How to make the most of meetings with clients

Three infallible tips to make great impressions on your next meeting with a potential or existing client…

We all know that meetings with clients are unique an unrepeatable. And because of people’s busy agendas, we don’t really know when we’ll meet again with a specific client. This is why you have to take advantage of every minute of the appointment.

How? Here we will share some tips to have a great meeting and leave a good impression with your client (potential or existing):

Ask how much effective time you’ll have

The truth is that (almost every time) meetings often start late. So you will have to accept the fact that you lost those few minutes. But once you start the meeting, ask your client how much time they got for you. Because chances are that they have to cut short to attend other matters. Unfortunately, this happens a lot. But if you know from the beginning, you can focus on the important parts of your presentation.

Simulate a tennis game

meeting_2

The worst mistake you can make is talking non-stop. Turn the presentation into an interactive conversation. Of course, it´s important that you present your proposal or numbers, but it is even more important to pay attention to what the client has to say (body language too). This is not a class, so don’t leave the questions to the end! If you notice they want to talk, let them. They might want to add some interesting insights to the conversation. And this will benefit you both.

End the meeting 1 or 2 minutes early

You want your client to know that you are not one of those people that goes on and on in meetings. Look at your watch and mention those 2 minutes to spare. This way the client will perceive you as someone who respects their busy schedule and most definitely will want to meet with you again.

Remember: time is money! So take advantage of every minute of the meeting with potential and existing clients.

Did you enjoy this article? Don’t forget to share it on social media and telling us which tip helped you the most.

Myths that we often hear about auditing

Have you ever heard one of these things about auditing? Well, we’re here to prove them wrong…

Auditing has been around for a long time. And when we say a long time, we mean Egyptian times. However, there are still some things people don’t really understand about auditing.

People often confuse auditors with accountants or consultants. Of course these two professions have to do with the auditing world, but the truth is that auditors are much more that people who do taxes and give legal advice.

We want to eradicate those common misconceptions about auditing. so we will list some of the most popular myths we often hear and prove them wrong:

Myth #1: “Auditors are like devil’s advocates”

Of course, auditors point out risks and deficiencies inside companies. But they also identify areas of opportunity and give a series of recommendations that can improve those areas. The best thing about auditors is that they don’t just give you tips on how to get better, but they monitor implementations to optimize strategies.

Myth #2: “Auditors are old-fashioned”

Contrary to what you may believe, auditors are actually trying out new technologies to improve processes. Paper, pen, and calculators are being replaced with drones, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Myth #3: “Eventually, machines will do the auditor’s job”

Although technology and innovation are part of auditing, this is just a matter of automation. Machines lack judgment and subjectivity, so humans will always be required when it comes to auditing.

Myth #4: “Only accountants can be auditors”

Sure, a lot of accountants become auditors throughout their careers. But people from business, law, and finance can also perform an auditor’s tasks. This is because their vast experience in critical analysis.

Myth #5: “You should only do audits when an authority demands it”

It’s true. Voluntary audits are not required by law. But they sure can do a lot of good for your company. When an organization opts for an internal, IT or social security audit, they become compliant, save money and become more profitable.

Want to do an external or internal audit? Call us, we can make it happen. Let our experts find more value in your business.

5 things any investor looks for in a potential start-up

Are you an entrepreneur? Are you looking for investors? Then you might want to check this out:

 

Every entrepreneur needs capital to get their project going. This is when they seek out investors. So if you think you have a great idea and already have a meeting with a possible buyer, you should know which boxes investors need to check out before going all in.

  1. What makes you different

And when we say “you” we don’t only mean your brand, but also yourself. Chances are that if you are a likable person and can engage with your audience, investors will be more interested. Don’t forget to mention the X factor… So really work on your pitch!

 

  1. Opportunity (for the long haul)

One of the first questions investors will ask is: How big is the market for your specific product? So make sure you research these aspects (with numbers and everything). And not only for the next couple of years but for the long haul. Present a graphic with your market’s growth for al least the next 10 years.

 

  1. Experience

You will have more opportunity of landing an investor if you can show how your product is doing inside the market. Share the results of things like surveys, focus group or even sales.

