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Business Operations

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Managerial Accounting: The Profit-Making Function of Business Managers

The accounting function in a business should help managers in their decision-making, control, and planning. Internal accounting reports provide essential information for controlling current profit performance [more…]

Your Options for Improving Profit in a Business

For businesses, improving profit is the ultimate goal. The options for improving profit in a business boil down to three critical factors, listed in order from the most effective to the least effective [more…]

Business Management: The Dark Side of Budgeting

Working within a budget guides a business in its modeling, planning, and control. All good, right? But there's a dark side to budgeting, too. Unrealistic business goals and unfavorable variances [more…]

Benefits of Budgeting that Relate to Business Management

Budgeting in a business has benefits and consequences that go beyond the financial dimension and have more to do with business management in general. Consider the following benefits of a budgeting process [more…]

Why Some Businesses Don't Budget

Smaller businesses generally do little or no budgeting for their company. Even many larger businesses don't budget — at least in a formal and comprehensive manner. You may encounter many reasons some businesses [more…]

Capital Expenditures and Other Cash Needs for a Business

A key element of the budgeting process for a business is to prepare a capital expenditures budget that goes to top management for review and approval. A business has to take a hard look at its long-term [more…]

Determining Product Costs and Other Costs in Business

All businesses that sell products must know their product costs — in other words, the costs of each and every item they sell. Companies that manufacture the products they sell — as opposed to distributors [more…]

Using Accurate Cost Information in a Business

Without good cost information, a business operates in the dark. Measuring costs is the second most important thing accountants do, right after measuring profit. Businesses must carefully record all their [more…]

Types of Cost Data in Businesses

Business managers must understand important cost distinctions when making decisions and exercising control based on different types of cost data. These cost distinctions help managers better appreciate [more…]

Accounting versus Economic Costs in Business

Accountants focus mainly on actual costs. Other concepts of cost are found in economic theory. Actual costs are rooted in the actual, or historical, transactions and operations of a business. You encounter [more…]

Activity-Based Costing, or the ABC Method

Activity-based costing (or, the ABC method) is a recent approach that manufacturers' accountants have started using to allocate indirect overhead costs. Most other methods are based on a common denominator [more…]

Calculating Product Costs: Actual Costs/Actual Output Method

One method of calculating product costs for a business is called the actual costs/actual output method. Using this technique, you take your actual costs — which may have been higher or lower than the budgeted [more…]

Comparing Business Budgeting with Government Budgeting

Business and government budgeting are more different than alike. Budgeting within a business entity is more flexible and less restrictive than budgets used in governments. Here are some of the ways in [more…]

How to Distinguish Profit from Cash Flow

Profit doesn't equal cash flow in a business. To find out if you made a profit or had a loss for the year, you look at the bottom line in your P&L (profit and loss) report. But you must understand that [more…]

What's in an Auditor’s Report: Opinions, Good and Bad

An auditor's report says that the business uses proper accounting methods and its financial report provides adequate disclosure — or not. When the auditor finds fault with the accounting or financial disclosure [more…]

Auditing-World Heavyweights: The Big Four CPA Firms

Many CPAs form partnerships (also called firms). A CPA firm must be large enough to assign enough auditors to a client so that all audit work can be completed in a relatively short period — financial reports [more…]

Overcoming Fixed Costs to Generate Business Profit

Almost every business has fixed costs — costs that are locked in for the year and remain the same whether annual sales are at 100 percent or below half your capacity. Fixed costs are a dead weight on a [more…]

Setting the Right Sales Prices in a Business

The secret to making profit in a business is making sales and earning an adequate margin on them. Setting the right sales prices for products is a critical factor. [more…]

Taking Charge of Your Business’s Accounting Policies

As a business manager, you should get involved in setting your company’s accounting policies. Business managers should take charge of accounting decisions just like they take charge of marketing and other [more…]

Accounting Information Variables Needed by Business Managers

As a business manager, you should identify the handful of critical information variables that you need to keep a close eye on in your business. Insist that your internal accounting reports highlight these [more…]

How to Talk About Your Business’s Financial Statements

On many occasions, a business manager has to discuss her business’s financial statements with others. Many business managers look at preparing the annual financial report of the business like they look [more…]

Using the Balance Sheet in Business Valuation

How much would you pay for a business? The business’s balance sheet — among other reports and factors — can help determine the valuation of a business. No accountant could tell you what a business is worth [more…]

Designing Internal Accounting Reports for Business Managers

When designing internal accounting reports for business managers, the accountant should ask, “Who’s entitled to know what information in the internal accounting reports?” In general, the board of directors [more…]

Preparing Profit Performance Reports for Business Managers

When designing the layout and content of profit performance reports to the manager, the accountant needs to understand what the business manager wants. The profit report should ideally reflect the manager’s [more…]

Designing Cash Flow Reports for Business Managers

Accountants must carefully design cash flow reports for business managers. The conventional statement of cash flows is far too technical and intimidating for most managers to make sense of. What managers [more…]

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