(480) 397-0590

Want a Career?

Find a CFO

223 partners in 45 states
     6,745 years experience

Find a CFO by zip code

Find a CFO by name

Free Business Resource

Fill out the form and receive for FREE The Discovery Analysis (a $1600 value)





Privacy policy

A Solution For Very Large Quickbooks Company Files - Mar 11, 2011

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Success Stories

In the past few months I have had more than a few calls from QB customers or clients of my partners who have started experiencing severe problems associated with large QB Company files. The problems are usually slow performance, long running reports, QB freezing or crashing, and other similar issues. Last month I received yet another call from a QB Enterprise client with the same issues so I decided to take action.

It’s pretty well known that the QuickBooks Clean Up Data utility does very little in the way of reducing the size of a QB Company file. However, there are tools available from a QuickBooks developer in Texas named Q2Q. These tools allow you to create a much smaller file by summarizing past history and importing only relevant recent transactions. In particular the two tools are the Beginning Balance Transfer Utility and the Data Transfer Utility.

After meeting with the client to discuss their situation we agreed that I would attempt to reduce their file size by using these two tools and charge a very reasonable flat fee for the effort. This would give me the experience to confidently add this as a service offering to my business.

After purchasing and testing the two utility tools I went onsite two days ago to perform the work on the clients QBES file. The results were terrific.

The Beginning Balance Transfer Utility summarizes the Balance Sheet balances as of a specific date. In out case this was 12/31/2010. I took a couple of attempts because of data issues which were quickly fixed. That entire process took about an hour.

The Data Transfer Utility then allows you to transfer actual transaction activity for a specific date range from the source QB file to the new QB file. This is done in 4 “Passes” because transaction sequencing is important. Invoices must be in before Receive Payments, etc. These passes take some time since we were dealing with a large source file with MANY transactions. After the 4 passes were complete we had a few exceptions to correct.

The end result was that the two files Balance Sheets matched to the penny and the file size was reduced from 1.5GB to 70MB . . . .  95% reduction.

For companies with very large QB data files this is an excellent alternative to making the step to upgrade to a larger accounting package which will naturally have a big ticket price tag.

If you want to know more contact me at 888-972-9449.


Solution For Warehouse Control And Inventory Management Fishbowl Inventory - Mar 2, 2011

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Success Stories

Last month I successfully implemented another Fishbowl Inventory project for an Alpharetta based firm. This company bought and sold used technology equipment and had formerly relied on a very old DOS based system and countless spreadsheets to manage and track their inventory and the financials were created by entering summary journal entries for sales, expenses, and inventory adjustments.

Last year they brought a financial manager onboard to help improve the back office and financial operations. Over the course of 3 months I met with the company a few times to discuss and demonstrate how Fishbowl Inventory and QuickBooks Enterprise could help them implement very accurate recordkeeping for their inventory and financials. We agreed to implement the systems at the start of business 2011.

This company also has a large warehouse in which a great deal of inventory is stored on pallets, and those pallets are stored on shelf locations. So, in addition to serial number tracking we had to create special, custom tracking for pallet, testing data, special HECI code, and other tracking specific to this type of business. Fishbowl Inventory allowed us to do this very easily.

In almost every project like this the biggest challenge is getting the inventory data extracted and prepared for the initial importing. The challenge is normally more in the extracting from the legacy systems. Once the data is extracted Fishbowl Inventory has a good facility for importing the data. Once the detailed inventory data was received I was able to get it into the right format to import into Fishbowl in about 12 hours.

The initial loading of data resulted in 6,600+ Parts, over 45,000 specific serial numbers, and $834,000 of inventory assets. This matched to the penny with the extracted data. Once the data was loaded and the warehouse staff trained it became a simple matter to find any piece of equipment in the warehouse. With a serial number they could look up the aisle, shelf location, and pallet location.

By the end of January the entire staff was trained and the systems were successfully being used to help them run the business and know much more timely how the business was performing.

For more information on Fishbowl Inventory or QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions contact Rick Daigle at 888-972-9449, or rdaigle@b2bcfo.com.

 

        


Consultation On Qbes And Fishbowl Inventory - Jan 7, 2011

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Testimonials

Todd Wahl wrote:

 

Rick recently worked with me to consult with a client who is facing a significant decision on the right software solution to help properly implement an improved inventory system. Rick was extremely helpful in covering the potential solutions to the client's challenges as it relates to inventory and cost tracking using Quickbooks and Fishbowl Inventory. He also offered to connect us with his key contact within Fishbowl. Rick is clearly a top notch expert in this field and his help is greatly appreciated.


