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Low on Cash? Small Business Management Tips for Cash Flow

Not having enough money in the bank can be the downfall of a company. Even if you have money coming in, the current cash position could be a hindrance for the daily operations of the business. If you aren’t keeping up with cash flow, then you need to talk to a financial professional as soon as possible. Here are a few small business management tips for cash flow:

Set a Schedule for Receivables

Even if you have good relationships with your clients, it can be unpredictable to know when the payments will come through. There might be times when your client is late on a payment, which causes a domino effect that hinders your cash flow.

It is important that you have clear guidelines and payment expectations for the amount due. Each invoice should include the due date for payment, such as due on receipt, due net 30, etc. This step will ensure that everyone involved is on the same page for the payment cycle.

At the same time, you also need to be sure that you are consistent with setting the schedule for when the invoices are sent. Have you found yourself too distracted by immediate tasks that need to be addressed, so you forget to put together invoices that are needed for the work that has been completed? Maintaining an invoicing schedule is necessary so that you are consistent with sending out the invoices and maintaining follow-up communication as necessary.

Manage Overhead Expenses

Often, the problem is not that you aren’t bringing in enough money. But, the issue lies in the money that is spent. If your overhead expenses are higher than the money that is coming in, then you will end up in the hole. You need to make sure that you have a clear picture of the money that needs to be received each month to break-even on the expenses that are due.

You might be surprised to see the small ways that you can reduce these overhead costs. Look for extravagant services or features that might be eliminated. For example, you might be able to adjust the landscaping services schedule to decrease the amount of money that is spent on the outdoor care of your location. Or, call around to see if you can get a cheaper business package for internet or phone services.

Sometimes, it is as simple as a phone call to your current provider to ask for a discount to remain a customer. Other times, switching service providers could save you a bundle of money on the ongoing costs.

Outsource Instead of Hire

There are times when you might need to increase your workforce to handle various services in your company. It is easy to assume that the best solution is to hire an employee with the skillset that you need. While there are times for employee hiring and workforce expansion, take a look at outsourcing options before hiring another in-house employee.

In most situations, outsourcing the services is usually cheaper compared to bringing another employee onto the payroll. You can save money on benefits and employment taxes. Plus, you don’t need to pay money for the equipment and office space that is required for the person to complete the work.

Outsourced accounting is a great example of how you can save money. If you hire an in-house accountant, then it is a significant annual expense to cover the cost of their salary, benefits, office space, and more. When your company is tight on cash flow, you probably don’t have the option to absorb these high costs.

On the other hand, it is much more affordable to choose an accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll processing company instead. These services are a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. You can tap into the expertise without carrying the heavy financial burden of a larger team of employees.

Manage Your Records

Accurate bookkeeping and accounting records are essential so that you know the current cash position of the company. Not only can you see a snapshot of the immediate financial situation, but you can also see accounts receivable and anticipated payments coming in the future.

You won’t know that you are low on cash if you aren’t paying attention to the financial reports. Then, you might encounter a situation where paychecks bounce or you can’t pay the utility bills. We can’t stress this point enough: it is essential that you maintain records of all of your expenditures and income. Utilize the services of a bookkeeping company to learn more small business management tips for cash flow.

Leverage Assets

Most businesses have assets that might be of use when cash flow is tight. Do you have any furniture, electronics, or equipment that isn’t in use? Don’t let these items gather dust in the storage closet. You might be able to sell them on a local classified website to pull in the cash that is needed to pay the outstanding bills.

Something seemingly small, like an older generation smartphone, could bring in several hundred dollars. While the cash might seem insignificant, it can help to reduce the burden that you are feeling. Every little bit adds up, which is why you need to make incremental changes to your habits.

Consider Credit Options

Do you have a credit card or line of credit that can be used to cover the immediate expenses? Leveraging credit is a risky strategy if you can’t pay it back right away. The credit costs could increase the financial benefit in the future due to the payments that need to be met and the increasing interest costs.

So, be careful about the way you choose to use a company credit card. But, there are times when it might make sense if you need to get by until the end of a month when a big payment is anticipated. The best solution is to talk to your accountant or bookkeeping company to see if it makes sense to use credit as needed.

Have an Emergency Account

If you are facing cash flow problems right now, then this tip won’t help with your current situation. But, make sure to be prepared for the future: set aside the extra cash when it is available. An emergency account is essential if you face unexpected expenses or you don’t have enough to cover the overhead costs on a slow month.

Planning ahead is one of the best things that you can do to save your company. It is inevitable that your business will face cash flow problems at some point. So, you need to make sure that you are ready for the rainy days with a savings account set aside for these situations.

Scare Up Extra Business

Look at your current offerings and inventory to see if you can scare up extra business. Do you have old inventory that is sitting on a shelf? Run a sale to clear the inventory and bring in the cash that is needed. The sale will help customers feel the urgency to make a purchase. It is a win-win situation because the customers will be happy about the discounted price and you will be able to bring in the cash that is needed.

Even if you don’t have physical inventory, you can offer promotions for the services that you offer. Send an email to your customer list to offer a one-time package for the services that you provide. Or, look for ways that you can add extra services onto the packages when a customer is ready to buy from your company.

Hiring an Accounting Team to Help

One of the reasons why small businesses often face cashflow problems is because the business owner doesn’t have accounting and bookkeeping experience. Small mistakes can have a long-term impact on the financial health of the company. You don’t have to be a bookkeeping expert to ensure the success of your company. Instead, you need to hire an experienced team to oversee the details.

Hiring an accounting team will free up your time so that you can focus on solutions and problem solving for other aspects of your company. These services are essential to make sure that you are keeping up with some of the biggest payments that could influence your cash flow: payroll, inventory purchases, and taxes. Your accountant will discuss cash flow strategies so that you have money in the bank when these big expenses roll around in the future.

You can choose an accounting service in your hometown, but many people find that the offerings are limited. Instead of selecting a general accounting team, it is better to choose a company that specializes in small business accounting services. The internet has opened the doors of opportunity for you to connect with specialists located anywhere in the country.

Our team at Easier Accounting understands the best accounting and bookkeeping practices for entrepreneurs and small business owners. We’ve been using these strategies for many other companies like yours. Contact us right away to learn more about the ways that we can help with the cash flow for your business: (888) 620-0770

Guide for Business Owners: When to Hire an Accountant

As your business grows, how do you know the right timing to hire an accountant? Many business owners struggle with the commitment to outsourcing. It makes sense that you need the additional help. But, the cost of the service is often the reason the decision is delayed.

As we interact with small business owners, the answers to this question vary depending on the size of the company, the recent growth, and anticipated trends in the future. Often, some specific events or situations triggered the idea to hire an accountant. So, it is important that you talk to a finance professional to see if the services are needed for your company right now.

Why Business Owners Delay Accounting Services

Finances and cash flow are a foundational aspect of the future success of your company. So, why do many business owners delay accounting services? Here are some of the common reasons why people procrastinate this service:

  • Costs: Many startups require bootstrapping, which means that business owners wear many hats throughout the day. Instead of hiring professionals for the services, it might make sense to handle everything in-house in the beginning. It isn’t unusual to find a start-up founder staying after hours to pay the bills or process invoices that need to be sent. These strategies help to minimize startup costs. But, eventually you will need to take the leap to bring in the professionals to help with the services that are needed.
  • Cashflow: Another concern lies in the amount of money that will be spent on the accounting services. Can you afford to spend the cash on these services? The real question is whether you can afford NOT to hire an accountant. Even though you will pay for the services, there are many financial benefits that are available for your company: better financial decisions, tax deductions, and more. In fact, it might be costing you money if you delay the decision to start with outsourced accounting services.
  • Control: If a business owner has a micro-managing personality, then they might want to oversee the way the transactions are entered. Even though there are limited hours in the day, you might have a hard time delegating some of the busy work. Just because you did the books when the business started, doesn’t mean that you need to continue these tasks as the company grows. Look for ways that you can outsource tasks that are taking up your time. By handing off these tasks, you can free up your day to focus on other activities and responsibilities that are more important.

