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Let’s talk about reconciling your account(s) on a regular basis and why it’s necessary for not only your bookkeeping but your business. First, what does it mean to reconcile your account? This means you compare your books to your bank accounts over a period of time to make sure everything aligns perfectly (example: comparing your records to your bank account from March 1 - 31, 2019). If there are any discrepancies, you can catch them and act on it. Also, note that you only need to reconcile your accounts if you use the accrual method of accounting. If you use cash basis accounting, then every transaction is recorded at the same time as the bank, so there are no discrepancies.
There are four big reasons you need to reconcile your account(s) on a regular basis.
The unemployment rate in the United States is currently 10.2%. Of those employed, 48% are actively looking for new jobs within the next year. Although we are living through an unprecedented time, it’s still just as important to maintain quality employees and to ensure a positive work environment, if not more than ever. Nowadays, people are filled to the brim with stress, worry, and the unknown, so as a business owner, it’s your job to do your best to create a consistent and overall positive atmosphere on t
In July, QuickBooks came out with some fresh features and updates to map up their game. That’s part of why we love them - they’re always looking for new ways to make the accounting experience a breeze for the user. Updates every month, handy new features, and new QB tricks are some of our favorite things! There are multiple ways to add bills and receipts to QuickBooks - Receipt Capture via SmartPhone, email firstname.lastname@example.org, upload them from your computer, or manually add them yourself.
Prior to COVID-19, many small to mid-size businesses were renting out (or considering) office spaces from other businesses rather than maintaining their own permanent location. Co-working spaces act as shared office spaces for employees of various businesses to come together for a place to work, hold meetings, give presentations, and more. Now that we are living through a global pandemic and times are tough, many small to mid-size businesses have found themselves with high rent payments and an empty office space with employees now working remotely. Are you considering selling your permanent location to rent out a co-working space?
At Skynar Bookkeeping, we like to work on our clients’ books the most efficient way possible - that includes using shortcuts when necessary to speed up a process. We save precious seconds not having to raise our fingertips from the keyboard! There are some simple shortcuts we suggest every QuickBooks Online user memorizes, as you’ll see they’ll come in handy as you do everyday tasks in the program. Print this out, reference it when necessary, and enjoy your increased QBO efficiency!
It’s the end of July, it’s been consistently hot, and everything just requires so much effort. It’s normal to fall into a summertime funk - nothing really seems to matter, motivation is lacking, and work is the last thing anyone wants to do. It’s hard not to bring that outlook to work, no matter where you’re working - physically in the office or on the couch at home - but it’s important to fight off the feelings when you feel them creeping in, especially if it impacts your work. Find little ways to reset your attitude, behavior, and motivation.
It’s all about using the right tools, but if you’re not sure how to use the tools, it will be hard to be effective. Invest time for proper training with the right tools to be most effective. At Skynar Bookkeeping Services, we use, and trust, QuickBooks to Set Up, Clean Up, and Keep Up our clients’ books. Having proper QuickBooks training will not only help improve your overall experience, but help you better manage your books and your business.
Let’s be honest - running a business right now, or being the leader of anything right now, is a nightmare. It seems as though there are changes daily that we must stay on top of, plus keeping our employees motivated with positive energy, and striving to meet the needs of our clients - it can be a lot to take on some days. On the flip side, being employed right now can feel like walking on ice, and you may keep your fingers crossed on a regular basis. Plus, aren’t we all just tired? How can you - owners, employees, individuals - continue to stay motivated? How can you continue to show up and put 110% in when the future seems so foggy? For the days you’d rather watch reruns of your favorite show and accomplish nothing, here are some pick-me-ups that may ju
Many businesses have reopened their doors, while others have no plans of requiring their workers to report to their on-site locations. Employers are learning some job functions and positions simply cannot be done from home, while others can run entirely within a person’s own four walls. We’ve been working from home for a few months now, and we have compiled some helpful tips for anyone who still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of WFH.
Whether you’re opening a brand new business from scratch or re-opening after a temporary closure, there are some financial “don’ts” for getting your business up and running. It can be easy to become overwhelmed, get lost in poor habits, or take on too much when you’re so focused on becoming successful and profitable as soon as you can.
