QuickBooks Online Revisited

Benefits of QuickBooks Online (1)

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online gets a bad rap at times for many reasons that aren’t always justified. If you tried QBO years ago and didn’t like it you should give it another try.  It has come a long way over the years.  If you are hesitant to try it because the screen views are different than the desktop version, don’t be. QuickBooks Online is very user friendly. I find it to be easier to use and less clunky than the desktop version.

Below are some features that make QBO attractive to new and existing QuickBooks users.
  • Cloud Accounting: QBO has bank level encryption. And since it’s in the ‘Cloud’ you don’t have to worry about backing it up, because it is automatically backed up. However, for those who are leery of this, there are some new third party apps that do just that.
  • Unlimited PC use: Since the software is hosted in the cloud and isn’t loaded onto an individual computer it is available on any computer with Internet connection anywhere in the world!

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How to Take Your Business to the Next Level Using Financial Reports

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The Importance of Financial Statements

Sometimes all a business needs to get to the next level are good financial statements.  A business owner can be surprised at what their financial statements reveal.  Do you know exactly what inventory item you spend the most on?  Do you know what product or service brings you the most revenue?  Your financial statements can teach you what buying patterns need to be changed.  They can teach you what product or service is working best for you and then you can devise a plan to promote it more.  You can learn what aspects of your business you can leverage.

Are you aware of all of your expense items? Did you purchase a service with a revolving payment years ago that you aren’t even aware that you’re still paying for?  You can eliminate what you don’t need and what is no longer working for you.  Financial statements can make you aware of trends on buying patterns.  Are sales always low in January? You can be prepared for the low months but you can also determine a plan to try to increase sales in the routinely low months.

You can’t fix what you don’t know.

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How is Your Business’ Cash Flow?

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Cash Flow is King

Do you have ample cash flow monthly? It can be a tricky question for any business. Without ample cash flow you might not have enough cash on hand to pay expenses as they come due.  You might end up paying unnecessary late fees and miss out on early pay discounts some vendors offer.  Some people believe that simply signing more clients or selling more products will fix their problems.  All too often though, it just masks more serious problems and doesn’t really fix anything.

The key to cash flow is not just having plenty of it, it’s making sure you maximize what you have.  If you have been organized and diligent in your accounting, then you should have access to information that can start this process right away. What are some examples of things that will improve your cash flow?  If you invoice customers, it is important to review your accounts receivable (AR) activity and see what balance you are carrying monthly.  Analyze the account to determine the average time to pay.  If a majority of your customers are slow to pay you can offer an incentive, such as an early pay discount.  This can drastically improve cash flow by improving the reliability of payments.  Knowing what you have and when you are going to have it improves planning.

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Your Next Big Idea Might be Just Around the Corner

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Why Business Owners Need Downtime

Have you ever been working and had a thought and by the time it took you the 5 seconds to get the paper and pin to write down the thought it was gone?  When this happens it is a CLEAR sign to step away and take at least a few minutes of downtime.  Trust me you will be better off for it.

Our minds read and hear so much information every day. It can be hard to sift through it all, let alone remember it.  Time away from the demands of work can give your mind time to rest and rejuvenate. During non-work activities such as, resting, exercising and hobbies your head can have time to clear. One of the ways I take downtime is by taking a morning walk before I start my work day.  It’s during this time that my mind clears and I think of ideas for my business. It could be a new idea for a blog post, how to solve a clients problem or even a great dinner idea for my family.  When I am ready to start my work day, I can start with a clear mind, which usually leads to a productive day.

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Do you want to save time and money in your business?

Rule #6

THE IMPORTANCE OF USING AN ACCOUNTING SYSTEM

One of the most important factors for a small business’ financial health is to use an accounting system. Accounting systems track revenue, expenses and produce financial statements.  They can save a business owner valuable time and money when compared to the alternatives.

