Thursday, August 29, 2013

Professional Liability Insurance for Your Medical Business

Congratulations doctors, nurses, therapists, and pharmacists! You have studied hard, spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to attend school for what probably felt like thousands upon thousands of years, and now you are ready to enter the medical workforce. You are ready to start working for a medical business, or to open your own medical business. With a scalpel in one hand, a prescription pad in the other, and a stethoscope swinging around your neck, you are ready to cure the sick and save the dying.

However, before you start working, or open your own medical business, you must purchase professional liability insurance. Otherwise, you might find yourself paying out thousands upon thousands of dollars - again.

Remember, professional liability insurance isn't just for doctors and hospitals. Anyone working in the medical field should purchase professional liability insurance.

There are different kinds of professional liability insurance policies for you and your medical business, most of which cover allegations of malpractice. As a medical professional, you are familiar with professional liability insurance by now, and now that you are ready to start working or to open the doors of your own medical business, it is time to purchase your own professional liability insurance.

The kind of professional liability insurance you purchase for yourself and your medical business will usually depend on your specialty, the location of your medical business, and the demographics of your clientele. Along with your claims experiences and limits of liability you choose, these factors will also go into determining the cost of the professional liability insurance for yourself and your medical business, as well.

Search for professional liability insurance for yourself and your medical business based on the factors, and you can start by calling your state's insurance bureau and asking for information about professional liability insurance for medical professionals and medical businesses. They will be able to walk you through the steps of purchasing professional liability insurance.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Selecting A Freight Payment Company

One wise yet perplexing decision that has to made when you possess a company is often how to go about engaging the assistance of a freight payment company. There are some things you should keep in mind when deciding who to work with should you own a business where your supply chain demands a freight payment service to be able to function sufficiently in the industry.

As with any specialized service, you will want to evaluate and consider what your provider can offer you and decide if this matches your business’s needs. A wonderful incentive is to outsource your freight payment applications because it can result in reduced freight costs. A freight payment company could also offer many valuable post-payment services that could be helpful and unavailable to you on your own potentially making it possible for you to save even more money overall. For example, eliminating the possibility of being double billed, these services can include implementing systems to make certain you're always paying the right amount for freight. Many likewise have advanced reporting services that can provide valuable data in terms of tracking your expenses, monitoring the routing compliance of the freight company and providing you access to a broad number of consulting services without the additional costs of data collection.

As with several other professional services, you will want to assess a freight payment company’s standing and experience before getting into business with them. Questions like just how much business they do and how long they have been in business should get satisfactory answers. Does the company have a track record of paying freight carriers on time and what kind of industries does it work with? You could possibly speak with past and current customers to get their impression as this would be one of the best ways to evaluate a company in terms of trustworthiness and if they are able to accomplish the job effectively. Any potential company your contemplating would be happy to supply you with a list of clients you're able to contact and find out what kind of service you can expect to have from them. Has a provider been known to go out of their way to supply excellent service when challenges arise and how they have adapted their services to specifically accommodate individual business will speak volumes for their credibility and reliability.

At all points along the supply chain, businesses will emphasize the significance of trust and interactions. Just like other providers, freight payment agencies have to be able to perform the job you're hiring them to do. Specifically gather information on who within the company you will be working with. Learn what their qualifications are and get a feel for how comfortable you are that this is someone that you can work with and communicate with.

What you need now from a freight payment provider might not be the same as what you may demand a year or two years in the future. Make sure that any provider you outsource your freight payment to can keep up with demand, assist you in a number of tasks and be able to grow with you as your business grows and enlarges. Ask about their business practices and if they have a commitment to keeping up with the latest developments in technology.

