Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Budgeting & Cash Flow

This video is meant for personal finance, but I believe it applies to business as well. You can have a terrific business, but if cash isn't rolling in, you're doomed.



Here is the original post by Carl Richards.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Bean-counter. Number-cruncher. 10-key jockey. That is what most people think accountants are.

Yes, we can do those things for you. But I prefer to let technology automate as many of those simple tasks as possible. That's because I like interpreting the data to see how it can help my customers be more successful.

This article from the NY Times touches on a few examples of how a little accounting knowledge helped save some businesses from early failure.

Are we making money?

Are our customers paying us?

Are we spending our money wisely?

These are a few questions a business needs to ponder, maybe with the help of a friendly CPA. Like this real life example:

Last week I was talking to a customer of our firm. They had been using a software package since I've been involved (about 6 years or so) that they had outgrown probably even a few years before then. We advised them nearly every year during our meetings that a new software package might would likely give them better information. But business gets in the way sometimes, so only recently did they commit to a new accounting system. It went live earlier this year.

The customer's head finance person is sold. She told me the reporting was so much better that they are now actually able to tell how profitable each job is. She said the project managers were in awe of the level of detail they were now getting and were already making changes based on the information. Changes that would help them increase profits and possibly even shut down projects that were not cutting it.

That was a High Satisfaction Day.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I don't know about you, but when I was a kid Legos were my favorite toy. Heck, my brothers and I still dump out the big tub of Legos and start building when we go to my parents house...of course they are for the grand-kids to play with. Yeah right.

Legos come with directions, but most of the time, after building the kit we would take it apart and mix the new pieces in with the older stuff.  I barely remember playing with the actual "thing" we built with the Legos - it was more fun to constantly build, tear it apart and rebuild something else.

Business is kinda like that I guess. Build something up using the directions (Google "how to start a business" - see how many hits you get), play with it for awhile, if you don't like it you can start something else. Business is constantly evolving, it is always a good idea to take a look at your processes and see how you compare.

For example, most accounting used to be done by pencil and paper - a tedious exercise that would take forever and encompass many, many pages of green, lined ledger paper. By the time the accountant was done, he was probably too tired of footing columns to care what the numbers were saying.

Contrast that to today where accounting software and technology has almost allowed us to view real-time reports of what and how the business is doing. It is clear a paradigm shift is happening in accounting, unfortunately not all firms are happy with this. Did I mention you can do this from just about anywhere via a mobile phone or laptop computer?

It is truly an exciting time to be in my profession. We have so many cool tools at our disposal. The coolest thing about them? Seeing how they can help our customers achieve their business goals.