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Why Should You Choose Outsourced Accounting Services?

Solid financial strategies are key to the success that is possible in your business efforts. Are you setting your company up for future growth and expansion by implementing an effective accounting system? Most small businesses are coming up short when it comes to financial reporting. If it is time to improve your current system or you need to implement a new financial software, then outsourced accounting services might be the right answer.

Strategic Alignment for Your Financial Goals

It’s easy to get caught up in the current responsibilities of running a company: employee management, inventory restocking, product development, and marketing campaigns. These tasks are essential to keep your business going through all of the ups and downs along the way.

Unfortunately, many business owners come up short in one important aspect: financial reporting and strategy. You might be too stressed right now trying to pay overhead expenses and keep up with current costs that you overlook the strategy needed for the future. But looking ahead is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success. If you don’t have experience in financial management and business strategy, then hiring an outsourced accountant can be a great solution.

Staying consistent with financial tracking and reporting will give you a clear picture of the financial health of your company. This information can influence the decisions that are made along the way, helping you optimize the current efforts to build for the future. Having a big-picture mindset ensures you will be ready to face anything that might affect your business.

Accounting and bookkeeping services can help you implement an ongoing tracking system that reports details about your spending, income, and movement of the cash through your accounts. Even if your company is profitable, you could face issues if you don’t have enough cash flow to cover overhead expenses. So, it is important you are looking at these financial reports regularly, giving you the option to make small changes and adjustments along the way as needed.

Consequences of Poor Accounting and Bookkeeping Practices

It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security if you have money coming into your bank accounts through the sale of products and services. But, one of the most common issues we see among small businesses owners is that they are lacking foundational principles for good bookkeeping and accounting practices.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to set up and maintain a comprehensive system that includes all accounting processes, bookkeeping tasks, and financial administrative responsibilities. You are already carrying enough responsibility in the daily management of your company. Do you feel burdened by adding more to your to-do list with bookkeeping busy work, such as bank account reconciliations?

Most startups and small businesses are facing the challenge of limited staff and no hands-on experience in process management. Your employees are already tasked with ongoing job duties. They don’t have the time or experience to take on complicated responsibilities such as accounting systems and financial reporting. As a result, implementing a good accounting and bookkeeping system often feels impossible for small business owners.

Without the right system, you will see problems start to arise. For example, if you are receiving past-due notifications on accounts payable and you don’t have a good system in place to track client payments, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re running into cash flow issues. Seemingly small problems right now add up to major issues in the future. Eventually, poor financial reporting and planning could be the downfall of your company.

Are Poor Accounting Practices Hurting Your Company?

How do you know if your lack of accounting organization and structure is hurting your business? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s a sign you need to call an outsourced accounting team right away:

  • Do the accounting and bookkeeping tracking tasks fall to the back burner because you are too busy with other responsibilities throughout the day?
  • If your bookkeeping employee left the company, would you be lost trying to figure out where to pick up the pieces?
  • Have you assigned bookkeeping responsibilities to an employee who doesn’t have formal training or hands-on experience in accounting and bookkeeping?
  • Do you feel like you can never rely on financial reports since the transactions aren’t up-to-date?
  • Is it difficult to identify your exact profit margin without extensive manual work and calculations?
  • Are you using a manual entry system for tracking, such as an Excel spreadsheet?
  • Do you find it difficult to keep up with big payments, such as taxes and payroll, because cash flow is too tight?
  • Are employees using multiple software programs and computer systems without synchronization or tech integration?
  • Is it common that you are always pushing up against tax deadlines and other financial reporting dates because the work was procrastinated?
  • Is it difficult to maintain a consistent schedule with closing and reconciling the books each month?

Don’t beat yourself up or feel overly guilty if you can answer “yes” to one or more of these questions. Instead, recognize that it’s a good indication your business needs more professional support. Now that you recognize the gaps that are occurring in your bookkeeping and accounting system, the next step is to bring in an outsourced accounting pro who can help you get your business finances back on track again.

In-House Employee vs. Outsourced Accounting Services

Now that you can see the need to bring in an expert to help with your accounting systems, it’s time to act to resolve the financial issues you are facing. The most common assumption is that you need to hire an in-house accounting expert. While there is nothing wrong with bringing in another employee when needed, don’t overlook the other options that are available.

Before you hire an employee, you need to understand the burden you are taking on. Not only are you responsible for that person’s training and performance, but you also need to think about the overhead costs that will be incurred. For example, you need to pay for office space to accommodate the new employee’s desk. Additional costs add up for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. Plus, you have other expenses for computer equipment, office supplies, employee benefits, and more. You aren’t only paying for the person’s wage; you need to carry the financial expense of bringing another fully-burdened check onto the payroll each month.

