Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back in Black, Digging Your Small Business Out of Debt

The economy has been tough on everyone, and more and more companies are getting immersed in debt. It's like you're stuck in quicksand and sinking fast; it seems like the easiest thing to do is to just ignore the calls, faxes and emails from vendors looking for payments.  STOP... Ignoring collection calls will not make anything go away; in fact it will only exacerbate the situation.

Prioritize debt payments
Start with your "key" suppliers, those you need to buy product from in order stay in business, and then tackle the business's highest-interest rate debt, most likely that will mean concentrating your energies on paying down credit cards. However, if you've personally guaranteed any of your business's debt-meaning, if a creditor or supplier can come after your personal assets if you default, make sure paying off those debts become a high priority as well.

Speak with creditors
Contact your creditors and key suppliers, delicately and without too much detail, explain the "cash crunch" situation to them and discuss what amicable arrangement can be made for paying down the debt and being able to continue the supplier relationship. If the other creditors don't offer one, request a payment plan or a reduced settlement amount. This isn't going to be as difficult as you may think. Remember, don't take it personally; this is your job not your personal financial situation and people are more likely to be responsive when there are open lines of communication. Make sure you can fulfill your end of the bargain. The worst thing a business owner can do is set up a repayment plan with a creditor and then default.

Seek Counsel
Negotiating with creditors can be a harrowing experience. If creditors are unwilling to work with you, enlist the help of a credit counseling organization. These companies can help detect inefficiencies and negotiate better payment terms with creditors. Be cautious when engaging counsel, as there are plenty of scammers out there. The United States Trustee Program also keeps a list of credit counseling agencies approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling.

Analyze the Budget
If the debt is still accumulating, then your company's current budget isn't really working out. Design a budget based on your current financial situation. Make sure your business's revenues are able to more than cover fixed monthly costs like rent, utilities and insurance. Then, allocate a portion of the budget for variable costs, such as payroll, material purchases.

It might not seem like it now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel...Stay positive and stay focused.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Get In The Habit...Accounting for Small Business

Getting organized and staying that way is one of the biggest nightmares for small business owners. Being a small business owner takes up much of your day, being successful doesn't come easy. 
Here are a few recommendations to help ensure good accounting habits so your small business will run like a fine-tuned engine. 

Find a Qualified Professional:
Professional Bookkeepers and Accountants are your valued allies in running your small business. A professional bookkeeper’s knowledge of the proper data entry and accounting software will save you from costly mistakes. A qualified accountant knows current tax law and how it applies to your business. Your accountant will advise you of deductions and exemptions that are applicable to you and help ensure you’re penalty-free. Save yourself time, money & migraines-use a professional!

Separate It:
Make sure you’re using separate bank accounts and credit cards for your personal and business use. Sometimes it’s all too easy to use your business credit card when paying for personal expenses; make sure to record the transaction accordingly. It’s easier and more efficient to track deductible business expenses with separate accounts.

Calendar Reminder: 
Take time each week to review your finances, use your email calendar to set a reminder. The more often you do this, the sooner it will become a habit. The more insight you have into your business’s budget; making timely well informed financial decisions will be second nature. Making timely well informed financial decisions will be second nature.

Staffing Costs:  
One of the largest expenses a business will have is labor. Track not only the salaries you’re paying but, payroll taxes, bonuses, car allowance and any insurance benefits your employees are receiving. In reviewing your employee’s compensation package annually, you will see that you give yourself more ways to ensure you’re not over-spending.

Getting Paid:
You would be surprised how many small businesses don’t have accounts receivable processes in place. Following up your customers when a payment is coming due is also a great way to keep an active relationship. Run a weekly accounts receivable report from your accounting software. If you see that the same customer is always late, reach out to them with a phone call to see how things are with their business. It’s tough times for everyone and extended time or a payment plan may be necessary. Communication is key in good business relationships

Monday, July 8, 2013

Taxlady23 From My Office to Yours Disclaimer

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday America!

As we celebrate our nation's freedom.

We honor the courageous men and women dedicated to preserving it.  
  • "Freedom lies in being bold" -RobertFrost
  • "Life without liberty, is like a body without spirit."- Kahil Gibran
  • "The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage." -Carrie Jones
  • "Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed on us, but is always the result of good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits." -Thomas Jefferson
  • "Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom." -Albert Einstein
  • "You can separate peace from freedom, but no one can be at peace unless he has freedom."- Malcom X
The Declaration of Independence In Congress, July 4, 1776

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Monday, July 1, 2013

What is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and Do I Need One?

What is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and Why Do I Need One?

QuickBooks® ProAdvisors have a vast knowledge of the QuickBooks® family of products.. They are recognized for this expertise and certified by Intuit, the makers of QuickBook®. ProAdvisors are tested annually and with each version to ensure their knowledge is always current with the latest edition of QuickBooks®.

How do you find a ProAdvisor

ProAdvisors are located all over the country.  To find an expert in your area that holds a current certification visit Intuit's Find a ProAdvisor Website.

 Why choose a ProAdvisor rather than an RTRP, EA or CPA or other accountant?

ProAdvisors are well versed in the different version of QuickBooks and have knowledge that are industry specific. ProAdvisors will generally charge less than accountants. Keep in mind that many accountants are ProAdvisors as well. If you're searching for assistance check with your accountant first and perhaps they will cut you a break if you're already using their services.

 How do I get started with a ProAdvisor? 

Click the link below for a series of questions and information you can use to find the ProAdvisor best suited for your needs.