Prepare to see many changes in the tax code in 2010 and 2011, partly due to the costs of providing economic stimulus during 2009. You may be concerned about the possibility of an audit, so here is some information that may help you prepare for this possibility.
Targets and compliance
Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is often credited with the statement, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This column has discussed the lies and the damn lies.
Last month, we reviewed the lies in financial statements, which are both legal and ethical; this month, we move up to illegal and unethical actions. Electrical contractors must be vigilant to avoid the steps that can lead to lies and avoid being victimized.
When pundits offer statistics in support of their opinions, it is hard to know whether to trust the numbers; economics and finance are difficult enough to navigate without suspecting that someone with an agenda is deliberately misleading you.
The year-end holiday season prompts decisions about giving to charitable organizations, customers and employees. It may seem cold-hearted to evaluate gifts in terms of the potential return on your investment, but it is simply a bad business practice to distribute wealth out of habit.
Despite the dire predictions and handwringing surrounding you, it is possible to prosper during tough times. Be aware of the most common events that lead to contractor failures, and you can adjust your business strategy to avoid them. Watch for these warning signs:
In the first column of this three-part series, I discussed the relative value of money. Last month, we looked at the effects of changes in value, such as inflation and deflation. Now, let’s look at how the government attempts to manipulate the economy.
Last month, we defined money and its relative value in the marketplace. This month, we’ll analyze who benefits when the value of money changes. Keep in mind that the laws of physics also apply to the value of money: what goes up must come down.
The National Electrical Contractors Association's standing policy on energy independence acknowledges the electrical industry’s important role in advancing economic stability and growth. It’s a fact proven through more than seven decades.
When stock market investments and property shrink in value, it is tempting to convert them into safer vehicles, such as bank deposits. Is the banking system still safe, or is it a house of cards that will collapse under pressure?
As the new presidential administration implements its economic recovery program, no one knows how your electrical contracting business will be affected. It’s like waiting in line at the amusement park, with one big exception. At the park, you choose the rides you enjoy the most.
The holidays are over, and you are facing a new calendar and a tough economy. When money is tight and the market is down, it’s time to look for waste. When you start a business, you are conscious of every purchase and monitor cash flow.
Even with a new administration coming to Washington, D.C., next month, electrical contractors will struggle to accept the recent bailout and its effect on the economy. What can we learn from the factors that created the debacle?
You probably spend 80 percent of your resources serving 20 percent of your customers. Sometimes, breaking up with your most difficult clients is the best way to improve employee morale and your bottom line.
Oil prices are affecting everything, from transportation costs to commodities, and you may be tempted to alter your pricing to increase your backlog as a cushion against future uncertainty. Maintaining your sales revenue is like a game of basketball: most games are won by just a few points.
Last month, we explored the first three steps of FRICTO, a framework for analyzing asset-financing alternatives. As a reminder, FRICTO is difficult to apply to privately held electrical contracting firms in its entirety, since it relies on market-driven stock price for some calculations.