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Small Business Basic Accounting Tips: How To Predict Your ROI

  
  
  
  

basic accounting tips for calculating ROIReturn on investment (ROI) is a fiscal and strategic business concept--and a critical part of basic accounting. On the one hand, many investors want you to demonstrate realistic ROI predictions before they invest in your business. On the other hand, you need to make realistic ROI predictions when deciding how you will grow your business. Both hands rely on realistic ROI predictions to make sound business decisions.

ROI Basics

ROI calculations are simple. Add up all the probable revenues a specific opportunity will generate. Then, subtract all the probable costs you will incur for pursuing that opportunity. The remainder is the likely ROI for this opportunity. A good opportunity from an ROI perspective is one that generates a positive ROI or a profit. A bad opportunity is one that generates a negative ROI or a loss. The best opportunity is the one that generates the most profit.

ROI Factors

When predicting revenues, you need to consider:

  • Direct revenues that will be generated by the opportunity

  • Indirect revenues that will be generated by the opportunity

  • Residual revenues that will be generated by the opportunity

When predicting expenses, you need to consider:

  • Direct costs incurred by pursuing the opportunity

  • Indirect costs that will be incurred if you pursue the opportunity

  • Opportunity costs for not using your energy, time, and resources to pursue other opportunities

All of these factors must be considered to produce an accurate ROI prediction. The really tricky part, however, is looking into the future and making a realistic prediction for each of these factors.

Predicting ROI

You must set aside your biases (what you want to be true) and conduct research (what is true) to make a realistic ROI prediction. You must also balance the science and the art of ROI. You can research the number of people who use a product or service, the percentage of users who want a better experience, the effort required to convert them, and your penetration rate. You can only guess at market changes that impact your predictions and the costs you will incur to adapt to those changes.

Predicting ROI requires research and honest calculations. It also requires having a feel for your market and its upcoming changes. On the one hand, there’s a lot of business science involved. On the other hand, there’s a lot of artistic, intuitive guesswork involved. You need both hands to make realistic, accurate ROI predictions.

If you're struggling to predict ROI and need help with small business accounting strategies, our experts can help.

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Cloud-Based Accounting Software Security Features

  
  
  
  

cloud-based accounting applicationsSmall businesses are migrating to cloud-based accounting in increasing numbers, seeing it as a viable solution to more limited and tedious hardware-based accounting programs. Cloud storage provides account access by authorized personnel at all times from any connected device, instantaneous updates and real-time financial data on demand.

Cloud-based data storage is the ideal fit for business owners who prefer to keep their operations lean and agile. Checking on daily income while on the move is a quick and simple smartphone task. However, some CEOs consider the prospect of storing sensitive financial data online to be daunting.

The Basis for Cloud-Based Security Concerns

Some of the primary concerns people have about entrusting their books to the cloud include:

  • Data theft via hacking or hardware hijacking
  • Data alteration or corruption by inexperienced personnel
  • Data loss due to cloud instability
  • Data loss when a cloud-based company quits business

Not every cloud-based application has airtight security to say the least, but many go the extra mile to keep your financial data safe. Through a combination of document encryption, user authentication and authorization, many cloud-based accounting services provide a level of protection similar to your online banking institution. Here’s how a leading cloud-based accounting program and several integral apps keep your information private.

QuickBooks Online: A Security Pro

Intuit, maker of QuickBooks desktop accounting software and now QuickBooks Online, kicks off its security system with a secure equipment facility, the Intuit Data Center, where guards stand duty around the clock. Closed-circuit video surveillance, backup power, and smoke and flood alarm systems ensure physical security for the company’s data storage hardware. As good as that sounds, however, you are probably more concerned about online protections to prevent your financial information from getting into the wrong hands.

Intuit depends upon proven safeguards to protect your business data. Its online accounting app has VeriSign Security coverage with optimum SSL – secure sockets layer – certification. QuickBooks Online uses password protection for your login, servers with firewall protection and banking-type encryption technology. Additionally, Intuit is a licensed member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program, a watchdog for fair information practices.

