31December
2019
Minimizing Your Risk of Cyber Breach

  Concerns about cyber threats disrupting core operations are now a top operational risk. The Securities and Exchange Commission has called threats to cybersecurity “the biggest systematic risk we have facing us.” Given the impact that breaches can have and the level of sophistication shown by hackers in recent breaches, it’s not a matter of if a breach will occur, but when and how it will occur. Cyber data — including financial data, sensitive customer information and employee records stored on the cloud or on the company’s technology devices and networks — is one of the most valuable assets many companies own….

31December
2019
Stamp Out Bad Attitudes and Boost Profits

  A good attitude can work wonders at any organization. A cheerful receptionist, a friendly delivery person or a sales clerk with a winning smile can be money in the bank for your business. By the same token, a bad attitude on the part of your staff members can drag your organization down like a 500-pound anchor. Even under the best conditions, your company can’t afford to turn off customers. But when the economy is soft and you’re trying to attract business, Stinkin’ Thinkin’ just makes things worse. If you come across Stinkin’ Thinkin’ in your organization, gain control immediately…

31December
2019
Taking Advantage of Family Funds

Remember when you were a kid and your parents paid all the bills and told you what to do? Well, if the family business runs into a cash crunch and you need to borrow money, think carefully before borrowing from parents and other relatives — or you could find you stepped into a time warp. Weighing Equity Against a Loan Among family members, loans tend to be more popular than equity investments because they are cheaper, limit the lender from trying to get involved in the business and carry a lower risk of losing the entire investment. For example, let’s…

04December
2019
Don’t Undermine Internal Fraud Investigations

For even the largest and most sophisticated organizations, internal fraud inquiries can pose numerous challenges that can send a case off track, cause legal expenses to skyrocket, and put your enterprise on the losing side. Ranging from lax investigations to not knowing enough about local law, here are examples of six mistakes that turned victory into defeat: 1. Avoid rushing to judgment. The facts of a case may clearly seem to indicate guilt, but regardless of how compelling the evidence, your organization must conduct a rigorous investigation. In one case, a commercial builder’s internal audit department had evidence that the business’s controller had used corporate funds…

04December
2019
Consider Hosting a Family Meeting about Your Estate Plan

If you’re a business owner and a high-net-worth individual, you may want to gather your family members together to discuss the details of your estate plan. This can be especially important if you own a business that employs family members. These meetings are a little like the Scottish clan gatherings held hundreds of years ago by clan chiefs to discuss their succession and inheritance plans. The Purpose of Gatherings For centuries, some Scottish clans had a tradition of getting together periodically. When communication and travel were difficult, these gatherings provided a way to prepare for the future. Estate planning was…

04December
2019
Put Social Networking Sites to Work for Your Family Business

If you think that social media is just for teenagers, think again. More than half of those logging on to social media sites are in their mid-thirties or older.     The Benefits of Using Social Media Are Many If branding, communication and targeted marketing efforts are not compelling enough, consider the following social networking success story. One Texas business decided to tie its social networking to a fundraiser for Haiti relief. For every fan added during a specified time frame the company donated a dollar to the Haiti relief effort. Employees spread the word about the fundraiser through posts…