alt="QuickBooks Online Job Costing"

Job Costing Using Class Tracking in QBO

Intuit’s cloud accounting application, QuickBooks Online, is the preferred software choice of small business owners. And, this is not surprising. Intuit continuously improves QuickBooks Online to meet the ongoing demands of businesses. It makes performing accounting tasks a breeze.

QuickBooks Online also contains numerous features like a mobile app to manage your business on the go and class tracking. We will a talk more about the class tracking feature in QuickBooks Online.

So, What is Class Tracking Anyway?

Class tracking is a useful feature that is available in QuickBooks Online Plus only. With this feature, you will be able to track income and expenses transactions to specific projects, jobs or departments.

Although, technically speaking QuickBooks Online doesn’t feature job costing, you can make it work using class tracking. Using this feature, you will be able to track customer jobs. There is another method to track customer jobs known as the sub-customer method, but we will cover that topic in another article.

For now, you should know how to enable class tracking in QuickBooks Online.

Setting Up Class Tracking in QuickBooks Online

You can setup class tracking in QuickBooks by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Click on the gear icon on the upper right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Now, select Account and Settings listed in the sub-menu under Advanced.

You will be presented with the picture as shown below.

alt="Class Tracking On"

Step 3: Scroll down until you see the Categories section, and click on Track Classes.

And that’s it. You have just setup class tracking in QuickBooks Online.

Jobs in QuickBooks begin with an Estimate. You will be able to add Class directly within the Estimate, Invoice, Expense, Check, etc.

To add a new class, you must select Add New from the sub-menu in the Class column.


Apart from the above method mentioned above, you can also add Classes from the Class Lists as depicted in the figure below. You can access Lists from the Gear icon in the top right navigation.

alt="how to find lists"

Just click on All Lists. A new window will open up like the one below.

alt="Where to find class lists"

Next, you must select Classes from the Lists screen. To add a New Class, you must click on the New button. Next, you must add the required Class, and then save it.

You can track each of the jobs by creating reports in QuickBooks Online. You can create budget vs actual report,s as well as profit and loss by class report for the job.

After the job has been completed, you can remove the Class from the list. Note that a Class will not actually be deleted, but it will be made inactive when you delete it from the list. You will still be able to see classes along with the related expenses by generating a report.

For a more in-depth look at the process, click here to see a video on Class Tracking.

alt="Corelytics Basics"

Corelytics QuickBooks Integration Basics

Corelytics® can help you understand vital signs of your business. It connects with QuickBooks® and other accounting software to give you important insights about your business. The application generates trends, forecasts, goals, and benchmarks that can help owners visualize and share vital accounting stats relating to the business.

Three words that best describe Corelytics and what it does are: Monitor, Diagnose, and Adapt.

By using this QuickBooks add-on app, your accounting staff will spend less time preparing reports and more time diagnosing the financial health of the business. The software app allows you to gauge the overall financial health of the business and gain valuable business insights.

Let’s see what some of the value added features of Corelytics are and the benefits they offer to you as a small business owner.

About Corelytics: How it Offers Value to Business Owners?

alt="Corelytics Finacial Dashboard"

Corelytics is a financial dashboard that can give deep insight into your business. The software app uses predictive analytics that ties to industry benchmarks. It connects with QuickBooks to provide owners with a visual overview of their business.

The application can give you an intelligent and quick analysis of the business health without making any data entry. By just a few clicks of the mouse button, you receive detailed and intelligent insights about the financial performance of your business.

Corelytics helps you monitor financial opportunities and challenges. It keeps you on track about the business health and lets you make key strategic decisions to chart the future direction of your business. Using this software, you can understand vital signs of the business and make important financial decisions.

Probably the best thing about Corelytics is that it aggregates industry data and presents the information in the form of a simple to understand graphs. In this way, you can compare your company’s financial performance with that of the industry.

Growth Trends

Corelytics financial dashboard provides you with information that helps you gauge both short and long term trends. Using this information, you get a clearer picture of your business and understand where it’s headed. This information proves invaluable when making important financial decisions and helps make a meaningful impact on bottom-line of the company.

LOB Gross Margin

Another great feature of Corelytics Dashboard is that it helps you find out about the line of business (LOB) that is putting a drag on the company and which is generating profits. This allows you to see the problem areas that need to be tweaked or fixed. It also shows areas that need do not require change, so you avoid wasting resources on things that aren’t broken.

Contributions of the Staff

A useful feature of Corelytics is that it gives indication of revenue generated by full time equivalent employee (FTE). If the revenue per employee is decreasing, it will give an indication of employee productivity at the company. As a result, you can take appropriate actions to rectify the problem, and boost overall company profitability.

In conclusion, Corelytics allows business owners to find answers relating to the financial health of a company. By integrating QuickBooks with the application, you can gain deep insight into the financial health of your business. And, you improve the odds of success by making the informed decisions.


alt="QuickBooks Online Subscription and Pricing"

What are the Benefits of QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks  Online (QBO) is the cloud version of the popular accounting software by Intuit®. It is the perfect solution for anyone that wants the ease and flexibility of access while on the move. Over the past few years, Intuit has done a lot of tinkering to cloud accounting software. Today, the online edition of the popular accounting software comes with powerful features and functions. This has made it the most popular choice of small and medium sized business owners.

Using the cloud accounting software, you can benefit from dozens of features that will streamline the function of managing company financial data. Here, we put the online edition of the accounting software under our magnifying glass to find out what it offers in value added benefits to companies.

QuickBooks Online Benefits: What’s in It for You?

QuickBooks® Online stands apart from its competitors when it comes to ease of use and time saving functionalities. The subscription based accounting software is available in different versions that you can select according to your company’s needs and requirements. These include Self Employed, Simple Start, Essentials and Plus that costs $10, $15, and $30 and $40 per user per month, respectively.

All the versions of the cloud accounting software provide basic accounting functionalities as well as advanced features such as:

  • Connecting online accounts and downloading transactions
  • Automatic upgrades and backups
  • High grade security
  • Reporting features
  • and Mobile access

Below are some of the value added benefits you gain by purchasing QuickBooks Online.

a. Access Anytime, Anywhere
The most important benefit that you gain from using QuickBooks Online is accessing the software from anywhere and anytime. There is no need to be confined to your desktop PC to know how your company is faring financially. You can easily access the software while on the move using an internet enabled device.

And you know what’s even better. You can access the software anytime even late in the night when your office is closed. This is beneficial for those late owls who find that they think better during the night. You can access the company data while you are on a vacation abroad to track your company’s finances, and give direction to the employees if necessary.

b. Managing Remote Employees
A great benefit of QuickBooks Online is that it allows you to better manage remote employees. If your company have workers that perform tasks at remote locations, you can use the software to keep track of their work time. When your workers use time-in compatible attendance software that syncs with QuickBooks, accounting data such as number of hours worked, late arrivals, holidays, etc. can automatically transferred from the online attendance software to QuickBooks Online. This eliminates the need to manually enter the data in QuickBooks. Thereby, you save precious time for your accounting personnel. The end result is increased productivity of the accounting personnel and reduced operational costs for the company.

c. Third Part Software Integration
Without hesitation, one of the most important benefits of QuickBooks Online is integration with third party apps. The online version can easily connect with other popular third part apps such as Spotify, SalesForce CRM, Square, Revel POS, and eCommerce payment software platform.

Integrating the accounting software with the third part apps will keep the accounts updated in real time. You will always have access to accurate and up-to-date accounting information. Moreover, it will ease the task of the accounting personnel in performing their tasks and reduce the chance of error in manually entering the data. As a result, they can prepare timely, error free, and quality accounting reports for you that will prove invaluable in charting the future course of the business.

d. User Friendly Interface
A great thing about QuickBooks Online is its easy-to-use interface. You can easily access important functions without having to navigate deep into the menus. Most of the accounting tasks can be performed by clicking just a few clicks of a button.

The left vertical pane consists of tabs that you can click to access Vendors, Customers, Employees, Reports, Transactions, Taxes, and Apps. A gear icon located towards the top portion of the screen gives you easy access to advanced accounting features. Overall, the user interface is simple and less cluttered as compared to the desktop version of the accounting software.

The reports can be filtered and customized in a way that you get exactly the information you require. Generally speaking, although the reporting feature is not as robust as the desktop version, most business owners are satisfied with the amount of information provided by the QBO reports.

e. Automatic Updates and Backup
With QuickBooks Online you don’t have to worry about updating the software or creating a backup of the company file. The company file is automatically backed up. Moreover, you also don’t need to upgrade the software every year. The accounting software automatically updates on the back-end. This allows you access to the most recent features and functionalities.

How Does QuickBooks Online Differ from Desktop Version?

Now that you know the benefits of the QBO, you might be wondering how the online version differs from the desktop version. The simple answer to this question is that if  you want flexibility to access the software from anywhere, you should opt for QuickBooks Online.

