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Strategies for Virtual Selling Success in Challenging Times

September 22, 2020 / by Fred Diamond, Institute for Excellence in Sales posted in Northern Virginia

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From developing new skills to focusing on bringing value to your customer, sales expert Fred Diamond shares his tips on sales during the pandemic.

If you embrace this change, it could be a life-changing shift that leads to an amazing sales career.

The highest-achieving sales professionals have discovered there is unique beauty in this role right now. Although the number of transactions is generally lower than expected, many sales professionals have found ways to connect more powerfully with their customers, their teammates and, yes, themselves.

What I've Learned by Hosting Four Weekly Sales Webcasts
When the global pandemic started, my organization, the Institute for Excellence in Sales, immediately began producing Sales Game Changers Webcasts for sales professionals. We have since published over 50 episodes.

Here are three critical lessons we have learned about virtual selling during the pandemic:

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How to Choose the Right Business Services Provider for Your Business

September 17, 2020 / by Sydney Wess, Clutch posted in Supporting Strategies

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Are you ready to outsource your bookkeeping and controller services? Choose the best one for your business with these tips from Clutch.

Business services providers can supply companies with a return on investment that outweighs the cost of their services — if you select a service provider that best caters to your business needs.

Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews company that facilitates connections between service providers and businesses in need of external services.

As experts in finding the right business partner, we closely examine what qualities make providers effective in outsourced roles. For this article, we will focus on finding a bookkeeping services provider. The terms bookkeeping and accounting are sometimes used interchangeably, though important differences exist when accounting refers to work done by a CPA. Note that we group bookkeeping and accounting business services together, emphasizing similar qualities needed for success in the industry.

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Managing Accounts Receivable for Prompt Payment

September 8, 2020 / by George Stephen posted in Bookkeeping Services, Northern Chicago, Business Continuity

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From reviewing your A/R aging each week to knowing how and when to follow up, these collection strategies will help you get paid.

Considering the importance of cash, it's surprising collections is one of the more neglected processes for businesses. It easily gets out of control if not managed consistently. Especially in the current environment, you need to have a systematic approach in place.

Here's how to manage your accounts receivable to ensure timely payments.

Know Your Cash Status
Like brushing your teeth, getting paid requires consistent effort to avoid unpleasant surprises. While tools are available to automate certain aspects, you still must devote time to compiling and reviewing transactions as well as confirming your records are up to date and accurate.

It all starts with billing. Your invoices should contain all required information to be paid (accurate descriptions, P.O. numbers, bank instructions, etc.) and be sent as soon as possible. Having any missing information and/or not following a client's procedure just delays payment.

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Case Study: Outsourced Bookkeeping for Online Ad Sales Tech Company

September 3, 2020 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Boston, Bookkeeping Services, Case Study Blogs

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With his company generating 50,000 transactions a month, this internet entrepreneur relies on Supporting Strategies for bookkeeping and controller services.

Todd Garland was working as a front-end engineer when he created a couple of design-oriented websites on the side. Frustrated with negotiating complicated online ad sales for his sites, he launched his own company, BuySellAds (BSA), to simplify the process.

The result, according to the website Foundora, was "a game changer in online banner advertising," with Garland serving as matchmaker between advertisers and website publishers whose content is a good fit for the advertiser's product.

Finding a Bookkeeper to Count On
Having his new business take off was good news, of course. The bad news? "I realized I needed to do my taxes," Garland says. He had created a custom system for logging transactions — the advertiser and the publisher each maintain a cash balance, with BSA receiving a cut of each transaction — but it wasn't designed for bookkeeping purposes. Garland needed someone who could translate the information into a form that his accountant could use for filing taxes.

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Better Bookkeeping Would Have Stopped These Embezzlers

August 25, 2020 / by Craig Feltner posted in Bookkeeping Services, Greater Cincinnati Ohio

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Professional bookkeeping best practices, such as segregation of duties, could have prevented these real-world cases of fraud.

My colleague George Stephen has published a list of bookkeeping best practices that allow business owners to proactively prevent fraud. These measures include instituting cash controls, segregating duties, conducting a thorough month-end close and review, eliminating paper checks and running regular audits.

I can't think of a better way to illustrate the value of George's excellent advice than by looking at three recent cases of fraud — and highlighting the steps a more proactive business owner might have taken to prevent them.

