Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bookkeeping Hints

Whether you are keeping the business' books yourself or hiring a bookkeeper to take care of them, here are some tips from our bookkeeping experts to help save you time and money.
  1. Maintain Daily Records. Allocate 15 minutes everyday to do a little bookkeeping each day. This is one of the most basic rules. If you don't have accurate records, you don't have an accurate picture of your business. There is no right or wrong record-keeping system. What matters most is that you have a record-keeping system and you use it.
  2. Bank account statements. Always request a statement with a month-end cut-off date. This will make it easier for you to reconcile your statement and track expenses.
  3. Keep an audit trail.The goal here is to be able to quickly and easily retrace your company's financial activities. Record all of your invoices and cheques in numerical order. Never skip numbers.
  4. Be consistent. Consistency is the key to successful bookkeeping. Most of us tend to make things harder than they need to be. Keep filing simple and use consistent wording in ledgers and in software files. This will save you and your accountant time at year-end when you are preparing statements and reports.
  5. Use a computer. Bookkeeping software makes it easy to track income and expenses, prepare tax documents and summaries your company's financial activities. Make sure that you are trained in the basics, even if you are outsourcing. Take the time to set up your financial accounts correctly from the start. Always ensure that records are backed up for safekeeping.
  6. Cash or Accrual. Choose the right accounting system for your business. Cash accounting is much simpler - you count income when you receive it and expenses when you pay them. In the accrual method you count expenses when they happen, not when you receive or pay them.
Source :

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Here’s How To Make Sure That Your Bookkeeping Service Provider Is Trustworthy

When it comes to business, outsourcing is always a tough call to be made. It is never easy to convince yourself or your partners that you are going to entrust a service provider with the internal business operations responsibilities. Especially for accounting, it involves the transfer of confidential information to a third party whom you have never met before. So before you make any decision to outsource your accounting, the following points should be taken into consideration first:
  1. Conduct a background check of the company. As it is your first time entrusting confidential data to a company, it is always wise for you to do a background check first. Search for the company’s details on search engines and you should be able to get a fair idea about the background of the company. You should also try to get details of the vendor’s clients. Ask for their feedback on the service before you make the final decision.
  2. Sign a contract with the vendor. The contract is the basis of any business relationship you have with another company. On the contract, it should states very clearly about the accountability of the outsource provider so as to avoid any confusion on the deliverables. The contract should also list down the tasks that the service provider will perform and these tasks should be open for revision for both the parties.
  3. Request for an evaluation period. If you want to know whether you can work well with the service provider and are they going to meet your expectation, the performance of the service provider needs to be gauged during the evaluation period. The service provider should allow internal oversight by you so that all parties will know the progress of the account and ensure that the contract is being upheld.
  4. Write a performance appraisal after the completion of the assignment. Once the assignment is completed, conduct a performance appraisal on whether the service provider has performed the necessary desired tasks. In the appraisal, also list down areas that you think the service provider can improve. This is to ensure that improvements can be made for future outsourcing assignments.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping to a service provider is definitely beneficial to your company. It is Time VS Money. When you outsource your accounting, you will save money on recruiting and training your staffs to do the accounting work for you. Last but not least, remember to conduct your background check of a company before making any decision.

For more information on Bookkeeping Service and other Accounting Service, visit the link below:
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Top 10 Tax Tips for Small and Growing Businesses

Taxes are one of the most important issues facing small and growing businesses. And like a company's profits, its annual tax bill will in part reflect the owner's skills and knowledge. Business owners need to be sure that they are meeting all of their responsibilities to the tax man -- and also seizing every opportunity to reduce their taxes. These tax tips will ensure Uncle Sam is not getting more than his due.
  1. Writing It Off: Deductions. Businesses can deduct all "ordinary and necessary" business expenses from their revenues to reduce their taxable income. Some deductions are obvious—expenditures in such areas as business travel, equipment, salaries, or rent. But the rules governing write-offs aren't always simple. Don't overlook these potential deductions:

    • Business losses. Business losses can be deducted against a business owner's personal income to reduce taxes. If a business owner's losses exceed personal income for the year, some of the year's business losses can be used to reduce taxable income in future years.
    • Trips that combine business and pleasure. If more than half of a business trip is devoted to business, deduct the traveling costs, as well as other business-related expenses.

