Melissa Anderson

Melissa is the CEO of Inspired Accounting Solutions, where she puts her rock-star accounting skills to work inspiring small businesses to be amazing.

Your CFO: How Will Donald Trump’s Tax Plan Affect You?

The “Our City Exhibition” features a walkable installation based on Cousins’ “Mapping Soulville” up now at Industry City through February 26, 2017.

If you’re like myself and millions of Americans, you’re concerned about the future of our country and the welfare of our citizens more than ever. The least-popular President in modern history has made many promises to the American people, and few (non-divisive) promises have been fulfilled. Today, we’re going to take a look at the promise by Donald Trump to “reduce taxes across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.” How does his proposed policy stack up and how will it affect you? The Trump tax plan is based on two primary premises: It […]

Your CFO: Wrapping Up Your Year-End Finances With Ease

Danielle Mourning

Decorating the tree, buying gifts, visiting friends and loved ones and…taking inventory? Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, squeezing in your year-end financial wrap-up can seem daunting. To simplify the process this holiday season, I’ve compiled a checklist of things you need to do before and after the New Year: Do these things BEFORE December 31. Review your income statement Was this year more profitable than last year? Now is the time to look at deferring income by billing clients in late December and collecting payments in January, making purchases of furniture or equipment, or making a donation […]

Your CFO: The Ripple Effect of Giving

Michelle Hartney, Jeff Mangum

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple effect with no logical end.” — Scott Adams We often talk about the impact of charitable giving in terms of tax deductions or the physiological impact it has on us (lower stress levels, increased self-esteem, longer life, and greater happiness to name a few).  That ooey-gooey feeling of warmth and happiness when we give is great – and it’s just the beginning of the impact our gifts make! Today, we’re flipping the script and talking about the incredible ripple effect giving has on the […]

Your CFO: Successfully Launching Your Second Location

Projection Theory Slant Rhyme Institute, Solo Installation at Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center, Pittsburgh

Liquidation sales, covered windows, “Closed for business” signs on the doors…the remnants of a good idea gone wrong. What makes an otherwise successful business fail when opening its second location? I see it often – the potential was there and the projections looked great, but something important was overlooked in the planning and execution. A few critical areas need to be assessed prior to taking that leap! Systems & Processes First of all, you’ll need to do a detailed analysis of your systems and processes to be sure they’re running smoothly and you’ve worked out all the kinks. A small […]

Your CFO: How to Keep Your Remodel on Budget

Remodel Budget Tips

Whether you’re updating your kitchen, giving your office a facelift, or designing your business’s new location, remodeling is an exciting process. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to spend more than you budgeted before you realize it. Here are some simple tips to keep your remodel on budget. Set a realistic budget Before you go nuts and start buying materials or hiring a contractor, you need to sit down and set a realistic budget. What funds do you have available for the project? What’s the average cost of the improvements you’d like to make? Get detailed estimates from […]

Your CFO: Financial Tips for Pursing Your Dream Career

Shanti Grumbine, Performance Still of “The Last Color: A Reliquary”, 2016

You’ve decided to leave your job of 30 years and your $100,000 salary to pursue your dream career – congrats! Making a career change to pursue your passion isn’t easy or cheap, but it’s definitely possible if you’re willing to change your lifestyle and spending habits to make it happen. Before you make the leap, be 100% sure this is what you want to do because your lifestyle is going to change drastically. Is the job important enough to sell your house/car, move into a condo, and possibly *gasp* ride your bike to work? If you’ve decided that the lifestyle […]

Your CFO: Setting Boundaries for Successful Relationships

creating boundaries with clients

It’s 10pm and you’re finally laying down to relax and read a book when the phone starts ringing. As you reach for it, your mind races – Who could be calling this late? I hope it’s not an emergency! Your eyes move to the caller ID… It’s him again – the nightmare client without boundaries! In my first year of business, I was eager to impress and I made the mistake of taking on every client – even when they left a bad taste in my mouth. I told myself it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, I only had […]

Your CFO: The Workcation!


  Running your own business is time consuming and doesn’t leave much time for a real vacation – which, if you’re anything like me, you desperately need! The only time you travel is when you’re attending a conference or meeting away from home. So why not make that next work trip a workcation? Workcations are quickly becoming the way of the future. With conferences and meetings held around the world, from Las Vegas to Paris, it’s easy to see why people add a few personal days to their business trips. Here are some simple rules to make sure the “work” […]

Your CFO: What Are the Social Obligations Around Your Charitable Donations?

Silk Espresso owner, Leah McMahon

Cancer is a cause that hits close to home for Silk Espresso owner, Leah McMahon. In the ten years that she’s been in business, Leah has created a family of loyal, caring customers who share their lives with her each day over a steaming cup of coffee. So in 2008, when long-time customer and friend “Judo Jon” was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the fight became personal to Leah and her Silk Espresso family. They took it upon themselves to create the Judo Jon Fundraiser to help Jon, his wife Dusti, and their children during the most difficult time in their […]

Your CFO: Creating a Stress-Free Plan for Financial Wellness

Financial Wellness Piggy

What do you do to manage your business’s financial health? This question often stumps my small business clients. They often believe they’re in good financial health until something happens that throws them for a loop (broken equipment, tax troubles, cash flow issues, etc.). Panic sets in and they call for help. How can you avoid a similar fate? Start by following my stress free plan for financial wellness! Don’t Put off Your Bookkeeping Needs Question: How can you judge the financial health of your business when you’re six months behind on your accounting? Answer: You can’t. The longer you put it […]