4Thought Blog

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Business Strategy 101 - Anyone Have an Extra Napkin?

Posted by Tom Garrity on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Some of the best-laid company plans were created on the back of a napkin. Lots of scribbles and doodles, but in the end, that lunch time, strategy brain dump was like gold. And it all fit on “one page.”

As businesses grow, leadership gets so engrossed in survival that they forget to stop, review, and update their “plan” for growth. Eventually, the team loses sight of the “one page napkin” (or literally lose it) and the company begins to lose its focus, alignment and direction.

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Topics: Business consulting

Improve Your Business’s Cash Management Through Financial Statement Reconciliation

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Thu, Jan 26, 2017

The start of a new year is the prime time for resolutions, including financial resolutions.

If you’re a business owner or finance officer, those resolutions should include reconciliation of your bank and financial statements. Closing out your 2016 bank statements and starting with a fresh accurate bank statement in 2017 is one step in ensuring you have solid cash management practices in place.

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

7 Key Questions a Strategic Thinking CFO Should Consider

Posted by Andy Kahn on Tue, Jan 24, 2017

In today’s business climate, every key management position needs to offer more value, and the Chief Financial Officer is no exception. Due to the broadening scope of the role, it’s crucial for CFOs to go beyond their financial reporting duties and take an active role in their company’s strategic planning.

Your financial expertise is a strength that can be leveraged in multiple scenarios. That knowledge can be used in partnership with identifying the key constraints holding back your company’s growth.

The following seven questions will help you determine those constraints – and how you, as a strategically-minded CFO, can help overcome them:

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Topics: Business consulting, CFO Advisory Services

How Business Owners Can Realize Their Retirement Goals

Posted by Tom Garrity on Tue, Jan 17, 2017

Most business owners dream of a business legacy and financial independence.

Many never reach their goals. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So what’s the formula? It’s pretty basic: reduce risk, drive profit, and build a team stronger than you are alone.

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Topics: Business consulting, Succession

The Modern CFO: Strategic Planning is Vital for Business Success

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 20, 2016

Many CFOs spend more than half of their time on basic accounting tasks.

While this may be warranted when a company is new, for a growing company we think there are more valuable strategic responsibilities that the prime talent of a good CFO should focus on.

Instead of spending so much time on accounting duties, valuable CFOs should be freed to spend the majority of their time as a business leader.

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Topics: Business consulting, CFO Advisory Services

Think Like a CFO: How Small Business Owners Can Boost Their Bottom Line

Posted by Andy Kahn on Thu, Nov 3, 2016

Small business owners wear lots of hats – in addition to your CEO duties, you may also handle your company’s operations, marketing and hiring. You might even shovel the sidewalks in the winter.

A critical job responsibility that should always be on your mind is that which a CFO handles. Your company may not be big enough to warrant having a CFO, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think like one.

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Topics: Business consulting, CFO Advisory Services

How Succession Planning Can Give Business Owners the Retirement They Want

Posted by Tom Garrity on Tue, Oct 11, 2016

The failure of successful family business owners to reach their personal goals, especially their financial goals, is not because they don’t try or care. In our experience, the main cause of failure is lack of clarity, a plan around the big picture, and a myopic pursuit of the "urgent."

There are 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the United States, comprising nearly 90 percent of all businesses. These companies comprise over half of the nation’s GDP and create three-quarters of all new jobs. Only 33 percent make it to the second generation and less than 12 percent make it to the third.  Many family business experts believe that one common cause of failure in family businesses is a lack of transition planning and preparation.

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Topics: Business consulting, Succession

Business Owners: Are You Ready for Same Day ACH?

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Tue, Aug 9, 2016

Beginning Sept. 23, 2016, the electronic payment association NACHA has adopted a new rule to allow same-day processing of ACH – or automated clearing house – payments.

Currently most ACH payments settle on the next business day. This new rule includes a “Same Day Fee” on each same day transaction that many ACH originators may not be aware of.

If you process your own payroll via ACH or if you use a payroll processor that pays via ACH, you need to be aware of these changes. It is now critical to be aware of the EED (Effective Entry Date) and ensure it accurately reflects the type of transaction.

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

CEO Management Succession: 11 Guiding Thoughts

Posted by Tom Garrity on Thu, Jul 7, 2016

It is difficult to begin to think about management succession for many business owners who need to begin.

Consider these 11 guiding thoughts as a starting point:

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Topics: Business consulting, Succession

Tips for Business Owners to Reduce Credit Card Chargebacks

Posted by Laura Gaythwaite on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

Have you seen a rise in credit card chargebacks since the October 2015 liability shift rules were put in place? 

Many retailers feel that this is an issue and they have seen significantly more chargebacks in larger dollar amounts. 

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Topics: Business consulting, Small business

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