However, if you want powerful features like the following:

  • Average cost valuation of inventory
  • Batch invoicing
  • Multiple price levels
  • Batch time sheet entry
  • Modify and covert estimates to sale or purchase order
  • Advanced reporting features

You should buy one of Desktop version of the accounting software. Contact us for assistance in choosing the best software option for your business and to receive special discounts.



alt="Reimbursable Expenses"

Record Reimbursable Expenses in QuickBooks

Reimbursable expenses are out-of-pocket expenses that a company incurs on behalf of its client. Afterwards, the expenses are included on an invoice sent to the client. QuickBooks® distinguishes this kind of expense and tracks which expenses have been invoiced to the client.

In this post, we will show you how to properly enter and record Reimbursable Expenses in QuickBooks. You will also learn how to invoice the reimbursable expense to the customer.

Record Reimbursable Expenses in QuickBooks

There are three ways you can record reimbursement expenses in QuickBooks. Most people will use Method No. 1 and Method No. 2. However, you can select the method that seems most convenient for you.

QuickBooks Desktop Enter Bills


Method 1: Expense Account Method

This is the most common method of recording reimbursable expenses in QuickBooks. In this method, QuickBooks records the reimbursement as an expense. This expense is transferred to the sales revenue account upon invoicing the customer.

Step 1: Click the Expense Tab from the Enter Bills or Write Checks screen.

Step 2: Select the appropriate customer in the customer:job tab.

Step 3: Now, select the appropriate expense account and enter the amount of reimbursement expense.

Step 4: In the billable column, enter a check mark in the checkbox. This indicates that you want to bill the customer later for the reimbursement expense. You can leave the check box blank in case you do not want to charge the customer for the expense. Note that the expense will still display in the expense account.

Step 5: Save the transaction.

Method 2: Items Tab Method

The Items method tab is ideal in situations where markup needs to be added to the reimbursement expense. It is the only method that allows gross margin to be determined without creating an “Unbilled Costs” account. The customer’s reimbursement expense is treated as revenue and invoiced to the customer later on.

Using this method, you enter the reimbursement expense as an item in the Enter Bills, Enter Credit Card Charges, or Write Checks screen. When entering the expense account as an item, the reimbursement amount is posted to the cost account you chose while setting up the item.

On the other hand, when invoicing the amount in the sales receipt or invoice screen, the reimbursement amount is posted to the revenue account you chose while setting up the item.

Step 1: Go to the Item List screen and create a new Other Charge Item.

Step 3: In the item screen you can see the box that says, “The item is used in assemblies or is a reimbursable charge”. Click on this box.

Step 4: On the Enter Bills, Enter Credit Card Charges, or Write Checks screen, go to the items list screen. Select the Item that you have just created. Take care not to place a check mark on the column on far right side of the screen.

Step 5: Fill in the required information and save the transaction.

The method is not easy. Setting up the item takes time and involves careful consideration. Due care must be taken in assigning item in the Edit Item Screen. The item needs to be assigned to the correct sales/revenue account on the “Sales Information” section and the proper cost account on the “Purchase Information” side

Moreover, the method is also difficult to implement in case the company wants to post to various revenue and cost accounts. Each item needs to be established and customized individually depending upon the accounts where they are to be posted.

Method 3: COGS Method

Another way to record the reimbursement expense is to enter it in the COGS account. The cost will appear on the “Unbilled Costs” report and cannot be billed to the customer. Companies who do not charge the reimbursement expense to the customers can use this method.

However, note that once the reimbursement expense is entered through this method, it can never be billed to the customer.

First: Click the Expense Tab from the Enter Bills or Write Checks screen.

Second: Select the appropriate customer in the customer:job tab.

Third: Now, enter the reimbursement expense in the COGS account rather than an expense cost as in Method 1 above. Notice that you cannot select the column on the far right side of the screen. This shows that you cannot bill the expense to the customer.

Fourth: Save the transaction.

Invoice Reimbursable Expense in QuickBooks

Invoicing reimbursable expenses in QuickBooks is quite easy. The following steps reveal to you the correct way to invoice reimburse expense to the customers.

QuickBooks Desktop Create Invoices

Step 1: Create a new invoice in QuickBooks.

Step 2: Select the customer from the drop down list in Customer:Job tab.

Step 3: Now, click the ADD Time/Costs button.

Step 4: In the new screen, add the reimbursement expense that you want to charge to the customer. If you do not want to bill the customer for a specific reimbursement expense, click the Hide column to remove the expense from the list.

If you used method 2 to enter the reimbursement expense, you must add the reimbursement item you created previously that is associated with the customer. When you select the item, it is placed onto the customer’s invoice screen.

Step 5: Now, create a markup account by entering the markup percentage (%) or amount in the Expenses tab.

Step 6: Once all the required information is entered, you must click OK to transfer the information to the invoice.

Note: The Hide button will not delete the expense. It will still appear in the QuickBooks accounts. However, the customer is not charged for the expense. Also, in case you accidentally delete the invoice or the invoice line, you must open the reimbursable expense window. Then, click on the grayed invoice icon next to the customer: job to make the expense billable again.

Using QuickBooks accounting software is very easy to use. Both small and mid-sized companies use the benefits of this versatile and affordable software. Your business gets the needed boost to go above and beyond the competition. You not only experience cost savings, you bill reimbursable expenses like a pro.

QuickBooks small business software

QuickBooks: Small Business Accounting

Are you the owner of a small business enterprise, and wish to expand your company in the near future? In order to achieve your dream, you need to ensure the smooth management of all business expenses. Otherwise, losses may prove the main hurdle to your future aspirations.

The efficient management of finances is one of the most important aspect for every small business. Without a proper accounting system to ensure timely payments, small business owners find it hard to keep a track of all their expense accounts. Generally, limited funds and a set source of income make it difficult to manage company expenses. As a result, entrepreneurs and small business owners need an accounting solution that offers them efficient bookkeeping with no hassle. This is where QuickBooks accounting software comes into the picture.

It is premium accounting software designed with the expressed idea of assisting business owners who lack the accounting knowledge and skills to manage their company finances effectively.

Running Your Small Business Better

QuickBooks is the all-in-one solution to efficient business financial management. The software features offer a system that ensures timely payments to vendors while keeping track of all the different company payment transactions. It maintains a much needed record that provides business owners with a clear idea how their business is progressing.

Following are some of the helpful features that can help with the efficient management of all company expenses and income accounts.

Send Invoices Easily

QuickBooks generates customized invoices for your business. As a result, your customers receive invoices created by you.  Add your company logo to the design of your choice. Also, include customized fields in the system generated invoices.

Accept Payments through the Software

QuickBooks helps businesses accept payments through online systems as well as by means of a mobile payments system. This makes it possible to ensure the smooth and efficient management of invoices and on-time payments to from the customers for a positive cash flow.

Track Sales and Expense Transactions with Ease

The software generates detailed reports and statements that help business owners keep track of all company expenses and sales. The software generated records are highly accurate and free of any risk of human errors that could affect the records of the company.

With system generated records available for scrutiny, it is easy to skim through documents and entries. More importantly, you get an idea of the different expenses handled by the company. As a result, you can remove or reduce any unnecessary expenses to make the business more profitable. Hence, you avoid the wasteful squandering of your limited resources.

The software maintains an updated view of all the company sales and expenses, and assists the business owners to get a clear idea of their generated profits. This gives a good understanding of the current financial condition of the company, enabling the owner to make guided decisions in the future.

Integrated Payroll Feature

Employee salaries are a major company expense. And, an integrated payroll feature ensures easy management of workforce salaries and record-keeping. QuickBooks also manages your payroll taxes and monthly, quarterly and annual payroll filings.

Linked To Your Online Banking Account

Link QuickBooks to your online bank account for all business related transactions. Doing this, helps you to keep a track of your expenses easily and without any hassles. With the online transactions connected with the software, you can control and monitor all transactions.

QuickBooks automatically uses data from your bank to update your company financial records. Therefore, it removes any chance of error because of manual data entry, and it also saves you valuable time.

The software is so sophisticated. It automatically classifies transactions according to your accounting method by arranging the data and management of your accounts.

Ensure and Enjoy Fast Payments

QuickBooks accepts debit and credit cards for business convenience, as well as ACH payments by customers. Invoices can be sent by email. And, business owners can check the status of their invoices in real time.

Easy VAT Calculation

Intuit equipped QuickBooks with a feature that lets company owners easily view their VAT liability. This helps them complete and file their return each quarter and avoid any legal problems.

The software generates profit and loss statements and balance sheets. These statements give an accurate idea of the current financial condition of the company.

Use the Software on a Variety of Devices

QuickBooks syncs easily to a variety of devices. Therefore, your financial details are available whenever you need it. The software can be accessed through computers. iPhones, iPads and Android devices provide easy access while on the go.

