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Business Wisdom

Monday, 22 May 2017

Is it time to outsource?

Written by By: Sharon Berman, CPA, CGMA and Steven Barnstable, CPA

There comes a time in the life of a growing business when certain functions begin to distract owners and management from their core business activities. Outsourcing accounting and other financial tasks enables management to “work smarter” by shifting these tasks to third-party providers who can perform them more efficiently and effectively. How do you know when it’s time to outsource? Here are six questions to ask: Is management spending too much time on routine tasks?..

Monday, 22 May 2017

Preparing for CECL: What you should be doing now

Written by By: Heidi Cieslik, CPA, and Heather Funsch, CPA

Last year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) finalized its long-awaited current expected credit loss (CECL) model for credit impairment. Described by the American Bankers Association as “the biggest change to bank accounting ever,” CECL replaces the current incurred loss model with a forward-looking approach. Although the new standard doesn’t take effect for several years, financial institutions and other affected organizations should be preparing for it now. Perhaps the most critical step is to evaluate the ability of your information technology (IT) systems and data collection processes to generate the information needed to calculate the more complex and predictive estimate...

“The Godfather” story revolved around the infamous Corleone family business: a dubious empire in which trust and loyalty were two integral components of its financial success. Yet despite this focus on familial concerns and reliance, betrayal still occurred, and in the novel, resulted in a tragic ending. Unquestionably, your family business is different from the Corleones’, but perhaps you hold trust and loyalty in similar reverence. While these are admirable traits in a family structure, they are not a reliable failsafe to keep your business free of fraud...

Monday, 22 May 2017

Beyond outsourcing: For governments, managed services unlock hidden value

Written by Richard Carpenter, CPA, CGFM, CGMA, and Amy Rottman, CPA, CGFM

When you hear the term outsourcing, you may think of farming out mundane administrative or financial tasks to someone who can perform them cheaper and more efficiently. Many governments and government agencies employ the managed services model — which goes beyond outsourcing — to bring expertise and experience to their teams. Using a managed services provider has the potential to unlock an array of benefits and often costs the same or less than what you are already paying. A tailored approach There’s no cookie-cutter approach to managed services...

Monday, 22 May 2017

Future-proofing your business

Written by The Rehmann Team

Forecasting the future of your company isn’t an exact science. It’s impossible to predict every economic swing, technological advancement or political shift. And the ripple effects of each of these potential changes are equally capricious. How, then, do you future-proof your business?..

Monday, 15 May 2017

Risk Report -- May 2017

Written by Bill Kowalski

Imposters, fraudsters and scams | Like the game of whack-a-mole, fraudsters never go away — they just pop up somewhere else with a new scam. Last year, consumers reported they paid $744.5 million to fraudsters; no one knows how many losses were not reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), though. Debt collection scams are the most common (comprising 28 percent of all consumer complaints)...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Are you ready to retire?

Written by Forefield, Inc.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire. Is your nest egg adequate? It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you'll have to save, and the more years you'll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to live past age 78...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Is smart beta a smart strategy for you?

Written by Forefield, Inc.

Traditional investment indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted based on market capitalization, the value of a company's total outstanding stock. This means the largest companies in the index may have much greater influence on index performance than smaller companies. For example, the 10 largest companies in the S&P 500 account for more than 18 percent of the index's performance, as opposed to about 2 percent for the 10 largest if every company were weighted equally. Funds that track market-weighted indexes may be the most direct way to participate in broad market performance, but there has been increasing interest in an alternative indexing strategy called smart beta (also known as strategic beta or factor-based investing)...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Tax benefits of homeownership

Written by Forefield, Inc.

Buying a home can be a major expenditure. Fortunately, federal tax benefits are available to make homeownership more affordable and less expensive. There may also be tax benefits under state law. Mortgage interest deduction One of the most important tax benefits of owning a home is that you may be able to deduct any mortgage interest you pay...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Is it wise to trade your pension for a lump sum?

Written by Forefield, Inc.

Most private employers have already replaced traditional pensions, which promise lifetime income payments in retirement, with defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s. But 15 percent of private-sector workers and 75 percent of state and local government workers still participate in traditional pensions. Altogether, 35 percent of workers say they (and/or their spouse) have pension benefits with a current or former employer. Many pension plan participants have the option to take their money in a lump sum when they retire...

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