Category Archives: consulting service

Outsourced Accounting Services: Helping You Focus On Your Business

As a business owner, how many tasks do you manage within a regular workday? Accounting outsourcing is a reliable way of ensuring that you focus on your business. But if accounting is all about the business’s financials, are not you, the owner, best placed to manage it all for your business? After all, you’d know your business inside out, right?Wrong. Accounting services are a specialized area, and outsourcing them only leads you to specialists and experts who then take over all your accounting issues. Here’s a short list of elements that are influenced by how your accounting functions operate. These could also help you decide whether you need to get your bookkeeping and accounting services outsourced.> Basic bookkeeping; keeping records of transactions involving expenses or earnings

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> Utilizing bookkeeping records for accounting purposes> Tax preparation> Utilizing accounting information to create financial reportsThose are simply listings of how professional bookkeeping and accounting services, whether in-house or outsourced, can positively influence the state of your business.Regardless of the size of your business, you will still need to undertake basic bookkeeping and accounting. Outsourcing your accounting function can be a first-step towards ensuring accuracy in your financial reports, while also ensuring you no longer need to take out significant amount of time for accounting, at the cost of your core business services and client offerings. Outsourcing your accounting is also a good way to ensure that all your finances are updated and thorough.Advantages to outsourcing your accounting function:> Timely bookkeeping> Accurate and thorough accounts> Financial reports that are reliable for the purpose of drawing capital for businessBenefits to outsourcing:Most enterprises and small business need careful nurturing before they can take off in the industry of their choice. Most of the nurturing has a financial basis because small businesses and enterprises operate on strict budget limits. Further, if you are not a certified accounting professional or your area of expertise is different, you may end up wasting an inordinate amount of time in managing your accounting.You have accounting software: Accounting software can be complicated, unless you know exactly how to operate it. Outsourcing your accounting can ensure you don’t waste time unnecessarily on correcting mistakes.

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Shifting focus from business: If you immerse yourself in bookkeeping and accounting details once, it can get very difficult to switch roles; particularly if you’re not trained in bookkeeping and accounting. Outsourced accounting services cuts down this time and effort greatly; you get professional expertise working on your bookkeeping and accounting.More reliable outcomes: Outsourced services in accounting are staffed by professionals. You get reliable results, dependable reports, and even support and technical back-up, if you choose the right vendor. All of this translates into profitability and value for money for the business owner.

Consultants and Service Professionals – Should You Put an Expiration Date on Your Proposals?

Professionals and consultants who write proposals might wonder if they should be a deadline on their proposals, or if they should make the proposal open-ended.

I’d suggest you always put an expiration date on your proposals. Here are six reasons why you should.

Six Good Reasons to Put an Expiration Date on Your Proposals

1. It creates a call to action and a sense of urgency. The prospect realizes she must act by a certain date or the offer will disappear or new terms could apply.

2. It gives you are reason to contact the client to move ahead with the project. You could call the prospect a week before the deadline and ask if she has questions about the proposal and remind her that the deadline is approaching.

3. It helps you plan your activity. If all your proposals were to be accepted during the same week, you might find that you have more work than you can handle. By adding a deadline, you’ll know which proposals are active and which are languishing.

4. It protects you in case you need to raise rates. If your fees rise, or if the price of your supplies increases, you’ll be glad you added this deadline as a form of insurance. For example, if gas prices increased, would you be able to do the job for the same amount of money and make the same amount of profit? If your landlord raised the rent, wouldn’t you want to have the ability to raise your rates as well so you aren’t locked into a contract that has lower rates?

5. It makes you look like a professional. Adding a date shows that you are a serious business and that you are willing to walk away from the offer if your terms aren’t met. Remember to have some self-respect. We all want business but we should never be in a position to be taken advantage of.

6. Establishing boundaries is always a good idea in a business relationship. Setting deadlines for action shows the prospect that you are an equal business partner, whose work and experience should be valued.

Sample language for your deadline

I guess I should put in the standard disclaimer to check with your attorney when you put anything into a proposal or contract, but with that said, here is sample language your could use in your proposal, or run by your attorney.

“Terms, fees and conditions are valid for 30 days from the date of this proposal.”