Saving money requires discipline and repetition. Whether you’re saving for a purpose or to simply stop spending as much money, it takes dedication and consistency. There are plenty of ways to save, but it never hurts to remind yourself of the ways you can actively improve your financial situation on a daily basis.
Businesses across the country are giving a whirl at reopening, or attempting to go back to “normal” by opening their locations for staff, clients, and customers. It’s no secret small and mid-size businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a country-wide shutdown for businesses. Owners were forced to adapt, and are still determining and learning the best practices to follow. As we as a whole try to find our bearings in getting our businesses either back up and running, or maintaining a healthy flow, it’s going to be important not to get lost in the complexities of running, tracking, and analyzing the financials of your business. We would like you to focus on the basics of bookkeeping as you get your business back to where it was, and beyond.
With the current state of the world, it’s hard to believe people would actively try to make it worse, but of course, hackers and scammers never cease! There has been a rise of scammers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and
There are several kinds of scams out there - text, robocalls, email, romance, charity, and more. Scammers typically flow with the headlines, so the messages will seem timely and urgent, pertaining to what is happening right now - but, do not click! That is rule #1. Do not click something you are not familiar with. If it looks suspicious, don’t do it! It’s like stranger danger, but with links. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive an odd link from a friend, call them and ask if they sent you someth
The basic acts of hiring an employee or letting them go has always been quite the process, one that requires focus, discussion, and contemplation - but it’s been made even more challenging due to the impact of COVID-19. We’re finding ourselves getting creative to find ways to adapt to continue running our business and hitting our goals. Maintaining your team is always part of running a business, so it’s time to discuss how things will be different moving forward.
Talks of businesses reopening are becoming more and more real as time passes. We will eventually be allowed to go back to work, in some fashion, although it will likely never be the same, not for a long while. It’s time we seriously prepare to reopen, and the only way to do that is to establish a plan that everyone follows. If you want to reopen, you need to get real about what that means.
Redesign the office to fit social distancing guidelines.
Owners and/or managers need to visit your place of work prior to everyone returning so you can redesign the office to fit social distancing guidelines. Everyone needs their own space, and nobody should be closer than six feet apart at any point. In areas of typical high congestion, consider leaving markin
It’s no secret that times are tough right now for individuals everywhere, especially financially. Whether you’re a business owner or just trying to pay your rent for the month, you’ve likely experienced the increased strain on your finances recently. There are ways to make these hard times a bit easier, but it takes dedication and consistency!
Stay on top of your bills.
Pay your bills on time and avoid missing a payment. Your credit will be affected by a late payment. If you don’t have the funds to pay in full this month, ask for a payment plan, an extension, or to waive the fees. Keep in mind: this should only be done when absolutely necessary and should be abused. If the fees are waived, you will still have to pay, just
As we become mostly transitioned to working from home (WFH), it makes many of us wonder if this will be our new normal. Can things ever really go back to how they were? One thing we are learning is that the new normal requires a new mindset.
The work-life balance has been a hot topic of discussion lately as many people WFH find themselves extending their workdays, while others are realizing how many hours they spent away from home. Whether at the office or at home, work will consume you if you allow it. It’s important to set a cut off time every day to help maintain your work-life balance. If you’re stressed, stop what you’re doing and clear your head.
Part of the business world is being a client, and another part is having clients. This can often occur just moments apart - you’ll switch hats for a phone call with an outsourced marketing company where you are the client expecting a service, and then flip to talking with a client about their specific needs. With the strange times, it’s important to remember a few key components to composing yourself as a client and with your clients.
It’s easy to lose sight of your goals and your sanity when it seems as though most of the country is shut down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. What are you really supposed to do when no one knows how long this will last? Let’s consider this our Who-Really-Knows Guide into the Unknown. To keep your business goals from slipping through the cracks, we must work to keep the foundation of our business strong.
Your bookkeeping requires regular and detailed maintenance. There’s plenty you should be doing to your bookkeeping on a regular basis, but what exactly should be doing when? Rather than overwhelm yourself by doing everything at one time, break it down into separate sittings.
The W-4 form we have been using for years and years has been revamped. Beginning in 2020, if you are a new hire to a company, you will be given the new W-4 form to fill out. If you follow the form exactly as it’s laid out, filling it out should be a fairly simple process. There are no tricks. The IRS has very clearly laid out instructions in each box for your convenience and guidance.
