MORE than Finances

Get your finances in order, and get on with your life!

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How to Get Your Business Finances in Order

Working Overtime - A Blessing Or A CurseAre you in total control of your business’s finances? It’s essential to manage the money that you spend and the money that comes into your business in the proper way. However, other things can get in the way and it’s not always that easy to take care of this aspect of an organization. However, by following the tips below, you will be able to get your business finances in order and start concentrating on running your business instead.

Take a Business-related Course

As the leader of your business, it’s up to you to keep everything in order in your business, including all of the money-related aspects of it. Completing a business-related course like a masters in executive leadership program will develop many of the skills you need to control all aspects of an organization, including its finances. The executive leadership masters online course, for example, allows you to study over the internet, which is the perfect solution for an entrepreneur who does not have the time available to attend lectures in a traditional college or a university setting.

Hire a Financial Expert

If you don’t have the expertise or the time required to manage your business’s finances, you should look for help from an expert in this field. The accountant or another financial expert you hire should be able to keep your financial records and accounts up-to-date and provide you with reliable financial advice, so you can deal with your finances in a more organized way.

Purchase the Right Systems

A wide range of business systems and financial management systems are available that are specifically designed to help all types of organizations. Before deciding which systems to use, you should identify your specific requirements and what you need the system to do. Once you have a clear idea about which system to purchase, you can do so with much more confidence.

Processes and Procedures

From the start, you should set up processes and procedures to deal with the financial aspects of your company. This will reduce the number of errors made and ensure that anyone working on any finance-related tasks in your business will find it easy to do so.

Carry Out Regular Financial Audits and Reviews

In business, things change and mistakes can be made, so it’s essential to carry out regular audits and reviews of your financial systems and financial data. This exercise has the potential to uncover certain problems that could affect your business later on.

Reduce the Amount of Waste in Your Organization

Badly managed companies waste a lot of money, time, and resources every year. Much of this waste could be prevented and this is something every business owner should look at further. Even preventing a small amount of waste every day could lead to huge savings over the course of a year.

Managing your business’s money properly is crucial if you want your company to succeed. If you’re not already doing this, you can change this situation by following the tips above.

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When There is no NestEgg: Where Do You Go When Emergencies Happen?

stretcher-1685611_640Not everyone has a nest egg that they can fall back on in times of financial need. If you have recently experienced an emergency and need quick cash, you might be at a loss as to where you should get it. After all, you can’t get money from a bank account that doesn’t offer much room for flexibility, so you’ll need to find another way to get funds.

Title Loans

Title loans use your vehicle as collateral, which gives you better chance of being approved for the loan. These loans are ideal because they can offer a large sum of cash that will be approved quickly and easily. Credit scores may or may not make an impact on your eligibility simply because you are using something as collateral. Plus, you can easily just get a title loan online without needing to visit a local bank.

Payday Loans

Payday loans aren’t necessarily the best option, but they do offer a lump sum of cash when you’re in a financial bind. The main issue with payday loans is the fact that they need to be paid off quickly, often in a matter of weeks, and the interest rates attached to them are often quite high. Be careful of taking out a payday loan and do diligent research on the lender if you choose to go this route.

Family and Friend Assistance

If you’re in a financial pickle, one of the best places to go for help is friends and family. You can borrow money from a loved one and pay them back in small, affordable increments. You may need to go to several friends or family members before one of them offers to help out, and it’s vital that you keep your word and pay them back. Many friends and family members have taken their loved ones to court because of unpaid personal loans between each other.

Extra Employment

One way to gain a bit of extra money that does not entail a loan of any kind is to start working more proficiently. This might mean that you’ll need to get a small part-time second job or that you’ll have to get more hours at your current workplace. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer about getting more hours, or you might want to look at part-time jobs in your area that will pay well and provide you with the money that you need during this tough financial time.

