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It's Not How Much Bookkeeping Costs, It's How Much Value It Adds

June 11, 2020 / by Indre Bauza posted in Small Business Advice, Northern Virginia, Bookkeeping Services, Business Advice

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No one ever says "You get what you pay for" when describing a good deal. People say that only when they realize (too late) that the inexpensive solution they chose is inadequate.

In reality, it's possible to get much more than you pay for — and outsourced bookkeeping services are a prime example.

A Long-Term Solution to a Pressing Need
During the launch phase, few business leaders have a solid long-range plan for keeping their company's books. Often, cash flow is modest enough that the owner, office manager or other staff member can do the books.

When your business grows to the point where it's no longer feasible (or wise) for the owner or a staff member to continue doing the books, however, finding a dedicated bookkeeper becomes a pressing need. That can pressure the business owner into settling for a short-term fix.

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Good Bookkeeping Is the Foundation for PPP Loan Forgiveness

May 21, 2020 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia, Business Continuity

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This article was revised on June 11, 2020 to reflect the latest updates to the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Please visit the SBA site for the most current details.

As a responsible business owner concerned about retaining your employees during the coronavirus pandemic, you immediately applied for a loan through the PPP. And you were fortunate to be among those who received one.

But your work isn't done. Being a responsible business owner also means following PPP instructions so that your loan will be forgiven. That may yet prove to be difficult.

A Work in Progress
The PPP initially stipulated that as long as 75% or more of PPP funds went toward payroll costs within eight weeks, the loan would be forgiven. When the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (PPPFA) was signed into law on June 5, these two thresholds changed. Now, businesses must put at least 60% of PPP funds toward payroll costs within 24 weeks for loan forgiveness.

The PPPFA also included revisions affecting the calculation of full-time employees and deferring payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax.

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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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3 Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Bookkeeper

July 18, 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.

Small-business owners sometimes have trouble delegating responsibilities. We get it. Once you've invested so much time (and money, in many cases) in launching a business, it's difficult to relinquish control over key aspects of that business — especially the finances.

But as your business grows, you eventually realize there literally aren't enough hours in the day to do everything yourself. And unless your goal in launching the business was to become a full-time bookkeeper, that's one of the first areas you should consider outsourcing. Have questions regarding how to go about it? Here are some answers.

1. Will the bookkeeping services provider help you focus on your business rather than on bookkeeping?
The best bookkeeping services providers understand their role is to minimize your involvement in bookkeeping so that you can refocus on your core strengths. And they'll assert their expertise in accomplishing that — sometimes from day one.

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Case Study: Modernizing a Mature Nonprofit's Bookkeeping

May 28, 2019 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia, Nonprofits, Case Study Blogs

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When he became Executive Director at Arlington Thrive in March 2016, Andrew Schneider encountered a problem common among mature nonprofits: "Over time, as in any organization, internal systems develop that make sense to the people who are operating them but might not make sense to new people coming in."

In fulfilling its mission of providing same-day, emergency financial assistance to residents of Arlington County, Virginia, the organization relied on a steady flow of cash. A legacy bookkeeping system, coupled with a nearly indecipherable method of donor classification, threatened to disrupt that flow. Schneider needed to resolve the problem quickly. Supporting Strategies | Northern Virginia and Managing Director Indre Bauza delivered a solution.

A Clearer View
Supporting Strategies took a proactive approach to solving the problem — from modernizing the bookkeeping system to establishing monthly conference calls with the finance committee. The result? Real-time financial reporting, enhanced communication, and greater financial transparency.

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Achieving Financial Fitness

April 11, 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.

Like many business leaders, you made a new year’s resolution to stay current with your financial reporting. Now that it’s Q2, it’s time to make sure your resolution is staying on track.

Don't Just Keep Up — Get Ahead
This is the perfect time to take a big-picture look at the health of your business. Are there ways you can optimize your approach to achieve efficiency and gain a competitive advantage? Technology advances quickly, and there may be better solutions available for your business today than there were when you started — or even a year ago.

For example, it's now easy for small businesses to know their financial status in real time. Using records that update automatically, you can analyze your key performance indicators. Your KPIs can tell you at a glance how your business is performing relative to your budgeting and forecasting (which, by the way, will also be vastly improved with better financial reporting).

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8 Time- & Money-Saving Technology Tips for Small Businesses

January 11, 2018 / by Indy Zakaryte posted in Small Business Advice, Northern Virginia, Bookkeeping Services, Tool Tips, Business Advice

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

In managing your small business, you're always looking for ways to boost efficiency, reduce costs, increase profitability and improve performance. The right software solutions can allow you to do all of that and more.

At Supporting Strategies, we often steer clients toward software and other technology solutions that help them run their business better. Here are eight examples. 

1) QuickBooks Online
Remember the huge improvement you gained in efficiency by switching from paper-based bookkeeping to QuickBooks for your desktop? (And if you're still using paper-based bookkeeping, we really need to talk.) Well, as Georgean Schmidt, Managing Director of Supporting Strategies | Central Ohio, noted in a recent blog, the upgrade from the desktop version of QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online (QBO) can be just as dramatic.

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Why Monthly Bookkeeping Is Important for Startups

July 27, 2017 / by Indy Zakaryte posted in Northern Virginia, Tips for Startups

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

When you're overwhelmed with all the details of launching a startup, it's easy to convince yourself that you can figure out the bookkeeping later. But "later" might be too late to save your business.

Before you launch, it's important to determine how you'll track your company's financial health on a monthly basis. Regular reports can not only alert you to potential financial problems, but also help you chart the most direct course to growth and profitability.

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Bootcamp Series: Putting Small Businesses on Track for Growth

June 15, 2017 / by Leslie Jorgensen posted in Northern Virginia, Santa Monica, Chicago Far West Suburbs, Los Angeles, Ventura County, Business Advice

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CEOs and CXOs of growing businesses from coast to coast attended our Business Fundamentals Bootcamp Series this spring.

Participants enjoyed panels and breakout sessions on a wide range of topics: Finance and Administration, Strategy and Marketing, Legal and Risk Management, and Management and HR, all of which featured dynamic, insightful, inspiring speakers. In between sessions and over coffee, lunch and even cocktails, participants continued the conversations while expanding their networks and learning new skills.

On March 17, DC-area movers and shakers met at the Tower Club in Tysons, Virginia to explore Strategies for Success with presenters from organizations such as Searle Business Solutions, One Degree Capital, Arlington Law Group and Burdette Smith & Bish. Among the topics on the table: the quest for profitability, enhancing business value, and building high-performance teams.
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Three Things You Can Do to Help Protect your Business

July 6, 2016 / by Indre Bauza posted in Northern Virginia, Bookkeeping Services

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Your accounting services provider is in a position of trust—he or she works with the finances of your company. Ideally, your bookkeeper is your trusted advisor, a valuable member of your team who works to help achieve your company’s vision and goals. That’s why it’s disheartening to hear stories about bookkeeping services providers abusing this position of trust.

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