Jeff Matthews

Providing CFO services and Business Transition Services in Ohio

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About Jeff

Jeff Matthews

West Chester, OH CFO

40 Years of Experience

Direct Contact

jeffmatthews@b2bcfo.com

office 513-443-2360

Universities:

Miami University (Ohio)

Certificates & Licenses:

Active CPA license in Ohio

CGMA

Organizations:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants

California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Financial Executive Networking Group- FENG

The Sunrise Alliance

Optimists

Contact Jeff Matthews and receive a free Discovery Analysis™

  • A confidential meeting with the business owner(s), then interview company staff.
  • Look at the company’s financial information and computer systems.
  • Benchmark financial information against industry averages.
  • Create a confidential report of our findings in The Strategy Gameplan™







Jeff’s Bio

Jeff is a Chief Financial Officer with B2B CFO®; offering advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses. His clients are in professional services, manufacturing, IT support, equipment rental, lighting distribution and maintenance, concrete and aggregate, and automotive repair. With over 35 years of financial experience in varied industries, including construction related manufacturing and distribution, sporting goods, consumer products, and service companies, he has served firms ranging in revenue from $25M to $1B as a CFO, Treasurer and Controller. Twice Jeff has helped guide companies through bankruptcy. Jeff has taken a company public and has twice managed the external financial reporting requirements of a publicly-traded corporation.

With over 15 years of experience with private equity financed organizations, Jeff brings a strong understanding of cash management, fiscal control, and creative process improvement. He has played an active role in over a dozen strategic acquisitions and divestitures with deals ranging from $1M to over $200M. His duties have included due diligence, financial modeling, contract negotiation, and post-acquisition integration.

Every company, regardless of its size, needs a Chief Financial Officer® and Jeff strongly believes that a CFO is a strategic partner with the business owner or CEO. His business skills have helped firms through periods of strong growth, cyclical business swings, and recessionary pressures.

Jeff thrives in challenging situations where he can draw on his business acumen to improve the operating results and help companies grow. His areas of strength and achievement include:

  • Cash Management
  • Cash Forecasting
  • Timely Financial Reporting
  • Developing and Implementing Business Metrics
  • Banking Relations and Alternative Financing
  • Strategic Planning and Budgeting
  • Variance Analysis
  • Coordination of Financial and Collateral Audits
  • Business Process Improvements
  • Staff Development, Evaluation, and Training
  • Accounting System Implementations
  • Acquisition Due Diligence and Integration

A graduate of Miami University, Jeff is a Certified Business Transition Expert® and holds an active Ohio CPA license and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation from the AICPA and CIMA.

Contact Jeff (513) 443-2360

 

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Recent Articles

Aug 15Jeff Matthews

Is your CRM working for you?

Aug 15Jeff Matthews

A good Customer Relationship Management system is a powerful tool. I recently attended a networking event with a friend who was almost constantly on her tablet.  At first I thought she wasn’t an attentive listener but then she began sharing information with the other attendees.  Someone ask for a lead in a firm or industry, my friend checked her firm’s CRM system and quickly provided solid information in answer to the request.  She was even able to indicate that her

Jul 12Jeff Matthews

Apprenticeships

Jul 12Jeff Matthews

In today’s tightening work environment, apprenticeships can be an excellent way for employers to develop trained staff and to evaluate them prior to making an offer of regular employment. Apprenticeships fit well in work environments where additional skills training will be required and the job applicants pool is falling behind the demand. There is very little difference between training newly hired employees and in repurposing existing employees who need additional skills to stay with the firm. This concept also applies

Jun 13Jeff Matthews

Internships – do they need to be paid?

Jun 13Jeff Matthews

As the first day of summer approaches and schools are getting out for summer break, many students are looking for work. Some estimates place over a million Americans a year in an internship role.  The University of Cincinnati believe so strongly in the value of on the job training that nearly every area of study incorporates an internship. Most internships are paid roles but some only offer training. Katie Loehrke, an editor with J.J. Keller & Associates and specializes in

Apr 15Jeff Matthews

Work in Retirement and Retirement Readiness

Apr 15Jeff Matthews

I read two sequential articles today on these topics. The first addressed how many people are choosing to work in retirement while the second emphasized how few Americans feel they will have sufficient financial resources to retire. Emily Brandon, the senior editor for Retirement at the U.S. News and author of “Pensionless – The ten-step solution for a stress-free retirement,”[1] wrote laid out seven reasons to work in retirement.   She emphasized the social benefits of being with people, the need

Feb 28Jeff Matthews

Cash, We Help You Get It®

Feb 28Jeff Matthews

Cash flow issues have been a continuous challenge for businesses. The quote below is just as relevant today as it was in 2009. “Cash flow problems are common in business, and people often have a hard time figuring out what’s behind them. But there are actually just a few potential causes: You could have too much cash tied up in receivables or – if you have a product-based business – in inventory.  Or you could have too many deadbeat customers. 

Feb 2Jeff Matthews

The Ohio Biennial Budget Process is Underway

Feb 2Jeff Matthews

The Governor is tackling head on a problem that many business people believe hampers the Ohio business environment – municipal income tax administration. Ohio is one of only a handful of states that allow municipalities to assess income taxes upon those who work or live in their communities.  Many of the jurisdictions in Ohio participate in RITA – Regional Income Tax Agency which facilitates the filing of municipal income taxes, but the balance of the municipalities have their own tax

Jan 24Jeff Matthews

CPAs Using Drones

Jan 24Jeff Matthews

I read an article yesterday in the CPA Insider by Sarah Ovaska-Few entitled “Drones set to invade accounting profession”.[1] My first thought was “yeah right.”  But the article talked about the use of drones in specialized fields such as mining and agriculture. Drones are already being used in the agriculture industry as a faster more comprehensive way to view crops and land from the air. Trimble has a large fulfillment center in this area and is a leader in systems

Dec 20Jeff Matthews

Achieving Better Participation in Company 401k Programs

Dec 20Jeff Matthews

Many companies struggle to get employees to participate and to participate at adequate levels in their own 401k retirement savings. A recent article by Lou Carlozo in the CPA Insider quoted Keith Baker of North Lake College in Dallas, “Here’s a scary fact: The average person at age 65 and up has only $41,800 on average in a 401k or Thrift Savings Plan.”  The article also referred to the Bureau of Labor Statistics which indicated that in the private industry

Dec 14Jeff Matthews

IRS Lowers Mileage Rate to 53.5 Cents for 2017

Dec 14Jeff Matthews

Today the IRS adjusted the standard mileage rate deduction for 2017 to 53.5 cents from 2016’s 54 cents. Lower fuel prices were the principal driver behind the adjustment. The mileage rate for medical and moving also dropped to 17 cents from 19 cents in 2016, while the rate to deduct for mileage on behalf of a charitable organization is 14 cents in 2017. Fixed and variable rate (FAVR) plans will use $27,900 for the maximum standard automobile cost in 2017,

Oct 31Jeff Matthews

IRS Announces 2017 Cost of Living Adjustments

Oct 31Jeff Matthews
Cost of living adjustments

The IRS just announced the 2017 cost-of-living adjustments. There re numerous adjustments but some of the highlights are discussed below. The IRA contribution limits remain unchanged at $5,500 with the catch-up still at an additional $1,000, while the IRA phase-out for IRA contributions also climbed by $1,000 to $99,000 to $119,000 (married) and $62,000 to $72,000 (single head of household.) 401(k) contribution limits are also unchanged at $18,000 and $6,000 for catch-ups. The total that the employer and employee can