If you are not a new employee in 2020 (or beyond), your W-4 form will remain the same and you will continue being taxed as you have been. Nothing will change for you. The new form is designed to work seamlessly with the previous form. However, if you decide to change how you file, you will need to fill out the updated form. Talk with whoever does your payroll to ensure you un
Let’s make a choice not to give up on our bookkeeping this year. This is such an important practice that cannot be neglected. Starting a few simple habits now will keep your books strong, accurate, and constantly updated. Remember to remain consistent with all of these, and contact Skynar Bookkeeping for any questions regarding setting up, cleaning up, or keeping up with your bookkeeping.
Part of running a business in 2020 is accepting multiple forms of payment and knowing how to do so. We’ll cover how to accept credit card and payment processors like PayPal or Venmo.
Step 1. Create a new bank account in QuickBooks and name it after the payment processor (like PayPal or Google Checkout). Set up multiple accounts for your convenience - one account for each merchant that processes payments for you.
Step 2. Once your payment is received, deposit it into the merchant account you created in Step 1. Do not deposit it directly into your checking account.
Step 3. Once the money shows up in your checking account, transfer the funds from your merchant account to your bank account. If you
Every professional individual should have a well-rehearsed elevator pitch. This could be used at networking events, with clients, possible business partners, and more. Some tips to create the best elevator pitch for you...
To keep track of the financial ups and downs of your small business, there are three important reports to reference: balance sheet, cash flow statement, and income statement. Although there are countless other reports, these three will give you the best idea of where your business stands and where it is headed. Each report provides its own window to further understanding the financials of your business. We challenge you to run these reports once a month to maintain a firm understanding of where your small business stands!
An unfortunate truth in business is sometimes people don’t pay on time. What steps can you take to avoid this? Be consistent and timely with sending your invoices, and establish payment terms prior to doing work together to make sure everyone is on the same page. However, if a client fails to pay an invoice on time, there are certain steps you should take to act on this.
The first step when dealing when a client who won’t pay is to simply send a polite remindervia email, attaching the invoice again. This is usually enough for them to remember to pay you - life gets crazy and sometimes we forget things, it happens.
When you hire a new employee, it’s important to classify what kind of employee. Generally employees are divided into three groups: full-time, part-time, and temporary. To help you classify your employee correctly, take into consideration what their job duties will be and how many hours they will be working. Classifying employees correctly and fairly is essential when determining if the employee is able to receive benefits or not. Remaining consistent in your classifications is essential, as well as keeping up with any employment changes.
Tax season will begin soon, which means it’s time to start issuing tax forms to employees, independent contractors, and vendors. A 1099 is a tax form that describes wages paid to someone not by their employer, and must be issued by January 31. Who should you send a 1099 to this tax season? A basic rule of thumb is to issue a 1099 to anyone you paid over $600 throughout the year, but follow our flow chart for guidance.
Below is a decision-making tool to help you decide if you should send a 1099. Follow the bolded questions, choose between the options given, and follow the arrows until you find your answer.
WHAT DID YOU PAY THE VENDOR FOR?
Rent → Did you pay over $600?
It’s a new year and it’s time to stop messing around. Your bookkeeping is being pushed to the side while you focus on other aspects of your business. Or maybe you don’t have enough work for your current bookkeeper, or you don’t have the funds to pay an employee to do your books. Whatever the reason, it’s time to act on this with a suitable solution: outsource. Why? Let’s discuss why outsourcing could be the best option for your bookkeeping.
Your company’s payroll is not something you should take lightly. There are rules and regulations that you and your payroll solution must follow to avoid getting into trouble. The new year is a perfect time to change up your payroll solution if you’re unhappy. Contact Skynar Bookkeeping for our advice on the best payroll solutions out there, and we’ll set you up free if you start a new payroll subscription in January, a fee that would otherwise cost $500.
Tax season is just around the corner! If you pass off your taxes to your tax preparer, whoever it may be, then you may not be aware of all the information your W-2 holds. Since this information pertains entirely to you, we encourage you to become familiar with the basics. Grab an old W-2 from past years (yes, you need to save these) to use as a reference. It may look intimidating, but everything is broken down very particularly and you’ll have a basic understanding of it by the time you’re finished.
