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How a Small Business Nearly Missed out on $100,000 Refund and How it May Apply to You

How a Small Business Nearly Missed out on $100,000 Refund and How it May Apply to You

I was recently reminded of how complex government programs can be and how they can evolve.  Even to people who deal with tax laws and government programs on a regular basis, opportunity can be overlooked.  I was speaking to a friend and business owner over dinner several months ago.  We were talking about the economy, the supply chain and increases in prices of raw materials.  We were comparing how our companies survived the struggles of the pandemic and what resources were available.   

 

How Many Small Businesses Felt The Pressure Of The Pandemic

We discussed programs we were able to utilize to help get us through the pandemic.  We agreed the programs were generally too late and too little, we had both received money from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) as many fellow businesses pursued.  We reminisced over the stress of the limited funding, first come first serve funding, and ambiguity of the program.  It seemed each bank were following different processes to apply, their procedures for the banks to approve eligibility and varying, interpretations of the incomplete rules as the dribbled out from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding eligibility calculations for businesses and what costs would be allowable. 

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The Payroll Protection Plan (PPP)

As businesses and the economy were shutting down in early 2020 the Act creating PPP also included other programs to assist small business.  One lesser utilized program was the Employee Retention Credit, (ERC).  While the ERC was a fine program, it was nowhere near as generous an beneficial as the PPP program previously mentioned.  The real limiting factor in accessing the ERC program was the restriction where if a business participated in the PPP program, they were ineligible for the ERC program.  For a vast majority of businesses, the PPP program was the way to go due the upfront cash and subsequent forgivability.  With the ineligibility of the ERC program if a business had participated in the PPP program many business owners and some advisors stopped following the development of the ERC program. 

 

Did You Fail To Take Advantage of The ERC Program?

This is where my friend, the small business owner, found himself.  He had stopped following the ERC program, and unfortunately his tax advisor had as well.  While individuals were focused on keeping their businesses viable during the pandemic some overlooked the changes occurring in the ERC program during late 2020 and early 2021 which allowed PPP participants to be eligible for the ERC program.  With this change many businesses which received PPP money were now also able to participate in the ERC program.  If able to maximize the program, a small business can receive a refund of $26,000 per employee.  This consists of $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $7,000 per quarter for the first three quarters of 2021.  For a maximum refund per eligible employee of 26,000.  But only for a limited time. 

To be eligible for a refund a business must have had its operations fully or partial suspended due to government order.  Which in the state I am located, and the neighboring states, nearly all businesses were at least partially suspended by county and state orders for a significant period in 2020 and 2021.  Alternatively, if not affected by a government order, a significant reduction in gross receipts would qualify a business when comparing the 2020 or 2021 quarter to the corresponding 2019 quarter.  For 2020 the revenue reduction to qualify needed to exceed the 2019 quarterly revenue amount by 50% and for 2021 the reduction needed to be greater than 20% when compared to the 2019 quarter.

 

Cutting Through and Understanding All Of The Red Tape

There are of course additional restrictions.  Business owner’s wages with more than 50% ownership in the business and their relatives are ineligible to have their wages included in the calculation.  Wages and benefits included in the calculation of the PPP forgiveness cannot include those costs in the ERC calculation.  Entities with more than 100 full time employees have further restrictions on what wages are eligible.  Even business without operations in 2019 have alternate calculation formulas.  Refunds are requested by amending the original 941 payroll tax form.  Refunds must be requested within 3 years of the filing due date of the original 941.  This will result in the oldest quarters beginning to be ineligible for amendment starting in May of 2023.   

A refund can take more than 9 months to receive.  Additionally, if filed a refund received for a prior year will require an amended income tax return for the reduction in wages expenses in the quarter amended, not when the funds are received.  With these complications and others, I recommend coordinating with your tax preparer and possibly have them calculate the credit amount.  There will of course most likely be additional fees for these services provided by advisor or tax preparer.

Protea Financial ERC Refund

Is All The Effort And Headaches Worth It?

It has been several months since my friend has pursued the ERC with the help of his tax preparer.  His tax preparer has also needed to invest time and effort becoming current on the ERC program.  The businessowner recently informed me he will be receiving more than $100,000 refund as a result of the ERC program.  Which is a great reminder with all the chaos of the pandemic and the wide array of responsibilities as a business owner and an advisor, programs can be overlooked. 

