Posts

13 Essential Tools, Services, and Resources for Every Small Business Owner

Finding the right tools, services, and resources for your small business can have a significant impact on the overall success of the company. Even though these things might seem like simple details, the smaller efforts add up to great results. At Easier Accounting, we love serving small businesses and our team is always looking for resources and support that will boost your business efforts. Whether you are just getting established or your business has been around for a few years, you might find some of these resources useful.

Some of these recommended tools are free, and others require an upfront or ongoing payment. But they are worth the investment because of the benefits that are available. If you can find solutions to save time and leverage your efforts, it is possible to speed up the growth of your company. We want to help with your financial success, which is why we are sharing this article with great resources for you.

Getting Started on the Right Foot

Entrepreneurship is growing with each year, opening up opportunities for anyone who wants to own a business. Even if you don’t have a background in business or financing, it is possible to start a company that can be run from your home or a local office.

While the excitement of starting and running a business can be exciting, many people find that it can also be overwhelming to navigate the tools and systems that are available. Instead of trying to “reinvent the wheel” by exploring all of the options that are offered, why not tap into the knowledge of others who understand what is necessary for small business success? You can follow in the footsteps of other successful startups, making it easier for your business since you don’t need to navigate new territory.

Keep in mind that if your competitors are using these business tools and you are late in getting started, then your company is going to be left in the dust. Technology has transformed the business industry, making it more important than ever to keep up with the trends.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You don’t have to work nonstop to support your business growth. Instead, consider the idea that the right tools allow you to work smarter, not harder. You can support the needs of your company and maintain a balanced lifestyle with family and friends at the same time.

The right business systems make it easy to maintain productivity and boost efficiency throughout the days and weeks. Your time will be focused on the tasks that are most important for your company, instead of getting caught in the weeds with the busy work that takes up too much time.

Tools for Your Business

Every business is unique, so you might not need all of these tools that we are sharing. But it can be beneficial to consider the benefits and features to see if they apply to your needs. Save yourself the hassle of research and wasted money by using some of these recommendations, instead of testing an unproven business platform.

Here are some of our top recommendations if you are looking for new business tools:

  1. GSuite: Google developed a suite of tools that make a great software package for businesses of all sizes. This system includes essential tools such as setting up email management, domain purchasing, website analytics, ad campaign management, and more. GSuite is designed with apps, so you can pick-and-choose the features that support the individual needs of your company. It’s nice to have all of these tools in one, easy to access, centralized location.
  2. ScheduleOnce: A good calendar system is essential to keep track of appointments, deadlines, and important dates. Some businesses use the Google Calendar through GSuite. For improved functionality, consider ScheduleOnce that syncs with Google Calendar. This system allows you to give clients the opportunity to book an appointment on your calendar, without the hassle of person-to-person communication to schedule these meetings.
  3. Slack: Step into the 21st century by using this dynamic online team communication tool. Instead of emails and messages getting lost in the shuffle, Slack can be used to streamline communication so that you can be sure that all of your team members are on the same page. This platform allows you to centralize messaging, phone calls, file-sharing, and even fun ways to interact with the group.
  4. Trello: While Slack is a communication platform, Trello is a complementary option to manage workflow and task assignments. You can create different boards for various departments and groups in your company. On each board, cards are set up and assigned to team members who are responsible for those tasks. The system gives flexibility so that you can manage the due dates, tasks that need to be completed, notes about each project, and more. It is a great way to structure the workflow and keep track of the tasks that need to be completed.
  5. Evernote: This app can be used across devices, giving you one location where you can take notes, organize information, keep track of files and more. It’s basically an “external brain” so that you don’t have to keep all of the small details in your head. The notes are cloud synced and can be shared with others if needed. If you have a quick thought or need to keep a running to-do list, then Evernote is a solution to consider.
  6. GoCo: Small businesses don’t often have the resources to bring in an HR expert. Instead of hiring another full-time employee, you might consider the benefits of using a Human Resources service that is based online. This system is designed to help with everything required for employee management and benefits, such as onboarding, paperwork management, PTO tracking, benefits administration, performance reviews, legal compliance, and more. One of the benefits of this system is that it can integrate with your payroll system.
  7. GoodHire: Another great HR resource is GoodHire, which can be used to run new hire checks for background screenings, credit history, driving records, identify verification, employment verification, drug screenings, education verification, and more. When you are hiring new employees, these services are priceless to ensuring that you are bringing in the right team member.
  8. LegalZoom: Paying for expensive legal services can cut into your startup costs. LegalZoom is a good alternative that covers all the basics needed for small business management and even your personal life. You can form a business entity, create an estate plan, file trademarks or patents, or talk to an attorney about your individual needs. This website makes it possible to save thousands of dollars in legal fees by creating basic legal documents without paying expensive, hourly attorney costs.
  9. Shopify: If you want to build an online store, there’s no reason to start from scratch with the website coding. This online service provider simplifies the e-commerce You can create an integrated shopping experience for customers that fit into the structure of your existing website. Additionally, you can track the back-end details of business management, including payment processing, order management, and inventory tracking.
  10. Upwork: Maybe you are looking for services, but you don’t want to bring in another employee? Hiring a freelancer is a great solution to access independent contractors from around the world. You can benefit from the quality services that are offered, without the burden of paying the overhead costs of bringing in a full-time employee. You’ll find anything and everything you might need, ranging from website design to content writing, administrative assistants, social media managers, and more. The great thing about hiring freelancers through Upwork is that you can see their work history and reviews left by other clients.
  11. Telzio: If you are looking for solutions to set up an office phone system, consider an online system. Your entire team can manage messages and phone calls using any device, from any location. The pricing is simple and clear, and you don’t have to worry about locking into a contract.
  12. InfusionSoft, by Keap: This software is commonly known as InfusionSoft, falls under the name Keap A Customer Management System is essential so you can keep track of names, contact information, sales data, and more. The benefit of InfusionSoft is that you can centralize your marketing automation, making it simple to automate your systems so that you are capturing leads and converting them to paying customers.
  13. EasierAccounting: We are proud to add our services to the list of must-have tools for business owners. We have one of the leading accounting and bookkeeping teams, with a focus on small business services. If you can’t keep up with the transactions, reconciliation, payroll, tax paperwork, and more, then we are here to help.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance with your business finances. You will see that we have an excellent reputation in the industry, offering unbeatable business accounting services at an affordable price. Learn more about your options by contacting us at Easier Accounting. Call to talk to an industry expert about the financial services that are needed for your company: (888) 620-0770.

7 Tips to Maintain Positive Cash Flow for Your Small Business

It doesn’t matter if you are in the beginning stages of a startup or if you have a successful, established business, your long-term success rests on your ability to maintain positive cash flow. Whether you are bringing in $1000 per month or $100,000 per month, you need to be sure that your current business needs are met with cash in the bank.

How is Your Company Doing?

Your cash flow snapshot is a good reading on the current performance of your company. So, take time to review business cash flow statements regularly. This information will help you evaluate the things that are working and things that are hindering your growth. Then, you can use the data to implement changes that will help you reach higher levels of success.

Not only is the goal to avoid negative cash flow or any activities that will hurt your profit margins, but you also need to be looking at the things that will help with expansion and growth in the future. Too often, cash flow analysis is only focused on the current month or quarter. It makes sense that you are evaluating current financial obligations and requirements that are coming up. But you shouldn’t let your current situation overshadow resources that might be required for business development in the future.

It is a learning process as you identify the strategies that support your immediate business needs while preparing for the future at the same time. There’s no question that good cash flow will be required for all of these efforts.

