A businesswoman selecting a Fraud business concept on a futuristic portable computer screen.
The ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) Global Fraud Study disclosed that a typical business loses an average of 5% of income each year because of fraud. Universally, this translates to deficits of roughly $3.7 trillion, according to anti-fraud experts.

Furthermore, other than lost income, there are also unforeseen costs. For example –  decreased productivity, low employee morale, tarnished brand images and ruined reputations, all resulting from personnel and employer fraud.

Despite such sobering fraud statistics, do not think that it is too late to acquire the latest information and implement proactive methods that avoid, detect, and investigate prospective acts of business fraud. There are facts that you need to be aware of concerning the different types of fraud performed in the workplace. In addition, you also need to learn what can be done to create powerful controls in vulnerable regions of your organization.

Small Businesses Suffer Bigger Monetary Losses

Although both small and large businesses fall victim to fraud, the ACFE discovered that businesses with fewer than 100 employees are most susceptible compared to their superior equivalents. Larger companies are more likely to implement anti-fraud practices, such as internal departmental audits, hotlines, and employee fraud training. In the case of smaller companies, they are less likely to execute similar anti-fraud measures that detect fraud sooner.

Fraud Creating a Monetary Impact on Businesses

According to the ACFE, cyber crime and identity theft (specifically credit card abuse) are among some of the biggest common means of fraud in small-scale businesses. Unfortunately, small companies suffer a bigger financial hit due to unscrupulous behavior in their business.

ACFE’s statistics reveal that thought corruption cases and asset misappropriation causes significant losses to businesses. The most monetary damage with a median of $1 million is due to financial statement fraud.

Another source of trouble for businesses looking to maintain insurance claims and costs is workers’ compensation fraud. The NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) has estimated that approximately 25%, or $7.2 billion per annum, is because of workers’ compensation fraud that businesses have to suffer. If a business takes a look at its bookkeeping records, they might be able to calculate the fraud statistics of their business specifically.

Battling Fraud in your Business

Research has shown that fraud is indiscriminate of industry, employer size, or geography. Therefore, it is vital to take active steps to avoid and mitigate the impacts of fraudulent activity.

CFE fraud experts indicate that the implementation of anti-fraud regulations supports to reduce both monetary losses and the duration proceeding from fraud schemes. Decreasing the spell of fraud is essentially critical because the lengthier the fraud lasts, the more financial damage it can cause to a business.

Best Practices for Detecting and Preventing Fraud

Some practices have proven to be particularly successful at detecting and preventing and fraud in businesses:

  1. Instituting an anti-fraud hotline
  2. Implementing a code of conduct and an anti-fraud policy
  3. Establishing fraud training and management review procedures for executives, employees, and managers
  4. Conducting surprise inspections
  5. Directing external inspections of internal controls utilized in financial reporting
  6. Applying systems that actively analyze and monitor company data

Though it’s certainly essential to implement and monitor anti-fraud restriction, not all of the anti-fraud processes are made equal. For example, the ACFE discovered that from the 80% of fraud cases reported, about 42% were identified via hotlines compared to the 3% that were found through external audits.

If you are unsure about which anti-fraud control to use in your business, consult with an anti-fraud consultant, a fraud examiner, or an auditor for advise on the measures that will be effectual for your business.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Woman using a barcode reader in a distribution warehouse
Inventory management systems help keep tabs on merchandise and inventory through the full supply chain a business operates in. Inventory management systems cover it all; from manufacturing to retail, storehouse to shipping, and everything that lies in between.

Basically, it all comes down to the business overlooking its operations, therefore, allowing them to establish better investments and decisions. Various inventory managers give attention to diverse areas pertaining to the supply chain. Usually, small businesses are more concerned with the ordering and retailing side of the chain.

What Features of an Inventory Management System do I Need?

Are you facing problems handling your inventory? If so, it is time to consider an inventory management system so that you can manage your inventory processes in your control.

Now, the problem arises. With all of the options that are available nowadays, how do you find out which is the right solution for your business? What features should you be considering?

