As a small business owner, keeping track of your finances and staying organized can be daunting. Fortunately, bookkeepers can help alleviate the stress and workload of managing your finances. This blog post will discuss three essential things bookkeepers do for small businesses.
1. Bookkeepers Keep Track Of Your Business Finances, Including Income and Expenses
Bookkeepers keep track of your business finances, including income and expenses. They will record all transactions and ensure your books are up-to-date and accurate. By maintaining accurate records, bookkeepers help you keep track of your cash flow and provide financial statements that can be used to make informed business decisions.
2. Bookkeepers Help You Stay Organized And On Top Of
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 the regular. If not, your staff may seek employment elsewhere.
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 just give you the boost you need.
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.
Track your cash. There is no way to track the cash you spend unless you do it yourself. Make sure you keep receipts when cash is spent and log them that day or the next so your books are as accurate as possible.
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 something. It’s not uncommon for someone’s social media accounts to be hacked.
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 markings on the floor to establish where people should be standing to maintain safe distance.
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 not right now.
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 understand it and what it means for your taxes.
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 regularly accumulate funds in your PayPal or other similar account, it’s better to transfer the amounts randomly when needed.
Customer pays via CC or PayPal > Money hits Merchant Account > Money hits Checking Account
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 example, cider mills will see fluctuations in their cash flow because they’re a season business.
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.
Cut Ashley’s Apples a check for the $500 in the current month. In the memo section, explain the reason for the payment. Try to make your check identical to your first payment by using the same account and paying their same account. Now, Ashley’s Apples will finally be paid, and we can deal with fixing our books.
When you look at your Check Register, you’ll see two payments fo
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
Detail Type → Employee Cash Advances
Name → Employee Advance
If you paid for something for an employee’s personal use, with the agreement that the employee would pay you back, you’ll need to start by recording it as an Expense. Under “account,” you’ll need to select “Employee Advance” using the drop-down arrow. Include a memo with the employee
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 bills, complete payroll, or stay afloat.
Neglecting your bookkeeping is another cause of cash flow issues. Not having up-to-date records on the ins and outs of your business means you’re conducting business blindly. How can you make informed and financially safe decisions for your business if you have no records? This goes hand-in-hand with another cause of cash f
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 when the need for a full-time or part-time employee isn’t there, or the funds restrict it. Reaching out to a contractor ensures you’ll be saving money while also getting the most for your dollar. Hiring an independent contractor is also a form of outsourcing.
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 causing you stress? There’s likely an app for that.
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. This double records your income - once in Undeposited Funds and once as a deposit. After you deposit money in the bank from Undeposited Funds, you need to make an entry in QuickBooks moving the money from Undeposited Funds to the bank. This will move the money, not double-record it.
3. Are any credit card transactions double-recorded?
You never want to be charg
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 this can’t happen if your unlogged receipts are collecting dust on your desk.
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.
In a perfect world, all of your clients would pay you on time, which, in result, would help you manage your cash flow more effectively. That’s not always the case, though. Not every client will pay you on time - that’s the harsh truth of it. What steps should you take when an invoice remains late and unpaid?
Something we love about QuickBooks is how much they appreciate their users. How do we know? They show us by staying up-to-date with new features to help make everyone’s bookkeeping quicker and easier. In case you missed it, here’s the rundown on the newest features added to QuickBooks through the first quarter of the year.
We always say you should be paying constant attention to your books, so we decided to break it down based on what you should be doing daily, weekly, and monthly. What you do in these short periods of time can impact the overall state of your books and your knowledge of your company’s financial standing. The more often you work in your books, the less time you’ll have to spend on them come the year’s end. You’ll thank yourself come December! If not, we’re here to help.
Tax season can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Sitting down with your tax preparer should bring you answers, solutions, and an understanding of your financial being.
Before setting foot into your tax preparer’s office, ask them what you should bring. This will ensure you have everything you need for the tax return process. Set yourself up for success by coming prepared.
Talk with your preparer about their history with doing taxes. Beware of false credentials or fraudulent activity. If your preparer promises you a huge return or makes up false information on your return, they may be a fraud. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Remember: even though your tax preparer is filling in the form, it’s legally your responsibility what’s on it.
