The Competitive Advantage

November 9, 2017

Many of the people I talk to

Admit to budgeting by….

 

How much did we spend last year?

 

How do you know what you spent last year;

Was the correct amount?

 

It may be your comfort level amount…

 

Do not take what you paid last year

As the cost of doing business.

 

In today’s market….

The competitive advantage belongs

To businesses that find smart solutions

To the challenges they face.

 

One way to keep this edge is….

By taking control of your expenses.

 

HBS validates what you are currently spending

Identifies sources of additional revenue

That increase your company’s bottom line.

 

HBS leaves no stones unturned

In our search for savings.

 

We find ways to save you money…

 

How do we do it?

 

We know where to look…

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An except as reported on Bloomberg.com

May 7 (Bloomberg) — U.S productivity unexpectedly accelerated in the first quarter, helping combat inflation, as job cuts meant the remaining employees did more work.

Productivity, a measure of worker efficiency, rose at a 2.2 percent annual rate after a 1.8 percent gain the prior quarter, the Labor Department said today in Washington. A separate report showed pending sales of existing homes fell for the fourth time in five months, signaling no end in sight to the housing recession.

Federal Reserve policy makers anticipate that the economic slowdown and weakening job market will contain consumer prices, and today’s figures may bolster their case. Companies trimmed staff hours by the most in five years last quarter as they tried to cope with the housing-led economic downturn, the data showed.

“Productivity is solid and labor costs are slowing and this will take the pressure off inflation and the Federal Reserve,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Unit labor costs have essentially come to a grinding halt and that should support corporate profits and allow businesses to hold the line on prices.”

Our Perspective:

Seems like there is always a silver lining!

Unemployment rates are up and the remaining forces are working harder because they are probably just as scared about losing their jobs.

The middle class squeeze!

We deserve better and we should be working to insure that everyone has an opportunity to make a good and fair wage. There is always a lot of rhetoric. It is time to take steps to correct the mistakes of the past and offer everyone the opportunity for a brighter future.

It is all within our grasp. We just have to change the way we view things and place ourselves in each situation.

Then what would be your next step?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Let us know your thoughts? You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed that “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2003.

Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.

A majority of nearly every demographic and political group — Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school — say that the United States is headed in the wrong direction. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said the country was worse off than five years ago; just 4 percent said it was better off.

The dissatisfaction is especially striking because public opinion usually hits its low point only in the months and years after an economic downturn, not at the beginning of one. Today, however, Americans report being deeply worried about the country even though many say their own personal finances are still in fairly good shape.

Only 21 percent of respondents said that the overall economy was in good condition, the lowest such number since late 1992, when the recession that began in the summer of 1990 had already been over for more than a year. In the latest poll, nearly two in three people said they believed the economy was in recession today.

Our Perspective

Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?

I seem to remember that question being asked in a previous presidential election.

How come nobody is asking the same question now?

It’s the economy stupid!  We all heard that one too! 

We are all caught up in the upcoming election but the focus seems to be on “he said …she said.” 

There are real issues with the economy: 

  • Employers slashed 80,000 jobs in March, the most in five years and the third straight month of losses.
  • At the same time, the national unemployment rate rose from 4.8 percent to 5.1 percent, the clearest signal yet that the economy might already be srinking.
  • Fed Chairman Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee on April 2nd that declining home prices are “at the core” of the credit crunch. Falling employment, rising energy costs, and depreciating housing wealth are also undercutting consumer spending.

This is a perfect opportunity to make our voices heard. There is an election in November.

Know the issues.

Know how each candidate stands on the issues.

Encourage everyone to get out and vote.

Our silence has brought us to where we currently are. We always thought that our elected officials would do what is best for all. Somehow they missed the point!

Moving from the Big Picture, what steps are you taking?

What are you doing to bring about stability in our little world?

These are issues we deal with all the time.

What is your unemployment rate?

How much sales tax did you pay last year?

Are you paying for services that you don’t even have?

Our clients are asking these questions!

They are finding savings and refund opportunities.  

Let us know your thoughts?

Do you have a question?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.  

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company. 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.    

M&A Bankers Suffer 35% Drop in Fees as Deals Dry Up From Record  

As reported in Bloomberg

 

March 31 (Bloomberg) — Mergers and acquisitions bankers suffered a 35 percent drop in fees during the first quarter, just weeks after cashing bonuses from a record year.

Advisory fees fell to about $8.7 billion from $13.4 billion in the first three months of 2007, data compiled by analysts at New York-based Freeman & Co. show. Executives at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bank of America Corp. predicted in December that takeovers would decline about 20 percent this year.

“As recently as three months ago, we thought we had seen the worst and it was going to begin to get slowly better,” said Eduardo Mestre, 59, the former head of Citigroup Inc.’s investment banking unit and now vice chairman of New York-based advisory firm Evercore Partners Inc. “It only got worse.”

The collapse of the U.S. sub prime mortgage market threatens to stifle economic growth and further curb corporate purchases. New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the world’s leading M&A adviser, reported a 47 percent decline in revenue from providing takeover advice in the first quarter from the fourth.

Our Perspective 

Is bigger always better?

Companies are looking to expand their footprint, increase their brand awareness.

