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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Balance Sheet And Accounting Applications For Small Business

Balance sheet, or Statement of Financial Position, forms one of the financial statements (the others being Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Stockholders' Equity with Notes accompanying them) that shows the position of business at one particular point of time its assets and liabilities as well as the capital. It gives the figures for assets including current and fixed assets, liabilities including current and fixed, and equity or the amount contributed by shareholders plus retained earnings (or losses, as the case may be).
Unlike income statement, another of financial statements, which shows the fiscal performance over a period of time, balance sheet, is a picture of one particular period of time. While both can be prepared for any duration (or for any time), normally they are made at the end of the financial year. It is obligatory to do so as decreed by legal requirements, including submission to tax authorities. Accounting standards also require that balance sheet is prepared that accurately reflects the financial position of the business.
The balance sheet is the last of the statements to be made; the steps in accounting after this are its interpretation by the management. While this alone does not suffice, information's, ranging from the addition of (or reduction of) working capital - in case current assets is lower than current liabilities (or vice versa), knowing the net worth of the business, determining future sustainability, calculating dividends to be distributed to the shareholders. Employees can also be adjusted according to the decision generated.
It has other users in addition to tax authorities and the management; public as well as investors and creditors who have no other document to rely on, can assess the health of the business, its liquidity through its perusal. They can see whether the business can meet its obligations by what it owns. The issue of to or not to invest in the business can be solved with a look into it.
Of course, there are notes accompanying the financial statements. Moreover, these too should be consulted in case there are any financial information relevant to existing and prospective investors, as well as lenders, and other creditors to help decide about resources of the entity. Accounting applications help in making balance sheet. The process follows from the earlier stages of journal entries that are made, a ledger that is prepared and trial balance that is tallied. In all the stages, the accuracy of entry is ensured so that there is no hassle while preparing it. This also helps in reducing employees needed to prepare it, thus freeing the manpower to do other important issues.
Management can see the financial position of business without having to wait for the end of the financial year thanks to a feature in apps that can swiftly show the state of business at an instance of time with some giving option of the real-time balance sheet. Comparison of past years' (or past period) record is also made easier when using applications.
This valuable advices about fuel inventory shared by Accment for accountant or non-accountant firm. Accment provides online lotto inventory, bookkeeping management, payroll hours, day journal applications too.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

6 Money Habits That Can Make Your Small Business Debt-Free

1. Money Habits
Do you pay 10% into your IRA and 401K as the first thing you do when income arrives? Or do you pay the debt collector first before any other consideration? Do you spend all of your money trying to make your small business profitable as the only priority?
2. Money Mindset
Do you focus on increasing your assets and your return on investments through smart strategies, in addition to earning a good income? Or are you hyper focused on improving your FICO score and keeping the debt collectors happy? Or do you spend most of your time and money networking in local meetings and attending marketing seminars to try and drum up more business?
3. Plan for Escaping the Rat Race and Living the Rich Life
Have you adopted the Thrive Budget, Modern Portfolio Theory, easy-as-a-pie-chart nest egg strategies and the 3-Ingredient Recipe for Cooking Up Profits? Or are you clinging onto investments that have lost value, praying for a Hail Mary miracle that erases your losses and achieves unbelievable gains, and borrowing money to stay afloat in the meantime? Are you so afraid of the idea of investing that you invest only in yourself and your business, but get tempted to buy gold because that's what everyone else is doing?
4. Health, Health Insurance and Health Savings Accounts
Do you have a high deductible with health savings account that you manage for 10% ROI? Or, are you stressed out all of the time, worried about your health, angry at all of the ways you are being eaten alive by bills, and paying an arm and a leg for health insurance because you have to? Or, do you spend most of your "extra" money on fun and pleasure instead of health insurance? Are you uninsured?
5. Outlook on Business
Do you work hard, course correct, adopt best business practices and keep work and family and home life separate? Or are you so worried about your finances that you are crabby with your family and draining your life savings to try and hang onto everything, including a failing business or investment? Have you borrowed from family and friends to buy another self-help seminar or online marketing course?
6. Outlook on Life
Do you take responsibility for your fiscal health? Or do you feel like a victim? Or are you just perplexed as to why all of your Law of Attraction seminars ended up costing you so much money, instead of bringing the riches they promised?
Once you understand how your thinking has trapped you in a cycle of over-spending and debt, you can start planning and acting more like an investor who is taking ownership of her life and is determined to get financially free. You will shift out of debt consciousness and into prosperity and abundance. Out of victim mentality and into ownership. Out of trying to appease the credit card companies, banks, debt collectors and others who hound you for a payment, and into a workable Debt Management Plan that allows you to contribute to your own Retirement Plan and basic needs, while you pay off debt on the best possible terms. You will transform out of depression, disgust, rage and/or helplessness into being a conscious creator of your world and our world at large.
When you a business owner and struggle with papers, try ginstr business apps and save time and money.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Financial Statement Basics And Presentation: The Balance Sheet

