• Take a Look at Better Savings Rates
• Hiring Family Members - What You Need to Know!
• Multiple Jobs: Be Prepared for Tax Surprises
• Common Tax Questions
• Budgeting Basics
• Never Take on the IRS Alone!
• Prioritizing Inventory Management Can Help Your Business
• Safeguarding Your Business's Cash with Segregation of Duties
• The Home Gain Exclusion: Make Sure You Qualify!
• Five Small Business Insurance Review Tips
• Know Your Rights When Debt Collectors Call
• Getting the Most Out of Homeowners Insurance
• IRS extends tax deadline to Oct. 16 for disaster areas in California
• Save Your Business Time and Money by Getting Organized
• Tips to Get Your Finances in Tip-Top Shape
• Keys to Keeping Great Business Records
• Shrink Your Tax Bill in 2023
• 6 Ways to Cut Your Everyday Expenses
• 'Tis the Season for Gift Card Fraud
• Maximize Your College Financial Aid With These FAFSA Tips
• Planning for Future Care: A Financial Dilemma
• Student Loan Forgiveness Q&A
• Taming Monthly Bill Creep
• Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
• Debit Card Smarts
• The IRS Announces Tax Scams
• Watch for These Tax Surprises
• Money Management Tips for Couples
• Summer Jobs and Taxes
• Making Your Home Office a Tax Deduction
• The Benefits of Being a Sole Proprietor
• Debt: Gone But Not Forgotten by the IRS
• Review Financial Decisions When Interest Rates Change
• Cryptocurrency: The IRS is Watching You!
• Protecting Your Digital Footprint
• Small Business Tax Return To-Do-List
• Ideas to Improve Your Financial Health in 2022
• Five Great Money Tips
• Fake Products (and Money!) Are Big Business
• Year-End Tax Planning Ideas For Your Business
• Time to Schedule Your Tax Planning Session
• IRS Backlog of Historical Proportions
• Protect Your Valuables BEFORE Thieves Arrive
• Make the Most of Your Vehicle Expense Deduction
• Help! I Just Got a Letter From the IRS
• Manage Your Business's Unemployment Taxes
• Common Tax Mistakes When Selling a Home
• The Hidden Tax Consequences of Cryptocurrency
• Building a Fortress Balance Sheet
• Taxes: These Basics are for Everyone
• What's New in 2021
• Organized Business Records Save Time and Money
• Your Identity is NOT Your Own!
• Seven Tips For Financial Wellness In 2021
• PPP Loan Expenses Are Now Tax Deductible
• Deductibility of Business Meals Provided by Restaurants in 2021 and 2022
• Ideas For Better Savings Rates
• Retirement Savings Tips for Small Business Owners
• Steer Clear of Money-Making Scams While You're Stuck at Home
• How to Build Your Emergency Fund - When You Have No Money
• Great Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
• What does the executive action deferring payroll taxes mean for employers and employees?
• Should You Incorporate Your Business?
• How to Eliminate a Tax Surprise
• New law provides relief for eligible taxpayers who need funds from IRAs and other retirement plans
• How Stay-at-Home Orders Change Money Habits
• IRS guidance provides RMD rollover relief
• Financial Questions to Ask Mom and Dad
• The New Face of Banking
• PPP borrowers get concessions, additional guidance on forgiveness
• The IRS clarifies the deductibility of PPP-funded expenses
• SBA extends the PPP repayment deadline for self-certification
• Answers to Common COVID-19 Unemployment Questions
• CARES Act provides COVID-19 pandemic relief to businesses
• The IRS announces new COVID-19-related assistance for taxpayers
• 3 Major Charity Scam Red Flags
• 2020 Social Security Benefits
• Avoid These Common Tax Mistakes
• What Employers Need to Know About Assembly Bill 5
• Bill Collector Calling? Know Your Rights
• Tips to Protect Yourself From Tax Scams
• The IRS Is Not Always Right
• Select the Right Health Insurance for Your Business
• The IRS Loves Your Business...and That is NOT Good
• Help Older Adults Stand Up Against Scams
• Amazon and eBay Sales Tax ALERT!
• No Excuses. Time to Lower Your Tax Bill.
• How To Protect Your Social Security Number
• You Know You Need Tax Planning If...
• What You Need To Know About IRS Audits
• How to Correct Common Financial Mistakes
• Don't Leave Your Business Exposed
• Watch Out! 7 Vacation Costs That Sneak Up on You
• Major Life Changes Ahead? Read This!
• 7 Tax-Free Ideas to Bolster Your Business Benefits Package
• Stay prepared to sell your business
• Great uses for your tax refund
• How to File Nonprofit Taxes
• Is a Tax Surprise Waiting for You?
