When your business is just starting out, bookkeeping is easy--maybe even fun. However, as your business grows, so, too, do your books. Suddenly bookkeeping is significantly less enjoyable and infinitely more complicated. The key to staying on top of your finances is to keep your accounts as simple as humanly possible so you don't spend endless hours sorting out your accounting.
This is rule number one for keeping bookkeeping simple. You need to work out an organizing system that works for you. Typically, the easiest thing to do is invest in some accounting software that will help you keep things organized, but you also need to have a system for your physical copies so that you always know where your invoices are and what vendor they are associated with. And equally important: you must be able to get to everything quickly.
Pencil In Accounting Time
If you don't want to be randomly stuck doing accounting for most of a day a couple times a month, pencil a little time in every week to get it done. Organize all your papers in your organization system, make sure everyone has gotten paid, and try to anticipate any hiccups that might be coming soon--like having to deal with a big purchase or sale. By setting aside an hour or two every week, you'll cut down the total time required and avoid having to deal with the books when you're desperately needed elsewhere.
Choose the Right Accounting Software
There are plenty of accounting software programs out there aimed at making things easier for you. However, if you let yourself get lost in the software, you'll end up having your accounts done by ten different programs, ultimately making things harder for you. Keep it simple with a straightforward program like Quickbooks and perhaps one or two other programs that can sync with it, like Bill.com and Receipt Bank. When programs work well together, you don't need half a dozen of them.
If you are having trouble keeping up with your accounts as a growing business, why not let a professional help you get things sorted? For more information, contact us today.
A lot of business owners still do their accounting the old way. They may neglect newer cloud accounting technology because they're comfortable with a system they know works. However, so many others switch, not because cloud accounting is the cool new thing to do, but because they know it makes accounting faster and easier. If you still haven’t adopted products like Quickbooks into your accounting, you might want to consider making the switch.
Accounting is no longer a “one person in a cubicle” arena. Accounting requires completely detailing the financial transactions happening across all facets of a business, so allowing multiple people to input invoices or receipts, even if they are in different offices or even different countries, makes accounting simpler for everyone involved. The power of the cloud lies in the ability to get things done anywhere and by any authorized person.
One of the nicest features of cloud accounting technology is that the products are tailored to your accounting needs. Don’t need the power of an accounting app for a multi-national corporation? That’s fine. There are smaller products available. Foresee you business growing in the new few years? Then you can get custom cloud accounting apps to fit that growth.
Your Data is Safe
Some accountants choose to shun cloud accounting technology because they don’t trust the cloud. They still believe anyone can get at that data, when the truth is that it has never been safer. Reputable and well-established companies provide the best in encryption methods for your cloud data for no extra charge. So not only is your data safe from others; it is safe from destruction. Even if the company’s servers go down, the software has your data backed up with back-ups to those back-ups.
If you want to take the first step into adopting cloud accounting technology to make your life a little easier, contact us today to learn more about all the products available to you.
Every effective small business faces the inevitable - the curse of becoming successful. You find yourself swamped 24/7 with additional product orders or overbooked services. You are actually turning away money because you physically do not have the time. General upkeep of your business begins to fall by the wayside as you struggle to create more time out of thin air. Mundane tasks such as bookkeeping or account reconciliation are often ignored or done improperly in order to focus on client needs. With a proper standard operating procedure (SOP), you can maintain consistent account record keeping across all levels of your small business as you begin to expand.
What is an SOP?
An SOP is a document (or series of documents) that addresses the core policies or procedures of your business. Essentially, it is a manual on how the most critical aspects of your business operate and what standard of quality you expect for your business.
Why Draft an SOP?
Particularly when it comes to bookkeeping, accurate and consistent records are an absolute necessity. Over time, inconsistencies in your bookkeeping will mask inefficiencies in your business model, potential regulatory compliance issues, and more. Avoid the pitfalls of improper record keeping by spelling out what procedures to perform, what information to record, and what the standard of excellence for your accounts will be.
As you expand, consider contacting us to determine the best ways to manage your accounts, taxes, and payroll. In the meantime, utilizing a well-drafted SOP may help avert a costly bookkeeping disaster.
