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Nobody knows your business better than you do. After all, you are the CEO. You know what the engineers do; you know what the production managers do; and nobody understands the sales process better than you. You know who is carrying their weight and who isn’t. That is, unless we’re talking about the finance and accounting managers.

Most CEO’s, especially in small and mid-size enterprises, come from operational or sales backgrounds. They have often gained some knowledge of finance and accounting through their careers, but only to the extent necessary. But as the CEO, they must make judgments about the performance and competence of the accountants as well as the operations and sales managers.

So, how does the diligent CEO evaluate the finance and accounting functions in his company? All too often, the CEO assigns a qualitative value based on the quantitative message. In other words, if the Controller delivers a positive, upbeat financial report, the CEO will have positive feelings toward the Controller. And if the Controller delivers a bleak message, the CEO will have a negative reaction to the person. Unfortunately, “shooting the messenger” is not at all uncommon.

The dangers inherent in this approach should be obvious. The Controller (or CFO, bookkeeper, whoever) may realize that in order to protect their career, they need to make the numbers look better than they really are, or they need to draw attention away from negative matters and focus on positive matters. This raises the probability that important issues won’t get the attention they deserve. It also raises the probability that good people will be lost for the wrong reasons.

The CEO’s of large public companies have a big advantage when it comes to evaluating the performance of the finance department. They have the audit committee of the board of directors, the auditors, the SEC, Wall Street analyst and public shareholders giving them feedback. In smaller businesses, however, CEO’s need to develop their own methods and processes for evaluating the performance of their financial managers.

Here are a few suggestions for the small business CEO:

Timely and Accurate Financial Reports

Chances are that at some point in your career, you have been advised that you should insist on “timely and accurate” financial reports from your accounting group. Unfortunately, you are probably a very good judge of what is timely, but you may not be nearly as good a judge of what is accurate. Certainly, you don’t have the time to test the recording of transactions and to verify the accuracy of reports, but there are some things that you can and should do.

  • Insist that financial reports include comparisons over a number of periods. This will allow you to judge the consistency of recording and reporting transactions.
  • Make sure that all anomalies are explained.
  • Recurring expenses such as rents and utilities should be reported in the appropriate period. An explanation that – “there are two rents in April because we paid May early” – is unacceptable. The May rent should be reported as a May expense.
  • Occasionally, ask to be reminded about the company’s policies for recording revenues, capitalizing costs, etc.

Beyond Monthly Financial Reports

You should expect to get information from your accounting and finance groups on a daily basis, not just when monthly financial reports are due. Some good examples are:

  • Daily cash balance reports.
  • Accounts receivable collection updates.
  • Cash flow forecasts (cash requirements)
  • Significant or unusual transactions.

Consistent Work Habits

We’ve all known people who took it easy for weeks, then pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline. Such inconsistent work habits are strong indicators that the individual is not attentive to processes. It also sharply raises the probability of errors in the frantic last-minute activities.

Willingness to Be Controversial

As the CEO, you need to make it very clear to the finance/accounting managers that you expect frank and honest information and that they will not be victims of “shoot the messenger” thinking. Once that assurance is given, your financial managers should be an integral part of your company’s management team. They should not be reluctant to express their opinions and concerns to you or to other department leaders.

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

 

Together with the advancement of science and technology, technological innovations grew along with it, resulting to the emergence of new equipment and gadgets. No matter how big or small your company is, technology brings both intangible and tangible benefits to become cost efficient and to meet the growing demands and needs of customers. Technological innovations affect corporate efficiency, culture and relationship among employees, clients, suppliers and customers. The type and quality of technology used affect the security of confidential business information.

Due to the burden brought by administrative tasks, like inventory, bookkeeping and records keeping, both big and small companies rely on computers to do their administrative works. The birth of Internet and online social networking sites tremendously decreased the costs of business operations. It also makes it easier for companies to use the Six Sigma management methodologies. Some firms shifted to outsourcing instead of hiring their own personnel due to the low costs associated with it. Because of the huge impact of technological innovations to companies, it is impossible for them to live with it.