The Canadian Balance Sheet shows the financial position of an entity which is why this statement is commonly referred to as 'The Statement of Financial Position." The first key point to note is that the balance sheet is prepared to show the company's position at a specified single point in time (Example, as of December 31st, 20xx) whereas other financial statements such as the Income Statement are reported to show the company's operational performance for a specified length of time such as, "for the year ended December 31st, 20xx." In this example, the income statement is said to cover an entire year from January 1st - December 31st which is also known as a calendar year-end.
Furthermore, the balance sheet consists of three important elements to consider. It reports the balances of all assets, liabilities and equity accounts for the company. It is critical to understand the fundamental accounting equation in the preparation and presentation of the balance sheet where Assets = Liabilities + Equity.
  • Assets: contains all resources that the company owns at the balance sheet date. This includes both current and non-current assets that the company utilizes in order to generate future economic benefits. The most common current assets listed on the balance sheet includes cash, accounts receivable and inventory which are resources that are anticipated by management to be converted into cash within a year or the entity's operating cycle, whichever is longer. Accounts receivable is simply the amount of money owed to the company by its customers which is generated from the sale of goods and services on account. Non-current assets, therefore, contains all resources owned by the company that have a useful life of more than one year. These assets are often referred to as Capital Assets which include equipment, buildings and land. Notice that all assets mentioned thus far whether current or non-current can be classified as Tangible Assets which contain physical substance. However, the balance sheet also presents Intangible Assets which are reported as non-current capital assets as well, since they have a useful life of more than one year but do not have any physical substance such as goodwill and patents. The sum of the current and non-current assets will equate to and be reported on the balance sheet as Total Assets of the company.
  • Liabilities: represents the claims against the company's assets that have not been paid at the balance sheet date. Therefore, they are obligations to the company's creditors. Just like assets, liabilities are subdivided into current and non-current. Accounts Payable is a frequent account that can be seen on the balance sheet and is essentially the direct opposite of the accounts receivable balance. While accounts receivable are amounts owed to the company from a customer sale on account, accounts payable are amounts owed by the company to its creditors arising from purchases on account both of which are either expected to be collected or paid typically within 30 days. Non-current liabilities represent obligations that will not be settled for more than one year or the company's operating cycle, whichever is longer. Long-term liabilities (non-current) found on the balance sheet include long-term bank loans and notes payable. The creditor's claims against the assets can be seen by examining the fundamental accounting equation stated above where the entity's assets equal the creditors' claim which represents liabilities plus the owner's claim of the assets representing the company's equity. 
  • Equity: according to the fundamental accounting equation if we rearrange this to solve for equity, one can conclude that Equity = Assets - Liabilities. Upon closer examination, it can be clearly seen that equity represents the value of a business after liabilities have been reduced from the company's assets. Often equity is referred to as the residual interest of a company. Also, it is important to note that the creditors' claims to the assets are always settled first before the owner's claim can be realized.
Presentation Example for the Statement of Financial Position
Statement of Financial Position
As at December 31st, 20xx
Current assets:
Cash $2,000
Accounts Receivable 1,000
Inventory 3,500
Supplies 500
Total Current assets $7,000
Non-Current assets:
Building $75,000
Equipment 7,000
Total Non-Current assets $82,000
Current liabilities:
Accounts Payable $3,000
Wages Payable 1,500
Total Current Liabilities $4,500
Non-Current liabilities:
Lease liability 1,000
OWNER'S NAME, Capital 83,5000
The above illustrated example for the statement of financial position shows various key features. The heading indicates the name of the company, clearly indicates what type of financial statement is shown and what period it is covering. Furthermore, the statement of financial position is visual a representation of the fundamental accounting equation. The left side of the statement represents assets which is also the left side of the equation. The right side of the statement represents liabilities and owner's equity which in turn captures the right side of the equation. As a result, the statement of financial position is perfectly balanced only when total assets equals total liabilities and owner's equity.
After examining the above illustrated equity section of the balance sheet and noting the name of the company reporting the statement, it is important to recognize that the form of organization in this example is that of a proprietorship and not a corporation. The difference in the balance sheet reported by a proprietorship and by a corporation lies primarily within the equity section. In a proprietorship, the owner's capital includes the initial investment in the business, net income (profits) or net loss (losses) and is reduced by any drawings (withdrawals made by the owner for personal use). However, in a corporation, these amounts are split up into two common accounts: Contributed Capital and Retained Earnings. Contributed capital also known as share capital represents the investments made by the shareholders' of the corporation. Retained Earnings is the cumulative income/loss amounts of the corporation since inception and also includes all dividends paid out to the shareholders. Dividends are similar to drawings in that they both reduce the equity account since they are distribution of equity payments to the shareholders' or the owner respectively.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What Does A Tax Accountant Really Do And Do You Need One?