I hope that this does not happen to you.  If you think you may qualify, I highly recommend you speak with your advisor or tax preparer in the next several months before the ability to amend begins to expire in early 2023.  Remember tax preparers are short on available time at year end and the first several months of the new year.  If your advisor seems unsure of your eligibility or not current on the ERC program a second opinion may be warranted due to the significant refunds which could be available.       

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When you contact us here at Protea Financial, we can help guide your business towards programs and options you may benefit from. Want to learn more? Give us a call!

Supervisory Training – A Critical Investment

Supervisory Training – A Critical Investment

As with many cycles in business and life, our country has reached a point in time when generations are moving into different stages of their lives, giving rise to new opportunities for less experienced individuals.  The shift brings about a mixed bag of challenges and benefits.  There is likely sadness and some grieving as experienced, tenured leaders phase into retirement and turn the reins over to the next generation.  Similarly, there could be enthusiasm and excitement for the changing in tides resulting in new energy and ideas.

In addition to the emotional roller coaster are the challenges companies face when they find themselves in a position where a larger percentage of their newly promoted supervisors are green and require development to reach the same level of experience as those leaving the organization. Companies that recognize the shift and proactively invest in building leadership throughout their organizations now will reap the rewards of those efforts for years to come. Most importantly, an organization that chooses to invest in its leaders shows that they care about their development, which results in leaders who are motivated, confident, and loyal.

Many individuals are promoted to supervisory positions because they became technical experts in their previous jobs.  Transitioning from individual contributor to having one’s job success depend upon the efforts of others is challenging, especially when they were once your peers. New supervisors must understand that their new role is to achieve results through directing, motivating, and managing the work of others, and that can be a very difficult reality to come to without proper knowledge and tools. It requires mastering a new set of skills. Leaving a new supervisor to figure it out for themselves is a recipe for frustration and higher turnover at best and failure for the individual if not organization as a whole at worst.

Protea Financial Overwhelmed Boss

Scenario I

An individual is promoted to supervisor, leading a small team. The new supervisor had mastered the skills required to do the job and seemed eager to take on their new role, feeling motivated to work even harder than ever before. Recognizing all the normal challenges they have heard from peers who were also recently promoted, they decided to take their commitment to the company, and their new position, to a different level. As new projects came in, the supervisor took them on instead of delegating. Soon after assuming the role, the supervisor was so busy they didn’t have time for their direct reports, and they became a bottleneck in the system. Other employees were less effective and frustrated. The supervisor felt overworked and angry that they were doing all the work. As a result, turnover increased.

 

What happened?

In a lot of cases, new supervisors love the work they do and letting go is difficult. Often supervisors stay in the weeds for a few reasons including a fear of failure, a desire to impress their bosses, and ensuring the job is done “correctly.”  The supervisor in this example was a skilled worker, but they didn’t know how to manage. Effective supervisory training would give this supervisor the tools they need to direct, motivate, and achieve results through the efforts of others.

Protea Financial Taking Sides

Scenario 2

This supervisor, a long-time vineyard worker, was promoted to Crew Lead in recognition of their hard work and dependability. Everybody liked the recently promoted supervisor, their competence, and their work ethic. The supervisor was a good friend to all. In this new role, they were expected to communicate company objectives to the crew, give performance feedback, and manage conflict as well as train and support the members of the work crew. When a problem arose between two team members, the employer asked the supervisor to take corrective action. The supervisor responded by taking sides, which caused other employees to take sides and the conflict deepened.

 

What happened?

In an ever-changing work environment where communication practices become increasingly difficult,

supervisors must learn how to resolve conflict and uphold standards set by the company without being influenced by historical work relationships. Employers sometimes overlook the reality that the knowledge and interpersonal skills required to do technical work well are often very different from the people skills required to succeed and thrive in a job supervising the work of others. By learning a few different approaches to communication, this supervisor could have handled the situation more effectively and earned respect from old peers in their new role.

Protea Financial Improper Training

Scenario 3

In this third and final example, the newly promoted supervisor had the communication skills and ability to effectively lead their team, but they lacked the training to recognize potential employment risks. As a result, when one of their direct reports began to have attendance issues, the supervisor was quick to want to terminate the employee.  In a feedback discussion, the employee divulged that they have a medical condition they are struggling with and that has been the cause of the attendance issues.  The supervisor told the employee that they are sorry they have medical issues, but they cannot continue to tolerate the absences and tardiness because it is causing an increase in everyone else’s workload. The employee quit on the spot and filed a claim against the employer stating they were coerced to quit and it was retaliatory on the basis of their medical condition.

