Financial Planning Blog Posts

  • Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    December 15, 2018

    Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    Critical Business Tips To Avoid Disasters

    What are the ingredients needed to make a successful business? You need a good idea, a lot of hard work, and a product or service that people actually want. But what happens when the business has been up and running for a few years? The ingredients evolve. You need innovation and growth while avoiding pitfalls and disasters.

    While innovation and growth are certainly important for long-term success, most businesses fail due to avoidable disasters. Most of these issues revolve around one thing -- money. Without it, most businesses fail and fail fast. To overcome these disasters, there are a few critical business tips you need to know.

    Business Advice For Successful Entrepreneurs

    What makes a successful entrepreneur? Keeping your books in check so you can take advantage of that big opportunity when it comes. Finding an experienced CPA is your best bet, but there are a few things you things you can keep an eye out yourself. These include:

    • Profit margins. At the end of the day, every entrepreneur is out to make a profit. If you notice your profit margins slipping, take a step back and figure out why.
    • Accounts receivable. If you have too many customers with delayed payments, it makes it almost impossible to keep growing. Stay on top of unpaid invoices.
    • Cash flow. Plain and simple -- if you don’t have enough cash to get you from month to month, you won’t have a business for long.

    CPA Services With Solutions

    Running a small business is no easy task. Product innovation, customer service, and time management are all crucial components that push a business forward. At BIG, we know how important your business is to you. That’s why our experienced CPAs not only have years of accounting experience, but most have run their own businesses as well.

    Because of this unique experience, we can offer in-depth services that will help your business grow. These include:

    • Accounting & Administrative Tasks
    • Business Mentoring
    • Strategic Business Planning & Consulting

    Avoiding financial pitfalls is essential for success and BIZ can help you avoid them.

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  • How To Improve Your Business Cash Flow

    August 15, 2018

    How To Improve Your Business Cash Flow

    Improving Your Business Cash Flow

    How many times have you had a bill due before you got paid? In business, this stems from a cash flow problem. When your payables are due before your receivables come in, you’ll come face to face with cash flow problems.

    By improving your business cash flow, you’ll not only be able to pay your bills on time, but ensure payroll is on time and improve your creditworthiness in the process. While easier said than done, improving your business cash flow is not as difficult as it seems. By following a few key tips, you’ll be able to improve your business cash flow so that you can pay your expenses, invest in, and grow your business.

    Business Strategy Tips

    Improving your business cash flow should be an ongoing process. There are countless business strategy tips out there that offer help, but we’ve narrowed it down to three so that you can get started right away.

    • Be wary of extending credit. Extending credit to your customers is a great way to secure additional business, but be careful who you extend it to. Make sure to conduct credit checks beforehand and look for late payments. You can be sure that if they make late payments to other lenders, they’ll probably do the same to you.
    • Develop a relationship with your suppliers and creditors. This opens up several possibilities. You can negotiate longer payment terms, discounts on bulk orders, and discounts if you pay early.
    • Create a backup plan. As much as we’d like to plan for everything, unexpected surprises always show up. Whether it be an unexpected bill or repair, having a rainy day fund can help.

    CPA Services In North Royalton

    These business strategy tips will help you start improving cash flow right away, but that’s just the beginning. Here at BIG, we know the ins and outs of what makes a business successful. With CPA services tailored to help you succeed, BIG offers:

    • Business mentoring to help you convert problems into opportunities
    • Strategic business planning & consulting to create sustainable long-term goals
    • Tax consulting to help minimize your tax obligation

    Let BIG guide you through every step on your way to success.

    Managing business cash flow sets your business up for success and BIG can help you get there.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Elder Care Planning During Terminal Illness

    July 15, 2018

    Elder Care Planning During Terminal Illness

    Elder Care Planning During Terminal Illness

    When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal condition, elder planning is the last thing on your mind. Instead of wondering what’ll happen to your mom’s house, you’re more concerned with her health. However, without proper elder care planning, you’re bound to fall into financial trouble that will only make the situation worse.

    Designing a plan is easier than you think. With proper elder care planning, you can spend the time with your loved ones knowing that finances are in order no matter what happens. While there are a list of services you could look into, estate planning should be at the top.

    Estate Planning Review

    In the unfortunate chance that a loved one passes away, what happens to their estate? Most families overlook this and find themselves digging themselves out of a hole while they’re grieving the loss of their loved one.