When it comes time to completing your tax returns, you may find yourself in a cold sweat and not knowing what to do. Maybe you have heard of tax accountants, but aren't sure exactly what they do or whether you will actually benefit from making use of their services to help you or your company manage your tax year after year.
Most tax accountants will work with private individuals and companies of all sizes. While the outcome remains the same to help their clients manage their tax effectively, how they handle the two clients is completely different and requires different solutions to ensure their clients always meet deadlines with accurate returns that the client can rely on and trust.
Most tax accountants are independent contractors, so they don't work for your company or for you personally, but when you need their services you can call on them. The benefit to this is that you only pay for the service as and when you need it. In most instances you will be charged an hourly rate, so having your paperwork in order and ensuring you provide the tax accountant with everything they need, can reduce how much time they need to spend on your particular tax job, which can help reduce your costs moving forward.
One of the things a tax accountant will do for you is to manage your tax preparations. They will collect all the relevant information they need from bank statement to income reports to expenditure receipts and more. They will collect the information, capturing it into a system, so that they can provide the tax office with accurate information, so you only pay the tax you need to pay.
The tax account will focus on lowering your tax obligations. They will look for information and data which can reduce the amount of tax you pay. Ensure you keep every receipt, this way they can prove your expenditure and income and work on ways to reduce your obligations now and in the future.
They will fill in your tax return for you. While you may think a tax return cannot be complicated, you want to ensure it is filled in accurately with absolutely no errors. It is so easy to make a mistake on these forms and it doesn't matter where you are in the world. A tax accountant has completed thousands, if not millions, of tax returns, they know how to fill them in, which reduces the risk of human error, ensuring the information you supply is accurate and up to date.
The tax accountant will ensure your tax returns are submitted on time and without delay. This reduces the risk of you being fined any penalties for late submission. This can give you peace of mind, help you relax and know that your tax is taken care of. You can concentrate on other elements of your life or business, not having to diarise the dreaded tax return submission date.
For companies, the tax accountant is also responsible for preparing your ledgers to ensure that they are accurate and up to date. When you have accounting employees in-house it is easy for errors to take place, we are all human. The accountant will go through the ledger, look for mistakes and ensure that they are accurately completed to make your tax return a quick and easy process.
The final thing you will find a tax accountant can provide is that they will offer essential advice. They will help you reduce your tax obligations now and moving forward.
Balanced Business Accounting is a dedicated team of professionals providing assistance and monitoring customer's financial positions. This well-established Brisbane based company offers innovative accounting solutions to customers throughout Australia on a daily basis. The company are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and have structured their business to provide their customers with superior service and support at all times. Balanced Business Accounting offer a host of business services from financial planning to taxation and audit services to online software solutions and so much more. To find out more about BBA, visit.... 


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Banking Features To Look For When Opening A Business Bank Account

A bank is one of the most reliable partners any business can have. Regardless of its size, any organization will benefit greatly from many of the services and solutions provided by banks such as loans, letters of credits, guarantee letters, etc.
The advantages you can experience from a bank though will depend greatly on the financial institution you will choose. This is because aside from the benefits they offer, some banks will have features that will also help businesses in various ways.
Below are some of the important banking features you should look for when opening a business bank account:
Online banking. Online banking is a key feature that all business owners should look for. Busy small business owners can save a lot of time by using online banking for paying bills, doing bank transfers, checking balances, and even accepting payments. They or they employees won't have to spend time going to the bank and waiting in line for doing these. Most banks today offer this solution for free and when opening an account, just make sure the institution offers a safe and secure online banking service. Its website should not suffer from regular glitches and has a good and reliable loading speed.
They have little to no monthly fees. If you make the mistake of opening a business bank account that come with monthly fees, a portion of your hard-earned money will simply go to paying for these fees. To make sure you will enjoy this service, find out what this free banking offer includes. Check if each transaction is free no matter what the balance in your account may be or if there a minimum balance requirement. You would also do well to find out if printed checks for the account, cash deposits, and cashing checks are also free. Don't forget to ask about ATM fees, debit cards and bill payments as well, especially if these are services your business needs. Choose a bank and an account that includes all of these for free.
The authority of the local branch to grant loans. Lastly, most businesses need some extra funds from time to time to keep things flowing smoothly. You can plan for any unexpected credit needs by choosing a bank that allows branch personnel to make credit decisions in the local branch instead of always referring to their main office. This is a free feature that can be a really valuable convenience for business owners who may need money in a hurry. With this feature, you won't have to wait for weeks to receive the approval of an emergency loan you applied for which your business really needs.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Financial Mistakes Business Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

Cash is the lifeblood of a business. No business owner wants to see their business struggling because of lack of funds or in debt due to mismanaged finances. What they want to see is a regular flow of profit but this is easier said than done.
With many years of experience as chartered accountants and business experts, we've seen many financial mistakes that business owners make. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:
Not having a business plan including clear financial goals
Business planning is very important. If you want to be successful in your business, you need a roadmap. It is also important to set clear goals and targets. In particular, you need to have financial goals that will help you measure how well your business is doing. Furthermore, your financial goal should be clear and realistic. Goals should be phased - weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. You also need to involve your whole organisation in your business strategy. Give your team goals to aim for.
With these plans and goals in place, you will have a clear view of how your business is performing which will eventually help you make important financial and growth-management decisions.
Not keeping proper financial records
This is one of the most common mistakes of business owners and also the most crucial. Most business owners are so busy focusing on managing their business that they neglect the importance of financial record keeping. If you don't have time to update your financial records, hire an expert to do it for you, such as a Chartered Accountant. They can set you up with proper systems and help process your transactions accurately.
Combining business capital and personal finances
Some business owners, especially those who are struggling with their business capital or finances tend to merge their personal savings with the business. Business owners should avoid doing this, as it will only make it more difficult to track how much money the business is making. Also, it complicates IRD and tax obligations.
Starting too big
Starting a business can be overwhelming. You put everything in that you have before you actually start. You may rent an office or other space and hire employees thinking about the future. You want to start big. But you have to understand that starting big doesn't necessarily ensure your future success. It may put undue pressure on you and your business. The best thing to do is to start small and once your business becomes financially stable, you may then consider expanding. Make sure that your expansion can be justified by your profits.
Not having an expert to assist you with your finances
Accounting, bookkeeping and tax compliance - these are just some of the financial responsibilities that you need to take care of when you start a business. These are critical and timely business processes. But some business owners are so busy managing their business that they often neglect these. You don't have to stress yourself in thinking and doing everything. You can hire experts to do it for you.
Some business owners are hesitant to hire experts to do these things for them and only realise they need help when it is too late. So hire a trusted Chartered Accountant to help you with your finances so you can focus on your business, as well as having more time to relax.
These are just some of the common financial mistakes that business owners make. Make sure to avoid these financial horrors to ensure the success of your venture.
For more information on how to avoid these mistakes and achieve business growth, talk to our experts today on (09) 576 4166 or request for an online appointment on our website at http://www.pmartinca.com


