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Brian Paulson

Brian Paulson
Brian began working at CSI in 1996, and he purchased the business in 2002. As Owner, his primary role is in the management and growth of the firm. Since 2002, the firm has more than quadrupled in size. In 2009, Brian started CSI’s payroll service to complement CSI’s accounting and tax services. Brian received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, with a double major in Accounting and Financial Management. He’s a member of both the National Society for Tax Professionals and the National Society for Accountants, and he serves on the board of directors for the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants, where he was once president. Brian also serves on the business advisory council for Opportunity Partners, an organization that helps people with disabilities find employment. He’s also contributed to several business books, including Six Steps to Small Business Success and The Lean Mean Business Machine. Fun Fact: To help put himself through college, he used student loans, delivered pizzas, and worked summers in a salmon processing plant in Alaska.

Recent Posts

Gross Profit Margins for Auto Repair Shops [Quick Tip]

Jun 28, 2016 8:16:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in automotive repair shops

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Set Goals for Your Gross Profit Margin (GPM) 

Setting and hitting appropriate GPMs is crucial for your automotive repair shop to maintain success. At a minimum, set goals to achieve a 50% profit margin on sales of parts and accessories. Parts and accessories purchased from dealerships are normally priced somewhere lower on the spectrum, while parts and accessories purchased from jobbers are normally priced higher on the spectrum. An overall pooled margin of 50% is a realistic and attainable goal.

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How to Increase Average Repair Order for Your Shop [Quick Tip]

Jun 9, 2016 8:17:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in automotive repair shops, small business operations

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Average Repair Order (ARO) is one of the most important indicators of a healthy and profitable automotive repair shop. Increasing and maintaining higher ARO allows your staff to work efficiently while making the shop more money in the process.

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6 Reasons to Outsource Accounting for Your Auto Repair Business

Jun 7, 2016 8:42:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in automotive repair shops

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When it comes to running your automotive repair shop, you’re the boss. In some cases, that means you’re the catch-all for certain activities that need to be accomplished on a daily basis. There’s only so many hours in the day, however. Rather than sacrificing your time or potentially falling behind on accounting activities and deadlines, think about outsourcing your accounting and payroll to experts with experience in your industry.

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Top 5 Mistakes Auto Repair Shop Owners Should Avoid

May 17, 2016 8:17:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in automotive repair shops

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Auto repair shops in the Twin Cities are a thriving business. Whether you have a small, two-bay shop or a large operation with eight service bays or more, there are ways to maximize your profitability. There are also ways to hurt your bottom line.

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4 Reasons to Outsource Accounting

May 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting

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Do you run a family-owned business? It’s hard work. You probably find there aren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month, and so on. Owning and operating a small business certainly has it’s rewards, but the challenges of doing everything yourself can be near-impossible to maintain over time.

As a result, many small business owners have turned to outsourcing certain aspects of their operations. From website design and marketing to bookkeeping and accounting, outsourcing has become a viable way for business owners to carve out more time, improve efficiencies, and prepare for growth.

Although the first steps toward outsourcing can be time-consuming, the rewards of using outside professionals to streamline your back-office activities are compounding.

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How Will an Accountant Help My Small Business?

May 5, 2016 8:42:59 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting, small business operations

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For every business, proper financial management is crucial for success. If you look up the reasons why many businesses fail, poor financial management is usually listed as a top contributing factor. While small business owners are usually experts in their respective fields, rarely are they accounting experts. This is where a monthly accounting service comes in.

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Preparing to Sell Your Small Business

May 3, 2016 8:43:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting, small business operations

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You may be thinking about selling your small business, but you’re unsure about the process or best practices. Solid preparation is the key to a successful sale. But, where do you start? Important factors to consider are timing, reasons for selling, documentation, legal obligations, and determining if you need professional assistance moving forward.

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5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Accountant

Apr 26, 2016 8:44:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business accounting

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Having a great accountant by your side is an invaluable resource. However, business owners don't always realize that accountants can be used for more than annual tax preparation or periodic financial snapshots. To get the most out of your accountant, use them as a trusted resource to grow your network, gain new insights, and learn best business practices beyond the numbers. 

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Tax Time is a Teachable Moment

Apr 14, 2016 8:34:00 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in small business taxes, small business accounting

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Small business owners are under a lot of pressure during the annual tax season. But once you've prepared and filed your forms, take a bit of time to learn from the process to prepare for next year. It's helpful to evaluate your process and your accountant's performance (if you used one) to determine if a higher level of service is right for your business.

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10 Tactical Menu Design Tips to Achieve More Sales

Apr 7, 2016 8:24:45 AM / by Brian Paulson posted in restaurants

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Menus have evolved over the years to serve multiple purposes -- be it branding and marketing, or setting the tone of the dining experience, menus are an important extension of your business and point of contact with customers. As a restaurant owner or manager, however, you shouldn't overlook the fact that your menu design can enable better sales, first and foremost. A pretty menu that highlights low-margin items doesn't add value to your business. 

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