Line of credit: what you should know

Line of credit: what you should know

A bank line of credit is similar in function to a credit card. It provides a reliable source of cash for potential short-term business needs. If you’re considering a bank line of credit, here’s what you should know:

How it works

With a line of credit, you make draws against your credit line from time to time as you need cash. You pay interest only on the amount of the outstanding loan balance. You are expected to make payments and occasionally bring your outstanding balance to zero.

Example: Assume you have a $100,000 line of credit. You are not obligated to draw any of it at any given time, and you will pay no interest until you actually make a draw (much like a credit card).

Now assume that you must build up your inventory for the holiday shopping season and need $30,000 to do so. After your inventory purchase, you still have $70,000 of your credit line available; you are only paying interest on the $30,000 you used. You may have several occasions during the year to borrow on your line of credit. Since your line of credit is intended for short-term cash needs, your banker expects your balance to be paid down as your cash flow improves.

business chart for line of credit

Use your credit wisely

Do not use a line of credit for capital purchases. If you need to expand your building or buy new equipment, arrange a term loan for that specific acquisition. This allows your creditor to use the new equipment to secure the loan and it keeps your line of credit free for short-term needs.

While a line of credit may have a low interest rate, most don’t have a fixed rate. The rate can change depending on the market at the time that you borrow, plus how much you borrow. You may end up paying a much higher interest rate if you already used your line of credit and need to borrow more money to cover another shortage.

Qualifying for a line of credit

If your business has at least two years of making a profit, you may qualify for a line of credit. Start by checking with your current bank. Your banker would like to keep your business, and if your financial statements support it, you will most likely be offered the line of credit. Depending on the size of the line of credit, be prepared to put up your business and personal assets as collateral. The bank may even request a co-signer on the note.

Most banks are willing to make loans to businesses that have uneven income cycles, but you may want to shop around for the best loan terms. Some banks may already have several customers in your industry and do not want more (a potential bank examiner’s concern). Accordingly, their terms may be less favorable than some other bank or credit union.

Contact us today if you would like assistance in preparing a request for a line of credit.

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.


Is It Time to Automate Your Accounts Payable?

Is It Time to Automate Your Accounts Payable?

Doing the work is only step one. Step two is getting paid and paying others—the vendors, contractors, and others your organization depends upon. And it’s step two, the accounts payable process, that presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses and nonprofits.


You probably experience the challenges every month. Bills stack up. Invoices are in various stages of the approval process. Checks are … Where are the checks again? Being printed, waiting to be signed, in the mail? These details and many more need to be recorded, without a single error, over and over again.


And therein lies the opportunity. If you can find a faster, more accurate way to handle accounts payable, you can devote more staff time to more valuable projects. Plus, you can build your organization’s reputation and keep vendors and contractors happy. That’s the opportunity available when you switch to an automated accounts payable solution.

Automate Your Accounts Payable

Is Automation for You?

Small businesses might not need to switch to an automated accounts payable solution—at least not yet. But if your business is growing, or you expect it to soon, automation is likely to be a smart investment, so you can stay ahead of increased workloads.


Other signs to look for that will indicate you should seriously consider an automated solution include:

  • Missing payment deadlines
  • Making data entry errors
  • Struggling to get payment approvals
  • Losing track of bills or constantly swimming under a stack of them
  • Hiring new accountants who prefer or are accustomed to automated solutions


The Advantages of Automation

A variety of automated solutions are available, the best known of which is probably With these automated systems, you no longer have to manually perform every step of the accounts payable process, from processing and routing bills to getting approval and recording transactions.


Instead, you simply create bills, enter them into the system—often a cloud-based payment platform—and move on to other tasks since the payments are sent automatically. If bills require approval, you enter approvers into your account, and they’re automatically notified when they need to review a payment, which they can do in seconds.


You’ll want to make sure that whichever automated accounts payable solution you choose, from QuickBooks to Sage Intacct, will sync with your accounting software. That way, you can ensure that your accounting books are always fully up to date.


Need Advice or Support?