Saturday, February 3, 2018

10 Best Practices For Accounts Payable

Healthy working capital flow is of paramount importance to all businesses. This is especially true for small to medium sized businesses. Accounts payable, when properly managed, can be an effective strategy to free up and protect working capital. Here are ten best practices for accounts payable management:
1. Develop a written accounts payable policy and procedures document. A written policy: (a) facilitates employee training, (b) helps to establish a consistent response to routine situations and, (c) may create a framework for appropriate delegation of responsibilities.
2. Identify incompatible duties and implement appropriate segregation of these duties. For example, employees who authorize invoices for payment should not have the ability to edit vendor master files, so too, employees who can edit vendor master files should not be allowed to process vendor invoices. Where possible appoint someone, not otherwise involved in the accounts payable process, to monitor changes to vendor master files.
3. Where possible make purchases from pre-approved vendors only. This could help negotiate more favorable terms.
4. When new vendors are added to the system, be sure to send a new vendor welcome letter. The letter should detail where invoices must be sent and any information necessary to process vendor invoices such as the completed w-9 forms, which are needed for the annual preparation of form 1099. There are hefty fines for non-compliance with 1099 reporting.
5. Have all vendor invoices sent to the accounts payable department, where they should be logged, before they are sent for approvals. This procedure reduces the incidence of lost and missing invoices.
6. Do not enter vendor invoices as a batch. Instead, enter each invoice separately as this facilitates the resolution of variances and provide a better audit trail.
7. Establish a specific procedures for processing vendor invoices, including the assignment of invoice numbers, (where vendor invoices are unnumbered or in the case of internal documents such as employee expense reimbursements) and entering invoice numbers.
8. The invoice amount should be entered as billed. Debit memos and adjustments should be posted as separate transactions as this facilitates account reconciliation and resolution of variances.
9. Define the default general distribution codes, where possible, as a part of new vendor set up procedures. Code all vendor invoices with applicable general ledger codes before posting. Both of these procedures reduce the possibility of errors.
10. Pay vendor invoices timely and take advantage of any discounts available. Discounts can add up to significant cash savings, and consistently paying invoices timely can help avoid the outlay of cash for late fees and interest and, set the basis for the negotiation of better vendor terms.
Debra 'CAS' Findlay, CPA CGMA the Principal of My CPAS Online. Ms. Findlay has been in the accounting profession for more than 25 years.
My CPAS Online provides services designed to allow small business owners to focus on the gorwth and operation of their businesses. Our services include, bookkeeping, bill payment and other business management services, payroll and payroll taxes, financial statements preparation and income tax preparation. 
My CPAS Online serves numerous industries including food and beverage, not-for profits, retail and distribution, start-ups and professional services. Ms. Findlay can be reached by email:dcfindlay@mycpasonline.com, or visit our website: https://www.mycpasonline.com


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How To Make Your Business Financially Fit

Steve is a successful business owner who takes his business very seriously. He focuses on growing his business and has several employees. People love his products and services and are sharing them with others. What Steve is struggling with is making his business financially fit. It seems like his business is always tight, and he is barely making it each month. Sound familiar?
This is what we hear from many business owners. They want to grow and be successful, but they are missing some tools to assist them in staying profitable. Here are four tools you can implement into your business to be financially fit.
1. Know Your Overhead Cost - It is easy to know what the cost is of each product or service you sell, but many business owners fail to include their overhead cost when figuring their numbers.
Profitable businesses know what their profit is on each product or service after their overhead cost is included. Overhead costs often include, administrative expenses like office supplies. Other expenses may also include marketing and advertising, employee related, facilities and equipment, vehicle related expenses, insurance, and tax related expenses.
Companies should know the percentage of breakdown related to each product sold, each procedure or job performed, or each service that is provided.
This allows the business owner to price their products and services at the right price. If the overhead cost is not included, it can cause the business to lose money on each sale that they are making.
2. Manage Your Cash Flow Regularly - Cash flow is so important for a financially fit business. If a company does not have a good eye on their cash flow, it can cause them to struggle every month.
Knowing what money you have coming in, and what money you have going out each week and each month will help you to know what you need to bring in each week to manage the bills that are going out.
It will also assist you with meeting goals like buying that piece of equipment that will make you more profitable or investing the money to increase overall profitability. Look at a statement of cash flows; a statement of cash flows will show you what money is coming in and what money is going out each month.
3. Pay Attention to Your Numbers Each Month -Waiting until the end of the year to get your bookkeeping in place for your tax accountant can be a very costly mistake. A financially fit business pays very close attention to how the business is doing on a weekly and monthly basis.
They know how much they need to make each week in order to be a profitable business. They also look at their financials each month to see what they need to do in order to improve the next month overall performance.
If a company fails to do this, they have no way of making important business decisions because they don't know where they are at. Not know where your business is at will cause your business to fail. If a business isn't growing, they are dying.
4. Know Your Financial Ratios - Many business owners don't know what business ratios they need to track in order to be profitable. Knowing the right ratios can help a business owner know what decisions they need to make to move their business in the right direction.
As an example, one of the ratios that a business needs to track is the current ratio. This ratio will help them track how healthy their business is. A healthy business will have at least a 2 to 1 ratio, so $2 in assets for every $1 in liabilities. If the business is carrying inventory, it is important to have a 4 to 1 ratio.
To determine the current ratio, take the current assets and divide them by current liabilities (Current Assets/Current Liabilities.) Once you have the current ratio, it can be tracked each month to determine if your company is moving in a good direction or if you need to make some changes in your business to move it in the right direction.
Implementing these tools into a business can make a huge difference on how profitable a business is. A small hinge on a gate can help a large gate swing back and forth, just as a small step in the right direction can make a huge impact on a business.
If you are not sure where to start, contact Professional Accounting Services at 801-756-8886 and we can assist you with making your business profitable.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why Your Small Business Needs Steady CashFlow

