If there is money, there is bookkeeping; the math is actually quite simple. You may think that non- profits don’t need virtual bookkeeping or accounting services, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Non- profits see a lot of money coming in by way of donations and grants, and unless the money is recorded and watched, there are chances the organisation will be embezzled or worse. Besides there is the IRS to answer to.
Now while bookkeeping for all types of organisations are the same, there are a few differences. Non- profit organisations have to provide a Statement of Activities instead of an Income Statement like for- profit businesses. There are no owner’s or stockholder’s equity and distribution as there are technically no owners for non- profits and they can request the IRS to be exempted from taxes.
So why do non- profit organisations require virtual bookkeeping services? Here is why.
- You don’t have to arrange for office space, buy new equipment or worry about a number of taxes like employment taxes and benefits. All that means you get to save a lot of money.
- Your books will always be up-to-date and accurate.
- Virtual bookkeeping service providers are more flexible. You can use their services based on your need and how much work you have. You do not have to worry about keeping them occupied for an entire or half work day.
- You don’t have to worry about your bookkeeping. You can focus on your organisation’s cause and raising funds for it while your bookkeeper takes care of how and where the money flows.
- Bookkeepers are trained to watch cash flow, identify trends and patterns; as a result they can help you make informed business decisions and show where you can save money as well.
You cannot help people or change the world if you end up having to shut down or don’t have sufficient resources, so make your decisions wisely.
No business owner wants to be audited by the IRS for obvious reasons of course, besides it’s just too much of a hassle. All you have to do to avoid an audit is make sure that you don’t draw any undue attention from the Internal Revenue Service. Here are some simple guidelines recommended by CPAs and bookkeeping services for small business to follow that can help when filing your taxes, personal or for your small business.
- Enter All Details Correctly– Surprisingly this is the most common mistake that tax payers make- people get their name, address or social security number wrong. It is irresponsible and extremely annoying for all involved. Double check and get someone else to crosscheck the data for you if needed, but make sure all information is provided accurately.
- If You Are Married, File Taxes Separately With Care– If you are married, make sure you and your spouse don’t claim the same expenses and list the same dependents. The IRS is known to check both spousal returns to ensure there is no duplication.
- Avoid Overstating Charitable Donations– The IRS is suspicious of large charitable donations, so if you don’t want the IRS to audit you or your business, you should avoid mentioning large deductions. It is also common practice among tax payers to overstate the value of a donated vehicle, something that the IRS is also aware of. So if you donate a vehicle, mention only the market value or else you will draw unwanted attention from the IRS.
Filing taxes is not a task to be taken lightly. One sure way to ensure you get your taxes right is to hire a CPA or invest in a bookkeeping services for small business with professionals with a working understanding of tax laws. Having a professional on board will relieve you of the pressure.
Cash flow management is an important part of running a business. Maintaining a positive cash flow is crucial if you want your business to thrive and flourish. So how can your business maintain a positive cash flow this year? Here are some tips for you.
- Monitor Cash Flow– The first step in cash management is keeping a close watch on your cash inflow and outflow. You need to be constantly aware of how and where your cash goes. Always measure cash flow, maintain proper updated records and make sure you have someone keeping a watch on it.
- Customer Relations– Customers form the backbone of any business. If you want to keep your business up and running, you need to keep your customers happy and inspire loyalty. Good customer relations ensure that your receivables are well managed and you have a steady positive cash flow. Avoid conflicts and be empathetic to your customers.
- Cash Reserves– As a business owner, you should always maintain a safety net. You never know when things can go wrong and what problems the future can bring, so be prepared for them. In business, it means having a solid cash reserve that you can fall back on should the need arise.
- Outsource Receivables– Every business is bound to have its share of clients who pay late or stall payments. Rather than go through the trouble of collecting payments and constantly contacting clients to remind about overdue payments, it is wise to outsource receivables and let the professionals take care of it. Not only does it increase your chances of getting paid, it also allows you to focus on growing your business.
Money is blood running through the veins of your business; there is only so far you can go without money. So be wise- manage your cash flow well and outsource receivables if needed. After all, what matters is that you keep your business up and running.
You did it! You have your own business going; it may not be much but it is enough for you. But you see to keep your business going, you need customers and unless you are a huge success and have a product or service like no other, you need to attract customers. Whether you run online bookkeeping services, sell clothes or design websites, you need to market your business. Here is how you can start marketing your small business.
- Social Media– There is no getting away from the influence of social media today, whether it’s in your personal life or business. If you want your business to be successful, you have to maintain a significant online presence. Consistency is important for marketing on social media and it is always better if you focus on one or two sites instead of every one of them. The more active you are, the more leads you are likely to get from your social media sites and the best part is that it is all free.
