Nobody knows your business better than you do. After all, you are the CEO. You know what the engineers do; you know what the production managers do; and nobody understands the sales process better than you. You know who is carrying their weight and who isn’t. That is, unless we’re talking about the finance and accounting managers.

Most CEO’s, especially in small and mid-size enterprises, come from operational or sales backgrounds. They have often gained some knowledge of finance and accounting through their careers, but only to the extent necessary. But as the CEO, they must make judgments about the performance and competence of the accountants as well as the operations and sales managers.

So, how does the diligent CEO evaluate the finance and accounting functions in his company? All too often, the CEO assigns a qualitative value based on the quantitative message. In other words, if the Controller delivers a positive, upbeat financial report, the CEO will have positive feelings toward the Controller. And if the Controller delivers a bleak message, the CEO will have a negative reaction to the person. Unfortunately, “shooting the messenger” is not at all uncommon.

The dangers inherent in this approach should be obvious. The Controller (or CFO, bookkeeper, whoever) may realize that in order to protect their career, they need to make the numbers look better than they really are, or they need to draw attention away from negative matters and focus on positive matters. This raises the probability that important issues won’t get the attention they deserve. It also raises the probability that good people will be lost for the wrong reasons.

The CEO’s of large public companies have a big advantage when it comes to evaluating the performance of the finance department. They have the audit committee of the board of directors, the auditors, the SEC, Wall Street analyst and public shareholders giving them feedback. In smaller businesses, however, CEO’s need to develop their own methods and processes for evaluating the performance of their financial managers.

Here are a few suggestions for the small business CEO:

Timely and Accurate Financial Reports

Chances are that at some point in your career, you have been advised that you should insist on “timely and accurate” financial reports from your accounting group. Unfortunately, you are probably a very good judge of what is timely, but you may not be nearly as good a judge of what is accurate. Certainly, you don’t have the time to test the recording of transactions and to verify the accuracy of reports, but there are some things that you can and should do.

  • Insist that financial reports include comparisons over a number of periods. This will allow you to judge the consistency of recording and reporting transactions.
  • Make sure that all anomalies are explained.
  • Recurring expenses such as rents and utilities should be reported in the appropriate period. An explanation that – “there are two rents in April because we paid May early” – is unacceptable. The May rent should be reported as a May expense.
  • Occasionally, ask to be reminded about the company’s policies for recording revenues, capitalizing costs, etc.

Beyond Monthly Financial Reports

You should expect to get information from your accounting and finance groups on a daily basis, not just when monthly financial reports are due. Some good examples are:

  • Daily cash balance reports.
  • Accounts receivable collection updates.
  • Cash flow forecasts (cash requirements)
  • Significant or unusual transactions.

Consistent Work Habits

We’ve all known people who took it easy for weeks, then pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline. Such inconsistent work habits are strong indicators that the individual is not attentive to processes. It also sharply raises the probability of errors in the frantic last-minute activities.

Willingness to Be Controversial

As the CEO, you need to make it very clear to the finance/accounting managers that you expect frank and honest information and that they will not be victims of “shoot the messenger” thinking. Once that assurance is given, your financial managers should be an integral part of your company’s management team. They should not be reluctant to express their opinions and concerns to you or to other department leaders.

Meet the Chontaduro or Palm Fruit

What’s that?” I asked staring at the plum-sized fruit the woman peeled in her hand.

These are chontaduros from the coast.” “How would you like yours?

How can I have them?” I queried back.

You can have them with salt or honey.

Then give me two of each.

The middle-aged Black woman sat on the top stair leading into the strip mall. Her clothing was well worn, reflecting a hard life and lower stratus. She set to work straightaway. After peeling four of the fruits she cut them in half lengthwise to pry out the single black seed in the center using a small paring knife. Then she dipped the fruit into a small bowl of salt coating half of the fruit. Repeating the procedure with two more chontaduros plucked from a plastic basin full on her lap, she dropped these into a narrow plastic bag while drizzling a stream of honey first over one then another dropped into the bag on top of the first. A separate bag held the two salted ones. With the thick, tough skin peeled off, the lone seed removed and the fruit quartered, there is no waste. I preferred the salted ones.

