Sunday, August 31, 2008

TinyBooks 6.0 Accounting App Released

Space Time Associates on Friday released an upgrade to its accounting and bookkeeping application, TinyBooks.

Targeted to the home or small business, TinyBooks 6.0 adds Auto-Comment and Auto-Check features; it revamped the Reports and Transaction Search Window, allowing easy per-client reporting; added Find and Find Again to Monthly Windows; added invoice customizations (Estimates, Statements, Proposals, etc.); and improved Multi-Country Tax support with automatic tax calculations.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Bookkeeping Rate - How Much Does a Bookkeeper Cost

What do you do when you can no longer keep track of your accounting books anymore? Even if you know the rules in taxation and in creating financial statements, when your business is going uphill, you definitely need some help. That's when you start looking for a freelance bookkeeper.

Hiring a bookkeeper, though, is not a joke. First of all, you have to look for someone who can do the job that you require. Second, you need to consider about the bookkeeping rate, which today can range from $15 to hundreds of dollars per hour. It's important that when you're in the selection process, you have some criteria in your mind. You can make use of the following:
  1. Level of education. Keep in mind that a bookkeeper doesn't really have to possess a degree in accounting. Nevertheless, those who do will always have an edge for those who are none. Since they already have a good background, they are much easier to train, and they basically understand the concepts in business, such as payroll, taxation, and cash flow, to name a few. Normally, those with degree could have a higher bookkeeping rate. What you can do is to look for those who are just starting out in the field, perhaps a new graduate. They could give you a much cheaper bookkeeping rate, and they can start building their portfolio in your company.

  2. Experience. Experience plays a great role in determining the bookkeeping rate. Even if he may not be a graduate in accounting, but if he has intensive experience in the field, his wage per hour can definitely go up. He already knows how to develop a payroll, organize and record invoices, create financial statements, and even process your business papers. They could be pretty expensive, but you will be able to save a good amount of time for training them. Needless to say, however, you don't have to go overboard. Be a good judge if his experience is truly commensurate to his bookkeeping rate. If in doubt, don't be afraid to ask for references or more credentials.

  3. Level of know-how. There are certain rules in bookkeeping that do change. A good bookkeeper is someone who is very much aware of them. He should always be updated and be able to reflect the modifications in the way he does his bookkeeping job. It pays to interview your potential bookkeeper first before you hire him or give his bookkeeper rate. You can ask for his insights about the world of bookkeeping and what changes are already in place. You too can also read an overview of some of them, so you can come up with your own questions.

  4. Capacity to do the job. Most of all, the bookkeeping rate should be based on what job you are going to give him and how well he is able to do it. If he is going to perform almost 90 percent of all the bookkeeping job, then his bookkeeping rate should be higher. If he only needs to focus on certain aspects, perhaps payroll or invoicing, then you can search for someone with much lower bookkeeping rate.

  5. Overheads. You need to add all the benefits like payroll taxes, medical benefits, social security, office space etc to really understand the effective cost of the bookkeeper.

About the Author:

Many offshore bookkeeping firms offer good Bookkeeping Rates. There are many reputed and experienced Bookkeeping Firms that offer attractive Bookkeeping Rate and cater to small and medium businesses and CPA Firms worldwide.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Small business bookkeeping: make your small business big

When someone starts his/her business as a small business it becomes necessary to keep the budget in mind while hiring accounting professionals. On the contrary qualification of accounting and bookkeeping professionals is essential to lessen the chances of mistake. Hiring such professionals can go out of budget as their cost to the company will be high. In such a situation when both qualification and budget are equally important small business bookkeeping is the best option. Small business bookkeeping as its name refers is especially for those small business that can not hire much manpower to manage accounting details. It offers a cost effective but accurate and expertise bookkeeping service to small businesses.