How to Maintain Positive Cash Flow in Your Business

You might conceptually see why positive cash flow is required for your company. But it can be a challenge to identify actionable steps that will have an impact on your cash flow outlook. Here are a few tips that will help you boost profit margins, minimize expenses, and ultimately keep more money in the bank:

  1. Ongoing Spending: How much money is required to keep your business running each month? You should have a clear budget and spending goals to determine how much you need in the bank to pay for rent/mortgage, utilities, payroll, inventory stocking, services, and more. You can’t avoid overhead costs, but there might be solutions to manage the total amount that you are spending every month. Go through the spending report in detail to see if anything can be cut or trimmed down so that you can reduce the amount of money going out the door each month.
  2. Big Purchases: Even if you are keeping up with the ongoing expenses for your business, sometimes the big purchases can be crippling. Whether you are facing a large tax bill or you need to invest in equipment or business development efforts, you can’t sacrifice the payroll cash. Look ahead so that you can anticipate potential costs in the future. Then, shape your monthly saving and spending plan so that the cash is available without the need to dip into credit.
  3. Set Up a Line of Credit: The hope is that you won’t need to rely on credit for your business expenses. But it’s good to have a backup plan in case you get in a pinch. One mistake is to wait until your time of need to run to the bank for a line of credit application. Instead of trying to overcome the problem at the last minute, it’s better to set up the line of credit when you have positive cash flow, and your business is doing well. During this application process, the financial institution will run a complete check on your financial records to determine whether you will be approved for the line of credit. They want to be sure that you will have the cash to pay back the loan, and this information will also affect the loan limits. Securing the line of credit right now could be the difference between keeping your company going in the future vs. not being able to pay your bills because of cash flow issues.
  4. Minimize Interest and Late Fees: It might seem ironic to talk about avoiding debt right after the tip that suggests you secure a business line of credit. But there’s no question that it is harder to manage your cash flow when you are spending high amounts of money on late fees and interest costs. The more debt you accumulate, the more money you will be spending to delay the payoff of that loan. It could result in a domino effect that makes it hard to pay your bills on time, resulting in late-fees being added to your balances. Set up automatic payments and make sure that you always have enough to cover the minimum payments. A better solution is to pay as much as possible every month so that you can pay off the debt and eliminate the loan payments.
  5. Dial in Your Pricing: It might be tempting to offer deep discounts if you are trying to bring more customers through the door. Keep in mind that these discounts could result in problems in the future. Offering discounts to all customers will cut into your profit margins and even devalue your service in the future. See the value in the products and services that are offered to your customers, and avoid the practice of “racing to the bottom” to beat your competitors based on pricing alone. Customers are willing to spend more money when they can see that value and quality are available with a higher price tag.
  6. Stay Ahead of Receivables: You need to follow up on outstanding invoices to ensure that you are receiving payments from your customers or clients. Not only should you keep a detailed list of the money that is owed, but it is smart to put together a follow-up system if these payments are late. When you are collecting overdue money, time is of the essence. Stick to the payment plan and make sure that receivables don’t fall low on the priority list if you are distracted by other business management tasks.
  7. Boost Cash Inflow: Are you receiving an inflow of cash every day or week? Depending on your business model, the timing of customer payments might vary. You need to make sure that you are making sales consistently to receive the money that will keep your company running. It all comes down to the numbers. Look at the target amount of income you want to receive each month. Then do the calculations to see how many sales need to be made on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. Finally, determine the most effective activities to help you connect with paying customers so that you can close enough deals to meet the needs of your company.

Cash Flow is More than Just Paying the Bills

While it is important to ensure you can pay your bills and obligations, cash flow is about much more than just paying for these ongoing expenses. Creating good cash flow will set you up to make the spending decisions that help your company grow. When you have extra cash in the bank, you have the opportunity to invest in marketing that brings in new customers. You can also put the extra money towards business development and product research to improve the products and services that are offered. Additionally, good cash flow is essential so that you can maintain the right amount of inventory, so these products are always on hand when customers are ready to buy.

Finally, don’t overlook the peace of mind that comes when you know that there is money in the bank. You can’t put a price tag on the lower stress levels you will experience when you have an emergency savings account in place for a rainy day. Good cash flow strategy and management could be the difference between business success and failure, which is why this task should be at the top of your priority list.

Keeping up with Accounting and Bookkeeping

The foundation of an effective system for cash flow management should be based on the right bookkeeping and accounting strategies. You need to track the transactions that are moving in and out of your bank accounts. Data-driven decisions are important to help your business flourish in the future.

As a business owner, do you find it challenging to keep up with the accounting and bookkeeping tasks that are required? You are carrying a lot of responsibility, so it’s understandable that you find it difficult to stay consistent with these efforts.

Instead of stretching yourself thin with too many responsibilities, consider the benefit of bringing in a good outsourced accounting team. These services will improve your financial systems and help you avoid potential cash flow issues. Working with an experienced financial team is one of the best things that you can do to support your business goals.

For more information, reach out to us at Easier Accounting. We are here to help with anything that you need for accounting, tax preparation, financial advice, and more. Call today: (888) 620-0770.

Need a Clean Slate? How to Start Fresh with Business Systems

Are you facing troubles in your business and you feel like it’s too late to make the necessary changes? Or maybe your business is doing fine, but you have hit a plateau and can’t reach the higher levels of success that you desire? Regardless of your current situation, you need to consider how your current business systems are contributing to the growth and success of your company.

You can dream big and hope for great things in the future. But nothing will change unless you implement systems that impact your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual business practices. It’s time to evaluate what is working and what needs to be corrected. Then this information can be used to help you implement the business systems that will increase the opportunities in the future.

Starting Fresh or Adjusting Current Business Systems?

Analyze your current business systems to determine where you are starting. Can you identify practices that are helping your company grow? Where are the areas that are just cutting into your profit margins? Sometimes, current systems can be adjusted so that you can tweak the ongoing practices to leverage higher results in the future. Other times, it is best to scratch your current practices so that you can start fresh with a new system.

You need to have a clear picture in your mind of where you are going and what you would like to create. At the same time, you also need to determine the options that are available to leverage what is already working. If you know that certain activities or tasks always bring in more customers and sales, then spend more of your time, efforts, and resources on those things. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to walk away from long-time systems that aren’t providing the same results you received in the past.

Business Systems that Need to be Evaluated

Here are some key points that should be evaluated and reworked to help you achieve better results in the future:

  • Clean Your Workspace: The comfort and appearance of your office and workspace have an effect on your productivity throughout the day. Have you created a space that gives you the inspiration and motivation to do the work that needs to be completed? Don’t let your office become the dumping ground for everything that doesn’t have a place in the building. Remember that physical clutter results in mental clutter, which can distract you from the tasks that will help your company grow. Prioritize the space where you are working, where your employees are spending their work hours, and digital systems as well. For example, you should have business systems in place with digital folders where files are stored so that you can find them when you need them. A clean work environment means you will avoid precious work hours digging for paperwork or items when you need them.
  • Reset Your Mindset: It is important to understand that your mindset creates the foundation of your business success. If you are caught in negative thoughts and dialogue, then it will have an impact on your daily actions… which affect long-term results. Spend time reading business books, listening to mindset podcasts, and investing in training that boosts your intellectual thinking. A little bit of mindset effort can have a significant impact on the results that are possible in the future.
  • Create a New Vision: You don’t need to wait for the start of the New Year to create an upgraded vision for your company. If you want to change your results, then you need to know where you are heading. Creating a vision for your business will help you in moving in the direction that you desire. Setting this intention and sharing the vision with your team can help everyone work together in a way that will maximize the progress and success that is possible. Dream big, then start acting on the smaller tasks that will turn those dreams into reality. Not only do you need to identify the goals for your company, but it is also smart to focus on “goal planning” that outlines the action plan needed to achieve those goals.
  • Honor the Business Cycles: Another thing to consider is that it is natural to have ups and downs in your business efforts. Most industries have slow seasons and busy seasons. During the busy times of the year, your focus is turned to the immediate tasks that are required to keep up with the current demand. Don’t overload yourself with things that aren’t essential for your present needs. When things start to slow down, the timing might be right to invest in new business systems that will leverage your success for the future. Recognize the way these cycles work for your company so that you can find the best times to work on changes that are needed.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”: Agreeing to every opportunity that comes along could be detrimental to your progress. As you identify your new business vision and goals, this information can be used to help you identify the areas where you should be saying “no” to various opportunities and people. If your schedule is filled with many obligations and tasks that don’t contribute to your business growth, then your time will be wasted on low priority tasks. Give yourself the opportunity to create a clean slate by letting go of the things that aren’t serving your or your business.
  • Marketing Efforts: One of your highest priorities should be focused on the acquisition of new customers. When you are running a business, new customers will generate the cash flow and network that support the growth of your company. But marketing can encompass many channels, sometimes making it feel overwhelming. Consider your industry, where your target customers are spending the time, and the best way to use your marketing budget to connect with the right people. It can be smart to implement tools such as Facebook marketing, building an email list, and Paid Search Marketing.
  • Filing and Paper Systems: Do you find that your desk is buried in stacks of paperwork? Too much paperwork is not only bad for the environment, but it can also have a negative impact on your productivity. Consider how much time you are spending on paperwork management, then look for systems that will help to cut down on the papers that are moving through your office. Going paperless might be the perfect clean slate to reduce your time commitment and stress levels. A variety of tools can be used if you are ready to go paperless, such as expense trackers, accounting software, task management tools, online contract systems, calendar, and time tracking systems, and more.
  • Leverage Automation When Possible: There is no reason to spend your time on manual tasks when technology is available to automate some of these things on your to-do lists. Software programs can be used to automatically handle things that previously took hours a week to complete. For example, using the right accounting and bookkeeping software means that you don’t have to track every transaction that moves through your company manually. Instead, you can let the software oversee most of the tracking and calculations. These platforms are powerful because they free up your time to work on business efforts that are most effective to help with the growth of your company.
  • Outsource Essential Services: Finally, don’t overlook the leverage that can be gained by outsourcing services that are needed. You don’t have to do everything on your own. You can find opportunities to get top-notch help at affordable prices. Using outside help minimizes the tasks that are on your to-do list each week. Plus, your business systems can be improved when you are using the knowledge and expertise of these professionals to apply better business systems for your company. Why reinvent the wheel when an outsourced team has already found the best practices to apply in your industry? You can outsource accounting, bookkeeping, office cleaning, marketing, legal paperwork, and more.

Being Open to Change

One of the best skills you can have as a business owner is being open and ready to embrace change at the right time. If you are willing to make adjustments along the way, then you can shape your company for incredible growth in the future.

There are times when these changes result in a massive overhaul of business systems so that you can overcome poor habits and improve the things that matter. Other times, small adjustments can have a significant impact on the results that you are achieving.

Is it time to change your accounting and bookkeeping systems? We are here to assist. Our team specializes in small business accounting, and we’d like to support your business systems and goals. You are welcome to reach out to us at Easier Accounting to learn more about the financial services that are available. Our expertise is in services for startups and small businesses. Call for more information: (888) 620-0770.

Strategies to Reduce Bookkeeping and Accounting Costs

It’s easy to see that good bookkeeping and accounting strategies are important for the financial health of your company. But sometimes small business owners have a hard time justifying bookkeeping and accounting costs because they are worried about managing overhead expenses. Today, we are breaking it down to help you see that good services are an essential investment for your company.

Expense Vs. Investment

Yes, you will need to pay money for services, software, and more. Instead of viewing the money as an expense that is eating away at your profit margins, a better solution is to reframe the spending as a long-term investment for your company.

What is the difference between an expense vs. an investment? An expense is a drain on your resources without adding measurable benefits for your company. In comparison, an investment is a cost that will start paying you back and improve your business efforts.

You need to balance the initial and ongoing costs with the potential benefits and costs in the future. For example, failing to implement a good bookkeeping and accounting system can result in messy finances in the future. Even though you are “saving money” by not paying an accounting service for support, you will likely face expensive consequences in the future such as:

  • Missed opportunities for tax deductions
  • IRS fines for incorrect tax filings
  • Mistakes on payroll and invoicing
  • Cash flow problems from poor tracking
  • Poor business decisions due to inaccurate financial reports

When you understand all of the potential issues that can be prevented with the right accounting services and software, then it will help you see why you shouldn’t delay these investments.

Most Important Investment

What is the most important investment that you can make in your company? People! If you cut corners on the quality of employees, contractors, and service providers that are hired, then it will hurt the performance of your company.

Often, business owners look at the amount that is spent on people as an expense. Instead, ask yourself how much that person is worth to your company. Investing in the right talent means that you can bring in the skill set that is needed to help your business flourish and grow in the future.

As you put together the right team, all of the skills and services will be available to help you accomplish the top goals for the organization. If you are paying for costs that don’t contribute to those efforts, then it might be an indication that you can do without those things.

Tips for Managing Expenses

Even though you can’t eliminate the budget line-item for bookkeeping and accounting costs, there are a few things that you can do to decrease your overall spending. Set a budget, then put your money into the right places that will support your needs. Hiring the right accounting team can have a positive impact on your cash flow and the overall financial health of your company.

Here are a few tips to help with the management of your costs:

  • Cut Expenses: Now that you understand the differences between expenses and investments, evaluate your spending to see if you can find areas where you are spending money on unnecessary items. Are there any expenses that you are maintaining that aren’t adding to or supporting your main business goals? You will need to decide about each item to determine the overall strategy that is best for your needs. Then, use that money for an investment that will have an impact. For example, you might adjust your insurance coverage to save a little money each month. Then use that extra cash to put towards bookkeeping services to ensure that you are staying ahead of the numbers throughout the year.
  • Organize Your Information: Once you’ve hired bookkeeping and accounting services, keep in mind that the costs go up if the team has to do extra, unnecessary work. Instead of overpaying your bookkeeper, look for ways that you can streamline your in-office systems to ensure that everything is neat and orderly for the financial professional. Organization not only saves you money, but you can also save time sorting through paperwork and other busy work. Bookkeepers and accountants only work based on the paperwork and information that is provided. So, you need to be sure that you are offering accurate, effective information. Maintaining this organized system will reduce the number of hours required to manage your books.
  • Professional Advice: Without experience in running a business, setting a budget, or filing taxes, it is likely that you are making mistakes with your financial management. You will find that it is worth the cost to bring in an expert for advice on the services that are required. Even though you will pay a fee for time with the professional, you can identify areas where your finances are managed Small tweaks to your ongoing bookkeeping and accounting systems can result in big savings in the future.
  • Contractor Instead of Employee: When you know that you need specific services or skills, then it might make sense to hire an employee to help. But there are many situations where business owners don’t need the full-time services provided by an employee. Another option is to skip the full salary, benefits, and overhead costs of employment by hiring a contractor for outsourced services. For example, you can save thousands of dollars each month by paying a small business accountant for basic services instead of hiring a full-time accountant to work in your office.

The key is to find ways to cut expenses without harming the well-being of your company. Each business is unique, which is why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all companies. A personalized approach is the most effective way to be sure that you are avoiding high costs and unnecessary expenses.

The Power of Outsourcing

There’s no question that outsourcing is one of the most effective and simple ways to reduce the amount of money that you are spending on skills and support. We’ve talked about this point in other blog posts, but it’s worth a mention again because of the leverage that is available to help you cut accounting costs.

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why a big team of employees can cut into your overall profits. Hiring an employee can be expensive! You need to look at more than their hourly pay. In addition to these hourly or salary costs, you will also bear the burden of benefits, office supplies, office space, furniture, and more. There are times when it makes sense to bring in an employee because you need full-time services in your office. On the other hand, there are many instances where you can pay a fraction of that amount for top-notch services from an outsourced team.

