Monthly Archives: February 2017

Strategies Management Adopt in Handling Change

Theoretically, there are various strategies that explain how change can be successfully initiated and implemented. However, let us first take a look at some of the common things to consider, before you embark upon an organizational change:

What do I want to change? Typically this might point towards a specific "problem" area.

Is this the fundamental thing that needs to change or is there a deeper "reason" lurking behind the "problem" that needs to be addressed? This question is particularly important because many times, after the change process has been run halfway, it is realized that a problem exists at a more basic level. Focus then shifts between new change areas that are discovered and the energy of change efforts get dissipated.

Why do I want the change?

How will I achieve the change? This will involve weighing the risk and incentives, balancing them out and addressing any gaps between intended process to achieve the change and issues related to these processes.

What about the finances required in implementing the change?

Will business possibly continue as usual during the change phase or will it get affected adversely?

What type of resource (external or internal consultants) should I use, given the size of my organization and knowledge base?

How, if at all, will the change impact the work culture or vice versa?

How critical is the situation and how much time do I have to respond to it?

Does my core change driver team have the contextual and operational knowledge, capability and influence to survive the change process or do I need to empower them in some way?

Once you have precise answers to these elementary questions, you can decide upon the strategy you want to adopt. Theory offers at least four different change strategies. In practice, we typically use a combination of some or all of these to address change situations. These four strategies are: The Empirical-Rational Approach, the Normative-Reeducative Approach, the Power-Coercive Approach and the Environmental-Adaptive Approach.

All four provide you with different insights into the type of change environment that may exist in an organization. The type of change environment broadly varies with the ideology of the informal organization or the cultural consensus that they may share and the type of change being introduced. The relevance of the different change strategies lies in the fact that they explore different assumptions about human motivation and behavior in order to understand or anticipate response to change. Thus, they take into account the psychology of the informal organization, and hence help effectively manage the human side of change.

Their beauty, however, is that they are never mutually exclusive, and different strategies may be used at different stages in the change process. Thus, depending on your change environment, you must decide on the appropriate mix of strategies, to be used to push change.

EMPIRICAL-RATIONAL STRATEGY

A "classic" approach to change management, developed by Robert Chin and Kenneth D. Benne, this strategy is built on the premise that, in general, human beings are rational and can be reasoned with.

Hence, although change innately is resisted, people can be won over by the genuine logic behind the change, and by what is there in it for them.

If people are convinced on these two aspects of change, the process becomes easily navigable. Thus, this strategy uses persuasion to make individuals accede to change, through planned, managed dissemination of information, which makes the incentives of change clear to them. Thus, this strategy demands skillful use of communication in selling the benefits of change. The emphasis is on providing correct information; education and training that inspire people to change of their own volition. Also, it is important to identify potential carriers of change – people who willingly accept the change, and are influential enough to spread the same.

The role of the CEO is important here. Being the leader of the organization, not only is he an influential figure, but also has relatively more credibility than anyone else in the organization. Hence, he can play a major role in securing the buy-in of his people and inspiring them to embrace the change.

However, by virtue of rationale again, people are seen to be generally resistant to change, if it has an imbedded downside that is not balanced or offset by an equal upside. Hence, a foolproof plan for successfully initiating change, or at least managing the human side of it, must work out the following:

A strong basis for initiating the change

Linkage to actual benefits or incentives to be derived from the change

The pros and cons, including an exercise on possible measures to negate the "cons"

This strategy works well only if you can balance the incentives against the risks in a profitable manner ie only if you are able to show that the value-add from the change is proportionately much higher than the risk involved.

This strategy becomes difficult to execute, if your risks outweigh your incentives, and especially so, if the general perception is that your company is in a relatively comfortable position, even without the change. A good idea then might be to show people some genuine reasons as to why the perceived comfort is just a passing phase and will not last long.

In such a situation, some people may buy your logic, some may not. If you find the buyers to be capable of influencing the rest, endeavor to form a class that can serve as interpreters between you and the mass of people, and hence serve as drivers of change.

For the empirical-rational approach to succeed in the later phases of change, you also need to build your case on a strong Current Situation Analysis, proceed with proper training and development programs, initiate appropriate education, and carry out relevant research and development to support the change. Hire the services of field experts and Organizational Design and change specialists if required. Once these backups are in place, people will inevitably become much more confident of shouldering the responsibilities of change. Also, while you may initially identify a representative class to drive the change, eventually you must graduate to a phase where every team player is encouraged to come up with creative solutions aligned towards attaining a "best-of-all" situation.

However, the Empirical Rational Approach disregards the fact that while employees may understand the need for change or the rationale behind change, they may still not like to undergo change, because of the emotional troubles, adjustment issues etc. that come with transition.

NORMATIVE – RE-EDUCATIVE STRATEGY

Another "classic" approach to change management, this strategy takes wings from the fact that humans are social beings. Hence, they always have the inherent urge to conform to social norms and standards.

It does not deny that humans are rational and intelligent creatures, but views their behavior as being guided by socio-cultural norms and their allegiance to these norms. Restructuring their normative orientations and inducing them to commit to new norms introduce change.

Often, a cultural shift in the organization becomes imperative to adapt to market situations and survive competition. For example, your competitor may be producing twice your output because of their technological advancement, whereas you lag behind because you still rely on manual operations. This needs you to shift work culture from a manual to a technology oriented people set, which in turn requires you to appropriately train and prepare people for the change. Normative – Reeducative Strategy is defined as a strategy that believes that norms in an organization can be purposely shifted to attain higher productivity, through collective people efforts.

Given that culture and norms quickly become a part of who you are, an initial resistance to anything non conformist or maverick is quite expected. Ironically, norms and standards too are not constant over time. If they had been, evolution of society would never have been possible. Just like a stream of water that changes its course, when it meets a strong obstruction, culture and norms can also be re-established and redefined.

This approach believes that changing the attitudes, values ​​and culture leads to an automatic change in behavior. The very logic that makes initial resistance to such change inevitable is used to explain how, over a period of time, this kind of a change tends to adhere. Thus, although it may be paradoxical, it is actually practically observable that once a new culture sets in, people instinctively feel the need to conform, simply in order to survive.

An important tool in initiating this change is the presence of a magnetic and dynamic personality, who can considerably influence people and their perspectives. This personality can be a leader, a change agent or most effectively, the CEO of the company. Given his visibility, prominence, credibility and authority in an organization, he possesses all that is required to effect a change.

While a culture change is possible, it is never immediate. For it implies considerable adjustments to the hitherto established thought patterns and mindsets. As a result, it can emerge only as an outcome of a gradual process. Hence, this strategy is applicable only if you have a longer time frame at your disposal for enabling the change.