A Little Known Culinary Treasure

Scientifically named Bactris gasipaes, the Chontaduro or Palm fruit as it is sometimes called, is common in many of the Pacific Ocean coastal regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. Varieties also grow in parts of the West Indies. Some of its many other names include Cachipay, Pejibaye, Pijuayo and Pupunja. The skin (epicarp) of the fruit can range in color from red to orange or yellow depending on the variety of the palm. It has a firm texture, slightly starchy taste and its pulp is dry and a bit stringy, but its popularity is extensive nonetheless. In Colombia, for example, it is used in dozens of recipes but is principally eaten boiled in salted water, peeled then dipped in salt or drizzled with honey. To date, the chontaduro has limited popularity outside its locally grown regions. This is beginning to change however, as its use in gourmet fare increases and its availability expands. The Palm fruit though, is a little known culinary treasure working its way up the exotic food rankings.

Cooking with Chontaduro

In sauces, soups, stews and baked delicacies though, the Chontaduro has no equal. The Palm fruit can also be used to make flour, jellies or pressed to release its high cholesterol content oil. Most people eat the fruit after its boiled in salted water, then peeled and dipped in salt, marmalade or honey. When the boiled fruit is peeled and seeded, it can be shredded, grated, ground or processed into a puree base, then used in sauces, crèmes or bases. A particular favorite is a cooked Palm fruit sauce poured over or glazed onto fish and seafood. Its unique flavor makes an interesting base for soups and stews. The pulp can be pickled, fermented, jellied or dried and ground for use in a broad range of additional applications. So if you’re looking to spice up your own recipes, try cooking with chontaduros for a unique flavor twist.

Learning the Basics When you attend vegetarian culinary schools, you learn about the basics of cooking a vegetarian meal. You will learn about making the food look appealing. You learn how to prepare some of the fancier vegan foods. The schools operate in a kitchen and a classroom. You spend all your time learning how to become the best chef. You will learn about the different seasonings and spices as well as how to use them with different vegetables.

The vegetarian culinary schools only select so many people. You cannot just enter the culinary schools vegetarian classes if you have had no prior cooking experience in most cases. Most schools require some basic knowledge of cooking even if it is not strictly vegetarian style. The vegan chef school is a great way to take a step up in some of the fancier dinning establishments. It is possible to work in a high-class country club or even for a government catering organization.

Once you start the class, you will see how easy it is to make a vegetarian meal and make it so tasty that no one will care if it is a vegetarian meal. This is quite important if you want to be a chef. You have to learn how to garnish the food to make it look appealing. Color is another part of learning. Culinary schools, vegetarian schools included teach you how to garnish with color to entice the palate. You learn everything you need to make so many different foods.

Graduating from Vegan Chef School Once you complete your degree, you will be able to find work almost anywhere a chef is needed. Many clubs and restaurants look for chefs right out of school because they are fresh and have some skills that some of the older chefs may not have. Vegetarian chef schools will guide you on how to approach the establishments and what is expected of you as a resume. You will not submit a paper resume, but you will make a scrumptious meal as your test before being considered for a position.

When you attend vegetarian culinary schools [http://www.vegetarian-culinary-schools.com/vegetarian-culinary-schools.html], you will learn so much about cooking with different types of foods. You will learn how to make a vegetarian lasagna that no one will ever guess is just a vegan dish. You will take pride in your work and know just how to make the perfect dinner or even a breakfast for anyone that enjoys the delights of vegetarian foods and even those that do not, will be delighted.

 

Indian Weddings don’t symbolize mere marriage; the nuptial bond symbolizes loads of commitments, shared responsibilities and promises for life. The weddings in India are full of vivid events and rituals that continue for several days. Around 300-1000 people attend the weddings and the scale of wedding is thus so large that it seems that not just the two individuals get married but the two families. A majority of the wedding customs and traditions are similar in Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains.

The prospective groom’s parents approach the bride’s parents to ask them for the hand of their daughter to get her married to their son. If the bride’s parents agree to the proposal, the parents invite the Hindu priest to match the horoscopes and if the horoscopes agree, they ask the pundit to tell them a suitable date for the marriage.

The parents of the bride visit the groom’s house to formalize the wedding and perform the Tilak Ceremony. On the following day “Byaha Hatth” ceremony takes place and the unmarried girls apply a paste of turmeric, sandalwood and rose water to bride and groom at their homes. Till the wedding day, both the bride and the groom are not allowed to come out of their homes.

On the wedding day, the bride wears a red colored sari and the groom wears a sherwani companied with a pyjama or salwar and wraps angrakha around his neck. The groom and male members of the groom’s family wear pink turbans.

The groom rides on a horse and is accompanied by his baraat (procession) to the venue of the wedding. They receive a warm welcome from the bride’s side. The bride is escorted to the wedding hall by her close friends or sisters. Then both the bride and the groom perform garland ceremony and head on towards the wedding feast.