The ability to make critical purchases from your vendors, pay down loans, and meet employee payroll has become a common problem among businesses across all industries. Cash flow has always been a major issue with all businesses and without positive cash in your bank your business could fail. By the time a business realizes their cash flow isn't going to support their payroll, or pay vendors, the owners make rash decisions by going to companies/banks that can destroy their business.
If you realize your business is about to fall into this position, don't panic. Review your financial situation with your accountant or CPA. But don't act too fast. There is another option.
So what can you do to avoid this problem?
Before telling you the solution, let's talk about the 3 things you should NOT do.
1- Bank Loans. If you think a bank will help finance your old or slow paying customers, well they are not.
2- Factoring Invoices or Receivables. Another myth. When companies rely on this method of cash flow, it just reduces your profits. Plus, once your invoices or receivables have been factored, most often this "third" party who now owns them will be so aggressive with your customers to collect the money that it can ruin your business by losing a customer.
3- Collection Agency. If all you want is someone to harass your customers, then call a collection agency. Odds are, they will just irritate your customers with strong-arm tactics that never work and here again you will lose another customer.
What you need is positive cash flow, right? Well you can have positive cash flow and retain your customers by using a reputable company that knows how to talk to your customers in a manner that will actually convenience them to make timely payments without losing them as a customer.
A credit management system can provide effective cash flow by acting seamlessly with your accounting department. This should NOT impact your accounting staff when handled properly. The slow paying customers and poor receivables from your accounting department should be quickly identified and presented to management in a timely manner. It is best you do not use a middleman, or off-shore calling, These will just hurt your business more because your customers know these types of calls who only want to collect the money, not help make a payment plan.
There are many articles to help find a good credit management resource. Do your research and seek out those that have a solid reputation and work with you as your in-house accounting department.
Don't become another statistic due to lost accounts or non-paying accounts. Call toll free at 877-631-7920


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Accounting Defined In The Grand Scheme Of Things

Watching an awards show of any kind, there will be a time when they introduce the accountants for the evening. Wait. What? Why are accountants anywhere near the major awards shows? Well, they are the ones responsible for tabulating the votes and figuring out who won. Sometimes it works out and sometimes... well, sometimes the presenters are given the wrong card and they announce that the wrong movie wins... and the blame goes back to the accountants, in this case unfairly.
Accountants are found in all industries and offices. They play an integral part in the day to day business dealings by recording transactions, keeping records, performing audits and reporting financial information. They also advise their bosses on taxation matters and work at keeping balanced books.
Accounting defined is the act or process of keeping financial accounts and while a lot of the basic things like money coming in versus money going out and that sort of thing can be handled by a bookkeeper, the more advanced stuff is usually done by a professional accountant.
In short, if you have a business, you need an accountant. They are the financial brains behind the operation, they are the ones who use a systematic approach to record the financial transactions, they use comprehensive and complex strategies to summarize, analyze and report things to not only management in their own company but to oversight agencies and the proper tax collection authorities as well. They keep the business running in the right direction, and a good one will foresee pitfalls and steer the company clear of them well before they impact the situation. In short, they are the money brains behind a business.
They will also help management make sound and solid business decisions, having beforehand informed them of what's been going on with the company's finances. If you are the head of a company you have a lot to do yourself, which is why getting someone professional on the team to take over the money side of things is a good idea. And yes, they can also tally votes, and tell management about the resources available to them in matters of taxation, money flow and the ins and outs of daily commerce.
The next time you are watching that awards show, give the poor accountants a little credit, they're not just bookworms hunched over a desk crunching numbers, they are the lifeline of the company.
http://www.hkaccounting.ca is a company that prides itself on not being too large or too small--they're just right. Just right to get the job done while offering clients the personal attention they deserve. If you are looking for professional accounting services in southern Ontario, look no further than H and K.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

18 Easy Tips To Start Your Business

Blueprint to starting a business -from ideas to implementation.
Starting a business, where do I begin? Information overload. I've complied what I've learned over the last 8 years of being on the internet.
  1. Write down a list of services in your area that could be filled.

  2. Write down a list of what your hobbies, interests are.

  3. Research and see if there is a need for the service. Check if there is competition. If there is, see if you can do something easier/better/different. Is there a problem you can solve for your customers? In our area, I would love a delivery place that offered healthy foods such as good old-fashioned green beans with a hamburger instead of fries. Research a need in your area and see if you can fill it. Research the laws in your state. If you're thinking of starting a bakery, check with your local health inspector to find out what is allowed. If you're thinking of running a business out of your home and will have customers pick up orders, make sure and check with your local business zones. Some areas may not allow excessive traffic, it's best to do your research.

