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Budget Criticism



Budgets are often criticized for controlling the wrong things, or for creating pervasive incentives when they are used in performance reviews. The criticism often overlooks the various benefits of budgets and the budgeting process, but that doesn’t mean that the criticisms are totally unfounded.

Budgets facilitate decision control and can be used as benchmarks to gauge performance. Specialized information is gathered from lower levels of management up to the top levels and can be used as a gauge against actual performance. Top-level management can use the assumptions made during the budgeting process as performance measures for the owners of the budget. The budgeting process in large companies is the orchestration of specialized knowledge of numerous departments.

The executive team sets goals for the upcoming year based on previous performance, and current or expected economic trends. The marketing team assembles their budget based on the marketing campaigns that will be used to meet the goals. The operations departments build their budgets based on the expected volumes resulting from the marketing campaigns. This transfers the specialized knowledge of the marketing department to the operation departments through the budget process and both departments use their specialized knowledge to build their own budgets. The executives then review the bottom up budget against the previous year’s performance.

Sometimes, the executive may request a 5-10% reduction in the budget dollar amounts offset by a corresponding increase in productivity or other cost reduction in a reverse ratchet effect. In effect ratcheting down the budget instead of ratcheting up the budget based on consistent level of productivity. The executive leaves the decision of how to achieve the productivity increase to lower levels of management that are closer to the process. These decisions are made with the knowledge of the current business environment, and should be made after careful deliberation so they don’t set unreasonable or unattainable goals that could discourage lower levels of management.

Budgets provide decision control in terms of expenses, but often companies take another step in using accounting for control by requiring actual expenditures to be sign off by higher levels of management than those that actual incur the budgeted expense. A more efficient process allows for the routine processing of budgeted expenses, while the total amount of the expense is controlled at the yearly or monthly level. If an operational manager is responsible for a process that incurs a regular expense, then they have the authority to spend the budgeted dollars used in that process. If a manager has the responsibility of processing credit card applications then their input is used to produce a budget for that expense. If the CEO has approved the budget that contains a regularly incurred expense of $120,000 per year or $10,000 per month, but if the company has a policy that requires all expenses over $7,500 to have prior CEO approval, does the CEO have to approve the monthly budgeted expense every month? It would be more efficient to approve the expense once in the budget and have the volume of the budget cost driver monitored.

Criticisms of budgets are usually are about how the budget process is used rather than a direct criticism of the budgeting process itself. The budget process does not require the budget to be used in performance evaluation. If the budget controls the wrong things, then this could indicate a problem in how the budget was created not necessarily in the budget process itself. It’s usually a criticism of inadequate cost allocation.



Some Tips on SEO and Social Media Management



If you’re looking for a way to increase ranking for SEO and social media management priority, here are your best bets: Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. These three social network sites are the most popular among users and business people alike. These are also indexed in SEO, and will help you increase your rankings if you are active enough in these sites. Not only that but also, the number of people you are connected with can help raise your SEO rank. SEO and social media management is not as hard as it seems, it only needs a little effort and a few tips like these:

Know your target network. Take into account that we’re talking about more than half a million people in these big three sites alone, and with that amount of possible connections, you can find a vast sea of potential customers. But I’m not saying you should add everybody. Just because you have an ocean in front of you doesn’t mean you should take the whole thing. You should know what your bait is so you can sift through it to find the right fish. You can search for potential customers using searches aimed at the right people, may it be location, age, and other factors you might want to look into before considering a person a potential customer.

Make sure the social network page you created doesn’t collect dust. Keep on updating your activity online so that users can see that you are productive in creating new ideas for your product. Even through it’s not as important as a new launch, just post about stuff going on in the company like little updates here and there, keeping your name in the newsfeed.

Keep up to date with events going on around you. Even though it’s a business page, that doesn’t mean you can’t post about what’s going on in the world. Just make sure you don’t post any biased opinions on issues, because this may repel some customers who don’t share the same views.

Create conversations in your page like asking your connections about stuff that may help you in business. Since social networking is all about connecting people, you should connect with the people in your network by posting questions that they can respond to so that you can engage in conversation with them. This creates a feel of authenticity when it comes to your website ambience, and a warm welcome to site visitors is always appreciated. Asking for feedback in the site also lets your followers know that you aim to give them better service, enlightens you as to where you lack effort in, and encourages you to create better products. This results in customer loyalty and possible advertising through link shares, increasing success for both SEO and social media management.

Lastly, you can use a social media management tool to monitor your online activity to reduce the effort you put into checking these social media sites. There are free programs that you can download for this purpose, and it’s up to you to choose which one is most suited for you.

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House Insurance Rates – Making Yours Affordable



Purchasing the right insurance protection for your house is a very wise step to take. Do not fail to reach out for the highest quality of protection from the insurance companies that are servicing the state where your house is built. Be sure to get information on the ways of making your policy cost cheaper. Houses don’t come cheap, so you are advised to buy the best house insurance for your costly investment. The tips given below will guide you through the process of finding your preferred insurance coverage and a leading insurer.

Collect every useful data about your property and if needed, employ the help of a specialist. Knowing all about your property places you at the best spot to find and get quality coverage at the cheapest rate. There are two basic coverage options in the regular house insurance policy. You will find the actual cash value coverage and the replacement cost coverage. Learn about these coverage options and choose correctly. Your insurance provider will readily give you quality consultations that will guide you on the coverage to purchase. Your happiness is important to insurance companies, so they will give you all the help you need to keep you happy.