An inventory management system selected to look after your inventory might offer the features for your business requirements depending on your budget and needs. Generally, all of these management systems are most likely to include:

  1. Barcoding
  2. Inventory alerts
  3. Tie-ins or accounting tools
  4. Reporting tools
  5. Inventory forecasting

Top Features in an Inventory Management System

Barcoding and Scanning

Although the amount of daily orders being received can be exciting, it could result in problems if you are not in a position to achieve and accomplish those orders competently. Retailers who are in the position to process a high volume of orders, wish to restructure and simplify their procedures all the more by applying barcoding and scanning on the pickup, package, and shipping stages.

Simple Inventory Control

Though it sounds simple, it is on the top of the list for most demanded features in an inventory management system. With the help of this feature, you are able to conduct a systematic way of handling and controlling your inventory throughout your sales channels.

Demand Estimation and Forecasting

This feature is all about helping you prepare for what should be ordered so that your resources are spent wisely. If you have the proper required tools, it will be a lot easier for you to learn which commodities are the ones selling and which networks are the ones performing.

With access to such features, you can get right down to the details of your sales. This is a great way to provide you with all indispensable information that will help you maintain accurate inventory levels. In the end, you will be able to make much better and wiser decisions on how much and what to buy.

Tracking Specific Stock Items (aka Lot)

Retailers who are in the business of selling Food and Drug Administration-regulated products have a deep understanding of the significance of detecting lots or specific stock items. In the case where a commodity is recalled due to a specific reason, tracking down the specific stock items will help you know which items are available on the shelves or in stock.

In addition, you can also keep tabs on which of your consumers have received their product and which ones are about to receive them.

Accounting Incorporation

Although an accounting system will not perform the work related to a specialized order, it is important to manage a successful business. With a direct integration in your accounting bundle, an inventory management system will be of value to you and your business. This will also help you in your bookkeeping requirements.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Recession arrow, Graph showing business decline  on led screen
Marketing plays a vital role for many organizations in not only getting through the recession but emerging as an improved brand by practicing vigilant recessionary thinking. Although slashing budgets and laying off the workforce is always an option for businesses, they should initially view tough times as an opportunity to grow internally as well as externally. It may appear to go against common sense that a recession can boost periods of economic growth, however, professionals endorse that this is a perfect time to revisit your branding strategies and align them with your core business values.

Making smart plans for your business will ensure that you stay ahead of the competition even in dire times. Here are some of the tips that will help you survive critical situations.

Marketing Tips

Focus on Loyal Customers

When times are tough, it is really hard to attract new customers as everyone is in a tight situation. This is the time to really trigger your recessionary thinking and come up with effective marketing strategies that keep your existing customers engaged in one way or another. You will need to retain your loyalty through exceptional services/products, personalized marketing channels and unpretentious concern for your partners and clients.

Partnerships

Combining your resources with a partner business in targeting the same clients is a great strategy to cut costs and also avoid conflict of interest. The focus should be to partner with firms who want to attract the same customer base as yours but are not in direct competition with you. Encourage your partners by offering incentives that can help their business. This will form a connection between both companies that can translate into the conduction of seminars, trade shows, and partner marketing campaigns, which is of benefit to both parties.

If two businesses are working together and share similar business philosophies and objectives, then there is a higher probability that their recessionary thinking is along the same line and is desirable for both.

Don’t Miss an Opportunity

As much as tough times can set you back, there is also a chance for you to acquaint your business with feasible markets. Reevaluate your business units and products that are not profitable and whether they will have any influence after the recession. This is an opportunity for you to audit your business processes internally and get rid of things that can impede your future productivity. Have a keen eye for upcoming market segments as they will provide you with an opportunity to tap them before anyone else. Marketing tips offered by your team of experts will play a vital role in targeting these newly created segments.

Advertise

Advertising in tough times may sound like a flawed idea but, in reality, this can prove to be significant for the survival of your business. Analyze the placement of all your current marketing campaigns and only continue with those that are creating the most direct impact.

Often businesses cut their advertising budgets in tough times as an easy way to cut down on cost, however, because of lesser competition in the market, there is a higher chance for you to reach a potential audience. Smart recessionary thinking is required from you in this situation as you can renegotiate with advertising sources and cut down significantly on the costs. As you have more leverage over your media agent in bad times, ask them to place your ads where they generate maximum reach.

