Do people often refer to you as the “Chief Everything Officer”? You may think single-handedly managing your books, administering your tax burden, and being your own IT professional is saving you money, but is it? If you’re spending more time tackling everyday tasks than you are growing your business, you’re probably spreading yourself too thin and not focusing on growing your company and meeting the needs of your customers.

Are your talents best used bringing in new business, serving and growing your top clientele and improving the quality of the product or service you provide? -Most likely so. Here are some key outsourcing opportunities you may want to consider outsourcing to save you time, money and opportunity cost.

Accounting. Here’s the bad news first: When it comes to ranking the best and worst states to be a taxpayer, California ranks #2 on the list of states with the highest tax burdens, with New Jersey taking the top spot. Outsourcing your accounting not only saves you time, but it can also bring invaluable insights from specialists who’re dialed into the latest practices, strategies, and technologies in their fields.

Banking. Most small business owners are no stranger to the bank. In fact, more than 80% of small business owners use some sort of financing to help grow their business. Finding the right bank and obtaining all the financial reports necessary could prove challenging to a time-strapped entrepreneur. Partnering with the right CPA firm can increase your chances of successfully obtaining loans, grants, lines of credit and more by presenting your financial data in the most favorable way.

Social Media. Not every entrepreneur dreams of becoming the next big social media star to go viral, but the latest numbers don’t lie: 81% of small businesses employ a social media strategy to grow their business.  Keeping up with the latest and greatest social media strategies as well as posting, responding and article linking is a time-consuming process probably best suited for someone who has the time and savvy to tackle this emerging marketing tool.

Leading businesses are partnering with Talley to take advantage of our wide range of services, such as bookkeeping, financial reporting, technology advising, tax planning, auditing, and estate planning, all under one roof. Letting go can be hard at first, especially with our hearts and minds deeply invested in our businesses, but it can allow you to focus on what you do best and take back control of your business’ productivity and profitability.

For more information on how Talley can help grow your business, give us a call today.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, successful entrepreneurs are utilizing technology to gain a competitive edge against stiff competition. Just take a look at this home-building robot that could potentially put human construction crews out of business. It is undeniable that innovation in technology is having a critical driving impact not only in the success of tech giants accustomed to introducing disruptive technology but throughout the business world as a whole.

What Can Technology Do for the Entrepreneur?

Today’s business environment demands that an entrepreneur focuses on his or her strengths to grow the business, maintain profitability and achieve those objectives the entrepreneur set forth in forming the company. It is unreasonable for an entrepreneur to expect that he or she could keep up with the latest innovations and best practices in their industry. The proper utilization of technology allows a business owner to maintain a profitable operation while simultaneously operating in an efficient and productive infrastructure. Leading-edge businesses are partnering with Talley & Company to take advantage of this opportunity and outperforming their competitors who remain wedded to the traditional structure and antiquated technology.

Talley LLP and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, keep clients on track with how to properly leverage technology to meet the needs of their growing businesses.  From outsourced accounting solutions to management information, analysis and reporting, we are the premier business consulting practice to entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses.

Call Talley LLP today to see how technology can be an asset to your business and not just an expense.

There’s a never-ending supply of new fitness devices available today, but most of the data they report is useless.  Yes, you are counting steps, flights of stairs climbed, and hours of sleep, but are you honestly doing anything with that data?  There’s even “smart” clothing on the horizon, which will read your vital signs, stress levels, and even tell you to cut back on the amount of Thanksgiving turkey you’re eating. As our culture moves closer to measuring everything, it seems as though we are moving further away from tracking and measuring information that we actually need to know.

The argument for the usefulness of real-time data tracking is valid. It’s not an illogical leap to think any individual could potentially improve their overall fitness and health on the fly by leveraging better KPIs and insightful metrics. For most people, however, effectively utilizing that data it is a challenging task. We track our steps every day(and that’s great), but do we have an actionable plan? Are we getting any healthier?

More data does not make better decision makers by itself. While having additional data equals more opportunities to make better decisions, the key to leveraging data and translating it into meaningful results is knowing what to focus on, how to interpret it, and how to utilize it during the decision-making process. Data is only valuable if it is actionable. Are you confident that you are taking advantage of all the metrics available to your business?

