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Blogs by Sandra Finerghty


How Today's Numbers Drive Business Decisions for Next Year

October 8, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Bookkeeping Services, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC, Business Continuity

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

Ready for 2021? Insights into current cash flow are more important than ever for creating an accurate forecast.

If revenue was lower than anticipated at your business this year, you're not alone. But if you were among the fortunate ones whose business remained open or only had a brief disruption, you have an opportunity to regroup and get a fresh start next year. And it all starts with examining your current cash flow.

Understanding the Numbers
For any business to succeed, it must have enough cash available to pay expenses, bank loans, taxes and salaries and to purchase whatever inventory and equipment is necessary to function effectively. That's why the kind of disruption in cash flow that many businesses suffered this year has been so unsettling. Some organizations suddenly found themselves unable to pay their bills.

If you're in that category, now isn't the time to panic — that's never a good approach. But it is the time to apply a sense of urgency and figure out a way forward in this new financial reality.

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How to Plan a Successful Business Succession

May 14, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

It's not surprising that many new business owners devote little thought to their exit strategy. They have way too much going on today to worry about tomorrow.

Still, putting together a business succession plan as soon as possible is part of being a responsible business owner. After all, illness, disability or family obligations could force you to sell out sooner than you'd planned.

And even if you eventually do exit according to your own timetable, you'll want to do it properly, both to maximize your profits and ensure a smooth transition. This is especially important when passing the business on to a family member or longtime partner. You want to avoid misunderstandings that could strain the relationship and put a damper on your well-deserved retirement.

Visualize the Moment
The first step in planning your succession is deceptively simple: Stop and think of exactly what selling your business would mean in practical terms.

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Suffering From Tax Anxiety? Don't Fret — You Still Have Time

March 3, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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Note: This blog first appeared on the NCACPA website.

Even the most competent, upstanding, conscientious business owners tend to fret over filing their taxes. And no wonder. Considering the legendary incomprehensibility of IRS regulations, who can blame business owners for feeling out of their league when trying to determine their tax obligations?

The result? They put off dealing with their taxes as long as possible. Which only compounds the worry.

Relax! You'll Be Fine
Okay, so before we continue, take a deep breath. There's no reason to panic. The first thing you need to realize is that you still have time to compile a comprehensive, clean-as-a-whistle tax return. If you have an S corp, partnership or multiple-member LLC, your filing deadline is mid-March, same as last year. (Technically, you get an extra day this year because March 15 falls on a Sunday, which bumps the deadline to March 16.) Otherwise, your filing deadline is the same as for most other Americans: April 15.

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5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Business

January 2, 2020 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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The start of a new year is an ideal time for businesses to review and renew, and to resolve to make this year better than the last. Here's a five-step checklist to get your business started — or restarted in 2020.

Step 1: Review Your Business Plan 
You remember your business plan, don't you? Creating it was one of the many items on your checklist leading up to your launch. And while it probably contained a fair amount of boilerplate language, it likely served as a pretty good roadmap for your prospective business from day one all the way through your exit strategy.

You might be surprised how much you could gain by reviewing your plan today. Whether you're ending year one or year four of your five-year plan, it can be helpful to remind yourself of what your original goals were, along with your projected trajectory for achieving them. Has your business substantially changed since the day you opened your doors? If so, why? Is it because the market has changed? Or is it your company that's changed, based on what you've learned along the way?

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Outsourced Bookkeeping Services: Your Long-Term Solution

April 16, 2019 / by Sandra Finerghty posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Durham & Chapel Hill, NC

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Many small-business owners start out doing everything themselves: sales, marketing, HR, IT, even keeping their own books. As they stretch themselves thinner and thinner, they try to offload as many responsibilities as they can in an attempt to keep up.

If you're thinking of starting a small business, you can learn from this common mistake. Identify what's core to your business, and what can be outsourced, before you open your doors. Take advantage of all the cost-effective expertise that's available today. Because the DIY, learn-as-you-go approach to things like bookkeeping can result in costly, easily avoidable mistakes.

From Recording Transactions to Financial Reporting and Forecasting
In simplest terms, a bookkeeper records a company's financial transactions at regular chronological intervals — day by day, in most cases. While the definition is fairly straightforward, keeping up with a company's financial reporting can be time-consuming and complicated, depending on the nature of the business.

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