Posted in The Bottom Line, Featured Post, Accounting & Auditing, Featured Content

How auditors assess risk when preparing financial statements

Every year, your audit firm will conduct a fresh risk assessment before the start of fieldwork. Why? Because your auditor wants to mitigate the risk of expressing an incorrect opinion regarding the accuracy and integrity of the company’s financial statements. Inadvertently signing off on financial statements that contain material misstatements can open a Pandora’s box…

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Posted in The Bottom Line, Featured Post, Accounting & Auditing, Featured Content

How to trim the fat from your inventory

Inventory is expensive. So, it needs to be as lean as possible. Here are some smart ways to cut back inventory without compromising revenue and customer service. Objective inventory counts Effective inventory management starts with a physical inventory count. Accuracy is essential to knowing your cost of goods sold — and to identifying and remedying…

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Posted in The Bottom Line, Featured Post, Accounting & Auditing

Got multiple locations? Expect auditors to keep a close eye on inventory

Do you remember the high-profile fraud that happened at drugstore chain Phar-Mor in the 1990s? Executives manipulated the company’s financial statements to hide approximately $500 million in losses. A key ploy that perpetrators used in the Phar-Mor case was to overstate inventory balances at individual stores. Management became adept at hiding the scam from their…

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Posted in The Bottom Line, Featured Post, Accounting & Auditing

Do your financial statements contain hidden messages?

Over time, many business owners develop a sixth sense: They learn how to “read” a financial statement by computing financial ratios and comparing them to the company’s results over time and against those of competitors. Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you benchmark your company’s performance in three critical areas.

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Posted in Accounting & Auditing

How to shape up your working capital

Working capital — current assets minus current liabilities — is a common measure of liquidity. High liquidity generally equates with low risk, but excessive amounts of cash tied up in working capital may detract from growth opportunities and other spending options, such as expanding to new markets, buying equipment and paying down debt. Here are…

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Posted in Accounting & Auditing

Is annual financial reporting enough?

Businesses generally issue year-end financial statements to let investors and lenders evaluate their financial health. But proactive stakeholders — including the company’s CEO and board of directors — may want more than one “snapshot” per year of financial results. Interim statements let stakeholders know how a company is doing each quarter or month, but they…

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Posted in Accounting & Auditing

Taking Advantage of Tangible Property Safe Harbors

If your business has made repairs to tangible property, such as buildings, machinery, equipment and vehicles, you may be eligible for a deduction on your 2014 income tax return. But you must make sure they were truly “repairs,” and not actually “improvements.” Why? Costs incurred to improve tangible property must be depreciated over a period…

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