Understandably most non- profits run on a tight budget. As a result, they often use minimum staff and depend on volunteers to help them with routine tasks and responsibilities. While this may be fine with most areas of running and managing a non- profit, it can be disastrous when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting. Here is why you need professional help with your non- profit bookkeeping.
- Meet Non- Profit Filing Requirements– There are a couple of things that non- profits have to compulsorily do with diligence to maintain their 401(c) status- reports to file, satisfy boards with in depth analysis and reports of donations, expenses, accounting etc. All this requires a dedicated bookkeeper rather than changing volunteers. Non- profits need stability to keep things running smoothly and depending on volunteers will rarely give you that.
- Save Money– Yes, you save money when you spend money on small business bookkeeping services. Hiring professionals will not be as expensive as you would like to think. Professionals tend to be quick and thorough with their job, which means work gets done faster and also leaves everyone, including the IRS, satisfied. Plus an experienced small business bookkeeping services bookkeeper will also be able to spot areas where expenses can be curbed, where you are losing money etc, thereby allowing you to make informed business decisions and save money.
- Efficient Grant Proposals– Non-profits need grant money and for this you need reports that clearly state what the money is being used for and how it will be used. Small business bookkeeping services will ensure you have thorough and accurate reports for your grant proposals. A volunteer isn’t likely to put together a convincing and efficient report for this purpose.
- Minimize Fraud– Non- profit organizations are probably the most hit by fraud and embezzlement. By using small business bookkeeping services, you ensure you have reliable and honest bookkeepers and accountants at hand. The multiple layers of security that professional bookkeeping agencies employ also ensures that your records and books are kept safe and free from tampering.
Tax season is probably the most dreaded time of the year for most people. You don’t have to enjoy but you can make it little less annoying and manageable this year. Here are some tips from top virtual bookkeeper and accountants that are sure to make this tax season a little better than the last one.
- Go Digital – You have to admit it, living in the digital era does have its perks. Your documents and tasks are a lot easier to manage and more efficient thanks to digitisation. This can be used to your advantage for taxes as well. Your records are organized, easy to track and will make things better for you when you have to file for your taxes.
- Use the Tax Laws to your advantage– Tax laws can be tricky so it would be wise to get professional help- a virtual bookkeeper or an accountant with experience in taxes to handle your taxes. However it is always prudent to have a working knowledge of the tax laws yourself so that you can ensure you don’t miss anything and end up having to pay penalties.
- Maximise Deductions– Who in their right minds would want to pay more taxes than they have to? Maximise on your deductions with the help of your virtual bookkeeper or accountant so that you can file your taxes without it affecting your cash flow too much. Go through the records and documents with utmost diligence so that you do not miss any opportunity for a deduction.
- Be Thorough– You would be surprised to know what kind of errors people make on their tax forms. Take time to fill the forms accurately; be thorough and patient so that you don’t end up making errors.
A lot of people go overboard and claim excessive deductions. This will backfire because the IRS is mindful of this tendency. Any suspicion is sure to trigger an IRS audit.
Most business owners start out by handling their bookkeeping and accounting themselves, mostly to save money and also to ensure that they have a handle on everything that is going on in their business. But then with time comes the realisation that you do not have the time to run your business and keep the books. You obviously cannot let go of the business, so you need to get help with your bookkeeping. The only question is should you invest in outsourced bookkeeping services or hire an individual bookkeeper. Here is what we have to say on the matter.
- Throughout the Year Access– When you hire an outsourced bookkeeping service you can be sure of the fact that you will have someone working on your account throughout the year. Since you don’t have to rely on one individual, you don’t have to worry about off days and sick leaves, whereas if you hire an individual, there will be days you will have to go without a bookkeeper.
- Access to a Team of Professionals– When you hire a service, you have access to a full team of professionals with experience in all areas of bookkeeping and accounting. You can rest knowing that no matter what issue may crop up in your finances, there will be someone on the team with the knowledge and expertise to resolve it.
- Accurate Reports– Everyone makes mistakes, this is true of bookkeepers and accountants as well. When you hire an in- house bookkeeper, chances are that you do not have anyone with the skills to cross check their work. However in an outsourced bookkeeping service, there are always professionals who check the books and reports before they are sent over to you.
- Less Stress– Sure having an in- house bookkeeper is less stressful than doing it yourself, but you still have to worry about whether he/ she got it right, is available, has the right software etc. With outsourced bookkeeping services, you need know nothing. You can relax and focus on your business.
Hiring fresh blood is an important task. The future of your business may very well depend on the people you hire, which is why it is crucial that you hire the right people. But how do you decide if someone is right for you? This goes beyond what is said on the resume and by the candidate, it goes deep down to your gut feeling- you always know in your heart if someone is right for you or not. Here are some common red flags that can signal trouble ahead with a possible candidate.
- Lack of Knowledge of Latest Developments– A candidate who wants to do his best at work is most likely to keep abreast of the latest developments in his/ her field. This also signals an interest in improving one’s skills and knowledge and a willingness to learn, which is important in today’s highly competitive and ever changing economy.
