|Posted on November 3, 2015 at 9:43 AM||comments (4)|
Have you reconciled your Bank Statements lately? Just a Reminder, We have only a few days left to the end of the Year. Very Soon, It will be Tax Season and you will need to submit your Financial Statements for Tax Filing. Can you confidently say that your Company Accounts are updated and reconciled?
It is very important to reconcile your Bank and Credit Card Statements at the end of every MONTH. A Bank Reconciliation is the balancing of a Company's Cash Account Balance to its Bank Account Balance. It is important to ensure that the Cash Account and Bank Account Balances match. The Main Document used for Bank Reconciliation is the Bank Statement.
There are great benefits in reconciling your Accounts and we will be looking at a few of them today. These Benefits include:
I have listed a few of what I discovered in my years of engaging Bank Reconciliations for my Clients. For easy assimilation, I will categorize them as Internal and External Observations:
1) Pilfering Employees/Employees that steal from the Company.
2) Cash Registers not closed out.
3) Bank Deposits not being timely deposited by the Employees.
4) Cash Advances and Loans taken by Employees are not properly accounted for.
5) Unauthorized Purchases made on the Company's Credit Card.
6) Forged Checks being endorsed and cashed at the Bank.
7) Managers taking Clients to a strip club on the company's Credit Card (Yes, This Happens).
8) Rampant Starbucks purchases on the Company Credit Card.
9) Wrong Recording and Classification of Loan Accounts, Line of Credits and credit Card Accounts.
EXTERNAL OBSERVATIONS :
1) Customers reversing charges, without the knowledge of the Business Owner.
2) Automatic Payments increase by the Bank.
3) Utility Companies like Telephone/Internet Companies billing Clients twice in the same month.
4) Fraudulent Purchases on the Company Credit Card.
5) Match.Com Payments made on the company Credit Card.
6) Unauthorized Withdrawals by the Banks ( Inadvertently claiming the Business Owner authorized it).
7) Bill Payments issued via Bill Pay were not mailed out by the Bank to the vendor issued, hence the business Owner incurs late charges for Non Payment of Bills.
8) Over $3,500 in Annual Bank Fees for Overdrafts/NSF/Late Fees.
We can see that most of these items are charge worthy and I have seen a lot of Business Owners experience One or more of these errors because they don't reconcile their Statements. We need to have internal and external procedures in place to get our accounts reconciled. If you have not been recording your transactions from the beginning of the year and have not reconciled them, the best time to start is NOW.
Please do not feel that it is a waste of time to reconcile your accounts, you never know, you may have been losing a lot of cash under your nose. Try to take a look at your account today and begin to experience increased Cash flow. If you feel that you don't have time to get to your Bank Reconciliation, Feel Free to Give Us a Call on 202.422.4586. We are always available to help you.
|Posted on December 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM||comments (12)|
The Holidays are here and it's time to ensure that we have some cash tucked somewhere for the Holiday Shopping, Gifts, Christmas Parties, as well as Year-end Savings.
In our last Newsletter, we uncovered the myth of profits, and learnt that, understanding how transactions occur in our business and its effect on our financial statement is key to managing our profits. Please feel free to refer to our last newsletter for the full details. This Month, We will be looking at 5 strategies of turning our Profits into "Cash":
1 ) Cash is King:
Every company experiences an increase or decrease in Cash availability at any given period; the basic key to turning your profit into "Cash" is what you do, when you have made a Great Sale and received Payments from a Business Windfall. This should be the period to have a Savings or Cash reserve Account, whereby you can set aside a certain percentage of this revenue and discipline yourself, not to meddle with the account. This is called effective Cash Management, and it takes a lot of discipline, but if taken seriously, you will achieve great results.
2) Plug your Cash Leaks:
A lot of Business Owners are surprised about the waste, inefficiency and unchecked spending of precious Cash that should have remained in their Bank Account, if they have been managed effectively. As a Business Owner, it's possible to have been a culprit of any of these acts:
It's time to take a forensic trip down your Profit & Loss Statement and try to justify every expense line item, I assure ,you there will be a 5 % more profit ,just waiting to find its way to your bottom line.
3) Take Ownership of your Business Account:
A lot of Business owners tend to mingle their personal expenses with their Business Account. Once you indulge in this practice, your financial reports are contaminated and become pretty worthless, especially when it comes to decision making. It's better to take ownership of your Business Account and maintain it, as a separate "entity" from your personal account. This will help you manage your cash flow better, and hence you will able to pay yourself appropriately. After all, this is the reward of being a savvy business owner.