  2. Employee Taxes. If a business has employees, a variety of taxes will have to be withheld from their salaries. Among them are:

    • Withholding. Social Security (FICA), Medicare and federal and state income taxes must be withheld from employees' pay.
    • Employer matching. Businesses must match the FICA and Medicare taxes and pay them along with employees.
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hiring a Bookkeeper

Hiring a bookkeeper? You'd think it would be easier to find bookkeepers. Where are they, and when you do find them, how do you hire the best bookkeeper for your business?

Keeping track of your company's financial data is vital. In fact, it's so important that you can't just leave it to chance.

You need someone in charge of your books who has the training and experience to get the job done right. But finding a quality bookkeeper can be a challenge - unless you know what to look for.

How to Hire a Bookkeeper

To begin with, you need to understand that bookkeepers are not necessarily the same as accountants. While an accountant's job is to provide financial advice and recommendations, a bookkeeper's job entails things like recording income and expenses, reconciling bank statements, processing invoices, and administering payroll.

If that sounds like the kind of person you need, then it's time to start shopping around for someone to fill the position. Bookkeepers can be hired on a part-time, full-time, or even contact basis depending on the needs of the business. But no matter what kind of arrangement you decide to go with, your bookkeeper needs to meet certain basic qualifications.

Bookkeeper Training & Education

A qualified bookkeeper may or may not have a degree in accounting. Some of the best bookkeepers you'll find don't. But they should have completed some formal coursework in bookkeeping through a community college or other accredited institution. For information about the kind of coursework you should be looking for, you might consider contacting the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.

Bookkeeper Experience

Although education and training are important, there is no substitute for experience. Hiring a bookkeeper with only a couple of courses under their belt and no actual bookkeeping experience is a recipe for disaster.

It's not uncommon for bookkeepers to operate on a contractual basis, so potential candidates should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied clients you can contact for a reference. You should also plan to check out references of previous employers if the individual has staff experience on either a full- or part-time basis.

Detail-oriented Personality

Bookkeepers live and die in the details. Therefore, it is absolutely critical for them to have detail-oriented personalities. If the person seems frazzled or disorganized at the interview, that's a good sign that they may not be the right person for the job. On the other hand, if the candidate shows up with multiple copies of a well-organized resume and a color-coded Day Planner, you may be on the right track.

Technological Awareness

The art of bookkeeping has come a long way in recent years. Nowadays, most bookkeeping is done in a computerized fashion. Potential candidates should be familiar with - if not proficient in - the record keeping software your business uses on a daily basis.

Costs for Bookkeepers

How much should you pay a bookkeeper? That depends largely on how much you want them to do. If you're planning to outsource your bookkeeping needs, expect to pay between $20 - $50 per hour depending on the complexity and volume of work your business requires.

Source :

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Selecting a new accounting system

When selecting a new accounting system, a Clever Company will use a structured process to ensure the new software will work in its business. If you fail to do this, the result may be an association with a software vendor that is not only time consuming and frustrating – but also potentially very costly.

You’ll need to be able to identify any one of a number of 'indicator' signs that your system may need to be replaced.

These include:
  • The length of time your current system has been used. As a general rule (assuming you’ve had no upgrades), software needs to be replaced about every seven years. Because computer technology advances rapidly, systems older than seven years are often built to an old design that may prevent your business operating efficiently in today’s market.
  • The use of spreadsheets or databases to produce information. Many companies overcome software deficiencies by using other packages to format or produce the information they require to manage their business.
  • Linked to the point above, the inability to produce timely information.
  • Frequent requests, from users, for additional information.
  • A large number of customizations in the software.
  • Changes to the size, structure or operations of the business since the current system was implemented.
A key decision when considering replacement software is to weigh up the functionality, you’d like to see in the software, with your budget and sophistication of your organization.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Much Do You Make: Taking A Critical Look At Finances

How Much Does A Small Business Owner Make: Taking A Critical Look At Finances

How Much Does A Small Business Owner Really Make?

If you are a small business owner, you probably have a financial target in mind. This target is the amount of money that you would like to make. However, meeting that goal can be harder than you think. The reason is that much of your money will be swallowed up by the business overhead. Many small business owners do not fully understand the financial side of business ownership, so provided here is a guide to determining how much money you actually have.

