There comes a time in the growth of every successful business where the owner or CEO starts to feel that their basic bookkeeping simply isn't enough. If they're lucky, their books are clean and the integrity of their financial data is secure. (We'll let you figure out what their books look like if they haven't been so lucky.) Yet, in the growth process, owners find themselves wanting more from their data. Books closed on time isn't enough--they need insights and reporting to help guide their business through the next stages.Read More
Thought Leadership from the Leaders in Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services
Today's small businesses (“SMBs”) constantly find themselves facing an uphill battle when it comes to competing against enterprise corporations and in the greater global economy. While emerging tools and technologies have leveled the playing field in some ways, the lack of manpower and expertise across disciplines still has SMBs finding themselves at a disadvantage. While tempting to tack on new departments and grow internally, most SMBs do not really have the resources or abilities to do this properly. If they attempt it at all, many new positions will be added without proper planning or management. Yet, in light of all of this, all is not lost for small businesses. To combat specific needs for expertise or additional manpower, small businesses can look outside to professional service providers to leverage their abilities while maintaining focus on their core competencies and primary objective—growing their business.Read More
Effectively outsourcing bookkeeping requires a significant amount of transitioning to electronic and cloud-based systems. If you've been heavily reliant on paper reporting, hand-keyed entry and snail mail invoicing, making the transition to outsourced bookkeeping will change all of this. In part because it is simply more effective to automate your accounting systems and also because engaging with an outsourced provider is a fundamental part of improving business processes, embracing accounting technology is an important step. Rest assured however, that technological innovations across the board have gone to great lengths to support outsourced bookkeeping.Read More
Your business workflow evolves with your business, but sometimes fitting in the administrative work with the rest of your workflow is a difficult task. One way to cut down the frustration level is by including an outsourced bookkeeping service into your workflow.Read More
Everyone dreams of having a wildly successful business, but many times you don't realize the logistical aspects of running a successful business. The more profit you pull in, the more invoices and accounts receivables you are likely to be handling, and the more complicated every bit of your financial management becomes. Enterprise-level, billion dollar companies house complete accounting departments to handle their financial matters, but what are you supposed to do until you reach that point? Outsourcing your financial management is an excellent way to smoothly grow your business without running into accounting problems. Here are 5 reasons financial management makes sense for your growing business.Read More
Businesses can’t operate efficiently if they don’t know how their budgets are being spent. Often, however, companies don’t maintain effective policies and procedures to ensure accurate reporting of expenses. In some cases, expense padding and outright fraud are the culprits. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical American company loses 5 percent of annual revenue due to fraud, and 15 percent of that is from fraudulent expense reporting.
Most expense management (EM) problems are the result of ineffective policies and procedures. Identifying where policies are deficient and addressing these problems can solve the majority of expense management issues. Following are the five most common expense management challenges, along with suggestions for how to solve them.
Increasing Travel CostsRead More
Do you count gift cards given to employees as cash payments? Have a system for easy reimbursement for taxes when an employee is overpaid? Treat vendor payments as payroll before you receive a Form W-9? If you don't, you could be looking at serious fines from the IRS. Avoid these 10 common payroll and bookkeeping mistakes that small business owners tend to make.
1. Failure to Issue Form 1099 Correctly
Form 1099 should be issued to independent contractors and vendors who provide your business with over $600 in services. Failing to do so could lead to steep penalties.Read More
Cash flow has a major impact on sustainability. Take a look at what happened in the early 2000s with the dot-coms, and again in the late-'00s and this current decade. Businesses with few liquid assets were unable to jump the hurdle of a contracting market. What happened to the dot-coms also hit the financial sector, and neither was prepared. Given the importance of cash flow, it makes sense to take an active role in managing assets and record-keeping. In-house management opens the door to a number of security issues, while separating areas of responsibility improves accountability at every level.
The Nuts and Bolts of Accountability
Some of the most basic strategies for improving accountability start by ensuring that the department taking in cash is not the department recording the transactions and reconciling the accounts. For example, if human resources handles payroll, they should not be tracking hours. If they have both jobs, they can issue checks for unworked hours. Over time, even small additions can add up to a considerable loss. When the same department is also responsible performing audits, there is no real accountability.Read More
Cloud-based accounting programs are the latest in accounting technology. There are plenty of upsides, from ease of use and mobile access to seamless integrations with niche programs and complex accounting systems. Yet, like everything, cloud-based programs are not without some risks as well. Included among the considerations are, lack of physical control of servers, data transmission out of office, and the potential to be affected by loopholes and exploits that not explicitly aimed at your company. These cloud security risks must be considered when outsourcing accounting, but there are opportunities to mitigate the risks as well.
1. Physical hardware security
The cloud-service provider hosts all hardware on location, such as the servers hosting the application and your data. You connect to the application through an app or your browser in order to access its resources. Because you don't have the servers on-site, you don't have physical access to the hardware nor do you control its security. Talk to cloud-service providers about their data center security, determine whether they co-locate their servers or have complete control over the server room or center, and find out what measures they have in place to control physical access to the devices. Ask about data redundancy, back up procedures and processes in place in case of breach.Read More
Your job costing system is an invaluable part of your business, forming an integral part of the workflow process. You use it to set job costs, base employee pay, estimate completion time, and calculate your profit margins. Your job costing systems, like other essential parts of your business operation, need to be audited on a regular basis to avoid problems down the road.Read More