Thursday, July 24, 2008

Michigan Business Tax Nails Trucking Companies Who Use Contract Haulers

The new Michigan Business Tax ("MBT") is really good. At getting bad press, that is. And unfairly penalizing various industries.

Specifically, under the MBT, payments to contract haulers are not deductible. You can deduct costs paid for the hauling you do yourself, but not to contact haulers. Why? Who knows. Maybe the trucking lobbyists didn't get their two cents in. But this is just another part of the fine print that is really hurting businesses throughout Michigan.

To the best of my knowledge, most Michigan ready mix producers do their own hauling. But if you are using any brokers or guys that own their own mixers, it is going to cost you. And if you are thinking about starting to use brokers, think twice until this gets cleaned up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Document - Managing the Business Risk of Fraud

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (yours truly is a proud member) has a new document you can download on its website: Managing the Business Risk of Fraud: A Practical Guide. The guide is a good overview of what every business, small and large, should consider doing to reduce the risk of fraud occurring.

The guide is 80 pages long, and for me at least there wasn't a tremendous amount new in the main part of the document. However, several of the appendixes are very good and potentially very useful to the small businesses I usually work with:

  • Appendix C: Sample Fraud Policy - This appendix is about 4 pages long and can be used as the starting point for a business fraud policy.
  • Appendix D: Fraud Risk Assessment Framework Example - the example focuses on potential revenue recognition risks for a business. What I like about it is you often read that you should do something like this, but finding a good example of one is hard to find.
  • Appendix E: Fraud Risk Exposures - the material notes it is a sample from an anonymous entity and isn't necessarily complete. It is though a solid listing of potential fraud risks.
  • Appendix F: Fraud Prevention Scorecard and Appendix G: Fraud Detection Scorecard - concise tests a business can take to see how they are doing on prevention and detection.
    80 pages is a lot of material.

If you are serious about reducing your fraud risks, this is a good place to start