Oct 13Jeff Matthews

New Sick Leave Rules for Federal Contractors

Oct 13Jeff Matthews
Sick leave

In September 2015, President Obama signed executive order 13706 requiring companies that enter into covered contracts with the Federal Government to provide covered employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually. They are also required to allow this sick leave to be used for family care.   Late last month the Department of Labor issued the rules for this change. [1] This rule takes effect December 1, 2016.  The order specifically requires the government to require contractors to

Sep 29Jeff Matthews

Pending Rules on Pay Discrimination

Sep 29Jeff Matthews
Pay discrimination

The federal government is concerned that businesses and other governmental units are discriminating on pay based upon age, race, gender and other factors. New compliance rules have been drafted that would improve the information flow to the federal government. The rules would require all employers of 100 or more employees to file a new form EEO-1.  Employers would be required to report the numbers of hours worked, identify their employees’ earnings over a 12-month period and to classify employees into

May 3Jeff Matthews

You can sock away more in your HSA next year

May 3Jeff Matthews
Health Savings Accounts

Health savings accounts are a great way to save for medical expenses. An HSA allows the employee to payroll deduct pre-tax dollars into a special bank account that can only be used for medical spending.  In 2017, the amount that can be saved will increase to $3,400 for self-only coverage (a bump of $50 over 2016) and $6,750 for family coverage-unchanged from 2016. Health savings accounts must be coupled with a “high deductible health plan” which is defined as a

Apr 29Jeff Matthews

Ohio Sales Tax Holiday August 5-7th 2016

Apr 29Jeff Matthews
Ohio sales tax holiday

The State of Ohio just announced a sales tax holiday on August 5, 6 and 7th 2016.  The holiday is geared to the start of school in the fall and will exempt from sales tax: Clothing priced at $75 or less, this is a per item limit not an aggregate purchase limit. In other words, you can purchase multiple items costing less than $75 in a single purchase and the entire purchase will be exempt. See the website http://www.tax.ohio.gov/sales_and_use/salestaxholiday/holidayfaq.aspx for

Apr 28Jeff Matthews

Selling business owners need to consider…

Apr 28Jeff Matthews
Selling your business

In a recent CPA Insider newsletter, Patricia Annino, JD, wrote a nice article entitled Key questions to ask the family business owner who plans to sell.[1]  Ms. Annino is a nationally recognized attorney with Prince Lobel Tye LLP and an authority in estate planning and taxation.  She did an excellent job coaching CPAs to address timing, structure, personal impact of a sale, continuing employment, required earnings after the sale, what benefits will need to replace, finding purchasers, valuing the business

Jan 17Jeff Matthews

Networking

Jan 17Jeff Matthews
Networking

Newly “in transition” folks often seem to think that networking is something they need to do until they find a new corporate role.  In my world as partner in B2B CFO®, I view networking as a way to stay connected with the marketplace, potential customers and people who are integral to my success. Certainly networking is the best way to land your next role but it is NOT an event or something you do until the next role comes along. 

Dec 22Jeff Matthews

The IRS to hire private collection agencies

Dec 22Jeff Matthews
Collection agencies

From 2006 through 2009, the IRS contracted with a number of private debt collection companies with very limited success.  In fact the IRS argued that it could be more efficient handling the work internally. In the recently passed Federal Highway Funding bill, Congress has restarted the use of private debt collection companies.  The private firms will pursue tax debt that is not in the IRS’s active collection inventory, has not been assigned to an IRS employee or for which a

Dec 18Jeff Matthews

The IRS releases the mileage reimbursement rates for 2016

Dec 18Jeff Matthews
Mileage reimbursement rates

Just released from the IRS the 2016 mileage reimbursement rates, the optional standard mileage reimbursement will be $0.54 per mile in 2016, down from $0.575 per mile in 2015. Medical and moving reimbursement rates dropped by four cents in 2016 to $0.19 per mile.  Rates applicable for rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization will remain unchanged at $0.14 per mile. The IRS employee a national firm to study fuel and operating costs across the country when setting these rates. 

Dec 15Jeff Matthews

Form 5500 Filing Dates

Dec 15Jeff Matthews
Form 5500

Benefit plans must annually file Form 5500 with the IRS by July 31 but they can extend that deadline.  The forms present the inflows and outflows from the plan as well as the fees paid and to whom.  The form presents a balance sheet for the benefit plan as shows who received benefit payments. There has been some confusion this year as the Congress extended the deadline for filing in the short-term highway funding bill to November 15, BUT in

Dec 3Jeff Matthews

401(k) – Did Dave get it wrong?

Dec 3Jeff Matthews
401(k)

As many know I am a former instructor in Financial Peace University, the Dave Ramsey Course that has led thousands to a better life through financial discipline.  The FPU program is often held by churches but has been customized for students, military and business audiences.  It teaches budgeting as a family, agreement on spending, planning and saving for emergencies, getting and staying out of debt and retirement savings. In the past couple of years Dave has been criticized by the

Sep 19Jeff Matthews

The IRS issued Special Per Diem Rates for 2015-2016 travel

Sep 19Jeff Matthews

Most companies reimburse employees for actual expenses incurred but some use an alternative per diem rate.  The IRS annually updates the rates that they consider allowable payments to employees on a per diem basis. The new rates apply to travel between October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 and are intended to reimburse the employee for lodging, meals and incidental costs paid or incurred for business-related travel away from home.  There are specific rates for localities that balance the higher

Jul 21Jeff Matthews

I can’t believe he wants to raise taxes!

Jul 21Jeff Matthews

Those who know me realize raising taxes is not something I would be expected to advocate BUT there are exceptions.  I have spent a good deal of my career with firms that supplied materials and services to the public construction industry.  I have seen first-hand how the uncertainty of funding can create a feast or famine mentality in the industry. Our federal roads and bridges are maintained through a fuel tax.  The Federal Highway Trust Fund receives 18.4 cents per

Jul 12Jeff Matthews

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Names B2B CFO® among Nation’s Top 100 Small Businesses at the 2015 Small Business Summit

Jul 12Jeff Matthews

B2B CFO®’s Founder Jerry L. Mills brings top concerns of Small Business Owners and discusses Free Enterprise with members of Congress and Press B2B CFO®, the nation’s largest CFO and Exit Strategies firm for growth-oriented, privately held companies, was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award. Selected from a record number of applications, B2B CFO® was among 100 businesses in the nation, and the only Arizona-based company, honored by the U.S. Chamber at the

May 29Jeff Matthews

Should Earnouts be a part of the purchase price?

May 29Jeff Matthews
Close Up Of Twenty Dollar Bill

An earnout is a delayed payment whereby the buyer and seller agree to a contingent payment based upon future performance criteria.

May 19Jeff Matthews

IRS raises HSA levels for inflation

May 19Jeff Matthews
Taxes Road Sign With Arrow

In Rev. Proc 2015-30, released earlier this month, the service adjusted deductions for annual Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for 2016. “For calendar year 2016, a “high deductible health plan” is defined under § 223(c)(2)(A) as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $6,550 for self-only coverage or $13,100 for family

May 5Jeff Matthews

What sales approach works best when you are the customer?

May 5Jeff Matthews
Home For Sale Sign

Last weekend my wife and I toured a showcase of homes.  I was struck by the approach of a realtor.  His discovery was to ask if we were considering a different home and whether we were “represented”.  He immediately jumped to offering to represent us – read “Lock us in so he gets a commission.” He did not introduce himself, ask our names, ask what might appeal to us or even determine if we wanted to live in an area

Apr 14Jeff Matthews

Cash Cycles – Do you understand yours?

