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Are You Building a Scalable Small Business?

Most small businesses start with a simple idea and hours of work in the basement or garage. It doesn’t take much to identify a potential opportunity in an industry of your interest. Some of the best inventions were born out of necessity with individuals looking for solutions to solve their problems. If you are in the position of designing a startup or running a small business, it is important that you are not only looking at your current responsibilities… but also evaluating your options for the future. A few things can be done right now to ensure that you have a scalable small business.

What Does it Mean to Be Scalable?

When investors can see that your business idea has potential, then they will be ready to offer money to help the company grow. A scalable small business is designed so you can multiply revenue for future business growth with minimal costs to expand.

If you have a scalable small business, then it means you have a proven business model and a proven product that consumers love. Once the systems are in place, the next step is to expand the business efforts to other markets and geographies. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel when you want to move to new markets. Instead, it is a “lather, rinse, and repeat” process to implement the same business systems over and over again to new customers.

For example, most business owners have significant upfront costs to develop the product or service that will be offered to the ideal demographic. You will spend time and money on the iterations to ensure that everything is perfect to meet the needs of your customers. Once these systems are designed and in place, then it requires minimal expenses to make additional products that can be sold to others.

How to Build a Scalable Small Business

Here are simple tips that can be implemented into your business plan to ensure that you have options to scale your company in the future:

  1. Attract Investors: When you are ready for business growth, you might run into the roadblock of not having enough cash to pay for the expansion. Just because you and your friends think that it is a great idea, doesn’t mean that investors will be ready to jump on board. As you are building your business plan, consider strategies that will make the opportunity attractive to investors. For example, use market research from outside experts and build documentation showing your profit margins and customer satisfaction.
  2. Continuous Improvement: Just because your business is going well right now, doesn’t mean that you are set up for success in the future. Too often, people run as far as they can with one business idea, only to find that the market fizzles out when the next trend moves in. It is essential to look for ways that you can implement continuous innovation. Instead of offering a single product, you can identify complementary services and products that will continue to solve your customer’s needs in the future.
  3. Work “On” Your Business: As the business owner, you are the point that is directing all actions and decisions made within the company. In the beginning, the business won’t continue with daily progress without the integral role that you play in the system. Ask yourself: how much time are you spending working “in” your business? If all systems come to a standstill when you are on vacation, then it might be time to rethink the way you are building the system. Instead of working “in” your business each day, look for ways you can work “on” your business to create a plan that can be scaled. You only have 24 hours in a day, which means you will be limiting your business growth depends on your involvement.
  4. Build a Good Team: Over time, you can build a team that will keep the system running, regardless of your involvement in the day-to-day responsibilities. One strategy is to bring in the right employees to oversee all aspects of business management. For example, you need front-line customer service representatives, salespeople, managers, product testers, and more. If you are worried about the overhead costs that will be accrued for in-house staffing, then you might consider the option to outsource these services instead. Outsourcing offers an effective way to reduce your spending while tapping into the experience and resources required for your business systems.
  5. Leverage Technology: Tech plays an important role in business management, so it makes sense to take advantage of every benefit available by using technology. If you are stuck using outdated systems and manual processing, then it is time to revamp your company to implement as much automation as possible. For example, it is a waste of time if you are paying employees to handle manual data entry for every transaction that moves through your company. Instead, find the right accounting and bookkeeping software that automatically pulls in the transactions that move through your credit card and bank accounts. This automation frees up your employee’s time, giving them the ability to work on other business-building activities.
  6. Always Automate When Possible: One way that technology can be used is by automating systems and redundancies. If your startup is staff intensive and labor intensive, then it is hard to scale because of the number of people that will need to be hired. The best thing that you can do is start early to identify ways that your systems can be automated. Documentation and processing can be organized and streamlined using technology. You should also evaluate ways that training can be shared to all through online videos instead of training new employees one-on-one. These systems will allow you to bring in new people consistently and quickly as needed to support your business efforts.
  7. Hire Marketing Experts: You can offer the best product in the industry, but have minimal sales if your customers don’t know about your company. Too often, business owners get stuck because they pour money into business development without leaving anything left over for marketing and advertising. As a business owner, you shouldn’t be spending your valuable time reading online internet marketing forums and testing shady marking strategies. Instead, find a marketing expert that understands your industry and can help you connect to the customers who are looking for the product or service you are offering.
  8. Accept Funding When Needed: You can only get so far with organic growth. This process means that you are reinvesting profits to help your company grow, but you will find that your progress is limited without a bigger infusion of cash. Investors can add the fuel needed to boost your rocket to higher altitudes. Even though you will give up a bit of control by accepting money from investors, you’ll find that many benefits come from the experience and expertise offered by these people. Do your due-diligence to ensure you are selecting investors that are a good match for your company. Then, find a win-win solution to leverage their money and your business ideas to bring in profits for everyone involved.
  9. Explore Options for Franchising: If you have a proven business model, then franchising is one solution that might help you expand to other markets. Instead of trying to out-market the competitors, look for ways you can bring them on-board by showing the documentation and profitability that they need to get on board with your business plan.

Do You Want a Scalable Small Business?

Not everyone wants to build a multimillion-dollar company. If you are creating a home-based business to bring in a little extra spending money each month, then you might not have the desire to get involved with investors and large-scale systems.

The most important thing you can do is evaluate your long-term goals and determine the incremental progress that will help you achieve those goals. What are your revenue goals? Are you interested in developing more products and services in the future? Asking these questions can help you decide if you want to put in the effort to scale your business efforts and help your company grow.

Whether you are happy with the current size of your company or you are looking at growth opportunities in the coming years, it can be beneficial to have the support of an experienced outsourced accounting team. Managing the financial details of your business can be both stressful and burdensome. Luckily, you can hand off these responsibilities to an accounting and bookkeeping team. These outsourced services will allow you to focus your efforts on the things that you enjoy most, giving you more time and freedom to build the type of business that you desire.

For more information about small business accounting and bookkeeping services, you are welcome to contact our team at Easier Accounting. We specialize in all the services required to keep your small business running each month. Not only can our team help with payroll processing, but we can also offer the assistance you need for tax strategy, ongoing bookkeeping, and more. Call today to see how we can help: (888) 620-0770

To-Do List for Successful Relationships with Independent Contractors

The gig industry is exploding at an incredible rate, with many companies turning to the services of independent contractors as an alternative to hiring employees. As a small business owner, it is likely that you are working with contractors, and you might also offer contract services to other businesses. In fact, it is estimated that contractors will make up 40% of the workforce by 2020!

Whether you are thinking about hiring a contractor for the first time or you are already working with contractors, it is smart to consider the right strategy to protect your business, maximize results, and maintain a successful business relationship at the same time.