If your knowledge of accounting and accounting lingo is minimal, it’s never a bad idea to do some research before meeting with your tax preparer. If a term is used that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask them to explain. It’s their job to help you! You can also reference our past blog that touches on some of the common terminology in the accounting field.
Let’s talk about the difference between accounts payable (A/P) and accounts receivable (A/R). It’s easy to get these two confused, but they’re important components to your books. They’re the primary indicators of the financial health of your company, which means they’re constantly changing to keep up with all the moving pieces. Let’s focus on the basics.
Account Payable is a company’s liability account where they record the amounts they owe to vendors or suppliers for their goods or services the company received on credit.
Accounts Receivable is a company’s current asset account where they record the amounts they have a right to collect from customers who have purchased their goods or services on credit.
First things first, what is an asset? An asset is a resource that your company owns that is used for a function of your business operations. It can be something tangible (vehicle, furniture, equipment, etc.) or intangible (goodwill, intellectual property, patents, etc.). Assets will always have a useful lifespan of greater than one year, and they may or may not go up in value. For example, buildings and land usually go up in value, but the large piece of machinery you have in the shop will likely decrease in value.
Your books will either be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Depending on much attention you give them, they’ll treat you accordingly. They’ll help you only as much as you allow. The information you feed them, and how often, makes all the difference. Some common bookkeeping questions being with, “how often should I…” Let’s ensure you and your books are on the same page.
How often should I be adding to my books?
Truthfully, you should be adding to your books every single time there is a cost or income. However, that’s just not always realistic. We recommend sitting down daily, bi-weekly, or weekly. If you sit down for a few minutes at the end of the day or week, to enter your debits and credits, this will ensure your books have the latest numbers and are as up-to-date as possible.
How often should I see my bookkeeper?
If you don’t do your own books, it is vital to communicate with your bookkeeper. Your bookkeeper can only do so much if you’re not consistent in communication, whether it’s phone or email. So long as you are sending your bookkeeper fr
It’s not uncommon for small businesses, or those just getting started, to use personal bank accounts. However, we recommend splitting your business and personal finances into two separate accounts - sooner rather than later. Some business owners think they don’t make enough money or have enough activity for an account, but that simply isn’t the case.
An important part of running a business is keeping it safe. This includes from fraud. Simply put, it’s best to remain cautious. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Be smart with who you share information with and why. Here are five easy ways to combat fraud:
New year, new rules on deductibles. Before you sit down to work on your taxes (or with your accountant), remember that some of the deductibles revolving around meals and entertainment have been UPDATED. We want to keep you up-to-date with the most recent information possible. Use the handy chart below to know what you can deduct and what’s not an option anymore.
You’ll notice that the majority of changes are with business trips or meals. Your good ‘ole office snacks and beverages are still 100 percent deductible. It’s important to be honest with your deductibles. Use them to your advantage, but use them honestly.
Are there things you just don’t have time for? Or the knowledge to complete? That thing that always sits on your to-do list waiting to be crossed off, but it just never seems to happen. You know what we’re talking about. We all have that one thing we just don’t want to do, whatever the reason may be.
This is where outsourcing becomes your best friend. For small to mid-size businesses, hiring someone full-time, or even part-time, just isn’t an option sometimes. The funds might not allow it. This is when outsourcing comes into play. Hiring someone outside of the company to do that one thing you don’t want to do saves you money. How? Simple. Rather than paying an hourly or salary employee for being in the office 9 to 5, you can pay someone for only the time they spend doing what you need.
With tax season in our midst, it’s time to get it together and figure out who needs to be issued a 1099. These are to be sent out each year by January 31st. It can be kind of confusing to figure out who to issue a 1099 and who doesn’t need one. The basic rule is that you must issue one whenever you pay an independent contractor who provides you a service.
In a previous blog, we discussed the five types of accounts every business should have in their books. If you missed it, circle back and check it out before continuing with this one. As a reminder, the five types of accounts are assets, equity, expenses, liabilities, and revenue. Now, let’s talk about transactions. A financial transaction is the activity that impacts your company’s assets, liabilities, and equity.
There are four categories that a transaction can be categorized as: sales, purchases, receipts, and payments. Each of them involves money in some way and is recorded in your books in two locations. To make things simpler for you, we will break down what each of the transactions are and the two places it should be recorded in your books. Now, let’s dive in! We’ll talk each of the four transactions and the two places they should be recorded in your books.
