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

Small Businesses

SIMA Financial Group > Small Businesses (Page 20)

IRS Updates Publication on Deducting Travel, Entertainment, and Car Expenses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated Publication 463 (Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses) for use in preparing 2016 tax returns that are filed in 2017. This publication explains what travel, entertainment, and car expenses are deductible, how to report them on returns, what records are needed to prove expenses, and how to treat any expense reimbursements received. Highlights of Updated Publication Updated Publication 463 contains the following new information: Standard mileage rate. For 2016, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating a taxpayer's car for business use is 54 cents per mile. ...

Continue reading

SIMA at the ALA

SIMA was delighted to share information and good times with the members of the Association of Legal Administrators at their annual retreat this past month in Williamsburg, Virginia. Consultant Chris Nagle and Marketing Coordinator Kerri White discussed ways in which administrators in legal offices can work smarter, not harder, to alleviate many of the burdens associated with accounting, payroll, benefits, retirement plans, and ever-increasing compliance concerns. For our clients in the legal space, we extend an invitation to join us next year for exceptional networking and educational opportunities. This year we benefitted from sessions regarding the EEOC...

Continue reading

Don’t make hunches — crunch the numbers

Some business owners make major decisions by relying on gut instinct. But investments made on a “hunch” often fall short of management’s expectations. In the broadest sense, you’re really trying to answer a simple question: If my company buys a given asset, will the asset’s benefits be greater than its cost? The good news is that there are ways — using financial metrics — to obtain an answer. Accounting payback Perhaps the most common and basic way to evaluate investment decisions is with a calculation called “accounting payback.” For example, a piece of equipment that costs $100,000 and generates an additional gross margin...

Continue reading

An EAP can keep your top players on the floor

A good basketball team is at its best when its top players are on the floor. Similarly, a company is the most productive, efficient and innovative when its best employees are in the right positions, doing great work. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for good employees to battle personal problems, such as substance dependence, financial and legal woes, or mental health issues. These struggles can negatively affect their productivity and the working environment around them. One way employers can help is by offering a benefit called an employee assistance program (EAP). A benefit with benefits An EAP helps identify at-risk employees and assist them...

Continue reading

DOL Adjusts Labor Law Penalties for 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a final rule adjusting for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed for violations of a number of federal labor laws. The increases generally apply to civil penalties assessed after January 13, 2017, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015. Key Penalty Increases Penalty increases that may be of particular interest to employers include: FLSA Requirements. Repeated or willful violations of the FLSA's minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to a penalty of up to $1,925 per violation (formerly $1,894); FMLA Posting. Willful violations of...

Continue reading

Executive Order Calls for Minimizing Economic Burden of ACA

President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon federal administrative agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pending repeal of the law. Until further guidance is issued or legislation is signed, however, all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance. In addition to making clear that the Trump administration seeks the prompt repeal of the ACA, the executive order specifically calls upon agencies to exercise authority and discretion to: Waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any ACA provision or requirement that would impose a fiscal...

Continue reading

Envision your advisory board before you form it

Many companies reach a point in their development where they could benefit from an advisory board. It’s all too easy in today’s complex business world to get caught up in an “echo chamber” of ideas and perspectives that only originate internally. For many business owners, an understandable first question about the concept is: What should my advisory board look like? To find an answer, start by envisioning the ideal size and composition of your company’s board in terms of skill sets and personalities. The guest list First and foremost, participants in your advisory board should have skills, experience and expertise that complement your...

Continue reading

PTO banks: A smart HR solution for many companies

“I’m taking a sick day!” This familiar refrain usually is uttered with just cause, but not always. What if there were no sick days? No, we’re not suggesting employees be forced to work when they’re under the weather. Rather, many businesses are adopting a different paradigm when it comes to paid time off (PTO). Under the “PTO bank” concept, employers merge most (or all) of the traditional components of excused absences (vacation time, sick time, personal days and so on) into one simple employee-managed account, typically offering not quite as many PTO days as under a traditional PTO system. One benefit...

Continue reading

Is your business committed to its cost-control regimen?

At the beginning of the year, many people decide they’re going to get in the best shape of their lives. Similarly, many business owners declare that they intend to cut costs and operate at peak efficiency going forward. But, like keeping up an exercise routine, controlling costs takes an ongoing effort. You need to not only review expenses now, but also commit yourself to doing so regularly. Here are some key points to keep in mind. Choosing where to slim down A good cost-control plan starts by clearly identifying manageable expenses in every business area — no exceptions. Prime candidates include: ...

Continue reading

Succession planning and estate planning must go hand in hand

As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever — and that goes for most companies. Then again, with the right succession plan in place, you can do your part to ensure your business continues down a path of success for at least another generation. From there, it will be your successor’s job to propel it further into perpetuity. Some business owners make the mistake of largely ignoring succession planning under the assumption that it’s taken care of within their estate plans. Others create a succession plan but fail to adequately integrate it into their estate plan. To avoid these mistakes, it’s important...

Continue reading