Commonly used high technology equipment:

  • Computers
  • Photocopier
  • Telephone
  • Computer printer
  • Internet
  • Paper shredder
  • Multimedia projector
  • Touch screen monitors
  • Computer mouse
  • Laptop computers

Advantages of Technology to Business:

  • Customer Relations. Technology affects the way companies communicate and establish relations with their clients. In a fast moving and business environment, it is vital for them to interact with clients regularly and quickly to gain their trust and to obtain customer loyalty. With the use of Internet and online social networks, firms interact with consumers and answer all their queries about the product. Establishing effective communication with customers not only creates rapport with them, but it also creates strong public image. It allows business enterprises to reduce and to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Business Operations. With the use of technological innovations, business owners and entrepreneur understand their cash flow better, how to manage their storage costs well and enables you to save time and money.
  • Corporate Culture. Technology lets employees communicate and interact with other employees in other countries. It establishes clique and prevents social tensions from arising.
  • Security. Modern security equipment enables companies to protect their financial data, confidential business information and decisions.
  • Research Opportunities. It provides a venue to conduct studies to keep themselves ahead of competitors. It allows companies to virtually travel into unknown markets.
  • Corporate Reports. With technology, business enterprises communicate effectively with their branch offices to deliver quality financial and operational reports.
  • Industrial Productivity. Through the use of business software programs or software packages, it automated traditional manufacturing process, reduces labor costs and enhances manufacturing productivity. It enables companies to increase efficiency and production output.
  • Business mobility. Technological innovations improved companies’ sales, services, shorted lead time on receiving and delivering goods and services. Enables them to penetrate multiple markets at least costs.
  • Research capacity. It enables them to conduct studies on various companies to gain knowledge on the new trends in the market and way on avoiding them.

 

Financial accounting’s focus is on the financial reports distributed to people outside of the company. The major component of financial reporting is the financial statements: income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and the statement of stockholders’ equity. The income statement indicates a company’s profitability during a specified time period such as one year, three months or one month.

Under accrual accounting the income statement reports the amount of revenues earned and the expenses that were incurred to earn the revenues. Expenses also include costs that expired during the period of the income statement. If a corporation’s stock is publicly traded, the income statement will also report the earnings per share of common stock. The balance sheet reports a corporation’s assets, liabilities, and stockholders’ equity as of a specific instant, such as midnight of December 31. Most balance sheets will group all of the current assets and all of the current liabilities. This allows readers to easily see the corporation’s working capital and current ratio. The statement of cash flows organizes the explanations of the change in cash and cash equivalents into three sections: operating activities, investment activities, and financing activities. The statement of stockholders equity provides a summary of the changes occurring to stockholders’ equity during the accounting period. The changes include net income, dividends declared, purchase of treasury stock, and other comprehensive income.

In order for the readers of these financial statements to make comparisons with other companies, it is necessary that the financial statements follow some common rules. The rules are referred to as generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP (pronounced gap) and consist of several components. One component of GAAP is the basic or fundamental accounting principles and concepts such as cost, matching, going concern, economic entity, materiality, conservatism, consistency, reliability, and others.

Another part of GAAP includes the detailed rules established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or FASB (pronounced fas Bee). These pronouncements are entitled statements of financial accounting standards. FASB interpretations are also part of GAAP. The accounting rules established by the predecessors of the FASB remain as GAAP unless they have been superceded by the FASB.

Lastly, GAAP includes industry practices. For example, the balance sheet of a public utility will list the plant assets ahead of its current assets. Unique reporting practices often occur in industries that are regulated by government agencies.

The financial accounting and financial reporting of publicly traded corporations also include the annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Form 10-K), the annual report to stockholders, and various press releases on financial matters.
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Do you love chocolate? Do you also love fine foods, baking and cooking? If you are only looking to improve your chocolate skills by making dishes at home, you can start with the many cookbooks on the subject. To be a simple chocolate maker, you can start at home, go to a continuing education class, or attend some classes at a local junior college. But if you are looking to really cash in on your love of chocolate, you may want to become a Chocolatier.

If you are more serious about the art of making chocolate, you can attend a culinary school to learn the trade. Learning how to transform the raw cocoa bean into chocolate is usually the first step of a chocolatier. Chocolate makers take chocolate in its original form, the bean, and then transform it into delicious candies and baked goods. Chocolates will range in sweetness, butter fat content and extra ingredients.

Becoming a Master Chocolatier

You can pursue your chocolate obsession as a chocolate maker, a culinary pastry chef, a confectioner or Master Chocolatier. A chocolate maker might be self-taught, but a culinary chef or Master Chocolatier will require specialized training.

To become a pastry chef, one will need extensive training at one of the many Culinary Institutes around the world. Any university that offers culinary programs or a specialty school will normally have a pastry program. As a pastry chef you will gain knowledge of the entire industry including baking, chocolate making and confections. Some schools offer specialties in chocolate but most are broad based.

Many of the institutions offer programs that run from bachelors degrees in Applied Science to first level certificates of knowledge. Different opportunities will open for those who hold a degree as a Pastry chef. A pastry chef can learn to specialize in chocolate or choose to branch out into other culinary avenues, such as baked goods.

