San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 04, 2014
Alight, a fast-growing and innovative provider of industry-specific software applications, and Bestborn Business Solutions, maker of Loan Vision, a mortgage banking-specific accounting and financial management solution, today announced the formation of a partnership to bring a solution that offers mortgage lending firms maximum financial awareness and control over their businesses, both now and into the future.
"I'm excited to partner with the Loan Vision team and bring mortgage lending firms a more comprehensive way to manage their financial performance, both now and as they look toward the future," said Michele McGovern, CEO, Alight. "Loan Vision gives firms a crystal-clear picture of their current financial performance and Alight gives customers the ability to quickly and easily plan for shifts in the market and turn potential challenges into opportunities - that's a powerful combination."
"Loan Vision gives customers a best-in-class solution for general ledger accounting, as well as financial management, that truly affords them maximum understanding of where their businesses stand at any given moment," said Martin Kerr, president, Bestborn Business Solutions. "By partnering with Alight, we can offer customers a solution that will help them achieve and maintain financial leadership, both now and into the future, no matter what changes the market might present."
Firms interested in learning more can contact Mark Burner, Alight, mburner(at)alightinc(dot)com.
Alight is a fast-growing provider of industry-specific applications that help firms transform how they view planning and budgeting and make it a constant and relevant part of their businesses. Alight has over 300 customers, across some of the most dynamic and complex industries, including financial services, mining, telecommunications, health care, and food and beverage. Alight is committed to helping customers achieve and sustain top financial performance. For more information visit alightinc.com
About Bestborn Business Solutions
Founded in 2006, Pittsburgh-based Bestborn Business Solutions, LLC, offers custom software development using Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The firm's flagship software product for the mortgage industry is the Loan Vision Mortgage Accounting Solution, the fastest growing accounting software for mortgage banking. Loan Vision is designed to reduce manual workloads, reduce risk, help overcome industry challenges and help organizations grow. For more information visit loan-vision.com.
From regifting to trading your unwanted presents with a family member for something better, the holidays give bartering a short-lived existence on most Americans radars. In much of the world, bartering is a thriving way to exchange the items one has for what he now needs, but Americas corporate retail structure leads most to rightly believe an attempt to barter with a merchant would be met with disgust. A large marketplace for bartering has emerged with the Internet, helping those who dare trade for anything from small trinkets to cars.
What Should You Barter for?
- Clothing. The thrift shop provides a venue for clothes to be exchanged but with an added markup and money transferred. Whether its with a roommate, friend or through a site like SwapStyle, bartering can expand your closet tenfold. That item thats been relegated to the back of your closet could be exactly what another person is looking for.
- Furniture. From furnishing your apartment to your companys workspace, bartering can be an affective way to minimize waste and maximize product utility. This was Joseph ONeills experience at The Expert Institute. Working in a growing startup made me realize the potential of bartering, and improved my skills for doing it, OheNeill said. Ive found bartering for (and with) furniture is usually the most useful, especially in New York City. We were able to barter several of our old Ikea desks for a few Polycom telephones when we moved into a larger office, which helped us avoid paying someone to take the desks and get something very valuable in return. The key to successful bartering is to find what you want first and then offer a trade. Youre far more likely to get a good deal if you initiate the transaction rather than posting that you want a trade and waiting for offers to come in.
- Gifts and crafts. Especially during the holidays, a barter system can help you decorate and celebrate cheaply. Gifts can of course be bartered, but if youre crafty, what can you get for your handmade Christmas cards? If youre not, what can you offer to get such one-of-kind cards? A smart tactic with neighbors or extended family is to for one person to buy plenty of ornaments and the other to buy a large number of Christmas cards. Swap half your stash to minimize purchases and cut down on costs by buying in bulk.
- Services. I learned to trade stuff for stuff, stuff for services and services for services, said Pablo Solomon, an artist and designer. With private practices, most anything can be traded so long as the owner agrees to it. If you barter for medical services or professional services, make sure you are completely satisfied with the provider and that you are treated as any other cash patient or client, said Gary Oshry, president of New England Trade.
- Technology. With the holidays bring a surge of technology purchases, as these items are often discounted on Black Friday. With every crop of new iPhone, Android and laptop iterations is a sea of buyers eager to buy the second most-recent model. Using a barter system can help you upgrade your phone at no cost.
Those bartering must understand the difference between profit and loss. Although value can be intrinsic, those who barter must have an understanding of the value of the items traded to barter effectively and without remorse. Furthermore, its important to understand that some items (collectibles, art, etc.) are more valuable to some people than money, meaning the value one puts on an item might not be the same for another person, nor meet the markets belief of its value. Lastly, in the long run barterers must understand why they are bartering. Is it to save money, to make money or
to get something of value? Solomon provided these insider tips:
- Nothing is taboo when it comes to trading. The secret is in finding out what the other person values. If you can obtain or offer that item for less than expected and bring it to a trade, then you have a good chance of walking away with what you want.
