Monthly Archives: February 2018

A Guide to Purchasing the Right EPOS System For You

Today EPOS for small businesses is also becoming vital, obviously due to its multiple advantages. It is an integrated system that can be the one man army of your business and can organize, control and analyze various aspects of your business, be it cash transactions, backend reporting, staff monitoring or inventory control. The best EPOS solution also offers many additional features over cash transactions though essentially, it is just an integration of all functions in a single system to create a seamless workflow for any merchant. A sophisticated EPOS system can also give you reports about the best-selling items, peak sales time, best-performing staff, etc. It can bring to your business financial accuracy, accountability, speed and efficiency, stock management as well as reporting easily to optimize and streamline your entire business flow. Well, if you intend to purchase it be prepared to get thoroughly confused and baffled in your first purchase of it. To provide clarity, we provide a guide below to buy the right EPOS system to suit your business needs.

Select an EPOS partner instead of a supplier

Hands down, your first goal is to find an EPOS partner that you are comfortable with. You do not need a vendor as it is not a one-time purchase. In reality, you are selecting an IT partner for your business, and he should always be available to advice on how to utilize different technologies to enhance and improve your business. Thus compare EPOS providers and gain an understanding of the company. Know who will be your contact person and account manager there ascertain that he would have your best interests at heart and would be accessible to you always. Inquire about the technical support contact as well. Also, try to get details about your assigned technical advisor since he would be the one helping you take your business ahead by offering you fresh ideas through technology. A solid partnership with a technology company can understand your business needs and prove to be a highly valuable asset. The mere salesman would not do.

Be clear about your needs

To make the right purchase, it is important that you know what you want out of your first EPOS system. Before even speaking to any vendor, prepare a prioritized list of what you want out of your EPOS system. Afterward, while talking to various potential partners, you can add or delete items to the list and reprioritize it. It is because nobody knows your business better than you and you need an EPOS system that complements it and not reinvents it.

Software selection

Next step is to look into the software. Ensure that the vendor knows about your list and structures a demonstration around it. The obvious advantage of this is that not only would it stop the sales person get lost in a confusing waffle despite his best intentions but would help you understand the software better. Not only do you need to know the software well but you should also feel comfortable using it. Educating yourself on various EPOS reviews would also be helpful as it would you understand and grasp which software is easy and intuitive to use, pleasant to look overall simple to understand and teach. It is important also to understand that EPOS is not a one size fit all. However, your selected software must be able to satisfy 95 percent of your needs. Finally, check out not only the immediate costs but possible charges in future if enhancements are made. Your mind should remain doubt-free here.

Hardware selection

For purchasing hardware, you need to compare the features and durability provided at what costs. You can choose between a standard office PC and a retail PC based on their cost, performance as well as ease of working.

Cash or lease

Finally, you need to choose between a lease and an upfront pay. Many prefer to lease computer equipment. The advantage here is that most leases allow you to purchase the equipment at a nominal price at contract end thereby actually helping you pay for the hardware in installments.

Here Benefits Of Leasing For Veterinary Business

Starting a veterinary business with limited funds can be tough. But for a veterinarian, equipment financing or leasing enables him to set up his business with lesser funds. This is why leasing is a popular choice of veterinarians who wish to start their own business. Some of the major benefits of leasing includes –

* Start Your Business With Low Cash: With leasing, you can avoid using your capital to buy equipment. Instead, you just have to make smaller monthly lease payments. For example, if you have a capital of $50,000 and you wish to secure equipment worth $35,000, it would be very hard on you since you will only have $15,000 left as capital should you decide to purchase it. This can put your business in a very difficult position. You can avoid this by choosing to lease your equipment. When you opt for leasing, you can preserve your capital of $50,000. As such, you will be more confident of your business and use your capital more efficiently in other areas.

* Get Latest Equipment Easily: With leasing, you can replace your existing veterinary equipment with the newer, latest equipment with great ease. If you had purchased the equipment, then it may be very difficult you to upgrade your business with the newer equipment. Since you invested so much money in procuring it, you will be focused on using the equipment to get the most value out of it. As such, it is very likely that you will not be able to change the equipment frequently. But with a lease, changing the equipment is very easy. You only need to end the lease on the current equipment and then you can take a lease on the new one. Leasing thus provides a very easy, affordable way to enable your business use the latest veterinary equipment.

* Benefit From Stepped Down Payments: Some leasing companies will also offer you stepped down payments option. This means that your monthly lease amount will reduce over time so as to reflect the current value of the equipment. For example, if your equipment is valued at $30,000 currently, then you may be paying a monthly lease amount of $500. But if the equipment is valued at $15,000 after a few months, then you may only need to pay $250 rather than $500.

* No Collateral Required For Lease: Unlike a loan which requires you to provide collateral so that you can secure a loan to purchase the equipment, a lease does not require you to provide a collateral. When you lease an equipment, the equipment itself is considered sufficient lease.

