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Blogs by Jeff Orchard


They've Redesigned Clio — and It Works Great with QBO

December 5, 2017 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Law Firm

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At Supporting Strategies, we're always on the lookout for industry-specific software integrations that can improve bookkeeping efficiency. Clio, which is designed for the legal profession, is a great example.

A New State of the Art
If your law firm isn't already using the cloud, you need to make the switch now — particularly if you have a startup or a small independent outfit. My colleague Pete Denholm already made a case for the cloud, with an airtight argument that would make any lawyer proud. So rather than relitigate that topic, I'm going to focus solely on the advantages of Clio.

Why Clio? "If you are shopping for law practice management software for your firm," lawyerist.com noted in a five-star review, "Clio should be on your short list of options to test."

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Business Changes Can Lead to Bookkeeping Challenges

August 10, 2017 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services, Law Firm

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At every growth stage, companies tend to accentuate the positive and project the best possible outcome for investors. But as any good business attorney knows, most investors also want to minimize risk by eliminating as many unknowns as possible. The best way to do that is by preparing solid financial records.

Here's a look at what should be a company's top financial priorities at each stage.

Planning a Successful Launch
Even small businesses need to raise funds to get off the ground. Determining how much money you need to get started — and who might be willing to provide it — is one of the most daunting aspects of starting a business. It's important that you secure enough financing not only to open the doors but also to sustain you through the startup phase.

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Supporting Your On-staff Bookkeeper with Outsourced Services

January 25, 2017 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services

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Previous articles on our blog have explored why small-business owners should consider outsourcing portions of their bookkeeping, operational and controllership services. Reasons include introducing controls against internal fraud or theft and the ability to ramp up during temporary periods of high demand.

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Which Payroll Solution is Right for Your Small Business?

January 20, 2017 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Business Advice

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If you run a small business, one of the most important decisions you face is selecting the right payroll service. After all, as difficult as choosing a payroll solution is, transitioning to a different solution is even more difficult.

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Bookkeeping Services | How Sharp is Your Axe?

February 15, 2016 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice

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Abraham Lincoln has been credited with the following quote: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Regardless of the context, the premise holds true, especially in business.  To a business owner, the tool isn’t an axe but can include technology, people, capital, knowledge, experience, and yes… actual tools. I find that many of my clients have very valuable tools at their disposal, but they often aren’t as sharp as they should be or they aren’t being used correctly.  Based on my experience providing bookkeeping services for small businesses, I’ve seen three ways that tools are being underutilized.  Here’s what they are and how to avoid it.

1.  Even the Greatest Hammer Won’t Cut Down a Tree
You’ve got to put your tools to the right use, otherwise they’re useless.  I often see this kind of misallocation when it comes to a company’s people.  Your team is your most valuable asset.  Take the time to hire the right people for each job, and make sure your employees are given the freedom to focus on their areas of expertise.  Don’t slough off the bookkeeping services onto the office manager, for example.  When each task is handled by someone competent, trained and enthusiastic – morale and efficiency skyrocket.  

2.  You Don’t Know Which Axe to Buy
Sometimes our tools are software solutions or outsourced firms that provide us with payroll or bookkeeping services.  These kinds of services can be a boon to your business, bringing it valuable outsider experience and great new technologies.  But you won’t get to benefit if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  As a provider of bookkeeping services, I often see clients struggle to decide between QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop.  They also may be overwhelmed in the search for the right Payroll Services Firm.  Because of this, it becomes incredibly important to become an informed buyer.  Read reviews online, speak to other business owners about their choices, and call in your trusted advisors, be they your bookkeeping services team, your grandma, or any other consultant you confer with.

3.  Your Axe Isn’t Sharp
This is the issue Honest Abe was focused on, and I think it’s especially important to consider here.  How do we make sure our axe is sharp in business?  Well, first off one needs to realize that there’s more than one axe that needs sharpening.  To succeed in your business means putting in consistent effort, and not growing complacent.  Evolve your training processes as your business grows.  Help your employees grow and develop within the organization.  Review how operations are carried out and ask yourself if something needs to be updated.  And remember that your most valuable tool is yourself -so keep yourself sharp!

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What to Consider When Hiring A Bookkeeping Services Provider

January 22, 2016 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services

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Here’s some advice from a bookkeeping services provider on what to look for when hiring a bookkeeping services provider.

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Bookkeeping Services Best Practice | How Outsourcing Could Boost Your Business

January 18, 2016 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services

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By the time my clients get to me they’ve already considered outsourcing their financial operations to a bookkeeping services provider. Every year it seems that more and more businesses are sending certain operations, like accounting and finance, out of house.

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Bookkeeping Services Best Practice | Understanding The Value of Your Time

January 12, 2016 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Tampa Bay, Bookkeeping Services

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They say that time is money, but they never say how much time or how much money. If only there was a time-to-money exchange rate printed in the daily papers. Maybe then it would be easier to determine exactly what our time is worth.

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How Outsourcing Protects Small Businesses from Fraud

April 20, 2015 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Small Business Advice, Tampa Bay

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"But how do you guard against employee fraud?"

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Proving the Value of Outsourced Accounting Services

April 15, 2015 / by Jeff Orchard posted in Small Business Advice, Tampa Bay

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I'm an accounting and finance professional who has worked both as an internal and outsourced bookkeeper. My experience has highlighted for me the benefits of the outsourced model.

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