Thought Leadership from the Leaders in Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services

Understanding the Reality Behind the Company Financial Statement

Posted by Kris Merritt on Thu, Nov 20, 02014

You might think that your company's financial statements are difficult to misread. After all, the revenue and expense numbers that they list are plain and unambiguous, right? The truth, though, is that business owners and managers misconstrue their financial reports all the time. In fact, some companies actually fail for this very reason alone.

Indeed, such misunderstandings are likely more common now than ever before because software programs such as QuickBooks make it so easy for entrepreneurs to quickly churn out financial statements. They no longer need to fully comprehend what they're doing because the software automates it all for them. However, automation without understanding can create significant problems.

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Tags: small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping services

How the IRS is Increasing Scrutiny of Small Businesses

Posted by Dennis Najjar on Tue, Nov 18, 02014

In 2008, the passage of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act included provisions intended to provide the IRS with more immediate and comprehensive access to business sales records. In particular, the law required banks and other payment providers to begin filing Form 1099-K in 2012, which lists year-end gross payments made to merchants for gift cards, debit and credit cards, and e-commerce sales.

In 2013, the ramifications of this new reporting became clear, and if you're a small business owner, you should stay aware of this information as you implement effective bookkeeping services.

Cash Sales

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Tags: small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping services, small business tips

How to Choose the Right Bookkeeping Services

Posted by Bill Gerber on Fri, Nov 14, 02014

Whether you're just starting your business or you're fine-tuning your financial strategies, a professional bookkeeper can be a tremendous help when it comes to balancing your daily expenses, earnings and managing your invoices. By handing these jobs over to a specialist, you can lower your risk of error and instead use those extra hours for other pursuits. But where do you find a bookkeeper, and what do you need to know in order to choose? Read on to discover how successful businesses locate the best bookkeeping services.

Hiring Internally

While hiring an employee to take over bookkeeping may seem like a good way to keep control of your finances and the people managing them, this method often falls short in execution. For businesses without an expertise in managing bookkeeping procedures, accounting software or financial analysis, managing bookkeeping internally can be a recipe for disaster.

Additionally, in many situations, internal bookkeeping staff can be subject to a myriad of information security, fraud or even simple errors or mistakes in financial entries. From repurposing office admins to mismanaging employees, having an internal bookkeeper requires a lot of oversight.

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Tags: small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping services

What Are Bookkeeping Services, Exactly?

Posted by Kris Merritt on Thu, Nov 13, 02014

In the months or years since you first became a business owner, how many times have you been told you need bookkeeping services? If you’re like most business owners, the answer is probably, “A lot.” From the time you first opened your doors and collected your very first dollar, advisors, partners, and other well-meaning associates have undoubtedly weighed in and suggested a bookkeeping service to help keep your company’s books and finances on track.

If you have ignored that advice this far, it might be a good time to start doing your research before you dig the hole any deeper, because a bookkeeping service does more than just record payables and receivables, they guarantee the security, power and success of your business.

What A Bookkeeping Service Does

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Tags: bookkeeping services, accounting services

What Football Can Teach about Putting Together an All-Star Accounting Team

Posted by Dennis Najjar on Tue, Nov 11, 02014

At AccountingDepartment.com, we've developed a bit of a football bug. From our competitive fantasy football league to a staff across the country cheering on different pro teams, we love football. And lately we realized, bookkeeping services and accounting teams aren't all that different from football teams. (Work with us here, we promise we have a point). Whether it's a match-up between two NFL contenders on a Sunday afternoon or a high school game under Friday night's lights, football has plenty in common with a top-notch accounting team. Both seem like chaos to someone who doesn't know the game, but with the right personnel and play-calling, it becomes a well-orchestrated ballet. The ball is your company's financial future, and putting together the right accounting team to carry it into the end zone makes all the difference.

Coaches, Commonly Referred to Here as Directors

Behind every winning football team is a great coaching staff. Coaches who know when to take calculated risks and when to protect a lead are critical to success. Great coaches are more than just good planners; they're visionaries. That's how top coaches keep their teams in playoff contention for years and build dynasties. Head coaches spend years working their way up to being the chief decision-makers, and our team of Directors, Dennis Najjar, Bill Gerber and Kris Merritt, have spent years developing their vision and building a team that finds consistent success for our clients.