Tallie: Keeping Your Sensitive Data Secure

Tallie is a great cloud-based compatible app that tracks your employees’ expense accounts. It utilizes safe public servers as well as private servers that are shielded within a virtual private cloud not directly accessible from other web locations. In addition, the Tallie system is capable of sourcing and integrating data from your existing protected QuickBooks records.

TSheets: Security Is a High Priority

TSheets is an employee timekeeping app designed to integrate with Intuit products. It has recently upgraded its security rating to match the stringent requirements of the QuickBooks company. One of these upgrades is continuous SSL financial data encryption. Daily data backup and customized permission levels for your personnel allow you to control who can view your payroll reports. Additionally, TSheets software complies with the necessary security standards to prevent data mining.

Bill.com Security

Bill.com is a bill processing and payment service that is compatible with QuickBooks Online and other accounting software. It has instituted numerous security measures in the interest of protecting clients’ data, including:

  • Extended Validation (EV) SSL
  • Firewalls
  • Secure storage facility
  • Encryption of all sensitive data in database
  • Continuous off-site backup to eliminate data loss

Although some cloud-based accounting systems are safer than others, you always run a slight risk when it comes to working online. That is why it’s important to rely on an accounting services provider who has the expertise to select the right accounting systems with the best security available to keep your online business data virtually secure.

Need help with understanding which cloud-based accounting apps are right for your business needs? Our team of certified experts can help!

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How Bill.com is Improving Our Accounting Services for Clients

  
  
  
  

bill comWe recently began the process of training and certifying all of our professional bookkeepers on a great automated bill payment and processing system--Bill.com. We've been following Bill.com closely and bringing clients on to the platform as they are ready, because Bill.com does so many great things to improve the flow and efficiency of online bill payment. The reasons why are pretty simple and straightforward--but we will let you decide that for yourself.

One very helpful hint though: If you've ever suffered from paying bills late (or losing them all together) because they got stuck on someone's desk, didn't get approved by the right people, or ultimately didn't get appropriately reviewed before approved because a deadline was looming... well, you just might appreciate these features.

Bill.com to the Rescue

Bill.com is an online accounts payable and accounts receivable service. Its main advantage is that it:

  • saves time and costs through streamlining the entire submission, review and approval process
  • integrates with other accounting software (including QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online) and eliminates duplicate data entry and redundancy

Things like printing invoices, stuffing envelopes, internal distribution to reviewers and check signing--Gone!

Accounts Payable is Faster

Send Bill.com your billing data – scanned, email, or fax, and Bill.com picks up the load. When a company uses Bill.com to pay invoices, the process is thoroughly automated, integrating with human intervention at the appropriate approve and review points. But the shuffling and transfer of paper bills and checks is eliminated.

When the bill is due for payment, your bookkeeper assigns it through Bill.com which routes it to someone in your company who is authorized to approve the payment. Once the designated person clicks the approval button, Bill.com takes over and can either pay the invoice electronically or mail a check. Bill.com cuts accounts payable processing time in half. As a cloud-based system, approval can take place anywhere, at any time. If Manager Mike is out of the office on vacation, he can still pay bills on time.

Accounts Receivable

With Bill.com, you can go paperless. Your customers receive invoices via email or Bill.com will print and mail the invoice for you. Bypass printing, mailing and long wait times in collecting receivables. With one click, programmed invoices go to customers by email or by U.S. mail.

Bill.com provides automatic reminders when payments are becoming due or have not been sent. When the customer pays the bill, Bill.com will make your electronic bank deposits. Plus, your customers get three easy ways to pay your invoice:

  • by credit card,
  • through their PayPal account, or
  • by direct payment to you from their their bank

Cash Flow Forecasts

Using Bill.com for your AP and AR can allow you to effectively use their Cash Flow Forecast tool, allowing you to:

  • manage your cash flow either on your computer or mobile device, and
  • project and forecast your cash flows up to three months into the future

Plus, it syncs with your bank balance information in QuickBooks, giving you a full picture of your current and future financial position.

