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Blogs by John Gleason


How to Choose the Right Payroll Provider for Your Business

January 7, 2020 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Central MA

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One of my clients' biggest concerns is finding the right payroll services company. And since we provide bookkeeping and controller services, they often ask us for recommendations.

There's a simple reason that this issue is so important to employers: because it's important to their employees. If your employees aren't getting paid on time, or if there are frequent issues with their withholding, bonuses, commissions or paid time off, you've got big problems.

Fortunately, there are plenty of capable, trustworthy, employee-friendly providers out there. Here's what to look for to ensure you get the payroll services you need to keep your employees happy.

Accuracy, Timeliness and Accessibility 
In an earlier blog, I covered most of the basic things you should look for when selecting a payroll services provider, such as affordability, scalability and security.

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How Builders Can Use Online Tools to Make More Money

August 20, 2019 / by John Gleason posted in Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, West Houston, Central MA

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Builders can now combine building management software with bookkeeping software to review real-time costs and monitor cash flow — right from the field.

Custom software applications have enabled many different types of businesses to operate more efficiently than ever before. New specialized cloud-based software tools, developed across broad sectors ranging from nonprofits to healthcare to information technology and professional services, are now essential tools required to enable entrepreneurs in their respective fields to compete and succeed in their markets.

Perhaps no industry could benefit more from this revolution in software than the building trades. Here's a look at how contractors can use these tools to be more successful.

Building a Better Toolbox
Even under the best of circumstances, the building trades are difficult to manage. It's the nature of the business. Buildings are big-ticket items that promise large potential profits, but only after the builder or developer lays out substantial cash upfront and waits patiently — years, in some cases — for the final big payday. Since most builders juggle multiple projects at the same time, while spending a lot of time in the field, keeping tabs on the company's expenses and cash flow is difficult, yet critical.

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Improve Franchise Efficiency With Bookkeeping

July 9, 2019 / by John Gleason posted in Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, West Houston, Central MA

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According to a 2016 government report, a new franchised business opens somewhere in the United States every eight minutes of every business day. Franchises are highly popular because they offer many advantages for both the franchisee and franchisor.

Standardized bookkeeping procedures, which enable everyone involved to compare apples to apples, are one of the simplest ways to fully leverage those advantages.

Look at Both Sides of the Ledger
Both entrepreneurs and franchisors have a lot to gain from the franchise business model. For an entrepreneur who wants to become a franchisee, it's a great way to jumpstart a new business. The list of benefits includes:

  • Instant brand-name recognition, which helps secure both bank loans and customers
  • Access to a proven business model, which helps the franchisee avoid costly rookie mistakes
  • Economies of scale that come with buying supplies in bulk quantities
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Financial Controls and Best Practices for Your Business

February 28, 2019 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, West Houston, Central MA

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Like many small-business owners, you started out as a jack-of-all-trades. Whatever needed to be done to keep the doors open in those hectic first months, you did it: sales, marketing, IT, maintenance, administration and bookkeeping.

As your business grew, you added employees, vendors, an attorney on retainer. Now you couldn't do everything yourself if you wanted to. To support the continued growth of your business, you need to implement some basic financial controls and best practices. How do you go about it effectively?

Glad you asked.

First, Figure Out Where You Are
This is actually a good time of year to take your business' pulse. You need to put your tax records in order, and you should be compiling a forecast for the new year. That's not a burden — it's an opportunity. Good, thorough bookkeeping records aren't just an indication of how you've performed in the past year, but are a blueprint for growth — if you know how to interpret them.

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Good Bookkeeping Involves More Than Keeping the Books Current

January 22, 2019 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, West Houston, Central MA

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Whether you own a startup or a growing business, a professional bookkeeper will help ensure you're following standard business practices and provide the financial information you need to make better business decisions.

From recording daily transactions in the general ledger to delivering in-depth financial reporting, here are several of the key tasks a professional bookkeeping service can perform:

1. Compiling Key Financial Reports
At a basic level, the goal of any business is to take in more money than it spends. But figuring out if the business is actually doing that can be surprisingly difficult. In order to fully understand what's going on, you need to review an array of financial reports. Of particular importance — especially in the startup phase, where cash is often in short supply — is the cash flow statement. If you or your bookkeeper don't understand the implications of this statement, the results could be disastrous.

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Employee and Independent Contractor Documentation Every Business Needs

November 13, 2018 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, West Houston, Central MA

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Disagreements with employees, clients, and independent contractors can create risks for your small business. By having certain employee and contractor documents in place, you can help safeguard your company.

Here's a quick look at some of those key documents:

  • Employment records: Organize your employee records (e.g. applications, performance reviews, W-2s, non-compete agreements) and keep them in a central location. Plus, confirm the records for each employee are complete and up-to-date.
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Which Documents Does Your Small Business Need to Secure a Loan?

September 27, 2018 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Central MA

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Do you have a new business that shows promise or an established business that's having a growth spurt? Either way, at some point you'll probably wonder whether an infusion of cash could help you reach that highly desirable (though difficult to define) "next level."

Getting Your Priorities in Order
As a first step, make sure your records are organized and up-to-date. A number of bookkeeping issues, from misclassified expenses to improperly applied COGS, can jeopardize your loan application.

The key reports and documents you’ll typically need to provide are:

  • Current P&L: This represents your revenue minus your operating expenses for a given period of time. If it's a negative number, then a loan won't fix your problems.
  • A balance sheet: I covered this one in an earlier post. Basically, the balance sheet is a snapshot of your company's liability, assets and capital on a specific date.
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How Your Small Business Can Become More Profitable

September 18, 2018 / by John Gleason posted in Small Business Advice, Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Central MA

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Business owners strive to maximize the profitability of their companies. Determining your company's profitability can be trickier than you think, however. For example, say Business A generates $10 million in annual revenue against $9.5 million in total costs, while Business B generates $250,000 in annual revenue against $50,000 in total costs. Which is more profitable?

Measured in raw dollars, Business A comes out way ahead, $500,000 to $200,000. But in terms of profit margin, Business B trounces Business A, 20% to 5%.

The point is, there are different ways to measure profitability. There are also different ways to maximize your company's profitability. Let's take a closer look.

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How to Deal with (and Make Deals with) Your Vendors

December 8, 2016 / by John Gleason posted in Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Business Advice

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Insufficient oversight of vendor relations can drain your company's resources and lessen your bottom line. Lost potentials range from money left on the table due to not taking advantage of available or possible discounts, to insider scams perpetrated by dishonest employees or vendor salespeople.

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Bookkeeping Services Basics | What Is Double Entry Accounting

July 18, 2016 / by John Gleason posted in Metrowest, MA, North Shore, Bookkeeping 101

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You have probably heard the term “double entry accounting” but might not know what it means, or why it matters to you and your business. It is a common bookkeeping method that you or your bookkeeping services provider are probably already using.

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