Friday, July 31, 2009

Bookkeeper Service – Top 5 Things to Check

For all types of business, maintaining financial data is important. What’s even more important is having someone who can do this work flawlessly. This is the reason why businesses continuously look out for the perfect bookkeeper service.

With the appropriate bookkeeper service, business owners should be worry-free. Bookkeepers will handle the tasks relating to financial transactions including recording income and expenditure, drafting bank reconciliation statements, handling invoices, and managing payroll. All business owners know how important it is to have a bookkeeper. However, what most do not know is how to actually find a good one.

First, it is important to evaluate potential bookkeepers in terms of training and educational background. Although bookkeepers are not necessarily required to have a degree in accounting, all must have had formal training in the field. You will most likely find individuals who have gone through some college coursework or have been certified by accredited institutions.

Second, most business owners also prefer a bookkeeper service provided by an experienced bookkeeping firm. Hiring an experienced bookkeeper allows you to ensure expert management of your financial records. Furthermore, experienced bookkeepers work more efficiently. Because bookkeeper services are often paid on an hourly basis, individuals who work faster will allow you to save more. To prove actual bookkeeping experience, most bookkeeping firms would not hesitate to provide a list of references.

Third, personality is also worth observing when evaluating those who provide bookkeeper service. Obviously, it would be important for you to get along with your bookkeeper but more importantly, it is worth taking the time to observe and look out for signs of customer responsiveness, organization, and attention to detail. More often than not, individuals who have these qualities provide a good bookkeeper service.

Fourth, although some businesses still engage in traditional bookkeeping service, most have adapted to the technological changes in business by doing computerized bookkeeping work. If your business uses specific software, it would also be important that potential bookkeepers be familiar with that.

Lastly, it is important to make sure that the bookkeeper you want to employ will suit the budget of your business. Ask your potential bookkeeper how much they charge. If their rates are not reasonable for your company, do not hesitate to speak to them to see if you can discover a better pricing plan.

The benefits of hiring a good bookkeeper service are undeniable. However, the value of a bookkeeper would depend mostly on qualifications and capabilities. For this reason, it is important to thoroughly evaluate each and every potential candidate and hire only the bookkeeping firm that provides a bookkeeper service that is most appropriate to your business’ needs.

Good Bookkeeper Services work flawlessly and help the business owner make sound business decisions. There are many reputed Bookkeeper Services Firms that help small and medium businesses worldwide.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Set Up A Simplified Accounting System For Your Home Business

A lot of home businesses fail because they lack the necessary financial system to track down the flow of their money. More often than not, home based business owners are not really very keen at keeping their books of accounts, thinking that as long as money keeps coming in, they will be all right. Unfortunately, things are not really that simply when you are engaged in business. If you want to stay in business for a long time, you will need to keep track of your financial flow for your own use and for taxation purposes. Note that if you do not keep track of your income, sooner or later the IRS will be unto you and you will get into big trouble.

Setting up your own simplified bookkeeping system is not really very complicated. If you like to keep your records in your computer, you might want to buy accounting software or just simply use whatever programs that will allow you to make a spreadsheet in your computer to record your daily transactions. However, you have some money to spare for an accounting program, it would be better to have one. There is a number of easy to use accounting software being sold in the market today. The good thing about these accounting programs is that you do not need to worry about balancing your books of accounts. You simply input all your data in one page and the program will run on its own. Most accounting programs will automatically perform the different accounting process and will immediately update your statements of accounts. Retrieving data from an accounting program is also easy. All you need to do is to go to it archives and select which ones you want to see. For instance, if you want to know how much your net income is for the month, you simply pull-out the income statement page and you will see your income instantly. Another advantage of using a computer accounting program is that you get rid of all the papers and ledgers in your workplace.

Now, in case you are not comfortable using your computer to balance your books, then you just has to you things the old-fashioned way. What if you do not know anything about accounting processes? Never mind if you are not good in accounting and balancing statements of accounts, just keep simplified records of your transactions. A three-column worksheet will do nicely. You can easily find this type of worksheet in the bookstore. When dividing your worksheet, you can have one column for all the money you received in connection with the business, another column for all the money that you spend for your business and the third column will be for your running balance.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Start a Bookkeeping Business 1-2-3

There is money to be made as a bookkeeper. Many small businesses outsource their bookkeeping work, and there are lots of individuals and families who simply want someone else to manage their record-keeping for them. Even if you think you'd never be able to start your own business - with basic accounting skills, some software and insurance, you can be off and running very quickly with your own bookkeeping company.

