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Keys to Finding Fraud in Your Business

No business owner wants to deal with company fraud at their facility. It can be difficult to detect and even harder to remedy. Large corporations have the luxury of employing full-time staff that monitors operations looking for suspicious activity. While smaller companies don’t have the funds for this, they can still implement some measures to reduce their risk.

Employ Temporary Auditors To Uncover Fraud

Identifying business fraud sometimes requires an aggressive approach. Consider employing external and internal auditors to look for fraudulent actions.

  • External Auditors – These professionals are trained to look for irregularities in financial statements, especially in the case of a significant loss. They also review your procedures to see whether management has the ability to override established controls.
  • Internal Auditors – Trained employees should conduct periodic internal audits of financial statements to search for fraud. Make sure the auditors are independent of the area being audited. If suspicious activity is suspected, the issue should be brought to appropriate persons for further investigation. Internal auditors can also look for violations of company procedures.

Train Employees To Look for Red Flags

Employees should be aware of irregularities that may indicate business fraud. Conduct annual training with all employees on how to detect fraud and safely report it without repercussions.

Staying vigilant in your search for business fraud will help keep your company safe.

Magic and Mystery of the 1099 Employee Revealed

Following the rules and regulations regarding payroll for contract employees (or 1099 employees) can be a mysterious undertaking for a business owner.  It is important to understand who is a contract employee and what steps to take for payroll. Doing this could save you money and decrease risk and loss in the future.

Who Is a Contract Employee?

A contract employee is a person who has complete autonomous control over the work done as a self-employed person. Many people can fall under this title, including roofers, gardeners, nannies, designers, accountants and lawyers.

How Do You Set Up Payroll For Independent Contractors?

Follow these steps for payroll setup:

  1. Create an agreeable written contract with your new independent staff detailing work and payment schedule.
  2. Have your employee fill out a W-9. This form determines if the person can work in the United States and provides important employee information.
  3. If the contractor earns more than $600, you must issue a 1099-MISC. This form records the contractor’s earnings, similar to a W-2, but it does not provide tax or insurance information.

What About Taxes and Insurance?

Independent contract employees are responsible for paying their own taxes and insurance, including business tax and workers’ compensation, relieving the business owner of these expenses.

Understanding the subtleties of working with contract employees can lighten your financial load as well as mitigate your risk as a business owner. Following these quick and easy steps demystifies the process of payroll for contract employees.

Safety Guidelines for Marina Operations Management

Safety must be a top priority in a marina’s general operations. They must assure full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations pertaining to use of the premises, fire codes, and environmental protection orders. Here are some key guidelines concerning operational safety compliance for marinas.

Maintenance

Performing general maintenance duties with regularity can assure that the area is free of any hazards that can cause patrons to fall. Maintenance personnel should perform inspections to affirm that surfaces are even and provide sufficient traction.

Signage

Signage advising patrons to use caution and refrain from unsafe activities are necessary to put people on notice of important safety considerations.  “No swimming” is an example of an essential warning to display conspicuously.

Fire Prevention

Despite proximity to water, the presence of large vessels as well as fuel storage and delivery systems may create fire hazards in marinas. Depending on local regulations, marinas may need to have extinguishers or hoses available every fifty or one hundred feet. Also, emergency responders must be able to gain access to a facility with ease.

Anchorage

The infrastructure of a marina must be sufficient to withstand extreme weather events such as a hurricane. All docking systems should comply with recent code.

Everyone working at a marina must understand their individual responsibilities in keeping the premises safe. Good managerial policies and practices can prevent serious accidents.

Reducing Your Company’s Freight Costs

Ever since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, freight costs have been skyrocketing. The marine shipping industry now faces overhead issues like never before, making traditional methods of reducing freight costs through risk management inadequte. Luckily, industry analysts have put together a few scenarios for bringing things under control. Those scenarios still depend on adequate risk management through traditional channels, though.

Experience & Expertise in Marine Insurance

The best way to optimize costs for marine insurance is to combine your policies into a comprehensive solution tailored to your business, not just your industry. To attain that goal, you’ll need to work with insurers who make their niche your business. Finding them is not hard, though. Just look for an insurance provider who uses deep knowledge of the industry and its challenges to benefit customers.

Finding an Insurer

Often, the companies with the most expertise put problem solving resources right in front of you. That, in turn, helps you learn more about reducing freight costs through innovative measures while containing them as well as possible through cost optimized cargo insurance coverage folded into a larger, comprehensive marine business insurance policy. Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to decide when you want to contact an expert with years of experience in the marine insurance industry.

Protecting Your Business With Boat Builders’ Insurance

Among the construction sub-industries, boat building is a unique trade with a unique set of risks and potential liabilities. Boat builders must contend with the complexity of the construction and sea trial process, while simultaneously dealing with specific environmental conditions. Carrying comprehensive boat builders risk insurance is an important part of protecting your construction operation, as well as your workers and your clients.

What Types of Insurance Do Boat Builders Require?

Coverage specifics tend to vary widely, depending on the specific type of craft you build, the environmental conditions of your construction site, the caliber and experience of your workers, and many other factors. Tailoring an effective policy for a given business may mean taking into account the following areas of coverage:

  • Property coverage for business premises, equipment, vehicles, and docks and piers — including coverage stemming from severe weather events
  • A variety of liability coverages, including general liability, pollution liability, ship repairers liability, and other policies to protect you in the event of a lawsuit
  • Various employee coverages, including workers compensation, Jones Act coverage, and other coverages that may vary by location

In short, the complexity of the boat building profession necessitates a wide umbrella of coverage. Speaking to an experienced insurer can help your business and its workers stay safe, fiscally sustainable, and able to deliver the best for your clients.