4) Avoid taking on too much Debt:
Too much debt sucks the financial life out of a company. In our last Newsletter, we learnt how Principal Loan payments occur on the Balance Sheet and are funded by your profit; Imagine what happens when your company is overburdened with debt, Chances are that you will use your Cash flow to continually offset the debts, and this causes your company to be cash starved.
The only way to eliminate debt is to put yourself and your company on a
"strict debt reduction diet".
If possible, Stop adding further debt to your company; otherwise have a strategy on how to pay off the debt, if you MUST take on further debts.
5) Have a Budget:
A Budget is a blue print of an estimation of revenues and expenses for a given period in the future. A Budget gives financial direction. A Budget keeps you on track and helps you to manage your cash flow. Preparing a Budget makes you disciplined and faithful to keeping your profits. This is the best time to prepare a Budget for your Business towards the upcoming year.
As we approach the New Year, Why don't you try out these practices and watch your Cash flow grow. You will be surprised at how a few dollars will add up in your Bank Account.
Do you need help with creating your Budget for the upcoming year? Are you experiencing problems with recognizing your expense line items and don't understand how your Cash flow operates? Why don't you give us a Call, We will be glad to help you out.
|Posted on August 5, 2014 at 2:49 AM||comments (26)|
It's already the eighth month of the Year, We are gradually getting to the end of the year, and soon it will be time for Year End Reports. In our last Newsletter, We discussed the concept of Cash Flow and how it affects our Business Operations; this month, we will be looking at tips to manage our Business Cash Flow.
Being in Business for yourself is like being an Air traffic controller, especially in the area of cash flow management ; You can imagine trying to control 100 Airplanes landing simultaneously on two runways; this can be an upheaval task, but we regularly see clients line up their monthly bills, their projected income, business projects and business expenses and try to combine all these activities, at the same time, trying to ensure a steady cash flow into the business; you can imagine, the projected outcome, if all these activities are not properly coordinated.
Cash Flow is the heartbeat of every Business, and if a Business does not have the cash on hand to pay their vendors, they will definitely run into problems. The main Cash Flow Problem, that Business Owners face is as a result of Lack of Creative Cash Management. Below are some Tips to overcome the Ups and Downs of Cash Flow Problems in your Businesses:
1) Always Schedule All Payments: Most Business Owners line up their monthly bills, compile them, sit down and issue all the checks and set up Bill Payments at once; but the trick is to have a " Holding Pattern". It is advisable to schedule each payment, in order to get to your vendors in a timely landing, without affecting other Cash Flow activities.
Every Business has Three (3) tiers of Checks Disbursements Groupings:
a) Must Pay Group- These are payments that can hurt you, either in cost or ability to operate your business, if they are not paid. These include items like Taxes, Rents, Payroll and Service Charges.
b) Important to Pay Group - These are payments, that have a reasonable grace period, and if not paid, a financial penalty can be incurred, as a result of Nonpayment. These include Utility Bills , Credit Card Payments and Insurance Payments .
c) Flexible Payment Plan Group - Suppliers, Vendors and Wholesalers, that supply most Small Businesses are the best sources of flexible credit financing. Most of them will continue to work with you, if you arrange a regular payment plan with them.
2) Make Payments on your Revenue, not on uncollected Sales : I am sure, that none of us will want to land a plane, hoping that the runway is beneath us in the fog bank, as also Business owners, it is not advisable to make projected payments on uncollected revenue. You may wander, what happens to Credit Facilities, Guess What, Most Credit Facilities still have a timeline for payment.
3) Do not use Payroll Taxes to float your Business Operations: Studies have shown that most Business Owners use the Tax liabilities, collected during payroll, to float their businesses, rather than remitting the payments to the appropriate Tax Authorities. They don't realize that they spend more in potential penalties, fees , interests, time and aggravation, if they engage in this act. Tax Liabilities grow, if they are not remitted at the appropriate timing.
4) Establish Relationships with your Credit Provider: It is very important for every business owner to plan for a rainy day. Having a great relationship with a vendor, that gives you a credit facility, avoids cash flow storms, which might bring in a sense of desperation or lack of control.
5) Invest in a Good Bookkeeping/ Accounting Service: It is important for Business Owners to have a grasp of their cash flow and understand the effect on their business growth. A Good Bookkeeping service is invaluable to your business, particularly in preparing your monthly financial reports and cash flow statements, which will help you, see how your Business is doing as well as maintaining your Business Cash flow.
