Take Time to Review the Health of your Business

As an owner and/or manager, you probably spend a lot of time monitoring business operations and dealing with everyday problems. But a longer-term approach is also useful. Just as an annual checkup from your physician helps monitor and manage your personal health, an annual checkup can do the same for your business.

Here are tips to get started.

  1. Insurance coverage. Instead of automatically writing a check to renew insurance policies when they come due, sit down with your agent. Review your business operations, focusing on any changes. Discuss types of risk that could arise. Ask about new developments in business insurance. Use your agent’s expertise to identify risk areas and suggest suitable coverage.
  2. Tax strategy. Consider adjusting taxable earnings for the year, perhaps by accelerating expenses or delaying income at year-end. If your business reports on the cash basis, you could boost 2015 deductions by declaring and paying bonuses in December rather than in early January. Deferred invoicing or early purchases can also reduce your 2015 tax bill.
  3. Customer survey. Track customer satisfaction with an online survey. Focus on questions that reveal how well your company performs in areas such as prompt service, staff responsiveness, and understanding of customers’ problems. Ask your customers for insight on potential new products or services, and let them know how much you value their business.
  4. Marketing review. Are your current methods and channels working well, or are you simply doing what you’ve always done?
  5. Succession planning. Do you have a specific plan for each key managerial position, including yourself? Are you prepared for a short-term absence or a permanent vacancy? Your plan might point out the necessity of promoting from within or recruiting externally.
  6. Banking relationships. Meet with your banker. Ask about new products or services that could help your company. Address service concerns or problems that occurred during the year. Look for ways to reduce idle cash, boost interest earned, and improve cash flows.

An annual business checkup can help you evaluate current performance, better manage and execute future operations, and provide a plan for keeping your business on track. If you need assistance, give us a call.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today’s small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it.

Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission.

Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations.

She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.

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