Friday, November 30, 2007

Bookkeeper Sentenced After Stealing Thousands From Employer

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio -- A bookkeeper who admitted stealing thousands of dollars from her employer was sentenced Thursday.

In a Montgomery County courtroom, Janice Reid spoke before the judge handed down her sentence.

Reid was sentenced to three years behind bars for aggravated theft.

She stole more than $200,000 from Comprehensive Physics Services Inc. in Miami Township.

Reid used the money to support a gambling habit.

The judge ordered Reid to pay back the entire amount.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bookkeeping Software Basics

Bookkeeping software has revolutionized the way bookkeeping is performed. Bookkeeping allows a bookkeeper’s of any level of experience to quickly and efficiently manage the cash flow of a business. There are various types of bookkeeping software which are targeted to bookkeepers of different levels of expertise.

A few decades ago, bookkeeping was done by using a paper ledger and a pen, or a pencil. However, the increasing complexity of tax regulations, the increasing likelihood of committing calculation errors, and the need for efficient office organization demands a faster and more efficient means of bookkeeping. In this age of computers, bookkeepers need special bookkeeping software to help them get the job done more efficiently.

While large corporations may need complex systems integrating bookkeeping software, small scale businesses only need basic bookkeeping software. The most important aspect of the bookkeeping software is that the it should have a good spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel is a perfect example of basic bookkeeping software, and the majority of PC’s come with it standard, so you may not need to spend a cent.

Another basic bookkeeping software in use is OWL’s Basic Bookkeeping or BBK. This affordable program makes bookkeeping quick and easy.

Unlike other complex double-entry systems, this basic bookkeeping software uses single- entry system, which is much more suitable to smaller businesses and sole proprietorships/traders. Those who are familiar with Dome books would also be familiar with BBK.

The greatest advantage of BKK is that it is extremely user friendly- you certainly do not need to be a techno wiz! BKK’s comprehensive reports are clear, concise, and designed to fully organize accounts, from income and expenses information to support analysis of business analysis. The program can also aid in preparation of tax calculations.

Another great thing about this basic bookkeeping software is that BKK allows the user to customize their data entries. This is possible through the use of custom data folders, with each folder containing information for a single account, business or division. Generated reports can be obtained from single or in any combination of folders.

BBK is also linked to OWL’s Simple Business Invoicing and Inventory management system or (SBII). This combination allows the bookkeeper or the owner to quickly and accurately track sales, customers, receivables and inventory. This combination of programs provides the small business owner the perfect business management solution.

No matter what your needs in bookkeeping are- whether for personal use or the operation of a bookkeping business, it is quintessential to be using some form of bookkeeping software. While Microsoft Excel does provide a simple option of bookkeeping, more experienced users may wish to seek some more advanced forms of bookkeeping software. Bookkeeping software will help you easily manage and organize the financial side of your business.

Source :

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why appointing a bookkeeper should be a priority for businesses

Many businesses fail due to poor bookkeeping and accounts management but, by employing a professional book-keeper, new companies can give themselves the best chance of success with their new venture.

Whilst a book-keeping service is often overlooked when starting a new business Gloucestershire based sage book-keepers BookCheck, believe that good account management and a firm knowledge of company accounts can be a company’s greatest asset.

They have teamed up with national incubation centre, UKBI, to help some of the 20,000+ new businesses UKBI deal with advice on anything finance related including payroll and accounts management to help the businesses stay on track during their early years and as they grow.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fannie Under Fire Over Accounting Change

Fannie Mae's bookkeeping is drawing scrutiny from Wall Street — again.

Three years after a stunning accounting scandal that forced it to restate earnings by $6.3 billion, the giant government-sponsored company that buys and sells home loans is on the defensive over a change in how it calculates potential losses from the growing mortgage crisis.

The fear among investors is that a new accounting methodology masks the number of bad loans held by Fannie, downplaying potential losses.

Shares of Fannie, the largest U.S. player in the market for mortgages that packaged into tradable securities, tanked for the second straight day on Friday, even as executives tried to assuage skeptical Wall Street analysts on a telephone conference call.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Fraud can happen to any size business

Protect yourself by understanding, identifying risks and not letting your personal feelings get in the way

Think of corporate fraud and most likely you'll recall big names in the news — executives who bilked companies and investors of millions of dollars.

But corporate fraud happens to businesses of all sizes, including small businesses and even nonprofit organizations.