As per the timing suggested by the Hindu purohit, the Circumambulation of fire is done to finalize the marriage and then the bride’s parents do the kanyadan. The bride departs with the groom and is welcomed by her mother-in law holding a thali of Aarti. Several customary games are played during the evening hour. On the next day at night, a reception party is held by Groom’s side and a large number of guests are again invited to attend the feast.

The wedding is said to be officially over with the Reception party but after the wedding, the couple is invited for lunch/dinner at the relatives’ homes for the first time after their marriage. This is done to open their way for visiting the relative’s homes.

Here are the different types, available from garage equipment supply dealers:

In-Ground

This type of vehicle lift is assembled below the garage floor. It consists of one or more pistons, depending on the maximum weight capacity. Lifts with one or two pistons are used for compact, mid-sized and full-sized cars. Lifts with three or more pistons are used for larger vehicles, such as buses and RV’s.

Two Post Surface Mounted

The most common vehicle lift utilized today is called a Two Post Surface Mounted lift. On each column, there are lift arms. These are controlled mechanically, electronically or hydraulically.

Multi-Post Runway Automotive Lift

The most common type is the four-post mounted lift, which is extensively used by oil change, transmission, and muffler service shops. You’ll find this type of auto lift in wheel alignment service stations as well. The car is driven onto the two runways and raised, exposing its underside.

Low/Mid Rise Frame Engaging Lift

This type of vehicle lift engages the vehicle’s frame in lifting. There are two ways this type may operate. One way is scissors-style, moving straight up. Another is parallelogram-style, moving forward or backward, while raising or lowering. This type is commonly used for brake, tire, and wheel services as well as auto body repair.

Drive-On Parallelogram

The Drive-On Parallelogram is a surface-mounted vehicle lift. It has two runways where the wheels of the car should be placed. It has a lifting mechanism that moves the vehicle a short distance forward or backward while raising or lowering. The direction depends on the way the lift is mounted.

Scissor Lifts

The Scissor Lift can either be of a fixed pad type or a roll-on frame/underbody engaging type. It has a lifting mechanism that’s similar to the parallelogram lift. Their main difference is that the scissors lift goes up and down on a straight vertical path.

Movable-Type Wheel Engaging Lift

This type of vehicle lift is used for vehicles that are longer than conventional cars, such as buses and trucks. It consists of several lifting columns in sets of two, four, six, or more. The columns can be moved and connected with the other columns so that their movements are synchronized.

 

Not unlike other businesses, hotels have been forced to step up their game as people travel less and, when they travel, their budget is smaller in a still lagging economy. While the goal is always full occupancy and high occupancy rates, all hotels have unoccupied rooms that need to be filled. Hoteliers realize that their hotel are each one among many and that consumers have a variety of hotel options to choose from. Hotels realize that part and parcel of maintaining their occupancy rates is offering the right amenities at a competitive rate in order to attract new guests and retain returning ones. In the lodging industry, hotels must be ahead of current trends in order to better their occupancy rates which means being mindful of hotel supplies guests prefer as the mind their budgets.

Hoteliers start with the premise that most hotels offer the same basic hotel supplies and amenities such as complimentary toiletries, durable ice buckets and functional hangers. They offer the basics in an effort to make a guest’s stay comfortable by offering the conveniences of home. While the definition of “basic” hotel supplies will vary depending on the hotel class, most hotels provide drinking glasses, either plastic, an ice bucket of either shatter proof plastic or faux leather and an iron with ironing board. Hotels compete with one another for business. The amenities they offer are part of that competition which is why guests find many hotels in the same general area and price range with the similar amenities and hotel supplies.

Depending upon the sophistication of the hotel itself, guests may define ‘basic’ differently. Absorbent towels, bed linens with higher thread counts, bowed shower rods, and heavy duty wooden luggage racks become basic, expected hotel supplies in mid-grade hotels. Because they’re constantly competing for guests in order to maintain their occupancy rates, hotels are constantly striving to best their competition. This is truer the more sophisticated the hotel as they know consumers have a wide variety of options and the standards such as drinking glasses and coffee service are no longer enough. Instead, hotels must study what the new basic is and add it to their repertoire of hotel supplies and amenities in order to impact their occupancy rates.

