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:

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

Sometimes you just need a drink, Liquid Courage

California Statement of Information FYI

I just wanted to share some information regarding the Statement of Information.

If you are a California business every year you have to file a Statement of information.  You can fill this out yourself for $25.00.  You go on the Secretary of State website and fill out the form online, and pay using a credit card.

There are plenty of “Services” that send very official looking mail, that will do this for you and charge about $200.00 plus.   Unless you really want to pay $200 plus to do this, go ahead, but you don’t need to.  If you read the letter very carefully, in small print at the very bottom it should say something like “this isn’t an official notice”  or, “By signing you are giving permission to xyz company to fill this out for you”.

Please be read the mail carefully, and if you really are in doubt go to the website and you can find out if  your statement of information is due.

Please feel free to leave a comment, question or share your experience.

California Statement of Information FYI

2 ways to enter Paypal payments into QuickBooks

Paypal is a great way to get paid from your clients.  Especially if you aren’t set up to take credit cards.   However recording the payments in QuickBooks is something I get asked about a lot.

If you invoice your clients out of QuickBooks:

1.  In the Chart of Accounts set up an expense called “Paypal processing fee”.

2. When you receive the payment, enter in the amount that Paypal gives you. This will leave an unpaid balance that is the same as the Paypal Fee.

3. “Write Off” the balance to the expense account “Paypal processing fee”.

If you don’t invoice your clients out of QuickBooks:

1. In the chart of accounts set up a bank account called “Paypal”
2. Also in the chart of accounts set up an expense account called “Paypal processing fees”.
3. Record the deposit like you would in any other bank account.  Record the full client payment amount.  The next transactions in the paypal register is the paypal processing fee, which gets coded to the “paypal processing fee” account  you just created.  
4. Lastly do a transfer from the paypal bank account to your checking account.
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2 ways to enter Paypal payments into QuickBooks

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