Why would someone want to start a bookkeeping business anyway? To start, bookkeeping is a very affordable and low-risk business to start. You can conveniently work from home or offer a mobile service without having to rent office space or open a store front. You don't have to hire employees and can run your bookkeeping company as a one-person business if you choose. A bookkeeper's work schedule can be flexible: part-time, regular business hours, evenings, weekends or even varying hours by week.

A bookkeeping business is ideal for someone who enjoys accounting (of course), who likes working independently, is organized and likes solving problems. As this field has evolved, the internet and computer programs have made bookkeeping an easier task to accomplish from a remote location. Generally, there is not a lot of social interaction with bookkeeping, but having good people skills are an advantage in any business.

So how do you actually go about starting your bookkeeping service?
  1. Learn your business - brush up on your accounting skills if necessary, become adept with accounting software like Quickbooks. Search the internet to find out what services other bookkeeping companies are offering and be prepared to offer them yourself - before your customers ask. Also, getting additional certification can give you a competitive advantage - the Certified Bookkeepers Designation is awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
  2. Find out where your customers are. You may choose to work with businesses or individuals - or both. A bookkeeping business can be built quickly through referrals. Find one good client who has a few friends, and that may be all the advertising you need to grow your business. That said, the best way to start your company may be through someone you already know - including a local business. Offer discounts or gift certificates for customer referrals, and you can have more customers than you need without ever having to place one ad.
  3. Find out which licenses or permits you need from your local government office. Talk with an insurance agent and banker (you can get referrals from other local business owners or friends) to get helpful tips on insurance requirements and business management that will save you time, money and hassles in the long run.
Running your own bookkeeping business can offer lots of benefits to you as a business owner. Compared to other businesses, this field is fairly easy to enter into, and you can get started quickly - plus you can even start your business on a part-time basis. With so many individuals and companies needing this service, you may be profitable sooner than you think.

About author:
Sue Barrett has been the Director of Business Solutions at Home Business Center, Inc. for over 10 years. Specializing in small and home business issues, she can provide quality insight and reputable resources for those wanting to start, manage and grow their own home-based business. See more about >> Starting your own Bookkeeping Business.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

IT Companies Reconciling To Pay More Tax As STP Exemption Ends

Bangalore/Mumbai, July 23 IT firms such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro expect their effective tax rates to go up in the coming years as more of their delivery units come out of Software Technology Parks of India.

This would further impact the net profit of these companies, already under pressure because of the global economic crisis.

The actual taxes paid by a corporate divided by the net taxable income expressed as a percentage, gives the effective tax rates.

The vendors setting up delivery units in Software Technology Parks (STPs) enjoy a tax holiday for 10 consecutive years. However, after that period, they are no longer eligible for the exemption. The latest Budget gave the STPI scheme an extension of one more year; it will now end in March 2011. The extension will not benefit units that are more than 10 years old.

Infosys Technologies, which had an effective tax rate (ETR) of 17 per cent last fiscal, expects the ETR to touch 20 per cent this financial year.

“It is a natural conclusion that the ETR will go up in the next few years as more of our units come out of STPI,” said Mr V. Balakrishnan, Chief Financial Officer, Infosys.

The company estimates its ETR at 24-25 per cent in the next fiscal. “However, it is difficult to say because the tax rate would depend on how much of our growth will go into the SEZs,” Mr Balakrishnan added.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Bookkeeping Tips - Important Tips and Bookkeeping Advice

Five Tips for a Smoother, More Efficient Tax Time
  1. Organize your processes. Lost productivity and mistakes will often come from misunderstanding authority and responsibility. A tax season will be smoother when everyone knows the proper work flow, what their jobs are, and exactly how much authority they have to make decisions. You can make all of these things clear by designing organized processes, bookkeeping procedures and systems that your team can follow.
  2. Prioritize. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, get systemized. Prioritize a to-do list and work on one thing at a time. As you cross a task off, celebrate! Make sure your team is clear on the priorities too.
  3. Remember why you're there to begin with. Business can be a very detail-oriented affair, and it's really easy to get caught up in the moment especially when your dealing with your daily bookkeeping tasks. If you ever feel like you're drowning in details, stop and take a deep breath. Now look at the big picture. Just think about what your business goals are and remind yourself that you can obtain them. This exercise can help you to get back in tune with what's really important to you and will help you put everything back in the right perspective.
  4. Communicate Clearly. Without clear communication it will be hard to get through the tax season. Your CPA is going to have a lot of questions for you and you will need to be able to answer them appropriately. Make sure you are not overtired and have plenty of energy to get you through. Be appreciative of all of the work that your accountant is doing for you. Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to change your perspective for the positive.
  5. Model Leadership. Emotions are contagious. So is stress. If you are in a bad mood, everyone around you will feel it and may not be far behind. But if you come in cheery and ready to tackle the task before you, you can influence everyone in a more positive manner. It's a lot more fun to be around cheerful people.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tips For Accounting Training Programs

No matter what the state of the economy is, there is always room in the business industry for students who finished accounting degrees.