It will be valuable for your evaluation purposes to find out what the carriers think about the provider on a professional basis along with just what their clients think. Seek testimonials and referrals from carriers prior to making your decision. You will want to make sure the provider operates at a certain standard which might include formal rules and policies. Areas where you may want to find out more details include their ethics, security and finances so as to make sure the provider has certain protections in place. On account you're ultimately putting your business in their hands, engaging a freight payment provider demands a level of trust as your depending on them to handle a vital part of operation. You really need to make sure that trust is warranted.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Very Useful Tips On How You Should Hire Employees

There is no doubt that the process of hiring employees is a very time-consuming and incredibly difficult thing to do. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most important aspects of running a company. The choice of who will be part of your staff is something that can have a significant effect on how successful your company is eventually. This is why human resource departments exist, and the reason why this part of an organization has got the resources and the means to choose the perfect applicants who will perfectly fit in the company’s system. Below are some of the more important considerations companies should make whenever hiring an employee or employees.

Avoid Conducting Interviews on Your Own

The truth is, interviews usually suck. You will come across people who would bluff their way to job interviews without actually possessing the appropriate skills and knowledge needed on the position they are applying for. There are those who would also give you references who simply exaggerate the competency of the applicant.

If you are hiring for a position that is not your expertise, you must get someone to hold the interview with you. Ask a friend with such expertise or anyone who you think has the best understanding of all the aspects of the position to be filled in.

Hiring for a Trial Period Is Always Beneficial

A trial period of 30 days is a great way for you to gauge how well your newly-hired will fit in your system and the workplace. See to it that you also include this in the employment contract the human resources department will prepare. Of course you wouldn’t want to be held liable for firing an employee only 30 days after you hired them.

If you see that this person is not really working out, do not hesitate to cut them out. Keep in mind that there is always someone better out there waiting for the chance to work for you.

Hiring a Family Member is not a Good Idea

More often than not, hiring someone from your own family results in a disaster. There are several explanations for this. For one, it would be really hard to fire them even if they obviously stink at their job. Another is that there is always a possibility that the drama in your own family will come out. This is something you will never want your other employees to hear or even know.

Don’t Hire a Person Out of Pity

During a job interview, you will likely hear some applicants talking about how desperate they are to find a job. They may even tell you how long they have been unemployed and that they may lose their home if they can’t get a job soon. This is an old trick that you should be aware of. In the first place, professionals apply for jobs that they think they are qualified for. You should always use competency as your basis of hiring someone. If you get carried away by the feeling of pity, you will eventually regret this decision.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Consolidation Loans For Military Personnel: Facts To Be Aware Of

When debts have become almost too much to handle, finding a way to lift the pressure becomes extremely difficult. The debt trap is something that everyone in every walk of life can easily find themselves in, including those in the military. Thankfully there is a way out, with consolidation loans, for military personnel and others, offering a chance to clear debts and ease the burden.

A lot of advantages come with turning to consolidation, for both civilians and military members, but there are also points to carefully consider before applying for a consolidation program. Getting loan approval with bad credit is never guaranteed, but as long as the right boxes are ticked, there should be little trouble in getting the green light.

But what are these boxes, and more importantly, what issues need to be addressed in order to tick them. We take a look at just 3 of the most significant facts to be aware of before any military personnel should apply for a debt consolidation loan.

Does Consolidation Really Work?

The answer to this question is a very definite Yes. When seeking a solution to acute financial pressures it is the most effective way to handle the debts that cause the problem. The advantage of consolidation loans for military personnel is that is allows them to clear their debts completely, without prompting the negative effects that come with bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is often the route that people take when they want to get rid of their debts once and for all. A ruling would normally influence credit matters for up to 10 years, but through consolidation it would still be possible to get loan approvals with bad credit almost immediately.

This is because the key advantage is that all of the debt is cleared in one go, thus ensuring that credit scores are improved. And because a single debt consolidation loan replaces all of the debt, and is repaid over a longer term, more cash is freed up to meet other monthly expenses.

Finding The Right Loan Source

There are a variety of loan sources out there, from the traditional lenders that can be a little expensive, to the online lenders that tend of offer superior loan deals. But when it comes to seeking consolidation loans for military personnel, the best place to go is to lenders registered with the Department of Defense.

These lenders are not just 100% trustworthy because they have been carefully vetted by the US government, but they also offer far better terms than any traditional (and even online) lenders can. They are also amongst the most accommodating lenders, with members of the military able to secure loan approvals with bad credit quickly and without fuss.