5 Star hotels and resorts are on a unique plane in every way from the level of guest services they offer to the list of available conveniences and amenities offered to attract guests and increase occupancy rates. Microfiber bathrobes and slippers, monogrammed glass tumblers, video game systems and fog free shaving mirrors are among the high quality hotel supplies offered to guests at resorts and luxury hotels. They hope, and the numbers tell them, that by offering amenities that are above and beyond the basic hotel supplies provided by their competition they’ll not only attract and retain wealthier guests but increase their occupancy rates as well.

It’s a given that hotels, regardless of their rating and price point, want to please their guests by offering the best possible hotel supplies and amenities. However, when hotels are reviewing the amenities they may offer guests, deciding which specific hotel supplies they’ll offer will depend in part on their budget and what prior hotel guests have indicated they’d like to see or be likely to use. Hotel supplies are an intrinsic part of the hotel experience and their impact cannot, and should not, be under estimated as they can affect occupancy rates. All else being equal, the right hotel supplies can make or break a guest’s experience.

You might be surprised to learn that there are different types of locksmiths around. This is essential especially for those who want a more specialized service. Residential, commercial, automotive and forensics are the types of locksmiths that are accessible although the forensic ones are rare as they usually work with investigative agencies or law enforcement agencies.

Residential

Residential locksmiths are experts when it comes to making the home safe and secure. As most homes have the regular locks installed near window frames, it might compromise the safety of the family. These experts can install a double cylinder lock that needs a key inside for the door to open to give extra security. Aside from this base-knowledge they can also re-key locks as well as have them replaced in such a way that these are not easily tampered. They can also do entry gates, screen doors, sliding as well as emergency services.

Commercial

A commercial locksmith specializes in locks that are manufactured for business purposes. Examples would be installation of panic bars, replacing locks in file cabinets, installation of automatic door closer, safe/vault installation as well as installing a master-key system. Panic bars are especially important as they would provide workers a means to exit the building premises in case of emergencies.

Automotive

Automotive locksmiths are the ones that you go to if you ever need a spare car key or want a replacement when you’ve lost the original car key. These experts can help automotive owners in choosing the right type of car keys that would best suit their needs. Most automotive locksmiths are familiar with transponder car keys and can also do re-programming at a lower price compared to the same service that car dealers offer. Aside from transponders, they can also unlock cars, change or replace ignition locks, provide laser cut keys and even offer lock services for high security vehicles.

Services

In choosing the locksmith that would best suit your need(s), it is important to deal with a company that is licensed and has done background checks on their employees. This is to make sure that the company that you would be transacting with is legal and since some items in the house might be valuable or important documents are inside vaults or safes, one is assured that the person they are dealing with is someone who they can trust. Consider talking with someone who knows a reputable locksmith especially if you’ve just moved in or purchased a new home or office.

Teaching and learning have taken on a whole new dimension due to the major impact of technology in schools. Teachers now have a medium to communicate effectively with one another and share ideas to better their teaching skills. They now have a pool of endless resources they can utilize to offer students the assistance they need to develop their ability and advance. The computer has improved education in many ways. There is now the reduced use of paper, which plays a role in environmental conservation. This positively supports what teachers are trying to instill in their pupils; it is important to preserve the natural environment and take care of our surroundings. There is no better way to do it than putting a stop to cutting down trees.

Other notable areas of improvements as a result of technology are;

– Information on different subject matter is readily accessible. This is not only beneficial to teachers, but students as well. There is no limit to the knowledge one can attain from the internet. What’s more, the material available is diverse since it’s presented by people from different parts of the world. This opens up a student’s viewpoint and allows for fresh, new ideas to arise.

– There is a lot of software that schools can use to create far more interesting presentations and programs. Students can use the software on projects thus they have a way to express their tasks effectively and in detail.

– Technology has helped do away with distance and time restrictions. Online education has opened numerous possibilities for students and teachers alike. You can now school or teach from anywhere in the world. Many online schools are accredited and registered with the necessary government bodies. This means that every individual interested in acquiring a higher education has the opportunity to do so now. Many people who have jobs also have the chance to pursue further studies without giving up their careers.

– The introduction of schools online has made education more enjoyable and achievable. Because this allows a visual and audio mode of communicating, everyone can share ideas, knowledge, as well as information and make others the better for it.

Through technology, education has been transformed. Learning and teaching has become more interactive. It has also done away with barriers as knowledge can now be shared across borders. Different cultures can now openly appreciate one another as they learn the various ways of life. Technology has undoubtedly improved the scope of education and through this there will be more technological advancements. Thus, technology and education are correlated; they work together to develop each other.

