CFO

A&A

Election Watch: Obama unveils $6 billion small business health plan

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has presented his plan for a $6 billion per year health plan that would provide tax credits for small businesses that health insurance to employees.The Obama plan requires businesses to provide coverage or pay a fine, but it exempts small businesses from the mandate, The Wall Street Journal reports.The Obama camp reports that less than half of small firms offer heaLth insurance to employees, down from 57% in 2000.
A&A

Ramp up your brand - sledgehammers and service brand preference

By Mike Schultz and John DoerrSwing the HammerImagine the strongman game at the carnival. You lift the sledgehammer over your head and swing it down onto the platform. When it strikes the target, a metal cylinder rises up and up - 20 feet up the pole until it rings the bell. On its way down the pole the cylinder passes the same words it passed on the way up: strongman, tough guy, athlete, junior, and weakling.In a way, establishing a services brand follows a similar process.
A&A

Getting started with social media: Real life examples

Anita Campbell, executive editor of Small Business Trends, recently attended an event in Houston entitled Women in Business. She collected several comments from attendees about their experiences in using social media Web sites and online Web 2.0 tools. Here is what she found.When speaking at events, I get the best response from talking less and asking more - in other words, encouraging the audience to share their examples and ideas. It's more interactive that way. It's more interesting.
A&A

Creating customer loyalty: Keep them coming back

Getting customers to buy into your brand is always going to be a challenge, but how do you make sure they return? Verity Gough argues that creating customer loyalty is down to good, old-fashioned common sense.Competition for customers has never been fiercer and as the battle to attract and retain consumers heats up, small businesses can steal a march on their larger rivals by fine tuning their own customer services.
A&A

Is the Perfect Employee Really Out There?

In today's competitive job market, small business owners often find themselves feeling the odds are against them in finding the right employee. Positions in accounting, information technology (IT) and sales are increasingly in high demand and require businesses to have human resource tools that are both competitive and strong enough to bring in the best possible recruits.While you may be wondering if that perfect employee really exists, there are some things you can do to be ready if and when the time comes and they walk through your front door.
A&A

Lemonade entrepreneur wins NFIB small business video contest

The Small Business Works for America Contest has concluded. NFIB was looking for the best video answers to the question, "Why small business works for America?" More than 20 video responses showing a wide range of creativity were submitted.You can see the grand prize winner, "Lemonade," from Marc Boese. He wins $5,000 in cash and an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to attend NFIB's Small Business Summit.
Practice Management

Lean & not mean: Simple management most effective

By Matt HenkesThinking lean when it comes to running a company can bring significant advantages.Lean thinking is all about maximizing performance efficiency and end product or service value through the elimination of waste. The philosophy was originally developed for the automotive manufacturing industry, but experts claim that its applications are far wider.
A&A

Measuring employee engagement

Any business owner will speak to you about the importance of having satisfied and loyal employees. Smart business leaders know that having 'engaged employees' is crucial to success. Engaged employees are more than just satisfied at work, they are also motivated, positive and committed, and as such are just the people employers are striving to recruit and retain. But wouldn't it be nice to have a means for measuring how well your employees are engaged?
A&A

SEC approves one-year SOX 404(b) extension

The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has approved a one-year extension of the compliance date for smaller public companies to meet the Section 404(b) auditor attestation requirement of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The SEC also announced that it received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval to proceed with data collection for a study of the costs and benefits of Section 404 implementation, focusing on the consequences for smaller companies and the effects of the Section 404 auditor attestation requirements.
A&A

Hidden Overhead - Hidden Expenses Cost You Money

By, Keith RosenAlthough you have a handle on your business' operating costs, there may be some hidden expenses that are costing you more than money.Many execs confess that although their business is moving forward, they find their time is consumed with, accepting or being dragged down by unwanted situations, problems or behavior. Not overwhelming individually, they have a way of building up until they effect productivity, cause stress and waste time and energy.
A&A

Strategies for surviving during a recession

I once read a story about a gentleman whose business was hit by a recession. His contracts dried up and he began using credit cards to keep his business afloat. Ultimately, he racked up some $85,000 in debt. But then he made a gutsy move for a company in financial distress and hired an employee which freed him up to pursue more contracts. He now has 4 additional employees and has satisfied the debt accrued during that time. His recession strategy was a risk, but it was one that paid off.
A&A

New book offers tips to help small retailers compete

The National Retail Federation predicts tax rebate checks will pump $43 million into the waning economy as consumers spend. With 41 percent of Americans indicating they plan to spend their handout, how can small retail business owners stake claims to some of the disbursements?
A&A

Daily habits for developing the art of leadership

Many people are born leaders, yet the ability to lead is actually an art and an amazing collection of skills which can be learned and sharpened. The following top ten daily habits will help you and/or your clients grow as a leader personally, professionally, and spiritually.
A&A

10 steps to maximizing ROI in employee pay

Employers should make market data a smaller part of their compensation decisions and should focus on performance-driven strategies that will motivate and retain employees, according to Brad Hill of Tandehill Human Capital. Hill outlines 10 steps employers should take in order to maximize their return on investment in employee pay. Step 1: Compensation will become part of the employment value proposition. Hill notes that most employees leave their company for reasons other than pay, such as a lack of career development or unhappiness with management.
A&A

FASB issues Exposure Draft on Accounting for Hedging Activities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an Exposure Draft (ED) of a proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, Accounting for Hedging Activities — an amendment of FASB Statement No. 133.
Technology

Small businesses are most likely candidates for risky online behavior

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in Internet content security, has reported that in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan, employees in small companies took more online risks while on the company network compared to their counterparts in larger organizations. This is the result of a study that explores corporate computer users' perceptions of and experiences with security threats.
A&A

Top 10 interview bloopers...and how to avoid them

We’ve all heard stories of job candidates who looked great on paper but who were absolute disasters in person. With fewer interview opportunities available in a competitive marketplace, it’s essential to make the best possible first impression. You can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the top 10 worst interview blunders. Poor handshake.
A&A

FASB will add disclosure requirements to Statement 140

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) continued its review of Statement 140, Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities, (SFAS 140) and FASB Interpretation No.
A&A

SBA shows its color - turns out it's green

Most of us don't think of federal agencies as being particularly earth conscious. But long before it was cool to be green, the Small Business Administration in its policies was committed to the protection of the natural environment. Not only does the SBA now offer programs dedicated to helping businesses involved in conservation and energy production, but the fact is, all SBA loans have an underlying green element. Part of the approval process for any loan is an environmental assessment by a participating SBA lender.
A&A

Don't feel trapped in your job

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc. - Only 54 percent of employees feel they have a good future with their current organization. Why do they feel this way?Some have doubts about the future of their organization. They fear that the company could go out of business, merge with another, or be acquired.More often they feel their performance is not valued.Ironically, our research also shows that most of these fearful employees will stay with their organizations anyway and continue to live in fear and unhappiness. Here's why they stay:

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