Small business bookkeeping understands the requirement of your small business and provides you complete bookkeeping services right from managing day to day transactions to preparing monthly and annual financial statements. Small business bookkeeping manages your records in such a manner so that you may retrieve, access or update accounts easily when needed. Small cleaning service bookkeeping have such qualified professionals that can make your business flourish by not leaving a single chance for mistake. They understand that you can not afford to miss even a single entry so they fully concentrate in managing your accounts properly. At the time of tax filing you will never need to worry with small business bookkeeping as they keep every record updated that you may need while tax calculating and filing. During the period of taxation you may be busy somewhere else but you will find everything up-to-date and managed.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bookkeeping Outsourcing has helped many businesses to boom

If your organization is smaller and you have less accounting task then you can hire accounts clerk to make your task done by them. You will have to hire trained and talented professionals for your accounts task and will have to set up a separate department. If you do not want to go through all these procedure then you can hire bookkeeping outsourcing services. Outsourcing has become a powerful management tool that makes any businesses efficiently working in any department and so bookkeeping outsourcing is one such. It is this strategy that has helped many businesses in making big revenue and has brought huge reputation. And as a result they are widely popular in the market.Bookeeping outsourcing needs careful handling of its data as they are precious documents of an organization. Any business has its ambition to earn large revenue and fame, and so proper maintenance of accounts will save a lot of your revenue and time.

There are many vendors in the market to undertake your bookkeeping tasks. Bookkeeping outsourcing has become key strategy of many businesses due to its wide success in the businesses. At any point of time, you may come across the need of accounting data and so it important to store data properly and safely. Bookkeeping outsourcing consists of data entry bookkeeping, single entry bookkeeping, commercial bookkeeping, one-write systems, memorial stone systems and various other to serve the business in the best way. Data entry bookkeeping task is meant to record all the data of the firm while double-entry bookkeeping is the most commonly used method of bookkeeping that is liable for writing up the daybooks for your company. This daybook comprises of entire records of purchase, sales, receipts and payments.

It’s the accountability of bookkeeping outsourcing system to enter the transaction records accurately in the supplier’s ledger, customer ledger, and daybook. The transaction in a single entry system is recorded once, either as income or an expense, as an asset or liability. These entries need to be recorded on a one page which is carpet restoration a revenue and expense journal. One-write system is a copyrighted system that is set up by using carbon-backed cheques and as the name suggests it works in the same manner. Whenever an individual or a bookkeeper writes anything on a cheque, the data is automatically transferred to a record system. You can trust on the vendor and can transfer your entire work to them to them. They take utmost care of your data by providing high security to them and does your work with complete professionalism.

Source :

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bookkeeping seminar for non-CPAs at USC

The University of San Carlos College of Commerce Alumni Association is inviting cashiers and clerks to attend the bookeeping seminar called “Accounting for Non-Accountants of Service Enterprises” on Aug. 25 and 26 at the USC Main campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The workshop will be handled by the Accountancy department of the USC College of Commerce.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

New Accounting system to be introduced

Centre is in the process of introducing a 'new accrual' system for government accounts, to bring in more transparency and accountablity, Vinod Rai, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, said today.

A road map has been formulated and in a month or six weeks time, all the states would be called for a discussion to finetune the process, Rai said at the first INKEL Forum of Excellence lecture on 'Stregthening Financial Management systems', here.

The roll out of the new system will be over in 3-5 years period, he said.

A Government accounting advisory board at the national level has been formed with State and central government representatives.

"We are hoping one year from now the process will start", he said.

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When Is a Tax Cut Really a Tax Hike? Usually

Rollbacks feel good in the short term. But factor in government spending, and the total tax bite is now at one of the highest levels in decades.

RHETORIC ABOUT TAX CUTS AND WHAT SEGMENT of society should get them is a predictable part of every presidential campaign.

As my colleague Jim McTague points out in the preceding story, that tradition is being upheld in the Obama-McCain clash. But while changes in tax rules are important because they can have a powerful short-term effect on an individual's finances, the modern history of U.S. taxation points to an unvarying truth: True long-term reductions don't exist for society as a whole. In fact, the total tax bite -- federal, state and local -- now stands at one of the highest levels in decades, despite the ostensible rollbacks of the Reagan and Bush years.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tax Return Outsourcing Helps in Avoiding Hassles

The taxation session is undoubtedly one of the most important sessions in anyone’s life. In fact, it is also an important season for each business organization because this is one time when they need to clear their tax dues to the government. The taxation session; therefore, tends to become a very important as well as hassle some if prior preparations are not made.