Whether you want advice on switching to an automated accounts payable solution or are considering outsourcing some or all of your accounting functions, Insero & Co. can help. Our financial professionals have decades of experience working with nonprofits and businesses and are available to help you find smart, efficient solutions to your accounting challenges.

Make Meetings Worth Everyone’s Time

Make meetings worth everyone’s time

For most companies, business meetings are a fact of life. Although meetings are generally meant to be useful and necessary, too many of them simply waste time. Some may even harm morale. Luckily, you can change that.


Here are a few ideas for making business meetings truly worth the time:
  • Use other forms of communication whenever possible. Most meetings are held to disseminate information. The participants are informed or reminded about policies, given progress reports about ongoing activities, or told of upcoming events. However, unless you’re soliciting input or anticipating confusion about the subject matter, consider substituting emails or other memoranda to communicate routine information. That way, you’ll be providing written guidelines while saving everyone’s time.
  • Skip unneeded meetings. Don’t hold a meeting solely because it’s part of the usual schedule (e.g., the weekly staff meeting). Once again, if the topic of the week can be conveyed in a memo, or there’s nothing important to discuss, simply cancel. If you do hold a meeting but exhaust your topic early, adjourn rather than trying to fill the allotted time.
  • Prepare your meeting participants. If your meeting objective is to generate ideas or consensus, you can kickstart the creative process by distributing an agenda with guidelines a few days beforehand. Letting the participants mull over the topics in advance can maximize productivity and minimize orientation time. Encourage a diversity of opinions and positions, but be prepared to tactfully deflect digression or showboating.
  • Summarize the meeting results. At the end of any meeting, briefly sum up the proceedings, clarify actions to be taken, and identify who is responsible for assigned tasks. An important goal is to make your participants feel they are a vital part of company processes.

Once you begin integrating these ideas into your business’s meeting culture, you’ll likely find that meetings will become more efficient and effective — and employees will be thankful.

two women meeting, communicating with business work

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.

4 Ways to Control Seasonality Problems

4 ways to control seasonality problems

The No. 1 cause of business failure is poor cash flow management. Cash Flow Corner gives you tips to help you master this business fundamental.

Large swings in revenue throughout the year brought on by holiday shopping, weather and other annual events can make it exceptionally difficult for seasonal businesses to plan and sustain a positive cash flow.

business data in charts to effectively manage seasonality cash flow changes

The following tips can help seasonal businesses cope with downturns and effectively manage cash flow throughout the year:

  • When times are good, get a line of credit. The best time to set up a line of credit is when you don’t need it. Not only will you have the extra time it may take to secure a loan from a bank, you’ll also gain peace of mind knowing that it’ll be there when you need it.
  • Leverage your supplier relationships. The goodwill you build up with your suppliers will likely make them more inclined to help you out with alternative terms that keep cash in your pocket during low sales periods. For instance, your suppliers may agree to hold a portion of your inventory and accept payments upon release, instead of requiring upfront payment for the entire lot. Long-term suppliers will help as they know your business and that you will not be ordering from a competitor. You benefit by aligning your supplier payments closer to when you will be selling the product.
  • Create a labor strategy that optimizes your cash flow. Consider giving your employees time off during low seasons and incentivizing them by offering higher pay during peak seasons. You may also minimize your need to hire extra staff or pay overtime during peak season if you’re able to shift some of that work into the downtime months when your employees are light on tasks.
  • Partner with your customers. Your customers can help you maintain a steady cash flow throughout the year if you give them the right opportunities to do so. Incentivize them to make purchases during your low season by offering worthwhile discounts that expire before the peak season.

Contact us for a review of your company’s cash flow management plan.

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.


Do You Have the Right People on Your Financial Team?

The Costs of Building an Internal Financial Team

If you have a financial team in place that possesses all the expertise and experience your business or nonprofit requires, count yourself lucky. Many organizations find it increasingly difficult to find, train, and retain employees who can provide all the needed services at a high level of excellence for years on end.


The eternal search for that perfect fit can be costly, as demonstrated by the following three challenges of building an internal team.

Man pointing

Do They Know Your Industry?