Understanding and Managing Cash flow has been a challenge for many Business owners, but with the application of these tips, it is possible to grow your Business to a greater level , and also have enough funds for other activities, that will bring more revenue into your Business.
Please feel free to contact us on 202-422-4586, if you will need further help on how to manage your Business Cash flow and financial Reports. We will love to help you. Remember: The best time to take control of your Cash Flow is RIGHT NOW.
|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 1:55 AM||comments (110)|
Welcome to the month of July. We are done with the first half of the year and started the countdown to the remaining half of the year.
Our Newsletter for this month is on an integral part of every business; an area that is generally misunderstood by most business owners, but interestingly plays an important role in every organization. Have you taken time to look at your Cash flow Statement? Can you tell where Funds are disbursed in your Business? Do you understand the effect of your Spendings? The art of struggling to understand and manage your cash flow can be a huge distraction to your business; in this series, we will be providing you with quick tips on the basic method of understanding your cash flow.
Our Areas of Concentration will be on:
- Definition of Cash Flow
- Drivers of Cash Flow in a Business
- Facts about Cash Flow
- Quick Tips on Understanding your Cash flow and applying it to your Business.
- Managing your Cash Flow effectively.
What is Cash Flow?
Cash Flowis the movement of money into or out of a business, project or financial product, and can be measured at any specified period of time.
The Following are the drivers of Cash flow in a Business:
It is worthy to note that your Cash Flow originates from 3 Basic Operations:
a) Cash Flow from Operations
b) Cash Flow from Investing
c) Cash flow from Financing
Most Business Owners have problems with Understanding their Cash Flow because of the following facts:
a) A Profit or Loss in a Business does not equal Cash Flow.
b) An Increase in Cash in your Business is not always good.
c) A Decrease in Cash is not always bad.
Many Business Owners have problems understanding and interpreting their Cash flow, because of the technicalities involved; but I want to challenge you today, to take the simple test below, write down your answers and put it into practice, and watch your business grow; I bet you will be so thankful for this enlightenment:
By doing this exercise periodically, you will have a better grasp of your cash flow, and see its effect on your Business growth. I will like you to try this exercise and forward your feedbacks. In my next article, I will be giving you tips on how to effectively manage your Cash flow in your Business.
Please feel free to contact us, if you will need further help in understanding your Cash flow and producing your Cash Flow Report. We will love to help you.
Remember: The best time to take control of your Cash Flow is RIGHT NOW.
|Posted on January 29, 2014 at 2:05 AM||comments (2)|
Wow, Where did the month go? First it was HAPPY NEW YEAR, and now it's almost the end of January 2014.Now,that the Holiday Season is far behind us, the month of January provides a welcome breather for busy schedules, but hold on, before you spend all your free time sprawling on your sofa, it's time to take a jump start on filing your taxes.
This is the time to gather your W2s, 1099s, Other Earned Income Statements, Contribution Statements, Receipts, Bank Statements and other important documentation, so even though the IRS states that Tax Filing will begin on January 31st 2014, because it needs extra time to ensure that the systems are in place and working properly, We still need to get ready and prepare ourselves.
We want to give you some tips on what to look out for as you get ready to file your taxes. We all know, that there are some New Tax Filing changes:
- It is worthy to note that many credits and deductions for Education were extended for 2013 returns, among which is the American Opportunity Credit, which is up to $2,500.
- The Personal Exemption is $3,900; Standard Deduction is $12,200 for Married Tax Payers filing jointly, $6,100 for Singles and $8,950 for Heads of Households.
- Tax Payers will still be able to deduct their medical expenses, but it will be more difficult for many to qualify. The threshold for deducting Medical Expenses now stands at 10% of adjusted Gross Income, which is up from 7.5 percent.
- Among the other changes, Tax Payers who work at home will now have a simplified option for taking a Home Office Deduction. Starting with 2013 returns, if you are eligible for this deduction, you can take a Standard Deduction of $5 per Square foot, up to 300 Square Feet. The Maximum Deduction using this method is $1,500.
- The Deduction for Business Use of a Car has also been simplified; you can use your actual costs or the IRS mileage rates. The standard mileage rate for Business Use of a Car in 2013 is 56.5 cents a mile, up from 55.5 cents.
- If you made Energy Efficiency improvements to your Home, such as Installing New Windows or a Qualifying Furnace or Heat Pump, you might be able to take an energy credit of 10% of the cost up to a lifetime maximum of $500,hence of the total, the IRS states "Only $200 can be for Windows,$50 for any Advanced Air Circulating Fan,$150 for any Qualified Natural Gas, Propane or Oil Furnace or $300 for any Item of Energy Efficient Building Property.