On the other hand, it is possible to save thousands of dollars every month by leveraging the services of an outsourced accounting team. Instead of paying for an expensive salary and benefits for an in-house accountant, you can only pay for the financial services that are required. Outsourced accounting is significantly cheaper than the overhead costs of an in-house employee.

Industry Experience from a Knowledgeable Team

There’s no reason for you to reinvent the wheel by starting a new accounting system from scratch. One of the biggest mistakes made by small business owners is attempting a DIY approach when it comes to financial reporting. Yes, you can find information online about setting up a bookkeeping system or how to compare various accounting software programs. But these online tutorials don’t compare to the services available from someone working “in the trenches” in the accounting industry.

Choosing outsourced accounting and bookkeeping services can be a valuable way to tap into the knowledge and experience of someone who is working with other companies. This real-world experience with small businesses and start-ups can be a great way to infuse your business with tools and strategies that work. Our accounting team has already built accounting and bookkeeping systems that work. You can rest assured knowing that your business doesn’t need to be the testing ground to find new solutions in the bookkeeping and accounting industry.

Hiring Small Business Accounting Services

Now the question at the top of mind is: where should I go to hire an outsourced accounting service? You might be able to find a local accountant that offers business services. But does that person have a wide range of experience that comes from a company who specializes in small business accounting?

We live in a digital world, which means you have access to some of the best accounting services with the click of a button. An online search can uncover options for your accounting needs, helping you tap into a proven system created for small businesses like yours.

If you are going to hire an outsourced accounting service, then it makes sense to research the company’s reputation. Learn more about the business and their experience before jumping into the services that are offered by them. For more information about quality services for bookkeeping and accounting, our team at Easier Accounting is available to help.

We are proud of the unblemished track record we’ve built with our customers. Over the years, we have worked with many small business owners, helping to create systems that address common concerns such as tax strategy and cash flow management. You can learn more about the services that are available by calling Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770.

Small Business Owners: Why it is Essential to Track Your Miles

If you are a small business owner, then it is important to have a system in place to keep track of your write-offs and other expenses that can be used as tax deductions. Most people are pretty good at keeping track of inventory costs, employee payroll, and office supplies. But, do you track your miles? If you aren’t doing it already, then right now is the perfect time to get started with mileage tracking so you can maximize your tax deductions for the year.

Focusing on Revenue vs. Take Home Pay

One of the reasons why deductions like mileage fall through the cracks is because your focus is turned to the activities that are bringing in revenue. While it is important to be proactive about increasing your receivables, you are making a big mistake if you aren’t also thinking about your costs as well. The amount of money you spend on business line items will cut into your profitability and reduce your take-home pay.

One of the best ways to manage your profitability is to design a system so that you are maximizing your deductions. This process helps you see the money that is moving in and out of your account. You can evaluate each of the transactions to determine if it is essential for business activities and growth. Then, these transactions can be recorded to be used as deductions when it’s time to do your taxes for the year.

Personal Vehicle Deduction

Most likely, you are using a personal vehicle to get around town for business purposes. In this case, you can’t write off every penny spent on buying the vehicle, the monthly loan payments, maintenance services, or gas. But these costs add up, especially when you are driving for your business. The most effective solution is to track your mileage. Then your accountant will use this information to calculate the deduction for motor vehicle expenses.

The IRS allows you to deduct a portion of the costs of using your personal vehicle. Even though the car is used for personal activities, such as driving the kids to school or picking up groceries, some of the miles used are necessary to keep your business running. For example, if you are driving to meet a client or you need to go to the bank, then you should track your miles to use as a deduction.

It is important to note that you can’t deduct your commute between home and work. But you can deduct the miles for every trip related to your small business. Every time you get in the car, evaluate whether the trip is for business reasons. Examples might include:

  • Picking up office supplies
  • Meeting with a vendor
  • An appointment at a client’s office
  • A trip to the bank
  • Driving to a conference or expo
  • Moving between offices
  • Driving to the airport for a work trip

Even if you don’t feel like the miles are significant, you might be surprised to see how much they add up when you are keeping track. For example, if you drive an average of 10 miles per day throughout the year for your business, then it is over $2,000 in potential deductions.

How Much is Your Mileage Worth?

Is it worth the time and effort to track your miles? Some business owners don’t worry about this write-off because they feel it is too time-intensive. The truth is that the miles add up over the course of a year, and could be worth a lot in terms of deductions that are available for your tax calculations.

The IRS has a standard mileage rate deduction that changes each calendar year. The mileage rate in 2019 is $0.58 per mile, which is higher than the $0.545 in 2018. So, if you drive 10,000 business miles in 2019, then it means that it could be worth a $5,800 deduction if you track your miles. This deduction can be an effective solution if you are looking for solutions to reduce your overall taxable income.