Testimonials - Atlanta Manufacturing - Jan 7, 2011

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Testimonials

Sheena Sabens wrote:

"Rick Daigle has been a true lifesaver for our company! He is a Quick Books wiz and I would recommend him to anyone (I plan on it). We originally hired Rick to come in and help with a few issues we were having with Quick Books, but we soon realized that he could really help us turn our business around. He has trained the staff on how to effectively use Quick Books to make all of our lives a bit easier (and to help run our business more smoothly). He is very efficient with his time and never wastes a minute of yours. I can proudly say that by working with Rick for a very brief period of time I feel confident to handle most situations that arise regarding Quick Books, and what I cannot handle I know I can get a quick answer from Rick. He is a honest businessman who is genuinely interested in helping your business. If you need help with your business, look no further."


Sunlighting Lamp And Shade Center Inc. - Jan 7, 2011

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Testimonials

From owner Carolyn Uhl:

If it hadn't been for Rick Daigle, I would have sent the whole system back. He had the patience of Job with the tech support people. We finally got it setup and running, personalized with most of my records from my previous system. Hooray for Rick and many kudos on a job well done. I would use him again in a heartbeat if we ever had a problem again. Carolyn"


Quickbooks Enterprise 2011 Intuit Keeps Making It Better - Dec 27, 2010

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

QuickBooks Enterprise is the top of the product line for Intuit’s Financial Management and Reporting family of software products. At first glance, the features in QB Enterprise (QBES) look exactly the same as those in the Pro and Premier products. The look and feel of the GUI are exactly the same. However, QBES is the real workhorse of the product line and is designed to support businesses that have a need for:

 

  • more than 3 concurrent users
  • inventory-intensive workflow management requirements
  • inventory in more than one location
  • tracking large numbers of items, customers, and vendors
  • high transaction volume
  • comprehensive and customizable reporting
  • users who access the QB data remotely

 

 

The 2011 QuickBooks product line has delivered more new features than ever before.  I published the “Your Guide to the QuickBooks 2011 Lineup” on my blog (click here) earlier and you can see all the many new features which were released with the 2011 product line. There are many and they are impressive.

 

But what isn’t clear from the Family of Products guide is what Intuit has bundled together with QBES this year. Included with the initial software purchase is the Full Service Plan (FSP), and along with the FSP comes these additional products & services:

 

*   Free copy of Mastering QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, an interactive training DVD (a $399 value), and a free copy of The Complete Guide to Using Enterprise Solutions, published by McGraw-Hill

*   The Connection Diagnostic Tool can help troubleshoot networking and multi-user errors that your client may encounter while opening QuickBooks files.

Click here to read the article


New Employee Selection Attitude Or Skill Set - Jul 27, 2010

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

In the course of working with my clients I am often asked to help with personnel issues ranging from hiring, to termination, to rehabilitation and everything in between. In the markets we serve, which are the owners of SMBs, it is more likely than not there will be no HR department, or anyone in the company with the experience and skills to handle the variety of people issues which arise. Because my experience includes over 25 years in corporations, most of those in management positions overseeing staff from entry level to director level I am able to help my clients with even the stickiest employee related issues. And in the event a situation requires greater expertise my large network allows me to locate the right resource to help.

 

A common phenomenon I see in the SMBs I work with  is that many times employees are family and/or friends, or the owners feel an obligation to keep long time employees on when it is no longer in the best interest of the business. Family and friends as employees present its’ own challenges as we can all imagine.

 

Once I have been with a business owner long enough to establish the “trusted advisor” relationship they will almost always ask my advice in personnel related issues. Most commonly it is either an issue of under-performance or attitude. Under-performance issues are very straightforward to address. We can document the acceptable level of performance, clearly communicate that to the employee, put measurements in place to track improvement, and give the employee access to any training necessary to be successful. They will either be successful or not, in which case the decision is apparent.

 

Attitude issues are much more harmful to a business. Owners often ignore the issue because they don’t want to confront an employee, or they will make excuses for the behavior. In every case I advise the owner too promptly and very directly address the issue otherwise the situation will get worse the disgruntled employee will poison the environment. And by addressing the issues I mean replace the employee.

 

When recruiting to fill a position it is always important to try to find someone with the right skills to do the job, but are skills the most important thing to assess? NO! The most important aspect to assess is attitude. Virtually any skill in an SMB can be trained in fairly short order if the employees have good education and attitude.  You can’t train someone to have a good attitude.

 

As a business owner, imagine that every single employee loved and appreciated their job, got along well with every other employee, and never complained about work, co-workers, customers, the hours, weekend work, etc. A situation like that would be wonderful. And, it’s easy. Just make sure that all employees in your business have good attitudes. Of course the business owner has the responsibility to create a safe, challenging, and appealing workplace.

