One Heck of a Business ToolBy Garry Bartecki
Article Date: 04-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
It's that time again, but nothing else comes close to the CODB as a financial analysis partner that really understands what you do, and how your'e doing.
As you all probably know it is that time of the year to complete the year-end work, put the tax return together and close up 2007. It is also the time for me to bug you to complete AED's annual Cost of Business Survey. Heck, you have the annual results right in front of you, and if you have the ability to segregate your payroll costs, filling out the forms should take less than two hours. If you don't have the time to spare your accountant will do it even faster, and if he/she knows you plan to do this every year they can map their audit software to print out a schedule of your accounts to drop right into the survey. Do it once like this and be done with it!Now the other fly in the ointment is to get your accountant to get you this data in a timely manner so that you receive your personalized report. A March 31 or April 15 deadline should not be a problem for any dealer, and if you have a problem meeting this timeline call me, because we have to talk. In addition, we only need your preliminary data because the data is averaged out - preliminary data is what you have to have by the deadline date.Do you think your banks and other financial institutions understand your business and rent-to-sell transactions? Do they look at you funny when you tell them you are right in line with industry benchmarks? How about your insurance folks - do they understand what you do? I bet most of them leave a meeting with you scratching their heads. How about your department heads - do they know how they are doing against their peers? Do they know how they should be performing against industry averages? Some do and most don't. The reason for this ranting comes from me contemplating the uses of the annual CODB report - a major one being to support your statements to bankers, insurance companies and, most important, your staff. What better way to prove your worth than by supplying a third party industry report that compares your results against your peers five different ways? I use these reports all the time for acquisition work, due diligence work, dealer planning, dealer goal setting, projections, etc. The CODB is a heck of a tool to help you make and review financial decisions. All that being said, we can cut to the chase: send in the survey to receive your customized report! And give your CFO a present by telling your accountant to map your data for the survey. This will save both of you a lot of time. AED's annual CFO Conference is scheduled once again for April and September 2008. This is the place to get your questions answered by discussion leaders or other participants. It is an open forum and kept to a workable group of 40 smart CFOs. This year we are springing some new AED programs at you along with a fraud program and dealer break-even analysis. The programs will be 201 level as opposed to 101 level and will have at least two or three workshops to let participants practice what they preach. We always have a good time and take home data to pay for the trip. Since these programs fill up fast I encourage you to get on the list as soon as possible. Want to know how to lower your break-even point? Send your CFO to our conference, and he/she will be able to tell you how to do it. Tax Worksheet from AEDThere is a Tax Stimulus worksheet to calculate the tax benefit from using either the Sec. 179 asset expense limit of $250,000 or the bonus depreciation at www.depreciationbonus.org. All you have to do is plug in the cost of the equipment being purchased in 2008 and the amount you believe you will have available for Sec. 179, and the worksheet will do the rest. My, my, don't you just love that Excel?Working with the Tax Stimulus Package is not as simple as it sounds. The highlights are on the spreadsheet and other stimulus brochures AED has made available, but since these are real tax issues, all taxpayers should consult with their tax advisors before making any decisions. Taxpayers also have the option of opting out of any of the stimulus provisions, again depending on their tax position. Need help? Feel free to call at any time. I have been receiving calls from dealers, CFOs, accountants and bankers about dealer issues. Most of the time I can answer the question or direct them to the proper source. If I can help in any way let me know.
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