Crash Profits – Make Money When Stocks Sink and Soar

First, some background: Martin D. Weiss is Chairman of Weiss Ratings, a company which rates financial institutions, and he bills it as the only major ratings company that is free of conflicts of interest. He’s also publisher of THE SAFE MONEY REPORT, a newsletter on how to invest your money safely. It’s a low-cost lead product for more expensive financial advice services.

Chances are good that his mail order promotions for THE SAFE MONEY REPORT have landed in your mailbox. From around the late 1990s to just a few years ago, his lead generation packages were written by top copywriter Clayton Makepeace, and they greatly expanded his newsletter business. Mr. Makepeace knows how to grab your attention and arouse great emotion in you.

Martin Weiss was predicting stock market and economic disasters, including widespread Y2K problems, through much of the last bull market.

I subscribed to THE SAFE MONEY REPORT in late 1998 or early 1999, and was bothered by some advice he gave to buy long term puts on the stock market that expired in December 1999. I reasoned that if the Year 2000 was going to bring widespread disaster, then the logical time to have those puts expire was in January 2000 or later.

So I emailed him, and he or — probably — some staff person wrote back that they were “comfortable” with their recommendation to buy puts expiring in December 1999. Remember, that was BEFORE the stroke of midnight of December 31, 1999 which he — and many others — said would bring disaster to the world.

No explanation, nothing except their “comfort” with that recommendation. So I was ticked off. I think now that he was following a strategy of attempting to profit from the fear of Y2K that people would have before it actually happened — just in case it didn’t. Some people did believe that just the fear of Y2K would make the market crash even before January 1, 2000. If so, that tends to indicate he didn’t really believe that Y2K itself would bring on an economic and stock market collapse. He was counting on pre-Y2K fears making those December 1999 puts profitable.

Still, to my way of thinking, the top mailer of lead generation packages for money management advice should justify his specific recommendations with something more explicit than his “comfort.”

This book is worth reading but it’s good to remember that Weiss has made a lot of money from scaring the bejeezus out of people and then selling them financial protection advice. Although the March 2000 “Tech Wreck” justifies some of his warnings, you should also remember that he’s predicted other disasters. That includes widespread Y2K problems and, following the 1997 Asian currency crisis, that deflation would bring economic problems to the U.S.

You should remember that this book is basically another form of lead generation for his financial ratings services and his newsletter business.

As for this book in particular — it contains a lot of interesting information on how during the late 1990s high tech and telecommunications companies were defrauding investors. He uses a fictional company named UCBS (say it out loud to get the joke) and takes us through its CEO’s meetings with both the consultants and accountants who advised him how to cook the books.

Reading it now, you must keep in mind that he must have written it in 2002 since it was published in 2003. The timing is relevant. Much of the information harps on the same themes as his mail order packages promoting subscriptions to THE SAFE MONEY REPORT.

The opening chapters hits on the theme that people should beware advice from their brokers. I agree wholeheartedly with this. I strongly agree that people should decide for themselves which stocks to buy. Brokers are salespeople and, although I’m sure many do try to help their clients, they’re also under pressure to sell the stocks their firms want them to move. There is a built-in conflict of interest.

Plus, he brings out that large brokerage firms have a conflict of interest built in between their financial banking business and providing reliable financial analysis for their customers. They solicit business from the same corporations their researchers are analysing. If their researchers publish negative recommendations, the companies get angry and take their business elsewhere.

Weiss also goes into some detail about how corporations hid their true earnings by shifting problems to subsidiaries and also misusing pension funds.

I’d heard of some of this in connection with Enron, WorldCom etc, but hadn’t realized how incredibly bad it was. As an accounting major, I can tell you that such manipulations were blatant fraud. I got my accounting degree nearly 30 years ago, and I’m certain that my teachers would be shocked and amazed that any major corporation would try such tricks, and that the big accounting firms would certify their audits.

Accounting firms were caught in a conflict of interest once their consulting businesses became more profitable than their auditing. So their consultants taught corporations how to cook the books, and their auditors went along or had to get out. He documents how all of the Big Five accounting firms overlooked poor accounting practices. They gave clean bills of health to companies that soon afterward went bankrupt.

Through the financial advisor in the book, Weiss advises readers to get out of the stock market if the current trend is down. He also gives names of some companies to absolutely sell now. Of course, by the time your read the book, they or may not still be in financial difficulty.

As for getting out of the market — and for the later advice to invest in negative index funds (they go up when the market goes down — and vice versa!) — you should remember that he wrote this book during the bear market.

You must decide for yourself how much of his advice applies to you and your portfolio right now.

One of my problems with this book is the implicit endorsement of marketing timing. He is saying that with so many companies doing such bad things, and the conflict of interests in Wall Street, and the government unable or unwilling to regulate, that the market is going down.

When you read this . . . maybe it will, but maybe it won’t.

His advice to keep some money in Treasury-only money funds is no doubt good. All money funds are much safer than the stock market, but ordinary money funds would be risky if there is a tremendous economic collapse of the kind Weiss so often predicts.

