAs assess the Baby Boomer market. Join the study; get the benchmarks. by Rick Telberg Itâ€™s funny how CPAs can go to a client and discuss the intimacies of life and death, children and parents, bank accounts and bankruptcy, but when it comes time to talk about fees, the topic is buried, breezed over, or brushed off. Itâ€™s easy to understand why. The CPA financial planner is there to talk about making money, not spending it. The focus is on helping the client, not funding the financial planner. The fee almost feels like an insignificant afterthought, a voluntary tip for service well rendered or a topic too mercenary to talk about.
CCH 2007 Unscheduled Absence Survey: Most Employees Call in â€œSickâ€ for Reasons Other Than Illness RIVERWOODS, ILL. (www.cch.com) â€“ Two-thirds of U.S. workers who call in sick at the last minute do so for reasons other than physical illness, according to the findings of the 17 th annual CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey. CCH is a leading provider of human resources and employment law information and services and part of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (hr.cch.com). The 2007 CCH Survey found that while 34 percent of people call in sick to work at the last minute due to â€œpersonal illness,â€ 66 percent are taking time off to deal with personal or family issues. â€œMost people today are juggling the demands of [...]
Internet forums and chat groups explode in popularity By Rick Telberg One problem that almost all accountants face, whether you are in public or private practice, is information overload. On one hand, there is an abundance of itâ€”between subscription services from CCH, Thomson, and LexisNexis, to name just a few, and web sites maintained by a plethora of agencies and organizations, information is everywhere, and for the most part, affordable. But thatâ€™s information, not necessarily answers. Most accountants turn to these resources when they arenâ€™t sure how to handle a client or company accounting question. And having the applicable code or private letter ruling doesnâ€™t necessarily mean that youâ€™ll be able to apply it to your particular situation.
Take control of your IT systems By Rick Telberg As a financial services professional, you know the horror storiesâ€¦ Fidelity National, Wells Fargo, ChoicePoint, H&R Block, Ameritrade. Each has suffered data breaches in the past two years that ranks among the worst in history. Privacy and security are already common watch-words in the financial services industry, but now independent bankers, brokers, traders and lenders are taking the next step by building protections into their corporate structures and processes. Itâ€™s called â€œgovernance.â€ By itself, itâ€™s not immediately intuitive exactly how governance is applied to information technology. One definitionâ€”offered by an auditors group–is a bit more focused: â€œA structure of relationships and processes that direct and control an organization and help it [...]
â€œToo much to do, not enough time.â€ How does your office rate? Join the survey; see the answers. by Rick Telberg Accounting firms and finance departments have but a few stark choices when it comes to managing the epidemic staffing crisis: Do more with less, or just do less. In fact, too many offices are simply doing less. But there is an alternative to simply throwing in the towel. Almost as many firms are learning how to copeâ€”even thriveâ€”through the crisis. More than half of the CPAs who are responding to our current survey say their firms are so understaffed that itâ€™s impeding business. While the reasons why firms are facing a shortage may vary, many respondents cite difficulty in [...]
But is it for the right reasons? Busy season 2008 is right around the corner. How are CPAs adding value? Join the survey. Get the answers. by Rick Telberg Tax professionals could be making a stronger case about the value they bring to small-business clients. This comes after looking at a National Federation of Independent Business survey that found that 88 percent of businesses with fewer than 250 employees used tax professionals to prepare their most recent federal tax returns. But very few cited it as a cost-effective move. Only about 5 percent of all small business, including 3 percent of those with more than 20 employees, said that itâ€™s more cost effective to use a tax professional than to [...]
How worried should you be? “The last few years have seen a slew of data breachesâ€”all bad, but some worse than others,” says eWeek in compiling the 17 top security failures in the past three years. July 2007 Fidelity National Information Services A senior-level employee of a subsidiary of financial processing company Fidelity National Information Services stole 2.3 million consumer records containing credit card, bank account and other personally identifiable information. July 2007 SAIC By neglecting to encrypt data sent over the Internet, employees of government contractor Science Applications International Corp. put the sensitive information of more than 800,000 U.S. service members and their families at risk. June 2007 State of Ohio A computer storage device containing the names and [...]
Benefits packages play key role in attracting and keeping staff. Which benefits matter the most? Join the survey; get the answers. by Rick Telberg On Careers The accounting and finance profession is clearly struggling mightily to address chronic staff shortages and work/life balance issues. As a result, fringe benefits packages seem to be gaining increased importance in the battle for talent and competitive advantage. To be sure, employers in the tax, accounting and finance fields face hiring pressures little different from those found in other industries. And the attitudes of CPAs are hardly unique to the CPA profession. The employment situation is a national, perhaps global situation, requiring broad new economic and social policy initiatives.
A few simple rules can guarantee success. by Rick Telberg Creativity is a management issue. Indeed, it must be when it can lead to new ideas that push businesses forward and increase productivity and profitability. The kind of creativity that leads to those gains for organizations and clients can be taught, nurtured and enhanced, or, in other words, managed. Creative problem solving is not limited to â€œcreative types.â€ Any firm or department that wants to leap forward, innovate or simply refresh their energy after busy season can benefit from the techniques.