The Normative – Reeducative Approach is perhaps the most widely used strategy in present times. When using this strategy, it is important to remember that it is better to try and work through the existing culture, collaborating with people, and helping them see a new and better possibility, than to wake up one fine morning and replace it with a new culture. After all, you can not change culture the way you change clothes, because it connects to a deeper part of you and how you operate. So, this approach calls for an honest endeavor to work in sync with people, identify problems and facilitate solutions. It should be directed towards improving problem-solving capacities, upgrading processes within a system, and fostering new attitudes, skills, and norms for people. While the bright side is that when your efforts engage people so much, chances of resistance are minimized. But on the other side of the coin, this approach is too dependent on employee cooperation. For instance, new software developed for a certain insurance company was found to be left unused even till months after, because the employees did not want to step out of the comfort of the "old way of doing things." Often, such a change involves unlearning and relearning, and while the change may ultimately trigger simpler solutions to their work problems, the transition phase comes as a real challenge, often leading to resistance.

This strategy could be used in conjunction with a change in the employee performance management systems that reward people who facilitate change and penalize those who oppose it. This may help to beat the resistance and build a more cooperative atmosphere. Further, since work culture falls as much within the domains of the formal organization as the informal organization. Therefore, a change to the work culture can succeed only if an amiable relationship exists between these two counterparts, or at least if leaders of the informal organization buy the proposed change.

Another perspective on this strategy tells us that while most of the time, individuals prefer to stick to established conventions; the story is different when people within the system are not happy with the status quo. This is a situation where people are actually looking out for change. In this scenario, the preliminary step that the management needs to take to trigger a change is to evaluate and clarify organizational norms and culture. This can be done through interactions, discussions and at a personal level, introspection by the employees of the organisation. So, more often, this strategy will intimately involve people in the "process" of change rather than have them face only the "impact" of change.

Hence, the normative-reeducative approach targets attitudes and values. It tends to produce long lasting changes as it usually involves group goals, group norms or common values. The reason is that once a new norm sets in, after being initiated either by the formal or the informal organization, it eventually becomes part of the system – "the way things are" – and therefore stabilizes over time.

POWER – COERCIVE STRATEGY

This "classic" strategy bases itself in the power of "power". According to Hans Morgenthau:

Power may comprise anything that establishes and maintains the control of man over man. Thus power covers all social relationships, which serve that end, from physical violence to the subtlest psychological ties by which one mind controls another.

Applied to our context, this strategy advocates "power" in the form of threat sanctions, and believes that people are, in general compliant, and will ultimately bow down to those who possess greater power.

At times, when the change is not radical but moderate, the company may also use subtler forms of power or hegemonic power to attain its objective. In fact, the Normative Reeducative Approach or the Empirical Rational Approach ultimately uses hegemonic power very subtly, to navigate through the change process. Hegemony is like an internalized form of social control, which makes us feel we are choosing when really we have no choice. The 20th century French Marxist Louis Althusser called this 'trick' as Interpellation.

In both these cases, when a change has been decided upon, people have no choice but to accept it. They may resist for some time, but ultimately must go with the flow. However, instead of using force, these strategies use "reason" and "collaboration" to make the "change situation" seem like a choice that will lead to a better situation than the status quo. So, while the idea that the change will lead to a prospective better situation is true, it is ultimately never open to choice. Hence, indirectly even these strategies use some form of subtler hegemonic power. However, the difference is that while these approaches secure the support of the people through logic or collaboration, hence ensuring that change endures and stabilizes over time, the direct use of imposing power, as advocated by the Power – Coercive Strategy, runs the risk that once the power is removed, people may revert to their original behavior.

But many times, exerting authority, subtly or otherwise, in the form of political and economic sanctions, legislation, policies, "moral" power etc. may seem the only way to bring about a change. This happens when people in the organization collectively fail to perceive a threat that is, in reality, grave and must be resolved within a restricted response time. Use of power may also be necessary when people become obstinate and intractable in the face of a change, which has lots at stake. So, people may become even during times of an exigency. The trick applied here is to have it your way and leave no other option for your people but to accept the change. While political sanctions usually reward non-conformists with imprisonment, economic sanctions curtail financial incentives to those who resist the change. Thus, the use of coercive power is an attempt to make people yield to change by inducing fear or using actual force.

However, the use of power may not always be negative. For instance, one power – coercive strategy uses the behavioral psychology concept of "the carrot and the stick". In this approach, power can be used to both reward employees who support change through financial incentives and punish those who do not with political or financial consequences, through sanctions. Thus, power can operate both ways.

The success of this strategy, however, depends on the general temperament of the organization.

Some organizations, as a part of their culture, believe in the authority of seniority, and appreciate the role of the hierarchy in issuing guidelines or directives for organizational development. If your people are attuned to a system of healthy authoritarianism, this may come easy. But in an organization where liberality has long been practiced, Hitlerian tactics will face resistance. Still, with Power-Coercive strategies, people have little option but to accept change, since most of these strategies use stringent policies, where impunity is ruled out. However, to ensure that the foundations of change are built on unanimity rather than repressed fear or dissatisfaction, it is important to evaluate the nature of your organization, the problem at hand and the time frame at hand, before embarking on this strategy, as a last resort.

Robert L. Kahn observed that:

To say that A has the power to change B's behavior necessarily implies that A exerts some force in opposition to some or all of the previously existing forces [including B's own needs and values] on B. This is conflict …. The exercise of [coercive] power, thus, necessarily creates conflict …

Thus, while the use of authority structures and threat sanctions can accomplish change, they may breed hatred and contempt for the organization or the senior management, which is harmful to organization in the long run.

ENVIRONMENTAL – ADAPTIVE STRATEGY

The Environmental-Adaptive Strategy, suggested by Fred Nickols, is built on the premise that while people innately resist change, they also eventually adapt themselves to it, when they are left with no choice.

Also known as the "die – on – the – vine" strategy, it takes its cue from the common observation that while individuals are quick to oppose change that they find threatening, they also have an innate ability to adapt quickly to a new set of circumstances. Applied to our context of organizational change, this human psychology translates to a strategy of first creating a new environment and then gradually moving people from the old to the new system. Thus, rather than proactively trying to "change" the organization by effecting a "change" in the behavior, processes, culture and norms of people, this strategy recommends that a new set of circumstances be created, and the innate nature of humans to eventually adapt be exploited, in letting the change "sink in". Therefore, in this strategy, the ball shifts court from the management to the people, as the responsibility of regularizing the change now lies on the people and how they adapt to the change. They practically have no choice to accept or reject the change, unless of course one prefers to quit the organization altogether. Here, the change is made, and the individuals merely adapt themselves.