Works with QuickBooks

Bill.com has a great integration with QuickBooks. You bring in everything right away from QuickBooks to pay your bills and get paid by customers. Bill.com syncs and sends your payments to QuickBooks automatically. Bill.com picks up any changes you have made in QuickBooks since your last login. QuickBooks also picks up any Bill.com changes you made in the data it receives from Bill.com.

For many of our customers, Bill.com is fixing a previously cumbersome process. Our bookkeepers love it because it allows them the opportunity to seamlessly process and notify clients about upcoming deadlines and due dates--and our clients love it because it removes most of the burden of staying current from their desk. A few button clicks and bill processing is complete.

Interested in learning how you can implement Bill.com at your company? We can help--schedule a free consultation to discuss your accounting and bookkeeping needs to see if Bill.com (and other great accounting integrations) makes sense for your business.

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3 Integration Features to Look for in Accounting Software

  
  
  
  

accounting software integrationsThere is a revolution occurring in the accounting software industry--and it is taking small businesses with it. Where there were previously limited options available for SMBs without enterprise-level needs and resources, the market has recently been disrupted by quite a few tech-savvy accounting software providers offering enterprise-level software for SMB needs.

However, it can be overwhelming to navigate integrations and implementations--especially when trying to decide which applications to deploy in your business. Perhaps you are considering including expense tracking management, mobile time sheets or want to integrate your POS with a new QuickBooks Online file--but how do you know what to evaluate and whether they will all play together nicely?

While your accounting service or the app developer will likely have support and guides available for your perusal, we recommend evaluating three preliminary features of all integrations before going any further in your research. After all, time is money--or at least you will find that out after you integrate your time tracking with QuickBooks. So before signing on to anything, check to make sure each integration helps you do the following:

1. Improve Data Aggregation

The primary benefit of accounting software integration is keeping your data synced between multiple applications. The core of any integration is the seamless transfer of information from one source to another, preferably with two-way synchronization at all times. Does your CRM integrate with QuickBooks to help with job costing and class tracking? Make sure that your clients and projects, hours spent, expenses accrued and everything else will appear in each program so you can navigate with ease and avoid spending any time on redundant data entry.

2. Reduce Data Entry

Speaking of redundant data entry, your integrations should transform your workflow so that it is as automated as possible. This means reducing or eliminating entirely the need for anyone to hand key information. If you're not familiar with how to directly import and upload data from your bank, credit card or payroll, you either need to start learning more about QuickBooks and your integrations or find a bookkeeping service that can do it for you. Spending any time manually entering data is a waste of time for you and is counterproductive to the purpose of seamless technology integrations.

3. Establish Automated Workflow

When you remove the requirement to hand key or manually enter information, you open up the opportunity automate the review, approval and processing functions of your accounting and bookkeeping processes. Simply, you stop creating opportunities for delays and oversights because the burden is on the software integrations to move information along instead of the approvers and service providers. Whether you're using an outsourced bookkeeping service to handle your reconciliations and accounts payable or you're managing it in house, you'll find integrations like bill payment processing will help move the entire process into quick and simple steps and keep your accounting humming along.

Not sure which accounting technology integration to start with? Our experts can help you navigate which services are right for your needs and get your accounting processes into modern day.

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


5 Reasons to Use an Outsourced Bookkeeping Service

  
  
  
  

Outsource virtual bookkeeping servicesWe often meet a lot of clients at a critical turning pointing in their growth phase. Business owners who have met that ellusive million dollar mark in annual revenue (though some times they arrive at our virtual door a bit later) and suddenly feel the burden of managing their own bookkeeping catching up to them.

It doesn’t take long for a new business owner to understand that accurate and up-to-date financial records play an important part in the success of a business. At the same time, the daily tasks required to maintain these records often fall to the bottom of an owner’s to-do list of priorities. After all, business owners didn't go into business to become bookkeepers--and the value of time spent on maintaining the books translates into a pretty expensive hourly rate!

