We live in the internet era- an age when nearly everything is or can be done online. In fact whether you offer online services or not plays a major role in getting you customers and more importantly in retaining customers. This is especially true for payments; people prefer it if you offer online payment options as it is convenient and much quicker. Besides the traditional payment options are slowly becoming obsolete. There is also the added benefit that it will make your life also infinitely easier, receiving payments- wise. So if you aren’t there already, here is what receivable management services gurus suggest you do.
- Accept Credit and Debit Card Payments Online– This is, of course, assuming that you have a website. If you do, look into getting a payment gateway added on your website so that you can process online payments. If you don’t have a website, need I say more, get yourself a website. You need online presence for your business to grow.
- Facilities for Autopay– Autopay is an option that deducts a fixed amount from previously fixed accounts on a regular basis. This comes in handy when you have customers who have a subscription with you or have you on a retainer. Receivable management services gurus say that this ensures that you get paid on time and your customer doesn’t have to remember or take the trouble to send you payments every month.
- Email Invoices– Save paper. Go green! Besides nobody likes paper invoices anymore. Email your invoices; not only will they reach your client on time, they will also see it immediately. You will no longer have delays from invoices not reaching on time or being missed in the mail.
We cannot escape it; the internet is transforming the world, making it a smaller place with each passing day. Embrace it and let the internet change your life as well. It is a change for the better.
A small business owner has so much to worry about- the daily operations of the business, infrastructure, inventory, payroll, recruitment, customer service; the list is endless. Some of these tasks, of course, require your expertise and attention, but there are other tasks that can be outsourced or at least automated like your bookkeeping and accounting. Numerous small business owners have benefited from moving their accounting online. All such owners unanimously feel that investing in such small business bookkeeping services was one of the best business decisions they ever made because the move made a lot of difference to their business. Let us take a look at how online accounting can help small businesses.
- Money and Time Saving- First and foremost, online accounting is cheaper and saves you a lot of time as well. You won’t have to invest in hiring personnel or in office equipment and space. Plus you also free up some time that you can devote to other aspects of your business.
- Easy and Efficient- Online accounting is easy and won’t take up too much your time and energy. All you have to do is send over the necessary documents to the small business bookkeeping services provider and they will take care of things thereafter.
- Get Professional Help- One of the good things about online accounting is that you get access to experts in the field. Not only will your books and accounts be maintained by professionals, you also have the access to experts if needed.
- Up-to-date and Accurate Accounting- You can be sure that your books will be up-to-date and accurate with every payment received and given noted correctly. Your books will always have a dedicated accountant.
Online accounting has the potential to make your life easier and the running of your business more efficient. So give it some thought, see what works for you and invest in a reliable online accounting firm.
At first glance payroll processing seems quite uncomplicated and easy, but that is only until you actually get involved. Payroll processing is serious business and can get messy, which is precisely why most business owners prefer to outsource it. Besides, what better way to lose employees than irregular and incorrect payments; who wants that?
So it is perfectly normal for companies to outsource their payroll and related tax responsibilities to third party service providers. Now these service providers know how to do payroll processing. They can streamline your business operations collecting and depositing your payroll taxes on time and also file payroll tax returns with the federal and state departments for you. Today most business owners don’t have the time to interact and follow up with payroll processing companies once the job has been given out. Unfortunately, most service providers know this and some unscrupulous payroll processing service providers use this knowledge to their advantage. Here are some signs you should watch out for to know if your payroll processing service provider is taking advantage of you.
- If payroll tax monies are being withdrawn from your account and put into the payroll company’s account much before the taxes are due.
- If you get a letter from the IRS stating taxes haven’t been paid when you believe they have been paid.
- If your emails, calls or queries to the payroll company are ignored or you get the standard “We will get back to you” response.