This strategy is best suited for changes that are radical in nature rather than those that are gradual. Say, you want to introduce the SAP-HR system to increase efficiency and speed of HR related work. This is an incremental change that will happen over time, as your Business HR personnel gradually learn how to operate the new system and shift from the old manual practice to the new systematized process. If you were to use the Environment Adaptive strategy here, creating the environment and leaving them to adapt to it in their own way, the transition phase, very likely would stretch too long. This is because, your managers already operate within a framework that they are comfortable with, and so they may be reluctant to shift to a new system. Here, you might have to use a mix of the empirical-rational and the normative-reeducative strategies instead to change that comfort culture and enable them embrace the change.

Now, consider the example that Nickols gives, of a radical change handled in the Environmental-Adaptive way. Rupert Murdoch wanted to shift to an entirely new operating structure, on terms that were very different from the current one at Fleet Street. So, he set about quietly establishing an entirely new operation in Wapping, some distance away from Fleet Street. As soon as the new system became operational, he informed the printers at Fleet Street that he had some good news and some bad news for all of them. The bad news was that they would have to shut down their operations at Fleet Street. So, everybody was fired. The good news was that a new operation had jobs for all of them, albeit on very different terms.

Now, most people in this situation will embrace the new option – a radical change, tackled using the Environment-Adaptive strategy. Of course, the strategy is a mix of the empirical rational and power coercive strategies, and that is only a reinforcement of the fact that practical situations often need a mix of different strategies to effectively manage change.

Many years ago, my work took me to a slum infested area. I was pained to see the kind of life those people led, the abject poverty everywhere, the bowl that every child held out in his hand, not for food, but in the hope that a kind passerby may drop some alms.

A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity of revisiting the same place to run an education camp, and was pleasantly amazed at the buildings that stood in place of the slums – an obvious outcome of a rigorous rehabilitation program! It was only when I ventured inside that I realized, that barring the safer, better and more decent dwelling place to live in, nothing much had really changed. The litter was still around, the kids still ran about in the mud in tattered clothes and they still held out their hands for alms. The rehabilitation program had done well in shifting them to a new place, but perhaps something more remained to be done to have them live a new, more meaningful life. Their "homes" had changed, their way of life had not.

And to change that culture, they needed to be educated, to be shown that a better way of life existed, and existed within their reach. But even for that education to show its impact, I was now beginning to understand; I needed more kids like Jana, Neil and Don. Among the close to thirty kids I had been asked to supervise, there were only these three who were genuinely interested. The rest were happy with their life, as it was.

The above incident links to an important factor that you must consider before using this strategy. Ensure that you have at least a few capable, influential and probably "non conformist" employees, in your organization, who will embrace the change and drive the others. These are your "seed" employees – people who will foster a new and more effective work culture in the newly established setup. Correspondingly, Nickols uses the term "bad apples" to refer to people from the old culture, which are detrimental to the new culture and must be done away with.

If there is no buy-in on the change, at-least at the "seed" level, the strategy may not work. Rather, it may lead to a situation where you have a new workplace that continues to work in the old manner and follow the old culture. Effectively then, there has not been much change.

The Importance of a Balance Sheet

An individual has two primary tools for managing personal finances. The Personal Balance Sheet is ignored and the Budget is the darling of Financial Consultants and the media. The key to understanding personal finances is that you have to understand your Budget and Balance Sheet individually and also how they work in combination to give you a complete snapshot of your personal finances.

Your balance sheet is extremely important because it shows you where the gold is. It is your personal Fort Knox. It is also extremely important because you need to have a stash of gold in your personal financial picture. The gold in your Balance Sheet is not the Assets. They are the positive side of your Balance Sheet but the real picture of how much gold you have in your Fort Knox is your Net Worth. So just as important to your Balance sheet is your Liabilities. The total of your Liabilities is subtracted from the total of your Assets to give you your Net Worth.

You fill out your Balance Sheet and total up your Assets and Liabilities. You subtract the total of your Liabilities from your Assets. That number, your Net Worth will come out to either a negative amount, an amount of or near to zero, or it will be substantially positive. These are the only 3 scenarios possible.

• If your net worth is a minus number, you are not managing your financial resources properly. Your Balance sheet is your report card and you are failing. It is that simple. If you are managing your money to deal with life's challenges and planning your personal finances with your retirement in mind, your Net Worth should be positive and growing. If your Net Worth is positive, you can ride out financial storms like the current situation. At the time of your retirement, your Net Worth must be substantially positive so that you will be able to keep costs down and have investment income to replace your working income. During your working years, your Net Worth should be growing steadily because a retirement nest egg does not grow without years of nurturing.

• There are circumstances where it is acceptable to have a Net Worth of Zero or near Zero. The first is when you are just starting out. It just makes sense that it would be zero. You may have student loans but that is offset by some form of education that will allow you to make more money in the course of your lifetime. The key is that this is the best time to start building your net worth. It allows the principal of compounding value to work its magic on your assets for decades. That saves you a lot of work later in life. However, most of us are not that wise and we find ourselves in our 30s and 40s with little or no Net Worth. This means you have less time for compounding to work. So you have to work harder and especially manage your money smarter to prepare for the financial challenges you face going forward. The nice thing is that you have probably made some mistakes that have made you much wiser. You should be able to recover much faster than you would have in your undisciplined youth.

• If you have a positive net worth that means that you are building assets. Just as important is that you are controlling your debt. This is the key that has probably gotten you to this situation. The key to a positive Balance Sheet is that debt offsets the value of your assets when you look at your personal finances as a complete picture so your debt / equity ratio should be less than one and get smaller and smaller. Debt servicing saps cash flow on your budget that could be used to build assets that can be used to produce income in your retirement years. Clear title ownership of assets such as your home reduce cash draw and this is incredibly important as you approach retirement.

The financial crisis we are in now is described as a Balance Sheet crisis. We are in this crisis because nobody was paying attention to their Balance Sheets, not even at the towering heights of our financial infrastructure. The symptoms were everywhere. The while researching the I found That the top sites on the internet for Balance Sheet are On Those WHO COMPLETE want to sell you something so they 're That can gain access to any Assets on your balance sheet That Might be left after this disaster. Before the disaster, the only thing that had any importance was whether a potential buyer of anything could afford to make the payments on whatever he was buying assuming he made 120% of his stated income. The most outrageous symptom was that people would take appreciating home equity and borrow against it to buy depreciating assets and consumer goods. They overbooked their budgets and now they have gutted their balance sheet.

