The Main Reasons Why Businesses Hire Advisory Consultants

Any business to gain its zenith form needs several factors coming together in making it successful. No company can gain popularity or profits overnight, and continuous hard work, dedication, the right set of employees, investments, and several other factors come together and thus bringing about success to the business. The team consisting of the management are the ones that are responsible for decision making, implementing changes, modifying the work system, etc. and are capable of doing all of it by themselves. There are times when a business cannot handle situations or problems related to their business; they move out to hire consultants.

Who are advisory consultants?
Advisory consultants are those who are trained and specializing in dealing with business problems and coming with a solution to it. They at times pose as advisors for a business and ensure that everything goes about smoothly without any glitches. There are a few companies who do away with the help of such consultants while the rest feel that they form an essential part of their business. While you are one of those pondering over the idea to consult one, here are the reasons why most companies hire advisory consultants.

They need a second opinion
For those who own businesses, they are capable of making decisions all by themselves and that is the reason why they are still sticking to the industry. There are times when they doubt their decisions and feel it may not be implemented in the right way. It is then when they feel the need of an advisory panel who can contribute their inputs as there are times when they have had similar experiences with other companies that they have worked with. They, therefore, can come up with an opinion and term the decisions to be right or wrong or there are any modifications required.

They act as a third party
There are times when the management cannot surface to the open with their decisions or changes in the business. These professional then act as the third party and come up with the changes and communicate it accordingly. This helps to put forward the information in an unbiased manner and thus saving the management from facing the brunt if the new idea or implementation isn’t received well by the company and its employees.

Consultants have polished skills
They are trained in providing remedies and help to businesses, and that is why they are designated as specialists. Any organization hiring employees with similar skills can at times turn out to be expensive as there wouldn’t be work all the time for these set of employees and therefore allowing them to sit idle and thus wasting finances on them. An advisor can be hired anytime whenever required, and they are known to help out with instant help. The fees that the advisors charge depend on the type of services that businesses have availed from them.

The consultants act as an extra workforce
For companies who have a dearth of employees or have staff dedicated to handling other aspects of the business and not act as problem solvers. The employees aren’t even trained in being problem solvers and thus end up wasting time and resources to no avail. These specialists aren’t full-time employees and simultaneously know the way businesses function and are fast learners thus allowing the employees to continue with their work as designated.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our Consulting, CFO and Management Services may be able to help your business.

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Advisory Consulting – Creating a Strategy Roadmap

An investment in business advisory consulting can pay for itself in no time if you have retained the services of a knowledgeable and experienced consulting firm. Many organizations have already realized how much unharnessed potential they have, and with business advisory services, they have been able to develop a healthy and sustainable level of growth and competitiveness. Consulting firms can help create a business environment that addresses the most critical challenges of the company, their industry and the global business market. Most importantly, a qualified advisory consultant can help create a strategy roadmap that addresses these challenges and guides the organization to a bright and promising future.

What Makes a Good Strategy Roadmap?
As mentioned above, advisory consulting is often the key to addressing the challenges that a business or organization faces in their unique environment, but that doesn’t mean that any consultant can come along and work wonders. A business consulting company that has developed many successful strategy roadmaps for satisfied clients in the past should be qualified to create a strategy roadmap that accomplishes several crucial goals. The most successful kind of strategy roadmap is one that addresses the organization’s needs, which might differ depending on which goals they have prioritized. The roadmap may focus on the organization’s short-term needs, long-term needs or both. The key is to find a balance between putting out fires in the organization’s current structure and addressing the needs that will become more important and apparent in the future, as the enterprise continues to grow and thrive. At the end of the day, the roadmap is really a step-by-step guide that shows the path, processes, technologies and people that will help achieve the organization’s strategic goals.

An Overview of Additional Business Consultant Services
Although the strategy roadmap is extremely important, a comprehensive advisory consulting service will involve more than just the creation of a roadmap. The leading business consultants prepare companies to engage new technologies and assess their current structures in order to develop a plan of action to achieve the most promising goals and objectives. These are a few of the most important business advisory services you can expect to find with a reputable, knowledgeable consulting firm:

Analytics
Business Process Optimization
Change Management
Client Management
Enterprise Portfolio Management
Integrated Marketing

Analytics are an important advisory service because they allow businesses to leverage the massive stores of data they have available regarding their customers, competitors, transactions, team members, systems, structures, financial records and more. This in turn allows for better business process optimization, because with a fuller picture of the business landscape, consultants can work with their clients to streamline their processes and maximize their capabilities. While optimizing a business’ processes, consultants must consider factors such as available workforce, budget, competition, economic conditions, infrastructure and more.

Many businesses bring an advisory consultant onboard so they can make a change, whether they’re changing the way they manage projects or reorganizing their entire management structure. This may involve such issues such as branding, corporate culture and workflow, in addition to the change itself. Change management consulting makes the most of these transitions; client management consulting makes the most of the company’s client base; and enterprise portfolio management makes the most of the company’s organizational capabilities.

One of the most popular business advisory consulting services is marketing. With an integrated, innovative marketing plan, businesses can navigate the massive and constant changes in the current business environment. Things like mobile computing and social media that weren’t even on most companies’ agendas a decade ago are huge marketing topics now, but without a knowledgeable consultant, many businesses fail to keep up with the trends. At the end of the day, though, this and all the other services mentioned here should be part of a good strategy roadmap. It is there to guide your organization to wherever you want and need to go.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7781729
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our Consulting, CFO and Management Services may be able to help your business.