IRS Rules for Tracking Your Miles

If you are planning to write off a portion of your personal vehicle, then you need to be sure you have documentation to back up the write-offs on your taxes. This information will be essential if you are ever audited in the future. The IRS isn’t going to take your word for the write-offs and they don’t like to calculate deductions based on ballpark figures. You need to keep a detailed record of your mileage so you can claim the mileage deduction.

This mileage log doesn’t need to be filed with your taxes. But you should hold onto the information and keep diligent records in case there are questions in the future.

Creating a Log to Track Your Miles

Once you have a good system in place, it can be easy to keep track of the miles that are driven for your business. Your mileage log should include:

  • # of miles driven on each drive
  • Date of the trip
  • Destination
  • Purpose

The simplest and cheapest option is to have a manual mileage log that is kept in your car. You can have a small notebook and pen where you record the date, mileage, and business purpose. Keep it handy, so you remember to track the information when you are driving for business errands. Then, the miles will need to be tallied and calculated at the end of the year to provide this information to your accountant.

The drawback of this manual system is that you have to remember to write it down each time. It is surprisingly easy to forget to check your odometer, especially when you are in a rush to get to a meeting. Many people forget to log the miles because they are preoccupied with other details of the day.

Mileage Tracking App

The easiest solution is to leverage technology, so you don’t have to get caught in the details of mileage tracking. For example, a mileage tracking app can be installed on your smartphone. There are a variety of app options available in the industry. These apps are designed to provide automated mileage tracking, which means you don’t need to worry about remembering to write down the odometer details each time you get in the car. Using GPS, the app can keep track of the exact mileage driven. Then, the value of the drives can be calculated, providing a report that can be given to the IRS if required in the future.

Do your research to find an app provider that you can trust. For example, some of the free apps make their money by selling your information to third-parties. As such, some business owners prefer to use a paid app to maintain privacy.

Taking Your Mileage Deduction at Tax Time

You are already carrying a load of responsibility as a small business owner, so it is smart to outsource your tax calculations and filings to a trusted accounting team. In this situation, you don’t need to waste your time crunching numbers or trying to figure out how the tax forms should be filled out. Instead, the information and documents can be provided to your tax professional, giving you more time to focus on other responsibilities within your company.

When tax time rolls around, your accountant will mark down your mileage deduction in the “expenses” section of your schedule C tax form. Depending on the situation, you might need to provide the following information:

  • Number of miles tracked during the year
  • Business miles per vehicle (if multiple vehicles were used)
  • Beginning and end odometer readings
  • Parking or toll road expenses incurred while driving

Keep in mind that you have the option to deduct the actual vehicle expenses instead of mileage if you prefer. But this accounting strategy requires more record-keeping, and most business owners find that it isn’t worth the hassle. This system could potentially result in a bigger deduction, though, so it is important to evaluate your options.

Consult with an Accountant

As with any accounting strategy, it is always best to consult with your account. You can read information online about deduction strategies, but nothing beats a conversation with a financial professional who has a clear understanding of your business finances. Most business owners don’t have formal accounting or bookkeeping training, making it invaluable to hire an accounting team for assistance.

A small business accountant is a great investment so that you can maximize more than just your miles. Your accountant will offer recommendations relating to your business spending, payroll processing, and more. Making the transition to outsource these services instead of trying to handle it yourself means you can free up your time to focus on the tasks that will help your business grow.

If you have questions about tracking your miles or you need help with accounting services, then Easier Accounting is here to assist. We invite you to contact our team at your convenience to learn about the accounting and bookkeeping services that are available for your business: (888) 620-0770

Warning Signs It’s Time to Hire an Outsourced Accountant or Bookkeeper

Are you carrying more responsibility than you need to within your small business? As a business owner, it can be hard to let go of the control of certain tasks that need to be done. Too often, business owners spend their time on busy work, resulting in a situation where there isn’t enough time left for some of the most important activities to help the business grow. Right now is a great time to consider the support available to help your company. For example, there are many benefits to hiring an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper.

Strain of Accounting and Bookkeeping on a Business Owner

You are already carrying the stress of business development, employee hiring, management, and more. Why overwhelm yourself with the added strain of accounting and bookkeeping as well? Instead of spending your free time with your head buried in the financial records, you can hire an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper for assistance. It is amazing to see how much your stress levels drop when you can lean on the services offered by an industry professional.

There’s no question that maintaining an organized set of books for your business can be both confusing and time-consuming. Not only do you need to track the numbers that are moving in an out of your accounts, but you also need a way to keep track of receivables and payables. If you don’t know much about accounting, it is likely you will waste hours of time searching the internet trying to find tutorials or information. Even with the best of systems, business accounting and bookkeeping can turn into a full-time job that is hard to manage.

Some business owners try to solve this problem by hiring an in-house accountant or bookkeeper. But you will likely encounter problems with this solution. For example, you still hold the overall responsibility to ensure the employee is doing what needs to be done. Plus, you are carrying the added burden of paying for their salary and overhead costs that come from another employee in the office.