Contractors offer the same skills that are available from an employee. In fact, there are times when hiring an outsourced team is more effective than employee services since those contractors have experience working with many different companies. You can tap into the expertise that comes from working with other businesses that are similar to your company. This information can be used to improve your systems and help you avoid some of the common mistakes experienced by others.

Lean Strategies to Reduce Accounting Costs

Implementing lean strategies for your company means that you are focused on the measurement, control, accounting, and management aspects to maximize the information that is available when making significant business decisions. If you are trying to decide on a business development investment or whether you should hire more employees, you need to be sure that you have accurate financial information to influence the way the decision is handled.

An experienced accounting and bookkeeping team will ensure that your financial reports and transactions are current. Then, this information can be used at any point to help you determine the right decisions that will have the best impact on your company. Hiring an outsourced accounting service ensures that you have timely reports which can be used to determine the value created for customers. Additionally, you can implement a lean system that reduces overall costs while increasing sales at the same time. It feels great to make these changes, knowing that you are improving cash flow and the potential success for your company.

Do You Need Outsourced Accounting Services?

How do you know when it is time to hire an outsourced accounting team? The truth is that you can probably benefit from these services right away. Many business owners choose to implement these services from the beginning of their startup efforts, ensuring that the financial system has a strong foundation as the business grows.

If you are considering the option to hire outsourced accounting services, then you are welcome to talk to us about your situation. Call our team at Easier Accounting to learn more about the way our services can be matched to fit your needs. We’re here to keep your financial information on track so that you can focus your time and energy on growing your business this year. Call for more details: (888) 620-0770.

Accounting Security Tips to Reduce the Risk to Your Company

Data security is an important topic of discussion, especially since many businesses manage most of their transactions through online platforms. Not only do you need to consider the security of customer payments that are processed, but you also need to think about accounting security offered by the outsourced team that you’ve hired.

Data Breaches and Business Targets

It seems like there are always news headlines announcing the latest data breach. Hackers target businesses with the goal of stealing financial information or personal details about clients or employees. Then, this data can be used for profit by selling the information to the highest bidder.

Large companies are often targeted because of the mass amounts of data that are available through a breach. Even though you might think that you won’t be a target since you have a small business, the truth is that there is always a risk for small- and medium-sized businesses. The risk goes up whenever you are turning information over to an outsourced company or transmitting data through software programs.

Proactive Approach for Data Security

Instead of assuming that your business is safe from these threats, you should always be on the offense to protect your data and business assets. Never make false assumptions about the security of your systems. It is important that you do regular assessments to determine how effective your current security protocols are at protecting your company and your customers.

If you wait until a data breach occurs, then you could be facing an expensive, messy situation to solve the problems. A better solution is to spend a little money right now on the right software programs and services to ensure that you have security controls in place before a breach occurs. These proactive steps will help you avoid the possible problems that can occur if someone breaks into your digital system.

Hiring a Trustworthy Team for Accounting Security

The first step you need to take is to evaluate the security of the outsourced team that you are hiring. Don’t make the mistake of choosing an outsourced accounting team with a questionable background. For example, if the company doesn’t have a proven track record, then you don’t know what you are getting yourself into.

Do your research to make sure that the accounting services are highly rated. Researching the company in advance can save you a lot of grief in the future.

You can research the company by asking for information from the accounting team. Also, complete a search online for the business name to see if you can find any reviews or business listings that indicate the reputation of the company.

Security Begins in Your Office

Even if you are hiring an outsourced team that you can trust, you should always remember that the most important layers of security should begin in your office. Inspections should be done of all areas where information is transmitted to identify any potential leaks. For example, you should have an expert evaluate your data generation, storage systems, and data collection processes to make sure that the information is passing through a secure network.

Potential leaks in the system might be identified in the form of outdated software or poor management in the office. One common issue is insufficient control over employee access to the system. Employees shouldn’t have free access to sensitive information unless that access is required for the person’s job description. Just because the person belongs to a department, doesn’t mean that they require full access to all of the information.

Also, be careful about contractors or vendors who have access to your data systems. Too often, these providers are offered record access when the information doesn’t have a direct connection to the transactional relationship.

Never make the mistake of allowing employees or contractors to use the same credentials when accessing financial information. If everyone is using one username and password, then it might be difficult to identify the source if a problem occurs.

Why Accounting Security is So Important

Keep in mind the reason why most hackers are trying to access information: they want to gather details about personal information or financial accounts. Even if you have a small business, your system is always at risk because of the information that it holds: credit card numbers, bank account details, social security numbers, passwords, and more.

Most companies have digital files with demographic information about their employees, executives, and even their customers. If a hacker can gain access to the information, then it is a goldmine of information that could be sold for profit.

Tips for Accounting Security

Here are a few tips that can be implemented in your business practices to improve the security of your company information:

  • Necessary Information: You should only gather information that is necessary for the employee or the services that are provided to the customers. There’s no reason to gather additional sensitive information if it isn’t required for the situation.
  • Security of Professional Service Provider: Talk to your service provider, such as the outsourced accounting team, to find out more information about their security practices. You will be handing over access to sensitive financial information, and you need to be sure that they have protocols in place to prevent a breach of information.
  • Firewalls and Software Protection: These firewalls should be installed on every computer and electronic device that is used when accessing business information. Additionally, you might consider implementing a monitoring gateway so that you know who is accessing the information and when the access points occur. These proactive steps reduce the risk of exploitation of both internal and external vulnerabilities.
  • Computers and Networks: Consider the ways that data could be removed from the office. One option is to disable the USB, CD, and DVD functions on computers to prevent employees or contractors from downloading the information. It can be helpful to have several layers of authentication to avoid remote access as well. Date transfer should always use 128-bit encryption.
  • Data Recovery Plan: If a problem occurs with the systems, do you have a back-up plan in place to recover the information? It can be a headache for your team if you can’t recover employee or customer information that was saved on the computer or in the cloud.
  • Physical Security: Also think about the security of your office. Could someone walk into the office and access paperwork or files that contain sensitive information? All access points into the building need to be secured. Additionally, data entry and exit points need to be managed. If you have hard copies of the files in the office, then these things need to be kept under lock and key. A locked filing room or secure filing cabinet are both good options to consider.
  • Employee Screenings: Every employee should be screened in the recruitment process. If someone is going to have access to sensitive information in your company, then it is important that the proper screenings are completed to avoid issues. Extensive background checks can be used to reduce the risk that a person with a questionable history is accessing financial
  • Employee and Management Training: It is common for companies to have security and systems training that is offered at the beginning of employment. But this new-hire training isn’t enough to ensure long-term adherence to the security protocols. Consider ongoing training to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the latest technologies and strategies that apply to your data security.

Security for Technology-Driven Systems

Most businesses rely on technology systems for basic processes and ongoing strategies that keep the company running. As a result, security is more important than ever to ensure that you are avoiding potential issues that could arise with a data breach.

There’s no question that investing in the right security protocols, software programs, and outsourcing teams is a good step to protect your company and customers. These investments not only help you reduce the risk of stolen information through a security breach. But some industries are required by law to maintain high standards for security. For example, HIPPA requirements ensure that medical businesses have consistent practices in place to protect sensitive information found in patient files.

When you do the work to choose trustworthy software and service providers, then you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your confidentiality remains intact. Implementing these steps allows you to rest easy since your critical data is protected. As a result, you can turn your attention and focus on the core business concerns that need to be addressed.

At Easier Accounting, we maintain the highest levels of security and confidentiality to protect your sensitive financial information. We understand that you are entrusting us with your information. So, we are diligent about our systems to ensure that your information is protected. If you are looking for an outsourced accounting team that you can trust, then we invite you to contact us for more information. We will gladly answer your questions and explain the services that are available for your company: (888) 620-0770.

How to Choose the Right Accounting Software for Your Startup

We live in a digital world, which means that your small business is going to get left behind if you are still tracking expenses with pen and paper. If you don’t already have a good accounting software program, then it might be time to implement these changes so that you can boost your reporting and tracking.

