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Get the Boost Needed for a Small Business During the Holidays

If your small business has experienced a slump with the recently implemented changes due to the pandemic, then the holiday rush must be highly anticipated and needed. Now that you’ve pivoted your business to adhere to the safety practices required during this time, focus on how you can boost sales this holiday season.

Don’t forget to make sure your finances match up with your big plans. You can consult an accounting service to be sure you have the money to invest in boosting holiday sales. Careful planning is needed to see the big picture and not just focus on the potential money you may bring to your small business. You must first decide the amount of money you want to invest in order for it to turn around into an increase in sales.

Sales Strategies for Small Business

There may be options that don’t cost your business money at all. And then others could require significant risk with the potential for a substantial return. Check out some of these sales ideas:

  1. Stay Organized: Meet with your staff and prepare them for an influx of customers. Conduct a customer service training refresh or hire any temporary employees that will be needed for extended hours. Adjust your hours to accommodate social distancing and to reduce crowds. You may even want to offer exclusive Senior Shopping hours where older people can come in and know they can safely shop at your store.
  2. Plan a Variety of Sales: You will want to offer sales throughout the whole holiday season. Switch up the sales to catch your customer’s attention. Rather than passing the same old 15% off sign week after week, add a ‘free gift with purchase’ or an ‘extra 10% off discontinuing styles’. Changing up the sale throughout the season will bring back the people who have already shopped with you. They’ll think of other people for whom they’d like to buy gifts and come back in for your new offer.
  3. Incentivize Shopping Early: When it comes to a shipping or delivery option for your small business, this year is predicted to be met with delays as we get closer to Christmas. Offer free shipping on orders made before December 1st to emphasize the importance of shopping early. You can offer free gift wrapping on delivery orders that come in by December 15th. Give yourself the time to create a personal touch on each order while ensuring that the customer gets their gift on time.
  4. Offer a Referral Program: Many people hear about small businesses through word of mouth. They receive a darling, unique gift, and they ask where the gifter got it. Incentivize your customers to share their love for your shop by offering a moneyback bonus or percentage off for each new customer they refer. You will see how quickly your company grows through word-of-mouth amongst friends.
  5. Highlight Your Individuality: What sets you apart from all of the other shops during Christmastime? Show off the parts of your shop that can’t be found anywhere else. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and share advertisements that are unlike any other small business. Speak from your heart and highlight what makes you unique.
  6. Decorate Your Shop: Whether you have a brick and mortar shop or an online small business website, go all out in decorating. Use your own style to place glitter and bows everywhere. Set up a small forest back by sweaters and scarves. Hang sparkling snowflakes from the ceiling. Make it a magical place that people want to visit again and again.
  7. Offer a Coupon to Come Back: Every business knows that if you experience a holiday rush, you’re sure to have a January slump. Keep that in mind and give out coupons to come back that are valid starting after the holidays. Collect emails and remind the customers of the savings awaiting them in January and February.

It is essential to set your small business apart from all the others. Make sure you are implementing a sales strategy to keep your shop at the top of people’s minds when it comes to holiday shopping. An accounting professional can help you breakdown the cost and find the best strategies for your small business.

Marketing for the Holiday Season

Now that you’ve got some ideas on how to boost your sales during the holidays, think about how you’re going to get people into the store or drive traffic to your website. Remember, this year is unique in that you can’t rely on it being exactly like past years. When you talk with an accountant, you can look over patterns from previous years and combine them with industry predictions for this pandemic year.

People have differing levels of comfort when it comes to shopping indoors this holiday season. Make sure your shop offers online shopping, curbside pickup, virtual shopping tours, and deliveries for those staying at home to shop during the pandemic. Also, offer hand sanitizer, social distancing, and plexiglass dividers to those who do come inside to shop. If masks are not mandated in your area, kindly require masks inside your business as a courtesy to everyone shopping and working inside.

How are you going to let people know about your business? How will they know that you have safety practices in place? How will they know about your fantastic holiday sales? Don’t just rely on word-of-mouth or people walking by the storefront for this one. Consider these strategies:

  • Social Media Advertising: Paid advertisements on social media are known to pull people in. They are an investment for sure, but most of the time reap the benefits of a great return. If you have a unique product that makes a beautiful and fun gift, then spread the word by paying for advertisements. The amount of people on social media each day surpasses the number of people driving past billboards or watching a particular tv show. You don’t want to miss out on this powerful platform.
  • Engaging Posts on Social Media: How is your small business’s social media account? Are you keeping it active and engaging? It is vital to engage with your social media following, creating posts that get people to stop and read your content. The algorithm is designed to have those accounts show up more often for people if your followers are engaging in the content. Show your personality and connect with your following. Ask for input on upcoming new designs or products. Open up voting for favorite products in the shop.
  • Share Videos: Print ads are great and everything, but if you haven’t tried a video to advertise your shop, then now is the time! Use humor and show your personality as you highlight a few items in your shop. Or get with a few employees wearing items from your store or show off a gadget by dancing to a popular song together. People love to laugh and see the light side of your small business.
  • Email Personal Holiday Memories: Do not underestimate the power of email marketing. Maybe you can send out emails throughout the holiday season where you share personal holiday memories. Or look back on a time during the holidays that your business was tiny and you were packaging up items on your kitchen table. Share old pictures during those early days. People love to connect with you through shared experiences.
  • Post Customer Reviews: When people see a customer they can relate to and know that they love your shop, they will feel inclined to shop there as well. Reliable customer reviews can create a significant influx of business to your shop.

It is essential to reach out and gain a broad audience when it comes to advertising your business. Growth can be slow and steady, but as long as you remain consistent and your products are of excellent quality, you will see the increase over time. Suppose the accounting side of the business isn’t your strong point, or you would rather focus your energy elsewhere. In that case, you can hire a professional accounting service for your financial needs.

Contact Professional Accounting Services

When it comes to boosting sales and marketing, you will have to invest some money into these strategies. It is best to consult a professional when weighing which investments will be right for your business. You can run through the numbers together, or you can turn your books over to an accounting team and ask for a lump sum that you will be able to spare this holiday season. You will not regret asking for help.

We know the holidays are a busy time for everyone, so leave your bookkeeping or accounting needs to professionals. The last thing you want to do is lose track of your books during your busy period. You can focus on marketing and the parts of small business that you love while Easier Accounting does the rest! Do not delay giving us a call at (888) 620-0770.

Visit an Accountant Before a Business’s Holiday Rush

Every company needs to be prepared for the busy times. Many small businesses make enough money during the holidays to carry them through the slow times throughout the rest of the year. It is essential to consult a small business accountant before a significant influx of sales and money. You won’t regret having your books in order and meeting with a small business accountant in order to weigh the benefits of particular investments in your holiday marketing strategies.

First Steps for Small Businesses

  1. Review Your Company’s History During the Holidays: When meeting with a small business accountant, be sure to look over how your business has performed in recent years during the months of November and December. Together, you can set goals for this year and discuss how to go above and beyond what you’ve profited in years past.
  2. Consider How Covid-19 May Come Into Play: This year is different because we are in the middle of a pandemic. Unfortunately, small businesses have been hit hard during this time. Meet with a small business accountant to strategize how to overcome the trials that the pandemic has introduced. It is better to be prepared and educated rather than blindly hoping for the best. A small business accountant will review the cost of safety procedures like providing hand sanitizer, installing plexiglass shields, and spreading out sales to encourage social distancing.

Meeting with a small business accountant will only benefit you as you layout your goals for the 2020 holiday season. An accountant with expertise in small business will offer ideas about navigating sales during Covid-19 and how to set your company apart from other small businesses.

Investment Options During the Holidays

Hiring Extra Holiday Employees

As your store gets busier during the holidays, more employees must be present to handle the extra traffic. No one wants to wait in line, so you can offer a second cashier. Ensure you have enough employees spread throughout the store to answer questions or offer a shopping basket to someone with full arms. People expect full attention from a small business shop; it is what sets small businesses apart.

Advertising on Social Media

Those Instagram ads that we’re all familiar with really draw people in and return significant gains. If you want to ensure an increase in sales during the holiday season, then tap into where people are spending most of their time and invest in social media advertising. Consult a small business accountant to pinpoint how much money you should invest in order to get the return you need.