Hiring an Outsourced Accountant or Bookkeeper

Most clients reach out to us at Easier Accounting because they are overwhelmed with everything it takes to manage bookkeeping tasks. When the business is growing, business owners don’t often have the patience or time to keep up with these bookkeeping and accounting requirements. Instead of beating yourself up because you are behind with your bookkeeping, remind yourself that this process is a normal part of business growth.

It’s a good sign because it means that your business efforts are expanding and moving forward! This overwhelm also means it is the perfect time to reach out to an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper for the assistance that is needed.

The truth is tapping into the expertise offered by a financial professional might be one of the most effective decisions you could make for your company. Your accounting team can provide recommendations that will propel your business efforts forward and help you reach higher levels of success.

Warning Signs that You Need Accounting and Bookkeeping Help

How do you know when it is time to finally hire an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper? Here are some of the warning signs that indicate you need to hire the help that is needed for your business finances:

  • Working Too Much: Do you find yourself doing bookkeeping date entry or tallying tax deductions late into the night? If your business efforts are cutting into family time or personal hobbies, then it means you need to bring in extra support. You work hard throughout the day on business development, brand strategy, client relations, and more. These daily activities should take priority, often causing the busy work to fall to the backburner. Working late to the point where it cuts into your sleep means you are on the fast-track to burnout. Instead of spending your nights trying to stay current with the bookkeeping tasks, bring in the experts so you can turn your attention to your services and customers.
  • Behind on the Paperwork: A quick glance at your desk can be revealing about your ability to keep up with the bookkeeping tasks. If you have a stack of paperwork that needs to be addressed, then you should find expert help to get ahead. Staying current with Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable are essential so you keep the money coming into your business, and you don’t fall behind on the payments that are owed. Be realistic about your efforts and ask yourself if your books are currently at this moment. If you know that the reports would be inaccurate due to inaccuracies with the transactions, then the best thing you can do is call an accounting team right away.
  • Outdated Financial Systems: Even if you have an accounting or bookkeeping system in place, you need to evaluate whether you are keeping up with industry trends. Accounting technology can be used to simplify your processes and optimize the reports that are available. If you are still tracking your business expenses manually on a spreadsheet or notebook, then you are leaving benefits on the table. Hire an outsourced accountant to get support with setting up your new system and implementing the right technology that can support your business growth.
  • Taking Time Away from Customers: Another warning sign you need an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper is that the paperwork is taking up so much time you no longer have enough time in the day to offer to your customers. When the accounting and financial reports take precedence over your clients or customers, it is a sure sign you need expert assistance.
  • Starting a New Company: Even though you have positive expectations about a DIY approach for the first few years of your new startup, you need to consider the potential consequences of skipping professional accounting services from the beginning. The best thing you can do when starting a new company is to ensure you have a solid foundation and a good financial system in place. Starting on the right foot means you are setting yourself up for success in the future. An experienced accounting team will offer advice and suggestions to help you avoid common pitfalls and problems encountered by other business owners.
  • Lack of Compliance Understanding: When it comes to tax calculations and business write-offs, it is essential you have a clear understanding of IRS requirements, as well as state and local laws. Maintaining compliance for your business efforts is not only time consuming, but it can be stressful if you don’t understand these laws. In fact, the laws often change, which means it is more effective to lean on the services of someone who truly understands the financial industry. Making a mistake could be costly, resulting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. These issues can be easily avoided by hiring an industry professional for assistance.
  • Missing Payments from Customers: Without money coming in from your customers, your business won’t be able to keep going each month. Unfortunately, it is common for businesses to have overdue payments from customers. You need to have a system in place to follow up on these payments to ensure you have the cash flow to keep up with your business expenses. There’s no doubt outstanding payments can result in a domino effect that could topple your business in the future. If you aren’t consistent about tracking and following up with payments that are due, then it is best to let someone else handle this aspect of your business. Hire a bookkeeping or accounting professional for assistance.
  • Mixing Personal and Business Finances: It is a huge mistake to be using the same bank accounts and credit cards for both personal and business transactions. Not only is it complicated to extrapolate the transactions, but you might find yourself tapping into personal finances when business operational costs need to be covered. Using the same accounts for business and personal spending is a sign you don’t have a good tracking system in place for your business. The best thing that you can do is hire an accounting team to get your business system set up so you can create clear boundaries with your spending.

As a business owner, it can be a relief to know you don’t have to carry this financial burden without support from an experienced team. If you are ready to hire an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper, then we are here to help. Not only can we assist with the ongoing tracking and financial reports for your business, but our services can also include essential tasks such as tax calculations, payroll, and more.

