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Financial Speak 101 for Small Business Owners: A Pocket Dictionary of Financial Words

A 2014 report (Financial Literacy and the Success of Small Businesses: An Observation from a Small Business Development Center) showed that half of the small businesses weren’t reviewing their financial statements. And of that 50%, 86% were experiencing financial difficulties. Why?
Businesses weren’t reviewing their statements … because they didn’t understand the financial jargon.
If you struggle to understand the financial lingo, this list of common financial terms and definitions may help. Use it as a reference while you’re working with your accountant or while going over your books each week.

Accounts Payable

Accounts payable is also called trade payable. It refers to the total invoices for goods and services a business has received but has yet to pay. They’re usually due for payment within 15 to 45 days. In short, this is money your business owes to other businesses.

Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is the amount of money a company has to claim or has invoiced. It is from having sold goods or rendered services to its customers. This is what other businesses or customers owe your business.

Accrued Expenses

Accrued expenses are expenses that a business has incurred but has yet to pay. This is because either the invoices have not yet been received or the payments aren’t yet due.

Examples of accrued expenses include interest on loans and taxes incurred. Salaries your employees earn up to the period of reporting but aren’t due for payment until after the report is prepared are also accrued expenses.


An asset is any item your business owns that is of fiscal value and is expected to benefit the business in the future.

Balance Sheet

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Vacant and Rental Property Insurance

Home For Rent Sign

Business investors, landlords, and owners of the residential and commercial property have vacant and rental structures for different reasons, including but not limited to a change in tenants,
recurring renovations or refurbishment, and selling the structure. When occupancy changes, the dynamics of loss exposures may shift significantly. Many insurance companies and homeowners policies will not insure or offer adequate protection for such property. If you’re looking for an experienced provider who understands these exposures and is committed to the property insurance market the search is over, as we provide access to coverage for vacant structures and rental dwellings and offer a simple process to convert policies as tenant occupancy fluctuates.

Ask yourself these questions when selecting an insurance provider for vacant and rental property coverage:Read More »Vacant and Rental Property Insurance

Contractor Insurance Requirements – A Primer

This article was originally published by AmWINS Group, Inc. It was edited and rewritten to simplify the content. To read the original article please click here.

primerWhen risk management department is assigned to focus on the major project, including construction, with particular attention to the insurance requirements to be imposed on the general contractor and any subcontractors, it’s very important not to make the insurance requirements so onerous that contractors are discouraged from bidding on the project.For those of us, who has not been involved in such projects before, let’s review insurance requirements from different projects and how those may affect our company (let’s call it ABC company – the one who impose insurance requirements).
Outdated Insurance Terminology
What may strike us about the old insurance requirements is the insurance terminology used. There is reference to “comprehensive general liability insurance” including endorsements listed as “broad form property damage,” “broad form blanket contractual liability,” “cross liability,” “XCU” and “additional named insured.” The limits are also listed as split limits – one applicable to bodily injury, and another lesser limit applicable to property damage.Similarly, the auto insurance requirement refers to “comprehensive auto liability” and workers’ compensation insurance includes the “broad form all states endorsement.” Further, all of the requirements are to be evidenced by a certificate of insurance that provides certificate holder a 30 days advance notice of cancellation. It becomes readily apparent that these requirements are so outdated as to be virtually useless – the coverage, endorsements and limits listed are obsolete and are no longer available. We must start from the beginning.Read More »Contractor Insurance Requirements – A Primer

Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety

commercial grade kitchen equipmentOperation of a commercial grade kitchen, many safety considerations should be addressed, including food safety, employee and volunteer safety, and fire safety. This blog post addresses the specific issues associated with providing adequate fire safety for your kitchen.

Commercial cooking operations are defined as kitchens that have cooking equipment that produce grease and grease laden vapors. This includes flat grills, char broilers and deep fat fryers. The typical residential range (electric or gas) would not be considered a grease producing appliance. Other equipment, such as ovens, microwaves and steam kettles also fall into the non-grease producing appliance category. The following is information regarding two of the most common types of equipment that produce grease and/or grease laden vapors.

Deep Fat Fryers

Deep fat fryers are a major cause of kitchen fires. Oil can splash and easily come into contact with an open flame from an adjacent piece of cooking equipment, such as a gas-fired range top. A 18-inch clearance must be maintained between the deep fat fryer and the open flame cooking equipment. If a 18-inch clearance is not possible, a vertical steel barrier extending 12 inches above the top of the deep fat fryer or open flame appliance(s) can be used as an alternative means of protection.Read More »Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety

Protect your personal information from online risks

Going online has become part of everyday life – whether for shopping, sending emails or paying bills, or managing accounts. However, many worry that technology-related issues, including unsolicited emails and unsecured websites, can affect information stored online. The 2013 Travelers Consumer Risk Index shows that 41% of Americans worry about computer and technology issues. These were ranked second among the top five risks causing the most concern. Taking precautions when browsing the Web can help reduce your risk of a cyber attack. Read these tips to learn how to help stay safe online.Read More »Protect your personal information from online risks

How to Choose Insurance for Every Life Stage

In this article, insurance experts, including Travelers Personal Insurance Vice President Elaine Baisden, recommend reviewing your policies annually and whenever you experience a life event, such as attending college, making a major purchase like a car or new home, getting married, having a child, changing jobs, renovating a home, or caring for an elderly parent. Download this article

Does Home Insurance Cover Fallen Trees?

Damage to your own or neighbors home resulting from a fallen tree most likely will be covered by homeowners (HO) policy. If this is your tree that has damaged your neighbors house or property, your should have personal liability coverage within your HO policy. Claims coming from fallen trees that as a result of fire, wind, lighting, hail are usually covered by an HO policy. The landscaping itself may be covered under Coverage C on your HO policy or under Tenants Betterments and Improvements coverage on your Business Personal Property coverage. There are certain exclusion to each insurance policy. Bad… Read More »Does Home Insurance Cover Fallen Trees?

What Insurance Do I Need For A Home Business?

The provision of your homeowners policy that covers business pursuits is applicable only when your main office is away from your home and you take work home. For example, a notary public working from a professional office, also can meet with clients at his home office (on weekends, or after hours). Other than that, your homeowners policy won’t cover business related claims. It may in some instances provide coverage for “sleep and fall” accidents and business personal property, but frankly, you must have a stand alone business insurance. Insurance coverage for your business will depend on your operations and other specifics. If… Read More »What Insurance Do I Need For A Home Business?