3 keys to a successful accounting system upgrade

Today’s accounting software can perform adequately for years, but improved features are being created all the time. Here are three key considerations to help you decide when to upgrade: 1) Your users’ tech savvy needs to align with the system’s level of sophistication. 2) Costs matter: Set a firm budget and focus on only needed…

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Finding a 401(k) that’s right for your business

Ready to offer a 401(k) plan? Know your options: Traditional 401(k)s let employees contribute pretax dollars and give employers the option of matching contributions. But rigorous testing rules apply. Roth 401(k)s allow employees to contribute after-tax dollars and take tax-free withdrawals (subject to limitations). Safe harbor 401(k)s avoid strict testing but require certain employer contributions.…

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A midyear review should go beyond financials

Now’s the perfect time for business owners to stop, take a breather and engage in a midyear review. Naturally, this will involve looking at your financials. But go beyond those numbers and look at areas such as: 1) HR, specifically, how’s employee turnover trending compared with last year? 2) Sales and marketing, for example, are…

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Use the proper tools to fix a broken trust

A trust that works fine when it’s established may no longer achieve its original goals if your family circumstances or tax laws change. Or a drafting mistake may produce an undesirable result. One option is to modify the trust. This remedy may be available, through court proceedings, if unanticipated circumstances require changes in order to…

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Preserve wealth for yourself and your heirs using asset protection strategies

If you wish to protect your assets while retaining some control over them, consider an irrevocable trust. Transferring assets to such a trust generally places them beyond your creditors’ reach. And by including a “spendthrift” provision, you can also protect the assets against claims by your beneficiaries’ creditors. A spendthrift provision prohibits your beneficiaries from…

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Cost control takes a total team effort

They say you’ve got to spend money to make money. But that doesn’t mean business owners should accept high operational costs. Cost control is a formal management technique through which you evaluate operations and isolate activities with excessive expenses. It forces you to ask tough questions about the efficiency of your business, how much you’re…

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Making the right choice about your office space

Many companies must eventually decide whether to renew a lease, move on to a different one or buy new (or pre-existing) space. Buying commercial property is a big step. It offers prestige, control and tax advantages, but also comes with high costs, maintenance obligations and the daunting prospect of selling if things don’t work out.…

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Say, just how competitive is your business anyway?

To be successful, a business must be competitive. Is yours? Here are some ways to assess this: First, examine your operating environment. Anything from severe weather to a sudden change in buying trends could affect competitiveness. Next, identify important tangible and intangible resources. Technological obsolescence, for example, could change everything. Then look at the strength…

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