The last phase of learning the skill of chocolate making is to become a Chocolatier. Chocolatiers specialize in chocolate, as well as dishes that have chocolate as one of the main ingredients. Once you achieve this level you will be able to deal with chocolate in all forms!

There are only a handful of schools in the world that focus only on the art of making chocolate. Once you attend such a school you will graduate as a master chocolatier. These schools area scattered all over the world, including Belgium and South Africa. These programs teach every aspect of chocolate making and the chocolate business. In the US, the Arts Institutes of America and American Culinary Institute have pastry chef programs where chocolate making is part of the curriculum.

 

Accounting is usually seen as having two distinct strands, Management and Financial accounting. Management accounting, which seeks to meet the needs of managers and Financial accounting, which seeks to meet the accounting needs of all of the other users. The differences between the two types of accounting reflect the different user groups that they address. Briefly, the major differences are as follows:

    • Nature of the reports produced. Financial accounting reports tend to be general purpose. That is, they contain financial information that will be useful for a broad range of users and decisions rather than being specifically designed for the needs of a particular group or set of decisions. Management accounting reports, on the other hand, are often for a specific purpose. They are designed either with a particular decision in mind or for a particular manager.

 

    • Level of detail. Financial reports provide users with a broad overview of the performance and position of the business for a period. As a result, information is aggregated and detail is often lost. Management accounting reports, however, often provide managers with considerable detail to help them with a particular operational decision.

 

    • Regulations. Financial reports, for many businesses, are subject to accounting regulations that try to ensure they are produced with standard content and in a standard format. Law and accounting rule setters impose these regulations. Since management accounting reports are for internal use only, there are no regulations from external sources concerning the form and content of the reports. They can be designed to meet the needs of particular managers.

 

    • Reporting interval. For most businesses, financial accounting reports are produced on an annual basis, though many large businesses produce half-yearly reports and a few produce quarterly ones. Management accounting reports may be produced as frequently as required by managers. In many businesses, managers are provided with certain reports on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis, which allows them to check progress frequently. In addition, special-purpose reports will be prepared when required (for example, to evaluate a proposal to purchase a piece of machinery).

 

    • Time horizon. Financial reports reflect the performance and position of the business for the past period. In essence, they are backward looking. Management accounting reports, on the other hand, often provide information concerning future performance as well as past performance. It is an oversimplification, however, to suggest that financial accounting reports never incorporate expectations concerning the future. Occasionally, businesses will release projected information to other users in an attempt to raise capital or to fight off unwanted takeover bids.

 

  • Range and quality of information. Financial accounting reports concentrate on information that can be quantified in monetary terms. Management accounting also produces such reports, but is also more likely to produce reports that contain information of a non-financial nature such as measures of physical quantities of inventories (stocks) and output. Financial accounting places greater emphasis on the use of objective, verifiable evidence when preparing reports. Management accounting reports may use information that is less objective and verifiable, but they provide managers with the information they need.

We can see from this that management accounting is less constrained than financial accounting. It may draw on a variety of sources and use information that has varying degrees of reliability. The only real test to be applied when assessing the value of the information produced for managers is whether or not it improves the quality of the decisions made.

The distinction between the two areas reflects, to some extent, the differences in access to financial information. Managers have much more control over the form and content of information they receive. Other users have to rely on what managers are prepared to provide or what the financial reporting regulations state must be provided. Though the scope of financial accounting reports has increased over time, fears concerning loss of competitive advantage and user ignorance concerning the reliability of forecast data have led businesses to resist providing other users with the detailed and wide-ranging information that is available to managers.

If you’ve been involved with online marketing for any length of time, you’re probably at least relatively familiar with the terms “article marketing” and “bum marketing.” If you’re not, don’t fret. This article will explain these two things for you. They’re actually really simple concepts to grasp, so it won’t take long for you to learn them. Then, we will discuss their current effectiveness (or lack thereof) as an internet marketer’s business model.

What Is Article Marketing?

Quite simply, article marketing is the process of writing simple articles and submitting them to websites known as “article directories.” Such directories include sites like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, and GoArticles. At the end of each article you submit, you are able to include links back to your website (or landing page), where you make your offer.

What Is Bum Marketing?

“Bum Marketing” is a term that was coined a few years back by a top internet marketer named Travis Sago. It is essentially the same as article marketing, but incorporates the use of all types of free social media sites, commonly known as “web 2.0 properties.” In addition to the article directories, bum marketers will be submitting their articles to sites such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and the “big daddy” of the bum marketing world, Squidoo.

How Effective Are These Business Models?