What is your excuse for not hiring an accountant? If you don’t already have someone to help with the finances of your small business, then right now is the perfect time to change your mind and implement a new financial system.

Opportunity Cost of NOT Hiring an Accountant

It is easy to see why business owners get stuck on the amount of money that will need to be spent on accounting services. But, these costs are minimal compared to the potential financial benefits that are available from an accountant. Bringing in a financial professional might be one of the best things that you can do to help your company grow.

An accountant will be able to optimize your financial system, helping to eliminate redundancies or things that are costing you money. This process can be essential to tighten down the overhead expenses, resulting in lower costs that need to be paid each month.

Accounting services can also be beneficial to ensure payments from your clients. It is easy for overdue invoices to slip through the cracks. You need a team that can watch the transactions to make sure that you receive timely payments from your customers.

Additionally, these services are essential to help you maximize the write-offs that are available for your company. Are you leveraging all of the tax breaks that apply to your industry? Only an experienced accountant will know the right places to look to find other options to minimize tax burden. It is common for business owners to find that the accounting fees are recovered in the tax savings alone.

Finally, you need to consider the opportunity cost that you are missing when you are spending your limited time on bookkeeping and accounting tasks. Instead of looking at product development or employee management, you are dedicating your time to busy work. If you keep your head in the books, then you will miss out on potential opportunities to help your company grow. It makes sense to outsource these services so that you are setting your company up for success.

Signs that You Need to Hire an Accountant

Here are a few sure signs that it is time to hire an outsourced accountant:

  1. You Don’t Have Experience with Accounting: If you are sick, then you schedule an appointment with an experienced medical professional. In the same way, it is important that you find someone with hands-on experience to help with your business books. If you are confused by financial reports and you have a hard time keeping up with the transactions, then it is time to hire an accountant. A small business accountant will sift through the information and provide the information in an easy-to-understand format to help you make better decisions for your company.
  2. You are Too Busy to Keep the Books Current: Is there a stack of invoices and transactions sitting on your desk? If you can’t keep up with the paperwork, then it is a sign that you need to outsource these tasks. Even if you can carve out a few hours a week to handle the bookkeeping, consider the other tasks that are neglected within your company. It doesn’t make sense for you to waste your time managing the books. Instead, dedicate that time to connect with new clients or work on your marketing strategy.
  3. You Don’t Know the US Tax Code: Do you stay up-to-date with the changes that happen each year with the tax code? If you aren’t working in the tax industry, then it is likely that you will miss changes that are applicable to your company. Failing to pay the right amount of taxes can result in fines and penalties for your company. An accountant is helpful to identify the right tax strategy, ensuring that you can maximize deductions while staying within the guidelines of the law.
  4. Your Company is Going Through a Rapid Growth Phase: You might have been able to keep up with the bookkeeping when the business started. But, if you are experiencing rapid growth, then the accounting tasks will grow as well. Not only are you facing more paperwork and reports that need to be analyzed, but the increased income can also affect your tax strategy. Make sure that you hire an accountant who can help you move through the growth patterns with ease.
  5. You are Struggling to Maximize Profits: Some companies find that their revenue is increasing, but they are having a hard time keeping money in the bank. If you don’t see that the profits are going up, then it is time to hire a financial expert to analyze your cash flow, expenses, and more. Your accountant will help you identify areas where you can reduce expenses, helping to increase your profit margins.
  6. You are Being Audited: A notification from the IRS about an upcoming audit can be one of the most stressful things that a business owner might face. There’s no way around the messy process that is required for an audit. If you want to protect your company, then don’t make the mistake of trying to navigate the audit without professional accounting services. An accountant can save you time and money, guiding you through this experience.
  7. You are Preparing to Merge or Sell the Company: Whether you are looking at an acquisition or you are preparing to retire from the industry, you need to make sure that you have an accountant to help with strategy. These efforts will maximize the price that you can get for the company. At the same time, your accountant can offer recommendations to decrease the amount of taxes that you will pay from the proceeds of the sale.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you need to hire an accountant. If you aren’t already using professional accounting services, then right now is a great time to learn more about the benefits. For more information, you need to talk to an accounting team that specializes in small business accounting.

There’s no doubt that accounting services are essential for every small business. Instead of risking the future of your business, we invite you to call us at Easier Accounting. We will discuss your needs and determine if our services are a good fit for your company. Our team understands the unique challenges that are faced by small business owners. So, we are always looking for ways to improve our services to match your needs. Call for more information: (888) 620-0770

8 Steps to Boost Profit Margins for Your Company

While it is important to focus on increasing your gross receivables each year, you won’t experience a real boost in profits without also assessing the amount of money that you are spending. It is common for business owners to feel like they are successful with their company because of the large amounts of cash that are coming into the bank account. But, these numbers can be deceiving if you aren’t looking at the overall financial picture.

The main goal is to increase your profitability as much as possible. Extra income can be used for business development, marketing, and other efforts that will improve future success. At the same time, higher profit margins mean that you can enjoy the fruit of your labors.

You can find a million tips online that suggest the best methods to improve profit margins. But, the truth is that business finances can be complicated. In fact, there isn’t one set strategy that works for every company. The best thing that you can do is talk to a financial professional who can assess your business, assets, products, and sales patterns. Make sure that you are utilizing the services of an experienced accounting team who can offer recommendations about the way you are managing your cash flow.

Today, we are sharing some of the most common strategies that can be used to increase business profit margins. If you are interested in learning more information, then we encourage you to talk to our team for personalized recommendations.

1. Maximize Tax Strategy

If you don’t have a good tax plan, then it probably means that you are spending more than necessary on taxes each year. Yes, you are required to pay various taxes on the money that comes in for your company. But, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the tax breaks and write-offs that are available for your company.

The right tax strategy could save you thousands of dollars or more on the money that you send to the IRS. Reducing these tax liabilities will increase the profit margins that are left after you have paid the expenses for your company. Make sure that you are following the tax laws and working with an experienced accountant for help.

2. Watch Invoices and Transactions

It can be easy to get caught up in the daily responsibilities so that you overlook the invoices that are moving through the office. You need to be paying attention to the invoices that are sent by your suppliers. A quick check is essential to ensure that you aren’t being overcharged.

An accounting team can help with the management of your invoices. For example, if there is a pattern set with a particular vendor, then your accountant can bring an invoice to your attention if it is higher than normal. Always pay attention to the details so that you aren’t billed at the wrong rates or charged for products or services that aren’t received.

As a business owner, you can’t keep up with financial records and accounting by yourself. It is essential that you enlist the help of a professional accounting service. Then, it will be easier to identify potential discrepancies or errors in the invoices that are sent to your company.

3. Offer Add-On Services

Do your customers have an opportunity to buy an extra product or service when they are purchasing from your company? When someone has their credit card out to make a purchase, it is an opportune time to increase the amount that they are spending. They’ve already made up their mind that they want to buy from your company, so the hard work is already complete. Now, you just need to show them the services or products that best match their needs.

You don’t have to be overbearing with the add-on services. Instead, provide small suggestions or hints about complementary services that might be considered. You can see an example of this strategy the website of one of the biggest online retailers: Amazon. Every time you are looking at a product, there is a small section that shows other related items that customers selected after viewing the same product that you are ready to buy.

4. Increase Your Prices

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to race your competitors to the bottom with the prices that are offered. If customers see the quality of your products or services, then they won’t be too concerned about the price that you are charging. So, don’t waste your time trying to cut costs to bring more people through the door. Competing on price is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make! Instead, look for ways that you can increase the value perception to help customers see why they should be buying your products.