You deserve to have a proven accounting system to support your business needs. So, it is time to call the experts at Easier Accounting. Contact us right away to learn about the services that are available for your business needs: (888) 620-0770

How the Right Cash Flow Strategy Can Save Your Business

Encountering cash flow issues might be one of the most stressful things that you face as a business owner. It can be hard to keep the company running if you don’t have enough money in the bank to pay overhead costs, payroll, and other ongoing expenses. Instead of waiting until money gets tight, it is essential you implement a good cash flow strategy right now so you are prepared for the future.

Profitability and Cash Flow

It’s easy to assume money isn’t going to be a problem if you have built your business to the level of profitability. But just because you are bringing in more than you are spending, doesn’t mean that the cash will be available at the times when it is needed. It is normal for a business to have ebbs and flows with payments that are due. For example, you might feel the pinch when it is time to process payroll, but you have a few outstanding Accounts Receivable invoices that haven’t been paid yet.

Too often, business owners feel like they are gasping for air… barely keeping their heads above water as they navigate the challenging aspect of bringing in enough money to keep up with expenses. Rest assured to know you are not alone in these cash flow challenges. An article on Entrepreneur stated that 82% of small companies and startups fail because of poor management of cash flow.

Just because you have good ideas for your new business, doesn’t mean you have the experience with the necessary accounting and bookkeeping practices that are needed. If you want to fix your business cash issues, then you need to tap into the expert advice from someone who can recommend a good cash flow strategy.

Lack of Cash Flow Strategy Could Bring Your Company Down

Even if you have a great product and customers who are interested in the things that you are offering, you won’t be able to continue with your business efforts if you can’t keep a roof overhead. The quality or popularity of your products doesn’t matter if you can’t keep up with the expenses required to keep you in business.

In fact, cash flow strategy should be high on your priority list. When you have sufficient cash flow, it enables you to focus on other business-building techniques, such as marketing, product development, and more.

Be Honest about Your Current Situation

Are you ready to turn things around with your cash flow management? Then you need to be brutally honest about where you are spending money and how the cash is moving through your account. Finances can be a stressful topic, causing many business owners to turn their attention to other business responsibilities such as employee management or product development. But ignoring the “elephant in the room” isn’t going to fix your cash flow. Instead, you need to evaluate your current situation and put together a proven strategy that will help to turn your business around.

Start by tallying your current cash flow situation. How much money is available in your bank accounts? Do you have room available on credit cards or a line of credit? Next, you need to evaluate the anticipated expenses and receivables in the future. This information will help you see the overall picture so you can determine the potential pitfalls that could leave you in a stressful situation.

The best solution is to have accounting software that calculates these numbers for you. Yes, you can do the calculations by hand on a spreadsheet. But it is time-consuming and quite a burden to keep up with ongoing calculations. There’s no reason for you to spend your valuable time on busy work when tools and outsourced services can easily take care of these details for your company.

Anticipate Upcoming Costs

Now that you know your current standing and the amount of money that is available, it’s time to consider the costs that are coming up. Certain expenses tend to come in cycles, such as tax payments and payroll. Look at the amount of money you need for general overhead costs each month. Also, list out quarterly and annual payments that you will need to meet. Creating a cash forecast for the next 12-months will give you the numbers that need to be met to ensure you can keep up with your payments.

It can be a challenge to see all of these details without evaluating the payment history. Look at the transactions that moved through your company last year. Note any transactions that you anticipate will be repeated this year. If you have the information, it can be helpful to review several years of business transactions so you can see the overall patterns and trends.

As a startup, you might not have the luxury of looking at historical information for your own company. But you can learn from the experts by talking to an accounting team that has worked with other startup companies. Your accountant will know the industry patterns and expectations. You can use this information to build in the cushion that you need to ensure cash is available at the right time.

Decrease Your Spending

Looking at the upcoming costs can be a powerful way to help you identify the areas where you might be wasting money. Is there anything that is taking too much cash? Look for areas where you can cut your spending to streamline your overhead costs.

While overhead expenses are unavoidable, you shouldn’t be spending on unnecessary line items. Distinguish necessary costs from the luxuries so you can cut back your spending and reduce the amount of cash that is needed to keep your business running each month.

Follow Up on Receivables

One common pitfall with cash flow strategy is that the expenses are coming in faster than the receivables. It is easy to be focused on product development, keeping up with monthly expenses and paying the taxes. If these accounts payable items are taking up all of your attention, then you might consider putting the focus on the money that should be coming in.

Create expectations with your clients regarding payment terms. You should have clear boundaries regarding when invoices need to be paid in full. At the same time, your business needs to have a follow-up system to ensure you are reaching out to customers when the payments are due. Too often, customers wait until the last minute before the invoice is due before sending the payments. Delayed payments impact the amount of money in your bank account, which means you might not have enough cash to keep up with inventory restocking or employee payroll to keep the company going.

