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Deductive Reasoning: A Deferred Revenue Detective Story

October 26, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County


Multiple sales platforms and fulfillment centers enable ecommerce companies to accumulate revenue through a variety of channels. But the hodgepodge of reporting timeframes, formats and protocols can create a nightmare for any company committed to following GAAP-compliant revenue recognition and inventory reconciliation processes.

Recently, Supporting Strategies | Los Angeles partnered with a client that purchases large quantities of inventory at a time. The company then sells the products through various channels and collects upfront payments from many customers before shipping fulfillment. (This business model requires that we record the company's revenue and expenses on an accrual basis rather than a simple cash basis.)

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What Is Cryptocurrency, and How Does It Work?

September 21, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice


If your business isn't already conducting transactions in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, it probably will be eventually. Here's what you need to know.

The biggest differences between cryptocurrency and conventional currency are that cryptocurrency isn't issued by a specific government, and there are no banks serving as middlemen when cryptocurrency "tokens" are traded from one party to another.

In the traditional banking system:

    • First, a government's central bank issues money in the form of their national currency.
    • Then people invest in that government's currency by trading it for other foreign currencies or by accepting it as a form of payment for goods and services.
    • When one party wants to pay money to another party using a check, a credit card, automated clearing house (ACH) or wire transfer, the payer's bank records the transaction in its own ledger, and the recipient's bank records the same transaction in its own separate ledger.
    • Each day, all the banks around the world spend a substantial amount of time and resources comparing their respective ledgers with each other to agree on how much money each bank has to transfer between the other banks to settle their customers' trade debts.
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Bookkeeping for Nonprofits: What Constitutes a 'Fundraiser'?

September 7, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice, Nonprofits


Not all events that raise funds are fundraisers. If you operate a nonprofit, it's critical that you know the difference. Because holding an event that isn't properly identified and recorded appropriately in the general ledger could cause problems for you down the road.

Here are a few things you need to know.

Is the Event Tax-Deductible?
Nonprofits have lots of ways to raise money. Awards banquets, raffles, "fun runs" — there's no shortage of creative ideas.

Whether you call an event a "fundraiser" matters less than whether any of the amount guests pay to attend is tax-deductible. Organizations should always publish a full disclosure (on invitations, electronic media, etc.) of all information related to tax-deductibility. This is usually done through fine print with wording such as this: "Amounts over $xx are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. (Organization name) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, federal tax ID number xx-xxxxxxx."

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Case Study: Guiding a Business from Startup Through Ramp-up

August 29, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Case Study Blogs


In 2016 EV Connect reached a critical point in its development. The California company, which provides a cloud-based platform for electric vehicle charging stations, had evolved from a startup to a mature company with millions of dollars' worth of contracts.

Bootstrap bookkeeping was no longer enough. The company needed more robust support, from establishing efficient, scalable accounting processes and improved financial reporting to cash flow management and strategic financial planning. Essentially, the company needed a bookkeeper, a controller, and a CFO, but it couldn't afford three full-time staff members for each of these roles.

The solution? Establish outsourced support for financial leadership, streamlined bookkeeping services, and small business operations.

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Case Study: Solving Both Bookkeeping & CRM Issues at Once

August 15, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Case Study Blogs


Westwind Recovery Residences needed help with bookkeeping, financial reporting, cash management, and also with customer relationship management (CRM).

The organization never expected to find a single solution for all of this…until they met the Supporting Strategies team.

Growing Pains
Westwind is part of a group that operates 16 sober living homes in the Los Angeles area. Soon after its founding in 2014, the company started experiencing rapid growth. While that was a welcome development, it also stressed the company's finances. "It became clear that we could no longer run the business based on how much cash we had on hand," said Westwind Co-Owner and Intake Coordinator Justin Wells.

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Be Sure to Guard Against a New Online Threat Called PRMitM

August 3, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice


At Supporting Strategies, we take great care to protect ourselves and our clients from online hackers. We're committed to training our staff in the latest security protocols and online practices.

Along those lines, we often issue staff bulletins warning of new threats from hackers. For the benefit of readers of this blog, we've decided to publicly share information from one of these recent bulletins. Please read on to learn about a dangerous new online hazard.

Beware of PRMitM
We all have online accounts that require personal information for password-recovery purposes, such as "mother's maiden name." Hackers have devised a way to steal that information to hijack your account. It's called PRMitM, for "Password Reset Man-in-the-Middle."

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Streamlining a Nonprofit’s Operational and Financial Processes

August 1, 2017 / by Mark Wald posted in Santa Monica, Bookkeeping Services, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Nonprofits, Case Study Blogs


Meals on Wheels West (MOWW), a nonprofit based in Santa Monica, California, was looking for something more than data entry from its bookkeeping services provider. As a nonprofit, it needed someone who understood the nuances of bookkeeping for nonprofits, could implement systems to streamline the audit process, and prepare detailed financial information for their Board of directors.

MOWW delivers more than 80,000 healthy meals and services per year to the coastal communities near Los Angeles. Supporting Strategies | Los Angeles assigned their Nonprofit Practice Leader, with 30 years of nonprofit expertise, to evaluate MOWW’s needs.

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Networking Tips for Small Business Owners

July 4, 2017 / by Marc Honorof posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice


Growing a business involves many tasks that aren't directly related to the core product or service that you're selling. From bookkeeping and operations management to raising capital and sales and marketing, small business owners wear many hats! As Director of Strategic Accounts for Supporting Strategies | Los Angeles, I've heard from a number of emerging business owners that one of their biggest challenges is networking.

Networking is a great way to build your business, whether you're looking to raise money, recruit talent, find new customers or establish strategic partnerships. And just like business owners can learn how to read a profit and loss statement, they can also learn how to make the most of a networking event.

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Bootcamp Series: Putting Small Businesses on Track for Growth

June 15, 2017 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Northern Virginia, Santa Monica, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice


CEOs and CXOs of growing businesses from coast to coast attended our Business Fundamentals Bootcamp Series this spring.

Participants enjoyed panels and breakout sessions on a wide range of topics: Finance and Administration, Strategy and Marketing, Legal and Risk Management, and Management and HR, all of which featured dynamic, insightful, inspiring speakers. In between sessions and over coffee, lunch and even cocktails, participants continued the conversations while expanding their networks and learning new skills.

On March 17, DC-area movers and shakers met at the Tower Club in Tysons, Virginia to explore Strategies for Success with presenters from organizations such as Searle Business Solutions, One Degree Capital, Arlington Law Group and Burdette Smith & Bish. Among the topics on the table: the quest for profitability, enhancing business value, and building high-performance teams.
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Tips for Setting up Your Human Resources Department

May 2, 2017 / by Cheryl Murray posted in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Tips for Startups


Building an effective human resources department from scratch can be an intimidating prospect. But with that challenge comes opportunity. By following a thoughtful, informed process, you can position your business for success with a department that helps attract and retain top talent.

Over the years, I've advised many small businesses on the steps to take before even posting that first job description. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Draft an employee handbook.
Unless you're a company of one, your business needs to lay out company policies in clear terms. Employee handbooks are in everyone's best interest. In drafting one, be sure to tap legal expertise to cover everything from disciplinary procedures to safety plans.

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