More importantly, password-protected logins and firewall protected servers give you piece of mind. QuickBooks also uses the same encryption technology (128 bit SSL) as the world’s top banks. As a result, your data is secure.

Backup Database Feature for Information Protection

QuickBooks offers a feature for keeping a backup of your daily transactions, so the information is safe and secure. Files are automatically backed up once a day, every day. Business owners can keep their critical financial data in the cloud.

QuickBooks is a complete accounting solution. It is the answer for many small business owners worries. Especially, those who lack the accounting skills and knowledge to manage their company finances will find it efficient and effective.

Finally, for more information on small business accounting, read article Tips for Starting and Growing Your Small Business.


How BillQuick and QuickBooks Work Together to Streamline Small Business Operations

BillQuick is easy to use time tracking, service billing, and project management software. The software is suitable for different kinds of service businesses including architects, CPSs, computer consultants, engineers, contractors, marketing consultants, and others. BillQuick integrates with Intuit’s QuickBooks desktop software to streamline several accounting functions.

Using this software, business owners can maintain Job, Customer, and Employee data, and Activity and Expense codes tables. If you are a small business owner, and you want to further streamline the accounting function in your business, then you should continue reading. We will reveal not only the function of this QuickBooks add-on but also its benefits.

Overview of BillQuick Integration with QuickBooks
BillQuick can be integrated with QuickBooks to expand on its time tracking, project management and service billing accounting features. The add-on enhances these accounting functions and makes it more efficient. The software helps accounting personnel perform these additional tasks in less time, resulting in increased cost savings for your company.

BillQuick comes with its own billing, time and project management features. You will NEVER have to enter the data twice when integrating the software with QuickBooks. Moreover, you can fully customize the integration, and you have control over when, where, and what data is synchronized. Your accounting personnel will be working smarter instead of harder when using this QuickBooks add-on. The software improves data entry accuracy, avoids duplicate entry of data, and provides better control over the way accounting functions are performed.

The following tables depict how the data flows between QuickBooks and BillQuick.


Highlights of BillQuick Functions
The main benefit of using BillQuick is that it automates repetitive tasks, which in turn, saves time for your staff. The software is suitable for all business sizes and is completely scalable. You can choose Basic, Pro and Enterprise versions depending on the needs of your business.

BillQuick software will allow you to speed up time keeping processes, decrease the time involved in the billing process, and help you gain a better understanding of the different projects your team is handling. Moreover, you can check compliance with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) with a single click of the mouse. Below you will find a brief description of the various tasks you can perform with BillQuick:

1. Time & Expense
BillQuick includes a time card that records employee work time, overtime, compensation, and vacation, sick, and holiday leaves. Time Card is available in spreadsheet, calendar, and stopwatch format. You can create time entries from the TO-DO items. Moreover, you can also run multiple timers at the same time. You can also record the expenses in different currencies!

You can view full history of time and expense entries including the date of submission, approval, or refusal from authorized personnel. This history can prove to be invaluable during audit – internal and external – of the accounting process. Also, you can link images and documents to the time and expense entries.

2. Project Management
The project management module of BillQuick allows you to instantly see the status of projects. You will know what projects that are in the red (loss) and have incurred more cost than budgeted. You can also schedule tasks and activities through an interactive Gantt chart. This chart can be customized by dragging, stretching, and dropping tasks on the timeline.

An employee workload forecaster allows you to view the tasks assigned to each employee in calendar format. By glancing at the colored-coded calendar, you can quickly find out the status of tasks assigned to the employees. You can also learn what staff members are being underutilized or overextended. Moreover, you can also keep watch on the next forecasted project and assign available staff to the project.

Apart from managing project tasks and employees, you can also use QuickBooks to manage project expenses. In addition, a revenue forecaster calculates the revenue based on the existing and forecasted expenses. This tool allows you greater control over managing cash flow.

Other highlights of the project management module include the following:

  • Assign employees, tasks, and expenses to projects
  • Track status of projects in real time with automatic updates and notifications
  • Organize and classify the projects according to four stages of workflow:
    • Project
    • Phase
    • Segment
    • Sub-segment
  • Select from among different contract costing methods including:
    • Fixed Fee
    • Recurring
    • Hourly
    • Cost + Percentage
    • Cost + Fixed Fee
  • Compare actual costs versus the budgeted costs Billing and Accounts Receivable
    Billing and Accounts Receivable is another important module for the QuickBooks accounting software. The module allows you to view all the information you require to improve the collection process. Using the QuickBooks add-on, you can view key historical data, payment history, and account notes. You can see an aging summary of account receivables for 60, 90, 120 days and more. Moreover, you can view the aging reports in multiple formats and utilize a number of filters to view the receivable data.BillQuick also allows you to create billing invoices using 180 templates. You can perform batch processing, create PDFs, customize the reports using Crystal reports, and much more.Accounting Module
    The Accounting module of BillQuick enhances the powerful functionality of the QuickBooks accounting software. You can perform bank reconciliations, view trial balances, chart of accounts, and make payments to vendors. You can also view both cash-basis and accrual balance sheets and profit and loss reports.You can select from approximately 500 report templates when creating accounting reports. The report center allows you to filter the information, so you can view important aspects of your accounting data. Employee snapshot offers a breakdown of resource utilization and billable work. This information is especially helpful for consulting firms, so they can accurately bill their clients for work performed.Bottom Line!
    On the whole, BillQuick® is one of the most powerful add-ons for QuickBooks Desktop. The software seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks and extends its features and functionalities. Using this QuickBooks add-on, you can lower the administrative costs, save time in performing billing and expense functions, and efficiently manage the projects.

Intuit Partners with FundBox to Streamline Invoice Financing Function

Intuit® announced partnership with FundBox® earlier this month to tap into the powerful features of the invoice financing software. Intuit’s QuickBooks is one the most popular accounting software programs available, especially among small business owners. The company’s collaboration with the invoice financing software will allow it to further extend services to its customer by capturing customers that use FundBox for invoice financing and also provide financing options to QuickBooks customers.

QuickBooks online users can now link their accounts with the FundBox. This will offer greater convenience to the users in performing accounting function and tasks. As a result of the partnership between the two companies, small business owners that depend on QuickBooks accounting software will be able to get quick access their capital or funds in FundBox from the QuickBooks interface.

Users won’t have to leave QuickBooks to get access to the working capital. This will make it easier for small business owners to gain access to the capital to finance short term needs of the business.

FundBox: How it Works?
FundBox is an invoice financing software that helps small business owners to obtain cash advance on outstanding invoices. Also known as account receivable financing, invoice financing is similar to invoice factoring that large companies use to obtain cash by selling their customer invoices at a discount to a factoring companies.

The financing option is useful for B2B companies that need instant cash to meet short term financing need. Invoice financing allows companies to address the issue of slow paying customers that negatively affects their cash flow position. The option is ideal for businesses that want quick cash without having to apply for loans. The financing option is also helpful for small business companies that do not qualify or don’t have the time to go through the lengthy process associated with traditional loans.

FundBox is a type of invoice factoring company that offers online funding ranging from $500 to$25,000 to B2B companies i.e. companies that sell products and services to other companies. The funding is usually provided to the companies about three days after approval of the application.

The online software is the most transparent and easiest solution for small businesses to fulfil gaps in cash flow. The process of obtaining fund through FundBox is as simple as 1-2-3.

Step 1- Create a Free Online Account

The first step is to sign in for the service. This process takes about one minute. You need to enter your email, select a password, and choose your online bookkeeping software. The online software will automatically sync outstanding invoice information that you can access in your FundBox account.

Step 2 – Select Outstanding Invoices
Next, you have to select the outstanding invoices that you want to sell for obtaining the cash amount. Instead of waiting around 30 to 90 days or even more for the invoices to clear, you can easily obtain invoice cash by selling them to the FundBox for a discount.

Step 3 – Obtain Money in the bank Account
FundBox automatically transfers the cash amount to your account. As mentioned previously, the cash amount is usually transferred to the account three days after approval of the application. The instant cash may have greater value to you because it can be invested elsewhere to earn additional income.

FundBox Fees and Other Charges
You have to pay a specific clearing fee to the company. When you select the outstanding invoice, you will be shown the exact fees (in US dollars) that you will have to pay the company.

The fee is based on your business’s financial health and also on the amount of outstanding invoices that you want to clear. For instance, the fee for a $1,000 invoice with a due date of three months will be in the range of $52 to $72. The clearing fee is set automatically based on your business health and the specific invoice you want to clear.

The fee is paltry as compared to the amount you can earn on the cash that is obtained earlier. This is due to the time value of money, which basically means that the money that you invest right now will earn greater profits as compared to investing in the future.

Is FundBox Safe and Secure?
FundBox is completely safe and secure. In fact, FundBox claims that safety is the highest priority for the company. In fact the invoice financing company has incorporated state of the art bank level security in its systems that conform to strict safety requirements specified for online companies.