How Much Do You Bring In?

In order to start figuring out how much you make, you will first need to figure out how much you bring in. If you have a good bookkeeping system, this should be fairly easy. However, if your bookkeeping system needs work, you may not have a clear idea exactly how much money the company brings in each month.

If your books are out of control, consider hiring outside help. A Virtual Assistant firm such as IAC Professionals can get your bookkeeping back on track. Your VA can also handle a variety of other paperwork tasks, and can be used only when needed.

Once you have determined how much money your business brings in, you will need to determine how much the company spends each month.

How Much Do You Spend?

At this point, you should focus only on your business-related expenses. Your personal expenses should come out of your pay, just as they would if you worked for someone else. Office rent, your company vehicle, software, business phone calls and memberships in professional organizations are just a few of the costs of running a business. You also need to subtract insurance costs, including liability, health and life insurance.


Once your bookkeeping records are well-organized, it should be fairly easy to determine your set monthly business expenses. Your next step is to subtract your expenses from your income. In theory, the result is your monthly personal income. However, it is not quite that simple. If you are still building your business, you will want to invest a certain amount of your profits back into the company. From software upgrades to building improvements, most small businesses have a backlog of projects that are awaiting funding. Determine how much, in either percentage or hard dollar amount format, you want to reinvest each month.

Determine Your Goal

Only by going through the above steps will you begin to develop a clear picture of how much money you make. Of course, the best you will be able to come up with is an estimate, as most small businesses experience rapid fluctuations in income. Over time, however, you will be able to see patterns and averages. At this point, you can set realistic financial goals and begin working to achieve them.

If you have any questions about how much a small business owner really makes, contact us today.

IAC Professionals is a single source for contracting qualified professionals to assist you with your most critical business needs. They offer a wide range of outsourcing solution which include Accounting, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistants, Company Formation and Business Consulting.

Author Info:

IAC Professionals 1-786-214-6046 1.877 MY-IAC-VA IAC Professionals.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bookkeeping Business Tips For Developing Reliable Financial Projections

Financial forecasting reminds me of the weather - you assemble your forecast at a second in day based upon the dope currently available. You allure a result and society your financial forecast. Nevertheless then, the facts changes, immediately it's raining, and you're caught without your umbrella!

Financial forecasting, unlike the weather, isn't a science on the contrary it's not pure guess grind either. It is a combination of:

awake your business;
discerning your marketplace;
setting goals; and
using daily sense.

As a affair coach, I understand that every miniature racket needs to constitute dependable financial projections at one continuance or another. Forecasting is critical during the next stages of a company's duration span:

when seeking financing
gauging the profitability of a contemporary product or supply
determining the contact of staff expansion or cutback
assessing other incident decisions

The crowded components of forecasting boil down to the succeeding five bookkeeping bag tips that for oldness I've shared with function coaching clients:

Bookkeeping Calling Gratuity #1: Audit Actual Year-To-Date Results

Start by looking at where you've been. Provided you handle an accounting programme allied QuickBooks you can print elsewhere a Income & Loss statement showing year-to-date results. Evaluation the statement for all financial transactions that occurred up to the generation of the report. Reconcile the announcement to your bank statements. (If you don't apply an accounting program or bookkeeping service, then catching the characteristic of the complete year-to-date cash receipts and total expenditures. This should identical your profit or loss.) See everyone column entity to beget confident that it makes belief - is your year-to-date revenue figure where you anticipated, or has it fallen short? Are expenses higher than expected?

Bookkeeping Matter Tip #2: Endow Goals and Involve into Your Forecast

What effect you hankering to accomplish by year's end? Cook you hankering to introduce a contemporary product or service, boost revenue on existing products or services, chop spending, accept a cutting edge employee, outsource a bookkeeping service, or start a marketing crusade that testament position the convention for the dawning of later year?

Write absent your objectives and then choose three to five which are the most determining to accomplish by the objective of the year. Finish the needed steps to consummate the objectives. Which Profit & Loss borderline items will be impacted? Adjust your forecast accordingly. For example, your mark may be to exaggeration revenue 10% by year's neb or to depart a marketing campaign first off so its benefits will be felt in the cardinal quarter of 2009.