 

What happened?

Unfortunately, in this scenario, the supervisor was only thinking about operational needs and the challenges that absenteeism was posing on the team and their productivity.  Since the supervisor had never encountered a need for leave or accommodations themselves, they did not recognize that this situation warranted a different approach. Supervisors are agents of the business for which they work and represent.  As such, they are required to recognize when an employee may require a leave of absence, intermittent leave, or disability related accommodations, among other issues that warrant a visit with human resources. They may not recognize when an employee’s performance or attendance struggles are related to a protected right that should be appropriately addressed.  The lack of knowledge in recognizing these types of issues can create significant liability for the employer, and potentially the individual supervisor as well.  Foundational compliance training would have saved this supervisor and the company from having to face a legal claim.

Investing in the professional development of supervisors and managers strengthens your entire organization by institutionalizing the knowledge and technical skills needed to be effective, and helps create a clear culture that backs the organization’s mission, values and objectives. More importantly, investing in your internal talent pool will create a more successful succession plan and will prepare you for the next generational transition.  While there may be some resistance to making the investment because of the current trend in resignation, the training paradox, supported by decades of data, tells us that the more a company invests in their employee’s development the less likely they are to leave overall.  Furthermore, those same leaders will in turn also invest in the development of their direct reports, upskilling the entire workforce over time.  Supervisory training is one part of a multi-faceted workplace culture, performance, and retention plan.  Over time, supervisory training can contribute to more efficient operations, higher productivity, fewer mistakes, greater job satisfaction, higher retention, and better morale. It takes a commitment, time and money, but the end results are well worth it.

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Gabriel Cox is a Senior Trainer and Coach and golbou ghassemieh is the Operations Manager & Senior Consultant with The Personnel Perspective, an HR consulting, leadership training, and recruiting firm with senior level human resources professionals serving the North Bay since 1987. Contact The Personnel Perspective at (707) 576-7653.

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Where We Are with COVID In the Workplace

Where We Are with COVID In the Workplace

The Spring of 2022 marks the beginning of the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While many Americans believe the pandemic is over with life returning to pre-pandemic normal, it is certainly not behind us.  The landscape of the pandemic has merely shifted to a new “normal”.  This new normal includes continuing mask mandates, vaccine requirements (including boosters) at some public and private businesses and schools and continued supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave.  Although the pandemic may appear over when gathered in large groups such as a sporting event, the federal, state and local requirements related to COVID are proof the pandemic is still ongoing.  Below provides a few of the current COVID-19 requirements.

 

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

In February 2022, Governor Newsom implemented a supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 related absences.  A covered employee is entitled to at least 40 hours but no more than 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave between January 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022 for COVID-19 related absences.  Examples of such absences are: needing to quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19, attending a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for themselves or for a family member, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis, caring for a family member, or caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to reasons related to COVID-19.

 

A key component of this supplemental paid sick leave is its retroactivity.  An employee is able to request paid sick leave for a COVID-19 related absence between January 1, 2022 and February 28, 2022, prior to the implementation of the legislation.  While the prior COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave expired on September 30, 2021, there is nothing to suggest an employee can request paid time off for COVID-19 related leave taken between October 1 and December 31, 2021.

 

Testing and Mask Requirements

CalOSHA continues to modify protocols with regard to testing, close-contact, and return-to-work procedures and has revised certain terms, such as what constitutes a “face covering” to adapt to the changing landscape.  The current Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) are in effect until December 31, 2022.  The key takeaway from this version of the ETS is it applies to employees without regard of vaccination status. Employers can require employees to submit proof of vaccination and require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, employers can require employees to wear a face covering, as long as an accommodation is made for those who cannot wear face coverings because of a condition or disability. However, face coverings are no longer mandatory for unvaccinated workers under the new ETS.

 

Also of note under the new ETS is that COVID-19 testing must be made available to all employees with COVID-19 symptoms.

 

 

Protea Financial COVID in the workplace

 

Workplace Safety – Civil Penalties

In September 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 606, which allows the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CalOSHA) to issue company-wide citations for multiple workplace outbreaks of COVID-19. California inspectors may levy a civil penalty against those who are cited between an approximate range of $9,000 to $125,000 for willful violations of workplace safety.

