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Case Study: Overcoming Bookkeeping Challenges to Ace a DCAA Audit

October 1, 2019 / by Jim Rice posted in Rochester, Orlando, Bookkeeping Services, Case Study Blogs

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Not even the best-run businesses are immune to Murphy's Law. Take TeKONTROL, Inc. (TKi). Over the course of three decades, this Florida-based company developed reliable bookkeeping systems for its global engineering support projects — difficult to do in the world of government contracts. Then it got hit with a one-two punch at the worst possible time.

First, the company's longtime bookkeeper retired. Then the vendor that provided TKi's enterprise resource planning (ERP) bookkeeping platform discontinued its support. Finally, the clincher: a pre-award audit from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). "It was a crisis," recalls Tom Kornegay, the company's Chairman, CEO and Founder. "Believe me."

A Timely Bookkeeping Solution
A short-term bookkeeping hire, combined with the trial use of temperamental new ERP software, turned what should have been a bump in the road into a massive pothole. To get around it, Kornegay brought in his former bookkeeper to restore "ground-floor reference points." But he knew he also needed someone to quickly and decisively take charge of TKi's bookkeeping from there.

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Artificial Intelligence and Bookkeeping Services

September 26, 2019 / by Lynette DeRose posted in Bookkeeping Services, Chicago Southland

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With bookkeeping software leaders Bill.com and Intuit incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their products, it is clear that AI is playing a role in the bookkeeping field. How much of a role will AI play, and how will it impact bookkeeping services and businesses?

“Finance leaders will oversee the transition as robots take on more and more back-office functions … freeing people to grapple with high-level analysis and decision making that add value rather than ticking off to-dos.”

strategy+business, spring 2019

Building a Better Toolbox
The terms “artificial intelligence” and “robot” scare some people, perhaps because they bring to mind dystopian science-fiction movies. But in reality, AI and robots are merely extensions of the kinds of tools most of us already use, like Google for online searches. And now the same basic principles are being refined for various specialized uses in the bookkeeping services field.

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How to Overcome Your Business Blind Spots

September 17, 2019 / by Dave Molenda posted in Small Business Advice, Business Advice, Milwaukee

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In business, the biggest problem is the one you can't see. And the reason you can't see it is that you have a blind spot.

One of your most important roles as a business leader is to help your team identify and address those blind spots. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to start by acknowledging your own blind spots. That also gives you the opportunity to set ground rules for delivering feedback in a positive way.

Hone Your Tone
I can't stress enough how important it is to set a precedent for positivity. Sometimes a simple change in tone can make all the difference in how your message is received.

I realized, for example, that one of my personal blind spots is a tendency to interrupt people. So, in order to break the habit, I asked the people around me to point it out when I do it. But I also asked that they do it in a respectful way — by calmly saying, "Hey, Dave, you're doing it again." That's so much more palatable for me to hear than if people were to sigh, roll their eyes and say, "You're doing it again, Daaaave!"

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How to Choose the Best Location for Your US Subsidiary

September 12, 2019 / by Adrian Figueroa posted in Bookkeeping Services, Miami, FL

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Now that you have decided to go forward with the expansion of your business into the U.S. market, the next step in the process is to decide which state will serve as your U.S. headquarters. Choose the best location for your U.S. subsidiary by considering not only state tax laws and regulations, but also geographic location, local culture and the professional community available to advise you in this new venture. Learn how you can use a location to your business’s advantage by looking at the example of setting up a U.S. subsidiary in Miami, Florida.

Example: Setting up a U.S. Subsidiary in Miami
Let's say you want to open a U.S. subsidiary of your Latin American company. Or maybe you have a European or Asian company and want to expand not only into the U.S. market, but also into Latin America.

A good starting point would be to investigate areas of the United States with a significant Latin American population. That could facilitate the kind of professional networking that will help you make the proper contacts. At the same time, you'll want to locate in a state with a friendly business climate — one with lower tax rates and fewer regulations.

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Using Employee Benefits to Recruit and Retain Top Talent

September 3, 2019 / by John Gotschall posted in Small Business Advice, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Business Advice

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The concept of "coaching" has become overused, and even abused, in the business world in recent years. That's unfortunate for a company like ours, Coaching Financial Concepts. We've been around for over 20 years, and we apply legitimate coaching techniques that we've adapted from a sports environment to give our client companies that winning edge.

For instance: To turn your company into a champion, you need the best players. And just as professional sports teams will offer creative deals to sign the top free agents, businesses at every level need to offer the best possible benefits package to lure the top talent in their given field.

The Difference Between 'Perks' and 'Benefits'
Different generations often have different priorities. Many articles have been written about the importance of company culture to millennials, for example. One recent study even found that many millennials would be willing to take a $7,600 pay cut in exchange for an "improved quality of work life."