In the event of any suspicious activity, take action. Contact the IRS for details of your payments when in doubt. Keep track of the tax due dates for your company; be involved. Cancel your contract with the company if you find they haven’t been honest and, this is important, spread the word. Don’t let any other unsuspecting business owner be duped by a fraudulent company that claims to know how to do payroll processing.
However it will be wise to avoid this scenario all together, which is why we recommend thorough research and interaction with peers before you take any decision. Don’t let yourself be fooled. Be smart.
Numerous business owners today prefer outsourcing their Accounts Payable, but an equal, maybe more, number of business owners hesitate to avail of Accounts Payable outsourcing services. Every group has its own reason for the way they feel about outsourcing AP. If you are struggling to make a decision about outsourcing your Accounts Payable, this just what you need to read, for we are going to explore the pros and cons of AP outsourcing. By the end of this article, you may be able to make a decision.
Benefits of Accounts Payable Outsourcing
- Time and Money Saving– Outsourcing your accounts payable will free up your time and resources. You will no longer be required to make time to make sense of the AP records or invest in personnel and equipment for the job; all that can be quite expensive. You can now let the experts handle your accounts at lower costs.
- Fewer Errors– Considering all the numbers and money involved, it is but understandable that there will be numerous errors. However that doesn’t make the errors any more acceptable. Outsourcing the accounts can mean fewer errors, thanks to the software involved and the presence of professionals with years of experience.
- Efficient– You will find that an outsourced AP team is much more efficient than an in-house AP team. Your records will be up-to-date and accurate.
- Track Every Step– One of the blessings of modern technology is that it allows you to keep tabs on your accounts payable no matter where you are, which means you will always be in the loop and know where you are headed.
Negatives of Accounts Payable Outsourcing
- Loss of Control– Quite obvious this one; you will be relinquishing control of your accounts to another company, albeit a professional one. Never an easy thing to do; your business will always be your baby.
- Dependency on the AP company– It is never easy when you have to depend on another company to take care of things for you, especially something as important as your Accounts payable. You will have to depend on the AP company to handle your AP work.
So there; we have explored the pros and cons of AP outsourcing. Handing over any part of your finances to an outsider is fraught with difficulties, but it also has its perks. What you need to remember is that there are numerous Accounts Payable outsourcing companies out there. Find the right one and you won’t regret it; in fact you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. So do your research, take your time and decide on a company for your business.
As a business owner you know how important it is for your business to receive payments on time. Unfortunately, receivable management is not easy. No matter how hard you try, you will always have a few customers who are perpetually late in making payments. This is where receivable management services can come in handy. Outsourcing accounts receivable management for your business can help you greatly.
- Time and Money Saving– The most obvious benefit, of course, is that outsourcing accounts receivable management can save you time. You will not have to get involved in the accounts receivable process or make time to hire personnel for the staff or invest in equipment and space for them. You can now focus on making more sales and growing your business.
- Access to Experts– You can rest assured knowing that your finances are in the hands of experts. Also since AR is their focus, they will be able to pay complete attention to your business and its needs. You also have access to a number of experts in case of emergencies.
- Effective Accounts Receivable Management– Outsourcing accounts receivable management can help you to receive payments on time. Accounts receivable management services have professionals who are trained to handle all payment scenarios and also employ the latest billing and payment techniques. All this means that you will find your AR situation greatly improved.
- Extensive Credit Checks– Accounts receivable management services conduct thorough credit research of your clients. So you can now know how credit worthy your clients actually are and where you stand with them.
- Day Sales Outstanding– Day Sales Outstanding tells you how many days’ sales are outstanding and unpaid during a set period. This is an important measure in AR management. Outsourcing accounts receivable management can mean that every single sale is recorded, tracked and your records are up-to-date, giving you a clear idea of where you stand on any day.
Most small business owners hesitate to outsource their bookkeeping. Despite all the facts, business owners find it difficult to trust bookkeeping service providers and hand over their books to them. Why? Simply because there are a lot of myths associated with outsourced bookkeeping, which is why we are going to debug five common myths and make things easier for you.