Finding these specialist lenders is not difficult thanks to the Internet. Simply search the net for debt consolidation loans for the military and see the thousands of options listed. Sifting through them is easier with the comparison sites that exist.

Advantage With Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act

For several decades now, serving members of the military have been able to benefit from extremely good discounts secured through the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act. However, unlike with many civilian loan benefits, a consolidation loan for military personnel maintains its key attributes too.

For example, according to the Act, military members on active duty are entitled to as much as 6% off their regular interest rate for the duration of the duty tour. It does not matter whether the applicant had been given approval with bad credit, or if the loans in question are from a military or civilian lender.

This means that, along with the terms of the debt consolidation loan, monthly repayments can hit rock bottom, with as little as $150 being paid each month on a $25,000 loan.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Professional Indemnity Insurance For Accounting - A Risk That Needs to Be Covered

Given the complex nature of tax laws and accounting & corporate practices in all nations today, professional indemnity insurance for accounting professionals is gradually becoming a must. Keeping this requirement in mind, several insurance firms have formulated cutting edge professional indemnity insurance cover for accounting professionals and financial planning firms. In fact if one peruses any of the companies' lists of claims that are covered by accounting insurance coverage, one realizes that there are a vast variety of claims that the accounting profession needs a buffer against.

For instance a business makes a sizable investment based on the balance sheet made by an accountant or his firm, only to find further down the line that the figures are erroneous. The disgruntled businessman who sees his money lost is quite capable of filing for damages from the accountancy firm, his claim being that it was based on their balance sheet that he took the decision to invest. The accountant is then considered liable according to his professional actions. It is in such a probable scenario that professional indemnity insurance kicks in for the beleaguered accountant. One must always keep in mind that a professional liability lawsuit just does not involve staggering legal costs; it also damages reputations and credibility, sometimes irrevocably.

With the professional indemnity cover in his insurance portfolio the accounting professional knows that the risks of his profession have been factored in. He knows that his claims will be dealt with competently and promptly, keeping his best interests in mind. Broad coverage is beneficial to the accounting professional today. The areas which his policy should cover are legal fees and claim costs, loss of documents, fraud and dishonesty, cost of official inquiries, previous business, outgoing principals and sometimes even vicarious liabilities which covers advice provided by other professionals to referred clients.

All of this is covered under the broad spectrum of errors, omissions and malpractices. These insurance policies are available to firms of all sizes, from solo owner proprietorship firms to large partnership practices. In fact some companies even offer a 'Disabled Partner Replacement Coverage'. All these precautionary moves might seem like over the top to a layman, but for a professional who has invested a quarter of his life qualifying himself and another decade or more to establish his business, its money well spent. Risk management is essential.

In fact there are insurance firms that not only provide professional indemnity insurance to accounting professionals but also a number of adding on services that add value to their product providing for a more satisfied customer. Ranging from free legal counsel from qualified experts offering pre claim assistance, advice relating to issues about accounting practices and procedures, to document review and engagement letter wording. It is a comprehensive and all inclusive package, and any accounting professional will be smart enough to recognize a safety package that encapsulates all his risks, manages them and protects him.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Securing Military Loans With Bad Credit To Consolidate Debt And Clear It

There can be several reasons why a credit score drops, but it all comes down to the simple fact that combined repayments are too high to manage. But when members of the military get a military loan with bad credit, it can actually be the solution to the problem.

Members of the military are not immune to bad credit. True, they have a better employment status due to the fact their employer is the US government, but they still face the same financial challenges everyone else does. Clearing existing debt is not easy, and therefore securing extra funds to help in the task is important.

But there are great advantages for military personnel who choose to take out a military loan to handle their debt problems. The alternative is to seek a civilian loan to clear debts with, but the terms are not always great.

Military Vs Civilian Loans

So, what are the advantages that securing military loans with bad credit has over securing civilian loans? Well, for a start, the typical terms that come with the military option are far superior to those offered by traditional civilian lenders, with interest rates lower and loan limits stricter.

Because of their secure income, military members have little trouble in proving an ability to make repayments. And when clearing existing debts is the purpose of the loan being sought, the chances of getting approved are even stronger.