Apr 14Jeff Matthews
Nickels Dimes and Pennies Spread Out

The cash cycle incorporates the time it takes to pay for products and services from suppliers, the time products are in inventory, and the time it takes to collect from customers.  Importers often have to pay for goods at the time of shipment, carry 1-2 months of inventory and wait 30-45 days to get paid.   If the business imports via ocean freight and then ships via truck to its warehouse, the total time from payment to the vendor to payment

Apr 5Jeff Matthews

What is working capital & why does it matter?

Apr 5Jeff Matthews
Profit Spelled Out Using Scrabble Squares

Working capital is a term that financial folks toss around, but its meaning may not be clear to others.   Textbooks refer to working capital as the difference between current assets and current liabilities.  Current assets are those that will probably convert to cash within one year.  Current liabilities are those that will have to be paid within one year.  Cash, accounts receivable, inventory and prepaid expenses are common current assets.  Current liabilities include payables to suppliers, payroll liabilities, the next

Dec 12Jeff Matthews

The IRS releases the mileage reimbursement rates for 2015

Dec 12Jeff Matthews

Just released from the IRS the 2015 mileage reimbursement rates, the optional standard mileage reimbursement will be $0.575 per mile in 2015, up from $0.56 per mile in 2014. Medical and moving reimbursement rates dropped by one-half cent in 2015 to $0.23 per mile.  Rates applicable for rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization will remain unchanged at $0.14 per mile. You may asked why the standard rate is climbing when fuel prices have been dropping.  The IRS uses an

Dec 9Jeff Matthews

Donor Advised Funds

Dec 9Jeff Matthews
Give Generously For Charity Purpose

How is your investment portfolio doing?  Do you have appreciated stock that you want to sell?  Do you have plans to give to charities? There are many ways to express your thanks through giving.  The tax code provides one vehicle you may want to consider – Donor Advised Funds and the gift of appreciated stock. Using a Donor Advised Fund, the taxpayer transfers appreciated stock to the fund.  The fund then sells the appreciated shares and creates an account that

Nov 7Jeff Matthews

Decision Making Matrix

Nov 7Jeff Matthews
Yellow Arrows Pointing In Different Directions

My friend, Rod Sommer, provided this decision making insight that you can use in any business or personal situation. Decisions have to belong to someone.  No decisions are group or consensus decisions. Level 1  The leader makes the decision alone and announces it. This type of decision may apply to an emergency or simply to a decision that does not need the input of others. Level 2  The leader solicits input form others but then the leader makes the decision

Oct 24Jeff Matthews

2015 401(k) contribution levels

Oct 24Jeff Matthews
Wage And Tax Statement

The IRS announced the 2015 cost-of-living adjustments that apply to retirement plans in IR-2014-99.  For 2015, the amount taxpayers may contribute to qualified retirement plans including 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans increases from $17,500 to $18,000.  The catchup contribution levels available to individuals 50 and older also increases by $500, allowing 50 and older taxpayers to defer a total on $24,000 in 2015 into their 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans. The limits for contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRA) did

Sep 22Jeff Matthews

The IRS issued Special Per Diem rates for 2014-2015 travel

Sep 22Jeff Matthews

Most companies reimburse employees for actual expenses incurred but some use an alternative per diem rate.  The IRS annual updates the rates that they consider allowable payments to employees on a per diem basis. The new rates apply to travel between October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 and are intended to reimburse the employee for lodging, meals and incidental costs paid or incurred for business-related travel away from home.  There are specific rates for localities that balance the higher

Aug 26Jeff Matthews

Affordable Care Act – Key percentages updated for 2015

Aug 26Jeff Matthews

The IRS recently released Revenue Procedure 2014-37.  This pronouncement adjusts a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act which are required to be indexed. The Applicable Percentage Table which is used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit was adjusted as follows: Household income percentage of Federal poverty line: Initial percentage Final percentage Less than 133% 2.01% 2.01% At least 133% but less than 150% 3.02% 4.02% At least 150% but less than 200% 4.02% 6.34% At least 200%

Jul 22Jeff Matthews

Why Are the AICPA And The State Accounting Societies Unhappy With The IRS?

Jul 22Jeff Matthews

The IRS may be the easiest governmental agency for taxpayers to dislike but their recent move to register tax preparers has many in the accounting profession unhappy. Some history In February 2014 the IRS lost an appeal in Loving, No. 13-5061 (D.C. Cir 2/11/14).  That decision held that the IRS does not have the statutory authority to regulate tax return preparers[1]   On June 26, 2014, the IRS announced a new voluntary program for tax return preparers called the Annual Filing

Jul 15Jeff Matthews

New revenue recognition rules will impact your business

Jul 15Jeff Matthews

In a joint pronouncement the US based Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board adopted changes to revenue recognition rules.  The effect of the rules will vary by industry and frankly the accounting profession in general is working hard to understand the impact of these rules.  In some cases, the rules may accelerate the recognition of revenue while in others the amount of revenue recognized in a period may drop. A couple of initial highlights: All sales

Jul 8Jeff Matthews

Key Person Insurance

Jul 8Jeff Matthews

Does your business need coverage in the event of the death or disability of a key person? Every organization has key personnel whose loss to death or disability would be significant for the firm.  Large firms may have a deep enough talent base to replace key personnel but that is often not the case for smaller companies. Key person insurance can take a few forms.  The most common is a life insurance policy on key personnel that pays the company

Jul 1Jeff Matthews

Ohio legislators enact new budget cutting measures – HB 483

Jul 1Jeff Matthews

On June 17, 2014, Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly enacted new measures to further reduce the state’s budget.  House Bill 483 contains a number of provisions which lower the tax bill for most Ohioans.  Those improvements include: A 10% cut in personal income tax rates to be phased in over 3 years.  The 1% cut scheduled for 2015 has been accelerated to 1/1/2014.  Beginning after July 1, 2014, withholding tables will be reduced to withhold less from taxpayer’s

Jun 24Jeff Matthews

Fraud Prevention and Internal Controls

Jun 24Jeff Matthews

In my last two blog installments, we reviewed how fraud and theft can impact smaller companies.  This week we will focus on payroll controls. Many of the same exposures inherent to paying vendors exist in payroll but they are often not segregated.  Concerns about confidentiality often lead to a concentration of payroll duties.  I strongly recommend an outside payroll service for companies of all sizes.  The cost of payroll errors is huge, why not outsource them, particularly given the pricing

Jun 17Jeff Matthews

Fraud Prevention and Internal Controls

Jun 17Jeff Matthews

In my last installment, we reviewed how fraud and theft can impact smaller companies.  This week we will focus on vendor payments, company credit cards and expense reports. In the bill payment process, companies are vulnerable on multiple fronts: Purchasing or ordering should be segregated from approval of the charge.   Larger companies use purchase orders to achieve this function but simply having a senior person, other than the buyer, sign off on the invoice will improve the function. Entering invoices

Jun 10Jeff Matthews

Fraud Prevention and Internal Controls

Jun 10Jeff Matthews

The topic of fraud has popped up on my radar a few times recently.  I attended a conference by Stephen Mann of Ossege, Combs & Mann, LLC on Financial Fraud and Internal Controls, and the CGMA recently published an article by Jeffrey Drew summarizing the “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” which was issued by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  This blog series will draw on their material and my own observations. Fraud is most likely

Jun 3Jeff Matthews

Ohio’s Unemployment drops to 5.7% in April

Jun 3Jeff Matthews

There is quite a bit of political posturing going on in Ohio concerning the April drop in unemployment to 5.7%.  But the reality is that in one year, Ohio unemployment has dropped from 7.5% to 5.7%.  Yes, too much of the gain has come from those leaving the workforce and too many people are unemployed but still counted as employed.  But we are seeing improvement and that improvement should be encouraged. At 12,600 new jobs added in April, the state

May 25Jeff Matthews

Tax advice for Donald Sterling will save $323 million

May 25Jeff Matthews

As most of you know, I do not practice as a tax CPA.  In fact, I rely on other more qualified CPAs to prepare my personal returns.  Dr. Wayne Essex of Essex and Associates published a newsletter on May 8, 2014 that I enjoyed so I thought you might enjoy his message as well. “My advice to Donald Sterling owner of the L.A. Clippers. Donald Sterling’s reputation had a bad week last week, but his pocketbook has never looked better.