Every organization has specific financial requirements that vary in sometimes obvious and other times more nuanced ways. Finding financial team members who understand the ins and outs of your industry can be difficult—and if they lack that knowledge, they could make mistakes or overlook new options or changing requirements, which could cost your organization in lost hours or fines.


Do They Have the Right Skills and Experience?

Accounting and financial management require a variety of technical skills, including expertise on the specific types of software you use. Employees also need to have both deep and broad experience in their specific field—years or preferably decades of experience.


If your employees lack adequate skills and experience, that means a lot of training and management time for you, which increases your operational costs. On the other hand, hiring—and keeping—top-end accounting staff typically requires paying them high salaries.


Will They Stay?

Every time an employee takes substantial time off or moves on to another job, you have to go back to the beginning—back to hiring and training another newcomer, which is a costly and time-consuming process. In addition, employees sometimes take critical knowledge with them, leaving you in a scramble to figure out how to plug the gaps they’ve left behind.


Time to Outsource?

If you have encountered these and other challenges in building your internal financial team, it might be time to consider outsourcing some or all of your accounting and financial management needs.


Insero & Co. has decades of experience working with hundreds of nonprofits and businesses, providing each with a dedicated team of experts who offer the service you’d expect of an internal team, combined with the cost-efficiency you can only get with an outsourced provider. Contact us today to talk about our outsource accounting and financial services and how they might be able to help you redeploy your internal staff to focus on more mission-critical work.

What Board Members Need to Know About Financials

What Nonprofit Board Members Need to Know About Financials

As a board member, you’re expected to use your skills and experience to help the organization achieve its goals. For nonprofits, that usually involves raising money. For any organization, it likely means providing management and oversight, assisting in specific areas of operation, and helping the organization through transition periods.


A key piece of all these endeavors is understanding the organization’s financial position. Without timely financial information, it’s simply not possible to monitor progress or make informed decisions about the future of the organization, not to mention the fiduciary responsibility of every board member.

women at computer working on charts

The Numbers Board Members Need

Each year, every nonprofit board member should receive IRS Form 990, which provides broad information about the organization’s mission, programs, revenue sources, and more. Form 990 is only the beginning, however, as board members also need monthly or quarterly updates on the organization’s financial information, typically provided in the form of:


  • Statement of financial position (balance sheet)
  • Statement of activities (income statement)
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Actuals versus budget
  • Other operational figures


If you are not receiving timely financial updates from staff, ask why this might be. If time or reporting capability is an issue, the organization should look in to upgrading to better financial software.


How to Make Metrics Meaningful

Reviewing the financial statements on a regular basis is the first step. The second is making sure that the reports you are receiving are easy to understand, relevant, and concise. Most board members do not have extensive financial or accounting expertise, and you shouldn’t need to! Ask your staff to think about the following when providing their board reports.


When possible, graphs should be used in lieu of tables of numbers or detailed line items. Trends should be shown, providing continuity between one report and the next. It’s also helpful to provide some explanation around significant items. For instance, the report might point out places where there is significant variance between expected and actual outcomes, and explain why that’s the case.


Ideally, organizations should be able to customize their dashboards to quickly provide the most relevant information to board members. Leading cloud-based accounting software solutions such as Sage Intacct provide powerful report visualizations, as well as real-time reports that make it easy to drill down to the details that matter.


The latest software makes it possible to view project profitability and other up-to-date metrics at a glance, as well as to easily flag trends, key comparisons, missed or hit targets, outliers, and other information that can give board members more helpful insights into the organization’s financial well-being.


Do You Have the Details You Need?

Even if you don’t serve on financial or accounting committees, as a board member you have a responsibility to know the financials of your organization. Insero & Co. has decades of experience working with nonprofits, businesses, and their boards. We’ll make sure you have the real-time, detailed, and easy-to-use financials you need to make the right decisions to move your organization forward. Contact us to learn more.

Hiring temporary employees? Here’s what to consider

Hiring temporary employees? Here’s what to consider


Are you considering hiring temporary staff? Accepting an employee on a temporary basis is not only helpful in a pinch, it also allows you to evaluate that person’s skills, performance, personality and general fit with your company before making an offer of employment.