It is interesting to note that sometimes a price increase can actually raise conversion rates. If a customer thinks that your price is too low, then it could send a message that you are offering lower quality products or services. On the other hand, a higher price could be an indication that the customer can trust the quality that is offered by your company.

Find a balance to ensure that you are communicating value without racing your competitors to the bottom of the barrel. You deserve to get paid a fair price for the products and services that are offered. At the same time, your customers deserve to receive the quality products that they are interested in buying.

5. Increase Conversion Rates

How often are you losing customers when they are moving through your sales cycle? You might bring customers to your website or bring them through the door, but are they actually buying something when they arrive? Lead generation is important, but finding new customers won’t be effective if you can’t close the sale. In fact, there is a strong argument that you shouldn’t focus on lead generation until you have optimized close rates.

For website sales, you need to work with an experienced team that understands online conversions. If you are closing the sales in person, then you need to know the right strategies to share information with the potential client that will help to seal the deal. Even small increases in conversion rates can have a big impact on the profit margins.

6. Decrease Overhead Expenses

It is common for businesses to get pulled into recurring expenses. Even though the transactions might seem small, they can add up over time. Calculate the amount of money that you are spending on overhead costs, then look for ways that you might be able to reduce your spending.

For example, are you using two software programs that are redundant in the reporting? If it is possible to combine your efforts into one software system, then you might be able to reduce the amount of money that you are paying to use the software. Additionally, you can also save money on the manpower that is needed for the data entry and information management.

7. Assess Inventory Management

How are you managing the inventory that is moving through your business? Buying inventory is a big expense, so you need to be careful to evaluate sales trends and manage the amount of money that you are spending on inventory. It can be a challenge to find the right balance, but it is possible to improve the process with a little bit of practice.

There are several reasons why you need to manage your inventory. First, you need to be sure that you aren’t tying too much cash up into the inventory that is on site. Next, inventory management reduces the risk that employees or contractors will steal products from your company. If there is an issue with theft, then an investigation can be completed to find the culprit.

Finally, inventory management is important so that you can always have products on hand when customers are ready to buy. If a customer wants to purchase from your company, then you will lose out on the potential sale if you don’t have the right inventory available for the transaction. Not only will the customer go somewhere else to find the product, but you might be losing that person to the competition for future transactions.

8. Personalized Accounting Services

Cashflow and profit margins can be hard to manage if you aren’t watching the financial reports and paying attention to the way the money is moving through your company. Most business owners don’t have the experience to handle these financial tasks without support. If you want to increase your profit margins, then hiring an accounting team might be the best thing that you can do.

For more information about personalized accounting services, you should talk to our team here at Easier Accounting. We specialize in small business accounting, and our team is here to assist with anything that you need. Call today to see if our services match the needs of your company. We are always here to help with your business goals: (888) 620-0770

9 Common Scams Targeted at Small Businesses

Everyone needs to be cautious about potential scams… unfortunately, scammers are always finding new ways to exploit businesses and individuals. There are often warnings about scammers that target individuals and families, especially senior citizens. But, there isn’t a lot of conversation about scams that target business owners. Just because it isn’t often discussed, doesn’t mean that your business isn’t at risk of being scammed.

In fact, business accounting scams are becoming more common. Not only are these scams annoying, but they could be threatening the financial security of your company. If you fall into a trap that is set by a scammer, then you will not only lose out on the money. But, it is likely that you will need to dedicate many hours of time to clean up the mess.

Be careful about the management of your company so that you can avoid these potential issues! The best solution is to learn the strategies that need to be used to protect your company. Proactive management of your business is the best solution so that you can avoid some of the most common scams in the industry.

Here are a few common scams that you might encounter and tips to avoid them:

1. Fake Invoices

Truckloads of paperwork can move through the office each month, making it simple to slip in an extra invoice that seems unassuming and harmless. There are scammers out there who send invoices to local companies, with the hope that the invoice will be paid without any questions.

If the business owner is too busy to review the details of every invoice, then it is possible that a check will be sent for the fake invoice. These invoices might show line items for equipment or office supplies or services that are related to your industry. Sometimes, these fake invoices are requesting money for annual renewal or membership.

Avoid this issue by hiring an experienced accounting team to oversee the invoices and payments. Your accountant will watch for potential issues that might indicate the risk of a fake invoice. Good accounting services is an important step to protect your company.

2. False IRS Inquiry

Whether you receive a phone call or email from the IRS, a red flag should go up that something is not right. Usually, these inquiries are threatening and time-sensitive, making people think that they are being audited or in trouble from the IRS.

If the IRS needs to contact you, then they will always send an official letter in the mail. Any time there is a question about communication from the IRS, the best thing that you can do is talk to your accountant for assistance.

Your accounting team will be able to tell if it is a scam or if action needs to be taken with the IRS. In most situations, the request is coming from a scammer who is trying to get access to your personal information. Never send details such as bank account information or your social security number.

3. Robotic Phone Calls

How often do you receive a phone call with a recorded message on the other line? Robocalls are increasing in frequency, and these machines can even leave a message if you don’t answer the phone.

Often, the system finds your business phone number online. Then, you receive automated calls in an attempt to gather information or trick you into sending money. These autodialers are cheap and easy to use, making it nearly impossible to avoid the calls. Most individuals and businesses receive these spam calls on a regular basis.

4. Online Marketing or Directory Placement Scams

Business owners know that they need to create an online presence for their company, which is why so many people fall into traps of paying for fake services or over-inflated prices for marketing. For example, a scammer might contact your company and offer a service that is designed to update your business information in online directories.

Even if the business owner doesn’t agree to the services, the conversation might be recorded. Then, the company will be billed for services that they didn’t agree to. The phone call records can be doctored and used as “evidence,” with a threat from the scammer that they will take legal action if they don’t receive the payment. More often than not, the victim company will send the payment to avoid legal problems.

5. Customer Complaint Letters

One recent scam preys on a business owner’s fear of a bad online reputation. Fake emails are sent impersonating the Better Business Bureau. The letter claims that a customer complaint has been filed and the business owner needs to take action to protect their reputation.

Even though the email might seem legitimate, clicking on the link can lead to a download of malware. If the scammer can get access to your computer, then it means that they are trying to find sensitive information such as bank accounts or customer details.

6. Overpayments from a Customer

With this form of fraud, the scammer shows interest in high-ticket products or services that you are selling. The person requests to send a check for payment, intentionally writing the check for an amount that is higher than the price of the product.

Then, the scammer will request a wire transfer to refund the payment difference. The business owner will send a direct deposit or wire transfer. But, the check will bounce later, resulting in a loss of the money that was wired.

If you encounter this situation, then it is best to hold onto the product and request a new payment from the customer for the amount that is due. Also, be sure that you are cautious in gathering as much information as possible when processing digital transactions: full name, telephone number, address, etc.

7. Business Opportunity Scams

Whether someone approaches you with a pyramid scheme or they are offering a “blue sky” opportunity, it is possible that the scammer is trying to take advantage of your entrepreneurial mindset. Too often, business owners are approached by other people, even friends and family, offering a money-making service or investment opportunities. The person tries to convince you to spend money to join the program, but the promised results never come through.

Usually, these business opportunities are packaged in quick-start systems. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is something that you should avoid.

8. Time Sensitive Emails

Everyone knows that it is a scam if they get an email from a Nigerian prince who wants to send money. But, did you know that other time-sensitive emails could be potentially dangerous to your company? If a scammer gets access to your email address, then they could send business requests or fake inquiries.

The email could be as simple as an offer to help with search engine rankings, or as complex as a proposal for a business opportunity. The goal of the scammer is to gain more information about you or your company that can be exploited or sold for money.