One option is to offer a discount to customers who pay their invoices right away. For example, offer a 2% discount when payment is made on the day the services are rendered. Before you offer this discount, evaluate your profitability to ensure your price-point can bear the discount that will be given.

Evaluate Your Credit Options

Racking up loads of debt isn’t the best choice for you or your company. But credit can be a fail safe if you find yourself in a difficult situation for the month. The most important thing you need to consider is preparing ahead of time with this fallback plan before you are facing the immediacy of cash flow problems. If you are already too leveraged with your current lines of credit, then financial institutions will be hesitant to offer more credit to your business.

When you are in a good cash position, reach out to your bank and other financial providers. It will give you peace of mind knowing that a line of credit is available in case you find yourself in a challenging cash flow situation. Use this credit as an emergency-only option that will save your company from going under due to cash flow.

Talk to a Pro

You aren’t expected to know everything related to running a business. Sometimes it is important for business owners to swallow their pride and look for outside help. Enlisting the services of a bookkeeping and accounting team might be the best decision you can make to take control of your cash flow. These services will help you evaluate your current financial situation, look at forecasts for the things that are coming up, and determine the right system that will ensure that money is flowing in faster than it is flowing out.

If you don’t systematize your business spending and receivables, then you are almost guaranteed to run into financial problems in the future. You can get ahead of these issues by talking to our team to learn about the accounting services that are offered. We will help you create a strong foundation, so you don’t have to worry about cash flow issues in the future.

For more information, Easier Accounting is here to help. Call our team for information about the small business accounting services that are offered: (888) 620-0770

Accounting Checklist: Essential Tasks for New Businesses and Startups

It is both exhilarating and scary to start a new business. You have an idea for products or services that will be popular in the market, and you’ve come up with the cash to get the company off the ground. While you are building the business and launching it into the world, it is important that you follow this accounting checklist to ensure that you are meeting all financial requirements for your company.

Yes, bookkeeping and accounting can be daunting. Most business owners want to spend their time focused on product development, marketing, customer outreach, and other tasks that have a direct impact on cash received. While these tasks are important, you need to be sure that you have a solid financial plan in place to set your company up for success in the future. Failing to take care of these essential tasks on your accounting checklist could cause your business to fail due to poor practices and a lack of cash flow.

Even though accounting and bookkeeping can be time consuming, you don’t have to put in the hours to take care of these tasks. One of the best things that you can do as a business owner is to hire the right contracting service to handle these details. You’ll have a better outcome and be proactive in protecting the financial interests of your company.

Consequences of Neglecting Your Accounting Checklist

What will happen if you neglect the important tasks on your financial to-do list? At first, you might not encounter many issues. But these problems tend to compound over time, resulting in big problems in the future that could take your company down.

While tax and financial compliance are time consuming, it is a critical part of building a solid foundation for your company. These tasks give you the information that is necessary for making accurate decisions for your business. Plus, you can avoid hefty fines and an expensive tax burden by implanting a good financial strategy.

Not only do you need to be educated on the right accounting practices for your small business or startup, but you also need to develop the right systems to ensure ongoing compliance and maintenance. The following tips will help when you are launching a new company so that you can build a financial picture for success.

Step #1: What Accounting Services are Needed?

The first step is to learn about the industry and identify the accounting services that will best suit the needs of your new business. Why does accounting matter? These financial reports give you accurate information that affects the decisions that are made for your business. Additionally, you need to comply with legal requirements as outlined by the IRS.

The easiest solution to learn about your options for accounting is to talk to an accounting service for information. Yes, you can find details online with a Google search. But it can be overwhelming to identify the right accounting checklist for your new company. Instead, you need to lean on the services and expertise of someone who understands the best processes for small businesses.

Our accounting team can evaluate the needs of your company and provide recommendations that will suit your preferences. We want to be sure that your accounting services are a perfect fit to set your company up for success in the future. During this initial conversation, we’ll understand more about your business, growth patterns, and anticipated changes in the future. Then, this information will be used to create the perfect setup for your business going forward.

Step #2: Setting Up an Entity

Don’t overlook the important step of creating the right entity for your business. Various legal structures have benefits and drawbacks. As you talk to a legal professional, you can understand how these pros and cons will affect the long-term outcome for your business efforts.

During this step, you need to talk to both an accountant and an attorney. There are many intricacies of the corporate tax code, which can be overwhelming to a new business owner who doesn’t understand the legal jargon and other details that need to be addressed. But a good team of professionals can explain your options and help you in finding the solutions that will suit the needs of your company.

You can use this advice to determine the proper legal structure for your business. Then, the accounting and bookkeeping system can be structured to match the structure that has been created. Not only do you need to get the system set up in the first place, but there are also requirements for ongoing compliance. The easiest solution to handle these details is by engaging an accounting team for ongoing services.