Companies are liable for an automatic penalty, if three or more employees require hospitalization from a COVID-19 outbreak that occurred at their workplace.  These penalties are designed to incentivize companies to maintain safe and healthy work environments.

 

More Changes to the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)

 

To note additional changes under the new ETS, employers should carefully review the updated version to see where their policies and procedures need updating. The new ETS can be reviewed in Spanish here.  Among other additional changes, for example, cleaning and disinfecting requirements were removed. Employers can also view a comprehensive list of changes from the previous ETS here. Maier Law Group can provide more guidance if needed to clarify the ever-evolving ETS. Email Info@maierlawgroup.com for a quick response.

This article has been prepared for general informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising, solicitation, or legal advice. If you have questions about a particular matter, please contact the Maier Law Group directly.

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Is It the Right Time to Sell Your Business?

Is It the Right Time to Sell Your Business?

Business owners often ask, “When is the right time to sell my business?”  The answer is some version of “A good time to sell is when there is a seller’s market, and the owner and the business are prepared”.  Simple enough, but there is a lot to unpack in this response.

Protea Financial Sell Your Business First Image 4.21.22

Don’t Try to Time the Market 

A seller’s market exists when, because of economic conditions, demand for viable businesses is higher than the supply of businesses on the market.  There are some universal economic metrics that drive demand for businesses like low interest, tax rates and high corporate cash reserves and earnings rates.  When investors are confident about the business environment, they are more likely to pay premiums for their investment targets. 

However, local and industry specific factors are often more important to the creation of a seller’s market.  A mature industry that begins to consolidate may create an industry-specific seller’s market that doesn’t exist in other industries.  The rise of private equity has driven consolidation in many industries.  Also, when a regional competitor embarks on an acquisition growth strategy it may create a localized opportunity for owners in the same industry to sell.

It is wise for a business owner to pay close attention to these market signals. However, owners can’t control supply and demand in the marketplace and are generally better off not trying to time the market.  In the second quarter of 2020, the market for small businesses came to an abrupt halt, dashing the hopes of many owners that were ready to retire.  But by the fourth quarter of the same year the market returned stronger than before.  No amount of prognosticating could have anticipated those market changes.  

Business Preparation is Key 

The preparation of the business is more important to the success of the business sale than the state of the marketplace, and it’s something that the business owner can control.  A well-prepared business is more likely to sell in a soft market, than a poorly prepared business in a strong market. 

It’s been estimated that 80% of US small business owners don’t have a written transition plan and 50% have no plan at all.  A key component of the transition plan is preparing the business for succession.  Many books have been written and teams of professionals deployed to help business owners prepare their businesses for sale.  Conceptually, the buyer of a business is investing with the confidence that the future earnings and growth potential enjoyed by the seller can be transferred to the buyer.  To make the business attractive, the owner must then mitigate the risks in the business and to fortify its opportunities for growth.  The specific measures necessary to prepare the business vary widely.  Some critical areas for consideration are:

  • What are the growth prospects of the business? Is there a viable pathway to achieve growth?
  • What constitutes the goodwill of the business? Is the goodwill persistent and can it be transferred to a buyer?
  • Is the business’ intellectual property sufficiently protected?
  • What is the owner’s role in the business? How easily can the owner be replaced?
  • Does the remaining management team have the experience and resources necessary to operate the business efficiently?
  • Is the business properly staffed for its size and to recognize its growth potential?
  • What supplier and customer risks exist? How can they be addressed?
  • Do the business assets have deferred maintenance or unfunded capital expenditures?

There are times when a business is clearly not ready to be placed on the market.  The business may not be performing because of loss of an important client, vendor, or key employee or because of an acute business issue that the business is facing like a lawsuit or a loss of facility lease.  These red flag issues should be resolved by the owner, before trying to sell their business.

The process to identify and address the specific issues faced by a company may take 3-5 years, so it’s important to plan ahead.  But the owner of a company that has been properly prepared for sale, may be rewarded with a price premium, while an unprepared business may sell for a discount, or not at all.