The resulting loss of home values ​​is the disaster we have now where people have either a zero or minus Net Worth. The other aspect is that we are now wiser. For the good of our society and our financial infrastructure we had better be. Going forward we must pay attention to our Balance Sheets and recognize that is where the gold is. You must save and protect your gold. Net Worth is where financial power is and that is the Importance of a Balance Sheet.

Computer Aided Manufacturing Applications

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) refers to an automation process, which accurately converts product design and drawing or the object into a code format, readable by the machine to manufacture the product. Computer aided manufacturing complements the computer aided design (CAD) systems to offer a wide range of applications in different manufacturing fields. CAM evolved from the technology utilized in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines that were used in the early 1950s. CNC involved the use of coded instructions on a punched paper tape and could control single manufacturing functions. CAM controlled computer systems, however, can control a whole set of manufacturing functions simultaneously.

CAM allows work instructions and procedures to be communicated directly to the manufacturing machines. A CAM system controls manufacturing operations performed by robotic milling machines, lathes, welding machines and other industrial tools. It moves the raw material to different machines within the system by allowing systematic completion of each step. Finished products can also be moved within the system to complete other manufacturing operations such as packaging, synthesizing and making final checks and changes.

Some of the major applications of the CAM system are glass working, woodturning, metalworking and spinning, and graphical optimization of the entire manufacturing procedure. Production of the solids of rotation, plane surfaces, and screw threads is done by applying CAM systems.
A CAM system allows the manufacturing of three-dimensional solids, using ornamental lathes with greater intricacy and detail. Products such as candlestick holders, table legs, bowls, baseball bats, crankshafts, and camshafts can be manufactured using the CAM system. CAM system can also be applied to the process of diamond turning to manufacture diamond tipped cutting materials. Aspheric optical elements made from glass, crystals, and other metals can also be produced using CAM systems.

Computer aided manufacturing can be applied to the fields of mechanical, electrical, industrial and aerospace engineering. Applications such as thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, and kinematics can be controlled using CAM systems. Other applications such as electromagnetism, ergonomics, aerodynamics, and propulsion and material science may also use computer aided manufacturing.

The 5 Essential Financial Reports You Should Be Asking For in Your Business

A question I often get asked from my business owner clients is "what reports should I be asking for so that I can keep my finger on the pulse on my business".

Now this does differ slightly from business to business. For example, if you are a retail shop, then you're going to automatically have daily figures available to you as part of your normal process. However most businesses should be asking for weekly, monthly and quarterly reports.

WHY I NEED TO READ REPORTS!
Before I go through the reports in detail, I know that a lot of people do not like looking at the figures in their business. And usually this is because they do not know what it is that they're looking for. So usually then their accountant or bookkeeper (or receptionist!) Gives them a monthly report, they glance at while holding their breath, and then either breathe a sigh of relief if it shows a profit, or they grimace and swear when it shows a loss . But usually by the time they've got this report, it's already too late. The financial status of your business should be at the forefront of your mind every day- not something that you look at once or twice a year when you run out of cash.

REPORT FREQUENCY
The first thing to decide is how frequently you need to see reports. I suggest a minimum of monthly, if not weekly. This can sometimes depend on whether you have a full time accounts person, or whether they only come in once a month.

TOP TIP: DO A YEAR END EACH MONTH
To help you know what's going on in your business, one of the first things to implement into your business is a culture of having a year end every month. By that I mean … you want to ensure that every revenue figure and expense if recorded according to the month that it's incurred. If you insist on this type of culture, you will start to receive accurate figures. So think end of year each month and close off all financial data for each month. That way you know that your reports fully reflect the state of your business and you get accurate profit and loss reporting and it can help you to identify trends in your cash flow.

With regards to reporting, if you have a full time person looking after your reports, you should be having a weekly meeting with them to review reports. To make this process easy for you, refer to the 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook which you can purchase from our website. This workbook has a standard financial meeting agenda that will help you to guide your meeting so that it's both effective and efficient.

When you are meeting with your accounts person, you want to ensure that you have all the reports up front -before your meeting – so that you have time to go through them and highlight any discrepancies that you can then address during the meeting.

YOUR WEEKLY REPORT PACK
So what information do you need to know if your business is doing well or not? Well your weekly report pack should consist of the following five reports (by the way, a sample copy of each of these reports is also included in the workbook that I mentioned before):

1) A Profit and Loss – this should be provided weekly (if you're meeting weekly) as well as a Month to Date and a Year to Date report. So that's actually three reports in total!

2) From there, you would request a copy of your Aged Payables. This report shows a list of all the people that you owe money to, and when it's due – or if its overdue. If there are any amounts that exceed your suppliers trading terms, you want to know why. If it's because of cash flow, you then look at your cash flow analysis report to see when they will be paid. To maintain a great relationship with your supplier, you then need to communicate this with them.

3) Another essential report is your Aged Receivables. This is where you can clearly see who owes you money and if they have any amounts outstanding to you. This allows you to follow up on collections way before it becomes overdue. As part of your financial management systems, you should have a standard follow up system. For example – if a client has exceeded their trading terms by 7 days, what happens – do you follow up with a quick phone call to check that they've received the invoice. If its 14 days – what happens – and so on.

If you refer to the 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook that I mentioned before, there's also a list of demand letters designed to help you when you need to be a little more serious about collecting. But once again, Aged Receivables is essential because you need to see when your money is coming in – so that you can pay your suppliers and employees their wages without having to dip into your own personal cash reserves.

4) This brings me to the next report – a Cash flow analysis. This report should be put together by your bookkeeper and outlines when money is coming in and when it is going out. You can then see if there are any shortfalls so that you can make plans in advance to get this covered. It may be that you need to transfer monies from another account – or it may be that you chase outstanding payments. What you do not want is to find out when you go to transfer the money is that there's nothing in the account!

Believe it or not, this is often the most under-utilized financial report – and yet it's the most important. You would not believe how many bookkeepers or accounts people do not do them either. It's not so much that it's difficult to produce, but it's a working document which means that it needs to be regularly updated. But persist with this one, even if your accounts people try a mini revolt over it, because it's a life saver for your business.

The 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook that I referred to previously that's found on our website contains a fantastic cash flow analysis report that will save you and your team a lot of time.

5) The other essential report to have is the Bank Reconciliation. If your bookkeeper is full time, then they can do this weekly by using the online reports from your bank. If its monthly, then they will need to wait for the bank statement to arrive from the bank before they can finalise. However, keep on top of them for this – this report shows that the necessary process has been done to ensure that the month end has been closed off and that the cash in bank and any other payments or receipts are accounted for. Basically a bank reconciliation is done so that its guaranteed that your amounts coming into and out of your bank account are accurately reflected in your accounting software package.