Holiday Decor and Displays

If a customer chooses to shop small business this holiday season, they want to walk into a quaint, charming shop that makes them feel warm and welcome. Use your personal style to make your store feel at home. When you use decorations that are specific to who you are, you create an intimate space that feels special. Investing in holiday decorations will be worth it once you’ve made a unique atmosphere that your customers can use as an escape.

Many customers walk into a store with the intention to browse for gift ideas. Get creative in your holiday displays, posting signs of gift ideas or pictures of real people unwrapping the product. Make things more sparkly, vibrant, and eye-catching to make people feel in the holiday spirit.

Quality Customer Experience

If there is anything worth investing in this holiday season, it is the customer experience. Conduct a special holiday training where customer service is emphasized. If your employees go above and beyond to give a big smile and genuinely ask about the customers’ needs, that can go a long way. Your customers will remember how validated they felt inside your store and will want to return again and again throughout the season.

Make your checkout process simple, offering no contact or touchless checkout for those worried about germs. Have a generous exchange and return policy that is easy to navigate. Offer gift-wrapping or unique packaging that is different than the regular plastic bag. The ease of these processes will go a long way when it comes to customers choosing to shop with you for their next gift.

Promotional Pricing or Offers

During the holiday season, a small business must be competitive in offering sales and promotions. This is how you catch the customer’s eye and get them in the door. You can offer 30% off everything or a free gift for each purchase over $50. You can offer a cash bonus with a gift card purchase. Whatever the promotion, you do have to offer something if you expect an influx of customers in your store. When you meet with a small business accountant, you can go over a practical sale to offer to get people in the door while still making a profit.

Several Shopping Options

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and people will be looking to shop safely during the holiday season. Invest in an online platform if you haven’t already. Offer virtual tours of your store and curbside pickup. Take your most popular items out to the sidewalk and offer an option to shop outside in the open air for customers who feel most comfortable in that manner. Some retail companies have even provided a delivery option during this time, going above and beyond to satisfy customers.

Regular and Engaging Social Media Posts

Your social media account is vital during the holidays. Especially during Covid-19, when everyone is staying home more and looking into online shopping, then you’ll need to keep your customers updated through social media. Post about your sales regularly, and release new content daily that will pull your audience in and keep your company at the top of their mind. This will take a significant investment of time and dedication but will be worth it in the end.

Surviving a Holiday Lull

If you have had a holiday rush in the past, and it doesn’t look to be in the cards for you in 2020, then contact a small business accountant to help you prepare for that lull. Some restaurants, bars, salons, and spas may specifically be struggling this holiday season compared to years past. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get you through the hard times:

  • Don’t Overspend: Consider the current year and do not overspend on inventory to match previous years’ sales. Be realistic about how your sales have been the past several months and prepare for a small uptick that may come through holiday promotions. If you consult a small business accountant, they can use their industry expertise to find what money you have to spare and how to invest it during this difficult time.
  • Keep Holiday Promotions Consistent: If you do not see the return you saw last year during the holidays, do not get discouraged and give up. Continue with your holiday promotions and let the customers know you are always there. If they continue to see your social media posts and holiday spirit, your store will be on their mind when they get their next paycheck or a holiday bonus.
  • Stay Connected with Clients: If you have special customers, then show them your gratitude by giving Christmas gifts. Even if they aren’t spending money with your store this year, show that you care regardless of their business. Real connections will always shine through when times return to normal.
  • Be Flexible: If you can find any way to promote your business that fits with the current pandemic climate, then go for it. Offer gel nail tutorials for customers who have decided to do their own nails at home. Package your beer or wine to be picked up – you can paint a picture of nights in front of the fire with a bundle of wine and cheese and crackers. Learn how to pivot your business to keep your customers active.

Not every small business that was booming last year will experience the same in 2020. It won’t help to be in denial and think that the holidays will save your business. Be realistic and prepared for a holiday lull by visiting a small business accountant. You may think your business is hopeless, and an accountant can provide you with some hope.

Schedule an Appointment with a Small Business Accountant

It is tempting to save money and do your own accounting. But when it comes to the holidays and the potential holiday profits, you don’t want to make a blunder by offering too big a discount or hiring too many employees. Meeting with an accountant who looks at past years’ profits and takes Covid-19 shopping trends into account will only benefit you and your business.

The holidays are a busy time for every business. Ease some of that worry by calling a small business accountant today. Our team at Easier Accounting specializes specifically in small businesses. We can use our expertise to answer any questions you might have about getting your company ready for the holidays. Please schedule an appointment with us by calling (888) 620-0770.

Why A Small Business Needs Commercial Insurance

When you are running a small business, it’s important to be proactive about managing risk and avoiding unnecessary costs. One way that you can protect your company is by investing in good commercial insurance coverage. Even though you are careful and proactive about safety, there are times when things can go wrong and you end up with an expensive bill that cuts into your profit margins.

Accidents Happen… Protect Yourself!

Accidents can happen in all industries. While it’s good to have safety practices, there are times when things go wrong and you run into expensive issues. Business accidents can range from vehicle damage to injured employees, inventory loss, and natural disasters. Regardless of the incident, it could leave you footing the bill if you don’t have a good insurance policy.

Are you prepared for anything that might happen in the future? Business insurance is a great investment because it can cover damages that you’d otherwise be paying for out of your own pocket – which cuts into your profit margins.

Having business insurance not only saves you money and time, but it reduces your stress when something goes wrong. Not only are you protecting your business; you are also protecting your personal interests as well. Plus, you can offer coverage and benefits for your employees as well.

Types of Business Insurance

Commercial insurance is coverage that protects your business against any losses you might face in unforeseen circumstances. Here is an overview of common types of insurance business owners might consider:

  1. Property Insurance: It doesn’t matter if you own the property or you are leasing the space, property insurance should be a necessity. This insurance plan covers everything from furniture to inventory, equipment, signage, and furniture.
  2. Professional Liability Insurance: This policy is commonly known as “errors and omissions” (E&O) insurance. It provides coverage for you against negligence claims due to failure to perform or mistakes. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every business. Instead, you need to talk to your insurance agent to find a policy that covers the unique concerns in your industry.
  3. Product Liability Insurance: When you are selling products, there is a possibility that someone could be injured in an unexpected way. Even though sellers are proactive to take a variety of measures to ensure their products are safe, things can happen that you don’t expect. It could be devastating to you if you ended up in a lawsuit because of damages caused by your product. This insurance coverage protects your business in the situation. The policy is specifically catered to your industry and type of product.
  4. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Workers’ comp is necessary if anything happens to your employees. If someone requires medical treatment, disability, or death benefits because of an injury that happens as a result of the person’s employment, then this policy covers those costs. Even employees in low-risk environments, such as offices, could require medical services for unexpected situations such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a slip-and-fall injury while on the property.
  5. Car Insurance: When people are driving in company cars, then you need to be sure that you have full insurance coverage in case something happens on the road. This policy should provide coverage for third-party injuries, as well as company property. When employees use their personal cars for business activities, then they need personal insurance to cover their vehicle since it isn’t in the name of the employee.
  6. Home-Based Businesses: Even if you have a homeowner’s policy, this coverage doesn’t take care of any inventory or equipment for your business. If you are running a business out of your basement or garage, then make sure that you have a commercial policy to cover the business interests.
  7. Business Interruption Insurance: Did you know that you can receive a payout if your business operations are interrupted due to a disaster? When the company needs to close its doors temporarily, then you don’t have to worry about suffering from lost income. This insurance policy is particularly important for businesses with physical locations, like restaurants or retail stores. The insurance policy provides compensation for the income that you lose during the temporary closure.

With the right business insurance coverage, you can prevent major financial damage if you face a catastrophe or lawsuit in the future. The best way to determine the right insurance policy for your company is to talk to an experienced insurance agent for personalized recommendations.