May 7Jeff Matthews

Networking – Tips and Pointers – Following up with warm leads

May 7Jeff Matthews

“Networking” is a popular buzz word these days and people from all walks of life are being encouraged to network.  Over the past weeks, we have discussed preparation, dress, what to bring to a networking meeting and your message.  This week, we are focusing on what to do when you leave the event. You attend networking functions to present yourself and your firm to attendees.  You want to meet people who will help grow your business and connect you to

Apr 29Jeff Matthews

Networking – Tips and Pointers – Presenting yourself and your firm

Apr 29Jeff Matthews

“Networking” is a popular buzz word these days and people from all walks of life are being encouraged to network.  Over the past weeks, we have discussed preparation, dress and what to bring to a networking meeting.  This week, we are focusing on your message. You attend networking functions to present yourself and your firm to attendees.  You want to meet people who will help grow your business and connect you to potential customers. Think about what questions you might

Apr 19Jeff Matthews

Ohio to Invest in Workers’ Compensation Upgrades

Apr 19Jeff Matthews

The Ohio legislature choose to split Governor Kasich’s mid-biennium review spending proposal into 14 pieces of legislation which allowed HB 493 to proceed swiftly.  The Ohio Society of CPAs prepared the article below outlining the improvements in the systems and processes of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in HB 493. “Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is transitioning to a modernized billing system and a new, more flexible payment schedule. The transition should save private employers 2% and public

Apr 12Jeff Matthews

Networking – Tips and Pointers – You are there

Apr 12Jeff Matthews

“Networking” is a popular buzz word these days and people from all walks of life are being encouraged to network.  Over the past two weeks, we have discussed preparation and dress. What should you bring to a networking meeting?  The answer depends upon the type of event and whether you expect to be sitting or standing.  If you are conducting a one-on-one meeting, either in a business office setting or a restaurant, you will likely have a desk or table. 

Mar 28Jeff Matthews

Networking – Tips and Pointers – What to wear and what bring to a meeting

Mar 28Jeff Matthews

As we discussed last week, “Networking” is a popular buzz word but how do you network? I strongly encourage you to dress the part.  If you are attending an event, dress as you expect others to dress or, better yet, a step above.  If you are meeting one-on-one, consider what you know about the other person’s job and how they will probably dress.  Be consistent and possibly a step higher.  Show respect by dressing nicely. For an event, I prefer

Mar 25Jeff Matthews

Networking – Tips and Pointers – Preparation

Mar 25Jeff Matthews

“Networking” is a popular buzz word these days.  Job seekers are told that networking is the way to connect with employers.  Those in charge of business development know that networking can provide leads and expand exposure  of their firm.  Likewise small business owners are instructed to build their business through networking.  But how do you network? First let’s break networking into two categories, one-on-one meetings and group events.  Many of the tips this series of blogs will address pertain to

Mar 18Jeff Matthews

Sell to me the way I want to purchase

Mar 18Jeff Matthews

I have had two purchasing experiences in the past few weeks that highlighted my frustration with most sales approaches.  The items being considered were very different, one smaller and the other much larger. In one case, the sales person determined my habits and then tried to fit me into a specific product offering.  In the second, the sales person told me her life story and all of her preferences, but did not ask many questions about my needs or preferences. 

Mar 11Jeff Matthews

The IRS issues 2014 regulations limiting depreciation and lease expense on new vehicles

Mar 11Jeff Matthews

The IRS recently released the 2014 inflation adjustments for automobiles (Rev. Proc. 2014-21).  Under Sec. 280F, vehicles are subject to limitations on the depreciation that can be taken each year and the amount of lease payments that can be deducted for certain automobiles. For a number of years, bonus depreciation has been in place to encourage the purchase of new vehicles.  In 2013, bonus depreciation allowed a taxpayer to deduct an additional $8,000 in the first year of ownership.  This

Mar 4Jeff Matthews

Us Marginal Tax Rates

Mar 4Jeff Matthews

Tom Perkins, a legendary partner of the investment firm of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, has been in the news lately for his comments concerning the taxation of the top 1%.  Mr. Perkins has asserted that the current environment of attacks on the successful in America will doom the top 1%. I agree and disagree with Mr. Perkins.  I am a strong proponent of a fair and balanced tax system and feel the rhetoric has swung to a negative and

Feb 25Jeff Matthews

Delayed Lease Accounting Changes are still coming

Feb 25Jeff Matthews

Significant changes have been proposed in the way businesses accounting for the assets and liabilities under leases.  The proposals will require a good deal of work and will put many assets under lease onto the lessee’s books. The exact changes are still being worked through by both the US Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board but both bodies agree that most leases contain a financing component that is not adequately reflected in the lessee’s financial statements.

Feb 18Jeff Matthews

How is your firm going to use its cash? – Part 2

Feb 18Jeff Matthews

Last week we began a discussion on an article by Dan Skelly, an Equity Strategist at Morgan Stanley, addressing whether businesses plan to return excess cash to shareholders or to invest cash in the business.[1] I raised two questions:  Do you have the access to capital to invest in growth?  And will your firm be a buyer or seller in an expanding M&A environment?  This week we will focus on the M&A environment. If you see the logical growth path

Feb 11Jeff Matthews

How is your firm going to use its cash?

Feb 11Jeff Matthews

I recently read an article by Dan Skelly, an Equity Strategist at Morgan Stanley, addressing whether businesses plan to return excess cash to shareholders or to invest cash in the business. Skelly stated “With a stronger economy, management teams may have more confidence to spend on acquisitions, capacity or new projects.  The other key factor is higher financing costs.”[1]  He went on to emphasize that interest rates have been rising, creating greater urgency to complete transactions. This brings up two

Feb 4Jeff Matthews

Baby Boomers delaying retirement

Feb 4Jeff Matthews

A November 2013 Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey [1] highlighted that the average age U.S. retirees say they retired grew from 57 to 61 in the last 20 years.  In fact, 49% of boomers indicated that they do not expect to retire until they are 66 or older.  10% of boomers stated that they did not plan to ever retire. This changing trend has implications for employers and employees.  With fewer Millennials entering the work force, the

Jan 28Jeff Matthews

Compensatory time off

Jan 28Jeff Matthews

Some firms use compensatory time off to compensate employees for working more than their scheduled hours.  For non-exempt employees compensatory time cannot be awarded to the employee in lieu of overtime, even if the employee requests it.  The Ohio law is very clear that any time worked in excess of 40 hours in seven consecutive work days must be compensated at overtime rates.  Substituting time off in another time period does not comply with the law. Also be very careful

Jan 21Jeff Matthews

Consumer Debt is Climbing Again

Jan 21Jeff Matthews

While consumer spending can be a stimulus to the overall economy, mounting consumer debt can also slow future spending and be a drag on a recovering economy. The latest statistics from the Federal Reserve of New York show that U.S. household debt rose 1.1% in the third quarter of 2013 to $11.28 trillion.  That is the largest jump in the measurement since the first quarter of 2008. What is driving the increase?  “Mortgages, the largest component of household debt, increased