If you decide to work with a recruiting/employment agency, it will often test an employee’s skills, perform background checks and verify employment history. In addition, the agency typically handles payroll expenses, withholding taxes, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.

In most cases, you won’t provide a benefits package for temporary staff, so these employees may cost less over the short term. However, be aware that agencies often charge commissions in addition to hourly rates and may charge a separate fee if the temporary worker is hired permanently.

business women holding computer with considering options for hiring temporary employees


If you’re considering hiring one or more temporary employees for your business, here are a few helpful suggestions:


  • Know what your business needs. Start by determining what kind of tasks must get done and what specific job skills someone will need to effectively complete those tasks. Push yourself to define your business needs.
  • Prepare detailed job descriptions. Your temporary worker should know precisely what’s expected of them. Document the scope of their responsibilities, payment terms and confidentiality agreements. The more definitive the details of the role, the more prepared the temporary hire will be when they begin.
  • Vet your employment agency. If possible, find an employment/recruiting agency that understands your business and specializes in the kinds of staff you need. Discuss your goals and nail down all pertinent contract provisions including benefits (if any) to be paid, as well as who will make final hiring decisions, and how contracts will be terminated.
  • Understand your temporary workers’ rights. While there are several rules you need to follow to avoid misclassifying contractors, temporary workers fall under many of the same laws as full-time employees. These include statutes against discrimination and harassment. So take care to provide a safe and respectful work environment for your temporary workers and develop a plan to have your current staff make them feel welcome.
  • Plan early, if possible. It may be hard to predict when you’ll need temporary help in situations like a medical emergency or leave of absence. However, if your company has a busy season that requires extra hands every year, make hiring temporary workers part of your annual plan. Let agencies you’re working with know that you’ll be looking for workers during a certain period of time so they can start recruiting candidates.
  • Consider repeat temporary staff. Welcome back temporary workers who do a great job. This can ease the learning curve and cut down on training time because they will already be familiar with your business and its needs.

Having a helpful temporary employment strategy can really help your business.

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.


IRS Tax Notes: Phishing still a threat, etc.

Phishing still a threat on “Dirty Dozen” list

The IRS warns taxpayers to remain vigilant when it comes to fake emails and other internet phishing scams used in an attempt to steal personal information. If you get an unsolicited email or social media message that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS (like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System), you should report it by sending it to

Protect your personal info

To safeguard against identity thieves who continue to steal large amounts of data, the IRS urges taxpayers to take the following steps to protect personal information:

  • Use computer security software (including firewalls and malware protection).
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Be cautious of email attachments.
  • Avoid oversharing personal information on social media sites.
  • Keep old tax returns and records in a secure place.

safeguard against identity thieves who continue to steal large amounts of data with phishing scams

Reminder: 2019 alimony rule change

Alimony is no longer a tax deduction for those paying it, nor income for those receiving it. This rule change does not impact divorce agreements reached before 2019. Now is the time to review any prenuptial agreements and exercise caution when changing an existing divorce arrangement.

Second-quarter interest rates stay the same

Interest rates for the second quarter in 2019 have stayed the same since the first quarter. The rates are as follows: 6 percent for overpayments (5 percent for corporations), 3.5 percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment over $10,000, 6 percent for underpayments and 8 percent for large corporation underpayments.

As always, we hope you find our tips and news for businesses valuable, and look forward to receiving your feedback. Companies focused on growth have sought the help of Insero & Co. for more than 40 years. During that time they have consistently experienced the peace of mind that comes from knowing their CPA firm takes the concept of integrity seriously. Should you have any questions, please contact us directly.

The New Age of Accounting

The New Age of Accounting

Change has always been a constant in the accounting industry, from the days of calculators to the advent of the personal computer and Excel spreadsheets. But today is different: The pace of change is accelerating, and the tools and technologies available today are not simply advancing accounting but revolutionizing it.