Weiss’s commentary on the federal budget deficit is interesting. Of course, many people also predict disaster from it, and they have been doing so for at least 40 or 50 years. Unfortunately, he doesn’t go into much detail about the coming “Age wave” — how the retirement of baby boomers are going to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

He does describe how a collapse of the bond market would also be a financial disaster for the economy, although people pay a lot less attention to bonds than they do to stocks.

Another chapter goes into the coming crash in real estate. He seems to have greatly underestimated that once people stopped investing in stocks they would start investing in real estate. So we know that the real estate bubble followed the stock market crash. But he makes good points how it’s unhealthy for people to be pulling cash out of their homes. His historical figures on how on average Americans owe a lot more on their homes despite the great rise in valuations does indicate that many people are in danger of losing their homes.

It’s good to know that there are such things as reverse-index market funds, or bear funds, that will go up when the market goes down. The big problem, of course, is that nobody knows when the market will go up or down. You can hedge your stock portfolio by putting some money into such a reverse-index market mutual fund, but to fully hedge your risk, half your investment money would have to go into it. Then your bull and bear money would cancel each other out and you’d stay flat . . . you’d be better off leaving your cash in a money market fund since at least that would pay you some interest.

There’s a chapter on derivatives and how they might bring down the economy, but I wish he’d been more specific. I know in general what derivatives are, and I’m not comfortable knowing that major banks have exposure to risk that’s way over their total capital. But what precisely are these derivatives? What financial transactions are they related to? Are they hedged? Are major banks using them in their financial business or just making trades? And how are they interconnected so that a big loss to one bank could unravel the entire financial system?

After all, a big loss to one player is a major gain to another. Weiss has been warning about the risk of derivatives for years. I’d like to know something more specific.

Weiss then asserts that that once the financial crash he foresees happens (and in this book there’re no ifs, ands or buts about it), the government might respond in one of two ways. Struggle against it, and therefore prolong it. Or let the system crash and wipe out the debts and excesses.

I find it inconceivable that the modern U.S. government would consider the second alternative for more than two seconds. It would be politically incorrect to the Nth degree. If we couldn’t handle such an approach in the early years of the Depression, we sure can’t now, 70 years after FDR’s imposition of so many big government programs.

The biggest weakness of this book is that the section on the way to actually profit from a crash — by buying puts on a market index — is amazingly short and weak. He gives a few pieces of advice, but nobody should attempt to buy puts without a lot more education than you get here. If you didn’t know that you could make bets that the stock market would go down, it’s good for you to learn about that. But learn a lot more than Weiss tells you before you put your money down.

Overall, Weiss does a good job of presenting dangers to the economy from the perspective of when he wrote the book. Although it had to be post-September 11, he doesn’t seem to worry about the threat of further terrorism. I find that puzzling, given that one atomic bomb set off in one major city in America or anywhere else in the world for that matter would be a huge economic disaster. Of course, it’s unpredictable and hence you can’t profit from it.

And he also ignores the threat of the retirement of the baby boomers.

Also, my perspective as an advocate for investing for income makes me add that you could have avoided most of the problems he outlines simply by buying stocks that pay dividends. Those stocks did go down in price during the bear market, but not as much as the high tech and telecommunications stocks which Weiss rightly slams.

Furthermore, companies that pay dividends cannot afford to indulge in the same poor accounting practices that Weiss rightfully condemns. I can’t say that all companies that pay dividends are lily-white honest, but even if they bend some rules to increase earnings, they still must come up with the cash to pay their stock holders dividends. That imposes a form of discipline that the dot com companies of the late 1990s did not have to face.

For investors who buy stocks to collect dividends, lower prices really are just paper losses . . . as long as the dividend checks continue to arrive in the mail.

Plus, while corporate bonds would be certainly be at risk in a real-life crash, government bonds would still pay their coupons. Yes, their principal would go down if interest rates go up. Yes, the bond market could crash. So don’t sell. Collect the interest checks.

If you have a crystal ball and you know exactly when the next stock market is going to happen, then of course you should buy puts on a market index and profit.

The rest of us should invest for income and sit down on our investments for as long as the dividend or interest checks don’t bounce.

Book review by Richard Stooker

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 Myths About Working at a Big 4 Accounting Firm

Wouldn’t life be great if you got to work at a Big 4 Accounting firm? People are constantly telling you that it is one of the best places to launch a career, and you are promised a great work life balance. Recruiters talk to you about how great the salary is and all the prestige you get working at a big 4 firm. Most of this is pure industry advertising. There are some great things about working at a big 4, but there are other not so great things as well.

Here are the Top 5 Myths about working at a big 4 firm.

Myth number 1: Your resume automatically grows to the top of the pile in any career hunt

Explained: An experienced candidate without big four experience is much more likely to get selected than a candidate with big four experience that is not as experienced. It is the experience within the big 4 firm at top management positions that will give your career a boost. But, you will need to work at least 3 years at a big 4 accounting firm before you are exposed to the level of responsibility smaller accounting firms might give you right away. It’s not that you worked at a Big 4; it’s what you did in the big 4.