And it happens in a lot of scenarios — from stealing cash or equipment to working with an outside vendor to steal from the company.

According to a study last year by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, occupational fraud and abuse caused a median loss of $159,000. Nearly one-quarter of the cases caused at least $1 million in losses and nine caused losses of $1 billion or more.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

The 10 Bookkeeping MisHThe 10 Bookkeeping MisHaps done by Small Business Ownersaps done by Small Business Owners

From one-person entities to major corporations, bookkeeping is a significant part of any business endeavor. While it is typically not one of the more glamorous jobs, bookkeeping is at the heart of a company's success, and errors can cost the company significantly. Below are 10 of the most common errors that you want to avoid. PLEASE, PLEASE ,PLEASE AVOID.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Ten Commonly Missed Tax Deductions For Businesses

There is nothing worse than preparing Income Taxes and finding that there were many deductions we didn't keep track of. Not keeping track of deductions can be very costly come tax time. It is very important to keep good records all year round.

For every dollar you don't deduct, you could be paying up to 35% back to Uncle Sam. If the dollar has been spent, taxes shouldn't have to be paid on it. Think of the productivity of your business if you could put 35% of your income back into your business rather than in the hands of politicians. What kind of advertising campaign could you do with 35% extra cash flow every month. With a little organization and planning this can be possible.

Most business owners remember to take the big obvious deductions such as cost of goods sold, materials, tools, supplies, and employee expenses. But often times it is the small seemingly insignificant deductions that can make or break a company. Lone Peak Business Solutions has the 10 most commonly missed business deductions.
  1. Advertising - Business cards, newspaper ads, information packets you hand out, free samples, flyers, product testing, videos and CD's.

  2. Children - Money paid to children for helping with such things as delivering flyers, product, stuffing envelopes, cleaning office and car, etc.

  3. Dues and Subscriptions - Dues to professional organizations and magazines that have to do with your trade or business.

  4. Educational Expense - Classes or seminars that you take to improve your business.

  5. Gifts - Gifts to clients and associates.

  6. Laundry and Cleaning - This includes uniforms and Protective clothing and also your clothing when you are out of town.

  7. Travel - Hotels, airfare, cab fare, parking, cleaning while away from home, trip log.

  8. Home Office - A home office must be a separate room in your home to do business and accounting. Part of your living room or bedroom will not count. A percentage of utility Bills, home owners insurance, property tax, mortgage interest, refinance fees, repairs and maintenance, cleaning supplies, office decor, etc. are deductible. You find out the percentage by dividing the square footage of the office by the square footage of the entire house.

  9. Mileage or Vehicle - There are two ways to take a vehicle expense. One is to take the mileage you use when picking up product, supplies, office supplies, meetings, handing out advertising or business cards, meals and entertaining clients, etc. The other way is to take the expense of using the vehicle: fuel, parts, mechanics, oil changes, etc. Along with taking expenses, you can also depreciate the vehicle.

  10. Telephone - Cell phone, long distance calls on home phone, extra phone lines into home for business, fax or Internet.
Items such as paper clips, bank charges, credit card charges and home office expense seem small and unimportant at the time, but multiply those little things over a year or two and then multiply it times 35% and it can add up to quite a bit of money that should be in your pocket rather than in the government's pocket.

Along with keeping track of expenses it is important to evaluate your income and expenses on at least a quarterly basis. This allows you to determine if too much is being spent any one place. It allows you to determine if all the deductions that can be are being claimed. It allows you to determine how to better increase sales and decrease costs.

Christopher Anderson is part owner of Lone Peak Business Solutions, Inc. He wants to share his success as a business owner with others who desire to own their own business. He also believes that the economy is stronger with more business owners, and as a result, he is focused on helping business owners succeed.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Parma Heights bookkeeping under fire again by state auditors

Parma Heights- For the third time in three years, state auditors hammered the city for shoddy bookkeeping, this time citing city officials for a $20,000 accounting error and $181 in lost checks.

Many of the problems dealt with the city's Cultural Center, which brings in about $225,000 a year. Auditors found that the center's bank account showed more money than the Finance Department's records. And center workers admitted they lost checks used to pay for events at the center. The money was later repaid.