  4. Once you've decided what you want to do, research the business name and make sure it's available. You'll need to register it with the state. Most states allow you to do this online for a minimal fee.

  5. Taxes- get legal. If you're selling a product, see if you need to collect state sales tax. In my state, I collect taxes on products purchased in my state only and then forward to the Department of Revenue once a year.

  6. Buy a domain name with your business name. 1and1.com and GoDaddy offer domains. This usually costs less than $10 for a year.

  7. Hosting-ask friends and family for referrals. I love my host. Uptime is very important as well as response time. I host with a smart entrepreneur who owns her own servers and monitors them regularly. If there is a problem or I have a question, I know that she is one email or phone call away. I don't get referred to another person for another issue.

  8. Create a website. There are tons of ways to do this. There are many templates you can find, both paid and free. I've used both, plus created mine from scratch as well as paid to have my website created from scratch.

  9. Shopping cart-How are you going to sell your product/service? There are as many shopping carts out there as there are ways to start a business. A free shopping cart that is easy to use is Mals-e. It integrates easily with Paypal.com. PayPal also has their own shopping cart and buy now buttons. When considering a shopping cart, look at the features that you are going to need. Are you selling 20,000 different products? If so you'll need a shopping cart that lets you use Excel or other programs to upload information. If you're selling 10 or even 50 items then Mals-e will probably work for you. Mals-e creates a HTML button to insert into your page. The customer is taken to a secure form where they input their payment information.

  10. Are you secure? If you will be accepting credit cards, you will need to be certified PCI compliant for credit cards. Some shopping carts take care of this for you. I currently use Ultracart and they offer PCI compliance with their cart. I have a SSL certificate that I pay a yearly fee for. To get the certificate, I had to prove who I was and get it verified. This protects both you and your customer.

  11. Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-Learn it and keep learning it. This is how you get the best search engine results, which can mean the difference between your business making a profit or losing money. If your website is optimized correctly Google and other search engines will find you and send traffic to your website, resulting in more sales. Cricket's search engine optimization class is the best and it's free!

  12. Now that your website is up and running and you have a working shopping cart, it's time to advertise. When you built your website you used keywords that others would find you with, right? It's important to understand that just because you have a website up and running, it doesn't mean customers will magically find you. There are many new websites going up every day so yours has to stand out. You can start by adding original, unique content using your keywords. To find your keywords, use a keyword finder. Google has a free one. Another way is to brainstorm. What would you type into Google to find you? Who needs your services? Who is your target market? Where can you find them?

  13. Accounting- set up a method to keep track of sales and expenses. It doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet or even old-fashioned pen and paper. QuickBooks is a popular program that is easy to set up and maintain, just do it from the beginning or you'll spend time backtracking to put information in.

  14. Marketing plan-Create a map of where you're going and how you are going to reach your goal Get your free business marketing plan workbook.

  15. Ideas- Keep track of all your ideas. I write them down and put them in my folder of ideas that could be implemented with time and money.

  16. Have a support system. I have a fabulous group of women who have their own specialties. I've learned so much from them. When I'm having a bad day I can go to them and vent. It's extremely important to have a support system in place. Realize that you can do this but it will be hard work, long hours and little pay up front.

  17. Work, Love and Enjoy- My best advice comes from Kay Green, work your business like a business every day. Set up a business schedule and stick to it. Work on your business every day. My friend and mentor taught me this. She went from one product to having a storefront and being a leader in child safety and baby products, all within less than 10 years..

  18. Read these tips, make notes and read it again. Remember that although this is step by step, it can be accomplished by doing more than one thing at once. When you're an entrepreneur you will wear many hats. If there's something you don't know, reach out to your network and ask for help.
Terra Williams is an entrepreneur who balances a home, career, husband, and four kids. She offers scratch off stickers and free scratch off templates at http://www.EasyScratchoffs.com to create your own scratch off tickets.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How To Market A New Product Or Service For Your Small Established Business

There is so much to do to successfully market a business, most of the time we hope that our products or services are enough to get us that beautiful repeat business, but what do we do when we need to do a special push of an item?
Website and email marketing
Of course, there is online, plastering your new product or service across your site. Setting a launch date and trying to gain some hype for the new element of your business. Email marketing can deliver consistent results and is a great way to softly contact those who you already know have an interest in your business.
Social media
Slightly easier for companies who are B2C as you have numerous windows that can literally put your message in your customer's hands. The tricky part is getting the content to go on these networks and to keep up with the trends. Just think about what your USP (Unique Selling Point) is and why people would be interested. The great news is with social media is that it can be quite forgiving to the occasional dull or boring post and so you can test the waters and gradually find your tone.
In house
Get your staff excited about your product and then you will naturally have word of mouth. You could try to incentivise sales of your new product or service with staff rewards. Get a buzz going in the office. Staff that care about what they are doing will work so much harder for you!
Make sure, especially if you are customer facing, that your place of business has lots of beautiful visuals up and around to explain the new feature of your business. This should be linked to leaflets of details that you can give your customers on exit, or you could send to them through the post. For example, you could craftily minimise the product explanation and value down to the size of an attractive plastic business card. Thinking slightly differently, using different materials and defining convention in marketing in small way can really serve to capture consumer's attention. A business card that is not a business card... interesting.
Be sure to get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce as they will be sure to have local small business events. These are the perfect places to meet like minded business professional who may just hold the key to unlocking that new market or a good business contact.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How To Build A Sales Strategy That'll Increase Your Customer Base