Myth number 2: You get access to a network of professionals that is unparallel anywhere

Explained: There is a network of professionals, but the amount of “networking” you will be doing is very minimal given how busy each of these professionals are. You still need to develop networking skills to advance your career. Simply working in Big 4 does not guarantee job security for life or “networks.”

Myth number 3: You earn a great salary making all your friends at smaller firms jealous

Explained: You may have a higher salary on paper but you can be guaranteed you will be working long hours with unpaid overtime. Your friends probably make more money on an hourly basis and have much more free time. Who’s laughing now?

Myth number 4: You gain experience that is unparalleled to anything else.

Explained: If you don’t stay long enough, its very likely you will just be doing slave work such as simple referencing, and ticking and tying. Big 4 experience does not guarantee you see the whole picture of auditing. You will most likely be doing small sections of a large audit. You may see only a very small part compared to smaller firms.

Myth number 5: You get to travel the world

Explained: You get to work in places you don’t really want to. Deadlines are tight. It is very possible to go to a foreign country and go to only two places. Your client location and your hotel. Traveling is more of a nuisance than luxury at the big 4.

In conclusion, a big 4 accounting firm is a great place to start a career, but it is overhyped. Smaller accounting firms may give you a lot of exposure to areas that you will touch in the big 4 until you reach top management positions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ramaiya – Guide to the Companies Act (With a Thorough Discussion of SEBI Guidelines)

There are few books that have made history in their respective fields and have developed an unusual crave for them amongst their patrons. This encyclopedic work of RAMAIYA’S is undoubtedly one in the Company Law field.

Every edition of this book has sold like proverbial hot cakes, pointing clearly to its scholastic wealth on the subject, its deft handling by the authors its usefulness, utility and eventually the popularity of the book in the field. It has stood the test of time and has triumphantly met the strictest scrutiny from its discerning and discriminating readers and reviewing critics. The book in its every edition is quite eagerly awaited and widely welcomed by the people in the Company Law field.

The present edition is now released with the pride and glory of the previous editions.The present Reprint Edition of BOX 1 2006 is as Amended by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2006 (23 of 2006) assented on 29th May, 2006 and the Companies (Central Govt’s.) General Rules & Forms (Amendment) Rules, 2006 relating to e-filling of e-forms and text of SEBI Guidelines updated till May, 2006, incorporating all such statutory changes under appropriate sections of the book. Along with Stop Press running into 800 odd pages containing text of latest Amendment Acts, Rules, Regulations, Guidelines, Schemes, Departmental Circulars, Clarifications, Press Notes, Notifications etc. ETC.! The present new edition is being offered packed into 2 Boxes sold separately. Box 1 Reprint 2006 (Statutorily Updated till May, 2006 at appropriate places) contains 3 Parts of Treatise and 1 Part of Appendices (Appendix 1 to 150) running into 9500 plus pages. Box 2 Original Print 2004 (Optional purchase) contains 2 Parts of Appendices (Appendix 151 to 326) together running into 4000 plus pages. The present new edition encompasses within its extensive bounds all amendments made by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2002 (1 of 2003), the Companies (Second Amendment) Act, 2002 (11 of 2003), the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2006 (23 of 2006) along with e-filling of e-forms incorporating them at appropriate places of the book. In its attempt to keep abreast of the latest developments, the new edition has taken due stock of FEMA, 1999, NBFC Directions, 1998, SEBI Act, 1992 with thorough coverage of case law references, SEBI Guidelines 2000 for Disclosure and Investor

Protection and other various Guidelines, Rules and Regulations issued in respect of securities market, delegation of various powers and functions to SEBI under the Companies Act, 1956 and Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, etc.The new edition has been thoroughly revised, even re-written at places, adding further useful notes and comments in respect of several matters of Company Law Procedures and Practice and brought completely up-to-date. In this NEW EDITION the editors have considered in detail all current topics, equal stress has been laid to make the book more practical, more authoritative, more exhaustive by adding more than 125,000 lines and discussing more than 3,500 additional cases (Indian & Foreign) decided by the Supreme Court of India, various High Courts and Foreign Courts adding nearly 4000 additional pages together in both the Boxes to the new edition.Almost all Departmental Circulars, Clarifications, Notifications, Press Notes issued till date have been discussed with original extracts along with thought-provoking interpretations and comments under the sections. A very special feature of this edition is a thorough coverage of of Compliance Certificate Rules with the help of the ICSI Guidance Note on Compliance Certificate, and up-to-date revised Secretarial Action Points, Practice Notes, Check-list, list of Documents involved and petitions to be filed with Company Law Board. Yet another important feature of this edition is the discussions of various pronouncements and guidelines of the ICAI in the shape of Accounting and Auditing Practices, Statements and Standards, Guidance Notes and Opinions in brief but in exhaustive manner under appropriate sections of the book relating to Accounts and Audit. New edition carries nearly 326 useful Appendices duly cross referenced under appropriate sections bound in 3 separate handy Parts. Appendix Part 1 contains Appendix 1 to 150 sold with Box 1. Appendices Part 2 containing Appendix 151 to 255 and Appendices Part 3 containing Appendix 256 to 326 packed in Box 2 is sold separately and is optional for the buyers.