WORKING WITH YOUR ACCOUNTANT
I would also recommend requesting that your financial controller automatically sends a copy of your monthly reports to your accountant. This way your accountant can see where you're headed from month to month. Depending on the size of your business, you could then establish regular meetings with your accountant – whether it's monthly or quarterly – to discuss those reports and your financial plans for the coming month.

Once you are receiving these reports regularly, you will find that you become much more empowered in your business and your finger is never far from the pulse!

Depletion of Forest Resources

INTRODUCTION

Echo systems around the world help sustain life for millions of species. Echo systems that are mainly forests provide a home for a large majority of the species alive. Therefore the trees in these forests are considered to be the most important species. Although it is true, that most species are not able to sustain without each other.

There are many benefits that we get from our forests. Some of these include cleaner drinking water, a home for plants and animals, economic growth, clean air, recreational opportunities, reassuring future. Another benefit we get from trees is called oxygen. If there were no trees to give us oxygen to breath, we would not be able to live. So if you need one good reason why a forest should exist, staying alive is a pretty good reason.

CAUSES OF THE PROBLEM

Forests have many resources that people can use to raise their living standards. One example is the wood for building houses. Certain wood materials last a long time, they keep the house warm and make it easy to manufacture homes. Unfortunately the world is overpopulating and the demand for a higher standard of living is constantly on the rise. Therefore the demand for more resources is growing to levels that can not be sustained. Since forests provide a large portion of the world's resources, many forests are cut down or burned.

The cause for cutting down forests is directly associated with the high demand for wood to manufacture paper products and lumber for other manufacturing. We practically use wood for everything. It is used in home building, marine products, furniture and the list seems like it's endless. Just look around yourself right now and chances are you will find a product within your reach that is made of wood. Not only is wood a good building material, but it also has great aesthetic qualities. Most people appreciate a nice wooden dining table set or classic wooden rails on a staircase. Unfortunately we do not always take in to account how many trees need to be cut down so we can have these luxuries in our lives.

Another major direct cause for forest depletion is simply burning forests for farmland. This is more common with countries that are undeveloped and have tropical rainforests. Many poor farmers in these countries burn or cut small portions of tropical forests so they can have room for farming and cattle. But the big scale problem is created when huge corporate farms burn thousands of square acres a year. They need this much room so they can provide farming on a much larger scale to compete in the world market for food. The reason forests are burned for the farmland is due to the rich minerals fertility of the soil.

Unfortunately even the large scale farmers in undeveloped countries are not educated on how they can maximize their results when reusing the soil. Therefore the soil is used up and left as a desert while the farmers burn more forest to make another farm. The Amazon rainforest which is the largest in the world has fallen victim to such deforestations. This forest is located in South America where countries are having tough financial times. Brazil's market is a third of all the Latin countries included. Yet "Brazil's foreign debt, except in the most implausible of positive economic circumstances, is simply unsustainable in the years ahead" (CRF.org 2002). Economical pressure on a country is another big cause that will force a country to deforestation such as the case in Brazil. Basic Science and Remote Sensing Initiative (BSRSI) show data that between 1978 to 1988 230,000 square miles, nearly the size of Texas was affected by deforestation (bsrsi.msu.edu). That is 16.5% of the whole rainforest in the Amazon.

The next example shows the cause of deforestation for farming. According to The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), "Between 1990 and 2001 the percentage of Europe's processed meat imports that came from Brazil rose from 40 to 74 percent" and by 2003 "For the first time ever, the growth in Brazilian cattle production-80 percent of which was in the Amazon-was largely export driven. " As more roads are built to provide access to forests in undeveloped countries more deforestation is evident.

EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM

As mentioned earlier, we get a large portion of our oxygen from vegetation such as trees. Since most trees live in forests it is important to realize the negative impact deforestation may have on our air quality. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that has an impact on the greenhouse effect. There is a cycle between CO2 producers such as cars and CO2 consumers such as plants. Together they create the "Global Carbon Cycle". The plants and soil of tropical forests hold 460-575 billion metric tons of carbon worldwide (McKane et al. 1995). From 1850 to 1990, deforestation worldwide released 122 billion metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, with the current rate being between 1.6 billion metric tons per year (Skole et al. 1998). In comparison, all of the fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) burned during a year release about 6 billion tons per year. Therefore deforestation even when compared to all the other pollution plays a significant role in Global Warming and clean air.

Another extent of the problem with deforestation is a decrease in biodiversity. Biodiversity is important for Ecosystem sustainability, agriculture, medicine, recreation, aesthetic and commercial value. There are about 5 to 80 million species that live on this earth (Lawton and May 1995). Tropical rainforests cover about 7% of the world, but are home to more than half of the species living in the world. After a forest is cut down, many species can not live without it and possibly go extinct. Since we depend on these species for many resources, their extension will rob us of their benefits. Perhaps we might destroy the next cure for AIDS by deforestation and not know it.

FUTURE

The negative impacts of deforestation are getting noticed internationally. Many countries are taking steps to reduce the problem for a more sustainable earth. Unfortunately financial gain and high competition still exists with deforestation, and for some it's the only way of survival. Many people are not educated about the long term results their actions may cause. Because of these reasons deforestation is still a reality around the world in many countries.

With more international involvement, countries will take effective steps to bring deforestation to sustainable levels. But there is still a great deal of work to be done. For some forests it is still not too late to bring them back quicker. Other forests that have been clear-cut might take centuries to grow to the original state. Areas where pesticides were used it is possible that the echo system was damaged and may take a long time to grow again. Many forests were replaced by large banana plantations. These plantations use pesticides that kill many species that are vital for an echo system to sustain. Erosion caused by deforestation may bring more water pollution in the future and may affect agriculture in the area. Other reasons for deforestation are simply to provide room for paved roads, residential and commercial development that are caused by urban sprawl. These types of developments permanently destroy forests. Deforestation is a serious threat to life's future on our planet. It has major effects on our global climate. It leads to the loss of millions of species that are important in sustaining a living earth.

SOLUTIONS

As we discussed the causes for deforestation, we realize how these causes are very different. Because the causes are often controlled by a countries economy, overpopulation and many other social reasons, it is impossible to find one solution to deforestation. Although there are many solutions, it will take time and cooperation of many different groups of people and organizations to make the solutions work.

One popular solution that has been in effect for a few decades is forest conservation. We can work internationally, regionally, and locally with organizations to develop policy and influence industries to help ensure a sustainable future for forests. Conservation helps protect, manage, and restore the world's most important forests by identifying threats and developing solutions to them.

