Reduce Your Stress About Bookkeeping!

Small business owners and self-employed individuals all know how daunting bookkeeping can be. Organizing your business finances often lingers in the background until the dreaded... tax time! Bring on the headaches, receipts, numbers, and trying to remember why you transferred out that money eleven months ago (let alone remember what you had for dinner last week). 

This kind of stress is not good for your health, or your business' health! The number one stress reduction for small business owners can often be to outsource their bookkeeping, even if it's just a monthly review by a consultant. If you are fully committed to your books, however, here are some tips to remember that will keep the stress levels down.    

Keep track of you 1099 employees from the start.

QuickBooks and Xero offer 1099 tracking for your independent contractors. Classifying these individuals as 1099 employees from the start will make tax time that much easier. Don't put yourself in the situation of backtracking through your checks in order to find out what you paid to whom. Both platforms have the ability to summarize the amount of compensation paid during the year for each contractor so that it is easy to report. (Be sure to enter social security numbers and contact information for contractors as well!)

Categorize everything!

Categorizing is your BFF when it comes to organizing your income and expenses. It's totally up to you with how specific you want to get with parent accounts and sub-accounts, but the primary goal is to have everything clearly sorted. Multiple income streams should absolutely be separated, along with whichever expense categories that are relevant to your industry. 

Reconcile Every Single Month

One of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses committing is not reconciling their accounts each month, or at least each quarter. An even bigger mistake is to leave a discrepancy - there should not be even a $0.01 difference between what's in the bank and what's in the books. If there is, the DO NOT reconcile. It's best to find the source of the problem ASAP so it can be fixed. 

Move to a Cloud-Based Bookkeeping System

If you haven't done this already, it's probably time. The ease and convenience of being able to access your books from any location remotely is a major stress reducer. No more being tied down to a desktop file - most platforms now offer on-the-go mobile apps as well. Everything nowadays seems to be moving to the cloud, and disregarding tech trends can be a huge business stressor and detriment. (This is also a good excuse to move your filing system to the cloud!)

Nobody likes being stressed. Especially not when money is involved. Save yourself the worry in 2017!


The Basics of Nonprofit Bookkeeping

I found this AMAZING basic overview of nonprofit accounting concepts. If you are looking to understand how nonprofits differ from for-profits, this is a great starting point. 

The slide-share covers...

1. Purpose and Ownership
2. Side-by-side Comparison of Nonprofit vs. For-Profit
3. Financial Statements Differences
4. Unrestricted, Temporarily Restricted, and Permanently Restricted Net Assets
5. Program and Supporting Services Expenses

Big kudos to Fransy Russey, CPA for creating this simple and straightforward explanation. 

What is Cloud-Based Bookkeeping Anyways?

We've all heard about the "cloud". There was even a comedy movie created around the mystery of it (I'm looking at you Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal). Okay - that movie might not have been based off cloud-based bookkeeping, but it's still the same idea. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur who really isn't sure what this cloud-based bookkeeping thing is and why everyone is moving to it - please read on. 

1. What is cloud-based bookkeeping and why is it different/better?

Cloud-based bookkeeping is the future - just like how everything else is pretty much moving towards being stored in the cloud (ex: our music, photos, Google calendars, etc.). Cloud-based bookkeeping means you access your company's books from ANY location by simply logging into your account on a website. There is no exported file to copy from one computer to the next, you simply have access to your books at all times with no hassle. This also opens up a huge advantage of not being tied to a physical computer and instead having your bookkeeper, accountant, or yourself work remotely. 

2. There are two big players in the cloud-based bookkeeping world: QuickBooks Online and Xero

You have probably heard of QuickBooks Online considering the majority of U.S. businesses use QuickBooks as their go-to accounting software. It is the old faithful QB desktop version, but revamped to be simpler, more user-friendly, and not a downloadable software - it's a website. Xero is the up-and-coming program that has gained massive popularity in England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is similarly accessed through a website and argues to have more 'bang for your buck' than other alternatives and a cool name. 

3. Now What?

Consider making the change! Staying up-to-date with technology is extremely important for business success. Not only does it create a more efficient accounting system, it's also easier - all you need is an internet connection. It also takes away the worry of data loss due to a computer crash which ultimately saves time and money for your business.  

We can help with the transition to a cloud-based bookkeeping software and make it THAT much simpler for you.

- Adrienne