Posts Tagged ‘Mike Bedel’

Your 2019 Potential Depends on What You Do NOW!

By Mike Bedel, CPA, CGMA, MBA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com

Now that we’re in the fourth quarter of 2018, you’re likely focused on wrapping up the year and ringing in the holidays. But in order for your business to continue thriving, it’s imperative for you to shift focus and start laying a firm foundation for 2019. To make next year successful, it’s vital that deliberate efforts are made NOW in order to adequately allocate your company’s resources for the coming year.

Any business owner should be proactive rather than reactive. Instead of allowing yourself to get struck down by unexpected setbacks, build a plan for success that allows you and your business to withstand the many challenges that are bound to occur. Now is the time to identify the obstacles you may face in the upcoming year and develop a contingent strategy for how to overcome them. The less planned may see failure, but the savvy entrepreneur sees an opportunity for profit!

One step toward building strength in the next year is to increase recruiting efforts of top talent and skillsets! Think of new ways to keep employees engaged. What can you plan and promise now, or in the near future, that will compel them to stay committed through 2019 and beyond? And don’t just focus on vetting incentives for your employees; think of all the stakeholders in your business. How can you more effectively manage and motivate your human capital?

In addition to adding talented members to your team, you may find that you need to expand your line of products and services. And in that case, you’ll want to be sure and develop an operating and capital expenditures budget. During this process, take inventory of the resources you have at your disposal and determine how to effectively allocate them.

Financial planning and budgeting in particular is crucial this time of year. Be realistic in your planned assumptions, but also utilize stretch goals to energize your team. If you’re not prepared, the new year will only deliver mediocre results, and no one aspires to be average! Stay ahead of your competition!

If we can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email him at mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

Is Your Accounting Department Dysfunctional?

By Mike Bedel, CPA, CGMA, MBA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. That’s why the cornerstone of any company is an efficient accounting department and financial reporting system that promptly measures and reports the results of your operations.

Financial statements should be prepared on a regular, systemic basis, around the 15th of the month. Timely, accurate information is essential to your management team. Consistency of practice is crucial.

Is your accounting department meeting these demands? Failure to pay invoices on time or deliver accurate, comprehensive reports can severely harm your company’s reputation and result in late payment fees, decreased credit worthiness, issues with your suppliers, etc. Lack of consistency, planning, transparency and oversight can also quickly lead to untimely financial reporting and poor management information systems. The risk of fraud is also increased in an undisciplined accounting environment.

As a business owner, it’s vital that you determine the people, processes and discipline necessary to make your accounting function run as smoothly as possible. Your management team should be reviewing your financial statements and key performance metrics on a regular, MONTHLY basis! A business that is not doing this on a regular basis is setting itself up for a less than successful result!

If you’re experiencing accounting issues in your company, it’s time to step back and determine the source of the problem. And if you need a fresh set of eyes on your accounting function, Sponsel can help!  Is it your people? Is it your systems, or lack thereof? Or do you simply not know? Whether you’re seeking consultation or thinking about outsourcing your bookkeeping needs, we can offer support.

If we can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

Does Your Enterprise Need to Pivot?

By Mike Bedel, CPA, MBA, CGMA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services
mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com

As the old adage goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. People are hesitant to jump out of their comfort zones — especially when it comes to turning a profit — but pivoting in a different direction is sometimes the best way to improve your business.

Could your company use a boost? Let’s dive in and explore how you can switch things up and turn toward success!

Expand your market. Do you have a target audience in mind but can’t seem to reach it no matter how hard you try? Don’t get hung up on the same region or demographic. Broaden your horizons! Make your product or service available to a wider geographic area. Launch a virtual store on your website or try selling through different e-commerce channels. Now, in this digital age, there are countless ways to reach your audience. The sky is the limit!

Turn failure into success. One of the most compelling comeback stories in the history of business is the origin of Post-It Notes. This product, which became a staple of offices across the world, started as an accident. Spencer Silver, a researcher at 3M, was trying to create a form of permanent adhesive for airplanes, but he ended up producing a much weaker glue that easily peeled off. Silver’s determination to turn this failure into a success eventually led to the substance being used on those colorful pieces of paper we all love sticking to our desks and bulletin boards.