The audit, which was released Thursday and dealt with city finances in 2005, also found three problems that the city had been cited for in 2003 and 2004:

Read More article...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Picking the Right Software Bookkeeping Program

If you are like most small business owners, you know you need a software package that will handle your bookkeeping and accounting needs, you just aren't sure which one makes the most sense. Is it QuickBooks (which has the majority of the market share), Peachtree, Microsoft Money, or one of the other dozen that line the store shelves? And once you do buy a package, what's next? Can you really just plug and play, or are you going to need support?

A good place to find these answers and more is your accountant. He or she should know your business intimately and can recommend the package and features you need. Many accountants have a preference for certain packages, and since they can be a valuable resource after your purchase, listen closely to what they recommend. Consumer Reports can be another valuable resource.

Whether or not you turn to an accountant for advice, take the time to do an analysis of your needs. Do you need to perform high-volume sales orders? Large credit card transactions? Inventory tracking? Write down your requirements in a checklist. Mark which requirements are critical and which ones are just desired.

Making the Purchase
When it comes time to purchase, you can check online sites such as or discount retailers like Best Buy. Because the cost of these packages are rarely more than a couple hundred dollars, it's probably not worth wasting too much time looking for the best deal. Unless you have very specialized needs, it's smart to pick one of the major brands such as Peachtree or Intuit's QuickBooks because these companies will likely be in business (and offering support) for as long as you are in business. They also have extensive online support and a community of advisors that can help you along the way. (Note: Microsoft introduced a new accounting program in 2006, Small Business Accounting, which is probably worth a look. One expert, however, we spoke to called it "awkward.")

Source :

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

LAWSUIT: Bad Bookkeeping At Toyota Ruined Businessman's Credit

John Cruz was just beginning to live his dream as a big real estate investor. It all came crashing down after he drove off in a brand new Lexus.

Longmont, Colorado - When John Cruz drove away in his brand new Lexus he was riding high and living his dream.

He never thought his world would soon come crashing down.

The car was great. But it was his credit that he claims Lexus ruined.

"I have heard of things like this being done to people just from listening to the news," says Cruz, a husband and father of two. "I never knew of anyone personally having something like this done to them."

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Legis. Eddington accused of shoddy bookkeeping

Eddington attacked on finances

Suffolk Legis. Jack Eddington's Republican foe, Brian Egan, has gone on the attack, claiming that the lawmaker can't keep his campaign finance records straight.

Egan's campaign manager, Dean Murray, said Eddington's 32-day, pre-election filing with the Suffolk Board of Elections in Yaphank shows him with a balance of $11,116, while the report he filed with the state Board of Elections in Albany shows him $666 in the red. Egan said there were similar discrepancies in the July and January filings for Eddington (WF-Medford).

"The sad fact is that Jack Eddington wants to make our laws but he does not think he has to follow our laws," Murray said.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why Have Both?

Good reasons to have both: a bookkeeper and a tax pro

It's tempting for small-business owners to want to handle their own bookkeeping and tax preparation. After all, there is a lot of excellent accounting software out there to help them.

And many business startups begin with a few partners who do everything, hiring outside contractors only when absolutely necessary.

But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. There are indirect costs involved with everything that falls into the do-it-yourself category. These include the time you spend doing it yourself instead of tending to other business matters, and the possible missed opportunities that come with not having something handled by a full-time expert in that task.

At some point early on, most small businesses need to hand off their tax preparation, and at least some of their bookkeeping, to professionals.

Here's why, and here are three things to keep in mind when hiring this outside help.

  1. Good tax professionals are more than just preparers.

    Full disclosure here: I'm a tax pro myself. Besides being a tax preparer, a good tax pro should be able to advise you on:

    • How to reduce your overall tax bill;

    • Options for setting up retirement plans for you and your employees;

    • How the latest federal or state tax legislation affects your business;

    • How to coordinate your business and personal tax returns and issues;

    • Setting up benefits plans; and even

    • Whether you should consider changing the legal form of your business in the wake of evolving tax laws.

    While people tend to think of a tax pro as someone to interact with during tax season, you'll get the most out of a tax pro if you're able to talk with him about planning issues outside the crush of the preparation season.

    Similarly, issues such as how much to spend on new business assets, whether to lease or purchase vehicles and other equipment, and what your reasonable compensation should be as owner of a business, can and should be reviewed and discussed during the year. A good tax pro is going to be a helpful planner as well as a preparer.