If you’re a small to midsize business, you need to be using QuickBooks Online (QBO) to manage all of your finances. QuickBooks Online makes life easier by helping you, not adding to the stress in your life. With just over 5.6 million users, it’s hard to deny it’s benefits.
So, what’s the big deal? There seem to be an endless number of efficient features in this accounting software, so we
If you’re serious about making your dream a reality, it’s time to get real about what you’ll be encountering. From one small business to another, it’s no easy feat and you’ll face what seems to be endless challenges. Not only do you need to have motivation and perseverance, but here are six tips to help you on your journey.
When working in your books, you need to know exactly what the numbers mean. Often times people know the general meaning of a term like, “profit” but don’t actually know how it’s different from “revenue” or how the two affect each other.
Your profit is how much money your business has made from the sales of your goods and services or from things like fees or interest during a specific time period. For example, you could look at your profit from April to see how much money you made during those 30 days. If you sent out invoices for a total of $35,000 from April 1 - 30, then your profit
The New Year is one month away, is your business plan ready? If you haven’t started thinking of how you want to approach a new year then it’s time to start. Assess your business based on the goals you accomplished throughout the year, and strive for more in 2019. The first step to thriving is having a game plan.
Your business plan should contain three components: a mission statement, a vision, and a strategy. In plain terms, you need to know who you want to be, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Establish clear and specific goals.
There’s a saying out there that says owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the persistent, and the ambitious. Small businesses stem from passion and succeed because of dedication. Running a small business becomes your way of life.
With Small Business Saturday just days away, we wanted to get you in the spirit by sharing some cool facts we’ve learned about small businesses along our journey. This Forbes article has insane facts but a couple stood out like neon lights. The majority of businesses in the United States are actually small businesses! A whopping 99.9% of businesses are considered small.
According to Forbes, 8 out of 10 businesses fail. That statistic alone is enough to scare some people from even trying. Why do so many businesses fail? Although there is a myriad of reasons, there are three common deaths to businesses.
When setting up your books, you must first manage your accounts. The word “account” in bookkeeping doesn’t refer to bank accounts, which one might first think. It actually refers to the different kinds of transactions made, which will all be grouped into their rightful place, a.k.a. “account.” Keep this in mind moving forward. Some examples of accounts are sales, payroll, and inventory, just to name a few.
The business world is a tough place. It’s competitive, people play dirty, and lines can be crossed that shouldn’t be. As an employee, it’s sometimes difficult to know when it’s okay to take initiative and when it’s not. When expectations are laid out from the get-go, it makes adapting to your superior and/or boss that much easier. Finding your flow within a company can be a struggle if things don’t seem to mesh from the beginning. Over time, if you still aren’t sure of your place, it’s probably because it’s not there.
Leaving a company can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it’s worth having if it means you can move onto another that works for you and with you. Whether it’s
“Professionalism” is a term used quite frivolously. It’s thrown around as if it means the same thing to everyone - but it doesn’t. Depending on your company, the work environment, and your role, professionalism can range from any number of things. Professionalism is a scale.
Everyone’s preferable work environment varies. Some would love to be able to work from the comfort of their own home on their own. Others need the office atmosphere as motivation to get things done, and they appreciate the social aspect of being around others. But, which is better for the employee and the company? Is there a right or a wrong answer? Let’s look at the stats.
Fundera reported that two-thirds of managers who allow their employees to work from home say they are overall more productive and 85 percent of employees say they are more productive when they’re alone. With technology growing and becoming a regular part of our day-to-day lives, it makes sense that the number of work-at-home employees has increased by 115 percent since 2005, but only seven percent of businesses in the United States allow their employees to work from home.
The act of keeping your books up-to-date can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but the hard part is reading what your books are telling you. If you look at your numbers and that’s all you see, it’s time to talk with a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers are like cartographers: not only will they map out your books, but they’ll tell you where all the mountains and valleys are.
