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Power Your Business Growth

December 19, 2019 / by Lori Coleman posted in Small Business Advice, South Shore, MA, Bookkeeping Services, Providence, RI, Business Advice

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As your business starts to grow, two things happen: 1) You have more demands on your time. 2) You need financial insight to prioritize that growth.

Professional bookkeeping can help you address both challenges.

Financial Data Provides the Key to Growth
From meeting with prospective clients to managing your team, your day is full. Are you using your precious time as wisely as you can? As a business owner myself, I know how difficult it is to keep up with everyday business tasks, let alone set aside time for strategic planning.

The trick is to manage your time investments by leveraging focused financial information to inform your decision making. A cutting-edge outsourced bookkeeping services provider can furnish the kind of detailed financial intelligence you'll need to drive your company in the direction you want it to go.

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Tips for Creating Your 2020 Business Budget

December 10, 2019 / by Mark Schanen posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Milwaukee

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Creating a business budget for 2020 will not only benefit your business in the next year, it will help establish a roadmap for success well into the future. A year ago I explained why your business would benefit from having a budget. This year, I'll get into the details of how to create one.

The primary benefit of having a budget is that it sets parameters. It forces you to make reasonable assumptions about how much your business is liable to spend in the coming year. That, in turn, helps you figure out how much income you'll need to cover your immediate expenses and also plan for long-term investments in the business.

While a budget is never exact, it's not just a wild guess, either. A budget's main value is to create an accountability tool. By setting a budget, you create a gauge for determining whether a particular initiative is working or whether you should change course before sinking more time, money or other resources into a losing proposition. A budget can also help identify successes that you should double down on.

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Want Less Stress at Tax Time? Know Your Business in Real Time.

December 5, 2019 / by Charl Riggs posted in Small Business Advice, Bookkeeping Services, Phoenix, Business Advice

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Many people, including business leaders, think of "tax time" as an unpleasant obligation, like going to the dentist. But by preparing for it well before the year is done, you can avoid the stress that precedes tax season each year. Better yet, taking that deep dive into your financials can provide a wealth of insight that can help you meet or exceed your business goals.

Tax Prep: It's Not Just for Your CPA's Sake
As fall turns to winter, it's a good time to take stock of how your business performed this year. One simple way to do that is to gather the information that you're going to have to gather anyway, so your CPA can do your taxes. By keeping up-to-date books year-round, you'll make your CPA happy at tax time.

Beyond your CPA, have you ever stopped to consider the other people involved with your company who could make good use of detailed, accurate financial data? Depending on your business, that can range from your management team to your investors and shareholders.

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Give Thanks to Your Employees — and Get Plenty in Return

November 26, 2019 / by Dana Brenner posted in Small Business Advice, Business Advice, Supporting Strategies

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Because Thanksgiving is such a family-oriented occasion, it's easy to understand why business leaders might not think to remember employees with their expressions of gratitude. But since employee retention is vital to maintaining a healthy business, it's important to thank your workforce as often as you can. This Thanksgiving makes a great time to start.

The Power of Appreciation
It's human nature. When someone thanks us for our efforts, we respond positively and are more likely to continue making the same level of effort, if not increase it. This is true whether we're thanked for simple acts, like holding a door for a stranger, or for more involved acts, like meeting a challenging deadline.

HR experts all agree: Thanking your employees helps keep them happy, which in turn helps keep them on your payroll. Whether you express your gratitude in the simplest, most literal way possible — by just saying "Thank you" — or by sweetening the deal with bonuses, gift cards or other perks, it's important not to neglect this important human connection.

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How Outsourced Bookkeeping Can Help Grow Your Business

November 21, 2019 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice, Supporting Strategies

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As your business grows, so do the systems necessary to support it. Whether you have DIY bookkeeping or an outsourced bookkeeping services provider, your business may get big enough that you consider setting up an in-house bookkeeping department.

Some businesses may consider it a natural progression to move from outsourced bookkeeping to having an in-house department. However, continuing with outsourced bookkeeping services has many advantages over the alternative.

An outsourced bookkeeping services provider can be a great partner to your business — offering not only the skills you need at the levels you need, up to and including CFO, but also contributing valuable financial insights. And it all comes without the added expense and responsibility of hiring and managing new employees.

The Bookkeeping Expertise You Need Right Now
An experienced bookkeeping services provider doesn't have a steep learning curve. As pros who are familiar with a variety of businesses, they can quickly determine how much support you need in specific areas — whether it's a basic level, such as recording daily transactions and month-end close, or more detailed assistance, such as budgeting, planning and analysis.

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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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