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About Virtual Part-Time Controller Services

Business meeting

By Lisa Khayyat

If you want to stay on top of your finances, but do not want to hire a full time controller – why not consider a “Virtual Controller”? A virtual controller performs most, if not all, of their services online. They can provide basic services to more advanced services. Services are negotiated up front depending upon the client organizations specific requirements.

A Virtual Controller can provide management valuable financial oversight, advice and customized financial reports that provide real value to their businesses decision making. Business owners can focus their attention on growing their businesses and achieving their operational objectives.

Here are some of the ways that a Virtual Controller can assist your business:

1. Guide you through the start up process and assist in getting your accounting system set up correctly in QuickBooks.

2. Train your bookkeeper, accountant, or other assistant in the proper accounting procedures for your particular business.

3. Work with your bookkeeper or accountant on a monthly basis to ensure that transactions are recorded correctly and records are kept up to date. (The virtual controller Is also available to assist the bookkeeper if problems should arise.)

4. Offer guidance in the budget planning process and provide guidance on budget-to-actual analysis.

5. Discuss project or department profitability on a monthly or quarterly basis.

6. Prepare fixed asset depreciation schedules on all equipment and keep the list current with new purchases.

7. Teleconferences scheduled monthly or quarterly with management to discuss results of operation as well as other business decision making issues as necessary.

8. Provide tax planning strategies to business owners.

9. Individual & Business Income tax preparation.

10. Documentation of Policies & Procedures.

11. Assist with the acquisition of a business. (due diligence)

12. Assist in exit planning or the sale of a business.

The move to virtual controller services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. And for a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller function filled by an experienced professional.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lisa_Khayyat/482056
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

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Getting Business Advisory Services: What It Means For Your Business

Let’s face it. The commercial arena is getting more and more competitive with every passing day. In such a scenario, it gets all the more important to adopt an all-pervasive approach to succeed. We will make it clearer for you. Think about all the responsibilities that a business owner typically has to fulfill- recruiting the right people, devising successful business strategies, ensuring client and employee satisfaction, getting paperwork in order and so much more.

The business advisory services work at tandem with businesses to help them secure the much coveted competitive edge. These companies are primarily engaged in delivering reliable business solutions to help enterprises attain business growth and maintain competitive advantage on a consistent basis. Want to find out how these companies guarantee market-responsive solutions for your business? Let us find out in the course of this post.

Fundamentally, a business advisory service provider gets the burden off your shoulders by taking care of important commercial tasks. However, it is not only about delegating tasks — it is about getting specialists on board. Read on to find out more.

What do these business advisories do?
As their name suggests, the primary purpose of the business advisory services is to “advise”. They work with companies to revamp their present system and help them maintain compliance with global requirements. For instance, if you are taking help of the HR Advisory service providers then they will recruit the right candidates for you and counsel them on an individual basis, define HR strategies clearly and improve payroll system.

Business advisory services typically aid businesses converting their ideas into reality by assisting them in preparing a result-oriented road map for success. The services of these advisories are generally backed by in-depth understanding of modern business dynamics. Once you get in touch with them for help, they will invest considerable time and efforts to understand specific business requirements and aspirations and then spell out solutions in this regard. Credentialed analysts study the nature of your business and apply tried and tested methodologies and industry benchmarks to understand both the challenges and opportunities for your business and devise a successful strategy in accordance.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

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Initial Mark Up And Gross Margin

What is Initial Markup?
Initial Markup (IMU) is the difference between the cost and selling price of an item when it is first introduced for sale. It is also called Initial Mark On, Markon or Markup. The formula for this calculation is: Selling price – cost = Initial Markup Dollars. If a buyer brings in a new line of jeans with a cost of $25 per pair and initially prices them to sell at $55 per pair, the Initial Markup is $30.

Selling Price – Cost = Initial Mark Up Dollars
Initial Markup is normally expressed as a percent. The Initial Mark Up %, for the above example, based on the retail selling price, is 55% (calculated as $30 / $55). The IMU% should always be based on retail dollars, not cost dollars as some retailers and software programs too often do. After all, you own a retail store and record sales at retail. Your sales goals are expressed in retail dollars. Plus, net sales, at retail, are used as the basis for expressing account amounts from the financials (For example, what percent is your Occupancy Costs actually means what percent of your net retail sales are dedicated to Occupancy costs.). Use RETAIL.

An initial retail price must obviously cover the cost of the item, and any selling expense associated with the item. It also must cover a portion of the store’s day to day expenses for rent, fixtures, insurance, utilities, etc., also known as overhead, as well as leave you some profit. Stated another way, Initial Markup must be enough to cover Planned Markdowns + Planned Profits + Selling and Overhead Expenses. The Selling Price covers all that plus the cost of the item.

What is Gross Margin?
Gross Margin (also called Maintained Margin or just Margin) is related to actual sales. It is expressed as a percent of Net Sales. Gross Margin is the difference between Sales and Cost of Goods Sold. (Net Sales – Cost of Goods Sold = Gross Margin Dollars.) Gross Margin is always based on Net Sales and is always expressed from a retail viewpoint. Initial Markup addresses the aspect of price for merchandise: “How much can I get for this ___________?” Gross Margin answers the question: “How much did I make on this __________?”
Impacts on Initial Markup % and Gross Margin %

Many factors affect how retailers decide just how much Initial Markup will provide the best return on their investment. Things that affect Initial Markup are Brand, Competition, Market Saturation, anticipated Markdowns and perceived customer value to name a few. Perceived value is often most difficult to pin down. Occasionally there are certain labels that seem to perform magic when it comes to moving merchandise. A perfect example-Tickle Me Elmo (Tyco) in 1996-was a slow seller until being featured on an afternoon talk show. “In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Tickle Me Elmo dolls were in such scarce supply that ads cropped up in newspapers asking for as much as $2000 per doll.” The Brands (both the talk show and Elmo) were magic. Competition kept the prices up. Low Supply kept the market from becoming saturated. But, customer perceived value kept the prices unbelievably high.