Picking A Good Leasing Company

To ensure that you associate with a good leasing company that benefits you, keep the following things in mind –

* Check the history of the company and make sure that they have been operating in the veterinary equipment financing or leasing industry for a long time. It is best to avoid companies who have just begun their operations. A good long experience in the industry ensures their work ethics and accountability.

* Know what type of lease you want and then check whether the company offers them. You can choose from a lease that will offer you the ownership of equipment of lease at higher monthly installments or you can opt for a lease with lower monthly payments but with no ownership at the end of the lease term. Once you decide which type of lease is good for you, look for a company that offers such lease.

* Check if they offer zero payment option for the first few months. Some companies do offer them and allow their customers not to make any monthly payments for the first few months (generally 3 – 6 months) of a lease period. If you are starting your veterinary business, this means that you can wait for a few months to generate sufficient revenues in order to start making lease payments.

If you are interested in leasing veterinary equipment, you can look for leasing companies in your area and enquire them further about their services. As long as you have a decent credit score, you should be able to get a lease without much hassle.

Some Signs of a Decaying Financial Portfolio Management System

One of the biggest threats that most Portfolio Managers face is the prevalence of legacy systems.

Over the past three decades, investment advisors have been empowered by the advent of technology from simple spreadsheets to complex home-grown systems. From that time to the present, the industry has seen exponential growth and with it, enormous complexity. Challenges include round-the-clock trading in markets from New York to Sydney, varying accounting standards, shortened settlement cycles, and of course, increased regulation and security issues to name a few. As if that were not enough, technology seems to change every day leaving many legacy systems struggling to keep up with customer demands. Cheaper, faster, smarter, and more efficient norms are expected – they cannot be the exception. Failing systems can sharply undermine your company’s ability to service its customers and maintain its market share, much less grow the business.

In this age of big data, business intelligence, and data analytics, legacy systems can represent a massive risk to your business. If day-to-day operations require the ability to manage process, distribute, and accurately report financial data, being behind the curve is not an option. If this sounds familiar, it is time to ask, “How did we get here?” and more importantly “How do we get out?”

Here are the seven signs that will tell you if you have a decaying system and how it must ideally operate:

1. Facing difficulties while managing data due to disparate systems?

Maintaining data in different systems or manually moving move data from one system to another will lead to inconsistency and errors. Is your data quickly identifiable, consistent across multiple systems, complete, accurate, and reconciled among different systems? If your answer is a NO to these questions, you must reevaluate your platform. Your system must be able to eliminate manual data flow, update all the data with a single change, deliver timely and accurate reporting including intra-day, and make data easily traceable.

2. Are your client communications professional?

Investors expect your reporting to be clear, concise, and highly customized to their needs. This statement holds especially true for institutional investors. Organizations that can meet these expectations will have an immense competitive advantage over those that cannot. If your current system does not deliver the level of reporting your clients expect, you will run the risk of falling behind.

Your client expectations are not limited to the form and content of reporting, but also to how you deliver information. They expect instant access to real-time information, be it through a web portal or a mobile platform to stay relevant and highly competitive, your systems must be flexible enough to send and receive communications via any channel of your client’s choosing.

3. Struggling to cope with complex global investments?

Dealing with multiple regional and global investment regulations such as UCITS V and VI, Solvency II, AIFMD, and EMIR is a daunting task. All these regulations require you to maintain reliable, accurate, and transparent data. To comply with these regulations, you need Workflow Management, Data Management, and accurate reporting. Data, managing risk, and maintaining accuracy is critical to comply with regulatory reporting requirements.

With the increase in data sources and data complexities, your organizations need solution providers who can help you manage your data. Your system must not only be scalable but also provide actionable business intelligence in a format that is easily understood.

4. Finding it hard to achieve Integration of disparate systems?

Real integration is not a matter of simply connecting systems – your systems must be able to talk to each other seamlessly. Manually moving data from one system to another affects your efficiency, thereby, increasing the risk of errors. Integrating disparate systems not only reduces these risks but also improves efficiency by ensuring that back office and front office personnel can view transactions, cash positions, and holdings identically. This ensures that the entries are recorded accurately in your Investment Book of Records (IBOR).

Many organizations use multiple systems for accounting, reporting, reconciliation and managing client information. If different vendors have provided these systems, making them talk to each other could be a challenging process. If you have workarounds or portfolios that reside outside of your legacy system, it is time to rethink its usability. Your system must allow centralized and standardized portfolio management activity. In an end-to-end portfolio management solution that is built on open architecture, the work of multiple systems is consolidated into a single platform. Such a solution will allow easy access to third-party systems or any other system that is built in-house, thereby enabling you to reduce technology footprint while driving greater efficiency.

5. Escalating legal and compliance costs?

A 2013 survey of Chief Technology Officers suggests that one of the biggest operations and technology challenges that asset managers face is to comply with the current and future regulatory requirements. The complex regulations make outdated reporting systems more of a liability than an asset. The compliance costs of regulations such as AIFMD, UCITS V, and VI, or FATCA-are overtaking many budgets. Additionally, aggregating data from different systems for compliance reporting is a risky and resource-consuming process. To reduce these risks and costs simultaneously, your system must be prepared to deliver consolidated reporting, by leveraging automation, integration, and standardization of data from various sources. Your systems must also eliminate the manual compilation of data for reporting, thereby increasing efficiency and cutting associated compliance labor costs while ensuring integrity, consistency, and reducing your operating risk.