Protea Financial Sell Your Business 4.21.22B

The Owner is Motivated, but not Compelled to Sell

Lastly and most importantly, the owner needs to be psychologically ready and financially prepared to exit their business.  Most owner’s only own one business in their life and selling it is momentous.  For some, the business is tightly intertwined with their personal life and identity.  However, there inevitably comes a day when the owner no longer wants to or no longer can be involved in the business. 

Owner’s end up selling for a variety of reasons, for some it’s poor health, for some its divorce from their life or business partner.  These personal challenges can make the process of selling the business more difficult and may put the owner at a disadvantage during negotiations with a buyer.  The best reasons are because the owner realizes that there is something that they would rather be doing with their time or assets like retirement or another venture.  Ideally, they are personally motivated, but not compelled to exit.

Even if the owner is determined to sell, they may hesitate to do so if they haven’t determined that the proceeds from the sale are sufficient to support their retirement or pursue other ventures.  Professionals can help with this analysis.  Business appraisers can help to anticipate the proceeds from selling the business.  While a financial planner can help an owner estimate the amount needed to support their retirement.

Ultimately, determining the right time to sell their business requires the owner to plan ahead and prepare the business for the time when market conditions are adequate, and the owner is personally motivated.  Exit Strategies Group helps owners to plan for and execute their business exits.  If you’d like help in this regard or have any related questions, you can reach Adam Wiskind, Certified Business Intermediary at (707) 781-8744 or awiskind@exitstrategiesgroup.com.

Let Protea Financial Help You Get Your Books In Order

If you plan to sell your business, then make sure you have everything in order to make the process easy. Reach out to have help getting your books in order to show potential buyers what your business has to offer!

Best Practices for Avoiding Wire Fraud in Your Small Business

Best Practices for Avoiding Wire Fraud in Your Small Business

While it is the large businesses who make the news when there’s financial fraud, the greatest amount of wire fraud happens to small business owners. Recent research indicates that 78% of small businesses suffer some kind of wire fraud each year. In fact, all businesses lose at least 5% of their earnings to fraud every year. Since it has become more difficult for criminals to break into large corporations due to their internet security, firewalls, and authentication practices, thieves target small businesses frequently because their security is commonly not as strong as that of a large company. The average fraud loss for a small business is roughly $250,000, which can put many small businesses in real financial trouble.

As a small business owner, how can you protect your company against wire fraud? How can you ensure your business is safe from fraud? Here are some suggestions you can use to keep your business safe.

Train Your Employees to Spot Fraud

Often, wire fraud for a small business begins when an employee opens an email with a link that opens the business up for wire fraud. Many small business owners believe all their employees are smart enough not to click on any link in an email. However, that may not always be the case. Surveys of small business employees indicate that over half of them admit to clicking on a link in an email. That type of attempt to gain access to business information is called phishing, and it occurs when criminals send links to hack into your business. Most phishing scams target the financial information for the business. Phishing scams are the most common scams in business fraud.

How should a small business educate their employees about fraud? Train your employees about email fraud and phishing scams. Employee training for fraud is fairly simple. If you don’t want to handle the training yourself, there are plenty of ready-made presentations and videos that can help. You need to provide training for your employees regarding all types of fraud. Some of the most common forms of fraud include:

  • Relative scam
  • Utility companies
  • Debt collection
  • Charities
  • Employment offers
  • Even online dating fraud

Once your employees can spot fraud, you will go a long way towards keeping your business safe from cybercriminals.

Check Your Vendors Thoroughly

Another prevalent type of wire fraud, and one that is newer than the phishing fraud, is vendor fraud. Vendor fraud occurs when a criminal uses your business accounts to set up a fake vendor account with regular payments. These payments to fake vendors may start as small transactions that are barely noticeable. Over time, the transactions can increase in value, and can steal tens of thousands of dollars from your business before you catch them.

As a small business owner or manager, there are steps you can take to ensure you are only paying vendors you do business with. You can begin this process by putting in place procedures for adding new vendors your business buys from. If your bookkeeping and finance employees follow the correct vetting procedure, your business will be less likely to experience fraud. Your bookkeeper can also check your current accounts payable vendors to ensure they are safe to pay invoices.

Another excellent idea for small business owners is to have your prospective vendors fill out a W9 so you can ensure they are not part of a scam. A W9 form is an official request for a business’ tax identification number. All small businesses, even a sole proprietorship, will have a Social Security Number or a tax id number. If you have a vendor who refuses to provide either a Social Security Number or a tax id number, you don’t want to buy from them.

