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Nonprofit Bookkeeping End-of-Year Tasks

November 12, 2019 / by Jim Rice posted in Rochester, Orlando, Bookkeeping Services, Nonprofits

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If you're new to the nonprofit sector, no doubt you've already realized that the financial standards are stricter here than they were in the for-profit world. That can make end-of-year bookkeeping a stressful process — especially at the end of this year, due to new procedures that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has implemented for 2019.

So before any more sand slips through the hourglass, let's review the vital end-of-year bookkeeping tasks your nonprofit needs to accomplish to avoid fines or penalties — up to and including the loss of your nonprofit status.

Reconcile Your Restricted and Unrestricted Fund Accounts
As the names imply, the designations "restricted" and "unrestricted" determine how nonprofits can use different funds. Simply put, restricted funds can only be used according to the donor's specifications. This can be simple (e.g. funds for an event) or complicated (e.g. funds for the purchase of a particular item or to be held for a specified amount of time). These funds cannot be used or transferred without the consent of the donor and approval by the nonprofit's board of directors.

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Scale to Succeed: Bookkeeping That Grows With Your Business

November 7, 2019 / by Lori Coleman posted in South Shore, MA, Bookkeeping Services, Providence, RI, Tips for Startups

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How you manage your business’ financial records when you open your doors can come back to haunt you if you don’t think ahead. Plan for success by setting up systems that will scale as your business grows — including your bookkeeping system.

Slicing a Bigger Piece of the Pie
Here's what we're talking about in practical terms: Say you have a side business selling home-baked blueberry pies at a local farm stand. Before you know it, your pies are the talk of the town and you decide to turn that sideline into a full-time business. Obviously, you can't just keep picking blueberries in your backyard and baking pies one or two at a time in your kitchen to meet the demand. It’s time scale up to a full-size bakery.

Moving into your new space is exciting and business is growing. You’ve made a substantial investment in new equipment, infrastructure, employees and vendors, so you might be tempted to try to continue with farm-stand-level bookkeeping. However, half-baked bookkeeping could be just as harmful to your business as half-baked pies.

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Quick Tips for Restaurant Bookkeeping

October 29, 2019 / by Indre Bauza posted in Small Business Advice, Northern Virginia, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice

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Note: This blog first appeared in the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Blog.

Restaurant owners face unique bookkeeping challenges. Did you know, for instance, that if you include an automatic gratuity in the bill for larger parties, that's considered a service charge and not a tip — and thus has different IRS reporting requirements?

Combine potential regulatory banana peels with the long hours that restaurant owners typically work, and you have a compelling reason for outsourcing your bookkeeping responsibilities. But if you need additional convincing, here are a few more things to consider.

You Can't Combine Cash Accounting and Accrual Accounting
If you don't know the difference between the cash method of accounting and the accrual method — well, then we rest our case for why you shouldn't be keeping your own books.

But for the record, restaurants that generate more than $1 million of revenue per year must use the accrual method, while those that generate less have a choice — although you must formally notify the IRS before switching from accrual to cash. And under no circumstances can you use both methods at the same time.

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Six Tips for Finding Angel Investors

October 24, 2019 / by Jessica Gerber posted in Small Business Advice, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Bradenton, Sarasota & Port Charlotte, FL

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With all the excitement around angel investing, many startups believe their good idea will make finding angel investors simple. In reality, it's not as easy as it looks in the movies and on TV. Most entrepreneurs hear a lot of "no" before they finally get to "yes."

I belong to a community of angel investors and regularly evaluate high-potential startups for early seed funding. I'm also a business advisor who works with companies on developing and executing key strategies, and on educating them about running their businesses. Helping small businesses achieve their goals is a passion of mine.

Here are six things you can do to improve your company's odds of finding financial benefactors.

1. Be Selective

Not all investment opportunities are the same because not all companies are the same. Some types of businesses are more attractive to investors than others. So the first thing you need to do is determine which type of business you have. That will make the process more efficient and less frustrating for prospective investors (and for you).

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2020 Vision: Use Year-End Bookkeeping for Business Planning

October 15, 2019 / by Dawn Hershik posted in Small Business Advice, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice

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As a business owner, you're probably not looking forward to getting caught up on your end-of-year bookkeeping. But with a simple change of attitude and approach, you can transform that process into something positive. Don't think of it as filing your financials. Think of it as tapping into a valuable source of business intelligence.

You Have to Do It Anyway — Make It Work for You
Okay, we get it. No matter how you dress it up, bookkeeping sounds like a chore. This is particularly true if the year hasn't gone as well as you'd hoped.