Any time you receive an email from someone that you don’t know, use caution about what you do with the email. Never, ever click on the link provided in the email or open any attachments. If you suspect that the email might be legitimate, then it is best to research the company through search engine inquiries rather than clicking on the provided links.

Even if the link in the email looks legit, it is possible that the scammer could use the click as a way to access your email account. Or, you might be following a seemingly harmless link to a page that places a virus or malware on your computer or phone.

9. Unusual Emails from Friends or Business Associates

While we are on the subject of email scamming, it is important to note that you could receive a scam email from someone that you know. If their account is hacked or they accidentally had malware downloaded on their computer, then it is possible that their email account could be used to send spam messages to your email account.

Often, the email will seem harmless, with a subject line that sounds personal. For example, the email subject line might say “What do you think about this idea?” or “You might like this.” Don’t click on the link in the email! Most likely, it will lead to the risk of your identity being stolen or adware that is downloaded on your computer.

When you receive an email from someone that you know, compare the subject line and content with communication that you’ve received in the past from that person. If anything seems unusual or different, then use caution before clicking on the link. It might be worth a phone call to ensure that the email came from a legitimate source.

Protecting Your Business

As a business owner, you need to enlist the help of industry professionals who can reduce the risk for your business. A good accounting team can help you avoid some of the common scams that target small businesses. If you need a reputable accounting and bookkeeping service, then you need to talk to us at Easier Accounting. We are here to help: (888) 620-0770

Seasonal Employees: Small Business Advice for Temporary Hiring

Starting a company is an exciting experience, but it is common for business owners to encounter situations that they don’t know how to handle. For example, it might seem simple to hire seasonal employees. But, you shouldn’t overlook important tax and accounting strategies that need to be used if you are bringing in temporary help.

Summer is a season when many companies need to hire seasonal employees. It is common for companies to have business plans that are busier during the summer months, resulting in the need for a bigger workforce. Do you run a restaurant in a tourist area that gets busier in the summer months? Or, maybe you have a company that caters to school-age kids when they are off for the summer.

There are a variety of business models that need more employee support during this time of year. You need to be sure that you are prepared with the right strategies for the beginning and end of the season.

Benefits of Temporary Workers

You need to keep the business moving forward, which means that you need the manpower to help with all of the tasks that should be addressed throughout the year. There are times when you might be short-handed. But, are you nervous about hiring full-time employees because you don’t need ongoing support later in the year? If you only need help for a few months, then temporary or seasonal hiring is the right solution.

Here are a few benefits you can expect if you are hiring summer employees:

  • Save Money: Your accountant is always looking for ways to help you save money, which is why they might suggest temporary hiring. Instead of paying money for a full-time employee and all of the overhead costs and expenses, you can choose a temporary option to reduce the amount that you will spend.
  • Flexibility: How long do you need help from the new employees? Temporary employees can be great if you are filling in the space while someone is out on maternity leave or you need a few months of help during the busiest times of the year. If you don’t want to hire someone permanently, then temp employees are a great option to try.
  • Find the Right Fit: Are you hiring someone on a temporary basis, with the possibility that you might want to extend for the future? Starting employees on a seasonal status can help you determine if the person is going to be a good fit for your team. Then, you can transition that person from temporary to full-time status in the future if you desire.

Circumstances vary, so you need to consider the needs of your company and the options that are available. It never hurts to hire seasonal employees, but make sure that you talk to your accountant and HR specialists to ensure that the situation will be right for your business needs.

Labor Laws and Temporary Employees

All of the state and federal labor laws still apply for your temporary workforce. Just because someone is not a permanent employee, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to maintain the regular rules for breaks, meals, overtime payment and more. In fact, a seasonal employee should be treated in the same way as a long-term employee. The main difference between the two employees lies in the length of time that the person works for the company.

Familiarize yourself with the federal and local labor laws. Also, make sure that you are working closely with industry experts to guide the way you are handling payroll and employee management. A payroll company can help you navigate the pay schedule, pay rate, overtime pay, tax withholdings and more. These accounting services are valuable to ensure that your seasonal employees are paid in a timely manner. At the same time, you will stay ahead of the financial details that need to be addressed for the employees who are hired.

If you don’t want to manage the accounting and payroll side of things, another option is to hire seasonal employees through a temporary placement agency. Many times, the temp agency handles payroll and the HR side of employment. You simply need to pay an invoice for the work hours that are completed. But, choosing to hire employees through a temp agency often increases the amount of money that you will spend since you need to cover the fees that go to the agency.

Overtime and Minimum Wage for Seasonal Employees

How many hours will the seasonal employee be working each day and week? Familiarize yourself with the labor laws in your state to ensure that you are paying the correct rates for the hours that are worked. You need to make sure that the person is paid enough to meet minimum wage requirements as well as overtime if applicable.

The U.S. Department of Labor has published unique overtime laws for seasonal employees. For example, if you own a business in the recreation or amusement industry, then it might not be necessary to pay overtime if the operations are only happening fewer than seven months each year. Talk to your accountant when you are discussing payroll so that you can decide whether your company matches the criteria for these laws.

Contract Workers or Seasonal Employees

Why not consider the option to hire a contractor instead of a seasonal employee? This option might be a better solution depending on your industry and the tasks that need to be completed. Talk to your accountant to determine if the scope of work can fit the guidelines for contract workers.

When you are hiring a contractor, you don’t have full control over their schedule or the tasks that are completed each day. Instead, a scope of work needs to be determined. Then, it’s up to the contractor to determine the time and manner in which the work is completed. Hiring a contractor means that you don’t need to pay payroll taxes and the costs of benefits. Plus, you can choose the amount of work that is needed, without having an obligation to pay a part-time or full-time salary for a specific number of hours.

On the other hand, there are times when it is better to hire seasonal employees instead of contractors. For example, if you need someone to be in the office at certain times of the day, then that person will probably fall under the seasonal employee category. If you need to oversee the ongoing tasks that are completed by the worker, then you should choose a seasonal employee instead of a contractor.

Trained Employees Set Your Company Up for Success

Hiring the right talent can have a major impact on the future success of your company. Instead of spending your time on busy work and entry-level tasks, bring in the staff that is needed to handle these projects. Seasonal employees can free up your time so that you can focus efforts on higher-level business strategies. These steps will increase profit margins and increase the likelihood that you will have a need to maintain a working relationship with the seasonal employees.

But, you should be sure that you are hiring employees who are qualified to complete the work. At the same time, these people must receive proper training on the tasks they will be assigned to. Even though an employee has related skills and experience, it doesn’t mean that they understand how to handle your unique business tasks. In-house training will ensure that you have a cohesive team that is optimizing the results for the company.

Additionally, seasonal employees with the right training are often interested in returning to work for future seasons. If you create a good relationship with these employees, then it increases the likelihood that they will want to come back when more work opportunities are available. You will have the workforce that is needed during the busy season, and your seasonal employees will enjoy another opportunity for income again. The training that is completed each season can build on the skill sets that will be required for future projects.

Guidance for Payroll and Employee Hiring

Regardless of the number of employees that you have, it is essential that you have a good accounting team to help you keep up with payroll processing, bookkeeping, tax strategy, and other financial tasks that need to be addressed. These accounting services will make it easy for you to stay ahead of the cash flow. You can rest assured to know that your business is in good hands.

Our team at Easier Accounting is here to assist with the financial tasks for your small business. We focus our services on startups and entrepreneurs, ensuring that we have the specialized skill set that is needed to improve your results. As a business owner, you shouldn’t take a DIY approach to accounting and bookkeeping. Instead, you need to lean on the experience that we can offer for your company. Call us today if you would like to learn about our accounting team and see if our services are a good fit for your needs: (888) 620-0770

Tips to Overcome the Most Common Problems Faced By Startup Companies

Even though you have an unbeatable idea for your new business, certain problems are seemingly unavoidable for start-ups. Whether you are preparing to launch the company or you are a year or two into your business efforts, it is essential that you are proactive to minimize the impact of these common issues that are faced by startup companies. A little bit of strategy and problem-solving can go a long way to keep your company moving forward.