Jan 14Jeff Matthews

Subsidies under Obamacare could result in tax return surprises

Jan 14Jeff Matthews

Premium credits in advance under Obamacare are based on current year not prior year income If you qualify for a subsidy under Obamacare and take the subsidy as a reduction in your monthly premium, you could be in for a surprise when you file your 2014 taxes.  The qualification for a subsidy is determined based upon your current year income but historical information is used to project whether the subsidy is available as a premium reduction. Buyers who make less

Jan 7Jeff Matthews

Pension plans end 2013 with great earnings and improved funding levels

Jan 7Jeff Matthews

A recent press release[1] by Mercer highlights the great year that pension plans had in 2013.  Gains were led by the nearly 30% increase in the S&P 500 index. The other less understood component is the change to the discount rate.  Pension plans measure the size of the future liabilities by discounting the projected payments to reflect the present value of those liabilities.  According to Mercer, “The Mercer Yield Curve discount rate for mature pension plans rose almost a full

Dec 30Jeff Matthews

Charitable Giving

Dec 30Jeff Matthews

While many of our readers give to their favorite charities throughout the year, many make a special effort to benefit additional charities during this time. If you have charities that you know well and support, then you hopefully understand their mission and are familiar with how they spend your giving.  Unfortunately, we are all approached to give to groups that we do not know. If you are considering giving to a charity that is new or that you are not

Dec 26Jeff Matthews

Family Business Surviving without the Founder

Dec 26Jeff Matthews

Unfortunately some family members abruptly have to take the reins of a family business due to an unforeseen illness or loss of the business’ leader. While there are a large number of family businesses that will be transferred over the next few years in an orderly fashion, those that have not taken the time to plan for a transition are likely to get less value for the family’s prized asset. When a business leader is removed abruptly, family members and

Dec 10Jeff Matthews

Networking – Through all stages of employment

Dec 10Jeff Matthews

Our firm, B2B CFO®, places great emphasis on building a quality network of business relationships.  Frankly, most of the referrals our partners receive come from a network of trusted associates.  So I spend a fair amount of my non-billable time attending meetings and events that will expose me to people who may become part of that network. Networking isn’t just for those who build customer relationships.  Succeeding in your job may well depend upon building relationships with key people in

Dec 9Jeff Matthews

2014 Mileage Reimbursement Rates

Dec 9Jeff Matthews

Friday the IRS announced the 2014 mileage reimbursement rates.  The rate in 2014 for the optional standard mileage reimbursement will be $0.56 per mile in 2014, down from $0.565 per mile in 2013.  Medical and moving reimbursement rates also dropped by one-half cent in 2014 to $0.235 per mile.  Rates applicable for rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization will remain unchanged at $0.14 per mile. If you wish to read the full text of the announcement it is Notice

Dec 6Jeff Matthews

Financial Information for Investors

Dec 6Jeff Matthews

I will be speaking later this month to a group of start-up entrepreneurs in northern Kentucky on the topic of “Financial Information for Investors.”  It seems only fitting to also share this material with those who read this blog. Investors want to understand your vision for the company and they want to see financial information that is consistent with the fulfillment of that vision.  Your historical data must be well-formatted in a manner that the investor is accustomed to seeing. 

Nov 19Jeff Matthews

How is your relationship with your banker?

Nov 19Jeff Matthews

Some business owners have close relationships with their bankers, others wish they didn’t need a banker and still others only interact with their banker when necessary.  Bankers have a vested interest in your business.  Whether they are in the board room or calling on customers, they want to be assured that their interests are aligned with the interests of the business owner. In our local market, there has been a lot of flux in the banking ranks over the past

Nov 12Jeff Matthews

Should you accept customer credit cards in payment?

Nov 12Jeff Matthews

For some industries this question is moot.  Of course those dealing with high levels of consumer activity must take credit cards in payment.  Retailers, restaurants and online merchants would find it difficult to insist on cash and might not like to receive consumer’s personal checks.  But for merchants who have a B2B business the answer is not as clear.  The banks and processing firms charge high fees for merchant services.  Credit cards remittances to the merchant are often subject to

Nov 5Jeff Matthews

Should I pay suppliers with company credit cards?

Nov 5Jeff Matthews

If you are contemplating paying your business expense with a company credit card, it is important to consider the motivation for using this form of credit.  I am a strong advocate of a well-managed employee credit card program that is paid-off monthly with the issuing bank.  Company credit cards avoid the problem of requiring employees to maintain a personal card for company charges, minimizes expense report processing and, when set up properly, can be blocked to avoid certain classifications of

Oct 29Jeff Matthews

Business Metrics

Oct 29Jeff Matthews

There is no single business metric that is crucial to every business nor every industry. Most metrics are historical measures of ratios and relationships that the business deems critical to their success.  The metrics may be financial but more often are measurements of volume or utilization of employees.   In service industries metrics often focus on utilization of the billable personnel and billable hours versus paid hours.  Call volumes are common metrics for sales personnel as are quote conversions into actual

Oct 22Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Preparing for Your Last Customer

Oct 22Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Mills spends a good portion of “The Exit Strategy Handbook” focused on the areas of due diligence that a buyer will want to review during the sale process.   I highly recommend this section of the book as a primer for those who have not gone through a purchase or sale recently.  There are many areas of review

Oct 15Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Branding

Oct 15Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Mills recommended that businesses focus on four areas to improve their business valuation: Minimizing distractions Increasing sales and sales diversification Improving processes and efficiencies Branding[1] He suggests that the owner may want to have an objective review of the company’s brand as it compares to the competition[2].  A clearly understood brand is a strong element of value

Oct 8Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Improving Processes & Efficiencies

Oct 8Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Last week this blog focused on the need for the owner to enhance sales and sales diversification.  Another way owners can improve marketability of their firm is to improve processes and efficiencies.  Classic examples of process improvements include: Streamlining the order-to-invoice process, getting an accepted quote filled and out the door as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Oct 1Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Increasing Sales and Sales Diversifications

Oct 1Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Last week this blog reviewed steps an owner must take to avoid being distracted during the sale process.  Another one of the areas the owner must focus upon is continuing to increase sales and to diversify sales, including securing new customers, expanding product lines, adding additional complementary product offerings, and growing sales penetration with existing customers. The

Sep 24Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Minimizing Distractions

Sep 24Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Last week this blog covered reasons why deals don’t reach completion.  The primary reason for deals not happening is declining financial performance.  So how does a business owner manage the sale process and keep the business growing and excelling? In “The Exit Strategy Handbook”, Mills lists four areas of focus: Minimizing distractions Increasing sales and sale diversification

Sep 17Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Valuation Adjustments

Sep 17Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.      Business owners use various ways to manage their tax obligations.  The capitalization and legal structure of the firm chosen is just one way an owner can control their tax obligations.  But the tax minimization techniques which make great sense for the business can also reduce a firm’s EBITDA and thereby the ultimate selling price.  Adjustments to

Sep 17Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Increasing the Value of Your Business – Part 1

Sep 17Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®. The value of your business in a sale or transfer transaction is what a willing and able buyer will pay for it when you are ready to sell.  That sounds easy but in reality, coming to terms on a sale price, transfer structure, the timing of payments, holdbacks in escrow and earn-outs can be extremely complicated.  In addition,

Sep 10Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Valuing your business

Sep 10Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   I have worked on over a dozen transactions in my career and can attest that valuing the business can be one of the most difficult issues for both sides of the transaction.   Sellers often believe that their business is worth more than the available buyers are willing to offer.  Buyers don’t want to pay too much but