Tax season is just around the corner (seriously, just one quarter left in 2019!) and it’s time to get down to business. Call us crazy, but we prefer the term proactive. You can roll your eyes at us now or thank us later. One of the first things to do is find a good, reliable tax preparer that you can trust. As always, please contact us for a list of recommended qualified and trusted tax preparers. Some questions to ask when looking for a tax preparer…
Have you considered outsourcing before? If not, don’t dismiss it just yet. Outsourcing is a convenient, effective way to make sure the work for your business is getting done and being done well. You can rest easy knowing you’re handing your work off to someone who is an expert in the field. When exactly is the right time to outsource your bookkeeping? You’ll find the answer in your own day-to-day work life.
Let’s talk cash flow statements. When is the last time you looked at one for your company? If you’re cringing right now because you just can’t remember, it’s time to change that. Your cash flow statement, or statement of cash flows, shows you where your money is going. The money coming in, the money going out. It’s vital to know where the company’s money is going, and where it’s coming from.
Your cash flow statement is based on cash basis accounting rather than accrual, which means you will record every time money is exchanged. Always keep in mind that your cash flow is not the same as your profit and vice versa. The relationship between the two will vary from business to business, and fluctuations will occur due to the type of business. For ex
While running a business, you may run into the issue of one of your vendors not receiving your payment, although you sent it and it was deducted from your bank account. Regardless, where the money went, your vendor wants to be paid. Here’s how to make this work in your books so they don’t turn into a disaster.
Let’s say your vendor is Ashley’s Apples. Pull up their information via the Vendors tab in QuickBooks. You’ll see in your records that the $500 payment you made ACH (Automated Clearing House - basically, they take care of transferring mass amounts of money for vendor payments, payroll, and direct deposit) and that Ashley’s Apples never received it. Your bank register says the money was cleared from your account, so voiding the check isn’t an option.
The truth is, somebody has to do the bookkeeping for your small business, or else it won’t get done. If you have made the decision to do the bookkeeping yourself, it can be overwhelming until you get the hang of it. We have six reminders for you when it comes to getting your books done accurately and efficiently.
As a business owner, there will be times when you’ll need to give an employee a cash advance. This could be for one of two reasons: you purchased something for an employee with the agreement they will pay you back, or you’re giving an employee an advance on their check. Let’s go over how to do record these in QuickBooks Online. First, you’ll want to create an Employee Advance account (unless you already have one). If you often give out employee advances, creating sub-accounts would be helpful, using the employee’s name.
To Set-Up Employee Advances Account
When you’re in the Accounting tab of QB, click “New” and the Account template will pop-up, which you’ll set up accordingly:
Category Type → Other Current Assets
Throughout the course of your working life, you’ll get to work with a variety of people. While working in the same space, you’ll have to overcome obstacles together and endure the chaos of everyday life. This can either go smoothly...or not. Personalities can clash in the workplace (and likely will), and you’ll find that not everyone responds to conflict in the same way. It’s important to understand that not everyone thinks the same, feels the same, or reacts to situations the same. You may not like it, but you have to find a way to deal with it.
How long should you keep important papers?! Some of us hold onto every little document for far longer than needed, while others regret not saving theirs longer. So, the pressing question is, how long should you hang onto papers for before shredding them? Let’s break it down.
As your business grows, collecting receipts in a folder and logging expenses in a notebook just doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ll have to create the general ledger for your company, which is a financial tool that’s essentially a master list of every financial action made within your business. Your general ledger should include your assets, liabilities, and equity accounts, and any changes to these accounts should be listed as they happen. It includes every transaction throughout your company’s lifetime.
How do I format my general ledger?
We’ve discussed cash flow before - what it is, what it means for your business - but now let’s discuss what causes cash flow problems. There is a difference between making money and managing cash flow. Managing your cash flow wisely is a combination of being informed, prepared, and making smart decisions. Cash flow problems stem from one of these factors faltering along the way.