- Email Marketing– Email marketing is effective and inexpensive with a large reach, making it a great marketing tool. Despite the new methods of marketing, most business owners, even online bookkeeping services, still prefer email marketing. Email people on your emailing list frequently, but not too often for it to be effective.
- Blogging– Blogging provides many benefits- you get to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, market your small business freely and rise up in the ranks of Google Search as Google favours sites that are regularly updated. Including links to your blog posts on your preferred social media account is also a good marketing move.
- Paid Advertising– Small business owners often hesitate to invest in paid advertising sites especially if they have limited marketing experience. If you are however ready to try paid advertising, we would recommend Facebook marketing as a good place to start. It is easier to manage and you can start with a small daily budget that you can decide on after discussions with your online bookkeeping services or in- house bookkeeper. Paid advertising however can be a bit tricky and is a matter of trial and error.
Outsourced bookkeeping services are popular today; they are efficient, effective and saves money and time. Most small businesses find themselves looking for companies that offer bookkeeping for small business because it would make life a lot easier for them. However before you decide on an outsourced bookkeeping services company, there are a couple of things you ought to know.
- The Website Doesn’t Say It All– Getting a professional attractive website is extremely easy today; all you need is money and a good website designing company. It is easy to create an illusion of professionalism and tenure with a well designed website, so never go by what the website says. While the website should help you shortlist your choices, it should not end there; you have only begun your search for help with bookkeeping for small business.
- Find Out Who You Are Dealing With– The next step is to find out who you are dealing with. Check out the Team page, find out how many people they have on their team. Check the company’s LinkedIn profile and the employees connected to the company, their experience etc. Thoroughly research the company’s background, reviews and qualifications before taking any decision.
- References and Referrals– References and referrals are by far one of the best ways to assess a company. Ask around; ask people you know if they or anyone they know has experience with the company you are looking into. When you have established a relationship with the company, you could ask them for the details of existing clients so that you can talk to them about their experience. If they are not willing to share details, there is reason to believe that there may be something they are hiding and you might have to drop them. Better safe than sorry.
Selecting the right company for bookkeeping for small business is not a task to be taken lightly. With a little care you will get it right though.
Hiring a small business accountant is not a task to be taken lightly. You literally hand over the keys to your domain to your accountant, all the more reason why you need to take care and think through before you make a decision. So what should you look for in an accountant? He should have thorough knowledge and understanding of bookkeeping and accounting principles, which of course is a given. Here are some other things you need to watch out for when hiring a small business accountant.
- Should Understand Your Industry– Each industry has its set of specific functions and terms. Familiarity with the industry and its workings will make it easier for the accountant and you to work together. Experience in your field can make things a lot easier for the both of you.
- Effective Communication Skills– No relationship, business or personal, can be effective unless both parties can communicate with each other. Communication involves not just talking, but being able to present ideas, listen, understand and interact. Your business cannot grow until your accountant can communicate with you and with all other people involved directly or indirectly with your books and accounts.
- Has Basic Computer Knowledge and Uses Latest Software– It is no longer the age of ledgers; today everything is online or cloud based. You need an accountant who is in keeping with the times, well aware of developments in the field of accounting and uses the latest tools and software available.
- Provide Regular Accounting Reports– Financial reports are valuable to a business owner. They provide information about the business, trends, cash flow, profit and loss, all of which are needed to make informed business decisions. A reliable small business accountant will provide you with timely accurate reports, decipher them for you if needed and guide you when making decisions.
Choose your accountant wisely. Take your time, do research, talk to your peers and other businessmen before you decide.
Bookkeeping is an essential business function; you cannot do without a bookkeeping process unless you aim to run your company to the ground. The problem with bookkeeping though is that it can take up a lot of your time and resources. Going over your books and taking account of payments regularly is not always easy. Here are four reasons why you and your company may be better off if you outsource your bookkeeping.
- Frees up Time to Focus on Your Business– As a business owner, there are probably a lot of business tasks and functions that require your attention more than bookkeeping. Utilizing online bookkeeping services or at least hiring a bookkeeping professional will allow you to focus on your business and grow it.
- Peace of Mind– Bookkeeping is a vital business function which is why nearly all business owners who handle their bookkeeping themselves often fear that they will get something wrong and get into trouble with the IRS. Leaving your books to the online bookkeeping professionals will give you peace of mind because they know what to do and you can be sure they won’t get it wrong.
- Manage Company Operations– Technology allows you to automate and effectively manage each facet of your business. Online bookkeeping will make managing the financial operations of your business easier and more efficient.
