3 Reasons to love Outright and 1 not so much

Ever since I came upon Outright.  I have been trying to set up clients that are a good fit.    What makes a good candidate. Well, it was designed for e-commerce businesses, but If your accounting isn’t very complicated,  you really just need to categorize your expenses,  you don’t send out invoices or you just don’t have that many transactions, this may be a good solution.

Why I like it:

1) Import transactions from the bank.   You connect your bank, paypal and credit card accounts to the software and the transactions get imported in.   There is a generic chart of accounts (income and expense categories) already there, but you can create your own accounts.   The bank already has many of your transactions categorized already, so they come into the Outright system categorized that way.    All you have to do is check that the transactions are to the correct categories.

Heads Up-depending on your bank you may only be able to import 3 months of information.   If you are more than that into the year you will have to create a .csv import file.     I did this for one of my companies, it wasn’t to bad of a process.

2) Import from e-commerce site.   Connect your amazon, etsy, or ebay account and the sales information (amounts) are imported in.

3) Separates personal transactions from business.  This one is my favorite.  If your like most small business owners you either have one bank account where all expenses (personal and business) are paid out of, or you have a business account and personal account, but have the business account pay some personal expenses and vice versa.  You can categorize vendors as personal and those transactions won’t show up on the Profit/Loss statement.

Now for the 1 not so much

No balance sheet statement.  While the software produces a nice Profit and Loss statement, there is no balance sheet.  If you are wondering what a balance sheet is, then you probably don’t need one.  In any event if you have any inventory that you are carrying you will need to have a balance sheet.

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3 Reasons to love Outright and 1 not so much

How to keep your bookkeeping costs down

Bookkeeping is a necessary evil and there is nothing sexy about it… (well maybe sometimes).

It is a job better left for those of us who do find it sexy.    While you do have to pay for the service, it shouldn’t be a budget buster.

Here are a couple of tips to keep the costs down.  (at least this is how it works at my firm)

1. Remote vs. Onsite work – Onsite work is more expensive. There is travel time, making appointments, rescheduling appointments, waiting for the next visit to have a discussion or resolve a problem, having workspace and sharing your computer, plus the higher hourly fee that goes with an onsite visit.    Remote working is flat rate based on the number of transactions that are processed.  Communicating via text and e-mails your questions and problem can be responded to within 24 hours.  No need to make appointments so you are free to do your thing.   No need for the extra computer or space.

2. Have all your information – clarity of information is key.   Have all of your bank and credit card statements (not just some months you found in the pile).   Mark your receipts with any project numbers or special treatment.  If you still are writing checks, have a check register which included check number, date, payee (who you paid) and what it was for.   Nothing is a mood killer like looking at a bank statement with just check numbers and amounts and then having to source the information.  All of these steps keep things moving quickly.

3. Use Technology, cloud computing is your friend here, use online project management software, accounting software, CRM systems.  It makes communication and transfer of information much smoother.

Leave a comment, let us know what you think.

How to keep your bookkeeping costs down

How Expensify brought the fun back to expense reports

I am an accountant and am pretty good with receipts, but even I hate filling out expense reports.   Along comes Expensify onto my iPhone and I was able to hand in my expense report right after my plane landed (well, ok the next day).

I was on a recent business trip and my usual thing would be to save the receipts in an envelope and    after few weeks after I got back, fill out an expense report spreadsheet.   Of course when I did finally get to it I would have to remember the details of the trip to get the expenses in the correct categories, (i’m sure you can relate).

I downloaded Expensify and Genius Scan (makes your iPhone a scanner) and I was off.   At the end of each day of my trip:

  •  I would scan my receipts (using Genius Scan), it connects to Expensify and transfers the image into the application
  •  I would add the charges into the Expensify iPhone app and put them in the correct categories.
  •  I would attached the scanned receipt to the charge.

When I got back to the office I logged on to the Expensify website and there it was, a spreadsheet with the expenses and the receipts attached that I could print or email to whoever needed/wanted it.

What was the longest time it took you to fill out an expense report?  Leave a comment.

Sign up to the blog for our drawing.  The winner gets an Expensify setup/tutorial session.