Reasons You Need Commercial Business Insurance

Consider the list of reasons why you should invest in insurance coverage for your business:

  1. Required by Law: Depending on your location, it’s likely that your state requires you to have a small business insurance policy. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t require insurance coverage, don’t view it as an unnecessary expense.
  2. Natural Disasters: How much money would your business lose if a natural disaster occurred? The specific disaster various based on your location, but might include hurricanes, tornados, fires, flooding, or lightning. This insurance protects your assets and inventory if a disaster happens. Even if you think you are in a safe location, there is a risk of flooding due to plumbing or sewage issues. Every business should have good coverage against common natural disasters in their areas.
  3. Show Credibility: Not only do you protect your interests with a good insurance policy, but this coverage also shows your customers that you are serious about managing your risk. Holding the right insurance policies communicates that you are committed to protecting both employees and customers.
  4. Protect Employees: Your employees are depending on your company for protection and safety. If someone experiences an injury or illness related to work, then you need to be able to provide the care that is required.
  5. Protect Customers: Additionally, business insurance offers protection for your customers. Liability coverage is essential for things such as property damage, product liability, bodily injury, data breaches, or even personal injury.
  6. Protect Management: It’s also important to consider the liability that could fall on management in case of an accident. Key people at the top of your organization could have personal legal issues from costly lawsuits. The right liability insurance coverage is essential for minimizing the cost that managers, CEOs, or business owners could be facing in the future.
  7. Contract Requirements: Some business agreements have requirements for insurance coverage. Look at your contracts to see if you need to have specific coverage. For example, landlords might require renters to have a rental insurance policy. Or, loans require borrowers to have insurance to protect the collateral property. Another example is when a contractor is hired for high-risk services, such as construction.
  8. Lawsuit Costs: One seemingly small mistake could result in a lawsuit against your company. Even if you win the lawsuit, you might have a big bill of legal fees that need to be paid. A common lawsuit example is if an employee is injured on the job and ends up with a life-long disability. If you don’t have an insurance policy to provide benefits, then the person might sue your company.
  9. Income Security: If your business has to close its doors temporarily, then it means that you could be out of a paycheck for a while. How will you pay the bills if you don’t have any money coming in? Having insurance to cover lost income could the difference between permanent closure vs. being able to recover and re-open in the future.
  10. Peace of Mind: Can you put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes from a good insurance policy? When you are prepared with the right coverage, then there is no reason to stress about the unknown in the future.

As you can see, a good business insurance policy can protect you from financial catastrophe if something happens. Talk to all the professionals who work with business finances (such as accountants, CFOs, lawyers, and analysts), and they will tell you that business insurance is an essential cost for every company. It doesn’t matter if you have a big warehouse full of inventory, or if you are working a freelance career from home. You need to be sure that you have the right protections to support your growth in the future.

Other Financial Protections

In addition to paying for insurance coverage, also make sure that you are proactive about taking care of the other financial details within your company. For example, good accounting and bookkeeping practices are important for maintaining your budget, analyzing spending habits, and maximizing your profit margins. Every small business can benefit from professional accounting services, especially because most business owners don’t have time to work on data entry and financial busy work.

Our pro team at Easier Accounting helps you stay ahead of the ongoing financial requirements. We are focused on helping your company thrive by offering customized, outsourced accounting solutions that are a good fit for your unique needs. If you require support with bookkeeping and accounting, then we invite you to contact us for a conversation. We’ll help you determine the services that are a good fit for your company, then provide a personalized approach to support the future growth of your business. Call us at (888) 620-0770.

Finding the Right Bookkeeping Help for a Small Business

You know your business financials are a mess… but how often do you look the other way? As a business owner, there is a lot that you need to juggle from day to day. If you are struggling to keep up with accounting and bookkeeping responsibilities within your company, then it might be time to look for bookkeeping help.

The Right Timing: Finding Bookkeeping Help

It’s all too common for bookkeepers to procrastinate the decision to hire bookkeeping help. You know that your business needs support with financial tracking, but many business owners convince themselves that it’s worth saving a bit of cash by keeping bookkeeping management in-house.

The truth is that it’s never too early to hire a bookkeeper. When you bring in bookkeeping help, it means that you can rely on a professional to track transactions and keep your business on track with cash flow, invoicing, and more.

Whether you are launching a new company, or your established company is growing, you need to keep track of your finances. The numbers will show you areas of opportunity, issues that need to be addressed, and potential downfalls that could harm your success in the future. Having immaculate books is a great investment so you are prepared for anything that may come in the future.

So, if the thought has crossed your mind that you should hire a bookkeeper, then now is the time to act. Get started by finding bookkeeping help right away so you can set yourself up for success down the road.

Your Options for Hiring Bookkeeping Help

There isn’t one cut-and-dry solution to bring in someone to help with your books. Here are a few common options you might consider:

  • Employee: Depending on the size of your company, you might hire a part-time or full-time bookkeeper. Most small businesses don’t need full-time bookkeeping services, so it’s common to bring on an employee who can also help with other administrative tasks as well. Hiring an employee means that you have an in-house team member who oversees all of the transactions and financial details that are moving through your bank account. Realistically, your company needs to be big to justify the cost of bringing on an employee. If you don’t have over a million dollars in annual revenue, then you should probably skip this option and look at outsourcing solutions instead.
  • Freelancer: A second option for bookkeeping help is to hire the services of a freelancer. You can find independent providers who oversee everything related to bookkeeping, often for a flat monthly fee or an hourly rate. Hiring a freelancer is a great way to bring in good talent without worrying about the overhead burden of paying for a full-time employee. Since you are outsourcing these services, it means that you don’t have the costs for benefits, employment taxes, office space, equipment, and other costs associated with in-house employees. While there are many benefits from hiring a freelancer, this solution also comes with a few drawbacks. For example, if the person is sick or out on vacation, then you might have limited access to get information or answers to your questions.
  • Firm: The third option you might consider is to hire a bookkeeping firm. This means that you are outsourcing to a team of bookkeepers. Often, specific people are assigned to your project, ensuring that you have continuity in the services provided. The cost of a firm might be a little more expensive than hiring a freelancer, but you still enjoy the benefit of avoiding the expenses of a full-time employee. Hiring a bookkeeping firm comes with advantages. For example, you have ongoing access to a team of professionals, which means that you don’t have to wait for information if someone is out of the office.
  • Local: The last option you might consider is hiring a local provider. For example, you can find a bookkeeping firm in your town that offers outsourced services for small businesses. Some business owners like the option to meet with their bookkeeper in person. But your options will be limited since there are only so many providers available in the local area. Keep in mind that you can often enjoy face-to-face conversations with bookkeepers who live in other parts of the country by using digital conferencing tools. Since bookkeeping and accounting are managed in the cloud, there is no reason why you need someone who can come into your office to handle the bookkeeping services.

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Bookkeeper

Not only do you need to think about the type of bookkeeper you would like to hire (employee, freelancer, or firm), but you also need to look at specific details of the services you will be receiving. Here are a few things that should always be considered if you are hiring a small business bookkeeper:

  • Cost: How much do you have budgeted for these bookkeeping services? It’s smart to dial in the pricing in advance so you aren’t surprised by a high bill later down the road. Ask questions about the way the costs will be billed – based on a flat-fee service or if you are charged hourly. If you will be paying the bookkeeper for hourly services, then it’s a good idea to ask about the estimated hours that will be required based on your scope of work for the project.
  • Timeline: Do you need bookkeeping services to get this project off the ground? A one-time project might be sufficient to get your system dialed in, then you can keep up with DIY maintenance in the future. But, more often than not, it’s worth investing in ongoing bookkeeping services so you don’t have to worry about the financial requirements in the future. Talk to the bookkeeper about possibilities for a long-term engagement, including services for monthly reconciliations and audits.
  • Process: What is the approach the bookkeeper will be taking with your financial reports? Ideally, you need a team that follows a strict schedule to ensure that your books are always up to date. Also discuss other details that will affect the success of your company, such as bookkeeping software and other automation that can be used to improve your results.
  • Collaboration: A bookkeeper offers limited financial services. This person is responsible for ongoing transactions and quality control. But they don’t offer the bigger-picture services that are often needed for small businesses, such as accounting. For example, even though bookkeeping help can be useful for invoicing and payroll processing, your bookkeeper doesn’t have the experience or strategy that you can gain from an outsourced accounting team. Ideally, you need both bookkeeping and accounting services. Either select two separate providers who can work together. Or, find an outsourced firm that provides both bookkeeping and accounting in-house.
  • Experience: Does your provider have the unique experience that relates to your industry? It might not make sense to hire someone who mostly works on large corporate accounts. Instead, choose a bookkeeper or bookkeeping team that focuses on small businesses specifically. When the provider has relevant experience, it means that you can expect that the services will be a good fit for your unique needs. Find a bookkeeper who knows what they are doing, and can offer insights that are specific for your industry and size of business.
  • Services: Ask about the specific services offered for your company. These services need to look at data entry and accuracy of transactions. It’s also helpful to have bookkeeping help to prevent and spot theft, ensure tax compliance throughout the year, and keep you on-track with payroll processing.
  • Relevancy: It’s essential that you have a bookkeeping provider who stays up-to-date with ongoing changes in the industry. The field of bookkeeping and accounting is constantly changing, and you need to be sure that your company is keeping up with these changes. Your bookkeeper should know the current regulations and be able to tell you how they are keeping up with the industry as new regulations come online.

