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...
3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

3 Smart Ways to Win More Sales

Whether you are just getting started or not, your sales are directly tied to the number of people you can reach who are genuinely interested in what you are selling. Winning more sales comes down to solving these three challenges. 1. Choose your customer If you reach more of the right people, you will get more clients! In business, 20% of your customers generates 80% of your revenues. It’s the 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle, named after Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who found, in the early 1900s, that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This may come as a surprise, but this distribution occurs frequently in all areas of life. It is also an incredible tool to grow your business. So why spend energies on these target customers that will generate the least? By identifying the characteristics of your 20%-customers, you can focus your efforts on reaching people who match that profile. I’ll show you how to in the next steps.   2. Find their big problem The basic premise of business is to offer a product or service that people would pay for. In short, if you fix their big problem they will pay for it. Value is in the eye of the beholder! Do you truly understand what their pain is? When the first laser printer came out, as Hewlett-Packard was getting their new model to market, they realize that customers didn’t care about printing the most beautiful graphics. What they wanted above all was silence! Their big problem was that, at the time, existing printers were making such...
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...
These To-Do List Methods Will Help You Finally Get Organized

These To-Do List Methods Will Help You Finally Get Organized

These To-Do List Methods Will Help You Finally Get Organized For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been on a mission to create the perfect to-do list. I’ve tested multiple apps from Evernote, Any.do, to Wunderlist. I’ve used physical and digital post-its. Earlier this year, I even attempted to keep a bullet...