Financial reporting and internal controls for the entrepreneur


By Bryan Edwards, Manager of PS&Co.’s Accounting Solutions Group

Most small business owners start with a dream of independence that then turns into a vision of how to make money while meeting the needs of others. That need is met with a marketable product or set of skills that typically involves doing something the entrepreneur really enjoys. But along with the passion comes the reality of other things you have to do to ensure you are really doing as well as it seems you are doing. Financial reporting, clear accounting procedures, and internal controls are the keys to distinguishing between perceptions and reality.

If you have bank financing, your banker will require regular financial reporting; and even if you don’t, some basic accounting controls and procedures are necessary. You may hire someone (or several people) to work in your office to keep track of the paperwork while you sell and run your business. There are many good accounting packages out there you can purchase off the shelf at a relatively low cost (QuickBooks works well for many, if not most start-ups).  But simply buying an accounting package, hiring a couple of people, and hoping for the best never works out well.  A systematic approach to accounting, finance, and managing the money that begins even before you open the doors is necessary.

Doing so provides several benefits, namely:

  • Greater organization
  • A common purpose among all workers
  • Cost savings
  • Happier, more productive employees
  • Less risk of fraud and theft
  • Bankers who are more likely to extend additional credit
  • Clarity of results that isolates both problems and opportunities quickly

Internal controls are key. If you only have one employee in your office, be sure another employee works in at least a part-time capacity in the office so that the same person is not handling, reconciling, and accounting for cash, for instance. The person who makes a bank deposit should not prepare checks. Have someone who does not prepare checks or make the bank deposit reconcile the bank account. And the check preparer should not be the sole signer of checks unless it is you, the owner.  Having at least two sets of eyes on each accounting process (e.g., cash receipts and cash disbursements) greatly lessens the likelihood of theft. No employee should effectively authorize his or her own work, particularly when that work involves handling currency, making bank deposits, and preparing checks.  It is recommended that, initially, the entrepreneur take a very active role by signing checks personally and approving all wire transfers so that he or she can guard against any fictitious payees. While there is no perfect set of internal controls, there are a few simple precautions you can take that will lessen the likelihood of fraud and theft.

When contemplating a new business venture one of your first conversations should be with a CPA firm. Eventually you will need to deal with taxes, but even before then, the firm can recommend software, help you set up procedures, and even help you find a bookkeeper. A close working relationship with a CPA firm is typically money well spent. Hire someone you trust and with whom you feel you can communicate candidly about the ups and downs of running a business.

Finally, recognize that you must invest in your accounting and internal control environment. Trying to pinch pennies at the outset generally leads to more costs in the long run, not to mention squandered opportunities because you didn’t see something that clear, concise, and timely financial reporting would have otherwise revealed to you.

For more information on financial reporting or internal controls, please contact Bryan Edwards at (210) 828-6281.

Sam’s Club opens two clubs on same day in San Antonio

Sams ClubSam’s Club will open its two newest club locations in San Antonio at 2530 Marshall Road and 3239 Goliad Road following 8 a.m. Grand Opening ceremonies at each location Thursday, Feb. 27, adding jobs and a quality shopping experience to the region. The membership warehouse club will give residents and small business owners the opportunity to access incredible savings on quality products, including products made in Texas.

The new Sam’s Club locations will be the sixth and seventh in San Antonio, having served San Antonio since first opening at 3150 SW Military Drive in 1985. Thursday will be the first time Sam’s Club has opened two new warehouse clubs in the same city on the same day.

Grand Opening ceremony features local officials, special events
Local dignitaries will speak at Thursday’s Grand Opening ceremony at the Marshall Road club. Additionally, members of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce will be participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Goliad Road club. Students from Highland High School will present the colors and provide a drum line while the Lighthouse for the Blind Choir will sing the national anthem. The Highland High School Dance Team will also attend Thursday’s event.

Sam’s Club will showcase a variety of special events inside the clubs during the Grand Opening celebrations. At the new Marshall Road Sam’s Club, San Antonio legend George “Iceman” Gervin will meet members. Zilks, an Austin-based all natural food company, as well as San Antonio Packing Company will be on site with a variety of tasty treats. The Goliad Road Sam’s Club will host Bulletproof Energy Drinks and EcoVet Furniture, handmade furniture by America’s Heroes. Actor Jonathan Joss will also be available to meet and speak with members.

Local favorites NFL player Charles Haley and NBA player Robert Horry will provide special appearances at both club locations to celebrate the Grand Opening. In addition, immunizations will be offered Opening Day and free health screenings will also be given to assess cholesterol, blood pressure, vision, hearing and a variety of other wellness areas.

Quality products help small businesses and busy families
Sam’s Club is bringing a unique, shopper-friendly experience to San Antonio. Busy families can rely on fresh produce, quality meats and home meal solutions, while office supplies, vending machine snacks and paper goods prepare small business members for success. Additional benefits for small business owners include early shopping hours, personal shopping through Click ‘n’ Pull, truck-load savings, and access to quality items most often used by foodservice businesses, restaurant owners and caterers.

Each measuring approximately 136,000 square feet, the clubs will feature a variety of amenities, including a fresh bakery, a tire and battery center, a café and a fuel station.

A number of health and wellness services are also available. The Sam’s Club Pharmacy, open to both members and the public, features many $4 and $10 generic prescriptions, as well as savings on branded prescriptions. The Optical Center offers $40 off each additional pair of regularly priced prescription eyeglasses with the purchase of a complete pair of eyeglasses at regular price. Lastly, at the Hearing Aid Center, Sam’s Club offers premium technology in hearing aids and personal listening devices with free hearing tests and services administered by a licensed hearing aid fitter and dispenser.

New clubs brings 350 new jobs to community, local giving
To staff the new San Antonio Sam’s Club locations, Sam’s Club has hired 350 new associates. Sam’s Club currently employs more than 11,000 people in Texas, including more than 1,000 in San Antonio.

“I began my career with Sam’s Club as a part time cashier 25 years ago and I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to work in numerous roles,” said Eloisa Herrera, club manager of the Goliad Road Sam’s Club. “It brings me joy to grow our Sam’s Club family.”

Sam’s Club also has a commitment to give back to the communities it serves. Several local non-profit organizations will benefit from special grants from Sam’s Club Giving as part of the Grand Opening celebration, including Lighthouse for the Blind, Highland Park Elementary, San Antonio Junior Achievement and Brooks Academy.

Sam’s Club will also present a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to the San Antonio Food Bank in celebration of the Grand Openings.

“The support we receive will help us to collect and distribute food to 58,000 people each week throughout 16 counties here in Southwest Texas,” said Eric Cooper, President and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank. “As the need has grown through the years, we have been able to gain more donations through our retail route program with all grocery retailers. Walmart and Sam’s Clubs are a big part of that.”

Membership Information
Whether buying for a household or a business, a Sam’s Club membership offers exclusive savings on merchandise and outstanding member benefits. With access to Cash Rewards, additional Instant Savings and early shopping hours, Sam’s Plus memberships offer even more with premium service options. See the club for details. Sam’s Savings and Sam’s Business memberships are $45 annually, and Sam’s Plus memberships are $100. Special savings for college students and military families are also available. For more information, visit

About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club®, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services in more than 630 clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. To learn more about Savings Made Simple®, visit the Sam’s Club Newsroom, shop at, and interact with Sam’s Club on Twitter and Facebook.