 

I love working with business owners to make their businesses stronger. I can be reached at 404-787-5835, or rdaigle@b2bcfo.com.

 


Improving Productivity And Cash Flow In Field Service Businesses - Jun 3, 2010

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

Improving Productivity and Cash Flow in Field Service Businesses

 

In the service businesses which require technicians to travel to customer locations to respond to customer calls and generate revenue there are unique requirements and challenges to be met in order to be successful. At a high level there must be good processes in place to:

 

  • Take customer service calls and dispatch technicians
  • Dispatch a technician with the right skills to the job
  • Capture the actual service work done
  • Invoice customer for service work done
  • Collect payment
  • Schedule (Sell) new work or preventative maintenance work onsite
  • Capture accurate job time to accurately pay technicians

 

When there are not good systems and processes in place to support these activities the results are:

 

  • Reduced Cash availability due to slow cash flow
  • Lost revenue, wasted administrative time, poor quality of service
  • Unbilled revenue due to paperwork loss
  • Fewer customers served each week – unrealized revenue
  • Inaccurate time records – payroll errors . . . . often overpaying technicians
  • Lost sales opportunities – more unrealized revenue
  • Technicians driving too much – more lost opportunity

 

Although there are many tools and technologies available to address these problems many of these solutions were outside the means of most SMBs. That is no longer the case! Intuit , one of the worlds’ most trusted companies to small/mid-size businesses, has added Intuit® Field Service Management ES powered by Corrigo to its family of products and services.

 

Read more...


Recommendations To Mitigate Fraud In A Smb - May 27, 2010

Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

It is pretty common knowledge that SMBs are the victims of workplace fraud 9 times more frequently that larger  businesses.  The main reason is that there is no separation of duties because the lone accountant/bookkeeper handles all accounting transactions. Often the only control in place is that the business owner signs all outgoing checks. Clearly this is inadequate.

I recently completed a thorough review of the financial accounting operations for a client. What follows is the detailed recommendations I presented.  These recommendations can easliy be implemented anywhere. The accounting system in use is QuickBooks.

The main elements of Internal Accounting Controls are:

 

  1. Competent and trustworthy personnel with clearly defined lines of authority and responsibility.
  2. Adequate separation of duties. In a small/midsized businesses this is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. This makes it critically important to set and communicate the “tone from the top” and implement a system of controls which allow proper oversight into the financial aspects of the business.
  3. Proper procedures for the authorization of transactions. Again, this is difficult to implement in a small/midsized business. Two things that are in place which mitigate this risk are you sign all checks and customers never pay in cash. Additionally you should review the reconciliation of checking and credit card statements each month.
  4. Adequate records and documents. You should require:
    1. A bill for every vendor payment
    2. A receipt for every credit card transaction
    3. A signed expense report for Reimbursements, with receipts
    4. An approval for any Invoice amount changes
  5. Proper physical control over both assets and records. The main assets to protect are the company physical documents and computer records. You should have adequate fire protection and regular backup of your computerized records. These backups should reside offsite in a secure location.
  6. Proper procedures for adequate recordkeeping. This is an area which needs improvement. You might consider hiring a temporary “Professional Organizer” to organize the paper documents. I can refer a couple who would do a good job.
  7. A resource to....

    Read more...


    How Quickbooks Can Be Used To Support The Implementation Of A Pci Dss Compliance Program - Mar 30, 2010

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    How QuickBooks can be used to support the implementation of a PCI DSS Compliance program

     

     

    In late 2008 the Payment Card Industry released the Data Security Standard Requirements and Security Assessment Procedures (PCI DSS). This security requirement now applies to all businesses, regardless of size, which take payment from customers in the form of Credit Cards. Generally speaking, the PCI DSS requires businesses to take reasonable and appropriate measures to safeguard customer credit card information.

     

    Most, if not all, B2B CFO Partners work with clients who are required to implement a compliance program. And many of these clients use QuickBooks as their accounting solution. Because QuickBooks is the most commonly used business accounting application, and Intuit is a company committed to customers, there are features within the QuickBooks application which allow a business to cover most of the PCI DSS requirements.

     

    The high level requirements of the PCI DSS are:

     

     

    Build and Maintain a Secure Network

    o Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data

    o Requirement 2: Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters

     

    Protect Cardholder Data

    o Requirement 3: Protect stored cardholder data

    o Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

     

    Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program

    o Requirement 5: Use and regularly update anti-virus software

    o Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

     

    Implement Strong Access Control Measures

    o Requirement 7: Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know

    o Requirement 8: Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access

     

    You’ve planned, budgeted, saved. You’re insured, and you may be debt free. But what would become of all this diligence if you suddenly became unable to continue to manage your affairs personally due to physical and/or mental infirmity?