Personalized Bookkeeping Services for Small Businesses

You deserve quality assistance for your small business. Hiring bookkeeping help can be a great investment, giving you access to professional assistance that will keep your company on solid ground. This strong foundation is the perfect step needed so that you can grow to bigger heights in the future, ensuring that your financial system will be able to adapt as your company continues to expand.

Our team at Easier Accounting understands the importance of implementing good bookkeeping practices for your small business. We work with entrepreneurs and small companies, keeping our skills focused on the specific services that are relevant to your needs. Whether you need basic bookkeeping help, or you are looking for solutions to transform your approach going forward, we offer a range of services that can be personalized for you.

Learn more about these quality solutions by reaching out to our team at Easier Accounting. We’d love to have a conversation with you about the way our bookkeeping team can support your company: (888) 620-0770.

Creating a Sales Plan for a Small Business

Business strategy is the foundation of your current and future success. Whether you are focusing on a new sales plan or looking to improve your accounting practices, it’s essential to start with a solid strategy that will move your company in a proven direction.

You can search online and find many opinions and recommendations regarding the ways you need to improve your business. But nothing beats the personalized recommendations that come from a trusted advisor. Looping in experts to help with the professional services needed for your company is one of the fastest ways to leverage your efforts.

First Business Plan… Then Sales Plan

Whether you are putting the finishing details on your new business plan, or you’ve been running a successful company and you want to expand sales – it’s essential that you’ve dialed in your business plan to the current and future needs of your organization. A business plan sets the vision, giving you the “north star” guidance needed to direct decisions and other details of running your company.

Once the business plan is in place, then you can start moving forward with other activities that will launch your business in the right direction. Not only do you need to focus on the sales plan, but you also need to look at other factors that will influence your business efforts, such as employee management, financial strategies, tax preparation, inventory flow, and more.

The business plan is the foundation of your vision for the future. Then, the individual plans in various categories within your company are the details that move you in the right direction. For example, your sales plan should point back to the business plan. But it’s a separate document that dials in on a portion of your company: how the sales department operates. The business plan looks at the big picture while the sales plan focuses in on the objectives for your sales efforts.

The truth is that a business plan and sales plan are closely linked. To put it simply, here is how you can distinguish the difference between a business plan and sales plan:

  • Business Plan: The business plan focuses on WHAT – it creates the direction the company needs.
  • Sales Plan: The sales plan implements the HOW – steps that need to be followed to achieve the vision outlined in the business plan. A sales plan is the execution, including the ongoing strategies to increase sales of products and services. A sales plan gets more into the day-to-day activities that are needed to help the business go where it wants to go, based on the guidance outlined in the business plan.

What is a Sales Plan?

Designing a sales plan means that you are governing how to move forward with selling more products and services. This is the “bible” of your sales department – the direction that helps to bring in more sales and add to the bottom line. A sales plan covers important points, such as:

  • Operations of the sales department
  • Identifying and improving sales objectives
  • Selecting target demographics
  • Steps to achieve sales goals
  • Focuses on the priorities of the business
  • Sales team training
  • Overall business sales strategy
  • Tracks measurements to determine the success of sales strategies
  • Financial support and management needed for the sales department

Even though a sales plan is created for the sales department specifically, this plan also needs to address the inter-related nature of working with other departments within the company. For example, communication with accounting and bookkeeping is a critical factor in tracking spending and managing the sales and marketing budgets.

Why You Need a Sales Plan

Why does it matter if you have a sales plan in addition to your business plan? This sales plan keeps your sales department on track. The plan looks at numbers that need to be met to hit specific targets and ensure that company directives are met. Without the focus that a sales plan brings, you can expect that your numbers will fall short each year.

Keep in mind that a sales plan doesn’t mean you can avoid all issues or obstacles. It’s inevitable that you will run into problems along the way. Instead, this plan accounts for potential roadblocks along the way. Then, you have a specific strategy in place for overcoming these issues and getting back on track as quickly as possible. A good sales plan looks at a variety of potential outcomes, helping you navigate anything that might happen in the future.

How to Create a Sales Plan

Before starting on your sales plan, you must have a solid business plan in place. So, if you haven’t put in the work to write your business plan, then you should focus on that step first. Then, you can get started with your sales plan by following these tips:

  • Choose Realistic Sales Goals: While it might sound amazing to increase your sales by 1000% year over year, it’s important to be realistic in the gals that you are setting. These milestones need to be achievable, considering what the sales department will be able to do within a year. It’s smart to break these goals into deliverables, while always looking at the numbers to see how it will play out. For example, deliverables might be 100 leads, which you know is likely to convert to 10 sales. The specific numbers vary from one industry to the next, which is why it is smart to track your numbers – then you can create moderately difficult sales goals that are achievable but still push the team outside their comfort zones.
  • Systemize Using Proven Tools: The more you include manual calculations in your processes, the higher likelihood for error. Plus, manual tracking cuts into the time that your sales team could be spending on generating new leads. Automation is critical in everything, giving you solid data that shows your current progress and the history of your company. It can be helpful to use CRM tools and project management strategies, with a weekly and monthly practice of looking at the reports. If possible, find tools that can also be integrated with other systems you are using within your company, such as your accounting and bookkeeping software.
  • Train Staff Members: Your sales plan won’t be worth a dime if your staff members don’t know how to implement the right strategies and practices. Ongoing training is a great way to bring your sales department up to speed, then maintain the momentum needed to keep your efforts moving forward. Teaching your team to be good sales people means that they are constantly improving their skills – which brings more revenue into your company. Not only should training be focused on individual skills and efforts, but it’s also important to have a team-focused initiative as well.
  • Writing the Document: You need to have a written version of your sales plan, so there is no question about how these strategies apply to your company. Make sure to define the sales objectives within this document. Have a detailed explanation about your current situation, as well as strategies and steps that will be followed to meet your objectives in the future. List out the specific requirements that need to be met along the way, including a plan of action so people know where to start.
  • Identifying Responsibilities: One weak point within the company is the risk of people assuming that others are carrying the responsibility. For you to have a dynamic team, you need a group who are managing their individual responsibilities while working within the construct of the team. You might consider mapping out these responsibilities within the sales plan to identify which job position is responsible for which deliverables.
  • Look at Sales History: It can be powerful to see the history of sales data in previous years. Charting growth over time means that you can see where you’ve been and weak points that need to be addressed. You can’t change the current circumstances without first knowing where you are starting.

While there are best practices for creating a sales plan, don’t assume that there is a one-size-fits-all solution for every business. The best thing that you can do is consider the unique needs and requirements within your company. Then, map out a plan that moves you forward to reach your highest levels of achievement in the future.

Accounting Support for Your Small Business

As you are creating systems for your sales plan, it might also be a great opportunity to consider other systems and support within your company. There’s no reason why you should be spending your time on busy work and data entry. Instead, prioritize your responsibilities so you are working on the tasks that will move your company forward in the future.

We’re here to offer the support you need for accounting and bookkeeping. Together, we can create a budget that matches your sales plan, ensuring the money is flowing each month to bring in the cash needed for future marketing efforts.

If you are looking for accounting and bookkeeping support, then Easier Accounting is just a phone call away! We invite you to contact us so you can learn more about the available accounting services for your small business: (888) 620-0770.