• School yourself on the student loan interest deduction
• The 6 Biggest Threats to Your Finances
• Last-Second Money-Saving Tax Moves
• Retirement Contributions Get a Boost in 2019
• 5 Estate Planning Myths
• Disaster Preparedness Tips for Taxpayers and Businesses
• Five Tax Breaks for New Parents
• Setting up Your Business Accounting System
• Ideas to Improve Your Financial Health
• It's tax-planning time
• Managing Money Tips for Couples
• 6 tax benefits of owning a home
• Five Great Finance Tips Everyone Should Know
• How to handle a gap in health care coverage
• Update on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
• When an extension makes sense
• Tax checklist for business startups
• Answers to commonly asked tax questions
• New FASB Standards for Nonprofit Accounting
• The best way to avoid an audit: Preparation
• Boost your retirement savings now
• IRS Urges Travelers Requiring Passports to Pay Their Back Taxes
• Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency
• How to Get a Green Light for Commuting Expense Deductions
• How to cut taxes under the new tax act
• FBI Warns of Online Dating Scams
• IRS issues 2018 standard mileage rates
• Year-end tax checklist
• The Equifax breach and you: be proactive
• Beware of Bogus Charities
• Planning A Wedding Over The Holidays?
Plan For Taxes Too
• Don't Include The IRS On Your Gift List
• Ready To Start Year-End Planning?
Focus On The Big Picture.
• Know When To Sell
• Put Your Tax and Financial House
• Are You Prepared For These Common
• Scams Against the Elderly:
Know the Danger Signs
• Tax Benefits of Corporate Retirement
• Maneuvering the Corporate
Retirement Plan Maze
• Documenting your Business Travel and
• Maximizing your Travel and
• Deducting Business Meals and
• Do Yourself a Favor by Filing
• Do I Need A CPA?
• How to Save Money on Your Tax
• What To Do If You Can't Pay
• What To Do If You Haven't Filed
The best way to weather a storm is often by being prepared before the storm hits. In the case of small businesses, this means building a fortress balance sheet.
What is a fortress balance sheet?
This long-standing idea means taking steps to make your balance sheet shockproof by building liquidity. Like a frontier outpost or an ancient walled city, businesses that prepare for a siege-in the form of a recession, natural disaster, pandemic, or adverse regulatory change-can often hold out until the crisis passes or the cavalry arrives.
Building a fortress balance sheet isn't just a good idea for mitigating risk. Healthy cash reserves can also enable your firm to capitalize on opportunities, expand locations, or introduce new products. Consider these suggestions for building your own fortress balance sheet.
• Control inventory and receivables. These two asset accounts often directly impact cash reserves. For example, carrying excess inventories can deplete cash because the company must continue to insure, store, and manage items that aren't generating a profit. Also take a hard look at customer payment trends. Clients who are behind on payments can squeeze a firm's cash flow quickly, especially if they purchase significant levels of goods and services-and then fail to pay.
• Keep a tight rein on debt. In general, a company should use debt financing for capital items such as plant and equipment, computers, and fixtures that will be used for several years. By incurring debt for such items, especially when interest rates are low, a firm can direct more cash towards day-to-day operations and new opportunities. Two rules of thumb for taking on debt are don't borrow more than 75 percent of what an asset is worth, and aim for loan terms that don't exceed the useful life of the underlying asset. A fortress balance sheet also means that debt as a percent of equity should be as low as possible. So total up your debt, equity and retained earnings. If debt is less than 50% of the total, you are on your way to building a stronger foundation for your balance sheet.
• Monitor credit. A strong relationship with your banker can help keep the business afloat if the economy takes a nosedive. Monitor your business credit rating regularly and investigate all questionable transactions that appear on your credit report. As with personal credit, your business credit score will climb as the firm makes good on its obligations.
• Reconcile balance sheet accounts quarterly. It's crucial to reconcile asset and liability accounts at least every quarter. A well-supported balance sheet can guide decisions about cash reserves, debt financing, inventory management, receivables, payables, and property. Regular monitoring can highlight vulnerabilities in your fortress, providing time for corrective action.
• Get rid of non-performing assets. Maybe you own a store across town that's losing money or have a warehouse with a lot of obsolete inventory. Consider getting rid of these and other useless assets in exchange for cash.
• Calculate ratios. Know how your bank calculates the lending strength of businesses. Then calculate them for your own business. For example, banks want to know your debt service coverage. Do you have enough cash to adequately handle principal and interest payments? Now work your cash flow to provide plenty of room to service this debt AND any future debt! But don't forget other ratios like liquidity and working capital ratios. The key? Improve these ratios over time.
Remember, the best time to get money from a bank is when it looks like you don't need it. You do this by creating a fortress balance sheet!