As a small business owner, you're on a constant mission to make your processes as efficient as possible. That's partly why you've chose to use cloud accounting software programs like Bill.com. One of Bill.com's best features is the ability to sync with all your other financial tools, especially Quickbooks. However, as handy as it is, the syncing process may not always feel intuitive. Here are some tips to help your syncing go smoothly.
Hopefully, these tips help you sort out what can be a bit tricky process to learn. If you need further help, contact us today to see what we can do to make your time with these two pieces of software a little bit easier and more efficient.
Receipt Bank can be a beloved organizational and tracking tool, but when you have two shoe boxes full of receipts, the idea of scanning them in one by one seems daunting, at best. However, getting started with Receipt Bank isn’t as tedious as you might imagine, at least not with its Multiple Mode.
Multiple Mode allows you to take up to 50 snapshots at one time. This means you can take a picture of one receipt and already have it processing as you take a picture of the next. No reopening the camera, no checking to see if the data is correct. Even if you have notoriously shaky hands and can’t take a good picture to save your life, you can easily delete poor pictures without closing the camera. This functionality means that any tweaks can be done later as you process in your many shoe boxes of business receipts with the camera first.
So, there are no more excuses for why your business isn’t using Receipt Bank. The fast input of receipts makes everything faster and more organized, and now even the once-lengthy start up is easy to do. So if you are keeping all your transaction records on vulnerable paper and completely unorganized, it is probably time to invest in Receipt Bank so you can spend more time on your business.
If you want to learn more about Receipt Bank and other accounting software that can benefit your small business, contact us today.
By Michael Ly
Entrepreneurs and small business leaders often ask me for advice on navigating the various sources of traditional and online business lending out there (as a CFO, it's part of what we do).
You may be trying to understand this complex landscape and wondering where to begin or even if you’re ready to start talking to lenders. Here are five things I’ve learned through over a decade of working with startups and small businesses:
1. Plan ahead
Do not wait to apply for cash until you desperately need access to commercial funds. An entrepreneur with no money in the bank is more likely to take a loan at a terrible rate because they did not plan ahead for their cash needs. And having access to enough capital can be a tricky business in the early days: healthy, fast-growing companies will often need to front payroll or marketing dollars while waiting for customers to pay. The lending process at a traditional bank could involve several weeks of applications, reviews, and underwriting, so start before you need the cash. If you can show growth plans and know you’ll benefit from access to funds in the future, now is the time.
2. Get help
Partner with a CFO or local accounting professional to help vet your local banks. They’ve worked with many of the lenders and can help you develop a strong package to bring to the bank and make sure you’re finding the best fit for your company.
3. Go local
Make your first stop your current business bank commercial lender. Or shop around at local banks, who are often hungry to lend and have the best rates on the market. I was able help a recent client get an unsecured $50K Line of Credit at 5% at their local bank by showing healthy financials and a solid growth plan.
4. Keep going
If you aren’t able to get a traditional loan through your local bank, don’t despair. Hit up the SBA. This federal agency has the next cheapest type of funding, and your local bank may even introduce them as an option if the bank cannot offer an unsecured line of credit. As a CFO, I help entrepreneurs apply for SBA loans using smartbizloans.com.
5. Try online
If neither a traditional nor an SBA loan works for you, check out the loan matchmaking site Fundera. I recommend them the most because they work to get you the best offer or rate from the current online lenders as well as banks across the country. Their loan specialists are very helpful and do a great job following up with you during and after the process. A number of my clients have had success closing several types of loans via Fundera at decent rates.
Navigating the lending process can be intimidating, but don’t let that keep you from locating the cash your business needs. Work with a CFO or accounting professional who can assist you with gathering the required documents and creating a solid plan for how to use the funds wisely. When in doubt, get advice and do not fall prey to easy money or predatory business lenders.
Plan ahead, and you'll be on your way to a small business loan at affordable rates for your business.
The Partial Purchase Orders feature of Quickbooks Online allows users to create purchase orders for both the "Accounts" and "Items" tabs to keep their finances and inventory reconciled. With the "Items" tab used for inventory and the "Accounts" tab used for expenses that add directly to Profit and Loss, businesses can receive partial shipments while keeping the order open until back-ordered items are filled. This capacity saves you time and a lot of headaches trying to keep track of what you have and haven’t received from a variety of vendors.