Outsource 

You will practically have the same workload in tough times as you had before. It is often hard to carry out all the tasks efficiently because you may have laid-off some of your workforce. Other resources are also limited and you are in dire need of some effective marketing tips.  Outsourcing some of your tasks like graphic designing, media strategizing, writing and editing to the hands of an expert will not only save you the costs associated with them but will also ensure their high quality. The outsourcing agencies have specialized skills which can also act as your competitive advantage.

SEO

Search engine optimization is used to divert traffic towards your business through the use of specific keywords. A manager with shrewd recessionary thinking will use SEO to carry out most of its marketing plans. It costs less than traditional advertising mediums and, if executed properly, can generate high visitor flow towards your website. As most of the searches on the internet are through Google and other search engines, your business will be better off if it appears among the top results. However, your website must be highly responsive and aesthetically pleasing in order to create an impact on it’s visitors.

Conclusion

Following these marketing tips is essential, especially in the time of recession. Be proactive in your approach and make use of all available resources. Video advertising on social media has emerged as one of the most popular and effective mediums of advertising. A successful video can generate a wide-reach and, if gone viral, can reshape your entire business. The success of your recessionary thinking highly depends on your ability to adapt to the situation and make efficient use of the available tools and resources. 

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Businessman shows concept hologram Save money on his hand. Man in business suit with future technology screen and modern cosmic background
There is no denying the fact that cutting business expenses and controlling costs has become extremely challenging in today’s business environment. Modern trends indicate that companies need to reduce their expenses to effectively achieve their business goals and objectives. However, establishing control over your business and finances requires a large amount of motivation, knowledge, skills, and expertise. Why? Because only a clear-cut strategy and well laid-out plan can make cutting down your monthly expenses hassle-free.

Cutting business expenses? Not a problem!

Moreover, reduction in business expenses and an increase in revenue can have a big impact on a company’s profitability and are two ways by which companies can maximize their profitability index. According to industry experts, increasing sales and revenue is hard because it requires a lot of planning and strategy. It takes time and effort to come up with a brilliant execution plan. On the contrary, cutting business expenses is something that can be done easily, without much stress. All that it takes is a little bit of your time. Moreover, it is important to review your bookkeeping and accounting records to establish a clear picture of your company’s standing prior to making any solid decisions regarding controlling your costs.

Reduce Supply Expenses

If you expect to reduce supply expenses, you need to look outside of your pool of traditional vendors. Look for the vendors, manufacturers, or suppliers who can offer you the best price as large discounts help you cut business expenses and costs. Bulk purchasing is ideal in each and every sense. Always seek multiple bids to get ideal rates and never make a long-term contract for supplies with a single party or vendor as saving can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Lower Financial Expenses

Hiring an in-house accounting or auditing professional can be a costly decision. That’s why most businesses rely on external accounting agencies or individuals who offer competitive rates for their services. Cutting back on your business expenses means saving money on insurance and additional bills. To meet financial emergencies and consider a business expansion, you need to regularly contribute to your savings account. Lastly, don’t take on unnecessary debt to make ends meet because you may eventually find it hard to pay back the money you borrowed from the bank with interest. Prior to making such decisions, you must do a thorough cost-benefit analysis and future forecasting.

Take Advantage of Social Media Marketing

Traditional marketing can cost you a fortune. This indicates that you need to look at some cheaper alternatives like social media marketing such as Facebook, Twitter, and other similar dynamic platforms. You can build your customer base there, as studies have revealed that social media marketing is more effective than traditional marketing on the mainstream media, ultimately reducing your business expenses.

Try To Achieve Economies of Scale

By maximizing your productivity in manufacturing, you can expect to take your expenses to a minimum level. Improved R&D and market knowledge will help you achieve economies of scale, which is ideal for maximizing your profitability.

Review Your Finances and Business Books Quarterly

To get a clear picture of your finances and business condition, you need to review, maintain. and manage your business books, if not on monthly basis, then quarterly. Moreover, to cut business expenses, you need to audit your monthly subscription billing. Switch to the software applications or talent that are worth your investment and money.