Once a merger or acquistion is proposed, all the due dilligence is done upfront. Attorneys and accounts pour over documents and make recommendations as to the feasibility of the proposal.

Once all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s are crossed, signatures are placed on the contract. The next step is that all these papers must be sent to the state(s) to be registered.

The wheels come off the cart 

Once the contracts have been signed, all the focus goes into reviewing the existing operations and implementing efficiencies. What most companies fail to realize is that the states have a very difficult time recording these transactions.

 50% error rate 

The Department of Labor statistics show that 50% of the companies who have been involved with a merger or an acquisition have been assigned the wrong rates and as a result are overpaying payroll taxes.

How can this be? Isn’t this 2008! 

Again, let me make this clear. These errors have nothing to do with all the due diligence that was done prior to the acquisition or merger. Companies fail to take the next step and determine if these transactions were properly recorded.

Our clients are taking the next step.

We have a 90% success rate.

Our clients’ rates are corrected. 

They are getting refunds. 

Has your company been involved in a merger or acquisition within the last 3 years?

What rates were assigned to your company?

These errors can effect as many as 5 different tax rates.

Are you overpaying payroll taxes? 

Our services are done on a contingency fee.

There are no upfront costs.

Let us know your thoughts?

Do you have a question?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.  

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company. 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend. 

March 28 (Bloomberg) — The dollar fell against the euro, headed for its biggest weekly decline since January 2006, as traders increased bets that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again to avert a recession.

 Is this too little to late? 

Ask Gov. Corzine, he said the R word this morning on Morning Joe. He was asked by Joe Scarborough, “ Do you think we are in a recession.” His answer…”Yes.”

He went on to say that many of the things that the government is now doing is correct but they were too slow to pull the trigger. The Government should have taken these steps months ago.

Now what do we do? 

Ask John McCain, He doesn’t think the government should do anything.

Both Obama and Clinton are saying they will take steps to address these issues but that could be another year from now.

In the meantime, the economy is on a roller coaster.

The Feds keep cutting rates but the banks are not lending money. The housing market continues to suffer for people cannot get a mortgage.

Those stuck with high mortgage rates, try to take the high road and continue to pay high monthly payments with no relief in site. Some are even opting to walk away from their investment. That only will cause more problems down the road.

 What about the small business owner? 

Sales are down and costs continue to increase.

We are working with many small and medium size clients, reviewing costs, creating opportunities that will help them weather the current crisis.

Many hours have been vested to help build their American Dream.

This is not the time to be complacent!

There may not be a silver bullet cure-all but there are steps that can be taken to help reduce cost.

This is the time to be pro-active. 

Let us know your thoughts?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go. 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

I was catching up on my weekend news blips and they said something about $4.00 gas by May.

 

Is this the next hurdle?

 

I remember riding down Haddonfield road with my son Grant last year and he said, “ Look dad, gas is only $2.62.”

 

My response was, “they got you right where they want you.”

They take the time to run the price up over $3.00 and then scale it back to just under $3.00 so you feel you are getting a break or a discount.

 Are you prepared for $4.00 gas?

Is that in your budget?

Electric

On another note; the state has just finished their annual electric auction.

Guess what is going up as of June 1, 2008?

Just in time for summer!

All indications are showing that increases will be about 10%. 

NaturalGas

Not to let gasoline or electric to share the spotlight alone, natural gas is still on the rise.

All indications are that pricing is running against the tide.

Reserves are at a 5-year high!

Has there even been a cold streak this winter?

Where’s all the snow?

Yet prices are climbing and are running from $13 to $15 a decatherm.

State of the Economy

I heard the R word this weekend. 

Warren Buffet said we are in the beginning of a recession.

Politicians are in denial until after the election!

What are your thoughts? 

Hutchinson Business Solutions

How is your business doing?

Have you been pro-active in addressing rising cost?

Our specialty:

Creating opportunities today…..Defining savings for tomorrow.

 

We are here to serve.

Please take a moment to review of our recent Unemployment Tax successes.

These results may also await you? 

Recalculated Unemployment Tax rates in 2 states and provided over $500k refund.

This issue simmered for 2 years until HBS got involved and clarified.

Major PA Company doing business in the Tri-State has grown thru acquisition. The States of NJ & PA had made an error in recording these transactions. HBS was able to define these issues and get the both States to accept our audit results. Both states have   corrected the assigned rates and are issuing over $500k in refunds.

  

Found $24m error on companies Unemployment average taxable wage base, lowered tax rate and saved client $425k in tax liability over the next year.

Major PA Facility doing business in multiple states had grown thru acquisitions. An error was found on their NJ taxable wage base calculation. The State was notified and the rate was corrected producing a $425k savings in this years unemployment tax payments.

Provided $19k Unemployment Tax Saving.Taking proactive steps to lower rates and provide savings.

Major New Jersey Law Firm received their new Unemployment rates from the State in August. While reviewing the company’s reserve balance, we found that by making a $6k voluntary contribution to increase the reserve balance their tax rate would lowered by .3%. By being proactive and the client will save $25k in unemployment taxes over the next year.

Give us a call to learn more about how these opportunities may also be available to your company.

Hutchinson Business Solutions has a 90% success rate in saving our clients tax liability and providing refunds.