Rising commodity prices to take a toll on Q2 results

Prices resource commodity or raw material have surged sharply globally since July. All resource commodities and fuel commodities went up 5-15 per cent. Prices, when compared with a year ago levels, looks much higher. Analysts say, this will certainly put pressure on Indian companies’ raw material cost which has been 45-46 per cent in last five quarters taking in to account June FY18 quarters as most commodities are expected to stay at elevated levels.According to forecasts report by FocusEconomics which is a provider of economic analysis and forecasts for 127 countries for 33 key commodities China’s supply management in some commodities resulting in production cuts and increasing demand in commodities will keep most commodities prices elevated or moderate from higher levels. However the report is largely not bearish. The report said that, “aluminium, Nickel, Zinc are expected to stay high while copper prices are set to dip this year, after getting slightly ahead of fundamentals. …

7 Ways Accounting Firms Can Thrive in a Changing Landscape

Like every other accounting firm, yours is likely under growing pressure to transform the way it interacts with clients. From the use of client-facing and internal technology to positioning your firm through differentiation, the way we do business is changing. It doesn’t help that the market feels saturated, considering the nearly 1.25 million accountants and auditors in the United States. That makes it difficult to stand out. Yet that is exactly what your firm must do to survive and thrive. Here are opportunities to do just that.

1. Develop Deeper Relationships

At any given moment, about a third of accounting firm clients are considering switching firms, according to a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group. It’s a well-known fact that it’s far more cost effective to keep a client than to bring on a new one. In fact, it’s also quite lucrative to do so. It turns out that firms with satisfied customers expect an average of 7% higher revenues in the coming year.

No wonder so many accounting firms are exploring ways to introduce new services.

Source: Accounting Today

What new services can your firm offer now and in the future with some upfront planning?

2. Pursue Innovation

According to a recent survey by the American Institute of CPAs and its subsidiary, CPA.com, most CPA firms are taking steps to become more innovative in practice management. Examples include using value or fixed pricing instead of hourly billing. Your firm can do the same by offering set packages of services, and or taking a more consultative, value-add approach to client engagements.

CPA.com strategic advisor Greg LaFollette predicts that a growing number of firms will offer boutique-style, value-priced packages to clients. He shares these examples for tiered tax services:

Silver: basic preparation with a 15-minute consultation after preparation

Gold: adds a one-hour tax and overall financial planning consultation

Platinum: adds unlimited, year-round phone/email access and representation before the IRS for any issues concerning this return

Obviously your firm would charge a premium for the platinum package.

3. Adopt the Latest Technologies

With so many technologies available to help improve processes, deliver data insights, and open up new revenue streams, your accounting firm would be foolish not to take advantage of these. While tools like tax prep software and document management systems are useful across firms of any size, larger firms are embracing other new technologies such as those for managing workflow and practices a at higher rate.

4. Get Data Smart

As Lauren Clemmer, Executive Director of the Association for Accounting Marketing says, Smart firms dig into their data and analyze the source of their business. By understanding what their most profitable and loyal clients value, they can strategically focus to develop new product lines and new business based on their strengths.

Your firm can do the same by reviewing client billings and engagements to date. Remember to pinpoint the most profitable offerings that also yield long-term client retention.

5. Skill Up

Hand in hand with getting data smart, many CPA firms are finding the need to develop deeper data analytic skills. No wonder. According to the Journal of Accountancy, mastery of data analytics can help businesses generate a higher profit margin and gain a meaningful competitive advantage. Some experts even predict that companies ignoring data analytics may be forced out of business in the long run.

In addition to calling upon technologies such as predictive analytics, your firm needs to hire or train the right people to analyze the data. As Roshan Ramlukan, EY principal and global assurance analytics leader says, The human element of data analytics is the most critical factor in building a successful program.

By becoming more proficient in data analysis, accounting firms can better derive insights to guide their own practices forward while supporting their clients.

