The Proactive Solutions Blog

Breakeven analysis helps with business choices

Breakeven analysis is an important and useful tool in business. Whether you're starting a new business, expanding current operations, contemplating an acquisition, downsizing, or approaching banks and other potential lenders, you'll want to know your breakeven. 

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OSHA: tips to make your OSHA exam potentially less painful

Construction companies and medical patients have something in common. A doctor entered an exam room to discuss with a patient the results of tests on his kidneys. “Your kidneys are fine,” he said. “However, if we run enough tests we’re going to find something, somewhere, and we may have found a different problem.”  That test turned out negative as well, but the process is descriptive of what construction companies deal with when engaged with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA has one job, per its website description, which is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”

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ZILLOW: MILLENNIALS BEGIN TO DRIVE HOUSING MARKET…

Largest study of its kind reports that the young are approaching home ownership with both savviness and caution.

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THREE STEPS TO STREAMLINING ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS

Permitting mistakes raise costs and cause delays and new legal uncertainties could add to that risk.

By Brian Farrar, Gen. (ret) Bruce Berwick

--Remember that preparation involves tomorrow as much as today. More than a few home builders have been frustrated when their applications were delayed due to circumstances occurring after the applications were submitted. Provisions in the Endangered Species Act offer a good example of how this can happen. Every application to the Corps must address a project’s impact on endangered or threatened species.

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How Employee Expenses Are Deducted

Questions on how to claim deductions for expenses you incur in connection with your employment? The expense include those for local transportation (other than commuting), business meals and entertainment (at 50% of cost), travel away from home, supplies, educations, etc.

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Qualified Conservation Contributions

If you are conservation -minded and own real property, you may be able to claim a charitable deduction by placing conservation   restrictions on the property, while you continue to use the property and enjoy it. This can be done through a "qualified conservation   contribution." Here's how it works:

To qualify, you must grant an easement   on the property in perpetuity to a charitable organization or governmental unit that is committed to protecting the gift's conservation   purpose and has the resources to enforce the restrictions. Conservation groups generally qualify.

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Are You Making These Seven Marketing Mistakes?

Experts explain these seven common mistakes, and how to avoid them

By Gary Thill

Contractors can spend as much as 15 percent of gross sales on marketing. But experts say many contractors are wasting that money on ineffective and poorly thought-out campaigns.

“The ultimate end metric for many companies is cost to marketing,” said Ryan Shutt, marketing director for Southwest Exteriors by Andersen, a 2016 Remodeling 550 firm. But Shutt and other experts say those costs are higher than they need to be for many firms simply because they’re not using their marketing dollars wisely.

Here are seven of the most common marketing mistakes — and how to avoid them.

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2016 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING

2016 Year-End Strategies: StraddlingTwo Years Of Significant Change

Implementing tax strategies at year-end always presents unique challenges and opportunities. The impact of recent tax legislation and significant IRS rule changes during 2016 raises the stakes. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act), passed in late 2015, changed —both dramatically and through some nuanced revisions— the dynamics of planning for the expiration of various tax breaks …and the permanence of others. The IRS for its part has been busy creating safe-harbor benefits under the “repair regulations,” clarifying the definition of marriage for tax purposes, fine-tuning Affordable Care Act requirements, and more, all of which immediately impact the 2016 tax year.

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Get to Know Summer Harris, Staff Accountant

Describe your role at Weber O’Brien: 

I am a member of the accounting and assurance team. I have a variety of roles, but mainly I help review company financials and ensure quality and efficiency for many different industries, which include small to medium sized businesses, non-profit and employee benefit plans.

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Are you working overtime preparing for the new labor rules?

The U.S. Department of Labor updated the rules for paying overtime, and the changes take effect December 1, 2016. Under the new rules, salaried employees who earn less than $913 per week ($47,476 per year) will be eligible for overtime pay. 

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