  2. Keeping good books is a business necessity (and, in these times, could keep you out of jail).

    You also need a good bookkeeper, either someone on your staff or an outside pro. The key question is: Do you have someone within your staff, aside from you, who has the skills and can handle the demands of the job? Someone who understands such matters as double-entry bookkeeping and how to make journal entries? If not, look outside.

    A bookkeeper is going to be focused on properly recording the day-to-day financial activities of your business. This may sound simpler than the review, planning, and tax-return preparation activities that your tax pro engages in.

    But without good bookkeeping, and good books, tax pros can't properly do their job. In fact, many tax pros won't even take on a business client if the client cannot produce an accurate balance sheet and is unwilling to hire someone who will get his books in proper order.

    Good bookkeepers will record all your receipts and expenses, track accounts receivable and payable, and in the course of entering all your financial transactions also create a balance sheet for the business. Some bookkeepers also handle payroll services for their clients; others prefer to work with dedicated payroll companies. Depending on the size of the business, a bookkeeper may work with a client a couple of days a week, weekly, or even just once a month.

  3. Your bookkeeper and tax preparer need to work together on your behalf.

    There's definitely some overlap between the two. A professional tax preparer such as a CPA or enrolled agent may also offer bookkeeping services. However, most tax practices that offer bookkeeping will turn that portion of your needs over to a staffer who is primarily a bookkeeper. That makes sense — you shouldn't be paying tax pro rates of $125 or $175 an hour for bookkeeping services that can be had for $50 an hour.

    Tax pros and bookkeepers should and will work together for the benefit of their clients. For example, a bookkeeper won't necessarily know how a company's assets are being written off or depreciated. The tax pro is responsible for providing that information so that proper depreciation adjustments can be made to the company's books.

    Sometimes, small businesses will handle their own bookkeeping while retaining a tax pro to review the books annually as part of overall tax preparation and planning. Again, this can work if the business has someone with the skills and the time to devote to this important task. Otherwise, get an outside pro.

    Bookkeepers and tax pros serve two purposes for small-business owners: They help keep the business out of trouble by accurately recording and reporting the business's financial information, and they allow the business owner to focus on his or her primary job — running the business — while they focus on their financial specialties.
Joseph Anthony
Joseph Anthony is a tax professional in Portland, Ore., who writes about finance and tax issues affecting small businesses. Send Joseph an e-mail.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bookkeeping help is the profit-center of your company

Usually, bookkeeping is considered as the most time and effort consuming task of every organization. The primary objective of bookkeeping section in any organization is to help the management in making maximum revenue after tax payment. Unless this section makes its complete contribution to that objective, the profit can never be justified. In every industry, bookkeeping department works to help the management for smooth operation of organizational tasks. A single sensible and qualified bookkeeping professional can maximize the profit of the organization as he knows how to utilize the working capital to the greatest possible advantage. Normally, most of the organizations employ best possible human and capital racecourses to handle the bookkeeping tasks but in case the organization is having problems with bookkeeping section, they can go for outsourcing to get bookkeeping help.

The elements entering in to the basic organizational structure are many and varied. The only common denominator is money and its flow thus there should be someone to monitor each and every transaction. Bookkeeping help translates the operating results in terms of money so that the organization may get an enlightened vision to make highly profitable strategies. It is true that bookkeeping task must take into account the separateness of each individual entry and should categorize and record transactions according to their class. Bookkeeping help provider must know how to distinguish between various pillars of organization i.e. member of board of directors, shareholders, debenture holders, managers, CEO and last but not the least- clients and consumers. In many respects, bookkeeping department is comparable to profit-center of an organization that is liable to draw diverse situations in favor of company. Reliable and accurate bookkeeping help can truly be the profit-center of any company.

The extent to which bookkeeping help can benefit the business is infinite. Bookkeeping service provide that you hire has its own specialist who are efficient enough to change the overall impact of your balance sheet. As per the nature and requirement of the business or institution, bookkeeping service provider firm’s experts put their effort to make over your business in to a renowned name of corporate world. No doubt, that every business would like to be the headline of leading business magazines, newspapers or T.V. channel and only high revenues and top position can make it possible. Wise chosen bookkeeping help providers strive to take your business on pinnacle so that the annual report of your company may get first lead in every business magazine or newspaper.

Bookkeeping help is there just to lighten you burden and not to increase the operational cost. Keeping the record of each day to day, weekly and monthly transaction is not possible without appropriate staff. As everyone cannot afford to pay high salary of bookkeeping staff, hiring bookkeeping help is the best option. Cost of these hired bookkeeping professional will be definitely very low in comparison to salaries of employed staff. Though journals and ledgers do not affect your business but it is good to be accurate with every transaction if you are really willing to get exact idea about the position of your business.