This edition, in nut-shell, is the most authoritative, exhaustive, radically revised, enlarged and most up-to-date on the subject and there is little doubt that for its tried and proven utility, the book in its present edition will have its Biblical place on the shelf of every Lawyer, Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, Company Administrator, Company Executive, and all such individuals who are in anyway concerned with the Company Law. Needless to say that the fine print and the fascinating get-up of this new edition will only add to the spell of the book on our patrons.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Powers of Business Consultancy Firms

There are a lot of reasons behind establishing a business consultancy, but not all these grounds involve the passion of the entrepreneur for independence and intellectual autonomy. Many consultants start their business right after being laid off, and they never really consider themselves as real entrepreneurs or business owners. Others plan enthusiastically for the time when they can leave their employers and open their own businesses where they can use their full knowledge and experience on providing quality services to their clients. Through the modern trends of hiring that puts more emphasis on consultants and other contractual workers, establishing a business consultancy with a real essence of business can be a wise decision for anyone with a formidable set of skills.

A business consultant is an expert in a specific field that acts as an analyst and adviser to others. The most popular fields in consultancy are statistics, information technology, marketing, business development, and other types where consulting services can be incorporated.

Consultancy is a billion dollar industry and is recognized as one of the supporting pillars of the business world. In such industry, knowledge and experience are the two most looked-upon factors. Other matters include licenses, certifications from industry professionals, organizational abilities, great networking skills of generating business and basic technological skills on state of the art machines, software programs, etc.

Among the several fields of consultancy, there are five areas that consultancy is mostly a prolific business. Such fields are accounting consulting, advertising consulting, auditing, general business consulting, and business writing consulting. The top five of consultancy industry has a lot of subcategories stemming out from each, and depending on the specialization of field of expertise that encompasses one or more of these fields, one would want to consider providing consultation on these businesses.

Starting a business consultancy is basically just like starting up any small-scale business. One must find out about registering a business name, print out business cards, set up an exclusive bank account for the business, purchasing equipment such as desktop and/or laptop computers, office supplies, and furniture pieces. Then, a press release must be stipulated about the new consulting business and they should be published on publications that are read by businessmen. Start building a networks, send out sales letters, and cold calls to companies for getting your first clients.

Building business relationships with synergistic product vendors and service providers can generate a wide network of clients for the consultancy. The clientele would need outsourcing people to do the task for them, such as lawyers, accountants, web developers, and other service providers that they need for their business. It is not always necessary to get a referral fee, but it is very important for the consultant to make sure that other business owner appreciates the help and looks forward for another business in the future.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Know All About Tally Software And Its Multiple Features

How can Tally revolutionize your business and boost your growth? Organizations can extend the scope of Tally to catalyze their business operations. They can benefit from Tally integration and customization with other softwares. The introduction of Tally ERP 9 software is dynamically improving the functioning of organizations across the globe. It enables billing, accounting, inventory management and purchases by over million businesses across 100 countries. The introduction of Tally services in India is welcomed by business entrepreneurs and connoisseurs alike planning to accelerate their business operations.

By using Tally ERP 9 software, an organization can perform innovative functions such as:

  • Generate digitally signed invoices – ideally suited for suppliers of government and corporates alike.
  • Experience enhanced GSTR-2 capabilities using the latest version of Tally ERP 9

There are Tally products, services and mobile apps that can transform the functioning of your organizations.

Tally products include:

Tally software

A business software ideal for Small, Medium Enterprises. This robust business management application has modules for financial accounting and management, banking, inventory management, payroll and statutory.

Tally Server 9

Tally Server 9 improves the functioning of Medium and large organizations. Multiple users can perform varied functions simultaneously such as quick and protected access to data from a single platform. It can easily be downloaded online.

Tally ERP 9 Auditors Edition

An auditing software tool exclusively for Chartered Accountants and their clients. It enables tax compliance and Audit services from the comforts of your office.

Tally.Net Subscription

Renew Tally.Net subscription and avail a host of services such as product updates, data synchronization services, remote access to enhance business operations.

There are also plenty of Tally services that can boost the efficacy of organizations. Here are a few:

Priority Tally ERP 9 support services

The support service offers a Tally guide to understand your requirements and offer immediate solution.

Tally support – onsite and remote

Tally support includes Tally installation and implementation, data synchronization, data migration or splitting, training or incidental support.

Tally data synchronization

Implement Data Synchronization and receive significant data from any location to the Central system through the synchronization process.

Tally ERP 9 training

The training includes corporate programs for staffs to enable them for using Tally ERP 9.

Tally AMC / Annual Support Cover

Get expert Tally ERP 9 annual cover based on the business requirements. Get support over phone, email, chat and onsite visit for Tally needs. There are clear and user-friendly terms and conditions defined for the AMC cover.

