4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Audit, Review or Compilation: Which Level of Assurance Is Right for Your Organization?

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 27, 2022

Most organizations hire a CPA to issue financial statements that conform to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

But not all financial statements are created equal. Owners can choose from three basic options, in order of decreasing assurance level: audits, reviews and compilations.

What's appropriate depends on the size of your organization, management's needs, regulatory requirements and stakeholder demands. During these turbulent times, it might be time for a company to upgrade (or downgrade) its level of assurance.

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Topics: Business consulting

Cash Flow Management: Tips and Strategies for Businesses

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 29, 2022

There's more to financial reporting than profits. The statement of cash flows can be a powerful management tool.

During an economic downturn, it's especially important for managers to monitor cash flows to detect — and correct — problems as soon as possible.

Here's an overview of how this underappreciated report works and what to look for as you review it.

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Topics: Business consulting

Businesses: How to Get the Bank Financing You Need in 2022

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 13, 2022

Business borrowers aren't just facing higher interest rates today. The terms of new loans have also become more restrictive. Nearly a quarter of senior loan officers reported tighter standards for commercial and industrial loans in the Federal Reserve's second-quarter survey on bank lending practices.

As banks rein in their lending practices, it's important for business owners to put their best foot forward when they apply for credit. Here's how to position your business in the best possible light on a loan application and negotiate favorable loan terms.

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Topics: Business consulting

Businesses Should Consider an Energy Audit Amid Surging Fuel Prices

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jul 28, 2022

Companies routinely evaluate opportunities to reduce expenses. With the prices of gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas and propane surging across the country, many organizations are currently focusing on lowering energy consumption. This process starts with an energy audit.

Not only are many of the savings from an energy audit sustainable, "going green" can also add value by demonstrating responsible business practices and engendering support from environmentally conscientious employees, customers and other stakeholders. Even better, your company may qualify for tax breaks for making energy-saving changes.

An effective energy audit begins with a data gathering exercise. Consider the following nine steps:

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Topics: Business consulting

Family Business: Hire Family Members to Save Taxes, Fill Positions

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jul 19, 2022

One of the advantages of owning and operating your own business is the ability to hire family members to fill open positions.

This can be a significant perk in today's tight labor market. Bringing on family members can have tax benefits for all involved, too, and offers an opportunity to start a retirement savings account for your children.

The potential benefits vary based on such factors as the familial relationship, your children's ages and the type of entity you chose for your business. Here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

Attract, Retain Employees with New Tax-Deductible Benefits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 21, 2022

The labor market is tighter today than it has been in decades, and many employers are going above and beyond the ordinary to attract and retain top talent.

One idea for your organization is to sweeten the pot of fringe benefits. A cafeteria plan, for example, allows employers to offer more benefits to employees, generally at a reasonable cost.

This type of plan also provides tax-favored perks to employees under Section 125 of the tax code. (This is why cafeteria plans are sometimes called Sec. 125 plans.) Plus, payments are tax-deductible by employers.

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Topics: Business consulting

Buying a Business? Learn the Tax Implications of Noncompete Agreements

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 2, 2022

Noncompete agreements are commonly included in business purchase transactions to prevent the seller from competing against the buyer for the term of the noncompete agreement. These arrangements are also sometimes called covenants-not-to-compete or noncompete covenants.

Important: Laws regarding noncompete agreements vary from state to state. For example, courts in California generally reject noncompete agreements because state law makes them unenforceable except in limited circumstances. Because noncompete covenants are generally not allowed in the state, California employers often use confidentiality agreements and other types of contracts to protect trade secrets and other information. Still, in many jurisdictions, noncompete covenants can be enforceable if certain conditions are met.

Noncompete agreements have important tax implications. Here are the details.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Business consulting

7 Hiring Tips for Summer 2022 and Beyond

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, May 12, 2022

In today's tight labor market, small businesses — including restaurants, delivery services, retail stores and manufacturers — are struggling to attract and retain top-quality staff.

The conditions are likely to worsen in many sectors as demand ramps up during the summer months. To be competitive with other employers, you'll need to be proactive in identifying candidates with the right fit at a reasonable cost.

Here are seven tips on how to find the help you need before the summer rush begins:

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Topics: Business consulting

Tips to Keep Your Business Strong Despite Inflationary Pressures

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Mar 22, 2022

Over the last year, consumer prices rose 7.9%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index covers the prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation, doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. This is the highest 12-month increase since 1982.

Increases in the price of consumer goods will affect most businesses, sooner or later. For example, if you operate a restaurant, spikes in food prices directly affect you. If you operate a fleet of delivery vehicles, you're already feeling the effect of rising gas prices. And manufacturers have been hit with higher energy, commodity and shipping costs.

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Topics: Business consulting

Cash Flow Management: Tips to Speed Up Accounts Receivables

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 25, 2022

Many companies are experiencing a buildup of accounts receivable on their balance sheets as customers — especially large corporate buyers — are stretching out their payment terms.

While these bills may eventually be paid, delays are causing a cash flow crunch across many supply chains.

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Topics: Business consulting

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