- Losing Control– Who wants to relinquish control over something vital to their business? No one. Your business is your baby after all, but what you need to understand is that if you outsource your bookkeeping you are in fact getting a tighter rein of your company. Once maintaining the books is out of your way, you have the time to focus on other tasks and manage your business. You will also be in a position to take better informed business decisions.
- Security of your Books– This is a major concern- will your books be safe with your outsourced bookkeeping service provider? Bear in mind that the bookkeeping business is as important to the bookkeepers as your business is to you. Taking adequate security measures is important to keep their business afloat, which is why all bookkeeping companies invest in the latest technology. Your books are as safe as they can be in today’s technology and cloud driven world.
- Outsourced or Overseas Bookkeeping Services– For most business owners, outsourcing implies overseas. While there are numerous companies who provide outsourced bookkeeping and other services overseas, the same is not true of all companies. Proper research is the only way to find out for sure.
- Accounting and Bookkeeping Software are Sufficient– Technology has changed the face of bookkeeping. Numerous software have made accounting and bookkeeping easier, but sometimes the software may not be enough because you might not be equipped to make the most of the software. Besides as your business grows, your finances will require more work, so why not do the smart thing and invest in the services of bookkeeping professionals.
- Not worth the Money– How much time do you spend daily on your bookkeeping? Imagine what all that you could do if you didn’t have to attend to bookkeeping and had the time to yourself. Investing your time in something you are good at will definitely yield more results than investing it in something you are not good at. Now ask yourself this question, in the light of this, is outsourced bookkeeping worth the money?
Receiving late payments is inevitable in any business; either your clients are difficult or stingy or simply forgetful. Unfortunately it is also possible that your client is actually facing money problems. Such clients are bound to give you trouble, but the question is how do you know for sure? How can you recognise if your client is having cash flow problems?
- Too Many Questions or Frequent Disputes– Do you have clients who always have a lot of questions to ask when they receive the invoice or who make it a habit to challenge the charges in the invoice? Despite all your efforts and receivable management services techniques, they will always have something to say about the invoice. This can be nothing more than a stalling technique.
- Gaps between Bill Payments– Clients with financial problems are likely to pay the first couple of bills promptly. Gradually they begin to take longer periods of time to clear their payments, until eventually they become regular late payers. If you see frequent delays in receiving payments, it is possible that your customer is having financial difficulties, according to receivable management services gurus.
- Repeatedly Claim They Haven’t Received Invoices– If a particular client constantly claims that he hasn’t received the invoice when you are sure you have sent it out, then you should keep an eye on him. This is simply because it is possible that your client is making up excuses and stalling for time.
While these signs are not accurate indicators of whether your customers are facing money problems, they can serve as warning signs according to receivable management services gurus. Repeated incidences should warn you that the particular customer is one to watch out for. Knowing your client and thorough research is the way to keep your business up and running. It would also be wise for you set in place a system so that you can avoid late payments and also a method to handle late payments wisely. The future of your business rests on it.
The Customer is King. Sure they are, which is why as business owners you have to keep them happy no matter how unpleasant they are. A big problem that business owners, especially small business owners face today is getting their customers to pay. Receivable management is not an easy task, but according to receivable management services gurus, there are a few simple things that you can try that can make collecting payments on time easier for you.
- Automated Reminders– How often have you forgotten to send out the payment reminders on time? Not your fault really, too many things going on; you have a business to manage after all. And that is why you should put a system in place that will automatically send out your payment reminders or invest in receivable management services. Then you can get on with your work and not worry about the payment reminders.
- Maintain Shorter Payment Cycles– The thing about long payment cycles is that when the bill arrives, your customer will find that he has a hefty payment to make. Shorter payment cycles will mean smaller amounts of money and you will not have to wait for your customer to make your payments. Decide on a date by date of completion of project or link the payments to specific deliverables or milestones and make receivables management easier.