6. Tap into New Social Networks

According to Follette, clients will increasingly shop and screen professionals based solely on that professional’s digital presence, making your ‘digital brand’ and ‘digital footprint’ more and more important. If your firm isn’t on par with or ahead of the industry 57% are on LinkedIn, 50% are on Facebook, 22% are on Twitter, and 15% are blogging it’s time to establish a presence. The key is to be active, helpful, and genuine.

7. Pave the Way for Successors

As the current generation of accountants approaches retirement age, it’s essential for firms to make plans for the future. Boomer Consulting president Sandra Wiley advises to tell current leaders in the firm the most important thing they can do is to find ways to pass their wisdom and knowledge on to the next-gen leaders in your firmif they can adjust their focus from the day-to-day client work, and focus on mentoring, teaching, protecting and future-firm focus, our profession will thrive.

ConvergenceCoaching co-founder Jennifer Wilson echoes this sentiment. Make the changes needed to be a next-gen firm and retain your future leadersPut together a next-gen advisory board and have them prioritize the changes they most want to see – then work with them to implement these changes. They are bright enough to generate solutions and implement them. Empower them and get out of the way!

In a first, NCLT allows Synergies Dooray merger with subsidiary under IBC

BS ReporterHyderabad, 16 August: Hyderabad-bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved an insolvency resolution plan for Synergies Dooray Automotive Limited (SDAL), which used to supply aluminium alloy wheels to global car makers such as Ford, in a first ever order issued under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016.Visakhapatnam-based aluminium alloy wheels maker Synergies Castings Limited(SCL), which is a related party, will merge SDAL in a scheme of amalgamation as part of the insolvency resolution plan, as per the NCLT orders.On January 23, NCLT had admitted the corporate debtor (SDAL)’s petition seeking IR under 30(6) and 31 of IBC, 2016. This was said to be the first application filed before an NCLT bench under the new bankruptcy code. SDAL, which was incorporated in the year 1995, was into manufacturing of aluminium alloy wheels before it was stopped its operations.The petitioner had a debt of Rs 972.15 crore, owed to four financial creditors, …

HowI Learned to Stop Worrying about Money and Quit my Job

don't worry

[As part of our new weekly column by Mr. 1500 of 1500Days.com]

******

I left my job about 4 months ago and haven’t regretted it a bit.

My career didn’t even last 20 years. I started my first real job in January of 1998 and my last day wasApril 13th of 2017. Leaving wasn’t an easy decision.

I have money security issues and suffered from an acute case of One More DollarSyndrome (the first cousin of One More Year Syndrome). When I started my journey to financial freedomway back on January 1st of 2013, I figured I would need about a million to quit ($40,000 per year per the 4% Rule). When I left, I had almost $1,400,000 saved up. And this didn’t include $400,000 in home equity.

Despite the big nest egg, picking up the phoneto tell my boss the bad news was one of the most difficult calls I’ve ever made. Over four months later, I’m still adjusting, but life is pretty great.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Money and Quit my Job

The numbers part of retirement is easy. Figure out your annual spending and sock away enough to last a lifetime. The emotional part; not so easy.

Here is how I learned to stop worrying and quit my job:

#1. I’m frugal and flexible

I planned my retirement money needs according to the 4% Rule which has no shortage of detractors. It isn’t 100% safe, but nothing is. My advice is to stay frugal and flexible:

  • Frugality: If you can liveon $40,000 per year, it doesn’t take much income to move the needle. Just generating an extra $10,000 turns the 4% Rule into the 3% Rule, drastically improving your odds of never running out of money. You can make $10,000 by renting a room, driving for Uber or getting a part-time gig.
  • Flexibility: Being able to react to the curve balls life pitches isn’t just a good strategy for early retirement, it’s a good strategy for life. Don’t get set in your ways. Be mindful of the world and be ready to pivot in the unlikely event that your net worthcraters by 50% the day after you quit.