Look For Affordable And Suitable Office Alternatives

You can always consider relocating your office to a more affordable area to cut business costs. Often times, in the age of digitalization, companies don’t need to have their office located in prime, expensive locations. You can move your office to a convenient location that offers affordable rates to reduce commercial rents.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Global Computer network  with cloud computing

Best Practices In Cloud Computing

Companies are increasingly using the best practices in cloud computing to internationally expand their services. Cloud computing helps businesses tap into new markets. However, the economic aspect is only one of the factors of demand. Improving performance including data speed, service up time, and enhanced security are equally essential elements.

Any business can be uniquely positioned in the cloud computing ecosystem to meet their business goals. Cloud computing enables a company to reach their fundamental needs and it helps manage the global network of any business.

For cloud services to be efficient, they need to provide consistent and reliable data networks. Speed is the essential element of cloud computing. Efficient cloud computing services require cohesive and fast data networks, especially for applications that handle large graphics and require low latency. 

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Interconnected Business

The cloud is a platform that offers remote services. These services are used to store information and run applications.  It enables the use of online services and data on demand via simple internet access. The idea is to deport the processing on an outsourced infrastructure. 

It becomes redundant to install the software locally on each user station or on each server of a company. A significant benefits of cloud computing is that all systems are online. When the systems of a business are online, they are well connected. This makes the business more productive as a whole. IT departments only need to take care of the implementation of these solutions and their administration.

Easy Accessibility and Mobility

The best practices in cloud computing allow easy access to data across an organization. Cloud computing services make it easier to improve the mobility of data. Gone are the days when data and information about clients and an entire business were stored locally. A cloud computing service allows online storage. This enables the data to be available even if a desktop computer or laptop is shut down. Cloud computing prevents data loss if servers fail, as the cloud server always has a backup. Some of the leading services that have been successful in cloud computing are:

  • Email/calendar messaging
  • Office 365
  • Google Suite
  • Zimbra ERP/CRM
  • Salesforce
  • Sage Oracle
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services

Flexibility

The best practices in cloud computing offer flexibility. The services have become very flexible and can be altered according to the business needs of a company. Having a cloud service helps businesses to change their resource allocation in the production line. The best thing about a cloud service is that you are charged only what you consume.

Another benefit of cloud computing is resource and file sharing in real time, anywhere in the world. Your business becomes agile and gains flexibility, something that was impossible before. The implementation of cloud computing requires proper infrastructure for smooth operations.  

Scalability and Update

A cloud computing service provides maintenance for all of the servers in your company. It offers regular service updates, making your business information safe, secure, and free from any cyber threats such as ransomware. It gives a chance for you and your employees to focus more efficiently on your business. Cloud computing optimizes the productivity of a company. The updates are automatic, do not cause service interruption, and regularly bring new optimizations and features.

Optimized Security

A cloud computing service provides increased protection over the traditional and internal infrastructure of a company. Keeping the cloud secure requires time, expertise, and an extensive budget. The best practices in cloud computing take care of the needed security measures. A cloud service provider provides regular updates related to essential security patches.

A wonderful benefit of cloud computing is that it ensures security because it has better safety features and services assets. Some of the security services are:

  • Data replication
  • Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)
  • Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
  • Defense from cyber attacks
  • Latest technologies in security
  • The confidentiality of the data is guaranteed

The observed security standards for data are more rigorous and stringent in the environment of your cloud service provider. Security of your business data is the first priority, as a fault or alteration of customer data would cause irreparable damage to a business. It is considered one of the best practices for cloud computing to ensure that the cloud is safe.

Cost Control

Cloud Computing allows better control of the costs related to your IT infrastructure. Your company adjusts the resources allocated to its support according to its needs by increasing or decreasing the resources available.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

Double exposure of city and graph on rows of coins for finance and banking concept
Over capitalization in a company occurs when the total capital (debt & equity of the stockholders) of a company surpasses the actual value of its assets. Corporations must produce more in earnings than the money invested to increase the capital invested by stockholders such as bondholders, shareholders, and other funding sources. Otherwise, the firm does not earn a monetary profit.