Making prior requirements for the tax paying session is necessary because this helps in avoiding any hassles when the real time comes. This is because if you as an individual or an enterprise manage to make late payments or manage to miss out on paying your tax on time, then there can be heavy penalties.

The one thing is for sure that making prior arrangements is not everyone’s cup of tea. It definitely needs to be handled by professionals who know their job well and can help you and your organization with all the accurate taxing details. Hence, in such cases, taking the help of the service of tax return outsourcing is one of the most convenient things to do because this can help you and your organization from facing any problems while the tax paying session is on.

Preparing the details of the tax that needs to be paid to the government and also the tax returns that are due from the government can definitely prove to be a huge task and only a professional, who can do these calculations at his fingertips can help you and your organization to avoid any problem that might have the chances of cropping up in the tax paying session. Companies specially hire people to pay off the taxes and to take care of the taxes and other similar expenses that are to be incurred by the company. However, today tax return outsourcing has gained a lot of importance and popularity because this is a more convenient option for any company.

As there are many firms that provide tax return outsourcing services to all kinds of businesses, it is important that a properly scrutinized research is conducted on the firms that provide these services. This is required because this helps in getting the apt services that are suitable for your firm and helps you to avoid any problem during the tax paying session. These professionals, who work in these firms that specialize in providing these services, are certified CPAs and they exactly know the things that they need to do in order to make the organization avoid any sort of problems in the tax paying session.

These professionals working in these firms take care of all the details that are related to tax payments of your organization, which include filing the data, creating track sheets and the various other details that are mandatory to take care of during the tax filing session. Therefore, now you just do not need to worry about the tax filing and tax paying session of your organization because with the help of tax return outsourcing all your troubles and problems can be easily avoided.

Michelle Barkley is a CPA who advises people on tax preparation and tax calculation. She specializes in Bookkeeping outsourcing, Outsourced accounting preparation, Tax return online, Income tax return outsourcing. To know more about Tax return outsourcing, Accounting outsourcing services and Outsourced accounting you can visit

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Looking for a Growth Career? Accounting Is Hot

Looking for a career with lots of growth potential? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow at least 18 percent by 2016 - a rate faster than the average for all other occupations. And in the meantime says accounting positions rank among the top five open positions in the United States. The best job prospects are for accountants and auditors who have a college degree or certification, especially the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) designation. This high demand equates to higher starting salaries, job security and flexibility, especially for MBA graduates and CPAs.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Banking and financial services sector driving the outsourcing industry

The outsourcing industry has given impetus to inflow of foreign exchange and creating job opportunities in India. The financial services sector has emerged as a key domain for outsourcing.

Work Flow and Growth Prospects

Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) comprise 38 per cent of the outsourcing industry in India (worth $47.8 billion in 2007). Most of the work outsourced comes from the US followed by Europe.

According to a report by Mckinsey and Nasscom, India has the potential to process 30 per cent of the banking transactions in the US by the year 2010. Outsourcing by the BFSI to India is expected to grow at an annualised rate of 30 - 35 per cent.

Outsourced services from the BFSI domain include customer support, software and solutions required for core banking, various banking processes like mortgage loan processing, application processing, verifications etc, and other services like market analysis, financial statement analysis etc.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Accounting help adds to your organizational growth

A firm offering accounting help to various organizations must employ professionally qualified accountants who can competently handle the latest accounting software to maintain the financial data of the client. The team of accountants must also be reliable enough to handle sensitive data of the client that includes critical information about the company finances. The accounting help professionals must also be efficient enough to provide a day to day account of the transactions of the organization so that an accurate record of the financial status can be given to the firm at a short notice. The financial analysis and consultancy provided to the client by the firm offering accounting help can prove to be of invaluable assistance while developing business strategies for growth and expansion.