Sep 3Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – The Success Team™

Sep 3Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   The exit process can be very distracting for the business owner.  Owners need to get the best advisors to assist them through the process.   Jerry Mills coined the term The Success Team™ for this group of advisors.  The Success Team™ should include: Title Role Goal Business Owners Direction and final decisions Increase sales and company value B2B

Aug 29Jeff Matthews

Business Metrics-Cash Projections

Aug 29Jeff Matthews

There is no single business metric that is crucial to every business nor every industry. Most metrics are historical measures of ratios and relationships that the business deems critical to their success.  The metrics may be financial but more often are measurements of volume or utilization of employees.   In service industries metrics often focus on utilization of the billable personnel and billable hours versus paid hours.  Call volumes are common metrics for sales personnel as are quote conversions into actual

Aug 27Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Potential Buyers

Aug 27Jeff Matthews

We are exploring the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook” by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®.   Some owners have identified a strong potential buyer for their company when they near retirement, but others will need to find the right buyer(s). Jerry Mills spells out some of the most common buyers in “The Exit Strategy Handbook”: Strategic buyers, such as a competitor, customer or supplier A investor who sees a financial opportunity Management Buyouts Family

Aug 21Jeff Matthews

The Exit Strategy Handbook – Why should I follow this series?

Aug 21Jeff Matthews

This is the first blog in a series that focuses on the recently released book, “The Exit Strategy Handbook”.  The book was written by Jerry Mills, the founder and managing partner of B2B CFO®. Jerry Mills published “The Exit Strategy Handbook” because there is a literal tsunami of small business sale transactions coming over the next decade.  Millions of small business owners will be transitioning out of their life’s work and looking for someone to carry on what they have

Aug 15Jeff Matthews

Increasing Profitability – Managing Selling General and Administrative Costs

Aug 15Jeff Matthews

Many people think of this area of a company as overhead.  While there is truth in that thought, few companies can survive without an investment in sales staff and administrative support personnel. Measurement is the key to controlling costs in these areas.  If you measure a cost you will have greater visibility to the spending components.   I want to emphasize that many businesses have self-destructed by cutting too deeply and/or failing to invest in these areas of their operations. Selling

Aug 3Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Financing Costs

Aug 3Jeff Matthews

Financing costs fall into multiple categories:  straight interest paid on a recurring basis to a lender, the amortization of up-front points and fees incurred to obtain financing, and preferred stock dividends which must be paid out or accumulated.  The up-front costs are typically amortized over the life of the debt and are a non-cash expense after the initial outlay.    Some businesses have utilized credit cards to finance their business which, while expensive, work much like loan interest.  Leasing is often

Jul 30Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Identifying fixed and variable costs

Jul 30Jeff Matthews

Over a long enough period of time all costs are variable, in the short range some costs are not variable with volume while others are.  Prime examples of variable costs are fuel costs and direct labor costs.  Some portion of labor may be fixed in the near term while other components are variable.  Overtime is an example of an expense that typically moves with increased volume or lower overall staffing levels. Beyond your own common sense knowledge of your business,

Jul 23Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Labor Turnover

Jul 23Jeff Matthews

It is obvious that lower turnover keeps training costs low.  But turnover is also reflective of other issues in an organization.  Is the work environment a place where employees want to get away from?  Is the pay scale competitive?  Is your hiring and screening process weeding out those who can’t cut it in your work place?  Is advancement a possibility for your employees or do they need to leave to get ahead?  Do your employees know that you respect them

Jul 16Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Labor Efficiency

Jul 16Jeff Matthews

All firms have employees whose efficiency can directly impact the bottom line.  One only needs to watch a construction project with workers standing around to understand efficiency.  (In defense of my contractor friends, those guys will often be needed for another phase and having them ready to work is more efficient then stopping the project waiting for them to arrive.) Having a team of people whose skills are properly matched with the work is the key to labor efficiency but

Jul 11Jeff Matthews

What is EBITDA – and Why Should I Care

Jul 11Jeff Matthews

The term EBITDA stands for Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.  The measurement is not an accepted metric in audited financial statements but is widely used as a substitute measurement for a company’s cash flow. By adding back interest, EBITDA removes financing expense from a company’s profit and loss statement.  However, leasing can still cause wide swings in the reporting of income for similar firms.  If one company uses operating leases that are period expenses and another uses capital

Jul 9Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Having the Right People

Jul 9Jeff Matthews

Having the right people implies having the skills on your team that are needed to meet your customer’s needs and also to grow your business.  These skills include both the tangible knowledge skills and the attitudes needed to take your business to the next level. As someone who supports multiple businesses on an as-needed basis, I want to emphasize that not all skills necessary for your business need to come from employees.  A great business team will include advisors from

Jul 2Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Material Costs

Jul 2Jeff Matthews

For many product companies material costs are their largest expense. While it seems obvious that one way to increase profitability is to minimize material costs, there are facets of the equation that warrant more exploration. Material costs include the direct cost of materials used in the production of your products, but also include the cost of delivery and the cost of spoilage or scrap.  Material levels will have a direct impact on warehouse needs, labor requirements, insurance costs, purchasing costs

Jun 27Jeff Matthews

Estimated Changes to the 2014 Social Security Wage Limits

Jun 27Jeff Matthews

The Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration provides projected guidance each May for what we can expect in changes to the wage base for social security taxes.  In their 2013 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, the projection for the wage base in 2014 is estimated at $115,500.  That is up 1.7% from the official 2013 wage base of $113,700. While the

Jun 25Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Geographic Constraints

Jun 25Jeff Matthews

Geographic constraints can work in a firm’s favor or create a very competitive marketplace. A few years ago I was CFO of a very successful ready mix and aggregate operation in Las Vegas.   Ready mix concrete is fungible.  It can be suspended with chemicals but absent those additives the product will harden and be unworkable in less than an hour.   Given the nature of concrete you had to be close to the customer’s job site to deliver your product.  Competitors

Jun 18Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Customer Selection

Jun 18Jeff Matthews

The concept of selecting customers may seem strange.  Many businesses will sell to all those who want their products and services.  What is your ideal customer?  What types of customers drive you crazy? Who you target with your marketing and promotional programs can help in your customer selection.  I have a friend at the local PBS radio station who has explained to me the demographics of their listeners and the range of their signal.  They have very high numbers with

Jun 11Jeff Matthews

Increase Profitability – Product Mix

Jun 11Jeff Matthews

The mix of products you sell, whether services or products, is based on customer demand.  But the products you market and promote can expand your offerings and improve your profits. When you have a dominate product that is in a competitive pricing situation, look to complementary lines to expand your offerings.  Help those who take orders from customers to understand what other products the customer may also need.  Too often the customer service personnel do not have sufficient field experience

Jun 4Jeff Matthews

Increasing Profitability

Jun 4Jeff Matthews

Every business wants higher profits, the question is how best to improve profits and how to manage the resultant growth.  Over the next few weeks this blog will focus on various areas to address in your search for a more profitable business. Value is the most important component to improved profitability.  Your customers must believe that what you offer creates value for them in excess of the price they pay.   Ron Willingham states this in his book, Integrity Selling for

May 28Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

May 28Jeff Matthews

Know your Covenants Banks put covenants on customer accounts to prevent certain actions and to serve as an early warning mechanism in a firm’s financial status. Covenants can be financial or non- financial.  Non-financial covenants typically prohibit certain actions by the company such as paying dividends to owners while the loan is outstanding.  A clause prohibiting a change of ownership without the bank’s permission is also typical.  Other normal covenants require insurance coverage for collateral, timely financial information, covenants that

