Why You Need to Simplify Your Business Systems

Does it seem like life is getting busier each year, making it harder and harder to keep up with your responsibilities? Many people feel like they are barely keeping their heads above water as they try to keep up with their family and business tasks. The problem is that systems and processes are often becoming more complicated over time, resulting in the need for more time and management to keep up.

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Business

It is common for business owners and entrepreneurs to get stuck in the rut of overcomplicating their business systems. An idea might pop up that seems like a good way to improve business management. But, these ideas can morph and complicate routines, resulting in a situation where your daily workflow is jam-packed as you are trying to stay current with everything.

This trend leads to a situation where a business begins to scale, but big problems pop up along the way. As the business gets bigger, it becomes less scalable at the same time. If you aren’t careful, everything might come crashing down!

Simplifying Business Systems

Instead of getting stuck in a situation where your business systems are causing problems, the best thing that you can do is to take a proactive approach to simplify your business right away. Even if things seem to be fine right now, you need to be proactive to simplify so that you can avoid problems in the future.

One of the most effective ways to simplify your business is to hire outsourcers who offer critical skills that are needed. Recognize that you can’t handle everything on your own, and look for outsourcing teams that can offer the skills that will set your business up for success.

For example, if you don’t have a financial background and you are limited on time, then you shouldn’t be handling the bookkeeping tasks on your own. Hiring a bookkeeping team can be a great way to minimize your busy work each day. At the same time, you have the benefit of tapping into the experience that can be helpful to set your company up for success in the future.

Slim down the number of tasks that you are responsible for each day, so that you can focus on the essential business management and innovations that will help your company grow. If you need assistance with bookkeeping services, then we invite you to contact our team at Easier Bookkeeping. We have many years of experience in the financial industry, and we would love to help with your company: (888) 620-0770

2017 Bookkeeping Goals: Tips to Boost Your Business Next Year

With the new year upon us, it is a great time to look at where we’ve been and where we want to go, both personally and professionally. To do plan for the future, we need to establish aspirational targets that we can focus our efforts around. More commonly, we use the term “goal setting” for this activity. Goals are a great way to help map out the future path we want to take so that we end up with the results that we desire. Below are a few tried and true rules to setting goals correctly:

1. Organize

For a future want to become a current reality, you need to get organized. To start the process, you need to write down your future want in a way that is “SMART”:  Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

Simply wishing something to happen does not bring to bear the focused effort and resource commitment of time and energy necessary to attain your future want. You must create a framework for your future want to become a reality. Only then is it a goal. As part of your effort to organize your business goals, keep in mind that very large or ambitious goals should be broken down into smaller achievement milestones to help you not to be overwhelmed or paralyzed as you work toward your ultimate goal.

2. Prioritize

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can do everything all at once. You must consider and decide what your most important goal is. Do that one first. Then work on the second most important goal. Then the third most important goal, etc. Sometimes you may have some overlap, and if carefully managed, that can work just fine. The important thing is the sequencing of your priorities to focus your time and energy toward the attainment of your future reality.

3. Measure

If you can’t measure a goal, you can’t manage it. Make sure ahead of time that your goal is measurable, and you can easily determine if and when your goal is attained. For example, if you have a financial goal set for your business, then you need to measure your progress on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

4. Review

It’s really important that you monitor your progress toward achieving your goals. This monitoring works hand in hand with measuring your goals since reviewing allows you to measure and course correct with feedback received from your measurements. Set aside some time at a regular interval to review your goals.

If you have a goal to do better with your bookkeeping this year, perhaps we can help! Call Easier Bookkeeping at (888) 620-0770

Using Technology to Streamline Daily Tasks in Your Business

It is amazing to see how many digital tools are available to help with small business management. Are you using the right tools to simplify your business systems? There are many tools out there, which can make it overwhelming to know the best solutions to use.

Here are a few of our favorite technology tools to help small business owners:

Online Accounting Software

If you don’t have a good bookkeeping and accounting software in place, then this focus should be at the top of your priority list. Many business owners use QuickBooks Online, which offers the advantage of accessing the books from any location.

This tool makes it easy for an outsourced bookkeeper to keep your business transactions up to date in the system. There are certain situations where QuickBooks might not be the right solution, so make sure to talk with an experienced bookkeeping and accounting team before you make your decision.

Document Storage

It can be a frustrating experience to have your computer crash, especially if your business documents were filed on your laptop. A failed hard drive is often an unrecoverable computer problem. Instead of keeping your files on your computer, consider the advantages of a cloud storage system such as DropBox or SmartVault.