Benefits of Hiring Independent Contractors

Why are many companies turning to independent contractors instead of hiring employees? In decades past, it was common for a business to bring in new employees when manpower and additional skills were required. But the business climate has changed, and business owners are shifting their strategies to accommodate these differences. Here are some of the common reasons why business owners choose independent contractors:

  • Reduce Overall Costs: Since contractors are self-employed, they manage the behind-the-scenes details such as insurance benefits, employment taxes, and other admin functions. Reduce these overhead costs, and you can decrease your overall expenses for the services that are required. Plus, you have the option to hire the contractor for the weekly work that is needed, without the obligation to pay a full-time salary if you don’t need that many hours.
  • No Need for Office Space: Another way that you can reduce your costs is by eliminating the need to make space for another person in the office. Independent contractors don’t work in-office, which gives you the option to reduce your rent by selecting a smaller office space. Additionally, you don’t have the overhead expenses of office furniture, computer equipment, office supplies, and other details required for setting up an office for that person.
  • Temporary Support: Sometimes you need services for a short time, making it beneficial to bring someone in for temporary support. Paying on a project basis gives you the option to choose how long you will continue working with the contractor. When these services are no longer needed, you don’t have to worry about lay-offs or unemployment claims. These temporary contractor services are great for one-time projects such as a website redesign, or if you need seasonal assistance when you can’t keep up with the busy season in your industry.
  • Self-Management: Since you are hiring a contractor who is an expert in the industry, you don’t have to worry about high levels of management. The person is hired to handle their responsibilities in the project. You can expect those services to be completed without the need to drive the project with focused management every step of the way. Contractors tend to have higher levels of “self-starter” skills compared to standard employees.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you might consider working with a contractor instead of bringing on another employee.

Tips for Getting Started with a Contractor

Now that you can see these benefits, you might be ready to jump in by hiring contractors to assist with your workload. But there are a few must-do things that need to be completed to ensure you are protecting your company and staying in the bounds of the law. Here are a few tips that should be added to your to-do list:

  1. Tax Documents: The contractor doesn’t need to sign a W4 because they don’t have employment status with the company. A W4 is the IRS document used to calculate the Federal taxes that need to be withheld from the employee’s payment. Since you are hiring a contractor (not an employee), this person will receive a vendor payment instead of a paycheck. So, you don’t need to worry about any tax withholdings because the contractor is responsible for the necessary tax payments. The correct form that they should sign is Form W-9, which should be completed before work commences. This paperwork ensures that you are hiring someone who is legally allowed to work in the US. They will need to provide their resident or citizen information, and then this information is submitted to the IRS each year along with the amount of money that was paid for services.
  2. Send Form-1099: When a contractor is paid $600 or more in a calendar year, then you are required to file tax paperwork documenting the income. This paperwork needs to be postmarked by January 31st for the previous calendar year. Additionally, a 1096 transmittal form needs to be sent to the IRS, summarizing the payments that were provided to contractors.
  3. Signed Contract: A handshake deal is a recipe for disaster. Never assume that you have a common understanding of the project without creating an agreement that is signed by both parties. This contract lays out important details such as the payment structure, the scope of work required, and ownership of intellectual and physical property when the project is complete. While you aren’t legally required to have a signed contract, it is a smart step to protect the interests of your company.
  4. Work Expectations: Be careful about the expectations that are placed on the contractor. There is a fine line between contractor and employee, and you need to be sure that you aren’t crossing that line. For example, a contractor needs to flexibility to choose when and where the work is performed, and the worker must use their own tools for the work that is completed. If you require the worker to be on the project at certain times and you are supplying all of the equipment and materials that are required, then it is likely that the person should be paid as an employee instead. If you have questions about the difference between a contractor and an employee, then it is smart to talk to a payroll expert for advice.
  5. Maintaining Records: In the same way, you need to track employee payroll and performance, it is necessary to keep records of the details related to your contractors. Store a copy of the contract on file, as well as other essential information such as invoices that are billed for the work completed and proof of payment. Make sure there is a paper trail documenting communication and payment so that you can show the details if questioned about the payment and services provided.
  6. Payment Schedule: If the contractor demands up-front payment, then you might find yourself in a tricky situation if the work is not completed according to your agreement. It is common for payment terms to be established in advance. Make sure that you have a shared understanding about when invoices will be sent, the timeframe in which payments need to be received, and how much will be paid for the services. Many business owners have found that it was a mistake to issue full payment upfront, especially when the contractor isn’t motivated to perform or finish the work when the payment was sent in full. You might agree to a payment schedule of half up front and half upon delivery or completion. Or, create a monthly billing schedule with the contractor sending an invoice each month for the work that is completed.

These tips might seem simple, but they are essential to help you in protecting your company and maintaining a strong working relationship with the contractor that you’ve hired. A little bit of proactive work goes a long way to ensure success of the project.

Services to Outsource

When does it make sense to hire an outsourced contractor instead of an employee? Here are examples of services that you might choose to hire a contractor for assistance:

  • Online Marketing: Digital content can be produced by a contractor so that you don’t have to worry about having an in-house marketing expert in your company. Many business owners find that online marketing is more affordable and more effective when hiring a marketing firm instead of attempting a DIY approach. These services might include tasks such as graphic design, content writing, ad management, and more.
  • Bookkeeping and Accounting: Having a strong tracking system for your business expenses and financial reports is essential to ensure success with your company. The busy work of tracking transactions and managing your business financial information can take up a lot of time each week. Turn your attention to other business responsibilities by hiring an accounting and bookkeeping team for assistance instead.
  • Payroll Processing: While this topic can fall into the category of bookkeeping and accounting, it deserves mention on its own. Payroll has a long list of requirements and can be a burden on your company. Hiring independent contractors for assistance ensures that you are staying current with the latest laws and regulations.

If you are searching for a great team of independent contractors to assist with your bookkeeping and accounting tasks, then Easier Accounting is here to assist. Call us to learn about the way your small business will benefit from these available services: (888) 620-0770.

Clearing Up Confusion about Common Jargon in the Bookkeeping and Accounting Industry

Hiring bookkeeping and accounting services might be one of the best decisions you will make for the financial success of your company. It is essential that you have an experienced team to guide your financial tracking and decisions that will affect the well-being of your business. But, do you feel like you are in over your head trying to understand the jargon in the financial industry?

It can be confusing for a new business owner to decipher terms that are standard in the bookkeeping and accounting world. Instead of bringing in a translator to explain these things in layman terms, you can use this guide to break down some of the common topics of conversation that come up with your bookkeeper or accountant.

At Easier Accounting, our name says it all: we are striving to make accounting as easy and as simple as possible. We are proud of the quality services and simplicity offered to our clients. Our expert team can help with the financial tasks that need to be handled. At the same time, we want you to understand what is going on with your business accounts so that you are clear about the benefits your business is receiving from these services.