May 21Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

May 21Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH? Anticipation Discounts should be a last resort When a firm requests a customer to pay early in exchange for an additional discount they are offering an anticipation discount. As you saw in an earlier blog on cash discounts, anticipation discounts can be a very expensive.  If you ask a customer to pay their bill early they will expect a benefit in exchange.  Remember a 1% discount in 10 days versus payment in 30 days translates to annual

May 14Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

May 14Jeff Matthews

Do your suppliers offer early payment discounts? These days interest rates are low but not everyone has an easy time getting qualified to borrow.  However, it is easy to overlook great returns from early payment discounts. The math to compute the effective interest rate on early payment discounts isn’t always intuitive.  If you can receive a 1% cash discount by paying in 10 days or no discount if you pay in 30 days, you can get a 1% return on

May 7Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

May 7Jeff Matthews

Customer Deductions can destroy margins Customers take deductions for a variety of reasons.  Pricing discrepancies are often the cause.  Are your sales and customer service functions communicating with your billing staff so that invoices are accurate?  If not, they will bill incorrectly which is frustrating to the customer and causes cash surprises when the customer delays payment or simply pays less than you expected.  Remember, bad billing can result in undercharges which may never come to your attention. Deductions can

Apr 30Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Apr 30Jeff Matthews

How are you paying for your business insurance? Property and casualty insurance can be a major outlay for companies of all sizes. P&C carriers who have provided coverage to you for a year or more, have assessed whether you are a good partner. Part of your decision process in choosing a carrier has to be price but also ask how the carrier wants payment.  For a low interest rate the carrier may offer to allow you 9 or 12 months

Apr 23Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Apr 23Jeff Matthews

Avoid Late Payment Penalties Paying supplier invoices late can be a useful source of supplier financing, but if the supplier pushes back and hits you with late payment penalties, the cost can exceed the benefit. Many suppliers are happy to have your business and willing to overlook or even agree to extended payment terms.  Some suppliers, and utilities are the classic example, provide zero leeway for late payment.  In fact, their invoices may state a higher amount if not paid

Apr 16Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Apr 16Jeff Matthews

Are you maximizing supplier credit? Suppliers extend payment terms to customers based upon their assessment of the customer’s credit worthiness and market conditions.  Special circumstances may entice a supplier to provide additional credit to the customer thus providing interest-free financing for the customer’s working capital. Special circumstances may include a new product category or location.  It is not unusual for the supplier to provide a larger amount of sample merchandise, promotional material and/or extended credit to support the growth of

Apr 2Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Apr 2Jeff Matthews

Are your customer payment terms competitive? Payment terms vary by industry and often by customer.  Some more aggressive customers will take longer to pay than you allow.  Your challenge is to grant payment terms that are consistent with your industry, your pricing and your need for cash flow. Being granted payment terms is a privilege.  Not all customers see business that way but it is a fact.  Just consider whether you would be willing to grant the same terms to

Mar 29Jeff Matthews

Tax Foundation's 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index

Mar 29Jeff Matthews

The Tax Foundation recently released their annual ranking, the Tax Foundation’s 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index.  All states are ranked based upon a number of criteria shown in the table below. 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index Ranks and Component Tax Ranks State Overall Rank Corporate Tax Rank Individual Income Tax Rank Sales Tax Rank Unemployment Insurance Tax Rank Property Tax Rank Alabama 21 17 18 37 13 8 Alaska 4 27 1 5 28 13 Arizona 25 24

Mar 28Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Mar 28Jeff Matthews

Are you billing quickly and accurately? In some industries invoicing or billing takes place at the point of sale, in others the timing of billing is dependent on more factors. Often billing is delayed awaiting actual freight charges, verifying that a signed delivery ticket was obtained, verifying pricing, or simply because billing is not a daily process. Are actual shipping charges necessary to invoice?  If your firm charged for shipping and handling, could you speed up the billing process using

Mar 26Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Mar 26Jeff Matthews

Do you have vendors who owe you refunds? There are AP audit firms that will do detailed reviews of a company’s vendor payments searching for duplicate payments.  These firms will also review payments to contracts to ensure vendors are billing according to the contract terms. But short of bringing an AP audit firm in to review your payments, there are simple steps that every company can do. A review of your unpaid invoices may reveal that you have unused credits

Mar 21Jeff Matthews

Need more Cash?

Mar 21Jeff Matthews

Do you have stale or slow moving inventory? I recently met with a contact who related a story of finding cash in stale and slow-moving inventory.   A number of years ago I was involved in a merger of two competitors that resulted in duplicate part numbers, overlapping inventories and an opportunity to help finance the deal through SKU justification. In that instance we went through a detailed process of matching the two company’s inventory items and properly cross referencing them. 

Mar 19Jeff Matthews

Need more CASH?

Mar 19Jeff Matthews

Start by knowing who you owe. Most people assume that businesses know their obligations.  Unfortunately that is not always the case. For a business to plan and manage its resources it must measure and track those resources.  Business goals should be measurable, measured and aligned with the compensation and other rewards of the firm.  Managing cash must be a communicated goal of the firm and cash must be tracked and projected. Firms delegate the responsibility to purchase goods and services

Mar 2Jeff Matthews

How can this be? High unemployment, escalating student loan debt and talent shortages.

Mar 2Jeff Matthews

Does anyone else see an irony in some of the news stories these days?   High unemployment, escalating student loan debt and talent shortages.  How can this be? To use terms from my days in manufacturing and distribution, the product mix is out of balance. Yes, we have very high unemployment and even higher unemployment if you count discouraged workers.   The skills and experience those unemployed and under-employed persons possess is not a perfect fit for the needs of employers.  I

Feb 2Jeff Matthews

An Open Letter to Aspiring Great Business Leaders Around the World, by Dan Coughlin

Feb 2Jeff Matthews

Jane Boucher, a friend and member of the The Sunrise Alliance shared the following article by Dan Coughlin in her newsletter. Jane is an accomplished executive coach and certified speaking professional. With Dan’s permission I am including the letter verbatim.  A brief note on Dan is included at the end.   You can review Jane’s bio as well as the other members of The Sunrise Alliance at http://thesunrisealliance.com/dialogue   (To listen to the MP3 Recording of this article, cut and paste

Jan 31Jeff Matthews

What is a CGMA

Jan 31Jeff Matthews

I have been asked what the CGMA designation after my name means.  The CGMA stands for a Chartered Global Management Accountant.  The designation was awarded jointly by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).   The CIMA is a multi-national association of Chartered Accountants representing over 195,000 members in 176 countries.  The CGMA designation recognizes professionals who have deep understanding of finance and have expanded their business skills through experience as management accountants to

Jan 17Jeff Matthews

Getting more timely CASH from your receivables – Part 3 – Collection calls

Jan 17Jeff Matthews

Two weeks ago this space took on the topic of timely and accurate billing to promote prompt collections.  Last week the need to manage the collection process and plan cash was addressed.  In this final installment the topic of making collection calls will be our subject. The most important aspect of a collection call is preparation.  Know your customer, know the transactions in questions and know your boundaries. Collection calls are a fact of life.  Keep in mind your total

Jan 15Jeff Matthews

2013 Federal Tax Withholding Tables Are Now Available

Jan 15Jeff Matthews

With all of the confusion and last minute changes, the IRS is just releasing the 2013 employer tax withholding tables for 2013 in Notice 1036. The new tables reflect the “fiscal cliff” changes and employers should begin using the revised tables as soon as possible.  If you are working with an outside payroll service, I advise you to discuss with them how the tax changes will be implemented to ensure that cumulative withholdings for social security will be properly reflected