    With an estate planning review, we’ll work together to create a will that clearly explains distribution of the estate assets. If this is skipped or overlooked, they’ll be distributed as per state law which can lead to a bigger headache. An estate planning review will cover such things as:

    • Do you have long-term care insurance? This can be used to protect assets and provide better care options.
    • Do your current documents authorize a loved one to protect your assets from healthcare providers?
    • Do you have IRAs that are set to go to beneficiaries?

    Financial Planning Services

    Estate planning is just the tip of the iceberg. Depending on how far out you are planning, financial planning can exist in a variety of services. A few of the most common include:

    • Cash Flow Planning & Budgeting
    • Retirement Health Care
    • Tax Planning

    Whether you are planning for three months or ten years, BIG can help you make your assets last as long as they need to. Loved ones should spend their remaining time enjoying life, not worrying about if they’re able to afford it.

    Elder care planning during a terminal illness is never easy, but planning ahead can allow you to spend more time with loved ones and less time worrying about finances.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • How To Avoid Business Cash Flow Trouble

    June 30, 2018

    How To Avoid Business Cash Flow Trouble

    How To Avoid Business Cash Flow Trouble

    Cash flow trouble is more than just an inconvenience. When your business has cash flow trouble, the effect can wreak havoc on more than just your finances. You could miss opportunities, establish poor relationships with both suppliers and customers, and even go out of business.

    If you have business cash flow trouble now, you already recognize these signs. The stress is constant and employee morale is probably suffering. Getting your business’ cash flow back where it needs to be isn’t an impossible task. A few tweaks to the way you manage cash flow will go a long way. Getting started is easier than you might’ve thought.

    Cash Flow Tips

    To get out of cash flow trouble, getting a better handle on managing your cash flow is essential. While it’s easier said than done, following these tips can get you on the road towards towards a brighter financial future.

    • Cut out the extras. That new machine model or software version can be tempting. Unless you absolutely need it, just skip it. Stick to the essentials until you get a positive cash flow.
    • Check weekly. Looking over your finances at the end of the month isn’t going to cut it. Keep an eye on it weekly and constantly look for ways to improve cash flow.
    • Hire better employees. They might cost a little more hourly, but a highly skilled worker can take on the work that two average workers could.

    BIG: The Leading North Royalton Accounting Services

    Eliminating cash flow trouble is just part of the financial picture that companies have to worry about. BIG is dedicated to helping you tackle the rest. We have the best CPAs in the area and we’re proud of it. We provide a variety of accounting services to help your business not only maintain a positive cash flow, but thrive for the years to come. A few additional services we offer to help your business grow are:

    • Business Mentoring
    • Business Financing
    • Tax Consulting & Tax Return Filings

    Cash flow trouble doesn’t have to be the end. Let BIG help get your business back on track.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Financial Planning For Living Longer

    June 15, 2018

    Financial Planning For Living Longer

    Financial Planning For Living Longer

    Nearly half of families have no retirement account savings. That fact, courtesy of the Economic Policy Institute, just tells part of the story. Those families that do have money tucked away is far less than they need to retire. Roughly 35% of adults in the U.S. only have a few hundred dollars in their accounts, while another 34% are living paycheck to paycheck.

    Fortunately, it’s never too late to start planning for retirement. The more time you have is better, but professional financial planning may be the key you need to get your retirement savings on track. A qualified CPA can not only help you get started with retirement planning, but can help maximize the money you do put away.

    CPA Retirement Planning Benefits

    How much money should you be putting away each payday? Which is the best financial instrument to use? Do my contributions need to change over time? These are all great questions that a CPA can answer to help you make the most out of your retirement planning. Using a CPA for your retirement planning has a host of additional benefits including:

    • Creating strategies to keep and grow your retirement account balance
    • Developing a backup plan to cover unpredictable and unfortunate events
    • Identifying expenses that could occur during retirement and create a plan to eliminate any shortage in income

    Financial Services So You Don’t Outlive Your Savings

    Retirement is the time to relax and enjoy yourself after decades of work. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t prepared financially for retirement and end up working far longer than they intend. Regardless of your age, seeking financial services now is a great first step to make sure that you don’t outlive your savings. In addition to retirement planning, a CPA can also help with:

    • Elder planning to ensure comfort and peace as you age
    • Estate planning to ease estate transitions
    • Education planning for future generations

    It’s never too late to start planning for retirement. Get started by contacting BIG today.