A successful firm increases its rate of return by developing policies on the invested capital, utilization of monetary profits and overcoming barriers and debts. Investors thoughtfully look at how the returned amount of business can be utilized further to maximize the rate of return. For example, let’s say there is a corporation that deals with the import and distribution business. Now the stakeholder will not only keep an eye on debts, the rate of returns and bookkeeping but also will effectively plan to increase the capital amount by adding some percent from the profit previously gained. In the above-said corporation of the import and distribution business, the investors will successfully incorporate the profit by importing more quantity and by increasing the area of distribution and managing more clients.

Indicators of Over Capitalization

  1. The money invested in the business is much greater than the actual value of its fixed assets.
  2. The rate of return is too low as compared to investment.
  3. Part of the investment capital is invested in assets which are not being utilized to gain profit.

If a company has any one of the above indicators, then the company might go to a state of over-capitalization without coming into the notice of stakeholders in the start. Stakeholders must keep a thoughtful eye on the debts, equity, rate of return and the balance sheets of the business. Bookkeeping must also be monitored and vigilantly followed to check if the transactions were precise. This will lead the company in the right direction.

Following are the other causes of over capitalization and effective management to avoid these causes as much as possible

Over capitalization may also happen due to many other factors:

  1. Assets were purchased when their value/price was at the peak. After some time, the actual cost of those assets decreased down to its minimal range. In that case, the investment capital will become greater than the actual cost of its assets.
  2. A lot of money was spent in the promotion of the business. Though promotion increased the rate of return, it was not enough to compensate the promotional costs.
  3. The board of directors of the company gained a handsome rate of return, they invested a plentiful amount of this profit into the business. But, the business assets do not have as much value in the market as of the invested capital. In that case, the share or rate of return per asset would be decreased significantly. More investment, lesser profit leads to over capitalization.
  4. The company follows a liberal policy on the division of profit gained to its stakeholders. Thus, not keeping a sufficient amount of profit gained for further self-financing in the company. Such kind of management may lead to over capitalization in the near future of the company.
  5. Inefficient management is also a cause of over capitalization. Management must keep a thoughtful eye on all bookkeeping aspects. Keep a routine check and balance over the purposes (like for promotion and other offers) for which a transactions were recorded and the amount of return is generated.

Remedies for Over Capitalization

Over capitalization of firms leads to an unhealthy business or it may cause the complete end of a business. The company must be restructured to avoid the situation of the company going down hill quickly.

Other solutions for over capitalization involves the following

1.  Decrease the burden of debt by effectively utilizing the profit for an earlier debt payment.
2.  Effectively negotiate with lenders to reduce interest rates in debt.
3.  Develop a scheme of capital reduction to gain more profit per asset.
4.  A company with over capitalization can merge with high profit companies with a better management system which is also willing to take over other companies.

Conclusion

Making proper estimates and with better management, a company with over capitalization can be made profitable and successful again.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Grass growing in the shape of an arrow graph, inside a transparent piggy bank, symbolising the care, dedication and investment needed for progress, success and profit in business.
The structural and economic strength of a business is directly related to its financial efficiency. Finance is the fundamental base of any business corporation which tends to establish strong infrastructure, enabling smart operations of a company. Financial management owns intrinsic significance in terms of providing a strong system to a company which is achieved through effective budgeting. The equitable allocation of all resources available to promote the smooth working of all departments in a harmonious manner is known as budgeting.

Budgeting is the strongest part of financial management. It plays a vital role in the strategic planning of a company which ensures appropriate financial and operational activities to be performed efficiently in order to increase profits. As financial management has substantial significance, business owners are advised to hire financial experts who can deal with numerous contemporary techniques used for budgeting efficiently. Among contemporary budgeting techniques, bookkeeping is the most trusted which allows the tracking of all transactions a company has made or plans to make. It makes decision-making and future planning of an organization easier and more credible. Moreover, bookkeeping allows an evaluation of all activities and tasks which have been performed in a company and identifies loop holes to be covered in the future to avoid any serious concerns which could damage the establishment. The following postulates shed light on how budgeting plays a significant role in strategic planning.

