Venture Capitalizing

by RaeAnne Marsh

Not so many years ago, the lament in and about the local business community was lack of access to investment money.  “It has emphatically changed within the last 10 years, but, most notably, the last three years. Capital has become democratized and much more mobile, so no longer is it so heavily concentrated in New York and San Francisco,” says Chris Camacho, CEO of the … [More]

Why Small-Business Assets Matter

by Susan Talbott

When getting to know small-business owners, financial planners typically ask about their company’s value at that point in time. Unfortunately, many times, their first inclination is to share their latest bank statement or the amounts of various checking, savings and investment accounts owned by the company. While these are terrific indicators of cash-at-hand value, for many … [More]

Crypto Economy

by Mike Hunter

In late 2008, under the long shadow cast by the most severe economic crisis in generations, a revolutionary new form of currency was quietly being shaped. That once-obscure money was known as Bitcoin, and today it is the highest-valued digital coin. And, though consumers continue to scramble to cash in on the trending currency, the technology behind Bitcoin — known as … [More]

On-Demand Home Buying/Selling

by Cortney Read

OfferPad’s on-demand technology platform provides homeowners the ability to move freely, eliminating the stress and unpredictability associated with the traditional real estate process. Homeowners visit OfferPad.com, request a free purchase offer and, within 24-hours, receive an offer on their home. Once an offer is accepted, people can select their closing date. Buyers can … [More]

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in December. As with any law, there are the specified rules and regulations that are written into it as well as impact that extends from those rules and regulations. But Austin Graff, an accountant with Schwartzer Tax and Accounting, notes the key effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will depend in large part on how the business is … [More]

Money, the Final ‘Off Limits’ Topic

by George Grombacher

Religion and politics used to be the “off limits” topics around polite company, but now a visit to Facebook suggests Americans are more than comfortable with those subjects. Two subjects that have also remained off limits until recently are sex and money. The #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood has opened the door to conversations about sexual abuse as well as many … [More]

How Firms Manipulate Numbers for Market Gain

by Ken Beckrich

Businesses constantly hear that, to succeed when selecting partners, they need to do their homework. But what if the financials they review don’t really reflect reality? How does a firm make good decisions when it comes to their money? Or, maybe more importantly, how do businesses know the real strength of the firms they’re intending to partner with? GAAP vs. Non-GAAP … [More]

Putting the ‘Why’ in Personal Finance

by George Grombacher

Alignment is a simple idea that can add 5 percent to a business’s top line and will have implications not before considered. People seek a purpose-driven life. A successful organization can help provide that through aligning the organization’s purpose from the CEO to every employee. An important aspect of alignment involves helping employees recognize the impact they … [More]

Banking: Addressing Challenges to Meet Business’s Needs

by RaeAnne Marsh

The banker in Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life may be idealized, but it is nonetheless true that banking is the core on which the business community rests. Bankers’ decisions impact business; what is impacting their business — and the decisions they are making for their own and everyone else’s business? Local bankers share their expertise and experience to bring … [More]

Credit Card: Use Business or Personal? 

by Jerry Ernst

When a small business needs fast money, it’s easy to whip out a credit card to make the purchase. Every entrepreneur relies on them. Why not, when they’re convenient and easy to manage? But the line between personal and business credit can be blurry. When is it appropriate to open a business credit card, versus continuing to use personal cards? These milestones signify it’s … [More]

Common-Sense Income Strategies

by Mike Hunter

The subtitle may well be Common-Sense, Purpose-Based Investing for Your Retirement with Steps and Strategies to Help You. This book begins with the idea that when we reach the age of 50, we need to change from a portfolio filled with stocks and growth investment strategies to step-by-step strategies to build out our retirement income. Eastham’s book is based on the golden rules … [More]

Protect Against the Top Three Financial Scams in Arizona

by Robert Gibboni

The typical business loses 5 percent of its annual revenue to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Financial statement fraud causes the greatest median loss, with an average of $975,000 per scheme. As a financial institution concerned with protecting our customers from scams, we bring experience in identifying scams and preventing being taken in … [More]

Banking on Your Business

by RaeAnne Marsh

Tales of usurers make for enduring literature (Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice is a notable example), but it’s an indisputable fact that commerce would not exist without reputable financial institutions and loan opportunity. Of course, banking has evolved to be much more than a lending resource. For instance, as Toby Day, chairman of the Arizona Bankers Association and … [More]

Diversity Trends in Small Business Investing

by U.S. Small Business Administration

Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the voice of small business on President Obama’s Cabinet, last month heralded the release of “Measuring the Representation of Women and Minorities in the SBIC Program,” a groundbreaking SBA study showing the racial and gender makeup of investment boards is tied directly to investment decisions … [More]

SBA Awards $18.8 Million to Support Small-Business Trade Growth

by U.S. Small Business Administration

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, last month announced $18.85 million to support export growth among American small businesses. The funding was awarded through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. The share for Arizona businesses in Fiscal Year 2016 is $299,903. Calling it a boon for America’s small businesses, … [More]

Captives Can Help Contain Costs

by Mike Ferguson

Business risk is on the rise — from the danger of a cyber-attack to the potential failure of a crucial supplier halfway around the globe. In response, companies are increasingly creating their own insurance companies to mitigate those risks. A “captive insurer” is a company that provides coverage solely to the firm or group of firms that sets it up. Captives have long … [More]

NAPA Revamps for Retail

by RaeAnne Marsh

NAPA, which, for more than 90 years, has built its name on being a wholesale auto parts distributor serving largely auto repair businesses and fleets, is looking to grow its retail side. It is rolling out the program in 20 markets around the country, and, here in the Valley, the Gilbert store is one of the first to get the makeover. In addition to new signage, furniture, … [More]

Financially Serving the Hispanic Market

by RaeAnne Marsh

There’s more to serving the Hispanic market than simply translating messaging into Spanish. Language is a component, “but you need cultural relevance,” explains Luis Soto, a driving force in Vantage West’s recent designation of “Juntos Avanzamos” (“Together We Advance”) from Texas’s Cornerstone Credit Union League. “Vantage West is the first credit union outside the … [More]

The Expanding ATM Network

by RaeAnne Marsh

Allpoint recently added QuikTrip as a retail partner to serve the Phoenix area. The company works with banks and credit unions to provide surcharge-fee ATMs to the institutions’ customers at convenient, premier retail locations — the kind of well-known and trusted retail brand names that are already part of people’s daily routines. Financial institutions are moving to a … [More]

Considerations with Funding a Company

by R. Steven Reed

Determining the best capital structure for a business is one of the many difficult decisions owners and founders must make. Capital structures vary widely, and what may work best for one company may be completely wrong for another — depending on the industry area, resources available and management team. Different capital structures include bootstrapping (completely financed by … [More]