Plan Ahead

Because it can be difficult to deal with a financial emergency when you have no nest egg to fall back on, it’s imperative to start planning for the future after dealing with this issue. One way to plan for emergencies is to set up a savings account that you can utilize when times are tough. Putting a little bit of money each week into your new savings account can help tremendously when an emergency pops up. You can also speak with a financial advisor if you are looking to save even more cash for your future.

No one likes to think about an emergency situation coming up that entails they might need to take out a loan or ask friends for assistance, however, you need to do what is best for you to avoid total disaster. Taking out a title loan, for example, is a much more viable option than dealing with the emergency in the first place. Be sure that you look at your options to determine which one is best for you concerning your needs and your current situation.

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3 Good Reasons to Maintain a Household Emergency Fund

How to Work Towards a Healthier Bank BalanceManaging money calls for a great deal of planning, but flexibility is another key feature of effective personal financial management.  Although most spending needs can be anticipated well in advance, flexibility in your personal budget allows for unexpected expenses.  And an emergency fund gives you a cash cushion to fall back on, when extraordinary demands emerge.  If, like many households, your emergency resources fall short; consider the following good reasons to establish and maintain a personal contingency fund.

Create your own safety net

As you plan your budget and account for myriad household spending demands, efforts should be made to reserve savings for an emergency fund.  For the best results, sequester the resources in a separate account, rather than comingling emergency savings with other incoming resources.  That way, you’ll be less tempted to unnecessarily draw from the account for ill-advised purchases.  If possible, establish an interest bearing fund, to help your emergency resources grow.  And make it as inconvenient as possible to access the money – even setting-up your contingency account at a separate bank, away from your primary financial institution.

1.     Personal Insurance

Regardless of the cause of financial difficulties – and there are many; a contingency fund acts as an insurance policy, preventing a manageable issue from snowballing into a bigger problem.  In fact, you can use the analogy to stay on track with savings.  By thinking of your emergency fund as an insurance policy, and paying corresponding premiums to your own reserve account, you essentially mirror the benefits of insurance coverage, administering the benefit yourself, rather than hiring a provider.

A personal emergency account reserves resources you can use to address these and other common financial crises:

  • Temporary unemployment
  • Costly car repairs
  • Medical bills
  • Mechanical breakdowns at home
  • Job loss
  • Divorce expenses
  • Special property assessments
  • Income tax obligations

2.     Avoid Costly Alternatives

Unexpected expenses pop-up quickly, so there isn’t always time to wait for funding – money is usually needed on the spot. When an urgent demand strikes, you may find fast financing online, and it is important to recognize; certain choices make more sense than others.  Credit cards, for instance, carry high interest rates and stiff penalties for late payment, making it easy to get into financial trouble overusing revolving credit.  Cards also have credit limits, which may not cover your entire financing need.  As a result, credit cards should be used only as a last resort. Unfortunately, without an emergency account, your options may be limited – and costly.

Though various types of loans provide funding at lower rates and with flexible repayment terms, no form of financing is as cost-effective as drawing from your own emergency reserves.  In effect, maintaining emergency resources helps you avoid making ill-advised financial decisions.

3.     Maintain Cash Flow

Some financial emergencies relate to specific purchases, repairs, or replacement needs.  In other cases, emergency reserves are needed when income or household cash flow are interrupted.  Job loss and temporary layoffs, as well as injury and disability, cause these types of unanticipated financial inconsistencies. If you are impacted by these unforeseen events, your well-funded emergency account bridges the financial gap, as you grapple with these challenging circumstances.

Many financial advisors recommend a particular savings threshold, though any progress in the right direction is better than facing financial difficulties with nothing in reserve.  Finance experts commonly suggest emergency savings totaling at least three months’ worth of customary household spending.  With such a lofty goal, it may take some time for you to set aside ample funds, but holding a few months’ worth of cash reserves substantially lowers your vulnerability to financial distress.

Maintaining a healthy emergency fund helps limit risk and prevents small financial problems from growing into unmanageable concerns.  Not only do emergency resources cover pop-up expenses, but keeping a rainy day fund can also save you from costly alternatives.

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How Long Does it Take to Prepare a Business for a Sale?

