Plan Today for Tomorrow’s Disaster

November 06, 2017

      spotify.gif   listen_on_iheartradio_badge.png

With Mother Nature in a particularly destructive mood lately, Tim Schuster, EisnerAmper private business services manager, discusses the need for proactive disaster planning. Tim gives us a few areas that businesses can focus on to protect themselves, keep their operations running and maintain financial stability.


Transcript

Dave Plaskow: Hello and welcome to The Bottom Line. This podcast examines the everyday business and finance issues faced by closely held and private businesses. We hope to provide you with news you can use and what we like to think of in a “jargon-free” zone. I’m your host Dave Plaskow and with us is Tim Schuster, a manager in EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group. In this episode we’ll discuss the very important topic of disaster planning. Tim, good to see you again.
Tim Schuster: Dave, it’s a pleasure to see you as well.


DP: Tim, unfortunately we’ve all seen the devastation brought by this year’s hurricane season, which was a pretty bad one. In fact, according to the Red Cross for every dollar invested in disaster preparedness it could save seven dollars in recovery. Let’s talk about a few things closely held businesses can do to protect themselves from a natural or manmade disaster.
TS: Absolutely. There’s just a few points that I really want to discuss today. The first thing is make sure you have a communication plan and updated with staff, customer and vendor information. Each employee should know his or her role in the event of a disaster. And make sure that you have a chance to practice this. Some companies actually have a plan, but they don’t practice it. Make sure you do.
DP:Good point.
TS:Also, make sure critical information is backed up and exists in separate locations, so if something were to happen you would have access to this information. The cloud is a good data storage option. Back it up to the cloud, and you’re good to go. Next, look at your supply chain. Do you have alternative space you can operate from? How will you continue to get goods or services to customers in the event of a catastrophe? Be aware of your local recourses. You want to make sure you are in communication with or know who/where first responders are. The flip side also is knowing what your responsibilities are for informing the authorities should a catastrophe happen at your location. Perhaps most importantly, make sure that your employees are educated and trained in how to respond to a disaster. FEMA is a good resource to learn more about this.
DP:Excellent. Tell us a little about insurance.
TS:The first thing you want to do is make sure you have a good agent and be proactive in having discussions with him or her on the vulnerabilities and needs of your business. For example, are you in a flood prone area? You probably are going to need some sort of flood insurance. Are you located next to a chemical plant? Is there risk of an explosion? Another thing that businesses should really look into is business interruption insurance. I have a client whose business recently got damaged in Hurricane Harvey in Houston and, thankfully, he had business interruption insurance. Essentially, this covers a business’ income in case of a disaster. This insurance covers that gap so there’s no interruptions in income during the recovery period.
DP:Worth checking out for sure.
TS:Absolutely.
DP:There’s certainly a lot to talk about with respect to what you do, Tim, as a business and financial advisor.
TS:Yes. I look at things such as what kind of cash reserves you should have on hand. How will you continue to meet payroll and other financial obligations? Those don’t go away in a disaster. What new resources might be needed or new expenses occur as a result of a disaster? How will the interruption impact revenue?
DP:What’s the key takeaway?
TS:There are two actually. One is just be proactive in your planning. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s great to have things written down, but you want to make sure that your staff actually reviews it and know what to do in the event of a disaster. Run drills. Think back to when you were in school. You had fire drills twice a month. You’ve got to keep doing that to make sure you’re ready to act when necessary. And make sure you have everything written down. Some people just talk about preparedness, but take the time to formalize it on paper. It’s time well spent.
DP:Don’t wait for the disaster to happen to come up with a plan.
TS:Exactly!
DP:Alright Tim, now one of my favorite parts of the program.
TS:Me too.
DP:What’s our New Jersey fun fact for today?
TS:I think people forget how influential New Jersey has been in the modern era. Not more than a couple of miles from where we’re actually recording today is Edison New Jersey as in Thomas Edison who had his laboratory in Menlo Park. Here such inventions as the light bulb and phonograph were invented.
DP:Tim, thanks for this valuable information. And thank you for listening to the bottom line as part of the EisnerAmper podcast series. If you have any questions or there’s a topic you’d like us to cover, email us at contact@eisneramper.com. And visit EisnerAmper.com for more information on this, and a host of other topics. And join us for our next EisnerAmper podcast when we get down to business.

About Tim Schuster

Mr. Schuster is a Senior Manager providing tax compliance services to individual filers, as well as assistance on tax returns for companies in the manufacturing and real estate industries.

* Required


More Podcasts in This Series

You Mean Employers and Employees Are Not on the Same Page?
You Mean Employers and Employees Are Not on the Same Page?

Meredith Brown speaks with Tim Schuster about employee vs employer perspectives on the evolution of financial wellness, compensation, and employee incentives.

Employee Benefits That Are on the Fringe
Employee Benefits That Are on the Fringe

This episode of The Bottom Line, Tim Schuster examines some examples of employee benefits and who are using them, and if they’re having the desired result.

6 Types of Executive Compensation to Consider
6 Types of Executive Compensation to Consider

Tim Schuster discusses executive compensation, option grants, deferred compensation, fringe benefits and more. He also examines what to be aware of when preparing an executive compensation package.

Is There a Difference Between Outsourcing and Private Business Services?
Is There a Difference Between Outsourcing and Private Business Services?

Lindsey Gross of EisnerAmper’s Outsourced Finance and Accounting Group joins Tim Schuster from Private Business Services to discuss the differences between these two areas, client case studies that demonstrate those differences, and which types of client could benefit from each.

You’re Not Using Social Media to Grow Your Business?
You’re Not Using Social Media to Grow Your Business?

The Bottom Line looks at how you can use social media to grow your business and examine the different communication platforms available including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You really need to develop website content and push it on social media platforms.