Overcoming the Overwhelm and Indecisiveness

A search for “accounting software” on Google will uncover a seemingly endless list of possibilities that might be used for your company. One common problem is that small business owners start reading reviews and information about these different software programs… and then quickly get caught in “analysis paralysis.”

Even though there are many options available, this decision doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. Choosing the right accounting software is easy when you lean on the advice and expertise offered by an experienced accountant. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or information while you are comparing the various options in the accounting industry.

Ask Questions about What You Need

You will struggle with choosing the accounting software if you don’t have an end-goal in mind. Ask yourself: what are the features and details that need to be available in the program? Asking a few questions about your goals and needs will help you steer the decision in the right direction.

For example, if you only hire contractors and don’t have any employees on the payroll, then the payroll features might not be important to you. But don’t overlook the possibilities that you might need payroll processing in the future

Consider the Future

As you get clear about your goals, you can consider the features or things that you might need in the future. It is important that the software program can grow as your company expands. You don’t want to face the headache of changing accounting software during the stressful time of business growth in the future.

So, make sure that you don’t cut corners right now. Choose a good software program that meets your current needs and will allow you to expand in the future. A good accounting program will help to minimize the growing pains while keeping you informed about the financial health of your company.

Price Points and Value

How much do you want to pay for the accounting software? It might be tempting to choose a product based on price alone. You are choosing to organize your finances to manage cash flow, so it makes sense that you are trying to save money on the expense.

Instead of only looking at the price tag, evaluate the value that is available from the software. What features will save you time? Decreasing the time that is spent on accounting and bookkeeping tasks is the same as saving money because you can redirect that time for other business activities.

In fact, choosing a cheap software program could potentially cost more money in the future. You might use the software for a while, only to find that you run into problems because you don’t have the necessary features. As a result, you will likely lose both time and money when you decide to switch to a different software. Not only is this future change time consuming, but it can also be stressful.

There’s no question: choose a program right now that will handle everything that you need in the present and future. You should never cut corners when choosing the right systems and organization for your startup company.

Talk to Industry Professionals

It is important to talk to an accounting team about the recommended software programs in the industry. This information can be valuable to help you select a system that will improve your company. Have a conversation about your current and future needs and ask for advice about the ways that you can simplify the implementation of a new tracking system.

In addition to simplifying your finances, you also need a robust computer software that will generate the reports and data that is required. You can use these reports to determine the right decisions in the future regarding cash flow, expenses, and other financial milestones that need to be met.

Make sure that you are working with accounting professionals who understand your industry. For example, if you are just starting a company, then you will be well-served to choose an accounting team that specializes in startups. While a corporate accountant can assist with the services that you require, their expertise isn’t as honed in as someone who is working with small businesses on a daily basis.

One important note: if you are working with a CPA and/or bookkeeper, then it is wise to choose the software preferred by your provider. This financial pro is an integral part of your team and will help with the costly decisions that need to be made in the future. Ask about the software they prefer to ensure they have the system that will enable the best data analysis and reporting down the road.

Cloud-Based Storage

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of having your hard drive crash and losing all of your files? It can be exhausting to recreate the system after everything is lost due to hardware failure. Using an accounting software where the files are only stored on your computer is a risk. If the computer is lost or damaged, then you will also lose all of the accounting information.

A better solution is to choose an accounting software that has a secure system for cloud-based storage. Keeping the information online means that there is no reason to stress if your hard drive goes down. All of the files will still be accessible from the cloud.

Plus, a cloud-based accounting software makes it more convenient if you choose to hire an outsourced accountant. You can take advantage of the skilled accounting services that are available without the need to have someone in your office.

While many accounting software services are cloud-based, there are still old systems that require an on-computer install. Use this feature as a filter to help you choose a program that will last for many years.

Ease of Use

You don’t have to have an accounting degree to navigate the software program. While you are considering the features that are available, also think about the ease of use for each of these features. It is important that the program is user-friendly and a simple solution for people who don’t understand the manual accounting calculations.

For example, many software programs provide a user-friendly admin area with tutorials and simple instructions. You shouldn’t have to do manual calculations for payroll taxes or invoicing. Instead, the right software program will make it simple to plug in the numbers so that you can get the results that are needed.

Additionally, consider how many users will be accessing the software. Not only do you need access to the information when it is time to run financial reports, but you also need to provide access to your accountant. There might be other people in your company who can also benefit from accounting software access, such as an assistant or bookkeeper who is responsible for invoicing. If the person needs to access the computer software regularly, then you should ensure that you have sufficient access logins for the software.

Make sure that each person has their own credentials when logging into the system. The risk of fraud goes up if you have multiple people using the same username and password. If something happens, then it can be difficult to determine the culprit. Keep things clear by separating access for each person who needs to use the accounting software.

Perfect Recipe for Success: Accounting Software and a Good Accountant

Even if you choose the best accounting software, you’ll run into problems if you don’t have the right team to help with the implementation of the computer system. The software is only as good as the person who sets up the system. So, the best thing that you can do to ensure a successful future for your startup is hiring the right accountant to help with setup and implementation.

Combining the right software with an experienced accountant will give you the peace of mind that you are creating a strong accounting system that will last for years. Rest assured knowing that you don’t have to try to figure it out by yourself. Instead, lean on the experience offered by someone who understands the industry.

At Easier Accounting, we specialize in small business accounting services. Our team offers quality, trustworthy accounting services for startups and small business owners. By focusing on services on the smaller companies, we can ensure that you are working with someone who has hands-on experience with other companies similar to your business.

We are happy to answer your questions and help you choose the right accounting software to support your business needs. For more information, you are welcome to call us anytime to talk to an industry professional. Contact Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770.

Bookkeeping and Accounting Trends to Watch for in 2019

Now that we are a few weeks into the new year and the dust has settled after a busy holiday season, it’s time to look forward to the future. As a small business owner, you should be paying attention to bookkeeping and accounting trends that might impact your company.

Are there any changes or adjustments that you need to make this year? As you evaluate the industry trends, these things will help you be sure that you have the best bookkeeping and accounting system to support the needs of your company.

Why Bookkeeping and Accounting Trends Matter

Why does it matter if you are staying up to date in the industry? The truth is that your company will get left behind if you don’t stay current with the latest technology and services. It is important that you are aware of the changes that are happening so that you can stay up with the things that will help your business succeed in the future.

Most business owners know that bookkeeping and accounting are important. But it is unfortunate that these tasks often fall to the back burner because of other priorities that come up in the day to day responsibilities of running a company. If you want to keep your business on the path to success, then you need to be sure that you have a good financial system in place so that you are prepared for the future.

Consider this thought: if you aren’t keeping up with financial tracking and reporting right now, then you will run into problems in the future as your business begins to grow. Failing to have a good accounting or bookkeeping system in place means that your growth and expansion could be stunted because of poor decisions that are made along the way. Each time you consider a significant change in the company, such as hiring an employee or investing in business development, you need to be able to run the reports that show the current situation for your business. This information will help you make accurate decisions that match the needs of your company.

Predicting the Future with a Good Accounting System

Everyone wants to know what the future holds in store. Business owners would love to have a crystal ball that shows the future of the company and product development that needs to be addressed to stay ahead of the competition.

While it’s not possible to see into the future, the right accounting system can help you understand current numbers and projections, giving you a good idea of what you can expect in the future. Implementing the latest accounting services and systems means that you will be ready for whatever may come.

The right accountant will help you manage cash flow and expenses. At the same time, you can look for areas where profit margins could be improved. All of these services add up to the long-term success that you desire. So, the best thing that you can do is ensure that you are staying current with the trends so that you can build a solid foundation on which your company can grow.