10 Small Business Liabilities that Every Owner Should Know About

Where is your company at risk because of small business liabilities you are overlooking? Even if you are proactive in business systems and processes, it’s possible that a few holes could be putting your cash flow at risk. Every business owner needs to be proactive in identifying these potential issues before they become more serious financial problems in the future.

What are Small Business Liabilities?

Liabilities are any obligations that you owe money on. Sometimes, liabilities require current payments, such as loan installments or credit card monthly payments. At the same time, these obligations can be owed in the future, depending on your agreement with the lender.

Liabilities are recorded on the right side of your accounting balance sheet – indicating that it’s money that you owe. Examples of small business liabilities might include:

  • Accounts payable
  • Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Bonds
  • Accrued expenses
  • Warranties
  • Mortgages
  • Payable dividends
  • Interest owed
  • Employee wages

Any time you have an agreement with another business or provider, and this contract isn’t paid for yet, it falls in the category of small business liabilities. These liabilities can fall in the short term category (typically less than 12 months), or the long term category (a payment schedule that extends beyond a year).

Another possible form of small business liability you might have is products or services owed to others. For example, if you have promissory agreements for the delivery of certain services or products, then it would be considered a liability since it impacts your cash flow in the future.

Type of Small Business Liabilities

The only time a business might not have liabilities is if the company only pays with cash and only accepts cash payments. Since we live in a digital business environment, it’s nearly impossible for a company to thrive on cash alone. As a result, it is common for small businesses to have liabilities. These liabilities aren’t a bad thing – as long as the liabilities and cash flow are managed correctly.

Small business liabilities fall into three categories:

  • Current Liabilities: Examples include accounts payable, credit lines, loans and salaries. Anything that needs to be paid within a few months (up to a year) is considered a current liability. Since these liabilities need to be paid quickly, they are watched closely to be sure that you are managing your cash flow and current liquidity. Your accounting team can assist in keeping an eye on current liabilities so you always have enough to cover both immediate obligations and upcoming payments.
  • Long Term Liabilities: On the other hand, certain liabilities require ongoing payments over an extended period of time. Examples of long-term liabilities include large equipment purchases, mortgages, or bonds. Long-term liabilities play a role in the solvency of a business in the future. For example, immediate capital can be obtained through financing to purchase equipment or real estate. Eventually, these financial obligations need to be paid, which means that a business could be facing serious financial issues if cash isn’t available when these long-term obligations become due.
  • Contingent Liabilities: Certain costs only need to be paid based on specific outcomes, so these liabilities fall in the contingent category. An example of when a liability depends on a future event is the outcome of a lawsuit or legal case. For example, you could potentially have a liability that needs to be paid out if the ruling is not in your favor at the end of the legal proceedings. From an accounting perspective, contingent liabilities are only recorded in the books if you have a reasonable estimate for the amount and there is a high likelihood that the liability will come through in the future.

Assets and Liabilities – What You Need to Know

Both assets and liabilities affect your business balance sheet, so it’s important that you understand how these two factors work together. When the numbers are accurate and up-to-date, you can run accounting reports to see the overall financial health of your business.

Assets are things that your business owns that bring value to the company. Examples of assets include real estate, equipment, cars, accounts receivable, etc. Assets can fall into several categories:

  • Current Assets: These assets are things that you could turn into cash quickly if needed. For example, if cash flow was tight, then you could sell more inventory to bring in the money that is needed. Another example of a current asset is your accounts receivable – the outstanding invoices that will be paid by your customers.
  • Fixed Assets: Anything that you will own for a long time falls in the category of fixed assets. Examples include computer equipment, construction equipment, vehicles, tools, real estate, etc.
  • Intangible Assets: You don’t have to receive a physical item or service to consider something an asset for your business. Intangible assets are resources that have financial value without a physical form, such as brand recognition or a copyright held by the business.

If you want a clear picture of the financial standing of your company, then it’s important to calculate the assets and subtract the liabilities. Additionally, consider how ongoing expenses will affect your cash flow right now and in the future.

How are Liabilities Different than Expenses?

It’s easy to assume that “liabilities” and “expenses” are synonyms. But there are distinct differences between the ways these costs are recorded and managed in your accounting system. An expense is a category used for anything that is required for the cost of operations. If you need to spend money to generate revenue, then it would be considered an expense (not a liability).

Examples of expenses include office supplies, rent, utilities, employee payroll, or anything else that needs to be paid so your company can stay in business. These expenses are typically paid quickly in cash. If any of these payments are delayed because you are offered credit from a provider, then the line item shifts from an expense to a liability. The simplest way to see the difference between these categories is by looking at how you pay for something that is needed for your business. If you are paying the bill from the cash in your checking account, then it is an expense. If you need to borrow money or use credit for the purchase, then it creates a liability.

Revenue and expenses are shown on your income statement, but they aren’t listed on a balance sheet that compares your liabilities and assets.

Accounting Formula for Your Balance Sheet

Do you want to know how much your business is worth? Whether you are looking to bring on investors or you might be selling the business in the future, you need to have a clear idea of the value of your company. This value can be calculated by looking at your small business liabilities and assets. The calculations show the current financial strength of your company.

The “basic accounting equation” (also known as an accounting formula) can be used to calculate the net worth of your company. You can figure out this amount by using this formula:

  • Assets – Liabilities = Equity

First, you need to calculate total assets and total liabilities. Then, subtract the liabilities from the assets to see how much equity is left. If you have more liabilities than assets, then this equity number will be negative. If you have more assets than liabilities, it shows that your business has good financial health because you are in the black.

While business debt is sometimes required, the goal is to maintain positive equity. The higher your equity number, the better financial health your business is experiencing. If you do this calculation and see that you have a negative number on your balance sheet, then it is an indication that your company is in trouble that you need to be proactive about turning things around. The principles are the same, regardless of your industry: increase assets and pay off liabilities whenever possible.

Professional Accounting Services for Reviewing Your Balance Sheet

It’s smart to review this balance sheet regularly so you have a clear understanding of the current health of your business. You need to know your financial standing before making bigger decisions related to hiring, inventory management, and more.

The best thing you can do is hire an experienced accounting team to review your balance sheet periodically. We can make sure your small business liabilities aren’t growing faster than your assets. Watching the trends over time can be an important step in catching potential cash flow issues in the earlier stages – then you can make changes right now to improve your balance sheet in the future.

Trusted Accounting Services for Small Businesses

If you need accounting support for your small business, then Easier Accounting is available to assist. We focus on small business services, giving you the peace of mind to know that you are working with a team that understands your business needs. We offer more than balance sheet calculations – our team can also help with tax strategy and preparation, payroll processing, and more. You can learn about these services by calling us for a consultation: (888) 620-0770.

6 Qualities that Make a Small Business a Success

Success leaves clues. If you want to build a thriving small business, then the best approach is to look at other successful businesses in your industry – and start doing what they are doing. As you study other small business owners, you will see that many of them have certain things in common.

Even though every industry is unique, you can find trends and traits that build a foundation of success for every business. Here are some of the most important qualities that will impact whether your small business takes off, or sputters to a stop in just a few years:

#1: Customer-Focused Approach

Are you so focused on the profitability of your company that you overlook the needs of your customers? If you want to keep people coming back to buy again and again, then you need to create a crowd of raving fans. These are customers who love your products and services so much that they are happy to share your website with friends and family.

Prioritizing customer satisfaction is an effective way to be sure you are delivering the products your customers want to buy. When your goal is to deliver high-quality results for every customer, then you can be confident that your products will keep selling in the future. On the other hand, your business will struggle if you don’t have a list of loyal customers.

It’s important to understand that customers have higher expectations when it comes to customer service. A personalized touch can go a long way t creating the “wow factor” that keeps people coming back. Here are a few details to consider to ensure that you are building life-long relationships with satisfied customers:

  • Ease of communication
  • Highly trained customer service representatives
  • Efficient service
  • Fast shipping
  • User-friendly website
  • Product development and improvements
  • Listening to customer feedback

Start by creating a strong culture with the customers in the center of all initiatives. Is there anything you can do to improve products or processes to better serve the needs of your target demographic? Fostering customer satisfaction is an important step that fertilizes the soil for business growth.

