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Defining ROI for Your Small Business

Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important tools in a business leader's tool kit. By understanding ROI or return on investment, business owners and project managers can make more effective decisions for a business. From deciding whether to offer a specific new product or service line to determining how to best utilize the marketing tools at your disposal, ROI metrics can guide informed decision making. Do you need to better evaluate your ROI and how your latest investments have impacted your business? ROI defined A company's ROI is the return on an investment. Think of this as...

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Three Tips for Small Business Tax Preparation

Tax season is upon us. Is your small business ready? Tax season can be stressful, and it often seems as though it adds a lot of work for small business owners who are already balancing many different priorities. From dealing with human resources (HR) to marketing and operations initiatives, it seems easy to let tax preparation fall by the wayside. Luckily you are not alone. One of the biggest pieces of advice that Focused Energy can offer for small business tax preparation is simple: have processes in place year-round. Managing the right accounting tasks on an ongoing basis helps to always...

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Bookkeepers of the Future

Why are bookkeepers important? Bookkeepers have always been an integral part of successful, growing businesses, but their value is often discounted. To someone without an accounting background, the profession may seem straightforward and fairly static. While it is true that the foundations of performing the business' accounting rarely changes, the bookkeeping profession has been constantly evolving and expanding. This is due to software innovations. Bookkeeping software helps to reduce the time it takes to record the business' income and expenses, while simultaneously improving the financial transparency and controls. Our team of bookkeepers and senior accountants ensure that you're always...

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Income Statement Confidence

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it more complicated" - Confucius What is the income statement? When it comes to financial reporting, there's nothing simpler than the income statement, which is also known as a P&L or profit and loss statement. On a basic level the report reflects total revenue and other income along with expenses and losses. The income statement provides a net profit or loss for any given period. Simple. The business world, has of course found ways to make this much more complicated. This report now has many different names, including the "statement...

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15 Critical Questions to Answer Before Talking to a Business Investor

Developing your idea - answering the must know questions One of the biggest challenges that new company founders come up against is knowing what questions to prepare for when raising money. This can also inform how you build your pitch deck to take to business investors. It isn't easy to get ready for these sessions. What you can do though, is to first and foremost, put yourself in their shoes. Think from a business investor's paradigm. What sort of things would you want to know if you were going to make a significant business investment? This is an iterative...

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Taming the Beast That is Financial Reporting

The journey to understanding - Part II In the first part of this series we looked at the sources of financial data that your business generates, how to see them, and most importantly how to understand some of the errors that are inherent within it. In this post we'll dive into analyzing your data to understand how you can derive information from it. We'll also touch on the presentation of this information in financial reports. The haloed ground of information salvation is what you're after. It is what will help you drive higher gross margins, lower your wasted product...

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Realizing the Importance of Cash Flow

Do you have a cash flow problem? Many early stage companies become hyper focused on metrics that drive revenue, such as sales and marketing.  Although these areas are important, the financial metric of cash flow should be watched carefully, especially in the early days of a company. According to a U.S. Bank study, 82 percent of business failures are due to poor cash management. Cash flow projections have two basic components, money coming in and money going out. Both are equally important but it takes careful accounting and constant monitoring to make sense of it. Making the sale doesn’t mean you have...

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Taming the Beast That is Financial Data

The journey to understanding Getting a handle on the financial data that your business produces is a monumental task, but once done, decisions with financial implications can be made with confidence and understanding. Making sense of your financial data is a long journey that requires diligence, patience and persistence. When engaged successfully your financial data can help you make more money, work less, and please customers in whole new ways....

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