- Make Informed Business Decisions– When you invest in online bookkeeping and accounting, your bookkeepers will provide you with detailed reports and financial data that can help you identify trends and cash flow patterns in your business. You are now in a position to make informed business decisions.
While you may not be inclined to outsource your bookkeeping for various reasons, it has its advantages. All business owners want the best for their business and online bookkeeping by professionals is what is best for your company.
Managing cash is the foremost task of any small business, simply because no business can carry on without cash. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure that your business always has a positive cash flow.
- Pay Attention to Your Bookkeeping– Small business bookkeeping makes sure that you have your finger on the pulse of your business at all times. You should make it a habit to reconcile cash daily or at least weekly. If you do so, you will know where you stand financially and can take adequate action when necessary. Timely small business bookkeeping will also help you make informed business decisions that are sure to help your business turn out more money.
- Collect on Overdue Payments– You know how much of a drain overdue payments are on your business. Managing unpaid payments effectively is important to keep your business healthy. Make sure you have a strict receivables management policy in place and routinely follow up on overdue clients. Having a proper follow up schedule is important if you want to see anything of the payments due to you. Persistence and planning is vital in collection efforts.
- Forecast Future– Most businesses see a pattern in cash flow trends, mostly seasonal. As a business owner, this can be very useful in predicting cash flow and consumer behaviour and planning business action. And what’s the best way to identify these trends? Your small business bookkeeping of course. Your books are a treasure trove of financial information and you can easily decipher it if you set your mind to it.
No business can function without money; money is the backbone of every business and as a business owner, you need to be able to understand the money and how it enters and leaves your organization. Though it might seem to be a terrifying prospect, it is not really- all you need is to be dedicated to the cause. Once you get a hang of small business bookkeeping, you will have a better understanding of your business itself.
Most business owners and entrepreneurs are sleep deprived. It is not that they have anything against sleep; it’s just that they can think of at least ten other more productive things (like how to calculate payroll taxes) to do in the same time. While you may be able to get things done by staying up for 2-3 hours after bed time, here is what those few hours can do to your health.
- Increase Blood Pressure– Less than 6 hours of sleep per night has been linked to increased blood pressure and other heart conditions.
- Increase Inflammation– Insufficient sleep has been shown to increase inflammation in the body, thereby leading to conditions like heart problems, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, depression etc.
- Impair Cognitive Abilities– Regular sleep deprivation can adversely affect your attention span, decision making skills, memory etc.
- Increase Stress Hormones– Sleep regulates stress hormones thereby keeping your nervous system healthy. Understandably, inadequate sleep leads to increased irritability, stress, anger, depression and mental fatigue.
- Increases Mortality Risk– Recent studies indicate that mortality risk increases if you sleep less than 5 hours a night.
- Weight Gain– During sleep, the body produces hormones that regulate appetite, metabolism and energy. Reduced sleep upsets the balance and often leads to weight gain.
If you feel you are not getting adequate sleep, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes. Here are some things you can do.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of good sleep every night.
- Go to bed at the same time.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark and cool space.
- Avoid TV and electronic gadgets at least an hour before bed.
- Do something relaxing like reading a book or listening to music before sleeping.
Sleep is important for the well being of your body. Without sleep, you will soon find that you are not able to focus on work. Are the few hours of extra work to figure out how to calculate payroll taxes worth the long term effects?
If you have clients with long overdue payments and haven’t outsourced receivable management services, you should understand that you are bound to have conflicts with the client at some point of time, especially if the client continues to put off making payments. You need your client to clear the payments, which is why it is prudent to avoid conflicts. Here are some tips to help you avoid conflicts.
- Stay Calm– No matter what, it is important that you stay calm and talk in a confident, moderate and non- threatening tone. Your client shouldn’t feel belittled or attacked.
- Keep Your Emotions in Check– If your client raises his voice, you responding in kind will not help your cause. In fact, all it will do is agitate your client further and escalate the situation. Instead keep your emotions in check and respond rationally.
- State the Facts– The facts are in your favour, which is why you should state the facts and deliver proofs to your client. State the consequences and what action you intend to take if payment goes unpaid longer. Once the facts are out, discuss repayment. This makes your client aware of what the consequences will be, allowing him to process things.
- Give your Client Time to Think Through– It goes without saying that any call concerning unpaid dues never goes well. Your client is bound to get defensive and be rude. Be prepared for this and once you have gotten off the phone, remember that you need to give your client time to think through whatever was said and cool down. Once you have given your client a couple of days to cool down, call back and start over.
Collecting overdue payments is no easy task. What you need to remember is that you need the money. If the collection efforts are taking too much of your time and effort, you should consider investing in receivable management services. Receivable management services professionals know how to handle delinquent payments and even avoid them altogether, making your life infinitely easier.