The accounting help firms provide customized services to each and every client that they cater to. So the business house can rest assured that its accounts will be maintained using the same software and processes that the in-house finance division was using earlier. The easily available accounting records at the time of audits and taxation ensures the firm achieves wedding photography credibility in the market. Even when the firm wants to apply for a loan it is easily sanctioned as the accounting help vendor ensures that each and every transaction is accurately maintained throughout the financial year. Any scrutiny of the financial data can be carried out by the lending house at a short notice.

Day journals, trial balances, profit and loss statements, balance sheet and financial reports formulated on the basis of the accounts statements can seem a daunting task for a firm that has just started out. Even for these small organizations employing accounting help from outsourced vendors might be a good move. The accounting help firm can help any business manage its financial data in many ways starting from the very set – up, getting the processes in place and using the apt software that is compatible home furniture cleaning the records that need to be maintained. Also outsourcing accounting help will enable a corporate to cut down on their expenditure as the firm would not need to pay employee salary including house and medical allowances and bonus, etc. to the accounting help vendor.

A work overload could result in some discrepancies in the daily accounts as a result of mistake or malice. A business cannot afford to have such mistakes, no matter how minute in their financial records. Hence, employing accounting help upholstery stain removal take off the additional burden from the corporate to maintain accounts accurately. A business can therefore concentrate on other areas such as profit generation; growth and expansion when it has outsourced accounting help to give it the competitive edge.

Source :

Monday, August 18, 2008

Accounting software answers emissions call

LOCAL company Supply Chain Consulting has developed world-first carbon accounting software so businesses can measure product footprints across global manufacturers and from factory floor to shop.

A specialist in real-time logistics and distribution software, the company adapted its monitoring systems to simplify the capture and analysis of emissions profiles in an organisation and across the extended supply chain.

A range of products is emerging to measure carbon footprints at facility or enterprise level, but CarbonView is the first to capture data across multiple suppliers and locations in an end-to-end way.

Once data is captured, CarbonView executive vice-president Fadi Geha says, the software offers analytical capabilities so businesses can conduct modelling to optimise their use of low-carbon suppliers.

"Once companies get a bit down the carbon reduction path they want to build a granular view of individual product footprints," he says.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Woman opens bookkeeping business at home

Connie Butzow has opened a new business in her home, nine miles west of Brookston.

As president of Connie's Bookkeeping, Butzow can provide a variety of services to small businesses and individuals.

"I've always wanted to have my own business at home. I can do accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll. I can also do just payroll," she said. "I wanted to get into this business to help other small businesses with their daily transactions."

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bookkeeping Quick Tips

Here are some simple guidelines that our clients find useful:
  • Keep all original receipts. Don’t keep just the debit or the credit card slip because this is not sufficient proof for the government. You must have THE ORIGINAL RECEIPT.

  • Calculate your home use expenses on a different spreadsheet because for your income tax you need the total paid for the year, not just the business portion.

  • Use a different bank or credit card account for your business. Even though you are a self-employed and your income tax is on the same form, you should use a different account for your business. It shows the government that you are mindful of keeping personal and business expenses separate.

  • Keep your receipts month by month. Create a file for each month, so when you get home at the end of the day you can simply put all your receipts in that file. This makes recording and locating information much easier in the long run.

  • Keep a mileage log. If you use your personal vehicle for business, you must keep a log. It is very important that you record the mileage that you do for the business otherwise the government may not accept your vehicle expenses. Record the date, the mileage and the client.

  • A proper invoice must include:
    • Invoice number
    • GST and/or PST number if applicable
    • A date
    • Name and address of both vendor and customer.
Source :

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New regulations help auto firms mask forex losses

A change in the accounting standard helped auto majors mask the actual extent of foreign exchange losses in the quarter ended June, brokerage firm First Global securities has said in a research note.

The June quarter saw auto majors such as Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki apply the principles of hedge accounting set out in Accounting Standard 30 (AS 30)
issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

which qualify for hedge accounting’ to be accounted to the hedging reserve account in their balance-sheets.

Such MTM losses, however, will have to be eventually taken to the profit & loss (P&L) account, when the underlying transaction arises. Till last quarter, these companies used to take such loss/ gain to the P&L account at the end of every accounting period.