Decrease the amount of products that are made as a result of deforestation. For example, using materials other than wood to build homes, furniture and other common products made of wood. Encourage recyclable materials so people do not go back to wood again. Switching from wood to other materials will decrease the demand / supply for wood.

Implement more efficient farming methods to encourage the reuse of land.

Educate people around the world about the negative impacts of deforestation, and what can be done to prevent it. Help finance more educational programs. Help countries make the right economic decisions.

Sign international treaties and make laws / regulations to control annual deforestation.

Import meat and dairy products from markets that do not cause deforestation.

The solution that I believe will be very effective is the second one. As far as cutting down trees, this is a very workable solution. We have too many products that are made of wood today. As economies grow around the world, the middle class will also grow. This middle class will demand more and more products that are made of wood. The American middle class is obsessed with wood products and we do not even realize it. A large portion of our homes are built from wood, and so is our furniture. Most cabinets alone require so much wood. If we like wood products so will the rest of the world.

The solution is to take the majority of the wood products and find alternative materials to them. This of course is not as easy as it sounds, but it is very doable. Once it is done, it will extremely decrease the demand for wood, therefore reducing deforestation. With such high advances in technology we can travel in space and replace hearts. Therefore it is possible to make materials that are safe for the environment and replace wood. Maybe even make materials that share most of the properties that wood has. We can even invent materials that imitate wood like the "burled wood" in our cars today. This "burled wood" in most cars is not even wood anymore, it is some kind of a plastic and a pattern to imitate the look of the wood. Speaking of the auto industry, I can not believe how advanced our cars have become. These are cars that we drive everyday. Yet we live in new houses that were built with an ancient method of wood and nails. I think that is ridiculous. Perhaps the solution to replace wood with alternative materials will also lead to more efficient assembly methods and a safer environment. And most importantly the first solution is changing our attitude to help prevent deforestation.

The Depletion of Forest Resources is a huge problem with challenging solutions, let us work as a team around the world to help solve these issues.

Importance of a Digital Media Agency for Global Businesses

There are many businesses around the world, which are considering the importance of digital marketing domain as a vital way to promote their trades online and find potential customers around the world. Nowadays, many small to large level enterprises are moving online and adopting the benefits of digital media marketing. For this purpose, they are availing services of top-notch digital media agencies in the market. It helps them advertise their businesses over the web and increase clientele across the globe. Here, a digital agency plays can play a significant role to promote the client's business and take it to the next level of success easily.

Introduction to a Digital Media Agency

Digital media agency is a right step for global businesses, where they get the complete solution for the online branding of their trades. Also, a digital marketing agency helps businesses plan their online marketing campaigns and promote them successfully over the web. A modern digital agency is more effective for online advertisement of business rather traditional digital options like television and print media. Nowadays, every business needs the back of online digital agencies to give a quick growth of the trade over the web. Here, the digital firm can help businesses by fulfilling their digital marketing requirements like website development, designing, SEO activities, PPC, and much more. For managing all the tasks, digital agencies outsource the work to the experts in the market and manage the client's project smartly. Thus, a digital marketing firm takes the challenge seriously and delivers the optimum result for the businesses under the stipulated time frame.

Types of Digital Agencies

In the competitive digital media industry, you can find different types of digital agencies which can serve you the best digital services for online branding of your business.

Integrated Digital Marketing

It is the agency which keeps track of online branding results of the client's business. For this, they make the right use of client's data, analytics, and other online marketing platforms. Also, the agency plans right strategies to improve the client's website traffic online and track the clicks on it via different sources like mobile, email, and other organic searches of search engines.

Digital Campaign

This agency follows digital advertisement strategies for marketing of client's business and its products or services. Here, the agency makes the digital campaign so attractive that inspires the viewers to take an interest in it.

Digital Solutions

The modern concept of a digital media agency model is being adopted by businesses of all levels these days. This agency offers the avenues to provide a digital impression to the business model and plan an effective marketing campaign to promote it over the web through digital means.

Tips to find the best digital agency in the market:

  • Do verification of its market value and years of experience in the industry.
  • Explore the type of digital services provided by the agency for successful advertisement of client's business.
  • Check for reviews and feedback of the agency's clients.
  • Is there any team of digital media experts'?
  • Check for the qualification and digital media experience of the agency's personnel.

Thus, above are few necessary tips, which you should follow wisely before availing services of any digital media agency in the market.

Transportation Management System – An Introduction

A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a software that is aimed at helping business and organizations to effectively manage its logistics supply chain, it helps organizing and tracking the movements of the products and materials. A Transportation Management System also helps in managing shipping units, outbound and inbound shipment scheduling, transportation mode selection, freight bill auditing, payment and processing of loss and damage claims etc.

Some of the basic functions and advantages of a transportation management system are shipment load planning and shipment routing optimization, routing guide, execution management and carrier communication, shipment tracking, freight bill audit & payment, business intelligence and reporting, claims management, returns management, Appointment scheduling etc.

The shipment load planning and routing optimization helps the shippers to plan the loading and then find a suitable and optimized routes as per their requirements. This helps to save a lot of money and time and as a results makes it easy for the shippers to manage.

The routing guide is another feature of a TMS which helps the vendors to get an idea about the inbound routing guides for better cost management. The execution management and carrier communication helps the shippers to find the tools needed to help them in selecting the right carriers along with shipping cost calculation. The TMS also helps you in getting an accurate freight bill audit and also in implementing the payment part. As with any other tools, a transportation management solution also offers business intelligence reporting, which helps you to get more idea about your business and ways to improve it.

A TMS or a logistics management system can also be used as an effective vehicle routing software which helps you in the effective utilization of vehicles used for your transportation purposes. It identifies areas where the vehicles can be utilized effectively without spending much time and money. Since the TMS identifies the shortest route, it will result in reduced fuel consumption and enhanced fleet management and utilization.

For small companies which have a remarkable small transport operations, the use of such a tool is not recommended, as they may not have any difficulty in managing all their transportation activities manually. But for a big company with a large number of vehicles and transportation activities, it is a better idea to avail the services of a transport management system, as it will ease their management activities and help them to save a lot money.

More and more companies have started using logistic management system and hence the demand and competition have increased considerably. So the number of companies providing customized transport management system or freight management systems has increased. Some of the software offered are not having the expected quality and one must be sure to select the right and the best transportation management system for their company. There are also many software having advanced options such as GPS vehicle tracking or GPS fleet tracking system. So while purchasing the transportation scheduling software, make sure that you have spend the money on the right tool.

The Effects of Computer Technology on Our Everyday Lives

These days, the computer technology industry is rapidly growing and changing. Along with that growth and change of computer technology are the people who almost instantly adapt to the changes.

