March 2, 2017
Some business owners make major decisions by relying on gut instinct. But investments made on a “hunch” often fall short of management’s expectations.
In the broadest sense, you’re really trying to answer a simple question: If my company buys a given asset, will the asset’s benefits be greater than its cost? The good news is that there are ways — using financial metrics — to obtain an answer.
Perhaps the most common and basic way to evaluate investment decisions is with a calculation called “accounting payback.” For example, a piece of equipment that costs $100,000 and generates an additional gross margin of $25,000 per year has an accounting payback period of four years ($100,000 divided by $25,000).
But this oversimplified metric ignores a key ingredient in the decision-making process: the time value of money. And accounting payback can be harder to calculate when cash flows vary over time.
Discounted cash flow metrics solve these shortcomings. These are often applied by business appraisers. But they can help you evaluate investment decisions as well. Examples include:
A mathematical approach
Like most companies, yours probably has limited funds and can’t pursue every investment opportunity that comes along. Using metrics improves the chances that you’ll not only make the right decisions, but that other stakeholders will buy into the move. Please contact our firm for help crunching the numbers and managing the decision-making process.
If you’re among the families with less exposure to estate tax liability post-TCJA, it’s time to adjust your estate planning strategy to concentrate on reducing income taxes. If state income taxes are a concern, one tool to consider is an incomplete nongrantor trust.
Family businesses often depend on their founder to maintain the company’s success. But eventually that owner will have to depart the business. Depending on the circumstances, the family itself may be thrown into chaos. A solid succession plan can help prevent this.
If you’re thinking about giving holiday gifts to employees or customers or throwing a holiday party, be sure to consider the tax consequences, both for you and for the recipients of your generosity.