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  • How A CPA Firm Can Help Grow Your Business

    May 30, 2018

    How A CPA Firm Can Help Grow Your Business

    How A CPA Firm Can Help Grow Your Business

    Should you upgrade that software for your business? How about that potential new hire that promises to increase revenue? These questions come up on a regular basis and without a plan in place, you’re flying blind with your finances. By not managing your money properly, you’re setting yourself and your business up for failure.

    Investing in a CPA Firm can help eliminate these problems. Imagine them as high-powered finance glasses for your business. A good CPA firm can do everything from setting up and advising on essential systems like payroll and expense tracking to in-depth cost-benefit analysis to decide what to invest in. Why are these important? Let’s take a deeper dive.

    Why Cost-Benefit Analysis?

    A cost-benefit analysis needs to be performed on most major purchases. A proper cost-benefit analysis can help your team determine the pros and cons of a potential investment and, based on the weight that is given to each point, can help you determine if the cost or the benefit is more substantial. To make the most of this exercise, here are a few things you need to know:

    • Make an exhaustive list. It’s better to have too many costs and benefits than not have enough. You can also omit some of them if needed.
    • Estimated value is difficult to put on a benefit. Cost can be measured in cash most of the time, but benefits can be tricky. Take the extra time on this and come up with your best estimate of the value of the benefit.
    • In the end, focus on the big wins that can help the most people.

    Accounting Services For Business

    Cost-benefit analysis are a crucial element to making financial decisions that will benefit your business long-term. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a financially-sound strategy though. At BIG, we can help fill in the rest with accounting services tailored specifically to what you need. Whether you are a budding start-up or an established business, we can help. A few of the services we provide include:

    • Payroll setup
    • Tax advice
    • Administrative tasks

    A proven CPA firm can help grow your business through tools such as a cost-benefit analysis to various accounting services that keep your finances in check.

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  • Best Financial Advice You’re Not Doing But You Should.

    May 15, 2018

    best financial advice

    Best Financial Advice You're Not Doing But You Should

    What if I told you that you’d have to sell your house by the end of the year and take a big pay cut next month? This is the unfortunate truth that many retirees face because they’ve spent their entire life living paycheck to paycheck. Once that steady income stops, the trouble starts.

    Social Security only pays out a fraction of what they’d make during their career and they are forced to sell their home and live on a fraction of they used to. Are you part of the majority that lives paycheck to paycheck? Do you want to avoid being broke when you when retire? Gaining financial independence needs to be a top priority to make sure you can retire with peace of mind. So, how do you get started? The path to financial independence is a lifelong pursuit, but living below your means and seeking out a financial planner are some of the best financial advice you’ll ever receive to get started.

    How Living Below Your Means Will Gain Financial Independence

    People tend to spend exactly what they make. They get a raise, they raise their standard of living to make up the difference. Whether they make $100 or $1000 a day, most will find a way to spend all of it. To become truly financially independent, you need to consistently live below your means. Avoid the trap of spending all of your paycheck and try one of the following approaches to make sure you keep more of your money:

    • Set aside a specific percentage of your paycheck to automatically go to savings. That way when you your income increases, so will your savings contributions.
    • Don't upgrade if you don't need it. Want that new phone? New car? Take a hard pass if your current option still works.
    • Stop eating out. It's perfectly normal to want to go out to a restaurant to celebrate an accomplishment. But don't overdo it by keeping up that dining out streak. Eat at home and you'll be amazed how much you'll save.

    Do I Need A Financial Planner? YES!

    What financial goals do you have? Do you have money set aside for an emergency? Are you contributing to the right type of retirement account for your needs? These are all questions that you’ll need answers to if you want to maximize your financial independence.

    Financial planners can help answer these questions for you as well as establish a plan for your financial needs. At BIG, our financial planners can help you:

    Determine short and long-term goals based on lifestyle and income
    Choose the best investment account for your needs
    Create a financial plan from scratch to start your path towards financial independence


    Achieving financial independence is possible regardless of where you’re at now. At BIG, our goal is to help you get there faster.

    Contact Us Now for More Information

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  • Why Every Company Needs A CFO, Chief Financial Officer For Strategic Advice

    March 30, 2018

    Is your company profitable enough for a CFO? The answer is yes. A CFO can provide invaluable strategic advice that keeps your company moving forward. The problem that most small businesses face is the cost of hiring a CFO.

    Because of the cost, most CEOs also function has a defacto CFO. This is fine until the company starts to grow. Then the CEO becomes preoccupied with finance-related tasks and can’t focus on long-term revenue-generating activities. This is where a CFO-like business consulting services can be beneficial. A few areas where a consulting services can be helpful are by creating a strategic business plan and performing crucial tasks like a cost and profitability analysis.