“All exchange gains/ losses arising from the revaluation of assets and liabilities are taken as ‘other expenses’ in their P&L... Until Q4 FY08, auto companies earned forex gains due to the appreciation of the rupee, which was adjusted in their P&L by lowering other expenses, resulting in higher profits,’’ said the report.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Tax time, so make things up as you go

LIFE may be what you make it, but when it comes to tax returns it is more a case of making it up. This is an important point to remember with a Tax Office that invents ways to charge you for things that you didn't do, but might have. Here are some words that might have meant something, but don't.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Technology and the ease of telecommunication have prompted more consultants, coaches, contractors and freelancers to take business matters into their own hands. Self-employment is no longer a means of making some extra money but a full-time career, and many such full-timers are punching their own time clocks and making excellent incomes.

The self-employed have unique tax concerns. Below are ten helpful tax tips to help lessen Uncle Sam's tax bite:
  1. Keep very good records: Unlike a large company in which someone is hired to maintain records of all income and expenses, it is up to you to keep very good records, save all receipts and be able to support your deductions.

  2. Office space: Whether you have a separate office facility or are using a portion of your basement or a converted den, you can deduct the percentage of your home used exclusively for business purposes. Take this percentage off of your mortgage or rent payments as well as your utilities. If you have a phone exclusively used for business, deduct those phone bills.

  3. Don’t forget business expenses: Keep receipts and good records of business travel and other expenses including office supplies, postage and shipping costs, dues, subscriptions, and anything else business-related, including computer software for your business and upgrades to your system.

  4. Deduct child care costs: There are allowable deductions for daycare, nanny care, babysitting and any other type of childcare provided while you are working. Take the deductions allowable.

  5. Set up a retirement plan: You should consider setting up a self employed qualified retirement plan (i.e. SEP IRA) not only for tax purposes but for the same of saving money for your retirement years. If you wish to start with more than $2,000, you can opt for a Keogh plan, which allows you to put away more into tax-deferred savings for your retirement.

  6. Employ family members: You can deduct medical expenses for your entire family by employing them legitimately.

  7. Defer income if necessary: Being self-employed, you can alter your billing slightly to defer income if you see yourself heading into a higher tax bracket.

  8. Get money back from FICA: Being self-employed, you pay both the employer and employee portions of Social Security tax. You can, however, deduct half of these payments on your 1040 form.

  9. Increase expenses if necessary: Just as you can elect to defer income, if you see that your income is high, you can make many more year-end business purchases to add some tax deductions before December 31st.

  10. Get the right help: Look for tax help from someone who is familiar with self- employment, since your needs will differ from those of a company.
Source :

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chance to fix tax in the emerging world

WE have a magnificent opportunity to reform the tax system. Not simply to make it better in general terms, but to design it specifically for the world emerging in this new century.

Now it's always a dangerous vanity to assume you can predict the future. But it's not unreasonable to suggest that China and its economic growth are going to be front and centre of developments over the next decade or two.

All sorts of developments. Whether we are thinking China as the benefactor continuing to enrich the "Lucky Country", or as the planet-killer turning our coal and iron ore into carbon. In more ways than one, it might be said: I have seen the future, on my TV last night.

I'd suggest we've never previously had the opportunity to see quite so, if you'll pardon the word in this context, clearly into the future before. And certainly not at those points in our history of great tax change.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Benefits of Outsourcing Payroll Against Payroll Software

The essentials element of payroll administration in the UK is to accurately calculate the income tax and national insurance contributions deducted from the employee each pay period, produce payslips for each employee and account to the tax office for the payroll deductions.

Running a payroll system is natural for medium and large companies who may employ specialist payroll staff to perform these functions. Many medium companies may still choose to outsource the payroll function leaving many of the technical issues that might be encountered to a specialist payroll service.

Small businesses may choose to outsource the payroll function because they are not familiar with the paye system although HMRC do run seminars to assist employers. The payroll system not only calculates the tax and national insurance deductions but also has to deal with tax code changes, new employees and changes to existing employees plus taxable benefits and allowances such as statutory payments for sickness and maternity leave, contracting out of the state pension scheme and student loans.