Be Safe When Wiring Money

Some small businesses wire money regularly to vendors they do a large volume of business with, because it is safer than sending a check in the mail. However, financial institutions are seeing an increasing number of wire fraud attempts by cybercriminals. You can help keep your wires safe by thoroughly checking your wiring information before the wire transfer leaves your account.

You can also minimize this danger by practicing callbacks on your wire transfers, just to double-check the money is going to the right spot. Because cybercriminals will usually only target a business for a short time, and will move on quickly if they aren’t successful, you may be able to eliminate this threat through vigilant checking of your wire transfers.

Another step you can take to prevent fraud is to ask your payees to undergo an out of band authorization for large wire transfers to prevent fraud. An out of band authorization puts two checks in place for businesses to verify the legitimacy of your vendors before you pay them.

Do you use international wire transfers? If so, then you need to be extra careful. Many international transfers are wire fraud attempts to get into your system. You will need to put in extra protection to ensure all of your wire transfers are safe.

Beware of Returns

No business owner wants to process returns because returns take money out of your pocket. However, they are often a part of doing business. You want to be sure your client or customer’s refund requests are legitimate. If you don’t already have a refund or return policy, you need to create one as soon as possible. Have your refund policy spelled out for your business (ideally on your website), and on contracts and invoices (or at least a link to this page). If you sell items to customers, you need to ask for a receipt in order to process returns, and you need to limit the time period you’ll accept returns to 30 days or less. By having a strict return policy, you will be able to limit the chances of fraud in this area.

Upgrade Your Technology

You may have considered putting safety procedures in place to combat fraud, but have you thought about using technology for protection? If you upgrade your wireless technology, you may want to consider getting a virtual private network for your business. Virtual private networks create an island of safety for your business, even over public internet connections. Some business owners may be reluctant to spend money on technology, but investing in a little technology now may save thousands of dollars in fraud costs.

Not sure about upgrading your internet to use a virtual private network due to the costs? There are some other safety features you can buy that aren’t as expensive. For example, you can change your wireless access to private rather than public, so that your customers and employees can only access it with a password. You can also create cloud backups for all your technology, which means it will be available anywhere, whether your computers are down or not. Also, if you have more than one location for your business, you may want to create a firewall to keep your business information as safe as possible.

You can also set up two-factor authentication for your company before payments are processed. Two-factor authentication ensures the person requesting money must have multiple forms of proof they are who they claim to be. Meaning, if hackers have some of your business information, they cannot use it to open accounts and use your good credit without verifying who they are in relation to the business.

Put Everything in Writing

If you don’t have your business practices in writing, there is no time like the present to create safety procedures for your financial transactions. For example, make sure all your vendors understand how money is exchanged between businesses by sending them a copy of your business policies. While they may complain a little, many businesses are used to dealing with client contracts and procedures.

Do you buy a lot of materials and supplies from vendors? Your business needs a vendor contract. If you don’t have a vendor contract, it is time to make one. A vendor contract will spell out payment terms, methods of payment, a return or refund policy, and how to handle disputes over payments or merchandise. You can find examples of good vendor contracts on the internet, or you can hire a lawyer to draw up a vendor contract for your business.

Protea Financial Can Help You Protect Your Business from Wire Fraud

As a business owner, you have enough to worry about. You are constantly looking for ways to keep your employees happy, and reward your hardest-working employees. You want to keep your business fresh by coming up with new ideas and products. On top of that, you also need to effectively market your business to attract new customers. The last thing you want to worry about is ensuring your business is safe from fraud.

However, by taking steps to keep your business safe and secure, you are working to ensure the longevity of your business. You can educate your employees to watch out for fraud in scam or spoof emails. You can warn your employees against other types of financial fraud, such as fake utility payments. Also, you can thoroughly vet your vendors, and ensure that your payments are going to a legitimate suppliers of goods and services for your business. Use technology such as virtual private networks, two-factor authentication, and private passwords to keep your information safe. Finally, have all your vendor contracts in writing, so there’s no chance of fraud. By following these steps, you can work to keep your business safe from fraud.

Need additional information about financial security and hiring great people to keep your business finances running smoothly? We can help. Contact Protea Financial today. 

Learn More About Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is a massive problem if you do not know how to spot it before it happens, or stop it if it already happened. Turn to us here at Protea Financial for help spotting wire fraud today!