Another major impact is Markdowns. No matter what your Initial Markup is, if it isn’t great enough to cover your planned markdowns and expenses, you will give up your profit to make the sale. When an item doesn’t move, most over-worked and stressed out retailers will take the path of least resistance, and take a larger markdown and keep taking those markdowns until the offending merchandise is gone. Some will keep the poor seller, hoping for the one customer who will come in “someday” and purchase that saved item… if that customer ever arrives and if you can find the item when he does. If Markdowns are higher than anticipated, net sales will be lower, and therefore, gross margin, a.k.a. Maintained Margin, or just Margin, will also be less. Brand, competition, market saturation and perceived customer value also affect Gross Margin–just like Initial Markup.

The Finer Points of IMU% and Gross Margin
It does not follow that each class of merchandise will realize the same IMU % or the same Gross Margin %. Each class and each style within a class (or category) is as unique as each vendor. Competition, pricing structure and perceived customer value may make it necessary to deviate considerably in actual IMU% and GM, but make a point to plan for your profit as well as you plan sales, markdowns or expenses. You want to make sure that you are achieving your Gross Margin plan at the store level, even though some classes may fall far short. The Gross Margin for other classes needs to be high enough to make up the difference for the lower performing classes.

For example, if your Initial Mark Up is 58% and you plan a 9.5% Markdown rate with a goal to maintain a 54% Gross Margin, you can use a “cost multiplier” of 2.40 to achieve your goal. The Cost Multiplier is a number you can multiply the merchandise cost by to achieve the desired Gross Margin percent. An item that Costs $20 will carry an Initial Price (Cost + Initial Mark Up) of $48 when using the 2.40 cost multiplier. If you plan Markdowns of 35% and require a Gross Margin of 54%, merchandise will carry a 66% IMU, using a Cost Multiplier of 2.95 to achieve the same 54% Gross Margin.

Markdowns do not affect IMU% after the initial price is set. The Initial Markup is what it is. However, Markdowns have a huge effect on Gross Margin %. Markdowns decrease profit. It doesn’t matter how much an item is marked up, if it must be marked down those markdowns come from your Gross Margin. Of course, the reverse is also true. When you bring in that unique item that your customers must have, you may not need to take planned markdowns. Then you get to enjoy your higher profit.

Ways to Increase IMU% and GM
Of course, you can just raise your IMU%, but if you raise it too much above the competition, you will lose sales. If you sell popular items that your customers feel a need to own, you may have lower than planned markdowns resulting in a higher Gross Margin. Another good way to boost both the IMU% and the GM is to make a practice of holding some money back from your Open-To-Buy when shopping and plan to rely on some in-season purchases to see you through. Generally, in-season purchases delivered immediately allow for a higher IMU% because you pay less for them.

Another thing we recommend is joining a Buying Group. Buying Groups have benefits for their members to save them time and money. Also, when you go to market, look for a new vendor or two to try. Generally, your customers value individuality as much as you. Give them some items to pick from that set you apart from the pack when possible.

If you feel there is little excitement for your inventory or it is developing “sameness” in appearance, try a different market. All vendors do not go to every market and by going to a new market you may be able to find just what you want. New vendors may offer a unique appearance in color, fit or style that appeals to your customers. Look for merchandise keeping with your quality line that offers a higher markup.

Using an Open-to-Buy is a great way to plan, record your actual results and then check yourself to see how you are doing as the year progresses. It can also help to prevent the high markdowns needed to clear out excess inventory.
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us http://www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

The Definition of Success – Having to Hire a CFO to Manage Finances

A small business owner is usually a lone entrepreneur who starts a company on a dream, sweat, tears and hard found money. Then it takes a dream, sweat and tears to use that hard found money to invest in the business and make it turn a profit. Once the business finds some equilibrium and starts making money, this may be the time for the business owner to examine the complexities of success. It is probably time to seek small business financial help by hiring a CFO or a Chief Financial Officer.

Once a small business passes over the threshold of making money, becoming successful and sustaining a position in the black, it is time to turn over the financials to a professional who can handle all revenue and expenses and provide accurate and timely taxes to the IRS, get bills paid on time and prepare budgets and business plans. By this time, it is important for the business owner to focus on marketing for more business and it is the CFO’s responsibility to keep an eye on cash flow, profits and expenditures. Meanwhile, the CFO can assist the CEO in tracking investments so that the return is profitable. And what about financial statements? In many cases, the CEO is happy that at last, someone else will take care of a daunting task.

Reporting and paying taxes is crucial to small business financial help from a CFO who monitors and manages a company’s finances. Having accurate and timely financial and accounting information facilitates making better management decisions for expansion, obtaining loans, forecasting profitable growth and keeping the company in check.

Can a small business afford to pay a full time CFO? In most cases, the answer is no. CFOs are generously rewarded for their expertise and hard work and the salary reflects their qualifications and capabilities. But there are CFOs that act as a contractor/consultant on a part time basis. Instead of reporting to the office every day, a part time CFO will provide reports, statements and monitor the company’s fiscal health a few days a week or a few weeks a month.