Case No 1: Credit Card Fraud
The scam: The bookkeeper at a Tennessee tractor repair firm illegally used the company credit card to make over 200 unauthorized purchases totaling over $21,000 in less than a year. Purchases included groceries and personal utility bills. Also, the bookkeeper added her daughter to the company's health-insurance policy without permission, which resulted in an additional loss of more than $3,000.

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Bookkeeping Best Practices: How to Prevent Fraud

August 20, 2020 / by George Stephen posted in Bookkeeping Services, Northern Chicago

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Trust the process rather than the person: Here's a systematic way to safeguard your company from fraud with professional bookkeeping.

At Supporting Strategies, we've written before about the heavy toll that fraud takes on small businesses (e.g., a median loss of $200,000 per fraud scheme). And, unfortunately, a new report from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners warns that the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a 68% increase in fraud levels.

As a business owner, you don't have to accept that staggering losses are inevitable. You can proactively protect your interests by instituting proven financial controls.

Taking Control, Step by Step
The first step in protecting your finances is to adjust your mindset. Implement systems that are process-based, not people-based. You don't have to trust your employees to do the right thing if your system gives them no other option. Here are the practices you need to put in place to accomplish that.

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Update Your Business Plan for the Pandemic

August 11, 2020 / by Dee Johnson posted in Chicago Northwest Suburbs, Business Continuity

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Learn how the process of planning can help you prepare your business for unexpected changes.

Remember when you wrote your original business plan before starting your company? And remember the last time you updated it, say, late in 2019? That seems like a different world now, doesn't it?

Well, that was a different world. COVID-19 changed everything, and you need to adjust your business plan accordingly.

A Business Plan Is an Informed Prediction
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

I love that quote. What Eisenhower meant was that committing to a specific plan was foolish, because it doesn't allow any wiggle room when circumstances change — as they always do. However, the process of planning gives you valuable intelligence about what to expect so you can react appropriately.

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Giglia Celebrates 5-Year Franchise Anniversary

August 6, 2020 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in North Shore Long Island, Bookkeeping Services

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More and more technologically savvy financial professionals are building successful businesses with Supporting Strategies' cutting-edge franchise formula.

Cheri Giglia, Managing Director of Supporting Strategies | North Shore Long Island, has achieved a significant milestone: five years at the helm of a successful outsourced bookkeeping services franchise.

"I can't believe it's been five years," says Giglia, who was the recipient of a Long Island Power Women in Business Award in 2018. "It's gone really fast. I've grown so much not only as a businesswoman, but also as a person."

According to Giglia, who previously held a series of financial executive positions in large corporations and technology startups, this is her first time owning and operating her own business. "To take everything I'd learned in my career and combine it with the Supporting Strategies model and be successful at it has been very rewarding," she says.

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Talent Search: Hiring the Best Bookkeeping and Finance Staff

August 4, 2020 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County

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There's much more involved in handling your company's bookkeeping and finance needs than meets the eye. Here's how to find a team of qualified professionals.

We live in a world of specialists. As a business leader, you recognize the importance of hiring people with the knowledge base and experience to fill specific roles in your field. During a building project, for example, a commercial builder might hire an architect, plumber, electrician, roofer, drywall installer, masonry contractor and other support people.

You know what a commercial builder won't do? Hire one person and expect them to do all of those jobs. And yet, when it comes to enlisting various forms of operational support, including bookkeeping and finance staff, that's effectively what many business leaders do.

There's a much better way.

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Is Your Business Ready for the Coming Bookkeeper Shortage?

July 31, 2020 / by Ryan Kane posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Toledo, OH & Southeast MI

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Learn how you can prepare your business for the projected bookkeeper shortage.

A recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that America could lose almost 66,000 bookkeepers between 2018 and 2028. This trend could spell trouble for small businesses that fail to plan accordingly.

According to Strategic Finance magazine (SF), the decline in bookkeepers is being driven in part by increased automation — as well as a mistaken belief that software programs provide a "set it and forget it" bookkeeping solution that no longer requires human involvement.

In reality, the bookkeeping profession is transitioning to a more analytical role. The job is no longer about accumulating data, but about interpreting what all that data means. "There will still be a strong demand for these professionals," SF concludes. "Nevertheless, the combination of an aging population of current bookkeepers and fewer new entrants into the field will be insufficient to meet the needs of many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)."

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