Category Archives: Quickbooks

Stress-Free Bookkeeping | Virtual Bookkeeping Company – Your Administrative Solutions

Stress Free Bookkeeping

laptop with numbersManaging your books is a cumbersome but critical task for any business. It can be very time-consuming, frustrating, and could mean working late hours. However, it has to be done to know the worth of your business and to satisfy the government for taxes. You also need to do this on a regular basis to get an accurate idea of your financial health.

 

How do you make this stress-free task work for you?

Some small and medium businesses either employ part-time bookkeepers or do the work themselves. No matter how it is done it is still a mundane task involving shuffling papers and working extra hours. Often there is a twinge of doubt that you are not doing something quite right or are missing important information.

Ask any entrepreneur why they went into business and you’ll get a hundred different answers. Odds are that “do bookkeeping” was not on the list even though bookkeeping is the core of any successful business. It is the way to measure growth, keep cash flow positive and track expenses.

Bookkeeping is like learning to play a musical instrument. The secret is to learn the fundamentals and create a system that works for the company.

Here are a few tips that could prove helpful to make the right decision for bookkeeping and accounting needs:

 

Don’t mix business and pleasure:

Get a business credit card to enable you to separate your business expenses from your personal. By this time you have already started your business checking account. So adding that business credit card will help you establish and build business credit and points. Co-mingling funds between personal and business is not a productive or efficient way of doing business and can prove to be a headache at tax time.

 

Keep it simple:

When creating your business in your accounting software doesn’t create too many categories in the chart of accounts. For example, office supplies will be a sufficient category rather than separate categories for paper, letterhead, printer supplies, etc. This complicates profit and loss and adds time to the day-to-day activities when items are being expensed.

 

Automate your invoicing:

There are many online invoicing services that allow you to schedule invoices for clients who are charged on a regular basis. You will find that most accounting software has the ability to memorize invoices that reoccur monthly. The day of the re-occurrence can even be set such as the first of the month.

 

Use the right accounting software:

There are many accounting software packages out there that you can use to assist you with your accounting and bookkeeping needs. Of course, I highly recommend QuickBooks but there is also a wide variety of Open Source software which is free to download. Additionally there are a wide variety of free manuals and tutorials online.

 

Outsource to a virtual bookkeeper:

Outsourcing to a virtual bookkeeper saves time, money, worry, and headaches. Many business owners take two common approaches to tackling the issue of bookkeeping. They try to do it themselves – which is time consuming and can lead to costly mistakes. They pay large firms to do it – which is unnecessarily expensive. A professional bookkeeper has the skills and experience to do the job right. There are many advantages to outsourcing your books. Save money, save time, and the need for extra help. The biggest benefit is your bottom line.

  • Books that are inaccurate do not reflect the true health of the business
  • Being clueless at any level about where the money is going is not being in control of your business.

Business people need to focus on the business:

There are many aspects to running a business and the most important is earning money. Some things just have to be delegated in order to maximize time and productivity. Bookkeeping can be a painful and time consuming process and many business owners do not have the expertise or knowledge to get the job done right. Time spent on bookkeeping activities is time away from making money.

If you liked this article by Fran McCully, you’ll want to hop on over to http://www.YourAdministrativeSolutions.com where you can find more articles, resources and strategies to help manage the finances of your business. We also create business plans (with full market analysis and competitor research), do cash flow analysis, and assist companies with budget set up and implementation.

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Analyzing Business Expenses

budgetTracking business expenses is essential for staying profitable and predicting future income and expenses. Whether you’re doing the analysis or leaving that to your financial person, it’s important to know what’s going on with the finances of your business.

1.         Compare the budgeted numbers to the actual numbers.

If you don’t have a budget, create one based on past years’ data and soldier on from there. Knowing what you plan to make and spend over a year’s time and tracking that plan against actual spending month by month is very helpful in forecasting what lies ahead and how to fix it.

2.         Analyze the income statement.

Accounting software (such as QuickBooks) provides a report of operating expenses called the Profit & Loss Statement or Income Statement. Compare the operating expense figures to last month, last quarter, the average of the last three months, average year to date, and the same month last year. By doing this, expense trends can be identified making it easier to see if a particular expense has increased. This provides the chance to find out what’s happening before it gets out of control.

3.         Understand the business’ fixed and variable costs.

You’ll always have an electric bill, but maybe you only have to buy milk for your ice cream business in the spring and summer months (since ice cream sales are zip in the winter). This is the difference between fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are always there, whether you have income or not—variable costs depend on the amount you’re selling.

4.         Breakeven analysis.

This is the volume of sales needed to cover all costs. A breakeven point can be determined once the variable and fixed costs for the business are known.

To have a strong and successful business it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the financial impact that the most basic business decisions have. Analyzing business expenses is critical to making informed and profitable decisions for your business’ future.