Common Terms and Jargon in the Bookkeeping and Accounting Industry

These are some of the common terms that you might hear as you are working to gain a greater understanding of your business finances and reports:

  • Accounting Method: Your accountant might talk to you about the accounting method that is used. This process is the strategy that is implemented in reporting expenses and income. Two methods can be used for proper reporting to the IRS: either accrual accounting or cash accounting.
  • Accounts Payable: These numbers can be accessed in a report that shows the total amount of money the business needs to pay in bills. When your vendors submit invoices or payment requests, then they are categorized as Accounts Payable. These amounts are liabilities since you need to have the cash to pay for the products or services.
  • Accounts Receivable: On the other hand, the money that is collected from your customers or clients falls into the Accounts Receivable category. If a customer owes money but hasn’t paid yet, then it is an asset that will hopefully be collected in the future.
  • Accrual Accounting: This form of accounting maintains reports based on when expenses are incurred, and income is earned. Businesses have a bit of flexibility in determining when the expenses and income are recognized, as long as the management of these numbers matches IRS regulations.
  • Assets: Does your company own anything that has value? A variety of things can fall in your assets category, such as inventory, real estate owned by the business, vehicles, equipment, and more. Even your outstanding Accounts Receivable falls into the category of business assets.
  • Balance Sheet: One important financial report is called your business balance sheet. This statement shows the changes in your liabilities and assets in a given accounting period. Understanding the difference between these two numbers is critical to determining the current success and trajectory of your business.
  • Cash Basis Accounting: An alternative to Accrual Accounting, this method records the expenses and revenues when the payments are sent or received. It is a straightforward method of accounting that is often used for small businesses or new startups, especially when the company is running on a cash basis or doesn’t have an inventory to manage.
  • Cash Flow: The order in which money flows in and out is critical so that you can manage your expenses and profits. Revenue and expenses should be coming in regularly, but it doesn’t always mean that there is money in the bank to meet your Accounts Payable needs. Even if your business is profitable in a given accounting period, you will face cash flow issues if the expenses need to be paid before receipt of the revenues. For example, some companies need to pay suppliers upfront before the customers send payment for products or services.
  • Depreciation: Some assets are purchased, and they lose their value over time. For example, equipment or vehicles can wear out due to regular use. Your accountant might recommend that depreciation is used to reduce the listed value of the asset each year on the balance statement. This strategy spreads out the loss over multiple years, which helps to manage taxable income in some cases.
  • Double Entry Bookkeeping: It is common for businesses to use a double entry system for bookkeeping. This process requires each transaction to be listed twice in the accounts since two effects are happening. If you buy $10,000 in inventory, then an entry needs to show a reduction of cash reserves. At the same time, a second entry shows that assets are increased by $10,000.
  • Expenses: Your business will require a variety of costs to keep the company running. Any time these costs are accrued, they fall into the expense category. Expenses that result from revenue-generating activities might include business development, marketing campaigns, inventory purchasing, payroll, and more.
  • Financial Statements: This broad term can cover a variety of reports that might be run through your bookkeeping system. These documents show the activities of your business in a given period. Common reports that fall in the Financial Statements category include Profit and Loss Reports, Balance Sheets, General Ledger, Equity Statements, and Income Statements.
  • Financial Year: Depending on the way your business is structured; your financial year might not run according to the calendar year. There are times when reports are run from January to December, but there are many instances where the 12-month period for a company doesn’t align with the calendar year. These dates need to be recorded and tracked for reporting and tax purposes.
  • General Ledger: The master sheet that shows every transaction is known as your General Ledger. Data for all other reports are pulled from this ledger.
  • Income Statement: Commonly known as a “Profit and Loss Report,” an income statement shows the profits for your business in a specific timeframe. Both revenue and expenses need to be calculated to determine the profitability of your company.
  • Liabilities: Money that your business owes to another company or vendor falls in the liability category. These balances need to be tracked so that you have the cash flow necessary to pay the expenses.
  • Revenue: A revenue report shows the amount of money your business receives for products or services sold in a given time frame. This total might include the exchange of assets, net sales, interest received, and any other transaction that brings money or value into the business. Revenue is usually calculated before expenses are factored in to determine profitability.

If you encounter any other terms that you don’t understand, then your bookkeeper or accountant can help with a definition of the jargon. It is helpful to ensure that you understand these concepts so that you know what your financial team is talking about in conversations about the financial reports and tracking for your company.

Enlisting the Services of an Experienced Accounting Pro

Business owners have a lot of stress and responsibility in keeping the company running. Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything that needs to be addressed? Not only do you need to oversee product development, employee management, marketing campaigns, overhead expenses, and more… but you also need to consider the financial health of your company.

The most important thing that you can remember is that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If you don’t have training or experience with bookkeeping and accounting, then it makes sense that you should hire an experienced team to assist with these tasks. Ongoing services can go a long way to improving the financial health of your company and ensuring success in the future.

Choosing a Bookkeeping and Accounting Service

Understanding the jargon is just the first step in determining the right financial plan for your company. It is also essential that you hire an accounting and bookkeeping team that you can trust. A little bit of research in the beginning can go a long way to ensuring the financial success that you desire.

It is smart to hire an outsourced accounting service instead of attempting a DIY approach. The best solution is to choose a team that specializes in small business services. You need to work with an accounting pro that will understand unique challenges and situations that might apply to your business.

Also, consider the reputation of the company. As you look online, you can find information about the accounting service to determine whether the company is reliable and reputable. Make sure that the team holds the right accounting certifications.

Take time to learn about the services that are offered to ensure that these services are a good fit for your business needs. If you need guidance or assistance in choosing the right accounting services, then Easier Accounting is here to help. We’re here to assist with everything from explaining industry jargon to providing the ongoing financial support required for your business efforts: (888) 620-0770.

Effective Budgeting and Accounting Strategies for Businesses Owners

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t overlook the necessity of setting up the right budgeting and accounting strategies to organize financial information. Too often, business owners see budgeting as a practice that adds little value in the beginning. It’s easy to get caught up in the details relating to product development, marketing, and client acquisition. As a result, budgeting and accounting practices are pushed to the backburner.

Don’t make the incorrect assumption that you will put these financial strategies in place when it is convenient. Instead, you need to prioritize your time and activities and understand that budgeting and accounting should be at the top of your list. Creating an effective and reliable budgeting process might be the difference between success and failure in the future.

These systems will help you avoid common problems that pop up in business management. An effective budget will help you oversee the financial health of your company. At the same time, you will have the tools in place to reach your financial goals more quickly.

Assessing Your Current Situation

It might seem overwhelming to look at the books and assess your current situation. Understanding your starting point is key if you want to achieve improved financial results in the future. If you don’t know where you are starting, then you won’t be able to identify the most effective budgeting and accounting strategies that will have a positive impact on your business efforts in the future.

You need a real-time snapshot of your accounts, as well as historical financial data to identify any trends that have been experienced over the years. Reviewing this information will help you recognize positive and negative things that impacted your budget and profitability. Then, you can use the information to create a custom game plan that will support your financial goals going forward.

Gathering the information and doing a self-assessment is just the first step. It is critical that you also get an opinion and recommendations from a financial professional. Talk to your accountant so that you can use their expertise in creating a budget that will work for your company going forward.

Creating Budgeting Goals for Your Business

Now that you have a clear picture of your current financial situation, it is time to determine your goals and strategies. In most situations, these budgets are created by looking at margin targets as well as net income. How much money is coming in that you can work with? What are your anticipated and unanticipated expenses that need to be addressed?

Profitability is desired by all business owners. But you can’t reach the profitable point without understanding the path that should be followed to get there. As you are setting goals, you need to determine action points that will be followed to help you achieve the specific goals.