It is short and sweet. It says what it needs to say and doesn’t impose any sense of judgment or pressure on the client. Yet it clearly says what you want it to mean. Of course, you could use whatever time limit you desire, either 30 days, 60 days, 90 days or whatever you like.

If you follow these steps, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand with proposals and prospects so you can run your business more effectively.

Simplified Project Management Framework (SPMF)

The IT division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (CIO) aims to ensure that IT initiatives are innovative and transformational in support of long term FAO strategy; demonstrate a positive sign of success and investment for the future and that agreed IT project timescales, budgets and levels of performance (quality) are met. Recently the IT division has been successful in implementing a simplified project management framework (SPMF) to achieve these aims.

The new Simplified Project Management Framework (SPMF) is intended to provide a broad structure using simple performance monitoring and control mechanisms that will enable measurement against industry best practice benchmarks as the implementation is fully adopted and matures. The principles of the SPMF provide a core approach to project management that can be incorporated in any project management system with the required level of support, monitoring and reporting being varied depending on the project size, complexity and requirements.

It is essential to realise that the project management process commences at the initial conception of the project, rather than after the agreement of “the funding for the project” when the operational delivery begins. As such SPMF provides project management support during the project definition and planning phases of all projects. The full life-cycle can be described as a series of distinct phases, with work progressing from the conceptual phases through to implementation phases and into the operational and post evaluation phase. A key part of an effective project management process is the independent review of project progress at the end of each stage, which is expected to verify the benefits and objectives before agreeing and moving onto the next stage, thereby ensuring that the project owner gains the full strategic benefit of the project.

The right mix of planning, monitoring, and control can make the difference in completing a project on time, on budget, and with high quality results. The basic elements of the framework are five key phases during the life-cycle of a project.

Phase 1: Scoping and Approval (identification of a need)

There is a tendency for projects to short-change the planning process, with an emphasis on jumping right in and beginning the work. This is a mistake. The time spent properly planning the project will result in reduced cost and duration and increased quality over the life of the project. The project definition is the primary deliverable from the planning process and describes all aspects of the project at a high level.

This phase mainly identifies whether the need has been researched and justified; is the project consistent with the FAO and IT division’s strategy; have the various options to approach the project been considered and evaluated; has the cost and benefit to FAO been identified taking into account any longer-term recurrent costs e.g. staffing, as well as shorter-term capital costs; have the major opportunities and risks associated with the project been taken into account; are the appropriate internal resources (including time, personnel and/or skills) available to progress to Phase 2 and the subsequent phases of the project; has ‘in-principle’ approval of the project been sought from the appropriate individual(s)/bodies.

This phase is presented to the IT Board for consideration/approval, if approved the process progresses to the next phase.

Phase 2: Project Planning

After the project definition has been prepared, the work plan needs to be created. The work plan provides the step-by-step plans for constructing project deliverables and managing the project. During the development of the work plan of the project, the major elements to be evaluated are whether the skills the supporting project team possess are adequate for the successful completion of the project; has a detailed project management plan been prepared with SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-limited) targets?

The output of this phase is a project initiation document supported with an IT work plan that identifies all elements of the project deliverables, timeline, resources and costs. Approval of this work plan is a prerequisite for the next phase.

Phase 3: Start up the Project

In order to proceed with the start-up phase, the project needs to ensure that all individuals directly and indirectly associated with the project (including the independent reviewer) clearly understand the objectives of the project and the impact it will have upon them. In addition their responsibilities need to be clearly defined and discussed with the independent reviewer. A simple communication plan needs to be developed to define quick and easy communication with members of the project team and other stakeholders in the project.

This phase must provide assurances that there are no significant time gaps between key milestones and that provision has been made for appropriate interim reviews.

Phase 4: Deliver the Project

The main elements of this phase is to ensure that the project stays on track with respect to the project plan; all the expected products and services are being delivered and objectives achieved; all the scheduled project monitoring meetings have been completed; all project issues have been communicated to the Senior IT portfolio officer and /or resolved; and that all major elements of the project delivery are met, like “on time”, “on budget” and “to quality”.