Drawing to be held at the end of this month.

How Expensify brought the fun back to expense reports

3 Easy Steps to deal with your receipts

I am often asked “Do I really need to keep the receipts?”    The answer is yes, you should keep the receipts.  You may need that detail in a tax audit.   I know because I speak from personal experience.

Despite claims of paperless office, I still deal with way too many receipts.    Ideally, the receipts should be scanned and kept in electronic form, but who really has the time or wants to pay for that to be done.

If you are like most small businesses you are using personal and business debit and credit cards.   Every so often you use the wrong card.  Oops,  I bought the groceries on the business card.   Hey stuff happens, we’ve all done it.

Now, those debit and credit card transactions show up on a statement, but what about cash purchases (I have many parking lot charges) and the vague paypal/amazon purchases that are listed on the statements?

To help you minimize your time on this and keep the filing simple:

1.  Get yourself an accordion file with the months listed on the tabs.

2.  As you get your receipts, mark on them whether personal or business expense.

As simple “P” or “B” at the top corner will do.    Then mark what the purpose for the expense is.   For example, you went to a restaurant for a business meeting, “B” at the top corner, then “Lunch with Joe to discuss Biz Dev”

3.  Put the receipt in the accordion folder in the corresponding month.

Also add the bank statement and the credit card statement for the month.    If you are feeling really ambitious you can staple the receipts to the statements.   That way if you ever needed to get the details of the transaction you can get to it easily.

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3 Easy Steps to deal with your receipts

3 Best Questions to ask before Choosing the Right Accounting Software

Now that cloud computing is available, there is a selection of accounting software to choose from.   Ah… but which one to choose?   Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1.  What is your end goal?   Are you just looking to get information to fill out a tax return (on time, and no drama),  or do you want reports that will help you to grow your business?

2.  What kind of business do you have?   Selling products or selling time?

3.  How good are your with technology?   Are you a mobile warrior, or spreadsheet junkie?

Depending on how you answer the above you can determine if you go with  Outright, or a FreshbooksWaveAccounting combination.   Perhaps a VendXero combo will do the trick.  Or if you need a more complicated system QuickBooks Online be the one.

These software essentially do the same thing, gather your business transactions, help to categorize those transactions, and produce needed reports.   They just do them from simple to more complicated degrees.  Some have more bells and whistle than others.

In our next post we will begin product reviews to help small business owners figure out which product or products are right for them.

In the meantime please ask a question or post a comment.

3 Best Questions to ask before Choosing the Right Accounting Software

Xero at year end

Just a quick update.

Ok so I’ve been using Xero accounting software for 7 months now for my bookkeeping practice. I’m still liking it. The bank feeds are great. If you set up bank rules, makes it really easy. I don’t think I had to hand enter any information in the last 7 months.

I use Workflowmax as my project management tool. I haven’t had any problems with the invoices and payments between the two systems.

Keep up the good work!

Xero at year end

Get a bookkeeping system that you — and your business — can handle

In my work with small business owners, I emphasize the need for having a bookkeeping system that is functional and that is usable. And if that’s a pen and paper system, that’s okay. And I mean it, even though I’m a Quickbooks Certified Pro Advisor handling the finances of web design companies, small advertising agencies, and other businesses around La Canada, Pasadena, Glendale, and Los Angeles.

Bookkeeping like this may get you started on the right track

Just use a bookkeeping system and remember the most basic of functions — recording income and expense. If your income and the expenses you have as an entrepreneur or established small business owner are accurately recorded then you’re engaging in good bookkeeping practices.

I’d like you to read this article titled Recording Income and Expenses for Business by Don Simkovich who provides website solutions and article marketing for small business owners in southern California and nationally. He wrote this over a year ago and featured the Dome bookkeeping system. He recently updated it with my input.You can read the article and then click on Your Back Office Web.com to get a free spreadsheet template.

Dome won’t make your friends or competitors jealous, but it can help you take the basic steps in getting your business finances organized. Now, when you’re ready to move beyond a paper and pencil bookkeeping system give me a call for a free consultation. I can see if Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or another solution is right for you.

Get a bookkeeping system that you — and your business — can handle