Now, it is time for you to go online and shop for affordable insurance quotes. There are many free comparison platforms that you can use online. There are quote boxes and forms on these websites, freely use them. Comparison sites will connect to a network of leading insurers in your state; this saves time and is very useful. Fill the quote forms correctly and in minutes, the data your have provided while filling the quote box will be used to match you with the best quotes from leading insurers in your state.

A very wise step to finding the best deal is knowing how to consult with your insurers; doing this is really necessary. You will enjoy free expert help from your insurance provider after you have collected a quote from them. Start right away, fill a quote box correctly, meet with insurers and find your cheapest house insurance that guarantees you quality coverage in your state.

Where To Start?

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How to Lose Weight When Diagnosed With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis



Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, as well as other forms of hypothyroidism, gain a good amount of weight and have a lot of difficulty losing it. Of course a big reason for the weight gain is because any hypothyroid condition will slow the metabolism of the body. When it comes to losing weight in these people, there are essentially three different factors one needs to consider. The first two factors you will be very familiar with, although many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis don’t consider the third factor, which is usually the primary reason people with this condition are unable to lose weight:

1. Diet. Just about everyone who tries to lose weight does so by modifying their diet. And without question, eating healthy is an important component to losing weight, as well as keeping the weight off. Of course many people don’t really understand what a “healthy diet” consists of, and part of the reason for this is because different sources will recommend different diets. For example, some “experts” will tell you to completely lay off carbohydrates and to eat any type of protein you want. Others will tell you that it’s a “calorie game”, and as long as you restrict yourself to eating a certain number of calories per day you will lose weight.

When you really think about it, you probably know what you need to eat in order to help lose and maintain weight. Yes, restricting calories can work, but if you’re eating unhealthy foods most of the time then this without question is not a long term weight loss solution. And by no means am I suggesting that you need to eliminate all of the junk food from your life forever, as if you eat healthy most of the time then for most people it’s okay to “cheat” every now and then.

So what should one eat when trying to lose AND maintain weight? Well, you definitely want to try to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Of course you do need to be careful to minimize goitrogenic veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower, as these can further inhibit thyroid function. You can also eat a few servings of fresh fruit daily, such as apples, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Ideally you want to minimize those fruits with a high glycemic index, such as bananas.

Assuming you’re not a vegetarian you can eat lean meats such as organic chicken and turkey. You can also eat certain types of fish, such as wild salmon. Organic eggs are also okay, assuming you don’t have an allergy to them. And raw nuts and seeds are also okay to consume. I of course haven’t included everything you can eat here, but hopefully you get the idea. The overall point is to avoid the refined and sugary foods, and to consume whole foods.

Two other important points to make are that you want to make sure not to skip breakfast, as this can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The second point is after eating breakfast you don’t want to go more than two hours without eating, even if it’s something small. Each meal should consist of some health proteins. Taking this approach will help curb your appetite and stabilize your blood sugar levels, which are essential to any weight loss program.

2. Exercise. We all know the importance of exercising, and as a result I’m not going to go into too much detail here. I realize that many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have low energy levels, which will make it difficult to begin a regular exercise program. And to be frank, some people will need to have other areas addressed in order to help restore their energy levels. This usually won’t be accomplished by seeing an endocrinologist or general practitioner, as most doctors will simply put their patients on thyroid hormone, which might help with the hypothyroid symptoms, but many times doesn’t do anything for the actual cause of the disorder.

As a result, many people will continue to have low energy levels, and will be unable to exercise. So for those people that fall under this category, I recommend consulting with a natural endocrine doctor, who will do more than simply recommend synthetic or natural thyroid hormone, and will take a whole body approach that most of the time will help restore the energy levels of people with different types of hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

For those that do have the energy to exercise regularly, then I recommend exercising at least three to five days each week, consisting of at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. This could be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk. Some people might not be able to begin with 30 minutes, as they might have to start with five to ten minutes, and then work their way up. But the ultimate goal is to build up to 30 minutes of non-stop exercise that causes you to break a sweat. As usual, one should always consult with their doctor before beginning any exercise program.

3. Hormones. When it comes to functional endocrinology, one of my mentors is Dr. Janet Lang, who during her seminars would frequently tell the attendees that “hormones are stronger than diet”. What this means is that if you have a hormonal imbalance, which many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have, then it will extremely difficult, if not impossible to lose a significant amount of weight by eating and exercising alone.

Eating a lot of refined foods and skipping meals affects two of the major hormones in the body, cortisol and insulin. And when someone continues these habits for many years, this will put stress on the adrenal glands, and can eventually lead to insulin resistance. And until this is corrected, you can eat a perfect diet and exercise daily and it will be difficult to lose weight.

Many people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism also have an imbalance in the ratio between the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can also lead to weight gain and thus make it difficult to lose weight. This is yet another reason why I recommend that people with these conditions consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor, as they will be able to detect a hormonal imbalance and if they determine you have one, help you correct it.

So these are the primary factors to consider when trying to lose weight with any hypothyroid condition, including Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Although most people focus on one or both of the first two factors I mentioned, very few are aware of the impact that a hormonal imbalance can have on losing weight. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then you really do need to consider all three of these factors. Eating well, exercising regularly, and correcting any hormonal imbalances will not only help you lose your unwanted weight, but will also help you keep it off for good.

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