4 Mistakes You’re Making with Month-End Closings

A cleaner, quicker, more organized month-end. Here’s something your future self will thank you for! Originally posted on AlloySilverstein.com. At the end of each month accounting departments collect, analyze and record financial data in a process known as “closing the books.” When financial staff members perform these tasks in a structured environment, managers can obtain timely and accurate reports. This ultimately helps businesses make strategic decisions and remain adaptable. But…  Read more

The Number 1 Thing You Need to Know About Your Business

When you own a small business, it’s vital you understand how money flows into and out of it. At a basic level, you need to know where your income comes from and what your expenses are. At a deeper level, knowing how money moves through your business can help you make strategic decisions about growth, invoicing, and debt management. The consequences of not understanding money can be drastic—poor financial management…  Read more

Separating Personal and Business Expenses

There are some things in life that go together well and others that definitely do not. Business and personal finances are in the category of items that should not be mixed. Although it may seem like a headache to keep them separate—who wants to manage all those bank accounts?—your life will be greatly simplified once you separate your personal and your business finances, especially your expenses. Paperwork and taxes will…  Read more

Cash or Accrual? What’s the Difference?

When you start a business, you have many decisions to make. One of those is the method of accounting your business will use for reporting income and expenses on your tax return. It is an extremely important decision. With few exceptions, the method you choose can only be changed in the future with the IRS’s permission. The two methods generally used are the cash method and the accrual method. The…  Read more

Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Business?

When you run a small business you likely want to spend as much time as possible on the tasks that make money for your business. Unfortunately, there are many day-to-day chores that require your time but aren’t necessarily worth your energy. Faced with those errands, many small business owners either spend their valuable time and energy on chores they hate or put them off until the last minute. That’s where…  Read more

Three ways to Speed up Invoicing

Everyone likes making money, especially small business owners. Invoicing, however, is typically one of the tasks that small business owners like the least. Chores like creating and sending invoices get set aside for other duties that are seen as more enjoyable or even more urgent. You tell yourself you’ll get around to it tomorrow, but tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and suddenly you realise your client…  Read more

What Numbers are Vital to your Business Success?

Key business numbers to monitor What numbers monitor the vital signs of your business? You may be surprised to find you must look beyond the numbers on your financial statements. Most successful business owners have a set of key numbers they use to monitor how well their business is doing. Usually these numbers are a combination of financial and nonfinancial measurements. You can improve the profitability of your business by…  Read more

Use Technology to Control Costs in your Construction Business

Controlling overhead costs is critical for all construction managers. Increased competition and slim profit margins have forced contractors to take a hard look at overhead cost management. Budgeting and Variance Analysis Technological changes have made budgeting systems, planning, and control techniques available to all contractors. Budgeting allows contractors to evaluate current operations, assess future costs, and provide a proactive approach to controlling overhead costs. Overhead costs are either variable or…  Read more

Do You Know Your Break-Even Point?

All business owners need to be aware of their break-even point — that is, the number of units they need to sell in order to cover their operating costs. Once you’ve reached your break-even point, it’s time to celebrate: your business is no longer in the red, and you are officially earning a profit. This article will show you how to calculate your break-even point so you can make wise…  Read more

7 Actionable Ideas to Improve Your Profit

Consider the following ideas for saving time and money and making your business more profitable. 1. Develop tight controls over billing and collections. To speed up cash flow, reduce the time between shipping your product and sending an invoice. Consider semimonthly instead of monthly billing, and send second notices more quickly. 2. Collect past-due receivables. Almost every business has past-due receivables. Phone the people who owe you the most money,…  Read more

How to Set Payment Terms if you’re a Freelancer or Contractor

Following up on late or non-paying customers is no freelancer’s favorite task. Which is precisely why you need to set payment terms up front – and in writing – before you work with a new client or customer. By communicating and agreeing on the non-negotiables for doing business with you, you’ll avoid awkward misunderstandings, frustrating disputes, and in most cases, the ugly hassle of debt collection. These tips will help…  Read more

You’re Getting Audited — Now What?

No business owner looks forward to a letter from the taxman requesting a closer look at the books. If you’ve received an audit letter – an official request by the tax authority to review your accounts and confirm your taxes have been paid to date – don’t panic. Prepare. These four steps will help you get through the process with minimal stress and the best possible outcome. Respond promptly If…  Read more

10 Tips to Help Small Business Owners Get Paid Faster

Steady, reliable cash flow is crucial for the survival of any small business – so taking steps to ensure your customers pay promptly should be a key priority. When your clients consistently pay on time, you’ll avoid the dreaded “feast or famine” cycle. You’ll be able to pay your vendors, suppliers, and employees on time – and not least of all, yourself. Implement these ten tips now to start getting…  Read more

Similarities and Differences Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

They both work with financial data; they’re both essential for managing a successful business. Yet the roles and duties of a bookkeeper and accountant rarely overlap. If you’re like many business owners, you may not be exactly sure of the differences between a bookkeeper and accountant – and whether you should hire one, or both. An established, growth-focused company will employ the services of both an accountant and bookkeeper. The…  Read more

So You’ve Launched Your Business – Now What?

Good news for small business owners: according to the US Small Business Administration, nearly 80% of small businesses survive their first year. However, that number begins to drop as time rolls on. Only half of small businesses pass the five year mark, and a mere third celebrate their tenth anniversary. Taking steps to create a good foundation in the early days of your business is essential for a sustainable and…  Read more

5 Ways to Save Money for your Business

Looking for simple ways to cut costs? These tips will help you make a noticeable difference to your bottom line. 1. Reduce staff costs Without a doubt, having someone to help deal with routine tasks can greatly improve productivity. The rub is that hired help is often too expensive for small business owners. Internships can be a real win-win: a student gets hands-on experience assisting you with marketing, accounting or…  Read more

5 Common Bookkeeping Pitfalls — and How to Avoid Them

Although most entrepreneurs recognize the importance of careful financial management, few want to spend their time dealing with numbers. Unfortunately, not keeping a close eye on your income and expenses can be very costly for a business. Here are five of the most common bookkeeping pitfalls, and some simple tips for getting back on track. Mixing business and personal All too often, entrepreneurs adopt a “buy now, sort later” approach…  Read more

Identify your Break-Even Point

Without knowing your break-even point, you can’t make informed business decisions. To cover the costs of your business you need to sell enough goods or services to reach your break-even point. Knowing where that point is, and how long it will take you to reach it, can be fundamental to your success. This especially true if you’re thinking about starting or buying a business. Calculate fixed and variable costs The…  Read more

10 Money-Saving Tips for Freelancers

While working at home as a freelancer sounds like the ultimate dream for anyone who tires of the rat race, freelancers still have more than their fair share of financial matters to worry about. In fact, perhaps the most important trait that any freelancer should have is the ability to be fully responsible and accountable to themselves, and saving money is something that you will be wholly responsible for. 1.…  Read more

Strengthening your Balance Sheet

Your balance sheet (now more correctly called a Statement of Financial Position) reveals a great deal about your business, including the total value of your assets – the things you own; how much you owe to others – your liabilities; and the level of your solvency. These three aspects will be studied carefully by lenders and investors − and by buyers if you intend to sell your business. But they…  Read more

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