Repayment methods also mean that the chances of defaulting are pretty much non-existent. The government deducts military loan repayments each month, diverting the sum to the relevant lender. It means military personnel do not even have to worry about forgetting to make a repayment.

Military Vs Consolidation Loans

But given that there are numerous dedicated debt consolidation programs out there, is this not a more viable option for any military borrower too? In fact, it depends on the specific situation that the borrower is in. Getting a military loan with bad credit is easier, and should do the trick if the debt is modest.

However, if the debt is very large, and a significant degree of financial discipline is required, then getting a consolidation program from a recognized debt consolidation company is usually the best option. These professionals can ensure debts as large as $100,000 can be dealt with practically.

For military members, the challenge of clearing existing debts independently through a military loan can be too much. A consolidation company may be more expensive, with a fee added to loan charges and interest rates, but leaves little room for further mistakes.

Applying For A Military Loan

The decision whether to apply for a civilian loan or a military loan with bad credit is pretty straightforward, but like all financial products, getting the application right is essential to getting fast approval.

The best move is to approach one of the officially recognized military lenders, who have satisfied the standards set by the military itself. However, there are dozens of lenders who welcome military applicants. Providing proof of military membership is obviously pretty simple, but lenders will want to see a credit history, even when the loan purpose is clearing existing debts.

It is also worth approaching lenders online, with official military approval meaning the normal risks of borrowing a military loan online can be avoided. Applications can be received from overseas, unlike with civilian lenders.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Professional Indemnity Insurance - Peace Of Mind

n. pl. in·dem·ni·ties

1. Security against damage, loss, or injury.

2. A legal exemption from liability for damages.

3. Compensation for damage, loss, or injury suffered.

Definition from the free dictionary

Are You Prepared For The Worst?

Professional Indemnity Insurance (also called Professional Liability Insurance) in today's business jungle is crucial. We don't live in the dark ages any more, and big walls, deep motes and strong shields won't be much help against lawyers, bankers and irate clients. So then, what can protect us in this day and age against these three 'super powers'? What can cover us in the cases where normal insurance won't, such as:

- Negligence

- Misrepresentation

- Violation of good faith

- Unfair dealing

- Inaccurate advice

- Errors or Omissions

Yes, you guessed it, Professional Indemnity Insurance to the rescue!

Insurance Vs Assurance Vs Bankruptcy

Can you afford bankruptcy? Can you afford to carry on business without the assurance of having insurance protection should the client hit the fan? Professional indemnity insurance will provide assurance that your business will not suffer loss, setback or possible bankruptcy. Assurance can go a long way to increasing confidence; and confidence will increase perseverance, and perseverance will increase reputation, and reputation will increase client trust, and client trust will increase confidence - the full circle of safety and peace of mind!!

So... is it worth the insurance?

What Is Covered...

Professional indemnity insurance essentially covers you should your skills or services, bought by the customer, are thrown back in your face; the side-effects of something hitting a fan! It usually covers the legal costs that may arise from the client filing a lawsuit against you and also for any potential compensation in the event of losing the lawsuit.

...And What Is Not

What catches some off guard is the fact that professional indemnity insurance claims can come some time after you have provided the goods or service to your client, even many years later! When a policy expires they are canceled, and you may not be covered should a claim be made after you have canceled the policy or let it expire. You may be resting in front of your fireplace, enjoying your retirement and dreaming of that boat you have always wanted - then the phone rings and that boat sails off into the sunset without you! It is important, crucial that you keep your policy current for a number of years after you retire.

You will face the same issue if you switch insurers. During the 'in-between' time of changing insurers a customer, who bought a service or good from you while you were with the first insurer, could just make a claim against you - and your new insurance company won't protect you. Your previous insurance company won't protect you either, as your cover will have been canceled. Be mindful of this when switching insurance companies and ask the new insurer what provisions they have in the event of this unfortunate scenario happening.

Who Needs Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Traditionally, the term defines itself in 'Professional'; those considered to be the 'men in the white coats', such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers. In more recent times the term 'Professional' has broadened to include many other industries, including education workers, health workers and consultants, architects and designers and real estate agents.