The funds arrive in the accounts safely without much risk of online theft. The highest level safety standards implemented by the company ensure that there is no incidence of hacking or online attacks. In order to assure the fastest delivery of funds into the accounts of the customers, the company sends the amounts before 1:00pm PST on weekdays.

Final Remarks!
Small business QuickBooks users will benefit greatly from the integration of QuickBooks with FundBox. You can ramp up your cash flow positions with the obtained funds. Moreover, the funds can also be used to earn additional income that can boost cash position of the company.

As a QuickBooks user, you will be notified about the option to link your accounts with FundBox on the Sales Transaction page. By linking your accounts with the online invoice financing software, the application process may be cut down from days to even minutes.

Eligible individuals can obtain short term financing against outstanding invoice for up to 12 weeks. FundBox may charge a higher weekly fee as compared to traditional business invoicing companies, but the ease and convenience of obtaining the fund more than makes up for small business owners by easing their short term financial needs.

With a service like FundBox, you will no longer have to worry about cash flow problems. You can easily obtain the required cash to settle your outstanding debts or invest in lucrative investment avenues.  The QuickBooks partnership with FundBox will make it even easier for B2B small business owners to obtain funds by selling outstanding invoices.

10 Essential Tips & Tricks to Become a QuickBooks Power User

QuickBooks is the most versatile accounting software available. It is ideal for most small and medium businesses. The software can help you monitor business expenses, manage invoices, and organize customers and payroll data. You can set up a chart of accounts for a variety of business organizations with ease. Whether you run a small boutique shop, a financial advisory firm, manufacturing company, or a real estate company, QuickBooks has you covered.

Do you want to know how to accurately record financial data using QuickBooks? Do you want to know how to file tax forms? Do you want to know how to determine your business’s profits or losses? Then, you have to look no further. You will learn this and more so keep reading.

Note: The tips mentioned below relate to QuickBooks 2011 Desktop and above. If you have an older version of QuickBooks, you should upgrade your software since it no longer supported by Intuit. Go to the Products page to purchase your software upgrade.

A. Customize Your QuickBooks Desktop

1. Change the Default View

QB Search

The QuickBooks default screen can be customized according to your preferences. Simply click on Preference and then Desktop View. From this tab, you can opt to change the startup screen, show single or multiple windows on the screen, display home page when opening a company file, or switch to color icons/light background on the top icon bar. You can also customize the display color and fonts displayed on the QuickBooks screen. In addition, if you want to hear specific sounds for actions like minimizing, opening, or closing reports, you can customize this through the sounds tab.

2. Customize the Icon Bar

Customize Icon Bar

The QuickBooks default interface is loaded with icons that you may never need. You may also be missing icons that you may need for easier interface. In order to modify the icon bar, right click on the icon bar and click on Customize Icon Bar from the sub-menu. From this screen you can add and remove icons according to your needs. You can also create new icons by clicking on the Add button. From the Add Icon Bar Item screen, you can select a specific action and write a label and small description of the icon event.

B. Time Saving Tips for QuickBooks

1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Similar to other Windows applications, QuickBooks supports a number of different keyboard shortcuts. Using these shortcuts, you can save considerable time in operating the software. Some of the important keyboard shortcuts are listed below:

  • Start QuickBooks without a company file Ctrl (while opening)
  • Create Chart of Accounts Ctrl-A
  • Delete Transaction Ctrl-D
  • Edit transaction selected in register Ctrl-E
  • Find transaction Ctrl-F
  • Go to Other Account Register Ctrl-G
  • Display Transaction History Ctrl-H
  • Create invoice  Ctrl-I
  • Open Customer Center  Ctrl-J
  • Memorize transaction or report Ctrl-M
  • New invoice, bill, check, or list item in context   Ctrl-N
  • Copy Transaction in Register Ctrl-O
  • QuickReport on transaction or list item  Ctrl-Q
  • Open memorized transaction list Ctrl-T
  • Write new check Ctrl-W
  • Display Transaction Journal Ctrl-Y

2. Speed Up QuickBooks Searches

QB Search

You can also customize the QuickBooks searches from the preference screen. The search feature lets you find items in the programs’ help file or in your company file. By default, QuickBooks allows you to choose whether you want to search from the help file or company file every time you make a query in QuickBooks.

If most of your queries pertain to the company file, you can speed up the search by specifying that the software search within that location only.  To do this, click on Preference and then Search. In My Preferences tab, you can specify that the software automatically make a search of the company file without asking you every time you initiate a query.

From the Company tab, you can also specify how often the software updates company file indexes.  Specifying lower duration of indexing will speed up the program. But the searches will not reflect the most recent changes made to the file. In order to update the entries, you can click Update Now button in the window.

3. Automate Form Entry


Do you have to enter certain transactions regularly? Not in a mood to enter recurring transactions every day? Then, let the amazing memory of QuickBooks works its magic for you. QuickBooks can memorize certain recurring transactions like rent payments, utility bill payments, and depreciation expenses. You can specify that the software make entries for memorized transaction automatically. To access the tool, type Ctrl + M.

4. Record Favorite Reports

Do you work on certain reports regularly that you want to access instantly? QuickBooks lets you do this easily. You can designate certain reports as favorites by clicking on the heart icon underneath the report in the Report Center. You can access your favorite reports from the Favorites Tab in the Report Center.

C. QuickBooks Power Tips

1. Batch Invoicing

Batch Invoicing

QuickBooks 2011 and above has a very useful feature called batch invoicing. Using this feature, you can create multiple invoices for a single transaction. To access this feature, go to Customers Menu, and select Create Batch Invoice.

2. Create Customized Templates


In QuickBooks, invoices, purchase orders and sales orders are referred to as templates. You can customize these templates in QuickBooks. Just go to Lists Menu, Templates, and right click on a template. From the sub-menu, select Edit Template. You will be taken to the Layout Designer button. You can import your company logo, so it shows on your documents. You can also download additional templates and colorful themes that will enhance all your templates.

3. Paperless Accounting Through QuickBooks

Did you know that you can achieve paperless accounting through QuickBooks? The software allows you to attach an electronic version of the documents to the transactions either locally or in cloud-based storage. With QuickBooks 2012 and above, this feature is absolutely free. To use the tool, click the Attach button with the paper clip icon in any document or template.

4. Enable Remote Access

QuickBook Remote Access is a cloud-based service that allows accountants and other users to log in remotely. The remote access feature is available in two versions: Full desktop access for $7.97 per month or QuickBooks data access only is priced at $3.95 per month. You can purchase this additional service by going to File > Remote Access in QuickBooks.

The above are just a few of the tips that you can use to make QuickBooks more efficient for your business. QuickBooks allows you to save a lot of time, money, and resources when managing your business income and expense data.  The survival of businesses often depends on timely and relevant accounting data, and this goal can be obtained easily using QuickBooks financial software.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes New QuickBooks Users Make

If you are a small business owner, now is the time to start QuickBooks off on the right foot. You may be putting in too many extra hours using QuickBooks. You can streamline the processes behind managing and recording your income and expenses by following a few simple steps and avoiding a few mistakes that many people make when using QuickBooks.

Here are some common mistakes you should be sure to avoid when using QuickBooks so that you and your business can benefit and get the most out of it.

Avoid Using Your Bank Account in the ‘Expense Account’ Field When Writing a Check
When using ‘Write Checks’, most users fails to realize that the checks are already affecting their bank account, therefore, they set the checking account as the expense account. This can result in the money going out and instantly back into your checking account. To keep this from happening, specify one of the expense accounts that was setup, such as office supplies or utilities.

Avoid Assigning Items to the Wrong Accounts
QuickBooks defines items as anything your company sels or buys, like products, or services, or discounts. To have a better understanding of items, think of them as the lines on an invoice. To ensure that your records are accurate, you need to associate every item with a logical account type.

Don’t Forget To Apply Check Payments to Bills
Using QuickBooks, you can pay your bills easily, depending on how you wish to track your bills and payments. Once you have chosen a certain method, stick with it. If you fail to do so, you could end up paying your bills twice.

  • To track your bills, ALWAYS use ‘Enter Bills’ in QB Desktop or ‘Bill’ in QB Online to enter bills under the Vendor tab.
  • Use ‘Pay Bills’ to make payments for the bills you are tracking.
  • If you prefer not to track your bills, you can go to ‘Write Checks’ or ‘Enter Credit Card Charges’ window.
  • Avoid using ‘Pay Bills’ if you have already used the ‘Enter Credit Card Charges’ or ‘Write Checks’.

Avoid Using the Sample Companies as Your Actual Company File
QuickBooks is filled with sample company files that you can as examples when using QuickBooks to manage your own data. However, be sure to not to use these files as your original data records, they are only samples and not templates. They include some of the most commonly used items, services, and products used by most businesses. Avoid using these files as templates for handling real data; they are not made for that purpose.

