SIMA Login Center
SIMA
Copyright 2018 SIMA Financial Group.
All Rights Reserved.

Listening to your customers by tracking lost sales

“Sorry, we don’t carry that item.” Or perhaps, “No, that’s not part of our service package.” How many times a year do your salespeople utter these words or ones like them? The specific number is critical because, if you don’t know it, you could be losing out on profit potential. Although you have to focus on your strengths and not get too far afield, your customers may be crying out for a new product or service. And among the best ways to hear them is to track lost sales data and decipher the message. 3 steps to success A successful lost sales tracking...

Continue reading

Make sure your company is prepared for any disaster

What could stop your company from operating for a day, a month or a year? A flood or fire? Perhaps a key supplier shuts down temporarily or permanently. Or maybe a hacker or technical problem crashes your website or you suddenly lose power. Whatever the potential cause might be, every business needs a disaster recovery plan. Distinctive threats Get started by brainstorming as many scenarios as possible that could devastate your business. The operative word there is “your.” Every company faces distinctive threats related to its size, location(s), and products or services. There are some constants to consider, however. Seek out alternative suppliers...

Continue reading

Reminder: Issuer MLR Rebates Due to Plan Sponsors by Sept. 30

Overview of Employer Responsibilities for Handling Rebates   The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rules under Health Care Reform require an issuer to provide rebates if its medical loss ratio (the amount of health insurance premiums spent on health care and activities to improve health care quality) falls short of the applicable standard during a reporting year. Each year's rebates must be provided by issuers to policyholders (typically the employer that sponsors the plan) by September 30 of the following year. Employer Distribution The MLR rules provide that issuers must pay any rebates owed to persons covered under a group health plan to the...

Continue reading

DOL Seeks Input on Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Exemptions

Employers Can Submit Comments through September 25, 2017 The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a request for information (RFI) seeking input on its 2016 final rule which adjusted the salary thresholds for executive, administrative, and professional employees to be exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. What Was in the 2016 Final Rule? The 2016 final rule updated the federal minimum wage and overtime pay exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees by: Raising the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or $47,476 annually) for a full-year worker; Setting the highly compensated employee total annual compensation level...

Continue reading

Why business owners should regularly upgrade their accounting software

Many business owners buy accounting software and, even if the installation goes well, eventually grow frustrated when they don’t get the return on investment they’d expected. There’s a simple reason for this: Stuff changes. Technological improvements are occurring at a breakneck speed. So yesterday’s cutting-edge system can quickly become today’s sluggishly performing albatross. And this isn’t the only reason to regularly upgrade your accounting software. Here are two more to consider. 1. Cleaning up You’ve probably heard that old tech adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” The “garbage” referred to is bad data. If inaccurate or garbled information goes into your system, the reports...

Continue reading

Seasonal business? Optimize your operating cycle

Every business has some degree of ups and downs during the year. But cash flow fluctuations are much more intense for seasonal businesses. So, if your company defines itself as such, it’s important to optimize your operating cycle to anticipate and minimize shortfalls. A high-growth example To illustrate: Consider a manufacturer and distributor of lawn-and-garden products such as topsoil, potting soil and ground cover. Its customers are lawn-and-garden retailers, hardware stores and mass merchants. The company’s operating cycle starts when customers place orders in the fall — nine months ahead of its peak selling season. So the business begins amassing product in the...

Continue reading

Keep Your Employees Motivated This Summer

Workplace Flexibility and Changes to Daily Routines May Help Keep Employees Focused The warm weather and eagerly anticipated outdoor activities of summer may take a toll on your workers' concentration. If you're noticing a lack of focus among your employees during this time of year, consider the following ideas to help keep them motivated: Encourage your employees to step outside for at least 15 minutes each day. Exposure to natural sunlight can prevent workers from feeling confined to the office during the warm summer months. Holding business meetings outside may also help to boost workers' morale. Change things up! Employees may become more...

Continue reading

New Expiration Date for Health Insurance Exchange Notices is May 31, 2020

Model Notices Previously Set to Expire on May 31, 2017 The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has extended the effective date of its model Health Insurance Exchange Notices through May 31, 2020. Previously, these model notices were set to expire on May 31, 2017. No other changes have been made to these notices. Click here to access the model notices with the new expiration date. Please note that there are two separate notices--one for employers that offer a health plan to some or all employees, and another for employers that do not offer a health plan. These model notices...

Continue reading

IRS ‘Pay or Play’ Estimator Available

As a reminder, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service) has developed a tool to assist employers in understanding how the Affordable Care Act's employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions work and how the provisions may apply to them. Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Estimator Employers can use the Taxpayer Advocate Service's Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Estimator tool to determine their: Number of full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees (FTEs);Applicable large employer (ALE) status; and Applicable large employer (ALE) status; and Estimated maximum amount of potential liability for the employer shared responsibility payment. The homepage for the tool provides additional information...

Continue reading

It may be time for your company to create a strategic IT plan

Many companies take an ad hoc approach to technology. If you’re among them, it’s understandable; you probably had to automate some tasks before others, your tech needs have likely evolved over time, and technology itself is always changing. Unfortunately, all of your different hardware and software may not communicate so well. What’s worse, lack of integration can leave you more vulnerable to security risks. For these reasons, some businesses reach a point where they decide to implement a strategic IT plan. Setting objectives The objective of a strategic IT plan is to — over a stated period — roll out consistent, integrated, and...

Continue reading