    Creating A Strategic Business Plan

    Improving performance should be a top priority for any company. Without continual improvement, a company fails to thrive and grow. Analyzing current business problems can expose troubled areas that need improvement. In order to develop a proper action plan, three different types of strategy need to be created.

    • Business Strategy
    • Market Strategy
    • Pricing Strategy

    By creating these types of strategy, you’ll get a better overview of where your company needs to improve and what actions are needed to improve.

    Cost & Profitability Analysis

    Tracking and controlling costs is the first step to improving profitability. Most businesses won’t last long without a plan. Unfortunately, the data can seem overwhelming for many business owners and they can end up with a subpar pricing strategy.

    By using a cost and profitability analysis, the consulting service can provide strategic advice based on a variety of factors to help you determine the best business opportunities and pricing models to help you maximize your profits. A few include:

    • Quantifying historical data
    • Reviewing inventory values
    • Review current pricing structures

    Hiring a full-time CFO isn’t a necessity, but every company needs strategic advice that the CEO can’t provide.

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  • What Is Management Accounting And Its Purpose

    November 30, 2017

     Management accounting generates monthly or weekly reports for a company or business’s employees including managers and the CEO. These reports show the available money, sales revenue, state of accounts payable, debts, charts, analysis and other statistics.

    This system and type of reporting is used by company leaders to make decisions about day to day operations. Management accounting allows for forecasting the market and trends.

    The main difference in financial account and management accounting is financial accounting is important for future investors and management accounting helps executives make important decisions that impact the company and business’s future.

    Management accounting can also serve as a motivator for other employees. Not only does it help the company solve problems but it can also motivate employees to reach specific goals that this form of accounting has set.

    While this form of accounting encourages executives make decisions, the main purpose is to analyze information. They find problem areas within the company and suggest ways to correct these things. This in turn, leads to the recommendations for company leader’s decisions.

    Management accounting comes in many different forms. These forms include forensic accounting, business check-ups, turnaround management, receivership, crisis management and more. No matter the size of your company or business, management accounting is crucial. It can help set future business goals as well as find any potential risks and stop them before they happen.


    Our team at here at BIG offers a wide variety of management accounting services. To learn more contact us at http://www.bizimprove.com/contact/.

  • Top 5 401(k) Mistakes You're Making and How to Fix Them

    September 29, 2017

    Retirement planning is more than just participating in your company’s retirement plan. You have to take an active role to achieve your goal. Here are five retirement planning mistakes you could be making and how to fix them.


    1. Turning Down Money

    About 1 in 4 participants don’t take advantage of their employer's maximum match. It’s can be due to confusing policy choices, but be sure you are pocketing the maximum match from your employer. Also, a typical plan should include a 6 percent contribution from your salary. Most auto-enrollment programs default employee’s contribution to 3 percent.


    The fix: Even with auto-enrollment, it’s important to check that you are contributing enough of your salary to achieve the maximum match.


        2.  Contributing Too Little

             Studies have shown that you should save around 15 percent of your earnings to have the income you will need upon retiring. Most people are only saving up to 6 percent and even with a matching program from employers, it is still not enough.


    The fix: Increase your contribution rate by at least one percent every year if not more. Contributing up to 15 percent is key to a steady retirement fund.


       3.   Turning down the Roth 401(k)

             Half of employers now offer a Roth 401(k) but less than 10 percent of people take advantage of it.


    The fix: Focus on the payoff of a Roth 401(k) even though your contributions are made with after-tax dollars.


        4.  Poor Allocation Strategy

             Most people are either too conservative or gamble with no awareness of the downside.


    The fix: Most retirement plans offer tools to help you sort through allocation decisions. Try to create an age-appropriate mix of stocks and bonds as well. With all of these allocation decisions, be sure to benchmark it using your expected retirement date.


        5. Staying in an Expensive Plan

            When you leave a company, you have the option to move your money out of that retirement fund. A good test to see if you should find another option is whether or not the plan’s investment options charge an above-average annual expense ratios which could easily be found online.


    The fix: If the fees on your current 401(k) are high, it’s time to figure out your next move. Before transferring money into a new plan, check to be sure that the options are low cost. Another option is to move your money directly into an IRA account.


    These are very common 401(k) mistakes but following these tips will jumpstart your retirement planning success.


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