The lesson here is that if something doesn’t turn out as you intended or expected, don’t give up! Think of ways you can adapt your products or services to meet other demands, which leads to our third point …

Innovate, innovate, innovate! Don’t be afraid to reinvent your business. Whether you change your product line, delivery methods, messaging or the way you approach and interact with your customers and vendors, giving your company a makeover can make a massive impact in the marketplace. If you’re not hitting your stride, wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start. Get back to the drawing board and develop a new product or service. Don’t let setbacks get you down — think of them as opportunities for a comeback. Just get back up on the horse and ride toward a new frontier!

If we can assist you with achieving success in your business or personal affairs, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

The Real Purpose of Your 401(k) Audit

Mike BedelBy Mike Bedel, CPA, MBA, CGMA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services

If your company’s 401(k) plan has more than 100 eligible participants, it is large enough that the U.S. Department of Labor requires an audit of your plan. This audit must be attached to your annual 5500 filing, but is often viewed as an unnecessary compliance cost by the 401(k) plan sponsor.

The true purpose, however, for the required audit of this employee benefit plan is to protect various stakeholders in the plan, especially the plan participants.

Many employees rely on their 401(k) plan to save for retirement. Many expert resources such as Forbes describe it as “the single best wealth accumulation vehicle available to the vast majority of Americans.”

However, most employees are not well-versed in how their 401(k) plan operates. As a result, they may not be aware if their personal accounts are not being appropriately credited for their contributions.

By taking the audit process seriously, the plan sponsor communicates that they understand the value their employees place on the wealth they’ve accumulated in their individual 401(k) accounts. When a plan sponsor makes decisions that minimize the role of the audit, they are perceived by their employees as not valuing the hard-earned money set aside over the years – or even as putting their own interests ahead of the employees’.

The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service continue to emphasize the importance of fiduciary responsibility to those involved in the management of the retirement plans. They also stress the importance of a thorough and complete audit process as a significant means of oversight on the plan’s operations.

Additionally, the audit provides some protection to a fiduciary of the plan who is taking their role seriously. It is a way for them to act upon their responsibilities to protect the plan. And it serves to identify if the plan is operating outside of compliance with regulations from the DOL or IRS.

Sponsel CPA Group performs audits of defined contribution employee benefit plans, such as 401(k) plans. We take this responsibility very seriously and value the role we play in protecting the interest of all stakeholders for the plans we audit.

If you have questions about audits of 401(k) plans, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

 

Changes to Auditing Standards for Going Concern

Mike BedelBy Mike Bedel, CPA, MBA, CGMA
Partner, Director of Audit & Assurance Services

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has updated their standards on the topic of Going Concern. Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 132 was issued in February 2017 under the title, The Auditor’s Consideration of an Entity’s Ability to Continue as a Going Concern.

The term “going concern” relates to the expectation that an entity will continue operations in the future. It is often taken for granted, or assumed, that the entity under audit will continue operations in the near future.

These new standards supersede previous guidance that existed for auditing standards, SAS No. 126 (under the same title), and follows recent pronouncements on the same topic by the International Auditing and Assurance Board. In 2014 Accounting Standards Update 2014-15 was issued to place the initial responsibility to identify a going concern on management, before the auditor is required to address the topic.

This most recent update is effective for audits of financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2017.

SAS No. 132 aligns the previous standards more closely with the responsibility placed on management by ASU 2014-15. It also aligns the auditing standards with standards recently issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

SAS No. 132, clarifies that the auditor is responsible to determine whether management has appropriately utilized a going concern basis of accounting and whether there are any substantial doubts about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern in the near future.

SAS No. 132 also adds a requirement to evaluate the reliance upon third parties, owners or management in the organization’s plans to continue as a going concern.

For more information about the topic of Going Concern, please contact Mike Bedel at (317) 613-7852 or email mbedel@sponselcpagroup.com.

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