     

    In an abundance of caution, these three documents should be cornerstones in every

    prudent adult’s legal and financial foundation:

     

    1. Last Will and Testament. It is startling that as many as half of all adults do not have this most fundamental document in place when they die. Perhaps they don’t realize that if they die without a Will (intestate), the laws of the state — not they or their heirs — will determine who gets their property and is named guardian of their minor children. For instance, many Georgians might be surprised to learn that under current Georgia law, the estate of an intestate person is divided between the spouse and each child, with the spouse potentially receiving as little as one-third! In the alternative, by establishing a “Will,” you retain control by conveying your will, attitude and beliefs toward your family and assets. In it you can:

     

    ·        Designate the person whom you want to be the executor of your estate and give him the power to act without posting bond and filing reports with the probate court, if desired;

    ·        Specify the persons or charities you want to receive your real and personal property;

    ·        Name your children’s guardian and provide financially for their future.....

    Read more...


    Implementing Fishbowl Inventory In A Manufacturing Business - Feb 9, 2010

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Success Stories

    Implementing FishBowl Inventory in a Manufacturing Business

     


    In November 2009 I was hired to select and implement a business application in a Paint Manufacturing business. For the prior 15 years the company had used QuickBooks but had never gotten the training or consulting help to set up their inventory items correctly. They had tracked their COGS via countless spreadsheets and did manual Inventory Adjustments and Journal Entries each month to get to their COGS and Inventory Asset values. As you can imagine the accuracy of their financials was very suspect.

     


    This company had enjoyed $3M to $4M in revenue the past few years with most of the sales coming from craft paints. They have a new product line called RESTORE which is a deck, dock, and concrete resurfacing paint which is fantastic. Two coats of this paint and your back deck or boat dock has lifetime protection from the elements. They expect to do $6M in 2010 on this product alone.

     


    The owner and I shared a mutual friend who is an investment banker. The IB was discussing possible funding for the growth but was concerned about the accuracy of the financials as the company started this important phase. I was called in to determine if they could use the latest version of QB Enterprise to run their manufacturing operations, track inventory, and capture costs accurately through the manufacturing process.

     


    At a high level they mix large batches of intermediate paint, then mix those with colorants and other chemicals in separate batches, and finally package the paint in 2oz, 8oz, 12oz, or gallon size products. The challenge was to get the final COGS of any individual product to include the costs of raw materials, paint, bottles, caps, boxes, shrink wrap, etc. Every cost along the manufacturing process had to be included in the finished good.

     


    It didn’t take long to realize that QB was not going to handle this. So I then began a search process to find an application which would meet the demands of a SMB manufacturing operations. I identified FishBowl Inventory as a likely candidate and executed the evaluation and determined that it would indeed fit our needs.

     


    During the month of December we extracted data from legacy applications to create Import files for:

     

    6,000 Parts (raw materials, packaging, etc.)

    1,000 Finished Products

    4,000 Bill of Materials (Paint recipes and Finished Goods)

    800 Customers

    200 Vendors

     


    We spent a month testing, training, and preparing for physical inventory and go-live on January 3, 2010.

     


    We were very successful with this imp....

    Read more...


    B2B CFO Says No To Copyright Thieves - Nov 12, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    Entrepreneurship Tested:  National CFO Services Firm’s Founder, Jerry L. Mills, Discusses Lessons Learned Regarding Copyright Infringements  

     

    B2B CFO’s founder and CEO, Jerry L. Mills, shares how he handles and leads his company through difficult cases of theft, plagiarism and infringements on intellectual property rights

     

      

    PHOENIX (Nov. 12, 2009)    Some believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Phoenix based entrepreneur and business expert Jerry L. Mills is not flattered and not amused by  others replicating his firm’s propriety materials.  In fact, this CEO of the nation’s fastest growing CFO services firm has a strong message to other business owners:  protect your intellectual property, or prepare to have it stolen.  

     

    He does not say this with a light heart; his firm has dedicated tremendous resources this year to fight off blatant plagiarism of copyrighted content as well as cases of intellectual property rights infringement and theft.  

     

    In June of 2009, searches for key phrases unique to B2B CFO’s Web site content resulted in a stunning discovery of dozens other businesses plagiarizing the company’s content word-for-word on their Web sites.  The problem was so widespread that this year alone B2B CFO has encountered more than 40 separate cases of plagiarism, including several competitors using B2B CFO’s registered trademark. 