Four Signs You’re Ready To Outsource Your Books
Your books are the glue that holds your business together. They need to be given detailed attention on a regular basis. If you let your records slip through the cracks, your business will likely follow. Outsourcing is a simple solution to what could be a massive problem. Here are four signs you should switch to outsourcing today:
If you’re switching bookkeepers or in the process of looking for one, it’s important to know what information they need to do their job the best they can. Unlike an accountant, who doesn’t need to know every little thing about your business, your bookkeeper needs EVERYTHING. Yes, we mean everything. We made a handy list for you to use as a reference for when you prepare these documents for your bookkeeper.
Business owners far and wide know there is one thing you try not to do: get the IRS involved. The best (and only) way to make this happen is to be careful and make sure you are doing everything correctly. We’ve compiled some activities that could be red flags to the IRS and could result in an audit. The best way to avoid an audit is to run your business in an honest and healthy manner.
Something as simple as consistently filing your taxes late can be a red flag and attract the IRS’s attention. This is easy to avoid. Making what seems to be an unreasonably high salary can draw attention to your business, as well. Whether the employee is also a shareholder of the company or if they are given a raise dramatically, it could very well result in an audit. To avoid this, before giving an employee a raise, check to see what the average is for that position in your industry.
Adding credit card transactions to a main account that has sub accounts using multiple cards can be quite a process, but if you follow these five simple steps, you’ll be able to complete these entries without getting a headache or creating a mess of your books.
QuickBooks will become your business’s most valuable player. And, as something you will be using on a regular basis, it’s important it’s perfect for you. Although both Desktop and Online assist you with your books, they don’t share the same characteristics or help you in the same way. In simple terms, QuickBooks Online is the internet version of QuickBooks Desktop. But, let’s take things a step further and break down the differences.
Your financial reports tell you everything you need to know about your business - but do you know what they’re saying? Or what all the little pieces mean?
Financial reports are a compilation of all the numbers floating around your company. There’s your Balance Sheet, which supplies you with a detailed look at your company’s financial health at any particular moment in time. It gives you the dollar amount of assets and liabilities in your company’s net worth. This includes fixed assets, inventory, cash, accounts payable and receivable, payroll liabilities, line of credit, and more. The Balance Sheet also tells you the equity in the business.
We’ve all heard “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This rings true when it comes to wanting doors to open in your career. For small businesses, networking may be the key to your company’s success. Meeting new people can lead to one of many positive opportunities.
It’s hard putting yourself out there and meeting new people face-to-face. That’s the thing about networking - social media doesn’t count.
Keeping files for your business is a necessity. The papers stack up fast and seem
Work can be overwhelming and stressful most days, it seems. Things seem to keep piling up and sometimes it seems as though you’ll never catch up. The mountain of work becomes overbearing and you begin to feel so small. Let’s say goodbye to those and focus on sunnier skies in the future with these simple ways to get your workload under control!
Make a checklist
Social media is a large part of a company’s identity. It helps set the scene for your business before your clients even step foot within the four walls of your practice. Think of social media as a limitless marketing platform. If you don’t have an online presence, who are you?
Your clients and prospective clients will research your business and they will judge you based on your online presence and what it says about your company. This is where everything can be found - your response times, ratings, testimonials, services, your general attitude, and how you carry yourself as a company. All of this is found among your website and social media platforms. One post can set the tone for your business.
Accountants wouldn’t benefit from QuickBooks, right? Wrong! QuickBooks is a fantastic tool for them; they have a software specifically tailored for accountants to help them do their job better, faster, and more efficiently. It’s a triple threat for accountants!
Not only will QB Online Accountant display all of your clients that are QB users, but also the clients that are not. This allows accountants to see a big picture list of their clients before diving into each more in-depth. All the client information and notes can be recorded here and easy to reach for reference. Bonus: it’s a breeze adding clients - even non-QuickBooks clients!
Running a business is a challenge. Keeping up with your books is one moving part of running a business. This can either go incredibly smoothly or be a complete disaster. If you’d prefer the former, we strongly recommend you check out QuickBooks. Not only will QB make your bookkeeping easier, it’s also a great tool for helping you run your business. Here are several reasons why QB should be your bookkeeping software:
To speed up your activity on QuickBooks Desktop, follow these simple shortcuts. They will minimize the time you spend doing tasks and will optimize your productivity! Keep this table handy until you have these memorized. Remember, if you ever need help on QuickBooks, click F1 or contact us!