 

  1. The A-team

When it comes to finding investors, you really need to sell yourself and your team. Don’t be afraid to brag about your partners, their knowledge, education, and experience. This will make you look more professional and prepared.

 

  1. What’s in it for them

At the end of the day, investors will invest for one reason only: the money. So after talking wonders on behalf of your project, make sure you talk numbers. Seduce them with attractive revenues for the next year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc…

Do you need help making a great presentation for investors? Our consultants can help out with your Business Plan… Contact us to get started.

How to develop leadership skills

Some recommendations to start becoming a leader in your organization…

 

Starting a new business requires leadership from its founder. And contrary to popular belief, not every entrepreneur is a natural-born leader. In fact, there are many bosses that never become leaders, which you can tell from their team’s performance. But it is extremely important that they gain leadership skills, in order to influence and inspire those around them.

So if you are starting a new business and want to become a leader for your collaborators, check out these recommendations:

Be strategic

Think about your business in the next few years. Where do you want it to be? Make it your mission and start seeking that goal. Be innovative and communicative, but most important, be inspirational. You want others to make the company’s goal their goal as well.

 

Learn new things

True leaders accept they don’t know everything. Be humble and ask yourself in what area are you feeling a little weak. Maybe take a course or webinar to improve certain skills.

 

Be ethic

Nothing speaks out more to employees than an ethic leader. Don’t compromise your values (or the company’s) to meet a client’s demands. You want others to admire you for your honesty, so really think about your reputation in situations where you might fall out the wagon.

 

Don’t smother your collaborators

It’s totally normal that you want to be present and supervise your employees. But being there all the time may not be the best idea. Remember that you hired those people because they are experts in their field. You’re not, so let them do their job and only get involved when necessary.

Empower others

Being a good leader means treating others with respect and acknowledging their achievements. This way you will motivate your team into doing even better.

 

Invest in your team

As Richard Branson says, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients”. Try to organize trainings for your collaborators. Maybe improve the software they use regularly. Also, ask how they are doing and if there is anything that you can help them with.

 

Learn from others

There is nothing wrong with seeking help from others. Learning from other’s mistakes or success stories is a great way to sharpen your process into becoming a leader.

If you are looking to establish your company in Mexico, contact us. Our consultants will guide you so that you comply with every requirement. Let our experts help you with your expansion throughout the world.

The importance of Due Diligence in M&A

When in the process of M&A is Due Diligence pertinent?

 

When a company is interested in acquiring or investing in another one, an investigation is necessary. This evaluation process is known as Due Diligence, and it’s used by the interested company in order to understand the structure, selling process, organizational culture, areas of opportunities, and the risks of becoming the new owner of that business.

When it comes to Mergers and Acquisitions, Due Diligence is not only recommended, but imperative, since it’s the only way to learn how both companies can work in synergy, become more profitable and have extra value.

Well executed M&A projects have 5 steps. But, when in the process of M&A is Due Diligence pertinent?

 

Exit planning: It may seem obvious, but the first thing in M&A is deciding to sell. In this step of the process the company has to ask itself: Why am I selling? Is it because I’m in bankruptcy or because I’m seeking to add value to my business? Once those questions are answered, the company can start to look for investors.

 

Preparation: This is where the team in charge of the transaction needs to start gathering information, designing strategies, preparing audits, reviewing financial reports, etc.

 

Marketing: It’s common for companies to start sending teasers to potential buyers, negotiate agreements and start receiving preliminary letters of interest.

 

Due Diligence: Now is time for the investigation to begin. Investment bankers can take care of this, by inviting a number of bidders for a presentation, site visits, meetings, draft contracts, etc.

 

Negotiation: This is where the company that is looking to sell starts receiving formal offers. What’s left is only to conceal in accounting, legal, compliance and financial matters.

You’re looking to sell or engage in an M&A process? Contact us, we will help you execute the Due Diligence process so your business lands in the best hands.

All you need to know about Corporate Governance

What is Corporate Governance and why should companies have it?

 

Corporate Governance is a series of guidelines, procedures and principles that rule the way a company functions. It is stipulated by de administrative Council, shareholders, investors or Board of a company, people who seek to add value to the business.

