6 Benefits of a Mastermind Group

 

Benefits of Participating in a Mastermind Group         

  1. Be part of an exclusive community.  Participation in most Mastermind Groups are by invite or application only.   The other members need you just as much as you need them, so quality of experience and knowledge is crucial to all involved.
  2. Advisement and Accountability are top priorities of the group.  Being involved in a Mastermind group nixes that feeling of “being alone” in running your business. The other members of the group turn into your business advisory board and hold you accountable for your progress.
  3. Collaboration is king. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.  Chances are that someone in your group will have certain strenghts that can help you balance out your weaknesses and vice versa. The group works together collaboratively, to achieve more together.
  4. You get to extend your network and make new connections on a deeper level. Joining a Mastermind can expand your network exponentially. As a professional, you know how important your network is. By joining a group of other professionals who are equally focused on success, you instantly add quality connections to your network.
  5. New learning opportunities are key to Mastermind participants. Everyone in the Mastermind is unique in skill, experience and connections. By interacting and sharing your challenges, it’s almost certain that someone in your mastermind will have a solution for you and you may also be able to offer a solution, connection or tactic to help another in the group.
  6.  Think bigger to grow faster. Being in a Mastermind eventually gives you a Master Mind! You can’t help but think bigger and stretch beyond your boundaries when surrounded by amazing professionals striving to accomplish their own amazing goals.

 About our Online Mastermind Groups

  • Your group meets exclusively online one day a week for 1 hour 30 minutes.  
  • Your initial committment is a once a week meeting for three months with the option to continue in six month increments.
  • You choose either an early morning, lunch time or evening group.
  • Your group members must apply by submitting the form below.
  • Your group members are required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Your group members must commit to attending every meeting or risk being expelled from the group

  Masterminds are incredible and can do wonders for your business as well as for you, personally. Growing in a group is not only more effective, it’s quite a bit more fun!  Give it a try – what do you have to lose?

[th_form id=’7919′]

 

Should You Take Bonus Depreciation?

Extender from PATH Act means you can take bonus depreciation on your 2015 returns – but should you?

Once again, bonus depreciation has been extended allowing taxpayers to recover the costs of depreciable property more quickly by claiming additional first-year depreciation for qualified assets. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) extended 50% bonus depreciation through 2017.  Many taxpayers may benefit from claiming this break on their 2015 returns however some might save more tax in the long run if they elect out of bonus depreciation.

What type of assets qualify for bonus depreciation?

For 2015, new tangible property with an IRS stipulated depreciable life of 20 years or less (such as computers, office furniture or equipment) qualifies for bonus depreciation.  Off-the-shelf computer software, water utility property and qualified leasehold-improvement property also qualifies.  The new assets must also have been put in to use in 2015 in order to qualify for any depreciation deduction.

To bonus or not to bonus, that is the question…

Typically, taxpayers always want to maximize their tax deductions in the current year.  But wise tax planning calls for considering the effects of this year’s choices on future year’s tax burdens.  If a taxpayer has assets that are eligible for bonus depreciation and they expect to be in the same or a lower tax bracket in future years, taking Section 179 deduction first, then bonus depreciation is most likely a good tax strategy.  Doing so will defer tax, which generally is beneficial and usually the goal of tax planning.

However, if a business is growing and expects to be in a higher tax bracket in the near future, it may be better off forgoing bonus depreciation altogether. Why?  Because it makes sense to decrease deductions in years when a taxpayer is in a lower tax bracket, when they expect to have a higher taxable income in future years.  They will need the depreciation deductions more in the years they have higher taxable income, so electing out of bonus depreciation and not taking Section 179 deductions can be a smart tax move.  Deductions are worth more when your tax bracket is higher.

Have questions about depreciation?  We can help

If you’re unsure whether you should take bonus depreciation on your 2015 return — or you have questions about other depreciation-related breaks, such as Sec. 179 expensing — contact us – we can help.

5 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Accounting Function

Making the choice to turn over something as important as your accounting can be a tough decision.  We hope to explain some of the compelling reasons you might want to hire an outsourced accounting department.  These points can help you determine what’s best for you and your business.