These services give you access to your files from any location. The advantage of SmartVault is that you can integrate the system with QuickBooks Online to streamline your business filing system.

To-Do Lists and Team Management

Keep running to-do lists, notes, and other details in a program that can be synced with your phone and computer. For example, Evernote is a great solution if you want to manage your to-do lists on the go. The notes can be created on any device; then they are automatically synced across all platforms that you are using. Evernote even allows you to save documents, images, and audio files within the note.

If you need a bigger team management tool, then you might consider something like BaseCamp. This system allows you to make assignments and keep track of the progress of every member of your team. Having an overview of the workflow is beneficial to make sure that the important tasks are completed.

Are you interested in learning more about how technology can be used to streamline your business systems? Talk with our team at Easier Bookkeeping for more details about how we can help. We specialize in small business bookkeeping and accounting, and our services can be catered to match your business needs: (888) 620-0770

5 Essential Factors for an Effective Bookkeeping System

Is it time to implement a bookkeeping system for your company? For the best results, it is important to have the right software and bookkeeping strategies in place from the very beginning. But, some business owners wait for a while because they don’t realize how much these bookkeeping services can impact the success of the company.

Here are a few factors that need to be considered when you are setting up your bookkeeping system:

1. Choose the Right Software

The software program that is used is the foundation to effective financial tracking. Talk with your bookkeeper about different types of software programs that might be used, so that you can choose the program that will work best for the needs of your company.

2. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks

To have long-term financial success for your company, it is essential to maintain specific daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. These tasks should be focused on the things that are needed to pay the bills, keep the invoices up-to-date, collect payments from customers, send out payroll, and keep up with tax payments and paperwork. Find a system that works for you, and stay consistent with these tasks.

3. Double Check Financial Transactions

Mistakes can be made along the way, which might impact the financial reports. Have a professional bookkeeper look over the transactions to double check everything. For example, it is often a good idea to do a monthly reconciliation to compare company receipts with bank transactions to make sure that everything lines up.

4. Stay Ahead of the Game

Instead of waiting until the last minute to complete bookkeeping and tax paperwork, you can reduce your stress levels by getting it done early. A bookkeeping service will know all of the deadlines that need to be met, to be sure that your business is staying ahead of those deadlines.

5. Work with a Professional

Many business owners mistakenly think that they can handle the finances for their company, but they don’t have any accounting or bookkeeping experience. If you haven’t worked in this industry before, then it is a good idea to hire a bookkeeping service to be sure that you have an experienced team member to help.

When you are ready for high-quality bookkeeping services, we invite you to contact our team at Easier Bookkeeping. We know what works best for small business bookkeeping services, and we are here to help! Call us right away at: (888) 620-0770

Money Saving Tips for Small Business Owners

Cash flow is a critical thing that small business owners need to focus on, because it is essential to ensure that there is enough cash available to keep the business running each month. Even if a business is profitable, there are certain times when cash flow might be a challenge, resulting in a situation where a small business owner is unable to keep up with the financial requirements.

If you want to improve your cash flow, then you need to consider the outflow of money that is being spent. Here are a few money saving tips to consider:

Track All Expenses

If you aren’t tracking where the money is going, then it is nearly impossible to manage cash flow and expenses. Put together a good system or financial program to track all of the money that is coming in and flowing out, which will allow you to see the big picture. The reports from your financial system can be invaluable to help you make decisions based on the financial health of your company.

Assess Monthly Billing

It is easy to get pulled into monthly billing for different services, and sometimes these services go unused but you continue paying the monthly cost by mistake. Take time to assess the spending to determine the essential spending, and look for areas where you might be able to cut costs. Evaluate the service that you are receiving and how it impacts your business, then determine if it is an essential service. By cutting a few of the monthly bills, the savings can really add up throughout the year.

Hire a Bookkeeper

Most small business owners don’t have the time or experience to maintain good financial records, which means that you will probably be better off by leaving it to the professionals. A bookkeeper will focus on the money that is coming in and flowing out, maintain the reports that are needed, and help you build a solid financial tracking system. This information is invaluable to allow you to focus on the business building activities while maintaining the peace of mind to know that you have an expert helping with the financial details for your business.

Do you need help with bookkeeping services? Many small businesses can benefit from a full service bookkeeper, and we are here to help! For more information, contact Easier Bookkeeping at: (888) 620-0770

Is it Safe to Use Online Bookkeeping Software?