Bookkeeping and Accounting Trends in 2019

Here are some of the accounting trends that we anticipate this year. Time will tell if our predictions come true. We are suggesting these potential trends based on the way the industry has changed in recent years:

  • Better Accounting Software: Computer technology is advancing, which means that software continues to improve. Gone are the days of recording hand-written transactions on a leger with a pen or pencil. Additionally, software has moved away from an on-computer installation to cloud-based services. This smarter software gives you the benefit of accessing your accounting information from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. As a result, you can improve your work processes and offer increased value for your clients.
  • Automation: One of the benefits of improved software systems is better automation for ongoing tasks. Keep in mind that it isn’t possible to automate all aspects of your financial management. But some of the busy work can be automated, helping to decrease the amount of time required to manage your accounting and bookkeeping. This automation is beneficial since you can save money instead of spending a lot on a full-time accountant employed by your company. The tools continue to get better with time, making accounting software more intuitive and easier to use.
  • Improved Partnership with Your Accountant: In the past, many business owners talked to their accountant once a year… at tax time. While it is important to utilize the services from a tax preparation expert, don’t overlook the benefit of ongoing communication with someone who can offer advice for your company. Even if you are working with an outsourced accountant, your provider can take a proactive approach to help with payroll processing, tax strategy, cash flow planning, and more. Ongoing services throughout the year will improve the overall benefits that are available for your business.
  • Millennial Workforce: It is interesting to see how the workforce is changing with time, especially as the millennials reach career age. According to INC.com, 25% of the workforce is the millennial generation. As a result, new ways of thinking are being brought to the industry. This generation leverages technology to create results that weren’t available in the past, giving you more of an edge when working with an accounting team that understands the latest trends and changes.
  • More Outsourcing and Gig Work: As the workforce changes, many companies are choosing to hire freelancers for contract work. It can be a burden for a business to bring on a full-time employee. Not only does the person’s salary need to be paid, but other expenses are incurred for office space, benefits, and more. Business owners are turning to freelancers as a way to cut overhead expenses and maximize the skill set that is required. As a result, there are more options for outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services. You can take advantage of the experience of a knowledgeable accountant while minimizing your cost at the same time.
  • Bookkeeping to Accommodate Cryptocurrency: Another thing that is shifting in the industry is the implementation of practices to record and track cryptocurrency. While it seems as though cryptocurrency is still an online fad, don’t overlook the importance of being ready with accounting systems if a large portion of the population starts using these currencies. “Triple entry bookkeeping” is required instead of the standard double-entry bookkeeping since three parties are involved in the transaction: two strangers as well as a third party that issued the cryptocurrency.

There’s no question that the accounting and bookkeeping industry is being shaped each year by the different software advances and the economic changes that are happening. While we can’t predict the future with accuracy, you can look forward to the years to come knowing that you are prepared when you have a good accounting system in place.

Protect Your Company with Accounting and Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping and accounting might seem like a chore, but there’s no question that these tasks are essential to protect your company for the future. If you don’t already have a good system in place, then right now is the best time to get started. Talk to an accounting team about the options that are available to match the needs of your business. Make sure that the accountant is considering all aspects of the industry, including anticipated bookkeeping and accounting trends this year.

If you already have a bookkeeping and accounting system in place, then you need to evaluate the effectiveness of the current system. It is a good time to optimize your processes so that you are ready for the changes that might come.

Choosing an Accounting Service

Is it time for you to hire an outsourced accountant? Here are a few things to consider as you are making this decision for your business needs:

  • Experience: Choose an accounting team that has industry experience related to your company. Previous experience with other similar businesses means that you can rest assured knowing that your financial needs are in good hands.
  • Flexibility: Every company is unique, which is why it is important to choose an accountant that understands your unique preferences and requirements. Your accounting services should be customized to cater to the requirements that match your business flow and industry.
  • Reputation: Also, don’t overlook the importance of hiring an accounting team that you can trust. You are handing over sensitive information about the financial health of your company. As a result, you need to be sure that you are protected by working with a reputable team. Look online to find information about the outsourced accounting team that you are planning to hire.

Are you interested in learning more about the bookkeeping and accounting trends for 2019? We are here to assist! Our team at Easier Accounting is happy to answer your questions and help you evaluate the accounting services that are available. You are welcome to call us at: (888) 620-0770.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: Different Services for Your Business

How often have you heard the terms “accountant” and bookkeeper” used interchangeably? If you don’t know about the differences in the services, then it is easy to see how you might be confused about these professions.

Yes, both accountants and bookkeepers work with financial reports, organization, and tracking. In fact, the services offered by an accountant and bookkeeper often overlap. Some firms offer both bookkeeping and accounting services. But their purposes, focus, and skillsets vary depending on the person that you hire.

Services from a Bookkeeper

The term “bookkeeping” is used in reference to services that are rendered for organizing, storing, recording, and retrieving financial information. Usually, a bookkeeper is involved in the ongoing transactions that are moving through your bank account. This person oversees a portion of the accounting process, usually focused on the classification and recording of the daily transactions such as bill payments, payroll, sales, and more.

The purpose of hiring a bookkeeper is to maintain the organization and accuracy required to ensure correct information on financial reports. A bookkeeper spends their time working on record keeping. They don’t spend as much time on analytics or financial strategy.

Keep in mind that a bookkeeper isn’t required to have a four-year degree. As a result, bookkeepers usually have less education compared to accountants.

Services from an Accountant

The accountant uses the information that was compiled and organized by the bookkeeper. Often, accountants are involved in tax strategy, tax filing, financial reviews, auditing and more. Accounting services take it a step beyond bookkeeping services by analyzing the reports, reviewing the information, identifying trends, and interpreting the information. When the data is turned into reportable information, then you can use the details as you are making big decisions for your company.

Accountants are required to complete a four-year degree as well as extensive training and certifications. These requirements ensure that your accountant understands the financial laws, strategies, and other steps that need to be taken to care for your business finances.

Different Stages of Financial Management

As you can see, the services that come from a bookkeeping team and accounting team go hand-in-hand. Even though their services are different, these professionals often work in tandem. The combination of a strong accountant with a detail-oriented bookkeeper is essential to bring clarity to your business finances.

If you need someone to help with the day-to-day processes, then you will likely benefit from the support of a bookkeeper. On the other hand, if you are looking for support with the bigger picture and tax strategy, then you should turn to an accountant for support.

When it comes to the daily and weekly financial management, a bookkeeper can support with a range of tasks:

  • Tracking transactions moving in and out of the financial accounts
  • Managing and logging transactions to ensure accuracy on the reports
  • Evaluating payments, sales, receipts, and purchases
  • Calculating payroll and processing payments for employees
  • Overseeing invoices and payments for contracted workers and suppliers
  • Monitoring accounts receivable to ensure cash flow throughout the month
  • Completing monthly financial closing and bank account audits as needed
  • Using bookkeeping and accounting software to ensure accuracy

Keep in mind that the bookkeeper’s activities and tasks vary depending on the size of your company and the transactions that are moving through the account each day and week. When many transactions are coming through each day, then you might need bookkeeping services throughout the week. But some small businesses don’t need the services of a full-time bookkeeper, so it often makes sense to hire an outsourced bookkeeper instead. Typically, the services of the bookkeeper will expand as the business grows.

As you look over the bookkeeping tasks, you can see that they provide the foundation needed to support your business financial health. Then, the accountant steps in to use the data generated by the bookkeeping activities. Accounting services often include:

  • Tax analysis and strategy to minimize payments to the IRS
  • Completion and filing of income tax returns
  • Answering questions and helping business owners understand the applicable financial regulations
  • Financial statement analysis and business strategy support

Do You Need an Accountant or Bookkeeper?

How do you know who to hire when you need financial support for your company? It is important to distinguish the services so that you can choose the level of expertise required for your business.

While a bookkeeper is a cheaper solution, they don’t offer the financial expertise that comes from a small business accountant. In most cases, business owners find it beneficial to engage the services of both a bookkeeper and accountant, with the bookkeeper working on daily transactions and the accountant offering periodic advice.