Bookkeeping Line Tip #3: Forecast Variable Costs

Variable costs are costs that pin money in manner with revenue change. For example, you are selling bounteous widgets; therefore, your labour costs and materials costs will cumulation in relation to the revenue increase.

Using the conceit that Forecast = Projections + Predictions, combined with the scholarship that variable costs nickels in operation with revenues, forecast each month's variable costs. Forecast each contour effects separately. Glance for opportunities to shorten costs, and be aware of credible eventual influences on each cost.

Bookkeeping Career Tip #4: Forecast Constant Expenses

Fixed costs are relatively steady costs that repeated every month. Examples of fixed costs are rent, call and bookkeeping overhaul fees. Forecast the month's fixed expenses by using the identical solution used to forecast variable costs (Forecast = Projections + Predictions) and the accomplishments that fixed expenses tend to be relatively stable and engage in not modify in action with revenues. Again, forecast each border oppose separately, looking for opportunities to decrease costs, while control in belief any viable likely influences.

Bookkeeping Event Tip #5: Forecast Trap Profit

The ending system is to evaluate your forecast for entangle profit. Is the profit forecast is logical and acceptable? Whether not, re-evaluate each wrinkle thing including revenues and dash off felicitous adjustments. Also, anticipate non-operating resources and expense items, and involve them in your forecast.

Your financial projections may not be defect less at first, on the other hand we didn't con to legwork without falling down. As a complication coach I've seen others entertain a hardly any bumps along the way. However I warranty that if you displace these bookkeeping metier tips, locate your financial projections on paper and revisit them frequently, you will bring off your goals faster.

Autor: Linda A. Hunt
Linda Hunt is the co-founder of The Bookkeeper's Referral Network Inc., the place where business meets great bookkeepers. To get your copy of a free special report, The 9 Disastrous Mistakes Most Freelance Bookkeeper's Make in Business (and How You Can Avoid Them!), visit

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bookkeeping Courses - Introduction

Bookkeeping courses online provide extensive training for all aspects of the field. Distance education classes in bookkeeping benefit business owners, managers and independent contractors. Accredited schools provide students with bookkeeping training skills that prepare them for this unique accounting job. Bookkeepers can earn good wages and find a steady career after completing a distance education class.

Online bookkeeping courses emphasize regulatory compliance and strict adherence to accounting basics. Companies need advice and assistance from bookkeepers with job skill training from an accredited university.

Jobs in payroll, reporting and accounting analysis are all possible after completing a course of distance learning in bookkeeping. Associate's, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as training certificates in bookkeeping are all available online.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Outsourcing Bookkeeping services - How Beneficial?

Hiring a third party to do bookkeeping is quite a common thing to do for companies today. Companies have realized the benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping instead of doing it in-house. However, a company should hire the bookkeeping company that will deliver to the level of services and quality it needs.

One reason why a company outsources is the aim to cut costs. The bookkeeping rate is a very important consideration. Companies look for the lowest bookkeeping rate considering the level of education and the amount of experiences bookkeepers have. They would hire bookkeepers that have a degree in accounting and those that have the knowhow in business concepts such as payroll, cash flow and taxation among others.

Outsourcing companies have highly trained bookkeepers to do the most efficient and accurate bookkeeping. They have intensive experience in the field so hiring their expertise will really be worth it for the company. Hiring them assures the company that not only will their accounting books be well maintained, financial statements and business papers will be processed too.

Many outsourcing companies will give companies a competitive bookkeeping rate. Their bookkeepers are always up to date to rules and regulation changes. They will take charge of adapting to rule changes for the company. Their bookkeepers and accountants are very capable to do the job for all their clients. They will do everything for the company so managers can concentrate on building the business instead.

Hiring them will save the company a lot of money. One reason for that is they offer their services at a lower bookkeeping rate. The company will no longer need to hire in-house bookkeepers. It means less hiring and training costs for the company. It saves on office equipment and office space. More savings is incurred since the company will not be responsible for medical benefits and social security. But outsourcing bookkeeping means the company has knowledgeable and competent bookkeepers working for them.