Phase 5: Close the Project

The SPMF requires the project owner to undertake a project evaluation, immediately on completion, to assess the actual performance of the project in relation to achieving the original objectives, success criteria and that the outputs delivered are as expected.

The lessons learnt need to be documented and used to improve the management of similar projects in the future. Also a well-documented production handover needs to be prepared by the project development team and submitted to the operations team to ensure smooth handover to operations.

The SPMF is a framework that is oriented for both “Water fall” as well as “Agile” methodologies.

The waterfall methodology stresses meticulous record keeping where the client knows what to expect and what their program will do in the end (including cost, size, and timeline of the project). Whereas the Agile methodology follows an incremental approach which starts with a simplistic project design, and then begins to work on small modules. The work on these modules is done in weekly or monthly sprints, and at the end of each sprint, project priorities are evaluated and tests are run. The main impact on the SPMF in the Agile methodology, is that the second to fourth phase of the SPMF are repeated for each sprint until the final delivery of all modules is achieved.

Since the introduction of the SPMF in early 2015, the IT division has achieved over 85% successful traditional project delivery, and 90% success on the delivery of agile development activities. In the future, the IT division will propose further evaluation “Post Project Review(s)” planned for 6, 12, 24 months after completion.

The Importance of Having an Escalation Management Process

“Escalation” is often mentioned when dealing with Incident and Problem Management processes. The ITIL Incident Management process talks about Hierarchical and Functional escalations but did not call out “escalation management” as a separate and important ITIL process within Service Operation.

In my previous organization, escalation management is a well-defined and documented process. It is even handled or managed by a separate dedicated team of people. This “escalation center” function works closely with the Service Desk function. It also supports the field or on-site support engineers who taking on Maintenance and Support roles.

When I started out as a rookie service engineer, the knowledge that there is a team of experts which I can call upon to help out in major incidents or problems is often reassuring. The fact that the Service Desk or an on-site technical or application support engineer has escalated a major incident or problem to the “escalation center” function and there is a team of experts attending to the escalated incident or problem is also reassuring to the Customer.

Escalation Management is to bring order, structure, focused management attention and additional resources to those customer situations which could otherwise result in a high level of customer dissatisfaction and/or damage to the Service Provider’s reputation. These are situations which could lead to significant loss of business to the Customer or IT Service Provider or where significant costs may be incurred by IT Service Provider to resolve the Customer situation. The criteria to trigger an escalation depend on the organization or service provider. But it should be well defined.

The process could consist of the following activities:

  • Initiate an Escalation, based on meeting specific escalation criteria
  • Assign an Escalation manager for the escalation
  • Log the Escalation and link the Escalation record to related Incident or Problem records
  • Escalation manager assigns or appoints the escalation team. The escalation team should include the Incident owner, Problem owner, and other subject matter experts, as required
  • Identify appropriate Service Provider and Customer management contacts
  • Conduct a detailed situation appraisal and review, led by the escalation manager
  • An escalation management action plan, including additional resources needed, is developed in conjunction with the Customer. The escalation management plan is to be executed in parallel with the detailed technical action plan (as per Incident/Problem Management)
  • The escalation management action plan is reviewed and adjusted as required
  • A Hierarchical Escalation (as per Incident Management process) is initiated, if appropriate. Senior management and executives are alerted.
  • Escalation team works to resolve the problem. At each stage, records are updated and management contacts and team are informed of the progress and escalation plan reviewed and adjusted as required.
  • Once resolved to the Customer’s satisfaction, the situation is monitored for an agreed period
  • The escalation team remains on standby and available in case the problem recurs during the monitoring period
  • Once the monitoring period is successfully completed, the escalation is closed by the escalation manager, after seeking agreement with the Customer
  • Once the escalation is closed, a post escalation review is conducted and input provided to the Problem Management process. This can be done in conjunction with the Major Problem Review which is part of Problem Management.

As can be seen above, Escalation Management is closely related to and supports the Incident Management, Request Management and Problem Management processes. It is an important process that should be treated with equal or greater focus as compared to these other well-defined ITIL processes.

What wardrobes need more than just “outfits”?

Garments characterize your identity; henceforth, it is fundamental to keep your closet brilliant unfailingly. A very much arranged wardrobe doesn’t mean you spend best dollars to fill it to the overflow, yet to orchestrate your assets gradually in an adaptable way. Any mindful individual would be glad for having over-the-beat garments and adornments in his/her closet.

Yet, when we discuss the term under thought, we need to acknowledge that it is more than a minor ‘outfit storage room’. A savvy storeroom must have all the closet fundamentals including easygoing clothing types, formal clothing types, wallets, distinctive assortments of shoes, gems pieces, and so forth. More or less, all the ordinary wear and tear stuff.

Begin with maybe a couple things consistently as getting a tasteful organizer isn’t simple. Go simple in filling the rooms. Purchase the stuff, which is of most extreme need. Try not to surge as you won’t turn into a fashionista in a matter of days. Likewise, don’t spoil yourself for luxurious things, which you needn’t bother with. Stop by a steady shop.

Here’s the means by which you can plan and develop your closet in a flexible way.

Overhaul your closet with a smooth new wallet: An “unquestionable requirement in” stuff in the trunk drawer of your storage room is a smooth and straightforward business wallet. Supplant it with fresh out of the plastic new duplicates which can be utilized as the easygoing grasp too.

Dark is evergreen: Black is the meaning of class. From socks to cotton shirts, denim jeans to single-soul heels, half of your pantry must have dark in there. Regardless of whether you are getting late for a conference or for a night out fun, a closet with brimming with blacks won’t make you late.

Fragile Jewelry-Bingo: Ladies, buck up and begin adding fabulousness to your cosmetics compartments. Shop a gold thin line accessory with a clear pendant. You can wear it consistently, and it will improve the great touch of your closet immediately.

An impeccable coat: Let your holders savor the essence of no less than one flawless overcoat that compliments your outline. Approach your trusted tailors and request that they fasten a since quite a while ago sleeved coat that legitimately fits around the shoulders and the abdomen.

Not any more modest footwear: Don’t make your gathering of shoes look shabby. Do a fine look for marked web based business shopping entries and purchase something tasteful for your closet racks. Each time you purchase a footwear, ensure the accumulation is distinctive and a la mode from the earlier buy.

Ties and jewel studs: Have a confined section for your ties and precious stone studs. Attempt a blend and match of your tie sets with various shirts you have, and for the women, even false ones can make you look wonderful. Abstain from dangling hoops and convey the style with jewel studs.

The Role of Managing General Agents

Managing General Agents (MGAs) are leaders of the wholesale insurance market place and function as an intermediary managing the relationships among policy holders, retail producers and the insurance carriers. These agents provide underwriting and administrative services and have the authority to accept and appoint placement from retail agents on behalf of the insurers they represent. Generally, MGAs market more unusual coverage, such as professional liability, for which a particular expertise is required. Insurers benefit from MGAs where such expertise is not available within the company and would be costly to develop.

The purpose of MGAs hired by insurance companies is to supervise their business in a particular territory and they are often referred to as wholesalers, but in no way do they compete with brokers and do not deal with customers directly. MGAs have a unique relationship with their carriers. Depending on the relationship, a MGA may perform tasks normally performed by an insurer; which include, handling claims, issuing policies, sub-contracting with independent agents, collecting premiums and negotiating commissions to name a few. As agents of the insurer, they perform the basic insurance functions for the carrier of underwriting and policy issuance.

According to the American Association of Managing General Agents, an MGA can be used in any line of insurance and includes insurers who are “admitted or not, direct or otherwise, broker or agent system, contract/appoint or open-broker sub-production, or any combination of these.” Typically, MGAs are utilized most in the excess and surplus lines insurance market, but are also found in the commercial and personal insurance market.

When thinking about how MGAs work, it’s best to consider traditional insurance market access where it flows from the insurance company to the retail agent and finally to the insurance buyer. Now consider how the surplus lines market access flows. It works in much the same fashion with one major difference. The MGA acts as the intermediate between the insurer and the agent. In this way, market access flows from the insurance company, to the intermediary, the retail/out of state agent and finally to the buyer.

MGAs are generally entitled to a contingency commission on all business written within their territory. They take a percentage of the commission that would usually go to the producing insurance agent. Being an MGA means personal accountability as well as responsibility for producers. MGAs take on the significant costs involved in being a wholesaler and the investment needed to succeed.

Management – 8 Key Competencies of Successful Managers

Management is a diverse role with a range of responsibilities and challenges that need to be addressed. Competency as a manager is an important part of achieving. So what 8 key competencies do successful managers have?

Competency 1: Results Focus

Successful managers know that at the end of the day it is not what you do but what you deliver that matters. Having a results focus is about knowing what outcomes are required and focusing yourself and those that you manage on delivering the results. This results focus keeps you on track and reduces the scope for distractions.

Competency 2: Making Change

Leaders regularly set out requirements for change. It might be in terms of process, people, service, ways of doing things to name just a few. While leaders will set out the overall direction, managers are the people who need to make the change happen on the ground. This requires them to overcome the obstacles that without doubt will appear as they try to make change.

Competency 3: Planning

Managers do not have the luxury of just having one thing to do. They have to manage money, people, processes, projects, customer relationships and themselves. This requires them to be able to plan effectively so that they get the best results possible.

Competency 4: Team Development

Managers cannot do everything on their own. They need a team around them that can help them to deliver results. Successful managers recognise that team development is an ongoing activity. People come and go from teams and the dynamics that this creates need to be managed. Many team members want to progress and so creating opportunities for growth and development is important.

Competency 5: Risk Management

All areas of business face threats and managers need to become competent at identifying and responding to risk. These risks can range from losing key staff to health and safety issues. Successful managers recognise the importance of identifying and proactively responding to risk.

Competency 6: Decision Making

Until a decision is taken, nothing happens. Managers who procrastinate are a source of frustration to staff. The staff might not always like or agree with the decision that you have made but they will prefer you to take a decision rather than procrastinate.

Competency 7: Communication

Successful managers are effective communicators in 3 areas. They are effective speakers and can put their points forward clearly. They are also effective at getting their message across in writhing whether it is an e-mail or report. Finally, they are effective listeners.

Competency 8: Customer Service Focus

Successful managers recognise that they have customers, even if they are not working directly with the end consumer or user of the product or service. Successful IT Managers see the users of the systems as customers. Accounts Department Managers see budget holders, employees whose salaries they process and suppliers they pay as customers.

Successful management requires you to have a range of competencies. So where are you highly successful and where do you need to develop to be an even more successful manager?

Manufactured Homes 101 – The Things You Need to Know!

Everyone has dreamed of owning their dream house. A place they can call your own. It’s a place of sanctuary to shelter you and your family. Manufactured homes have always been a good option. Putting your money into it is worth while, although, a lot of people are still unsure whether to purchase one.

Factory built houses come in all shapes and sizes. They come in various floorings and fashion that it is easy to find one that will suit your taste. Aside from being way cheaper than houses constructed right on the location, these homes also give you a chance to design your home. Ranging from $20,000 – $100,000, they are ready for transfer to any location you’d want your house to be set.

A Factory Built Home: What is it?

Also known as a prefabricated house, manufactured homes are units of houses constructed in a huge factory. After purchasing, it is then dragged to the site where it can be put ready for transfer to another location or mounted on the ground through masonry groundwork.

Prefabricated homes are constructed upon certain set of codes which administers mobility, fire safety, effectiveness, style and sturdiness. All of these sets of guidelines are closely monitored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The same set of guidelines also manages the electrical, heating and plumbing systems.

The Basics About Prefabricated Homes

Here are some of the things that you need to know about manufactured or prefabricated homes.

  • They are houses built in large factories.
  • After they are constructed from the factories, they are wheeled to the chosen site for the house. It is done by transporting the whole house one portion after the other.
  • Prefabricated home cost less than the houses constructed right on the site.
  • They are used to be regarded as mobile or trailer houses. They come in many designs.
  • They are constructed under the guidelines set by the HUD or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • After transferring the house’s portions in the site, they are put into pieces.
  • Its market value depreciates as time goes by.

So, now that you have the basic knowledge about what a factory built home is, I guess you can clear up your mind and start weighing things. Buying a house is really a good investment of your hard-earned money and considering the given details about prefabricated homes, counting it as an option is not a bad idea after all.