Busy professionals and business owners on the move can attend to their business requirements while downloading the Tally mobile apps. Some of these good apps are:

Business Dashboard app

This business tool is designed for the business owners using Tally ERP 9. The app is designed for business owners or partners, proprietors, CEO and managing directors of organizations. It provides them complete insight on business performance, comparing performances and real business key figures. The app can be downloaded online.

Customer profiling app

A mobile app that completes profiling of the customer and presents it with good appeal. Using the app, find customer business data made available on Android & iPhone.

Trans approval app

Using the app, identify and define critical transactions based on values for verification and approval.

Sales order booking app

This app is designed to improve efficiency of the sales team in organizations. It enables Order & receipts booking, outstanding management, customer profiling. The app works on iOS and Android devices.

Besides these, the introduction of Eway bill is also notable. Now using the single eway bill transporters can transport goods interstate without any complex procedures or hindrances.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cover Letters That Get Results

Perhaps an employer is interested in how you think. How you highlight and express your skills and talents. A crafted cover letter acts as a bridge between what an employer is seeking and your skill set.

In a cover letter you are required to address the keywords in the job description. It is impossible to have just one cover letter to use to apply for all jobs these days. Instead, you must tailor a letter to show the skills that are applicable to the job that you’re applying for just as you do when you customize your résumé to fit a different job.

You must be selective and target an audience by including keywords and phrases which match what an employer is looking for. Say for example, you were applying for jobs in auditing, accounting, sales and marketing, the keywords you’d focus on in your résumé would have to do with financial skills and marketing experience. You would not highlight your skills as a sharpshooter even if you worked part-time as an instructor in a field you are not applying for.

Your cover letter should target specific skills. It is not up to the employer to define who you are from your many talents to determine if you are a “fit” for a position. Instead, you must select and highlight skills that demonstrate your ability to do the job and present your qualifications in a well defined organized cover letter.

At one time, college graduates put literally all their skills in a résumé and expected the employer to create a job for them. Trends are different today. You are expected to do the hard work of deciding what kind of a job you want and present your skills in a finely honed cover letter and resume that targets what you want to do. The qualifications that an employer is seeking is usually written in the job description of the ad. While the cover letter does not regurgitate all the information in your résumé, it summarizes your most relevant experiences, skills and important characteristics of the job and highlights examples from your background that support these experiences. While it is true that sometimes when you get hired for a particular job, you may discover that the work is somewhat different than the job description. However, an employer expects a resume that is targeted to fit the job.

Here are some techniques to create an array of powerful cover letters that are tailored to fit unique situations. For example:

• Develop job-seeking skills in Social Media that will pay dividends for years to come. If you play your cards right! When you learn how to create lively Networking Letters and Thank You Notes for the purpose of developing and maintaining a positive list of contacts, you can draw upon this info when searching for job leads. This is accomplished by joining on-line social networks, engaging people at networking events and creating a sparkling list of contacts from family, associations, colleagues, discussion groups, supervisors and leaders in your field.

• Discover Sales & Marketing secrets to accelerate the time it takes to get interviews by polishing a targeted summary and follow-up letter. A profile on LinkedIn, for example, is a combination of a sales letter and bio that also features your picture.

• Adapt Special Situation letters to handle Job Gaps, Name Dropping, and Letters of Application as well as a recommendation, personal statements and job proposal letters.

• Tell your story in a lively, carefully crafted profile that can be modified to add excitement to a Google, LinkedIn, or a Twitter bio’s as well as many other social media sites. The biography displays and markets your skills, knowledge and abilities for getting jobs or promoting your products.

• On LinkedIn, for example, it is good to have recommendations from others who have supplied glowing recommendations showcasing your work as a professional. Commenting on others blogs, joining and participating in groups that discuss issues related to your work is an excellent way to develop contacts and enhance your credibility.

• As an added bonus, you can start your own group to increase your reputation as an expert in your field. Create a profile highlighting your achievements, providing topics of conversation and opinions and asking others to contribute. Answer questions and provide your own opinions on different issues. Type in the words Meet Up as well as the area where you live in the address bar of a search engine such as Google to produce a list of groups that you can join to develop or share skills.

Strategies for Writing Exceptional Cover Letters

• Use transferable skills that can be transferred from one environment to another such as leadership, training, communication and conflict resolution skills.

• Match your stationery with that of your resume if you send it by snail mail. You can create a format that is the same as the format of your resume.

• Write the name, address and zip code of the person you are addressing the letter. Try to find the name of the hiring manager from a contact who works at the organization where you would like to work. Don’t use Dear Sir or Madam.

• Write the cover letter using 10-12 point type and keep it to four or five paragraphs

• Do not lie or exaggerate because what you say may be discussed at your interview.

• Avoid negative and controversial information

• Do not over use “I” in your cover letter.

• Discuss your Job related skills such as working with people, data, ideas, and things.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Does a Payroll Analyst Do?

