4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Fraud is Fraught in Manufacturing: Tips to Prevent Expensive Losses

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Nov 10, 2020

When fraud strikes manufacturers, the effects can be devastating.

The median fraud loss in the manufacturing sector, one of the industries most affected by fraud, was $198,000, according to the 2020 Report to the Nations published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). That's significantly higher than the median fraud loss for all industries ($150,000).

Here are some other key findings from the latest biennial ACFE report:

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Topics: Manufacturing

Manufacturers: Get a Tax Credit for Hiring Certain Workers

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Oct 13, 2020

From February to August, U.S. manufacturing employment declined by 720,000 due to adverse conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the industry has been slowly recovering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the sector's employment grew by roughly 403,000 jobs over the summer.

If your business has plans to rehire workers or expand its workforce, there's a valuable tax credit that you should consider: the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This tax break may be a limited time opportunity, however, unless Congress acts to extend it beyond 2020.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Inaccurate Inventory Counts? Corrective Action Steps for Manufacturers

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 15, 2020

Using sophisticated inventory management software is supposed to solve the problem of inaccurate counts for manufacturers, but that's not always the case.

Delays in order fulfillment and angry customers are inevitable if your warehouse is plagued by erroneous inventory counts.

If your inventory data doesn't match what you physically have in your warehouse, it's time to take corrective action.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Manufacturing: Tips on Maximizing Tax Benefits from New NOL Rules

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Aug 6, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small and mid-sized manufacturers expect to have significant net operating losses in 2020. What makes this prospect more discouraging is that some companies are still recovering from NOLs suffered in recent years.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provides some relief. It has revamped the NOL rules, undoing some of the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017. This means your company may be in line for a refund if you amend previous tax returns.

However, the CARES Act rules are complex. It's essential to consult recently released IRS guidance that covers some of the mechanics of requesting a refund — and talk with your CPA — before filing an amended return.

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Topics: Manufacturing

5 Ideas for Reskilling Your Manufacturing Workforce Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jul 9, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has probably changed your business operations. For example, in response to the crisis, you might need to alter your company's production line, cleaning and scheduling practices, supply chain partners, distribution methods and even product offerings.

Whether these changes are temporary or you're using recent product and operational shifts as blueprints for the future, you'll likely need to retrain or "reskill" workers.

Even before the pandemic, rapid technological advances made retraining workers necessary for many manufacturers. Perhaps you've already invested considerable time and money ensuring employees are proficient using the most innovative equipment. But if your business model is changing and you want it to be successful, you'll likely need to send workers back to "school."

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Topics: Manufacturing, 2020 Coronavirus

Should You Consider New Niches: Ways Manufacturers Can Pivot

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jun 9, 2020

As businesses continue to struggle under the weight of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, astute manufacturing owners and managers are looking for ways to adapt to the new normal.

One way to do this is to pivot from standard product lines into new niches. Although pivoting may enable your company to sustain operations during this time of crisis, changing gears can also raise other long-term strategic questions that you'll need to consider.

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Topics: Manufacturing, 2020 Coronavirus

Manufacturers: Tips to Increase Safety, Productivity During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted by Concannon Miller on Fri, May 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced American businesses to adapt quickly to a radically new economic and operating landscape. If your company sells, manufactures, delivers, distributes or otherwise facilitates goods considered "essential" you may need to operate at full (or overtime) capacity.

On the other hand, manufacturers whose goods aren't deemed essential may be forced to idle their machines and close their doors indefinitely. (In many cases, state guidelines specify which businesses are essential and which ones aren't.)

Both situations are challenging. But if you're up and operating, here are four considerations to help you do so safely and productively:

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Topics: Manufacturing, 2020 Coronavirus

New Tax Breaks for Manufacturers in 2020

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Tax legislation signed at the end of last year as part of a federal spending package includes significant breaks for manufacturers.

Notably, the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 extends various incentives, repeals a tax specifically aimed at manufacturing companies and creates a new credit for employers in disaster areas.

Here's a brief overview of six provisions affecting manufacturers.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Lehigh Valley Manufacturers, Distributors Could Save Taxes with Foreign Trade Zone

Posted by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. on Tue, Feb 4, 2020

The Lehigh Valley has an incentive program that allows companies to improve cash flow, increase global logistics efficiency, and reduce redundant or unnecessary logistics costs.

The incentive program – a Foreign Trade Zone, or FTZ – is a physical location within a United States custom territory where merchandise receives the same treatment as if it were outside the commerce of the United States. Therefore, by establishing an FTZ at their facility, a business can defer, reduce or altogether eliminate their customs duties and other tariffs or taxes.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Manufacturers: Consider Investment Recovery to Boost Profits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Dec 26, 2019

Manufacturers - take a look around your facility. If you've been building up piles of scrap, excess raw materials, obsolete equipment, returned inventory and spare parts, you probably need an investment recovery program.

Idle assets have value to someone and selling them off makes sense for manufacturers. As much as 70 to 90% of every dollar generated by investment recovery goes to a company's bottom line as profit, according to the Investment Recovery Association, a trade group for managers of surplus and idle assets.

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Topics: Manufacturing

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