Hiring a bookkeeper to handle the accounting tasks in-house for the business is one solution to the problem, but it isn’t always the best solution. Here are five good reasons to outsource bookkeeping services:

  1. Privacy. There are few things more guarded in a business than internal financial records. This is information that an owner wants kept private and secure. Finding someone you can trust to do the job well, stay with the company long term, and maintain confidentiality is not a simple task--especially when a local bookkeeper knows your personal financial health. Outsourcing to a virtual bookkeeping service with strong client references can give an owner peace of mind by removing the opportunity to have a member of their community in contact with their financial records.
  2. Scalability. Growing businesses often start out with smaller needs but rapidly grow to require a full suite of bookkeeping services. Hiring an outsourced bookkeeping service with controller oversight and a full service offering enables the service to scale to needs, without having to hire or train additional staff.
  3. Training and Management. Most business owners are not in the position to be able to train or manage bookkeeping staff--primarily because their bookkeeper likely knows more about it than they do. But the benefits of having a bookkeeper up-to-date on the latest QuickBooks features or have comprehensive knowledge of state tax rules or reporting methods makes a big difference in the quality of bookkeeping.
  4. Maximize Your Resources. When business owners try to save money by doing their own bookkeeping or delegating it to another key employee, they are expending valuable time and energy that could be better used growing the business. When they outsource their bookkeeping services, they free themselves up to spend their time doing what they do best. CFOs, office managers and non-accounting personnel simply shouldn't be spending their time on the books.
  5. Tax and Audit Ready Financials. Using outsourced professional bookkeeping services to prepare financial records makes accountants, the IRS and banking institutions happy. There is no concern over whether the books are accurate or questioning the integrity of the financial data. Whether a business owner needs to provide financial statements to the bank, satisfy investor reviews or share information with the IRS, outsourced bookkeeping services help make sure there is no doubt about the data.

Whether a business needs current financial figures to present to a banker or it just needs to keep tabs on cash flow, keeping up to date on accounting tasks is essential; An easy solution is to outsource bookkeeping to a professional service.

Interested in finding out more about how you can outsource your bookkeeping? Contact us for more information!

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


Independence Week Accounting Software Providers: Tallie

  
  
  
  

tallie awardsIn honor of the upcoming Independence Day, we're highlighting a couple of revolutionary accounting software products available on the market today. Today's blog post takes a look at the benefits and features of one our our favorite expense management and reporting apps - Tallie!

From their very cool San Francisco office mere steps from AT&T Park to their awesome staff and dedication to creating the perfect expense management app, we can't get enough of Tallie! (We swear, we use it ourselves!). So if you are you looking for an expense accounting mobile app that automates an employee’s entire expense report every step of the way, has easy integration with your QuickBooks or Bill.com applications, and perhaps prefer a company that recently won a whole slew of awards, Tallie for iOS or Android is what you need.

Everything Streamlined

Tallie streamlines the expense reporting process without actually skipping any steps, and it has built-in auditing triggers that will keep any accounting services manager satisfied. Tallie’s product support experts get the customers up and running, fully integrated with the local accounting environment.

The Tallie Workflow

The best way to take advantage of what Tallie has to offer is from the workflow perspective. Tallie automates the claim to approval to posting, streamlines it, and has built-in triggers along the way.

  1. Record Expenses: The employee records the expense. It could be a smartphone image of a meal receipt, a credit card import, or a mileage calculation based on origin and destination. Expenses accumulate until they are transmitted to the manager via email.
  2. Check the Work: The manager rejects or approves the expense. The employee’s email report may contain reviewable receipt images, flags for possible duplicate entries (to keep honest people honest), or flagged expense items that fail to comply with company expense policies (for instance, your organization might not reimburse for alcoholic beverages with a meal).
  3. Bring in the Data: The accountants bring in the expense data and integrate it with everything. Actually, this step could be promoted to number 1, because before steps 1 and 2 occur, your accounting services company has already:
  • synced Tallie with the QuickBooks or Bill.com accounting applications or other flat files
  • created user accounts for employees who claim expenses and managers who approve them
  • set up the Tallie expense categories and mapped them to the general ledger
  • provided the final destination for exporting all the expense transactions
  • set up the rules that detect unauthorized expense claims
  • customized any unique chains of approval based on project or organizational element

Reports and Analytics

There’s gold in all that data, and your bookkeeping and controller services can mine it all by viewing an individual expense report, or as a group to any active payroll or bill payment system. Tallie also has an analytics engine with detailed reports and chart options.

