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.
All entrepreneurs are passionate and driven- driven by the desire to make their dream come true, to build something of their own. Unfortunately passion, while it may give your dream wings, is not enough to keep it in the air. Business owners and entrepreneurs learn the hard way that financial knowledge is also important to run a business. Every day you will find that you have to navigate taxes, payroll, budgets, expenses and the rest. If you find that you do not have sufficient knowledge of finances, here are some tips to help you.
- Manage Your Finances- You need to remember that no matter what business you run, the aim of your business is to generate money and become self sustaining. Because you think you can’t handle the money, you ignore it till the bills pile and your debts mount. If you feel you can’t handle your finances, get help- hire a bookkeeper or accountant, or invest in virtual bookkeeping. Make sure that no matter what, your finances get the attention they deserve.
- Investing in the Right Tools– Small businesses generally operate on a tight budget, which is quite often why, the criteria for purchasing tools, services or software is what is affordable right now. Instead look at the bigger picture, find tools that serve your purpose and are cost effective. Changing tools after a period of time when you are ready can be quite complicated and can also waste time. So find the right tool for your business before making a decision.
- Educate Yourself– Educating yourself is possibly the best way you can do to help your business. Instead of drowning in the business, find ways to learn more and understand your business, especially your finances. If you have in- house bookkeeping staff or use virtual bookkeeping, you can always discuss things with your bookkeeper or accountant and learn more. Remember that education is a lifelong process.
Everyone wants to be successful- successful in their personal life, jobs, business, in life basically. Unfortunately, or fortunately, success is not easy to come by; it takes determination, hard work and discipline. Numerous studies indicate successful people have certain habits that facilitate success, because not only does this require focus and discipline, it also promotes mental and physical well being; so what are these habits?
- Starting the Day Early– “The early bird catches the worm.” Start your day early before the rest of the world, take the time to collect yourself and cease the day. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you have had that extra hour before everyone else is up.
- Make Time to Work Out– A healthy mind resides in a healthy body; never undermine the importance of keeping fit and eating healthy. If you are fatigued and don’t have the energy to move on, you will never get anything done, let alone be successful. So make time to work out and always eat healthy. Junk food slows you down, physically and mentally.
- Analyse your Financials Every Day– It may seem too much but if you get into the habit of analysing your financials daily and request for daily cash flow statements from your bookkeeper or virtual bookkeeping provider, you will know where you stand financially on every day. This can go a long way in motivating you and grounding you to reality.
- Meet Your Team Everyday– Your team is what makes your business tick; if they aren’t happy and together, your business is not going to be around for long. Gather your team together every morning and pep them up. This is a great way to motivate employees, whether you are a virtual bookkeeping or retail company, and let them know that you care.
- Reward Yourself– Treat yourself occasionally, reward yourself for your hard work and celebrate with loved ones; but don’t treat yourself too much or you will find yourself in debt soon enough.
- Spend More Time Reading– Reading books, not e-books, has been scientifically proven to help people de- stress, sleep better, and improve memory, creativity and concentration. Reading is also a wonderful form of entertainment, so make some time to read every day.
Develop healthy habits, don’t accept defeat in the face of failure, believe in yourself and hold on, for the illusive success is coming your way.
A number of small and mid- size businesses are investing in virtual bookkeeping. This is simply because of the ever increasing demands on the time and resources of the business owners; handing over the accounting and bookkeeping to the professionals makes things a lot easier for the business owners. While virtual bookkeeping is a good option, there are a few things you need to consider before you finalise on a virtual bookkeeper or a virtual bookkeeping company.
- Must have a good understanding of your industry– It is important that your bookkeeper, virtual or not, has a good understanding of your industry, how it works, industry specific language and terminology. This can make the transition easy and smooth and your bookkeeper will be running the show before you know it. Of course, you can hire a bookkeeper who doesn’t know your industry but this will mean that you have to spend more time teaching them, plus the chances of errors are higher.
- Must provide regular reports– For any virtual bookkeeping process to run smoothly, it is important that your bookkeeper provides you with timely reports. Make sure you stipulate a date for which reports and when they have to be provided when hiring your virtual bookkeeper. Analyse these reports thoroughly so that you don’t miss out on anything and know your finances well.