Stress Free Bookkeeping

Managing your books is a cumbersome but critical task for any business. It is very time-consuming, frustrating, and could mean working late hours. However, it has to be done to know the worth of your business and to satisfy the government for taxes. You also need to do this on a regular basis to get an accurate idea of your financial health.

How do you make this stress-free task work for you?

Some small and medium businesses either employ part-time bookkeepers or do the work themselves. No matter how it is done it is still a mundane task involving shuffling papers and working extra hours. Often there is a twinge of doubt that you are not doing something quite right or are missing important information.

Ask any entrepreneur why they went into business and you’ll get a hundred different answers. Odds are that “do bookkeeping” was not on the list even though bookkeeping is the core of any successful business. It is the way to measure growth, keep cash flow positive and track expenses.

Bookkeeping is like learning to play a musical instrument. The secret is to learn the fundamentals and create a system that works for the company.

Here are a few tips that could prove helpful to make the right decision for bookkeeping and accounting needs:

Don’t mix business and pleasure:

Get a business credit card to enable you to separate your business expenses from your personal. By this time you have already started your business checking account. So adding that business credit card will help you establish and build business credit and points. Co-mingling funds between personal and business is not a productive or efficient way of doing business and can prove to be a headache at tax time.

Keep it simple:

When creating your business in your accounting software doesn’t create too many categories in the chart of accounts. For example, office supplies will be a sufficient category rather than separate categories for paper, letterhead, printer supplies, etc. This complicates profit and loss and adds time to the day-to-day activities when items are being expensed.

Automate your invoicing:

There are many online invoicing services that allow you to schedule invoices for clients who are charged on a regular basis. You will find that most accounting software has the ability to memorize invoices that reoccur monthly. The day of the re-occurrence can even be set such as the first of the month.

Use the right accounting software:

There are many accounting software packages out there that you can use to assist you with your accounting and bookkeeping needs. Of course, I highly recommend QuickBooks but there is also a wide variety of Open Source software which is free to download. Additionally there are a wide variety of free manuals and tutorials online.

Outsource to a virtual bookkeeper:

Outsourcing to a virtual bookkeeper saves time, money, worry, and headaches. Many business owners take two common approaches to tackling the issue of bookkeeping. They try to do it themselves – which is time consuming and can lead to costly mistakes. They pay large firms to do it – which is unnecessarily expensive. A professional bookkeeper has the skills and experience to do the job right. There are many advantages to outsourcing your books. Save money, save time, and the need for extra help. The biggest benefit is your bottom line.

  • Books that are inaccurate do not reflect the true health of the business
  • Being clueless at any level about where the money is going is not being in control of your business.

Business people need to focus on the business:

There are many aspects to running a business and the most important is earning money. Some things just have to be delegated in order to maximize time and productivity. Bookkeeping can be a painful and time consuming process and many business owners do not have the expertise or knowledge to get the job done right. Time spent on bookkeeping activities is time away from making money.

–Fran McCully, Your Administrative Solutions

Budget…not a 4-letter word

Budget is not a bad word. On the contrary, it is something every business needs to pay careful attention to. Running a business without a budget is dangerous at best. In order to plan for future growth or expenses a budget is a necessary tool to have in place. Also, keep in mind a budget is not a fixed tool. It is fluid and needs to be referred to often to see if the business is healthy or if it needs some tweaking.

If you find budgeting intimidating, give us a call. We can help you set up and manage your business budget.

What is a budget? A budget is simply a tool that tracks expenditures and helps plan how money will be used. A well planned budget takes the guess work out of both day to day bills and long term goals.

Realize that a budget will not solve financial problems. It is simply a tool to help identify and address problem areas.

If you are in the process of starting a business and don’t have a previous budget to use, research typical costs and sales trends associated with firms in your sector and determine averages.

Keep it simple. There is no need to list every expense in great detail. For example, combine your office supplies into one category.

•          Calculate net cash flow: This is the most critical part of a budget. Calculate the funds the company brings in. Gather every financial statement possible including bank statements, investment accounts, all utility bills, and all sources of income and expenses. The goal here is to create a monthly average, so the more information you can find the better.

•          Record all sources of income: Hopefully, your business is already set up in electronic software such as QuickBooks. If so, this part will be fairly easy. Compile specific reports to get all of the information needed.

•          Review bank and credit card statements: These are all recurring expenses that have fixed amounts. Review the last 3 months in order to obtain a good feel for the pattern of recurring expenses.

•          Create a list of monthly expenses: Write down a list of all the expected expenses you plan on incurring over the course of a month. Then break the expenses into two categories: Fixed and Variable. Fixed expenses are those that stay relatively the same each month and are a required part of a business. Variable expenses are those that change from month to month.

•          Analyze results: If you have cash remaining at the end of the month, your financial business life style may be healthy. If your cash flow shows a higher expense column this means some changes will have to be made.

•          Make adjustments to expenses: Knowing that you have accurately identified and listed all expenses, the goal would be to have the income and expense columns equal. Therefore, all of the income is accounted for and budgeted for a specific expense.