Avoid Entering Invoices and Making Deposits Without Going Through Receive Payments
If you need to record sales, be sure to use the ‘Receive Payments’ screen or link, to apply the payments against the invoices. More than often not, people make the mistake of skipping that step.

Make sure you avoid these common mistakes when using QuickBooks to manage accounting and bookkeeping tasks. This will help you utilize QuickBooks to the max, resulting in streamlined procedures, time saved, and increased productivity.

What’s Needed to Start a Small Business?

It’s the dream of many to have a business of their own. Running their own business frees them from being bound to a day job and gives them the authority to be their own boss. Like the sound of that? Then you have come to the right place.

Launching a business is no easy task; it requires the utmost determination, hard work and motivation to leap over the umpteen numbers of hurdles that you may run into along the way. Here’s a general framework that you can follow whenever you are starting up your own company.

Identify the Opportunity
First of all, you will have to review the kind of opportunities you have. What kind of business do you want to start? Each type of business requires a different set of skill, abilities, and knowledge! The choice can be hard, but make sure you grab an opportunity that lies parallel to your passion. If you have passion for something, you may be naturally good at it. For instance, if you’re into cars, then you may want to consider starting up a business related to cars. Get the idea? Let’s move on.

Build Your Business Plan
Just like engineers prepare a plan before they actually start constructing a building, entrepreneurs must also have a business plan that includes each and every detail of how they plan to run their business. From company policies to finances and to marketing – everything is included in a business plan.

Take the time needed to create one. Go to the Small Business Administration site to create one using their free tool. Here’s the link, Going through the process of creating a business plan, using this tool or another one, will make things much easier as you move along your journey.

Get Financing
Without sufficient amounts of money, you may find it difficult to start a business. While you may have enough savings to get you started, many people invite investors to invest in their business. This is where your business plan will come in handy. Investors will want to look at how you plan to use their money, and your business plan will enlighten them on this matter.
Similarly, you may want to approach banks, friends and family or any other sources of finance.

Get Your License and Permits
To start a small business, you will be required to complete some simple paperwork. This paperwork is not too complex; however, it is absolutely necessary. You need to make sure you get all the required licenses and permits to operate in your state, city, and possibly your county. Do a search on the web to find out what is required.

Select Your Business Location
The next thing you would have to do is find a suitable location for your business. Working from your home initially may be a viable option especially if you need to keep costs down. If you plan to conduct your business online, then you may be better off working from your home, at least until your business gets stable.

However, if your work necessitates meeting clients and customers, then you may be better off selecting an office in a business district. Just make sure the location gives off a good first impression of your business. There are a number of virtual offices that provide office space by the hour, conference room space, and mailing addresses. Do your research. The options are numerous. Take your time and determine what will work best for your particular business situation and needs.

Set Up An Accounting System
Proper tracking and management of all your cash inflows and outflows and all your finances are vital for the success of your business. There are numerous accounting solutions for small businesses on the market that can help make the job easier. QuickBooks, for example, is quite popular with small business owners due to its ease of use and abundance of features. QuickBooks also has a number of third party add-ons that provide additional customization that suits your needs. Again, do your research or talk to a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. You’ll be glad you did. 😉

Tips for Starting and Growing Your Small Business

Small to medium businesses are growing in the US day by day, largely because of so many opportunities still out there resting in the market and also due to the entrepreneurship ‘trend’ that has recently begun to take over. Small businesses are also a great way to target the many niches looking for a better solution to their needs.

As small businesses are, well, ‘small’, they have the opportunity to progressively establish themselves as leaders in their categories, depending upon the nature of the business. However, not all small businesses are successful, and there could be a lot of reasons, like lack of knowledge of the market, lack of research or simply, lack of funds or even motivation.

So, what can you do, to stay in the market and keep your business growing? There are some essentials to starting and growing a small business, like:
Understanding Your Brand and Your Target Market
Starting any sort of business means first, you will have to conduct profound market research. What is currently lacking in the market? Who needs the products or services you are willing to step into? What are specifications like age, income, lifestyle, and other demographic, geographic, psychographic features of the niche you are targeting?

To start off right, you need a good understanding of your product, market and the customers and a profound understanding of your brand. Your brand is not just the color, logo, or visuals; they are the experiences your customers share with your brand.

Be Unique
The success of small to medium businesses purely depends on being unique and standing out. If you are successful in portraying your brand as unique, you should be successful in establishing factors that make your offerings unique. Don’t forget to put these unique qualities into the company’s advertising and marketing messages.

Make Sure The Customers Know The Face Behind The Business
One of the most common reasons behind small businesses failing is the absence of the owner. Not only do employees lose motivation due to the absence of the manager, but also this can lead to a rapidly generating fleet of unsatisfied and unhappy customers. Always be present, and find ways to interact with your customers so that they know the face behind the business.

Build a Community And Following
Most small to medium businesses also fail because they are unable to build a community around them- why is it so important?

Building a community, using both online and offline methods gives your business solid opportunities to grow and progress. People start to trust your brand, and you can also keep conducting seminars and events to enhance the image of your brand.

These tips are just a starting point for you to begin thinking about as you work through and develop your business further. Also check out

QuickBooks Online – Aligned With Your Current Business Needs

The Internet has revolutionized and simplified business chores that previously consumed significant amounts of time, labor and effort. It is now possible to conduct trade online with unbelievable ease and convenience. Most business enterprises have turned towards this medium to capture audiences and market share for a simple reason – this is where the consumers are!

This revolution has come about with another reality – if this is where customers are, this is precisely where businesses should be. This shift has changed the importance and necessity of physical workspace for most businesses. In fact, many organizations have turned remote office setups to save valuable business resources and use them profitably within the business.

Most companies have a mobile labor force working from different parts of the city, if not, the world to meet strategic business objectives. This, however, has given rise to challenges of a unique nature.

The biggest challenges is how to get the workforce on board, on the same page at the same time. Information sharing is proving tricky while also trying to take into account the company’s confidentiality policies. This is where QuickBooks® has emerged as the viable solution to the problem of managing your accounting function securely and confidentially.

QuickBooks – Going Online
QuickBooks is an accounting software that serves more complex purposes than simply bookkeeping. It not only helps you keep track of all expenses and income for the business, but it also helps managers plan their business activities according to the amount of resources available to them. This ensures overspending can be avoided, which, in turn, protects the company against loss and potential bankruptcy!

What is even more important, QuickBooks has gone online. This means you can gain access to updated financial information about the company from anywhere at any time!

All information fed into the software is stored on a virtual cloud computing server. So, everyone who has access to the software portal can access the same information at the same time, which is up-to-date. This encourages greater collaboration and lessens the probability of erroneous and “expensive” financial decisions. In essence, it safeguards the future of your business entity.

Authority can be parsed out based on responsibility level and how much access each person needs. All participating parties have been given the authority to make changes, and they can let their peers know about the updated status. These changes need not be made from a computer, but can also be made from a smartphone or tablet. These uses call for better and efficient use of business resources. This also helps keep every expense recorded without relying on delayed entries.

QuickBooks has a built-in feature that automatically highlights the tasks that require your immediate attention. Any receivables or payables that are already due or are nearing their due date will be displayed on the dashboard. This ensures the company’s cash flow is in order with greater efficiency and accuracy.

Moreover, QuickBooks is adequately programmed to make and receive payments; there is even a single click (or touch) feature. This makes it easier to manage accounts and meet deadlines. This protects the company’s credit scores and builds credibility with vendors over the long run.

What more could you possibly ask for? QuickBooks is the best accounting software that is precisely aligned with your current business needs in mind. You can manage your resources easily and effectively with an eye toward greater gains! Yahoo!


How to Track and Manage Small Business Expenses

With cutting edge competition in all industries, it has become vital for businesses to track and manage their expenses in order to pinpoint any unnecessary expenditure and to cut costs. Proper management also helps a lot when the time comes to pay taxes. As an entrepreneur, you can maintain a number of practices to keep your business’s finances sound.

The following guidelines will help you to track and manage all the expenses of your business. You should try to aim for implementing as many of these tips as you can.

Get Automated
There are several powerful accounting software tools out there that can help you automate the process of financial bookkeeping. QuickBooks, for example, is renowned for simplifying the process of tracking and managing small business expenses. It is best to use the same version as your accountant because this will make it easy to import information to your tax return when the need arises.

Get Ready for Tax Time
Make sure your records are as accurate as possible, and don’t forget to record any expenses that you are planning to deduct on your taxes. These may include expenses involving travel, entertainment, use of business vehicles, office equipment as well as charitable contributions.

Don’t Mix Personal and Business Funds
Try not to use your personal cash, credit cards or checking accounts for any business expenses. Even though you can later reimburse yourself for any such expenses, these generally add unnecessary complexity to your financial records and may even expose your business to scrutiny by IRS.