After creating a Vendor Bill, Check, or Expense form, you can add a bill to them, like usual. However, with the Partial Order feature, you can either choose to make it a complete order or a partial order. If you are dealing with a back order, it will show a back-ordered quantity and open balance for inventory items. From the Partial Purchase Order page, you can also reconcile your inventory and make sure that all items have been delivered. Once they have been received, you can finally close this purchase order.
This feature may seem confusing at first, especially if you are not used to working with back ordering from vendors, but before it existed, partial purchase orders could not be recorded in Quickbooks. The ability to keep an inventory order partially filled and open is just one of the many little features that makes Quickbooks Online so helpful for business owners. If you need some more help using Quickbooks or any other accounting software, contact us today.
There are hundreds of small business financing websites online that are ready to give you a business loan. However, just because they will give you a loan doesn’t mean you should take one from them. It is important to stick with reputable organizations--and ones that will give you fair terms on your loan.
Among those hundreds of different online financing websites is Kabbage, but with so many different competitors, how do they stack up?
Kabbage has been around for a decent amount of time, giving a number of sources the opportunity to check it out. They are now one of the better-known small business lending sites. Endorsed by big names like MSNBC, Forbes, and Time--and boasting over 100,000 satisfied customers--you can rest assured that they offer aboveboard loans.
Kabbage does things a little differently. Instead of offering traditional loans, they only offers loans as a line of credit. So if you need a long-term loan option, Kabbage is not right for you. However, because they only offer 6-month terms, you can get your fees out of the way quickly and avoid the possibility of digging yourself into a real hole.
To get approved, your business must be at least a year old and have either $50,000 in annual revenue or have made over $4,200 over the last three months. If you meet the criteria, they are quick to approve and often offer the quickest access to funds in the business.
Want to learn more about how to thrive as a small business? One of the real keys is to have an effective bookkeeping system. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your small business grow and thrive.
When you own a small business, it is important to stay one step ahead of your competition. While you may not be able to beat out the big corporate competitors, you can thrive locally by having an edge. For many small businesses, cloud accounting software can be that edge.
Storing your data securely in the cloud makes it easily accessible by different users and in different locations without everyone having to be in the office to access the system. Because data is so available and easy to use, employees and contractors can work easily from any location, allowing for more collaborative teamwork that can help your business thrive.
As cloud accounting software comes with so many features--many that go above and beyond simple accounting--you can trust in the software to help your small business in new and unexpected ways, such as:
While the benefits listed above are all major selling points of making the investment in cloud accounting technology, there are still many small business owners out there that fear the security of the cloud. However, with so much stored in it today, great security measures have been taken to protect your data for no extra cost. And the cloud has its own security advantages: if your physical copies are stolen or destroyed, you still have complete and full access to your documents online. By investing in cloud accounting software, you are putting in place an effective bookkeeping system and a great disaster recovery system.
If you are sold on the possibility of more bookkeeping freedom so that you can get back to what really matters, like actually running your business, contact us today.
PayPal rose to popularity because of the convenience it offers customers, both business owners and their customers or vendors, when it came to monetary transactions. Unfortunately, PayPal for business owners can cost a vendor 3% of transactions processed through PayPal. So $300 of your $10,000 invoice is taken by PayPal. However, those who take advantage of the seamless integration of PayPal with Bill.com can end up saving thousands of dollars in transactions through one amazing loophole.
While many people praise Bill.com for the way it processes bills quickly and easily, you can also use it to handle those same bills through PayPal by connecting your account to the Bill.com system. Customers often prefer to pay this way because of the ease of use. There's a bonus for your business too: because the money is transferred via ACH, the payment won’t cost PayPal’s 3% fee. Instead, you'll only be charged Bill.com's vastly superior $0.99 per transaction. This clever little exception is the reason businesses who process payments primarily through PayPal should be taking great advantage of Bill.com right now to avoid wasting thousands.
Think of Bill.com as not only a great tool for business but also an investment to help your business thrive. That money you save on transactions can go to any number of different things to help your business continue to grow.
If you want more information on Bill.com and how it can help your business thrive--even if you don’t use PayPal for transactions, contact us today.