Here are a few things to consider when you are choosing goals for your company:

  • Business Revenue Goals: You need to have a clear picture of the amount of money that is available for you to use. Look at revenue based on both price and volume to determine the feasibility of your goals. Be realistic about the numbers, giving you some wiggle room if you have a slow month or two. Don’t overlook other investments and resources that might impact your budgeting as well.
  • Business Spending and Expenses: High revenue won’t cut it if your expenses increase faster than the money coming in. You can bring in millions of dollars a year and still have cash flow issues if your expenses aren’t under control. When you are creating a budget for your company, you should consider the ongoing business spending, overhead costs, and any other expenses that could be cutting into your profit margins. You might be surprised to see how many line items can be reduced or eliminated, helping to decrease the out-of-pocket expenses you are carrying each month. A little bit adds up over time, so don’t overlook the small changes that will offer long-term benefits.

Make sure that you are realistic in the way these goals are set and managed. If you don’t achieve the goal, then you need to identify a real explanation to identify what happened to stop the progress. Then, action steps can be identified to overcome those issues, helping you achieve higher levels of success in the future.

Ongoing Adaptation and Strategy

In many situations, especially with new businesses, it is likely that your first budget is going to be off. There are costs and industry trends that you didn’t anticipate, making it difficult to stay on track with the outlined budget. Instead of creating your budget and setting it in stone for the year, it is best to have ongoing analysis and evaluation to help you dial in the process.

Draft your first budget and do the best you can to stick to your goals. Then reevaluate and identify ways that actions and processes can be improved to boost profitability in the future. Reporting needs to be happening every month. At the same time, it is a good idea to assess real results every month to identify discrepancies between the results and the ideal budget practices.

Finding these gaps improves your understanding. Just because you don’t match your first budget draft, doesn’t mean that you have failed. Instead, this budgeting and accounting information can be used to improve the system. Learn from the mistakes, identify the points of success. Then shape a financial system that is catered to the needs of your business efforts.

There are always costs that are infrequent or variable, which means that it can sometimes take as long as a year to identify budgeting details. Ongoing tracking gives you more and more information that will help you identify the things to watch for in the coming years.

Making the Hard Financial Decisions

One of the most beneficial aspects of creating a budget is the opportunity to use the information when you are addressing decisions that will affect the health of your company. For example, if you want to buy new equipment for your employees, it might be tempting to spend a large sum of money on the best products in the industry. But if you look at the numbers and see that your budget is tight this month, then you can change your approach by searching for used equipment. The budgeting and accounting reports can help you time the big purchases so your cash flow is not negatively impacted.

Financial decisions don’t have to be difficult when you have a good accounting plan in place. Instead of feeling emotional about the situation, you can look at things from a logical perspective. The financial reports are just giving feedback about the current status and trajectory of your company. Then, the information should be used to make incremental changes that will help you overcome ongoing issues that are hurting your budget.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

Just because you want to improve your budget, doesn’t mean that you need to lay off staff members or cut inventory to save money. Instead, look for small ways that you can improve your spending without hurting the long-term profitability of your company.

These strategies vary depending on the type of company you own and your industry. Looking at the trends will help you identify the lean times of the year. Then, you can build a strategy to help you carry through even when things are slow.

For example, if you are busiest during the holiday season because of the many retail sales moving through your company, then it might make sense to bring in temporary employees to assist during this time. Even though your workforce costs will go up, you won’t be locked into long-term payroll expenses that you won’t be able to afford in the slower months.

Evaluate the small costs that are chipping away at your profitability. Are you paying for services or products that aren’t producing the results that you anticipated? Ask questions about every line item to determine the value that is being offered to your company.

Also, ask yourself: “What’s another way?” Looking at alternative options might open up ideas about ways that you can tap into the skills and services that are needed to improve your financial future. One example is hiring an outsourced accounting team instead of carrying the expensive burden of a full-time accountant in the office. Your accounting team will offer the financial advice needed to improve budgeting systems, tax strategy, and more. At the same time, you can reduce overall expenses compared with the burdened cost of an in-house employee.

Financial Services for Your Small Business

If you are ready to improve your budgeting and accounting systems, then our team is here to help. We specialize in small business accounting and would like to help you create the right budgeting systems to meet the needs of your company. Contact us at Easier Accounting by calling for more information about the available services: (888) 620-0770.

Productivity During the Holiday Season

With only 10 days left in the year, many people are winding down their work projects to enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. While it is important to focus on the people that you love, don’t make the mistake of throwing productivity out the window too early. You still have time to wrap things up before the end of the year, helping you enjoy a strong finish in 2018.

As a business owner, the last few weeks of the year offer the perfect opportunity for you to set the tone for the New Year. Right now is the time that you need to be thinking about resolutions and 2019 goals. Don’t wait until January 1st to set your intentions for 2019. Instead, lay the foundation right now and maintain a little more productivity before December comes to a close.

Finding Time Between Family Activities and Social Events

It’s no surprise that the calendar is filled with social events and family activities through the month of December. Even though the holiday season should be a time of joy and relaxation, many people find that they are stretched thin trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done. Small business owners feel the burden more than ever during this time of year.

Not only are you trying to keep up with your kid’s Christmas recitals and family gift exchange parties, but you are also juggling a Christmas party for your employees, year-end accounting and bookkeeping tasks, and wrapping up any final tax strategies that need to be put into place. It might feel like there are no opportunities for you to squeeze in a little more work.

But, you will be surprised to see that there are times when you can boost your productivity a little more to maximize your efforts this year. You don’t need to block out 4 or 5 hours at a time. Instead, look for small windows on your schedule that can be filled with productive tasks. For example, if you have an extra hour between the close of the office and the time that the recital starts, it could be the perfect opportunity to review business transactions for the month. Or, you can set your alarm clock 30 minutes early so that you have a little extra time to catch up on emails or write down your New Year’s resolutions.

With a little creativity, you can always find time for the things that matter most. Determine your priorities, and then structure your schedule so that everything is covered.

Strategies to Boost Productivity

Here are a few tips that might be used to boost your productivity through the holiday season. Some of these strategies can be used throughout the year if you need help with productivity during other months:

  • Identify Your Priorities: Everything might seem important if you don’t identify the things that matter most to you. What are your priorities for the next few weeks? Writing down these priorities can help you determine which activities should be included on your calendar. For most small business owners, priorities are focused on quality time with family, holiday celebrations, year-end tax planning, identifying new goals, and wrapping up any paperwork that needs to be addressed before the year comes to a close.
  • Eliminate Unnecessary Activities: Simplification is essential, especially when the calendar is booked during the holidays. Review your commitments and identify things that don’t match your priorities. For example, choose your family’s favorite holiday activity to share instead of spending time at a holiday party that you feel obligated to attend.
  • Overcome Computer Fatigue: When you need to spend a few hours at the computer, get out of your chair every hour to stretch and give your eyes a rest from the screen. Even small 5 or 10 minute breaks can have an impressive impact to boost your focus.
  • Respect Your Physical Health: If you feel like you are burning the candle at both ends, then it might be time to switch things up so that you can overcome fatigue. Small daily habits can have a significant impact on your energy levels each day, giving you more “go-power” to finish the day strong. Drink plenty of water, get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night, and maintain a healthy diet so that you aren’t sluggish from junk food and too much sugar.
  • Move Your Body: At the same time, it is important to get your heart rate up each day so that you have the energy to push through the difficult activities. Even though you might not have time to spend 90 minutes at the gym, a few small exercises can make you feel energized. Block out 15 minutes in your morning routine to do calisthenics or HIIT training. A few bodyweight exercises can have an incremental impact on your energy. When your body feels good, then it improves productivity because you have more confidence and energy.
  • Identify Baby Steps: Are you overwhelmed by the major tasks that need to be accomplished before the end of the year? If the overwhelm is stopping you from taking action, then try breaking things down into baby steps. These bite-size pieces make the job more manageable. You can identify the next action to take that will get you closer to your goal.
  • Create a Comfortable Work Environment: When you are finishing up a work project for the year, it’s important that you have a place where you can focus on the task at hand. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain focus if your house is full of family or the kids are home from school. Carve out an hour or two in the morning and spend that time at the local library or a coffee shop if you need a quiet place to work.
  • Set Deadlines: It is easy to push everything to the backburner during the holiday season and tell yourself that you will get to it after the New Year. Instead of procrastinating things that are urgent, set self-imposed deadlines so that you prioritize the right work activities. A little bit of stress to meet a deadline will go a long way to help you meet a goal.
  • Implement the Five-Minute Rule: Do you find that the hardest part is getting started on a project, then simplify the starting line by telling yourself that you only need to do five minutes of work on that project. Most of the time, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep going once you are in motion. Make it a race against the clock to see how fast you can accomplish the task. For example, if you need to work on bookkeeping tasks and it is time to review the year-end reports, then set a timer for five minutes on the project. You’ll see that the first five minutes are enough to get you “in the groove” so that you can keep going to wrap up the tasks that needed to be done.
  • Minimize Unnecessary Meetings: There are always reasons to have meetings, but the end of the year is not the time when you should be filling your work schedule with unnecessary meetings. Instead of scheduling conference calls and employee evaluations during this time, put them on your calendar for January so that you can prioritize your work hours that are more important for the year-end goals that need to be met.
  • Stop Multitasking: It’s a myth that you can accomplish more when you have several activities happening at the same time. If you are trying to multitask, then overall productivity goes down. Psychologists have reported that completing several tasks simultaneously usually results in lost productivity and time. Instead, finish one task before moving onto the next.
  • Try Time Blocking: With a time blocking strategy, you dedicate chunks of the day to specific tasks for activities. For example, you might set 2 or 3 hours of focused work time, then dedicate the rest of the evening to spend with your family. During that work time, maximize the activities that are completed, giving you the freedom to focus your full attention on your loved ones when you are done with work. This strategy helps you create clear boundaries so that work tasks don’t take away from family priorities.

While it is important to finish the year on the right foot for your business goals, also remember that it is a time when you need to take care of yourself and your family. It is normal for the schedule to be adjusted for the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that you let important work responsibilities fall through the cracks. Instead, find the right balance that works for your business and your personal life. Draw boundaries and implement strategies that will help you achieve success in all areas.

One of the best things that you can do in the New Year is outsource bookkeeping and accounting tasks so that you can improve your productivity. If you are ready to learn more about the outsourced accounting services that are available, then we would love to talk to you. Call Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770

Accounting Checklists: Financial Tasks for Every Small Business Owner’s To-Do List

As a small business owner, it is common to feel overwhelmed with the never-ending lists of tasks that need to be completed. You are carrying a lot of responsibility to oversee the daily activities of your company. As a result, it is understandable that some tasks fall to the backburner when you are facing immediate issues. While some things can wait until next month, you shouldn’t overlook some of the most important financial tasks that can’t wait. Today, we are providing the accounting checklists you can use to determine daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks that need to be prioritized.

Keeping up with your business books should be one of the highest priorities. If you have the right systems and do a little bit each day, then it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Our hope is that these accounting checklists will help you know what needs to be done and when you should do it.

Daily Tasks for Small Business Owners

Don’t assume that you need to dedicate a significant amount of time each day to your business finances. A few small tasks will ensure that everything is looking good and you are aware of the current financial situation:

  • Check Available Cash: What is the current situation in your bank account? Check the balances, so you always know how much cash is on hand. It is common for unexpected expenses to come up. Your cash position will give you the information that is needed to make the right decisions related to spending and expenses. Cashflow can be one of the biggest issues that will harm your company, which is why awareness of the bank account balances is essential to keep you on the right track.
  • Watch for Outgoing and Incoming Invoices: The anticipated transactions can also play a role in your cash flow. Stay current with payments that are expected each day. You should know what to expect for the payables and receivables. This information will give you a good picture so that you know what to expect in the upcoming days.

Monthly Tasks for Small Business Owners

Keeping up with the daily tasks will make it easier to stay consistent with the monthly accounting checklist that needs to be done. Here are a few things that should always be on your monthly to-do list:

  • Invoice Prep and Delivery: Staying current with your invoicing ensures that you have money coming in to keep your business afloat. It is important that you are proactive with invoicing. Not only will your customers know what they owe, but you can reduce cash flow issues by increasing the likelihood that the balances will be paid on time. Consistency with invoicing is key to maintain expectations with your clients.
  • Bank Account Reconciliation: Does your bank account match the information shown in your accounting system? Accounting and bookkeeping software is a great way to automate your financial tracking. But, you need to be sure that these numbers match the transactions that are moving through your bank account. Proper bank reconciliation means that you are reviewing the cash on hand with the numbers that are showing in your accounting software. This practice will give you a chance to identify anything that might have been overlooked in the month.
  • Review and Record Transactions: Make sure that your bookkeeping system is up-to-date with transactions that should be moving through. For example, you should always have information recorded about the billing and invoice history for your customers. Also, you need to stay current with the expenses that are moving through your account. As you are reviewing this information, you can record the payments that are received and sent to ensure that your software is up-to-date with the financial activity that is happening throughout the month. If you have many transactions moving through your account, then it can be helpful to manage this task weekly instead of monthly.
  • Send Outstanding Payments: While it is important to keep track of the payments that are received from your customers, you also need to be sure that you are current with the payments that should be sent to your vendors. Maintaining good relationships with the other businesses you work with is critical to ensuring future success for your company. A necessary part of the relationship management is making sure that you are staying current with the payments that are owed.
  • Payroll Processing: This task might happen once or twice a month depending on your payroll schedule. Paying employees on-time is essential to support employee satisfaction and company culture. Payroll processing includes many subtasks, such as gathering timecard information, calculating payroll (including taxes, benefits, take-home pay, and more), and processing the payments, so the checks or direct deposit transactions are completed.
  • Assess Financial Reports: You also need to be looking to the future so that you know what to anticipate in the upcoming months. Set cash flow and income goals; then review your financial information regularly to be sure that you are on track for the future. Awareness of your current financial situation and your goals for the future will help with immediate decisions that will affect the business accomplishments that are possible.

Quarterly Tasks for Small Business Owners

Some tasks only need to be done once a quarter. These items need to be addressed several times throughout the year, so a quarterly schedule can be a great approach to ensure that nothing is overlooked:

  • Look at Profit and Loss Reports: Are you on track to meet your goals for the year? Reviewing Profit and Loss information can help you see overall revenue, expenses, and profit margins. Use this information to see how things are measuring up with your expectations. If you find that the numbers aren’t where you thought they should be, then it can be a good opportunity to make adjustments so that you are prepared to hit your future goals. Use the Profit and Loss reports as an opportunity to strategize your action plan and anticipated progress in the future.
  • Quarterly Tax Payments: Certain taxes require quarterly payments. Talk to your small business accountant to be sure that you aren’t overlooking these important costs that need to be paid each year. For example, it is likely that payments need to be made for quarterly payroll filings as well as sales tax and estimated payments for income tax.