So no matter what the source of the expense or the destination of the data, Tallie is definitely the application your accounting service has been waiting for.

Did we mention they also recently won a Stevie Award for Support Team of the Year in the Computer Services category? Who wouldn't want an app most recently recognized for stellar support? (seriously, check out all those awards!)

Need help choosing the accounting technology integrations for your business--or making sense of the data they provide? We can help!

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


Independence Week Accounting Software Providers: TSheets

  
  
  
  

In honor of the upcoming Indepedence Day, we're highlighting a couple of revolutionary accounting software products available on the market today. Today's blog post takes a look at the benefits and features of one our our favorite time tracking apps - TSheets! From simply producing an excellent product to keeping us on our toes with creative engagement and messaging, we're huge fans of this Idaho-based company.

bill gerber matt rissell tsheetsCEO Matt Rissell is a visionary in the field--and a lot of fun to hang out with if you ask our co-Founders Bill Gerber and Dennis Najjar. But don't just take our word for it--follow him on Twitter or Google+ and see how he isn't just having fun, he is working hard to change time tracking as the world knows it. So if you're looking for a timekeeping mobile app that works on both Apple and Android devices, has easy integration with QuickBooks accounting software, and is the brainchild of a company dedicated to producing a great product--well, you just might want to check out TSheets.

In a nutshell, TSheets is an app that tracks, manages and reports employee time and can be run on a variety of mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. If your accounting software is begging for the meaningful data and insights that time tracking provides, TSheets will be your new best friend.

The app is ideal for tracking employees who work remotely or switch job locations regularly. Employees can report time across 6 mobile app versions:

  • the Apple iPhone with its intuitive graphical interface and GPS tracking
  • the Android app with its easy-to-use mobile time tracking
  • the crew app for both platforms where the crew boss logs in multiple workers
  • the text version for mobile employees not equipped with smartphones
  • the ever-popular Twitter interface where employees can log in time from anywhere in the world

And before you worry about the threat of a poor service area or offline connection, TSheets tracks time and automatically syncs when service returns.

Why Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Service Loves TSheets

The initial reasons are easy to understand--there is no confusion about when and where an employee worked and it directly ties in to accurate payroll, PTO and vacation reporting with virtually no additional work required. However, when you start working on budgeting and forecasting for your company's financial future, you may want to understand which jobs and projects cost you more. Do you have the data behind how many employee hours were spent on each project and at which rate readily accessible?

Quick integration with your accounting software can attach those hours to your specific jobs and projects, giving a complete snapshot of your financial data to your controller. The next time you want a better understanding of your profitability across different channels, TSheets will be your new best friend.

TSheets Reporting

Payroll reports: TSheets can be configured for specific job or cost center charging. Gone are the days when after-the-fact “pencil-whipped” timesheets were based on faulty memory, inaccuracy, and bad penmanship. TSheets gives your payroll people just what they need to know – immediately – for employee overtime, individual job breakout expenses, and total daily hours worked.

Timesheet Auditing and Approval: Managers don’t have to wait until the end of the payroll cycle to audit, approve, or reject time sheets.

Job Coded Project Reports: It’s all in the TSheet database. When it comes time to bill out and invoice projects, the information is all there and can be grouped into customized reports and downloaded for additional analysis and reporting.

DCAA and DOL Reporting: Defense contracting auditors and Department of Labor bean counters require accurate time card keeping – sometimes tracking specific tasks or projects by the hour. TSheets to the rescue!

