Checks and Balances when managing your business

Those who know me, know I am fascinated by politics and public policy which is why checks and balances resonates with me so much as an accountant and a business owner.

I find that small-business owners often have so much on their plates they might not notice what is actually taking place in their business that, if not addressed, can deplete cash, cause legal problems, or cause a host of other issues.

This is why I encourage creating checks and balances that allows you to implement an accounting system that promotes separation of duties.  For example, separate accounts receivable duties from accounts payable. You don’t want the person in charge of receiving payment for invoices and services rendered to be the same person responsible for paying outgoing invoices and payroll. Making accounts receivable and accounts payable interchangeable duties can lead to serious cash misappropriation.

Another example is to require monthly reconciliations to be completed by an independent person who doesn’t have check signing responsibilities. Review the reconciliation report to document that a review and reconciliation was performed and  keep a record with your files.

Most people have a distorted sense of who is most likely to commit fraud which is why creating the proper checks and balances minimizes your business’s exposure to fraud and other misappropriations.

Besides the key is to adopt the the attitude of the founding fathers – we hope and believe that people our worthy of our trust but at the same time, we put in place measures to reduce our need to rely on trust alone! Do you have check and balances system in your business?

Carolina Aponte

Money tips for Women Business Owners

When I became an entrepreneur over 6 years ago, as an accountant I knew exactly how much money I needed to generate per month, per year in order for this venture to work out. I also set out a gross revenue goal to work towards the first 3 years and looking back that was just pitiful! I was thinking to small.

Turns out that while working with other women business owners, I have run into the same mistake I made when I started because aiming to be rich and saying it out loud is often deemed as a negative trait for women while definitely not for men.

Times have changed, women are now experiencing an awaking that was long overdue and there are some fierce female business leaders demonstrating the power that comes from wealth.

1. Once you know your worth –you can tell others with pride

If you are offering services such as social media, marketing, bookkeeping, etc, chances are you’ve had clients offer to pay you less than you charge. Mainly because people believe that the small business owner needs their business at any price. As Writer-producer Shonda Rhimes says “Decide what you think you’re worth and then ask for what you think you’re worth. Nobody’s just going to give it to you.”

2. Passion over Pay –you can have both!

We tend to go where are heart tells us and often times the passion does not equate to wealth, except it can. All you have to do is figure out how to monetize your passion so that you can be financially secure while following your passion.

3. It is OK to ask for help

You are not alone even if it feels that way while running your business and facing all the daily challenges that comes from owning a business. If you need clarity on how to make it work in terms of growing your wealth and following your passion, ask your mentor(s), your mastermind group, your colleagues or your accountant on a course of action to reach your goals.

Just remember that it is a great thing to achieve financial wealth, when you do, you are equip to follow your passion and give back to the community that helps you along the way.

Carolina Aponte

What I learned while attending a Women’s Business Conference

nawbocltdelegation (2)
NAWBO Charlotte Members

Attending #Nawbowbc with 11 women business owners from Charlotte was a great opportunity to get a better understanding of what drives entrepreneurs to achieve success. We traveled to Spokane, WA where over 400 women gathered to learn, network, get inspired, and support others in their business journey.

The positive energy everyone brought to this event to provide a great atmosphere may be to some extent unique to this particular group of women business owners but at the same time it was exactly what was needed for it to be successful and meaningful.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s question “what are you willing to give up to have the life you’re pretending to want?” was thought provoking just like her statement that the “most relaxed person in the room holds All the power”  and then came Shabnam Mogharabi of @SoulPancake to talk about purpose, risk and most of all Joy. “life is messy and difficult, but you can be Joyful along the way.” that was the message that resonated the most to me.

If we bring Joy and feel Relaxed when we walk into our place of business, or a meeting, or our home then we can experience a far more positive and successful outcome than we could ever imagine.

When was the last time you gave yourself the opportunity to truly be in the moment and be joyful?


How taking time for yourself helps your business

Yes it sounds crazy when you say that by you not being in your business, it will actually do better, that it will grow, but it is true. When you have been in business for a few years and you have staff, systems and steady gross revenue, the best thing you can do is take time off.

You need to take time off to learn and grow, to figure out what goals you want to accomplish. To see your business as an outsider as to what works well, what can be improved, changed or removed for the business to flourish and for you to feel accomplished.

Time off is not just to go on vacation drinking margaritas by the pool, although I highly recommend that too! but time to go on business conferences, workshops, self-improvement studies, read a book, listen to podcasts. Any of these activities can help you find clarity and purpose.

Once you take the time off to do any of the above, you will return to your business a lot more centered, focus and ready to inspire your team to reach new goals.



Become a person of value

The past few years have been filled with important life lessons, I guess that is part of the entrepreneur’s journey or just life. Today I will share one of lessons that has really made a difference in my business.

I once read a quote by Albert Einstein “Try not to become a man (or woman) of success. Rather become a man (or woman) of value.” Well the interesting thing about this quote is that when you pursue being of value, the rest comes along with it without effort: success, recognition and happiness.

What I realize was that having years of experience at doing something doesn’t mean that’s what people need or want. What people need is the value your experience brings to them.  So, how do you become a person of value? Focus on your own growth.

You have to be committed to on your own personal development. Ask yourself truthfully if you are really committed to your own personal growth. If you are, keep at and develop yourself every day. If you are not, you should start committing yourself to your own growth. Read, learn, get trained, take risks… do things that helps you grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, relationship with people, the result you command etc.

So what I learned is that the best way I can improve myself and increase my value to my clients is to always keep learning and growing.

So my question for you is, how can you be of value to others today?