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Understanding and Applying Accounting Reports and Ratios

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When it comes to tracking incoming sales and outgoing expenses, there are many ways businesses can keep up with their invoices and implement strategies to reduce the time they spend on unpaid sales. Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio Simply defined, the accounts receivable turnover ratio is a way of showing what percent of a company’s receivables or invoices are paid by clients.  The U.S. Small Business Administration explains this ratio is determined by “dividing average accounts receivable by sales.” Determining average accounts receivable is done by adding the beginning and ending figures — be it a month, quarter or year, then dividing by 2. Determining the sales figure is calculated by… Read More

Proposed Changes For Retirement Plans

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Laws regarding retirement savings plans don’t change all that often or all that much. Occasionally, new regulations are issued mandating disclosures that no one ever reads – and inflation-adjusted contribution limits tend to inch up each year. However, there is one phenomenon that has been increasing over the past decade, and Congress is finally starting to address it. This phenomenon is that retirees are living much longer than in the past. According to Olivia Mitchell, Wharton professor of business economics and public policy, demographers have reported that the baby who will live to be 200 has already been born. Because few people plan on 40 years (or more) in retirement,… Read More

Relief for Immigrants, Attempts to Deter Foreign Election Interference and Failed Resolutions to Condemn Foreign Arms Sales

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Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019 (HR 3401) – This legislation provides $4.5 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to federal departments and agencies for humanitarian assistance and security to respond to migrants attempting to enter the United States at the southern border for the rest of the fiscal year. This funding is available for appropriations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services for the Administration for Children and Families. The bill also includes requirements and restrictions for how the funds may be used. It was… Read More

Disaster Assistance, Heroes and Gang Members

Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017 (H.R. 601) – This act temporarily lifts the nation’s debt ceiling, funding the federal government through Dec. 8, as well as delivering the first installment of emergency aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey. It also temporarily extends the National Flood Insurance Program for the same time frame. The program, which was set to expire Sept. 30, gives Congress more time to pass longer-term legislation. And finally, the bill amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide additional direction and scrutiny over U.S. assistance to developing countries for quality basic education – to ensure efforts are aligned with… Read More

Small Business Embracing Chatbot Technology

In the past, small business owners sometimes lacked the resources – both financial and human – to capitalize upon the latest productivity and customer service technologies. Fortunately, the pace of change and the proliferation of new software programs have begun to make innovative technology accessible and affordable. Chatbots – software programs that can hold a two-way conversation with people – are a prime example of accessible and affordable technology. Why Now? Language is a complex process and, until recently, teaching a machine how to understand different jargon, accents and all the other variables involved in speech was only partially successful. Today, programmers use different methods to teach a machine to… Read More

Are You Plagued by Productivity Busters

How much time do your employees squander on various distractions that take their time and attention away from work? Recent surveys from staffing organizations suggest that almost half of participating employers believe the majority of their workers lose one to two hours a day in productivity due to distractions.  In some instances, employers estimated that workers were distracted for as much three or even four hours a day. If you are thinking that personal technology is the problem here (it is an important factor), be aware that good old-fashioned gossiping and snack breaks also feature in the top issues cited by major employers. Here’s a list of the most common… Read More

High Concept Strategies: Goals-Based Investing

This is the first of a series of articles discussing various types of high-concept investment styles. This month we start with goals-based investing. Goal-based investing became popular after the Great Recession of 2008-09. Many salaried, middle-class workers lost their jobs, had to stop contributing to their 401(k) plan or, worse yet, had to make hardship withdrawals from it. These events triggered a realization that this blip in their long-term life plan could derail retirement dreams. For many, it may have been the first time they equated retirement investing with actual retirement income. Goals-based investing is just as it sounds: You start with specific goals. It’s not focused on investing automatically… Read More

What’s Ahead for the U.S. and Global Markets in Q4 2017

The U.S. equity markets ended the third quarter of 2017 seemingly impervious to acts of nature, as major Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and Florida, as well as to escalating tensions between North Korea and the Trump White House. Other issues that potentially affect the markets include possible changes to the Federal Reserve’s leadership and to the Fed’s monetary policies. One major issue – funding the U.S. government – was resolved when President Trump resisted the die-hards in the GOP, including his own Treasury secretary, to side with Democrats in support of a deal that will raise the debt ceiling, continue to fund the government into December, and ensure… Read More

How to Value and Sell a Website Effectively

Whether a business owner wants to sell a website or he has been approached by an individual expressing interest in purchasing it, understanding what it’s worth is essential to a fair sale for everyone involved. Initial Factors  To determine what a website is worth to a potential buyer, it needs to undergo a performance review. Evaluation factors can include looking at the number of sales the website has generated over the past year compared to previous years or other competitors. Additional considerations include how much the website is used to gain new customers relative to other sales channels, such as in-person and cold sales calls or in-bound customer calls.   Valuing… Read More

Be Smart About Giving to Hurricane Victims

From Texas to Florida, a large swath of the United States was recently slammed with back-to-back hurricanes, leaving flooded streets, damaged buildings and wreckage all around. Huge economic costs will be associated with these hurricanes. Economic Impact AccuWeather President Joel Myers believes the combined costs of the two storms could collectively cost the United States as much as $290 billion. This figure considers a broad range of factors, including business disruptions, higher unemployment, infrastructure damage, crop losses and elevated gas prices. The economic impact will extend and eventually also impact consumer spending, higher prices on items shipped out of Florida and Gulf Coast ports, manufacturing and construction backlogs, as well… Read More