- Lack of Preparation– Candidates who are genuinely interested in working with you tend to do some research before attending the interview. If your client seems to know nothing about your company or what you do, well, let’s just, say doesn’t deserve a shot at the job.
- Badmouthing Present or Previous Employers– We personally detest candidates who talk bad about their previous employers. Such candidates generally tend to find reasons to blame everyone else for their mistakes and don’t take responsibility for their own. It is also generally bad form to badmouth.
- Doesn’t Seem Likely to Fit Into Your Company Culture– Very few businesses follow the traditional mode anymore. Company cultures are versatile and very few companies share the same culture. Today for someone to succeed in your company, they need more than the necessary skills and knowledge- they need to fit into your company and be able to work with all of you. If you have a candidate who is rigid and traditional, but has all the right skills, chances are he won’t work for you.
- Ability to Follow Instructions– The ability to follow instructions is essential for any job. You absolutely cannot have an employee who cannot follow instructions. But how can you assess this? Try giving an assignment or a simple instruction in the interview call letter. This will tell you a lot about the candidate’s enthusiasm and work ethic.
QuickBooks is probably one of the most popular bookkeeping and accounting management software around. It is easy to manage, efficient and reliable. It makes the tedious task of keeping your books a lot less painful and annoying. However there are numerous business owners who have QBO account but don’t use it for various reasons- they don’t know their way around the program, they don’t have the time to take care of their bookkeeping or they are already so behind on their bookkeeping that they don’t know where to start. Whatever the reason, if this is you are what you need is a QuickBooks bookkeeper. Here is how QuickBooks bookkeeper can help you.
- Save Time– As a business owner, you probably run on a few hours of sleep, catch a couple of bites between meetings and have all your attention focussed on your business. When you add maintaining books to your already long list of tasks, well, it is not a pretty picture. Investing in a QuickBooks bookkeeper will free up precious time so that you can focus on other more important things.
- Greater Accuracy– You absolutely cannot afford to make mistakes in your books, but when you sit down to do your books half sleepy with your mind occupied with a pressing management problem, the probability of you making a mistake is quite high. Handing over the bookkeeping and accounting to a professional means no more mistakes and no more worrying.
- Reliable and Efficient– Since your QuickBooks bookkeeper’s job is to maintain your books and your QBO account, all of his attention is on it. Add their training and previous experience and you have someone who is reliable and efficient with your books. Now isn’t that a lot better than you with no bookkeeping knowledge and complete attention elsewhere doing the books?
- Facilitates Growth– With your time and energy free off bookkeeping tasks, you can focus on growing your business and doing what you are good at. Plus your QuickBooks bookkeeper will give you accounting reports that provide valuable insights about business trends and patterns. This information can be quite useful in making business decisions, helping you to grow your business.
Mistakes happen, always and everywhere. Some mistakes can be avoided, some couldn’t have been. One thing that stands out always though, is that one should learn from one’s mistakes. Some mistakes however can turn out to be costly and damaging unless attended to as soon as possible. Most business owners start their business with a basic understanding of bookkeeping and opt to keep the books themselves instead of opting for bookkeeping online services. This often results in the business owners making seemingly trifle, yet costly mistakes.
- Mishandling Receipts– Maintaining receipts is annoying and cumbersome; unfortunately it is necessary as the IRS needs it. The IRS can demand receipts going back years, which makes it important for you to save your receipts. The best way to store receipts today is to either scan them or take a photo and upload it to a document management system yourself. You can also try investing in bookkeeping online services. It is safe, reliable, efficient and won’t take up physical space.
- Ignoring Bookkeeping and Accounting Reports- Accounting and bookkeeping reports carry a wealth of useful information that are quite useful in making informed business decisions about the growth and development of your business. They can give you business insights, identify trends and patterns, all of which can help you spot and fix problems and overall improve your business.
- Mixing Business and Pleasure– Mixing business and personal bank accounts and transactions can harm your business. It not only makes it difficult for your in- house or bookkeeping online bookkeeper to track expenses, it also means that you will not be able to keep track of your expenses. One of the first things a business owner or entrepreneur should do is start a separate bank account for his business. Mixing business and pleasure is never good for business.
Accounts receivable is undeniably an important part of any business, but it is probably also one of the toughest as well. AR management would be a lot better if you tweak your collection efforts a little, here is how.
- Educate Different Teams– Your AR management is not the only team that deals with customers. Make sure that your sales team and customer executives are also aware about account receivable solutions. The more people are aware and take efforts to push collection, the more the chances of you getting paid. You should also make sure your client is aware of how important it is to clear dues on time. If you delay invoices, your client will also adopt a lax attitude. Have clear payment terms and dates.
- Prompt Invoices– This is pretty simple- prompt and accurate invoices with clear payment terms and detailed information is the first step to timely payments. It increases the likelihood of you being paid as well.