  1. The most important benefit of having an outsourced accounting team has to do with cost savings.  Outsourcing your accounting department saves you the costs of a full-time employee’s salary, employee benefits, accounting software costs, upgrading computers, educating your in-house staff and more!  When you add it up all, you’ll quickly see that an outsourced accounting functon is a very affordable and convenient option.
  2. The second benefit of outsourcing your accounting is the elimination of the hassle of IT maintenance and upkeep.  If you have an internet connection and a fax machine or a scanner – that is all you need to submit your accounting work to us for processing.  You can forget about annual software updates, learning new technologies, and paying to train staff on your accounting system.
  3. A third benefit of an outsourced accounting department is NO sick days!  You eliminate all the hassles of having in-house accounting staff.  No employee benefits to worry about, no calling in sick, no need to worry about employees being inefficient or worse ineffective!
  4. Another benefit you might find surprising is increased security and safeguarding of your financial data.  The systems we use are built and maintained in the cloud and offer the most secure platform available.  Hosting your accounting in the cloud is actually a lot safer than housing it on an on-premise server.  A survey from the Ponemon Institute revealed that 55% of small business owners have experienced a breach of private data. While many small business owners are aware that data breaches hurt business, most don’t appear to be taking action.  You don’t need to worry about that because every software solution we employ uses state of the art security and privacy features that most private servers can’t even begin to match.
  5. A final benefit of using an outsourced accounting service provider is just having peace of mind about your financials.  When you use a team of experienced US based CPAs you are able to rest easy that your accounting is up to date and compliant with all of the latest standards in your industry.  Using an outsourced team of CPAs provides you with a much greater breadth and depth of knowledge at your disposal than if you were to spend the same or more on an uncredentialed in-house employee.

We hope you found this article to be useful in learning more about how outsourced accounting services can help free you up to do what you do best, and can give you peace of mind about your books.  You get to keep your eye on the big picture while highly trained and experienced professionals handle all the details.  If you’re interested in continuing the conversation with us and getting started on your custom action plan simply respond to this email or give us a call toll-free today at (757) 926-4109.

Congratulations to Jennifer Todd, now Certified in QuickBooks Online 2016

​​

Jennifer recently updated her Intuit QuickBooks certifications to include the latest version of Intuit’s Premier cloud-based accounting system QuickBooks Online!  Jennifer has been certified in QuickBooks desktop since version 99 and she also holds certifications in QuickBooks Point of Sale as well as Microsoft Office User Specialist in Excel and PowerPoint!  Contact Jennifer today to get a primer on QuickBooks and find out how the software can best be used to achieve your financial goals!  Interested in learning more about QuickBooks Online? Check out the free test drive here.  Learn more about QBO by visiting their website here! 

Best Practices to Lower Your Outsourced IT Risks

Mitigating the risks of IT outsourcing

Nowadays it is common for many businesses to outsource at least one or more of their IT functions.  The goal is usually to save money and work more efficiently and effectively.  Yet if you don’t mitigate the risks involved, you could end up both losing out financially and failing to get the most from the outsourcing arrangement.

Here we suggest a few best practices to consider when outsourcing your IT functions:

  1. Consult your internal users – Ask for candid feedback about whether your organization’s technology is meeting your employees’ needs. What help from an outside provider do they really need?
  2. Consult with other organizations – Contact other organizations that have outsourced their IT functions.  Much can be learned by talking with trusted colleagues about their outsourcing experience.  Ask them how outsourcing actually helped — or hurt — them.
  3. Weigh opportunities vs. risks – Identify opportunities beyond cost savings. For example, outsourcing non-core IT functions — such as management of HR systems and supply-chain technology — could free up internal resources for projects you’ve put on the back burner but that have strategic importance. Keep in mind though, outsourcing too many non-core processes, or doing so improperly, could leave you with too little control of these functions and expose you to inefficiency or compliance risks.
  4. Refine your relationship expertise – Many business owners believe that, once they sign the deal, the contract will take care of itself.  As a result, they don’t adequately manage the relationship and often find themselves in conflict with the vendor or stuck with unsatisfactory results.  Clarify your expectations at the onset of the relationship and revisit them often by keeping the lines of communication open between you and your outsourced provider.  You may need to develop new skills, processes and metrics to ensure the service provider deliver the results expected.

In today’s global economy, IT outsourcing has become — in many industries — a competitive necessity.  Whether your company is large or small, we can help you assess, negotiate and maximize the bottom-line benefits of an outsourcing arrangement. Give us a call to let us know what we can do for you.