Keep an Eye on Petty Cash
Petty cash expenditures, if not tracked properly, can create lots of problems for you. Use your accounting software to create a cash account so that you can adequately manage your expenses and cash flow in and out of the account. It is best to minimize the use of petty cash until absolutely necessary.

Save All Receipts
In order to document tax-deductible expenses, you will need all your receipts if you are audited. It’s a good idea to jot down why you carried out the transaction on the receipt for future reference. Consider scanning all your receipts to file them digitally; doing this will not only save on a lot of physical storage, it will also cut down on the hassle of managing all the extra paperwork.

Your accounting software may allow you to upload your receipts with the expense. QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, Xero and Wave are software programs that allow receipt management.

Be Timely
If you don’t put your expenses into your accounting software on a timely basis, you will end up with a large pile of receipts that will only continue to grow. By recording the expenses in a timely manner, you will be keeping your financial records up-to-date.

Use Technology
Technology has made things extremely easy. For instance, you can use the QuickBooks mobile app to keep track of your expenses on the go. You can easily integrate and synchronize data between QuickBooks on your PC and on your mobile.

Monitor Results Frequently
Using QuickBooks, you can easily create weekly or monthly reports to review how your expenses are coming along and to see how well you have been managing your business cash flow. Make sure you keep an eye on your budget by reviewing financial reports on a regular basis.

These simple tips will help you get started with good bookkeeping habits, which in turn, results in maximizing your expense deductions and minimizing confusion tax time.

Note: Also check out our article on Keep a Leash on Business Expenses.

6 QuickBooks Reports You Should Be Using

The Report Center and the Reports menu are areas of QuickBooks that a lot of accountants heavily rely on. Most people only generate a small number of reports. Ever since the advent of QuickBooks accounting software, the task of tracking and managing expenses of small businesses has been completely revamped.

The Reports Center contains some chief reports that many users overlook. This blog will shed on some light of the reports that you should be using to effectively manage and track your business’s finance.

1. Profit & Loss Summary Previous Year Comparison
This report can be accessed by choosing Reports, selecting Company and Financial and then clicking on Profit & Loss Summary Previous Year Comparison. In order to figure out whether you have been growing or contracting, you need to compare your finances with those of last year, and this can be done using this report.

2. Balance Sheet Previous Year Comparison
This report can be found in the same section as the Profit & Loss Summary Previous Year Comparison report. The following accounts of your balance sheet must be compared to see where you stand now as opposed to the prior year.

• Accounts Receivable
• Accounts Payable
• Cash
• Inventory

3. Statement of Cash Flows
The Statement of Cash Flows can be found in the Company and Financial Section. Both the Profit & Loss and the Balance sheet report will give you a better understanding of how much you have earned and spent. However, these two reports do not reveal where the cash was coming from.

The Statement of Cash Flows will offer you such information, such as:

1. The amount of money earned from sales and the amount spent on various expenses.
2. The cash inflows and outflows from numerous activities such as repayment, borrowing and investing activities.

4. Collections Report
QuickBooks has made it easier for accountants and entrepreneurs to keep track of their customer balance for collection purposes. You can access the Collections Report by choosing reports and going to the Customers & Receivables section where you can generate a Collections Report.

This feature report makes it easy for you to get in touch with customers who have overdue invoices.

5. A/P Aging Summary
While it is important to ensure that your customers are paying on time; it is also necessary that you pay your bills on time too. Not paying bills your phone, Internet and other services can lead to pointless disruptions that could have been avoided.

You can access the A/P Aging Summary in the Reports, Vendors & Payables section.

6. Trial Balance
A lot of entrepreneurs usually overlook the Trial Balance report because t it is among the reports in QuickBooks that uses terms such as Credit and Debit. This report is really helpful because it displays all of your account balances in an easy to read, concise format.

To access this report, head to the Accountant & Taxes section and choose Trial Balance.

9 Ways You Should be Using QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the most popular accounting program on the market, and it is the accounting software of choice for a significant number of entrepreneurs with minimal time to dedicate to trying to maintain their bookkeeping. QuickBooks offers a seamless solution for all the accounting needs of a small business with superb scalability and ease of use; unlike other financial software that have a steep learning curve.

Here are a few ways you should be using QuickBooks for managing your business:

1. Get the Most Out of Existing Reports:

  •   Use the accounts receivable aging to find information on who owes you money, and how much they owe you and since when.
  •   Similarly, use the accounts payable aging to find out whom you owe money to, while you monitor cash flow.
  •   Prepare reports with comparative balances to analyze the trends in your revenue and expense.
  •   Utilize the variety of pre-formatted and custom reports to analyze your business in ways that are of most value to you.

2. Use Budgets:

  •  Budgets present a target or a benchmark. You can compare your plans to your actual results to determine how things are going month to month and year over year. Are your expenses increases? What are the reasons behind these increases? Budgets are an important business tool.

3. Export Information to Microsoft Excel:

  • Using QuickBooks, you can easily export all your data into Excel format. Doing this, will allow you to sort the data and prepare certain graphs and charts that may not be available to you in QuickBooks.

4. Use Classes:

  • By using classes, you will be able to keep track of the income and expenses in a variety of categories, such as by a particular department, location, or any other breakdown that may be useful for your business.

5. Set It Up Correctly:

  •   You should take your time to learn and configure QuickBooks correctly or hire someone to do it for you. By configuring the software properly, you will create a solid foundation to work from.

6. Enter All Data Consistently:

  • Consistency is important if you want accurate reports. For instance, if you enter ‘Albert Co’ at one place and ‘Albert Company on another for the same customer, you will end up with two different customers.

7. Close and Secure Periods with Passwords:

  • When you close periods at the end of the month and secure them with a password, you prevent changes from being made to those specific periods that have been finalized after review.

8. Reconcile Cash at the End of the Month:

  • You should always reconcile your bank accounts at the end of the month to ensure that the cash is accurate. If your reconciliations are accurate, chances are your other business activities will also be the same.

9. Use Adjusting Journal Entries:

  • The journal entries are really useful for entering any transactions or for correcting prior periods. In QuickBooks, journal entries are used to record transactions that do not already have a designated form.

QuickBooks accounting software is very powerful that provides entrepreneurs a perfect platform for bookkeeping. With the proper know-how and practice, you will be able to flawlessly manage all of your incomes and expenses, or at the very least, you will be able to hire the right person to handle it for you.

Hiring Family

Common Small Business Accounting Mistakes to Avoid

Bookkeeping is a challenging task and one of the most important when it comes to managing your business. Even the slightest of errors could seriously affect the financial stability of your business and its capability to sustain itself. This is why it is imperative that you learn from the mistakes of others and avoid them to ensure the success of your startup.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid that have been committed by a number of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

1. Hiring the Wrong People
One of the most common mistakes that many business people make is that they hire the wrong people for a particular job. You may not need to hire a person right at the start of the launching of your business, but you may need to do so later on when your business begins to expand. It can become very difficult for you to manage all aspects of the business.
Do not go for a cheaper hire, get a fully qualified person to look after your finances. You would be amazed at the number of things we have seen. Remember, garbage in, garbage out. You may have to pay more, but remember that you cannot afford losses that may result from mistakes or not understanding your financial position. Your business credit is an important element that could be at risk.

2. Spending Too Much on Technology
Many entrepreneurs invest a lot of money in really expensive accounting software. Some of the software that they purchase may not even be suitable for small businesses. It is best to do your research. If you opt for accounting software that has been designed for small businesses, such as the QuickBooks, Xero, Freshbooks or Wave. Their features vary greatly as do their costs and support. These are all good small business software programs, but QuickBooks has the ability to grow as you grow. It not only it comes with powerful features, it will not leave a dent on your wallet.

Remember, do an evaluation. No software is one size fits all. What works for a friend’s business, may not work for yours. There are a number of great comparisons on the web. Even with this, read carefully, and make sure you are picking what will work best for you. Also, do not hesitate to talk with a consultant, who can usually give you the best recommendation after talking with you about your business, but they may also be able to offer you special pricing.

3. Hiring Family Members
A lot of owners think that it is a good idea to hire their family members to look after the financial aspects of their business. This can be a dangerous thing, and in some cases, certainly not all, it can lead to conflict. Although many of us have heard or worked through some of the horror stories, not every story is bad. While this may be considered a generalization by some, I have seen enough of the bad to advise you to tread carefully. It will undoubtedly be a bit more expensive to hire a qualified bookkeeper or accounting professional to do the job, but you may avoid a number of problems and save yourself a bundle in the end.

4. Mixing Personal and Business Finances
Mixing personal and business finances has always been a bad idea. So many people have had to face numerous complications later on, but still, some businesses continue to use a single account for both types of finances. You really do not want $500 worth of video games on your business credit card statement. Not only will this cause confusion, but it could also spawn issues with the IRS.

