Sometimes you just need a drink, Liquid Courage

We are pleased to announce Liquid Courage – Bookkeeping help for Creative Professionals

Overcome your approach anxiety of accounting for your growing creative business.  Join us each Thursday afternoon at The Brewery for a peer support group of business owners overcoming their dread of accounting.

Bring your shoe-box (or garbage bag) filled with receipts, and your laptop (or accounting system of choice).   I will guide you through getting started and getting a grip on the bookkeeping process of your business.

At the end of the session, (or even during) complimentary Gin and Tonics are served.  Sometimes you just need a drink to get through the accounting process.

Thursdays 3-6pm  660 South 21st Ave, Unit 6, Los Angeles, CA

For more information contact me:  jackie@yourbackoffice.ca

Your Back Office, Accounting and Consulting firm, we are the left brain to your creative right brain.

http://www.yourbackoffice.ca

Sometimes you just need a drink, Liquid Courage

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

Handle your finances like following a diet

If your business finances need organizing, be sure to handle them like someone going on a diet. Little decisions help us lose or manage our weight and the same principle applies to getting your bookkeeping in order.

Step 1 Create folders

Separate receipts in the current month according to your spending categories. Take an envelope and mark it “travel/meals” for any travel-related expenses. Make an envelope in the same category for the coming month and then place the envelopes in designated folders.

Step 2 Use a bookkeeping ledger – either paper or online

For the busy individual business owner, starting a company or running an established company means receipts can get in disarray. Buy a ledger from an office supply store. Dome makes an easy-to-use ledger or begin implementing a Web-based solution from Zoho.com or Freshbooks.

Start with the present date in entering expenses and income.

Step 3 Set aside 30 minutes each week for finances

Block out the time just like you would for an important meeting. A Friday may be a logical time—or else Saturday morning from 9 to 9:30. Whenever you do it, be committed to spending 30 minutes once a week to tidy up your books.

If you need to hire a bookkeeper, you can use this free test from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. The test is for companies using an accrual system. http://www.aipb.org/testrequest.php

Handle your finances like following a diet

Update on my Xero Accounting software transition from QuickBooks

I am a certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and have been using QuickBooks Accounting Software for at least 7 years.    I have recently switched over to Xero Accounting System.  It is a cloud product based out of New Zealand.   I have been using this product for a few months and so far so good.   I am really liking it.

So what make this so great you ask, well, it works for my business because:

1)  I can access my information from my iPhone, (they have a nice app).

2)  Plays well with others, I use Workflowmax and the inegration between the two is nice and simple.   Plays well with Freshbooks as well, and the list gets longer.

3) Bank Feeds and import of bank transactions.   I have a Paypal feed which once I set up I don’t have to do a damn thing to it, information comes in.    You can import a .csv file easily from your bank.

4) Finally a decent cash flow report that I don’t have to manipulate.   The cashflow report in QuickBooks wasn’t my favorite, it took some work.  In Xero I ran the report and there it was.

5) Customer Service is great.   I asked a question, I got an answer the next day.   Usually when I go to QuickBooks tech support, they are trying to upsell me, or I know more about the software that the person reading from the script.

6) QuickBooks was trying to be all things to all businesses it got a little cluttered.   Xero sticks to the basics, clean and simple.

There is still some more work to do, like adding more US Bank Feeds to their roster and a small Paypal issue that they are working on.   Currently you cannot print checks out of the system, but I understand that it will soon.

It isn’t a solution for every business, but if you are a service provider/mobile warrior you should give it some consideration.

Update on my Xero Accounting software transition from QuickBooks