With the caliber service outsourcing companies offer, the cost the company incurs is very minimal compared to the benefits it will get. While bookkeeping may seem just another responsibility the company is obliged to do, it is very important as well. It is done not just to comply with regulations but it is also to measure how the company is doing.

Having them do the job will give the company a clear and true picture of their performance. These bookkeepers will take care of keeping tabs on company performance and they will take care of the records as well. Confidentiality is very important to most of these companies so the company is assured of an ethical bookkeeping. Bookkeepers and accountants also possess the right ethics and the integrity every company demands.

By outsourcing bookkeeping the company can go on doing and building business while their transactions are recorded by a third party. The company can concentrate on growing customer base and keeping clients happy. The company gets accurate and timely bookkeeping. The company gets the financial statements on time and business papers are processed on time as well. And the most important thing is this means paying cheaper bookkeeping rate for the most services the company can get.

About the Author:

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Basic bookkeeping & Accounting Principles For Business

A good knowledge of basic accounting principles is essential to any business: Dragon’s Den contestants can rarely be questioned for their passion and enthusiasm, however, when it comes to the finances many a contestant has been publicly slain for a lack of basic financial acumen.

Failing to keep good financial records and making business decisions based on inadequate information can be fatal for smaller companies and often proves the downfall of even the best entrepreneur.

It is important for any business to remember that a company’s books and financial statements show how the organisation is progressing, as well as enabling the company to predict when and why things may be going wrong.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Accounting is Critical to the Success of Every Business

There are three primary reasons accounting is critical to the success of every business:
  • Tax Planning
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Management Information
Lets go through each of them in the order above.

Tax Planning

How would you like to be the coach of a basketball team, but were not allowed to see the score, nor the statistics until the end of the game? Does it surprise you that many small business owners run their businesses this way?

Many small business owners just collect all their financial information in a box during the year. After the year is over, they will drop these on a tax preparer's desk, and hope the tax person can figure the assortment of papers out. The tax preparer then does his/her best to sort through the materials, and arrive at the information the IRS is looking for. Then a phone call to the wearied business owner will notify him/her of the damages.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Book keeping Rates For Quality Work

Individuals and businesses who wish to get the services of bookkeepers have one common question in mind. How much do these bookkeepers charge? Will the charge be in an hourly basis or a monthly basis? What is the assurance that what they charge is what is really due them? What is the acceptable bookkeeping rate?

Bookkeeping Cost vs. Bookkeeping Quality

Bookkeeping rate really depends on the bookkeeper himself. Remember, you are dealing here with service business. That means time is equal money. The more time you indulge in one output would mean more money. Bookkeepers would usually lay down their normal rate, but the clients are still free to compromise.

Bookkeeping rate can be negotiable. The rates you gave your clients now can be different tomorrow, depending on how you ask them. Or the rates you give to one client can be different to others. Say, you give them a deal, you quote a $30 per hour job, the client will accept it but only for $15 per hour, you may go for it. Then proceed with additional negotiation. Like you do accept the $15 rate per hour, but the moment they are satisfied with your work, you can ask them to give you the original $30 per hour fee. Bookkeeping rate can be raised anytime, but make sure that you do your job right, or else prospects and clients could drop you anytime. Quality work, meaning giving a concise, complete, and on-time output, are good factors of good bookkeepers. And when you deliver them well, you will be assured of a fairly negotiated bookkeeping rate.

Bookkeeper's Experience Just like in any business, the bookkeepers experience in the industry is also influential in bookkeeping rate. The more experience a bookkeeper is, the higher charge he would give you. Our bookkeepers are highly recommended. Clients can attest to their work. Along with experience, bookkeepers are working hand in hand with a team and a supervisor who are all qualified, as well. Look for bookkeeping rate that suits you or your business. Our bookkeepers make sure that what they charge is worth it.

Analyze the Client The client has a big bearing in quoting bookkeeping rate. Individual clients have different needs and different concept of the need for bookkeeping. Clients may not fully recognize the importance of a bookkeeper. They should be made to understand what the work of a bookkeeper is, and why there is a need to get one. There are clients who do not even maintain a ledger account. If this is the case, then that would be a big effort for bookkeepers. All transactions have to be traced and worked back. There are some that even if they do have ledger account, they have not been kept well, or are disorganized, or worse, months or years behind in recording.

