May 30, 2013

CFMA Survey Provides Construction Industry Benchmark Data

The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) survey, released annually, provides construction companies and their financial professionals with real data that is compiled with the intent to provide benchmarks and industry standards for comparison and discussion purposes.  Using benchmarking can be misleading for a variety of reasons, but reviewing industry standards and common practices can be very informative.

The most recently published CFMA survey discussed “Effective P&L Budgeting and Cash Management in a Recovering Economy” in the Hot Topic section.   Among other items, survey respondents were asked to identify:

  • P&L and cash budgeting policies and procedures
  • Preparation, review, and distribution frequency and methods
  • Methods used to improve cash inflows and decrease cash outflows

The Hot Topic results show that:

  1. A large majority of companies employed methods for budgeting their P&Ls, while a lesser majority employed methods for cash flow budgeting.
  2. P&L budgets were most often prepared annually and reviewed monthly.
  3. Many different methods were used to accelerate cash inflows.  In addition to front loading the schedule of values, taking advantage of ACH payments, utilizing current technology to e-mail invoices, scanning checks received, and negotiating lower retention rates were very popular.
  4. A large majority of respondents used pay-when-paid clauses in contracts with subcontractors and paid retentions to subcontractors that corresponded with their retention schedules to decelerate cash outflow.

If your company is not already utilizing some form of budgeting and/or cash management, you could be losing out on money now and in the future.  Please contact your Anders’ advisor to discuss these topics or other findings from the CFMA annual survey in more detail.

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May 30, 2013

Improved Management Processes at Manufacturer

At the conclusion of our initial audit, we submitted recommendations for improvement to management.  Over the following three years, we worked with them to implement the suggestions that provided their organization with the most benefit.  Management now has a greater sense of comfort over its inventory process and believes its internal controls are operating more efficiently and effectively.

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May 29, 2013

Assisted a Not-for-Profit Investment Fund Meet SEC requirements

May 18, 2013

What is the Culture of the Firm?

I’ve always found Anders to be a very welcoming family-oriented firm. When I first started here, I had just moved from out-of-state and did not know a soul. People from all departments made an effort to introduce themselves and gave me great ideas on how to get to know St. Louis. I felt they genuinely wanted to get to know me. Anders made it very easy to transition from one state to another. Even though there are more than 100 employees here, I consider some of my co-workers to be like family.

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May 9, 2013

Proposed OMB Circular A-133 Auditing Changes

New reforms have been proposed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that could drastically change the way audits are performed under OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. The proposal aims to combine all various regulations that must be followed when administering grant programs into a single, comprehensive guide.

The biggest proposed change is increasing the threshold for single-audit requirements from $500,000 to $750,000. This means that entities spending less than $750,000 in federal awards in one year will not be subject to audits performed under OMB Circular A-133. These organizations will not be completely off the hook, as they will still need to have their records available for review by governmental agencies, various pass-through entities, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Also included in the proposal is a reduction in the number of compliance requirements from 14 to 6. In addition, the proposal includes a number of other proposed changes to improve reporting and oversight. The proposal was published February 1, 2013 and the comment period just closed May 2, 2013.

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May 7, 2013

CQI – That’s the Remedy

Ever wonder how better-performing medical practices excel and you feel like yours is standing still?  CQI.  That’s right – continuous quality improvement.  From patient access through on-going management of the business of healthcare, better-performing practices strive to get better.  You have probably used some CQI techniques in the clinical side of your practice but not applied similar techniques to the business side.

The easiest way to get started is to use an Operational Assessment approach.   What is an operational assessment?  A disciplined approach to addressing an operational issue or goal.  They can be conducted internally or by an external party.  They can focus on your entire practice or one particular pain point.  They can be directed toward revenue stream, production, efficiency, or expense right-sizing.

How do you go about being a better-performer that adopts CQI as its mantra?  Successful operational assessments include many steps, such as:  clearly identifying what you want to improve and why; analyzing data on the existing process; identifying hindrances toward reaching your goal that are inherent in the existing process; developing the new approach and testing it!  And as always, move on to the next initiative so that you are always in a CQI frame of mind, emphasis on the C!

Be sure to join us for our webinar on May 22 “Improving Financial Viability in Your Medical Practice” to learn more about using operational assessments and a CQI frame of mind to bump your practice up to better-performing status.

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