Oh, and don’t forget that TSheets plugs right into QuickBooks. (We mentioned that--we're just such big fans of accounting technology integrations and this one is a great one!)

Need help adding time tracking to your accounting and bookkeeping services? We can help!

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


Accounting Tips: Managing Your Independent Contractors

  
  
  
  

outsource work to independent contractorsAs a business owner, it’s important to regulate your processes, especially if you are outsourcing accounting tasks. Having a number of independent contractors can pose a huge problem when protocols are not in place to make sure they are properly regulated.

From Inc. Magazine, here are a few tips that will help in establishing a great working relationship with your contractors and maintain the integrity of the business transaction:

  • Classify contractors, and delineate a clear distinction between your contractors and employees. Doing this will ensure your company avoids any liability or claims about whether the contractor is really an employee. Independent contractors set their own hours and handle everything else that is needed to get the work done.
  • Have clear objectives for the tasks to be performed. A defined scope of work and timeline should be conveyed to contractors before they start work. All expectations from both parties should be outlined.
  • Make sure everything is agreed in written form or a contract. All important communications should be in writing in the event there are discrepancies. Any confidentiality clauses or ownership claims should be outlined.
  • Get all the tax-filing information you need to establish payments and record-keeping for tax purposes. This will help when issuing 1099 forms at the end of the year.
  • Make sure contractors have a point person to contact in the event they have questions or need assistance.

Independent contractors can be an asset to your company if used effectively. Quite a few business owners run into problems when they treat contractors as employees. Knowing the guidelines and maintaining the rules of independence are the keys to ensuring mutual understanding.

Some other factors that are important:

  • As a business owner, you should make every effort to pay your contractors in a timely manner unless other arrangements have been made.
  • If the contractor is reliable and does good work, make sure you convey your satisfaction. There’s nothing more valuable than a company that is pleased and shares this information. It puts you in a good place as an employer and can help the contractor continue to do a great job.

Until you can fill all your business roles with in-house employees, independent contractors are a great resource to cover the gap (and may even make more sense than hiring employees for some roles). Make sure you do adequate research and get referrals. As a stepping stone, independent contractors can help you grow your business to the levels you desire.

Need help classifying your independent contractors? Our accounting and bookkeeping experts can help!

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


Accounting Tips: How To Create A Chart of Accounts for SMBs

  
  
  
  

how to set up chart of accounts accounting department bookkeeping servicesStarting a small business requires making important financial decisions that help you plan and manage your business properly. Setting up a good chart of accounts is a large part of your business’s financial plan; it will pay dividends by allowing you to access accurate financial data with just a few clicks of a mouse, and it can be done in-house or hired out to bookkeeping services.

Setting up your chart of accounts

Your chart of accounts can be thought of as a file for all of your financial information; it lists your company’s account names and numbers and is step one in setting up your accounting system. Which accounts you decide to put in your chart of accounts depends upon your business; an inventory account is only needed for companies that sell products, and not for service businesses.

Keep the future in mind when setting up your accounts; you may not have a need for some accounts right now, but make sure your numbering system allows for lots of growth. As a new business owner, you may be the only employee; that may not always be the case. Adding payroll accounts now can keep your books clean and current later.

Use a four-digit numbering system for your chart of accounts and you will have plenty of blank numbers left for adding accounts as needed, and so that each transaction can be properly coded and added to the system. Additionally, you will be able to easily identify the type of account by its number if done correctly.

Account categories and common coding numbers

The chart of accounts will be used to journal all of the business’s transactions and there are five main categories of which accounts can belong: assets, liabilities, revenue, expenses, and owner’s equity. You are setting up your chart of accounts so that it will mirror the format of a company balance sheet.

Your asset category outlines what your company owns. Most computerized systems will start it at 1000 and list current assets first (cash, accounts receivable, inventory) and then fixed assets (buildings, equipment, vehicles), and a depreciation account that will show reductions in value of those assets.

Liabilities track what your company owes and the numbers should start at 2000 for ease of computing; add your current liabilities (accounts payable, sales tax, payroll tax, wages owed) first and then your long-term liabilities (such as mortgages.)