It is great tool for institutionalization. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that before the global context of the corporate sector, having a Corporate Governance is vital to stand out in the market and become more competitive.

Mistakenly, it’s believed that Corporate Governance can only be implemented in big or family companies. However, this concept brings benefits to all kind of businesses, no matter the industry they belong to or the number of employees they have.

 

What does a Corporate Governance includes?

Internal control: Rules and protocols that have to do with finances, administration, Human Resources, etc.

Government organs: Relations and duties have to be defined. This goes for the Board, the administrative Council, shareholders, investors, managers, etc.

Corporate politics: All politics are described. This goes for investment projects, M&A, succession plans, etc.

Compliance: Processes that will guarantee the fulfillment of current normative have to be established.

Risk management: Monitoring plans are defined in case of internal or external risks.

 

Which are the benefits of having a Corporate Governance?

Facilitates bank credits.

It is necessary for stock matters.

More transparency in transactions.

Better relationships with investors, shareholders and clients.

Can reduce costs by avoiding or controlling risks.

Improves performance by assigning resources the correct way.

More company value.

If you still don’t have a Corporate Governance in your business, or want to modify the one you have, contact us. Our consultants can help you design and implement it.

7 things you have to talk about in any investment pitch

If you want to impress possible investors, then you ought to consider these recommendations.

 

Even if your business idea is great, it won’t go anywhere without funding. This is why it’s vital that you find possible investors. Once you’ve scheduled a meeting, it’s time to make your pitch. In this case, first impressions matter. A lot. So you want to wow the people in the room with your presentation.

Besides explaining what your business is about, you need to inspire investors. Make them want to be part of this great idea, but most importantly, convince them it’s not only viable but also has the potential to generate revenue.

If you are planning to present your product or service to a possible group of investors, here are 7 things you have to cover in your pitch:

 

The idea itself

In just a sentence or two, define your idea. Make it very clear and striking, since it’s the first slide they will see.

 

The problem and opportunity

Justify your idea. Talk about the current problems your customers are facing. Don’t forget to share statistics about the market.

The solution

Now you can elaborate on your idea. Tell them all the details. Explain how the product or service works and differentiate yourself from competitors.

 

The business model

Until this part, investors don’t really know how this idea will generate revenue. This is why this slide is so important. Explain the business model and compare yourself with your competitors’ prices.

 

The Marketing Plan

Describe how are you going to reach your customers. Mention examples such as promotions, ad campaigns, digital strategies, etc.

The Financial Plan

This is the serious part of your pitch, so really focus. Financial plans are all about the numbers. Investors are going to want to see your profit/loss information at least for the next three years. It will take time, but it is necessary that you include this on your presentation.

 

Conclusion

To sum up, go back to the brilliance of the idea. This is where you ask them for funds, so try to be smooth but direct.

If you believe in your idea, so do us. If you need help preparing your investment pitch, contact us. Our consultants will guide you so you can impress all assistants in your next investment meeting.

Obligations your business must comply with if you perform vulnerable activities

Does your business performs vulnerable activities? Then you have to fulfill certain Mexican Law requirements.

 

According to the Federal Law for the Prevention and Investigation of Operations with Resources of Illicit Origin, there are some activities that are more likely to be used to launder money. These are known as vulnerable activities, and if a business executes them on a regular basis or professionally, it must comply with some Law obligations.

If your company practices vulnerable activities (check here the list to find out) this is what you have to do:

 

Registry

Individuals or companies that perform vulnerable activities have to register in SAT (Tributary Authority in Mexico).

 

Identify clients

It’s vital that they also identify their clients in those cases where the amount established by the authority is exceeded. It’s necessary to present official documentation, as well as personal information of the beneficial owner, such as its ID.

It should be mentioned, that when a contractual enforcment has been initiated, the authority may ask for information regarding the client’s occupation and collate it with its RFC (taxpayer registry).

 

Notices and reports

The business has to present notices and reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit when the amount established is exceeded. These notices have to include the basic information from both parts, as well as the description of the activity.

 

Information and documentation custody

It’s important that the business holds on to all the relevant information and documents that support the performance of the activities for at least 5 years since the date in which the vulnerable activity started.