6. Being scrutinized by Investors’ due diligence?

After surviving the global economic crisis of 2008, institutional investors have become extremely wary of due diligence, leading to immense scrutiny of operations. The 2008 crisis exposed operational risks – the risk of failure that not only involved market forces but also the lack of infrastructure and controls. Investors have also become increasingly tech-savvy; they are asking the right questions and know what to find. To remain competitive in this vital market, your system must stand up to the intense investor scrutiny. You must show that you have the controls in place to manage the risks efficiently and that you are already adhering to well-organized processes. If Investors sense any gaps in your workflow and find that you are dependent on manual processes and workarounds, they will take their money elsewhere.

7. Legacy systems are not supported, serviced, or enhanced in the way you expect?

A product is only as good as its provider. Is you provider paying enough attention to you after the sale with 24/7 support? Does your provider have a track record of continuous product updates? Do they provide product training? Are they attentive to your suggestions or new ideas? Your provider must provide long-term support if you want your new system to last. Your product must be scalable, flexible, and must be built on open source technologies. In addition, your provider must not only help you set up but also ensure that your systems perform optimally without any disruptions. A relationship is a two-way street; as such, providers must be able to respond to your issues quickly, and also help your business adopt new functionality as and when it is needed.

Invest in your growth

A portfolio management system is the heart of your business. With a weak system, your business can be at serious risk, and you may not have the time to address it before it fails completely. Investing in technology will give you greater efficiency, reduced risks, and help you make informed decisions. Your provider, therefore, must have a proven track record of being committed to long-standing services, continuous improvement, and support you as you grow.

Different Types of Home Loan Everyone Should Know

In India, applying for home loan is the most common and convenient way to buy a dream home. Research suggests that, over the past few years, with the growing number of financial institutions offering housing finances, the number of people applying for loan have increased manifold. The various benefits attached with getting a housing finance like tax cuts and banks offering different kinds of loans to suit different needs of the borrowers have only made housing finance more feasible for home buyers. For most of the people tax benefit is the biggest benefit from availing a home loan. The banks nowadays offer different kinds of loans or even customized loans that suit the needs of the borrowers. Such benefits have only made housing finance more feasible for home buyers. Below listed are a few of types of home loans available in the market:

Home purchase

This is the most common type of home loan prevalent in India and the most easily accessible variant. There are plenty of banks as well as private financial organizations that offer loan for home purchase at attractive interest rates. The key to avail the best deal is to make a thorough comparison of the quotes and choose the one that is most cost effective rather than just going with the bank that offers the lowest interest rate.

Land Purchase

Land purchase loan, as the name itself suggests, is availed for buying a piece of land on which you wish to build your real estate property. This loan can be obtained for building home for self-occupation or commercial use. Typically, most financial institutions in India offer loans up to 85{7bacd3b4157d43a6b88d975560cdc707d5369aa15801e12f5fcbfa7263a7b5bc} of the value of the land. This type of loan can prove beneficial for people who dream of building their house as per their needs rather than buying a ready-made apartment from a builder.

Home extension loan

At some point in life, everyone needs to upgrade their current home and make certain modifications, be it the addition of a new bedroom or extending the balcony. If you want to make any alterations to the existing structure of your home, you can avail home extension loan to fund the construction work. Before you apply for the loan, you first need to have a copy of permission letter from the concerned civic authorities sanctioning the structural modifications.

Home improvement loan

This type of loan is very similar to home extension loan, in the sense that you can avail funds under the scheme to carry out home improvement works like painting the exterior, undertake roof repair works, or refurbish the electrical and plumbing fittings in the home. Typically, this type of loan is availed by people who wish to increase the commercial value of their property so that they can demand a higher price for the same while selling it.

NRI loans

This home loan type as the name suggests is exclusively for non-residential Indians (people who are Indian citizens by birth but have settled or live abroad) who wish to invest in buying a property in India. Several banks in India offer lucrative home loan schemes for the NRIs at the most competitive interest rates and affordable repayment schedules.

Bridge Loan

This type of home is for people who want to sell their existing house and purchase a new home. A bridge loan is a financial arrangement with the lender that helps you get the required funds to pay for your new home until you find a buyer for your old house.

Stamp duty loan

When you buy any kind of real estate property, you are mandated to pay a stamp duty, which is usually about 1{7bacd3b4157d43a6b88d975560cdc707d5369aa15801e12f5fcbfa7263a7b5bc} to 2{7bacd3b4157d43a6b88d975560cdc707d5369aa15801e12f5fcbfa7263a7b5bc} of the property value. If you are unable to pay the amount, you can avail the stamp duty loan, which is specifically offered by banks for this purpose.