It is actually one of the oldest professions in the world and if you are considering a career in this field, there are 5 best accounting degrees that you can choose from:
  • Public Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Internal Auditing
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Government Accounting
Tips when Looking for an Accounting Training Program

Now, if you are considering establishing a career in the field of accounting, the first thing that you need to do is choose from one of the top schools that you can enroll at.

Some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing which school to go to includes its proximity to where you live, the availability of the accounting programs and majors that you wish to take and the type of accounting degrees that the school awards to students.

However, aside from focusing on the accounting majors that you are taking up, there are other skills that you should work on if you want to stand out among the rest once you go job hunting. First, make sure to brush up on your computer skills. No matter how good you are at the basics of this field, it will not be enough if you don't know how to use a software or an accounting program that will make your auditing and accounting job easier.

Prior to the actual job hunting, get an internship so that the experience can be added on to your resume. Lastly, after deciding which of the many majors it is that you wish to focus on, you need to brush up on your skills regarding the fields outside of accounting to widen your scope as a professional.

Start your career in Accounting!! Search for the top accounting schools in your preferred location you can enroll at and also get complete insight on top accounting programs, degrees and majors at


Friday, July 10, 2009

Accountant or CPA - which is best for me?

One of the biggest questions a business owner faces when selecting a professional to perform accounting functions is whether to hire a CPA or non-CPA accountant. Most people think that CPA is always best and all non-CPA are not smart enough to be a CPA otherwise they would have it. While CPAs are to be given the professional respect that they deserve, it is ill advised to assume that a CPA is always best for you. Especially if you have a new or small business, you should give serious consideration to a non-CPA firm that can offer total accounting function – monthly bookkeeping, quarterly tax preparation, and accounting advice.

There are situations in which talented accountants do not pursue a CPA designation because they do not meet one or more aspects of CPA qualification determined by the State Government. The most common is no prior experience working for a CPA. Nearly all CPAs earn this designation after college as they work for a public accounting firm in their audit division. Alternatively an accounting graduate can elect to work for a private company in their accounting department. Other reasons for not pursuing a CPA include no desire to work with publicly traded companies or governmental agencies. These entities require accountants to have a CPA in order to be hired.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Single Or Double Entry Bookkeeping That Is The Question

The bookkeeping system adopted by a business is based upon double entry principles for all limited companies but self employed businesses may use a single entry bookkeeping system if a statement of assets and liabilities is not required. Bookkeeping is the recording of the prime financial transactions of a business usually by a bookkeeper or accounts clerk in the business books.

The difference between bookkeeping services and accounting may be unclear to the uninitiated while both are of vital importance to financial success. Bookkeeping is an important part of the accounting function and is essentially the record keeping of the financial transactions. Accounting is while incorporating the record keeping also includes the presentation, interpretation and financial control functions including interpretation of the numbers for the financial health of a business of which taxation can play a major part.

Bookkeeping stems from the recording of financial transactions and the accounting term for a business accounts as books. In effect the accounting function prepares a record of the monetary affairs of a business and stores the information in files called books. Hence the term bookkeeping often misspelled as book keeping which is the function of a librarian not that of a bookkeeper.

The financial affairs of a business involve many aspects and start with the recording of what is termed the prime documents. The task of a bookkeeping service which some businesses outsource is to record the prime documents, those prime documents being the sales, purchases and cash/bank transactions. All small businesses do bookkeeping and the most successful use the bookkeeping records as a basis for an accounting function to generate a more efficient financial service.

All business involves buying or selling something and the consequent function of receiving or paying money to the value of those transactions. Recording these transactions in larger business organisations is done by accounts clerks who work under the supervision of the accountant.

Invariably medium and larger businesses use a double entry system for recording transactions. Double entry accounting evolves from the fact that every transaction as a double effect on the business of which these are prime examples.