#2. I considered the worst case scenarios, and created backup plans for mybackup plans)

Some of my worst case scenarios include:

  • Massive stock market drop early in retirement
  • Lack of meaning in my life

And one my biggest:

  • Boredom

The worst case scenarios are not that bad once you start thinking about them. If the market tanked, I’d step up my side-hustles or go back to full-time work for a year. If I was bored, I’d hire a life coach.

Perhaps my ultimate worst case scenario is this:

I die regretting all of the things I didn’t get around to doing!

I’ve helped eliminate that one by leaving my job. But, I still needed to come up with backup plans for financial disasters.My worrying brain constantly barrages me with what-ifs:

  • What if the stock market drops by 50%?
  • What if health insurance costs $3,000/month?
  • What if my wife or I come down with a major illness?

Here are my backup plans, in order of mild(stock market drops 50%) to terror (in a temporary bout of insanity, I invest all of my money in an MLM and lose it all):

  • Pick up a side-hustle
  • Go back to full-time work
  • Sell my home to get the equity ($400,000) out
  • Move to a foreign country for cheap living and health care
  • Create my own MLM!

Hmmmm, maybe I should implement that last one today Brace yourselves readers. Today I’d like to introduce you to my new business:Mr. Money Marshmallow!

How would you like to be a downline distributor? Get in on the ground floor today! (And don’t tell Mr. Money Mustache)

Just kidding. As much as I enjoy marshmallows, I really, really dislike MLM schemes. And now I’m all distracted. Pull yourself together man!

I don’t think that I’ll have to do any of those things, but knowing that I’ve thought through my worst case scenarios gives me peace.

#3. I realized that risk is OK (or even great!)

Quitting work at 43 isn’t the safe route. If I wanted that, I’d work until I’m 62 and continue to stockpile money. I’d have good insurance the whole time, a decent car, and maybe even Oh wait, I feel something coming on:

*yawn*

To hell with that. A normal life of safety sounds pretty damn boring. I want to live on my own terms and follow my own ambition. Besides, no one ever did anything great taking orders from Mr. Bossman in a cube, right?

#4. I know that the work Ilove is mybest work

I learned an important lesson on my journey to early retirement:

You can’t retire to nothing.

Retiring just for the sake of retiring is a horribleidea. Any well adjusted human needs meaningful activity to be happy. Many of us get it from work, and if that’s you, you better have something lined up when you leave. TV won’t cut it.

I have my writing. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have left my job. Financially, I would have been better off sticking with my career as a programmer. However, money only funds a certain amount of happiness. At some point, you max out that happiness account and need to move on.

This is exactly what I had to do. I realized that more money wasn’t going to make me happier, but working on my blog, abook, and related projects would.

I Should have Done it Sooner

Everyone says it. And here I am saying it too: I should have left my job sooner.

Chances are, you’ll say the same when it’s time.

Humans have a tendency to let their fears stand in the way of their dreams. We cling to worst case scenarios to justify the chains that bind us. And to make it more difficult,leaving work before you’re old and grey is still an unconventional concept! Humans are followers, and not many members of the herd leave their jobs early.

But I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my life now. Every day is different. This is how one played out earlier this week:

  • Woke up at 5am (life is too good to spend it sleeping)
  • Biked 20 miles up into the mountains (life is too good to not be in optimum health)
  • Ate breakfast with my girls
  • Worked on three different blog posts for two hours
  • Biked with the girls to the library
  • Went home for lunch
  • Spent the afternoon at the pool with the girls
  • Polished up a chapter on a book I’m working on
  • Dinner
  • Family walk
  • Played Ticket to Ride with the family

I left my job about 4 months ago and haven’t regretted it a bit. I encourage others who’ve already reached FIRE to strongly consider it too.

ETF Closures Pick Up; Launches Lag

Drew Voros ETF.com Editor-in-Chief With well over 2,000 ETFs listed in the U.S., and of course more coming to market every week, it’s not surprising that the number of ETF closures is also gathering steam. It’s a healthy thing for the industry, a culling of the herd. There have been 63 closures through the end