In VLH we have qualified consultants that can guide you through everything related to Launder Money Prevention. We also do audits and provide training in this matter. Contact us, we can help you with any doubt you may have.

The future of auditing: Where are we going as firms?

“The future will be driven by data, which will be developed with AI and in the cloud” – Philippe Vannier.

 

September is #AuditorProud month, a celebration that started a few years ago in the United States and has spread to different countries where being an auditor is a reason to be proud (like Mexico). To celebrate this, we wanted to talk about a topic that has been in our minds for quite a while: the future of auditing.

It’s common for people outside this industry to think that accounting, and therefore auditing, are slow to innovate. But the truth is, that auditors have gone a long way when we talk about progress and technology.

If we look at the scenario 10 or 20 years ago, we can imagine accountants with pens, papers, and calculators. Nowadays, auditors all over the world are using drones and machine learning to automate their observations. It should be mentioned, that this allows auditors to focus on those tasks that really require human analysis.

 

As Philippe Vannier (Executive Vice President of Big Data & Security Solutions at ATOS) says: “The future will be driven by data, which will be developed with AI and in the cloud. Companies need to understand technology to survive and prosper tomorrow”.

Here in VLH, we know that audit firms must reinvent themselves and be disruptive in order to attend the future’s needs. That’s why we came up with a list of 10 tendencies that will guidethe reorientation of our client’s processes and systems to change:

1- The connection of services (mobile).

2- Delivering specialized digital solutions.

3- Front innovation (connectivity).

4- Artificial Intelligence.

5- Change of the thinking paradigm design.

6- Take advantage of Fintech.

7- Amplified exploration of the Internet.

8- Migration to real-time payments.

9- Commercial loans digitalization.

10- Accounting movement based on production technology.

In VLH, we are planning change towards these technologic tendencies, and to the uses that satisfy society, and therefore, companies. To start, we consider that it’s necessary that we evaluate the Corporative Government Model of SMB’s and family companies, which in Mexico, are most of the companies.

If you want to do an audit or need consultancy on how to innovate in your business, contact us. Our accountants and consultants can help you out.

Which are the activities that the Mexican Law considers vulnerable?

Discover if your business performs vulnerable activities, as considered by the Federal Law for the Prevention and Investigation of Operations with Resources of Illicit Origin.

 

In accordance to the Federal Law for the Prevention and Investigation of Operations with Resources of Illicit Origin (LFPIORPI), there are some businesses in Mexico that are considered to be more susceptible for being used to launder money.

These activities are called vulnerable activities, and those companies that do them must comply with certain law requirements in order to operate in the Mexican market.

It should be mentioned that if you execute one or more of these activities eventually, you are not obligated to anything outside the conventional Mexican Legislation. This is because the LFPIORPI only applies to those who perform vulnerable activities professionally.

Without further ado, here is the list of the activities that the Law considers vulnerable:

 

Gambling, contests, or raffles.

Issuance or commercialization of service, credit, or pre-paid cards that constitute monetary value storage instruments.

Issuance of traveler’s checks different from Financial Institutions.

Mutual or guarantee operations, granting loans or credits, with or without guarantees other than Financial Entities.

Construction, development, or intermediation of properties.

Merchandising or intermediation of precious metals, precious stones, jewelry, or watches.

Auction or commercialization of works of art.

Merchandising or distributing air, sea, or land vehicles; new or used.

Shielding land vehicles or properties; new or used.

Transfer services or custody of money.

Proving professional services.

Providing public / legal services.

Receiving donations from associations and non-profit societies.

Providing foreign trade services as agent or customs agent.

Constitution of rights of use or enjoyment of real estate (monthly value).

Exchange of virtual assets from subjects different that financial entities.

If you perform one of these activities professionally and you’re thinking of establishing your business in Mexico, it’s important that you know that you must comply with certain obligations before the LFPIORPI. On another article, we will explain these requirements. So stay tuned to our social media and subscribe to our newsletter to get notified.

In the meantime, you can contact us to ask for advice on vulnerable activities in Mexico. Our specialists in Laundered Money Prevention will help you answer any doubt.