Don’t overlook the benefits of a financial team that can provide both bookkeeping and accounting services. It can be beneficial to keep all of these tasks with the same team, ensuring optimal communication and the best strategy when everyone is working together.

How to Tell When You Need Financial Support for Your Company

Is it time for you to hire a bookkeeper or accountant? It might feel like a challenge to determine the right timing in bringing in a financial professional. But, as a business owner, remember one important tip: it’s never too early to bring in accounting and bookkeeping professionals.

Even if you are just getting your startup off the ground, you have the opportunity to work with an experienced team. This professional advice can help you create the right financial foundation and set your company up for success in the future. Business owners who hire accountants and bookkeepers in the early stages of growth rarely regret the decision.

Benefits of Hiring an Outsourced Accountant

It probably doesn’t make sense for your small business to hire a full-time accountant. Bringing on another in-house employee raises your overhead expenses and puts added financial strain on your cash flow. Instead of hiring an employee, consider the benefits of using outsourced accounting services.

The main benefit of outsourcing this part of your business is that you can save both time and money. You don’t have to spend your hours crunching the numbers and trying to make sense of the financial reports. Instead, your attention can turn back to business-building activities because you have the peace of mind in knowing that your accounting and bookkeeping team is taking care of the tracking and analysis.

Plus, these services are essential to help you save money. Even though you will have a bill to pay for outsourced accounting services, you will likely find that you save more money overall. Here are a few financial reasons why you shouldn’t delay the services of an experienced financial team:

  • Improve Tax Strategy: One of the most frustrating aspects of owning a company is seeing how much money goes out the door when it’s time to pay the IRS. Taxes can cut away at your profit margins and make it hard to manage cash flow. An accounting team can evaluate your business and finances, then find the right strategies to minimize the tax burden that needs to be paid each year. These savings can add up to thousands of dollars… often more than you paid for the accounting services.
  • Reduce Error: Consistent tracking and bookkeeping help you avoid common errors that could affect your business. For example, if you don’t have a good system in place to keep track of invoices, then you might overlook payments that should have been made by your clients or employees.
  • Avoid Fraud: Keeping an eye on the financial transactions is essential so that you can avoid fraud and theft in your business? Regular audits, reviews, and analysis will help to uncover anywhere that money might be slipping through the cracks. Even though you should be able to trust your team, you should still have systems in place in case something happens.
  • Increased Revenue: When you spend more of your time on business development and marketing, then it increases the chances that your revenue will go up. As the business owner, you shouldn’t be focusing your efforts on the busy work that can be completed by a bookkeeper or accountant. Your time is valuable, which means that you should be spending your hours on activities that will bring in more money for your company.

At Easier Accounting, we know how important it is that you have a good financial team to support your business goals. We’ve been serving small business owners for many years, offering the best financial services available in the industry. Our goal is to not only ensure your satisfaction, but we go above and beyond to provide unbeatable solutions that will support the growth of your company.

If you have questions about accounting and bookkeeping services, then it is time to contact our company today. We have a team of experienced financial professionals who are ready to create a custom plan based on your needs. Easier Accounting is always here to help. You can call us during regular business hours to learn about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770.

New Year’s Resolutions for a Business

The end of December is usually the time when people set goals and intentions for the New Year. The ending of a year can be a symbolic time to let go of old habits and implement new practices that will set you up for success. What are your New Year’s resolutions this year?

It is common for people to have personal goals, such as weight loss, organization, relationships, and more. People want to improve and grow each year, and these goals can help you achieve the growth that is needed.

At the same time, business owners have the unique opportunity to set company resolutions as well. As you are determining your personal goals, don’t overlook this chance to identify new goals for your business efforts.

Reflection and Forward Motion

There are two important aspects that need to be addressed as you are identifying your New Year’s resolutions. First, you need to start by reflecting on the things that happened in 2018. Identifying your current position will give you the reference point to know where you are starting. Look at 2018 with transparency and an open mind. This reflection will help you see the things that are working and the areas of improvement.

While it is easy to focus on the areas of improvement and build goals around these topics, don’t forget to identify the things that have been working. When you see the systems that are effective in your business, then you can set goals to build upon the successes and boost the progress of your company.

Next, you need to determine where you want to be in the future. It is important that you “put a stake in the road” so that you can see where you are headed. Identifying where you want to be in a few months and a few years is necessary. This vision will help you identify goals that will lead you to the overall success that you desire.

For example, if you are looking to improve your business profits by 5% this year, then you need to set business New Year’s resolutions that support this effort. These resolutions might be focused on decreasing spending, increasing receivables, and optimizing systems to improve productivity.

New Year’s Resolutions to Consider for 2019

If you are a small business owner and you need help setting your goals for the New Year, then we would like to offer a few suggestions to support your efforts. Here are some business New Year’s resolutions that you might consider:

  • Improve Work-Life Balance: It is easy to get wrapped up in business tasks, causing your family to be neglected. Instead of spending all of your waking time in the office, you need to find balance in the activities of the week. While it is important to keep up with business responsibilities, you shouldn’t overlook the most important reason why you are building a business: to have more freedom and spend more time with the people that you love. Set a goal to optimize your schedule so that you can improve your work-life balance in the New Year.
  • Delegate Busy Work: In the beginning, many new business owners carry a full range of responsibilities. Not only are you focused on business development, but you are also involved in employee hiring and management, inventory stocking, marketing, customer service, and more. It’s easy to see how your schedule quickly fills up with business-related activities! If you want to enjoy 2019, then set a goal to delegate some of the busy work. You are overseeing the workings of the company, which means that you shouldn’t be spending your precious time on tasks that can be outsourced to others. Assign internal employees to take over tasks such as filing or bookkeeping. Or, look for outsourced services to support with these tasks, such as an accounting and bookkeeping service.
  • Improve Business Promotions: If you feel like you are stuck in a rut when it comes to bringing in new customers, then it’s time to add a fresh twist to your promotion and marketing efforts. You want your business to grow, which means that you need to bring in more customers and increase the sales that happen with current customers. Create a marketing plan that boosts repeat sales and helps you promote your business more effectively throughout the year.
  • Implement an Online Marketing Campaign: The internet has become an essential part of business marketing and promotions. If you don’t have a business presence online, then right now is the time to start with your website and social media profiles. Even though it might seem a little overwhelming, a little bit of effort can go a long way to help you connect with the right customers. Most business owners don’t have the time or knowledge to implement an effective online marketing campaign. So, the best strategy is to hire a company that understands your industry and offers the services that will support your needs.
  • Hire a Business Coach: Many people start a small business or entrepreneur efforts without experience or education with business topics. While you can offer products and make a few sales, your overall progress will be hindered if you don’t know how to change your current situation. Hiring a business coach can be one of the most effective things that you can do to bring in a fresh perspective for your company. Find someone who understands your industry and can offer solid advice to improve your results. Then, take accountability so that you implement the recommendations that are offered by your coach.
  • Find Local Networking Groups: It can be helpful to have local connections in the business industry. Networking groups and business organizations offer opportunities for you to find new clients and make business-to-business connections. Attend these events and gatherings with a sincere intention to meet new people without pushing your product or service too much. Build the relationships first, and then the business growth will naturally follow.
  • Improve Cash Flow Management: Cash flow will make-or-break your company. Even if you have a great inventory and money coming in, you won’t be successful if you are spending more than you are earning. If you can’t create enough capital to invest back into the company, then you need to make a few changes with the day-to-day finances of the business.
  • Boost Productivity: Not only do you need to evaluate your own productivity, but you should also look at strategies that can be implemented to improve employee productivity as well. It is surprising to see how a few small changes can have a domino effective to improve overall results in the company. Look for ways that you can improve internal systems to support employees and management in productivity improvements.