Money that goes in and out of a business is referred to as cash flow. That’
There’s so many “what not to do’s” with your money that sometimes you’re not really sure what to do with it at all! Part of running a business is being able to control where your cash goes and how it’s being used. Being proactive and preparing for the future is the best course of action when it comes to running a business. Don’t let surprise expenses stress you out. Instead, beat them to the punch.
When you’re working in QuickBooks, it’s better to work smarter, not harder. If you’re trying to find a
Bookkeeping fraud is one of the most common forms of internal fraud. When running a business, there is always the potential risk for fraud within your company’s four walls. Unfortunately, not everyone in the workforce is a trusted individual; they could access your private files and
Skynar Bookkeeping is launching an entirely new monthly QuickBooks group training seminar…and you won’t want to miss it. The class sizes will be limited so instruction can be personalized to what YOU want to learn and ways QB can benefit YOU. These classes will be hosted by Cheryl Skynar, a Certified ProAdvisor with over 20 years experience in bookkeeping.
Getting around QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t have be a struggle thanks to these quick and efficient shortcuts. Next time you’re moving around in QBD, try out these simple clicks; you’ll have them memorized in no time.
When it comes to your books (and just about everything else), it’s best to work smarter, not harder. Finding little tips and tricks to make your bookkeeping the slightest bit easier is like a little win each time you successfully maneuver your way through. Lucky for you, QuickBooks Online is plentiful with shortcuts that make your bookkeeping just a smidge easier each time you use one! Depending on if you’re a MAC or PC user, these shortcuts will be slightly different by only a couple keys. Don’t forget that these are specific for QBO, not QuickBooks Desktop.
One thing we love about QuickBooks Desktop is there is more than one way to do things. However, we know the most efficient and productive way for entering any and all information. Today we’d like to address writing checks and share our advice for the most convenient route for you, and they will also keep your books flawless!
QB is great for entering bills and writing checks to make loan payments each month. However, instead of going to the Enter a Bill or Write a Check windows, a more convenient route is to go to Banking, then Loan Manager, and then Set Up a New Loan. Once this is finished, click the Set Up Payment option to finalize. Now you’re on track for QB to automatically enter the payment each month.
When payroll is processed, QB will keep track of how much payroll tax your business owes and records this amount in Payroll Liabilities. Rather than paying your payroll taxes in the Write Checks window, we suggest making your payments directly from the Pa
It’s 2018 and things are evolving, even the business world. Your work hours may be not be set in stone or you may work remotely. There are endless ways to be flexible with your small business these days. Even when running a business on the go, it’s vital to remain prepared and professional, which is why we recommend these five must-haves to successfully run your business from anywhere you’d like:
You don’t need a new year to make a change, you simply need a new day. If your 2017 accounting and bookkeeping didn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped, we have a solution – let us help you.
The best thing any business can do is simplify and consolidate all their work into more manageable and efficient loads. This can seem like an impossible task but there are ways to do so, and we have the answers! Why overwork yourself when there are tools for you to use that will keep you motivated and energized during the work day instead of burnt out and dragged down? Below are four online tools every small and medium-sized business should utilize for maximum productivity and efficiency - we use/have used all of them!
Life can get busy, especially for those who own businesses. Sometimes trying to do it all can leave owners falling short. Work may be left incomplete, overdue or forgotten, and goals may never be reached. Outsourcing is the perfect solution, rather than trying to take on more than they can handle.
Outsourced accounting is a great way for businesses to lessen their workload while also being certain that their accounting is being completed by an expert. Less work, fewer worries.
Not only does outsourced accounting help you lessen your workload, but you can also make better use of your time by growing and strengthening your business. You’ll have more time to give special attention to your employees, clients, and goals. You won’t lose clients or projects due to focusing on making sure the accounting is complete and correct. By outsourcing your accounting, you will never again turn down clients or projects due to being too swamped with work.
At Skynar Bookkeeping, we utilize QuickBooks as our preferred accounting platform for many reasons. The first being it is the best accounting software for small and mid-size businesses—it is ranked number one among all other software for small business accounting. It is user friendly and can be used for any type of business. We strive to make our clients’ business lives easier and QuickBooks helps us do so.
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