Become a Problem-Solving Expert

As an entrepreneur or business owner, problem-solving can be one of the most valuable skills that you can develop. You need to have a clear vision of your goals, as well as a deep understanding of the day-in-day-out practices and tasks that need to be accomplished.

Not only do you need to face big decisions that will influence the future of your company. But, you also need to be ready to think on your feet so that you can solve smaller issues when they pop up. These decisions can impact customer satisfaction, company culture, product quality, business development and more. Even when you are facing a seemingly insignificant problem, these small issues can compound to create a ripple effect for the future.

You are capable of tackling the problems that are holding back your success. As you face these issues head-on, you will gain the skills and knowledge that will prepare you for other problems that might come up in the future. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or pushing the decisions to the backburner, you need to be in the mindset of finding solutions that will create the results that you desire.

Cashflow Difficulty

Most business owners will agree that cash flow is one of the biggest concerns that they face on a regular basis. In fact, a large percentage of small business failures happen due to a lack of cash to keep the company going. Even if there is a potential for a strong profit in the future, you can’t keep the doors open without money to cover overhead costs this month.

Some of the biggest companies started out with limited resources. Research the roots of large tech companies and product developers, and you will see that many of these business ideas hatched in home offices, basements, and makeshift work areas in the garage. As the business idea takes hold, then it is possible to get the funding that is needed to launch the company.

Even if you have a savings account or investor funds to use, startup budgets are often focused on the best-case scenario instead of looking at the worst things that could possibly happen. While it is good to be optimistic about the potential profits, you also need to be realistic about issues that you might face.

As a result, it is smart to err on the side of having too much start-up cash in the bank, ensuring that you can keep things going while you are building the brand. It is hard to predict sales and cash flow in the early stages of the company, so you need to build in an emergency fund in case you encounter problems.

Finding a Balance Between Work and Home Responsibilities

Not only are you trying to launch a business from your basement, but you also need to carry the ongoing responsibilities with your family and home life. It takes a significant time commitment to make a startup successful. So, many startup business owners find it hard to create a balance between the long work hours and quality time spent with the family.

Set a schedule for your work tasks and draw boundaries when it is time to focus on your family. These relationships are important and shouldn’t be neglected! Taking a little bit of time for your spouse and kids can reduce the stress at home, which will have a positive impact to improve your business results as well.

Weak Marketing Strategy

Just because you have a good business idea, doesn’t mean that customers will come flocking as soon as the products are available. It is common for startup companies to rush into product manufacturing and business development, without dedicating much time or money for marketing efforts. Poor marketing strategy could leave you with a basement full of inventory and no funds left to connect with your target demographic.

Be strategic with your marketing efforts. Instead of rushing into expensive sponsorships, radio advertisements, or television commercials, consider the advantages of online marketing to dial in your ad targeting. You need to start with a clear picture of your target demographic, to understand where these people are spending time each day. For example, it doesn’t make sense to spend advertising dollars on Snapchat ads if you are targeting a demographic of middle-class retirees. These people probably don’t use Snapchat, but you might have better success targeting them through Facebook advertising instead.

Gathering market data makes it easier to optimize your marketing budget in a way that helps you connect with people who are interested in the product or service that you are offering.

Do you know who your target market is? Consider the problems that these people are facing and look for ways to cater your products to solve these common problems. If you are having a hard time finding your target market, then it could be beneficial to spend some of your start-up cash to bring in an expert to get you started with an effective online marketing campaign.

Poor Pricing Structure for Products and Services

You need to find the right balance when determining the prices for your products and services. If it is a race to the bottom to win customers over with the lowest prices, then you will never create the profit margins that are needed to help the company grow. On the other hand, over-inflated pricing can scare away your target demographic.

Focus on the quality of the materials and products, as well as great customer service. Excelling in these areas ensures that your customers will leave raving reviews about your company. As you establish a good reputation and show the benefits that you offer to your customers, then you can set higher prices to improve profit margins in the future.

One of the keys to ensuring success for your business: focus on solving your customer’s problems and establish value in the way your products will solve their issues, which will help to solve your business problems. This strategy gives you a stronger basis to increase your prices because customers will see that they will benefit from the purchase. It is a win-win situation when you are looking for ways to support your customers and overcome the common startup issues at the same time.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Business owners wear many hats throughout the day. Not only are you trying to figure out issues when they arise, but it is common to take a DIY approach to minimize the outlay of expenses for professional services. There is a saying that if someone is a “jack of all trades,” then they will be the “master of none.” If you are spreading yourself thin with the administrative tasks and busy work, then your top-level problem-solving abilities will suffer.

Instead of letting your time be overtaken by these smaller tasks, you will see that your results and productivity increases if you are strategic with outsourcing and delegation. Plus, hiring the services will give you a team of experts who can offer advice to help you overcome the problems that you face in your company.

For example, if you are dealing with cash flow issues and you don’t have formal accounting experience, then it might be a challenge to keep up with the books and prepare your company for future expenses. Instead of trying to manage these big financial decisions by yourself, it is better to hire outsourced accounting services to manage your books. You can lean on the professionals to improve your tax strategy and avoid common bookkeeping mistakes at the same time.

You don’t need to handle all of the operations of your startup by yourself. Trying to do everything on your own isn’t an effective use of your time or resources. Make sure that you have an accountant and a lawyer to answer questions along the way. At the same time, consider the advantage of hiring a few employees or contractors to assist with the ongoing tasks and services that need to be addressed.

As you free up your time by assigning important tasks to other people, you will be in a better position to give your full attention to the problems that might come up each day. Then, you can be strategic in your decisions to ensure that you are on the path to boost potential success in the future.

At Easier Accounting, we understand that it takes a lot of time and resources to get your new business off the ground. We specialize in accounting services for startup companies and small businesses. Call today to learn how we can support the growth of your startup. Our team is here to help with the implementation of a solid financial and tax strategy, making it easier to keep up with the cash flow that is needed to help your company grow. Call today to learn about the services that we offer: (888) 620-0770

What Financial Records Need to be Kept for Your Small Business

Do you feel like you are drowning in paperwork? It can be hard to keep up with the requirements of running a small business, especially when you feel like you need a secretary dedicated to bookkeeping and filing. Even though these financial records can feel like a burden, it is essential that you have a good system in place so that you can locate the paperwork if it is needed in the future.

Why Record Keeping is So Important

Why does it matter if you keep the paperwork with details about your business finances? No matter your industry, bookkeeping and accounting need to be a priority for your company. Not only do you need the paperwork for your own records, but there are requirements from federal and state taxing authorities to maintain documentation of your income and expenses.

Here are a few reasons why you need to keep financial records:

  • What is Your Financial Situation? If you don’t have a good financial system, then you are running your business in the dark. The best way to make good decisions for your company is to know where the business stands every day, week, month, quarter, and year. Is your business profitable? Or are you losing money? Will there be enough cash in the bank to cover the overhead costs this month? These details give you more control over your business practices, helping to set your company up for success in the future. As a result, you can improve your efficiency and productivity, which helps to maximize the possibilities that can be achieved.
  • Documentation for Tax Obligations: Taxes are a necessary part of business ownership, and many people agree that their stress goes up when it is time to talk about taxes. You need to keep documentation of your business records to ensure that you have the right numbers for your tax filings and payments. These records need to show the money that is coming in from your clients and customers, as well as the expenses that you are using as deductions. If money changed hands and the transaction was related to your business activities, then you need to have documentation of that transaction.
  • Potential Business Investors: When your company is expanding, there are times when it makes sense to bring in investors. But, it is hard to convince people to invest in your company if you can’t show the history. You need reports and paperwork that outline the history of the business, as well as anticipated sales reports for the future. Additionally, investors often want to view details regarding assets and bank accounts.