We hope that these tips will guide and help you in your Tax preparations, Do you Need Help in checking your Reports and ensuring that everything is entered correctly and adequately reconciled? Do you Need Help in getting your Charitable Contributions ready? Do you Need Help in ensuring that all your Receipts and Invoices are correctly accounted for into your system, Remember that the more accurate your transactions are, the more deductions you can claim and invariably, the more accurate your Tax Returns will be.
Why Don't you give us a call on 202.422.4586 or Email Us, to see how we can further assist you. We would love to hear from you.
|Posted on May 8, 2013 at 2:30 AM||comments (21)|
It is important for every business owner to have an effective accounting system in place, so that they can increase their efficiency and manage their finances effectively. When a client comes to us in need of Bookkeeping /Accounting Services, it is noticed that most of the time,many of the business owners do not have an accounting system in place and this puts their businesses and finance in a great mess.
An accounting System is the basis of a good business and goes a long way, in showing how the business can handle its profits,manage its expenses, handle its payroll and invariably increase its net worth. We always advise our clients, to get QuickBooks, to handle their accounting/bookkeeping records.
QuickBooks is a set of accounting software solution that is designed to manage payroll, inventory, sales,purchases, invoices, receipts and other needs of a small business. It is usually tailored to meet the needs of every different industries and business types. We always encourage our Clients to use Quick Books and if they cannot afford it; we can set up their company QuickBooks file on our system, and prepare their reports and send in electronic files to them, to view, their company financial position.
We will go ahead to list a few reasons,why you should use QuickBooks for your Business Accounting Software:
We also advise our clients on the suitable type of QuickBooks to use for their business and invariably help them in setting up the Software,to suit their Business type.
These are just a few of the reasons for using QuickBooks Accounting Software for your Bookkeeping services; we have found out that most business owners always underutilize a lot of the QuickBooks features, either because of ignorance or lack of training.
You can always contact us to train you on how to best utilize your QuickBooks Software.We offer various QuickBooks services at very affordable rates. Our QuickBooks Services include:
- QuickBooks Setup
- QuickBooks Personalized & Group Training
- QuickBooks Supervision/Review
- QuickBooks Support
- QuickBooks Tune Up
- QuickBooks Cleanup
- And many more
It is always important to make the best use of your QuickBooks software in order to get the best financial reports for your business. Using QuickBooks Accounting Software is a smart and affordable way to get a handle on your books. Accurate records enhance educated decisions for your business and will save you money.
WHY DON’T YOU CALL US TODAY ON 202-422-4586 to schedule an appointment; so that we can show you the best way to use your QuickBooks Software, and if you do not have one, DON’T WORRY, We can always purchase one for you or set up your QuickBooks Company file on our system and send you regular reports, so that you can manage your business effectively and make great business decisions.
Please also feel free to fill out our contact form, so that we can get in touch with you to respond to your needs. We will love to help you.
|Posted on March 4, 2013 at 1:57 AM||comments (13)|
Wow, it’s March already, and I bet that many of us have started receiving those tax refunds in the mail. For some of us, it’s not that much,while for some of us, it’s a whole lot of Big Money. Whichever category, you are in; remember that you need a good plan for your money. The important thing is that many of us have started planning on how to spend it; but I have these tips for those of us that want to give the refund a PURPOSE, because if you don't do this, you will find out that you have nothing to show for your refund at the end of it all.
Here are some tips about what to do with your Tax Refund Money:
Please feel free to let us know how you have spent your tax refund or how you intend to spend your tax refund, and we can also advise you on how to make the most from it. For those of us ,that are not getting refunds, how do you ensure that you are ready to write that check to IRS on tax day?
CALL US TODAY ON 202.422.4586.You will be glad you did.
|Posted on February 1, 2013 at 2:13 AM||comments (25)|
Do you know that Inputting checks, managing bank accounts and creating reports doesn't have to be an intimidating process?
Wow,we have entered the second month of the year 2013, and I know that so far, it has been a great and fantastic season for us. For most people in the States,this is a period of tax preparation and filings, for both individuals andorganizations.
We should know by now, that having a good bookkeeping system is essential to having a successful and smooth tax filing season. I know from experience, that some small-business owners view bookkeeping as a burdensome task that takes them away from running their business. It makes others nervous, and they may second-guess their knowledge and skills in fear of the Internal Revenue Service knocking on their door.
