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.
Most business owners live in the perpetual fear of being victims of employee fraud. Of course, having good hiring practises in place and using small business bookkeeping services can deter fraudulent candidates to a large extent; however life is never that simple. It is absolutely possible that despite all your best efforts one sneaks in. The only thing you can do as an employer is ensure that you have strong internal controls in place so that you can prevent and detect skimming.
- Employee Welfare– One of the truths of life is that if employees feel they are being paid enough and feel valued in the workplace, they are less likely to steal from you. Raising wages may not always be an option, but you can find ways to improve employee loyalty.
- Have Strict Inventory Controls– Thefts are common in establishments with loose inventory control. You need to have a strict inventory management system in place and you should also personally check your inventory regularly. Also make sure your employees know this, because if they know that the inventory is under watch, they know that their chances of getting caught are higher, which means they are less likely to steal from you.
- Your Cashier Cannot Be Your Accountant– If you run a small business, chances are that you have employees juggling responsibilities. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, using your cashier to manage accounts can be bad for business. If you do, you are giving your cashier the key to your financial domain and freedom to take money from you and adjust it in the records. Involving a third party small business bookkeeping services firm will help.
- Watch out for any Unusual Transactions– If you come across anything that smells even mildly fishy, you should look deeper. Do not let anything that seems unusual off without a close check. If you use small business bookkeeping services, such discrepancies can be identified and handled effectively, in fact, they may be avoided altogether.
Wouldn’t everyone just love to have great clients- clients who never complain, who are happy with your services, who never bother you. Unfortunately perfect clients are hard to come by, but more likely than not, your clients may actually be wonderful understanding people, so identifying the issue and addressing it can go a long way in improving things between the both of you. Here are some common problems business owners and entrepreneurs in all fields, from small business bookkeeping services to real estate, face with their clients.
- The Micromanaging Client– Is your client always texting, calling or emailing you? Is he always ringing in to find out how things are going or to give instructions on how things are to be done? The only way to handle such a difficult client is to explain nicely how the constant interruptions are affecting your work, but be nice; you need your client to still believe that you are the best one for the job.
- The Unresponsive Client– This is probably the worst kind of client; they don’t reply to mails or calls, they don’t provide you with any guidance and you end up stuck, not knowing how to go ahead. Your small business bookkeeping services or in-house bookkeeper can tell you how much of a drain such clients are on your business. The worst part is that work done for such difficult clients tends to backfire- either because they are unhappy with the quality or because it took much time. Sadly, all this was a result of the client’s actions, explaining this to the client is important. Proof of communication attempts can help in resolve this issue.
- The Disrespectful Client– There are clients who tend to think that they own you or that you owe them because they hired you. Such difficult clients don’t respect you, don’t listen to what you have to say and are uncooperative. If you have such a client, and you find that they are becoming difficult to work with, it is best to drop them and find other clients.
- The Negotiating Client– Ever come across a client who tries haggling over prices once the work is done or nearly done? These clients agree on prices, don’t complain about anything while you are working on the project, but when it is time to pay up, they become difficult. Then they want to negotiate the rates, or they make excuses to make the payment, so much so that you begin to wonder if you will ever get paid. You can involve your small business bookkeeping services, bookkeeper or accountant as well when dealing with such clients
Clients can be difficult but you cannot do without them. The best way to handle clients and client relationships is to be clear on what you expect from the very beginning. Clear and honest communication is the key to healthy client relationships.
Business owners, especially small business owners, often have a lot on their plate. They have to make sure that their company meets demand, customers are happy, products meet quality- oh, so much to do and worry about. So it is really not surprising that they often don’t pay much attention to the bookkeeping and accounting aspects. As a result, small business owners often end up making teeny- weeny mistakes, which end being costly and more often than not, quite troubling. Let us take a look at some silly, yet deadly, mistakes that quite a number of business owners are guilty off.
- Throwing Away Receipts– Yes, this one tops the list of silly, yet deadly accounting mistakes and all small business bookkeeping services agree on this one. Keeping all your receipts and invoices safe is challenging and annoying at best. Never underestimate the power of this slip of paper; they are the IRS’ best friend. When the Internal Revenue Service comes knocking, have proof of business expenditures ready and produce them on demand. So make it a habit to scan and upload your receipts as soon as you get them. File them away safely and be prepared for the IRS at all times.
- Mixing Business and Personal Accounts– Never mix business with pleasure- now where have we heard that one? Maintain separate business and personal bank accounts and credit cards. Be judicious in how you use them, so you don’t make a mistake of mixing the two and getting yourself into a fix that is difficult to come out of. Small business bookkeeping services also claim that sorting and accounting for such transactions takes more time and has the potential to draw attention from the IRS.
- Ignoring Accounting and Bookkeeping Reports– Whether your reports from your small business bookkeeping services provider or in- house bookkeepers are weekly, monthly or yearly, they are a treasure trove of business related information and data pertaining to your business. Data on business trends, areas that are doing well or need attention, cash flow pattern and more can be gleaned from these reports. So do not ignore them; make time to read, analyse the reports and make sense of them. Take help from your accountant if you have trouble understanding the reports; you will be surprised at how much you can learn from these reports.
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.