  • Formulation of Activities

In order to run a business corporation smoothly and maintain its symmetry, it is necessary to capture the bigger picture of all activities and tasks performed under its flagship. Effective and efficient measures are required to administer all of these undertakings. Budgeting helps in formulating all activities taken place in a company on a single platform and measures how effective and efficient these tasks are performed. Identifying the loop holes present allows entrepreneurs to be careful and vigilant in the future.

  • Drawing of the Goal Map

For a company to achieve its aims, it is necessary to plan them during the initial steps. Here again, budgeting plays an important role in terms of providing monetary stance to the strategic plan drawn by a company, enlisting all of its goals to be accomplished in a particular period of time. Appropriate budgeting enables business owners to draw a goal map which provides all targets of a company and guidelines to hit them. In the case of inappropriate budgeting, a company might face big losses.

  • Makes Decision-Making Credible

In order to gain maximum profits at minimum cost, the opportunity cost of a company is to be reduced. Reduction of opportunity cost demands an eagle’s eye view which can be apprehended through smart budgeting. A close view to all undertakings or tasks held in a company allows financial experts to identify apertures present, ultimately making  future decision-making credible. Entrepreneurs or business owners, after keen observations, will tend to make better decisions when encountering previous mistakes, conclusively achieving their strategic plan in an optimistic manner.

Final Note

Strategic planning is the key component of a business’s success. All targets to be achieved and guidelines to attain them are planned under the flagship of strategic planning, hence, it is to be planned in an intellectual way. Budgeting plays a vital role in achieving this strategic plan as it acts as a strong support in terms of formulating and processing this plan to a successful end.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Customer relationship management (CRM) concept. Businessman click on virtual scheme representing CRM (or customer service). Wide banner composition with office in background."n

What is a Cloud-Based CRM System?

A cloud-based CRM is a term used to describe a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that is hosted on a cloud-based system. A cloud-based system for a CRM is easily accessible by the internet. It’s easier for employees and companies to have access to the database at any time.  As the information is securely located in a cloud, employees and other team members can retrieve customer information anywhere on any registered device.

Decision makers running major companies have apprehensions when it comes to moving their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) from an on-site location to a secure cloud-based CRM. The management sees red flags when they think about storing their customer data in the cloud. They cower every time they hear the word “hacking into the database,” or “cyber-attack.” With frequent cyber-attacks and data breaches, company owners wonder how to secure their CRM cloud. Security is a primary concern for companies who are willing to transfer their CRM from on-site to a cloud-based system.

Cloud for your CRM must be Secure

A conventional customer relationship management system or CRM system requires a hefty and pricey software that depends on an entire IT team for the purpose of installation and maintenance of the system.

Transferring from an on-site CRM to a cloud-based service is challenging, but the benefits of the secure cloud-based CRM exceeds its disadvantages. The essential aspect of a CRM cloud is high security. Many companies offer specialized cloud services. When selecting a cloud hosting service, the company must offer a secure cloud to protect your CRM from data theft.

Cloud or On-Site CRM

Having an on-site data center for a CRM is risky compared to a secure cloud-based CRM. Maintaining a high-end IT department can be costly for businesses. Small businesses often lack the necessary resources needed for maintaining such security measures.

In comparison, a cloud-based CRM would cost a significantly lower amount due to economies of scale. This is because cloud hosting providers operate on a massive scale and cater to multiple businesses at a time, which means that they specialize in a particular segment. Due to this, they can lower their costs, making them a cost-effective solution.

Cloud hosting services provide a secure platform for a secure cloud-based CRM. These companies not only assist businesses in securing their customer data, but help provide access to your database from any geographical location. A CRM on a cloud is much better at handling large amounts of data compared to an on-site CRM.

Cloud Security

The most prominent benefit of having a CRM on a cloud is that different encryption methods secure the data. Cloud hosting companies have dedicated security experts who use modern encryption systems to keep the CRM secure.

Company data located at an on-site data center is prone to various cyber threats such as data theft. A virus is another risk to a businesses’ valuable data including confidential customer information. Cyber criminals often engage in practices where they steal important company data to sell on the black market. For competitors, such information can be valuable for sabotaging another company’s image as well as to redirect the customers to their business. In an onsite-CRM, you might not be able to disperse resources for around-the-clock vigilance.

