Bookkeeping has historically been completed as an after the fact necessity that is required by your CPA. Small business owners are busy and overwhelmed with the day to day operations and bookkeeping becomes an afterthought. By completing your books quarterly or even worse, annually, you are not able to use the information to help you run your business. Do you want to make more money? Do you want to work less and sleep more? Do you want to think about selling your business for a profit? Do you want to provide an excellent environment for your employees?
The power of Real Time bookkeeping means that businesses owners sleep at night. You will have the tools to increase cash flow. You will be able to focus time and energy where it counts: on your business, your clients, and in harmonizing your business and personal life.
What is Real Time Bookkeeping? Real Time Bookkeeping is the act of completing the books within 36-72 business hours of actual events. Real Time Bookkeeping means that ALL financial transactions and data are recorded including accounts receivable, accounts payable, all banking and credit card transactions, payroll, tax payments, etc.
Do you need to increase sales? Do you need to increase your inventory? Is now a good time to purchase a new piece of equipment? Do you need to cut costs? Should you hire a new employee? Is now a good time to add benefits to your payroll packages? Real time books will provide you with the power to make effective decisions about all arenas of your business.
When these transactions are up to date, you can:
See your true Profit and Loss
Determine cash flow projections
Create meaningful budgets
Make real time corrections to pricing
Lower bookkeeping costs by catching nuances fast
Stay current and relevant with market trends
All of these items will increase your cash flow and help you feel empowered. Real Time bookkeeping puts your business in a better resale position. Real Time bookkeeping will save you time and money and will allow you to effectively scale your business. Financial security is only available if you understand the information gleaned from Real Time Bookkeeping.
Afraid of the cost? We understand. It’s scary to invest. But the return will outweigh the cost. Your bottom line will improve and you will have peace of mind. Consider the value. Consider moving to Real Time bookkeeping.
Do you need to hire an employee? Here are the absolute basics.
First, you must be set up for payroll. Your company must have an EIN, a Wage Withholding Account and a Unemployment Account at the very least. This will vary from state to state.
When you have these pieces set up and are ready to hire, you must collect: W-4, I-9, Acceptable Identification. Depending on your state/local requirements, you may also need to collect emergency contacts and report the new hire to your state.
What is the difference between a bookkeeper and a CPA? What does a bookkeeper do? What does a CPA do? Does my business need both? Are you confused about these roles? You’re not the only one! Let me help you clarify.
First off, you need both. Your bookkeeper is the pitcher. The player with her hands on every play. The CPA is the coach, guiding you based on the information provided by the pitcher. It is best for you and your business if you find a bookkeeper and CPA who are able to work together to be sure everything is covered!
A bookkeeper records the numbers: actual financial activity happening within your business. A bookkeeper is responsible for your day to day business transactions:
Tracking your business expenses and income
Reconciling your bank accounts, credit card accounts and loans
Tracking your payables/bills
Tracking your receivables and sending out regular statements to your customers
Prepare regular business reporting to business owner(s)
These are the basics. The above tasks should be completed on a regular basis (weekly or monthly depending on your business nature and volume).
Some business may need additional services. We will call these the “fuzzy” tasks. This is where most businesses experience confusion because these services can be completed by the bookkeeper OR the CPA. As a business owner, it is important that you identify who will be completing these tasks on your behalf. The CPA may assume the bookkeeper is completing these tasks. Conversely, the bookkeeper may assume that the CPA is completing these tasks. Ultimately, you are responsible.
Manage payroll including
Running regular payroll to pay business owner and/or employees
Complete required payroll deposits as dictated by IRS, State, and local jurisdictions.
Complete required Quarterly reports including 941, State Quarterly, Quarterly UI Reports, and any local reporting
Enter payroll into the bookkeeping system
This may also include tracking benefits if applicable
File sales tax reports and arrange for payment: Quarterly or Monthly as dictated by jurisdiction
File periodic report (annually in Colorado)
While a bookkeeper is responsible for recording the actual numbers, the CPA makes decisions about these numbers based on tax law. The CPA should advise you about estimated quarterly taxes. The CPA will create your tax return and file your income taxes. Some CPAs will help with the “fuzzy” tasks, some will not. Your CPA should be licensed and certified. Your CPA will provide additional, in depth analysis of your business.
Your business will operate most effectively if all the players and coaches have open communication. When the bookkeeper and the CPA can work together and are in touch with one another, you and your business will reap the rewards.
If you use a robust software system like QuickBooks Online, invoicing can be integrated and streamlined as a simple system within your business.
In our experience, there are some simple processes that make cash flow management easiest:
Enter the complete contact info for your prospect immediately into your software, including full name, company name, email address and phone number.
Send an estimate within an hour of your meeting or discussion for your proposed services.
Convert the estimate to an invoice once accepted and send immediately with a professional, kind note.
When possible, require payment for services before you begin project. If not possible due to your industry, request half-down and the rest upon completion.
Accept all forms of payment.
Review your receivables list weekly for cash-flow projections.
Use the system messaging/notification function to remind clients of over-due payments.
Use alternate professional methods to reach out as reminders, such as sending an email sharing valuable resources or making a quick phone call to check in and catch up professionally.
Invoicing and collecting receivables should be an integral and fluid system for your business. Let us help you remove the headache and angst of invoicing and collections, which will allow you to maintain a professional posture and long-term relationship with your clients.
You hire us to manage your books, invoices, receivables, payables, and store necessary paperwork.
But as a business owner, it’s best to have a big picture overview of what is most important for tracking your spending and income.
Here is what is important to know:
Pick a software system like QuickBooks Online that you and your team can access online and commit to it.
Link all of your business accounts, including credit cards to the software
Based on the structure of your business, choose appropriate categories to allocate all expenses and automate these designations
Keep your business and personal expenses separate
Look at your dashboard weekly and monthly to get a big picture overview of your financials
If you have employees or are set-up as an S-Corp, run payroll and taxes monthly
Set a quarterly review with your board, bookkeeper, accountant or CPA to make sure you are on track with taxes for the year.
The success of your business is dependent upon understanding and managing your finances. Bookkeeping will help you analyze and make informed decisions about the direction and growth of your business. We will help you make sense of your finances so that you can focus your time in developing your craft.
If your business hires individuals or small companies, you are most likely required to issue 1099s to these individuals or entities.
You should have a W-9 on file for each of these entities. If you have not collected W9s, now is the time!
Any individual or any unincorporated business that you pay $600 or more in a year will need to have a 1099 issued BY YOUR BUSINESS. If you hire a cleaner to clean your office, this is a subcontractor. If you hire a helper to assist with a project or event, this is a subcontractor. If you hire someone to mow your lawn, this is a subcontractor.
You are obligated to find out if this subcontractor is incorporated or not. If the subcontractor is not incorporated, you must report the total that you paid the subcontractor to the IRS by issuing 1099s. So how does this work?
When you hire an individual or company, you should collect a W9 before issuing a payment. The W9 is a form that the subcontractor completes with his/her legal name, mailing address, and tax ID number. The W9 will also let you know if the business is incorporated. These incorporated businesses do not need 1099s issued, they are the exception. You need to have this information in order to complete the 1099s.
I know, I know….you have hired subcontractors and you now realize that you have not collected these forms. I’m not suggesting that this is ok, but let’s be real. Many of you simply have not followed the “proper” procedure. I get it.
But if you haven’t collected W9s by now, you need to get busy! The deadline for issuing 1099s is January 31 of each year. It will be here again before you know it. You can find the W9 here.