Tag Archives: Accounting. business accounting

Improving your Collections Chances!

I recently had an unfortunate experience with collecting payment from a client.  I would like to share some information with you so that you will, hopefully, not have to go through this as well…

I had an unresolved invoice from a client and after many attempts on my part to collect the debt, I had to turn to a collection agency.  This is not an avenue that any business owner relishes, however, I was able to receive some sound advice through the generosity of the collections agency. It was suggested to me that I add a “Personal Guaranty” to my standard business agreement. They even provided me with the proper verbiage!  I would love to share this with you so that you may also take advantage of the great advice that I received.

PERSONAL GUARANTY

In consideration of [COMPANY NAME] its subsidiaries or affiliates, extending credit, I/we jointly and severally do personally guarantee unconditionally, at all times, to [COMPANY NAME], its subsidiaries or affiliates, the payment of indebtedness or balance of indebtedness of the within named firm. I understand that this could include remedies up to and including reporting on my personal credit and responsibility for any and all collection or attorney fees associated with the recovery of any past due balances.

 

By adding the “Personal Guaranty” to your service contract, you may increase your chances of being able to collect if you should find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having an “noncollectable” account!!

Tame your software subscriptions

Software subscriptions out of control?

Tame them with these simple steps

Online software subscriptions are all the rage. They’re pretty much how I run my business, and there are some great tools out there. But the phrase “buyer beware” applies as much here as it does elsewhere, and I have to say I’ve learned some hard lessons over the years. Here are a few things I do to save money and make sure I’m in control of my subscriptions, not the other way around.

Set calendar reminders 

We all get busy, and whether you have just one subscription or several that automatically renew, it can be hard to keep track of renewal dates. Creating calendar reminders that alert you a few days ahead of a renewal date gives you a chance to review the subscription before your credit card is charged to see if you need to:

Cancel because you no longer use it. Sometimes subscription use falls by the wayside, so periodic review is always a good idea. Only a few companies offer a partial refund when you cancel a subscription in the middle of a billing cycle, and there’s nothing worse than paying for something you don’t use or need.

Review your subscription level.  If you still need the software but aren’t using all the bells and whistles, you can often downgrade to a less expensive option.

Beware the annual subscription

Many software companies offer discounts when you pay for a year in advance, even throwing in a couple of months for free. Don’t be in a hurry to do this. Many companies are reluctant to issue mid-year refunds, so if you have to cancel mid-year, you can lose a lot of money. And sometimes, you have no choice but to cancel. Companies can make changes to their software during the course of a subscription, and what began as a useful tool for your business can suddenly become a handicap. This happened to me with my project management software recently, and I was forced to stop what I was doing midstream and find different software because it had such a negative impact on my productivity.

Watch the webinar

Before subscribing to online software services, take the time to sign up for a free trial and the free introductory webinars. Webinars are usually 30-60 minutes long and go a long way toward helping you decide if a product is right for you. In addition, if you decide to subscribe, you’ll already be a step ahead of the game since you’ll already know how to put the software to work for you.

Time taken to research and review your software subscription plans is time wisely spent.  Just like the old saying goes, “Short-term pain, long-term gain.”

Tame your software subscriptions with these simple steps.

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When to Set Up Accounting Software For Your Business

ID-10058688I am often asked when a business owner should set up accounting software for their new business. The short answer: the moment you decide to start a business.

The moment you decide to start a business you start incurring expenses; web domains, business licensing, logo design, product development, legal fees, etc. These start-up expenses must be tracked not only to get all those deductions on your tax return, but to know the financial facts about your new business.

Xero cloud accounting software has partner editions available for as little as $9 per month for start-up businesses. As your business grows there are subscription levels to grow with you. This also allows you to stay with the same software as your business grows and avoids the additional expense of converting to new software. Once you know how to use the software, your learning curve is limited to learning features newly added to the software or just now becoming important to your business.

Here’s something else to consider. The sooner you set up accounting software for your business, the sooner you build the habit of tracking income and expenses as well as building a budget and learning to read your financial statements.

online-banking

Make Online Banking Work For You

We’re surrounded by technology these days, did you notice? There are apps to do things you never knew you even needed to do. The sheer number of options when using new can be overwhelming.

I think the key is to choose apps that help you be productive and make your life easier. Select tools that automate time-consuming processes and you start feeling more on top of things right away. 

Here’s an example: are you getting the most out of your online banking? If you suspect you might not be taking advantage of basic tools that really streamline things, take a look this short list.