Owner’s equity is typically coded as a 3000 series of numbers and denotes the owner’s investment in the business. Later, you might have investors and need accounts for stock and retained earnings for profit that is reinvested into the company.

Revenue accounts are typically the 4000 series and show sales revenues and other income for your business. You typically need an account for discount, and one for sales returns and allowances as well. There will also be interest income, costs of goods sold, and accounts for shipping and other costs in this block of accounts.

Expenses are the final category and should be coded with numbers in the 5000 series; many people use the IRS Schedule C tax form to set up this category. Your bookkeeper and any outsourced accounting services or tax preparers will be happy about this, as it makes it much easier at tax time.

That is really all there is to it, though the task may at first seem daunting. This chart of accounts will keep your books clean and your data quick at hand whenever you need it. Outsourced bookkeeping services can help keep you on track and your expenses and other transactions coded perfectly if your chart of accounts is clean and easy to use.

Need help? We can help you decode your financial data and help get your records in order.

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


How to Know if it is Time to Hire a Professional Accounting Service

  
  
  
  

small business outsourced bookkeeping servicesWhen Becky Taylor opened her quilt and fabric shop, she did just about everything on her own - from creating samples to paying the rent and other bills. As her business grew, however, she began to notice she was spending less time helping customers make beautiful heirlooms and more time in the back room enter data into QuickBooks. Like Becky, every successful entrepreneur reaches the point where they need to look for outside help with specific tasks like bookkeeping and accounting. How can you tell if you need to hire a professional to help you with your own business? These signs will let you know it is time to seek help.

Bookkeeping is Taking Up Too Much Time

If you are spending more time crunching numbers than you are managing your business, you should consider outsourcing your accounting. According to Intuit, most small business owners spend 10 hours a week on paperwork. If you could use those hours for marketing, merchandising or addressing the needs of your customers, if you haven't had a day off in months because you spend your Sundays getting your books up to date, or if you just spent any part of last week trying to coerce insightful reports out of your accounting software program, you should consider outsourced accounting services.

You Don’t Have the Ability to Manage Bookkeeping Staff

The downside of hiring a part-time or in house bookkeeper is it actually adds to your workload. You need to manage, train and keep tabs on their efforts--which takes up time and may not be something you're capable of anyway. One of the leading problems small business owner have hiring a part time bookkeeper is the inability to ensure proper recordkeeping and analysis is being performed every day. After all, if you don't know how to do it correctly, how can you be sure someone else is?

You Are Running Behind

A day behind may not seem that bad, but lose track of even a few days of invoices and payments and you’ll find yourself in a quagmire that only a professional can unravel. If you are constantly falling behind and failing to keep track of your paperwork, your business - and your credit - will suffer. When you outsource, you free up your time, and still put your figures in the hands of a skilled professional.This especially applies to payroll taxes, accounts receiveable and accounts payable. Simple point--if you don't have time to make sure you're getting paid as well as keeping the IRS happy, you are sitting on a major problem.

You Lack the Skills Needed to Keep Your Books

If you can’t do your own accounting, or you struggle with bookkeeping tasks, professional bookkeeping services are a must. You may be missing valuable steps or information, simply because you are not familiar with the subject matter. Before signing up for a crash course in QuickBooks--or hiring your friend to perform data entry tasks for you--consider everything you don't even know you need. A professional bookkeeping service will know what information you really need without you even having to give directions or request reporting.

You Don’t Know Where Your Money is Going

Are you overpaying for some things - or missing out on important deductions? In many cases, a professional accounting service can pay for itself by spotting missed items or coming up with innovative solutions to your bookkeeping problems.

Hiring bookkeeping services can be a big step for your business, and is an ideal way to acquire the expertise of an accounting professional without overwhelming your budget. If you want to find out more about how outsourced bookkeeping services, we can help. Contact us to find out how.

Schedule Your 30-Minute Accounting Consultation Schedule Today


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