With over 25 years of experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley LLP and our affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, provide clear, knowledgeable, and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, thereby enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress, and profits. To determine whether or not your business is taking advantage of all its available metrics to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.

For most of us—but business owners especially—time is scarce. There is always more to do than hours in the day. So what tech solutions are you leveraging to be more productive with the time you have? When time is money, tech solutions can bring in a lot more of both. See how these five options might enhance the day-to-day operations of your business.

Virtual Meeting Tools – Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting when it comes to cementing a business partnership or getting a deal done. But with the use of virtual communication tools like Skype and GoToMeeting, business leaders can spend finite resources on in-person meetings in ways that provide the greatest return. For example, web conferences can be used to present preliminary proposals and, based on initial feedback, be modified for a later in-person presentation to clients in refined form.

Bookkeeping Applications – With so many viable and cost-effective accounting applications for small businesses, no one should be manually tracking income and expenses across multiple tables, spreadsheets and systems. Software and cloud-based options allow business decision-makers to create and track professional invoices, see payments and outstanding balances at a glance, enter bills and print checks, and reconcile for tax purposes.

Online Timesheet and Payroll Services – Online time-tracking solutions make it easy for employees to submit timesheets (and managers to approve them) from anywhere and everywhere. To choose the right system for your business, think about the ways different employees would use it and where their data will need to go, from payroll to billing to reporting. If you have an existing accounting program like QuickBooks in place, a payroll solution that syncs data and issues paychecks to employees can be a great option.

Social Media Tools – It’s a full-time job creating a strategy for a business’s social media presence, selecting the channels that best suit outlined goals, and then implementing a plan of action. Programs like Buffer and HootSuite help connect accounts so businesses can plan, schedule and post to multiple outlets at one time. Leaders can set up a schedule for sharing content based on the best time for it to be released. Plus, you get the chance to see comparative analytics that can improve future planning.

Customer Service Support – With tech applications like Desk.com and Zendesk, a business can be small but still have a big customer service presence. Help desk solutions can increase the number of positive interactions customers have with you company, improve their opinions of your brand, and raise their intent to purchase from your business. Support staff can field inquiries from email, phone calls, live chat or social media using one main system, giving customers the chance to choose their preferred form of interaction.

If accounting, timesheet or payroll technologies are on your list of productivity tools to investigate, Talley can provide you with important points to consider when choosing the right tool for your business. Contact us and we’ll be glad to assist.

Working remotely is increasingly becoming more popular and widespread, as employers have taken advantage of modern technological advances that allow teams of employees to collaborate in a remote environment, as wells as employees finding flexible work options more desirable. In something like a backlash against this shift, several high-profile companies have started to roll back remote work options for employees.  IBM, considered one of the first corporations to fully embrace remote work, is now calling its employees back to the physical office.

As reported by Quartz, IBM decided to “co-locate” its U.S. marketing department of approximately 2,600 people, meaning that all teams would now work “shoulder to shoulder” from one of six different locations: Atlanta, Raleigh, Austin, Boston, San Francisco, and New York. Employees who worked remotely or from an office that was not on the list would be required to either move or look for another job.

The list of remote work’s touted benefits is long and varied, ranging from a better balance work and home life for employees, stronger personal relationships, to increased productivity. That last point is probably the most attractive for employers, but IBM needs to focus on something other than productivity right now. As some of its core businesses, like technology services and systems, face challenges from cloud-based vendors, the company’s strategy has been to reinvent itself around new businesses like artificial intelligence and its own cloud-computing operations. In simple terms, IBM is placing a bet on its future -that innovation will trump productivity.

In a somewhat ironic move, IBM is trying to innovate by returning to an older, more traditional workplace model. While most would agree that a balance needs to be struck between face-to-face interaction and the ability to work remotely, the benefits of finding that right balance are too great to shy away from the challenge.

Talley and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, keep clients on track with how to properly leverage technology to meet the needs of their growing businesses.  From outsourced accounting solutions to management information, analysis and reporting, we are the premier business consulting practice to entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses.

Contact Talley today to see how technology can be an asset to your business and not just an expense.