Alvis Brazma gives advice to business owners about how to manage their business efficiently without any hassles. To know more about Accounting outsourcing services,Small Business Accounting,Bookkeeping help, Accounting Outsourcing,Bookkeeping help visit this leading internet source:

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Parma Heights bookkeeping under fire again by state auditors

Parma Heights- For the third time in three years, state auditors hammered the city for shoddy bookkeeping, this time citing city officials for a $20,000 accounting error and $181 in lost checks.

Many of the problems dealt with the city's Cultural Center, which brings in about $225,000 a year. Auditors found that the center's bank account showed more money than the Finance Department's records. And center workers admitted they lost checks used to pay for events at the center. The money was later repaid.

The audit, which was released Thursday and dealt with city finances in 2005, also found three problems that the city had been cited for in 2003 and 2004:

Read more Article...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Accounting Software

Bookkeeping is one of the most vital processes in any business. More than developing products and selling, it\'s effective management of the flow of revenues and expenditures that ultimately makes a business fail or succeed. Don\'t be discouraged if you don\'t have extensive accounting experience – just invest in accounting software, and you\'re good to go.

But with the many choices available, how do you know which kind is best for you? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What is your budget? Determine how much you are willing to spend on your accounting software to help limit your choices. As a general rule, software programs with more features have higher price tags, so be prepared to spend more if you need a lot of functionalities. You would be surprised to find very good accounting software for amazingly low prices, though, especially the ones designed for small businesses. Keep your mind (and eyes) open.

Is it user-friendly? To cut the downtime in training your staff or yourself to handle the software, it has to be easy to use in the first place. Look for something that is simple with regard to three aspects: installation, set up, and navigation.

Does it have all the accounting modules and reporting categories you need? The most basic modules that accounting software must include are accounts-payable and accounts-receivable modules. You should also look for simple reporting categories that allow you to easily generate and print reports such as cash flow for a customized period, forecast reports, receivables reports, etc.

It\'s a good idea to invest in slightly more expensive but very helpful expandable features; the software must be able to handle your growth (if you add a product line or more employees on the payroll, for example).

Does it offer after-sales support? Choose accounting software that comes with a complete FAQ package (for both technical and accounting topics), a toll-free call centerArticle Search, and maybe even live online support.

Day Care Accounting Software provides detailed information on Accounting Software, Day Care Accounting Software, Small Business Accounting Software, Free Accounting Software and more. Day Care Accounting Software is affiliated with Free Small Business Accounting Software.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Accountants can ask their price, poll confirms

The latest accountant salary poll reveals part qualified accountants receive much higher salaries than they expect

Almost one-third of part qualified accountants are earning from £22,000 to £24,000 in their first job, compared with almost nine in 10 expecting to be offered less than £22,000, according to the latest poll by internet jobs board

Strong demand for accountancy candidates has put part qualified accountants in a powerful negotiating position – a majority of 61% was able to raise their original offer, compared with 29% who were not. Newly qualified accountants fared better – 67% of whom were able to get a better deal, against 29% who could not.

'The best accountancy candidates are in hot demand and many have more negotiating power than they think,' Richard Perrott, chief consultant, told ICAEW’s official publication Accountancy Magazine.

'Part-and newly qualified accountants with the right skill sets are capable of commanding much better packages than they realise.'

Source :

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Foreign investors seek 'advance ruling' on income tax

ISLAMABAD: Top foreign investors, including an international hotel chain and a beverage company, have approached the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for obtaining 'advance rulings' for assessment of income tax on the investment being to be made by these companies/joint ventures under Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

Sources told reporters on Friday that Kingdom Lusaka Hotel (Netherlands) has asked the board to issue advance ruling under section 206A of the Income Tax Ordinance. The company intends to open a hotel in Lahore, for which an advance ruling pertaining to income tax related matters has been sought from the board. The board would convene a meeting on October 6 to discuss the matter with the income tax department and Ministry of Law and Justice.

Sources said that the rulings would clarify the taxation structure to be applicable on the proposed investment projects. It would be a big incentive for foreign investors to work out income tax liability before making actual investment.