Annual Tasks for Small Business Owners

Finally, there are a few things that need to be addressed once a year for your business finances:

  • Tax Preparation and Filing: Annual tax preparation and filing is one of the biggest financial tasks that need to be addressed. This process can be tedious and time-consuming. But it is necessary to ensure that you are meeting the requirements set by the IRS. Staying ahead of the tasks listed above means that you will have an easier experience when it is time for tax preparation. The daily, weekly, monthly, and annual accounting checklists are designed to ensure that you have all of the information needed for your tax filing.
  • Year-End Equipment and Inventory Review: Once a year, it is a good idea to evaluate the inventory on hand and the equipment that is being used. Does anything need to be replaced? Are inventory levels ready for the busy seasons of the year? What products or services need business development to improve the offerings that are available for customers?
  • Full Year Financial Review: Now that the numbers are prepared for the year, it is time to review the complete financial reports. Determine which goals were met and where you fell short. Even if the numbers don’t match what you were hoping, this information can be used to improve your strategies and goals for the upcoming year. Use the reports as an opportunity to upgrade your business systems and set your company up for success in the future.
  • Accountant Advice and Strategy: While you should maintain open conversation with your accounting team throughout the year, make sure to have a year-end review of your business. Your accountant will be able to offer insights that will help with your goals in the New Year. One of the best things that you can do to maximize your business efforts is tapping into the expertise and advice that is available from a reputable accounting team.

Help with Your Accounting Checklists

The end of the year is a good time to evaluate your progress for the year and make sure that your books are in order for the New Year. Don’t let yourself be distracted by other things! If you have too much on your plate and you can’t keep up with the essential tasks, then it might be time to bring in an accounting team to assist. We can take care of your accounting checklists so that your time and attention can be turned to other aspects that are required to keep the business moving forward.

Our team at Easier Accounting is here to offer the support that you need to improve your business finances. We specialize in small business accounting services, giving you the best services to support your financial goals. Call today to learn more about the services that are available: (888) 620-0770

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

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

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

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

Why You Need to Save Money for Your Business

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

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

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

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

How to Save Money This Month

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

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

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

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

Gratitude: The Key to Infuse Your Business with Excitement and Success

During this Thanksgiving season, many conversations are turning to the topic of gratitude. It is a great time of year to remember that we need to take the time to recognize blessings. As a business owner, you are in a unique position where you have control over your work schedule, income, and activities throughout the year.

Unique Business Opportunities

Consider the fact that most of the world population lives on less than $2 per day. Since we are located in a “first-world” country, we have opportunities that others can only dream of. We can build and grow businesses, choose our home location, and connect with others who offer products and services that we would like to buy.

Never take it for granted that you have the time and resources available to build a successful business. Feel gratitude for this chance to take control of your time and money. You might find that infusing more gratitude into your mindset and your daily routines will help your business grow.

Benefits of Gratitude

If there was a simple solution to improve your business success, boost employee morale, and decrease your sick days, wouldn’t you want to implement this solution? It has been proven that gratitude is beneficial to boost both physical and mental health, and these benefits can have a ripple effect on your team and your customers.

While most studies focus on gratitude benefits in your personal life, there’s no question that gratitude can have a lasting effect on your business as well. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect when you implement these principles in your daily habits:

  • Better Teamwork: Acknowledging your employees and contractors is a great way to show that you recognize their contributions. Do you take the time to focus on the small details that are happening each day? If you want to strengthen teamwork in your office, then you need to lead from the top. Gratitude can be beneficial to boost social behavior and create an environment where everyone is watching out for each other. When management communicates gratitude to the team, then the employees will feel good. As a result, they will have a natural inclination to step beyond their own responsibilities to lift and serve other people on the team.
  • Boost in Productivity: Additionally, employees have more motivation to work harder when management shows appreciation for the work that is completed. If people can see that their efforts are recognized, then it increases the likelihood that they will go above and beyond with their daily activities.
  • Improved Employee Retention: Glassdoor.com reported that people have a higher chance of staying at their job longer when appreciation is offered. If your employees are happy, then it means that they will be hard working… and you can reduce turnover.
  • Happier Customers: There’s no doubt that happier employees will create happier customers. Your employees are on the front-lines, working with customers day-in-and-day-out. You need to be sure that the face of the company is satisfied and appreciated so that those good feelings can be passed onto your customers. Show appreciation and gratitude to your employees, and at the same time, you can encourage employees to show appreciation to your customers. The people who buy your products are the lifeblood of the company, and you need to be sure that gratitude is passed to those customers.
  • Reduced Sick Time: Maintaining an attitude of gratitude has been found to improve overall health. Gratitude affects heart health, sleep patterns, hormone balancing and more. If you are tired of missing work because you are sick, then try implementing a gratitude practice.
  • Stronger Business Relationships: Also, consider how team attitude impacts the relationships that are built with other businesses. When gratitude is expressed and practiced, it improves the communication with vendors, suppliers, business partners, investors and more. Even though many transactions happen online, we can’t get away from the fact that human connection is essential if you want your business to grow. Express sincere gratitude so that you can build trust with other companies and organizations. Creating these lasting relationships can have a positive impact on your results in the future.

Personal Gratitude Practice

Where should you start to create a mindset of gratitude in your business? The first step is to make sure that you are fostering gratitude in your heart. Start with yourself so that you are authentic in sharing gratitude with other people around you. Common gratitude practices include:

  • Start a Gratitude Journal: List a minimum of three things each day that you are grateful for. Focus on gratitude in your personal life and in your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy… a simple notebook or piece of printer paper will do.
  • Say What You are Grateful For: At first, it might feel uncomfortable to talk to yourself. But, find the time when you can speak your feelings of gratitude out loud. For example, you might voice your gratitude list when you are by yourself in the car on your commute to work in the morning. Gratitude and affirmations can shift your mindset, so you show up in the right attitude to start the day on the right foot.
  • Set Reminders on Your Phone: It is easy to get distracted by the activities of the day. If you are having a hard time remembering to be grateful, then set reminders that interrupt your activities so that you can look for gratitude in the moment. When the alarm goes off, consider the positive things that you have experienced so far during the day.
  • Take a Gratitude Walk: There are times when you might be caught in the emotion of a stressful day at work. Give yourself a few moments to step outside. Feel the sunshine on your face and consider the blessings in your life. This break will reduce your stress and help you bring a positive spin back into problems that you might be encountering.

Tips for Fostering Gratitude in the Workplace

As the business owner, you need to recognize that you are the catalyst to implement changes that need to happen. Are you doing your part to foster gratitude in yourself? Is that gratitude being shared with your managers, employees, vendors, and business contacts?

Regardless of the size of your company, right now is the perfect opportunity to take a proactive approach to improving the mindset in your business. Not only will gratitude improve satisfaction all around, but it will be beneficial to change company culture.