     

    As the nation’s largest CFO firm dedicated exclusively to serving small and mid-size businesses, B2B CFO works diligently on its online branding – constantly building fresh blog content, improving its Web site and investing in strategic Search Engine Optimization.  Now,  Mills and his company have set up procedures to handle most of the issues related to the plagiarism of the company’s Web site.  Mil....

    Read more...


    Must Read QuickBooks Backups A Primer And Disaster Story - Nov 12, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    MUST READ - QuickBooks Backups – a Primer and Disaster Story

     

    I was recently contacted by the office manager of a property management company. They had recently experienced a disk drive crash on the computer used by the office manager. This drive also contained the active QuickBooks Company file. Their IT people had a backup process in place so initially there was no major concern.

     

    It was only after the IT folks repaired the PC and restored data from backup media did they discover there was a problem with the QuickBooks company file. That’s when I was called in to help. What I found was a situation I routinely find when I first visit a new client or potential client. The IT people treat the QuickBooks company file as any other file when it comes to their backup methodology. Meaning, they simply include a Windows file copy of the QuickBooks company file onto the backup media.

     

    THAT IS NOT SUFFICIENT and can result in data loss if the backup has to be restored!

     

    Why is that? Because the QuickBooks data file is very much like a relational database (in the case of Enterprise it actually is a SQL Server) and has internal links and relationships which must have “referential integrity”. I won’t go into definition of that term but trust me when I tell you it is important!

     

    These internal links and relationships can sometimes get broken over the course of time if there is an unstable IT environment. PC crashes, network disconnections, power failures, etc., are events which can cause a problem with referential integrity of the QuickBooks data.

     

    So, how would you know if something caused an internal QuickBooks data problem? Simple! QuickBooks has its own Backup utility which will do a data verification every time the company file is backed up. In the event a data corruption occurs an error will appear and prompts you to Rebuild the data. At that time the Rebuild utility will run through the entire QuickBooks company file and repair any problems.

     

    When the QuickBooks Backup utility is not used internal data corruption can continue to degrade the viability of the accounting data until the company file cannot be opened. Having the IT people restore a company file backed up with the Windows backup utility will only restore a corrupt company file. At that point you will experience data loss because the IT people will have to keep going back in time to find a viable backup file which QuickBooks can open.

     

    In the case of the Property Management firm that called me in September, they had lost all 2009 data. As a last resort I sent the company file to Intuits Data Recovery team. The data was unrecoverable even by this team of experts.

    Using TimeSlips to Create DashBoards for Professionals

     

    As I continue to work with a law firm client we are developing better reports & dashboard for tracking the performance of the entire staff. We are now at the point where we want to implement a bonus plan which will drive the behaviors we want to increase revenue and profit. In order to implement that we must have the tracking mechanism in place.

     

    Using the standard reports delivered in TimeSlips and changing a few filters to get the applicable data I am now able to produce a report like this for each staff member:

     

    Metrics for "Professional Name"

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Read more...


    Goal Clarity And Fast Driving A Perfect Combo - Oct 15, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    What do 3-Time NASCAR Champ & B2B CFO® have in common?

     

    Goal Clarity!

     

    Jimmie Johnson is the #48 Lowe’s car driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. He has won the last 3 championships and is the car to beat each of the remaining 6 races. I personally do not think any other driver/team will beat Jimmie for the 2009 championship, or any year in the foreseeable future.  Why? Two reasons . . . . Goal Clarity and Crew Chief Chad Knaus!

     

    Jimmie is clearly one of the best drivers in the Sprint Cup. But, he is not really any better than some of the other top 10 drivers like Tony Stewart or Jeff Gordon, both repeat champions. Nor is his equipment better than the other teams. NASCAR has gone to great lengths to impose parity in that regard.

     

    So what separates the #48 team from the rest?

     

    Certainly goal clarity plays a big part. From the beginning of the season when practice begins everyone on every team knows that the Championship team is not the one with the most wins . . . . the championship team usually does not have the most wins. It is the one with the most top 10 and top 5 finishes as well as wins, and fewest mistakes made!

     

    So, if everyone on every team knows this why has Jimmie won the past 3 years and will the next 5?

     

    Chad Knaus! When it comes to crew chiefs this guy is hands down the best! The Tiger Woods of NASCAR. Chad is crystal clear about what it takes to get his car to the points lead. If his car is good enough to win that day they usually win. If it’s not good enough to win then he will make it good enough for a top 5 finish. And if it’s not good enough for a top 5, he’ll make it good enough for a top 10. But, equally as important . . . . the team will make no mistakes! They won’t have the fastest pit times, but they won’t drop lug nuts or run over air hoses. That is the real key. I have never seen the #48 team make a mistake in the pits.