What does it take to turn your carpet cleaning business into a success? If you're like most cleaning companies, you're looking to grow your customer base. You can never have too many leads, but this won't mean much if they're not hot. Becoming a marketer for your brand is essential if you want to entice prospects to becoming customers. You've got commercial carpet steam cleaners and other carpet cleaning equipment you can use to perform excellent jobs.
Now, you need a quality sales strategy to start raking in more customers. There are five key systems that every business should have to grow their company:
  • Marketing: This is everything to do with spreading the word about your company and its services.
  • Administration: You need organization, so that numbers are being properly tracked.
  • Leadership: Without this, everything will be in disarray. Order begins with your teams, so leaders are needed to keep your business moving forward.
  • Operations: This is your business model of how you please your customers. The better quality your service, the more happy customers you'll have (and keep).
  • Sales: You can't expect to grow your business without a sales plan and team. Your company should be actively seeking ways to convert prospects into loyal customers.
Marketing and Sales Go Hand-in-Hand
Don't get it twisted - marketing and sales are not the same. The two have a similar end goal, but the methods used to reach it are unique. Marketing is all about attracting customers and sales is about closing the deal. What keeps them around are your operations. If you're not great in these departments, then you can always resort to hiring an expert or agency that can handle these tasks for you.
When you use sales and marketing together, you can potentially build a winning strategy that will attract more clientele.
Building a Sales System
There are times when businesses get their marketing and sales all wrong. Take for instance this scenario: A guy was looking around for a new car for his wife. He went to the Chrysler website and was impressed with the quick form on the side that put him in touch with a sales agent. The woman was courteous and professional and scheduled an appointment for him to come by the following day. This is all the marketing process. However, once he arrived to the dealership, the woman he spoke to wasn't there - she was in the internet marketing division. Then the guy that did assist them was poorly trained to where the guy decided to purchase his vehicle from elsewhere.
With that said, you don't want to focus too much on the marketing and forget about training your sales staff, so they can learn to seal the deal. In sales, it's all about converting prospecting into paying customers. And it's all about consistency, just like for your commercial carpet steam cleaners - they need to perform well each and every time.
There are seven key areas of a great sales system:
  • Establishing rapport: Build rapport with the prospects that contact you. Find out how they heard about your business and whether someone specifically told them about your company. If so, use that person to help build rapport.
  • Connect with customers emotionally: Consumers make purchases based on emotions, so learn how to trigger the right ones.
  • Build up your credibility: Start establishing trust and believability right away. Don't oversell your services - focus on showcasing the benefits of your portable carpet cleaning machine and other carpet cleaning equipment.
  • Identify key problems: Then use it to sell them on the benefits of your services.
  • Focus on solutions not features: As they say, sell the sizzle not the steak!
  • Quote the investment: Not the price - carpet cleaning is an investment that can improve the quality of living in a home.
  • Learn to overcome objections: Not everyone is going to buy into your sales tactics, so you need to be prepared for potential objections.
It takes more than having the best commercial carpet steam cleaners - it takes a great strategy to run a successful cleaning business.
http://www.steam-brite.com/ is one of the leading distributor of quality cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment all around the USA and abroad. Steam-brite also sells starter kits to individuals who are interested in starting and/or expanding their own cleaning business. steam-brite.com offers the most comprehensive cleaning equipment and cleaning supplies selection for the best prices on the web.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3 Reasons Your Business Isn't Growing As Quickly As You'd Like