Amazon first disrupted book stores, then retail chains and electronic stores. Who would they go after next? Earlier this week, in a move that most likely surprised few, Amazon revealed its new vision for the future of grocery stores: Amazon Go. The new service offered by the online retail giant allows customers to walk into the store, grab what they want and simply leave the building, skipping the lines and without pulling out your wallet or purse.

Amazon says the company brought together the most advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to eliminate cash registers in a new 1,800-square-foot store located at 2131 Seventh Avenue in Seattle. The store is currently open to Amazon employees and is scheduled to open to the public in early 2017.

As seen in a video released by the company, shoppers use their Amazon Go app on their smartphones to login at a kiosk and then proceed to pick up items. The virtual system automatically registers every time a customer picks up or puts down an item and accounts are only charged once someone leaves the store with an item. According to Amazon, the store only offers a selection of ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options, as well as essentials such as bread and milk.

Reaction to the Amazon’s latest foray into grocery stores is split between people who welcome the added convenience and those concerned by what this means for cashier workers’ jobs. If this innovation is broadly accepted over time by retailers, it would without a doubt change the landscape of the retail industry, and in a big way.

Talley & Company and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, keep clients on track with how to properly leverage technology to meet the needs of their growing businesses.  From outsourced accounting solutions to management information, analysis and reporting, we are the premier business consulting practice to entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses.

Call Talley & Company today to see how technology can be an asset to your business and not just an expense.

If Obama’s 2012 presidential victory proved big data’s ability to accurately predict elections, Trump’s 2016 win most likely proved the opposite. Prior to Trump’s triumph, the vast majority of national polls showed him as trailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Many thought Clinton’s win was inevitable, with most political pundits focused on debating how big her victory would be. And when Election Day came and went, voters proved a lot of experts wrong. So what went wrong with the polling data going into the presidential election?

Before you decide to throw all statistics and business KPIs out the window, it’s important to acknowledge a fundamental tenant of data crunching: The results are only as good as the data that is used.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Clinton’s campaign used an algorithm called Ada that staff input  a “raft of polling numbers, public and private” to help Clinton’s team decide when and where they should dedicate their resources. In retrospect, it apparently overlooked “the power of rural voters in Rust Belt states.” On the other hand, The New York Times reported that Trump’s campaign seemed to have relied on much more simple methods for determining where best to concentrate resources nearing the end of his campaign, citing that “their analysis seemed more atmospheric than scientific.”

The two presidential candidates utilized very different analytical means to tackle the same challenge: where to devote key resources going into the final stretch of their campaigns.

As an entrepreneur, do you have enough of the right data to make predictions that are important to the growth of your business?

Translating a business’s infinite streams of data into decision-making tools that help increase growth and profitability is no easy task. To get it right, analysts need to sift through and consider a company’s operations from the inside, knowing what to look for in detail. Working closely with the data particular to your business, you and/or your advisors can pinpoint the right key performing indicators and accurately interpret information to ensure your company is on track to meet goals.

Talley & Company and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, offer a uniquely combined platform of services that give business leaders the ability to both analyze and decipher leading as well as lagging indicators. Talley & Company not only provides timely, accurate historical financial data, (where you’ve been) but also reporting metrics that can anticipate where your business is going. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all metrics available to make the most informed picks for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.

If you have been involved in the business world at any point in the last 30 years, you probably have some experience with Microsoft Excel. Afterall, Excel is one of the most common software programs used for creating spreadsheets that businesses use for tracking their financials. However, these same characteristics also make Excel a potential crutch for the entrepreneurially-run business. In today’s fast-paced business world, business owners have become far too comfortable relying on Excel as an effective business solution.
So, how does this affect my business? Excel leaves the creation of spreadsheets and the input of information in the hands of the individual tasked with maintaining key management metrics. Often, these spreadsheets are not reviewed for accuracy by someone else. Any auditor will tell you that this leaves the door open for serious errors in reporting, which can lead to costly fines or, in the worst case, the demise of your business. If this scenario applies to your company, stop and ask yourself two questions:
  1. If the individual assigned the management of your business’ metrics had to leave work unexpectedly, how would that affect your reporting mechanisms?
  2. What is the probability of error within your reporting due to manual input?
If your answers to either of these questions makes you nervous, rest assured there are automated reporting solutions available to give you back control of your key management metrics.
At the end of the day, who has control of your business’ metrics? What is it worth to you to have complete control of your financials and key performance indicators? Talley & Company and its affiliates have helped clients integrate their systems with automatic software solutions that help reduce the likelihood of reporting errors and provide reliable key performance indicators.