Keeping good financial records is one of the best things that you can do to maintain order in your company. If you know the numbers, then there won’t be big surprises in the future about the costs that are due for taxes or inventory expenses.

Even though it can be a lot of work to keep up with these financial records, it is one of the most important things that you can do to set your company up for success. Don’t assume that you need to manage the business records by yourself. Instead, find a trusted company that offers bookkeeping and accounting services so that you can outsource the busy work.

What Documents Need to Be Kept?

The legal requirements vary depending on your business and industry. So, the best thing that you can do is get personalized recommendations from an accounting team. Your accountant can provide a list of the paperwork that needs to be kept, ensuring that you are maintaining everything that might be needed in the future.

If there is a question about whether a financial document needs to be kept, then it is best to err on the side of filing the document for a while. Keep in mind that you don’t have to keep all of the paperwork indefinitely. Instead, you can hold onto some documents for a few years before shredding the paperwork.

Follow this overview of paperwork that you need to hang on to:

  1. Business Documents: If you have paperwork that shows the legality of your company, that it needs to be filed in a safe place. Hold onto records that show your right to be in business, such as a business license, certifications, and more. Also, keep copies of the by-laws for your company, articles of incorporation, and other applicable paperwork.
  2. Business Contracts: Do you have signed agreements with clients or subcontractors? Signed copies of these files need to be kept on record. If a dispute or question comes up in the future, then you can always pull up the contract to ensure that all parties share the same understanding. These business agreements might also include documentation for employees, suppliers, vendors, and more.
  3. Financial Records: Anything that shows money changing hands needs to be documented and filed. This category includes accounts receivable, which is the money that you receive from your clients or customers. Additionally, you need to keep records of any business expenses that are being used as deductions. Other applicable paperwork includes tax filings, payroll details, and more.
  4. Executive Meetings: If you have a board of directors or an investors meeting, then it is a good idea to keep records of the minutes of the meeting. These details might include major business decisions that could impact the future of the company.
  5. Business Assets: Whether you have company-owned computer equipment or you bought the building where the business is located, you need to hang on to the paperwork that details the assets for your company. Your accountant can help with the purchase, sale, and depreciation details. You need to hold onto the paperwork that shows any transactions related to these assets. Keep in mind that financial gains or losses in assets can have an impact on your tax filings, so you might need to keep the details for potential audits in the future.
  6. Employment Taxes: In addition to income taxes and other business taxes, you are also responsible for the records and filings of employment taxes. These records need to show the details of every employee, including their legal status for working in the United States. You also need to track paychecks, dates of employment, tax withholdings, tax payments, and more. The IRS has requested that businesses hold these records for a minimum of four years.

Do You Need Hard Copies or Electronic Files?

We live in a digital world, and there are many times when you can keep digital files to avoid the mess of a full filing cabinet. If you want to simplify your business records, then it is best to keep a digital file where all of the documents are kept in their corresponding folders.

For example, you might have a folder for all of the invoices that are sent to clients, another folder for tax filings, and another folder where business receipts are kept. Minimizing the paperwork eliminates the need to print every page. Plus, a cloud-based storage system gives you full access to the information from anywhere in the world.

Another benefit of a digital filing system is that your accounting and bookkeeping team can access your financial records. If you want to free up your time, then you need to use an outsourced accounting service so that you don’t have to sort through the busy work of your business records. You can upload the files and let the pros handle the document filing, data tracking, reporting, taxes, and more.

If you choose an electronic filing system, then it is essential that you have a good backup service in place. Your business could be devastated if you lost all of the documents due to a computer failure. Many cloud-based storage solutions offer automated backups. You can also set up a private service that syncs your files to another cloud-based location.

Finding an Accounting Team to Help with Your Financial Records

Do you have a good accountant to help with your business files and records? There is no reason why you should be handling these details without the support of a financial professional. Outsourcing the bookkeeping and accounting for your company is one of the best things that you can do to ensure that you aren’t overloaded with busy work.

Our team can handle the financial details, freeing up your time to focus on activities that will boost the success of your company. We are experienced with small business accounting and know the best methods to help you take control of your financial records.

Are you ready to learn more about the benefits of outsourced accounting? Then you need to talk to our team at Easier Accounting. We are happy to cater your accounting services to match the needs of your company. We provide a range of services, ensuring that you get the best results to match your needs. If you have questions or you would like more information, then we invite you to call our team right away: (888) 620-0770

Taxes are Due April 17: Are You Ready?

Tax season is drawing to a close, leaving many entrepreneurs and sole-proprietors rushing to gather the last-minute details that are needed for the filing. This time of year can be stressful if you haven’t been consistent with your expense and income tracking throughout the year. But, there is still time available to gather the information that is needed for taxes so that you can optimize the results of your tax filing.

Why April 17th?

Usually, tax filings and payments are due on April 15th, so why is the due date different this year? If April 15th falls on a weekend, then the tax day will be adjusted to a weekday. This year, the 15th falls on a Sunday, so the IRS adjusted the due date to the 17th instead. Now, everyone has two business days after the standard due date to finish up the filing details and submit all of the paperwork and payments.

Even though you have an extra two days this year, don’t delay the preparation of your paperwork and payments! It is important that you take action right now so that you aren’t pushing the deadlines as the final due date approaches.

In fact, it is often a good strategy to finish your paperwork in advance. Then, you can relax at the end of tax season knowing that everything is already done.

What should you be focusing on to prepare for your tax filings? Here are a few things that you need to do to make sure that your small business is ready for tax time:

Gather Deduction and Write-Off Details

One of the benefits of owning a small business is that you can maximize the deductions and write-offs that are related to business expenses. Any time you spent money that has an impact on your business activities, then that cost can be considered a write-off.

But, these transactions aren’t beneficial for your taxes if you don’t track the expenses. Keep a record of the costs that were incurred throughout the year. Then, this information needs to be provided to your accountant to ensure that everything is included in the right categories on your tax paperwork.

Common write-offs include office supplies, computers, cell phones, inventory, contractor work, website maintenance, and more. If you have a home-based business, then don’t miss the benefits of writing off a portion of your rent or mortgage, as well as some of your utilities. Your accountant can help you determine the right amount that needs to be written off for these payments.

Even the smallest write-offs can add up to big savings in the future. Make sure to maintain a conversation with your accountant with anything that could be used as a write-off. For example, you might consider tracking your miles to use the travel as a write-off. Anytime travel or entertainment is needed for business purposes, a portion of the food, tickets, and hotel can also be used to reduce your tax burden.

Keeping track of all of the money that is spent will add up to a significant tax benefit over time. If you don’t already have records to provide for your accountant, then right now is a great opportunity to gather the details for the upcoming tax filing.

DIY vs. Professional Tax Filing

Start-up business owners are always looking for ways to save money. Even though it might sound like a good idea to use software for DIY tax preparation, it is common for inexperienced business owners to make huge mistakes with their paperwork. One missed line item or mistake in the way the information is entered could change your tax liability by thousands of dollars.

Yes, you will need to spend a little money for assistance with your tax filing. But, these services are invaluable when you compare the amount of money that is saved from professional tax preparation. Spend a little bit of money right now so that you can improve your tax strategy and save a lot of money on the taxes that are due.

