Friday, September 25, 2009

New Accounting Standards Will Have No Direct Impact on Individuals

While accountants and businesses scramble to put together a plan for converting their financial accounting systems and statements from Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the good news is that IFRS shouldn't impact your personal tax situation -- at least not directly. IFRS is basically a set of accounting rules and principles designed to provide guidance to accountants and others to prepare financial statements. "There are not that many direct implications for individuals since individuals don't have personal financial statements with respect to themselves," said Stan Maj, a tax partner in the financial services group at Ernst and Young LLP in Toronto. However, IFRS might have an impact on public companies that will have to begin following International Accounting Standard 12 (IAS 12) on Income Taxes for fiscal periods beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bookkeeping Software: No Business Should Be Without It

Accurate and efficient bookkeeping and accounting procedures are a must for any modern businesses. Every business can realize immediate benefits when adopting one of the attractively priced bookkeeping software packages.

Bookkeeping software can be tailored by the business owner or employee to serve literally any size of business. When you install a leading bookkeeping software package as part of your business you’ll be getting a whole set of management tools. Use your personal computer to perform many of the tedious, everyday tasks associated with your business. Tracking customers, performing inventory audits, billing, accounts payable and receivable and payroll are just a few of the routine tasks you can leave to this software. Tax time looming on the horizon again? Your accurately maintained records will make the ordeal a lot more tolerable.

Bookkeeping software is no longer bulky and difficult to learn. Newer systems are very user friendly. Even large businesses can be fully transitioned to your desktop computer or laptop in a surprisingly short time. The time saved in entering, updating and retrieving essential business data that a computerized bookkeeping system brings to the table will drastically reduce the return on investment (ROI) time for the software purchase.

All of the leading and highly rated software packages provide extensive training manuals and setup guides. Strong phone, email and other support is an important element to look for when choosing bookkeeping software. Special versions of bookkeeping software are available for other computer platforms such as the MacIntosh. The free, open source Linux system also gets attention from software vendors.

A business needs to avoid making any hasty bookkeeping software decisions until basic bookkeeping/accounting methods that best suit their operation are decided. Start your purchasing process by looking at your current, day-to-day, financial operations. Perhaps your company is weak in addressing customer tracking. That aspect of your software search should rise to the top. The priorities of your business need to be put in order before making a software decision.

An Internet search for “bookkeeping software” yields a dizzying array of possibilities. At the top there will be multiple links to well-known names as Quickbooks, Peachtree and Microsoft Money. All are first rate packages, but a business doesn’t necessarily need to limit their search to these monsters of the bookkeeping market. Be careful not to be blinded by all the attention the most popular software vendors get, also consider solutions from companies like Pastel Accounting Software, Sage Bookkeeping Software, Timberline Accounting Software, Accpac Accounting Software, and Lawson Accounting Software. For more information and reviews on the specific companies, Google the vendor names.

About the Author

Fred Jackson owns and operates accpac accounting software

Friday, September 18, 2009

7 Accounting Tips for Beginning Businesses

We have the smartest and the most clever accountant in the world. So we asked him to write an article about starting a business and the accounting setup needed. Here's what he wrote, it's solid advice from an accountant that saves us tons of money.

1. KISS. Keep it simple starting out. The simplest form of entity for running your first business is called a sole proprietorship. This form of ownership requires NO special communication or filings to the Internal Revenue Service until you start paying employees.

2. As a sole proprietor you are the owner/entity which might require only to acquire an occupational license if your county or municipality mandates one. As the owner, you are also liable to remit all state or city tax collections on retail or wholesale sales your business collects. Service businesses and most cross state sales are exempt from state tax collections.

3. If you are concerned about personal liability as a sole proprietorship then do the cheapest and simplest thing which is to buy a personal liability umbrella policy. The best way to avoid liability is to learn your trade well and keep accurate records on Less Accounting .

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Accounting rule change could favour Apple and iPod touch owners

The body responsible for setting US accounting standards is considering a rule change that would allow Apple to report higher earnings during periods of growth. It could also see an end to charging for iPod touch software updates.

Apple's insistence on charging iPod touch owners for software updates that iPhone users get for free has long been a cause of irritation.

The company takes the position that the relevant accounting rules say giving away updates that deliver significant new functionality is incompatible with recognising the revenue from the sale upfront.

(But what about this: if anything delivers significant new functionality to an iPod touch, it's Remote - an application from Apple that turns it into a remote control for iTunes or Apple TV. But Remote is free, whether it is for the iPhone or an iPod touch. Figure that one out!)

Since Apple doesn't want to defer the recognition of that revenue as it makes its financial results look worse, it charges for iPod touch updates. Another example of this rule coming into play occurred when Apple released a software update to enable 802.11n wireless networking on certain Macs that had been advertised as offering 11g Wi-Fi but which actually contained an 11n-capable chip.

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Saturday, September 12, 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.

About Author: 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, September 10, 2009

Brussels does bookkeeping with Google

Books on the Internet, democratically accessible now but perhaps expensive in the future… The Internet search group Google has been defending its scanning and publishing of millions of books online.

At a hearing at the European Commission in Brussels, Google said this process is making access to information more democratic. The Commission is considering what Europe should do about books on the Web.

Out-of-print books alone represent an enormous potential market. A Google deal in the United States is under legal scrutiny over how any eventual profits are shared among Google, publishers and authors.

German publishers and booksellers have linked payment for intellectual property with progress:
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Bookkeeping: The Necessary Evil

Are you a small business owner looking to stay under budget by doing the bookkeeping yourself? Well my friend, have I got news for you…you are not alone! There are many other small business owners out there who are looking to save time and money too. But they have dug themselves into a hole by writing every check themselves and balancing each account without any assistance. Unfortunately, bookkeeping goes beyond entering a few numbers here and there which takes away from what you love to do – grow and sell your business. Enter VBP OutSourcing – the solution to your financial problems.