#2: Leverage Business Resources

When a small business is high-performing, it means that you are using tools and resources to your advantage. Even the smallest decisions can add up to big profits or losses in the future. If you are getting sloppy with expenses or you are leaving money on the table in the sales process, then you could be losing out on thousands of dollars every week.

Yes, it’s important to invest money in your business. But consider your current resources before you start burying money into new projects. Ultimately, you can maintain operational efficiency that creates lean systems for long-term results.

At the same time, you need to make sure that all departments and business systems are aligned. If there are any areas of redundancy, then it’s time to implement a new system that puts a stop to the repetitive activities.

#3: Create Accountability

You can lead from the top with good management, but your efforts are limited to the tasks that you can complete personally in a single day. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, it’s more effective to pass responsibilities to other team members and employees. This process of creating accountability means that your business systems will keep running, regardless of whether you show up at the office each day.

Creating small business systems won’t be effective if your employees aren’t trained and held accountable for following those systems. This process starts by sharing your vision and maintaining strong communication with the team. Implement a good training structure and be clear about who holds the responsibility for specific actions that need to be happening regularly.

Finally, have a system of accountability so you can measure results through performance and consistency. You can’t improve a system that isn’t being measured. Checking in on the responsibilities of all team members can build a company culture of accountability – which improves productivity, and has a significant impact on overall results. The success of your business starts with the productivity and motivation of your team members.

#4: Design Business Objectives

How are you going to get to the finish line if you don’t know where you are going? If you want to achieve small business success, then you need to have a clear vision about the results you want to create. Setting a goal to “make more money” isn’t good enough – it’s too vague and doesn’t include action points that will lead to the results you desire.

Successful business owners have systems in place that include big goals, as well as stepping-stone goals that need to be met along the way. Here is an example of how you might break it down for your business:

  • Design a 5 Year Plan: How do you want your business to be performing in 5 years? If you are working out of your garage and doing it all yourself, then you might have a goal to hire 20 people and have a certain amount of annual revenue by the 5-year anniversary of launching your business. Take time to dial in your 5-year goal, because this plan is the foundation that affects other smaller goals.
  • Break it Down to Annual Milestones: Now that you can see where you are heading in five years, it’s time to look at specific milestones that need to be met annually. Remember that business growth doesn’t happen equally over five years. Often, things start slow… then you build momentum over time. Consider the most effective steps that need to be followed that will lead to your longer-term results. It’s smart to map out these annual goals right now. But be ready to re-evaluate and change annual goals at the beginning of each year, based on the progress and performance of the previous year.
  • Identify Quarterly Actions: Focusing on your annual goals is important, but you may miss the ongoing actions if you are always looking ahead on the calendar. How often have you set New Year’s resolutions, only to find that you have minimal progress when Thanksgiving rolls around? Instead of procrastinating your annual approach, treat each quarter as if the end of the year was happening at the end of the quarter. This method gives you four smaller chunks of 90-days. Then, you can re-evaluate each quarter to identify how things need to change so you can improve your results.
  • Look at Monthly Initiatives: Once you know where you want to be at the end of the quarter, now it’s time to look at the monthly milestones that will help you meet quarterly goals. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a month if you focus your efforts!
  • Refine to Weekly and Daily Activities: The real foundation that sets the stage for future business growth is in the activities you are following on a daily and weekly basis. These small actions might seem trivial, but the smallest steps snowball into huge results down the road. The best way to set your small business up for success is by understanding how your daily and weekly goals lead to results that are achieved months and years down the road.

The approach listed above shows how you can reverse-engineer the steps and goals that need to happen to reach higher levels of success. But remember that each business is different, which is why you need to identify the action steps that are most effective for your business and industry.

#5: Solid Marketing Strategy

While the goal is to have a great list of customers that continue purchasing products from your company, this won’t happen without bringing in new customers. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world – people won’t buy if they don’t know about the products you are offering.

A good marketing campaign doesn’t mean that you are spamming the internet with ads. Instead, hire an experienced marketing team that can refine your strategy. The best way to leverage your marketing budget is by prioritizing your funds on the platforms where your target demographic spends the most time. For example, if your ideal customers are over the age of 65, then SnapChat or Instagram ads probably aren’t the most effective marketing method. Instead, you might focus on search engine optimization or Facebook ads that allow you to choose age groups and demographics.

Adapt your marketing plan when you find strategies that work. Also, focus on creating valuable content online if you are going to have real, engaging interactions with your customers.

#6: Solid Financial Plan

You can apply all of the above strategies, and still fail at your business efforts if you aren’t focusing on profits and losses. Creating a solid financial plan starts with common bookkeeping and accounting, then you can implement new financial strategies that boost the bottom line.

At Easier Accounting, we provide the small business accounting and bookkeeping services you need. As you are looking to build the future success of your company, we are here to help you achieve your goals. Call to learn more about the ways that we can help your small business: (888) 620-0770.

How to Catch Accounting Mistakes

Even if you are careful with data entry and tracking your business transactions, it’s inevitable that mistakes will happen in your bookkeeping. The problem is that these seemingly small accounting mistakes might seem trivial right now… but the long-term effects can be disastrous on your company.

Accounting mistakes throw off your reports and balances, which means that you are looking at inaccurate information when evaluating the current standing of your company. When you are making important business decisions, you need to be confident in knowing your current cash situation and how your decision will affect things in a few months or years. The only way you can have confidence in these critical financial decisions is by ensuring that your bookkeeping is accurate… which comes down to minimizing and correcting accounting mistakes whenever possible.

The truth is that mistakes are unavoidable. But they don’t have to be the downfall of your small business. The following tips will help you minimize the likelihood of mistakes, help you correct the issues when they arise, and save you the headache of inaccurate financial reports.

Tip #: Update Your Accounting System

Any time you are working with manual calculations, you can know that there is a high risk of accounting mistakes. Small businesses often start with DIY financial tracking, such as spreadsheets or handwritten notes. We live in a modern world with great accounting tools, which means that you are missing out on a variety of features if you haven’t already implemented a good accounting system.

The first step to reducing mistakes is to reduce the manual data entry and calculations that are occurring. Modern accounting software programs simplify the bookkeeping process by automating the transactions as they move through your bank accounts.

When you are using a proven accounting and bookkeeping system, then you can have confidence knowing that the software is carefully designed and proven to improve overall results. Plus, you have the benefit of being able to access your financial information from any location since many of these programs are hosted in the cloud.

Tip #: Separate Business and Personal Spending

One reason you might be overlooking accounting mistakes is because of the mix-up of transactions between personal and business spending. If you are mixing these transactions, then you are setting yourself up for problems in the future. Even if you are just getting a new business off the ground, make it a priority to set up a new business account as soon as possible. The goal is to keep the funds separated so you don’t have crossover between your business and personal spending.

When personal and business transactions are mixed, it is the perfect environment for confusion and disorganization… which inevitably leads to accounting mistakes. These small mistakes can be costly to your company if you file your taxes incorrectly or miss out on potential deductions.

Creating a separate business account offers a long list of benefits you will enjoy in the future. You always know how much money is in your business account, making it easier to avoid overspending. Plus, you won’t be tempted to spend the extra business money on personal costs. Instead, keep the money separate so you have money set aside to reinvest in the future of your business.

Tip #: Save Printed Documents

We understand why you are looking for ways to move to a paperless accounting system. But don’t throw out the paperwork and receipts until you have verified that the transactions are correct. These transactions can be digitized, but you also need to maintain the records in case of an audit in the future.

The best way to protect your business is to hang onto these records for at least three years. Design an effective filing system so you can refer to the records if needed. For example, if questions come up about potential accounting mistakes, then it can be helpful to refer to your documentation to clear up the issues.

Tip #: Always Reconcile Your Accounts

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that your reports and records are always accurate. Mistakes happen, which is why you need to build in checks and balances to identify and correct these issues as soon as possible. The chances are high that you’ll make a few accounting mistakes here and there, and your accountant can help you catch these mistakes before they turn into serious issues.

Small accounting mistakes are easy to find through account reconciliation. This process requires that you compare external records to the numbers in your books. For example, you might compare bank statements with the numbers showing in your accounting software.

This reconciliation should happen regularly. It’s common for businesses to have reconciliation schedules for monthly, quarterly, and annual checks. Large corporations might have reconciliations happening more frequently, while small businesses can have semi-regular reconciliations since there are fewer transactions to evaluate.