Certain professions are required to have professional indemnity insurance (PII). These include doctors, lawyers, insurance brokers, some contractors and some accountants. The need or requirement for PII may very widely from country to country.

Friday, August 9, 2013

How To Keep On Top Of Your Businesses Cash Flow Forecast?

To ensure a successful business it is imperative to know what the future has to hold. Without successfully calculating profits, projecting turnover and determining the outgoings of the business it becomes very difficult to plot a course towards the future development of the company. Having a good cash flow forecasting process in place allows you to make certain business decisions much easier and also lets you to see issues in finances before they arise and means that you aren't panicking when you need to pay the bills.

In some industries, there is an initial outlay in either cost or time before you are able to invoice the client, this is something that is often difficult to include in your forecast. If you are an electrician for example you’ll need to buy parts and cost for labour before you hand out the invoice, if you provide a service such as marketing or PR it is likely that you’re going to have to pay your staff’s wages before the invoice is paid to you. It is therefore important that you know how much each job is going to cost you and ensure you've got this money set aside before commence work.

Other than cash flow software you may want to develop a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet which you can glance at to immediately see what is going on with regards to your company’s finances. With a basic knowledge of Excel formulas you will be able to forecast your turnover, profit and loss each month. It can also help with the calculations so that you know exactly how much you need to bring in each month in order to break even.

Purchase orders may be considered to be old-fashioned and time-consuming, but depending on the industry you work in they may well be a good addition to your financial procedures. Being able to prove that you have an order from a client can mean that if a difficult situation arises, you have a back-up.

The final point is to make sure that you are being realistic, all too often businesses forecast on the theoretical large job that is ‘sure’ to come in this month. Being conservative isn’t a bad thing and means that you won’t be caught short when it comes to the time when you need to pay your bills.

Forecasting cash flow can be difficult to start with, but once you've got a good, efficient and effective system in place it becomes much simpler to manage the process.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Royalty Audit - Is Your Income Everything It’s Cracked Up To Be?

In days gone by, people used to think of royalties as something that really only concerned authors and musicians. The truth is that today royalties are paid on a whole range of goods and services which third parties have been given a licence to use themselves or supply to others for cash. This might apply to everything from food outlets and computer software to pharmaceuticals and technology. Very often there may not be anything physical involved but simply intellectual property.

Either way, it is essential that anyone granting a licence or franchise or allowing the use of IP gets used, early on, to the idea of royalty auditing. It doesn’t matter who you are providing a licence to, you need to assume that, at some stage, you will suspect that you are not receiving as much by way of royalty income as you thought you might.

This is where royalty audits comes in. Even if it is not written into the original contract, you are entitled to insist on a specialist royalty auditor going in and examining the books of your licensee to check whether everything is in order.

An experienced licensee or someone who is just taking a chance will doubtless find all sorts of wrinkles that result in reduced royalty payments. One crude example might be when a licensee deducts a percentage of sales to allow for pilferage by customers and staff.

A specialist royalty auditor will be well acquainted with all the potential pitfalls and things to expect when experiencing the reality of a licensing agreement in practice rather than in theory. In fact, most licensors will take the precaution of having the auditor in at the initial contract drafting stage so that all the usual areas of contention can be covered at the outset. Don’t worry about your prospective licensees being frightened off by this. It is perfectly reasonable for you to insist that the auditor is there at the beginning and is entitled to make future inspection visits to audit the books.

If you plan to license IP overseas, you will also need to make sure that your royalty auditor has wide international experience. What goes on in one country might be the norm there but might well be considered totally unacceptable in the UK and other mature Western jurisdictions.

Finally, if you think that royalty auditing is not, on balance, likely to prove worthwhile bearing in mind any associated fees, it is worth noting by way of example that an audit of a major international publishing company conducted on behalf of a global entertainment giant identified a whopping 27% shortfall in licensing payments compared with what was actually due.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Could You Become A Better Manager?