     

    It is really interesting to watch and listen to Jimmie and Chad talking during the race. They can be running at the back of the pack but they are calmly talking about what the car is doing at that point of the race. At each pit stop adjustments are made to make the car a little better. In almost every race Chad has put Jimmie in position to win in the last 20 laps.

     

    The difference between 1st and 2nd place now with 6 races remaining is 12 points. Both drivers have the same number of wins and top 5 ....

    Read more...


    Inspirational People More Examples Of Goal Clarity - Sep 30, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    Title: Inspirational People – More Examples of Goal Clarity

     

    Dr. Robert Langer . . . . Colonel Pamela Melroy . . . . Dr. Irwin Jacobs . . . . what do these people have in common?

     

    In one of my volunteer roles I am the chairperson of the Sponsorship Committee for the Atlanta Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum. The mission of this non-profit organization is to provide programs, training, and support for the entrepreneurial community in Atlanta. I get to rub elbows frequently with the members of the Executive Committee and Advisory Board, all of whom are MIT alumni or community leaders in one way or other.

     

    This seasons programming includes programs featuring the above mentioned people, and each of them have truly remarkable stories.

     

    Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT. (There are 14 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member.) Dr. Langer has more than 750 issued or pending patents worldwide. He has published more than 1,000 articles and earned more than 150 major awards.

     

    Colonel Pamela Melroy has flown more Space Shuttle missions than any other NASA astronaut.  Melroy served as pilot on two flights and was the mission commander for another.  She has logged over 924 hours (more than 38 days) in space.  Pam Melroy left the agency in August 2009 and now serves as Deputy Program Manager, Space Exploration Initiatives, Lockheed Martin. Prior to the Space Program, Col. Melroy was a test pilot in the USAF.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College and earned a masters degree at MIT.

     

    Dr. Irwin Jacobs is a professor, lifelong entrepreneur, and quite possibly the godfather of wireless technology.  He started his first communications consulting company in 1968 and sold it for millions, retiring in 1985.  Three months later he started Qualcomm in his den with 6 other former employees. By 1989 they demonstrated their cell phone technology to the industry and introduced it commercially in 1995. Current Qualcomm revenues are $2.75 billion with thousands of employees worldwide.

     

    These people could not have accomplished what they have in their respective careers without having and practicing goal clarity constantly. You don’t just wake up one day and find you have accomplished many great things. You have to know what the goals are, how you will get there, and work hard every day to reach the goals. There is no magic formula for success.

     

    I am fortunate to be invo....

    Read more...


    Red Flag Rules Does This Affect Your Business - Sep 1, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    Effective November 1, 2009 the new "Red Flag Rules" go into effect. Is your business affected by this? Do you know what will be required of your business in order to comply?

    Many businesses will be required to comply with the requirements of these new rules which will be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). You may need to develop a written program to prevent, detect, and minimize therisk and damage from identity theft.

    The good news is that there is a wealth of material available to learn about the new rules and how to develop a program for compliance. Additional good news is that the partners at B2B CFO®  are standing by and ready to assit you to determine if you are required to implement a program, and quickly develop adn implement a program.

    You can find a wealth of information at the FTC website, http://www.ftc.gov/redflagsrule. Additionally, the following article may be helpful.

    Contact Rick Daigle, rdaigle@b2bcfo.com, 404-787-5835, for a complimentary assessment to determine if you must comply with these new Red Flag Rules.

    The “Red Flags” Rule: Are You Complying with New Requirements for Fighting Identity Theft?

    by Tiffany George and Pavneet Singh

    The expression “red flag” signals “Danger: Be alert to problems ahead.” For millions of consumers every year, identity theft is more than a threat — it’s their reality. The economic, psychological, and emotional harm to victims can be devastating. But businesses often bear the biggest part of the monetary damage from identity theft.

    It’s everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to fight identity theft. But businesses and organizations that offer credit or other financial services can be the first to spot the red flags that signal the risk of identity theft, including suspicious activity indicating that identity thieves may be using stolen information like names, Social Security numbers, account numbers, and birth dates to open new accounts or raid existing ones.

    Under the Red Flags Rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2008 *, certain businesses and organizations are required to spot and heed the red flags that often can be the telltale signs of identity theft. To comply with the new Red Flags Rule — enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal bank regulatory agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) — you may need to develop a written “red flags program” to prevent, detect, and minimize the damage from identity theft.

    Are you covered by the Red Flags Rule? If so, have you put into place the new procedures the Rule requires?