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Reach Your Nonprofit's Goals With Bookkeeping Talent

August 29, 2019 / by Dana DeZiel posted in Bookkeeping Services, Nonprofits, Minneapolis, MN

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For a nonprofit director, a budget is a blueprint, not a limitation. Once you realize this, you can drive your organization forward in ways you never dreamed possible. To get the absolute most out of your budget, however, you must find a bookkeeper with the proper combination of talent and expertise.

Nonprofit bookkeeping poses unique challenges, starting with IRS Form 990. At a minimum, you need a bookkeeper who is thoroughly familiar with the government's many nonprofit compliance requirements involving contributions and grants. Some grants carry specific classification guidelines that require tracking and categorizing expenses to a granular level rarely seen in the private sector.

There's no doubt that nonprofit bookkeeping can be intimidating. So, if nothing else, landing top talent will bring you peace of mind. You'll be free to focus on your organization's long-range goals without worrying that you or someone on your staff may inadvertently do something to jeopardize your tax-exempt status. You'll also feel more confident preparing for board meetings, knowing all your financial ducks are in a row.

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How Builders Can Use Online Tools to Make More Money

August 20, 2019 / by John Gleason posted in Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, West Houston, Central MA

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Builders can now combine building management software with bookkeeping software to review real-time costs and monitor cash flow — right from the field.

Custom software applications have enabled many different types of businesses to operate more efficiently than ever before. New specialized cloud-based software tools, developed across broad sectors ranging from nonprofits to healthcare to information technology and professional services, are now essential tools required to enable entrepreneurs in their respective fields to compete and succeed in their markets.

Perhaps no industry could benefit more from this revolution in software than the building trades. Here's a look at how contractors can use these tools to be more successful.

Building a Better Toolbox
Even under the best of circumstances, the building trades are difficult to manage. It's the nature of the business. Buildings are big-ticket items that promise large potential profits, but only after the builder or developer lays out substantial cash upfront and waits patiently — years, in some cases — for the final big payday. Since most builders juggle multiple projects at the same time, while spending a lot of time in the field, keeping tabs on the company's expenses and cash flow is difficult, yet critical.

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Case Study: A Mainstay During a Period of Impressive Growth

August 15, 2019 / by Lori Kunkel posted in Southern New Hampshire, Bookkeeping Services, Case Study Blogs

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In 2006, Extension Engine was a $1.2 million business offering outsourced software development services. Fast-forward to 2019, and the company now focuses on creating custom online learning experiences and is projecting $15 million in revenue for the year.

Supporting Strategies has been there every step of the way, serving as the bookkeeping arm for Extension Engine's U.S. operations. We handle everything from data entry to financial analysis, providing accurate, up-to-date financials to guide leadership's strategic decisions.

Furqan Nazeeri, Partner at Extension Engine, explains that the business has undergone major changes in its bookkeeping over the past 13 years. "We've switched to new systems for time tracking and for expense tracking, and we've moved from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online," he says. "Throughout those and other transitions, Supporting Strategies has been great. They've always been flexible and always managed to figure things out."

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Financial Insight for Business Loans

August 6, 2019 / by Al Regdos posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Charlotte, NC

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How much of a loan can your business really afford? Learn more about how lenders will determine your loan amount so you can evaluate your loan options.

Your Financial Picture
To understand where your company is financially, looking solely at the income statement can be misleading. Reviewing the balance sheet, statement of cash flows and understanding a company’s on-going capital requirements is crucial, and depending on the nature of your business and how you do your financial analysis, can be surprisingly difficult to nail down.

A good first step, for both your business and a prospective lender, is to be sure you have all the necessary documentation to obtain a loan. If nothing else, keeping a current balance sheet, P&L, etc., will give you an idea of where you stand financially at any given moment. (If you bring your financials up to date with the help of a bookkeeping services company, you might even find to your surprise that you don't even need a loan.)

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An Award-Winning Team Effort Saves a Nonprofit

August 1, 2019 / by Elliot Hershik posted in Chicago Far West Suburbs, Nonprofits

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It's always gratifying to receive an award for your work — especially when you had no idea you were even nominated. But that was the case recently when our Supporting Strategies | Chicago Far West Suburbs learned we had received the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Pro Bono Transaction of the Year award for our role in helping a distressed nonprofit straighten out its financials and position itself for sale.

Assessing a Community Asset
West Suburban Senior Services (WSSS) in Bellwood, Illinois, had long been a valuable community resource. The nonprofit has provided adult day wellness support for seniors in western Chicagoland since 1972.

When some of its government funding dried up, however, several key executives and staff members departed. WSSS fell behind and missed several deadlines. It would be very difficult for any organization to find a buyer with those unmet obligations hanging over it.

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