Also, consider the benefit of having ongoing tax support throughout the year. You should be talking to your accountant more than once a year. Most business owners turn to financial professionals when the tax due dates are looming. It is a mistake if you aren’t leveraging their knowledge and tax strategy throughout the other months in the year though. For example, you might adjust your budget or the spending cycle to manage your tax bracket. Keeping your income in a lower tax bracket can be a big deal if you want to save a lot of money on taxes.

Don’t overlook the benefit of reduced stress levels when you have an experienced tax professional handle the filing for you. Instead of spending your evenings and weekends stressing over tax preparation, you can relax and enjoy time with your family. Your accountant will handle the paperwork and number crunching, helping you achieve the best results that are available from your tax filing. You can relax and watch your stress levels drop when you don’t need to worry about these details by yourself.

Employees, Contractors, and More

As you are calculating expenses, it is important that you distinguish the differences between employees and contractors. When a person is on your payroll, there are specific payroll taxes and other costs that need to be calculated every time a check is cut. Then, these costs need to be paid to the government at certain times throughout the year. At the end of the year, the totals need to be calculated and reconciled, ensuring that the right information was submitted with the payments.

In comparison, a contractor is paid without the burden of employee taxes. You can cut a check to the contractor to pay for the invoice, without a need to subtract a certain percentage for taxes that need to be withheld for the payments.

Both employees and contractors should receive tax forms at the end of the year if they were paid $600 or more in a given calendar year. Employees should receive a W2 that outlines their payments and taxes that were withheld. Contractors need to receive a 1099-MISC form. Missing these payments and forms is a common mistake that could impact the legality of the people that you hired.

Implement a New Tax Strategy for Next Year

If you found that tax preparation was too stressful this year, then it might be a sign that you need to implement a new tax strategy. Consider the option to wait until the dust settles after tax season is over. Then, you can schedule a time to talk to your accounting team about new systems or strategies that need to be used for the new year.

Most accountants are quite busy through tax filing day, and even a little bit after tax season is over due to extensions. But, there is plenty of time to discuss proactive strategies after April 17th. You need to have a good relationship with your accountant so that you can tap into their expertise throughout the year. Ask questions to learn about tax strategies. Look for solutions so that you can apply these new techniques in your business.

Go Digital

Are you still collecting receipts in a shoebox or filing folder? These old-school accounting practices are outdated and inefficient. As a result, tax season can be a nightmare if you are sifting through the paperwork to double-check the data-entry.

Instead of creating more work by managing manual accounting transactions, look for ways that you can digitize the system. Using a good software program is a great option to simplify the ongoing workload and ensure that you don’t miss important transactions. Recording everything electronically means that your expenses archive will be ready when it is time to file taxes next year.

Many of these accounting systems are designed to enter transactions automatically based on the line items that move through your bank account or credit card statement. You can set up filters that categorize certain transactions automatically. For example, a transaction from Staples or Office Max is always categorized as office supplies. Then, a few manual adjustments will be needed for uncommon transactions, such as a one-time plane ticket purchase for a conference that you are attending.

Working with an Accountant is a Valuable Way to Improve Your Business

If you aren’t already working with an accountant, then it is essential that you step into the wonderful world of outsourced accounting. These services give you access to top-notch financial guidance and recommendations, without the need to spend money on another employee. You will notice a big difference in the profits and success of your company when you are leaning on the expertise of an experienced financial team.

Are you ready to learn more about the benefits of tax preparation services and ongoing financial advice? You need to discuss the available services with our team here at Easier Accounting. We specialize in accounting services for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Our team understands the challenges of starting a company, so we are here to assist with your tax preparation and financial strategy. Call to learn more: (888) 620-0770

Essential Factors to Evaluate Before Hiring an Outsourced CPA

An outsourced CPA can be a great resource to improve your financial systems and boost your business results. There’s no doubt that your company will benefit from experienced advice and guidance to help with cash flow and profit evaluation. But, there are a few things that need to be considered before you rush into the decision to hire a CPA.

Follow these guidelines to ensure that you have the right services and skills that are needed to support your business efforts:

Look at References and Reputation

What is the reputation of the company that you want to hire? Considering references and the business reputation can give you an idea about the quality of service that you can expect. Search online for the company name to uncover reviews and information shared by other customers.

These reviews can be biased, so you need to keep an open mind when you are reading through reviews. Not only can good reviews be planted by the company’s marketing firm, but bad reviews could be placed by a competitor. So, you need to read the reviews to get an overall feel for the type of experience that you might expect if you choose to hire the outsourced CPA.

Asking for references can be one way that you determine the quality of services that are provided. Before you hire the team, ask for contact information for references that can answer your questions. A good accounting team won’t hesitate to provide references upon request. You can talk to satisfied customers to know that you will be receiving services from a reputable company.

Compare Expenses for the Services

Hiring an employee can cost you thousands of dollars per month, which is why many CPAs try to charge high amounts for their ongoing accounting services. Even though you are tapping into the professional experience of the team, you don’t need to pay that much for good accounting and bookkeeping services.

As you are comparing options for accounting services, you need to open up the conversation about the ongoing costs that are expected. Plus, you deserve to see a breakdown of the services that will be provided for the investment. Evaluate the value that you will be receiving for the money that is spent. Don’t be afraid to compare various services to ensure that you find an accounting plan that matches the needs of your company.

Many small business owners find that it is cheaper to hire an online accounting service instead of paying for a local company to help with accounting. If you hire a local accountant, then the fees will be higher to cover the costs of the office and storefront. In comparison, many online businesses can reduce overall expenses since you don’t need to have face-to-face meetings.

Just because you aren’t meeting in person, doesn’t mean that you will receive subpar services. You always have the option to open up a conversation over the phone. A good outsourced CPA will offer ongoing support, giving you access to their expertise throughout the year. You need an accounting team that you can lean on for advice on an ongoing basis, instead of only talking to your accountant once a year.

Before you sign an agreement, make sure that you are clear about the amount that you will be paying and the services that will be offered. These details will ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the outcome of the services that you will be receiving.

You are Running the Business; the CPA is Assisting in the Efforts

When you hire an outsourced CPA, you might think that you can hand over the responsibility to reduce your stress load. While the accounting services will help to offset the busy work and oversee the financial strategy, they won’t take over the decisions that need to be made for your company.

In fact, many business owners use caution when they start working with a new accounting team. Instead of handing over all of the financial details and accounts right away, you might consider the option to work together for awhile to build trust first.

The CPA should offer tax preparation services, payroll, bookkeeping, and more. They can complete the calculations that help you evaluate cash flow and potential tax liabilities in the future. Even though this information is provided, remember that you are still the owner of the company. You have the final say in the decisions that are made. You can use the information to improve your decisions, without handing over all of the power to an outsourced team.

If you allow the accountant to make decisions on behalf of your company, then it is essential that you at least keep an eye on the transaction and the things that are happening. Otherwise, you could be at risk for fraud or other issues that could pop up if the books aren’t handled appropriately.

Why an Outsourced CPA instead of In-House Employees?

Why should you hire an outsourced CPA instead of bringing on another employee? While it might seem like a benefit to having a financial professional in your office, no real benefit can’t be gained from outsourced services.

In-house employees can be expensive, especially when you are paying a salary for an experienced accountant or CFO. Add up the costs of the salary, as well as employment taxes and employee benefits. Don’t overlook the cost that will be paid for additional office space, furniture, computers, and office supplies. All of these factors cut into your bottom line, making it hard to maximize your profits.

There’s nothing wrong with hiring an employee when it makes sense for your company. But, take the time to evaluate outsourced services before you rush to bring another employee into your office. With an outsourced accounting team, you always have someone there to answer your financial questions. At the same time, you can reduce the costs since you don’t need to be paying for someone to be in your office on a full-time basis.

It is interesting to see that outsourced services might actually be more valuable compared to an in-office employee. When someone is working in your office, they are always focused on the same project. As a result, they could have a narrow-minded perspective regarding potential systems or strategies that could be used for your company. It is easier to get stuck in a rut if you aren’t getting an outside perspective.

