Bookkeeping Tips for the Everyday Entrepreneur

From the CEO: Why QuickBooks Connect Should Be On Every Tech Entrepreneur's Calendar

In November, I attended the annual QuickBooks Connect Conference in Silicon Valley. The conference sold out - and not just from accounting and bookkeeping professionals.  I’ve attended three times before, and I get a lot out of the event each year. But with Intuit (the QuickBooks parent company) diving into areas like machine learning and artificial intelligence, this year’s conference really upped the game.   Signup early before it sells out, and let’s find a time to connect before or during the show. 
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Get the QuickBooks Support You Need with 247 QBO

If only getting control of your business finances were as easy as signing up for QuickBooks Online.   Of course, that's a great start. You need a reliable cloud-based program that can grow with your business, provide integration with other applications, and give assurances that your financial data is accurate and safe. QuickBooks Online has you covered there.  
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How QuickBooks Online Can Save You Money

You know the old adage "time is money." It's never more true than when you're running a small business. Managing the money that comes in and goes out can take up valuable hours, especially if you're using a desktop accounting program - and even more so if you've held onto a paper-based or spreadsheet system.   The good news is that QuickBooks Online is simple to set up and can help you spend more time on the projects that move your business forward. We've put together a list of just a few of the ways QuickBooks Online can save you time (and money): 
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Small Business Financing Solutions: Online Lending

If you're on the search for business financing, you have more options than ever before.   Traditional routes like a bank or credit union will give you the best interest rate, so that's a smart first try. But what if you aren't successful at a traditional lender? Where do you go next?   Fortunately, there are new alternatives popping up everywhere.    Consider peer-to-peer lenders, such as Lending Club. Best for companies that have been in business for at least one year and generate at least $50,000 in annual revenue, their lending criteria tends to be less stringent than a traditional lender's and offers flexible repayment terms. The interest rate can vary heavily, usually in the range of 9.8% to 35.7%. Those applicants with strong personal credit fair the best.   If you don't meet the revenue requirements of something like Lending Club, you could try Funding Circle. Or if your personal credit score isn't as high as you'd like it to be, you might look into On Deck. Take the time to compare lenders and financing options to find the best fit for your situation. Term loans, small business lines of credit and personal lines of credit are all options to consider depending on your financing needs.   If you're an online business, Paypal and Square have unique lending options that require no credit check. Paypal Working Capital provides funding based on sales volume - up to a maximum loan amount of 15% of sales or $85,000 annually. A portion of sales are then used to pay your loan balance. Square Capital works similarly.   While online small business financing typically comes with a double digit interest rate, their more generous lending criteria and flexible repayment options make them worthy of consideration for many small business owners.    If you need help selecting the right option for your business please, contact us today.
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6 Tips For Successful Small Business Cash Flow Management

Managing cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses, especially during the early years of operation. In fact, in a study done by U.S. Bank, 82% of the time poor cash flow management contributed to small business failure.    Having enough cash flow to cover business operations is essential - including both regular recurring expenses, infrequent and unplanned expenses, plus tax payments. Here are 6 ways to keep your cash flow healthy and your business thriving.   1. Establish a Detailed Financial Forecast A detailed financial forecast is an incredibly valuable tool in maintaining healthy cash flow. This includes anticipated revenues and expenses from upcoming projects, administrative costs, owner salary and also unexpected costs. Using conservative estimates allows you to be strategic about your spending and realistic about the profitability of the business.   2. Track Numbers Regularly Track your actual income and expenses in relation to the budget projections on a monthly basis. This will be a valuable tool in creating more accurate projections going forward, as well as providing the data to make changes as needed. Anticipating changes and being flexible to them as they arise will add to your business success.   Look at expenses in relation to revenue. Although many business owners focus on increasing sales, this isn't always the best solution. Sometimes expenses need to be reduced.   3. Use Benchmarking Consider setting benchmarks at industry standards for expenses as a general guideline that will help you weigh the cost-to-benefit of each expenditure. Some costs are more necessary than others.   Benchmarking is also a great way to make sure your pricing structure is relevant. Many newer business owners under charge for their services, causing long term headaches in profitability for the business. Avoid this pitfall through market research of other relevant firms.   4. Maintain a Cash Reserve When possible, establish and maintain a cash reserve. Although this isn't always an option, particularly for new businesses, having a cash reserve to fall back on can be an invaluable resource in a cash crunch.    5. Collect on Receivables Reduce the collection time on receivables. Establish payment at time of service or shorter payment in arrears as standard procedure and consider offering discounts for early payment. Pay attention to what percentage of receivables you are actually collecting. Implement a standard collection procedure for following up with past due accounts.   6. Get Help When Needed Don't be hesitant to enroll the help of an accountant, bookkeeper or financial professional in understanding and managing cash flow. For help with cash flow management in your small business, please contact us.
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