Mobile Apps – Use the mobile app from your bank to accomplish on your mobile device pretty much the same tasks you can do by logging in on your computer. You can do your banking anywhere there is a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Wouldn’t you rather be doing something rather than just waiting around for an appointment or the subway?

Online Bill Pay – Stop wasting time and money buying checks and stamps to pay your bills. When you use the online bill pay service, your bank will print and mail the check to the payee on your behalf, which saves you the cost of buying checks, envelopes, and stamps. Even better is the fact that your bank account number is nowhere on the check, which helps protect you against fraud.

There’s very little you can’t pay via online bill pay: utilities, rent, insurance, loan payments, credit cards, independent contractors, and much more.  Many utility and credit card companies even allow you to receive e-bills from them via your online banking service.

Don’t want your bank to mail a check to your payee? Pay them using their email address. Most banks now offer services to send and receive money simply by providing an email address. And most banks do not charge fees for these bill pay services, so why not take advantage of it?

Build Your Credit Score – Stop paying late fees because you forgot to pay a bill. Schedule recurring credit card, rent, loan payments and the like to be paid on time every month. This will help improve your credit score, too.

Invest 20 minutes and log into your online banking now and explore the options your bank has available to pay bills more efficiently and manage your cash better. Make the technology work for you.

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Why You Should Use QuoteRoller

I confess. I used to use Microsoft Word to prepare client proposals. I dreaded preparing them even though it meant bringing in new business. I copied the last proposal I did and carefully changed all client name references, dates, fees, etc. And then I read, re-read, and re-read the proposal to make sure I didn’t overlook anything. It took forever. When I finally overcame the fear there was something I forgot to change, I emailed the proposal to the prospective client. And then I had to wait for the client to open the file, read it, print it, sign it, scan it, and finally (hopefully) email it back to me.

From Inefficiency to Efficiency

And then I found QuoteRoller. I could add my client’s contact information to QuoteRoller. It was easy to create templates to reuse. I could track when the proposal was viewed by the client and, of course, when they accepted it. I could even use the RightSignature integration to get a real live signature instead of an electronic acceptance.  I could create and email a proposal to a client using one of the templates I setup in QuoteRoller while we were speaking on the phone and close the deal in short order. Generating proposals for prospective clients became something I no longer dreaded.

QuoteRoller Features

QuoteRoller has myriad features to benefit any business. A dashboard allows you to see how many proposals you’ve sent, which ones have been viewed, and what your acceptance rate it. In addition to the text content, you can add pictures and videos to your proposals. And clients can ask questions or make comments on your proposal.  In other words, you can wow your clients and win the job.

What’s Your Time Worth?

We business owners try to accomplish too much each and every day. Using QuoteRoller to prepare proposals will save you time and allow you to use your valuable time more efficiently. The basic subscription to QuoteRoller starts at $14.99 for a monthly plan, $8.99 per month for an annual plan. Even if you currently only prepare a couple proposals a month, as CEO of a business, your time is certainly worth $14.99. Isn’t it?

*This post contains an affiliate link.
Child with learning difficulties

People don’t buy what your business does; they buy why you do it.

I recently watched a Ted Talk given by Simon Sinek called ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’.

The main point Simon made was that people don’t buy what your business does; they buy why you do it. That got me to thinking about why I do what I do.

I accidentally started my business in early 2010 after losing my full time job two weeks before Christmas. As that was in the midst of the recession and I live in a small town, there were no jobs to apply for. So I started responding to ads on Craig’s List posted by small businesses needing occasional help with their bookkeeping. I also stumbled on an opportunity to serve as a mentor at Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET) that brought in clients as well. Work also came along in the way of part-time jobs, mostly temporary. Somehow I made ends meet. And suddenly I had a business. I made mistakes along the way of course, and learned many things along the way. Continuing education is something I engage in every week in the form of podcasts, webinars, and lots of reading. My business slowly evolved from just wanting to earn a living to looking for the best ways to serve my clients.

Child with learning difficultiesMy goal is to take the confusion and frustration out of small business accounting by providing training and ongoing accounting services. Small business accounting isn’t just about QuickBooks any more. Cloud based software offers many tools for running a business. I believe in choosing just the right tools, balancing necessity and cost, to streamline all of the administrative tasks (including accounting) of a business.

As I continue on the journey of being a business owner it is my hope that I find more and better ways to serve the small business community.

Why do YOU do it?