Computer technology has made our lives a lot easier and convenient. For instance our banking needs. Years ago, people had to manually file the important data of their customers; now they just use the computer to find these data. In just one click, they would instantly find the name of the customer, the birth date, the address, e-mail address, phone numbers and etcetera. As for the clients of these banks, they can also easily get a quick look at their account balances through logging in to the bank website; in addition to that a lot of people are able to apply for a loan with the use of the computer.

Because of the birth of computer technology, we now have credit cards or what others call plastic money, which are very useful especially when we do not have cash on hand or when you are ordering a certain product through the internet. It's amazing how computer technology has changed so much our way of living. Nowadays, purchasing products such as cellular phones, bags, household utensils, and clothes or even paying the bills can be effortlessly done at the comfort of your own home.

With the use of the computer a lot of students especially those with unfortunate disabilities or severe illnesses are able to enroll to different schools through home schooling. Students are even able to take their examination tests or check out their grades by the use of the computer.

As far I know computer technology has helped a lot of businesses to better serve the community. But the computers have not only helped us in the business industry; it also has an effect on our communication systems. Long before the computers were born, writing letters were the main source of communication, which would be such a hassle most especially to those people who lived in far away places; plus telephones were quite expensive so people would pretty much prefer writing to their loved ones. And for that reason, people who are far away from civilization would really have a hard time communicating with others. Now, we have e-mails, and live chat, or even voicemails. We now already have video calling in which we would be able to see the person that we are talking to. This would be really great for people who have loved ones that are away from home. Getting in touch with one another is now a piece of cake.

Computer technology has changed our lives for the better. Without it, we would still be living in the pre historic times.

Characteristics of Modern Media Technology

Media has evolved a lot. Modern media depends on Technology to send information or gather them at a faster speed. The following are the characteristics:

Speed: The information reaches at a faster speed.

Reach: The information must have mass reach.

Preventing Calamities: Modern media broadcasts 24 hours. So high technology is used to beat natural calamities.

Constant Transmission: Technology is used for constant transmission.

The following tools of technology is used to achieve the aforesaid targets:

Use of Satellites: Satellite Technology is used to ensure constant transmission. A satellite hardly gets affected by climatic conditions.

Use of Video Conferencing: It is used to get live and personalized feedback without physical presence.

Use of Television Conferencing: It is used to get audio inputs from far off places.

Use of Internet: Internet is being relied upon for information.

Use of high end Computer Technology: Computing and high speed processors are used for fast and able data processing.

Use of Mobile Satellite Vans for News Coverage: Satellite vans are used for high mobility and anytime coverage.

Use of high end Audio visual equipments: Use of high end audio visual equipments have emerged that leads to clear sound and picture. Tape recorders and high end video cameras are used by media persons to take interviews fast and transmit news ina proper and efficient manner.

Thus these are the characteristics of Modern Media Technology that has made media more fast, accurate and improved and has made it an indispensable tool for protecting the largest democracy of the world named India by making it more transparent and accountable to people. Hence these are the characteristics of modern media technology.

Thinking of Buying a Used Mobile Home? 18 Steps For What to Watch Out For and How to Do it Right

If you are thinking of buying a used mobile home, there are things you need to watch out for. Buying a mobile home is not like buying a regular stick built. You need to know what to watch out for before you buy a used mobile home. Here are 10 things to watch out for when buying a used mobile home. These tips will guide you to make the right decision and / or how to negotiate in your best interest. Better safe than sorry. My seven years of selling used mobile homes has taught me a lot. I am now passing on that information to you so that you can make an educated choice.

1. Age. If your finances are tight, do not buy anything older than 1977. That is the cutout time for good financing and also the year a lender can determine if the used mobile home is a HUD home. 1976 and older were registered with DMV and not built to code. Therefor, lenders requires a 20% down on a 1976 or older. The term will be no longer than 15 years and the rate will be somewhere around 11-12%. That is a lot to pay. 1977 or newer requires only 10% down, you can get 20 years of financing and the rate is 1-2% lower. That is a much better deal. If the home is newer, the rate can be as low as 8%. Preferable, look for a home that is no more than 15 years old.

2. Park. Not all parks are approved by the lenders. Before making an offer to purchase, get yourself loan approved for that particular park. If the space rent is too high or if there are too many foreclosures in the park, lenders might say no to financing.

3. Rent control. Is it or is it not? Most parks are but some are not. If not, make sure yo fully understand what kind of yearly increase the park will impose on you. You might not mind paying that extra increase per year but each time the space rent is raised, the value of your mobile home WILL go down. Its like a car, depreciating. Still, it beats renting an apartment with people above, below, left and right.

4. Crime. Does the park have a security program? Is the park patrolled regularly by a security patrol company? If not, you probably should stay away. Yes, it is true, all residents have to follow the rules and regulations but if there is no security, many things can happen. A security patrol is a deterrent, crime will go elsewhere. Call the park manager and inquire. You can also call the local police office and ask for a crime report. Strongly recommended.

5. Pets. What is the parks policy? Your 80 ldb golden retriever might have a VERY hard time getting approved. Same for your pitt bull or any other so called "vicious breed". Most parks will NOT approve them. There is only one park in the Santa Clarita Valley that will approve a large dog, even two. However, no "vicious breeds". How stupid. Recently, I had a dog trainer with good credit, a large down payment and a German shepherd. That dog was the most well trained German shepherd but no, considered "vicious". So are dobermans, boxers, pinchers, chows and a couple of more. Inquire with the park BEFORE looking at any used (or new) mobile home. Save yourself the time (and your agents) by finding out first.

6. Neighbors. Most people are nice. However, since you are going to be living in tight quarters (most mobile home spaces are small and set very closely together), go and talk to the neighbors. Both the ones next door and some a few doors down. The ones a few doors down are the ones that will tell you what REALLY is going on. Maybe the couple next door do not get along any more. Maybe there is an alcohol problem. Maybe the kids play too loud. You need to know. Drive by in the evening, hang around for a while. Do the same for the weekend. Spend an hour on a Saturday night, driving around the mobile home park, you will then now if this is a place for you.

7. Managers. Do they do a great job? Do they care? Do they make the residents follow the rules and regulations? Do they arrange get togethers every now and then? Any holiday dinners? Do they publish a newsletter to keep you updated? Do you feel welcome in their office? Most managers take great pride in their park and are happy to try to help you. Make sure that is the case.

8. Trash. An old toilet sitting at the end of a car port? Knee-high weeds? A car jacked up and being worked on in a carport? You do not want that. What you should want, is a clean, manicured park community where the residents take pride in their mobile homes and keeps their surroundings clean. A carport is not supposed to be used for storage (or a back yard). A shed is where you keep your excess belongings, period.