If you are in a situation where expenses are higher than income, look at your variable expenses for areas to cut.

Always review a budget monthly. It is important to review a budget on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on track. After the 2nd or 3rd month, compare the actual expenses versus what was created in the budget. This will show where you did well and where you may need to improve. QuickBooks has a built-in feature to help with this process. If you have questions on setting this up in your QuickBooks, give us a call.

Why is a budget important?

Referring to a budget at regular intervals is a very valuable learning tool. Forecasts can be compared with actual numbers. It is important to revisit the budget on a periodic basis to evaluate these numbers and see whether planned figures diverge from the actual. Try to make this a regular part of running your business.

Be flexible. A budget, although a useful tool for remaining disciplined, is not set in stone. A budget should not be used as an absolute ceiling as to how much can be spent but a tool for making sure business goals are being met and all spending is justified.

In the beginning, planning the small business budget may seem like an overwhelming task. However, over time you will see how this simple planning tool actually takes much of the stressful guesswork out of running a business and helps you in getting control of your business.

–Fran McCully, Your Administrative Solutions 2013

How I Saved My Mom from a Bookkeeping Headache « SHU Books and Taxes’ Blog

In addition to helping her out with QuickBooks, I hooked her up with a free Dropbox account so that she can get all those paper files from 2007 forward, out of her rolling plastic bins in her room, and into the cloud.

Once again, she couldn’t believe such a thing existed and thought it so cool that she could download the Dropbox app onto her iPad, and if needed at the meetings, she could quickly recall a copy of a bill explaining any expenses.

(Note from Debra: Dropbox is incredibly cool, helpful and FREE. We use it at Moore Bookkeeping all the time! If you don’t have it, you should check into it. https://www.dropbox.com/ is the site address.)

via How I Saved My Mom from a Bookkeeping Headache « SHU Books and Taxes’ Blog.

QuickBooks Tip #42 – Get Money in the Door Faster

Looking for a way to get your billing done and money into your business quicker?

If you bill many customers every month–and basically all are the same except for the customer information–for example, you own a garbage pick-up business, and everyone is billed the same amount every month–there’s a quick way to do this. Batch Invoicing.

From the menu bar, select Customers, Create Batch Invoices. You’ll then select those customers you’d like to bill by clicking the “Add” button.

 

 

 
Then choose the Item you’re billing–in this case, Trash Removal. (Be sure to add a customer message!)

 

 

 

 

Then click “Create Invoices” and you’re done. Simple and fast!

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to make QuickBooks work for your business, give Moore Bookkeeping a call. We can set up a remote-access tutorial for you or perhaps come to your office and instruct you in person for a very reasonable cost.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

Second Quarter has Ended…How are Your Company’s Numbers Looking?

Half of 2012 is gone now…hard to believe how quickly the time goes. But more importantly, how did it go?

The Profit & Loss statement (P&L) can give you a good idea of how it’s going. Do you review this report regularly? You should! You’d be amazed what the report can tell you! It might look like a bunch of numbers, but the information in can be used to make important business decisions! Let’s take a look at some of the things you can glean from this report.

At the end of every accounting period review this report, and ask yourself these questions:

  1. How are my sales/income figures? How do they compare to last month, last quarter, and last year? How are the numbers trending, up or down?
  2. What does the Cost of Goods look like? Percentage-wise, are the numbers trending up or down?
  3. What do my fixed costs look like? Am I paying more now in certain expense categories than I was last month, last quarter, or last year?
  4. How is my business doing overall compared to the past?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and considered the answers, it’s time for the biggest questions of all–“Why?” And “What can I do about this?”

Financial statements aren’t just for the tax man–they provide the information you need to run your business.

If you need assistance understanding or preparing your financial statements, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.

QuickBooks Set-Up

Setting up the QuickBooks file is the most important step in using the software product successfully. Inventory, payroll, payables, receivables—all of these modules depend upon proper set-up to post correctly to the general ledger. Using a file that is set up incorrectly or incompletely will lead to frustration and missed information on reports.

Many users decide to do the set-up themselves only to discover it’s not nearly as easy as QuickBooks makes business owners believe. For example, the payroll module alone includes many steps that if not followed correctly can lead to underpayment of payroll taxes for both state and federal entities.

The wizard installed with QuickBooks is helpful, but unless you have experience in QuickBooks and bookkeeping, it is worth the cost to have this done or at least checked by an expert in QuickBooks before using the file. The earlier you consult an expert, the less time it will take them to fix any problems–problems that will compound and frustrate and cost money to fix.

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program: Accounting Product Discounts, Certification, News, Grow Your Practice Help

Quickbooks software can be purchased through Quickbooks Proadvisors at a 30% discount. If you’re considering upgrading your bookkeeping software, we can get that discount for you. For more information, check out:

QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program: Accounting Product Discounts, Certification, News, Grow Your Practice Help.