When small business financial help comes in the form of a CFO, think of it as a gift rather than an expense. A CFO brings a level of achievement to move your company from one level to the next one. Along with the CFO’s cache, a high level of integrity, confidentiality and great service will navigate your company to success. The CFO understands how to guide your company through the financial and administrative maze for making educated and informed decisions.

It is the CFO who can help steer the business through any financial crisis. It is the CFO who sounds a warning when there is the slightest hint of a treacherous iceberg blocking the path of success and profitability. When hiring a CFO, the business owner must place all trust in the hands of an expert to achieve internal operating goals, maintain business integrity, making it work.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3315646

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Controller, CFO, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to learn more about how our CFO and Controller Services may be able to help your business.

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QuickBooks Training – Do You Need It?

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By M. J. Hultquist

QuickBooks training comes in all shapes and sizes. You have books you can purchase and learn QuickBooks. You have classroom setting classes you can take that usually last 8 hours or more. You even have online courses you can take to learn QuickBooks.

But do you really need QuickBooks training?

To answer this question, you need to figure out first what you need it for.

There are generally 2 types of people who look for this training – small business owners and people looking for a job. In the first group, small business owners, they need QuickBooks training if they either plan on doing their own bookkeeping in QuickBooks or if they simply want to understand what their accountant is doing each month. By doing their own books, they can generally get a better feel for their business so that they can make more informed decisions. They also will save a few thousand dollars a year by doing it themselves instead of having an accountant do it for them.

But they have to make sure they actually get some QuickBooks instruction, or they could end up seriously screwing up their books.

Small business owners could also learn how to use QuickBooks if they simply want to understand what their accountant is doing each month. This will help them have a much better understanding of the ebbs and flows of their cash cycle.

The other people who look for QuickBooks training are people searching for a job. In this day and age, many employers, especially small businesses, look for people with experience using QuickBooks. More and more this is becoming a requirement for certain positions, and people simply do not have the proper training. As a result, to get a job or to even get a higher paying job, people trying to get a job that requires QuickBooks should take some sort of QuickBooks training.

So, the answer of whether or not you need QuickBooks training really depends on what you might need it for. After you make this determination, you can then decide which format for the training makes sense.

Learning from a book is generally not recommended because you have no one to ask questions or give you feedback. A classroom setting can be OK, however, you typically have set times you have to be there and they are generally fairly expensive. Also, if you do go this route, you have to make sure you can practice along in front of a computer to get the hands on experience.

The final option would be to get QuickBooks training through online video tutorials. These are generally less expensive than the classroom setting and are much more flexible as you can learn at any time that it is convenient for you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=M._J._Hultquist

We provide offsite and onsite individual and small group QuickBooks Problem Solving, Training, Inventory, Accounting and Bookkeeping Training to individuals and small and medium sized businesses.

Ask us for help.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

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Part Time CFO And Controller Services – 5 Ways Outsourcing Can Change Your Business

By Terry L Mickelson

Small companies often face similar financial challenges to those of larger companies. Many reach a point in company growth where the expertise of a financial professional is needed, but are unable to afford a full-time CFO. With a part-time CFO, you receive the benefits of financial help at a much smaller financial commitment than hiring another full-time employee. Along with saving both time and money, you’ll be able to focus on where your company needs you most. A part-time CFO can help you:

1. Receive accurate financial information. Many companies’ financial statements are filled with incomplete or inaccurate data, making it almost impossible for business owners to choose right for their business. A part-time CFO uses up-to-date accounting standards, giving you the key profitability information needed to make vital decisions for your business.

2. Spend more time with customers. Spending time with current and future customers is not just a luxury; it is essential for a profitable business. If you are not spending time with your customers now, then your competition is. By taking care of HR functions and accounting; a part-time CFO can free needed time so you can focus more on your customers and growing your business.

3. Get more money from banks or vendors. Banks and vendors are looking for financial statements that follow correct accounting standards, look professional and highlight key information. Create the professional financial statements you need to improve your company image and receive better terms with banks and vendors.

4. Discourage employee dishonesty. Many business owners have been shocked to learn how much stealing can go on within a company. There are many different types of theft such as; theft of money, customer lists, inventory and more. A part-time CFO can help discourage theft by establishing control and keeping you more aware of what going on inside your company.

5. Manage your cash flow properly. Lack of planning can often cause unpleasant cash flow surprises. Don’t address only the ‘squeaky wheel’, or let your company only ‘exist’ from month to month. By correct planning, using cash flow management solutions and securing needed financing, many cash flow issues can be reduced or even eliminated.

All companies face large challenges, but with the help of a part-time CFO big obstacles such as getting more money from banks and receiving accurate company data can be simplified and handled properly. By aiding in better cash flow management, discouraging employee dishonesty and freeing more time to spend with customers; CFO services can help your company succeed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1678331
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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

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The Fractional CFO Concept

The idea of fractional or part time use of a valuable resource has been around since the 1960s. It was pioneered by the vacation real estate industry when a French ski resort owner recognized few people could afford, let alone needed a resort condominium for all 52 weeks of the year. He addressed this challenge by dividing every room into 52 separate units of time.

Using the slogan “stop renting a room, buy the hotel” he launched a worldwide marketing phenomenon we now know as the time-share industry. Units were sold to different owners, each of whom purchased the full use and enjoyment of the week that best suited their schedule, and at an affordable price. If a buyer needed more than one week a year, they bought as many units as they wanted. And while other “bells and whistles” have been added through the years, over 4 million American families now own at least one vacation timeshare.