9. Mobile home values. Holding steady? Going up? Declining? Have your Realtor find out for you. Buying a used mobile home is very much like buying a used car. A seller can set any price but is it worth it? Please do not over-pay. If you need to finance your used mobile home, you are then in a much safer position. You are then required to pay for an appraisal to find out the REAL value of the mobile home. However, if you are planning to buy your mobile home for cash, watch out. No appraisal is required but I would recommend you pay the $ 400 to the appraiser. It could save you thousands. The choice is yours.

10. Health and Safety. What condition is the mobile home in? The basics should all be there. If not, it is the sellers responsibility to have it done. That includes;

A. Smoke alarms. Each bedroom needs one, that is the code. And, it needs to be working!

B. Water heater. Needs to be double-strapped and not with those tiny metal bands that has little wholes in them. Is there a pressure release valve? If it where to over-flow, does the pipe go underneath? Should not. It needs to extend out to the side of the skirting. Is the water heater closet dry-walled? Has to be. Any leaks?

C. Steps. Are they solid? No rips in the carpeting (trip hazard)? What about the railing? Is it loose? Can not be. How far apart are the rails? Should not be more than 4 "so that a small child can NOT get stuck in between.

D. Cooling system. Does it work? It is not really a health and safety issue but if it were me, I would insist on it or ask for a reduction in price. Who wants to live in a used mobile home, maybe with metal siding as well, and summer comes around and it is 105 degrees outside.

E. The furnace. When was it last serviced and how dirty is the pad? Take a good look and make sure it works. Have someone come and take a look at it.

F. Plumbing. Any leaks? Should not. Run all faucets and look underneath.

G. Electrical. Does all the outlets and the switches work? Make sure they do. GFI's? You do not want the risk of being electrocuted. Both kitchen and bathrooms needs GFI plugs.

H. Roof. Any leaks? Look around carefully to see if there are any water stains in the ceilings or around the upper walls. How old is the roof?

I. Earthquake bracing. Do you have it? Bring a flashlight and open up the access door in the skirting. There should be (on a double wide mobile home), two in the front and two in the back. Compare them to the regular piers and jacks. Are they beefier? Bolted to the I-beam? They should be. Surprisingly enough, there are still some used mobile homes out there who do NOT have them. On top of that, it is not considered a health and safety issue and it is perfectly legal to sell a used mobile home WITHOUT them!

If you do buy a used mobile home without earthquake bracing and later on decides that it was not the smartest idea, a contractor will charge you about $ 5000 to install them. Not cheap. If it does not have it, ask for a price reduction and then order the escrow company to set aside $ 5000 to the contractor. At the close of escrow, your contractor will come out and install them for you. If you can have him install it the day BEFORE close of escrow even better. Because, if you just take a price reduction, you are going to be so busy moving and exited about your purchase of your mobile home. You'll "forget" about the bracing and end up buying new furniture instead!

Ideally, you should hire a health and safety inspector who KNOWS how to inspect a mobile home

8. Once you are park-approved, it is time to schedule your health & safety inspection. You are free to use any licensed health & safety inspector for your inspection or I can recommend several to you. Besides the health & safety inspection, I would strongly recommend you have an electrician look over the home. Sometimes, a regular h & s inspector can not really know what's going on. These inspections are not free and depending on who it is, they all charge slightly different. When we go to see the inspectors at your future home, please bring your check bock. Once the inspection is over, the inspector will go over his findings with you.

9. It is now 24-48 hours after that the health & safety inspection took place and now we are holding the report in our hands, going through it together. It is the sellers responsibility to cover any health & safety issues, such as electrical, plumbing, roof, smoke alarms, double-strapped water heater and so on. Anything cosmetic is just that, cosmetic and the seller does not have to do anything. However, you could always try to negotiate if you strongly feel there is something you want the seller to do and of course, I am there for you, every step of the way.

10. Termites? Pesky little critters and they are usually EVERYWHERE! We would absolutely want to have the home inspected for that too. We will get a written report with a diagram, showing their findings. Anything that they find that is classified as a SECTION I, has to be taken care of and hopefully, the seller is willing to do that. If not, it's on you. I have a very strong opinion in regards to termites. That is, if I were buying a home, why should I have to pay for somebody else termite problem? I never lived there. I did not invite them. So, why pay? On the other hand, if I got the home at a very good deal, I would probably pay for it. It is your decision and hopefully we will not run in to this problem if the seller gladly pays. SECTION 2 are recommendations from the termite inspector of things that will need attention in the future and are not items that has to be taken care of now. Termite inspections are paid through escrow.

11. Time to order your appraisal. An appraisal will be necessary if you are going to finance your purchase, the lender will require it. This is an expense that can not be financed and you will have to pay it upfront either by meeting the appraiser at your future home or by simply writing the check to the appraiser and let me handle it for you.

12. Your loan conditions. When you first got pre-approved, we submitted certain papers to the lender. There might also be additional paperwork they are asking for and whatever that is, now is the time for us to do that.

13. Your home has now been appraised and hopefully, it did appraise. If not, we might need to either re-negotiate with the seller or you might have to come up with a larger down payment, whatever is the case or we might have to look for another home for you.

14. Your loan documents are now ready to be signed and there will also be additional paperwork from escrow to sign, such as hazardous disclosures. We live in earthquake country, there are massive rains sometimes and we get flooded. You might be close to a prison or maybe an airport. These things are hazardous, we all live with them. Escrow wants you to know this, and you already do. When you go to sign all this papers, please bring your cashiers check for the balance of the down payment. Before you do, I will give you an estimated closing statement so that you know how much to bring. There will be an overage, meaning escrow will ask for a little bit more, just in case. We do not want to delay closing escrow because they are a few dollars short (maybe they needed to over-night a package twice).

15. Time for us to do a final inspection of the home. We want to make sure that everything that needed to be taken care of, has been done. We will do a final walk-through together.

16. You are now going to go to your appointment with the park to sign your lease, read and sign the park rules & regulations and pay your space rent and deposit. This takes about 1 ½ hour. If this is in the middle of the month, escrow will pro-rate the space rent. Parks do not take partial payment, only full. The deposit is refundable after paying your space rent on time for 12 consecutive months. You can then, in writing, ask for it back.

17. The loan has now funded, the money has been received by escrow, every single piece of paper has been signed by all parties involved and escrow is now closed. CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE NOW A HOME OWNER.

18. I will give you your final closing statement from escrow and possibly a check too, together with the keys to the home, TIME TO START MOVING IN!

Again, congratulations. Let me know when the movers are coming, I want to order you some take-out and something to drink, you are going to be too busy and besides, who has time to cook while moving.