Bookkeeping rate will vary, depending on the client's set up. It will also depend on how big or how small a business is. For individuals, the bookkeeping rate will be based on the number of transactions they wish to include.

Many offshore bookkeeping firms offer good Bookkeeping Rate Amittabh heads one such reputed and experienced bookkeeping firm that offers attractive Bookkeeping Rate and caters to small and medium businesses and CPA Firms worldwide.

Article Source:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bookkeeping From Home - Tips For Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business can be a very rewarding experience. You will enjoy freedom and flexibility you never imagined. You will also work harder than you ever have before but it feels completely different when you are working for yourself. Here are some tips to help you get off on the right foot with your record keeping.
  1. Keep Receipts For All Transactions From The First Day Onward. If you pay for everything with a check, debit card, or credit card this may not seem necessary. As a tax accountant I can assure you that it is. The IRS will disallow deductions if you do not have receipts to accompany your bank and credit card records.
  2. Avoid Cash. I can tell you the easiest way to get into hot water with the IRS is to pay for things with cash and then not have a receipt. For many of us we are in a habit of using cash from the time we were kids. For your own business though, you need to avoid cash.
  3. Deposit All Your Income. It is very tempting to withhold cash from your business receipts but I advise you do not. Instead be aggressive with your expenses. If you are in an industry where cash deals are common the IRS will look for evidence of cash deposits in your checking account. If they are absent you will have a lot of questions to answer.
  4. Use quick books. Inuit owns 80% of the small business accounting software market and for good reason. Their software is easy to learn and easy to use. Within a few hours after installing you can be producing your own professional financial statements. It is the software I use for my own accounting/tax business and also what I use to produce client Financial Statements and Payroll Reports.
  5. Report Employee Earnings Timely. There are several services on the market that will be glad to do your Payroll Reports and process your employee checks. Shop around and get the best deal. This market has become more competitive which means there are some good deals out there for you. For example, if you are in a high risk industry you can get a reduced WCF rate with a company like ADP. With the amount you save in disability insurance for your employees your Payroll Tax preparation expense is essentially free.
  6. Use A Business Credit Card. Using a business credit card has many benefits. You can usually find one with no annual fee, 0% introductory interest rate and even cash rewards. But for the purpose of this article one of the primary benefits is for your record keeping. At the end of the year you will receive a summary of all your expenses by category. Give this to your accountant along with your other records at tax time. This will make your accountant's job easier which should lower his/her fees.

There are many other items to consider when starting your own business and I recommend you speak to an accountant as soon as possible. If you already have someone preparing your tax returns then you can start with them. Make sure they are familiar with hiring your spouse and children, medical reimbursement plans, business plans and entity structuring. Do not stay with an accountant who is not familiar with these because you cannot afford to.

About the Author:

Zach Allred is a tax accountant with a desire to provide tips about good credit card practices. You can visit his site to compare business credit cards. You can also visit his home based business site for other resources and free articles.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Bookkeeping From Your Home Business

  1. Find an accounting software program to help track your finances. I recommend QuickBooks which is quick and easy to learn & use, as well as relatively inexpensive. However, don't solely rely on a computer based program. I highly recommend you also keep a separate manual check register as back up.

  2. Determine which accounting system will work best for your business:

    • Cash based: You record your income & expenses as you pay or are paid. For example, Tom allowed a customer to purchase an item on credit. He wrote an IOU for the transaction, but won't enter it into his accounting system until his customer comes in next week to pay him the balance. Today is also the day Tom makes his weekly check run to pay off any invoices that are going to be due. He won't enter the transactions until after he has written the checks.

    • Accrual based (which I personally recommend): You track all income & expenses as they happen, not when actual payment is made or received. This is a little more complicated than the cash based system, but it will allow you to know where your company stands financially at all times. For example, Mary made a sale today based on her customers credit. Although she hasn't physically received cash yet, she did make a sale and will enter it into her accounting system. She also received an invoice from the electric department. Even though she won't pay the invoice for a few weeks, she still enters it.

  3. Keep all supporting documents and staple them to the corresponding check stub or copy of a customers invoice. Supporting documents may include purchase orders, invoices, receipts, notes logging conversations, etc. These will be especially useful in the event of an audit.