A leading beverage company--Coca Cola Export Corporation--has also requested the FBR to issue an 'advance ruling' on the applicability of income tax on the promotional expenditure to be made in Afghanistan.

Sources said that the company, registered with the Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU), Lahore, wanted to obtain ruling whether payment made in the project would attract provisions of section 152(6) of the Ordinance 2001.

Under section 152 of the Ordinance 2001, every person paying an amount of royalty or fees for technical services to a non-resident person that is chargeable to tax shall deduct tax from the gross amount paid at the rate specified in Division IV of Part I of the First Schedule. If the commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that the non-resident person is chargeable to tax in respect of the payment, the income tax department may direct the person making the payment to deduct tax from the payment.

The company also wanted 'advance ruling' regarding promotional expenditure to be made on a cycle race to be held in Afghanistan. Sources said that 'MWH International', a non-resident foreign firm providing consultancy energy services to Wapda, wanted an advance ruling on business transactions and sale of shares. The company also wants interpretation of law on the gain on sale of immovable property in Pakistan.

The company, having joint venture with Wapda, wanted advance ruling on various provisions of the Ordinance 2001. Advance ruling helps the non-resident companies in planning for their income tax affairs well in advance, and also gives clarity to the local partners about their liabilities under the tax laws. It is an inexpensive and expeditious procedure to ensure determination of the foreign investor's tax liability avoiding long drawn and expensive litigation between the non-resident companies and income tax department, sources added.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Top 10 Mistakes in "Do it Yourself" Bookkeeping

What better time to put your end of financial year processes under the microscope.

After all, it seems that bookkeeping is either a task left in the "to do" basket until it’s too late or done at the last minute, increasing the likelihood of mistakes.

I know that many small to medium business owners are often juggling a variety of tasks from managing staff and business development through to hands on work

However simple bookkeeping mistakes can cost a small business thousands of dollars, money better seen on the bottom line. They can also expose owners to substantial fines if uncovered by a Tax Office audit.

So here are some of the common pitfalls, or what I call the Top 10 mistakes in DIY Bookkeeping.
  1. Using computer software that’s too complicated for your level of accounting expertise
    Some software programs are too complicated for most business owners who don’t understand double entry accounting. As a result, you could potentially leave yourself with a ‘shoebox’ packed with information that will either expose you to risk in a tax audit, or require you accountant to spend extra time - and money - sorting out.

  2. Short-changing yourself by not claiming valid tax deductions
    Many business owners often ‘short-change’ themselves of tax deductions they can rightfully claim. In most cases this is a simple oversight such as not keeping accurate records of cash expenditure.

    And here are three common and simple mistakes when it comes to GST. It’s easy to fall into these traps, but also quite easy to avoid them.

  3. Claiming GST credits without valid tax invoices

  4. Claiming GST credits for full amount of purchase when goods are used partially for private purposes

  5. Claiming GST credits where supplier is not registered for GST

  6. Not invoicing quickly and letting overdue debtors fall through the cracks
    A lack of time can that business owners take weeks or even months before getting their invoices out to their customers. This sends an implied message to customers that you don’t care about getting your money.
    Also, make sure that you have appropriate systems in place to keep track of debtors and follow through on payments due. Allowing outstanding debtors to fall through the cracks can put enormous strain on your cash flow.

  7. Paying incorrect employee super contributions
    As many of you know, under the Superannuation Guarantee Legislation, employers are required to pay 9% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings as superannuation – but many employers are unclear exactly what constitutes ordinary time.
    You’d be surprised just how many employers err on the side of safety when it comes to working out compulsory superannuation contributions and effectively over-pay employees.

  8. Missing deadlines for PAYG or BAS
    Missing these deadlines puts unnecessary pressure on you and your business.

  9. Failing to check records with the bank to ensure accuracy
    This goes without saying, but is often overlooked.

  10. Failing to keep back-up records
    Many business owners need to show more vigilance in ensuring back-up copies and systems are in place to safeguard their financial files in case of a technical breakdown. Just imagine the information you could lose!
Wayne Burgan is Managing Director of local company and Business SA member Cashflow Manager.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Payrolls in October Grew by 166,000

Employers added twice as many new jobs to their ranks than expected in October, an encouraging sign that the nation's employment climate is not cracking under the stress of a deepening housing slump.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the nation's payrolls grew by a net 166,000, the most in five months. The unemployment rate didn't budge at 4.7 percent, a figure considered low by historical standards.