Do you use Excel? While Excel might seem like the simple solution, it really isn’t the best use of your time. Why spend your time using a completely manual process when you could be using an automated one?

Are you a shoebox client? Are you not using any type of method during the year to track income and expenses? Do you just toss your receipts in a box and forget about them until tax time? Do you rely on your tax preparer to sort through your paperwork and determine your income and expenses right before the dreaded tax filing deadline? If this describes you, how do you know the performance of your business without proper and routine tracking of sales?

Your time is the most valuable asset your business has.  Use it wisely to grow your business.

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The Seven, not-so-deadly, Sins of Small Businesses

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Be Sure Your Business Isn’t Making These Common Mistakes

During my time working with small business owners, and of course being one myself, I have found that there are certain common mistakes that can ultimately doom most businesses.  All too often, small business owners become enamored with the idea of “being their own boss” and doing something they “love”.  These thoughts often cloud the judgment of even experienced business owners in their desire to pursue the American Dream.  In order to avoid these pitfalls you have to establish a strong foundation to your business; put in place systems that will help you keep your feet firmly planted in reality while you pursue your dreams.  Below, I have listed seven common mistakes that prevent entrepreneurs from building that strong foundation for their dreams;

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The number one way to lose your business and self

Rule#1

THE IMPORTANCE OF FORMING A LEGAL ENTITY 

Q. My business is a Sole Proprietorship. Is this classification significant? 

For the most basic business, such as a hobby, this designation is fine. Unless you use dangerous equipment, sell a product, have high liability or hire employees. But keep in mind, a Sole Proprietorship is not a true legal entity. It does not provide personal liability protection, which means there is no separation between the business and the owner.  If sued, your personal assets can be taken. As well, if business debts cannot be paid with business assets then your personal assets can be taken.  

There is a large misconception in the business community that this entity form is acceptable due to the ease and low cost to form

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How to put Your Dreams Into the Proper Perspective

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The Path of dreams

Most of you know the story of the jar, rocks, pebbles…etc.  It’s about the priorities we set in life and how we fit these things into our lives.  The parable applies to our dreams and goals in business as well.

There is a path to follow for true success in business and it starts by setting out the big vision for our companies.  The Jar that holds these dreams and plans represents the answers to some big questions; “What do I want to accomplish?”…”Why am I doing it?”  The big rocks represent the type of company you want to be; the industry, the size and scope…your mission statement.  These first choices can set you on a path to success or failure.  Make the vision too narrow and you can’t respond to changing situations, too broad and you are stretched too thin.  Pick the wrong industry, and it won’t provide you the means to achieve your dreams.

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Do you Have the Plans and Dreams of an Entrepreneur?

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“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Sadly, this is exactly where so many first-time entrepreneurs find themselves.  They know they want to own their own business, they have a passion they want to share or they simply see it as the way to get rich.  Whatever the case, they have their eyes firmly fixed on the idea that they want to own their own business and be their own boss.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

–Benjamin Franklin

So many times, this is exactly where the dream dies, because people have no idea how to move forward.  In some cases though, the dream does move on but without a plan or preparation.  Often, people think that simply latching on to the “latest and greatest” thing will insure success while they figure out the nuts and bolts of owning a business.  Maybe, you’ll open that restaurant?  Everyone loves your cooking, and you’ve seen every episode of “Restaurant Impossible” on the Food Network… Or, How about a lawn service?  How hard could that be? I’ve been mowing yards since I was 12.

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Are you Making any of These Mistakes With Your Money?

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Tips for Saving Your Business Money

If you are like most small business owners you are looking to save money. But also like most owners, it is all too easy to get buried in running your business and miss out on chances to save money. Organization and setting guidelines are the keys to finding these various savings opportunities.

1. Missing tax deadlines, failing to fill out proper paperwork, or a hundred other legal complications can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars.  The two main causes for these issues are not knowing or forgetting.  The solutions are simple though; maintain up-to-date calendars and procedure guidelines OR hire an expert that does.

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