Coca-Cola wants you to believe that its sugary drinks are not the cause of health problems for Americans, such as obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Instead, the beverage maker has sponsored its own research, which points a finger at a sedentary lifestyle, with the best science money can buy. Here’s what your business can learn from it.

Over the past several years, Coca-Cola has donated millions of dollars to the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), a non-profit that is attempting to redirect the conversation on America’s obesity crisis.

In a recent video announcing the new organization, GEBN’s Vice President Steven N. Blair, had this to say: “Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, Oh they’re eating too much…blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks…there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.” Coca-Cola would prefer those looking for answers to America’s obesity epidemic to focus more on exercise habits (or lack thereof) than calorie consumption.

Coca-Cola’s funded research and statistical analysis of the obesity problem in America may have more in common with mistakes businesses make in their performance measurement practices than you think.

If you try hard enough, you’ll see what you want to see (and ignore the rest). GEBN’s Blair maintains that a lack of data exists to place any blame on sugary drinks: “We want data…not just any data, actual data.” Never mind the excess of evidence pointing to the contrary. Winston Churchill famously said, “I only believe in statistics that I doctored myself.” Many business’s fall into the trap of focusing on KPIs that put their performance in the best light possible, omitting metrics that may paint a “not-so-bright” picture.  Organizations must establish clear strategic and operational goals and choose the KPIs which best reflect those goals, regardless of how good or bad they look.

Bad decisions are based on bad metrics. Funding from the food industry is not uncommon in scientific research. A recent analysis of beverage studies found that those funded by Coca-Cola, others in the beverage industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors had no financial conflicts. A good corporate strategic plan includes a solid set of accurate, reliable, and accountable KPIs that can translate strategy into manageable operational actions.

With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley & Company and our affiliate Group 11 Advisors are committed to provide clear, knowledgeable and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress and profits. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all metrics available to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.

May 16, 2014
Big data has become as much of a game changer in the NFL as it has in business. Thanks to field sensors, multi-view cameras, statistical analysis and game planning software, performances can be measured and quantified in more ways than ever before. That means general managers of NFL franchises have a myriad of new information helping them make more informed draft picks.
Although the information may come from different sources (e.g., balance sheets, sales invoices, CRM software and operational insights), the same goes for business owners when it comes to making decisions that affect company profitability.
Still, all that data means little without the ability to match needs with the resources available and effectively distinguish between what’s important and what’s just white noise. This may have been part of the reason predictions for draft picks made by football analysts were so far off the mark from the actual first round of selections made by the NFL. ESPN’s Mike Maycock got just three of 32 names right, and Mel Kiper faired the same. (Of course, their fumbles also demonstrate the infinite permutations that can occur in a short period of time as teams sequentially select and react to choices made during the complex drafting process.)
For companies, the draft experience equates to top leaders evaluating both positive and negative trends, forecasting business performance based on forward-leaning indicators and nimbly making adjustments whenever and wherever necessary. Decisions may not be demanded as the second hand ticks like in the NFL, but timeliness is still incredibly important to avoid potential misses and take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
Translating a business’s infinite streams of data into decision-making tools that help increase growth and profitability is no easy task. To get it right, analysts need to sift through and consider a company’s operations from the inside, knowing what to look for in detail. Working closely with the data particular to your business, you and/or your advisors can pinpoint the right key performing indicators and accurately interpret information to ensure your company is on track to meet goals.
Talley & Company and its affiliate, Group 11 Advisors, offer a uniquely combined platform of services that give business leaders the ability to both analyze and decipher leading as well as lagging indicators. Talley & Company not only provides timely, accurate historical financial data, (where you’ve been) but also reporting metrics that can anticipate where your business is going. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all metrics available to make the most informed picks for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.

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