    Who Must Comply

    Although every business or organization with an ongoing relationship with consumers should keep an eye out for the possibility of identity theft, the Red Flags Rule applies only to “financial institutions” and “creditors." To determine if your business or organization is covered by the Rule and required to develop a written identity theft Program, you’ll need to answer two questions:

    1. Is your business or organization either a “financial institution” or “creditor,” as those terms are defined in the Rule?
    2. If so, do you have “covered accounts”?

    A “financial institution” is a bank, savings and loan, credit union, or other entity that holds a “transaction account” belonging to a consumer. A “transaction account” is an account that allows the owner to make payments or transfers. Examples include checking accounts, savings accounts that permit automatic transfers, and share draft accounts. Another example would be a brokerage account that allows consumers to write checks.

    Your business or organization is a “creditor” if you regularly:

    • extend, renew, or continue credit;
    • arrange for someone else to extend, renew, or continue credit; or
    • are the assignee of a creditor who is involved in the decision to extend, renew, or continue credit.

    Under the Rule, “credit” means an arrangement by which you defer payment of debts or accept deferred payments for the purchase of property or services. In other words, payment is made after the product was sold or the service was rendered. Some examples of creditors are finance companies, automobile ....

    Read more...


    Osprey Parenting A Lesson In Goal Clarity From Mother Nature - Aug 11, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Articles

    Title: Osprey Parenting - A lesson in Goal Clarity from Mother Nature

     

    Osprey - Pandion haliaetus - One of the largest birds of prey in North America.

     

    This past Saturday my wife and I were relaxing on our dock at Lake Allatoona. Just down the shore from our cove is an osprey nest. We have watched in awe year after year as the resident osprey couple hatches and raises another set of chicks. In the past 15 years we have watched numerous chicks raised and leave the nest. But in all that time we have never actually seen the father osprey catch a fish for the family.

     

    As we were enjoying the calmness I noticed an osprey hovering and circling at the end of our cove. I told Mary I thought he had found the next meal. Sure enough seconds later the osprey dove into the water, came up with a fish, and flew by us returning to the nearby nest. As I watched in awe at the beauty and simplicity of the moment the seed was planted for my next blog article on goal clarity

     

    For a period of 4 months or so, while the mother is hatching, raising, and protecting the chicks, it is the father osprey with the sole responsibility of providing 6 fish per day for the family. Now that is goal clarity! And that is the same type of almost single-minded focus business owners must have in order to remain successful today. Business owners who can identify and focus on the 1 or 2 things which are most important to their business while virtually ignoring all else will be successful and grow a great business.

     

    In many cases the things a business owner must focus on are somewhat predictable; what do I need to do to increase sales? What do I need to do to improve profit? What do I need to do to control costs? How can I find better people to help me run my business? Do I have the right systems, technology, and business process in place to optimize the use of time and resources?

     

    The smartest and best business owners learn from the lessons of successful people and organizations. They read good business books like “Good to Great”, “The Road to Organic Growth”, and of course, “The Danger Zone”. They also search out mentors and other professional resources to support them.

     

    In the natural world around us there are ample lessons to be learned, and these lessons can be applied to our business and personal lives.

     

    If you think you have it tough, go catch a fish with your bare hands!!!

     


    Using Timeslips An Approach To Measurements And Metrics In A Law Practice - Jul 31, 2009

    Posted by: Rick Alan Daigle in Success Stories

    I January I started work with the owner of a specialty law practice. The owner wanted help in 2 broad areas. First, he wanted help, or really someone to take over the financial operations of the practice so he could focus on the business, clients, and staff. Second, he wanted to grow the business by adding lawyers and paralegals.

     

    The first two months were spent implementing QuickBooks as the accounting solution, and integrating systems and processes to get data from Amicus Attorney and TimeSlips into QB. This was followed by two months working off old WIP from the past 3 years, invoicing and collecting for work done in the past 3 years, and general clean up of the timekeeping and activity tracking system. The next two months were used to put more formality, documentation, and discipline into the accounting and recordkeeping systems.

     

    During this period I also tried to find a local expert resource in TimeSlips. I was not able to find an acceptable resource so I rolled up my sleeves and learned how to use the TimeSlips reporting capabilities to extract statistics which we could use to implement a formal measurement system.

     

    In many law firms the key revenue driver is billable hours. So, once the historical basis is set regarding the billable hour % for each timekeeper you can set a goal for increasing the billable %. This should also be accompanied by a reward system designed to drive the desired behavior and outcome.