My Six Figure Lifestyle was Chuck Marshal’s up-front profits and residual income program through postcards. It has since evolved into The Secret Formula Teleseminar, a newer $1,497 system that calls itself an alternative for the 95% of people who feel lied to, dissatisfied, confused and angry by the “biz opps” industry.

The Approach

The Secret Formula Seminar (formerly My Six Figure Lifestyle) has been developed by Rob Stinson, a one-time machinist who candidly uses his regular-guy persona to share how his “Secret Formula” now has up to 150,000 distributors and results of over $250 million worth of products sold.

The Difference

Stinson states that what differentiates his teleseminar and software from the rest is that they’re designed to attract what he calls Business-Opportunity-Buyer (BOB) prospects. These prospects appear to consist of owners and managers of existing businesses looking to build up sophisticated streams of multiple income channels, instead of friends, relatives or co-workers who tend to drop out of these programs.

The Promise

Per his website, Stinson promises up to a five-figure income within the first few months, no time wasted with scheduling, presentations, selling, pitching or closings, and less than two hours spent daily on the business when owners work the systems properly.

Stinson’s new My Six Figure Lifestyle program appears to include:

– 700 to 1,500 qualified, worthwhile leads

– Lead generation and prospecting software and branded marketing system

– Postcard lead-generating manual for generating leads used with My Six Figure Lifestyle

– Additional software incentives

My Six Figure Lifestyle / The Secret Formula Seminar In Review

Stinson appears to believe that by being upfront about frustrations and potential scams prospective customers have experienced, The Secret Formula Seminar may have the ability to attract those that have since rejected online business opportunities.

The newly revised “My Six Figure Lifestyle” program, now known as The Secret Formula Seminar, is reported to cost $1,497 to join. The program seems to work on a teleseminar type system and is said to include a handful of different items and features. Some of them include pre-qualified leads, proven marketing software and systems and manuals and incentives.

As with any and all online based business endeavors; it is highly recommend that one does their own research before investing actual monies into a program. The Internet is a very large and uncontrolled atmosphere that requires caution and in-depth research; especially when being asked for monies in return for a service, membership or product. That’s not to say that real and lucrative opportunities don’t exist out there; one just needs to exercise caution when looking for that perfect one to ensure it is a legitimate opportunity and delivers on what it says for how much it says.

A lot of people are enchanted by the idea of owning a pet fox. They’re charming, intelligent animals, and there is a lot of appeal in having a “special” animal that not many people have. While foxes can make decent pets for someone with the time and resources to care for them, a lot of people make the mistake of buying a pet fox thinking it is going to be just like a dog.

1. Foxes Are Difficult to Train

Dogs are born with a very strong pack mentality. A dog sees you as its alpha, and is hard-wired to want to obey the leader. They live to please you. A fox, however, lives to please itself. While they are very intelligent, the core motivation of a fox is different than that of a dog. The dog wants to please you and make you happy, the fox wants the treat.

2. Foxes Stink

Foxes have a very strong odor. While a dog can take a few weeks without a bath to work up a powerful stink, foxes smell skunky 24/7. This strong, musky odor can be lessened somewhat by having the fox neutered, but it cannot be eliminated entirely.

3. Foxes Are Shy

Many people picture a fox as an awesome pet that they can show off to their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, the reality almost always falls far short of this. While foxes often become very attached and affectionate with their families, they remain impossibly shy around visitors and strangers.

4. Foxes Have Special Needs

Foxes have special dietary and exercise requirements outside that of a dog. They are extremely energetic, and require loads of exercise every day. A large, carefully-built outdoor enclosure is a must. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Foxes Are Escape Artists

Foxes are much more proficient at getting out of enclosures than even the most determined dog. They can leap six feet in the air, climb up fences, and even cling upside down to climb along a chain link ceiling for short distances. Any enclosure that is meant to keep foxes must not only be large, but impossible to dig out of and have a full roof.

6. Foxes Are Destructive

Many people buy a fox under the mistaken impression that it can be kept as an indoor pet, and left with free run of the house while they are away at work. Nothing could be farther from the truth, particularly with the larger species like red foxes. They will steal and hide anything small enough for them to carry, and shred just about everything they can get their teeth in to. It is nearly impossible to break even the best-trained fox of these behaviors. A dog can be taught not to chew things, a fox can only be taught not to chew things while you’re watching. While a fox is loose in the house, it requires constant supervision.

In conclusion, foxes can make fascinating pets for people who are prepared to care for them. If you are interested in a pet fox, go into it with your eyes wide open, do your research, and understand that caring for a fox is not like caring for a dog.