I want to let you know that, you don’t have to be intimidated or bored by accounting or Bookkeeping. Successful business owners don’t view bookkeeping negatively. They have adopted a few basic procedures to stay on top of the paperwork. By doing so, they save time, money and a lot of stress.
I have listed below the basic steps to gain control of your business bookkeeping tasks:
1. Use accounting software such as QuickBooks: QuickBooks is a set of software solutions, designed to manage payroll, inventory, sales and other needs of a small business. Each package is developed according to different industries and their needs.
The great thing about QuickBooks is the fact that it combines a variety of accounting processes into one user-friendly system, and this is why it is highly recommended. You have to become at least generally familiar with theQuickBooks software, this includes basic knowledge like knowing how to input checks, enter vendors and customers, reconcile bank accounts, and create reports and other data. Once, you have this in place, you can choose one of these different ways to maintain it:
2. Scan your receipts, business cards and other important paperwork. Some software products import directly into QuickBooks. Utilizing this type of tool will help save time and paper, and help audit-proof your record.
3. Separate personal accounts from business accounts. Don’t mix the two.Keeping personal and business bank accounts and credit cards separate will make bookkeeping much easier and help maintain your corporate veil if you have a formal entity.
4. Avoid cash.Instead, use your debit or credit card religiously. When you use cash you lose track of potential write-offs. If you have to pull money out of an ATM, note on the receipt the purpose of the withdrawal.
5. Go paperless.Storing tax documents for at least six years can be a hassle. Another option is to purchase a small fireproof safe to store important personal documents(passport, life insurance, etc.) along with a regular backup of your bookkeepingsoftware and tax returns saved on a flash drive. For extra data protection,consider off-site physical storage or online data storage for these records and scanned files.
6. Auto-track your mileage. Keeping a written record of all your business, charitable and medical auto mileage can be a pain. Look into a satellite-assisted service, phone application, or software program.
7. Meet with your CPA at least twice annually. Review your business plans, financials, tax deposit amounts, payroll procedures and tax strategies.The cost of taxes is too high to leave your plans to chance. Just a few minutes on a regular basis can save thousands of dollars. Also, remember that your CPA should be bringing you strategies and ideas in these meetings. If the meeting consists of you throwing out ideas and your CPA shooting them down, you have the wrong CPA. Find a planner who is reaching out to you with ideas and strategies on a regular basis.
We are available to help you out with your QuickBooks Bookkeeping Services and training,and we also offer other accounting/Bookkeeping services at great rates too. Why don’t you give us a call today and see how we can save you and your business tons of money.
Email us for more details on [email protected] ,we would love to hear from you.
|Posted on January 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM||comments (15)|
Build up your Personal Balance Sheet
Do you know that everyone has a personal Balance Sheet? Just a reminder,A Balance Sheet is a financial "snapshot" of a Business at any given point in time.It shows your assets and liabilities and tells you your business networth.
It is a rule that every Businesss has a Balance Sheet,so also should every individual have a personal Balance Sheet,Our Personal Balance Sheet is defined as our ability to make a difference wherever we are,and this difference creates a value for our personal life. As we gain abilities,our personal Balance Sheet improves and ultimately helps us to reach our goals.
For instance,when we find ourselves in a situation,we ought to assess it and jump into it, to make something happen,whether we get credit or not;our Personal Balance Sheet goes up and will make us much more valuable,this indicates that whenever we approach any situation,we should rather consider it as an opportunity for personal growth,and watch our personal balance sheet improve.
Finally,as we build our personal abilities to make a difference,we will be rewarded,just as a business balance Sheet shows the value of a business.
My Dear Friends,this is the first month of a new year,it is not too late to go out and make a difference in the world and watch your personal value grow.You will greatly be rewarded for this.
|Posted on December 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM||comments (8)|
REVISIT YOUR GOALS: New Year’s resolutions are nice but what’s wrong with getting a jump start on them? If you are self-employed, take a look at the specifics of your business aspirations. If you work for someone else, revisit the objectives of your position and find places for improvement. Weed out outdated responsibilities and add in any new ones. Decide where you want to be in six months, a year and two years, then brainstorm specific ways to attain those goals.
While you are at it, look ahead in your calendar and pick a date every three months (or less) to go through this process. Having affairs in order makes everything in your work life more streamlined and easy to manage. Take the time to get a jumpstart on organization before the rush of the holiday season.
This coming year,2013,it will do you good to think about your how you want your life to be,set your own agenda and learn how to make your life better.
Think about what floats your boat, then take ACTION to make your dreams a reality.
My dear, you will be glad,you did.
HERES WISHING YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND A PROSPEROUS 2013.