- Clear Communication– Lines of communication should always be open between you and the client. This speeds up payment and helps develop a relationship as well. Communicate your expectations clearly so that confusion can be avoided. Send out frequent reminders and document all collection efforts as part of account receivable solutions.
- Flexible Payment Options– Flexible payment options prompt faster payment. Offer alternate payment options, split payments, automated payments so that the client can choose what works for him and clear payments quickly.
- Escalate When Needed– Despite all your efforts, there will be clients who refuse to make payments. Know when to escalate the issue; contact collection specialists so that they can help you. Investing in account receivable solutions firms is also a good idea as it can relieve you of the pressure of collecting on overdue payments and focus on your business instead.
AR management is frustrating but essential for your business.
One of the most important qualities in any business is trust. You need to be able to trust your employees if you want to manage your business well. Sadly most business owners don’t or can’t trust their employees and have stringent rules and controls in place to keep things under control. This in turn kills employee morale, adversely affects creativity and leads to employee dissatisfaction, and as we all know employees are the backbone of any organisation. So how can you build trust in your company and improve the atmosphere at work?
- Be Trustworthy– If you or the management of the business cannot be trusted, how can you even expect employees to be trustworthy? You have to earn the trust of your employees, and you do that by being honest, ethical and behaving with integrity. Earn the loyalty and trust if your employees.
- Hire the Right People– Every business has its own character and finding people who fit in with the character of the business is important. Also if you find someone who abuses the culture of the business, or doesn’t contribute to the growth of the business, they shouldn’t be kept around for long. One rotten apple is all it takes to spoil the whole bunch. Besides if people find that those who do wrong can get away with it, they will be inclined to either abuse their job or be disheartened and leave.
- Reasonable Rules– It is important for any organization to have rules, but it is equally important that those be reasonable and fair to the management and employees. Try to keep rules simple and straightforward. Reward good performance and behaviour; don’t focus on the negative.
- Be Attentive and Kind– Paying attention is an important life skill. Pay attention to employees and be kind to them so that they feel appreciated and genuinely like you. They will not be inclined to cheat you if they like you.
- Involve Employees in the Business– If your employees are involved in your business, they will be invested in it and in its success. Take their opinions, involve them in decisions so that they are motivated to do their best.
Why should you consider automating your accounts receivables, especially when you think you are doing fine? Well, the truth is no matter how much you believe you have your AR management under control, as your business grows, it will become increasingly difficult to keep track of your account receivables. Besides, automation can make your life easier with numerous benefits and requires very little work on your part. So let us take a look at how automated accounts receivable solutions can help your business.
- Go Paperless– With AR automation your business will be paperless in less than a week. Accounts receivable solutions software can be integrated easily with your invoicing application and other bookkeeping and accounting software, making managing everything easy and efficient. Once you get a hang of the software, you will be ready to go 100% paperless.
- No More Physical Storage Space– It is astounding how much documents and files you can accumulate when have been doing business for just a few days. Imagine how much you will accumulate in months and years and you have to keep them safely as well because you never know when you will need them. With automation, you get to store your documents electronically. Managing your documents will be easier, less time consuming and more efficient, plus they are safer and less space consuming.
- Customers Won’t Know A Thing– One of the problems of changing systems, especially accounts receivable solutions, is how much it can affect customers and customer service. No business owner wants to hear customer complaints, so this is a bonus.
Every field including accounts receivable solutions have been touched by automation and if you want your business to thrive in today’s highly competitive business world, you have to utilize all the resources and latest technological developments available to you. Give your business the edge with automated accounts receivable solutions.
Have you been neglecting your bookkeeping? Do you avoid your books because the thought of checking the numbers scares you?
Well you are not alone. Most business owners decide to handle the bookkeeping and accounting themselves so that they can always be involved in the day to day handling of their business. Unfortunately more often than not, their bookkeeping turns out to be much more than they wagered for and they don’t know what to do about it. So what now? Get a bookkeeper. Seriously, whether you want to take care of your books yourself or have a trusted employee handle it, a bookkeeper or a client bookkeeping solutions firm can help.
A bookkeeper can help you figure out the best bookkeeping and accounting system for your business. He can set it up for you and teach you how to use it. Once you have figured out how to work it, you can turn to your bookkeeper only when you need help. Plus you have someone to ensure that your books are up-to-date and accurate. Maintaining accurate books is important for business.
Most business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to bookkeeping. A client bookkeeping solutions will be able to help you get started and figure things out like tracking invoices, taxes etc. And besides let’s face it, despite all your best intentions you don’t have the time to devote to your books. Your business needs your complete attention. In your hurry to keep your books updated, you may get things wrong thereby compromising accuracy which can be damaging in the long run. It is in your best interests to let the professionals take care of things. A client bookkeeping solutions firm will be able to give your books and accounts the attention it deserves and ensure that it is always up-to-date and accurate. All this will leave you to focus on your business and let it flourish; isn’t that what you would like?