Payroll analysts have the most exciting careers of any jobs in payroll. The payroll analyst is responsible for all sorts of important duties at any company. They process the weekly or monthly payroll reports. They reconcile the payroll accounts and correct the errors. They process, balance, report, and distribute W-2 forms. They even create budget projections. They are responsible for conducting surveys of people’s salaries and for preparing the reports for the senior management team. They prepare all of the periodic statistical, financial, and operational reporting papers as they are needed. They administer all of the payroll-related benefit programs for the employees. They perform all of the internal audits of every payroll account. They even prepare the materials for all of the external and internal auditors.

The very top senior analyst job positions might require some training and advising of a payroll staff over the certain procedures that need to be taken to assist in complex transactions. Some of these people may also serve as liaisons with different departments that work to resolve all of the issues with payroll and correcting mistakes that can come up within a larger organization.

In a large number of reported cases, the person who is acting as the company’s payroll analyst and the departments that handle patrol and accounting will work in very close combination with human resources. There are also many other responsibilities that have to be taken up by an analyst at any organization. These analysts are responsible for preparing the correspondence and the communication with the other various departments via the use of email. They are also in charge of monitoring the time cards for the various employees and ensuring that each and every one of them gets paid when they should get paid. The analyst also assists the payroll clerks in handling all of the little day-to-day tasks that come along with that work. They also monitor and oversee the payroll processing for the new hires. Finally, they maintain the entire payroll database that includes the entire base, benefits, and wages of all of the company’s current employees.

The real role of any good payroll analyst is to be the reconciler of the payroll accounts and to make sure that each and every account is entered accurately into the computer system of the company’s accounting system. Many of these analysts with jobs in payroll have the responsibility of preparing the payroll schedules and reports. Other analysts are just responsible for reviewing and analyzing documents to help auditors both internally and externally.

There are many requirements for people who want to become analysts. They generally have bachelor’s degrees in accounting and related fields. Most of them earn around $60,000 per year. They can work independently or they can work as part of an auditing team.

Analyzing payrolls can be very rewarding.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yaeger CPA Review – Advantages and Disadvantages

Yaeger CPA review has been around for more than 30 years. The owner, Phil Yaeger, started teaching his CPA review course in the late 1970’s. He started teaching live classes in the Washington D.C. area. For the last several years, he has offered an online and DVD course that CPA exam candidates can use to study on their own.

Yaeger has three instructors. They are Phil Yaeger, Cindy Simpson, and Gary Bulmash. Phil teaches some of Financial Accounting and Reporting (“FAR”), Business Environment and Concepts (“BEC”) and Regulation (“REG”). Cindy teaches parts of FAR and BEC. Gary teaches Auditing and Attestation (“AUD”). All three instructors subscribe to a teaching philosophy where understanding the material is more important than memorizing it.

Advantages

One major advantage Yaeger has over the other CPA exam review courses is that it is a teaching course. If you have a learning style suited to understanding concepts and learning why answers are correct or incorrect, Yaeger is the only course dedicated to that style. The other review courses focus on memorization and tricks to help you remember.

The other major advantage Yaeger has over the other self-study review courses is that CPA exam candidates can call the Yaeger instructors and talk to them on the phone. This is an extremely valuable service when you run into an area where you need some extra help and explanation. The other review courses either do not offer options to contact the instructors or allow you to do so only through email or on an internet message board. Those modes of communication are much less effective than being able to talk directly with an instructor in real-time over the phone.

The third major advantage is that Yaeger has a higher passing rate among its students than any other review course. All of the top review courses are fairly close on their passing rates, but Yaeger is slightly higher than all of the rest. The one thing most students are looking for in a study course is getting the best chance to pass.

Disadvantages

If you are looking for memory tricks and mnemonics, Yaeger does not have as many of those as the other review courses. In addition, they are a small business and not a professional film company, so you will find some imperfections on the study videos. There are instances where instructors drop their pens and talk to people off camera. These are minor annoyances that give the videos a somewhat unpolished feel.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 Management Problems in the 20th Century

The 20th century enterprise does not manage business reality! Business reality is defined by two entities:

– Results: The specific economic outputs from the totality of the business

– Performance Solutions: The invested capital specifically utilized to produce specific results

The enterprise must organize and manage results and performance solutions in order to organize and manage business reality.

The failure of the 20th century enterprise to organize and manage business reality creates unsolvable management, business, and performance problems. The 20th century enterprise defines both the performance solutions utilized and the results produced as performance. This flawed definition prevents management of business reality. So, instead, we contrive various other methods as overlays on the business and manage entities like departments, jobs, positions, functions, and processes.

We continue to overlay new methods and write thousands of books, but we have never solved the top 10 management problems in the 20th century enterprise.

1. Reorganizations: We have never organized the business. Instead, we organize people, positions, power, and politics and overlay rigid contrived organization structures on the business. The business must adjust to the organization. Business change makes it more difficult to adjust, until there is a major upheaval called the reorganization. We then contrive another arbitrary organization and repeat the cycle.

2. Accounting and Financial Management: Historically, the enterprise needed to protect cash and so set up cash and accrual accounting and financial management. Accounting and financial management retain this legacy and, consequently, prevent modern records management and comprehensive capital management. Accounting prevents financial records on costs, value created, and comprehensive capital worth. Financial management concentrates on easy-to-manage cash and financial investments and prevents management of high-worth capital that is “administered” or is labeled as “intangible assets”.