However, in a cloud-based CRM, there are experts deployed to keep data secure and can take immediate action if any threats are detected. These experts use backups to restore the data if the system crashes due to a virus. Therefore, a secure cloud-based CRM is a better option than storing your data on-site

Companies that offer cloud services are professional IT experts; their job is to give you a secure cloud for all your CRM needs. These companies are aware of the latest threats to clouds; they will always have a solution ready when you need it.

How to Have a Secure Cloud-Based CRM

All Software as a Service (SaaS) enterprises offering secure cloud-based CRM services hire IT security experts and maintenance staff of the highest caliber. It’s in their job description to provide data security for your cloud-based CRM to avoid any data breach.

To make sure that the cloud is secure, there are several protocols concerning data and access. To secure your CRM on a cloud, the human factor involved in data breach cannot be ignored. The following factors must be considered when keeping the CRM secure:

  • Have a secure password
  • Keep changing the password every week
  • Limit and record the number of people with access to the cloud

From small firms to large multinational companies, a CRM is a crucial element of their business. Hiring a company that offers maximum security for your CRM is of vital importance. IT companies providing CRM cloud systems are aware of the risks and security breach associated with having a database on a cloud. These security breaches are taken very seriously by the experts.

Back-Up Policies and Data Recovery Plans for CRM Security

Companies providing cloud CRM security have extensive backup plans and follow strict procedures to retrieve lost data if a breach occurs. The advanced and automatized backup policies are helpful in keeping your cloud secure and safe from cyber threats. You can improve your cloud services by using different measures such as using a two-step authentication service and by using stronger passwords.


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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Entrepreneur with group of celebrating business partners in office with bright windows in background
The following are a few strategies to increase the sales of a small business.

Spend time carefully

A common concept is that money is the asset for small business owners but, in fact, time is the real asset. If you lose money due to any reason, it will come to you one day if you work hard. What cannot come back is the time you have once wasted. So, spend your valuable time carefully on activities that really make a difference for your business.

Many small business owners spend a lot of time at trade shows and exhibitions to increase exposure and, ultimately, sales. They collect hundreds of cards from people who seem to be interested in your product. After the trade show, you contact them in hopes of getting a purchase order from them, but they are in no way interested in your products. Your goal is not to waste time on such dead ends.

Identify potential customers and spend time with them. Answer their queries about quality, price, return policies, and customer service in detail and make them your happy and satisfied clients. These customers will not only purchase your product but refer others to you. This referral will increase the sales of your small business like no other.

Listen to the customer’s problem

In today’s world, everyone is interested in their own problems. The same rule is applicable to your customers. They are interested in their problems and seeking help to resolve them. Being a small business owner, it is your foremost strategy to ask customers about problems they are facing. Ask them what their needs are and what types of products they are in search of.

When you ask customers about their problem, they feel heard and important. They happily tell their problem in detail. After listening to them completely, start discussing the solution that your product will provide them. It may be possible that the seventh feature of your product is the solution, but, while describing your product to this particular customer, tell them that seventh characteristic first. After finding a solution, the customer feels relaxed and will listen to the rest of your sales pitch discussion happily and attentively.

The customer who finds a solution in your product will likely buy it and this small business strategy will increase sales.

Contact prospective customers yourself

When a customer does not respond to your email, instead of sending a new email, reply to your own email. Replying to your own email serves two purposes. One is that the client will see the original email. Secondly, you come to know whether the first email was received or not. If after the second email, the client says that they are not interested in your product, that’s why they didn’t respond to the first. Stop wasting your valuable time and end contact them.

Often the customer says that they are interested but could not respond to the first email due to some reason. Accept them. However, if no response to the second email was received, send a third email after a few days. Ask the client directly whether you should stop contacting them or not. This email has a positive effect. A client who is interested will send correspondence email as early as possible and the other one will send a refusal. After knowing the exact status, proceed accordingly.

Personal communication

Personal communication can increase the sales of a small business. This strategy proves extremely useful because, after personal contact, the customer doesn’t consider your email just an automated response. In a personal message, discuss the customer’s experience with your product. Ask them if they have any questions or concerns. In personal correspondence, the client should know that you are making an effort to write them a personal message despite your busy schedule. By valuing your prospective customers, sales can be increased tenfold.