Retroactive Malpractice Insurance for Attorneys

Up until 1970, legal malpractice insurance was written as an occurrence-based policy. Attorneys who were covered through this policy typically received coverage for events that occurred during the terms of the policy regardless of when the claim may have been filed. However, it became difficult for insurers to value policies given the unknown of potential claims that may be filed years down the road. The risk became uncertain for both the insurers and the insured. As a result, prior act coverage was established.

Retroactive Coverage With a Current Policy

Lawyer prior act coverage is a policy that relied on retroactive coverage dates to a claims-made policy. In this situation, lawyers can receive coverage for claims filed against the practice so long as the malpractice issue occurs after the retroactive date established on the policy. There are specific terms and conditions for each individual policy, but this is the general concept behind prior act insurance.

Claims of malpractice that take place before the retroactive date are not a part of the coverage, even if the claim is filed during a current policy term. As a risk management strategy, attorneys should consider establishing the retractive date for the first day they began practicing law.

Continuous coverage is important for full legal protection, which is why care must be taken when establishing retroactive dates. If a claim is filed that is not covered, the attorney will face significant out-of-pocket expenses that could ruin his or her practice.

Tips To Help Your Nonprofit Raise More Money This Year

Many nonprofit organizations operate on a shoestring budget. That makes fundraising efforts critical to their financial stability. If you have been struggling to develop a comprehensive plan, these tips can help you achieve nonprofit fundraising success.

Develop a Narrative

When people donate to or invest in a nonprofit, they are buying into the story you share. Developing a strong narrative for your organization and key programs will allow you to put your best foot forward. Go ahead, put on your best storyteller hat, and get to work crafting a storyline that touches hearts.

Engage Your Board

Nonprofit boards are charged with fiduciary responsibility, yet many do not like to get involved with fundraising activities. Help board members stay engaged by training them on best practices and responsibilities. A few ways they can help include:

  • Cultivating personal and professional connections
  • Collecting and sharing organization impact stories
  • Speaking to groups about the organization, its mission, and its impact

Stay True to Your Mission

All nonprofits should remain mission-focused. That simply means that all activities should support and promote the mission and move you closer to achieving your vision. That includes how any earned income is generated. Try not to veer too far off the path when seeking fundraising opportunities.

Following these tips can help you design a solid plan for fundraising success.

The Basics of Self Insurance and Employee Injury

As employers look for ways to reduce expenses, many might be tempted to sacrifice their employees’ benefits packages. Though it is possible to cut back on some of the costs, most companies will not be able to do away with workers’ compensation insurance. Thanks to government law, employee injury protection is a must-have for a majority of businesses. However, by changing to a self insured workers compensation plan, companies may be able to save money on expensive premiums.

The Way It Works

Self-insurance can be an affordable alternative to workers comp insurance. The employer pays each claim filed out of pocket rather than paying a premium amount each month or quarter to an insurance carrier or state-sponsored fund. Employers must qualify for these plans, and each state has a regulatory agency that sets the requirements for both application and approval. A few states do not allow self-funded plans, but for those that do, self-insurance can provide several benefits.

  • Companies maintain more control over claim programs
  • Improved control and management with safety and loss
  • Greater cost effectiveness for small businesses

Self-insurance isn’t an ideal option for large businesses operating in industries fraught with injury and illness risks. However, small businesses who are able to manage the risks of injury may find that paying claims out of pocket are more affordable than fixed premiums.

 

Steps To Get You Back on the Road After an Auto Accident

Sadly, there is no foolproof way to avoid all accidents on the road. Major wrecks can damage your car and your peace of mind. Following these steps can help make an accident less traumatic and get you back on the road quicker.

Check for Safety

Before you do anything else, it is imperative that you check for safety. Assess any injuries and follow local laws about removing vehicles from traffic lanes if there are no serious injuries. If you have traffic flares or reflective markers, it’s a good idea to put them out around the scene to alert other vehicles to the situation.

File a Report

Many people hesitate to file a police report after an accident. This can be a costly mistake. Contact the local authorities and have everything documented. This paperwork can be important later on when you are trying to recover damages for injuries or a totaled car.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Reach out to your insurance agent right away to start the claims process. They will provide the steps necessary to file a claim, get estimates for repairs, or offer settlement amounts if your vehicle is beyond repair. In most cases, your agent will provide you with a list of names of mechanics and body shops that will accept direct payment and save you from filing additional paperwork.

It is important to stay calm after an accident. Checking for safety, reporting the incident to local authorities, and working with your insurance provider will help you get back on the road safely.

What You Should Know About Insurance for Courtesy Shuttles

People who operate vehicles for personal use are usually required to have liability insurance to cover damages from accidents, theft and property damage to name a few. Companies that require workers to drive will have commercial auto policies to address exposures related to driving for the job. Even rideshare drivers can find policies tailored to protect their risks using personal vehicles to transport riders and deliveries. How about companies such as hotels and parking lots that operate courtesy shuttles? Is there a courtesy shuttle insurance plan?

What Does Courtesy Shuttle Insurance Cover?

A commercial transportation policy should offer many of the same types of coverages you would find in a personal auto policy. It should also address concerns that would be typical for commercial or business purposes. Such a plan should include the following:

  • Bodily injury and medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Towing
  • General liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Business owners

There are many exposures when it comes to shuttle operations, so it’s important to have a plan that is customized according to your needs.

What Should I Look For?

Many plans are out there, but again, it’s critical to find one that is tailored to your work involving transportation shuttles. You owe it to your company and your employees to find a plan that protects operators from the various risks that come with driving for the job. The right insurer will address all your needs and come up with a plan that works for you.