The truth is, both bum marketing and straight article directory marketing were once incredibly powerful business models. All sorts of folks were making healthy online incomes using one or both of these methods. Unfortunately, if you fast-forward to a few Google updates later, the story changes dramatically.

You see, the name of the game in the world of free online marketing is to get your content ranked high in the organic results of the search engines, especially Google. And articles submitted to article directories and web 2.0 sites used to consistently rank on the first page of the engines, sending droves of free traffic to these articles, which would in turn send lots of great targeted leads to the marketer’s offer pages.

Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Today, self-hosted websites get the lion’s share of search engine love. This is not to say that article marketing and bum marketing techniques don’t still have their place. They most assuredly do. But their primary role has shifted dramatically.

Instead of using these particular strategies to send direct traffic to your money sites, it is now far more advisable to use both the article directories and web 2.0 sites to gain valuable, in-content, anchor text backlinks pointing to your self-hosted web pages in an effort to get these pages themselves ranking in Google and other search engines.

 

Digital Marketing is much like modern architecture in many ways. It is the way of the world and these guidelines are just a start to get your business off on the right foot. Mastering digital marketing isn’t a cakewalk. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, it is the required result of digital channels to promote or market products and services to consumers and businesses. It believed to be wavering these days as many companies that once used the old style of marketing are now going digital. It is essential in today’s world that a company which exists physically, must exist digitally as well. It is believed that existing digitally enhances advertising process. There exist a different and more approachable digital marketing tools like web designing, pay-per-click marketing, SMS, and email marketing. The following article will educate you in not one but many ways.

Direct marketing and advertising is an advertising in which companies offer physical marketing and advertising materials to consumers to communicate details about a service or product. Inbound marketing can likewise be an essential tool in the continuing retention of present customers, by creating communication with those customers and enabling business to engage with other customers by giving informative, educational result together with product promotions. While outbound marketing could reach a larger audience, additionally, it runs the danger of barring uninterested consumers also. If you prefer to do better marketing without harming your finances, direct marketing will probably be somewhat decent for you. Second, content promotion is a pull, instead of a push, strategy. To the contrary, it is a refreshingly new concept in marketing which provides a unique comprehension of consumer behaviour.

Content can typically be about a service or a product, it might be item, price, service charges or the selling of digital products like books, movies or software. It is something that helps in relaying old customers and thereby helps in pulling traffic from popular search engines. The very first and most crucial issue is quality content, try using attractive words that could connect nicely with readers. Step one on any advertising (or indeed, marketing) campaign needs to be to recognize the aims and goals of the campaign and the way they fit into the aims and goals of the business all around. Digital advertising and marketing campaigns will need to rely on these limits to be prosperous. Together with creating great advertising text (copy), you may want to study the way you can earn a corporation’s marketing campaigns visually appealing, through the usage of banners, images, videos and more.

Although these facts may be true, but sometimes it gets difficult to do all these techniques in the company. Therefore, known and recognized companies and firms may hire a digital marketing agency to do on behalf of them. Most renowned digital marketing agency may not only offer quality and dependable benefits, also they have a digital marketing and advertising strategist which may help plan the most helpful campaigns. To be successful in today’s day, companies need to continuously create new content that doesn’t only get them found but also lets them capture leads. Soon it won’t be enough for businesses to understand what you might want. All businesses wish to strengthen their relationship with clients and prospects. Now everyone is aware of what the business is shooting for. It is essential that businesses optimize their online properties effectively to be able to get to the top of the entire important search engine result page.

Even though many mistake digital for internet, to their surprise online marketing is only a part of the huge digital marketing framework. In a broader sense, the net is the centre of digital marketing. It has made easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. Since you can see the internet is by far not the only spot for marketers to assemble success, even in past couple of years. The web and the world have brought in an entire new perception of the advertising market. Thus, if you need to effectively advertise your business on the internet then seek the services of a renowned digital advertising company at the earliest.

Many people get confused about the role of advertising in the marketing mix so here’s a simple view of where it fits in.

In the traditional marketing model, we talk about the 4 P’s

o Product

o Pricing

o Place

o Promotion

The last section – Promotion is what we mean when we say you are “doing your marketing”. It’s your communications or your actual marketing activities.

But first, let’s get clear about the PURPOSE of marketing and why you want to get good at it.

“The PURPOSE of marketing or it’s biggest task is to

persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you

can present your offer. Done well they come waving their

credit card and ready to buy so there’s no need for hard sell.”

Whenever and wherever you get in front of your potential market is your marketing opportunity – you are communicating or getting your message across.