3. Investment Analysis and Capital Development: The enterprise is unable to itemize and plan the benefits of capital development investments, and is unable to manage development of benefits and return on investments. Investment benefits are contrived estimates that cannot be managed. There is no management responsibility for the utilization of developed performance solutions, to ensure the return.

4. Administration: Administration performs functions, rather than producing results, and prevents proper capital management. The enterprise invests in capital that ends up being administered, rather than managed for beneficial utilization, continuing improvement, and a high return on the investment.

5. Performance Management: Performance is defined to include not only the actions of performing, but also the results produced. This means that performance and the results produced are mixed together as key performance indicators and in the various performance management methods employed. This definition of performance prevents the 20th century enterprise from managing business reality.

6. Business Complexity: Every new method, re-engineered process, implemented system, chart of accounts, etc. is an overlay on the business and adds to business complexity. Contrived entities are managed preventing understanding of business reality. New results and performance are added but are not managed as an enterprise whole, for improvement or removal when not needed.

7. Information Technology: Information systems and solutions are managed as technology. IT covers strategy, planning, business application, technology, and architecture management. This prevents one integrated enterprise strategy and integrated business capital and support. The diverse capital requires many capabilities to manage, creating the CIO problem. Applications are managed as technology rather than as business solutions, and business change ends up in the technical backlog.

8. Change Management: We need change management because we mismanage change. We do not manage the business, human, and management capital to be changed and utilized for benefit. Change is through disruptive projects, rather than as part of the routine. Change management services address symptoms and do not solve fundamental problems.

9. Corporate Governance: We try to solve corporate governance problems from the governance side by strengthening the problems in accounting, auditing, and compliance reporting. This is futile. The problem can only be eliminated from the corporate side, by organizing and managing business reality.

10. Alignment: Many methods have been developed and many books have been written on aligning strategy with the business, information systems with the business process, outsourced processes and internal processes, tangible assets and intangible assets, etc. This also is futile. We cannot align solutions with solutions. We can only align solutions with their input and output results.

These and other unsolvable management problems are discussed in detail at www.businesschangeforum.com These problems can never be solved by overlaying more contrived 20th century methods, or by reading books on improving the 20th century enterprise. All 20th century methods are now obsolete.

The enterprise must be redefined as a 21st century enterprise that is organized to utilize capital in performance to produce value in results. Result-performance Management (R-pM) provides the means to build the 21st century enterprise, and leave all 20th century management problems behind.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Guide to Standardized Recipe

Standardized Recipe Ideology

A standardized recipe refers to a particular standard-of-use of certain metrics in cooking – Standard sizes, time, temperature, amount, etc. Abiding by this rule creates uniformity in kitchen produce, whether or not it is tangible or intangible.

The idea of a standardized recipe is definitely not alien to many of us anymore. In fact, it has been very widely used around the globe and there are certain metrics to a standardized recipe that we must follow. In the kitchen, a standardized recipe is a crucial part of standardizing dishes, ingredients and elements in a restaurant that might lead to gain or loss during operational hours. Certain restaurants benchmark standardized recipes in their kitchen, some do not. There are pros and cons of using standardized recipes.

Benefits of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Creates an absolute standard in kitchen produce and cooking activities.
  2. Allows smooth transition between different kitchen staffs.
  3. Maintains food quality and food standards during kitchen operational hours.
  4. Guiding tool for newcomers to the kitchen.
  5. Refresh minds of kitchen staff after some time. (Eliminating guesswork)
  6. Referral material should there be any disputes.
  7. Base for costing when kitchen costs are calculated.
  8. Be a great guide to implementing a new menu should there be any need.
  9. Planning and costing purposes when a particular event needs accounting/kitchen control auditing.
  10. Prevents raw food leftovers (with good Kitchen Control)

Cons of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Inconvenient – This can be from the Head Chef keeping the list of standardized recipe in his room and had it locked or having three big books of standardized recipe and need kitchen staff to flip over one by one to get everything done. Inconvenience is the number ONE factor that led to kitchen staff not using standardized recipes.
  2. Time consuming – This is also one of the reasons why standardized recipe are not followed. During peak hours, a kitchen do not have time to waste, and every second counts.
  3. Better variations – Some Chefs prefer to follow their centric of taste, some are just worship their own believes. This could cause a problem when there is no proper training provided and Kitchen Control.
  4. Rules are meant to be broken – There are always different people/consumers around your restaurant. What’s important, the customers. When standardized recipes are not tested regularly on the restaurant, inaccurate information may be provided in the standardized recipe. Solution: Leave room or space for food/cooking variation. This usually happen when the Head Chef is not properly organized or trained well for his position.
  5. A secret no more – Some restaurateurs or Chefs frown on making a book of standardized recipe because they want to protect their food knowledge. This is a classic perception: Someone comes by, takes all the recipe and leave the restaurant after a month.
  6. When it’s gone, it’s really gone – At certain times in a restaurant, a piece of recipe sheet can get lost. When it’s lost, there will be a slight havoc in understanding as the Head Chef needs to take action immediately. On another situation, it can also be ‘stolen’ or ‘retrieved’ as management of the restaurant changes, and/or someone steals the particular information, or the restaurant faces mishaps like kitchen on fire.