Here are a few ideas to help you share this feeling of gratitude with your team of employees:

  • Act on Grateful Feelings: When you notice something that was done right, act in the moment to share your gratitude. For example, you might thank an employee for completing a project on time or offer a heartfelt thank you to a customer who came into the store.
  • Use Words, Not Money: There’s no need to spend a lot of cash to show your gratitude. Small tokens of gratitude can have a lasting impact to show your appreciation. Try sending a short text or email, or drop a notecard on someone’s desk.
  • Create a Gratitude System: Do you have a hard time keeping up with the responsibilities at work, making it hard to remember to take time for gratitude? Build a gratitude practice into your system. For example, show up to work 10 minutes early so that you have a few minutes of quiet time to write one or two thank you notes for the day. These small efforts can add up over time, helping to shift your attitude and the culture of the company.
  • Be Personal: When you express gratitude through a common or written word, be genuine and personal in that expression. Be specific about the things that you are grateful for. Make it a personal note, rather that mass-distributing a generic thank you card.
  • Reach Out to Customers: The best way to build your business is by fostering long-term relationships with your current customers. Find ways that you can say thank you to current and past customers. Send thank you cards in the mail. Include a small thank you gift with their purchase. Hold a customer appreciation day where discount service and free food are available.

While this article is written for small business owners, these principles apply to people in all stages of their careers. Whether you are running an established business, getting underway with a start-up, or working as an employee, you will find that your work experience improves when you implement a gratitude practice in your life.

Developing a mindset of gratitude might be the best way that you can improve yourself and others around you. At Easier Accounting, we want to share our heartfelt “thank you” with all of our customers. We recognize that you have a choice in choosing an accounting service. Our team is working hard to improve the services that are offered and ensure that you have our full support for your business efforts. If you are interested in learning more about the accounting services that are offered, you are welcome to call us any time: (888) 620-0770

Top Benefits of Outsourced Accounting Services

You know that it is time to hire an accountant to help with your business finances. But, now you are facing the challenging decision of choosing the right accounting team to take care of the services that are needed. How should you go about choosing the right accounting services for your start-up or small business? Outsourced accounting services can transform your financial reports, helping to boost the potential of success of your company.

DIY is a Bad Idea

Do-it-yourself might be a good solution if you are repainting a bedroom or working on product development ideas. But, don’t make the mistake of trying to manage the finances for your company if you don’t have experience with accounting and bookkeeping.

One of the common problems that we see is when business owners attempt DIY financial management for their startups. While things might seem fine in the beginning, even the smallest issues can snowball into big problems in the future. As a result, you might end up paying more money to an accounting team that needs to clean up the mess.

These problems are easy to avoid by hiring the right accounting team in the first place. Quality accounting services will be helpful to create a solid foundation for your company and set you up for a successful future.

Local vs. Online Services

Often, the first idea is to look for accounting services in your city or town. While there may be benefits to local accounting services, don’t overlook some of the benefits that are available from hiring remote services. Most businesses are managed in the cloud, which means that there is no reason why you need to have face-to-face conversations with your accounting team. Instead, you can choose a team located anywhere in the country.

Online accounting services can be a good choice because you can tap into the best skill set applicable to your business needs. Plus, it is common to get a better “bang for your buck” regarding the quality of services that are offered at a minimal price.

The best thing that you can do is evaluate your options and then find the outsourced accounting services that match the requirements of your business.

Why Outsourced is Better Than In-House Accounting

One common debate is whether you should hire an employee or an outsourced accounting team to assist with the financial reports. Consider the costs of bringing an accountant on staff, and you will see that it is more affordable to outsource these services instead of maintaining the work in your office.

If you hire an accountant, then you are adding another salary to your payroll. Plus, you will accrue additional costs for office space, equipment, office supplies, benefits, and more. These costs definitely add up to more when you are paying for an internal employee.

Also, consider the fact that you can tap into a specialized skill set. Employees are often looking for training on the job, which means that you will need to cover the costs as they learn the skills that are applicable to your company. On the other hand, you can skip the training expenses by choosing an outsourced accounting team that specializes in the type of accounting that you need. For example, if you have a small business or a start-up, then your best bet is to choose an outsourced company that has experience working with other small businesses. It doesn’t make sense to hire a big, corporate accountant if you are in the beginning stages of getting the business off the ground.

Benefits to Expect When Hiring Outsourced Accounting Services

Here are some of the benefits you can expect when you choose outsourced accounting services:

  • Don’t Stress Over the Numbers: Does crunching numbers give you a headache? If you don’t enjoy managing the bookkeeping, taxes, and accounting, then it is time to hand these tasks off to an experienced team. You have the luxury of choosing how you are going to spend your time. Don’t waste your day doing something that you dislike. Outsourcing this part of your business means that you will have more time and energy to put into business growth activities and other management tasks that you enjoy.
  • Lean on the Experience from the Pros: Putting your books in the hands of the experts can have a drastic impact on the success of your company. Your accountant can offer years of experience, training, and education. They work with many companies on a day-to-day basis, which means that your business can benefit from the lessons that have been learned over the years. While an in-house employee can handle basic tasks, the employee can’t match the industry-specific skills that come from a dedicated accounting firm.
  • Improved Productivity: Instead of dedicating your time or your employee’s responsibilities to accounting and bookkeeping, outsource these requirements to free up resources for other tasks. A large amount of paperwork is required to keep up with accounting needs, leaving many companies buried in invoices and tax forms. Let the experts handle the files, which will help to boost the productivity of the staff in your office.
  • Save Money: One reason you need financial management is to save money and boost profit margins. As mentioned above, outsourced accounting services are cheaper than hiring an in-house employee. But, there are other financial benefits that can be expected as well. Remember that outsourcing is an investment. When you compare the costs of outsourced services, you will find that these costs are more affordable compared to other options. Plus, a good accountant can help with cost savings by reducing the tax burden, managing expenses, and more.
  • Grow Your Business: If you are experiencing a growth trend in your company, then you need to be sure that you have the support to help with the anticipated expansion that will be happening in the future. Bringing in the services of an accountant means that you will have the structure in place so that your company doesn’t buckle under the potential growth. It is possible to maintain agility as the industry fluctuates with rises and falls over the years.
  • Latest Industry Technology: It is easy to get stuck in “analysis paralysis” when you are comparing various accounting software programs that are available for your business needs. Instead of wasting days or weeks trying to determine the right features that are needed, talk to an experienced accounting team for assistance. You can access the latest technology and create financial systems that are built to last. Using the services of an accounting team means that you are benefiting from the leading accounting software and best systems to ensure the success of your business.
  • Focus on your Business: When you hire an accounting team to take care of the financial services that are needed. Then, it means that you can turn your focus to the core activities that are needed to grow your business. Don’t let yourself be distracted by focusing on things that sidetrack your focus from the things that you need to be working on. While it is important to take care of back-end tasks, these things can be outsourced so that your focus is placed solely on the activities that will help with the future growth that you are striving to achieve.

Choosing an Outsourced Accounting Team

The most important factor in choosing an outsourced accounting team is to find the core competencies that will help your company grow. What services are needed for your business model? How much support is needed throughout the year?

You might be surprised to see just how much you will benefit by bringing in a bookkeeping and accounting team to help. These services can be used to manage payroll processing, ongoing tax forms and payments, invoicing, cash flow, and more.