Setting the Right Business Goals

The most important thing that you can do is make sure that your New Year’s resolutions align with the vision that you are holding for your business. You need to consider the possibilities that could happen in the future. Observe the things that are happening in the industry, and then choose proactive goals so that you are staying ahead of your competition.

When you are setting new goals, make sure that these resolutions are measurable, achievable, and relevant:

  • Measurable: Most business owners have the intention to increase profits. But setting a goal to “increase business revenue” isn’t clear enough to help you determine whether the goal was reached. Put a number on the goal and make sure that you can measure the progress. For example, you might set the goal that you want to increase revenue by $24,000 this year, which means that you need an average increase in monthly profits that is at least $2,000. Identify your numbers, then find the action steps that need to happen so that you can hit the desired milestones.
  • Achievable: You might love the idea of hitting $1 million in sales this year. But, it’s a stretch to hit that number if you barely made it to $100,000 in 2018. Instead of setting an impossible goal, look for ways that you can implement incremental steps that will move your business in the right direction. Consider your current progress and identify a stretch goal that can be reached if you put in the effort that is needed.
  • Relevant: How does your goal line up with your overall mission and vision for your company? Relevancy means that you are choosing the New Year’s resolutions that align with the long-term results that you are trying to achieve. For example, a good example is to connect with 50 new customers each month, which will help to increase revenue and build your warm market for the future. The goal should make sense for your company and improve the business in some way.

Setting New Year’s resolutions for your business can help you build momentum in the New Year and set your company up for success. If you are thinking about outsourcing options as one of your goals, then our team is here to assist. Easier Accounting specializes in small business finances. We offer a variety of services to support your financial goals and keep you on track throughout the year. Learn more by calling us at (888) 620-0770.

Business Owners: How to Save Money in the Last Month of the Year

Now that we are through the Thanksgiving season, many people have turned their attention to Christmas and New Year’s. Can you believe that we are only a month away from the end of the year? Time is flying!

Just because 2019 is approaching fast, doesn’t mean that you should put your business efforts on cruise control for the rest of the year. It is good to take time off to spend those hours with friends and family. The Christmas season is a great time of year when you can build memories that will last a lifetime. But the best thing that you can do as a business owner is finding a good balance between your work efforts and the time that is dedicated to your family.

One business focus that you might choose for December is to save a little more money before the end of the year. Padding your business bank account is the perfect way to ensure that 2019 starts on the right foot. You might be thinking about personal resolutions for the New Year… it’s also a good time to consider business resolutions that should be implemented in 2019.

Why You Need to Save Money for Your Business

Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners. Even though things might be going great right now, you never know when sales are going to slow down. You might find that things slow down in January and February, which means that you could be scraping the bottom of your bank account if you aren’t careful.

Here are a few benefits that you will find by having a business savings account:

  • Cover Payroll in the Slow Months: Having enough cash to pay the costs of payroll is essential so that you can maintain a happy, satisfied workforce. Even though you aren’t having any problems paying these expenses right now, you might need a little extra in the future when things slow down.
  • Hit the Year End Sales: The holiday season is a great time of year to buy electronics and other equipment that is needed for your business. Having a little extra cash in the bank means that you can purchase these items when you find the right deal. Watch the sale prices and move quickly if you find an excellent price on the equipment that needs to be replaced in the office.
  • Schedule a Holiday Party: Do you want to boost employee morale? Consider scheduling a fun activity that can be shared with your employees during the holiday season. If you have the funds available, it can be a great way to strengthen relationships and show your appreciation for everyone on the team.
  • Cash Available for Inventory: If you are blowing through inventory during the busiest months of the year, then you need to be sure that you have enough money available to restock the shelves when the timing is right. Your savings account can cover the gaps if you need cash flow to pay for the new inventory shipment. In most businesses, these inventory costs need to be paid upfront, which means that you can’t wait to sell the products before you pay the vendors.
  • Emergency Funds for the Unexpected: You never know when an emergency will happen that requires unanticipated costs. For example, if the HVAC system goes out at your office, then you might be facing a repair bill that is thousands of dollars. Other common business emergencies could include a change in supplier pricing, employee strike, and more.
  • Be Ready for Tax Season: The beginning of a New Year means that you are also facing new tax bills. Make sure that you have enough money in the bank so that you don’t need to go into debt to pay the taxes. Work with your accounting team so that you can estimate the amount that will need to be paid in business taxes.
  • Pay Off Business Debts: Have you incurred business debt over the years? There are times when debt can be useful to keep the company running. But, carrying a heavy debt load means that you are also carrying the burden of interest and fees. Saving money and improving your financial practices can free up the funds that are needed to pay off these lines of credit.

There are unlimited options when you have a healthy savings account for your company. Make sure that you are implementing a good financial strategy with your small business accountant so that you have the extra money available when it is needed.

How to Save Money This Month

Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Instead, try some of these strategies to set aside a business savings account for a rainy day in the future:

  • Streamline Financial Practices: It’s no longer optional to put financial tracking and accounting practices on the backburner. You need to have the right systems in place that will help with the services that are required to keep up with your business numbers. As you implement the right accounting software and work with an experienced team of small business accountants, you can identify trends that are eating away at your cash flow. Create a system of transparency so that you can find the areas where you are losing money.
  • Track All Expenses: Some business owners find it hard to identify where the money is going. You might not be spending cash on big purchases, but the small transactions definitely add up over time. You should have a system in place that tracks every penny that is received and spent. Proper expense management by an experienced accounting team means that you won’t overlook deductions on your tax return. These details can result in big savings when you are consistent with expense tracking this month… and throughout the year.
  • Cut Unnecessary Fees and Expenses: Find and eliminate the line-items that are eating away at your profit margins. Often, service contracts are negotiated on an annual basis, which means that some of these contracts might be expiring at the end of the year. As you are renewing contractors for services such as janitorial work, contractors, ongoing services, subscriptions, and more, look for areas where you can reduce overhead expenses. For example, you might be able to find a cheaper service that will result in savings over time.
  • Sell Unused Equipment: If you choose to replace some of the equipment in your office during the holiday sales, then make sure that you have a strategy in place to get rid of the unused equipment. Old computers and cell phones can be wiped and then sold on the used market. Even though you won’t recover the full amount that was invested in the new product, used equipment sales can cover some of the costs that go into the purchases that are needed for the office.
  • Consider Trade Options: Is there a service that is needed for your company, but you don’t have the extra cash to spend? Consider a trade or barter where the value is exchanged without money changing hands. For example, if you are a small marketing firm and you need a new website designed, then you might be able to find a designer who will accept marketing services in exchange for the design services that you need. This strategy will help you conserve your cash so you can build your emergency savings account.
  • Hire Contractors or Temp Employees: If you need to increase your workforce during the holiday season, consider hiring temp employees or contractors for the services that are required. You won’t need to carry the burden of benefits and other expenses that come with hiring new employees. Plus, you can limit your spending during the holiday season without the obligation to continue the paychecks into the New Year when the services are no longer required.
  • Talk to Your Accountant: You don’t need to be a financial expert to improve your cash position. Instead, you need to be sure that you are hiring the right team of accounting professionals who can help you identify ways to save money. Tapping into a team of accountants can be a valuable way to help you learn from the mistakes that have been made by other businesses in the industry. Your small business accountant will provide the support and advice required so that you can save money and prepare for the future growth of your company.

Why is December the time of year that you need to take action on these action steps? Many business owners rationalize that they will enjoy the holiday season and then buckle down and work hard in January. Instead of procrastinating the things that need to be addressed in your company, it is time to take action right now! Implement your new system in December to be sure that everything is in place by January 1st. You will feel good knowing that your business is off to a good start for the new year.

Do you need help with your small business accounting? Easier Accounting is here to offer the assistance that is needed. We can help you implement the right accounting program in December so that you can save money this month and into the New Year. Call us to learn more about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770