Build an energetic team

Build a positive attitude of teamwork within your sales workforce. Don’t do things to divide them. The best sales team is the one that works together. By building positive dynamics within a team, they can communicate frequently and freely. Sales are increased by utilizing information shared within the team. Teamwork increases sales in the long run, independent of the size of the sales.

Conclusion

An increase in sales can be achieved by following a few simple strategies. These strategies basically revolve around the customer always.  As they say, the customer is always right.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Fraud word on colorful dices
Many organizations and business owners face fraud each year due to their employees or business partners. New entrepreneur startups and small businesses are more vulnerable. The risk of fraud has increased due to the advancement of technology and progressive development of the world into a global village. The increased awareness of technological developments and complex organizational structure requires corporations to incorporate internal anti-fraud approaches to combat fraud. According to 2014 research reports by global nation, organizations face 5 % loss due to fraud each year in which 85 % of serious fraud cases were committed by internal employees. Organizations should develop multi-layered fraud prevention strategies while keeping these statistics in view.

Organizations and businesses should do the following 10 things when they suspect fraud.

1. Be Calm and Don’t Panic

Fraud is scary and you will likely want to panic and react abruptly when you suspect fraud at your organization. You may terminate the fraudster on the spot or meet them head-on for confrontation. But these are harmful rather than good for the organization. Don’t react when you are emotional or angry. Prepare a plan, investigate, and do what is beneficial for the organization. Make strategies and policies to handle fraud before it happens.

2. React Logically

It is not preferable to overreact or have no reaction at all to a suspect. If you don’t react and take it easy, the perpetrator will think that they are free to do anything. Ignorant behavior towards fraud will make it worse and the perpetrator commit fraud without any fear of consequences. Always take action when you suspect the fraud but react logically.

3. Be Careful

If you suspect fraud, don’t declare it until you have evidence. If you react without evidence, the fraudsters become alert. The fraudster will try to hide and destroy evidence if they know they are being exposed and you are keeping an eye on them. After suspecting something is wrong, don’t make it obvious. Investigate carefully, otherwise, you will not be able to get any evidence.

4. Back up Financial Data

Always maintain backup data of your organization’s financial dealings. Save on hard copies or hard drives. Get a copy of a hard drive of your suspect discreetly. Preserve all records of transactions, emails, payroll, and bookkeeping. Perpetrators often utilize this information, especially bookkeeping records, to commit fraud.

5. Rehiring

Be mindful and prepare for hiring new personnel. Termination is the minimum consequence of fraud detection. Managers and executives are often so involved in the actual fraud itself that filling the new position can be challenging. Prepare yourself for such challenges.

6. Defend your Reputation

Fraud damages the image and reputation of the organization in front of the public, customers, partners and donors. Try to react calmly and defend your reputation. Resume trust of partners and customers by assuring them that the organization has taken corrective measures.

7. Don’t Save Money

Financial loss due to fraud is recoverable, but the reputation is not recoverable. Hire a certified fraud examiner to make policies for fraud prevention and detection. Your organization may try to save money by not hiring a certified fraud examiner but then will suffer a lot after an incident of fraud. Realize that money is not everything. The thing that matters more is the hard-earned reputation which can easily be damaged by fraud.

8. Set an Example

Set an example by handling fraudsters with tight hands, otherwise, you may encourage others to commit fraud in the future. The penalties recommended after fraud are a civil lawsuit, termination, and criminal prosecution. Impose all three penalties severely, if possible. The employees will see that there is zero tolerance for fraud in your organization and they will face severe consequences if they go there.

9. Get Help

Don’t try to handle fraud on your own because it involves accounting and legal issues. Call a certified fraud examiner for help. They know where to get evidence and how to explain it to the legal system.

10.   Make Positive Changes

Learn from an incident of fraud and prepare the policy for detection and prevention of fraud in the future.

Conclusion

Fraud in business can result in major financial loss, wastage of time, and a ruined reputation. Fraud should be handled strictly when suspected.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.