The concept of a fractional CFO is no different. Most business leaders recognize the need for trained, experienced financial expertise on their management team. Many simply do not need a full time CFO. Therefore, they cannot cost justify the investment of a full time salary. Even if an owner or manager has the required skill sets, a professional CFO can likely generate a superior work product in less time. This in turn frees up the most valuable and scarcest resource of all, TIME!

No successful entrepreneur ever launched a business with the intent of spending all day analyzing balance sheets, determining marginal profit contribution, dealing with bankers and tax accountants or addressing regulatory inquires. They launch businesses to exploit competitive advantage in their chosen field by servicing customer needs. Any time spent “working on the books” is time away from their real mission and a costly distraction from their value proposition.

Retaining a fractional or part-time CFO or Controller presents a cost effective solution customized to a business’ exact needs, budget and life cycle. The key to a successful fractional CFO relationship is to design and staff that engagement with a professional who will understand your business and address your financial needs. They must also become an integral (if part-time) member of your management team. Your fractional CFO should meet with you to tailor an affordable program to address your specific business needs. Together, you will establish a regular schedule of dedicated time to service those needs. That schedule can vary from just a few hours per month to several days per week, and can be adjusted as future needs require. You the client can typically terminate your fractional CFO at any time and for any reason without incurring additional costs, just as you would if you had hired a full time employee.

Frequently Asked Questions
•What exactly does a CFO do, and how does that change if I use a fractional CFO?
The chief financial officer or CFO is the person primarily responsible for managing the overall financial operations of an organization. This position is responsible for planning, cash flow management, record keeping, financial reporting, etc. The only difference between a traditional CFO and a fractional CFO is the nature of their relationship to the business. While a CFO is full time officer and employee, a fractional CFO is a part-time, independent contractor. However, their duties and responsibilities are virtually identical.

•Will I retain a fractional CFO for a one-time assignment, or will they continue to provide on-going services?
Occasionally, a client will request that that their fractional CFO provides services for a one-time, special project. The CFO will likely endeavor to accommodate all client needs. However, their primary focus will be on providing on-going fractional CFO services, including the development, implementation and monitoring of a long-term business plan. While the time allotted to this process can be adjusted and even reduced as initial objectives are met over time, it is a continuous process that typically requires some effort at least monthly.

•How much should I expect to pay for my fractional CFO?
The cost of fractional CFO services are primarily determined by only two things, the number of hours spent on an account, and the billing rate of individuals providing client services. Barring temporary or emergency situations, a reputable fractional CFO firm will endeavor to staff assignments using associates with skill sets and experience appropriate to your needs. Ultimately, they will provide the level of service you determine based on your needs and within a budget determined by you. Your schedule can vary from just a few hours per month to several days per week, and can be adjusted as future needs require. Typical clients should expect to spend from $500 to several thousand dollars, per month, depending on their needs.

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

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The Power Of Partnering With An Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Business meeting

By Chris A. Harmen

Traditionally, small businesses had to rely on antiquated paper ledgers and a shoebox stuffed full of saved receipts in order to maintain proper business accounting practices. However, with the advent of modern technology, both fledgling and well-established entrepreneurs no longer need to fuss with these outdated methods. Instead, these CEO’s can turn to the latest in computer software packages that have been designed specifically to help balance the books.

QuickBooks has firmly secured its spot as a front runner resource in the accounting software market and with good reason. The tool has a diverse range of functionality that makes it an ideal application for any small business, regardless of industry or services provided. Most importantly, the software was designed to be used efficiently and effectively by virtually anyone. Whether conducting business as a computer programmer, construction contractor, caterer or personal consultant, any businessperson can learn to manage their own bookkeeping process with relative ease. However, mastering this resource can prove an overwhelming mission when first starting out. That’s why teaming up with a QuickBooks consultant can provide a powerful partnership for any business.

The Benefits Of Utilizing An Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Learning the nuances and functionality of QuickBooks can initially seem a daunting endeavor. Rather than keeping the software in the box and continuing to rely on paper and pen methods, small companies now have invaluable resources available to them in the form of bookkeeping and, specifically, QuickBooks consultant firms. Reaching out to these service providers can exponentially decrease the anxiety and stress experienced when attempting to learn the various components of this application.

One of the best services offered by these firms is one-on-one training to methodically and systematically address and answer all fears, concerns and questions. This type of coaching empowers business owners to morph from frustrated and uncertain bookkeepers into capable managers of their own bottom line.

Another component to look for when seeking the assistance of a QuickBooks consultant is application customization. Not all businesses require the same fields, data entry and input when using the software. Fortunately, software programmers understand this need and have created the system to be highly customizable based on industry, function and need. However, modifying the tool can seem a little complicated to a new and unfamiliar user. Thus, working with a seasoned accounting professional to strategically tailor the program can ensure the streamlining and efficiency of any business’ specific accounting efforts.

Finally, partnering with an accounting consultant can offer a final added benefit. Learning the system and utilizing a tailored made version is only part of the partnership equation. Once fully confident and efficient with using the software to effectively balance the books, business owners will no longer spend an exorbitant amount of time calculating and recalculating monthly totals. This actually helps directly enhance the bottom line figures as the extra time saved enables these CEO’s the opportunity to focus more on revenue generation and core business activities.
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We provide part-time offsite and onsite Accounting, Cost Accounting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, QuickBooks Implementation, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Ask us for help.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

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Standard Cost Accounting in Determining the Estimate Versus Actual

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By Victor Viser, Ph.D.