Actually, that's all the more reason to immerse yourself in those numbers. End-of-year bookkeeping can be an insightful process that reveals not only where things went off track, but also what you can do to set them straight again. Here are some of the important questions it can help answer …

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Gauge Your Business' Health at a Glance With a Dashboard

October 10, 2019 / by Eduardo Ramirez posted in Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Northwest Houston

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Business leaders, take heart. If you don't have a head for spreadsheets or if you have to dig into several reports to get critical information you need to manage your business, you're not alone. Many entrepreneurs and business owners are frustrated by these circumstances. They want to know as quickly as possible where the numbers stand so they can dive right back into their most important job: growing the business.

The hunger for real-time information that's easy to digest has fueled a movement among savvy business leaders toward using various types of dashboards.

That qualifier, "various types," is critical. There's no one-size-fits-all dashboard for every business or every business leader. The numbers that matter most to you, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), might not matter as much to the leader of a different type of business or even to a leader in the same field but with a different personality or approach.

The key to key performance indicators is to figure out which ones matter most to you personally.

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Case Study: Overcoming Bookkeeping Challenges to Ace a DCAA Audit

October 1, 2019 / by Jim Rice posted in Rochester, Orlando, Bookkeeping Services, Case Study Blogs

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Not even the best-run businesses are immune to Murphy's Law. Take TeKONTROL, Inc. (TKi). Over the course of three decades, this Florida-based company developed reliable bookkeeping systems for its global engineering support projects — difficult to do in the world of government contracts. Then it got hit with a one-two punch at the worst possible time.

First, the company's longtime bookkeeper retired. Then the vendor that provided TKi's enterprise resource planning (ERP) bookkeeping platform discontinued its support. Finally, the clincher: a pre-award audit from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). "It was a crisis," recalls Tom Kornegay, the company's Chairman, CEO and Founder. "Believe me."

A Timely Bookkeeping Solution
A short-term bookkeeping hire, combined with the trial use of temperamental new ERP software, turned what should have been a bump in the road into a massive pothole. To get around it, Kornegay brought in his former bookkeeper to restore "ground-floor reference points." But he knew he also needed someone to quickly and decisively take charge of TKi's bookkeeping from there.

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Artificial Intelligence and Bookkeeping Services

September 26, 2019 / by Lynette DeRose posted in Bookkeeping Services, Chicago Southland

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With bookkeeping software leaders Bill.com and Intuit incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their products, it is clear that AI is playing a role in the bookkeeping field. How much of a role will AI play, and how will it impact bookkeeping services and businesses?

“Finance leaders will oversee the transition as robots take on more and more back-office functions … freeing people to grapple with high-level analysis and decision making that add value rather than ticking off to-dos.”

strategy+business, spring 2019

Building a Better Toolbox
The terms “artificial intelligence” and “robot” scare some people, perhaps because they bring to mind dystopian science-fiction movies. But in reality, AI and robots are merely extensions of the kinds of tools most of us already use, like Google for online searches. And now the same basic principles are being refined for various specialized uses in the bookkeeping services field.

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How to Overcome Your Business Blind Spots

September 17, 2019 / by Dave Molenda posted in Small Business Advice, Business Advice, Milwaukee

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In business, the biggest problem is the one you can't see. And the reason you can't see it is that you have a blind spot.

One of your most important roles as a business leader is to help your team identify and address those blind spots. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to start by acknowledging your own blind spots. That also gives you the opportunity to set ground rules for delivering feedback in a positive way.

Hone Your Tone
I can't stress enough how important it is to set a precedent for positivity. Sometimes a simple change in tone can make all the difference in how your message is received.

I realized, for example, that one of my personal blind spots is a tendency to interrupt people. So, in order to break the habit, I asked the people around me to point it out when I do it. But I also asked that they do it in a respectful way — by calmly saying, "Hey, Dave, you're doing it again." That's so much more palatable for me to hear than if people were to sigh, roll their eyes and say, "You're doing it again, Daaaave!"

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How to Choose the Best Location for Your US Subsidiary

September 12, 2019 / by Adrian Figueroa posted in Bookkeeping Services, Miami, FL

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Now that you have decided to go forward with the expansion of your business into the U.S. market, the next step in the process is to decide which state will serve as your U.S. headquarters. Choose the best location for your U.S. subsidiary by considering not only state tax laws and regulations, but also geographic location, local culture and the professional community available to advise you in this new venture. Learn how you can use a location to your business’s advantage by looking at the example of setting up a U.S. subsidiary in Miami, Florida.

Example: Setting up a U.S. Subsidiary in Miami
Let's say you want to open a U.S. subsidiary of your Latin American company. Or maybe you have a European or Asian company and want to expand not only into the U.S. market, but also into Latin America.

A good starting point would be to investigate areas of the United States with a significant Latin American population. That could facilitate the kind of professional networking that will help you make the proper contacts. At the same time, you'll want to locate in a state with a friendly business climate — one with lower tax rates and fewer regulations.

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