© 2015

3 Tips to Turn Your Business Around

Are problems beginning to surface in your business? Have profits been dwindling? Are customers complaining with greater frequency? Are competitors encroaching on your market share? These are warning signs that you’re headed in the wrong direction – and you don’t want to ignore them until it’s too late. Here are suggestions for turning things around.

  • Focus on the money-makers.
    • Perhaps your business has developed products your customers aren’t willing to buy. If so, it may make sense to redirect your company’s available resources. Does that mean you should never create new product lines or expand into new markets? No. But new products must eventually improve the bottom line. If they don’t make money within a reasonable time, refocus.
  •  Reestablish your brand.
    • Identify what you do best; then tell everyone. Your goal is to educate customers, vendors, and employees on the reasons why your product or service is better than the competition. Be specific. Of course, to remain credible you must back up your claims, so be realistic as well. Win trust by following through.
  • Track results.
    • Once you’re refocused on the money-making segments of your business, keep a close eye on the numbers. Know whether customer complaints are down, cash flow is improving, back orders are declining, and market share is holding steady or increasing. If profits aren’t showing an upward trend, take another look – then adjust and remeasure.

For help getting your business back on track, give us a call (757) 926-4109, it’s what we do.

Thinking of Crowdfunding? Talk to a Professional First.

Considering Crowdfunding as a Means for Raising Funds? 

Have you ever thought about raising funds for your small business using online crowdfunding tools?  Crowdfunding gives entrepreneurs the ability to raise funds by attracting relatively small amounts of money from large numbers of people.  Through a provision in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), crowdfunding creates a means for allowing startups and small businesses to raise capital through securities offerings using the internet.   The JOBS Act permits internet-based platforms, like kickstarter, rockethub and indiegogo, to facilitate the offer and sale of securities.  In coming up with the rules, the SEC attempted to create protections for investors while enabling businesses to use crowdfunding effectively.  Click on the following link to read the SEC press release and to get a rundown of the new JOBS Act rules pertaining to crowdfunding  SEC Press Release 2015-49 .

The CPAs at Todd & Co. CPA Group understand the tax implications of raising funds through crowdfunding.  We also understand the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules, which help small businesses gain access to capital and take advantage of more investment choices.  We can help you understand this innovative means for raising capital.  Contact us at (757) 926-4109 to find out more.

Get Your Business Back on Track

Business HELP

Business HELP

Does your business have any of the following problems beginning to surface – dwindling profits, complaining customers, encroaching competitors?

Heed the warning signs.  Problems such as the ones above are warning signs that you should not ignore.  Decreases in sales could be a result of any or all of the following causes –  customer retention problems, decreases in product quality or an unmotivated sales force.  Turning around a struggling business requires humility and a willingness to make tough choices.  Uncovering root causes of your business’s problems and admitting your mistakes won’t be easy but you must face the realities to avoid a sure path to failure.

If your company is starting to struggle, consider these three tips to help you get it back on track:

  1. Focus on the money-makers – Has your business focused on products and services that customers are no longer willing to buy?  It makes sense to redirect your company’s available resources toward your most profitable offerings.  Do you have a system for determining your margins on your products or services?  Is there an accurate way for you to track your expenses and assign them to costs of goods and services sold?  These are the factors which determine your profit margin (revenue – cost of sales) and will help you weed out the most unprofitable items you offer.   You may be surprised to find that some of your products are loss leaders that actually cost you money instead of making you money.
  2. Establish your brand identity –  This step starts with identifying what you do best and then telling your target market all about it.  Your main goal must be to educate not only your customers, but your vendors and your employees on the reasons why your products and services are better than your competition.  Be realistic and follow through on any claims you make about your offerings and core competencies or you will lose credibility in the market place.  The best way to re-establish your brand identity is to be specific in your value proposition by plainly stating the benefits your customers receive when they buy from you.
  3. Track your results – This is a biggie, probably the biggest of the three tips presented in this post.  Keeping a close eye on your numbers is paramount to managing your business and maintaining or growing your market share.  You must measure what matters.  This means tracking both quantitative (numeric) and qualitative (non-financial) data and once gathered, analyzing the results.  Examples of some things to track include # of customer complaints, cash flow status, trends of items on back order, and profit trends.

Customizing these three tips to suit your particular business will allow you to think more strategically and help you to identify root causes of problems before it’s too late to take corrective measures.  If you’d like help getting your business back on track, give us a call, it’s what we do.  Our business coaching is an intensive one-on-one program that can help you identify issues you can work on to reach your goals.

Pin It on Pinterest