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Tags: Accounting Technology, bookkeeping services, controller services

Bookkeeping Services Improve with New QuickBooks Release

Posted by Bill Gerber on Wed, Nov 05, 02014

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Tags: bookkeeping services, accounting services, quickbooks training

Micro Business to SMB: What Your Bookkeeping Says About Expanding

Posted by Dennis Najjar on Mon, Nov 03, 02014

There comes a time in your business when you must either sink or swim. This will determine whether or not you’re in it for the long haul, or if you’re ready to throw in the towel. For those businesses who have a vision, this may mean it’s time to expand. When this occurs, you need to be prepared. Why would you want to expand? There are a number of reasons:

  • Your product is gaining popularity and you have outgrown your current facility or need additional space due to demand
  • You recognize the need for additional capital to keep afloat
  • It may make good business sense for your current market
  • It will help build your brand

Although those are just a few reasons why you may be considering expansion, it is not an undertaking for the weak. There are crucial steps you must take to ensure due process--and a lot of it can be found in your bookkeeping.

Do Your Research

There are a number of ways you can finance your expansion and you should know and understand all of your options thoroughly. Find out the requirements and guidelines for any options that go beyond using your personal savings.

Assess the Health of Your Business

This means looking at your finances and evaluating what you are doing wrong, what you are doing right and the steps you will take to improve. This also means looking at your processes and efficiency levels. Do you need additional manpower? Are your operations utilizing the best methods for your business? This is also a factor in your justification for expansion.

Have a Business Plan in Place

You cannot get an investor or approach a bank without one. This is a thorough, detailed snapshot of what your business does, your vision, your current financial situation and your projections for the future.

Make Sure Your Financial Records are Accurate

Using good bookkeeping software like Quickbooks to keep track of all your expenses, purchases, inventory and profits will make a tremendous difference when you need to compile those documents. Alternatively, you could enlist the help of outsourced bookkeeping services or a virtual accounting service.

Check Your Business and Personal Credit

Knowing where you stand credit-wise can help you determine whether or not there are some areas that need improvement, some bills that need to be eliminated and what your true debt-to-income ratio is. This makes a huge difference when lenders evaluate your business and establish credit worthiness for loans.

Here are a few ways to acquire financing. Each one should be carefully evaluated to determine which one would be best for you and your future plans. These are quick suggestions to point you in the right direction when preparing for an expansion. Having good fiscal management is key. Good luck!

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Tags: small business bookkeeping, bookkeeping services

Connecting the Future of Accounting and Technology at QB Connect

Posted by Kris Merritt on Tue, Oct 28, 02014

Last week AccountingDepartment.com co-Founders Bill Gerber and Dennis Najjar, CPA were privileged to attend a brand new industry conference, QB Connect, hosted by Intuit near their headquarters in Silicon Valley. Showcasing such luminaries as Marc Andreessen, Martha Stewart, Arianna Huffington, Intuit Founder Scott Cook, Debbie Sterling, Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Les McKeown, Bill and Dennis enjoyed three jam-packed days of events, networking and education. 

Together with our contemporaries, we engaged with some of the most prominent forward-thinkers in the industry, discussing the future of accounting technology, bookkeeping and controller services and the evolution of the industry—especially what it means for small business owners. A lot was accomplished and we have quite a bit to share with you—so here is the recap from our trip to QB Connect 2014. 

Day One – Pre-Conference, aka Dennis Explains It All

Often, upon flying from the east coast to the west coast, the first day of any conference can be a bit laid back—but not for us! Dennis went straight from plane to panel as he joined fellow experts in a seminar to discuss automating and streamlining workflows. Serving as one of 4 expert panelists, Dennis explained how AccountingDepartment.com leverages automation and technology integrations to connect QuickBooks to other platforms and streamline data flow, analysis, review and approval. Utilizing integrations for everything from expense management to time tracking, automating and streamlining workflows is the future of accounting services.