- Must have good communication skills– Your virtual bookkeeper must be able to communicate with you, your workers and represent you before clients and vendors if needed. He must also be able to present bookkeeping data to you in non financial layman terms if needed. Having a clear line of communication with your bookkeeper is important to maintain a healthy business relationship.
- Must be detail oriented, while being capable of looking at the big picture– Attention to detail is vital for good bookkeeping. Your virtual bookkeeper should be able to notice the minute details of your accounts and bookkeeping, while at the same time, be able to analyse the big picture and predict and prepare for future scenarios.
- Must be trustworthy– Last, but definitely not the least, your bookkeeper should be trustworthy. You need to know that your data will be safe in the hands of your virtual bookkeeping provider. It is always recommended that you take steps to protect yourself, like a confidentiality agreement and bond, no matter how trustworthy your bookkeeper is.
Virtual bookkeeping is here to stay. Its benefits outweigh the disadvantages, so make the best of it because this service is definitely good for your business.
The financial records of any company is private and contains privileged information, which is why most often than not, the ones with access to the data and the company money are members of the inner circle, deemed to be trustworthy by the business owner. Unfortunately, it is also these trusted individuals who end up embezzling from the business; in the end, the truth is you cannot trust anyone but yourself in business. So what can you do to prevent being embezzled or from being a victim of bookkeeping fraud?
- Don’t Designate One Money Guy– Most small and mid- size businesses have one person through whom all the money flows and no one questions him. Unfortunately, this person is the one most likely to embezzle, simply because he can with all the money he has access to. Most business owners don’t cross check the records submitted and even if they do, chances are less that they will never find anything because the money guy covered his tracks carefully. So it is wise to designate at least two employees to manage money. You can also consider virtual bookkeeping services to make your life easier and prevent bookkeeping fraud.
- Get Rid of Cash Payments– Cash payments are a common method of bookkeeping fraud. Excess cash is withdrawn and the remainder is never paid back; this goes unnoticed for long periods of time. Fortunately you no longer have to depend on cash payments; major businesses have automatic clearing house payments and accept online payments.
- Review Reports Regularly– Reports have to be reviewed regularly so that you can detect any false entries and prevent bookkeeping fraud. Make sure you have controls in place so that nothing goes undetected. Putting controls in place and following through them can take up a lot of your time and resources, but if you want to keep your business safe, you have to take the necessary precautions. If all that seems too much, you can always invest in virtual bookkeeping services which will keep your books up-to-date and accurate, while also saving you time and energy.
Bookkeeping.. Ahh.. The bane of most small business owners lives, but no matter how you feel about it, you can’t do without it. So what are your options? You can either do it yourself or hire a bookkeeper. Most business owners feel that hiring a bookkeeper is an unnecessary expense, especially when you are just setting your business up, so they go the DIY route. Unfortunately, those who do learn the hard way that it’s tough and can take up more time than they can afford, so what next. Enter virtual bookkeeping.
What is Virtual Bookkeeping?
Virtual bookkeeping is simply bookkeeping services provided remotely, i.e your books will be maintained by a certified bookkeeper working from a remote location. Skeptical? This is actually a lot more convenient than hiring your own bookkeeper. There are three ways this online bookkeeping method works. The bookkeeper can:
- Access your system remotely and take care things like you would.
- Work over a cloud based bookkeeping software with your login details.
- Work on the same software you use and access it online using a hosted virtual desktop.
Why Virtual Bookkeeping?
Now why would anyone in their right minds avail of online bookkeeping services; here is why.
- You save money because you don’t have to arrange for office space, equipment or supplies for them. If they are contractors, you will not have to worry about insurance, benefits and employment taxes either.
- The online bookkeeping arrangement offers you a lot of flexibility and the bookkeepers can work as much or as less as your business requires.
- Business owners who work out of their homes will also appreciate the fact that this means they will not have to worry about someone invading their home space on a regular basis.
So think again. Virtual bookkeeping is convenient for clients and bookkeepers and both groups can benefit a lot from the arrangement. So go over your options and find out what bookkeeping arrangement will work best for you; it is always good to remember that one size doesn’t fit all.