A sale is made. That creates a record of income for the business which is taxed on that income the other side of the financial transaction, the double entry, is the fact that the organisation who was sold the goods now owes the value of that sales invoice to the business. That is the double entry, record the sales income and also record the debt due from the customer who is now called a debtor.

Someone who owes the business a debt is called a debtor.

A purchase is made. That creates a record of expense for the business which can be deducted from income and lowers taxes and the other side of the financial transaction, the double entry, is the fact that the organisation who supplied the purchase on credit is now owed the money. That is the double entry, record the sales income and also record the credit due to the supplier who is now called the creditor.

Someone who has supplied goods on credit is called a creditor.

The third type of prime transaction is the transfer of money between the debtors and creditors and the business.

When a debtor pays his sales invoice the double entry is to add that amount of money to the business financial records and the opposite double entry goes to the debtor account to reduce the amount owed to the business since it has now received the cash.

When a creditor is paid the amount owed the money is recorded as reducing the cash resources of the business by for example deducting the money from the bank balance and the double entry reduces the amount the business now owes to the creditor account since it has reduced the credit received.

The bookkeeping function is to record these prime transactions. Since every financial transaction has an equal and opposite entry in the books there has to be a mathematical check that both sides of the transactions add up to zero. This check process is called a trial balance where both sides of the entries should be in agreement and normally the point at which the bookkeeping service is deemed to be complete.

Double entry bookkeeping is required for all businesses that require to produce a statement of its assets and liabilities. This statement of assets and liabilities is the total of all the balances from the trial balance and is called a balance sheet.

Many small businesses do not require a balance sheet. In the UK the production of a balance sheet is optional for every self employed business as it is not an obligatory requirement of the self assessment tax return form. A self employed bookkeeping system is not required to produce a balance sheet because the business effectively belongs to the owner and is that owners personal business.

Limited companies must produce a balance sheet under various financial acts and submit the balance sheet to both Companies House and the tax authority each year. The different rules applying to a limited company is because the accounts including the balance sheet are public records available to the members of that company and not necessarily the property of a single individual or partnership.

The self employed bookkeeping system can be simpler being produced from a single entry style of bookkeeping rather than double entry. Single entry bookkeeping makes a single entry for each financial transaction which is sufficient to produce an income and expenditure account, a profit and loss account, but does not make the reciprocal entry that establishes the value of the assets and liabilities.

Single entry can be as simple as making a list of the sales income and the purchase expenses. Such a bookkeeping system is valuable to the smaller business as it requires little or no bookkeeping or accounting knowledge. A smaller business can produce its own accounts without the need for a bookkeeper or accountant particularly if it has access to bookkeeping templates through bookkeeping software to produce the accounts in the accounting format required.

About Author:
Terry Cartwright is a qualified accountant in the UK designs Accounting Software on excel spreadsheets providing complete Small Business Accounting Software solutions for with single and double entry Bookkeeping solutions for limited companies and self employed business


Friday, July 3, 2009

Cost Benefit Analysis-whether you should outsource your Bookkeeping to Professional Book Keeper

What is a role of a bookkeeper in your organization :
BOOKKEEPERS keep complete, up-to-date, and accurate records of accounts and financial arrangements. Bookkeepers verify and enter information into journals and ledgers or into a computer. They periodically balance the books and compile reports and financial statements. Bookkeepers also receive, record, bank and pay out cash. They balance checkbooks with monthly bank statements. They may calculate employee wages from plant records or time cards and issue payroll checks. Some of the other work they may do includes posting accounts receivable and payable, prepare and make bank deposits, record payrolls, maintain inventory records, purchase supplies, prepare purchase orders and do expense reports. Bookkeepers may also make schedules, sort documents, and file bills. These type of jobs are found in every industry and may have various job titles, such as accounts payable clerk, accounts receivable clerk or assistant bookkeeper.

Cost of a Bookkeeper :
The pay for these jobs depends upon experience, clerical skills, the level of responsibility and the job location. Beginning salaries go from minimum wage to $ 15 per hour. Experienced Bookkeeper can make $ 20 an hour. After having worked for three years with the same firm, a Bookkeeper can earn at $ 25 per hour. A Bookkeepers usually work 40 hours a week; sometimes it may be necessary to work overtime. Some employers have fringe benefits such as paid vacations and sick leave, life and health insurance, and bonuses. Other benefits that the employer may include are participation in a credit union, or retirement and profit sharing plans.

