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When expense accounts get padded, it’s often because employees are given too much control over the process. Here are some tips for tightening your policy.  Develop a clear, written expense account policy and have employees sign it. It doesn’t hurt to add some examples that illustrate common violations, such as “Dry cleaning is not a … Continue reading “Tighten your expense account policy”

Although internal controls are designed to protect a company against fraudulent schemes by its employees, all too often those controls prove to be ineffective. This happens most frequently when senior personnel in the company collude to cover up a fraudulent scheme in which they have been engaged. Many of the recent major frauds that have … Continue reading “Top executive fraud: Audits are the best control”

The instructions to the Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation state that “distributions and other payments by an S corporation to a corporate officer must be treated as wages to the extent the amounts are reasonable compensation for services rendered to the corporation.” The Internal Revenue Service has the authority to … Continue reading “What’s a Reasonable Salary?”

When starting a new business, an owner is faced with a very important decision.  What form of entity should my business operate under?  The answer is not always clear and will require some careful thought.  Let’s start with the basic question… What are my choices? The general choices are: A regular or C corporation An … Continue reading “Which Entity Is Best For Your Company”

Running a business is complicated. It takes many skills.  Most business owners don’t possess all the abilities required. While employees can sometimes fill the gaps in the owner’s skill set, at other times, hiring a consultant may make sense. When are those times? And what should you consider with hiring and working with consultants? Changing … Continue reading “Would a consultant help your business?”

Everybody knows how to increase revenue. You just:  Increase consumption per existing customer Get new customers Retain current customers so you are not just treading water But how do you do those things? You might discover the answer through customer focus groups. One or more diverse groups of your current customers are brought together, along … Continue reading “Would a focus group help your sales?”

It used to be that a disgruntled employee might sabotage the company by damaging equipment or stealing important papers. It was clear what needed to be guarded. But nowadays, the same employee can wreak far more vengeance while sitting quietly at a computer. New threats call for new precautions. Are your company’s sabotage/prevention procedures keeping … Continue reading “Would a former employee sabotage your company?”

Do you understand what it’s saying? Profitability is very important to business owners and they look to their CPA for guidance on how to improve it. Accurate financial statements are necessary, but that is just the beginning. CPA’s have a responsibility to guide business owners towards profitability. A good CPA does this by getting the … Continue reading “Your business is talking.”

The nonbusiness energy property tax credit was extended for one year by Congress in the December tax bill. It allows homeowners a credit for the cost of making certain energy-efficient home improvements. But before you make a qualifying purchase during 2011, be sure you understand the amount of the credit that will be available to … Continue reading “Your Energy Credit May Be All Used Up”

Globalization and lean manufacturing have made supply chain management more important than ever. It’s crucial that materials and parts arrive when needed in the manufacturing process so that you can fulfill orders and customer expectations. But because of the minimization of inventory, your company could be more vulnerable to disruption. Most people don’t like to … Continue reading “IS YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN READY IF DISASTER STRIKES?”

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