Don’t stress because accounting mistakes are identified on the account reconciliation. Instead, use this opportunity to identify the issue. Then, you correct the problem right away to minimize the long-term effects. Additionally, look for ways that you can improve your systems if needed, helping to reduce the likelihood of the same mistake being made again in the future.

Tip #: Double Check Everything

When you are inputting information in your books, dedicate a little extra time to double check the work you are completing. A few extra minutes can go a long way to catch typos and small accounting mistakes. You need to be sure that what you enter into the software program matches the records you have for each transaction.

Watch out for these common mistakes:

  • Categorizing the transaction under the wrong spending code
  • Recording the transaction to a different account
  • Transposing numbers or misplacing a decimal point
  • Entering the wrong numbers
  • Flip-flopping entries
  • Marketing accounts payable as accounts receivable
  • Forgetting to record an invoice

Remember that a few small accounting mistakes lead to disastrous results in the future. Even if you are short on time, it’s worth the investment to spend a few extra minutes double-checking your entries.

Tip #: Maintain Consistency with Your Schedule

Mistakes are more likely if you are crunched with time at the end of the month – trying to get your books caught up from all of the transactions that came through in recent weeks. Instead of procrastinating until the last minute, you need to implement a consistent process to ensure that you are staying on top of everything that is moving through your business.

If you don’t already have a system in place, now is the time to create a new accounting process. The development of solid financial and accounting systems is a valuable addition to protect your business in the future. These systems make it easier to stay ahead of ongoing financial responsibilities, which means that you will be more effective in avoiding accounting mistakes.

Tip #: Get an Outside Perspective

Getting a second set of eyes on your books is an important step to catching accounting mistakes when they pop up. Even if you’ve looked over the numbers 10 times, it’s possible that you might be overlooking details that can be spotted by someone else.

Not only does an outside service provide valuable insights into your financial systems, but outsourced accounting support builds in the checks and balances that are needed to catch potential mistakes. You have the benefit of tapping into professional resources, while also ensuring that you are avoiding common accounting errors.

Let the Pros Catch Your Accounting Mistakes

You are a busy small business owner, which is why it can be a challenge to stay current with your books. As you are juggling all of the daily responsibilities of running your company, it’s important to consider how much you can benefit from hiring an outsourced team of accounting experts for assistance. You don’t have to carry the responsibility by yourself. Let our team do the heavy lifting so you can focus on other daily activities related to running your company.

Investing in outsourced accounting not only reduces the risk of accounting mistakes, but it also relieves the stress you are experiencing. It’s worth the investment! Instead of bringing on a full-time accountant, save money by bringing on an outsourced accounting team – then you can put your time and money back into activities that build your business.

Easier Accounting provides the trusted accounting services you need. Our team focuses on the ongoing financial tasks that keep you ahead of reporting, taxes, payroll, and more. This personalized approach is always catered to the needs of your company, ensuring that you have a solid financial foundation to help your company grow.

If you are interested in learning more about the ways we can reduce accounting mistakes and improve your business financial systems, then reach out to us for a consultation. We are happy to answer your questions and help you find the accounting and bookkeeping services that are a good fit for your unique needs. Call Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770.

Outsource Bookkeeping to Avoid Unnecessary Stress

Running a business can be stressful, especially with the recent economic events that are impacting all industries. If you are looking for ways to reduce your stress during these unprecedented economic times, then you might consider the option to outsource bookkeeping services so you can decrease your busy work.

Running a business requires a lot of paperwork and busy work that needs to happen behind the scenes. The glamorous part of being a business owner is having the flexibility of being your own boss. But you can’t enjoy this process if you are tied to the desk because of never-ending paperwork. Not only do you oversee the marketing campaigns and product development, but it can be a burden to keep up with expenses and invoices.

It’s common for entrepreneurs to feel like they are being stretched – with limited time in the day to get everything done. If you can’t squeeze in the most important tasks, then it might be time to hire outsourced services for assistance. Delegation is a great way to take your time back, giving you more control over your schedule.

Bookkeeping and COVID-19

Bookkeeping is more important than ever with all of the changes happening in the business world. Some businesses are facing serious cashflow problems after their stores were closed for a few weeks with the quarantine lockdowns. Other businesses have been booming as consumers have been changing their shopping habits in this pandemic.

No matter what is happening in your business right now, it is a great time to outsource bookkeeping if you are looking for a way to manage your finances more effectively. Here are some of the reasons why bookkeeping is a necessary service for all business owners during this pandemic:

  • Business Relief Loans: Many business owners accepted federal loans through the stimulus packages offered for COVID-19 economic relief. This money was made available through the Small Business Administration, but it comes with certain requirements that need to be met by business owners. If you want to receive forgiveness for any part of the loan, then you need to document spending requirements for the money you received. A bookkeeping service can help with the transaction tracking and details that will be required for your loan forgiveness. Up to $100,000 of these loans can be forgiven, depending on the situation of each business.
  • Managing Unexpected Growth: Some companies, such as online grocery ordering and other digital services, have experienced a huge surge in growth because of the pandemic. Since people aren’t visiting brick and mortar stores, shoppers are turning to digital options for the products and services that are needed. If your business has seen an increase in sales, then it’s a good idea to outsource bookkeeping services so you can accommodate the financial changes. Managing these profits right now will set your business up for higher levels of growth in the future.

Bookkeeping and accounting were important business services before the pandemic started. As the business climate has changed, it is easy to see that these services are continuing to be essential for managing the finances of companies – both small startups and big corporations.

Outsource Bookkeeping: How it Will Reduce Your Stress

Hiring outsourced services might be the best thing you can do during these changing times. Many business owners can see that they need additional support and staffing. But they are worried about bringing on more employees because of the overhead costs and potential cost burdens they will be facing in the future.

If you need help with financial tracking and ongoing cash management, then it’s smart to outsource bookkeeping services. Here are a few ways that your bookkeeper will reduce your stress:

  1. Tracking Profit Margins: Do you know how much your business is profiting after you calculate in the cost of expenses? Profit margins can be thin, especially in the first years of running a small business. Professional bookkeeping services help you stay ahead of all of these transactions, so you know exactly how much money you have leftover to reinvest in the business again.
  2. Full-Service Solutions: One of the benefits of hiring an outsourced bookkeeping team is that you can get assistance with a variety of financial tasks. For example, your bookkeeper can help with everything from monitoring your monthly transactions, to handling payroll, paying the bills, and keeping up with invoicing.
  3. Free Up Your Time: What would you do with an extra 5 or 10 hours a week? Handing off the responsibility is a great way to increase your free time, giving you an opportunity to focus on the projects that are sitting on the backburner. For example, when you decide to outsource bookkeeping, you might find that you are able to turn your attention to the development of a new product or a new marketing campaign to bring in more sales.
  4. Manage Tax Burden: Paying taxes is an unavoidable part of running a business. But just because you need to pay taxes, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an aggressive strategy for reducing your tax burden as much as possible. The combination of outsourced bookkeeping and accounting services can be a powerful way to keep track of every penny that can be calculated as a write-off. Even the small transactions can add up over time, helping you save a bunch on your taxes in the future. DIY bookkeeping often results in overlooked write-offs because some of these transactions slip through the cracks.
  5. Flexibility of Services: Hiring a full-time employee means that you need to have enough work to keep that person busy throughout the month. Often, bookkeeping tasks don’t require daily attention, so it doesn’t make sense to bring another employee onto your team. When you outsource bookkeeping service, it means that you have access o these services on-demand – only paying for the exact services you need. Many business owners find it more affordable to hire an outsourced team instead of a full-time employee.
  6. Peace of Mind: You can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes from professional financial services. When you know the reports and you can have confidence that these numbers are on track, then you don’t need to wake up at night wondering if your business is going to succeed. Outsourced bookkeeping services offer a great solution to stay ahead of business financial tracking, so you can enjoy the benefit of improved good health.
  7. Updated Information: It can be a lot of work to keep up with the changing laws and regulations that impact your business. Instead of spending your free time reading the small print of the tax laws, outsource these services so you can maintain accuracy in the forms and paperwork. Outsourced bookkeeping and accounting are important for keeping up with the rules that are constantly changing. Plus, you can keep your books current with the latest trends in the accounting industry, such as cloud-based systems and optimal reporting.
  8. Accurate Financial Information: How many times have you run a financial report, only to realize that the report is worthless because the transactions aren’t current? If you can’t rely on the accuracy of your financial reports, then it’s a surefire sign that you should outsource bookkeeping services. Having a dedicated team to keep up with these transactions is a great way to give you the ability to make sound financial decisions when opportunities arise.