Day Two – Main Conference, aka Bill, Dennis and The Main Event

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Tags: Small Business Advice and Tips, bookkeeping services, automated processes

Four Surprising Benefits of Outsourcing Bookkeeping

Posted by Bill Gerber on Fri, Oct 24, 02014

Bookkeeping is a critical part of the daily operations of your small business, but it can also place a large strain on you and your staff. After all, a single bookkeeping mistake could end up being financially disastrous, and it takes a lot of time, knowledge and effort to ensure that everything is properly maintained. With this in mind, many people make the decision to outsource their bookkeeping to our trained professionals, and it is also possible to utilize the services of one of our bookkeepers on a full-time basis. This can be especially beneficial for a solopreneur, but small businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the smooth functionality, timely service, integrity and accurate reporting that is associated with outsourcing bookkeeping.


Four Surprising Benefits of Making the Decision to Outsource Your Bookkeeping

1. You Can Finally Enjoy the Weekends Again

Business owners who take on the bookkeeping aspects of their company often find themselves working seven days a week in order to keep up with everything. Fortunately, you can alleviate this stress from your daily life by outsourcing your bookkeeping. This will allow you to be able to actually experience a sunny Saturday afternoon instead of spending it inside of your home office.

2. Reclaim Some of Your Business Space

Bookkeeping on-site is something that definitely requires a dedicated space, and it also makes it difficult to fully embrace a completely paperless environment. Outsourcing will give you the opportunity to finally make the switch to a completely electronic office, and this will free up at least 100 square feet of your office space. The possibilities for this space are endless and could even include a new office gym.

3. Improve Your Personal Relationships

As previously mentioned, outsourcing your bookkeeping needs will make it easier for you to take time off during the weekend. Additionally, you could actually have time to make it home for dinner with your family or to squeeze in lunch dates with your significant other. No matter how much your spouse or partner understands and supports your business goals, it is still imperative for you to make time for them on a regular basis. Due to this, the cost of outsourcing your bookkeeping could very well be outweighed by the personal gains in your relationship.

4. You Can Catch Up on Your Sleep

Every solopreneur and small business owner feels burned out from time to time, and they have also experienced the unpleasant sensation of waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling that something was not completed properly. A lot of these concerns are based on their company's financial data. Therefore, you should consider turning this aspect of your business over to a highly skilled professional so that you can finally get a good night's sleep and get rid of the bags under your eyes.

As you can see, there are many viable reasons to outsource your bookkeeping. When you combine the previously listed benefits with important perks such as scalability options and having access to top bookkeeping systems, it becomes easy to understand why so many other small businesses have already made the switch.

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Tags: outsourced accounting services, bookkeeping services

Complete Controller Checklist for Small Businesses

Posted by Dennis Najjar on Thu, Oct 23, 02014

As the owner of a small business, you've probably been getting by with piece-parting your financial and accounting tasks to various members of your organization. You may even be outsourcing some of the work. However it's being done, odds are that it's not being handled in a centralized way. In the early stages of getting a business off the ground, this approach makes perfect sense. As your company gains more solid footing and starts growing and expanding, however, this strategy will probably start to backfire. You're likely to be in a state of perpetual confusion about the financial status of your business, and that's a precarious position. Sound familiar? If so, it may be time to hire a controller.

What are Controller Services?

To understand what controller services are, it's helpful to understand what a controller is. According to Investopedia, a controller is "[an] individual who has responsibility for all accounting-related activities within a firm." In larger organizations, a controller may report to the head of the accounting or finance department. In a small business like yours, however, a controller would report directly to the CEO. Think of a controller as the go-to person for all accounting- and finance-related tasks.

With that in mind, then, controller services encompass the tasks that a controller is typically expected to perform. All too often, small business owners assume they can go without a controller. If anything, though, a controller is even more indispensable to a small company. As the owner of a small business, you need to stay abreast of where your company stands financially. When everything is scattered all over the place, getting a clear idea of the big picture is pretty much impossible. Imagine how much easier it would be to be kept up to date by a single person who is responsible for overseeing your company's financial and accounting activities. If that sounds appealing, it's time to sign up for controller services.

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Tags: Small Business Advice and Tips, bookkeeping services, controller services, accounting services

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