5. Doing It All Alone
The do-it-yourself approach is not always practical, especially when it comes to starting up a business. A business requires a lot of attention, and there are so many facets that need to be carefully looked after during this critical phase. Things can really overwhelm you if you try to take care of everything on yourself.

It is best to get a helping hand in areas where you may need additional expertise, preferably a professional who can assist you with the most complex aspects of the business such as finance, accounting, taxes, business structure, etc.

It’s my hope that this information has been helpful. I realize some of these may be a duh for some of you, but now, you can’t say I didn’t tell you. 🙂

A Few Things to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business

When it comes to starting your own business, there are several things that need careful consideration. As you are probably well aware, starting a business is no easy task. It can be a risky journey that is loaded with unknown dangers and things that can seem to be way beyond your control. For many, it is a life-long dream and a way to control their own destiny. It certainly was us. We are not “the” experts when it comes to starting your own business. We had a few bumps and bruises along the way. That said, we want to share a few things that we learned, understanding that every business is different, yet proper planning is vital for a business to succeed. If you are launching your own business, or are planning to do so in the near-future, here are a few things for you to consider.

1. Contemplate Your Reasons
The idea of starting up your own business is indeed daunting; but so is the never-ending fatigue associated with working an 8-hour shift that turns out to be a 10, 12, and even 14-hour shift each and every day. Still, you should have a solid reason for why you want to start your own business, and it should not be because you have run out of options. A strong purpose is vital for the development and growth of your business.

2. Select the Type of Business
Once you have a solid purpose on why you want to start your business, you need to answer the question of what type of business you want. The options are almost unlimited; people love cakes, everyone needs a haircut, we cannot live without plumbing, and the list goes on and on.
Look around you and try to figure out what kind of business is needed most in your neighborhood or wherever you intend to start your business.

3. Formulate a Business Plan
A business plan is like a map, if you head out without it, it is fairly certain that you will get lost. Your business plan is the foundation upon which your business will be built. You should include clear, unambiguous information regarding what you will offer, who will be your target audience and any information relevant to the running your business successfully.

4. Understand Your Target Audience
Without understanding your target audience, you will be shooting in the dark. A target audience is a certain set of consumers/customers/clients with a potential interest in your products or services. For instance, if you are planning to sell cosmetics, it may not be a good idea to simply target ‘all women’. You will have to do some research or review third party research on what kind of cosmetics are preferred by women of certain age groups. Doing a little research will give you something to aim for, the appropriate customer who would be more inclined to buy your products.

5. Create the Right Pricing Structure
The prices of your products and services should be set correctly. They should not only cover the necessary expenses, but they should go a step further to generate a profit for you. A lot of entrepreneurs underestimate their efforts; make sure you avoid making this mistake. Consider the costs and effort that it takes to create your product or the amount of time that goes into the services that you offer; do not just account for the obvious expenses when setting your prices. Remember that nothing is more valuable than your time and effort, and you should charge for this too. You can use financial management software such as QuickBooks to help you with all the numbers.

The list above only begins to scratch the surface of the things you need to consider as you begin the journey of becoming an entrepreneur. Business entity type, recordkeeping needs, taxes, and more will need to consideration as well. Check out our post on the Sub S Corporation structures. I know you will be glad you did.

Advantages of a Sub S Corporation

Small to mid-sized business owners already have a lot on their plates. With all the costs of their new startup including things like branding, marketing, purchasing equipment and more, every entrepreneur is looking for ways to cut down on costs. Although there is a vast list of taxes that need to be covered, there are still a number of tips and actions business owners can use to save on taxes. Hiring an attorney to help lower taxes might be one solution, but that also means paying the attorney, which can sometimes mean hundreds and thousands of dollars; so what should you do?

Most Corporations Going Sub S Corporations
A large number of small to medium-sized businesses are now making the election to become a Sub S corporation, those who are already established, are seen changing their status to Sub S.

This is largely due to the huge savings Sub S corporations can get on self-employment taxes, like social security and Medicare. One of the most important benefits a Sub S corporation gets is when the shareholder number under 100, it gets the benefit of being taxed similar to a partnership or LLC.

Consequently, this enables the Sub S corporation to avoid any chances of double taxation; not having to pay any taxes on the profits earned because profits are passed on to every shareholder. Each shareholder is taxed at their own personal tax rate, essentially cutting down taxes to a great extent.

It’s Passive Income!
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may seem that it is not always logical because it treats Sub S corporation income as passive income for tax purposes. Now, this will leave you confused for a while because passive income is something totally different. However, being a Sub S corporation, you can benefit from what seems like a nonsensical rule.

Using this clause, you can counterbalance passive losses like rental losses or equipment losses by adding them to your annual taxable income. For example, if your office equipment losses sum up to $10,000 and your income bracket is $300,000, you will only be taxed for $290,000. Capital losses cannot be carried forward to the future years because Sub S corporations pass net income, net losses, capital gains and losses through to the shareholders each year. No previous year taxable income exists on the corporate level. However, a shareholder may be able to use a net operating loss carryback on his/her personal income tax return.

Save On Payroll Taxes
If you have been running a Sub S corporation, and you are the sole owner, you can minimize your taxes by setting your salary at a reasonably modest level. However, avoid projecting it abnormally low as the IRS may check if the salary is reasonable for your business or not. Moreover, if you are hoping to boost your retirement benefits, you may want to give yourself a little higher salary. It will require you to pay more taxes, but this way, you will be able to accrue social security wage credits, which could potentially help you when you retire.

There are countless ways to save on and benefit from the structure of a Sub S corporation. Before make a final decision, you should look over every aspect and consider getting professional help before you move from your current status to that of a Sub S corporation. Make sure it is the best business structure for your company.

Tax Planning Tips for S Corporations

S corporations provide some of the most powerful tax savings benefits for both investors and small business owners. According to the statistics by the IRS, S corporations represent the most popular type of a small business corporation. However, in making this election, some extra accounting complexity is introduced that prevents business owners from getting all of their legally entitled savings.

In order to be able to take advantage of all of these tax savings, you should focus on the following tips so that you do not miss out on anything.

1. Salaries Should Be Low, Yet Reasonable
S corporation profits are paid to business owners in two forms: salary or profit. Simply put, an S corp owner would generally receive two different types of checks from the business. One would be the payroll checks that will represent the wages of the employees, and the other would be a portion of the business’s profits.
The most important thing a business owner can do to maximize the profit and minimize the tax burden is to pay the shareholder-employees a low salary. However, it should be reasonable. The reason behind this is that when profit is paid out as wages, it is subjected to Social Security and Medicare taxes. This provides shareholder-employees with social security benefits upon retirement. On the other hand, when the profits are paid out as dividends, they are not subject to Social Security or Medicare taxes.

2. Minimize Distributions
Whenever a small business opts to have a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) treated as an S corporation, the IRS sends out a warning instructing that the shareholder-employee wages should not be set too low. If the IRS finds the salary to be set too low, it can re-categorize the distributions (referred to as dividends) as wages. If you recall, wages are subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes; whereas, dividends are not. Because the IRS can re-categorize distributions as wages, it is better that you minimize the distributions in the first place. For instance, if the shareholders can save money with one method versus the other, it should be done so within the S corporation, rather than outside of it.

3. Shift Deductions to S Corporation Tax Return
You should also consider moving tax deductions from shareholder 1040 tax returns to the corporation’s 1120S corporation tax return where legally possible. This shift in deductions may not save the owner income taxes, but it will benefit by reducing the number of distributions made to the share holders. For example, let us suppose that an S Corporation made a profit of $150,000 before it paid the shareholder-employee wages. Meanwhile, an individual shareholder purchased health insurance at a cost of $10,000, saved $5,000 annually for retirement and made annual charitable contributions of $5,000. If these were paid by the corporation rather than the individual, then the shareholder would find himself or herself in the same position economically. However, the S corporation would be paying $130,000 as wages and distributions rather than the original figure of $150,000.

The above three tax planning tips can go a long way in helping out S corporations to reduce the taxes they have to pay. The secret to financial success lies in proper planning, and all businesses have to ensure that they plan well in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on.

Advantages of Using QuickBooks

As an entrepreneur running a small business, you need all the help you can get to streamline your business processes. Accounting and Finance are among the most critical facets of running a business. Your business simply cannot afford to waste or lose any money as it may already be running on a boot-strap budget.

QuickBooks® is among the most powerful accounting software programs that include some of the best features available to help small businesses work as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

As you know, business finance includes many areas that can require your complete attention. It can get quite complicated at times, especially when you have to juggle between managing the finances and running your business. QuickBooks can make this easy for you by offering numerous benefits such as the following:

Precise Money Management: One of the key aspects of business finance is to be fully aware of where your money is going. Recording such transactions is made easy by QuickBooks. You can record all kinds of transactions, set up dates for any recurring bills and do the necessary math required to manage your expenses to the last cent.

Payroll Management: QuickBooks also comes with a built-in payroll feature that lets you manage payroll and its related taxes for any number of employees who may be working at your company.