You could say this started as far back as Babylon when the Town Crier was the only delivery method! They went around town shouting out to people to go to the marketplace and you went to the marketplace with your goods to “present your offer”.

With the invention of print and other technologies you now have a smorgasbord of delivery methods or media to reach people such as

o Print – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, newsletters

o Phone, mail, fax

o Radio & TV,

o Internet – through websites, blogs, social networking sites, email, video & Audio podcasts

o Teleseminars & webinars

o Mobile media – Blackberrys and mobile or cell phones

o And lets not forget in person public speaking and networking

Now that range adds a level of complexity. But choice is good and you don’t have to use all of these but they are available to you.

In any event you’ll either be speaking or writing. Simply narrow down what makes sense for you and your business and use your strengths to work out a plan.

JUST remember the marketing principles remain the same no matter the medium – so the PURPOSE of your marketing is still the same. To persuade prospects to visit you online or offline so you can present your offer.

So where does advertising fit into this?

Advertising is simply a subset of your marketing activities it’s the SALES function when you make the sales pitch or “present your offer”. This could be verbal or written in all the same media you use for your marketing communications. What adds to the confusion is sometimes big companies use image based ads for awareness so the “sales pitch” isn’t obvious.

But the primary purpose of advertising is to SELL.

So you create ads in one form or another and get them in front of your audience.

Small businesses can’t afford to waste money on image advertising that is designed for the masses to promote a well known brand. It simply isn’t designed to sell, NOW.

What I do and recommend is Direct Marketing which is based on one-on-one relationships and uses proven direct response advertising techniques instead of mass advertising.

The purpose of a direct response advertisement is to get a response, NOW! Which means these ads actually ask the prospect to DO something.

Whether you’re building a list, selling a product or service, an appointment or even something you are giving away – you still need to “sell” it to your prospect. And ask them to take the action you want them to take to move them through the sales process.

In a nutshell, advertising is a subset of marketing and direct response marketing and advertising is the champion for small business.

 

It’s all over the magazines, frequently featured on television, and even some newspapers are in on the game. Advice on what to wear and what not to wear. The people we surround ourselves with tend to be all too happy to share their thoughts on our outfits. It’s hard to avoid, because the message is everywhere, and if we don’t follow the trend, we’re told we’ve “let ourselves go”.

But does it really matter? After all, the main purpose of clothing is to keep us warm and safe from the environment that surrounds us. Clothes are meant to be functional. Without fur or feathers to keep us comfortable, we rely on different materials to do the job for us. It certainly is nice when clothes look attractive, but no matter how appealing something is, if it doesn’t feel pleasant against the skin and if it is a pain to wear, why should we subject ourselves to it simply because it’s fashion?

One fashion statement has divided women’s opinions for decades – the high heeled shoe. Some women wear them because it’s generally thought that they make legs look good. Some wear them because they make you look taller. Some actually find them comfortable to wear, whilst others can’t manage to walk more than a few steps in them without twisting an ankle. They can cause foot problems, leg and back pain, all in the name of fashion. Is it worth it?

The answer is not as straightforward as it seems. Generally speaking, the older we get, the less we care about what’s in and what’s out. We’ve decided on what we like to wear and what we feel comfortable in, so when we go on a shopping spree, we’re likely to get more of the same or similar. We may get the occasional “fancy” item for special occasions, but if we like our jeans and trainers, that’s what we will return to on a day to day basis.

Like any industry, fashion is about money. The constant change in trends that makes people change the content of their wardrobes throughout the year is designed to keep us spending our cash. If fashion magazines told us that the latest must-have is, in fact, the same must-have as last year, and the year before that, people would only replace that item if it were damaged or if it didn’t fit anymore. To keep customers on their toes, and to keep people in the industry in work, fashion must keep evolving.

That doesn’t mean that we have to follow along. Not unless we want to. There’s no point in purchasing clothes just because they’re trendy if we cannot afford or long to do so. Yes, pretty clothes can help when we want to attract a partner, but unless that partner is part of the fashion industry or someone who follows the latest trends to the dot, they’re unlikely to care all that much.

My advice is to go for what you like, regardless of what the media tell you to wear. If you want to look good, just about anything will work if it’s suitable for your body type and skintone. If you like to dress to impress, go for it. If you like your high heels, go for it (though I wouldn’t wear them all the time – give your feet the break they deserve). If you like your clothes made for comfort, feel free. Don’t let anyone tell you you’ve let yourself go just because you like your hooded tops. They don’t have to wear them.

Everyone should be free to dress how they like. If you like what you wear, it helps you feel confident, and that’s far more attractive than the latest designer dress.