How to find a good cpa“I’m looking to sell my business in Atlanta. How long will it take?”

It’s the question every business broker dreads, because there’s no answer. Moreover, the question of how long it takes to prepare a business for sale neglects a fundamental issue: preparation is the most time-consuming part of the sale, and also the most important. To take your business from a state of disarray to full preparation for a sale can take anywhere from 1-3 years. The precise amount often varies with the size and complexity of your business, as well as how much work you’re willing to put into the process. Here are some factors you’ll need to consider.

Daily Operations

Now is the time to streamline your operations. That means putting your processes on paper, eliminating inefficiencies and redundancies, and ensuring a new owner is prepared to run your business. That can take as little as a few days if everything is in basic working order. Or it could take months.

There’s another consideration here, and that is the need to continue operating your business as you prepare for a sale. One of the factors that weighs on how long it will take is how demanding daily operations are. In other words, if running your business demands 60-80 hour weeks, it will take longer to prepare for a sale because you’ll have less time to commit to the preparation. 

Willingness to Prepare

Selling your business takes lots of work on your part. The time line will be shorter if you can fully commit your attention to the process. If you’re distracted, unwilling to help with due diligence prep, or otherwise drag out the process, prepare for many delays. 

Looming Issues

Issues such as lawsuits, regulatory compliance, taxation issues, and debt can all slow the timetable for selling your business. Not only must you address these issues in anticipation of due diligence; you may also have to lower your expectations of the business’s value if there are serious issues with liability exposure. An unbiased third party can take a careful look at any looming issues, and tell you what you need to do to correct them as quickly as possible. 

Your Approach to the Sale

One of the key factors in how long it takes to prepare your business for a sale is how aggressive you want to be in the search for a buyer. Are you merely willing to sell your business if the right buyer comes along? Or are you hoping to sell your business as soon as possible? The more aggressively you pursue a buyer, the more quickly you will likely find one. Of course, that also depends on how fully prepared you are for a sale, since buyers want to purchase businesses that are truly ready for a sale.

Negotiating the Sale

Finding a buyer is just the beginning of the process. You’ll also have to agree to terms of the sale, and fulfill your obligations under the sale contract. This can take a few days, a few months, or in some cases, even a few years. Factors such as how many demands the buyer has, how many negotiation sessions you need, and whether you’ll have a hand in operations after the sale can all affect how long it takes to secure and close a transaction.

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Are Business Partnerships a Good Option?

How to find a good cpaWhen you start a new business, deciding its form is one of the most important decisions you will make. There are six types of businesses:

  1. Sole Proprietorship
  2. Partnership
  3. Limited Liability Company
  4. Corporation
  5. S Corporation
  6. Cooperative

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. You should consult with an experienced business attorney to discuss who the business owners are or will be and when filling for a business; what kind of things the business will do or sell; how it will be financed; what its liabilities are or will be; and what exit strategy would be preferable. Your attorney can answer those questions and also tell you the tax advantages of each entity type.

Partnership Benefits

Anyone, even another business, can be a partner; i.e., co-owner of a business. The partnership pays no taxes, but must file an annual informational partnership return. Each partner pays income tax by means of a Schedule C attached to their Federal income tax return; the Schedule C reports their income or loss from the partnership.

A partnership has great flexibility in terms of partnership ownership percentages, voting rights, income rights, etc. Different types of shares can be issued and partnership property often can be distributed to a partner in a tax-deferred way.

The IRS allows partnership income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits to be allocated among partners any way they wish, as long as it conforms to the partnership agreement and is not done to reduce any partner’s individual tax liability. Your attorney should draft the partnership agreement, which often is a lengthy document and is legally binding on all partners.

Partnership Disadvantages

In a general partnership, all partners have unlimited liability and are responsible, jointly and separately, for business obligations. In a limited liability partnership (LLP), partners have limited liability and are not liable for each other’s misconduct or negligence.

In any type of partnership, accounting can become quite complex. In addition, each partner must pay their own self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare tax).