Outsourcing vs. Staff Bookkeeping

Each business is unique, which is why outsourcing isn’t always the best answer. But it is common for business owners to find that outsourced services are much more affordable and effective compared to hiring a part-time or full-time staff member.

Consider the amount of money you will spend on an employee. Not only do you need to cover the costs of the person’s salary and benefits, but a variety of other expenses are incurred for recruiting, onboarding, training, and turnover. It can be a burden on a small business to keep up with these required expenses.

Instead of adding to your stress by going through the hiring process to bring in another employee, look at the benefits of outsourcing. For example, when you outsource bookkeeping, you can have confidence knowing that the bookkeeping team is already trained and ready to implement the most effective strategies for your small business. You don’t need to worry about ongoing training and management of an employee.

Plus, outsourced bookkeeping services are often a fraction of the price that you would pay for an in-house employee. The cost savings alone often make it worth it to outsource instead of hiring an employee.

Professional Bookkeeping Services You Can Trust

At Easier Accounting, our team understands the challenges you are facing in running a small business. Often, financial management and bookkeeping can be difficult to keep up with among your other business responsibilities. If you are looking for ways to get the support that you need, then our team is just a phone call away.

We specialize in bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses. Contact us right away if you are ready to outsource bookkeeping tasks to the professionals: (888) 620-0770.

Why is Inventory Management Important for Your Small Business?

If you are running a small business, then inventory management is an important factor that affects everything from cash flow to product availability. You want to have products on hand to meet the demands of your customers. But too much inventory can cut into your bank account and make it hard to keep up with ongoing costs. There is a fine balance to decide on the right amount of inventory you should have on hand.

Thinking Ahead: Inventory Tips

Problems with inventory management can result in a variety of avoidable issues. Here are some of the potential issues you might face if you don’t have a good inventory management system in place:

  • Cost Increases: Some business owners need to increase the pricing of the product to cover the overhead expenses of too much inventory. Your per-unit pricing might change depending on availability from your suppliers and the timing that you need these products. For example, if you run short on inventory and need to rush an order, then you can expect to pay more per-unit for this last-minute request.
  • Product Depreciation: Even though you might get a price break on a bulk order, it’s possible you will encounter price depreciation if the items sit on the shelves for too long. This depreciation is especially true in industries where new products and versions are released frequently. Are you selling electronics? Then there will be a significant product depreciation when the upgraded model is released in the future.
  • Insurance Costs: The amount of inventory on-site will impact the level of insurance needed. Holding a lot of expensive inventory in your warehouse means that you need more insurance coverage to pay for the losses if something goes wrong. Your insurance provider will need details about the value of products on-site, and you can expect your monthly premiums to go up the more inventory you need covered on the policy.
  • Storage Space: Also consider the amount of storage space needed for your inventory. When the shipment arrives, do you have a place to put a few pallets of 50-pound boxes? Consider the placement of this storage and how it will affect day-to-day logistics. You will lose money if employees need to work extra hours for inventory management or if the inventory storage interferes with daily productivity.
  • Organization: Bringing in a bunch of inventory is just the first step. Do you have a system in place to find the right products when they are needed? If you are going to keep inventory on-site, then it’s critical that you have a solid system to organize the products for easy access.

Ideally, you should have just enough inventory on hand to meet customer needs, with scheduled shipments to restock at the perfect time.

How Much Extra Inventory is Costing You

Did you know that costs increase by as much as 35% for small businesses carrying extra inventory? The extra expenses might seem small, but they really add up over time – and cut into your profit margins. Carrying too much inventory might be one of the costliest mistakes you can make in your company.

Instead of buying inventory based on good intentions to sell everything as quickly as possible, you need to be deliberate in anticipating inventory needs and matching customer demand.

Looking Ahead to Anticipate Needs

Figure out the best timeline for ordering based on anticipated busy seasons and slower times of the year. For example, if you often sell a lot of product during 4th quarter (the holiday season), then make sure your inventory comes in before the sales start to increase. It doesn’t make sense to buy a lot of inventory in January if sales tend to be slow at the beginning of the year.

Every business is different, so it can be helpful to look at your annual trends in past years. Also, keep notes about your inventory management. When you find best practices, it’s smart to record your preferences so you can remember the most effective solutions for the future.

Accounting and Cash Flow Management

The most important reason you need to manage inventory is because of the way these purchases will affect your financial situation. Every business needs to reinvest profits to help the company grow. But if you reinvest too much in inventory that doesn’t sell, then you will be faced with cash flow challenges. When your money is tied up in too many boxes sitting the warehouse, then you might not have enough to pay for expected costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, and taxes.

Most business owners don’t have formal accounting or bookkeeping training. So, it’s a good idea to invest in professional accounting services to tap into advice from a team that understands how to manage business finances. Small systems can go a long way to help you stay in control of your financial situation and minimize the impact of cash flow issues that often affect business owners.

Just because you have extra cash in the bank, doesn’t mean that you should buy more inventory. Talk to your accountant to look at upcoming expenses, then decide on the best ways to reinvest a certain amount of profits. For example, if you have a lot of inventory sitting in your warehouse right now, then it might be better to spend money on marketing and promotions before you buy more products.

Tips for Improving Inventory Management

Here are a few things to consider if you are looking for ways to manage your cash flow by improving inventory management:

  1. Define Par Levels: The term “par level” references the least amount of product you need at any given time. When you have clarity about these par levels, then you can improve efficiency by knowing when it is time to restock the inventory shelves. A good strategy with par levels reduces the likelihood of reactive inventory purchases, helping to reduce unit costs and optimize your profits. Set a benchmark so your ordering practices are automatic. When inventory reaches a certain par level, then it’s a cue that you need to order the next shipment. Par levels can be set by comparing anticipated sales with shipment schedules. For example, if you sell an average of 800 widgets in the month of July and inventory is shipped weekly, then set a par level of 300.
  2. Anticipate Potential Issues: Always have a backup plan in place in case you experience issues with inventory access. Common inventory problems include selling out a certain product, a big delivery showing up early, or not having enough cash on hand to pay for the next shipment. Pay attention to your history and see if you notice patterns of the same issues coming up over and over again. Find the areas where you have the highest risk so you can create a plan to avoid these possible issues.
  3. Inventory Management Software: Consider investing in a good inventory management software so you always know how much product is on hand. Keeping track of inventory in real-time is important for preventing product shortages. The right software program can be integrated into your digital financial system, including your point-of-sale system and even financial tracking and accounting programs.
  4. First In, First Out (FIFO): As you are designing your inventory management system, be deliberate in implementing a FIFO system: first in, first out. FIFO is critical if you are selling perishable items, such as food, beauty products, or anything else with an expiration date on the package. Even nonperishable goods should be moved out with the FIFO strategy to avoid having stock that is unsellable because it is out of date. When new shipments come into the warehouse, it’s best to keep the new items in the back with the older items placed in the front.
  5. Inventory Auditing: Set specific times during the year to audit your inventory. Counting the actual number of items on-site is important to make sure the inventory matches up with the reports in your inventory management software. Additionally, pay attention to the products that aren’t selling. If you have a lot of inventory that’s been sitting on the shelf for 6 – 12 months, then it’s a good sign that you should clear the stock and minimize orders of that item in the future.

Accounting Advice to Manage Your Cash Flow

When it’s time to reorder inventory, you need to be sure that enough cash is available for the purchase. Working with an experienced accounting team is an essential step to look ahead and see how the money will flow based on your unique needs.

At Easier Accounting, we understand the financial challenges you are facing as a small business owner. If you are looking for strategies to improve cash flow and support your inventory management goals, then our team is just a phone call away! Reach out to us to schedule a consultation and learn more about these quality accounting services that can be used to support your small business needs: (888) 620-0770.