  4. Reconcile (balance) your bank statement every month. This assures that your business records and bank balance will be in sync. Always review cancelled checks before you allow anyone else to see them (including your accountant). This will alert you if any unauthorized checks are being written. Also, try to find a bank who's monthly cut-off date is the last day of the month. This will make reconciling much easier.

  5. Make sure to review your company's balance and income & expense reports each month. These will allow you to know where your company stands financially.

Anita DeFrank, owner of is a busy work at home mom. is the leading resource available online built to assist you with your home business. Whether you're brand new to the work at home game or you're an old pro, they can help.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top Ten Accounting Outsourcing Tips

Businesses of all sizes need to ensure that accounting is paid due attention, since accounting it is at the core of any business process. In recent times more and more small and medium size businesses are considering accounting outsourcing. The decision to outsource accounting and bookkeeping allows a company to concentrate in their area of specialization and not worry about the accounting aspect of the business. Outsourcing has several advantages and these include the following:
  • The services of experts are available at a fraction of what would have been paid to hire them on a full time or part-time basis.
  • Outsourcing relieves the company of the tedious and yet crucial process of accounting bookkeeping.
  • When a company considers outsourcing not only does it not bother with recruitment of accounting professionals but also saves on office space and related expenditure.
An offshore accounting outsourcing service provider provides reliable and competent services that are an asset to the company and simplify its working.

When outsourcing small business accounting and finance it is important to keep certain tips in mind in order to make informed decisions:
  1. Be clear about what you expect of the accounting company that you are outsourcing to. It is vital that you specify the needs of the job and what you expect from the outsourcing service provider. This will ensure that both companies have a clear understanding of what is expected and what is being delivered.

  2. Is the accounting outsourcing company reliable and dependable?
    Do not make a decision blindly, but in fact take the time and effort to check on the references provided by the outsourcing company. Accounting needs to be done by certified public accountants and in case of offshore outsourcing you need to confirm that the accountants are qualified to handle and provide accounting solutions.

  3. Don't shy away from asking the vendor about similar accounting management projects that they have worked on. You don’t want a trial and error technique used on your small business accounting. It would be a good idea to ask the accountants to provide material that indicates their skill and knowledge of accounting, auditing and bookkeeping.

  4. Reviewing previous projects that the vendor has done will give you a fair idea of the level and quality of accounting that they can deliver. You could also ask the accountants as to how they would like to handle the accounting information, so that you can judge their line of thinking and working. It is also recommended that you initially start with a pilot project that will assure you of the services that you have been promised.

  5. While the total cost may be a guiding factor when you are selecting an accounting company, it should not be the only factor. The lowest bidder need not always be the best bet. Accounting and any deficiencies in the process can create serious legal problems for the business and you would not want to risk that. A large percentage of small and medium businesses that have turned to accounting outsourcing have done so not just because of the low costs but also due to the quality of work that they are assured.

  6. It is important that you have a contract drawn up that clearly specifies what is expected of the project and how and when it will be completed. Such an understanding facilitates transparency in the dealings with the outsourcing accounting service provider.

  7. Start with a small project and take it from there. To begin with provide a small amount of work and allow the outsourcing accounting company to prove its caliber.

  8. Creating milestones in the project will help create a smooth flow of work to its completion. Also this ensures that both parties are clear on the deadlines and required work. Furthermore it allows the company to make payments in installments as and when the work is completed.

  9. Security issues need to be discussed upfront and you need to be clear on the security measures taken by the accounting outsourcing company to protect crucial accounting data. Accounting information is crucial to the success of every business and any leak of such information can have drastic consequences. You would need to discuss how accounting, auditing and bookkeeping files will be transferred securely to the outsourcing company and also issues such as how accountants will have access to these files.

  10. Communication with the accounting outsourcing firm is of utmost importance and you should be able to interact and communicate freely. Thus the service provider ought to have communication facilities that are satisfactory and should be easily contacted.
Accounting outsourcing should ideally be an asset for any small or medium business. And keeping these tips in mind can make that a reality.

