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Anything for a Buck

by Trilogy Partners on Apr 01, 2019 10:58:28 AM

Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risk. So how does Trilogy Partners help manage potential risk? We help owners fully understand the financial story of their business including the danger of “Anything for a Buck”.

It starts with an idea, for a product or service that you can do better than anyone else. This idea will make you more money than you’re earning now PLUS, you make the rules and set your schedule.

So, you make the leap. You buy the domain, create a website, and hang out your shingle. You are open for business.

The phone rings! It’s a friend who needs X. Now X isn’t exactly what you do but after a brief conversation, you accept the work because you’re just starting out.

Then you get an email from someone who needs Y. Y also isn’t what you do but it’s close enough, so you write a proposal.

Time passes and you take on work that is within your strategic plan and some that’s not. You are working hard, putting in more hours than planned, yet the ROI isn’t there. Your vision of working smarter, not harder, isn’t panning out and you’re not sure why. What went wrong?

Instead of committing to your vision, you decided to do anything for a buck.

Consider my very first client, AFAB, aka “Anything For A Buck”. That was their business model and it didn’t work. Here’s why.

AFAB tried to do a bit of everything for anybody. Every time they quoted a job, they were starting from scratch and that takes time. They couldn’t build on experience, because every job was different and required new and unproven resources and processes. In a nutshell, they were guessing. Often, they would lower their quote to secure a project, minimizing the value of their brand. Also, by not specializing, the quality of their work suffered, and they did not stand out from the competition.

Stick to your vision. You know what you do well and why it adds value. You’re passionate and that passion shows. Every time you deviate from that model, you are spending time and money trying to reinvent a wheel that someone else has already invented, someone who is passionate about that wheel. Your time IS MONEY. Taking a lower rate of pay or a lower gross margin is a false positive. On paper, it looks like the business is making money, but unless you’re taking a fair market salary for what you’re doing, profits are overstated.

At Trilogy Partners, we understand how difficult it is to turn away a customer, especially a paying one who you genuinely want to help. But learning how to measure which clients and work are profitable is essential to the health and sustainability of your business. We can help you define your strategy and design a financial plan to support your vision. Call us at 609-688-0428 and let’s get started.

What Accrual Basis Accounting Can Do For You

by Trilogy Partners on Sep 29, 2017 10:59:45 AM

Many early stage companies and small businesses use elementary cash-basis accounting, a simple method by which income is recorded when cash is received and expenses are recorded when cash is paid out. Often, there can be a significant time gap between recording the action (sale or purchase) and its result (payment or receipt of money).

While a small business may prefer cash-basis accounting, Trilogy Partners recommends using accrual accounting if it ever seeks additional investors, bank loans, or contemplates a sale, merger or acquisition.  In this case, the company will need historical financial statements, prepared on an accrual basis, in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  Typically, these financial statements are required for the three preceding years and are also necessary if the company is required to be audited by a public accounting firm.

The complexity of recreating historical financial statements in compliance with GAAP can be both costly and time consuming especially when combined with a public audit. Any delay can prevent a timely closing of a strategic transaction and can exacerbate a cashflow problem. It is more prudent to initiate accounting methods and prepare GAAP compliant financial statements from the very beginning.  Thereby, the company will always be ready for any future financing or strategic transaction. Financial statements prepared for tax return purposes typically are not prepared on an accrual basis and will not suffice.

Consider ABC Company whose accounting records were being maintained for tax purposes only.  They acquired two companies in two years and never recorded the purchase accounting.  In addition, they utilized office space and other properties owned by the CEO and did not record the liabilities.  Subsequently, there was a downturn in the industry resulting in a liquidity crisis and ABC decided to sell the business. They found a buyer who required, among other due diligence, audited financial statements.  ABC Company attempted to engage an audit firm, however there were no financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. After defaulting on bank loans and paying high fees for accountants to create GAAP financial statements reflecting proper accounting for the two acquisitions, an audit was successfully completed.  During that period, the prospective buyer provided a bridge loan at punitive rates.  After four months of attorneys, outsourced accountants and auditors, ABC successfully closed a deal however, the sale was at a significantly lower purchase price all because they did not maintain financial statements that could be audited in a timely manner.

At Trilogy Partners, we believe it is better to plan for the future and BE PREPARED for opportunities when they arise.  If you’d like to learn more about accrual basis accounting and GAAP, contact me at taiken@gettrilogypartners.com or (609) 688-0428.

Revealing the Treasures in Your Accounting Records

by Trilogy Partners on Aug 29, 2015 7:59:04 AM

Every business owner has access to a treasure chest that many are afraid to open.  Occasionally, their accountant shows up, opens the chest and tells you how much to send to the IRS…followed by an invoice for their work.  You may never even look at the paper work, the system or the checkbook…you’re focused on keeping your business busy and your clients happy.

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