Pair of New Laws Impacts NJ Workers and Employers
Pair of New Laws Impacts NJ Workers and Employers

Tim Schuster, a manager in EisnerAmper's Private Business Services Group, discusses new NJ legislative initiatives happening in Trenton that you should be aware of. The first is the New Jersey Family Leave Act and the second is the increase in NJ's minimum wage.

Creating a Quarterly Planning Calendar
Creating a Quarterly Planning Calendar

In this episode of The Bottom Line, EisnerAmper Private Business Manager Tim Schuster discusses developing a quarterly planning calendar, including budget, tax planning and speaking with your trusted advisor. Review these concepts monthly from an accounting perspective.

The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund
The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

In the wake of the government shutdown, Tim Schuster offers tips on creating an emergency fund. To avoid living paycheck to paycheck, Tim suggests putting money into a separate savings account, as well as a portion of any windfalls. Emergency funds should include medical expenses.

Why the Sandwich Generation Needs to Talk Finances
Why the Sandwich Generation Needs to Talk Finances

Tim Schuster from EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group talks about the family issues and financial burdens for members of the sandwich generation - those individuals who are responsible for raising their children as well as caring for aging parents.

New Jersey Sick Leave Goes into Effect
New Jersey Sick Leave Goes into Effect

As New Jersey initiates paid employee sick leave The Bottom Line examines the requirements for business owners. Some reasons for which employees can use sick leave include an employee's own personal medical treatment or legal services, or that of a family member.

Filling Employment Needs in a Sellers’ Market
Filling Employment Needs in a Sellers’ Market

EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group Manager discusses the current unemployment rate and the booming economy despite current trade tariffs. To help attract employees, businesses are offering incentives such as assisting with student loans to attract millennials.

Don’t Postpone Making Your Will
Don’t Postpone Making Your Will

EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group partner discusses estate planning and the need to have a will - from an online provider or an estate planning professional - to help your heirs understand your estate asset wishes and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act estate tax thresholds.

Don’t Get Scammed By Someone Pretending to Be from the IRS
Don’t Get Scammed By Someone Pretending to Be from the IRS

The Bottom Line looks at some of the common IRS scams out there and what you should do if you fall victim to one of these scammers, including email and personal data hacks, ID theft and fraudulent returns. Contact your accountant if you think you’re a victim of a scam

High Court Rules on the Taxation of e-Commerce
High Court Rules on the Taxation of e-Commerce

The landmark Supreme Court decision in the Wayfair case on e-commerce taxation allows states to collect sales tax on e-commerce companies, even without brick and mortar locations in that state, affecting all e-commerce companies such as Amazon. Accountant guidance is suggested.

Employee or Contractor – The DOL’s Watching
Employee or Contractor – The DOL’s Watching

This podcast discusses the New Jersey Department of Labor and the employee or independent contractor (freelance work) classification under new Tax Cuts. A DOL audit might look at your Facebook and LinkedIn, and can also change your employee or contractor classification.

NJ Budget Mixes Some of the Familiar (and Not-So Familiar)
NJ Budget Mixes Some of the Familiar (and Not-So Familiar)

This episode of The Bottom Line looks at New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s inaugural NJ budget. The discussion includes the Governor's proposed New Jersey's state tax on Uber and Airbnb, addressing tax loopholes for hedge funds and New Jersey tax's effect on the gig economy.

Tim's Top Individual Tax Questions
Tim's Top Individual Tax Questions

In this episode of The Bottom Line, Tim Schuster discusses some of the individual taxation questions bubbling up from clients in the wake of tax reform including adjusted gross income changes, private business taxation, QBI, and the importance of talking with your tax advisor.

Top 7 Questions on Tax Reform
Top 7 Questions on Tax Reform

This episode of “The Bottom Line” discusses new tax reform changes including C corp and individual taxpayer changes, NOLs, double taxation and bonus depreciation. Tim Schuster came up with a top seven list of business tax reform questions he's been receiving from clients.

Retirement Savings Plans for Small Businesses
Retirement Savings Plans for Small Businesses

In this episode of “The Bottom Line,” Tim Schuster talks about the benefits of retirement savings plans for small businesses, including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and Solo 401(k) plans, as well as eligibility and contribution limits set for small business contributions.

What Is the State of Your College Savings Plan?
What Is the State of Your College Savings Plan?

Tim Schuster discusses how starting a college savings account – sooner rather than later – can help alleviate sticker shock for your child’s college education. He talks about the different state-sponsored 529 plans, what you can use the money for, the tax benefits and more.

Which Health Spending Account Is Right for Your Business?
Which Health Spending Account Is Right for Your Business?

EisnerAmper’s examines the differences between different Health Spending Accounts including HSAs, HRAs and FSAs. It is recommended you speak with your tax advisor about qualified medical expenses and pending tax reform's affect on health spending accounts.

SBA Loans for Improving or Expanding Your Business
SBA Loans for Improving or Expanding Your Business

EisnerAmper's Tim Schuster looks at several categories of SBA loans for working capital. He covers the loan approval process, SBA 504, real estate exclusions and how business advisors can help you make the most of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan process.

How to Succeed at Succession Planning
How to Succeed at Succession Planning

EisnerAmper’s Tim Schuster tackles the issue of succession planning - Companies should have something written down for succession planning purposes as well as take into consideration estate planning, wealth management and valuation when creating their transition plan.

Welcome to "The Bottom Line"
Welcome to "The Bottom Line"

In this episode, Our private business services advisor Tim breaks down what a closely held business is, the different business formats such as LLC LLP and S Corp, and how this impacts the role of business advisors so your accountant, banker and lawyer will all be on the same page.