Step #3: Financial Reporting and Ongoing Bookkeeping

Now that your business structure is in place and you have the systems established, it can be a trick to maintain consistency with the ongoing tasks that need to be handled. Ongoing accounting and bookkeeping requirements should include the tracking and categorization of all business transactions. Additionally, you need to have a separate business bank account created so that there is no crossover between personal spending and business expenses.

In this step, it is smart to invest in good accounting software. There is no reason why these transactions need to be tracked by hand. Instead, you can maximize the benefits of automation as much as possible, helping to reduce the problems associated with manual tracking and calculations. If you have questions about any of these transactions, then a tax advisor or CPA can review the information and offer advice about the best way to handle these details.

The step of creating the right reporting and tracking system is crucial in helping you avoid common mistakes. When mistakes are made with tax strategy, then often leads to heavy fines from both the IRS and the state. Good software will help with the creation and maintenance of financial statements.

Plus, you can use this information when making decisions regarding the financial health of your company. If you need to invest money in marketing or business development, you will be well-informed due to the information that is available in the reports. Enhanced financial forecasts can be valuable assets to help with the leveraging of your business efforts in the future.

Step #4: Be Prepared for the Future

You never know when you might be facing an audit, so it is important that you are proactive right now so that you are prepared for anything that might happen in the future. Good accounting practices make it easy to navigate a potential audit because all of the information is organized and clear. You need to have documentation to back up the write-offs and deductions used for your tax strategy. Additionally, you need to have a clear line of paperwork showing where your money is coming from when customers are paying for the products and services.

One aspect of preparing for the future is in the management of your cash flow to ensure that you are ready for slow months. It is inevitable that some months will be more profitable than others. Having a good financial strategy in place will give you the emergency savings that will carry you through the months when cash is tight. Sometimes you can anticipate these fluctuations, but other times the cash need is unexpected due to unanticipated costs and details that affect your business.

It is smart to have regular internal audits and bank reconciliations to ensure that all of the accounts are in order. A little bit of proactive work right now can go a long way to helping you avoid a big headache in the future.

Keep your records up-to-date and make sure that you are abiding by all of the financial regulations and laws in your area. There are many benefits that can come from engaging the services of an experienced accounting team.

Do You Need Accounting Services?

Most small business owners don’t have professional accounting skills to manage their business finances without support. You might attempt a DIY system, only to find that you encountered problems that could have been easily avoided by tapping into the services of an experienced accounting team.

If you want to set yourself up for success in the future, then the best thing that you can do is lean on the expertise offered by a small business accounting team. We are here to help with your accounting checklist to ensure that you are starting on the right foot. Then, our ongoing accounting services will support your needs going forward.

Easier Accounting is here to assist with anything that you need for your business financial tracking. If you are looking for small business accounting or bookkeeping services, then we invite you to contact us to learn about the services that are offered. We are just a phone call away when you need answers to your questions, and our team will explain the benefits that are available when you choose to engage the services of a small business accounting team: (888) 620-0770.

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.

What You Need to Know about Accounting and Tax Preparation for Start-Ups

Starting a business means that you are juggling many tasks and responsibilities: setting up bank accounts, creating accounting systems, designing a website, building out customer service platforms, tax preparation strategies, business development, and more. Even though it is a lot of work to launch the business, it is worth the efforts because of the long-term benefits you will enjoy.

The truth is that the solid foundation created right now will have a lasting effect on the success of your company. In the beginning stages, it might be tempting to skip a few steps and rationalize that you will work on those systems or processes after the business is up and running. But you could be hindering growth and opportunities by procrastinating the most important aspects that affect the financial health of your company.

The best thing you can do is get it right the first time. Commit to putting in the time and effort to creating systems that are built to last. A few months or years down the road you will be grateful that you didn’t skip these important elements.

Today, we are going to focus on tax preparation and strategy for small businesses. This topic is one that is often procrastinated. Since tax season only rolls around once a year, it’s easy to assume that you can wait until April to work on taxes. It’s time to change your mindset on this topic. Implementing a good tax strategy right now will save an incredible amount of money due to the decreased tax burden. Plus, you will have the processes in place to support bigger tax responsibilities that will come in the future when your business expands.

Tax Preparation Can Feel Like a Chore

Most small business owners will agree that taxes can feel like a chore. Do you get a headache just thinking about the stacks of paperwork and accounting calculations that need to be done? Not only do you need to crunch the numbers, but you also need to stay current with the latest changes in tax laws and other applicable industry regulations.

It is common to feel stressed or worried about the requirements that need to be met for tax preparation. As a small business owner, you don’t need to carry this responsibility without support. You are already focused on product development, marketing, and more. Instead of spending your free time with your head buried in numbers, it makes sense to outsource these services to the pros. A good accounting team is key to help you develop the right tax strategy and transform the results that are available in the future.