Time is money. This is a bookkeeper’s motto in life. Your time is too valuable to spend doing the financials when you have a business to run. You also don’t have the time to worry about whether there is enough money to hire new employees or if your expenses are too high to purchase new supplies for the office. All of these financial questions can overload your brain and take away from other more important tasks and responsibilities of running your business. This is where a professional bookkeeper comes into the business picture.

A bookkeeper is not just another face in the accounting crowd. They are a vital part of your team, tracking the financials of the company, and ultimately the reason for your business’s success. Bookkeepers are there to make sure that your company does not run into one of the many common mistakes business owners find themselves in. The following list is 7 reasons why your business, small or large, should hire a bookkeeper, rather than do the finances themselves.

  1. Focus On Growing Your Business. Your bookkeeper will spend time every week keeping your paperwork up to date, so you can relax and spend more time on your business. Bookkeepers know what they are doing and enjoy what they do. Bookkeepers maintain accurate records and financial books which provide insight into important business questions such as: “Is my company earning enough money?” By keeping up to date with your paperwork, you can avoid the risk of late payment fees, penalties, and fines.
  2. Bookkeepers Understand. A bookkeeper understands the need for financial organization. They are able to reduce the chaos that are receipts, PO’s, invoices, etc. cluttering your desk to order by efficiently filing your papers away. A bookkeeper can also help by reducing your risk of paying twice for the same bill or by paying the wrong amount. Again, bookkeepers understand that your time and money are the most important assets to your business.
  3. Audits…Need I Say More? Having your business financials in order and up to date is legally required by law. Specifically, if you are a government contractor, a business is required to be compliant with DCAA regulations. If an auditor would pop into the office today without notice – would you be sweating bullets or relaxing with your feet propped up on your desk? Bookkeepers keep your financial books current, so that you don’t have to worry when auditors drop in unannounced.
  4. If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Road Will Take You There. Don’t let this be your company’s motto. Know where your business is going by understanding where it has been. Bookkeepers will paint a clear financial picture by telling you which road to follow when you come to that fork in the road. They will provide you with answers to your most important business questions such as “How does my spending compare to my sales?” so that you will make the smartest and most competent business decisions.
  5. Patterns, Patterns, Patterns. Patterns are everywhere you look. They are frequently found in numbers – from prime numbers to ratios to your company’s sales patterns. Since your bookkeeper is constantly reviewing your account, they have the ability to see patterns or reoccurring financial events that you, as a business owner, may overlook. By providing you with up-to-date financial reports, you can track patterns (peaks and declines), so that you can be more prepared for your next business decision. Budgets, a result of knowing your company’s patterns are a must for businesses. If you know the patterns of your business, creating a budget will come smoother and much easier. Budgets can then forecast your fiscal flow which, in turn, will control your cash needs and manage your expenses. In simple terms, the solution to the success of your business is to hire a pattern seeking bookkeeper.
  6. The Dreaded Date of April 15th. It makes no difference who you are - an individual, a family, a small business of 10, or a large company of 6,000 - you must file an income tax return every April. With a bookkeeper, your financial records will be consistent, but more importantly, correct. Therefore, when it comes time to prepare your taxes, you can rest assure that they will be done on time and in compliance.

7. Bottom Line: Increase Your Bottom Line. By hiring a bookkeeper to your team, you can be sure that you will have more time to focus on your business earnings. Instead of a salaried employee, you can pay for only the hours needed on your financials. In other situations, if your business is in need of a partnership to increase or sustain profitability, then having well-maintained and up-to-date books will, therefore, paint a prettier financial picture for your future colleagues. In the worst case scenario, if you have to sell your business, buyers will be able to see dedication and value in which you put into your business through well-kept financial books.

Bottom line – hire a bookkeeper!

Although bookkeeping is a necessary evil, it is still necessary! Therefore, instead of trying to take on the job of bookkeeping by yourself, look to a licensed bookkeeper to take care of your books so that you can rest assure knowing your financials are in order come your next audit!

Article Source: ABC Article Directory

Brooks Perry's background in media, business communications, and web development has given him a unique ability to provide expert writing, editorial, and public relations services for all types of projects, from informational brochures to integrated websites. His educational background includes a Mass Communications degree from the Towson University with a focus on advertising, public relations and marketing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pursuing a Career in Bookkeeping

What does a bookkeeper do exactly though? Bookkeepers are charged with all facets of financial activity within a business, including transaction management, recordkeeping, bank activity, money collected from accounts receivable and disbursed for accounts payable, petty cash and more. Depending upon the organization they work for, the scope of their job may include invoice preparation, payroll, purchasing, and collections. That’s just the day-to-day. They have to tie all this data into monthly/weekly/yearly reports and summaries for their managers, who rely on this information to see that their business is performing responsibly, in accordance with the business model and, most importantly, in the black.

Working environments for bookkeepers vary with the company for which they’re employed, but the job almost always involves individual more than collaborative labor.

What do you need to do to become a bookkeeper? A love for numbers is helpful. If you had a knack for math in school, you’re well on your way. A two-year Associate Degree or Certificate in Finance, Accounting or Business provides an excellent educational foundation, but many schools offer a specialized bookkeeping certification program. There are programs available at most community colleges and an increasing number of online programs, which are perfect for working professionals or those without an offering college nearby.

As offices become increasingly automated, computer savvy is essential, especially with a variety of finance and accounting software programs, including Quickbooks, MYOB, and Peachtree.

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