There’s no question that outsourcing helps with the efficiency and effectiveness of your business. When you have a good financial system in place, then many of the common issues will be smoothed over. Plus, you can rely on accurate financial reports when it is time to make big decisions that will affect your company.

Boost Your Business Results

If it is time to make a change so that you can move your company forward, then you need to look for options that will help with the growth of your business. Accounting and financial services are great solutions that can make a difference in the future.

Before you rush into this decision, we invite you to call our team to learn more about the services that are available. We offer a range of options that can be customized based on the needs of your company. Our team is always on call to answer your questions and help you determine the solutions that are most applicable to your business model.

Easier Accounting is leading the industry by offering the best outsourced accounting services that are available. We offer many years of experience helping entrepreneurs and small businesses with common accounting tasks. Call today to see how we can support your business efforts: (888) 620-0770

Effective Techniques for Cutting Small Business Expenses

It doesn’t matter how much money your company brings in… if you can’t manage expenses, then you will find it hard to make your business profitable. Companies can profit millions of dollars a year and still be “in the red” if they are spending too much on overhead costs, expenses, inventory, and more. Instead of only focusing on your income, it is also important that you look for effective options for cutting small business expenses at the same time.

Don’t Drain Your Assets

Today, we are talking about the most common things that could be draining your business bank account. As you review your bookkeeping strategies and cash flow, you will be able to identify a few small changes that can be made to have a lasting impact on the long-term profitability of your company. Don’t overlook the power that is available in the smallest system changes.

Reinvesting the money that comes into your company can help you leverage to higher levels of success. But, you need to be sure that you are using that money in the best way to get an optimal Return on Investment (ROI) for the money that is spent. Think about the ways the money will return value when it is spent on various things that are needed for your company.

For example, spending money to expand inventory can be important, as long as your sales increase so that you are selling the inventory that is coming in. Or, you might choose to invest the cash into a new marketing plan to boost your list of active customers. These examples show good ways that you can be spending your money to improve business results. Bad examples are often found when money is spent on unnecessary, frivolous expenses, such as luxurious vacations, unneeded furniture upgrades, and more.

Effective Strategies for Cutting Small Business Expenses

Often, business owners don’t see the problems because they are too focused on the management of their companies. Bringing in an outside perspective from a financial professional can be an effective way for you to identify problem areas that need to be corrected. Here are some of the things that you might find when you are working on cutting small business expenses:

  1. Review All Costs: You need to see the flow of money before you can determine where the excess is being spent. Do you have a clear picture of the way your cash flow is moving through the company? If you are unaware of the costs that are being paid, then it will be impossible to identify the right strategy for your company. So, the first step is to make a list of recurring expenses, as well as expensive one-time purchases that come up. Recurring costs might include everything from your office rental to internet services, janitorial services, and more. Categorize everything by looking through your transactions that are moving through all bank accounts and credit cards.
  2. Cut Unnecessary Spending: Now that you’ve compiled a list of expenses, you might be surprised to see that you are spending money on things that might not be necessary to run your company. For example, did you sign up for a business software years ago, but you aren’t currently using the system? Stop the membership so that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for a service that isn’t being used. Remember that you can always sign up for the service again in the future if you decide that you need access to the software again. Every expense that moves through your company should be identified and justified. If there is anything that is unjustified, then it might be a good candidate to cut so that you can reduce your expense.
  3. Reducing Costs on Essential Expenses: Some costs can’t be eliminated, such as rent, utilities, payroll, and more. But, don’t assume that you need to pay the set amount. A few phone calls might help you find other strategies to reduce these expenses. For example, talk to your credit card companies to see if you can negotiate lower interest costs or eliminate annual fees. Talk to the internet and cable provider to find cheaper monthly service packages. Consider moving to another office location where you can pay a lower
  4. Outsource Instead of Hiring New Employees: As your business grows, you need to be careful so that you don’t lock yourself into ongoing payroll costs. Even if you need the services right now, it can be a burden to continue paying these payroll expenses in the future if you no longer need the extra workforce. Consider outsourcing the work that needs to be completed. Contractors or freelancers can assist with short-term jobs, giving you on-demand assistance when you have work that needs to be completed.
  5. Go Digital: While it is nice to send a letter in the mail occasionally, don’t overlook how much the costs can add up over time. Not only do you need to pay for the paper and envelope, but the cost of stamps and ink can add up over time. Whenever possible, look for ways that you can communicate with business connections and customers digitally. For example, if you are sending many invoices each month, then you could save hundreds of dollars by sending email notifications instead of mailing the statements.
  6. Negotiate with Suppliers: Often, it is possible to negotiate bulk pricing when you are buying a large quantity from the same supplier. If you anticipate that you will continue a long-term business relationship, then talk to the supplier about options to reduce The supplier is often happy to accommodate the request because they want to maintain an ongoing relationship with your company. Have a conversation to find a win-win solution that helps everyone get ahead in their business efforts.
  7. Reduce Company Travel: While it’s fun to have a company trip, these costs can add up over time. Sometimes, you might be able to manage the business activities over online services such as Zoom or Skype instead of meeting in person. Conducting meetings online will help you avoid costs such as airfare, hotel, car rental, meals, and more. If you choose to schedule a business trip, then make sure that you can identify the business opportunities that will come from the travel.
  8. Buy Used Furniture and Equipment: You can find great deals on equipment and furniture if you are willing to purchase used instead of new. Look at the local classified ads to see if you can find the equipment that is needed for your company. Also, evaluate your options to sell old equipment that is no longer needed. Then, the generated cash can be applied to the purchase of the new equipment that is needed.
  9. Offer Telecommuting: It might seem necessary to have employees in your office, but are there positions that could be completed off-site? Don’t assume that you need to have employees in the office at all times. More companies are offering telecommuting options as a way to improve employee satisfaction and cut costs in the office at the same time. Studies show a long list of benefits that are available for both the employee and employer when telecommuting is offered. When you reduce the number of employees in the office each day, your utility costs will go down, and you can decrease the amount of office space that is required.
  10. Evaluate Benefits Packages: Offering a great benefits package is an effective way to ensure employee satisfaction. But, be cautious so that you aren’t “giving away the farm” on the health care premiums that are paid. Shop around to see if you can find similar coverage for a lower price, helping to reduce your ongoing expenses for the benefits that are provided to your employees.

Apply one or two of these strategies in your company, and you will see that the savings add up over time. Try implementing as much as possible if you want to achieve the best results for your company.

Be Proactive with Your Cashflow Management

Improving the management of your business finances might be the most important thing that you can do to improve your long-term results for your company. It is essential that you understand the financial health of your business. This information helps you see where money should be invested and how you can cut inefficient systems.

Our goal at Easier Accounting is to help you optimize your business profitability and help you reach higher levels of success in your company. We understand how much of a challenge it can be to manage various aspects of your business while keeping up with paperwork, bookkeeping, accounting and more. These services can be customized to match your needs, helping you create the best results for the future.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can apply a new system for cutting small business expenses, then we invite you to talk to us for additional information. Easier Accounting is here to help with anything that you need. Call us to learn more about the way our services will be beneficial for your company: (888) 620-0770