Job gains were logged at schools, hospitals, bars and restaurants, hotels and motels, temporary-help firms, legal services, accounting and bookkeeping companies, the government and other places.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Do you want to save money on your accountancy bill ?

Follow these tips and you will reduce the time I spend doing your books and so save yourself money.
  1. Make sure you get a receipt/invoice for every business payment that you make

  2. Record all of your takings and if you take money out before your count up (e.g. from the till to make a payment), be sure to include this amount in your takings as well

  3. Clearly record any non-sales income, in particular your own money that you bring into the business

  4. Write up your chequebook stubs fully: payee, item purchased, supplier invoice number

  5. Don’t use your business money to make private payments, but draw out round lump sums e.g. a few hundred pounds once per month. These are your drawings, and use your private bank account to make private payments

  6. Keep and file everything i.e. bank statements, sales invoices, till rolls, purchase invoices/receipts (file these in payment date order)

  7. Use separate files for items
    • Paid by cheque/switch, DD
    • Paid by cash
    • Paid from private money

  8. The best filing system is lever arch files, cardboard dividers and punched "poly" pockets

  9. Keep a cashbook:
    For bank payments - record the date, cheque number, the total amount in a "total" column, (VAT if applicable in a "vat" column), and the (net of vat, if applicable) amount under a relevant "expense" column.
    For receipts (i.e. money into the business) show the total banked, and where it came from

  10. Add up the entries in the cash book columns, then check your additions by ensuring the totals of the individual "expense" columns = the total of the "total" column.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

24 Best Bookkeeping Tips for the Smallest of Businesses

24 of the best bookkeeping tips which will help you with your small business bookkeeping. Bookkeeping doesn't have to be completely overwhelming and Michelle Carley brings you these great tips to help you with your small business bookkeeping tasks.

  1. Keep an audit trail

    An audit trail is nothing more than a record of all your invoices and checks in numeric order. The thing to remember is never skip numbers. Record voided check and invoice numbers in numeric order with all other checks and invoices, only denote each one that is "voided." This assures there will be no gaps in your numerical sequence and leaves a proper audit trail.

  2. Due Date Reminders

    It's a good idea to follow a payroll tax due date reminder. Whether you have a payroll service preparing your payroll tax returns or you're preparing them yourself, you should follow a check-off list of all the required payroll tax reports. A good due date reminder would be customized to your business' specific payroll liabilities and include the follow information:

    Due date
    Type of tax
    Report number
    Government agency
    Time period covered
    Submit money, a report or both

  3. Be Consistent

    Consistency is essential to successful business bookkeeping. If you use a paper
    bookkeeping system, always be sure to head your columns the same way each month
    throughout the year. This small matter of consistency will save you and your
    accountant time and aggravation.

  4. Keep Good Records

    Many business owners don't keep good records. Some don't understand bookkeeping; others understand it, but may be afraid of what the numbers might tell them. Think of it this way--bookkeeping is the glue that keeps your business together. If your records aren't in good shape, the business could fall apart. A healthy business is monitored through its records on a regular basis so you can find problems and correct them before it's too late.

  5. Deposit Ticket Books

    How do you handle your bank deposits? One easy way is to record your daily deposit in a deposit ticket book. Generally, these books come with a white (original) copy and yellow (duplicate) copy in books of 50. For a small business, an order of 200 duplicate deposit tickets could last 2 years unless you make deposits everyday. As you write each deposit ticket, it is a good idea to remove the white copy to give to the bank and leave the duplicate (yellow) in the book. That way nothing gets lost.

  6. Bank Account Statements

    When opening a business checking account, you should request a statement with a month-end cut-off date. This will save you time when reconciling your records with the bank statement every month. The closer the cut-off date to the month end, the fewer checks you will need to record as outstanding. And don't to toss those bank statements and canceled checks into a filing cabinet without reviewing them. Resist the urge to do this! As soon as your statement arrives, review it before anyone else sees it, including your bookkeeper or employees.That way you can catch unauthorized checks.