Sales Tracking: Tracking your product sales and services is important, so you know how much revenue you are generating and which products are generating the most revenue. You can also create invoices for those customers who need invoices for purchasing purposes.

Easy Reporting: You can use the software to generate reports such as Profit and Loss (P&L) statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, as well as accounts receivable and payable aging. These reports can simplify the process of financial statement analysis.

Easy to Use: Most accounting software has a really steep learning curve. They are cumbersome to learn and initially cause more trouble than they seem to solve. Being a contrarian, QuickBooks is an extremely intuitive program that is easy to understand and extremely powerful.

Integration: QuickBooks has exceptional integration abilities that allow it to integrate with numerous other programs. Once you have input all the data on income and expenses, you can easily export it to tax preparation programs. You can also import data from other applications and use it within QuickBooks.

Customization: There is an abundance of ready-to-use templates that can be used to create invoices, charts, business plans and spreadsheets in QuickBooks. Thanks to the customization features of the software, you can manage the look of each document in order to make them stand out. You can also add your company logo to invoices to give them a personal touch.

Signing Checks: If you have to sign a lot of checks for your business, then QuickBooks can make this job easy for you by allowing you to scan and upload your signature. The scanned signatures can then be used to prepare checks. Automation of this process can save you a great deal of time and effort.

QuickBooks® has a great deal to offer entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses. I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of many features available as a part of QuickBooks. Contact us for more information.

Tax Tips for Small and Growing Businesses

Taxes are undoubtedly one of the most important and often, agonizing details that businesses have to face. Similar to the way in which a business’s annual profits depend on the entrepreneur’s abilities, the yearly tax bill also depends on the knowledge and skills of the business owner. It is imperative that you, as a business owner, are aware of and fulfill your responsibilities by paying your taxes to avoid any complications with the IRS.

However, a good entrepreneur will take measures to reduce his or her taxes through careful management of their business.

Here are a few tips to help you understand how you can reduce the amount of taxes you pay.

1. Writing Off Deductions
All kinds of ordinary and necessary expenses can be deducted from the revenue of a business in order to reduce its taxable income. There are some deductions that are obvious, such as expenditures comprised of salaries, rent, equipment and travel. Nevertheless, the rules concerning deductions are not really crystal-clear.

Do not forget to analyze the following possible deductions:

  • Business Losses – As a sole proprietor or Sub-S Corporation business owner, you can offset any losses incurred by the business against your personal income to reduce your taxes. If your business losses exceed your income, then you may be able to reduce your taxable income in the future.
  • Business and Pleasure Trips – If you devote more than half of your trip to business, then you can deduct the travel costs and other expenses applicable to the business portion of the trip to your reduce taxes.

2. Be Aware of Employee Taxes
If your company has employees, then a number of taxes will have to be deducted from their salaries. Such taxes include:

  • Withholding – Federal and State (where applicable) income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes must be withheld from the salaries of your employees.
  • Employer matching – Any business must ensure that it matches both the FICA (Social Security) and Medicare taxes paid to employees.
  • Unemployment Tax – As a business owner, you must also pay any Federal and State unemployment taxes.

3. Check Your Liability to Pay Sales Tax
As a small business owner, you should be aware of whether or not you are required to pay taxes for the products and services that offer. Most products are taxable, with the exception of prescription drugs.

The sales of both taxable and nontaxable products must be included on your business’s sales tax return. Also, if your company sells products online and does not have a presence in a specific state, then you may only be liable to pay use tax, instead of sales tax.

4. Keep Your Tax Documents for a Minimum of 7 Years
Good recordkeeping is vital to the success of a small, growing company. There are some things that must be kept indefinitely, such as any licenses, incorporation papers and business tax returns. However, tax-related documents such as client 1099 forms, vehicle mileage logs and expense receipts should be kept for a minimum of 7 years.

Please consult with one of our Brilliant Team accounting professionals or touch base with your tax advisor for more information.

7 Effective Ways of Tracking and Managing Small Business Expenses

Running a business is no easy task. You may have managed to fire up your own small business, but this isn’t where the challenge ends. Lots of start-up businesses fail, and to ensure that yours is headed for success, you will need to track and manage your expenses accurately. Small businesses generally run on cash-strapped budgets, and this situation makes them more vulnerable to mismanagement even though it is unintended.

You can follow these guidelines to help you manage your business’s budget efficiently:

1. Get Organized
If you have not laid down the priorities and goals of your company in a well-drafted business plan, or if you’re not adhering to your business plan, then you will undoubtedly have problems managing your business. Unless you organize everything from your policies, files and inventories, you will not be able to keep a track on your expenses.

2. Track Every Expense
You have to be diligent regarding tracking and monitoring of your expenses. You should keep an eye on each and every expense of your business in order to understand where your money is going. You may not be spending a lot, but if you keep track of every transaction, you will be ahead of the game, knowing what you are spending your hard earned money on and whether or not it is truly necessary.

3. Do Your Research
Whenever you are faced with an investment decision, control the urge to make decisions quickly without pondering the situation and carefully reviewing all the details. As an entrepreneur who runs a small business, you cannot afford to make haphazard decisions that may cause your business to lose precious money and momentum.

4. Carry Out Low Budget Marketing
It is not advisable to spend a considerable chunk of your money on expensive marketing campaigns. While a good marketing strategy is important, it does not have to be expensive. Keep your marketing budget low until you can afford to reserve larger portions of your budget for marketing and advertising campaigns. Take a look at the book, The Best of Guerrilla Marketing Remix; it is a great book for small businesses who are marketing on a shoestring.

5. Create a Home-Office
During the initial days following the launch of your start-up, you do not have to spend money on a retail shop or office. This will be a burden on your budget, and if you can set up an office at your home, you should go for it. You will be surprised at how much money you save.

6. Outsource Rather Than Hiring
A great number of expenses are associated with hiring employees; and unless or until your business is properly established, you should opt for hiring outside contractors to do some of your work for you. This way, you will have more time to concentrate on the critical aspects of your business while being easy on your already-tight budget.

7. Give Importance to Creating Relationships
While this point has nothing specific to do with tracking or managing expenses; nonetheless, if you establish good relationships with your customers, they will come back to you for more business including recommending that others frequent your business. The increase in sales will add stability to your start-up – and this stability is vital to your success.

10 Ways You Can Keep Track of Your Business Expenses

What successful entrepreneurs know best is how to keep track of their business expenses. Even the slightest mismanagement of expenses can incur severe losses to a small business. All thriving businesses have one thing in common: all their expenses are carefully and precisely recorded and reviewed on a regular basis.

You can instill such skills in yourself and implement them into your business to secure a healthy financial position. Here are a few tips to help you manage your business expenses:

1. Rely on Automation
Keeping track of all the transactions can be a huge task for your accountants. Simplify management of your finances by incorporating accounting software like QuickBooks that will streamline the process considerably.

2. Be Prepared For Taxes
Make sure you precisely record all expenses that you plan to deduct for your business. These can include expenses incurred during and for, travel, entertainment, use of vehicles, office supplies and equipment as well as contributions you made to a charity. You can get information on deductible business expenses from the IRS website, or consult with your accountant.

3. Separate Personal and Business Funds
For proper financial recording, it is necessary that you avoid using business funds for personal use and vice versa. Co-mingling funds can complicate your recordkeeping and possibly expose your business to IRS inquiry.

4. Keep an Eye on Petty Cash
Petty cash expenses can upset your finances if not properly managed. It is very easy to lose track of receipts. You must handle the recordkeeping effectively. It is recommended that you limit use of petty cash until absolutely necessary. Be sure to use your financial software to manage and track your cash expenses.

5. Keep the Receipts
If you are ever audited, you will need receipts to document tax-deductable expenses. A great way to store receipts is to scan them and file them in a digital format, thus saving physical storage space.

6. Record on a Timely Basis
Develop a habit of recording expenses as soon as possible. Save yourself from the situation where you are working with a pile of receipts. This alone can conserve a lot of time in the long run because you are not trying to locate and keep track of offline information and receipts. It will also keep all your financial records up to date.

7. Use Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards can streamline the process of recording your expenses because many credit card statements break down expenses on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. The credit card transactions can also be downloaded into QuickBooks easily to streamline the data entry process.

8. Review Financial Reports
Create weekly and monthly reports using QuickBooks and review them to see if your expenses are in harmony with your budget or not.

9. Keep Track on the Go
Keep a track of your expenses and update them on the go using QuickBooks’ mobile applications. These are especially useful if your business requires you to travel; you will be able to track expenses, create invoices, manage payroll and keep your financial data up to date no matter where you are.

10. Reimburse Employees Electronically
Pay your employees’ salaries using electronic payment methods, such as bank transfer. Your bank statement will show all these transactions, giving you more control over your disbursements.

For more tips on running a small business check out these great articles!