- Incentives– Incentives are universal and never fail. Offer incentives like a discount or coupons for early or on- time payments. You cannot go wrong with this one. Just be careful when deciding on the incentive; choose one that you will be comfortable with.
- Maintain a Healthy Relationship with your Customers– Maintaining good relationships with your customers is important for the growth and development of your business. Who does not like working with someone that they like and respect? Besides if you have a good relationship, your customer is less likely to default on the payment as he wouldn’t want to jeopardize the relationship.
- Change with the Times– Don’t stick with the age old system of checks. It is time to accept that things are changing and technology is making things a lot easier for everyone. So be ready to accept the changes and use them. Accept credit cards, PayPal payments, e-checks and other new payment options. Your customer will find it less of a pain to make your payments.
Late payments and businesses go hand in hand, according to receivable management services gurus. What you can do is try your best to reduce their incidence.
Business owners are always busy. There will always be numerous business decisions that demand their attention. So what happens when they have to add bookkeeping to this list as well? Definitely not a pretty picture; which is why business owners choose to hire bookkeepers. However this is can prove to be quite expensive, which is why most business owners don’t prefer this option. So what then? Online bookkeeping solutions are the answer.
An online bookkeeping system can free up a lot of your resources and take a load of your daily services and operations. Let us look at how online bookkeeping solutions can benefit your business.
- Up-to- date Records– Online bookkeeping will ensure that your bookkeeping is accurate and up-to-date and that you don’t skip or forget to enter relevant details. As a result of all this, you will always know where your business finances stand and be in a better position to take business decisions.
- Access to Information Anytime, Anywhere– Using online bookkeeping solutions will allow you access to your bookkeeping data at all times irrespective of where you are. Not only do you get uninterrupted services, your data is also secure.
- Cost Saving– Availing of online bookkeeping services means that you don’t have to invest in physical space and infrastructure for your bookkeeping needs. So you get to save huge amounts of money that you can divert to other areas of your business.
- Access to More Information– Which business owner wouldn’t like more information about their business? Online bookkeeping can give you just that. You can see trends, generate reports, all of which will help you make better informed decisions related to your business, plus you will always know where your business stands.
- Efficient Invoicing– Invoicing is an important part of any business and it is crucial that it is done timely and efficiently. Using online bookkeeping services will allow you to do just that ensuring that you receive payments due to you on time.
Online bookkeeping services can make your life a lot easier. Now that you know about the benefits of online bookkeeping, look around and identify one that can handle your needs.
First off, what are payroll taxes? These are simply federal, state and local taxes that employers hold back from their employees. The taxes include income tax, social security and Medicare taxes. To know how to calculate payroll taxes, you will need to know that Social security and Medicare taxes are referred to as payroll taxes. Unemployment taxes are paid by the employer and depend on the employee’s wages and other factors.
Income taxes are calculated by the IRS based on the details provided by the employee in the W-4 form, where the individual is required to declare the amount of withholding. An employee can declare more in withholdings than required by the IRS.
Now we come to the next question- how to calculate payroll taxes? For calculating payroll taxes, the employer must know the current tax rates. For the current year 2016, the Social security tax rate for employees and employers is 6.2% (unchanged from 2015), while the Medicare tax rate is 1.45% (also unchanged from 2015). The social security wage case limit is $118,500. Upon reaching these wages, the social security taxes will not be deducted anymore. Medicare taxes will continue despite the wages.
As mentioned earlier, unemployment taxes, namely FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) and SUI (State Unemployment Insurance) have to be paid by the employer. FUTA tax rate is 6% and for SUI taxes, a credit of up to 5.4% can be considered. FUTA base wage is $7000; once employee wages cross $7000 for the year, the deductions will stop.
While this may basically be what you need to know about how to calculate payroll taxes, it would be wise to seek professional help if you are doing it for the first time. You can also use business calculators which can help you make informed decisions. Calculating payroll taxes is not a task to be taken lightly if you are not sure what you need to do.