Why Business Owners Should Embrace Effective Internal Controls

Internal controls are the backbone of any small business, whether it’s a doctor’s office or a retail operation. Without them, your business cannot function effectively or profitably.

Here’s what the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) found in their 2014 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud & Abuse:

  • The median loss caused by fraud was $145,000
  • 22% of cases lost at least $1 million
  • 85% of cases dealt with asset misappropriations
  • 39% of cases were corruption schemes
  • 9% of cases dealt with financial statement fraud

Additionally, the ACFE noted that smaller businesses (less than 100 employees) tend to suffer disproportionately large losses compared to larger companies. Employees committed 42 percent of frauds. Collusion – more than one perpetrator – resulted in the largest losses.

The good news is that organizations with internal controls fair better than those without. Here are three ways to ensure internal controls are effective in your small business. 

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4 Keys to Working in Harmony with a Business Partner

Increase Employee Engagement

When you work solo in business, you aren’t required to run things by anyone. However, if you have a business partner, that all changes. Therefore, it is critical for the health of your business that you and your business partner are working in lock-step. Here are four keys to working in harmony with a business partner.

1. Make a mutual decision regarding responsibilities. For example, you may be better suited to handle sales and marketing, while your business partner prefers an operations role. Clearly-defined responsibilities help to avoid conflicts and make the business run more efficiently.

2. Hold an off-site “check-in” meeting at least every two weeks. This meeting could simply consist of having lunch or dinner together to discuss current events in the business. The reason to hold the meeting “off-site” is that an outside venue can provide a more relaxed environment for discussion.

3. Don’t fear the tough conversations. The best business partnerships are based on open and honest communication. There will be tough conversations in business. Some of these conversations will be about performance; others will be about money. If you don’t tell your business partner what’s on your mind, it will lead to animosity down the road.

4. Collaborate with your business partner. Don’t just come in the office and go your separate ways. Instead, find a project you can work on together. Solving challenges together provides a feeling of satisfaction and strengthens your bond. Collaboration fosters trust and makes stronger business partners.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.


Business Analysis – 5 Critical Areas in your Business to Analyze


There are many reasons for a company to conduct a business analysis on itself. These reasons should include everything from gathering data to managing it. It’s a project that needs to have its findings put into a readable format. A business analysis will illustrate the successful areas of the company, provide a path to increased success, as well as plan for the future.  Here are five critical areas to focus your business analysis on for maximum benefit.

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How to Grow Your Business With Freebies

Companies grow by charging customers for their products or services.  The thought of giving free stuff away is counter-productive for businesses.  When done correctly, giving away free stuff can increase revenue and business growth.  Here are some reasons why freebies are a great idea:

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3 Powerful Suggestions to Grow your Business So It Thrives

A business is like a plant; it needs nurturing to grow. Nurturing your business simply means sticking to solid practices that help bring in new sales and clients and retain current ones. If you have started up a new small business and are ready for the next phase of growing it, there are some suggestions you should follow which are outlined below on how to grow your business.

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How to Reduce Labor Costs in Business: 5 Cost Cutting Options You Should Explore

reduce labor costs

When thinking about how to reduce labor costs as a business owner, there are options that you can explore, without having to reduce your staff. Like other areas of managing expenses, reducing the costs of labor associated with running your business is all about finding where fat can be trimmed, without making drastic changes that could negatively impact your company.

So, what can you do?

That’s a question we’ll explore in this post as we talk about how to reduce labor costs while keeping your operations intact as much as possible, so keep reading to learn more.

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Business Relationship Building: The Allies You Need at Different Stages

business relationship building

Business relationship building is something you need to work on early and often as a business leader because your company’s success will largely depend on who you know and the strength of your relationships with these people. You might think that the people I’m talking about are your customers. While that much is true, they’re hardly the only people in this equation.

So keep reading to learn more about what you can do at various stages of your company’s lifecycle and how carrying these actions out can affect your company’s development for the better.

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Characteristics of a Good Employee: 4 Things You Need to Look for in Your Staff

good employee

What are the characteristics of a good employee?

It’s a question that business leaders across the spectrum ask and with good reason.

For just about any company, public perception ultimately comes down to the employees with whom your customers interact. Therefore, you want to be one-hundred percent certain that the people working for you are having nothing but positive impact on your business.

In order for that to happen, I believe that those employees should possess certain qualities that are necessary, no matter what industry you might be in. So keep reading to learn more about the characteristics of a good employee and you’ll see just what it takes to make your business a success behind the scenes.

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Responsibilities of a CFO: What Your CFO Does for Your Business

responsibilities of a cfo

If you’re a business owner looking to hire a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), then you’re likely wondering about the responsibilities of a CFO and how they help you move your business forward. The role that a CFO fills is an important one for a growing business, but not many entrepreneurs know exactly how such an executive keeps things moving forward.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the duties of a CFO and what they do to ensure that your company continues following the path that you have shaped for it.

So keep reading this page to learn more about the responsibilities of a CFO. The information you find here will help you understand what you need to look for from the person who handles your company’s financial future.

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Cash Flow Management Strategies: How to Make Your Money Work for You

Cash Flow Management Strategies

Ask any successful business leader and he or she will tell you that no company, big or small, can survive without the right cash flow management strategies.  It’s important to remember that, as a business, you don’t just have an obligation to your customers; you have obligations to your employees and creditors as well.  That’s why it’s important to keep track of the money that moves through your business.

Cash is king when it comes to managing the immediate needs of your business and when it comes to planning for the long term; so it needs to be adequately managed down to the last cent.  Let’s take a look at some cash flow management strategies that you can apply to your business. You’ll see just why this simple concept has such big implications.

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Manny Skivoflax LinkedIn