Your accounting team will make start-up and small business taxes transparent and clear. Tax preparation doesn’t have to be difficult when you are working with the right team. You’ll find that our staff at Easier Accounting understands the best practices for every industry, helping to take the stress out of tax time. We’ve worked with many small businesses over the years, giving us the hands-on experience to know the optimal way to structure your tax preparation, paperwork, and filing.

Assessing your Current Situation

If you are going to improve your tax strategy, it is important first to assess your current situation. Are you preparing to launch a new company? Are you structured as a sole proprietorship? Did you form a corporation for your business efforts? Do you have a partnership that needs to be included?

These details might seem simple, but they will impact the way the tax strategy is designed. It is essential that you offer as much information as possible to your accounting team, ensuring that nothing is overlooked in your tax preparation.

Basic Steps for Tax Preparation

Whether you are just getting started with your business efforts or you are looking for ways to improve the financial health of your existing company, there are a few basic steps that should always be followed for tax preparation:

  1. Choose a Tax Preparation Provider: The best solution is to choose an accounting team that will work with your company throughout the year. You can find financial experts that offer one-time tax services. But these short-term services don’t create a long-term mindset that is necessary to maximize tax strategy. Pick an accounting team, such as Easier Accounting, that offers ongoing support to ensure your company is on track during every season of the year.
  2. Gather Records and Information: Maintaining documentation of all transactions that move through your company is essential so that you can track every penny that is earned and spent for business purposes. Exact records vary depending on the type of company that you are running. Examples of income records include sales transactions, gross receipts, allowances, cost of sold goods, tax refunds or credits, interest earned from bank accounts, and more. Expense information should include costs for vehicles, marketing, employee payroll, contract labor, office expenses, utilities and rent, maintenance and repairs, depletion, professional services, insurance, inventory purchases, fees and commissions, and anything else that required you to spend money for business purposes.
  3. Organizing the System: It can be a hassle to sort through a year’s worth of receipts when it is time to do your taxes each spring. Instead of spending hours on the paperwork once a year, it is better to have a proven system in place that makes it easy to track and categorize expenses throughout the year. When these transactions are organized and managed on an ongoing basis, then you can simply run a report that shows the information that is necessary for tax preparation.
  4. Filling Out Tax Paperwork: The IRS has paperwork for everything, so you need to make sure that you are filling out the right forms that apply to your company. Most companies don’t need to use the majority of the forms that are out there. Depending on the structure of your company, you may need Form 1040, Form 1040-ES, Form W-2 and W-3 for employees, Form 1099 for contractors, Form 941, Form 943, Form 944, Form 1120S, Form 1065, and more. Do you feel like your head is spinning just reading through all of those options? You don’t need to get into the fine print to figure out which forms apply to your situation. Instead, lean on the knowledge offered by your accounting team. Not only will your accountant provide guidelines regarding the forms that are required for tax preparation. But your accounting team can also handle the information that is entered on these forms.
  5. Submitting Tax Forms: Now that all of the work has gone into the information needed for income and expense categorization and filling out the applicable tax forms, it’s time to submit the paperwork. These submissions need to be sent to the IRS. Additionally, there are deadlines to send specific tax forms to employees and contractors each year. Not only are you responsible for annual tax filings, but other deadlines need to be met throughout the year for employment taxes, estimated tax payments, and more. Your accountant can help you keep track of these deadlines and oversee submission through an e-filing process. The documents can be filed on printed paper as well, although the e-filing is becoming more popular due to the immediacy of the filing results.

Using a Professional for Small Business Tax Services

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is attempting a DIY tax filing when you don’t know much about accounting processes for the IRS paperwork. If you want to set your company up for success, then you need to be sure that you are working with a small business accountant who will oversee every step of this process.

Certified tax preparers help by working through the calculations and information needed for the paperwork. Additionally, your accountant will ensure that the paperwork is filed with the IRS before the deadline.

Keep in mind that scammers try to take advantage of unknowing individuals and small businesses owners. Make sure that you choose a reputable accounting company. Your tax preparer should have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) that is issued by the IRS. Always research the accounting company before handing over sensitive financial information and business details.

Quality Tax Preparation Services for Your Business

You deserve quality tax preparation services, including ongoing accounting support throughout the year. If you are searching for the right services for your small business, then we invite you to talk to our experienced team at Easier Accounting. We understand the best systems for tax strategy and preparation, and our team is just a phone call away.

Choosing our team means that you have access to a group of knowledgeable tax accountants that will offer personalized recommendations to improve the results for your company. Our goal is to streamline your financial systems while reducing the tax burden and improving overall results for your company. For details about the services that are available, you are invited to contact us at Easier Accounting. We’re just a phone call away: (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.