One of the obvious causes of cash flow problems are profit issues. This could be lack of profit or sporadic profit. If your company has down months where you make very little money and then shoots up during peak times of the year, you have sporadic profit, and this causes issues for your business. It’s hard to do virtually anything if your business has no money - pay b
At times while running your business, there will be a need for a person and their skills that are special to one specific area, but the funds might not allow for you to hire someone on as an employee. There’s also the chance that the funds are there, but a full workload isn’t. Do you hire someone part-time? Or work with an independent contractor?
First, what are independent contractors? These are people you hire for their specific set of skills, and they work under a contract that you create. Contractor positions range from creative like social media writers, graphic designers, and photographers to seasonal positions like lawn care, snow removal, florists, and landscapers.
One would typically hire a contract worker w
If you use QuickBooks Online (QBO), you probably know about the seemingly endless number of apps that are available for your use. You simply connect the app(s) to your QuickBooks Online account and all of your information will sync, so when you update information in one place, it’s updated everywhere else, as well.
These apps can help you with any number of things, but their main purpose is to make running your business easier. Would you like your payroll automated? There’s an app for that. Would you like your invoices to be synced to your calendar? There’s an app for that. Would you like to manage your inventory directly from your phone? Yes, there’s an app for that. Which area of your business is cau
Startup businesses often make the same mistakes that lead to the decline of their business. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you put too much time, money, and effort into your business for it to fail. Learn from the mistakes of other businesses and work to adapt accordingly.
One big mistakes startups make is not working with a CPA to plan, predict, and broadcast. CPA’s will point out important items to keep an eye on, and help you create a complete plan. This includes tax planning. Don’t forget about taxes or this will cost you down the road.
If you’re just starting to navigate your books, you may be unsure of some of the lingo. It’s like a different language for those outside of the accounting world, but the more you work with your books, the quicker you’ll catch on. What’s important is to think of everything in terms of your business; these terms provide you with vital information about your company’s standing. Let’s go over some common terms you’ll frequently hear and need to use in order to discuss and understand your books.
If you do your own bookkeeping, it’s important to double-check your records to make sure everything is correct. Here are five easy and important ways to make sure your books are in order.
Your bank account and your books should have the same number. If not, check QuickBooks to make sure your deposits weren’t added on multiple lines. This can happen even if the deposit hasn’t reached the bank yet.
2. Is any income double-recorded?
Obviously we don’t want income recorded twice. Sometimes we have clients mark invoices as paid and move them to Undeposited Funds. After they go to the bank, they record an additional entry for depositing the money, but this is wrong.
If your books aren’t up to snuff, it’s time to outsource. To make accurate and informed decisions on your business, it’s important to reference your bookkeeping. If they’re a mess, it means you don’t have the full story on your business. Making blind decisions is always a risk (one never worth taking!). Let’s talk about three signs it’s time to outsource.
You have a pile of receipts and papers left unrecorded, going back months.
If you have one or many folders stacked with receipts and papers from past months that haven’t been logged, it’s time to outsource. If you don’t put the time into your books, you’re neglecting your company as a result. As a business owner, it’s important to know where you stand financially, and t
QuickBooks is the number one accounting software used by businesses with 5.6 million users worldwide. Aside from he convenience, efficiency, and ease of using the program, they also have multiple plans to choose from so you can pick the one that’s right for your business. With differing features and purposes, each of these plans has its own benefits and not all companies should have the same plan. Four of the five plans are for managing your books, and the fifth is for the self-employed tracking their own expenses.
Does your business use cash basis accounting or accrual accounting? What makes the two methods different is the timing of when sales and/or purchases are recorded in your accounts. Cash basis only recognizes income and expenses when money has been actually been exchanged. Accrual recognizes income and expenses as they’re earned/billed, whether they’ve been paid or not.
Let’s talk about reconciling your account(s) on a regular basis and why it’s necessary for not only your bookkeeping, but your business. First, what does it mean to reconcile your account? This means you compare your books to your bank accounts over a period of time to make sure everything aligns perfectly (example: comparing your records to your bank account from March 1 - 31, 2019). If there are any discrepancies, you can catch them and act on it. Also, note that you only need to reconcile your accounts if you use the accrual method of accounting. If you use cash basis accounting, then every transaction is recorded at the same time as the bank, so there are no discrepancies.