     

    Through the analysis of TimeSlips data I was able to extract this billable performance for the firm:

     

     

     

     

    Jan

    I January I started work with the owner of a specialty law practice. The owner wanted help in 2 broad areas. First, he wanted help, or really someone to take over the financial operations of the practice so he could focus on the business, clients, and staff. Second, he wanted to grow the business by adding lawyers and paralegals.

     

    The first two months were spent implementing QuickBooks as the accounting solution, and integrating systems and processes to get data from Amicus Attorney and TimeSlips into QB. This was followed by two months working off old WIP from the past 3 years, invoicing and collecting for work done in the past 3 years, and general clean up of the timekeeping and activity tracking system. The next two months were used to put more formality, documentation, and discipline into the accounting and recordkeeping systems.

     

    During this period I also tried to find a local expert resource in TimeSlips. I was not able to find an acceptable resource so I rolled up my sleeves and learned how to use the TimeSlips reporting capabilities to extract statistics which we could use to implement a formal measurement system.

     

    In many law firms the key revenue driver is billable hours. So, once the historical basis is set regarding the billable hour % for each timekeeper you can set a goal for increasing the billable %. This should also be accompanied by a reward system designed to drive the desired behavior and outcome.

     

    Through the analysis of TimeSlips data I was able to extract this billable performance for the firm:

     

     

     

     

    Jan

    Disaster Recovery Planning

    A Crucial Tool in Preparing Your Business For the Unexpected

     

    In recent years we've seen how natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita and terrorist attacks with the magnitude of Sept. 11 can cause mass destruction. People are killed, homes are destroyed and lives are forever changed. Add to that, the realization that many people in the midst of these tragedies suddenly have no source of income because the business they own or work for had no disaster recovery plan in place.

     

    Unfortunately this is the case with almost all businesses across the United States. Even after watching the devastation a fire, flood or tornado can cause, most businesses do not take a proactive approach to plan for the what-ifs.

     

    "Amazingly enough people aren't planning for disasters because they think it won't happen to them," says Rick Daigle, Senior Partner with B2B CFO®, a senior executive firm that provides expertise in many areas including disaster recovery planning. "Truth is, things happen all the time and the only way to get through it is to be prepared. If there is no planning in place, businesses go away."

     

    Statistics show that 90 percent of all businesses affected by a major outage of more than two weeks never recover. Having a solid plan in place in case a situation arises is almost like buying an insurance policy; you have it in hopes that you don't need it, but when something happens it's worth its weight in gold.

     

    The key to creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is to work with a professional who is experienced in this field. Daigle and the other partners of B2B CFO® each have more than 25 years of experience in high levels of businesses that they draw upon to create a plan specific to each business. Daigle works with all types and sizes of businesses to identify problems then implement solutions.

     

    The first step in creating a disaster recovery plan is to identify risks: are you in a flood-prone area, a hurricane area or near an interstate? What is most likely to affect your business? "You want to list your most-likely threats and the ones you want to guard against," Daigle says. You must also consider other possible threats such as fire,

    sprinkler system malfunction and long-term power outages.

     

    If your business is located in an office building with other companies you must be aware of their risks and how they can potentially affect you. What if the coffee shop below your office catches on fire or the bathroom upstairs floods your offices. Daigle says any businesses located in buildings or office parks should meet with other businesses to discuss their plans to ensure everyone's safety and ability to recover.

     

    Once you identify risks, there are four levels of recovery that your plan should cover. First are your employees, as they are the most important part of your business. Find out what they need; are they okay, are they able to get to work or are roads inaccessible. If the office has been compromised due to fire can they work from home or find an alternative work spot. Keeping an updated and accurate employee information list is crucial to quick answers, yet many companies do not update their lists often enough to record address and phone number changes.

     

    In addition to having employee contact information, companies should also keep job descriptions that include job skills for each employee. This way it is easy to figure out who needs to do what. This will also help if your regular workforce cannot come back to work and you have to find and train temporary or replacement workers. Daigle, who works in the greater Atlanta area, can also work on planning for a continuation of business in the event a key person is killed or unable to return to work.

     

    Once employees are secured, Daigle says the next step is contacting your most important customers to let them know how to get in touch with you. Give them alternate phone numbers and let them know where to find you. Be honest about when you expect to be back to part or full function and when you can serve them. Otherwise you risk losing them to a competitor who has not suffered a disaster. Your customers or patients may not want to leave you, but if they cannot have an interruption in their care or service, they may have no choice. Once the most important customers are notified, work your way down to all of your customers.

     

    The next step is categorizing the functions that you need to protect. Decide what functions are critical and what functions can wait. Patient care, generators and supplies may be cruci....

    Read more...

    Zoom in using the +/- tools on the left. Click on each photo for more details.