To improve your management skills, focus on the following core areas of your practice:

Share your Vision

Is your business a one-man show or do your colleagues input into the strategic development? As a manager you can lay down the law but employees who have signed up to your vision are more likely to focus on outcomes in their work. Empower your team to be part of a shared ethos; sometimes it’s about making them believe they have contributed even if the direction is the same as if you had driven it alone.

Know your team

As a manager you should know exactly what each team member’s role entails and how they well they perform their duties (regular appraisal with achievable targets is essential especially if this is linked to pay increases or bonuses). If obstacles occur which will prevent a colleague from being able to fulfil their role then you must know how you will overcome those obstacles so that he can discharge his duties effectively.

Knowing your staff also means understanding their skills and experiences and how you can use these to the benefit of the organisation. Employees become disenchanted if they feel their talents are being wasted; equally, they appreciate the opportunity to venture into new territory. As a manager you have to strike a fine balance between deploying people according to their abilities and enabling them to learn new skills for their professional development.

Trust your Team

Micromanaging your team constantly is a waste of your time and devalues their role. Managers who trust their employees help to facilitate a positive ethos in which everyone understands their role and feels entrusted to do the job to the best of their ability. Team members who recognise they are trusted are more likely to go the extra mile, to take on new responsibilities and to demonstrate a more innovative approach to their work.

Remember that if a problem occurs within your team, such as a target not being met or a project failing, it is not necessarily one person’s fault. The let’s-find-someone-to-blame culture of The Apprentice is not a good example of effective people management.

Remember they are People

Do you give enough consideration to the fact your team members have personal lives? Difficulties occur in everyone’s life from time-to-time which can have an impact on productivity. Your company may have targets to achieve or deadlines to meet but this has to be balanced with supporting your colleagues in difficult times. An unhappy employee is an unproductive one, so find solutions together such as flexible working, paid leave or support from occupational health.

Say ‘Thank You’

It’s as simple as that. Take the time to let your team know they are valued and you recognise and appreciate their hard work.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

How to Choose an Insurance Agent

Do You Need An Insurance Agent?

I talk a lot about how great the internet is for finding insurance. You can find company financial ratings, customer satisfaction ratings, and even websites that list complaints.

You can also learn about different types of policies you may want to purchase. For example, you may know you want to buy life insurance, but you do not know if you should purchase term life, whole life, or universal life. Getting these types of policies explained can help you make a good decision.

And finally, you can find online insurance quotes from many companies. Some insurers will allow you to get quotes for their rates, but some quote forms even allow you to compare multiple premiums from different companies.

All of this is convenient, and it can save you a lot of time. But the truth is, many consumers want to sit down with an experienced insurance professional before they make a final decision. I think this is great. You may learn a lot online, but an agent who has a lot of experience with his or her products can bring up some things you may not find online because you did not even know to look for them!

How To Find Good Insurance Agents

Of course, some agents will be more motivated by sales goals than by selling customers the best policy. In my experience, though, agents that stay in business a long time do so because they want to keep their clients, and they want to get that client to refer their friends.

  • This is not always true, but in general you should be wary of any agent that seems very focused on one product. Make sure that he or she listens to you first. You can explain your concerns, and your unique situation. After that, your agent should make suggestions about the types and amounts of coverage you need. In fact, some agents will want to set two appointments with you. On the first appointment, they may interview you, and then come back to suggest products after they have done some careful research and analysis. This will not always be true, but if your agent wants to set a second appointment, you will probably do better by giving that professional time to give you carefully thought out answers. Sometimes you can do the first step over the phone or through email, and then just meet in person for the second step.
  • Start off with online quote forms to check rates. Most of the time, they will also give you contact information for local agents. This can be a quick and easy way to narrow down your search so you do not have to speak with multiple people.
  • You may want to ask your friends and family which companies or agents they use. The right company or policy for the family next door or your aunt may not always be the right choice for you. But if they like their policy enough to tell you about it, that is a good sign!

Get The Best Insurance Policy For You

You do not want to buy insurance to please anybody but yourself. Make sure you are purchasing your policy because it is the right thing to do, and not because you feel pressure from a good sales person. A good agent should be happy to work with you, and they should not be concerned that you have a lot of questions about prior research you have done on your own.