Tax Season Security Threats You Need to Know

Tax Season Security Threats You Need to Know

The third annual National Tax Security Awareness campaign started yesterday. Through December 7, it will highlight a daily security topic and mark the launch of a special @IRSTaxSecurity Twitter handle that will keep you aware of emerging threats throughout the 2019 tax filing season. For almost two decades, Altima Business Solutions has been designing, implementing and safely maintaining financial management systems for small businesses. We understand these threats! Here are some basic steps to protect yourself: Secure your networks It’s critical that you secure your network, both electronically and physically. Unless you are an expert, make sure to consult with one. Don’t know anyone? We can recommend these two locally owned firms: Refresh IT PCIT Technology Solutions   Understand security rules and follow them Phishing emails: Phishing emails account for such a large portion of cyber attacks, 90 to 95 percent per IRONSCALES’ 2017 Email Security Report, because companies fail to teach employees about the danger: Do not provide password or any other personal information. Reputable institutions do not ask for it via email. They use secure messaging. Do not open any attachment from an unknown source. Do not click on any embedded buttons or links, especially those that say “unsubscribe” or “remove me from this mailing list.” Instead, block the sender. If in doubt, call the sender. Password: According to the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, “81% of hacking-related breaches leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords.” Use long and unique passwords Issue guidelines for your employees Vary your passwords to make it tougher for cybercriminals to use credentials stolen from one site to access your data on...
What Monopoly can teach you about business funding

What Monopoly can teach you about business funding

Monopoly has been a classic board game for over 100 years but if you’ve played it, you quickly realize what it takes to keep the cash flowing to become a real estate tycoon. But the game offers wisdom that can be applied to the real world of financing. Below are four comparisons to increase your understanding and chances of securing the funding your business needs. 1/ Assets Based on real estate, Monopoly allows you to amass three types of assets: land, houses and hotels. Sometimes, when you are low on cash, you can trade a house or two, maybe a hotel, for a loan from the bank. In your business, your assets can be a piece of land or a building, as well as equipment, vehicles, inventory, etc. This can be used as collateral by a lender to guarantee that you will repay them the loan they approved. 2/ Cash flow Doesn’t it feel good to collect cash every time a player stops on your property and has to pay the rent? Yeah, lenders love that too! If you have a history of consistently collecting revenue, lenders will feel comfortable that you possess that know-how and will continue to produce, providing an ability to repay the monies they lent you. 3/Get-Out-Of-Jail card At times we can use some help from above! In the same way that a get-out-of-jail card bails you out when you need it the most, in real life, a co-signer, someone willing to pledge their assets or personal reputation, could be just what you need to overcome current challenges. 4/Always have cash on hand By far,...
Benjamin Franklin’ Pros and Cons of Using a Funding Executive

Benjamin Franklin’ Pros and Cons of Using a Funding Executive

Benjamin Franklin is famous for many things, from being one of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. to inventing the lightning rod and being on the US$100 note. Maybe less known, he’s also the inventor of a simple but effective decision-making chart: Pros and Cons chart. He himself used it whenever a clear decision could not be made quickly. Rather than spending a countless amount of time with indecision (as he truly understood that time is valuable), he would create a Pro & Cons chart and whichever side was the longest that was his decision. He is known not to contradict his decision once made, therefore, if it was a great tool for one of the first wealthiest men in America, it surely can apply here. Since my last article “What is a Funding Executive?” I have received many opportunities, but also many inquiries to clarify why a Funding Executive is a viable option. So, I have created a Pro’s and Cons chart, Benjamin Franklin style. Here is a quick recap of what a Funding Executive is: A funding executive is a financing expert who interacts with banks and lending institutions on your behalf. They have an in-depth understanding of all the types of business funding as well as a large pool of financing sources. Contrary to a banker, they do not work with one bank or lending institutions but a multitude. Start a conversation today! Our Funding Executives are here and ready to assist you in achieving your funding objectives, which allows you to focus your valuable time on moving your needle.   Altima Business Solutions has pioneered “Funding...
Does Your Accounting Make You Money? If Not, Here is What to Do.

Does Your Accounting Make You Money? If Not, Here is What to Do.

Think of your business as being a big bucket. As you go along, you fill that bucket with everything you learn about your value proposition, your customers, employees, finances, and operations. At some point you may realize that you expend more energies and resources than necessary to progress. Your bucket is leaking! But where is it leaking from? Truthful financial statements will invariably identify the culprit. For almost two decades, we’ve been designing, implementing and maintaining financial management systems for startups, small and medium-sized businesses. Over and over, we have found that there are four core contributors to your leaking bucket: Accounting Operations Sales Cash Flow The first step is to learn how to understand your financial statements. Our expert CFO in residence wrote this educational piece for you: “How do Financial Statements Help Decision-Making”. In this article, we will examine how your accounting could be leaking and how to fix it. The Symptoms Here are some of the most common signs that your books are not as accurate as they should be: You are not staying on top of recording There are many line items on your P&L There is a large suspense account There is no breakdown of cost per goods, service or project You write off everything You are mingling personal and business accounts As an owner, you are not on payroll Cash seems to disappear   The Cure Have a professional general accountant or controller set up your books for your bookkeeper to follow. We all have a friend or acquaintance that want to help or maybe we can just do it ourselves. This is...
Freshbooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning To Traditional Employment

Freshbooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning To Traditional Employment

FreshBooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning to Traditional Employment FreshBooks, the #1 accounting software solution in the cloud for self-employed professionals and their teams, today unveiled a new survey that shines a light on the challenges, trade-offs, and mindset of small business...
Why Timing Is Key for Your Tech Startup’s Success

Why Timing Is Key for Your Tech Startup’s Success

Why timing is key for your tech startup’s success Bivek Sharma, head of KPMG Small Business Accounting, argues why timing is more important than ideas for small tech firms. Watching an episode of Dragon’s Den, one could be forgiven for believing the greatest fallacy of business; that when you add together a great idea and a pile of cash, hey presto, a profitable enterprise is...