When a company has used traditional accounting records for so long, it might seem like a daunting idea to move the books into a digital format. There are a number of different types of accounting software programs that can be used to assist with this process, but it is important that you are selective about the program that you choose. When you move your books into a digital software program, you need to be sure that you are being proactive to maintain confidentiality of the financial matters.

Hackers and Financial Data

Technology offers many advantages, but hackers are always looking for ways to steal information that can be used for profit. Use secure internet connections and consider storing files on the cloud instead of the hard drive of your computer.

Also, it is best to update operating systems in order to avoid vulnerabilities that might be present in older versions of the operating system. Another protection is to keep your antivirus software current, which will help to keep your computer safe. If you don’t know how to do these things on your computer, then you can talk with a computer specialist for help.

User Error Creates Digital Weakness

The truth is that most digital accounting and bookkeeping programs are safe to use and they will keep your information secure. But, user error might cause a weakness, allowing hackers to gain access to the information. Make sure that you always use strong passwords, and it is best to keep the username and password different for each account and website. Don’t fall into the trap of using the same password for everything!

One of the biggest user errors is connecting to a WiFi connection in a public place, such as a coffee shop or airport. Criminals can connect to the internet in these public places and tap into your computer, phone, or tablet. If you need to use an unsecured WiFi connection, then you should consider the advantages of a VPN which connects through a private server to keep you protected.

Here at Easier Bookkeeping, we know that there are many advantages to using online bookkeeping software. These programs allow you to access your information anywhere. We can help you implement the right computer software and the safety steps that need to be followed to keep you protected. Contact us right away for more information about the bookkeeping and accounting services that are offered: (888) 620-0770

Year-End Bookkeeping and Accounting Tasks

The end of the year is a great time to assess the progress of your company this year and look for ways that you can increase your success in 2016. Your financial tracking system is a foundational aspect to understanding the success of your company, and there are several things that you should look at before the year ends. Within the next few days, consider some of these things:

Retirement Contributions

As a self-employed business owner, there are ways that you can decrease your taxable income for the year. Retirement contributions offer a strategy that might be helpful, depending on your individual situation. If you want to lower your taxable income as much as possible, then you should max out your contributions to your IRA.

Tax Form Preparations

When it comes time to send out employee income statements for 2015, you need to make sure that you are ready with all of the information that is needed. It can be beneficial to get a head-start on the process right now, so that you aren’t rushing at the end of January to gather the information that you need. Talk with your bookkeeper about the information that will be necessary to send out the 1099’s and W-2’s.

Estimated Tax Payments

Making tax payments throughout the year is important to ensure that you are meeting your financial obligations to the IRS. These estimated tax payments might need to be adjusted, to avoid underpayment or overpayment. With good financial tracking throughout the year, you will have the information that will show how accurate your tax payments are. Talk with your bookkeeper and review your financial records to see if you need to adjust your final payment for 2015.

Profit and Loss for the Year

Run some reports to see the profit and loss for the year, which will help you decide if it makes sense to make a few major purchases before the year ends. If you don’t know how to run these reports, then you can talk with your small business bookkeeper or accountant and have them help you understand what the numbers mean. In some situations, it might make sense to buy the items that are needed so that you can use the tax deduction in 2015.

At Easier Bookkeeping, we are here to help with your financial tracking throughout the year. If you want to reduce your stress levels and have detailed information about the success of your company, then you need to hire a bookkeeper to help with financial tracking. For more information about the business bookkeeping services that are available, we invite you to contact us today: (888) 620-0770

How to Pick a Good Professional Bookkeeping Service

Picking the right professional bookkeeping service can be a tough decision, because the quality of your financial tracking depends on the company that you choose. Some people don’t think much about the process and they simply hire the first bookkeeper that they find. But, rushing into the situation might result in problems with your financial records.

What Services Do You Need?

To identify the right small business bookkeeper, it is important to look at the tasks that need to be completed. Once you have identified the scope of work that will need to be handled, then you can choose a company that is a good match for the services that you are looking for.

There are certain times when you can find specialized services that are applicable to your industry. For example, if you have a home-based business, then it is a good idea to locate a small business bookkeeper who specifically has experience working with other home-based business owners.

Experience and Reputation

Do your research and find several bookkeeping services that you are interested in. Then, talk with each of the companies to learn more about the experience and services they can offer to your small business. You can find out a lot of information with a few quick phone calls, which will give you a feel for the customer service and attentiveness that is available from each company.