Jan 10Jeff Matthews

Getting more timely CASH from your receivables – Part 2 – Managing collections & planning cash receipts

Jan 10Jeff Matthews

Last week this blog covered the importance of timely and accurate billing to turn your receivables into CASH. The person who posts your cash to receivables can likely predict the payment patterns of most customers.  Have this person review the open aging at the beginning of each period and prepare a simple spreadsheet showing when open balances for major customers will likely be received.  Use this to set a collection goal by customer for the firm.  Track the receipts by

Jan 3Jeff Matthews

Getting more timely CASH from your receivables – Part 1 – Timely & Accurate Billing

Jan 3Jeff Matthews

For small businesses that extend credit, the timing of the cash inflows can cause some restless nights.  But there are ways for any business to improve their cash inflows and gain more confidence in the timing of customer payments. The first decision you must address is whether to extend credit to the customer, in what amount and for how long.  It is acceptable to manage all three of these aspects based upon your history and knowledge of the customer. The

Jan 2Jeff Matthews

Ohio Minimum Wage Rates increased 1/1/2013

Jan 2Jeff Matthews

Ohio raised the minimum wage for employees effective 1/1/2013 by $0.15 per hour.  The new minimum wage for non-tipped employees increased to $7.85 per hour.  Tipped employees’ minimum wage also rose to $3.93 per hour. Non-tipped employees are defined as those who do not customarily receive more than $30.00 in monthly tips.  Conversely, tipped employees regularly receive more than $30.00 per month in tips.  Employers who elect to compensate at the tipped rate must be able to show that the

Dec 21Jeff Matthews

The Ohio Department of Taxation changes its attitude on Commercial Activity Tax refunds reversing anti-business practices

Dec 21Jeff Matthews

  Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa and Governor John Kasich announced this week that the Ohio Department of Taxation is changing the policy of notifying businesses of tax overpayments. According to the Department of Taxation, “In the past ODT didn’t notify businesses of overpayments—even if the Department was aware of it—but instead made businesses discover the error themselves and then ask for their money back. If businesses failed to discover the error within a certain amount of time then they

Dec 19Jeff Matthews

Happy Holidays

Dec 19Jeff Matthews

Our family wishes you, your family and employees a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We thank you for your support of our new venture with B2B CFO.  Our first months with B2B CFO have brought great new friends and associates into our lives. After six years on the West Coast, we enjoy being back in Ohio near our family and reconnecting with long-time friends. We pray that the New Year’s blessings will bring you even greater success

Dec 12Jeff Matthews

Health Insurance reform is driving under-employment

Dec 12Jeff Matthews

The press has focused a lot of attention on the official unemployment rate in the United States.  Just recently the rate finally dipped below 8 percent for the first time since early in 2009.  But the unemployment rate does not tell the full story.  We have a huge group of people who are working below their skill level and working less than full-time due to the poor economy. Employers have for a number of years moved many positions from full-time

Nov 29Jeff Matthews

Remote Deposit may be a solution worth investigating

Nov 29Jeff Matthews

You may have heard of remote deposits from your banker but never given it serious consideration.  Do your customers pay with credit cards, checks and/or cash?  If the answer includes a fair number of checks, using remote deposit may be a good alternative to a lockbox or sending an employee to the bank each day. Remote deposit goes by different names in each institution but essentially you have a small desktop scanner that copies the front and back of the

Nov 27Jeff Matthews

Standard Mileage Rates for 2013

Nov 27Jeff Matthews

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued the 2013 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:   56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable

Nov 20Jeff Matthews

Give Thanks

Nov 20Jeff Matthews

Thanksgiving is a time when we reflect and count our blessings. The first Thanksgiving was believed to have been celebrated by our Pilgrim forefathers in 1621, but it wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Our family has many blessings to give thanks for including our thanks for your support and friendship.  We pray that you

Nov 15Jeff Matthews

What is Positive Pay?

Nov 15Jeff Matthews

Positive Pay in a banking context is an anti-fraud service provided by almost every commercial bank in the United States.  It protects the check issuer against counterfeit and altered checks. Positive Pay is an optional service that most bankers strongly recommend for businesses.  Remember, businesses are not afforded the same federal protections the Regulation E provides consumers. The business issues a file to the bank, either through a file transfer protocol or via an upload portal provided by the bank. 

Oct 30Jeff Matthews

Time may be running out for 2012 sales of business to be taxed at current capital gains rates

Oct 30Jeff Matthews

Regardless of your political leanings it seems certain that the tax laws related to capital gains tax rates are going to be in flux.  Some say 2013 will bring taxation on long term capital gains to levels equal to ordinary income tax rates.  At a minimum the fiscal cliff and shifting political situation could well cause an increase in the tax rate on capital gains from the sale of a business. But when I met recently with a leading M&A

Oct 11Jeff Matthews

Is the Federal Reserve policy of low interest rates actually hurting employment?

Oct 11Jeff Matthews

I am not an economist but from a practical perspective, I believe the current extremely low interest rate environment is actually causing higher unemployment, directly in contrast to the Fed’s mandate. What ?  How?  Are you nuts? In my conversations with Baby Boomers I have noted a reluctance to retire.  Many of the boomers were slammed hard by the housing bubble and the subsequent dramatic fall in the stock market.  Their confidence has been shaken and they do not view

Sep 25Jeff Matthews

Bank Reconciliations

Sep 25Jeff Matthews

How often should a business reconcile its bank accounts to its general ledger?  Most businesses get the answer wrong.  Monthly reconciliations are not adequate. The rules that apply to consumers do not apply to business accounts. Consumer Rules:  You have 60 days from the date a periodic statement containing a problem or error was sent to you to notify your financial institution. The best way to protect yourself if an error occurs – including erroneous charges or withdrawals from an

Sep 1Jeff Matthews

Does social media pose a risk of home invasion?

Sep 1Jeff Matthews

I have observed that a number of my friends and family disclose on social media platforms that they are traveling.  This tells all of their connections that the individual, often their entire family and other friends are not home.  Certainly we all hope that those with whom we have connected through Facebook, Four Square, Twitter and LinkedIn are fine upstanding members of the community with no inclination to use disclosed travel plans as an impetus for theft or home invasion. 

Aug 30Jeff Matthews

Ohio Personal Tax Updates for 2012

Aug 30Jeff Matthews

The Ohio Department of Taxation recently released the 2012 personal income tax brackets and the personal exemptions for taxpayers, spouse and dependents. Personal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Tax Rates for Tax Year 2012 From To Marginal Tax Rate Base Tax Liability $0 $5,200 0.59% $0.00 $5,200 $10,400 1.17% $30.52 $10,400 $15,650 2.35% $91.57 $15,650 $20,900 2.94% $214.84 $20,900 $41,700 3.52% $368.93 $41,700 $83,350 4.11% $1,101.30 $83,350 $104,250 4.70% $2,812.70 $104,250 $208,500 5.45% $3,793.96 Over $208,500 5.93% $9,476.63   Each

Aug 17Jeff Matthews

Management lessons from Chick-fil-a’s handling of controversy

Aug 17Jeff Matthews

This is not the forum to analyze the cause of the recent controversy surrounding Chick-fil-a, but as with any well-publicized adversity, astute business leaders will observe the corporate handling of the situation. When faced with a very public and emotionally charged situation, what did the Chick-fil-a franchisees do?  They focused on execution and fundamentals. When groups from both sides of the controversy choose to bring their support and protest to the local franchise restaurant, the Chick-fil-a supply chain was taxed