I love nature. I loved studying Biology at school. There's something elegant about much of it. It's not all elegant though, some aspects of it are dysfunctional. But that's the essential quality of a work in progress - it's never perfect. So it is that I think we can learn a lot from nature about business, particularly some of the weirder ways that nature goes about the basic processes of surviving, growing, evolving, reproducing and dying.
For example, have you heard of auto-cannibalism? This is where an animal eats part of itself. It's well documented, for example, that snakes sometimes mistake their own tails as other snakes and start to eat themselves. Or they start eating their own shed skin and perhaps because of the scent of prey on it, they get carried away.
Don't Be Like the Snake
As a business owner, does running your business sometimes feel like this. You're running around so fast it feels like you're chasing your tail. Suppliers need paying, employees have constant questions, customers want to deal directly with you rather than your staff and there's never quite enough time to do all that admin that's piling up, let alone do "strategy" or planning!
At some point all businesses reach a plateau in their growth because of this. The ones that breakthrough break the vicious cycle by getting their employees do most of the heavy lifting with customers and suppliers leaving the directors free to develop and implement growth strategies. Getting started can be as simple as having a consistent delivery and distribution system in place.
Instead Emulate the Sea Squirt
A more elegant form of auto-cannibalism (yes, elegant cannibalism!) occurs during metamorphosis. The sea squirt for example consumes its own brain. In the larval stage it swims around filtering food and it needs a rudimentary brain to move around and sense its environment. At the end of the larval stage it attaches itself to a surface and never moves again. It consumes its nervous system and re-purposes the brain sac to help it feed. If the larval sea squirt didn't consume part of itself it wouldn't mature and wouldn't be able to reproduce.
What part of your business do you no longer need? Is it stopping you moving to the next stage in your business cycle. It's not unusual, for example, for businesses to continue offering products and services to customers well beyond their profitable or strategic life.
There can even be an emotional attachment to these services, particularly for people who started their business because they were good at something. For example, starting a web design business because you're good at building web sites is great. But it can be difficult to scale a business if you're spending all your time building websites. The strategic thing to do might be to switch to website maintenance. It might not be as sexy to deal with hacking threats, platform updates and shifting security trends, but there is long-term value in building a business around this rather than one-off website building. Continuing to supply websites could stop the business from offering maintenance programmes just from sheer lack of time.
Changing technology might signal a need for auto-cannibalism in business too. Accountancy, for example, have been transformed recently by the rapid adoption of cloud accounting software. Those practices that embrace the move to cloud accounting are having to re-purpose their people, consuming the technical accounting departments and creating departments to offer other services, such as business advice.
Escaping A Trap
Finally, some animals will chew off a limb to escape a trap. It's not really auto-cannibalism because they don't eat the limb, but close enough... Do you need to chew off part of your business to escape a trap? Maybe a supplier who won't give you credit? A customer who won't pay on time, an employee who is disengaged, or maybe a whole department that isn't performing or that has been left behind by the competition? Maybe it's time to take the 72 hours of pain involved in making and announcing the decision you know you should take but are avoiding. Bite off the trapped limb - your business will grow faster afterwards because you'll be able to focus your efforts on more productive parts of your business.
Pareto's principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort, 80% of profits from 20% of your products, 20% of your customers or 20% of your employees, 80% of problems stem from a different 20% of products, employees and customers. Ditch the 20% of problem customers, products and employees and focus on the rest.
In Conclusion
In summary, your business may be failing to thrive or move to the next level of growth because you're eating your own tail or because there are parts of the business you should be cannibalising that you're not or there are parts of the business trapping you in the present that you need to bite off in order to move to the future...
Auto-cannibalism is a natural process in the life-cycle of growing organisms (and organisations) but don't be a snake, be a sea squirt!
If you're interested in building a stronger business that delivers more to you, your employees and your customers in the North East of England then find out more about coaching for business growth and the tried and tested methodologies of the World Number 1 business coaching organisation, ActionCOACH. Download the ultimate Business Plan Template to plan the next phase of growth for your business.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

How To Future-Proof Your Small Business

According to Richard Branson CEO and Founder of Virgin "A business's long history is meaningless if it doesn't provide the best-designed, most reliable products or services at competitive prices and back up those offerings with the finest customer service. In these fast-moving times, longevity is more the exception than the rule. According to a 2012 study by Richard N. Foster of Yale University, the average lifespan of a company listed in the Standard & Poor's 500 index has decreased to just 18 years, from 61 years in 1958.
Are you becoming complacent?
Almost no products are so good that they cannot be constantly improved on. In the UK they have a great saying: like painting the Forth Bridge in Britain," which is an unending task. This is because the painters of this massive bridge in Edinburgh were never done - once they had finished painting it, they then were needed to immediately start again. The task came to an end in 2011, because workers had switched to a new kind of paint. This is a great example how your businesses product development should be a similarly endless quest for improvement.
According to Bluecorona Small Business Statistics for 2016/2017
  • 66% of small business owners say that finding new customers is a top concern.
  • 40% of small business owners say that retaining customers is a priority.
  • 43% of SMBs says that improving customer experience and retention is their top strategy to improve revenue growth.
  • 30% say that keeping up with technology advances is a major concern of small business owners.
What is Future Proofing?
The term "future-proof" refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future; that the item does not become obsolete. This information can be distilled into many principles depending on industry group which can then be applied to many areas.
10 Ways to Future Proof your Small Digital Business
  1. Work with millennial and change your thinking.
  2. Think from your client's standpoint and create a positive product experience from this viewpoint.
  3. Common Q&A if you get the same questions try re-writing your website copy to better answer common questions.
  4. Focus on creating a long-term client not just a one-time sale.
  5. Read about marketing trends and the directions on technology
  6. Eliminate untrustworthy or toxic people from your life, this could be a lifelong friend, family member, a dishonest bank that has cheated for so long it's become common practice, or even your mortgage broker who breaches your client trust and confidentiality.
  7. Monitor What direction your top 5 closest competitors are doing and create an average for your new direction if a new change is needed.
  8. Have a upsell strategy built into your product purchase process.
  9. Train your staff right from the start on exactly how to carry out the tasks they are expected to complete.
  10. Cut your costs, all businesses have expenses. Most businesses have expenses that can be cut. Don't wait until you need to cut your operating costs to start eliminating unnecessary services and expenses from your monthly burn rate. Take a look into the expenses that don't equate to your basic bottom line and ax them. Remember for every dollar you save it's then directly reflected to your profit.
Small Business Digital Marketing that Converts
If you know anything about small business, then you know its overall mission is to attract customers that are interested in your products and services. You might have tried Google ads, or FB and social media marketing to some success. The problem with many digital marketing methods is you pay your money and cross your fingers that sales with convert. I have personally tried almost every type of digital marketing you can think of and the only one that sticks out for me is official email marketing. Email has been the only marketing method that provides the ability to grow massive contacts databases easily and responsibly. With email marketing you can send out thousands of emails an hour and have a web-based dashboard manage and automate the entire technical process. If I had to choose only one digital marketing platform to build my business it would be email marketing.
Thinking about creating an email marketing campaign for your business? Learn how email marketing can increase your sales and client acquisition for much less than you realize: http://www.officialemailmarketing.com