How to Successfully Take on a Business Partner 

The horror stories of business partnerships gone awry, often sound like bad divorces. Most of these stories serve as cautionary tales as to why we should never take on a business partner.  Of course, it’s possible to start and grow a business without partners, but there’s also nothing wrong with a good partnership. So should you take on partners and if you do, how do you create a good partnership?

The decision to take on partners is your choice alone.

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File Naming Conventions: Best Practices to Save Time (& Money)

Dear CFO,
I am an accounting manager at small injection molding company. I’m also over the IT administration. Many of our employees complain they can’t find files in the system when they want them, myself included. I also have concerns about the security of some of the files. I am wondering if there are tips for filing best practices in a small company that might make this easier.
Can’t find it, Detroit

That has a familiar ring to it. In the small company I ran, finding files and information was a common problem until we established standard file naming conventions and filing procedures.

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Let’s Talk KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

There is much discussion of key performance indicators: what are KPIs? How to set KPIs? How to organize your dashboard? Let’s clear up some of the confusion as to what KPI means as well as discuss how to choose YOUR key performance indicators for YOUR dashboard.

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Employee Onboarding & Orientation: How To Prepare Your New Hire for Success

In today’s tight labor market, employee onboarding has never been more important. It’s often challenging to find and hire the right people for your company. When you finally hire, it’s essential to have processes in place to help him or her succeed.

So, you’ve hired the perfect (or near-perfect) employee and they’re ready to start their new and exciting position with your company. Now what happens? Effective employee onboarding is critical to seamlessly integrating new hires into everyday operations and company culture.

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How Can a CFO Establish Formal Closing Procedures?

Dear CFO,
I am the CFO of a mid-sized manufacturing company with three divisions. I am required to have “final” numbers to Senior Management by the 5th workday. It’s like pulling teeth to get the required information from everyone involved. I’m the one who looks bad when the numbers are late. How do I get the accountability without much authority?
Tired of the battle, Scarsdale, New York

I can empathize, having been in a similar situation. In my case, I was at Corporate and the division accounting people reported up through the division presidents; therefore, I had no direct authority to address the problems.

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Setting Up a Coherent Chart of Accounts

Putting together a chart of accounts is the necessary first step for any organization to create an efficient accounting system. Charts of accounts are useful for keeping data organized and tracking expenses for the company. However, not all businesses understand what a well-designed chart of accounts looks like. Here are useful tips for setting up a coherent chart of accounts. 

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Deliberately Creating a Company Culture

All companies have a culture. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it’s better to select and cultivate the culture you want. Sitting back and allowing your company culture to develop naturally, may result in an unintentional, unprofessional environment inevitably derailing your business. As Steven Covey says, “Start with the end in mind.”

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Improving Profits Through the Use of Quality Control

Quality control extends well beyond checking for defects of a manufactured product or service prior to delivery. Effective quality control is ubiquitous in an organization. It supports the complete and effective performance of each job while ensuring every interaction with the customer is successful. Expectations made clear for every position as to how each job should be performed and the ways departments should communicate/interact is key to successfully embedding quality control into your organization.

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Improve Your Delegation Skills: Common Traps and How to Avoid Them

Delegating effectively can lift the performance of both you and your company. Strong delegation skills are a vital tool, offering benefits for both the person who delegates and the team member delegated to. However, not all delegation is effective. Here are the common traps and how to avoid them. 

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