  7. Petty Cash Box

    Almost all small businesses make small cash purchases. You may want to set up a Petty Cash Box to keep control of those purchases. Get yourself a metal cash box and put in currency and coin that totals $100.00, for example. . This will be your starting point. The value of this box should remain at $100.00 at all times. Perhaps you or your employee purchases a notebook at the local office supply store for $5.00, using money from the Petty Cash Box. When you get back to the office you will put your receipt in the box. Now you should have $95.00 in currency and one receipt for $5.00. The value of your box is still $100.00. You can continue using the Petty Cash Box until you run out of cash. Then replenish the box by writing a check for "Cash", expensing all the receipts, and cashing the check at the bank. After you cash the check, the new currency and coin go into the Petty Cash Box, so you'll be starting again with $100 in the box.

  8. Automatic Pencils

    Take a tip from accountants: save time with automatic pencils, since you never have to sharpen them When you need more lead you just click a button and the lead drops down. Buy one the next time you're at the office supply store.

  9. Storage Boxes for Each New Year.

    Keep all your records for one year in one box. You can put a copy of your tax return, bank account statements with cancelled checks, your BIG E-Z(r) Paper System and BIG E-Z(r) Receipt Storage Book, financial statements from your accountant, your paid bills and all other backup for that year in one box. Label it with the year and contents on the outside of the box. Then store it somewhere accessible.

  10. Filing Paid Invoices

    Start new file folders at the beginning of each year for all your paid invoices and paid bills. It's not necessary to start a folder for each customer or vendor unless you do a large volume of business with that customer. You could get by with a folder for all customers from A - C, D - F, and so on.

  11. Printing Invoices

    If your business uses a large number of invoices each month, you may want to have invoices preprinted. It will look more professional and you will probably get paid quicker. If you decide to print invoices with a perforated edge so customers can tear off one portion and return it with their payment, be sure to print your name and "remit to" address on both sides of the perforation!

  12. Note Pads with Your Name

    For a very professional look, print note pads or sticky note pads with your company name and phone number, with your slogan at the bottom. This can be a real time saver. If you also print the pad with "From the desk of . . .", plus your name, you'll never need to sign your name.

  13. From Paper System to Computer Program

    When going from a paper bookkeeping system to a computer system you will want to run dual systems for a few months. You want to be sure both systems come up with the same totals before dropping the paper system.

  14. Deposit That Cash Right Away

    Get into the habit of depositing all cash immediately at the bank or credit union once it is received. This ensures that all income will be properly recorded.

  15. Choose the Right Accounting Method. Cash or Accrual?

    Many small businesses opt for the cash system because it is much simpler. In fact, the IRS requires that you use the accrual method only if you have $5 million in sales or carry a large inventory.

  16. You Are Taxed On Profits

    Many business owners think they are taxed on all the money they take out of their business. In fact, if you are a sole proprietor (rather than a corporation) you are taxed on the profits of the business-not the revenue. Your estimated income tax payments should be based on the profits of the business.

  17. Maintain daily records

    Think about it. If you don't have time to do a little bookkeeping each day, when will you find time to record a month's or a year's worth of records? Different people use different record-keeping systems; what matters most is that you have a system and use it daily.

  18. Voiding Payroll Checks

    Before voiding a payroll check, call your state or consult your attorney to see if this is legal in your state.

  19. Keep Phone Messages Bound

    Try not to use scrap paper for phone messages. Use the bound message books you can get at any office supply store. As you return calls, cross them off. It's an easy way to keep track of unfinished business.

  20. Computer Software

    The biggest mistake people make is not taking the time to set up the software correctly when they install it on their computers. The old saying "Garbage in- garbage out" applies here. If you want a financial report you can trust, you will need to be sure it is set up correctlyfrom the start.

  21. Credit Unions

    Some credit unions offer business checking accounts at lower rates than most banks. Check it out the next time you need to reprint checks.

  22. Start at the end

    When starting a new business, determine what expense categories to track by taking a look at the tax return you or your accountant will need to file. If you are required to file a Schedule C, get a copy of a blank Schedule C and write down all the categories that apply to your business. Then include those categories when you set up your bookkeeping system.

  23. Don't over-categorize.

    Most of us tend to make things harder than they need to be. For instance, when categorizing office supply expenses, we don't need separate categories for fax paper, letterhead and printer cartridges, etc. All these items can simply be listed under Office Supplies.

  24. ATM Cards for Your Business

    Save time by using preprinted deposit tickets and an ATM card to make your business deposits.
Bookkeeping tips compliments of Michelle Carley from Big E-Z Bookkeeping Co. Michelle is an Internet-based mom who designs bookkeeping software without all the bells and whistles for under $30. Ideal for the smallest of businesses with simple bookkeeping needs. For more information visit

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