In comparison, an outsourced accounting team is always working with a variety of business owners. The experience can be used to improve your systems since the team understands the best practices in the industry. Choose an accounting team that specializes in small business services to ensure that you receive personalized information to match the needs of your company.

Where to Find a CPA You Can Trust

There are a variety of options that you can use if you need to find a CPA to help with your business. Some people look to network and industry contacts to find these services in the local area. A personal recommendation or referral can be a valuable resource. Just make sure that you trust the person who provided the referral. It is best to ask for these referrals from other like-minded business owners.

Next, you need to evaluate the options that might be available online. Search for companies that offer small business accounting services that are a good fit for your company. The internet has opened many options for outsourced services, giving you the ability to tap into expertise from accounting teams that understand the nuances of your industry. There are many benefits to choosing a small business accountant who focuses on companies like your own, instead of hiring the services of a big firm that offers accounting for small and large corporations.

Specializations are essential if you want to maximize the long-term results of the services that are available. Additionally, look for a company that offers many years of experience in the industry. It is better to hire an experienced team instead of trying the services of someone who is just out of college. Hands-on experience is invaluable and is worth more than the money that you will save on entry-level services.

The Best Outsourced Accounting Team: Easier Accounting

If you are looking for unbeatable outsourced accounting services, then you need to talk to us about the options that are available from the Easier Accounting team. We are focused on the satisfaction of our customers, giving you top-notch solutions for both accounting and bookkeeping. We have many years of experience in the industry, giving you the best options that can improve your business systems.

One of the advantages that we offer is that we specialize in small business accounting services. By focusing our services, we can improve the results for our customers. We invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about the ways that we can help with your business finances. Call us at Easier Accounting to see how we can help: (888) 620-0770

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Small Business

Spring is a time of year when many people prioritize tasks to improve the comfort and quality of their homes and offices. Do you love the feeling of opening the windows and pulling the junk out of the back corner of the closets? It is common for stuff to collect throughout the year, resulting in the need to declutter and make space. Letting go of the clutter is an effective way to decrease your stress levels. This year, look for ways that you can think outside the box when you are putting together your spring cleaning checklist.

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are often items that fall to the backburner. You are juggling many priorities throughout the year, and many people feel like their schedules are so full… making it impossible to keep up with other tasks that need to be addressed. If you can’t keep up with everything throughout the year, then it might be time to set aside a few weeks to clean up your systems and practices in your business. Spring cleaning is a great way to create a fresh start and improve the results that you can achieve through the rest of the year.

Here are a few business spring cleaning tasks that should be added to your to-do list:

Drawers, Cabinets, and Office Clutter

How often do you shove papers in the back of the filing cabinet or push old office supplies into a storage closet? Even though your office looks good when people come in to see your desk, it can be stressful and burdensome to know that there are loads of things that need to be fixed in your closet, drawers, and other storage spaces.

If you have a personal office, then it is time to sort through the shelves and see what items are no longer used. It is common for small businesses to get rid of many office supplies when they make a transition to digital accounting. For example, you might be able to get rid of the bulky filing cabinet and folders if you are keeping all of the documents online.

Throw away expired cleaning supplies, outdated training materials, or anything else that is sitting in the closet unused. Even though it might seem like a good idea to hold onto things in case you need them in the future, you are making a mistake by hanging onto every item. Consider the mental burden that it causes when you know that things are piled up. Plus, you also need to think about the increased costs that you are spending on storage space or a larger office so that you have enough room for all of the stuff.

Digital File Cleanup

Not only do you need to get rid of the physical clutter, but it is also important to sort through the digital clutter as well. Going digital is a great way to reduce the clutter in your office, but it is common for the computer files to build up with nonsense as well. Just because things are stored digitally, doesn’t mean that you need to hold onto everything forever.

Put together an effective filing system so that you know when old folders and files need to be deleted. When you have a good archive system, you can move old invoices and receipts out of the way so that you don’t have to sift through those folders every time you are looking for a current document.

If you are always searching for the files that you need right now, then you could be wasting hours of your workweek on the cluttered storage drive. Instead of letting yourself get caught up in the distraction, set a goal to clear these files right now so that you can open up space and simplify daily processes.

Another thing to consider with digital storage is the amount of storage space that is available. If you are storing Word documents and .pdf files, then it isn’t likely that you will run out of space in the future. But, photos and video files can take up a lot of room on your storage drive. As a result, you could be facing the problem of a lack of space, causing increased costs for more room on your storage drive.

Backing Up Digital Storage

Any time the information is stored digitally; you need to be sure that you are using a solution that implements backup systems. If the storage service fails, will you lose all of your customer information and financial records? These details are important to keep on file for several years. For example, you will need to refer to the paperwork if you are ever audited by the IRS. So, make sure that you have a good backup system in place.

It is better to store your files on a secured cloud-storage service instead of keeping everything on your computer. If the computer hard-drive fails, then you will lose all of the information. There are options to back up your computer with services such as Carbonite. Pay the money for the peace of mind to know that you won’t lose your information if something goes wrong with your computer.

Most cloud storage solutions make it easy to access your files from any computer. You can work on the computer as normal, with access to all of the important information that you need. If the computer is damaged, you can access your files using another computer as necessary. Plus, you have access to this information through a smartphone app as well.

Another benefit of a cloud-based system is that you can share file information and access with your accounting team. Hiring outsourced accounting specialists is a great way to free up your time and improve your financial strategy. There’s no reason to have an accountant in your office when all of the information can be shared through digital files and software solutions.

Inventory Assessment

Inventory is another topic that should be addressed with your business spring cleaning checklist. Are there any old products in your inventory that aren’t selling very well? Consider running a flash sale to clear the inventory so that you can make space for new products that are coming later this year.

You also need to think about the trends that are happening in the industry. Evaluating your inventory can help you identify the popular products. Then, you can make adjustments to your sales strategy to offer the products and services that your customers want to buy. A few small adjustments can go a long way to ensure the long-term success of your business.

As you evaluate your inventory, you can see if there is anything that needs to be reordered. Keeping the popular products in-stock ensures that you have the option to sell these items when customers are ready to buy. It is common for business owners to need to plan several months in advance to maintain inventory.

For example, you need to consider upcoming sales and demand during different times of the year. Then, the products need to be ordered with plenty of lead-time for the manufacturing to be completed before the busy season. Missing the order date by a month or two could leave you in a situation where you don’t have products to sell when the customers are ready to buy. Then, you could be stuck with too much inventory because you missed the peak time to sell those products. Strategy matters, which is why you need to think ahead regarding the times and quantities that you order for your stock.

Systems, Contractors, and Employees

The final to-do item on your spring cleaning checklist is the effectiveness of your current systems. Do you have the right software programs and systems to optimize your results and minimize busywork? Are your employees meeting the requirements that are needed to help customers and keep up with daily tasks? It might be time to make a few changes in the way things are done, to ensure optimal performance of your team.

It is easy to get stuck in a rut and continue using systems that have always been implemented. Just because something seems to be working fine, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way to improve efficiency. Look to industry experts for insights about the ways that you can improve your internal systems.

When you are having a hard time keeping up with the workflow, then it might seem obvious that you need to hire another employee or two. But, consider the advantage of bringing in an outsourced contractor instead. You can tap into the skillset that is needed without carrying the burden of insurance and overhead costs for employee management. Outsourced accounting and other services can save you thousands of dollars a year while improving your business systems at the same time.

At Easier Accounting, we are here to help with your small business spring cleaning goals. Contact us to see how we can help with your financial tracking and accounting services. We know the best ways to implement effective accounting systems for small businesses and entrepreneurs: (888) 620-0770