Cost accounting in manufacturing answers the simple question: “Am I making money on this job, and if not then why not?”. Cost accounting is a bridge between financial and management accounting and is a technique used to address the demands of both. It is a systematic application that takes all events in the supply chain and translates them into financial values for analyses by various people both inside and outside the company operations. The most important results of the analyses are findings by which management can reduce manufacturing costs while improving profitability, especially in the multi-sequence operations of manufacturing. While there are several ways to approach cost accounting (e.g., activity-based, throughput, etc.), the generally accepted accounting principles most in line with manufacturing operations are standard cost accounting and weighted average cost accounting. In both standard cost and weighted average cost accounting, managers can best assess production profit results as they are related to a formula for the “standard cost” of manufacturing a product.

In general terms, the computation of manufacturing cost involves many methods and techniques to define the components of cost, as well as determining what will be the basis of cost measurement such as historical cost, market value, and/or actual cost. For managers, the simple point of cost accounting is to determine why production costs are different than what they were planned (or estimated) to be, and then to take the appropriate corrective action. In an integrated enterprise resource planning operation (ERP), where work orders, shop floor routers, and travelers define the job sequencing for a generated sales order, each aspect of the sequence is reviewed in terms of actual versus estimated cost to attempt to discover those production steps than are deviating the most from the planned cost. In focusing so closely upon the production sequence, each and every step can be macroanalyzed in terms of cost as it is related to variables such as volume of output, material, and labor time for production.

For example, to discover actual versus estimate discrepancies in a particular work center or production sequence, management can look to things such as scrap piece counts, set-up times/cost, and material costs as they concern specific sequences. As such data is accumulated, it is easier to come to an understanding as to what specific aspect or sequence in production is costing more than the estimate, and why it is doing so. For those manufacturers utilizing more robust ERP software systems, managers can quickly and easily see actual dollar costs against individual production activities, as well as finding opportunities to streamline operations and reduce costs. If needed, as a result of cost accounting a manager can even determine whether they should eliminate the entire production activity, especially if there is no value added or profit to be made.

With accurate and regular job cost accounting facilitated by ERP software, the modern manufacturer gains a competitive edge through the routine maintenance of cost efficiencies. Indeed, as corrections, as a result of cost accounting, are made in the production system to alleviate inefficient or non-profitable sequences, actual costs come into closer alignment with estimated costs, and in doing so provide a more predictable bottom-line.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Victor_Viser,_Ph.D.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite Manufacturing Cost, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

QuickBooks Certified Online ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist.

Microsoft Great Plains Authorized Real World Consultant.

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Strategic Planning for a Small Business – Overcome the Challenges

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WHY PLAN?

Things are ok. But how do you know you are thinking BIG enough? Are you leveraging the strengths, interests and talents on your team? Will you wind up in a place that will make you happy? What exactly is the best game plan? It is not that you haven’t been thinking about these questions. The business environment is complex and the choices are daunting. How do you answer the hard questions?

For the same reasons that pilots use maps when they fly cross-country and chefs follow recipes, it makes good sense to work towards organizational and personal goals with a written plan. One can operate without a plan, and many do, but the results probably won’t be optimal.

A strategic thinking and planning process can help to create a framework where you take control of the business, instead of sitting back and watching the business taking control of you. For many, the process of planning (thinking, discussing, researching and analyzing) is even more useful than the final plan. A planning process can help to sharpen a vision, evaluate alternative paths, build common understanding and commitment, balance dreams with reality, and transform uncertainty into action.

SOUNDS GOOD BUT MOST SMALL BUSINESSES DON’T PLAN

Although there is a lot of research correlating success with planning, it probably won’t surprise you that the majority of small businesses don’t have a written strategic plan. The reasons why are varied but some common themes include: “It’s not the best use of my/our limited time”, “planning takes away flexibility”, “there are too many uncertainties”, “we have a business plan”, “building consensus is too difficult”, and “it will cost too much”.

These are all real concerns, especially to the small business owner. The dichotomy is that the very reasons why organizations avoid planning are the same reasons that planning can be so effective. Let’s take a look….

TIME- “We are so overwhelmed – hiring, making sure our customers are happy, getting new products out – we just don’t have time to think about next week, forget about next year. Somehow, the future will just have to take care of itself.”
Thinking versus action provides a dilemma for many professionals. We are action oriented. When we are doing something, we feel productive. When we take the time to think, we feel unproductive. We need to do both. Without investing the time and effort to think about where we’re headed, it is likely we won’t get there.

When we become so involved in the day to day that we risk losing perspective, it is time to step back. If we stay mired in the trenches, the easiest solution is often implemented, not the best one. Planning takes time, but it leads to a focused use of the limited time available.

FLEXIBILITY- “We like to stay open to opportunities as they arise.”

Creating a strategic plan doesn’t mean that your business can’t be flexible. A plan sets the foundation so that when things start changing; there is a baseline from which to evaluate new opportunities.

Out of strategic planning come decisions like: “we will approach this target market, not that one”, “we will offer these products or services, not those”, “we will accomplish this objective before anything else.” Written plans demonstrate that careful consideration has been given to the future. It is easier to make these kinds of decisions strategically with a longer-term view. When things get stressful, it becomes difficult to see all of the options well enough to make educated decisions.

“We have a basic idea of where we are headed, why write it down?”