Advantage of outsourcing Bookkeeping work to a professional bookkeeper :
There are several distinct advantages to outsourcing your bookkeeping functions. First and foremost is saving money. You get what you pay for and if you don't pay for quality than you won't have quality service. However, you can save money by outsourcing because you won't be paying for employer payroll tax expense, workman's compensation and general liability insurances, vacation time, sick time, health insurance and other benefits a good full time bookkeeper will expect from his/her employer. Just remember, however, that these costs will be built into the consultant's hourly rate and their fee will reflect these costs. Any bookkeeping consultant who has not taken these costs into consideration is not a bookkeeper you want - if they don't know enough to include these costs into their fees, then they don't know enough to be a help to your business. You should expect to pay at least three times what you would pay an experienced full charge bookkeeper.

And just how do you save money by paying three times the amount you would pay an employee? Well, let's see. There will be no recruiting, interviewing and training costs for start. And if you should find yourself unhappy with the services there will be no additional recruiting, interviewing and training to replace your bookkeeper. Also, you will not have to be concerned about law suits such as sexual harassment, unlawful firing, age discrimination, sexist, etc. Or an increase in your unemployment rates because you laid off an employee that you really wanted to fire but had no lawful cause to do so. So right away we have less time and money spent and potentially less hassle if things don't go well.

And of course you will not be paying workman's compensation and general liability insurance premiums. Also any worthy bookkeeper will expect at least two weeks vacation, coverage for sick time, health and dental insurance and even perhaps more benefits.

Most professional bookkeepers will have their own offices saving you space within your office. So you will not be buying that extra desk, calculator, computer and computer software. Your bookkeeper will be providing all of that as part of his/her fee. No software updates, computer maintenance, training costs, etc. Of course should you prefer to have your computerized bookkeeping records available to you at your office, a small investment in software installed on your computer makes this possible. Also no office supplies to be paid for. You will be amazed at just how much pens, pencils, and paper can be used by a bookkeeper. Your consultant bookkeeper will either ask you to drop off the work at their office, will pick it up at your office or some may even offer remote bookkeeping service. And by having your bookkeeping done off site, your bookkeeper will be able to work more efficiently and accurately because her/his office will most likely offer less distractions than your busy office. All of this is saving you money.

And the best reason for outsourcing is that you control the amount of money spent on bookkeeping. What I mean by this is that the person you hire to do your bookkeeping will be doing just that - not answering the phone, dealing with drop-bys, chatting to other employees, etc. Also you can start with just a few hours a month and add on when you need to and then adjust downward again should it be necessary. Can you imagine finding an employee to start with only four hours a month, then asking them to put in 20 hours a week for awhile and then back down to four hours a month again. I don't think you would keep them for very long, but a free lance bookkeeper is able to work around these variables and even more importantly expects to work with flexible schedules.

So have I convinced you yet? If so, then just remember "you will get what you pay for". Go for top quality because your financial records are the core of your business and without great bookkeeping you cannot expect to succeed no matter what type of business you have. After all don't you think you are worth it ?

About Author : Mr.Bhaskar Thakkar is a qualified Chartered Accountant and professional bookkeeper from India. He is a president of M/s. BT Associates, Chartered Accountants. The said firm provides Book keeping, Accounting, Auditing and Tax preparation services to various Chartered Accountants in UK, US and Canada. The firm is also specialized in preparation of VAT returns, Payroll Processing. Visit 1.,. A division of said firm provides various outsourcing solutions please visit 1., to get more details.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Software for Faster I-T Returns

CHANDIGARH: Speeding up the process of filing income-tax returns and making it more convenient, a software called ‘Uttam Sewa’ has been prepared by the department concerned to facilitate the work of over three lakh assessee across city and Mohali.

Scheduled to be launched in the city by July 15, the software will not only ensure a simpler filing process, but also speed up disposal of refund cases, which usually entail a waiting period of a year or more. I-T authorities claim the refund would now be done within three months of filing returns. The software will also allow immediate reflection of returns on internet, officials claimed.

While the assessees and their tax consultants are busy preparing the returns that are to be filed by July 3, so are the offices of commissioner of income tax (CIT) I and II that are gearing up for the software launch.

“As a pilot project, this programme will be launched in five cities identified by Central Board of Direct Taxes this year. Chandigarh is one of them and we will cover range IV and V of CIT I and entire range of CIT II. CBDT chairman and member secretary are likely to launch the same on July 13 or 14,” AK Kaushal, commissioner of income-tax I, who also heads the committee formed to execute the new programme, said.

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