There are tremendous opportunities in this new age of accounting. Accountants who keep adapting and learning can use the latest innovations, from machine learning to automation, to accomplish more in less time and benefit their organizations in previously unheard-of ways.

artificial intelligence

More Data, Deeper Insights

Many of the advancements in the digital era revolve around data—gaining visibility into more data, analyzing it quickly, and visualizing it in more insightful ways. Implementing the latest data analytics tools, including artificial intelligence (AI), can provide a significant competitive advantage by increasing productivity and improving decision-making.


AI may still sound like a new-age idea to some, but it has already been implemented successfully by leading accounting firms. Its applications will no doubt increase in the years to come, but already AI is being used to digest and analyze large volumes of data at speeds humans simply can’t match. That accelerates and expands data analysis, and it frees employees to shift from manual data entry and basic analyses to higher-level strategic planning and other mission-critical work.


In addition to AI, accountants can benefit from advances such as cloud-based accounting systems that streamline information and provide secure access, anytime and anywhere, to workers and clients. Integrated cloud-based systems can provide significant cost benefits compared to expensive on-site solutions, as well as accelerating decision-making and providing improved visibility into data from across the organization.


Next-Gen Accounting Skills

To take full advantage of the new age of accounting, accountants need to develop and focus on a new set of technical capabilities, as well as honing some old-fashioned skills.


First and foremost among the new digital skill requirements is the ability to understand and work with big data using the latest software and features. With masses of business-wide data now being analyzed in minutes, accountants need to be able to quickly assimilate all that information, interpret findings and trends, and make informed recommendations to the executive team.


At the same time that digital literacy requirements are increasing, some old-school skills are becoming increasingly valuable. In particular, modern accountants need to be highly skilled at both verbal and written communication to express complex concepts clearly and convincingly. The ability to collaborate, both in person and digitally, is also vital as the accounting team becomes more involved in making strategic business decisions.


Prepare for the Future

Accountants in today’s fast-paced digital world need to stay up-to-date with the latest tools and technologies. To be sure, that can be a challenging task given how quickly innovations are emerging. But, as with many other advances in today’s world, adapting to these innovations is not a choice but a necessity. Embracing the revolutionary changes underway right now is the only way to future-proof your organization and help it become more competitive and productive, both now and into the future.

Why Insero?

Why Insero?

We get it: Outsourcing your accounting tasks is a big decision that requires a great deal of trust. The firm you choose should earn that trust by proving that they have extensive experience and a dedicated team that will give you the expertise and service you deserve.


To that end, here’s a brief primer on Insero & Co., which is one of the premier firms in New York, providing audit, tax, outsourced accounting, and business advisory services.


Insero Experience

Insero has been providing outsource accounting services for more than 20 years and has served hundreds of clients, from small nonprofits to large corporations. We’ve worked with more than 200 organizations across New York State, meaning we have experience working inside organizations just like yours.


What does all that experience mean for you? It’s not just that we’ve seen it all and can help you through everything from budgets to bookkeeping. It’s that we’ve learned from every engagement and have refined our processes, so you can count on us to deliver what you need, when you need it, with no surprises along the way.

employee picture

A Team You Can Trust

The people on your team will be full-time employees of Insero—that makes a big difference in continuity. You won’t be working with temps looking elsewhere for employment or professionals doing this as a side gig, so you can relax knowing that staff turnover is not a concern.


Your dedicated team will include employees with high-level accounting knowledge and expertise. Instead of cookie-cutter solutions, our experts will tailor their services to your needs, adjusting as they go to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.


Every firm says they’re dedicated to client service, so what does that mean? It means we invest heavily in developing the highest level of service, including training everyone in the firm on how to deliver it. We also ensure that every client is receiving regular communication and follow-through, as well as the personal attention that sets our firm apart.


The Insero Difference

Of course, the best way to get to know Insero & Co. is to talk with us. What you’ll find is that our people are both knowledgeable and personable, and the firm as a whole is large enough to provide the resources our clients need, yet still small enough to provide flexible, relationship-based service. Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out if we have the experience and team you’re looking for to handle your outsource accounting needs.