Unwritten goals are simply thoughts that will change as often as your opinions change. The act of writing out goals helps to clarify them and can provide an objective way of tracking them against actual results. Magic happens when you put goals on paper, they start to become real. You begin to make commitments, and are open to opportunities you may not have noticed before.

UNCERTAINTY- “Strategic planning is a business school concept developed when people thought they could anticipate and predict the future. How can we plan in a world that is highly uncertain?”

Uncertainty is a real issue in forward planning. However, putting our heads in the sand probably isn’t the best solution. Most organizations have their strategies, structure, and service offering challenged on a regular basis. To remain successful it is vital to ask the following strategic questions on a regular basis:

Where are we now? Where are we going? How are we going to get there?

Strategic planning helps a business evaluate market opportunities. To do this effectively, the process includes collecting and analyzing information about the business environment, understanding internal strengths, and developing a set of ‘key assumptions’. Optimal strategies are designed based on all of these factors. As the environment changes, so should our plans. One way to assess whether it is time to conduct a new strategic planning process is to check your list of ‘key assumptions’ on an annual basis to see if anything has changed.

I HAVE A PLAN- “I wrote a business plan when I started the business”

The act of strategic planning is often confused with a business plan. Business plans are usually drafted to obtain financing, then wind up filed away. The strategic planning process is an activity that is conducted every few years to evaluate opportunities, wrestle with environmental changes, build consensus, and to create updated goals. The output (a strategic plan) is a short working document that defines the positioning and future of the organization, with an action plan to get from here to there.

ORGANIZATION DYNAMICS- “I could never get everyone to agree on the best way to move forward. Anyway, shouldn’t it be my vision?”

An effective planning process will help to get people talking, and ensure that the business owner/CEO benefits from the ideas of his/her team. A good process is designed to build confidence, support and commitment among all involved. Even if only a limited group is included in the process, the completion of a strategic plan provides a great opportunity to communicate the company’s direction and core values to employees.

The use of an outside facilitator can greatly enhance the effectiveness of a planning process and keep the process on track. There is often a strong tendency of those participating to focus the discussions on today’s problems. An outside facilitator can help to broaden thinking and make sure that new ideas and directions are generated.

COST- “We don’t have a budget for planning.”

With all the activities that make up running a business, setting priorities in the context of a plan is important. Without a plan, the limited resources of a growing business will tend to be scattered in many directions, netting results that take longer and cost more.

What are your personal priorities? Is profitability, work/life balance, a motivated staff, or public recognition on your list? What are the personal benefits of achieving your goals? What are the consequences if you don’t?

If you are serious about your business, it is time to overcome the challenges to planning and start to soar. Don’t hesitate to enlist help. Stop thinking about a better future, TAKE ACTION!

We provide part-time virtual and onsite QuickBooks Training, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Controller and CFO Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Ask us for help – this is what we do.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

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The Benefits of QuickBooks Enterprise For Your Business

By Gary Farrell

Whether large or small, no matter what you sell, your business needs an accounting program that is reliable and accurate, allows for simple generation of reports and is highly functional. Enterprise Solutions from QuickBooks, designed for growing businesses, has the capabilities and flexibility to meet your business’ unique needs as it grows – and it could save you thousands in up-front and ongoing system costs.

QuickBooks Enterprise provides the key functionality you need with incredible ease of use. If you are a business owner or manager exploring the available solutions for improving the financial flow of your work, here are just a few reasons why you should consider this product.

Business Growth Support: QuickBooks Enterprise lets you scale up to 30 simultaneous users as your organization grows. Flexibility: The software is designed to work the way you work, so you don’t have to change your current business processes. This program lets you customize any of its 120+ built-in reports and forms such as estimates and invoices to look and work the way you want. Instant Access: Get real-time, instant access to the information you need to know about your business, when you want it and in the format you want it in, from Enterprises’ 120+ built-in reports, such as Forecast Overview, Forecast vs, Actual, Profit & Loss Budget Performance, and A/P Aging Detail. Functionality: Enterprise Solutions delivers all of the key financial management and accounting functionality you would expect from a sophisticated solution, including: G/L, A/P, A/R, Payroll, Fixed Assets, Job Costing, Budgeting and more.

Consult with a local QuickBooks business advisor today to learn more about migrating your current records to the flexible and manageable QuickBooks software solution.

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We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

Ask us for help.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our QuickBooks services; or to set up a free consultation telephone call.

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9 Benefits of Companies Outsourcing Their CFO and Controller Tasks

All businesses need financial consulting, however not every business can afford to hire a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or a Controller. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly turning to expert outsourced CFO services. Here’s how an outsourced financial consultant can benefit your company:

1. Cost Reduction
Outsourcing a qualified accounting professional to handle your CFO services can help your company save a lot of money. You’ll be getting expert services without having to add additional personnel and technological resources. This can help reduce your company’s overall operation costs.

2. Quality of Services
With an outsourced CFO, you can be assured of quality services because he is a professional who has worked with different industries, and understands what works across the board.

3. Allows Better Focus
It’s very important for businesses, especially small ones, to concentrate on their core competency, and let professionals handle what they don’t understand. If dealing with the financial aspect of your business isn’t your specialty, outsourcing CFO services can help to concentrate more on what you know best.

4. Overall Efficiency
When it comes to meeting deadlines, as well as other requirements of different projects, an outsourced CFO is generally more efficient compared to a hired one. This is because he has experience with almost all financial situations, and you can only expect the best from him or her.