Standardized recipes do not necessarily have certain standards that you need to follow. There are many ways to actually personalize your standardized recipe, keep them into your book and use them for referrals in the future. Alternatively, you can also save them into your computer, and organize them well. Whatever it is, standardized recipes serve good purposes in a kitchen – Take the time to actually follow the steps, and you might just get happier guests/customers.

There are three (3) common ways of writing a recipe:

  1. Paragraph-style recipes
  2. List-style recipes
  3. Action-style recipes

Paragraph Style Recipes This way of writing a recipe is classic – And they serve their own purpose in writing that way. There are many pros and cons to this kind of writing style, and we’d like to leave it up to you to figure it out. Anyway, here’s an example of a paragraph-style written recipe:

Put your skillet on the pan and turn on the heat to low. Now take a bowl, crack 2 fresh eggs inside and add in some salt and pepper. Next, grab a whisk and start beating it until it’s mixed or quite fluffy. When your skillet is hot enough, add in 1 tbsp of oil, and swirl the oil around. You’ll notice the oil runs faster on hot pans. When your pan and oil is hot enough, turn on the heat to high and pour in your eggs. Leave the heat on high until your eggs (at the side of the pan) forms a solid texture. At this time, reduce your heat to low. When your egg is cooked enough, flip it over and top it off with some ikan kering! Voilá!

Paragraph-style recipes can work at certain extent. Be sure to choose your methods of writing well.

List-style Recipes The list-style writing of recipes is one of the easiest, practical and most common ways of writing a recipe. This method consist of two sections – The header, and footer. Header consist of different elements such as recipe title, temperature, yield, time, etc, while the footer contains methods to use these ingredients. An example of list-style recipes:

-Eggs with Ikan Kering 2 no Eggs

-1 tbsp Oil

-Ikan kering

  1. Heat up your pan in low heat, crack two eggs into a bowl and add seasoning. Whisk well.
  2. When your pan is hot enough, add in your oil and wait until it’s hot.
  3. Pour it in and turn your heat to high, until you see the sides of your eggs are actually solid in texture.
  4. Reduce your heat to low, and cook the eggs well. Flip over.
  5. Top it off with some crumbled ikan kering and voilá!

Action-style recipes Action style recipes has been known as the killer way of listing recipes, amount, methods and ingredients in a very organized and well-mannered. The first step will usually contain ingredients and methods limited to only a particular food preparation, and the list continues and combines with step two and three. Here’s an example:

Action-style recipes can be very directive and you can add in more information to your liking. Choose which is best for you and your audience, then pick the right one and give them value.

Standard Elements in a Standardized Recipe Although we may see certain standard recipe metrics in a standardized recipe that may be both relevant and irrelevant to you, there are certain practical usage to it, and customizing your standardized recipe a good way to go when you need to emphasize certain recipe metrics in a recipe sheet. In a way, always think of your end-users rather than yourself.

Common Recipe Elements in a Standardized Recipe

  1. Ingredients
  2. Temperature
  3. Equipments & Utensils Needed
  4. Amount
  5. Method
  6. Media (Picture/Video)

These metrics are the basics – But what makes a better Standardized Recipe is to actually explain in detail what is the outcome, what should you avoid, what should you do and not do, etc. While these may be too long to squeeze into your methods area or the miscellaneous box in the action style recipe, you should include a section to it.

Recommended Standard Recipe Elements to Add These recommended standard recipe elements are absolutely optional and should only be included at selected times. Note that most recipes require only the simplest of steps to take, and portrayal of information should be as concise, clear and to the point as possible.

  1. Taste – At what degree should this dish taste like, and how you can stretch its seasoning properties from there.
  2. Precautions and Warnings – Precautions while handling these food mix or cooking methods.
  3. Tips & Advice – Best way to beef up preparation methods and cook well without the need for practical training.
  4. What to do while waiting – Important steps or methods to follow or take while waiting cooking or preparing a food ingredient or food ingredient mixes, etc.
  5. Alternatives – Alternatives to this cooking method, or that food ingredient which might not be available in certain areas of the world. Should there be any alternative ways to do it, it should be pointed out.
  6. Halal status – Halal status is very important. Certain foods are pre-packed in a non-halal manner, or foods containing pork-based materials used in preparation or alcohol usage. For example, rum flavoring. Comes in halal and non-halal.
  7. Garnishing recommendations – This should be included and portrayed after recipe methods.
  8. Miscellaneous information – This information should be portrayed at the very bottom of the recipe, stating ways on how to prepare and cut this meat, or measure the intensity of cooking in the meat. This could also serve as a section where you throw in a combination of Taste (No. 1) and Tips & Advice (No. 3).
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment