Meet Q4 Head-On With Clean Financials

We’re catapulting through 2019 and Q4 will be here in a flash! Maybe the time for spring cleaning your financials blew right by you. Don’t wait until the frantic pace of the holiday season is upon us to prepare your financials for 2020. Now is the time to be sure your books are clean and in order.

Start by identifying any issues that exist with your financial records, and more importantly, your strategies and practices. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Were your high-level financial documents accurate and in balance when you filed taxes for 2018? If not, are they now?
  • What is your current cash flow and do you have a cash-flow forecast?
  • Do you have both short and long-term financial goals and a strategy to reach them?
  • Are your financial goals aligned with your company’s vision and mission?
  • Do you have Key Performance Indicators in place? If so, are they being monitored regularly and acted upon?

If your financials are lacking in any respect, many areas of your business can be negatively impacted including profitability, growth and even how you are perceived by clients and prospects. Now is the time to invest in cleaning up those documents and revising any practices and processes that may have been preventing you from keeping them that way. After all, they provide not only history but direction for your company. They should always be up to date and accurate. Once your financials are in order, you’ll be able to pinpoint trends, resolve issues, and create new processes for success.

Greet 2020 with Clean Financials – Simple Steps You Can Take

  • Create a list of known issues with your financials.
  • Collect on outstanding accounts receivable and deliver on outstanding accounts payable.
  • Ensure that all bank and credit card statements are reconciled.
  • Close out old or inactive accounts for customers, vendors.
  • Double check that payroll records are up to date and ready for W-2s and 1099s.
  • Check whether you have documents on hand that you’ll need for filing taxes.  
  • Verify that stated inventory and fixed asset levels on the books reflect what you actually have.
  • Clean up your balance sheet. Inaccuracies there will throw off your other financial documents like your income statement and cash flow statement. 
  • Generate a profit-and-loss statement and review it (both month-by-month and individual transactions) for mis-categorizations, missing or duplicate entries, fluctuations that are not accounted for, and any other irregularities. Correct entries as needed.
  • Assess your accounting practices and processes. Do you need to change how things are done? Do you need an additional employee or help from a CPA or accounting firm?

If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t fret. You’re tackling this project at the right time, and you don’t have to do it alone! The Minerva group is a full-charge accounting firm that supports businesses on every level — from accounting services and tax preparation to CFO consulting and professional advisory services. Our approach is distinctive in that it partners with business owners to build their financial framework to support business growth.

In addition to bookkeeping and accounting services, we help businesses see their financials from a big-picture, growth-oriented view. This process begins with The Minerva 360 BlueprintTMquiz. Take it today at www.360blueprint.info and get your personalized assessment, recommendations, and the opportunity for a complimentary follow-up call to discuss your results in even greater detail.

To learn more about how we can help get your financials in order for 2019 and on track for a successful 2020, visit http://www.theminervagrp.com/ or contact us.

Taking an Altitudinal Approach to Growing Your Business

Like it or not, owning a business means being accountable for the overall performance of the company. Owners wear many hats, including that of strategist, financial manager, and leader, inspiring the unique culture that drives results. No pressure!

A successful business owner keeps him or herself “out of the weeds”, thinks more strategically, and takes specific steps to lead the company to the next level. While that may sound easier said than done, here are a few things successful leaders do regularly: 

  • They set aside strategic planning time.

This time is critical for leaders as it gives you space to look at your business from an altitudinal perspective. This is where you can begin to align strategic and tactical plans for growth.

  • They pinpoint and address core financial issues and opportunities.

How long has it been since you’ve been able to dive into your financials and really understand the numbers and what they mean? For many business owners, not having clean, up-to-date books or financial data they can rely on is the primary reason for not diving into this aspect of their business. Once your financials are in order, you’ll be able to pinpoint trends, solve issues, and create new processes for success.

  • They create and maintain a growth plan their team can rally around.

By creating and communicating the ways you envision growth for your company, you can get your team on board so everyone is working towards the same goals by contributing in their own unique way.

As a full-charge accounting firm, we understand when your books aren’t in order, your taxes haven’t been filed, or you can’t meet payroll, there is little time to think about anything else, including strategy. The key is to find a way to get “out of the weeds” and create some space for yourself not just to maintain – but to thrive in your business.   

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. While we can help you with the accounting details, we take it a step further. Developed to support a growing company’s growth efforts, The Minerva 360 Blueprint™ provides business owners with the specific tools needed to improve profitability. It’s designed for companies with revenues of $500K to $10M, and starts with the Minerva 360 Blueprint Quiz. From there, we help business owners develop a clear vision for where and how the company can grow, and identify areas that may need attention. Our 360-degree approach includes providing you with:

  • Comprehensive financial statements
  • A written analysis of gaps and opportunities in financials
  • A written summary of key items to be addressed
  • Initial tools enabling the owner to take immediate action  
  • Assessments to help the owner become a more effective leader

Start today by taking the Minerva 360 Blueprint Quiz and begin uncovering factors that are at the heart of your business success and potential for growth. To learn more about us, visit http://www.theminervagrp.com/.

The Minerva group is a full-charge accounting firm that supports businesses on every level — from accounting services and tax preparation to CFO consulting and professional advisory services. Our approach is distinctive in that it partners with business owners to build their financial framework to support business growth. Their 360-degree approach is a unique, holistic formula for success, incorporating both the financial and human aspects of the business.

Leadership Tips for Today’s Small Business Owners

There is no shortage of advice on leadership. But the perception of an effective leader has evolved substantially in recent years, as has the advice. No longer is a great leader portrayed as the detached, authoritarian, ruler at the helm. As we’ve realized that business really is about relationships – both inside and outside our businesses – characteristics now ascribed to great leaders include empathy, transparency, emotionally intelligent, visionary, inspirational, mindful, humble, even compassionate.  

Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Start With Why, addressed this kinder, gentler – yet somehow stronger – leader. He’d examined the practices of leaders who’d achieved legendary success and concluded that, driven by values and convictions, these leaders each knew clearly WHY they were doing the work they did and were able to inspire others to understand and embrace that “why.”

This enlightened perception of engaged (and engaging) leaders is widely embraced. It flows from the top down and has a direct impact on a company’s financials. We’ve seen it time and again when working with business owners, and have compiled some of the best tips for being an effective leader in today’s business world.

Lay the Foundation

  • Know your “Why!” – Be clear on what your business is going to do and how.
  • Have a vision – it provides direction for your business and inspires both employees and customers; people buy into your inspirational vision and your values as much or more than your product. 
  • Cultivate a company culture based on your vision and core values.

Build a Great Team

  • Hire people who are a fit for the job, the team and your company culture.
  • Communicate proactively and effectively, which includes listening to your people. Be clear about your expectations and give honest, productive feedback.
  • Lead by example. Inspire your team by modeling the behavior you wish to see in them. 
  • Delegate! Leaders don’t limit themselves by hanging onto the wrong tasks.  
  • Be transparent. When mistakes are made, use them as a learning experience, which will encourage employees to acknowledge them but also removes the fear of failure.

Keep Growing

  • Take time for reflection and introspection. Being self-aware enables learning more about you and your motivation, and improves business and personal relationships.
  • Avoid the temptation to build silos as your company grows – it may cause your people to lose connection with the big picture and their colleagues.
  • Learn to be a better leader through reading, leadership forums, networking with and being challenged by other CEOs, or hiring a business coach.

Even with the evolution of its definition, the nuts and bolts of successful leadership are no less critical. You still need an astute business strategy, a plan for growth, and solid financials. That’s where The Minerva Group comes in.

We start by ensuring that you have clean, current financials, work with you to align your financial goals and business strategy, help you develop an achievable plan for growth, and even offer coaching services to help you stay on track. Start by taking our complimentary 360 Blueprint Quiz to get clear about where you are today. Then we partner with you to help you plan action steps to get to where you want to be, building a solid financial framework for success so you can do what you do best – lead and grow your company.  Take the 360 Blueprint Quiz today or contact us to get the conversation started.    

Great leadership has been summed up by Zig Ziglar – “You’ll get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Tap Into Your Leadership Energy to Supercharge Your Business Growth

Is it me?

This is the last question we want to ask ourselves when our business growth is stagnating. After all, you started your company with your vision and your dream. You nurtured it and brought it into existence against all odds, so why isn’t it growing like you know it has the potential to? 

Groundbreaking research into an individual’s core energy may help uncover a key to your business’ financial success as well as powerful instruction to determine your life potential. 

If your business isn’t growing the way you imagined or you can’t pinpoint why operations aren’t running smoothly, the answer may lie in your leadership energy. This is the energy you bring to your personal interactions and decision making. When a leader is able to harness and optimize their leadership energy they can motivate investors and inspire peak performance from their people.

The Energy Leadership IndexTM (ELI) assessment measures a person’s core energy makeup under both ideal and stressful circumstances.  Individuals rate themselves on beliefs, self-perceptions, emotional reaction tendencies, and behavior patterns to determine the “E-Factor” of a person’s energetic profile. By understanding your individual “energy/action” composition, you can purposefully shift your perspective to a more optimistic stance and also navigate yourself and your company to higher performance. 

Certified ELI facilitator, Lisa Isom of The Minerva Group, uses this tool in combination with their own Minerva 360 Blueprint™ to guide business leaders towards understanding and using their energy productively to accelerate growth. Lisa is also hoping to bring this topic to Denver business leaders at Denver Startup Week, September 16-20. Vote for her Founder Track program at https://www.denverstartupweek.org/panel-picker/5477-is-it-me-is-your-leadership-energy-plaguing-business-growth.

How to Use the Results from Your ELI

Armed with your own “energy/action” composition, leaders can understand how their own energy integrates into their experiences in seven aspects of consciousness:

  1. Apathy
  2. Anger
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Compassion
  5. Peace
  6. Joy
  7. Absolute Passion

Throughout the day, as you experience and respond to circumstances and events that transpire, your core energy shifts among these seven levels.  Becoming more aware of the energetic consequences of your thoughts, emotions, and actions, you learn to control your expression of energy in response to stressors.  This allows you to wield more influence over the course of your business and positively affect your ability to achieve your goals.

Leaders can utilize their unique energy/action makeup and harness this core energy to:

  • Improve workplace relationships
  • Increase and improve communication
  • Intensify teamwork
  • Raise productivity rises, and
  • Grow profits!

What Leaders Do Next

If you’re interested in taking your leadership skills to the next level and accelerate the growth of your company, it’s easy to get started. Take the Minerva 360 Blueprint Quiz at 360blueprint.info.

You’ll receive a personalized assessment, recommendations, and the opportunity for a complimentary follow-up phone call to dive into your results in even greater detail. To learn more visit The Minerva 360 Blueprint page or contact us.

Includes excerpts from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching paper by Lynn Waldorf, PhD, CPC

A 360-Degree Approach to Financial Spring Cleaning

Tax season is behind us! What was your experience? Did you have everything you needed at your fingertips or were you scrambling to pull documents and records together?

The process of filing your taxes likely brought to light issues that exist with your financial records, and more importantly, your strategies and practices. Now is a great time to invest in some financial spring cleaning. Start by asking yourself the following:

  • Were your high-level financial documents accurate and in balance for 2018?
  • What is your current state of cash flow and do you have a cash-flow forecast?
  • Do you have both short and long-term financial goals and a strategy to reach them?
  • Are your financial goals aligned with your company’s vision and mission?
  • Do you have Key Performance Indicators in place? If so, are they being monitored regularly and acted upon?

If your financials are lacking in any respect, many areas of your business can be negatively impacted including profitability and growth. Perhaps you need to do a 180 where your financials are concerned. If so, look at it from a 360-degree perspective.  

The Minerva 360 BlueprintTMwas created with the business owner’s comprehensive success as its objective. It’s all about keeping your business momentum going…and growing! It begins with a “discovery process” during which your company’s most urgent needs, as they relate to your overall financial picture, are identified. We help the owner gain a comprehensive understanding of their financial position, develop a clear vision for where and how the company can grow, and provide specific tools for addressing various financial elements.

We can take it a step farther by helping business owners understand how their leadership style affects what is working and not working in the business. We do this through Minerva’s Energy Leadership Index (ELI) which helps you tap into your goals and motivations, and then provides you with customized tools to guide you in your unique decision-making processes. We then deliver customized financial and leadership strategies and methods that are essential for taking your company to the next level. Our support continues in a variety of roles – from keeping your books clean and up to date, to developing and implementing a detailed “blueprint” for growth and acting as an accountability partner to help you achieve your vision.   

It’s easy to get started. Take the Minerva 360 BlueprintTM Quiz at www.360blueprint.info. You’ll receive a personalized assessment, recommendations, and the opportunity for a complimentary follow-up phone call to dive into your results in even greater detail. To learn more, visit http://www.theminervagrp.com/ or contact us.

Clean up Your Financials and Your Image

You likely started your business based on something you’re passionate about, something at which you excel, or both. But as all business owners know, there’s much more to a successful business than passion and talent. Financials are, of course, a major component. Another is how you and your business are perceived by clients and prospects.

Have you ever thought about how your financial practices may affect your credibility?

Owners of small businesses are often guilty of trying to do too much on their own. This may be an effort to keep costs down, or perhaps unrealistic expectations of being able to keep all the balls in the air with not enough arms to juggle them.

That was the situation when a small business owner hired The Minerva Group to handle his company’s accounting and help with management aspects of the business. The owner had developed a successful business that required significant travel. Clients typically reimbursed some of his travel expenses but he’d been unable to keep up with billing them for those expenses and was not even paying himself. It’s understandable – he didn’t start the business so that he could do the accounting. But with each passing month, his credibility suffered as disorder within the business became apparent to clients – some of whom began to lose confidence in the company.

This business owner knew the situation had to change and The Minerva Group helped him turn things around.

Financials were brought up to date and cash flow issues were addressed. Appropriate insurance was obtained for the business. Employee records were standardized. And the hefty sum of two years’ worth of reimbursable expenses was recovered entirely! Invoicing for these expenses is now done on a regular basis.

With this financial turn-around, the business took on a new image. Timely invoicing created not only better business practices but also the perception of greater professionalism. Our position as an objective buffer between the client and business owner served to turn the focus to the unique services he offers and portray him as the expert he is, rather than a jack-of-all-trades.

The bolstered image of professionalism not only increased the credibility of this business in the eyes of his multi-million dollar clients but created the impression of a larger company. And the changes in his business have freed up this savvy entrepreneur to invest his time and energy where it belongs – in pursuing his passions and talents and running his company.

If your financial records are deteriorating, your credibility may be suffering, too. Contact us to discuss cleaning up your financials, and perhaps your image as well!

Avoiding the Financial Pitfalls of a Startup

Startups are exciting, and the work is fast-paced! For good reason, everything you do is likely focused on what you know and do best – and not always on your finances. Many entrepreneurs are experts at the products or services they are offering, but need some help when it comes to running a successful business.

It’s easy for the financial component of your business to get away from you quickly and it’s often why new businesses fail. Since funds are not there to hire a staff member dedicated to managing the finances, or there’s a “we’ll get to that later” mentality, things can fall by the wayside – fast.

Here are some common financial and accounting issues new companies face:

  • Bookkeeping has not been done consistently, sometimes not at all.
  • Income taxes have not been paid on time, even after two or three years in business.
  • Payroll taxes have not been paid.
  • Appropriate payroll tax forms have not been obtained from employees or contractors.
  • Expense, credit card and loan record keeping is incomplete.
  • Appropriate bank accounts are not set up.
  • Bank and credit card statements may not be reconciled regularly.
  • Personal and business finances are intermingled.

For some industries, like those in construction for example, there are additional issues that are common including how to correctly differentiate between contractors and employees, job costing issues, and handling payment, record keeping, and tax reporting accordingly.

Perhaps you see your own business in one of these scenarios and here’s what we can do to help:

  • You haven’t been maintaining your books. You have multiple spreadsheets to manage income and expenses or your Quickbooks hasn’t been updated in a long time; bank account and credit cards haven’t been reconciled, loan balances are off, you have several piles of receipts and you just don’t know where to start. We’ll dig in and sort through whatever records you do have and set up or update QuickBooks. We’ll reconcile old bank and credit card statements, determine loan balances, and give you a clean and manageable bookkeeping system.
  • Your income and payroll taxes are lagging. The penalties and fees are starting to add up because you didn’t know which reports needed to be filed and when payments were due. The State and the IRS are sending you notices that seem very threatening, but they’re not very clear about what they want you to do. Do you just pay the amount on the notice or could you owe less because they need a report first? We’ve brought income and payroll taxes up to date even when years behind, ensuring that correct forms are on file, and working with the IRS to abate some of the penalties that had been incurred.
  • Your business and personal finances are intermingled. This situation happens often with startups, and it can be a challenge to set up bank accounts appropriate to the business so personal and business finances remain separate. We’ve helped companies get their business and personal accounts differentiated so your reporting is seamless.

The Minerva Group has over 25 years’ experience dealing with challenges like these. Just as important, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to realize your finances have gotten out of control. Your financial success is our business, and we are ready to help you tackle your toughest accounting obstacles so you can focus on growth! Give us a call or contact us to learn how we can help you.

Get Clear About Your Business Growth with The Minerva 360 Blueprint™

We’re not your average accountants.

You probably had that same thought when you first heard our company name, The Minerva Group. Back in 2011, we set out to build a company that would serve business owners in the places they were most vulnerable – their financials. We did so by creating a level of trust that only comes from responsive service, attention to detail, and timely, accurate information.

This is what we’ve done for the last 7 years, and as our business continues to grow, we continue to expand our service offerings to best meet the needs of our clients.

Who are our clients? Small to mid-size business owners who live and breathe their businesses. These are the passionate people who have the best ideas, run with them, and want to keep growing. These are also the people who simply don’t have time to review their books, prepare their taxes, and understand their financials.

We understand this conundrum and have asked our clients what else we can do to support them in their growth efforts.

And thus, the Minerva 360 Blueprint™ was born!

The Minerva 360 Blueprint is all about keeping your business momentum going . . . and growing! It’s a fast-track program designed to help business owners gain a comprehensive understanding of their financial position and its implications for growth. Specific tools for improving profitability are built in, as are tools to help you:

  • Say yes to the most profitable opportunities
  • Identify financial gaps and uncover areas to grow
  • Take a deep dive into what’s working and what’s not
  • Optimize your processes
  • Make more informed decisions about your business
  • Understand how your leadership style effects your entire business

The Minerva 360 Blueprint is designed for companies with revenues of $1M to $10M and begins with “discovery process” where we identify your company’s most urgent needs as it relates to your overall financial picture. From there, we help the owner develop a clear vision for where and how the company can grow, and pinpoint which areas may need some work.

We do this by performing an in-depth financial assessment of the health of your company, using your past financials as our guide.

From that information, we’ll develop the 360-degree overview, including:

  • Comprehensive review of financial statements
  • Written analysis of gaps and opportunities in financials
  • Written summary of key items to be addressed
  • Initial tools enabling the owner to take immediate action

And, true to form, we take it a step further.

Part of the 360 Blueprint includes Minerva’s Energy Leadership Index (ELI) certification. This index sets us apart by equipping us with the ability to take a holistic look at the business and its owner in ways that help to better understand your goals and motivation. It provides unique tools to assess leadership capabilities, perceptions and attitudes, to implement changes quickly, help owners become more efficient and effective decision makers, and map out Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to achieve more rapid growth.

Upon the completion of the 360 Blueprint, we continue to help in a variety of roles – from keeping your books clean and up to date, to developing and implementing a detailed, strategic Blueprint for growth, and helping you achieve your vision by acting as an accountability partner.

The Minerva 360 Blueprint was created with the business owner’s comprehensive success as its objective. It provides business owners with one-on-one support – focused on your business, your financial picture, and your growth objectives. You’ll also get customized financial and leadership tools that are essential for taking your company to the next level.

To get started take the Minerva 360 Blueprint Quiz. We’ll email you a personalized assessment and recommendations and offer a complimentary follow-up phone call during which we will dive into your results in even greater detail. Click here to set up your call. Regardless of your next steps, taking the quiz can provide you with valuable insights about you and your business. Take the short quiz now!

About The Minerva Group

Our team of bookkeepers, QuickBooks experts, and Accountants make sure your books and taxes are accurate and up to date. Even if you think your books are in disrepair, give us the challenge. We are experts at getting them in tip-top shape.

But we don’t stop there, because our passion is supporting business stability and growth. Beyond general accounting services, we work with growing companies to help them get to the next level. We do this by partnering with business owners in a one-to-one, advisory setting – helping them make better strategic decisions by using financial statements as the guide.