The main benefit of manually producing the employee payroll is the reduced cost although the time spent on the payroll function by the proprietor may be better spent running the business. The cost may not be the cheapest option if an employee is required to produce the payroll. Purchasing payroll software can save significant time and costs for the small business that chooses to prepare and control its own payroll function. Although time is more important as the payroll production cost is not usually a big issue.

Outsourcing payroll adds a small additional cost to running the business but would normally carry worthwhile benefits in reducing the time spent on the function and reduces the paye administrative burden.

Main benefits outsourcing the payroll function.
  1. Frees up time in calculating the payroll deductions and dealing with different and sometimes complex employee circumstances.
  2. Using a professional outsourcing service to advise on potential payroll problems and difficulties.
  3. The cost of outsourcing payroll should be compared against the cost of employing specialist in house payroll staff.
  4. Payroll services use payroll software and are more likely to produce accurate tax and national insurance deductions and pay records reducing the prospect of problems with the tax authorities.
  5. Payroll administration such as preparing the tax deductions schedules, dealing with starters and leavers, year end certificates for employees and the employer annual returns are normally all automated as part of the payroll service
  6. The outsourced service company should also be responsible for producing employee payslips, advising tax and deductions liability and in larger businesses also provide a payroll analysis for accounting purposes.
Alternatives to outsourcing payroll functions.

Finding a suitable outsourced payroll service is not difficult. Local telephone directories or searching the internet would produce many potential payroll service providers.

Many accountancy firms offer payroll services to their clients and although the prices may struggle to be competitive price is always negotiable. Using the business accountant for the payroll has advantages since a substantial cost area for most businesses is already known to the accountant since they prepare the numbers.

Choosing payroll software.

The major alternative to outsourcing the payroll is for the business to acquire and use payroll software.

Larger companies require payroll software that has incorporated within it all the potential pay scenarios and also be capable of dealing with high numbers of employees. Large comprehensive packages can be complex to operate and require specialist wages staff.

Small business may choose simpler less complex payroll software packages that meet the basic needs of the business. It is important the person running the payroll within the wages function understands the payroll essentials and legal payroll administration requirements.

The advantages of choosing payroll software is basically the cost should save the business money against outsourcing the payroll, should retain control over the function and liabilities and ideally should take no more time that supplying employee details and gross wages to the payroll service.

If the business chooses to adopt a payroll software package then the complexity of the package should be considered and also the attributes and capabilities of the chosen software to produce all the payroll requirements in relation to pay and wage deductions, paye administration and employee payslips.

Terry Cartwright is a qualified accountant in the UK producing Accounting Software and Payroll Software packages for self employed and small limited companies. The payroll spreadsheets are suitable for up to 20 employees, produce the tax and insurance deductions, automate payslips and provide the employer with a full automated paye administration system

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Small business owners have many learning options

NEW YORK (AP) — An entrepreneur who's mystified by accounting or putting a marketing plan together can get some help, and soon, with the arrival of the fall semester. Schools, colleges and universities around the country offer a variety of courses aimed at small business owners, and many cost little or nothing.

Some of the courses are given on campus, while others are online, and in most cases, they aren't part of a degree program. And there are plenty of learning opportunities beyond higher education — chambers of commerce and trade associations may also offer classes, and Web sites aimed at small business owners can help owners get at least a grounding in a variety of business topics.

Many who take courses became entrepreneurs after working for someone else for years. They have a great deal of knowledge about the services or products that are the heart of a business, but someone who spent 10 years in information technology often knows little about marketing, and someone who worked in a public relations agency usually finds accounting to be almost a foreign language.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Accounting Outsourcing : Let your Business go Places

All successful business owners understand the significance of a proper accounting system and for this reason only, they ensure to employ the most efficient accounting team in their organization. It is undoubtedly true that in order to procure a good, well managed accounting system, a great deal of time as well as endeavor is needed.

Accounting is basically a collective task of various day to day jobs and transactions, where every business transaction and financial record keeping task should be performed in an appropriate manner because, even a single mistake is enough to disturb the entire accounting management.