The Importance of Credit Risk Management for Banking

The importance of credit risk management for banking is tremendous. Banks and other financial institutions are often faced with risks that are mostly of financial nature. These institutions must balance risks as well as returns. For a bank to have a large consumer base, it must offer loan products that are reasonable enough. However, if the interest rates in loan products are too low, the bank will suffer from losses. In terms of equity, a bank must have substantial amount of capital on its reserve, but not too much that it misses the investment revenue, and not too little that it leads itself to financial instability and to the risk of regulatory non-compliance.

Credit risk management, in finance terms, refers to the process of risk assessment that comes in an investment. Risk often comes in investing and in the allocation of capital. The risks must be assessed so as to derive a sound investment decision. Likewise, the assessment of risk is also crucial in coming up with the position to balance risks and returns.

Banks are constantly faced with risks. There are certain risks in the process of granting loans to certain clients. There can be more risks involved if the loan is extended to unworthy debtors. Certain risks may also come when banks offer securities and other forms of investments.

The risk of losses that result in the default of payment of the debtors is a kind of risk that must be expected. Because of the exposure of banks to many risks, it is only reasonable for a bank to keep substantial amount of capital to protect its solvency and to maintain its economic stability. The second Basel Accords provides statements of its rules regarding the regulation of the bank’s capital allocation in connection with the level of risks the bank is exposed to. The greater the bank is exposed to risks, the greater the amount of capital must be when it comes to its reserves, so as to maintain its solvency and stability. To determine the risks that come with lending and investment practices, banks must assess the risks. Credit risk management must play its role then to help banks be in compliance with Basel II Accord and other regulatory bodies.

To manage and assess the risks faced by banks, it is important to make certain estimates, conduct monitoring, and perform reviews of the performance of the bank. However, because banks are into lending and investing practices, it is relevant to make reviews on loans and to scrutinize and analyse portfolios. Loan reviews and portfolio analysis are crucial then in determining the credit and investment risks.

The complexity and emergence of various securities and derivatives is a factor banks must be active in managing the risks. The credit risk management system used by many banks today has complexity; however, it can help in the assessment of risks by analysing the credits and determining the probability of defaults and risks of losses.

Credit risk management for banking is a very useful system, especially if the risks are in line with the survival of banks in the business world.

The wonderful landscape designers of New York City

In this present world, the scene architect assumes an extremely crucial part to enhance the nature. In this association, it can be said that NYC scene originators are the most vital ones. They are depended with the most essential assignment of embellishing the scene. It is truly very extreme and hard in the meantime.

Particular elements of the New York City: Now how about we have a look at the part of NYC scene originators. Since time immemorial New York City has been considered as the wealthiest city in the whole world. The vast majority of the products in this city originated from the ports. Money Street is an extremely normal region which is situated in the southern piece of Manhattan in New York City. The greens keepers predominantly build up the preparatory zone of the scene with generally improved choices.

Scene elements of the city: The scene creators of the New York City are very fascinating. The creators help with arranging divides. In any case, there are sure tips in regards to employing scene architects. Before procuring a scene planner essentially consider the extension and accentuation of your outside venture. As a rule, the word scene means the components which are noticeable on the land. Along these lines scene of a district is extremely key in each viewpoint. The vast majority of the scene originators have progressed and proficient degrees. They likewise convey great experience on a similar point. Gone are the days when there was no specialization in scenes. Presently you can without much of a stretch benefit a decent sum and delightful outlines on scenes. Every one of the outlines are lovely and precisely composed.

The city which has as of now an extremely wonderful grand view can be made more delightful and astounding with the assistance of excellent scene plans. The part and obligations of scene planners in the city are expanding step by step. They are for the most part endowed with the obligation to make the city more wonderful and astonishing. These will impact in various ways. On the direct, it will draw in countless and furthermore it will likewise increment and elevate the economy of the nation all things considered. The scene originators are extremely knowledgeable with the excellent trademark elements of the land. They can without much of a stretch expect the great plans once they have a look at it. Other than thisPsychology Articles, the scene planners additionally look upon both the outlines and every single other part of scene engineering of the land. The originators have propelled preparing which helps them to overhaul their aptitudes as it were.