Free Class: Intro to Accounting & Bookkeeping

Royalwise Solutions is offering a free class for business owners. Below is the description from their website:

Entrepreneurs and new business owners are experts in their field and have a passion for what they do…but if they were good at bookkeeping, they would have become bookkeepers! This class is a great introduction to the business behind business. What do you need to know about record-keeping in order to succeed? We’ll look at: The importance of good record keeping, saving receipts, bookkeeping options like QB, web-based systems including QBO and Xero, using an iPad to write up estimates in the field, using an iPhone to take credit cards, when do you need a bookkeeper. Estimates to invoices to payments. The world of QB apps like Tsheets for timecards and for A/P.

You can watch the class live, or watch a recording later. Register at the bottom of this web page.

NEW Facebook Users’ Groups

Today I launched two new Facebook groups – one for QuickBooks Online (QBO) users, and one for Xero users. Membership in both groups is restricted to residents of Huntsville, or another town in north Alabama. Please note you must be logged into Facebook to access these links.

In these groups, we’ll answer member questions and share tips and tricks for each cloud-based accounting app.

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QuickBooks Online for $60 a Year

Cash CatIntuit is offering a deep discount on QuickBooks Online through October 28, 2016. Get a subscription for only $5.00 per month, or $60 a year. Normally it’s four times that or more.

Contact me today to learn how you can access this incredible deal. Purchase of bookkeeping services not required.

Navigating the Sales Tax Forest

dsc00017If your business has nexus in Alabama, then you should check out the free sales tax workshops offered by the Alabama Department of Revenue. There are nine being offered at different locations throughout the state between now and 12/1/16. For example, there’s one coming up on 10/18 in Huntsville. For more information visit this page of the AL DOR website.

FREE SCORE Webinar on Understanding Financials

stacykildalOn Thursday, September 29 I’m participating in a FREE SCORE webinar entitled Is Your Business In the Black or In the Dark. The presenter will be Stacy Kildal, a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and Intuit Instuctor.

In this webinar, Stacy will cover how financial management can make or break any business. She’ll also touch on how to use bookkeeping to guide day-to-day business activities and decision-making. (In other words, how to interpret your financials.)

UPDATE: You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

And if you’re interested, we can a schedule time afterwards to review yours based on the information in the webinar.

Quantity Time With Your Books

A recent survey…found that more than 50 percent of small business owners spend less than 10 hours a month on accounting work. While 10 hours a month may be all a small business owner has time for, it may not be enough to sustain their business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about half of small businesses survive through their first five years. With nearly half of the small business spending less than 10 hours on accounting per month, devoting more attention to accounting could be a prudent allocation of resources to increase the chances of success. Many business owners don’t necessarily understand the meaning of the numbers that are fueling their companies. Having a better understanding of accounting can help small business owners better manage their businesses.

Chandra Bhansali, Ph.D. How Cloud-Based Accounting Can Help Smaller Businesses. Smart Business, 2/4/16.

The article goes on to discuss the benefits of working with an accountant year-round. I encourage you to read the entire article if you’re not yet convinced. The article also states that small business owners should work with accountants who use cloud-based accounting software, because those are the only accounting applications that allow accountants (or bookkeepers) and their clients to “share data in real time.”

The main objection to cloud-based accounting applications such as QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero is usually security. And that is a valid concern. For that reason, you should only use such an application if it uses bank-level, military-grade, 256-bit encryption. Both

Contact me today to learn more about what cloud-based accounting applications can do for your business.

D.I.Y. Accounting

The information below is summarized from the Entrepreneur magazine article When to Hire a Bookkeeper or Accountant by Eileen P. Gunn

Understandably, small business owners seek to cut costs in every possible way. Pinching pennies until they beg for mercy is absolutely necessary for survival. Entrepreneurs work long hours in part because, in addition to managing and growing their business, they’re forced to do many tasks that large companies either outsource or assign to employees.

One such responsibility that is commonly DIY is the bookkeeping. User-friendly applications such as QuickBooks Online and Xero make it easy for small business owners to maintain their own books. But because they wear so many hats in their business, they often struggle to find time to keep the books updated, and as a result their financial records never present an accurate picture of where the business stands. If their business survives and grows, when they do hire a bookkeeper, they usually discover they weren’t doing as well with the bookkeeping as they thought. This discovery does not indicate they’re bad business managers. They simply are neither bookkeepers nor accountants, and lack the in-depth training and knowledge required to conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Outsourced or Internal?

Once a small business owner decides to stop doing the bookkeeping themselves, the first question is this: Do I outsource this function, or can I afford to hire an internal employee to handle it? If your bookkeeping workload is heavy enough to fill 6 or 8 hours of every day, you should probably hire a part-time or full-time employee. Freelance, independent bookkeepers and accountants will most likely have multiple clients, and probably won’t have sufficient time to devote to your books. Otherwise, a freelance finance pro may be a perfect fit for your company until it grows. You will want to institute safeguards such as still writing/generating all the checks yourself to avoid theft (more on this in another post).

Bookkeeper or Accountant?

The answer is, both. A bookkeeper typically charges less than an accountant, but is quite capable of executing daily tasks such as setting up bills for payment in your accounting application, generating invoices, tracking expenses, monitoring financial accounts for fraudulent activity, payroll, and account reconciliations. An accountant charges more, but is best qualified to offer strategic advice, produce financial reports that can’t be generated in with your financial application, and file taxes.

Contact me today for more information on how my bookkeeping services can benefit you, or request a quote online.