However, unfortunately, not all business organizations are well equipped with latest accounting software and heavy accounting staff due to cost effectiveness or unavailability of experienced accountants. But fortunately, as every problem comes with a set solution, even this problem is settled with an easy option of accounting outsourcing.

Source :

Monday, August 4, 2008

SBDC hosts seminar called 'Basics of Bookkeeping'

The ASU Small Business Development Center is holding a seminar, "The Basics of Bookkeeping." The seminar will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Conference Room 100 of the Rassman Building on the ASU campus. Cost is $10 per person.

The seminar will focus on the importance of adequate record-keeping for business survival and will explore the two main uses of financial data, the nine requirements of a record-keeping system, and a detailed explanation of the basic steps in the accounting cycle.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Five Guidelines In Selecting Your Outsourcing Bookkeeping Partner

Outsourcing refers to the practice of transferring day to day process of a business to some external service provider. It rose to prominence as a business strategy in the early 1980's when some European airline companies began transferring part of their back office function to New Delhi. The guiding force behind such a strategy then was to reduce labor costs. Outsourcing in today's context is however, necessitated not only by cost consideration but also other specific advantages like flexibility and scalability of operations etc. And as more and more companies join the fray, it is natural that there has been exceptional increase in the number of vendors undertaking such services.

It therefore becomes very important that outsource of critical functions like accounting be done with utmost care The most important point in this regard is identifying the right outsourcing partner. Policies and practices that the outsourcing partner follow, impact the companies business directly. Therefore extreme caution should be practiced by the companies while deciding on their outsourcing partners. Never should such a decision be taken in a rush.

The following pointers should be taken into consideration while selecting your partner:
  1. Company's experience is direct pointer to its capabilities. Information relating to their total client base and kind of projects handled by them can give a clear idea of their real standing in the market. It is always prudent to check on the references provided by the company.
  2. To have a clear idea of the people running the business it is always advisable to ask for a profile of its director, the key persons etc. Also their qualifications should be taken into consideration to judge the level of professionalism that can be expected.
  3. The best way to judge the capability and genuineness of a company is by checking whether the company measure in expectations of its clients. It is thus the best way to gauge the company's credentials.
  4. To get an idea of outsourcing partner's abilities in bookkeeping, it is always advisable to test him on files that have been already completed. This way their skills can be directly tested.
  5. Once credibility about the competencies of the outsourcing partner has been established, assessment should be made about their capabilities, factors like proper infrastructure facility, number of staff etc that are directly involved with completion of the project should be checked. Here once again client reference plays an important role.
Once the credentials and capabilities of the vendor are established, it is necessary to establish that the outsourcing partner shares the same business objective as that of the company. This is important because communication becomes really easy once the objectives and strategies of the outsourcing company are shared by the outsourced vendor.

Bookkeeping is an important business function. Outsourcing such a key function is a decision that can have huge implications on the business. Both the outsourcing company and the vendor company will be venturing into a strategic relationship that affects both their businesses directly. But the element of risk lies more for the company that undertakes to outsource its books of accounts. It should therefore make the most informed decision to minimize the risk and benefit from it.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Accounting firms can't help on tax

If policymakers think the big auditors are going to help them roll back tax avoidance, they may have a long wait

Don't let the fox guard the henhouse." It may be an old proverb, but many involved in financial regulation do not appear to be aware of it. Blinkered policymakers think that major accounting firms are somehow going to help them to stem the tide of tax avoidance. Such aspirations have little chance of becoming reality until major accounting firms are forced to put their own houses in order.

Earlier this year, Christian Aid (pdf) reported that big accounting firms are at the heart of a global tax avoidance industry. It showed how depriving governments of vital revenues for investment in social infrastructure can cause death and misery for millions. Big accounting firms are protected by a cocoon of secrecy and confidentiality laws, but some evidence of their activities is publicly available.

KPMG has been the subject of what the US justice department described as the "largest criminal tax case ever filed".

KPMG admitted that it engaged in fraudulent practices that enabled its clients to generate phoney losses. The firm collected huge fees and the tax authorities lost billions of dollars in tax revenues. The firm paid $456m in fines, but escaped closure. A number of its partners may face prosecutions.

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