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Archive for January, 2016

7 Best Bookkeeping Business Services

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

If you’re a small business owner considering outsourcing your bookkeeping, keep in mind that bookkeeping business services include much more than just keeping track of your finances. If you hook up with a true professional service they can become much more than an accounting service, they can become important partners helping you optimize not only your cash flow but planning your financial strategies. Here’s a short list of benefits and services you can expect from a full service bookkeeper.

1. Time

Actually this may be the most productive benefit of all the services an outsourced bookkeeper can provide. By taking over the responsibility of accounting, the bookkeeper service effectively gives you more time to do what you do best and that’s run the business. Accounting is an absolutely necessary part of a business but it is not a profit center and it plays no part in driving sales and revenue. Any time you devote to that function is time taken from engaging in an activity that can generate sales or profit.

2. Financial forecasting

Using your firm’s financial history an experienced bookkeeping service can develop financial models that will allow you to play “what if” games that can predict your financial performance in the future. For example a business owner can ask what if sales increase 8% in the next quarter or what if the marketing budget is increased by 10% what kind of sales can be expected. This is a complex model that requires the knowledge of experts and would not be readily available to the owner unless he outsourced the function.

3. Tax planning

Running your business to take advantage of opportunity to minimize tax liability can be the difference between taking a loss and making a profit. The same goes for licensing and other local fees. A knowledgeable service will not only prepare your returns but show you ways to reduce your tax bill.

4. Real time reporting

Gone are the days of receiving monthly reports from your accounting service. In today’s business environment you need to know where you are financially right now and that’s what a professional bookkeeping service can provide. Thanks to ASP technology you can log onto your account using an ultra secure server and access all of your reports at any time and from any where you have an internet connection.

5. Customized reports

Your bookkeeping service will work with you to build reports that make sense for your particular business. Profit and loss statements, sales reports, receivables reports, all can be designed so they present the information in a way that you can best evaluate your position.

6. Assistance with lenders

A sign of just how tough and competitive the economic times are is the expansion of bookkeeping business services into areas that they previously did not participate in. Assistance with loan applications or even introductions to lenders is an example of the “new” services being offered by many firms. Loan applications can be intimidating and confusing to many business owners and the accounting service can offer valuable assistance in insuring that the right, and best, financial information is included in the application.

7. QuickBooks Consulting

Even if you don’t hire a bookkeeping service and you use QuickBooks in house to do your bookkeeping, you may find that the service can help you do it better. QuickBooks has added so many features and has become so much more than an accounting platform that it has created an entirely new support industry. If a QuickBooks customer wants optimal performance from his system, it’s likely he or she will need the advice of a certified QuickBooks consultant and the bookkeeping service is a ready, qualified resource.

A combination of rapidly improving technology along with an increasingly competitive market has caused bookkeeping business services to evolve into something greater than the traditional accounting services. Smart businesses will take advantage of these services to remain competitive and optimize earnings.

Basics of Starting a Home Based Business!

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

There is no secret formula for starting your own home based business. Many old and established businesses and companies began as home based businesses with operations and functions starting out with small budgets, few people and the basics of office operations. You’ll be surprised to know that big corporates like Ford Motor Company and Hershey’s that have been around for decades and turned the idea of business on its head, started out as small outfits from an idea that generated into a wave.

Today’s giants like Apple Computer and Facebook also had small origins and see where they have reached today. It is estimated that nearly half of all small and medium businesses in the US are home based; which fact is true of many global businesses in other countries too.

Starting a home based business has more benefits than previously thought although the accompanying challenges can be quite frustrating. But it’s not surprising that in today’s technology dominated world, many academics and professionals are opting out of regular 9 to 5 jobs and careers to start their own home based businesses enjoying the freedom of pursuing their vocation and turning them into well paying careers.

Anyone can start a home based business with little capital and work hard to make it big, but the fundamental thing to do is to start with the basics. A little brainstorming with family and friends and some serious introspection on the following points is absolutely necessary.

• Is a home based business the best option – what are the factors involved?

• Living and working in the same location – creating work space and infrastructure, cost of adjustments to living space, areas where family life will be impacted, issues with neighbors etc.

• Listing out challenges and benefits – pros and cons of starting the business, sustainability, expenditure and profits, expansion plans etc.

Obviously, an idea will already be in place for the type of business to start – self-made products and goods, marketing of services, dealership, home services, eatery and confectionery and so on. Any area where this is already some knowledge and expertise and additional people can be roped in to help is a great option to being with. In some areas, a home based franchise of an established business may also be good, but as always, there are hidden pitfalls that are to be examined seriously before signing contracts.

Once the initial idea has been whetted completely, then starts the practical side of establishing a home based business. Here, some very crucial aspects are to be looked at.

• Local government rules and regulations – legal issues, community or location regulations etc. have to be understood

• Financing – some banks and agencies do not provide loans for small businesses; however personal loan options for smaller amounts can be examined. There are also start-up financing loan programs with low interests provided the business falls into one of the categories pre-approved.

• Marketing – customers are the key to every business, big or small; hence, finding cost-effective and customer-centric strategies have to be worked out

• Taxes – getting the right taxation brackets, filing annual returns and complying with sales and other tax heads are very essential

• Maintaining accounts and records – if there is no experience in this area, getting the help of an accountant or a book-keeper is very necessary.