Also, make sure that you look online to learn more about the reputation of the company. It is interesting to see how much information can be uncovered with a quick Google search. Look for reviews and other details that offer insights into the integrity of the business. You might also consider talking with friends, family, and other contacts in your industry to see if they have any recommendations regarding the bookkeeping services they have used.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need to hire a bookkeeper in your local area. There are many advantages to hiring online bookkeepers, and they can offer high quality services to businesses in any location. An online company can often offer competitive pricing, because they aren’t managing the cost of a storefront.

Are you interested in learning more about how your business can succeed by hiring a business bookkeeper? Contact us at Easier Bookkeeping for more information! We specialize in services that are catered for small businesses, and these services can be adjusted to match your individual needs. Call our office anytime to learn more: (888) 620-0770

Small Company? How to Improve Internal Financial Controls

Internal financial controls are important for every company, to help the organization avoid problems related to fraud and errors. In larger companies, the way to avoid these problems is by management oversight and segregating out the duties, which reduces the likelihood of financial oversights. But, with a small company it might be a little more difficult, especially if you have a small staff.

Even though you don’t have a lot of employees, it is still important that you have checks and balances in place to keep your company protected. Here are a few ideas that you might consider:

Don’t Use Cash

Cash makes it easier for people to steal from the company, so limiting the amount of cash will reduce the risk of fraud. Stick with digital and check payments. If you need to have cash available to run the business, make sure that there are two employees involved in the process when the cash is received and counted.

Outline Responsibilities

In small companies, it is common for people to be wearing multiple hats as the team is juggling the work that comes in. As a result, sometimes things fall through the cracks because people assume that someone else is taking care of the duties. Make sure that the financial responsibilities are clearly outlined and written down, and make a point to review these procedures on a regular basis to ensure that people are keeping up with their responsibilities.

Monitor Credit Card Statements

When employees have credit cards that have been issued by the company, you need to make sure that a system is in place to review the card transactions. Sometimes, transactions might be put on the card that aren’t business-related costs. Reviewing the statements every month will ensure that employees are staying honest with the use of their credit cards.

Hire a Bookkeeper

Having a bookkeeper available to check transactions and stay up-to-date with the finances of your company is very beneficial. An experienced small business bookkeeper will offer an unbiased point of view for your company finances. Additionally, these bookkeeping services add another checkpoint into the system, to make it easier to identify fraudulent activities that might be occurring.

There are many other reasons why your company can benefit from the services of a bookkeeping company, and Easier Bookkeeping is here to help! We invite you to contact our office anytime to learn more about the ways we can assist with protecting the financial interests of your company. Call us today at: (888) 620-0770

What is the Difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant?

Sometimes the terms “bookkeeper” and “accountant” are used interchangeably by people who aren’t familiar with the industry. But, the truth is that there is a distinct difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant, and you need to understand the differences before you choose the right service provider for your small business.

How are Bookkeepers and Accountants the Same?

The services provided by both bookkeepers and accountants are important business tasks that need to be addressed by every business owner. But, their tasks and daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly work changes depending on the type of financial professional that you hire.

Both accountants and bookkeepers are trained to help you with the financial side of running a business. By managing the transactions and using the reports, they can help you make wise decisions about the financial future of your company.

Differences between Accountants and Bookkeepers

Even though these services providers both offer financial services, the types of services are a bit difference. A small business bookkeeper focuses on the regular financial transactions that are coming through, to help you manage the records for all accounts payable and accounts receivable. Full service bookkeeping might also include other services, such as monthly reports, paycheck printing, and more.

On the other hand, accounting is often focused on assessing the financial data in order to identify trends and make suggestions for future growth. An accountant actually analyzes the data from the financial records, and bookkeepers simply track the information without the analysis.

Do You Need a Bookkeeper or an Accountant?

Even though the untrained eye might assume that small business bookkeeping and accounting are the same service, it is important that you understand the differences between these two professions. In many situations, small business owners often find it beneficial to hire a bookkeeping service as well as an accountant, because the services are very complimentary of each other.

A professional bookkeeping service manages and records the financial transactions, which lays the groundwork for an accountant to step in and correctly analyze the information that is available. These two steps are essential to help you manage control of your business finances. Additionally, a good support team of financial professionals can help you be strategic with your cash flow management and future financial planning.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can benefit from a small business bookkeeper? Contact us at Easier Bookkeeping, and we will gladly answer your questions and help you find the right financial services that you need: (888) 620-0770