5. Assistance in Getting Financing
Bookkeepers do a wonderful job, but it’s usually an outsourced Chief Financial Officer, who has to present suitable financial statements to a lending body for financial approval. With his or her experience, the CFO will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your company’s income statement and balance sheet, and can equip you with the financial information that the bank may need. Many times, such CFOs will introduce your company to banking sources that match its lending requirements, and thereafter, assist you throughout the financing process.

6. Developing Budgets
Every business, regardless of size requires a revenue and expense management plan in order to successfully grow. An outsourced CFO can help you as the business owner to develop a model that demonstrates what needs to be done to attain a desired gross or net profit, or meet a sales goal. Every company owner can attest to the fact that without a budget, it’s difficult to run the business efficiently, leave alone managing it to become profitable. Therefore, the CFO can work with you to come up with plans that can help you identify the sales level that should be reached to attain break-even profitability, or know when it’s sensible to hire additional employees.

7. Managing Cash
Small companies would love to be able to have sufficient cash to run their everyday operations, however, most of them lack the tool to help them forecast their liquidity needs. When you outsource a CFO, he or she can build a model that forecasts your cash-flow requirements both in the short and long term. In addition, he’ll be able to help your company in prioritizing its cash-flow needs.

8. Assist in Complying with Tax Regulations
Several business owners usually disregard the consequences of failing to pay taxes to the federal and local government on time and in full. In addition, they pay the wrong amount of taxes because of wrongly entered transactions in the ledger. Accurate tax returns can’t be prepared without proper financial statements. Outsourcing CFOs can come in very handy for such businesses because they’ll ensure that financial statements are prepared accurately, and in a timely manner. Consequently, they’ll be able to assist you in navigating and complying with various tax regulations.

9. Upgrading Accounting Software
An outsourced CFO is familiar with a huge variety of software packages. As a result, he can weigh the gains of getting more powerful accounting software against the package’s cost, in order to know if the purchase makes sense. However, that basic software you have in your office may not suit every business type; certain companies for instance, those that deal with manufacturing, have significant inventory management requirements, and need more sophisticated software. An outsourced CFO can offer you very valuable advice regarding which accounting software is right for your business.

As you’ve seen above, companies have a lot to gain from outsourcing CFO services, such as cost reduction, efficient services and cash management. Besides, you’ll get more time to concentrate in the day-to-day running of your business.

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Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

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Does Your Small Business Need an Outsourced Financial Controller?

By Tim Garrison

Many small business owners launch their business to follow a passion, whether that passion is writing, programming, Web design, art, sound & video, or any number of other industries. Your business begins to grow by word-of-mouth and soon, you’re hiring employees or independent contractors to take over part of your responsibilities rather than doing it all yourself.

Somewhere along the line, you grow large enough to hire a small business bookkeeper. Until now, you’ve managed your books yourself, either through QuickBooks or another bookkeeping software, or some system that you’ve devised yourself. Now, you’ve just gotten too big for this system to work anymore.

You hire a bookkeeper who understands financial accounting software and can manage your books on a full-time or part-time basis. This person could be an in-house employee, or maybe a local contractor. Or maybe you’re one of the growing number of smart business owners who hires an outsourced bookkeeper based in the U.S. who works virtually and communicates with you via phone and email.

Things go along well, but now that you’re not doing your own books anymore, you feel a bit out of touch with your company’s broad financial picture. Your bookkeeper can send you the reports and spreadsheets, but it doesn’t always make sense. You need someone to interpret all those numbers in boxes for you. Most importantly, you’ve grown large enough that you need a trusted financial advisor with the knowledge to help you make the best decisions for your rapidly growing business.

If you know anything about financial controllership, you might think a full-time financial controller comes with a 6-figure salary. And you’re probably right. Your business doesn’t have the budget for that — and it’s not what you need anyway.

You just need someone on a part-time basis to review your books with you monthly, provide checks-and-balances for your in-house or outsourced bookkeeper, and help you with financial planning and budgeting on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you think you can’t afford a financial controller, think again. Outsourced controllership services are less expensive than you may think, and will save your business money in the long run with better financial planning.

You may be concerned that, by hiring an outsourced controller, you’ll be giving up “control” of your company. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A financial controller provides you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your company — but all decisions remain yours. A financial controller doesn’t “control” your business. As a trusted advisor, he gives you the information you need to be more in control of your company.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7114727

———————

Our approach is to provide a definitive yet thorough assessment allowing you, and your company, to consider a broad overview of alternatives to manage the challenges and enhance the performance of your business.

In short, we identify opportunities, work with you and your organization, and enable you to take advantage of business potential and growth. The move to part time, on call, and virtual services has become more accepted in the business world over the past few years. For a fraction of the cost of a full time employee, a small business can have the Controller / CFO function filled by an experienced professional.

We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.

PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of accounting, cost accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons. Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.

Contact us for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss the immediate and long term benefits that we can offer you.

We provide part-time offsite and onsite CFO, Controller, Accounting, Cost Accounting, Forecasting, Inventory Management, Cost Control, QuickBooks Problem Solving, and QuickBooks Training Services to small and medium sized businesses.

Visit our website www.desmidtconsulting.com

Visit our mobile website www.desmidtconsulting.mobi

Contact us www.desmidtconsulting.com/contactus.html

813-252-9490

Thank you,

Peter DeSmidt, BA, MBA, PA

QuickBooks Certified Advanced ProAdvisor

Microsoft Certified Accounting Application Specialist

Microsoft Certified Installation Specialist

Contact us to inquire about our CFO and Controller Services.

imagesRMWHBYUM

dyn gp