How to Give Effective Employee Feedback

Company-to-employee feedback comes in many forms, but the most common and direct way to communicate performance evaluations comes in the form of criticism. Although today this term has come to connote a negative message, I’m using it in its broader definition, which encompasses both negative and positive responses.

Where the nuance of criticism gets muddy is in its conceptualization as a motivational tool. Not everyone receives criticism the same way and these days it doesn’t take much to actually offend peoples’ sensibilities if you handle feedback without a certain degree of tact.

Being honest and blunt is one thing, but it’s easy for employers to cross into malicious territory simply through choices of syntax and delivery. (more…)

Video Blog: Meet Leah Shales

Get in touch with financial consultant Leah Shales today by clicking here.

Meet Leah Shales | Consultant at Fine Point Consulting

Title Slide: Meet Leah Shales

Question 1: Tell us your life story in one minute

My name is Leah Shales, I am a consultant at Fine Point Consulting.

I was born and raised in Chicago so I am a Bears fan. I am the third born of six children. I went to DePaul University in Chicago and graduated with my Bachelors in Commerce with a focus in Accounting.

After college I went into Public Accounting, I was an auditor for financial institutions and not-for-profits for three years and that’s where I got my CPA.  (more…)

4 Ways To Manage A Profit Surplus

We’ve tried our hardest to offer solutions to a wide variety of money issues for all kinds of business owners through both our blog and our outreach to the local Madison startup community. If you’ve been following our advice each week, we hope this post should apply to you!

But regardless of how you might find yourself grinning proudly at your bank statements after starting your small business the right way, or making efficient changes when things went awry, exceeding your revenue expectations is a great feeling. No matter how much you make, the need for a management strategy is still there if you intend on keeping the door open to success. (more…)

Video Blog: Advice For Startups, From A Startup

Get in touch with a financial consultant today by clicking here.

Video Transcription

Title Slide: Advice to Entrepreneurs | With Luella Schmidt

Question #1: What is one thing every start up should have?

Luella: Well, of course, the one thing that we recommend is that you definitely have a budget. You know, the most important thing for a startup is product and market. Make sure you have that, obviously, or you wouldn’t be planning a startup. But, in order to implement and execute the plan, you’ve got to have a budget and a plan for how you’re going to get it done. (more…)

4 Tips On Choosing The Right Accountant For Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner enjoying steady growth, you’ll undoubtedly reach the point where a third party financial manager would save you the time and energy you put into your books.

Employing a staff, gaining a larger customer base, and expanding your means of supply are all natural progressions in the life of a profitable small business. Evolving your management structure to fit yourself into new leadership roles means delegating the often-complex financial calculations to an outside accounting agency.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when taking that next step with your small business:

1. Assess The Internal Capabilities of Your Business First

Before rushing into bringing an accountant onboard, evaluate your business from the inside to see what if any financial management tasks can be kept within your company.

Accounting firms can tackle a variety of tasks dealing with book keeping, tax help, and general financial management among others, but if you’re able to keep any one of those duties within your business, make sure to adjust your outsourcing accordingly.

2. Pay Attention To Testimonials (Or The Lack Thereof)

If a particular accounting firm offers any sort of testimonial information on their webpage in the form of quotes from satisfied customers or longer explanations of past service, it might be worthwhile to drop them a line by either phone or email to get some perspective from an actual client.

Ask about both the level of proficiency the firm in question handled both the business side of things, as well as the kind of relationship they maintained throughout the experience. This is useful for gaining some insight into both how well they will perform at a technical level as well as the quality of social interactions you can expect from them at a communicative level.

3. Figure Out How They Can Save You Money 

Accounting work is often times more than just running numbers and keeping your books balanced––financial management also plays a part in the way accountants and their clients keep assets in a continued healthy state.

Be sure to ask a prospective firm what they’ve done for their clients in the past and what kind of financial help they can offer you in terms of structuring an ongoing plan.

4. Do You Feel Comfortable With The Prospective Accountant?

A small business’ finances are without a doubt the most important and also fragile aspect of early growth and fiscal sustenance. Taking on an accountant to handle these delicate matters shouldn’t be a hastily made decision and you should be comfortable with the individuals you’re trusting to run things smoothly.

Run a sort of mental checklist to make sure your concerns are being listened to and your questions are being answered. Pay attention not only to how they address your concerns, but also what questions they ask you. This should give you a clue as to their investment in your well-being. If you notice the relationship as being completely one sided, you should try looking elsewhere.

If you’re a start-up owner and unsure of how to monitor your earnings and expenses at the level you’d like, give us a call. Our outsourced accounting and CFO services experts can help you carve a successful future for you and your business.