Source :

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

EU says to relax mark-to-market accounting rules

Banks in the European Union will be allowed to skirt an accounting rule blamed by critics for exacerbating the impact of the credit crunch and triggering fire sales of assets, EU president France said on Tuesday.

EU finance ministers agreed to change how the mark-to-market rule is applied in the third quarter so that European banks are treated in the same way as their U.S. competitors in the face of the worst financial crisis in 80 years.
Under U.S. accounting rules, banks in rare circumstances can move an asset from their trading book, where assets are valued on a mark-to-market basis, to their bank book, where assets are held to maturity and valued at cost.

The U.S. authorities formally encouraged this last week to ease the pain on banks facing an uphill task to recapitalise.

"In accounting, the American groups are authorised to transfer assets from their trading book, where they evaluate assets at mark-to-market," said Christine Lagarde, finance minister for France, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Direct tax collection growth slows

Net collections grew 32.5 per cent in the first six months of fiscal 2008-09.

Net direct tax collections grew 32.5 per cent in the first six months of fiscal 2008-09, slower than the 40 per cent growth in the same period last year, due to moderation in advance taxes paid by corporations and individuals.

Net direct tax collections (after refunds but before transfer of states’ share) stood at Rs 1,47,197 crore in July-September this year as compared with Rs 1,11,055 crore in the same period of 2007-08. This amounts to a year-on-year growth of 32.5 per cent.

Growth of corporation tax collections slowed to 35.65 per cent in the first six months of this fiscal as compared with 41 per cent in the same period last year. Similarly, growth of personal income tax (including fringe benefit tax, securities transaction tax and banking cash transaction tax) collections slowed to 27 per cent during the period, from 39 per cent in the same period last year.

“The moderation in direct tax collection growth in April-September is on account of lower growth in advance taxes paid by corporations and individuals,” said a revenue department official.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Obama tax cuts aimed at the less-than-wealthy

Given what’s happened to the economy in the past few weeks — and the fallout that’s likely to continue between now and January — it’s tempting to take the economic and tax plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama and toss them both in the trash can.

After all, the plans were conceived and drafted for an economic reality that no longer exists. The political world in which they were imagined has changed dramatically as well, as have public attitudes toward business and government. Regardless of who wins the election, the next president of the United States will face a situation that few could have predicted a year ago and that even fewer fully comprehend even now.

Understandably, with barely four weeks left in the campaign and the economic situation in such flux, neither candidate has tried to go back and update his plan. However, those plans do tell us something about how the two candidates perceive the economy, where their values lie and how they would generally approach the challenges ahead.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

BPOs see big money in global accounting norms

NEW DELHI: Business process outsourcing (BPO) outfits in India are gearing up to rake in moolah as India Inc gets ready for convergence with the global accounting norms. Many of the Indian KPOs and BPOs have started assessing their capabilities in providing support for managing the required changes.

According to Nasscom officials, outfits that lack the necessary skills to provide the convergence-related support are putting their employees on training.

According to Grant Thornton partner Khazat Kotwal, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) cannot be looked as a mere technical exercise limited to change from one accounting principle to another.

It is expected to impact all aspects of the way in which India Inc operates, including accounting policies and procedures, financial reporting and disclosures, and information technology systems.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

How To Select Accounting Software For Your Small Business

Here’s a step-by-step approach to help you decide which program can best serve your business accounting needs:

  1. Determine and create a list of the specific types of accounting functions you want to perform. At a minimum, the software should handle cash disbursement and cash receipts, post all charges to the profit-and-loss statement automatically, and offer a complete reporting package. Reports should include a detailed general ledger, balance sheet, income statement (profit and loss), and cash-flow statement, as well as specific function reports for payroll and job costing.

  2. Don’t pay for features and functions you won’t use. The typical small business writes fewer than 100 checks per month, makes 10 to 20 bank deposits per month, and produces 20 to 100 invoices per month. It doesn’t take a major accounting program to handle these functions, and it’s not worth it to buy a program that has lots of features you won’t use and that end up making the program more difficult to operate.

  3. The most important step is to talk with other people in businesses similar to yours about what accounting software they use and what they like or don’t like about it. There is no better source for finding out about a program than those who have been using it for a while.

Gene Fairbrother
Business Consultant
National Association for the Self-Employed

Source :
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