- Some items are one of a kind or close to it. These items have value beyond dollars and cents, at least for the person seeking the item. Its also important to understand that some things will gain value over time as they become novel, rare or collectible, thus taking a short-term loss is sometimes worth it.
- Being able to read people is key. Some people are ready to dump stuff just to get it off their hands. Others need money, tools or services in a pinch. You can make better deals with people who really need to trade, rather than with people who are trading just for profit. In short, immediacy is helpful.
- Remember to keep both parties comfortable. According to Shai Barel, an avid barterer and partner at ClutchMaven.com, a contract can keep both parties comfortable and confident. There needs to be a good contract that breaks down the terms, and both parties should have a good sense of trust in each other, Barel said. Also, it is best to try to avoid bartering situations where one persons product or service is delivered earlier than the others. This could create unpleasant feelings between the two parties, as well as a lack of motivation to deliver services. In addition, one should avoid bartering for services that dont have set objectives or goals that cant be quantified.
There are both theoretical and practical problems in bartering. Practical problems include some of the issues listed above; theoretical issues include non-standardized values, indivisibility and coincidence of want. Non-standardized values can lead to the feeling of being gypped, while indivisibility and coincidence of want are problems when trading one item or service for multiple occurrences of another, according to Kevin Hoult, certified business adviser at the West Virginia University Small Business Development Center. Take for example, trading webpage development for 10 haircuts. How do you quantify tip in your transaction -- and what is the timeline for paying back the service?
From a legal stance, barter deals can go up to the Internal Revenue Service level if things go sour, according to Hoult. The other monsters hiding under the bed of [bartering] are cash flow and tax consequences, Hoult said. It is very risky to trade inventory for anything. The cost of replacing inventory and the loss of gross profit from the transaction can result in business owners shoplifting from themselves.
Tax consequences rear their ugly heads when one of the parties reports what was given up in barter as a business expense. Tax authorities will wonder where the other half of that transaction might be, perhaps resulting in a dreaded letter from the government.
Time Banks Offer a Compromise
Luckily, those who barter for their businesses can get around both the discomfort and tax implications by brokering their deals through a bartering exchange, also known as a time bank. For those looking to barter out of the confides of Craigslist and sites like U-Exchange, time banks provide another source to barter that are especially helpful when a trade necessitates multiple parties.
Doing one-to-one barters for business owners is extremely difficult and often one side does not receive full value for what they barter or the service they provide, said Bruce Condit, director of public relations at Allegiance Capital Corp. Condit recommends companies avoid tax issues when bartering by using an organized barter exchange. The main objective of barter is to sell excess time, products or services on barter -- at the same rate you would normally sell them, Condit said. Then you use the barter dollars to purchase goods and services you would normally pay cash for.
However you choose to barter, whether it be through one of the many swapping sites out there or between just family and friends this holiday season, any reservations you have toward bartering could be inflating your expenses and preventing you from capitalizing on the value others might see in your items that might be going dusty or unused.
Active-duty families enjoy many programs, services, laws and discounts designed to help strengthen their personal finances.
Financial educators teach troops to be smart about saving money and warn them away from predatory lenders. Military relief societies loan or grant money to troops in emergencies. Laws provide financial protections. Discounts and deals stretch paychecks.
But once you leave the military, most of those benefits vanish, unless youre among the 17 percent of troops who serve long enough to qualify for military retirement.
The new Veterans Financial Coalition was formed in late June to address the financial well-being of veterans who leave service short of retirement. The coalition seeks to educate veterans and the community organizations that serve them about financial issues; conduct research and advocate for consumer protections for vets; and raise awareness of their financial needs.
Initial members of the coalition include the Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, and Visa Inc. Consumer Action will host training programs for organizations in cities with large veteran populations, starting in September with Virginia Beach, Virginia, and San Diego.
The nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, made up of nearly 250 consumer groups, wants to increase visibility of its America Saves campaign and highlight the challenges troops face because of loopholes in the interpretation of the Military Lending Act, said Tom Feltner, CFAs director of financial services.
Feltner notes that any debts troops rack up through predatory lenders while on active duty will transition with them when they leave the military along with the potential financial instability that comes with such loans.
If we highlight problems with abusive credit and the need to save, it makes transitioning easier, Feltner said.
The coalitions website, www.VeteransFinancialCoalition.com, has resources geared to vets, and general information about financial issues.
For example, Consumer Action has the Economic Survival Guide for Servicemembers and Veterans, steering troops and veterans to better alternatives for financial services, and describing common scams aimed at veterans.
Credit Reports, Credit Scores and Specialty Reports lays out what goes into your credit reports and score, how to interpret a credit score, and offers tips on improving your credit score.
Visas Tactical Money Guide for Transitioning from the Military delves into a variety of topics: life and health insurance, investment strategies, information on VA-backed loans, managing money and using credit.
The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education has tools to help find certified professional financial counselors.
Its good to know someone is paying attention to veterans financial issues after they leave the military.
And if youre still on the active-duty side of a transition, give yourself a head start by taking advantage of all these resources to better set yourself up for civilian life.#x25A0;
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